Persuasion in Romans 5:12–21
This article is an attempt to reconstruct Paul’s rhetorical strategy from the text itself, rather than applying ancient or modern rhetorical models to his letters. A proposal for such a rhetorical approach is briefly summarised, followed by a discussion of the rhetorical situation of the letter. It is argued that the pericope, Romans 5:12–21, forms an integral part of Paul’s rhetorical strategy, aimed at persuading his audience in Rome to share his views on the contrast between Adam and Christ: Adam’s sin brought death into the world, but faith in Christ brings eternal life. In the process of persuasion, Paul uses various types of argument and rhetorical techniques to enhance the impact of his communication. To analyse and describe this is the main aim of the article. The conclusion is that a text-centred approach (with its focus on the functional aspects of the text) provides a meaningful alternative to existing approaches (which focus mainly on the formal aspects of the text).