I was working on the devotional that goes along with my forthcoming Paul book on Romans (with Wesleyan Publishing) and was remembering how similar Romans 1 is to some themes in Wisdom 13 and 14.
Did you know?
... that Paul seems to be interacting with the book of Wisdom in Romans 1? The "Wisdom of Solomon," as it is sometimes called, was written at about the same time as Paul--perhaps several decades earlier. It was used extensively by the Christians of the earliest centuries and remains in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Old Testament. Hebrews 1:3 alludes to Wisdom 7:26.
Wisdom 13 talks about how foolish Gentiles worshiped wood when they used the other half of the tree to make a boat. It talks about how people should have realized the Creator behind the creation but worshiped created things instead. Wisdom 14 then talks about how sexual immorality naturally followed idolatry.
It is exactly this same sequence of ideas we find in Romans 1. Paul says that God's eternal power should have been evident, but instead Gentiles worshiped the creation and idols. God then left humanity to spiral out of control, manifesting itself not least in sexual immorality.
The similarity of themes and progression may be strong enough to conclude that Paul knew the book of Wisdom and was interacting with it.
Did you know?