|The aim of this study is to build upon the emerging consensus that the Pauline mystery is rooted in a Jewish apocalyptic context, reflecting a “once hidden, now revealed” schema. For Paul, this mystery schema divides history into distinct ages of concealment and revelation. This study will explore how a Jewish apocalyptic mystery schema impacts Paul’s use of mystery in Romans 11:25–27, along with the greater argument of chapters 9–11. Therefore, the thesis of this study is that the Pauline mystery of 11:25–27 recalls a “once hidden, now revealed” schema whereby Paul reimagines Israel’s history around the advent of Christ, unveiling God's redemptive plan concerning Israel’s plight and eschatological restoration concealed in the prophetic Scriptures.
Chapter 1 provides a history of research, reviewing the various interpretations of the Pauline mystery of Israel’s salvation in 11:25–27. I offer an evaluation of how contemporary scholars have engaged the Pauline mystery and provide a way forward in the discussion.
Chapter 2 argues that mystery in the OT and Second Temple literature is apocalyptic, reflecting a “once hidden, now revealed” schema for interpreting history and previous revelation to unveil God’s hidden plan of redemption in the eschaton. This technical use of the term is prominent in the book of Daniel, the DSS, and Pseudepigrapha. Recognizing a consistent Jewish apocalyptic mystery schema, the foundation is laid to compare it with Paul’s use of μυστήριον in Romans.
Chapter 3 shows that the Pauline mystery in Romans is rooted in Jewish apocalypticism. Particularly, like the OT and Second Temple literature, the mystery reflects a “once hidden, now revealed” schema for interpreting history and previous revelation to unveil God’s hidden plan of redemption in the eschaton. Specifically, the hidden eschatological realities of Israel’s salvation and the judgment of the wicked are made known through the gospel of Jesus Christ for everyone who believes. Christ’s death and resurrection serve not only as the basis of God’s redemption, but the paradigm for it. In other words, Christ is the apex which unifies God’s redemptive plan throughout history and into the eschaton. The Christ event lifts the veil over the OT, retrospectively revealing countless prefigurations of that event. Through faith in Christ, God’s people now see their eschatological hopes prefigured in him being incorporated to God’s unfolding narrative of redemption.
Chapters 4 and 5 focus on the mystery motif of Romans 9–11. These two chapters argue that Paul’s use of μυστήριον in 11:25 elicits the same christological paradigm it carries in 16:25–27 to unveil God’s hidden wisdom concerning Israel’s present unbelief and future restoration. Specifically, the mystery of 11:25–27 summarizes all of Romans 9–11 whereby Paul reimagines Israel’s history around the death, resurrection, and parousia of Christ to unveil God's redemptive plan surrounding Israel’s plight and eschatological restoration concealed in the prophetic Scriptures.
Chapter 6 serves as a conclusion providing a synthesis of this study showing that Paul explains Israel’s plight and future restoration as a mystery unveiled in Christ. Furthermore, this chapter suggests a couple of avenues for future studies on Paul’s mystery motif and the salvation of Israel.