Romans 4:17

New Testament

16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants—not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed—the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. 18 Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.” 19 Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

2 Baruch 48:8

Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch

5 Thou explorest the limit of the heights, And Thou scrutinizest the depths of the darkness. 6 Thou carest for the number which pass away that they may be preserved And Thou preparest an abode for those that are to be. 7 Thou rememberest the beginning which Thou hast made, And the destruction that is to be Thou forgettest not. 8 With nods of fear and indignation Thou commandest the flames, And they change into spirits, And with a word Thou quickenest that which was not, And with mighty power Thou holdest that which has not yet come. 9 Thou instructest created things in the understanding of Thee, And Thou makest wise the spheres so as to minister in their orders.

 Notes and References

"... Philo is frequently cited by commentators on Romans 4:17, rightly recognizing the parallel language regarding God’s calling “the nonexistent things into existence” (Spec. Laws 4.187) and Paul’s recounting of the God of Abraham who “calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Romans 4:17b). Most commentators on Romans 4:17 understand this particular passage in Spec. Laws 4.187 as a reference only to creatio ex nihilo while not taking into account the wider context of the citation as a reference to the establishment of God’s celestial government over the cosmos ... The same argument as above can be made with regard to the commentators’ use of 2 Baruch 21:4 and 48:8 as examples of creatio ex nihilo in relation to Romans 4:17. 2 Baruch 21:4 reads: “O, you who have made the earth, hear me, who has (fi)xed the (fi)rmament by the word, and have set the height of heaven in place by the Spirit, which has called from the beginning of the world things which did not previously exist, and they obey you.” Here, in context, the calling into being of “things which did not exist” speaks of the fixing of the “firmament” and “the heights of heaven” which are actually personified saying, “they obey you.” ..."

Burnett, David A. "So Shall Your Seed Be": Paul's Use of Genesis 15:5 in Romans 4:18 in Light of Early Jewish Deification Traditions (pp. 211-236) Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2015

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