Johannes Munck set out a proposal on the apostle Paul’s role and self-understanding in his Christ and Israel: An Interpretation of Romans 9-11 (1967). Paul speaks of himself as a Heilsgeschichtliche figure in the New Testament Heilgeschichte; he pleads for his people, the Jewish nation, and offers to suffer the deserved punishment vicariously. Regardless of what Paul sees, Munck argues that for Paul, Israel is the chief goal of God’s will of salvation:

With δοξαζω [in chapter 11] Paul utters a hymn of praise for his office of apostle (την διακονιαν μου), but adds a clause that expresses the premise of this hymn of praise, “in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.” The reason why Paul has this at heart is, as expressed in verses 12 and 15, that he believes Israel’s salvation to be the supreme event within Heilsgeschichte. He has changed the sequence of events that prevailed in the minds of the earliest disciples—first the preaching of the gospel to Israel, and then to the Gentiles—to the sequence we have learned to know in the preceding pages: the gospel was first to be preached to Israel, but because of Israel’s unbelief the Gentiles are now to hear it, and when they have received it Israel will also be saved; but in spite of this, Paul is nevertheless convinced that Israel is still the chief goal of God’s will to salvation.

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