Pauline hapax legomena in Romans 1
James McGrath explores an interesting argument, based on an unusually high density of words that appear nowhere else in the Pauline corpus, that the clobber passage in Romans 1 is actually Paul “mimicking” somebody else’s tirade against Gentiles, perhaps from the Wisdom of Solomon 12-14.
If this stylometric evidence is convincing, he suggests it implies that Christians should set this passage aside when considering Paul’s thoughts on the issue.
This doesn’t mean that Paul disagreed with all the points, any more than it can be assumed that a Christian and an atheist, or two people of different political parties, will disagree on everything, even when they quote one another polemically or satirically. But it does mean that one ought not to use Romans 1:18-32 to determine Paul’s own views. We should rather treat this passage like we do Paul’s quotations of the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians. Those phrases may, in some instances, be ones that Paul could be happy with. But we are not always certain that is the case, and we often have reason to think that Paul himself would have preferred to put things differently.