Several days ago, Steve Hays suggested to me and several other of us that we look up Robert Jewett’s commentary on Romans (a $90.00 retail value!) and check out the information on Romans 16 and the early Roman church.
Matthew Schultz has done so, and the link to the pages is here. I highly recommend you take a look at this, if you’re interested in what the church in ancient Rome was like – my hope is to go through this and post some of the more relevant passages, but for now, this is an exceptionally rich source.
Meanwhile looking up more information on Robert Jewett, and I came across this:
I'm amazed at the power of the Internet; I have said in the past that I believe that the Internet in our day will have the same kind of effect on the message of the Reformation that the printing press had in Luther's day.
D. THE ROMANS ARCHIVE IN HEIDELBERG
A large bibliography of critical studies on Paul's letter to the Romans written from 1830 onwards has been assembled and many of the articles and monographs have been copied and gathered into a research archive now located in Heidelberg. The list of titles is presently more than 1000 pages long, single spaced, and will probably grow to 1500 pages when the project is compete. At present approximately 25% of this bibliography is available either in duplicated form in the files of the Heidelberg archive or in the monograph collection associated with the project.
The plan is to scan the entire bibliography and in cooperation with the university computer office, to place it on a website that would be available to students and scholars around the world. Since more has been written on Romans, verse for verse, than on any other biblical writing, or indeed, any other classic in the western world, and since only partial bibliographies are presently available, this project would provide a significant service. We hope that by 2004 the photographic scans of the bibliography would be available to scholars, and that by 2008 each item would be available in a version that could be downloaded and searched. In view of the thematic range of Romans, this bibliography would be useful to scholars in a number of fields.
Background and Development of the Project
The initial bibliography has been collected by Peter Lampe in connection with his book, Die Stadtrömischen Christen in den ersten beiden Jahrhunderten (Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1987, 1989); English translation, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003) and by Robert Jewett in connection with writing the Hermeneia Commentary on Romans since 1980, including a series of preliminary publications. The agreement to create a united research archive was made in 1995, to be located in Kiel where Lampe was serving as Professor of New Testament. When he was called to the chair in Heidelberg in 1999, an invitation was extended for Jewett to become a guest professor in connection with locating the archive here. An agreement on this was reached as Lampe negotiated his post with the university. The Evanston research archive was brought to Heidelberg in the summer of 2000 and was joined with Lampe’s archive in a renovated portion of the WTS building at Kisselgasse 1.
The scanning project is associated with the Forschungsstelle für die Wirkungsgeschichte des paulinischen Briefes an die Römer, attached to Lampe’s chair in Heidelberg.
[W]ith the commencement of a research grant for the bibliography project from the University of Heidelberg at the beginning of 2002, many of the technical aspects of the project have been researched and resolved; arrangements with the university computer center and the university library are in progress; the first staff persons were engaged; and the process of scanning with newly purchased equipment will begin later this spring.
The Need for a Comprehensive Bibliography on Romans
Romans is the only biblical book for which no comprehensive bibliography has been published; it remains the sole biblical writing on which a bibliographical article in the Theologische Rundschau article has never appeared. The reason for this is that the bibliography is so immense that no one has been able to master it...
While it is self evident that reliable, comprehensive bibliographies are needed in every field, the crucial role that Paul’s letter to the Romans has played in theological development since the Reformation makes this an urgent desideratum. Now that computerized techniques of assembling bibliographies are available, and scanning techniques well developed, it is possible to break this deadlock and make this rich research available to scholars everywhere. Since so many of the items in the current bibliography that have been located through library and journal searches are available only in limited locations, they are available only to those with the means and time to travel. Most scholars and theological students around the world do not have such resources. The development of an on-line bibliography with the full texts of these studies will thus contribute to the productivity of scholars. Increased access to the scholarship of other nations and earlier generations will also encourage ecumenicity.
The Scope and Organization of the Bibliography
The Romans bibliography is organized in three sections: introductory issues; studies related to specific pericopes; and theological, thematic studies. In view of the range of the argument of Romans and its decisive role in ecclesiastical debate over the centuries, the latter section includes most of the important themes in biblical theology. The table of contents for the bibliography is attached.
Scholarly studies from all over the world are included. Since there is such a large polemical literature on Romans, only critical items of scholarly interest are included For the most part such articles discuss the Greek terms and the historical and cultural background of the argument. Important theological studies are included but merely polemical articles defending ecclesiastical traditions are not. If all articles and books related to Romans were included, the bibliography would be twice or three times as large, and far less useful for scholarly work. Although Romans research in Europe and North America has long restricted its bibliographic interest to the North Atlantic, Joseph A. Fitzmyer’s commentary in 1993 listed hundreds of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American items for the first time, some of which predated the development of the bibliographic surveys in Biblica, New Testament Abstracts, and Internationaler Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaften und Grenzgebieten. Fully one third of his commentary consists of bibibliography he gathered over the years of working in the libraries of Italy and Spain. Jewett has conducted similar bibliographic surveys in Switzerland, Scandinavia, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. The plan is for Lampe and Jewett to extend such surveys into the Netherlands and eastern Europe over the course of the next several years...
As I said, I just found this off the cuff. It would seem as if the sheer weight of this effort has already had an immense effect on Roman thinking on the papacy. (See my articles on the non-existent early papacy). It will be interesting to follow up and see where all of this continues to lead.
Update: I do need to apologize. It was not Blogahon who was arguing that Lampe wasn't a serious scholar. On the other hand, Sean was noting that Lampe was "arguing from silence":
you should expand your reading a bit. There are many very smart and equally challenging Catholic theologians who don't argue from silence as much as Peter Lampe and who don't draw the same conclusions as your go to set of texts.
You are very selective in the church historians that you embrace...very selective. Lampe's argument is one from silence and even if it wasn't it does not destroy the papacy.
It was another writer over there who was saying that Lampe was essentially not a serious scholar.
I have been unable to turn up any indication that serious scholarship is interested in his work. I haven't found any reviews discussing his work or that other scholars are basing their work on his. This suggests to me that Lampe is not quite in the mainstream as you think he is....
Again, Lampe doesn't seem to have made much inroad into scholarly discussions. Fly-leaf recommendations don't count, particularly if they are from liberal Catholics like Duffy who are on record as advocating for a weakening of the authority exercised by John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger.