When Paul pens his letter to the Roman believers, he writes as a missionary to strengthen a church at the center of imperial power, choosing language that is familiar to his recipients. Paul responds not only to the influence of Judaism but also to the wider culture by contrasting prominent Roman values. David Wallace argues that Paul's gospel in Romans rejects and countervails the significant themes of Virgil's Aeneid, the most well-known prophetic source that both proclaimed Roman ideology and assured Roman salvation. After demonstrating that a close but nonauthoritarian relationship existed between Augustus and Virgil, Wallace examines relevant literary aspects, symbolism, and key imagery of Virgil's epic. A discussion of Paul's contraliterary approach follows, drawing out possible parallels and echoes in Romans against the universal message of the Aeneid. ""On first blush, asking the question, what does the Aeneid have to do with Paul's Letter to the Romans? might seem as rhetorical as Tertullian's famous 'What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?' But David Wallace has shown at length that Paul's storied world, as presented in Romans, is not merely aware of the Roman myth of origins about Aeneas and the foretold God-man, Augustus; it responds to this 'myth of orgins' in various ways, showing what real righteousness, real piety, and . . . 'the obedience of truth faith' ought to look like. This book is both provocative and persuasive . . . I commend it to one and all concerned with the social . . . context into which Paul wrote his epoch-making discourse called Romans."" --Ben Witherington III, author of Paul's Letter to the Romans David R. Wallace teaches Greek and New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.