In Romans 1-5 Paul foregrounds certain main themes by way of stylistic devices,
which effectuate a retardation in the reading process and thus an intensified perception.
These devices can all be described as devices of de-automatisation, and include
paradoxon, rhetorical questions, anacolouthon and parenthesis, as well as ambiguous
sentence structures, newly coined words and a sudden change in person. By way of
these devices, Paul draws the attention of his readers/listeners to important themes
in his argument, such as justification through faith alone; God’s judgement on what
man does, not who he is; the benefits of justification through faith; and life for all,
who believe in Christ. These themes are foregrounded, due to a careful balance between
automatisation and de-automatisation.
It is proposed that, with a view to effective communication, translators should,
whenever possible, honour these devices in translating Paul’s letters.