Epistle of Paul to the Romans in Wikipedia

The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, usually referred to simply as Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was written by the Apostle Paul to explain that Salvation is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is by far the longest of the Pauline epistles, and is considered his "most important theological legacy"...


Epistle to the Romans in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

LITERATURE This is the greatest, in every sense, of the apostolic letters of Paul; in scale, in scope, and in its wonderful combination of doctrinal, ethical and administrative wisdom and power. In some respects the later Epistles, Ephesians and Colossians, lead us to even higher and deeper arcana of revelation, and they, like Romans, combine with the exposition of truth a luminous doctrine of duty. But the range of Roman is larger in both directions, and presents us also with noble and far-reaching discussions of Christian polity, instructions in spiritual utterance and the like, to which those Epistles present no parallel, and which only the Corinthian Epistles rival. 1. Its Genuineness: No suspicion on the head of the genuineness of the Epistle exists which needs serious consideration. Signs of the influence of the Epistle can be traced, at least very probably, in the New Testament itself; in 1 Peter, and, as some think, in James. But in our opinion Jas was the earlier writing, and Lightfoot has given strong grounds for the belief that the paragraph on faith and justification (Jas 2) has no reference to perversions of Pauline teaching, but deals with rabbinism. Clement of Rome repeatedly quotes Romans, and so do Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin. Marcion includes it in his list of Pauline Epistles, and it is safe to say in general Romans "has been recognized in the Christian church as long as any collection of Paul's Epistles has been extant" (A. Robertson, in HDB, under the word). But above all other evidences it testifies to itself. The fabrication of such a writing, with its close and complex thought, its power and marked originality of treatment, its noble morale, and its spiritual elevation and ardor, is nothing short of a moral impossibility. A mighty mind and equally great heart live in every page, and a soul exquisitely sensitive and always intent upon truth and holiness. Literary personation is an art which has come to anything like maturity only in modern times, certainly not before the Renaissance. In a fully developed form it is hardly earlier than the 19th century. And even now who can point to a consciously personated authorship going along with high moral principle and purpose?...


Epistle to the Romans in Smiths Bible Dictionary

1. The date of this epistle is fixed at the time of the visit recorded in Acts 20:3 during the winter and spring following the apostle's long residence at Ephesus A.D. 58. On this visit he remained in Greece three months. 2. The place of writing was Corinth. 3. The occasion which prompted it,,and the circumstances attending its writing, were as follows:--St. Paul had long purposed visiting Rome, and still retained this purpose, wishing also to extend his journey to Spain. Etom. 1:9-13; 15:22-29. For the time, however, he was prevented from carrying out his design, as he was bound for Jerusalem with the alms of the Gentile Christians, and meanwhile he addressed this letter to the Romans, to supply the lack of his personal teaching. Phoebe, a deaconess of the neighboring church of Cenchreae, was on the point of starting for Rome, ch. Ro 16:1,2 and probably conveyed the letter. The body of the epistle was written at the apostle's dictation by Tertius, ch. Ro 16:22 but perhaps we may infer, from the abruptness of the final doxology, that it was added by the apostle himself. 4. The origin of the Roman church is involved in obscurity. If it had been founded by St. Peter according to a later tradition, the absence of any allusion to him both in this epistle and in the letters written by St. Paul from Rome would admit of no explanation. It is equally clear that no other apostle was like founder. The statement in the Clementines --that the first tidings of the gospel reached Rome during the lifetime of our Lord is evidently a fiction for the purposes of the romance. On the other hand, it is clear that the foundation of this church dates very far back. It may be that some of these Romans, "both Jews and proselytes," present. On the day of Pentecost Ac 2:10 carried back the earliest tidings of the new doctrine; or the gospel may have first reached the imperial city through those who were scattered abroad to escape the persecution which followed on the death of Stephen. Ac 8:4; 11:10 At first we may suppose that the gospel had preached there in a confused and imperfect form, scarcely more than a phase of Judaism, as in the case of Apollos at Corinth, Ac 18:25 or the disciples at Ephesus. Ac 19:1-3 As time advanced and better-instructed teachers arrived the clouds would gradually clear away, fill at length the presence of the great apostle himself at Rome dispersed the mists of Judaism which still hung about the Roman church. 5. A question next arises as to the composition of the Roman church at the time when St. Paul wrote. It is more probable that St. Paul addressed a mixed church of Jews and Gentiles, the latter perhaps being the more numerous. These Gentile converts, however, were not for the most part native Romans. Strange as the: paradox appears, nothing is more certain than that the church of Rome was at this time a Greek and not a Latin church. All the literature of the early Roman church was written in the Greek tongue. 6. The heterogeneous composition of this church explains the general character of the Epistle to the Romans. In an assemblage so various we should expect to find, not the exclusive predominance of a single form of error, but the coincidence of different and opposing forms. It was: therefore the business of the Christian teacher to reconcile the opposing difficulties and to hold out a meeting-point in the gospel. This is exactly what St. Paul does in the Epistle to the Romans. 7. In describing the purport of this epistle we may start from St. Paul's own words, which, standing at the beginning of the doctrinal portion, may be taken as giving a summary of the contents. ch. Ro 1:16,17 Accordingly the epistle has been described as comprising "the religious philosophy of the world's history "The atonement of Christ is the centre of religious history. The epistle, from its general character, lends itself more readily to an analysis than is often the case with St. Paul's epistles. While this epistle contains the fullest and most systematic exposition of the apostle's teaching, it is at the same time a very striking expression of his character. Nowhere do his earnest and affectionate nature and his tact and delicacy in handling unwelcome topics appear more strongly than when he is dealing with the rejection of his fellow country men the Jews. Internal evidence is so strongly in favor of the genuineness of the Epistle to the Romans that it has never been seriously questioned.


Epistle to the Romans in Easton's Bible Dictionary

This epistle was probably written at Corinth. Phoebe (Rom. 16:1) of Cenchrea conveyed it to Rome, and Gaius of Corinth entertained the apostle at the time of his writing it (16:23; 1 Cor. 1:14), and Erastus was chamberlain of the city, i.e., of Corinth (2 Tim. 4:20). The precise time at which it was written is not mentioned in the epistle, but it was obviously written when the apostle was about to "go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints", i.e., at the close of his second visit to Greece, during the winter preceding his last visit to that city (Rom. 15:25; comp. Acts 19:21; 20:2, 3, 16; 1 Cor. 16:1-4), early in A.D. 58. It is highly probable that Christianity was planted in Rome by some of those who had been at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10). At this time the Jews were very numerous in Rome, and their synagogues were probably resorted to by Romans also, who in this way became acquainted with the great facts regarding Jesus as these were reported among the Jews. Thus a church composed of both Jews and Gentiles was formed at Rome. Many of the brethren went out to meet Paul on his approach to Rome. There are evidences that Christians were then in Rome in considerable numbers, and had probably more than one place of meeting (Rom. 16:14, 15). The object of the apostle in writing to this church was to explain to them the great doctrines of the gospel. His epistle was a "word in season." Himself deeply impressed with a sense of the value of the doctrines of salvation, he opens up in a clear and connected form the whole system of the gospel in its relation both to Jew and Gentile. This epistle is peculiar in this, that it is a systematic exposition of the gospel of universal application. The subject is here treated argumentatively, and is a plea for Gentiles addressed to Jews. In the Epistle to the Galatians, the same subject is discussed, but there the apostle pleads his own authority, because the church in Galatia had been founded by him. After the introduction (1:1-15), the apostle presents in it divers aspects and relations the doctrine of justification by faith (1:16-11:36) on the ground of the imputed righteousness of Christ. He shows that salvation is all of grace, and only of grace. This main section of his letter is followed by various practical exhortations (12:1-15:13), which are followed by a conclusion containing personal explanations and salutations, which contain the names of twenty-four Christians at Rome, a benediction, and a doxology (Rom. 15:14-ch. 16).


Epistle to the Romans in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

AUTHENTICITY, GENUINENESS. Peter (2 Peter 3:15-16) quotes Romans 2:4, calling it "Scripture." The epistles of Clement (Cor. 35) and Polycarp (ad Philippians 6) quote respectively Romans 1:29-32 and Romans 14:10-12. Irenaeus (iv. 27, section 2) quotes it as Paul's (Romans 4:10-11). Melito's "Hearing of Faith" is entitled from Romans 10 or Galatians 3:2-3. The Muratorian Canon, Syriac and Old Latin versions, have it. Heretics admitted its canonicity; so the Ophites (Hippol. Haer. 99; Romans 1:20-26); Basilides (238, Romans 8:19-22; Romans 5:13-14); Valentinus (195, Romans 8:11); the Valentinians Heracleon and Ptolemaeus; Tatian (Orat. 4, Romans 1:20), and Marcion's canon. The epistle of the churches of Vienne and Lyons (Eusebius, H. E. v. 1; Romans 8:18); Athenagoras (13, Romans 12:1; Romans 12:37; Romans 1:24); Theophilus of Antioch (Autol. 79, Romans 2:6; Romans 2:126; Romans 13:7-8). Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria often quote it. DATE AND PLACE OF WRITING. Paul wrote while at Corinth, for he commends to the Romans Phoebe, deaconess of Cenchreae, the port of Corinth (Romans 16:1-2). He was lodging at Gaius' house (Romans 16:23), a chief member of the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 1:14). Erastus, "treasurer" ("chamberlain", KJV), belonged to Corinth (2 Timothy 4:20; Acts 19:22). The time was during his visit in the winter and spring following his long stay at Ephesus (Romans 20:3); for he was just about to carry the contributions of Macedonia and Achaia to Jerusalem (Romans 15:25-27; compare Acts 20:22), just after his stay at Corinth at this time (Acts 24:17; 1 Corinthians 16:4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:1, etc.). His design of visiting Rome after Jerusalem (Romans 15:23-25) at this particular time appears incidentally from Acts 19:21. Thus, Paul wrote it in his third missionary journey, at the second of the two visas to Corinth recorded in Acts. He remained then three months in Greece. He was on the point of sailing to Jerusalem when obliged to alter his purpose; the sea therefore was by this time navigable. It was not late in the spring, for, after passing through Macedon and visiting the coast of Asia Minor, he still expected to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost (Acts 20:16). He must therefore have written the epistle to the Romans early in spring, A.D. 58. Thus, it is logically connected with the epistles to the Galatians and Corinthians. He wrote 1 Corinthians before leaving Ephesus; 2 Corinthians on his way to Corinth; and Galatians at Corinth, where also he wrote Romans. Hence, the resemblance of these two epistles in style and substance. The epistle to the Galatians and the two almost contemporaneous epistles to the Corinthians are the most intense in feeling and varied in expression of Paul's epistles...