The following is a very brief digest/outline of the book of Romans. The goal is to provide a condensed summary of the book–a cursory introduction to get started in personal study.
The Epistle of Righteousness
In the epistle to the Romans, Paul expounds on the righteous character of God, explaining how a righteous and holy God can declare a sinful soul to be righteous, how a righteous, covenant-keeping God can set aside Israel for a time, and the implications for our every-day lives.
(1:1-15) Greetings and Introduction
(1:16-17) Statement of Purpose/Theme
(1:18–3:20) God’s righteous wrath against sin, and the need for God’s Righteousness
(3:21–5:21) The provision of God’s righteousness – God’s plan of salvation
(6:1–8:39) Demonstrating God’s Righteousness
(9:1–11:36) God’s righteous dealings with Israel
(12:1–15:13) Living out God’s Righteousness
(15:14-33) Concluding information and Future Plans
(16:1-16) Personal greetings
(16:17-27) Final warning, encouragement, and farewell
- Paul: the author of the epistle (1:1)
- Pheobe: possibly the bearer of the epistle to the Roman church (16:1-2)
- Paul is clearly stated to be the author (1:1), and this is virtually unchallenged amongst scholars.
Date and Setting:
- Roman’s was most likely written from Corinth during Paul’s third missionary journey, on his way to Jerusalem with a collection for the poor (16:1,23).
- The epistle was most likely written toward the end of the winter of AD 57/58, possibly in February (see 15:25).
- Unlike some of Paul’s other writings, his letter to the Romans was not for the purpose of correcting false doctrine or misunderstanding.
- Regarding the unity of the epistle, were the last two chapters a part of the original letter? Was only the last chapter an interpolation? Was the letter delivered in portions? Was it originally in the form we have it today?
- Who were the Roman Christians, and what was the origin of the church?