As I said, I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to suggest that opponents of the gospel were already in Rome causing division. 4–8, and 6 times in chs. By advancing his argument through a dialogical, question-and-answer style, Paul defends his gospel against real objections in order to disclose its internal and external coherence. The verb Paul uses here, προπέμπειν, speaks of the material assistance that a departing traveller would need for a journey, such as rations, logistics, protection and so on. Friends of Paul who had a burden for the Romans would have encouraged him to at least write if he couldn’t go there. Still today we might address a fellow Christian as ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ before engaging him or her on a point which we know is sensitive and could be misconstrued if we do not emphasise the familial bond out of which our concern arises.75 The reason the subject matter of Rom. Third, in probing the relationships between the reasons for Romans, I aim to encourage students and preachers of this great letter to treat it as a unity, and to see the wood for all the theological trees that lie within. Although not quite so prominent within the letter closing, the gospel is, nevertheless, central to the description of Paul’s ministry (15:16, 19), and to the final doxology (16:25). [54] See Crafton, ‘Paul’s Rhetorical Vision’, 337–38, who says that the existence of communities of both Jews and Gentiles is ‘living proof’ that God has been true to his Old Testament promises, and is, therefore, an ‘eschatological sign pointing to the final realization of these promises’. Two brief reflections in closing. At least three factors indicate that the situation is serious. Vol. See the recent Tyndale House Greek New Testament, which reflects this early paragraphing. [35] It is possible that another point of division concerned whether to drink or to abstain from wine (cf. In Romans 3:20 Paul states: See Timmins, Romans 7 and Christian Identity, 119–35. [76] The proposal that Rom. 12–15 (esp. But why did Paul originally write this letter to the Church of Rome? [49] N. T. Wright, ‘Romans’, in Acts–First Corinthians, NIB 10 (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002), 733; Schreiner, Romans, 692–93. Second, Paul presents the issue as one of standing in judgment over one’s brother in Christ, an attitude expressed by both sides in the dispute (14:1–6, 13). To these we now turn. Letter of Paul to the Romans, sixth book of the New Testament and the longest and doctrinally most significant of Saint Paul the Apostle’s writings. That Paul uses the word πλησίον in 15:2, rather than ἀδελφός (‘brother’), which has been prominent in ch. On the one hand, the very seriousness of the issue implies its prominence within Paul’s design in writing the letter. The attractiveness of a single-reason hypothesis for Romans is that it offers conceptual clarity, presupposing a unity amidst the diversity of the letter’s contents. (2) In ch. The division centres around eating or not eating certain foods (14:2–3, 6), and observing or not observing certain days (14:5–6).35 The weak considered certain foods to be unclean (14:14, 20), and certain days to be special (14:5). Indeed, to stand in judgment over one’s brother in Christ is to usurp the judgment of God (14:4, 10–12). Growing up, I remember hearing my mother sharing with non-believers what she referred to as “The Romans Road”. While I’m not sure one is the main reason, I believe they are more of equal reasons. Tensions in the churches could have been exacerbated by the events surrounding the edict of Claudius in AD 49, which banished Jews from the city (reported by Suetonius, Claud. First, Paul makes direct reference to opposition to his gospel message. [61] For example, the Christian Jews expelled from Rome under Claudius would have spent time in the Diaspora and come into contact with various objections to Paul’s message and mission. They need Paul’s gospel if they are to become the people that God has called them to be, namely a united people, who ‘with one mind’ (ὁμοθυμαδόν) and ‘with one voice’ (ἐν ἑνὶ στόματι) glorify God together (15:6). I believe there are a few reasons that Paul wrote this letter. 15, 20), ‘condemned’ (v. 23)—implies that what is at stake is their final salvation.51 Paul does not spell out how this is so, but presumably by abandoning behaviours which they see as integral to their faith, the weak risk eventually abandoning a life of faith altogether. 3:21–4:25; 10:1–13; 14:1–15:13), and eternal, resurrection life as the great hope of believers (1:4, 17; cf. Paul piles up three phrases to underline that he is speaking the truth in what he is about to affirm. And Paul needs the believers of Rome to be obedient to the gospel in this way (1:5; 15:18; 16:26) if his own apostolic mission is to be fruitful further west in Spain. The reason for this becomes apparent when Paul returns to the theme of hope in v. 13, where he ties it in with faith. The book of Romans was written by the Apostle _____ (Romans 1:1). To understand the content of Paul’s letter to the Romans, it would be easier if it is broken down into parts for the reader’s comprehension.