The doctrinal depth of Romans can make it easy to overlook the question of why even Paul wrote it. Why this letter to this church at this time? We’re familiar with the problems in the Corinthian church inspiring 1 Corinthians and the Judaizing influence behind the letter to the Galatians, but is Romans simply an arbitrary theological treatise? Is it Paul’s systematic theology?
Tag: Walking through Romans
Romans 4 is about Abraham and how his saving faith is a paradigm for our own saving faith. But why choose Abraham? Why not Moses, David, Zechariah, Joshua, or any of the other faithful men of God in the OT? Why Abraham?
When I first heard that Romans 2 is one the most difficult chapters in the book I have to admit I was surprised, however having studied and taught through it, I can now wholeheartedly agree! While the overall thrust of Romans 2 is easily discerned – Jews are also without excuse before God (Rom 2:1) – the difficulty is in the details.
Romans 1:18-32 is often understood as Paul’s indictment of the Gentiles, with Rom 2:1-3:20 addressing the Jews. This is certainly correct since those in Rom 1:18-32 have limited revelation and pursue behaviours that Gentiles often embraced but Jews rejected. While, Romans 2-3:20 addresses those under the law, circumcision, etc.
I thought it would be interesting to compare the different ways various commentaries structure Paul’s letter to the Romans. I’m only working with the commentaries I have access to, so this is not a comparison of the major commentaries by any means. Secondly, I’m only giving the basic outline; some commentaries have very detailed outlines but I’m just giving the big picture they present, or this post would become unwieldy very quickly! Then I’ll offer a few observations about the similarities and differences.