Epistle to the Romans


Romans, letter of the New Testament, written by St. Paul, probably from Corinth before his last trip to Jerusalem, c.AD 58. It is a treatise addressed to the Christian church at Rome, apparently to introduce himself and his teaching before his expected visit. The subject treated is central to Paul's teaching, justification by faith, i.e., the doctrine that believers achieve salvation through faith. The same matter is the subject of the more polemical letter to the Galatians. Romans opens with a solemn introduction, in which the doctrine is summarized. Paul then argues that faith in Jesus is the only means of salvation for both Gentiles and Jews, explaining for the latter that reliance on the Mosaic Law is not enough; a chapter on Abraham's faith closes the section. Next, Paul treats the state of the justified, listing the fruits of the redemption while stressing the new dynamic of law and grace, the freedom to choose obedience, and freedom from the Law; then an eloquent passage deals with the future glory of the just. Finally, Paul discusses God's apparent rejection of Israel. He argues that God has not broken the promise to His chosen people, rather He is working toward universal redemption. The remainder of the epistle is mainly exhortation, beginning with a general admonition to Christian virtue. The letter closes with remarks of Paul about his life, greetings to various individuals, and a doxology.

See studies by E. Käsemann (1980), F. F. Bruce (rev. ed. 1985), P. Achtemeier (1986), J. D. G. Dunn (1988), and K. P. Donfried (rev. ed. 1991).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Epistle to the Romans: Selected full-text books and articles

The Letter to the Romans By Ian Christopher Levy; Philip D. W. Krey; Thomas Ryan William B. Eerdmans, 2013
The Epistle to the Romans By Douglas J. Moo William B. Eerdmans, 1996
The Epistle to the Romans By Leon Morris William B. Eerdmans, 1988
The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text By Richard N. Longenecker William B. Eerdmans, 2016
Romans, a Shorter Commentary By C.E.B. Cranfield W.B. Eerdmans, 1985
Paul's Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary By Ben Witherington III; Darlene Hyatt W.B. Eerdmans, 2004
Outlaw Justice: The Messianic Politics of Paul By Theodore W. Jennings Jr Stanford University Press, 2013
Final Account: Paul's Letter to the Romans By Krister Stendahl Fortress Press, 1995
The Theology of Paul's Letter to the Romans By Klaus Haacker Cambridge University Press, 2003
Captivity, Turning, and Renewal: Three Liturgical Readings of Romans 7:15-8:13 By Allen, Amy Lindeman Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 41, No. 2, April 2014
Understanding Romans 11:26: Baptist Perspectives By Ziglar, Toby Baptist History and Heritage, Vol. 38, No. 2, Spring 2003
The Death of the Soul in Romans 7: Revisiting Paul's Anthropology in Light of Hellenistic Moral Psychology By Wasserman, Emma Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 126, No. 4, Winter 2007
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