Summary: Exposition of the book of Romans



I. Origin of the Church at Rome

A. Neither Paul, Peter nor any other apostolic figure started it (despite what tradition says)

B. It appears from Scripture that Peter was in Jerusalem at the time of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15; 49 or

50 AD)

1. Up until that point Peter had ministered in and around Jerusalem

2. The church at Rome had already been started in 50 AD

C. Paul stated in Romans that he had never visited the church at Rome, but that he wanted to see them (Morris,

Romans, 3-4)

1. Near the end of his 3rd missionary journey, Paul wrote to the church at Rome

2. There is a thriving faith community at the church at Rome by the end of Paul’s third missionary


a. Romans 1:8, "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken

of throughout the whole world."

D. Acts 2:10 states that the Jews of the Diaspora were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost

1. There were visitors from Rome--Jews and proselytes

2. They could have been among the 3000 saved

3. They could have gone back to Rome and started a church

E. Acts 18:2-3, "Jews were expelled from Rome by Claudius"

1. Among this group was Aquilla and Priscilla

2. They meet and join with Paul (they are of the same trade--leather)

3. They were Jewish Christians (they instructed Apollo in the faith)

a. Donald Guthrie, Introduction to the New Testament, 394

4. If Aquilla and Priscilla were Christians, this means that the church at Rome existed before 49 AD

(becuase the expulsion of the Jews occurred in 49 AD)

5. Suetonias, Roman historian, wrote a history of Claudius

a. Said that Clauidius expelled the Jews from Rome because they were rioting because one

by the name of "Chrestus" incited them to riot

b. It is theorized that he misspelled Christos

F. If the church was established by Jewish Pentecostal Christians, how can Paul address 26 people by name

in Romans 16:1-ff---since he never was there

1. One theory is that it is part of Ephesians that broke off and was pasted on Romans

a. A textual critic is one who examines manuscripts to determine the original

b. There are different endings--Romans 16:25-27 (the Doxology) appears as the ending at the

end of Romans 14, 15 & 16

c. See Guthrie, 400

2. Another theory--many of Paul’s converts were mobile, perhaps man moved to Rome

II. Authorship

A. Pauline authorship is not seriously questioned by any prominent theologian

1. Cranfield, Romans, ix

B. Internal Evidence

1. Romans 1:1, "Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel

of God" -- Paul states that he is the author

2. The vocabulary is Pauline -- dikaioo, salvation by faith

3. The writing style -- logical, structured

C. External Evidence

1. All church fathers don’t question Paul’s authorship

III. Date

A. Acts 20:2-3 sets the boundaries for when the epistle could have been written

"And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, And

there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he

purposed to return through Macedonia."

1. Paul had just left Corinth (at the end of his 3rd missionary journey)

2. He was probably at Corinth near the end of his 3rd missionary journey

3. He leaves Corinth as a free person and wants to go further westward toward Spain

4. Romans 16:1 mentions Phoebe -- Paul sends greetings to Phoebe a Corinthian

5. Romans 16:23 Paul send greetings from Gaius who was Paul’s host in Corinth

B. Acts 19:21, "After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through


Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome."

1. It looks like he wrote Romans from Corinth during the early months of AD 55 (the shipping season

began in March)

2. The purpose for going to Jerusalem was to deliver a collection to the poor saints

IV. Occasion -- Why did Paul write the epistle to the Romans?

A. Morris, page 7, talks about the controversy over this

B. It was part of Paul’s missionary strategy

1. Paul had gone about as far west as he could go and still have his headquarters in the East (Antioch)

2. Paul wants to go on to Spain and to be endorsed by and financially supported by the church at Rome

3. Romans 15:22-29, "For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. But now

having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;

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Kenneth Macari

commented on Oct 16, 2007

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