The Bible Book by Book
The Author. Paul, the author, was a Hebrew by descent, a native of Tarsus in Cilicia, and educated by Gamaliel, the great Pharisaic teacher. He was one of the most unmerciful persecutors of the early Christians, but was converted by the sudden appearance to him of the risen Lord. He began preaching at Damascus, but on account of persecution went into Arabia. Returning from Arabia he visited Jerusalem and Damascus, and then went to Cilicia, where he doubtless did evangelistic work until Barnabas sought him at Tarsus and brought him to Antioch, where he worked a year with Barnabas. After this they went up to Jerusalem with contributions for the brethren. Upon return to Antioch he was called by the Holy Ghost to mission work in which he continued till his death, making at least three great missionary journeys, during which and afterward he suffered "one long martyrdom" till his death.

Paul's Epistles. Paul's epistles are commonly put into four groups asfollows: (1) The Eschatological group, or those dealing with the second coming of Christ. These are I. and II. Thessalonians and were written from Corinth about 62 to 63 A. D. (2) The Anti-Judaic group, or those growing out of controversy with Judaistic teachers. They are I. Corinthians. II. Corinthians, Galatians and Romans, written during the third Missionary journey, probably at Ephesus, Philippi, and Corinth. (3) The Christological group, which center their teachings around the character and work of Jesus, and were written during the imprisonment at Rome. They are Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Hebrews (many think Paul did not write Hebrews). (4) The Pastoral Group, or those written to young preachers touching matters of church organization and government and practical instructions concerning evangelists, pastors, and other Christian workers. They are 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus.

All of Paul's epistles, unless it be Hebrews, fall very naturally into five sections, as follows: (1) An introduction, which may contain a salutation, usually including the subject of the epistle and the name of those with Paul as co-laborers at the time of the writing, and a thanksgiving for the good character or conduct of those whom he addresses. (2) A Doctrinal Section, in which he discusses some great Christian teaching, which needs special emphasis as the case of the church or individual addressed. (3) A Practical Section, in which he sets forth the practical application of the principles discussed in the doctrinal section to the life of those addressed. (4) A Personal Section, in which are personal messages and salutations sent to and by various friends. (5) A Conclusion, in which may be found a benediction or autograph conclusion to authenticate the letter, maybe both, with other closing words.

The Occasion of the Roman Epistle. (1) Paul longed to go to Rome (Acts 19:21) and now hoped soon to do so (Romans 15:24-33). He may, therefore, have wished them to know of his doctrine before his arrival, especially as they had perhaps heard some false reports of it. (2) It was just after he wrote Galatians and Paul's mind was full of the doctrine of justification, and he may have desired to write further upon the subject, giving special emphasis to the Divine side of the doctrine as he had given to the human side of it in Galatians. (3) Then, too, he may have been misunderstood in Galatians and desired to enlarge upon his teaching. In Galatians man is justified by believing, in Romans God gives his own righteousness to the believer for his justification. (4) Phoebe, a woman of influence and Christian character, a friend of Paul, was about to go to Rome from the coasts of Corinth, and Paul not only had a good opportunity to send the letter, but could do her a service by way of introducing her (16:1-2).

The Church at Rome. It was doubtless in a very prosperous condition the time of Paul's writing. It was perhaps organized by some Jews heard and believed while at Jerusalem, probably on the day of Pentecost. While its membership included both Jews and Gentiles (1:6-13; 7:1), it was regarded by Paul as especially a Gentile church (1:3-7; 13-15).

Some Errors of Doctrine and Practice Had Crept in Which NeededCorrection. (1) They seem to have misunderstood Paul's teachings and to have charged that he taught that the greater the sin the greater the glory of God (3:8). (2) They may have thought him to teach that we should sin in order to get more grace (6:1) and, therefore, may have made his teaching of justification by faith an excuse for immoral conduct. (3) The Jews would not recognize the Gentile Christians as equal with them in Christ's Kingdom (1:9, 29, etc.). (4) Some of the Gentile brethren, on the other hand, looked with contempt upon their narrow and prejudiced and bigoted Jewish brethren (14:3). (5) Paul, therefore, aimed to win the Jews to Christian truth and the Gentiles to Christian love.

Paul's Connection With the Church. He had never been there up to this time (1:11, 13, 15) and it is not likely that any other apostles had been there. For then Paul would have not have been planning to go since his rule was not to go where another had worked (15:20; 2 Cor. 10:14-16). This strikes a heavy blow at Catholicism, claiming that Peter was first bishop of Rome. If Paul would not have followed him, then Peter had not been there, and the most important test of papacy is overthrown. Paul had, however, many intimate friends and acquaintances at Rome, many of whom were mentioned in chapter 16. Among them were his old friends, Aquila and Priscilia.

The Argument of the Book. The doctrines of the book are considered and discussed under four main propositions: (1) All men are guilty before God (Jews and Gentiles alike). (2) All men need a Savior. (3) Christ died for all men. (4) We all, through faith, are one body in Christ.

Date. Probably from Corinth, about A. D. 58.

Theme. The gift of the righteousness of God as our justification which is received through faith in Christ, or justification by faith.


Introduction, 1:1-17.

I. All Men Need of Righteousness, 1:18-3:20.

II. All Men May Have Righteousness by Faith in Christ (justification) 3:21-4 end.

III. All Who Are Thus Justified Will Be Finally Sanctified, Chs. 5-8. The believer's final redemption is thus guaranteed.

1. By the new relation to God which this righteousness gives. Ch. 5.

2. By the new realms of grace into which it brings him, Ch. 6 (no death in this realm).

3. By the nature given him, Ch. 7. This wars against the old nature and will win.

4. By the new possession (the Holy Spirit) which it gives, Ch. 8:1-27.

5. By the foreordained purpose of God for them, 8:28-39.

IV. This Doctrine as Related to the Rejection of the Jews, chs. 9-11.

1. The justice of their rejection, 9:1-29.

2. The cause of their rejection, 9:30-10 end.

3. The limitations of their rejection, ch. 11.

V. The Application of This Doctrine to Christian Life, 12:1-15:13.

1. Duty to God-consecration, 12-12.

2. Duty to self-a holy life, 12:3 end.

3. Duty to state authorities-honor, 13:1-7.

4. Duty to society-love all, 13:8-10.

5. Duty as to the Lord's return-watchfulness, 13:11-14.

6. Duty to the weak -helpfulness and forbearance, 14:1-15:13.

Conclusion. 15:14-16 end. (1) Personal matters, 14:14 end. (2) Farewell greetings and warnings, ch. 16.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The greeting (1:1-7). What does it reveal about, (a) The call, duty and standing of an apostle or preacher? (b) The standing, privileges and duties of a church, or individual Christian? (c) The relation of the old dispensation to the new? (d) Christ's diety or his Messiahship in fulfillment of prophecy? (e) The different persons of the Trinity? (2) Study sin as described in 3:10-18, and what can be learned concerning: (a) The state of sin, (b) The practice of sin, (c) The reason for sin. (3) Abraham as an example of justification by faith, ch. 4. (4) The plan and method by which God rescues men from sin, 5:6-11. (5) The contrast between Adam and Christ. 5:12-31. Do we get more in Christ than we lost in Adam? (6) Why a matter under grace should not continue in sin, 6:1-14. (7) A converted man's relation to the law. 7:1-6. (8) The different things done for us by the Holy Spirit, 8:1-27. (9) The practical duties of a Christian, ch. 12. (10) Make a list of the following "key-words," showing how many times and were each occurs, and outline form the scripture references the teachings about each. Power, sin and unrighteousness, righteousness, justification, faith and belief, atonement, redemption, adoption, propitiation, election, predestination.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Romans 1. Paul Longs to Visit Rome; Consequences of Sin

1. Paul commends his calling to the Romans;
9. and his desire to come to them.
16. What his gospel is.
18. God is angry with sin.
21. What were the sins of mankind.

Romans 2. God's Just Judgment; The Jews and the Law

1. No excuse for sin.
6. No escape from judgment.
14. Gentiles cannot;
17. nor Jews.

Romans 3. All Have Sinned and are Justified by faith

1. The Jews prerogative;
3. which they have not lost;
9. howbeit the law convinces them also of sin;
20. therefore no one is justified by the law;
28. but all, without difference, by faith, only;
31. and yet the law is not abolished.

Romans 4. Abraham's Faith Credited as Righteousness

1. Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness;
10. before he was circumcised.
13. By faith only he and his seed received the promise.
16. Abraham is the father of all who believe.
24. Our faith also shall be credited to us as righteousness.

Romans 5. Peace with God; Joy in Our Hope; Through Christ Many Will Live

1. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God;
2. and joy in our hope;
8. that since we were reconciled by his blood, when we were enemies;
10. we shall much more be saved, being reconciled.
12. As sin and death came by Adam;
17. so much more righteousness and life by Jesus Christ.
20. Where sin abounded, grace did superabound.

Romans 6. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life

1. We may not live in sin;
2. for we are dead unto it;
3. as appears by our baptism.
12. Let not sin reign anymore;
18. because we have yielded ourselves to the service of righteousness;
23. and because death is the wages of sin.

Romans 7. No Law has Power; Conflict with the Sinful Nature

1. No law has power over a man longer than he lives.
4. But we are dead to the law.
7. Yet is not the law sin;
12. but holy, just and good;
16. as I acknowledge, who am grieved because I cannot keep it.

Romans 8. No Condemnation for those in Christ Jesus; We Are More than Conquerors

1. Those who are in Christ are free from condemnation.
5. What harm comes of the flesh;
13. and what good of the Spirit.
19. The glorious deliverance the creation longs for,
29. was beforehand decreed from God.
38. Nothing can sever us from his love.

Romans 9. Paul's Sorrow for Israel's Unbelief

1. Paul is sorry for the Jews.
7. All of Abraham not of the promise.
18. God's sovereignty.
25. The calling of the Gentiles and rejecting of the Jews, foretold.
32. The cause of their stumbling.

Romans 10. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

1. The difference between the righteousness of the law, and that of faith;
11. all who believe, both Jew and Gentile, shall not be shamed;
18. and that the Gentiles shall receive the word and believe.
19. Israel was not ignorant of these things.

Romans 11. The Remnant Chosen by Grace; Ingrafted Branches; All Israel Will Be Saved

1. God has not cast off all Israel.
7. Some were elected, though the rest were hardened.
16. There is hope of their conversion.
18. The Gentiles may not exult over them;
26. for there is a promise of their salvation.
33. God's judgments are unsearchable.

Romans 12. Offering yourselves as Living Sacrifices; Revenge forbidden

1. God's mercies must move us to offer ourselves.
3. No man must think too well of himself;
6. but everyone attend to the calling wherein he is placed.
9. Love, and many other duties are required of us.
19. Revenge is especially forbidden.

Romans 13. Submit to the Authorities; Love fulfills the Law

1. Subjection, and many other duties, we owe to the authorities.
8. Love is the fulfillment of the law.
11. The acts of darkness are out of season in the time of the Gospel.

Romans 14. Principles of Conscience for The Weak and the Strong in Faith

1. Men may not condemn one another for disputable matters;
13. but must take heed that they give no offense in them;
15. which the apostle proves unlawful by many reasons.

Romans 15. We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak; Paul Plans to Visit Rome

1. The strong must bear with the weak.
2. We must not please ourselves;
3. for Christ did not so;
7. but receive one another, as Christ did us all;
8. both Jews and Gentiles;
15. Paul excuses his writing;
28. and promises to see them;
30. and requests their prayers.

Romans 16. Greetings and Love

1. Paul wills the brothers to greet many;
17. and advises them to take heed of those which cause dissension and offenses;
21. and after various salutations ends with praise and thanks to God.
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