Reading Romans, whew...

Posted by The Rev. Josh Bowron on with 1 Comments

The Friday morning Bible study has begun a study of Romans and it's tough. This morning I likened it to starting a climb of Everest. Chapter one alone is a doozy and a remarkable study of brilliant rhetoric.  Here is a pic of some notes that we didn't get to on how Jews thought of Gentiles in the first century, it is a parallel study of Wisdom and Romans. Wisdom is a Jewish text, written in Greek for the Hellenistic Jews of that day, somewhere between the first centuries BC and AD.


Finally, how to read such a difficult piece as the last half of chapter one? First, be sure to read deeply enough that you have a firm sense that it is of Gentiles that he is talking about. Then read chapter 2 verse 1. The best contemporary version of this that I can think of is from Phil Snider, his video is here:


Whether you agree or disagree I think you will note that his rhetorical trap is pretty darn effective. Then read chapter 2 of Romans with a renewed sense of what Paul was after in Chapter 1 and 2.

Tags: bible paul


Joan Brennan March 3, 2013 3:49pm

Paul is condemning those who judge, equally with those who participate in acts of depravity. Snider's piece is interesting and had me fooled to begin with. My EFM notes on Romans state that "The real unrighteousness of humanity is the denial of God." I understand this but how do we get around the condemnation of the sexual perversion described in Chp. 1 and embrace homosexuality in today's culture? People who know me understand that I am as liberal as can be on this issue but still struggle with the text and the condemnation of such behavior.


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