Reading Romans, whew...
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: http://youtu.be/A8JsRx2lois
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.