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Background introduction to Romans
Religion and Theology
Pages 2 (502 words)
Out of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament, fourteen are attributed to the apostle Paul. The Roman is the longest and most widely acknowledged as the best of his epistles. Paul follows the prevalent custom of identifying himself at the very beginning, in the very first line of Romans: Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, [Rom1: 1].
Written in A.D. 56-58, in Corinth, [Unger, 1959] Paul sought to address an audience of predominantly Greek and gentile followers, in a time when Christianity was still emerging from its origins in Judaism.
The period it was written in can be easily and accurately verified in that it has dated mentions of the apostle's sojourns to Jerusalem on philanthropic missions [Rom15: 25], and repeated references of this particular epistle in Corinthian, which was written around the A.D. 57. The venue of authorship is proven beyond doubt as well:
Through this gospel, Paul tried to reach out to the church in Rome that he had not visited so far, and attempted to establish a connection by praising the inmates and referring to his old acquaintances. This epistle is not meant to be a comment on an existing situation, like the one addressed to the Corinthians. It broadly engages in topics pertaining to theology, and its message can be found in the line:
"The Gospel . . . is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith" [Rom1: 16-17].
The faithful in those years were separated by long distances, and were more or less disparate communities being touched up ...
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