Background/Introduction to Romans

Religion and Theology
Pages 2 (502 words)
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The Letter to the Romans is the longest of St Paul's Epistles and it is the only Pauline letter addressed to a Church that the apostle had not personally founded. Written by Paul in ad 58, probably in the ancient Greek city of Corinth, its destination was Rome, where a Church was well established.


Reading between the lines, St. Paul's anxiety is depicted in his letters as he was to bring the gospel to Spain and hopes to visit Rome on the way. It appears that he wanted the full support of the Roman Church for his mission in Spain, but seemed to feel that his missionary labors and understanding of the gospel is being questioned by several Roman Christians during those times.
At the start of his letter, he commenced with the customary salutation and thanksgiving (1:1-7; 1:8-15). Next, he takes up the main theme of the Epistle (1:16-8:39): "the gospel ... the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith" (1:16). He explains that the world needs salvation, for guilt and sin are universal and even the knowledge of and obedience to the Law cannot save humankind (1:18-3:20). However, people "justified by faith" (5:1) explains Paul, have a new relationship with God, a life under God's grace, delivered from sin, beyond the power of the Law, and assured of the love of God and of final salvation (Microsoft Encarta).
Armed with much information about the circumstances in Rome, his letter does not just reflect a generalized picture of an earlier situation in Corinth. When this Epistle appeared, the Roman historian Suetonius mentions an edict of the Emperor Claudius about A.D. ...
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