POSTED 25 OCTOBER, 2017
Approximate date: 56-58 C.E.
Time period: transition of Paul’s ministry work from the Eastern to Western Mediterranean
Author: the Apostle Paul with Tertius (secretary)
Location of author: Corinth/Achaia or Cenchrea
Target audience and their location: Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in Rome
Theological Summary: All ancient authorities are agreed that the Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans, as there were no disputes in early Christian history made about the authorship of this letter. The affirmation of genuine Pauline authorship continues until today, even among liberal scholars, where Romans is upheld as the main authentic letter from the Apostle, by which all other claimed Pauline writings must be compared. A liberal resource like IDB describes how, “The authenticity of the letter is not seriously questioned and is not, in fact, open to question. The rejection of Romans involves the rejection of all the Pauline letters, for there is no other letter with any greater claim to authenticity which could serve as a standard of comparison.” Second and Third Century Christianity used Romans, along with 1&2 Corinthians, and Galatians, to establish much of its early theology. Romans stands as the longest of all the individual Pauline letters, and is often viewed as being the most significant. Without a doubt, the Epistle to the Romans lays out how Paul elaborated upon the significance of the good news to a broad audience of Jews, Greeks, and Romans. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul makes the salvation message one that is readily available to all members of the human race, because all have been subject to the common curse of sin.
The purpose for Paul’s writing this letter was to prepare the Roman Believers for a personal visit from him. Paul’s work in the East had largely been accomplished, and now he was planning to expand it to the West. Just as cities like Antioch and Ephesus had served as a staging area for Paul and his associates to use for evangelizing the East, Paul was planning to use Rome as a hub for evangelizing the West, as he indicated a desire to travel to Spain (1:10-15; 15:24, 28).
As a Messianic Believer, do you have a problem reading the New Testament? When you read the Apostolic Scriptures, are you confused when you encounter the Gospels, Acts, or Epistles? Have you possibly been taught that the “New Testament” replaces the “Old Testament,” and that there are contradictions between the two, only to be reconciled by the coming of Yeshua? Do you have difficulty reconciling the words of the Torah to Yeshua, Peter, Paul, John, and the other Apostles?
If you have ever asked any of these questions, it is time that you receive a re-introduction to the Apostolic Scriptures. These texts record the ministry and teachings of Yeshua the Messiah, the history of the First Century Messianic community, and the challenges that the early Believers in Yeshua faced. These texts are not contrary to the Torah, but do continue God’s progressive story that begins in Genesis. They have valuable lessons that every Messianic Believer and Messianic congregation must learn in this hour, as the Messianic community grows and matures.
A Survey of the Apostolic Scriptures for the Practical Messianic takes you on a journey through the New Testament from a distinct Messianic point of view. The student, in company with his or her study Bible, is asked to read through each text of the Apostolic Scriptures, jotting down characters, place names, key ideas, and reflective questions. Each book of the New Testament is then summarized for its compositional data and asks you questions to get a good Messianic feel for the text. This workbook can be used for both personal and group study, and will be a valuable aid for any Messianic Believer wanting to study the whole Bible on a consistent basis.