Was there a need for a new commentary on the Epistle to the Romans?
Without hesitation: Yes! Because this epistle is crucial for the understanding of the 'Gospel, being the one in which the apostle most fully summed up his understanding of it and the manner in which he stated it. On the other hand, comments accessible to all - without being superficial - are not legion. Now, it is the merit of this commentary by Brad Dickson to present the text of this epistle to us in a complete and easily accessible manner for a reader not familiar with the style and vocabulary of theological works, with original illustrations and exhortations facilitating the putting into practice of the Word of God. On certain questions addressed by this epistle, differences of opinion remain. Mr. Dickson objectively presented the various points of view on these debated texts. If this commentary can arouse in Christians the desire to deepen this spiritual testament of the apostle of the pagans, its publication will be widely justified.
- Alfred Kuen - Emmaus Institute
“Brad Dickson, in his work, has endeavored to remain faithful in his exegesis of the text to its complexities while remaining accessible to the greatest number of readers, in short, a feat! On the other hand he succeeded in creating a bridge between the time of Paul and ours by inciting the reader to reflect on the relevance of the teaching of this letter for the XXI e century. »
- Mike Evans - Institut Biblique de Genève
Table of contents
Another commentary on Romans?
Introduction to the epistle
- Small journalistic interview with the apostle Paul
- Historical and theological background of the epistle
- Motivations behind the writing of the epistle
- Composition of the church of Rome and themes
- Writing style
- Plan of the letter to the Romans
Plan of the Epistle
Epistle to the Romans: “how God is just when he justifies and transforms those who trust in him. "
I. Introduction 1.1-17
A. Greetings and introduction to the subject, the gospel: 1.1-7.
B. Relationship between Paul and the Church of Rome, prayer: 1.8-15.
C. Thesis of the epistle: the gospel reveals the universal power, justice and mercy of God: 1.16, 17.
II. God is just when he condemns the Gentiles and the Jews: 1.18-3: 20.
A. The pagans find themselves condemned, without excuse, for having refused the revelation of god in nature: 1: 18-32.
B. The own righteous and the Jews are also condemned, without excuse, for having listened to the revelation of God in the law, without putting it into practice: 2: 1-29.
C. Paul dismisses objections that call into question God's right to judge: 3.1-8.
D. Conclusion and transition: all, Jews and non-Jews alike, are indisputably unjust, with no excuses and no other hope than the grace of the just god: 3.9-20.
III. God is righteous when he declares sinners righteous: 3.21-5.21.
A. God justifies sinners in a righteous and gratuitous manner, without law or works, by means of faith in the sacrifice of Christ: 3: 21-31.
B. God always gave his righteousness on the basis of faith (to Abraham and David, for example): 4.1-25.
C. God is faithful to the end of the day to whom he justifies. He saves him, keeps him, gives him his spirit and peace by grace: 5.1-11.
D. Conclusion and transition: as much the one who is justified was one with Adam in his fault and his condemnation, so much he is now one with Christ, for the benefit of his perfect obedience and righteousness: 5: 12-21.
IV. God is righteous because he transforms those he has justified: 6.1-8.39.
A. Union with Christ made the believer able to refuse sin: 6.1-14.
B. Union with Christ has given the believer the capacity and the obligation to do what is right: 6.15-23.
C. Union with Christ changed the legal status of the believer. Whereas before he was condemned and powerless before the law, today it is fulfilled in him: 7.1-8.4.
D. Union with Christ is also union with the spirit of God which gives the believer the strength to have the upper hand over human nature and which offers precious help in trials: 8.5-27.
E . Union with Christ is part of God's eternal and unchanging plan for the believer. He is therefore secure in his hope of resembling Christ, whatever happens: 8:28-39.
Appendix to chapter 8: the holy spirit in the letter to the Romans
V. God is righteous in his sovereign plan of mercy which encompasses the nations and Israel: 9.1-11.36.
How do chapters 9 to 11 fit into the plan of the epistle?
Which is the relevance of chapters 9-11 for us?
A. The spiritual estrangement from Israel does not imply the bankruptcy of God's plan, but confirms it: 9.1-29.
B. Israel remains responsible for this hardening, however, having rejected salvation by faith in Christ: 9.30-10.21.
C. Israel's hardening in no way justifies contempt for this people whom God did not reject; on the contrary, God leads history towards a new incorporation of the chosen people in his work of salvation: 11.1-27.
D. Conclusion: God be praised for his sovereign and mysterious mercy towards all: 11.28-36.
VI. God is just in demanding unity and ethical behavior of radical love from justified Jews and non-Jews: 12.1-15.13.
A. Those who are justified must give themselves entirely to God, no longer following human thought, but that of God: 12.1, 2.
B. Those who are justified are members of the body of Christ, which they serve with the special capacities that God has given them: 12.3-8.
C. Those who are justified must love each other with the perfect and selfless love of Christ: 12.9-21.
D. Those who are justified must live in society: respecting the authorities 13.1-5; by paying their taxes 13.6-7; by loving their neighbor 13: 8-10, and by behaving honestly, without excess, in view of the return of Christ 13: 11-14.
E. Those who are justified, Jews and non-Jews alike, should actively seek unity by putting in the background the secondary questions which divide: 14.1-15.13.
VII. Conclusion: 15.14-16.27.
A. Paul confirms his authority through his apostolic ministry: 15.14-21.
B. Paul requests the collaboration of the Church of Rome for the mission in Spain: 15.22-33.
C. Paul sends his greetings, formulates a final exhortation to unity and ends with a blessing: 16.1-27.
Author: Brad DICKSON
Subtitle: Bible commentary
Published: 16 / 05/2006
Pages : 384
Format : paperback
Dimensions : 14 x 21 cm