Friday, May 2, 2008

Notes on Romans--Party Fifty One

We are coming to an end of our study of the Book of Romans. As I wrote at the beginning, I believe Paul structured his public letters (as opposed to his private letters like 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, etc.) as speeches in the classical mode because they would have been read aloud in public gatherings. Thus, I outlined the letter as follows--
Exordium (introduction) 1:1-12
Narratio (facts) 1:13-15
Propositio (thesis) 1:16-17
Probatio (argument) 1:18-15:13
Peroratio (conclusion) 15:14-16:23
If my outline is correct then the key verses for understanding the whole of Romans is 1:16-17, which I have translated as:
"For I am not ashamed of the Good News about our King. It is the power of God at work, rescuing everyone who believes--the Jew first and then those from among all the nations."
While there are a number of other minor issues, these lines form the heart of Romans. Everything else in the letter is either secondary or flows from 1:16-17. I will post an extended outline tomorrow but suffice to say that the best way to read and understand Romans is to work through the book in a reader friendly translation (NLT or The Message) with these verses framing your view.