How to study the book of Romans
Romans is one of the most well-known books of the Bible.
You’ve probably heard a hundred sermons from the book of Romans. You might list Romans 8 as one of your favorite passages. You might be aware that Romans contains some of the key passages on predestination, the doctrine of justification, the doctrine of sanctification, and other core doctrines of the church. And you probably know the role a verse from Romans played in Martin Luther’s articulation of the 95 theses that launched the Reformation.
Romans has had a life-changing impact on the lives of millions of people. It’s not hard to argue that this short letter written to a group of Christians two thousand years ago has changed world history.
So whether you know it or not, you have probably been influenced by the book of Romans.
What the Bible says about predestination
In any conversation about predestination, election, and God’s will in the act of salvation, two verses from Romans 8 are usually cited:
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29–30)
These two verses are some of the most scrutinized in the Bible, so let’s take a moment to unpack them in more detail to see what they tell us about predestination.
See what Douglas Moo says about Paul’s understanding of predestination:
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An Interesting, Innovative Approach to Reading Biblical Greek
The English idiom “It’s all Greek to me” isn’t merely an expression that something isn’t understandable. It also embodies the frustrations all first-year Greek students have when they encounter the foreign language of the New Testament, yet want to understand it in order to read it for themselves.
A new innovative approach to Greek grammar aims to ameliorate such frustrations.
Reading Biblical Greek, ideated and designed by Richard J. Gibson and Constantine R. Campbell, introduces first-year Greek students to the essential information needed to optimize their grasp of the fundamentals of the Greek language—no more and no less—enabling them to read and translate New Testament Greek as soon as possible.
[This book’s] distinctive approach has been shaped by lessons learned over decades from students struggling with the inherent challenge of language…
Advice on studying Romans from Douglas Moo
We recently sat down with Douglas Moo to talk about some challenges students face when studying Romans. Take a look at what he says.
And be sure to check out his new online course, The Book of Romans: History, Meaning, and Application.
I’ve talked to Christians over the years who say, “Oh, I’m not ready to study Romans yet, that’s too heavy for me.”
You’ve probably heard it taught maybe from the pulpit, maybe you’ve taken a Sunday school class on it. You’ve read it. You’ve studied it perhaps even in Bible study.
Romans is a book that addresses many of those fundamental worldview issues. What does it mean to be a Christian? What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How is it relevant to me and to my church?
I think some of the reasons we therefore…
There Is Always a Reason (John 2:1) – Mondays with Mounce 287
We just completed another week of work on the NIV in Cambridge, and I was again reminded that there is always a reason. No matter how unusual a translation of a certain verse may appear, there is always a reason. Like Jason Bourne, nothing is random.
A good example is John 2:1 in the NLT. “The next day (τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ) there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee.” Someone might respond, how would you ever get “next” from τρίτῃ? But before you pronounce the NLT translators as incompetent — which they are not — repeat after me: “There…
What is justification?
In Romans 1:17, Paul writes: “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”
This does not refer, in so many words, to “justification by faith.” However, the idea is clearly expressed: God’s righteousness is “by faith from first to last.” It is the one who is “righteous by faith” who will gain spiritual life.
What does this mean? Douglas Moo explains:
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Eagerly Do Good, Readily Represent: Finding Your Story in 1 Peter 3:13–17
That’s the question Peter addresses in part in his first letter to the churches of Asia Minor. Dennis Edwards explores this same question in his new 1 Peter commentary (Story of God Bible Commentary). In his exposition of 1 Peter 3:13–17, Edwards offers this guidance:
[W]e Christians need to be eager to be agents for good, and to be prepared at all times to represent Jesus with respect toward others. If we do so, at least some of our accusers will be brought up short by the voice of their conscience. (149)
How to Apply the Bible to Your Life in Four Steps
One hallmark of biblical interpretation is the meant-means distinction: we need to determine what the Bible meant (to the original author and audience, in their context and culture) before understanding what it means (to us in our context and culture).
Authors William Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert Hubbard echo this hermeneutical rule in Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Third Edition, a fully updated resource to help students unravel the mysteries of interpreting Scripture.
One of those mysteries is the means side of the equation: how to apply the Bible. The authors explain that “all applications must be consistent with the meaning of passages arrived at by means of…sound hermeneutical principles” (609). But how can one make the connection between what a passage meant, as determined…
4 Major Themes in First Peter and the Story of God
Martin Luther called the letter “one of the grandest of the New Testament.” Early church fathers Clement of Rome and Polycarp of Smyrna were inspired by the letter’s consoling, hopeful words. More recently, Karen Jobes said the five-chapter General Epistle is “significant for the church,” especially the Majority World church.
I’m referring to the first letter of Peter, which has a new guide today to help its readers navigate its major themes: Dennis Edwards’ 1 Peter (The Story of God Bible Commentary series). Of this letter Edwards writes:
First Peter will assist us by affirming our Christian identity, guiding us in our relationships within and without the Christian…
Software Sale: Word Biblical Commentary Set — Save at Least $800 on WBC
Right now, the Word Biblical Commentary set is on sale at Logos, Accordance, Olive Tree, and WORDsearch software retailers.
If you act now, you will save at least $800. This is a very steep discount—you pay an average of just $6.56 per volume!
Don’t wait, because this sale ends May 22, 2017! Here are the deals:
Browse at Logos – 66% Off
Browse at Olive Tree – 67% Off
Browse at Accordance – 73% Off
Browse at WORDsearch – 67% Off
How will the Word Biblical Commentary help you?
The WBC series will help you build deeper theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship. Gain a thorough understanding of the Bible through historical, textual, linguistic, structural, and theological discoveries collected within the series—equipping you with balanced insight into the meaning of the biblical text.
eBook Sale: New Testament Commentaries
Save up to 81% on eBook commentaries ranging from Matthew to Revelation in our biggest New Testament eBook sale of the year.
You will find deals from several popular series including:
NIV Application Commentary Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament Story of God Bible Commentary Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Revised Edition) and more
New and popular volumes include:
The Sermon on the Mount (Story of God Bible Commentary) by Scot McKnight is 65% off. Mark (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Mark L. Strauss is 68% off. Romans (Story of God Bible Commentary) by Michael Bird is 64% off. Ephesians (Story of God Bible Commentary) by Mark D. Roberts is 65% off. James (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on…
The Story of God and 1 John 3:11–18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)
I would imagine several sermons pivoted around this verse over the past several days celebrating Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday. It’s also the pivot verse in a passage Constantine Campbell engages in his new 1, 2, & 3 John commentary from The Story of God Bible Commentary series.
This resource offers a clear and compelling exposition of John’s epistles, as well as a guide for everyday readers in how to creatively and faithfully live out John’s lessons contextually. (Like each volume in The Story of God Bible Commentary series, Campbell explores this passage…