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Historical Setting Analysis Paul’s Letter to the Romans Discussion

Historical Setting Analysis Paul’s Letter to the Romans Discussion


Purpose: To practice reconstructing the setting of a New Testament letter.

For this assignment, you will research the historical setting for Paul’s letter to the Romans. Your research should include the following steps:

  1. Read through the letter, cataloguing any information you find about the author, audience, or purpose/setting of the letter. Pay special attention to Romans 14–16. These particular chapters reveal what Paul knows about what is happening in Rome.
  2. Consult the introduction to the letter in the New Oxford Annotated Bible along with two other recommended sources in order to clarify your understanding of the author, audience, and purpose/setting of Romans.Once you have completed your research, share your findings and conclusions by creating a document that includes the following parts:
    • A list of five passages that reveal something important about the setting of the letter. The list should include the verse range (i.e., Gal 1:6–9) and a short statement about what the passage reveals about the setting (i.e., Paul indicates that some people are drawing the Galatian community toward what he calls “another gospel” different than what he taught them.)
    • A paragraph describing what we know about the author. Who is the author? Do we know where the author is at the time of writing? What are his plans for the near future? What is his relationship with the audience?
    • A paragraph describing the audience. For example, what do we know about their racial or socioeconomic make-up? Do we know about anything that has been happening in the life of the audience?
    • A paragraph describing the rhetorical goals of the writing. What does the author hope to accomplish by writing the letter? For example, is he writing to praise, encourage, reprimand, or convince the audience? Is there a specific problem that the author writes to address? Does he have a specific request?
    • A reference page that lists the sources you used in your essay in APA format.

    You should also cite any sources when you use them in your paper. When you do so, make sure you cite them with properly formatted in-text citations.

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