“One can almost write the history of Christian Theology by surveying the ways in which Romans has been interpreted.” Joseph Fitzmyer, Romans, xiii.
Because Romans is the longest of the New Testament epistles it has major influence on Christian theology. Fitzmyer is not exaggerating. In fact, most of Christian soteriology is based on the book of Romans. Is it possible to fully describe “salvation by grace through faith” using only the Jewish Christian letters? Even the Gospels themselves do not present a fully developed view of salvation. For many evangelical Christians, Romans is more or less equivalent to the Gospel! One of the basic ways to present the Gospel is the “Romans Road.”
The importance of the book can be demonstrated by examining popular systematic theologies. There far more references to Romans than any other New Testament book (and in some cases, more than the whole Old Testament!) Although…
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