Life[ edit ] Born in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , in , Fitzmyer was admitted, on July 30, , to the novitiate of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus , commonly known as the Jesuits, in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. After completing that stage of his formation in the summer of , he was sent to study at Loyola University in Chicago , Illinois , earning a Bachelor of Arts degree and then, in , a Master of Arts degree in Greek. He was granted a Licentiate of Sacred Theology S. He died in Merion, Pennsylvania , on December 24, In the last one, after a historical review of 40 themes, he concludes: As Christ was "the image of the God" 2 Cor so human beings are destined to be "the image of the heavenly man" 1 Cor ; cf. Rom

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General presentation[ edit ] In the opinion of Jesuit scholar Joseph Fitzmyer , the book "overwhelms the reader by the density and sublimity of the topic with which it deals, the gospel of the justification and salvation of Jew and Greek alike by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, revealing the uprightness and love of God the Father.

It dwarfs most of his other writings, an Alpine peak towering over hills and villages. Not all onlookers have viewed it in the same light or from the same angle, and their snapshots and paintings of it are sometimes remarkably unalike. Not all climbers have taken the same route up its sheer sides, and there is frequent disagreement on the best approach. What nobody doubts is that we are here dealing with a work of massive substance, presenting a formidable intellectual challenge while offering a breathtaking theological and spiritual vision.

Today no responsible criticism disputes its Pauline origin. Every extant early list of NT books includes it among his letters. The external evidence of authenticity could indeed hardly be stronger; and it is altogether borne out by the internal evidence, linguistic, stylistic, literary, historical and theological. Romans indicates that Tertius acted as his amanuensis. The letter was most probably written while Paul was in Corinth , probably while he was staying in the house of Gaius , and transcribed by Tertius , his amanuensis.

Paul was about to travel to Jerusalem on writing the letter, which matches Acts [Acts ] where it is reported that Paul stayed for three months in Greece.

While there is some uncertainty, Harry Gamble concludes that the canonical sixteen-chapter recension is likely the earlier version of the text. There is evidence from patristic commentaries indicating that Boernarianus is not unique in this regard; many early, no longer extant manuscripts also lacked an explicit Roman addressee in Chapter 1. Harry Gamble speculates that , , and Chapters 15 and 16 may have been removed by a scribe in order to make the epistle more suitable for a "general" audience.

Several scholars have argued, largely on the basis of internal evidence, that Chapter 16 represents a separate letter of Paul— possibly addressed to Ephesus — that was later appended to Romans. First of all, there is a concluding peace benediction at , which reads like the other Pauline benedictions that conclude their respective letters.

Secondly, Paul greets a large number of people and families in Chapter 16, in a way that suggests he was already familiar with them, whereas the material of Chapters presupposes that Paul has never met anyone from the Roman church.

The letter to the Romans, in part, prepares them and gives reasons for his visit. His concern for his people is one part of the dialogue and runs throughout the letter. One ought not to condemn the Romans, but to praise their faith, because without seeing any signs or miracles and without seeing any of the apostles, they nevertheless accepted faith in Christ, although according to a Jewish rite.

Paul had made acquaintance with all circumstances of the Christians at Rome Consequently, churches composed of both Jews and Gentiles were formed at Rome. According to Irenaeus , a 2nd-century Church Father , the church at Rome was founded directly by the apostles Peter and Paul.

There is evidence that Christians were then in Rome in considerable numbers and probably had more than one place of meeting. Verse 5 mentions a church that met in the house of Aquila and Priscilla. Verses 14 and 15 each mention groupings of believers and saints. Fitzmyer argues that with the return of the Jews to Rome in 54 new conflict arose between the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians who had formerly been expelled.

Confidential and personal in nature, it is intended only for the person or persons to whom it is addressed, and not at all for the public or any kind of publicity An Epistle is an artistic literary form, just like the dialogue, the oration, or the drama. It has nothing in common with the letter except its form: apart from that one might venture the paradox that the epistle is the opposite of a real letter.

The contents of the epistle are intended for publicity—they aim at interesting "the public. There are also many "noteworthy elements" missing from Romans that are included in other areas of the Pauline corpus.

Baur in when he suggested "this letter had to be interpreted according to the historical circumstances in which Paul wrote it. In the flow of the letter, Paul shifts his arguments, sometimes addressing the Jewish members of the church, sometimes the Gentile membership and sometimes the church as a whole.

In his prologue to his translation of the book of Romans, which was largely taken from the prologue of German Reformer Martin Luther , Tyndale writes that And to bring a man to the understanding and feeling that faith only justifieth, Paul proveth that the whole nature of man is so poisoned and so corrupt, yea and so dead concerning godly living or godly thinking, that it is impossible for her to keep the law in the sight of God.

Greeting —7 [ edit ] The introduction [Rom —16] provides some general notes about Paul. He introduces his apostleship here and introductory notes about the gospel he wishes to preach to the church at Rome. These two verses form a backdrop for the rest of the book. First, we note that Paul is unashamed of his love for this gospel that he preaches about Jesus Christ. He also notes that he is speaking to the "Jew first.

We are hard-pressed to find an answer to such a question without knowing more about the audience in question. Paul may have used the "Jew first" approach to counter such a view.

Paul draws heavily here from the Wisdom of Solomon. Several scholars believe the passage is a non-Pauline interpolation. Justification: The Gift of Grace and Forgiveness through Faith — [ edit ] Paul says that a righteousness from God has made itself known apart from the law, to which the law and prophets testify, and this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus to all who believe.

Paul teaches that through faith , [] [] the faithful have been joined with Jesus [] and freed from sin. Paul hopes that all Israelites will come to realize the truth [—5] since he himself is also an Israelite, [] and had in the past been a persecutor of Early Christians.

Transformation of believers 12 — [ edit ] From chapter 12 through the first part of chapter 15, Paul outlines how the Gospel transforms believers and the behaviour that results from such a transformation. This transformation is described as a "renewing of your mind" , [41] a transformation that Douglas J.

Christians are no longer under the law, that is, no longer bound by the law of Moses, [44] but under the grace of God, see Law and grace. We do not need to live under the law because to the extent our minds have been renewed, we will know "almost instinctively" what God wants of us.

Believers are free to live in obedience to God and love everybody. But neither these words nor any other New Testament statement deals with the methods of gaining political power.

In Romans, Paul is addressing eschatological enthusiasts, not a revolutionary political movement.


Epistle to the Romans

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Joseph Fitzmyer


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