Who Wrote the Book of Romans?

April 10, 2019

All critical schools agree on the Pauline authorship of this foundational book. The vocabulary, style, logic, and theological development are consistent with Paul’s other epistles. Paul dictated this letter to a secretary named Tertius (Romans 16:22[NKJV]), who was allowed to add his own greeting.

Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God – Romans 1:1 (NKJV)


armorThe problem arises not with the authorship but with the disunity of the epistle. Some Latin (but no Greek) manuscripts omit Romans 15:1 — 16:24 (NKJV), and the closing doxology (Romans 16:25 – 27 [NKJV]) is placed at the end of chapter 14 in some manuscripts. These variations have led some scholars to conclude that the last two chapters were not originally part of the epistle or that Paul issued it in two editions. However, most scholars believe that chapter 15 fits in logically with the rest of the epistle. There is more debate over chapter 16, because Paul greets by name twenty-six persons in a church he has never visited.

Some scholars contend that it was a separate letter, perhaps written to Ephesus, that was appended to this epistle. Such a letter would be surprising, to say the least (nothing but greetings), especially in the ancient world. It is simpler to understand the list of greetings as Paul’s effort as a stranger to the Roman church to list his mutual friends. Paul met these people in the cities of his missionary journeys. Significantly, the only other Pauline epistle that lists individual greetings was addressed to the believers at Colosse, another church Paul had never visited. It may be that this portion was omitted from some copies of Romans because it did not seem relevant.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NKJV)




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