Ted Grimsrud

Romans background

Notes on Romans

Ted Grimsrud – June 2007

 

Context

Paul is going to go to Jerusalem from Corinth to take offerings he has collected (16:22-23).  He then plans to go to Spain and stop in Rome on his way. 

To those in Jerusalem, Paul must defend the validity of a largely Gentile church (whose money he was bringing) that did not obscure the Jewish law; to those in Rome, he needed to defend the continuing validity of Israel in God’s purpose. (Keck in HarperCollins Study Bible)

In 49 CE the Emperor Claudius expelled Jews from Rome (cf. Acts 18:2) – perhaps due to conflicts in synagogues between messianic and non-messianic Jews.  The edict lapsed at Claudius’s death in 54 CE and Jews began to return.  Possibly, the return of Jewish Christians to now largely Gentile churches raised tensions – Paul may have written Romans to speak to those tensions. (James R. Edwards in New Interpreter’s Study Bible)

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