This unit is an exegetical and thematic exploration of Paul’s letter to the Romans. The Christian community of Rome was known to Paul, but he had not visited them. For their part the Roman community of Jewish Christians was concerned that Paul’s message and praxis was an authentic one. The letter is written to pave the way for his impending visit and it is Paul’s attempt to address their concerns by articulating his understanding of the Christian message and wrestling with a number of significant theological issues including the place of Jesus in God’s saving history, the role of the Jewish Law, the failure of the people of Israel to accept Jesus as Messiah, the plight of all humanity under sin and the possibility of all humanity being saved and justified by faith in Jesus.

Unit code: BN9017Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Exegete specific texts from Romans, making use of appropriate methodologies


Articulate Paul’s theology as it emerges from the letter to the Romans


Exhibit critical awareness of the social, political and religious context of the Roman community


Discuss critically the relationship between the context of Paul’s community in Rome, his personal experience and his theological convictions


Investigate, analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant secondary literature


Engage in independent research that involves the analytical use of biblical interpretative skills

Unit sequence

Two foundational units in Biblical Studies or equivalent.


Lectures and discussion

Indicative Bibliography

  • Byrne, Brendan. * Romans*. Sacra Pagina. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996. (recommended for purchase)
  • Dunn, James D. G. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. London: T & T Clark, 2003.
  • _ _ _ Romans. 2 vols. Dallas: Word, 1988.
  • Fitzmyer, Joseph A. Romans. AB 33. New York: Doubleday, 1993.
  • Gorman, Michael J. Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004.
  • Horrell, David G. An Introduction to the Study of Paul. 2nd ed. London: T & T Clark, 2006.
  • Longenecker, Richard N. Introducing Romans: Critical Issues in Paul’s Most Famous Letter. Grand Rapids, Michigan MI: Eerdmans, 2011.
  • Neyrey, Jerome H. Paul, in Other Words: A Cultural Reading of his Letters. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 1990.
  • Sampley, J. Paul, ed. Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook. 2nd ed. 2 vols. London: Bloomsbury T. and T. Clark, 2016.
  • Thiselton, Anthony C. Discovering Romans: Content, interpretation, reception. London: SPCK, 2016
  • Witherington, Ben. New Testament Rhetoric: An Introductory Guide to the Art of Persuasion in and of the New Testament. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

4500 word essay

4500 60.0
Exegetical Essay

2500 word exegetical paper

2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000