6. Paul and the Roman Believers

  1. Stephen Westerholm
  1. Beverly Roberts Gaventa

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch6

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

How to Cite

Gaventa, B. R. (2011) Paul and the Roman Believers, in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed S. Westerholm), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch6

Editor Information

  1. McMaster University, Canada

Author Information

  1. Princeton Theological Seminary, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188449

Online ISBN: 9781444395778



  • Paul and the Roman Believers;
  • Paul, writing from Corinth - Phoebe, delivering the letter as Paul's representative, from Cenchreae;
  • three locations, Jerusalem, Spain and Rome - serving as indicators of three major strands in the “Romans debate”;
  • locating Roman Believers, however difficult it is to catch a glimpse of Paul's situation - as he undertakes this letter;
  • previous relationships between Paul and these individuals - establishing a strong connection with them;
  • opening lines of Romans - following the format of Paul's other letters;
  • thanksgiving (vv. 8–12) beginning with a hyperbolic statement - fame of the faith of the Roman Christians;
  • God's saving power 1:13–4:25 - with verse 13, Paul ending the thanksgiving, taking up major work of this letter;
  • Paul, writing chapter 10, as if Israel were a single entity - forcing the question at the outset of the third movement;
  • God's saving power in Jesus Christ - and the cosmic horizon of Romans


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Locating Paul

  • Locating Roman Believers

  • Listening in on the Letter

  • Characterizing Romans

  • Epilogue

  • References