Cecil N. Wright

This expanded outline of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans is both analytical and expository, and is designed to present a running summary of its contents, along with whatever technical observations seem needed. At some strategic points, where exegetes are not themselves in general agreement, somewhat more detailed "Exegetical Notes" are included to explain the rationale of the exposition set forth in the outline.

There are such "Exegetical Notes" on 8:2; 8:10-11; and 11:25-27. Those for 8:10-11 were prepared as a supplement and added as an insert. They have been slightly simplified for inclusion herewith. Likewise, none were prepared for 1:16-17 as a part of the outline. But they are being included herewith, immediately following. And, because they deal with the fundamental thesis of the epistle, they are more comprehensive and extensive than the others -- almost amounting to an over-all exposition.

By their very nature, "Exegetical Notes" are more detailed and technical than the outline as a whole. Though pains have been taken to make them clear, to some they may not be. It is suggested that they be studied only when conditions are favorable for more than ordinary mental concentration.

The outline that follows is based upon the text of the American Standard Version of 1901, the American counterpart of the English Revised Version of 1881 with which a panel of American scholars also assisted. Of the latter, F.F. Bruce, Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis in the University of Manchester, England, more recently Professor of New Testament Language and Literature in Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A., and one of the world's most respected scholars in his field, in a commentary, The Epistle to the Ephesians (1961, stated: "The Biblical text used throughout, except where otherwise indicated, is the Revised Version of 1881. This remains, in spite of many more recent translations (including the New English Bible of 1961) the most helpful English version of the NT for purposes of accurate study." This, of course, is no less true of the American Standard Version, by general consent of scholars.

Students may wish, however, to make use of other versions also, by way of comparison, which is not to be discouraged. Modern speech translation, in more contemporary English, may make some points clearer, yet distort others. This possibility is enhanced because most of them are more commentary and paraphrase that translation -- following the so-called principle of "dynamic equivalence," which is giving what the translators think the text means or ought to mean rather than what it actually says -- so that the bias of the translators, or in some cases their ignorance, is more apt to be incorporated into their renderings and make them less reliable. Therefore, for the most part, they are not to be recommended as basic texts for accurate study, regardless of how intriguing for general reading or how felicitous some of the renderings of some of them are.

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