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Mobile Ed: NT332 A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Romans (10 hour course)

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Understanding the rhetorical craft that Paul employs is essential for interpreting the Letter to the Romans. No less important is understanding the specific issues Paul’s Roman audience was facing and how he uses his arguments to resonate profoundly with them. In this course, Dr. Ben Witherington III provides a socio-rhetorical analysis of this letter, examining the social setting of Paul’s writing and exploring the culture of first-century Rome. He investigates the rhetoric Paul uses, and he considers the flow of Paul’s arguments to reveal the letter’s themes of the righteousness of God and the reconciliation of humanity—Jew and Gentile—in Christ.

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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Explain socio-rhetorical criticism and its application to the Letter to the Romans
  • Discuss oral texts and oral cultures as well as their implications for Romans
  • Describe the background of Romans
  • Identify the rhetoric and rhetorical strategy of Romans
  • Outline the structure of Romans
  • Summarize the key interpretive principles for interpreting Romans
  • Indicate the main themes of Romans
  • Recall the proper interpretations of key passages in Romans

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: Background to the Letter to the Romans

  • Socio-Rhetorical Criticism and Social History
  • Socio-Rhetorical Criticism and Oral Cultures
  • Ancient Oral Texts
  • Ancient Writing, Education, and Libraries
  • Ancient Professional Readers
  • Social Networks in Early Christianity
  • Evangelism in a Patriarchal Culture
  • The Evolution of the Roman World
  • Jews and Christians in the Graeco-Roman World
  • Work and Status in the Graeco-Roman World
  • First-Century Family Values: Part 1
  • First-Century Family Values: Part 2

Unit 2: The Structure, Rhetoric, and Interpretation of Romans

  • Understanding the Rhetoric of Romans
  • Paul’s Rhetorical Strategy
  • Interpreting Romans

Unit 3: The Beginning of the Letter (Rom 1:1–17)

  • The Epistolary Prescript
  • The Exordium
  • The Propositio

Unit 4: The First Argument (Rom 1:18–32)

  • Truth for a Lie
  • The Consequences

Unit 5: The Second Argument (Rom 2:1–24)

  • The Hypocrisy of the Gentiles
  • Jews, Gentiles, and the Mosaic Law
  • The Hypocrisy of the Jewish Teachers
  • Jews and Gentiles Alike

Unit 6: A Return to the Thesis Statement (Rom 3:21–31)

  • The Faithfulness of Jesus Christ
  • The Demonstration of God’s Righteousness

Unit 7: The Third Argument (Rom 4:1–25)

  • Understanding Abraham’s Faith and Righteousness
  • Righteousness apart from the Works of the Law
  • The Promise Fulfilled in Christ

Unit 8: The Fourth Argument (Rom 5:1–11)

  • Peace with God
  • The Timing and Gift of Christ’s Death

Unit 9: The Fifth Argument (Rom 5:12–21)

  • Similarities between the First and Last Adams
  • Differences between the First and Last Adams

Unit 10: The Sixth Argument (Rom 6:1–7:25)

  • Baptized into His Death
  • New Creatures with Mortal Bodies
  • Slaves of Righteousness
  • Bondage: The Marriage Illustration
  • Understanding Paul in Context
  • Paul Speaks as Adam
  • Identifying the “I”

Unit 11: The Seventh Argument (Rom 8:1–17)

  • Paul’s Climactic Argument
  • The Real Nature of Religion

Unit 12: The Eighth Argument (Rom 8:18–39)

  • The Firstfruits and the Holy Spirit
  • Working All Things Together for Good
  • More than Conquerors

Unit 13: The Ninth Argument (Rom 9:1–11:36)

  • The Fate of the Jews
  • A Chosen People
  • Vessels of Wrath and Vessels of Mercy
  • The Fate and Future of the Gentiles
  • The Basis for Salvation
  • The Offer of Salvation to Israel
  • The Resolution Concerning God’s First Chosen People
  • An Olive Tree with New Branches
  • All Israel Will Be Saved

Unit 14: The Tenth Argument (Rom 12:1–21)

  • Belonging to God
  • The One Body
  • The Source of Paul’s Love Ethic
  • Practicing Sacrificial Love

Unit 15: The Eleventh Argument (Rom 13:1–14)

  • The Imperial Cult and the New Testament
  • The Christian and the Government
  • Christians as Good Citizens
  • Money and Taxes
  • Christian Citizenship and the Ten Commandments

Unit 16: The Twelfth Argument (Rom 14:1–15:13)

  • Living within the Parameters of the Christian Conscience
  • The Spectrum of Ethical Belief in Early Christianity
  • Living unto the Lord
  • The Need to Be Sensitive
  • Christians and the Old Testament
  • Paul’s Final Exhortation to the Gentile Christians

Unit 17: Peroratio and Travel Plans (Rom 15:14–33)

  • Paul’s Apostolic Ministry to the Gentiles
  • Paul’s Travel Plans

Unit 18: Recommendation and Reconciliation (Rom 16:1–27)

  • Paul’s Individual Greetings: Part 1
  • The Story of Junia: Part 1
  • The Story of Junia: Part 2
  • Paul’s Individual Greetings: Part 2
  • A Final Emotional Exhortation


  • Reviewing the Course

Product Details

  • Title: NT332 A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Romans
  • Instructor: Ben Witherington III
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 10
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About Dr. Ben Witherington

Bible scholar Dr. Ben Witherington is considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS), a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Bible scholar Dr. Ben Witherington is considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS), a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Dr. Witherington is the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive his MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his PhD from the University of Durham in England. Dr. Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. A popular lecturer, Dr. Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges, and biblical meetings—not only in the United States, but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Australia. He’s also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Dr. Witherington has written over 40 books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical-studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Patheos website.

Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Dr. Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, the Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX network.


Getting the most out of Mobile Ed


Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



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  1. Dave Livermore
    I had finished Romans with Dr. Moo. It was great and wetted my appetite for more on Romans. Little did I know what I was gonna get when I bought Dr Witherington's Socio-Rhetorical Romans. It was the richest Bible Study time I've had in a long time. God bless Dr. Witherington with more teaching opportunities that can be presented to us.
  2. BN Hollis

    BN Hollis


    Why aren't most Mobile Ed courses placed into the Community Pricing section? I've seen several courses offered in the Community Pricing section reach publication date seemingly before other courses offered in Pre Pubs. Why not let the community benefit by getting these courses at a much lower price and then when productions levels have been met, move the course over to Pre Pub. This has been done with Dr. Block's course on Judges and on Witherington's own course, Mobile Ed: NT221 The Wisdom of John: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Johannine Literature.


Collection value: $550.00
Save $170.01 (30%)
Payment plans available in cart