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

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Lexham Press 2017

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

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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.

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

Unit 1: The Background to the Letter to the Romans

  • Social History and Socio-Rhetorical Criticism
  • 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
  • Judaism and 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 and the Letter to the Romans
  • Interpretive Principles for Romans

Unit 3: The Beginning of the Letter to the Romans Rom 1:1–17

  • The Epistolary Prescript
  • The Exordium
  • The Propositio

Unit 4: The First Argument: The Unbearable Likeness Rom 1:18–32

  • The Truth for a Lie
  • The Consequences

Unit 5: The Second Argument: A Critique of a Judgmental Gentile Hypocrite and Censoring a Censorious Jewish Teacher 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: The Recapitulation and Expansion of the Propositio Rom 3:21–31

  • The Righteousness Given through the Faithfulness of Jesus Christ
  • The Demonstration of God’s Righteousness

Unit 7: The Third Argument: Abraham as Forefather of All the “Righteous” by Faith 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: The Results of Rectification Rom 5:1–11

  • Forgiveness Offered vs. Forgiveness Received
  • God’s Love Poured into Our Lives

Unit 9: The Fifth Argument: From First Adam to Last Rom 5:12–21

  • The Similarities
  • The Differences

Unit 10: The Sixth Argument: Shall Sin, Death, and the Law Continue Now That Christ Has Come? Rom 6:1–7:25

  • Shall We Go On Sinning That Grace May Increase? Part 1
  • Shall We Go On Sinning That Grace May Increase? Part 2
  • Slaves to Righteousness: Part 1
  • Slaves to Righteousness: Part 2
  • Paul’s Symbolic Universe and His Storied World
  • Retelling Adam’s Tale
  • Adam’s Lost Race

Unit 11: The Seventh Argument: Life in the Spirit Rom 8:1–17

  • That Was Then, This Is Now
  • The Real Nature of Religion

Unit 12: The Eighth Argument: Life in Christ in Glory Rom 8:18–39

  • The Firstfruits Who Are the Spirit
  • Those Who Love Him
  • More than Conquerors

Unit 13: The Ninth Argument: God’s Justice and Israel’s Future 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: Living Sacrifices and Loving Service Rom 12:1–21

  • Belonging to God
  • The One Body
  • Paul’s Love Ethic: Part 1
  • Paul’s Love Ethic: Part 2

Unit 15: The Eleventh Argument: Taxing Situations and the Debt of Love Rom 13:1–14

  • The Imperial Cult and the New Testament
  • The Christian Relationship to Government: Part 1
  • The Christian Relationship to Government: Part 2
  • Money, Taxes, and Good Citizenship
  • Christians and the Ten Commandments

Unit 16: The Twelfth Argument: The Weak and the Strong and What Goes Wrong 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 toward Others
  • 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: A Letter of 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


  • Concluding 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

About the Instructor

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 comes with an Activities resource that functions as a type of “workbook” for the course. This resource includes learning activities such as: places for you to respond to reflection questions, exercises that will challenge and show you how deepen your understanding of this course by using specific Logos tools and resources, tutorial videos on different features of Logos Bible Software, and links to relevant Logos guides and tools. A link to open the Activities resource is conveniently placed at the end of every segment.