Romiyah / Romans is the most influential letter ever written and have impacted theology, politics, civil law, and church doctrine in the West. Classical approaches to this epistle have started Reformations and used to support misogyny. What if our approach to Shaul/Paul’s letter has been wrong? Join our study, as we leave behind traditional interpretations, in favor of the truth of the original language and the context of the whole of Scripture!
Romans from a Torah Covenant Perspective - Intro
Romans from a Torah Covenant Perspective
– Intro –
Pros Romaious, the Epistle to the Romans. The longest single piece of writing by the Apostle Shaul.
Romans 1:17 quoting Habakkuk 2:4, For by the Besorah is the tzedakah of vuvh revealed from emunah to emunah: 6 as it is written, The tzadik shall live by emunah, helped start the Protestant Reformation of the Sixteenth Century through the influence of Martin Luther.
‘The Romans Road!’ It’s not systematic theology as seminaries across the nation view it.
Augustine got his doctrine of original sin from Romans 5, Luther got his doctrine of justification by faith alone from Romans 3-4, John Calvin’s doctrine of double predestination came from Romans 9-11, John Wesley’s teaching on sanctification – Romans 6-7…..Karl Barth learned his righteousness of God from Romans 1.
Shaul was on his way to Rome (1:11) he hadn’t ever met the Romans in person, hence the longest introduction in the Brit Chadasha (11 verses).
Shaul’s ministerial message is shifting from the Eastern Leg to the Western leg of the empire. This is so important prophetically for us to grasp in the Twenty-First Century:
Jeremiah 16:16 Behold I will send for many fishers, saith יהוה, and they shall fish them, (Shaul was appointed as a Sholiach to cast the net of the gospel to the Eastern leg, then the Western leg of the Roman Empire) and after that I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.Click here to Read More
Justification (3:20-26), salvation (1:16, 5:9, 8:24), atonement (3:25), sanctification ( 1:7, 6:22, 15:16), reconciliation (5:10), glorification (8:18, 21, 30), freedom (6:20, 7:3, 8:1), transformation (12:2), Israel (9-11), human sin (1:18-3:20)…
Location of composition:
Phoebe was the courier, taking the letter to the Romans (16:1), being a leader in the assembly in Cenchrea (the port city of Corinth). This evidence leads me to believe it was composed sometime during Shaul’s stay in Corinth or Achaia (Acts 20:2). Hence the strong philippic against idolatry and homosexuality, sins that were rampant in the Corinthian city.
Gallion appointed the proconsul of Corinth was between 51-52/52-53 CE. Shaul was tried by him at Corinth:
Acts 18:12: And when Gallion was the proconsul of Achayah, the unbelieving Yahudim made insurrection with one accord against Shaul, and brought him to the mishpat bema, 13 Saying, This fellow persuades men to worship tvkt contrary to the Torah. 14 And when Shaul was now about to open his mouth, Gallion said to the Yahudim, If it were a matter of criminal wrong, or wicked lewdness, O you Yahudim, there would be a reason that I should listen to you:15 But if it is a question of words and names, and of your Torah, you can settle it; for I do not wish to be a judge of such matters. 16 And he removed all of them from the mishpat bema. 17 Then all the pagans took Sosthenes, the rabbi of the synagogue, and beat him before the mishpat seat. And Gallion cared for none of those things.18 And Shaul after this stayed there yet a tov while, and then took his leave from the Yisraelite brothers, and sailed from there into Aram, and with him Priscilla and Aquila.
Shaul went to Corinth (Acts 18:18) then later he had a three month stay in Greece (Acts 20:2) so this would make the composition in the mid to late 50’s CE during Shaul’s Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18-20) and the closing period of Shaul’s collection mission for the Jerusalem believers (15:25).
The Edict of Claudius (Suetonius Claudius (25:4)) dated 49 CE. The infamous edict ensured all the Jews were expelled from Rome – probably connected to the taxation issue that flared up during the reign of Nero.
‘Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the institution of Chrestus, he expelled them from the city.’ (Suetonias Cludias 25:4)
‘Chrestus’ being a historical allusion to Christ, a corruption of Christos. There were violent debates over the claims of Yahusha being Messiah!
The edict didn’t stay in force for too long, probably a decade but it forms the backdrop to the letter to the Romans. The Jewish majority had left Rome leaving a predominantly gentile (say: dispersed 10 Israel) in charge of the assemblies.
Only later, did they have to contend with returning Jews coming back to a totally transformed synagogue landscape with gentiles in charge unwilling to relinquish protocol to Jews that had spent a decade being influenced by the circumcision and Book of the Law’s adherents in Jerusalem!
Only after Claudius death in 54 CE did Jews start returning to the city.
Language: Knowledge of the Tanakh within the ancient world was confined mainly to just the Jewish communities. The LXX wasn’t that familiar with the Greco-Roman world; they had little use for it; instead, they turned to their own philosophers and theoreticians.
Shaul assumed his readership would be connected to the Jewish synagogues in Rome and thereby we’ll discover a high level of Greek composition represented and the great influence of the LXX within its vocabulary with grand literary words.
But if the Romans were a Latin speaking peoples why on earth would Shaul of written to them in Greek not Latin?
Cicero once said, ‘For if anyone thinks that there is a smaller gain of glory derived from Greek verses than from Latin ones, he is greatly mistaken, because Greek poetry os read among all nations, Latin is confined to its own natural limits, which are narrow enough.’ (Pro Achaia 23).
Greek was the predominant language of Rome and the majority of Jews in Rome were Greek speaking in the First Century as witnessed by the inscriptions that you can see today on the Jewish catacombs in Rome.
Since the Maccabean crisis the Torah had become a badge, a kind of talisman a badge of arrogant, prideful difference. A law of superiority and distinction over and against gentiles.
YHWH’s torah equally condemns Jew’s and gentiles.
Shaul identifies 17 of 22 categories of law mentioned in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament):
- Faith – Romans 3:27
- Spirit and Life – Romans 8:2
- Works – Romans 3:27, 9:32
- of her husband – Romans 7:2
- Elohim – Romans 3:31, 7:22, 8:7
- My members – Romans 7:23
- The mind – Romans 7:23
- Sin – Romans 7:23
- Death – Romans 8:2
- The Ruach.
- Good and evil – Romans 7:21
- Righteousness – Romans 9:31
- Christ – 1 Corinthians 9:21
- Commandments contained in ordinances – Ephesians 2:15
- Under the Levitical Priesthood
- Carnal commandment – Hebrews 7:16
James adds 2 more:
18. The perfect law of liberty
19. The royal law
The writer of Hebrews adds another:
20. Covenant law
Luke adds two more in Acts:
21. Moshe – Acts 28:23
22. The Jews – Acts 25:8
- Forensic righteousness: a remission from sins and salvation.
- Membership among YHWH’s people.
To be able to discern the difference we need to pause, and take into account the surrounding vocabulary and take note that justification can be used in one passage one way and then used in another way somewhere else in the text.
Romans 3:20: because by the works of the law (BoL) no flesh will be justified in His sight. (membership into the community doesn’t come by adhering to the BoL and cutting the flesh, is in view here).
Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which in in Messiah Yahusha. (‘just as he never sinned’ is in view here).
The “I” sinner in Romans Chapter 7:
‘for what am I doing, i do not understand, for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate’.
Theologians have often interpreted this as Shaul personally struggling with some kind of sin.
Shaul’s using an ancient form of rhetoric called ‘prosopopeia’ a literary device Shual is using to communicate to his audience by speaking as another person. From the Greek “prosopon” ‘face’, ‘person’ and “poien” ‘to make, to do.’
Shual is using it to give another perspective on the action being described.
So who is the hypothetical sinner, the object of the ‘prosopopeia’ in Romans 7?
- a person struggling with sin on the way to salvation.
- the new believer wrestling through some of the initial stages of sanctification.
Shaul is not struggling with sin like the hypothetical “I” sinner would.
Paul and women:
Romans 16, Phoebe a diakonos
This role doesn’t appear to be held by any males.
Priscilla is mentioned before her husband Aquila, she’s a fellow worker.
Romans 16:I commend to you Phoebe our Yisraelite sister, who is an diakonos of the congregation that is at Cenchrea: 2 That you receive her in vuvh, as becomes Yisraelite kidushim, and that you assist her in whatever business she has need of: for she has been a great help to many, and to myself also.3 Greet Priscilla and Aqulas my helpers in Moshiach gauvh: 4 Who have for my chayim laid down their own necks: for whom not only I give hodu, but also all the congregations of the Yisraelite nations. 5 Likewise greet the congregation that is in their bayit. Greet my well beloved Epainetos, who is the bikkurim of Achayah to the Moshiach. 6 Greet Miryam, who worked very hard for us. 7 Greet Andronikos and Junia, my relatives, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the shlichim.
Junia/Iounia a woman not Junias a man! Outstanding among the apostles, i.e. she was an apostle.
Shuul empowered women recognized them in positions of leadership, apostles and deacons, the Scriptural text flies in the face of Centuries of misogynistic Pauline theology.
• Context of Shul’s writings is key to understanding his view of women.
• A infamous text used to beat down women is 1st Tim 2:11 – but Timothy is dealing with disruptions within his ministry, not addressing women as a targeted gender!
• Shual also said, ”Let all speak in tongues, all prophecy.” A public audible voice, so how can all’ do this if women are to be silent? What about “neither male or female” the removal of distinctions?
• Miriam, Devorah, Yael spoke out, prophesied and prayed, they were not silent in the TaNaKh. Is Paul going against the TaNaKh?
Translators assume “women” in the text is a singular class noun relating to all women whereas the text doesn’t say that, it could just as well mean a particular woman, which would be more in line with Torah.
1st Timothy 2:11 Let the woman (singular, plural was used earlier in V.9 why the switch to singular?) learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I do not allow the woman to teach, or to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Ahdahm was first formed, then Chavah. 14 And Ahdahm was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding shall be saved in the childbearing, if She continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
The particular woman; definite article; the particular woman in Timothy’s congregation, like Eve is deceived! She’s to learn in silence, be subject to congregational authority, not allowed to teach presently because she’d usurped authority, but she’ll be saved in THE childbearing of Messiah if she continues in the faith.
This particular woman is to enter into a time of silent meditation under the tutelage of competent instructors.
2nd Timothy 2:2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit to other faithful people (‘anthropos’ a gender free term not ‘aner’ – ‘males’) who shall be able to teach others also.
1st Corinthians 14:34 Let your women (‘the woman’) keep silent in the congregations: for it is not permitted for them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the Torah.
How should we define biblical Israel? Shaul/Paul draws some distinctions between a physical and spiritual Israel, in order to demonstrate the necessity of an individual to belong to both, to be a fully regenerated Israelite.
Does Shaul/Paul advocate for blind submission to government authority? The first seven verses of Romans 13 have been used and abused by the Institutional Church to establish religio-political authoritarian positions. Scripture advocates for behavior that is lawful to Yahuwah, refuting tyranny that is a terror to good works.
What is it that Yahusha has come to redeem? Creation is groaning and Yahuwah intends to wholly reverse the impact of sin. Shaul/Paul understood that there was a threefold linguistic pattern between the words: “blood,” “ground,” and “thorns” that has existed since Berishith/The Beginning.
Can we follow the instruction of Yahuwah and obey the government? All established government is based upon a theocracy, but the elohim being served is not always Yahuwah. As believers in a world that does not value righteousness, we must remain true to Yah, but we must walk a path of maturity, temperance, and self-control, empowered by the Ruach ha’Kodesh/Holy Spirit.
Who has been elevated to the priesthood? Shaul/Paul harkens back to language and themes used in Yeshayahu/Isaiah to show that establish the completion of prophecy through Yahusha. Shaul/Paul not only demonstrates that through Messianic Reformation, the Melchizedek Priesthood was established and the fullness of the Gentiles has come in to serve Yahuwah.
Who are the people of Yah? Shaul/Paul understood that there was a seamless priestly garment that was a covering for all of Israel. One Messiah, One Covenant, One People. Yahuwah will prune and graft in, but will always be focused on the branches of Isreal, rooted in Yahusha.
Who is the True Lawgiver, man or Yahuwah? Yahuwah’s government looks nothing like the corrupt government of men. We have responsibilities and requirements for stewarding the life that Yahuwah has blessed us with, and we will be required to answer for our decisions. The only true liberty we can ever find is in walking in Royal Covenant Torah.
Who were the Ephesians? As we begin our study of the text, we examine the historical and cultural climates for Ephesus, as well as the nature of authorship and theme of the letter.Through spiritual maturity and an indwelling of the Ruach, we move from doctrine and reasoned argument, to doxology and prayer.
Are you performing your act of reasonable temple service? Shaul/Paul understood that this concept not only started prior to the construction of the tabernacle or temple, but would be vital to Daniel’s prophetic vision of our future. Discover how a willful mistranslation, a Daniel deception, can reshape your eschatological views and harmonize with the whole of Scripture.
Which “law” do you prefer; the “law of sin and death” or “the law of the Spirit of Life”? As there is then, now, no condemnation for those who are in Messiah, we are free to walk as Abraham did, in Royal Covenant Torah. Only through Yahusha’s blood ratification, can we return to Torah that transforms our inward man, leading us to right action.