NTST 550 Pauline Writings: Romans

Andrews University

Theological Seminary

Instructor:  P. Richard Choi, Ph.D.

(616) 429-4171


Understanding Romans   Romans explains the meaning of God’s salvation in relation to the law and the cross.  Of all the letters of Paul, Romans is by far the clearest and most extensive.  Our task therefore in this class is to study this magisterial Epistle and to come to a deeper understanding of God’s love, the function of the law in Christian life, and the significance of the cross. 

Learning Exegetical Methods   We will attempt to study the entire chs 1-8 in Greek. (Bring your Greek Bibles).  The instruction will try to equip the students with techniques on how work with literary analysis, grammatical and syntactical analysis, and incorporating the historical background information into the reading of the passages.   

Understanding Romans for Adventist Audience  In the process we will examine the scriptural basis of the cardinal Christian doctrines like Justification by Faith, Sanctification, and Reconciliation.  Also of interest will be to ponder the implication of our exegesis for the Adventist belief system.

Developing Sermons   Students will also learn how to go from exegesis to sermons in this course.  




Stott,  John R.  Romans : God's good news for the worldDowners Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity                         Press; [Grand Rapids, Mich.] : Zondervan Pub. House [distributor], 1994.

Reading report

A two- to three-page review on Stott’s book is due at the beginning of the class on June 19.  The review should follow the conventional format of book reviews published in professional journals.  Of importance will be a succinct summary capturing the book’s overall message and methodology.  Also a critique of the book and its details should be an essential part of the report.

In addition the student must turn in a signed statement, stating that he or she has read books.  The statement must accompany the reports when it is turned in.


There will be a multiple-choice examination on June 19 during the first hour of the class.  Other than these, there will be no further examinations.  (will not contain Greek)


The student must write a sermon-prep for this course according to the specification of the class (see below).   The sermon-prep should be  9-10 pages long.  It should be a research paper as well as a sermon. 

1.       In the course of the reading and attending the lectures, the student should decide on a specific problem she wants to study.  This isolation of the problem text is an important part of the paper.  Caution: Do not choose a text that is too big for the paper.  Research the text from the standpoint of the scholarly debate and justify your task in the light of the issues surrounding the text. (30 points)

2.       Study the passage chosen from the standpoint of the historical background.  The question is, What caused Paul to write what he did the way he did?   Do not include an introduction section in the paper:  such as date, occasion, audience, etc.  Only state what is relevant for the understanding of the text.  (10 points)

3.       Analyze the text from the standpoint of several commentaries  (10 points).

4.       Analyze the text from the standpoint of several versions.  (10 points)

5.       Analyze the text from the standpoint of its relationship to the Old Testament (will go over in class).  (10 points)   

6.       State your conclusion on the problem.  (10 points)

7.       Generation of Sermonic Idea: Derive at least two messages from the text and state each of them in a clear, powerful, and compelling single sentence.  (10 points).

8.       Illustrate each of your messages with a powerful and moving story.

Important: Consult the seminary web page for the general guideline for writing a paper. The paper must show evidence of serious exegetical work done on the Greek text.  Simply staple the pages together; avoid plastic covers. 


         The attendance requirement is according to the policy stated in the seminary bulletin.  The allowed amount of absence is one of the following: 1 unexcused, 3 excused, or combination of 1 unexcused and 2 excused.  Any absence beyond these will result in (a) the lowering of the grade, (b) additional work, or (c) being asked to drop the class.  However, the summer schedule calls for a special revision.  A day’s absence is considered as having missed four class periods.  Accordingly, the student who misses an entire day must see the professor for additional make-up work.  The student who misses 2 days must drop the course.  A perfect attendance will raise the grade in borderline cases. 


Breakdown of Percentages for the Grade

Book Review  20% 

Exam  30%

Paper  50%


                95-100             A

                90-94               A-

                85-89               B+

                80-84               B

                75-79               B-

                70-74               C+

                65-69               C

                60-64               C-

                55-59               D

                 0-54                F


Laptop Computer and Lecture Notes

Laptop computers may be used to take notes.  But no hard copies or copies of discs shall be made from the notes and circulated either in the name of the course or the instructor.  The notes are for the sole use by the student taking the course.  If the student desires to share the information in the notes, it may be done so only in the student’s own name, since the notes are entirely the student’s own composition or paraphrase.  The instructor cannot be held responsible for what the student writes in the notes, and the notes do not always accurately represent the instructor’s words or intentions.  If the student wishes to publish whole or part of the lecture in the name of the course or the instructor, he or she must have the instructor’s prior and written approval.  If the student cannot comply with this condition, he or she needs to drop the course.


The student may not use tape or other means of electronic recording to record the lectures.

Changes in the Course Outline

The terms of the course outlined in this syllabus may be changed at any time during the intensive at the discretion of the teacher.

Proposed Schedule


June 12

June 13

June 14

June 15

June 19

June 20

June 21

Business Item




Book Review Due


Exegesis Paper Due



Romans 1-2

Romans 3:1-31

Romans 4

Romans 5

Romans 6-7

Romans 8



Isolating Problems

Literary Analysis

Syntactical Analysis

Intertextual Analysis

Sermon Building

Manifestation of sin

Intention and Result

Inner and Outer

Perimeter of Theology

Day of Atonement Imagery

Faith and Law

Abraham and David

Definition of Faith


Deuteronom-istic Lens and the Cross

Death and Cosmic Sin

Cultic Lens and the Cross

Death and Human Sinfulness

Divided Self

Suffering and Hope

Human particip-ation through Prayer

Romans and Adventism

Bibliography will be posted on the web soon.