RESEARCH PROJECT: TOPIC ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Research Project: Topic Assignment instructions

 

Overview

Paul’s letter to the Romans is perhaps the most logical and systematic of his letters in terms of presentation of a biblical theology, so it requires detailed study. Careful study of Scripture in its context leads to much better results than simply looking for material taken out of context to support a preconceived doctrine. So, the good student of Romans will first analyze Scripture, but always with a view to learning the theological point. An effective way to learn Romans, then, is to select a topic from a list of passages or sections of Romans on which you conduct scholar level research and analysis of the biblical text and then explain the results of the biblical analysis of the passage or section and the theological theme that can be drawn from the passage or section of the letter.

 

Instructions

When the topic has been selected, simply write the name of the topic (Romans 1:18 – 4:25; Rom 5:12 – 8:37, etc.) in the textbox. Do not write the complete paper. Students who opt for an exegetical paper on one of the passages must state specifically whichof the available passages the paper will address.

 

Topics

The student may choose from one of the themes below or may choose a passage to exposit from the list farther down.

  • Explanation of the Flow of Thought in Romans 1:18 – 4:25. This topic should address the following:
  1. Introduction: one to two paragraphs, no more than the first page. The thesis statement must appear as the last sentence in the paragraph and should identify the point to be argued.
  2. The importance of the section for the overall point of Romans. Is this the key element, secondary, or not important?
  3. What is the main theme of that section of Romans? One or two paragraphs should be sufficient here but be sure to include a definition of what the theme means (e.g. sin, justification, sanctification, etc.).
  4. Identify the organization of the thought in Romans 1:18 – 4:25. This section should identify the main points of the section with an explanation of how Paul developed each point. The student should expect to find 3 main points with each point developed in 1:18 – 3:20; 3:21-26 and 3:27 – 4:25. This section should occupy the bulk of the paper, up to seven pages, and it should support the thesis regarding what the main theme is.
  5. The conclusion should summarize the argument in the paper. No new argument may be developed in the conclusion. One or two paragraphs should be sufficient.

 

  • Explanation of the Flow of Thought in Romans 5:12 – 8:37. This topic should address the following:
  1. Introduction: one to two paragraphs, but no more than the first page. The thesis statement must appear as the last sentence in the paragraph and should identify the point to be argued.
  2. The importance of the section for the overall point of Romans. Is this the key element, secondary, or not important?
  3. What is the main theme of that section of Romans? One or two paragraphs should be sufficient here but be sure to include a definition of what the theme means (e.g. sin, justification, sanctification, etc.).
  4. Identify the organization of the thought in Romans 5 – This section should identify the main points of the section with an explanation of how Paul developed each point. The student should expect to find three main points with each point developed in 5:12-23; 6:1-14; 6:15-23; chapter 7; 8:1-17 and 8:18-37 This section should occupy the bulk of the paper, up to seven pages and it should support the thesis regarding what the main theme is.
  5. The conclusion should summarize the argument in the paper. No new argument may be developed in the conclusion. One or two paragraphs should be sufficient.

 

  • Explanation of The Righteousness of God in Romans. A paper on this topic should undertake the following:
  1. Introduction: one to two paragraphs, but no more than the first page. The thesis statement must appear as the last sentence in the paragraph and should identify the point to be argued.
  2. Briefly identify the main ways the righteousness of God is understood.
  3. Offer an explanation of each passage where the phrase “righteousness of God” appears in Romans with a primary emphasis on the meaning of the phrase in that passage.
  4. Offer a summary in which the paper either argues for an overall meaning of the phrase in Romans or argues there is is no single meaning in Romans. The latter should be argued with care.
  5. The conclusion should summarize the argument in the paper. No new argument may be developed in the conclusion. One or two paragraphs should be sufficient.
  6. As a note of guidance, the righteousness of God as a topic occurs in other writings of Paul in the NT. The paper should consider how the phrase is used in those locations, especially as support for the argument, but the paper is about the usage in Romans. The other uses should not be addressed extensively.

 

Alternatively, Choose a Passage to Exposit

Rather than develop a section generally as above, the student may choose one of the passages listed below for a more detailed exegetical analysis. One (only one) of the following may be chosen for exegetical explanation:

  • Rom 1:18-28
  • Rom 2:1-10 (Do not fail to consider this within the overall point in Romans. Context is essential in this passage.)
  • Rom 5:12-21 (As above, locate this within Romans.)
  • Rom 8:1-11 (In addition to other issues, research should include resolution of the issue regarding the righteous requirements of the law.)
  • Rom 14:1-12 or 14:13-23 (Be careful to note the issues in scholarship regarding the weak and the strong.)

The exegesis of the selected passage should address the following regarding the one chosen passage:

 

  1. How the passage fits into the near context and how it fits into the overall flow of Romans. In one page or so, identify the point of Romans and explain how the passage fits into the flow of thought in Romans as the overall point in the letter is developed.
  2. Explain the matters of controversy or difficulty within the passage and suggest a resolution. This section should include explanation of key words, how the thought progresses in the passage and any points of controversy or tension in the text should be resolved. If there are issues that exist regarding other passages, that should be briefly addressed.
  3. Support from the passage the student’s position about the point of the passage within the theology of Romans. This section should not address how the passage fits within the student’s personal doctrinal position. This should address how the point of the passage fits into Paul’s overall point.
  4. An application of the passage to the original readers and to the present day situation within the student’s realm of experience. The application should be specific to a particular situation. The student should avoid statements of general principle and summaries of the passage.

 

Each of the numbered points above for the chosen topic should appear as subheadings in the paper. Be sure to thoroughly analyze what the apostle Paul teaches in his letter to the Romans about the subheadings and questions listed above. Do not overlook the requirement that this topic be explained from Romans and not from the student’s personal doctrine or experience.

 

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool.

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