Study Bibles

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Posts 401
Sam West | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jan 22 2016 4:59 AM

I’m an avid bible student of the word. Been studding Gods Word for years and would like to dig deeper. Looking at several study bibles and can’t make up my mind which one. I have logos 6 portfolio and would like to know if the resources in it would do just as good a job? Are study bibles just a commentary? Are they a good theological tool? I would appreciate your opinion. If any of you use a study bible please make a suggestion.


Sam West

Posts 406
James C. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 6:22 AM

I suggest you go in a different direction. Study bibles are sometimes useful if you're carrying a paper bible and traveling but with technology today this isn't even necessary. 

You would do better to invest in commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, maps, ect and set up a study layout. Also consider a study method. 

Posts 57
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 6:41 AM

I agree with James. Even though I have a bunch of study bibles, I rarely use them as I prefer a verse-by-verse commentary.  In my opinion one of the best values on Logos is Tom Constable's Bible Study Notes.  It's verse by verse and at $35 for 7000 pages is an incredible value and resource.  Dr. Constable is a former Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and I find I generally agree with his commentary and theology.  Check it out:

Gingrich's outline are also a great verse-by-verse resource:|Roy+Gingrich&redirecttoauthor=true

Hope that helps. :)


Posts 383
Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 6:43 AM

James C.:

I suggest you go in a different direction. Study bibles are sometimes useful if you're carrying a paper bible and traveling but with technology today this isn't even necessary. 

You would do better to invest in commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, maps, ect and set up a study layout. Also consider a study method. 


Posts 3916
Forum MVP
Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 6:57 AM

Sam West:

I’m an avid bible student of the word. Been studding Gods Word for years and would like to dig deeper. Looking at several study bibles and can’t make up my mind which one. I have logos 6 portfolio and would like to know if the resources in it would do just as good a job? Are study bibles just a commentary? Are they a good theological tool? I would appreciate your opinion. If any of you use a study bible please make a suggestion.


Sam West

If you don't know about it, I would definitely need to tell you about the Faithlife Study Bible.  Several things make it good--comments and articles by well known contributors (some you may not know, others, you might), images/videos/infographics, ever-expanding content (because it is digital), and it links with your Logos content, so as you add commentaries, dictionaries, etc, you can link to those automatically. I like that it has several "layers" of content, from basic text comments to longer articles and links to dictionaries, etc, that you can expand to.  Best of all, it is free.

as for other study Bibles, ESV SB is one a lot of people like.  It leans a little reformed.  I have also liked NIV, Quest, and NLT study bible.  There is a bazillion.  As others have commented, I generally prefer options that include more indepth works like commentaries and atlases and encyclopedias, which is what makes Logos (and their tools, like Passage Guide) so great.  But that said, the Faithlife SB would be a great place to start because of its price and quality and integration with Logos.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 948
Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 7:23 AM

I would agree mostly with the above, but I think for the entry level and non-educated (I mean no disrepsect, just those who haven't gone to seminary or Bible college) that study Bibles can be very helpful.  They are not exhaustive, but they can give you direction that you can then take deeper.  I much prefer the ESV SB, but I haven't really used it in a long time.  

Posts 1565
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 7:33 AM

I agree that the Faithlife Study Bible is under-promoted and is one of the best kept secrets (free tools) for Bible students.

Please note that Dr. Constable's commentary is available for free in other Bible study tools and also on the web. Try to do a Google search for it.


Posts 689
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 8:57 AM

I still think a study bible is a helpful tool, though certainly less important than it once was. I really love the NET Bible notes for a quick overview of textual critical issues, and the NIV Zondervan Study Bible or Faithlife Study Bible for their reliable but concise notes.

Neither of them will replace more in depth works, but they're handy to have as a quick reference, I think. I just think it's nice to have less material to wade through in some situations, when all you're after is a simple response. If I'm using my phone to quickly look up a verse, I'm often more likely to read the ZNIVSB notes than a lengthier commentary - it works better with the phones form factor, I think. Obviously your mileage may vary.

Posts 147
Stephen Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 9:10 AM

Tom Constable's Bible Study Notes sounds real interesting, are there more recent versions of it?


Posts 406
James C. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 9:36 AM

Here is my suggestion. If you're looking for something quick, buy a one or two volume commentary on the whole Bible.

Skip the Study Bibles (only exceptions might be the NET Bible Notes; very good and maybe the Faithlife SB) and get a one volume commentary to help with short quick discussions.

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 9:58 AM

I agree with James in his choice of EBCa, I would also like to recommend two others including one actual study Bible.

Fortress Commentary on the Bible (2 vols.) Very good commentary also covering the Apocrypha.

Lexham Intro Collection Free and includes Faithlife study Bible. This is a very robust study Bible although it has many links inside it to commentaries will give you lots to chew over.


Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 10:14 AM

I am going to give you samples from all 3 of the resources I mentioned so you can see how the can complement each other.


Romans 1:1–17: Paul Introduces Himself and the Gospel

The Text in Its Ancient Context

In densely packed phrases, Paul conveys how he understands his role. The “gospel of God,” for which he is set apart, is continuous with the promises made by the prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Paul’s own call is that of a “servant,” or literally a “slave,” of Jesus Christ. He quotes a traditional confession of faith that may have been valued by the church at Rome (1:3–4) that Jesus was “declared” or installed as Son of God at his resurrection. In tension with other statements in Paul’s letters that assert that Jesus was equal to God from the time of creation (Phil. 2:6–11), this formula gives another perspective on Jesus’ sonship—that it was revealed in his resurrection. The resonant term, “servant,” connotes both humility and honor and evokes the suffering servant figure of Second Isaiah. Paul’s purpose, given to him through Jesus Christ, is “to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles” (1:5). Although in the modern period faith has come to mean assent to a particular truth claim, here pistis describes an attitude and way of being that encompasses loyalty and trust. “Faithfulness” is a closer translation. Romans asserts God’s faithfulness (3:3), cites the faithfulness of Jesus, and urges faithfulness as the path for gentile followers of Jesus. Those to whom he writes are also “called” to be God’s holy people (Rom. 1:6–7).

After the greeting of “grace” and “peace,” Paul thanks those in Rome, praises their faith, asserts his unceasing prayers, and expresses his wish to visit them. Just as he has reaped a harvest among the rest of the gentiles, so he wishes to proclaim the gospel to those in Rome. When he states that their faith is known throughout the world, Paul reflects the importance and centrality of Rome in the ancient empire. He explains his unfulfilled desire to visit in order to build a relationship as well as to recognize their independence from him. As he began his self-introduction with a summary of the gospel (Rom. 1:2–4), so he concludes his greeting to the church with another definition of the gospel (Rom. 1:16–17). This summary makes sense within the apocalyptic perspective of the letter: that in Jesus, God’s plan for the fulfillment of history is nearing its finale. God’s judgment is at hand. “Salvation” denotes the rescue of the world from negative judgment and death. God’s rescue will encompass the Jew first and also the Greek.

For Paul and his contemporaries, the categories of Jew and gentile organized the world. Throughout Romans, Paul will argue for both the priority of the Jew and for the inclusion of the gentile. The word “gospel” (euangelion) is used in the prophets to speak of the coming of God (Isa. 40:9; 41:27; 52:7; 60:6; 61:1) and in political imperial rhetoric to refer to the victory of a ruler. The gospel reveals the “righteousness” of God, or God’s “justice.” The root of the Greek word translated “righteousness” is the word meaning “just,” or “justice.” Through Jesus Christ God is “making right” the relationship between humans and God. Faith, or faithfulness, is the criterion for salvation. Human faith reflects God’s faithfulness. Using the conventional formula for citing Scripture, Paul quotes the prophet Habakkuk. In its original context in Hab. 2:4, faith expressed Jewish solidarity in the face of adversity (Nanos 2011). A better translation, noted in the NRSV margin, is “the one who is righteous by faith will live.” Righteousness through faith makes life possible. The “righteous one” may also be an allusion to Christ, understood to be the ultimate example of faithfulness to God.

The Text in the Interpretive Tradition

Beginning with Augustine and interpreted by Martin Luther, “faith” in 1:16–17 came to be understood as individual “belief.” “Faith” was internal assent to a proposition about Jesus as Son of God. As such, faith was what defined a Christian and what was required for the individual to be “saved.” This understanding of “faith” continues to dominate in Christian communities who characterize themselves as “evangelical” and who require an experience of “conversion.” The sequence of “the Jew first and also the Greek” has been the basis for influential schemes of “salvation history.” Dependent on the narrative in Luke-Acts, this construction of the story of the early church imagines that the gospel was offered to Jews first, who rejected it, then given to gentiles instead. The implication of this scenario—that the Jews have surrendered their role as the people of God in favor of the church—does not recognize Judaism as an ongoing religion of faithful people in relationship with God. Recent interpreters of Romans have disputed this conclusion and the exegesis on which it is based. Mark Nanos argues that Paul addressed Romans solely to gentiles and that for Paul, the covenant with God through Torah remained intact for Jews (Nanos 1996).

The Text in Contemporary Discussion

Contemporary interpreters of Romans have recontextualized Paul’s language in the first-century discussion about Jewish and Christian identity and self-definition, rather than in terms of modern categories of faith and individual salvation. Within this first-century discussion, the obligation of Torah observance was the concrete expression of God’s covenant with Israel and the definition of Israel’s identity. As a nuanced understanding of the complexity of Judaism in the first century has grown, it has become more and more difficult to make easy analogies between categories in Romans and parties or positions in the time of the contemporary interpreter. Readers of Romans have been confronted with the distance between the ancient and contemporary contexts (Gager), and in some ways, this cultural gap has made interpretation more difficult. However, the recovery of the centrality and priority in the letter of the salvation of peoples, Jews and gentiles, rather than of individuals, has drawn renewed attention to the corporate nature of faith and the impact of the good news on society and nations. Rereading faith as “faithfulness” broadens the practical nature of faith into an orientation of one’s whole being rather than a single act of assent. When “justice” is understood as the root of “justification,” then the impact of the good news goes beyond the status of individuals and affects the network of relationships in society.


Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, “Romans” in The New Testament, ed. Margaret Aymer, Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, and David A. Sánchez, Fortress Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014), 398–399.


I. Introduction (1:1-15)

A. Salutation (1:1-7)

1 As in all his letters, Paul uses his Roman name (cf. Ac 13:6-12). His relation to Christ is primary, so to express his attachment to his Lord he uses the term “servant” (GK G1528). In Israel the citizenry regarded themselves as servants of their king. This same word is used of Christ in relation to the Father (Php 2:7). By beginning in this fashion, Paul is putting himself on the same plane as his readers; he does not seek to dominate them.

The word “apostle” (GK G693) sets forth his authority as Christ’s appointee—his right not only to preach the Gospel (believers in general can do that) but to found and supervise churches and to discipline them if necessary. But this authority carries with it responsibility, for he must give account of the conduct of his mission (1Co 4:1-4).

Paul has been “set apart” ever since his conversion (Ac 9:15; Gal 1:12) for the Gospel of God. As a Pharisee he had been set apart to a life of strict observance of Jewish law and custom. Now his life’s work is to further the Gospel, the Good News that God has for all humanity.

2 Before the historic events providing the basis for the gospel message unfolded, God “promised” the Good News in the prophetic Scriptures. Promise means more than prophecy, because it commits the Almighty to make good his word, whereas a prophecy can be merely an advance announcement of something that will happen. The concept of promise permeates this letter (4:13-25; 9:4; 15:8). The reference to “the Holy Scriptures” prepares the reader for rather copious use of the OT, beginning with 1:17.

3-4 The Gospel centers in God’s Son, who had this status before he took on a “human nature” and who, in becoming human, became not only an Israelite (9:5) but a son of David (Mt 1:1; Lk 1:32; Ac 13:22-23; 2Ti 2:8), a qualification he needed as Messiah (Isa 11:1). By beginning with the sonship, Paul guards against a heretical adoptionist Christology. The period of Christ’s earthly life and ministry was followed by another phase—that which resulted from his resurrection. “With power” most likely belongs not with “declared” but with “Son of God,” indicating the new quality of life Jesus had after his resurrection (Php 3:10; Col 1:29).

“Spirit of holiness” is an expression that means “Holy Spirit.” There may be a suggestion here that Jesus, anointed and sustained by the Holy Spirit in the days of his flesh, was acknowledged by the fact of resurrection to have successfully endured the tests and trials of his earthly life. By resurrection he has become a life-giving spirit (1Co 15:45).

Appropriately, Jesus Christ is now described as “our Lord” (GK G3261). Though this title was fitting during his earthly ministry, it attained more frequent use and greater meaning following the resurrection (Ac 2:36; 10:36; Ro 10:9). It is notable that in this initial statement about the Gospel nothing is said concerning the redeeming work of Christ, which is reserved for later consideration (3:21-26; 4:25; 5:6-21). It was the infinite worth of the Son that made his saving work possible.

5-7 Now the apostle returns to his responsibility to proclaim the Good News (cf. v. 1). Two problems present themselves here, and they are somewhat related. Who is indicated by “we,” and how should one understand the phrase “all the Gentiles”? Clearly, in using “we,” Paul cannot be including his readers, because they did not possess apostleship. Could he be referring to other apostles, of whom the Roman believers must have heard? This is a possibility. The problem is complicated by the mention of the intended sphere of labor—“among all the Gentiles.” This wording tends to limit the “we” to Paul as a literary plural, since the Gentiles constituted his special field of labor (cf. 15:16, 18, where the word “obey” corresponds to the word “obedience” in this passage). On the other hand, “all the Gentiles” can equally be rendered, “all the nations” or “all peoples” (cf. Mt 28:19). This would favor the wider reference of “we” to all the apostles, since Israel would be included as one of the peoples. It is difficult to decide this question.

The desired response to the gospel message is “obedience that comes from faith” (see 15:18; 16:26 on obedience and 1:16-17; 10:17 on faith). Paul’s readers were not called, as he was, to apostleship; they were called “to belong to Jesus Christ” and to be “saints” (GK G41), the common term designating believers. This term has almost the same force as the expression Paul uses for himself—“set apart” (v. 1). It carries the aroma of holiness to which every child of God is called (6:19, 22).

Finally the apostle is ready to extend a greeting to his readers—“grace and peace.” Ordinary letters of that period usually contained a single word meaning “greeting” (cf. Jas 1:1). Paul, however, is partial to terms with theological import. He desires his readers to have a continuing and deepening experience of spiritual blessing that only God can bestow. Father and Son are the joint benefactors. People may long for grace and peace, but only God can grant such gifts. The rich meaning of these terms will emerge as Paul uses them in the body of his work.

B. Paul and the Church at Rome (1:8-15)

8-10 The salutation has been unusually long; but instead of moving on immediately to his main theme, the apostle still lingers over introductory matters. Doubtless he felt the need to get acquainted, so to speak, by unburdening his own heart about what his readers meant to him. It is a shining example of his pastoral concern mingled with his gracious sensitivity.

First of all, Paul customarily expresses his thanks to God for his readers. His thanksgiving for the Roman believers is based on their faith (cf. Eph 1:15-16; Col 1:3-4; 1Th 1:3).

Not without reason Paul had become known in Christendom as the apostle of faith. To him, faith was the basic Christian virtue, and he was eager to commend it wherever he saw it. Here his commendation is exceedingly generous, even hyperbolic. The whole world has heard of their faith (cf. 1Th 1:8). Paul’s thanksgiving is followed by a statement concerning his prayer—both intercession for them and a special plea that his hope of coming to them would be realized, providing it is God’s will.

But why should Paul find it necessary to summon God as his witness that he had been faithful in praying for the Roman believers? He only does this when the thing he is claiming is difficult to believe. Here there are two reasons. Since he claims to have been praying repeatedly, it seems almost too much to expect of a man who did not know most of these people. Furthermore, as he would tell his readers later (15:25), he was about to leave for Jerusalem, and this could give the appearance that he was not putting the Roman believers first in his plans.

11-13 The apostle confesses to a great desire to see his readers, not simply in order to know them personally, but especially to minister to them. By “spiritual gift” (GK G5992) we should probably not understand some “charismatic” gift as in 1Co 12, since Paul does not specify any particular gift and avoids the plural. Moreover, his own prominence in this contemplated gift hardly makes room for the specialized gifts of the Spirit (cf. 1Co 1:7). But no sooner has this sentiment been expressed than it is halfway recalled, being revised because it seems to suggest that a blessing will flow only one way, from Paul to the church. So he alters his language to make room for mutual encouragement and upbuilding. Seeing faith at work in one individual after another adds zest to Christian fellowship. Paul himself needed this.

As he had prayed constantly for the Romans, so he had planned many times to visit them, but the plan often had to be set aside. Presumably his work in the East had involved him so completely that he did not see his way clear to break away for the projected trip to Rome.

His hope to have “a harvest” among his readers should not be interpreted narrowly as though he is hinting that some in their ranks are not genuinely saved. His use of the word “Gentiles” instead of “churches” may be a pointer for us, hinting that “among you” is a reference to the community rather than to the church specifically, and that the fruit he envisions is the reaching of the unsaved. This would not, of course, exclude fruit-bearing in the sense of developing the saints in character (Gal 5:22-23).

14-15 Paul looks forward to his visit, but he also considers it an obligation. Why? He has already laid the groundwork for such a statement by acknowledging that he is Christ’s servant (v. 1), who has been given a charge with taking the Gospel to all peoples (v. 5). The phrase “Greeks and non-Greeks [Gk. barbaroi; GK G975]“ refers to all non-Jewish members of the human race (cf. “Gentiles” in v. 13), dividing them into two categories. It is probable that barbaroi refers mostly to the people in the territory west of Rome, where he hoped to go, though he would undoubtedly find representatives of both groups also in Rome.

The “wise” are not to be equated with the Greeks, for this would mean that non-Greeks are being dubbed “foolish,” which would be unwarranted. Rather, Paul seems to have in mind what he wrote in 1Co 1:18-31 (see comments). The wise are perishing in the midst of their worldly wisdom, and the foolish in their abject simplicity. Both need the Gospel.

How heartwarming is the apostle’s attitude toward his obligation! Instead of considering it a burden he must bear, a duty he must carry out, he is “eager” to fulfill it. While success in preaching demands the finest intellectual and formal preparation, it also requires great zeal.

II. Theme: The Gospel As the Revelation of the Righteousness of God (1:16-17)

16 Having confessed his fervent desire to preach the Gospel at Rome, Paul goes on to give a reason for his zeal. He has no sense of reserve about his mission. He is ready to challenge the philosophies and religions in Rome that vie for the attention of people, because he knows from his experience in the East that God’s power at work in the proclamation of the Good News is able to transform lives. “Power” (GK G1539) stresses not how the Gospel operates but what its intrinsic efficacy is. It offers something not found anywhere else—a righteousness from God (see below).

Power is linked closely with salvation. Judaism was prone to think of the law as power, but this is not affirmed in Scripture. As for salvation, the OT is clear that whether it is conceived of physically as deliverance (Ex 14:13) or spiritually (Ps 51:12), it comes from the Lord. This is maintained in the NT as well in Paul’s affirmation in this verse. So the apostle permits himself to say that if he himself saves anyone (1Co 9:22), it is only in the sense that he is Christ’s representative who is able to point out the way of salvation to his fellow human beings.

“Salvation” (GK G5401) is a broad concept. Its basic meaning is soundness or wholeness. It promises the restoration of all that sin has marred or destroyed, and it unites in itself the particular aspects of truth suggested by justification, reconciliation, sanctification, and redemption. But its efficacy depends on one’s willingness to receive the message. “Everyone who believes” will benefit equally. This sweeping declaration ties in with the previous statement (concerning Greeks and non-Greeks) and now includes both the Jew and the Gentile. The Jew receives “first” consideration. This does not mean that every Jew must be evangelized before the Gospel can be presented to Gentiles. But it does mean that God, after having dealt in a special way with the Jew in OT days and having followed this by sending his Son to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt 15:24), could not pass by this people. To them was given the first opportunity to receive the Lord Jesus, both during his ministry (Jn 1:11) and in the Christian era (Ac 1:8; 3:26). Paul himself followed this pattern (Ac 13:45-46; 28:25, 28). It is a case of historical priority, not essential priority, for the Jews who are first to hear the Gospel are also the first to be judged for their sins (2:9).

17 The apostle now explains his statement (cf. “for”) that the Gospel means salvation for those who receive it by faith: it discloses “a righteousness [GK G1466] from God.” Paul is dependent here on the OT (Isa 46:12-13; 61:10), which emphasizes that God is righteous in the way he acts—an idea foreign to Greek thought. Clearly, the character of God is involved in the sense that what he does and provides is fully in keeping with his righteous nature (cf. 3:26). But just as clearly, this expression also includes the activity of God. The Gospel would not be the good news if it simply disclosed God’s righteousness, and such a message would scarcely demand faith. But if salvation as God provides it is fully in keeping with his righteous character, then it has integrity.

We should compare Paul’s statement here with Php 3:9, where he contrasts his pre-Christian state, in which he had a righteousness based on obeying the law, with his present situation, in which he rests on a righteousness which is from God, based on faith. In summary, God’s righteousness in this context stresses divine provision. What this entails will be unfolded in due course.

Somewhat baffling is the twofold reference to faith—lit. “from faith to faith” (cf. NIV “by faith from first to last”). These two prepositional phrases relate directly to God’s righteousness, indicating how that righteousness is to be received (cf. Paul’s restatement of this idea in 3:21-22). Having said that, we must inquire into the distinctives of the two phrases involving “faith” (GK G4411). Among the numerous suggestions are these: from the faith of the preacher to the faith of the hearer; from OT faith to NT faith (cf. the following quotation); entirely from faith; and from God’s faithfulness to human faith. It is best to see the first phrase (“from faith”) as indicating the basis on which God grants justification (3:26; 5:1; Gal 2:16) or righteousness (9:30; 10:6). The really troublesome element here is the second phrase (“to faith”). It is intended to remind believers that justifying faith is only the beginning of the Christian life; that same attitude must govern them in their continuing experience as children of God (this is how NIV understands the phrase).

What about “The righteous will live by faith”? Should it be translated this way or “The one who is just by virtue of faith shall live”? Since the apostle quotes the same passage in Gal 3:11 to show that one is not justified by law but rather by faith, it is probable that he intends the reference in the same way here. Also, since the quotation is used at the very beginning of Romans, Paul’s main concern here is not how justified sinners should live (chs. 6-8), but how they can be considered just or righteous in the sight of God. Ethical righteousness depends on a right relationship to God, so the latter merits priority of treatment.

Why did not Paul then change the order to read, “The one who is righteous by faith will live?” Apparently he did not want to disturb the form of a familiar quotation, even though he changed its emphasis from the OT. The liberty involved in using an OT quotation somewhat differently from its original setting is necessitated by the progress of revelation. It was a practice used in Judaism before Paul’s time, as we know from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and it was also used by other apostles (see comment on Ac 2:16-21; also EBC 1:617–26).

Kenneth L. Barker and John R. Kohlenberger, eds. Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), n.p.


1:1–7 Paul begins all of his letters with a greeting in which he identifies himself and the letter’s recipient. This greeting in Romans is the longest of any of his letters, as Paul emphasizes his apostolic authority and God’s work of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The Pauline Letters {CHART}

How to Study the Bible {ARTICLE LINK}

1:1 Paul Paul wrote Romans toward the end of his third missionary journey, probably from Corinth (Acts 19:21; 20:3). Though he does not explicitly mention his purpose for writing this letter, he describes his circumstances: he plans to deliver financial relief to the believers in Jerusalem to promote unity among the Jewish and Gentile churches (15:25–27). Unity between Jews and Gentiles is a major theme of Romans.

Gentile A biblical term for non-Jewish people, derived from the Latin word for “people” or “nation” and used to translate the Hebrew goyim and Greek ethnē, both meaning “nations.”

Life of Paul {GRAPHIC}

Composition of New Testament Books {CHART}



Formerly known as Saul of Tarsus (Acts 7:58; 9:11), Paul was born a Roman citizen (Acts 22:28) and grew up in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia, one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire (located in the southeastern region of modern-day Turkey). In Tarsus, Paul was exposed to Graeco-Roman customs, religions, and philosophies. His expertise in Jewish law and thorough understanding of Greek culture made him ideally suited to proclaim the gospel among the Gentiles.

Paul: A Life of Redemption and Transformation

slave of Christ Jesus Paul uses “slave” metaphorically to indicate that his life and ministry exhibit humility and submissiveness—characteristics associated with slavery during the first century.

The phrase doulos Christou Iesou, translated as “servant of Christ Jesus,” may allude to the ot phrase, “servant of Yahweh” (Deut 34:5). In the ot, the designation “servant” describes the nation Israel (Isa 43:10), the prophets (2 Kgs 17:23), and the Suffering Servant (Isa 52:13–53:12). Paul, however, replaces the name Yahweh with Christ Jesus, identifying Jesus with the Yahweh of the ot. In his letters, Paul prefers “Christ Jesus” over “Jesus Christ” (he uses “Christ Jesus” 80 times and “Jesus Christ” 25 times). This may be because of his emphasis on Jesus’ role as Messiah.

Yahweh The proper name of God in the ot, also called the “Tetragrammaton” because it consists of four Hebrew letters. Most English Bibles represent the divine name with “Lord” or “God” in small capital letters.

Yahweh The proper name of God in the ot, also called the “Tetragrammaton” because it consists of four Hebrew letters. Most English Bibles represent the divine name with “Lord” or “God” in small capital letters.

Yahweh The proper name of God in the ot, also called the “Tetragrammaton” because it consists of four Hebrew letters. Most English Bibles represent the divine name with “Lord” or “God” in small capital letters.

Messiah God’s chosen one—for a time, like Moses or David, or forever, like Jesus—who will restore His people to right relationship with Him; meaning “anointed one.”

Slavery in the First Century {ARTICLE}

Pauline Self-Designations Table {TABLE}

apostle A person designated and sent to speak and act with special authority. Paul did not always refer to himself as an apostle (vv. 1; Phil 1:1; Titus 1:1), but he does so here to defend his credentials against the attacks of false teachers. Paul was appointed by God, not people; his teaching carries God’s authority.

In the Gospels, the apostles exercise their office by proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, casting out demons, and performing healings—actions that express and extend Christ’s ministry (Matt 10:1–4; Mark 1:15; Luke 6:13–16; 9:1–6). In the book of Acts, Jesus commissions the apostles to be His witnesses to the end of the earth (Acts 1:7–8). The apostles express this witness through their ministry of teaching, miraculous acts (Acts 2:42–43), and planting of Christian communities (1 Cor 3:6). The Church is built on the work of the apostles and prophets (Eph 2:20).

set apart The word aphorizō describes setting something or someone aside for a particular function or task. God set Paul aside to proclaim the gospel message about Jesus Christ. Like the prophet Jeremiah, Paul considered himself set apart before he was born (Gal 1:15; Jer 1:5).

God describes Paul as being set apart twice in Acts. After Paul’s conversion, God describes him as “my chosen instrument” (Acts 9:15). Before Paul’s first missionary journey, the Holy Spirit instructs the church at Antioch to “set apart” (aphorizō) Paul and Barnabas for the work (Acts 13:2).

In this context, the Greek word for “gospel,” euangelion, refers to a message—the good news about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It may also refer to the events which brought about salvation. Taken together, the gospel is the revelation of God’s righteous deeds that put people in right relationship with Himself. Being “of God,” the gospel and its promises depend upon God, not human effort—an important theme in this letter (see 4:13–16).

Euangelion Word Study {WORD STUDY LINK}

the gospel of God Refers to the good news of Jesus coming to save humanity.


 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012), Ro 1:1.


PS: You will note I only included what was in vs. 1 of the FSB because you can purchase it for free and get a solid look at it. There is a lot there.

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 11:14 AM

I have added some study Bibles to my resources last fall although I have good commentaries. The reason is that in a Bible study group they want to have points to discuss and some background, not a lecture by me. But I have to be prepared for more, occasionally they may ask the meaning of the word in the original language Angel

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

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mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 11:15 AM

I've always loved study Bibles, but my take on them is a bit different. They are preferable for your tablet or phone and to get quick insight as you begin to get deeper into a text. The ESV SB and the new Zondervan SB are very good. The NET Bible notes are also useful. Think about them as getting to first base.

One of the reasons for having them is that a lot of believers have and use them as their primary reference. It's much easier to point them to what they have then to a commentary they don't. This is particularly so for Bible study groups.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

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Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 11:44 AM

Thanks Evert that make me feel better. I guess I am trying to do it the easy way. But I am too old to learn Greek and Hebrew like some have suggested. Besides I have had Logos ever since it existed and did everything on it in the way of studding Gods Word and it’s been a blessing to me. But I also like books that I can hole in my hands.

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Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 11:55 AM

Thanks Don theses are wonderful commentaries. Read every word and  give them a 5*. Are they in logos?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 12:06 PM

Everett Headley:
that study Bibles can be very helpful.

One reason I like study Bibles - they give enough information to be able to understand the text and they keep you reading the Bible text rather than reading about it.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 12:23 PM

MJ. Smith:

Everett Headley:
that study Bibles can be very helpful.

One reason I like study Bibles - they give enough information to be able to understand the text and they keep you reading the Bible text rather than reading about it.

   MJ you hit the nail on the head a usual.

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Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 7:02 PM

I have an extensive library with hundreds of commentaries, but I use three Study Bibles every week - The MacArthur Study Bible, the ESV Study Bible, and the Zondervan NIV Study Bible.  They are extremely valuable to me as a quick reference and to follow along in as I do my Bible reading/daily devotions. Their book introductions and outlines are excellent as well as tables, infographics, etc.

I even use the study Bibles in sermon preparation each week. They are invaluable for a big picture view of the text with many cross references, etc. Then I drill down deeper into the critical verse by verse commentaries. 

The FaithLife Study Bible is also a good (but not great in my opinion) resource. It is free and is incredibly good for that price! Given that I own other top study Bibles, I just do not often look to it.  Also, Thomas Constable's commentaries were mentioned. They are excellent, but are far more extensive than any study Bible.

Someone suggested a one or two volume Bible commentary. In my opinion these three studies are far more valuable than any one or two volume commentary I own - including Bible Knowledge Commentary.

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 22 2016 7:42 PM

Sam West:

Thanks Don theses are wonderful commentaries. Read every word and  give them a 5*. Are they in logos?

I am guessing you meant me... here are the links:

Fortress Commentary on the Bible (2 vols.)

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Abridged (2 vols.)

Lexham Intro Collection (5 vols.)


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