Explanation of the Flow of Thought in Romans 5:12 – 8:37 Is the topic.
This topic should address the
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 – 8. 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. Conclusion. The conclusion should summarize the argument in the paper. No new
argument may be developed in the conclusion. One or two paragraphs should be
The bibliography must consist of at least ten sources, written in current Turabian style, other than the annotation mentioned below. For students unfamiliar with Turabian, the School of Divinity has provided a very helpful guide, including an example paper. Please see the link in the Syllabus and Course Schedule in the Course Overview.
Consult and interact with at least ten published scholarly sources. Only published sources may be used. Unpublished Internet sources are not research level sources. Published material, that is located on library sites, Google Books, etc. are useful. The Holy Bible, dictionaries/lexicons, and concordances must be utilized, but they are not counted in the minimum number of sources. These are simply understood components of research. These types of sources need to be included in the bibliography, but do not count toward the required ten.
A few clarifications should be made regarding acceptable sources for this research paper. First, the sources you consult for your paper must be published sources. That is, they are published by reputable academic publishers as opposed to private essays, blogs, student papers, etc. Second, it is essential that you consult research-oriented sources. These are works that directly relate to your thesis and the biblical text you are analyzing.
The bibliography must include a one sentence statement (only one sentence) for each source regarding how the source will address the paper topic. Here is an example of what that would look like (this is not a suggested source for the paper):
Watson, Frances. Paul, Judaism and the Gentiles: Beyond the New Perspective. Revised Edition.
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.
This source will help identify how New Perspective positions must evolve regarding Paul’s view of justification.
Suggestions for Research Sources
The Romans paper is a biblical analysis paper, which is much different from a paper regarding general doctrine. For that reason, systematic theology and other kinds of general theology/doctrinal sources must be avoided for best results. The following kinds of sources will prove to be most valuable:
1. Commentaries on Romans that you can use to help you explain the questions in the passages that deal with your topic. See a good commentary for an outline of Romans to show you which sections of the letter deals with each of the issues. Your textbook can help with that. (As a hint, pay attention to the footnotes and sources in the commentaries, as they help you see other sources you might wish to use.). Avoid, however, Matthew Henry. That commentary is devotional and far too old to address the issues ni moden discussion of Romans.
2. Books that focus on your topic, but only if they focus on what Paul wrote about your topic in Romans. As above, avoid systematic theology sources.
3. A good Bible dictionary (but only one). See below for where you can locate those. Don’t use standard English dictionaries or encyclopedias for these biblical issues.
4. Journal articles that address passages in Romans that will address what Paul wrote about your topic.