To all God’s people in Rome, who are loved by God and called and sanctified,
Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and Jesus his appointed king.
Let me introduce myself. I am Paul – enslaved by Jesus the divinely-appointed king, and called to be an emissary of God’s good news. You’ve heard about that good news, promised beforehand by prophets in sacred writings. It is about God’s son – who (from a human perspective) is of the line of King David, and (from a spiritual perspective) was appointed to be God’s son through the resurrection, a display of divine power.
Through him we’ve received grace, and the role of divine emissaries to call the nations to obedient faithfulness for his name’s sake.
This is the start of my retelling of Romans, just the first 7 verses of the first chapter. I am already wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. While I think it will be necessary to offer some paraphrasing and substitutions to convey the impact of what Paul wrote, each attempt to do so has the potential to result in certain things making less sense even as others may make more. And so I suspect that I may try to offer just a clarifying paraphrase of Paul’s letter, trying to spell out things that are too compressed or assumed, but sticking to the original meaning; and then in separate comments make the substitutions that I think will convey the impact more effectively.