Romans: 5 Books Every Pastor Should Read

Romans: 5 Books Every Pastor Should Read June 3, 2020

Paul’s Letter to the Romans

The Story of Romans: A Narrative Defense of God’s Righteousness

I have used this little, but powerful, book as a textbook for many years, helping students see the richness of Paul’s most famous letter. A great conversation starter.

Peter Oakes, Reading Romans in Pompeii: Paul’s Letter at the Ground Level

Oakes is a first-class historian, painting a vivid picture of what life “on the ground” would have been like for early Christians reading Romans. Fascinating, accurate, reliable.

 Matthew Croasmun, The Emergence of Sin: The Cosmic Tyrant in Romans

This is not “light reading,” but hailed one of the finest books on Romans in recent years—and for good reason. An engaging study on sin. Showcases how to do an interdisciplinary study.

Scot McKnight, Reading Romans Backwards: A Gospel of Peace in the Midst of Empire

A refreshing theological reading of Romans that puts it in context. Great for a church Bible study. I wish I could have a book written on every book of the Bible in this style.

Scot McKnight and Joseph Modica, Preaching Romans: Four Perspectives

Great “crash-course” in theological debates on Romans with lots of ministry and preaching pay-off.

Other Helpful Resources

Beverly Gaventa, When in Romans

A short set of profound reflections on Romans that will get you thinking about this letter in fresh ways. Gaventa is a top-shelf Pauline scholar, and she is writing a major commentary on Romans.

Richard Longenecker, Introducing Romans: Critical Issues in Paul’s Most Famous Letter

Not for the faint of heart, but offers a robust engagement with the main issues of debate.

Benjamin C. Blackwell et al, Reading Romans in Context

A very readable collection of studies comparing and contrasting Romans to Jewish literature of the time.

Douglas Harink, Resurrecting Justice: Reading Romans for the Life of the World

OK, technically this book doesn’t come out until September 2020, but I got a chance to read the manuscript and it is pure gold. Harink argues—persuasively—that Romans is all about justice (on numerous levels, vertical and horizontal). Really good, written very well, will challenge your thinking about Paul and Romans for sure.



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