Description and Notes for Romans Themes and Transitions Analysis

File: RomanTransitionsSSNotes.htm

Attachment to: RomanTransitionsSS.htm and RomansTransitionsSS.pdf


This document helps explain the Themes and Transitions Analysis document (in html and pdf versions). The analysis has different labelled color blocks that show topical changes in Paul's discussion. There are explanations at most transitions which are provided to clarify the logical topic changes being made by Paul from topic to topic.

The Themes and Transitions Analysis is offered as analytical evidence to support a proposal for the purpose for Paul's epistle to the Romans. Therefore, there may or may not be a benefit to the general student of Romans. Maybe there will be no benefit to the proposed purpose of Romans since this manner of color blocking hasn't been reviewed by others.

Divisions into topical themes, as done in this analysis, comes with the potential of adding too much interpretation of the letter. Though, some consensus may develop at least to certain portions of the analysis. Later drafts may also have improved divisions of the passages in Romans.

An unusual approach was taken in making these divisions since no significant attempt was made to correlate these divisions to the issues that Paul was addressing (as being proposed in the broader analysis). Yet, some aspects of this analysis developed from the an awareness of a proposed purpose of Paul's writing. (The first link at introduces a proposed purpose of Romans). From this view of Romans, students of Romans may experience Romans in a different light with new insights.

With these topical divisions being presented with some trancedence beyond the typical topics and outlines presented for Romans, an argument is being made to show that Paul had a logical flow of general topics. Out of this general flow, certain topics gained focus as required to correct the thoughts and behavior of the audience to Paul's letter.

The quick overview of the analysis indicates a building up of ideas beginning with the generation of interest to get the original Romans to read the letter. Then Paul relies on the encouraged reader to get interested in judgments while the judgment turns upon the reader. Judgments are developed further and are used to introduce the Law of Moses (essentially Moses Law, as compared to general law), since the Law really is the reasonable basis for judgment in the first place.

General Design Explained

  1. The colors are not selected with any plan, except that the first colors were using some variations of the orange color to distinguish different judgments. The colors were used only to distinguish adjoining blocks from each other.

  2. The columns positions and shifts have no general significance either. The shift in columns was used to faciliate the display of simultaneously addressed topics and also to allow arrows to be added to show when and where a new topic takes precedence in the writing. Though the first column applies only to the topic of Law since Paul focused much on the Law as a central theme to resolve most issues on his mind.

  3. Lengths of vertical space allocated to chapters varies merely with the number of beginnings and and ends of themes within a chapter. Importance of chapters is not presented in the visual analysis.

  4. The analysis shows only verse numbers needed for the sake of showing the beginning and ending of themes.

  5. Multiple topics may be occurring at the same instance. Some topics appear in the analysis for making observations or for the significance of the topic at that moment (i.e. Moment of discussion) even if of unstated importance. These topics then are not particularly important within the flow and transitions of themes in Paul's letter.