Workbook in Romans: Arranged According to the History of Redemption


This interactive workbook by Kenneth Berding, a professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, goes through the book of Romans analying the "story behind the story." In other words, the story of redemption that lies behind what Paul writes in Romans. The major categories of redemptive history include creation; sin; Abraham and the calling of a nation; Moses and the Law; David, Isaiah, and the other prophets; Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit; Gentiles; the church; and the future. The ...

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This interactive workbook by Kenneth Berding, a professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, goes through the book of Romans analying the "story behind the story." In other words, the story of redemption that lies behind what Paul writes in Romans. The major categories of redemptive history include creation; sin; Abraham and the calling of a nation; Moses and the Law; David, Isaiah, and the other prophets; Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit; Gentiles; the church; and the future. The author then takes the questions Paul asks in the book of Romans and reframes them for personal application. Berding concludes by providing additional assignments in addition to an annotated bibliography of the best commentaries on Romans for users of this workbook.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Berding has created an outstanding volume because it forces the reader to do two critical things: to place Paul’s letter within the flow of redemptive history and to engage the text of Romans itself. This produces at least two happy results, the first of which is that the message of Romans is the constant focus, since it is set within the history of redemption rather than one’s own personal, subjective experience. The second of which is to curtail the tendency toward atomistic exegesis. In short, Paul and the biblical message are central and controlling, not one’s twenty-first century existence. I am heartened by such a clear-headed approach. I recommend it highly.”

—Jay E. Smith, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

“Bookcases are filled with commentaries and studies of Paul's letter to the early Roman Christians. What new, helpful work could possibly be done on this letter? Berding answers this question ably with a helpful inductive workbook on Romans looking at the letter through the lens of redemptive historical categories. Berding draws our attention to God's Big Story of Salvation, which we find peeking out from behind verses all throughout the letter. I am happy to commend this excellent new tool for studying Romans.”

—Robert L. Plummer, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Berding’s delightful book, Workbook in Romans is the first volume in a new series for Workbooks in the History of Redemption. As such Berding discusses key themes of biblical redemption relative to Romans (the stories of God’s eternal plan, Creation, Abraham, Moses, David and the Prophets, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Paul, the Church, and the eschatological future). Each chapter of the book begins with an introduction about the redemptive theme and then raises questions based on those texts in Romans that interact with that theme. In doing so, Professor Berding has provided the reader with an engaging way to grapple with Paul’s letter to the Romans. Berding thereby accomplishes two goals: grasping Romans and relating it to the relevant redemptive themes that intersect with it. The result is a very useful handbook that nicely informs the reader about Romans and how that book fits into the divine scheme of redemption. This work will prove to be a great tool for Bible study groups. I strongly recommend it!”

—C. Marvin Pate, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Christian Theology, Ouachita Baptist University

“This book is a unique and captivating contribution to the literature on Romans! It helps a reader trace the narrative that is inherent in Romans, the story of God’s redemptive work in human history. In doing so, it integrates Romans into the story of the whole Bible using a series of well-designed, interactive questions to focus on the content of Romans and our response to it. Highly recommended for college or seminary classes or individual or group Bible study.”

—Buist Fanning, Ph.D., Department Chair and Senior Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

“One of the marks of a great teacher is the ability to direct the student to see the one or two things that are important amidst the dozens of things in front of him or her. Berding shows precisely that in his workbook on Romans. His leading questions juxtaposed with Romans passages enable the reader in a self-guided way to view the entire Bible using Romans as a lens. He confirms what all Bible professors have always known, that every individual book of the Bible tells a piece of the one singular story of the Bible, and that Romans in particular tells a great deal of that story. The workbook's table of contents alone reads like a miniature textbook in biblical theology. A great achievement, not only in Romans studies, but also in Bible pedagogy.”

—Frank Chan, Ph.D., Professor of Bible, Nyack College

“The ability to perceive any New Testament author’s understanding of the history of redemption and the relationship between Jesus Christ and the audience in light of their place in that history of redemption is one of the keys to an insightful theological reading of any book of the New Testament. Berding’s Workbook is bound to help its readers in the important task of thinking through the particular ways Paul would have the readers of Romans understand their relationship to the most important storylines of Scripture.”

—Roy E. Ciampa, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament; Chair, Division of Biblical Studies

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“Berding’s Workbook in Romans is the first volume in an intriguing new series, Workbooks in the History of Redemption. This is an invaluable resource for individuals or groups to study the text of Romans in the light of the biblical theological theme of God’s redemptive plan of history. Kenneth Berding is a highly gifted scholar-pastor, who blends his scholarly understanding of Romans with his pastoral care of his readers as they walk through this rich study. Through ten carefully constructed lessons he provides oversights of the plan of redemption throughout Scripture and then skillfully guides the reader with thought-provoking questions that lead to profound insights from the book of Romans. He escorts the reader with kind and gentle encouragement to think for oneself and to allow the Spirit of God to make application to one’s life. This is a highly recommended new study that pastors and Bible study leaders can use profitably as a resource that promises rich rewards for their people.”

—Michael J. Wilkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

“This is a very fine Bible study resource as it helps readers grasp the details of the biblical text and how those details tie into the overall storyline of the Scriptures. A significant problem in the church is that people have diverse pieces of biblical information but are not able to see how all these pieces fit together. Berding's workbook is a wonderful way to solve this problem. It will help open the fullness of the biblical message to readers in a fresh way. I heartily commend it.”

—Ray Van Neste, Ph.D., Professor of Biblical Studies, Director, R. C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies, Union University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kenneth Berding is professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. Before coming to Biola, Dr. Berding was a church planter in the Middle East and taught at Nyack College just north of New York City. He has a heart for God and ministry, and has written many worship songs and served as a worship pastor in local church ministry. He presently serves as an overseer at Whittier Hills Baptist Church. He is the author or co-editor of numerous articles and books, including Sing and Learn New Testament Greek, Walking in the Spirit, Polycarp and Paul, What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About, Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, and What Are Spiritual Gifts? He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature.

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Read an Excerpt

Romans is a letter, not a story. Then why should we be concerned about the story behind a letter?

The most important story behind a letter is the reason the letter is written in the first place. For example, a letter to a newspaper editor is written in response to a provocative article. A business letter is written to develop a business partnership, avoid a tax difficulty, or complain about a flaw in a product. A love letter is written because someone cares deeply for someone else.

Although the immediate reason for writing a letter is the most important story for understanding it, a deeper story needs to be understood about Romans. This is the story of what God is doing in history. Simply stated, Paul believed that there was one grand story that all followers of Christ should already know—the story of God reconciling the world through Jesus Christ.

But how do we know that that is the deeper story for Paul? We know about it because Paul told us small parts of the story throughout his letters, especially in his letter to the Romans.

In recent years, biblical scholars and theologians have been talking a lot about the storyline upon which a particular New Testament gospel (like Matthew), apocalypse (like Revelation), or letter (like Romans) is built. In other words, New Testament authors assume that the grand story of what God is doing in history supports what they were writing. Students of the Bible are beginning to recognize how useful it is to become familiar with that underlying story

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