The Topic: Explanation of the Flow of Thought in Romans 5:12 – 8:37
Research Project: Bibliography Assignment Instructioins
Paul’s letter to the Romans is perhaps the most logical and systematic of his letters in terms of presentation of a biblical theology, so it requires detailed study. Careful study of Scripture in its context leads to much better results than simply looking for material taken out of context to support a preconceived doctrine. So, the good student of Romans will first analyze Scripture, but always with a view to learning the theological point. An effective way to learn Romans, then, is to select a topic from a list of passages or sections of Romans on which you conduct scholar level research and analysis of the biblical text and then explain the results of the biblical analysis of the passage or section and the theological theme that can be drawn from the passage or section of the letter.
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 Unpublished Internet sources are not research level sources.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.
Locating Good Sources
The student should abandon the idea that one can do adequate research from his or her own personal libraries. Perhaps one’s church library or a pastor’s library could be helpful, but most often they will also not be adequate. Few such libraries will contain adequate sources directed at Romans.
The student should make constant use of the Falwell Library at Liberty University. In addition to a very large collection of material available in full text online, the library personnel are quite helpful.
Do not overlook the value of ATLA Religion and Pro Quest tools.
Sources such as Google Books contain many commentaries on Romans, as well as other books about Romans that are available online, at least in part. Google Scholar is also available for use, but I have not found they have material available that is not available in the Falwell library.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.
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