Lecture 10: 2 Corinthians, Romans, and the Prison Epistles (Part 1)

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The outline and summary of the content of 2 Corinthians includes themes like financial stewardship and Christians being "ambassadors of reconciliation." Romans finds its theme in 1:16-17, the Gospel is the power of God for salvation for both Jews and Greeks. The books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon are known as the "Prison Epistles." (50 min.)

2 Corinthians, Romans, and the Prison Epistles (Part 1)


I. 2 Corinthians

A. Background

1. Mixed Reactions to the Previous Letter (2:1-4)

2. Different ’Tones’ in Chapters 1-9 and 10-13

3. A Proposed Resolution

4. Evidence of Another Letter

5. Date: AD 56

B. Problems in Outlining

1. The Hardest Letter of Paul to Outline

2. The Possibility of Different Letters

3. The Possibility of Jewish Thinking

4. The Possibility of Symmetry and Parallelism

C. Key Theological Themes in 2 Corinthians

1. The Role of Suffering in the Christian Life (1:3-11)

2. Being Ambassadors of Reconciliation (5:11-21)

3. Not Being Unequally Yoked (6:14-7:1)

4. Financial Stewardship (8:1-9:15)

5. Paul’s Authority (11:21-33)

6. Dealing with a “Thorn in the Flesh” (12:1-10)

D. Key Applications

II. Romans

A. Background

1. Recipients: Christians in Rome

2. Purpose


Date: A.D. 57

B. Outline

1. Thesis: Not Ashamed of the Gospel (1:16-17)

2. God’s Wrath against Ungodliness (1:18–3:20)

3. Justification by Faith (3:21–5:21)

4. Sanctification through the Spirit (6:1–8:39)

5. The Role of Israel in God’s Plan of Salvation (9:1–11:36)

6. The Ethics of Christian Living (12:1-15:13)

7. Conclusion (15:14–16:27)

C. Key Applications from Romans

III. The Prison Epistles (Part 1)

A. Background

1. The Books

2. The Author

3. Recipients

4. Date

B. Exegetical Highlights

1. Philemon

2. Colossians

3. Ephesians


Name Description
1 Understanding the New Testament - Quiz 10

This quiz covers the material in Understanding the New Testament, Lesson 10 – 2 Corinthians, Romans, and the Prison Epistles.


  • Will believers suffer in this life?  What are reasons given for why God allows suffering in 1 Cor. 1:3-4, 9, 11? Did God answer Paul’s prayer in 1 Cor. 12:7-10 to remove his suffering? Why not?  How do these verse help us deal with a health/wealth/prosperity gospel that says believers should never suffer? How can these verses help us when we suffer?
  • What does Romans 1:16-17 reveal about the power of the gospel? According to Paul who stands condemned before God?  Why do you think God chose faith in Christ, instead of good works, as the criterion for salvation? What is sanctification and how does it work in the life of a believer?


  • What three specific relationships are mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 5:22-6:9? What are some implications for husbands and wives? What are some implications for parents and children? What are some implications for employer/employee relationships?


50 min

Other resources

Recommended Reading

From Pentecost to Patmos, pp. 203-341.

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