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The Message of Romans: God's Good News for the World [Paperback]

John R. Stott
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

July 15 2001 The Bible Speaks Today Series
Voted one of 1995 Books of the Year!

When Paul first penned his letter to the house churches of Rome, his purpose was to gain prayerful support for his coming mission to the western reaches of the Mediterranean world. Little did he know that for two millennia this tautly tuned exposition of the gospel would echo through church and academy, market and home. Or that it would leap great oceans to reverberate through lands and hearts beyond the farthest edges of his world.

John Stott, in this new paperback edition previously released with the title joins a chorus of distinguished voices of the church who have pondered and lived the great themes of Romans, and who have tuned our ears to hear its rich harmonies and meditate on its broad vision. In the classic tradition of great Christian leaders who have commented on Romans, Stott expounds Paul's words, themes and arguments. The power of the gospel, the righteousness of God revealed from heaven, is clearly addressed to today's men and women who have answered its summons.

Not only is Stott deeply acquainted with the text and context of Romans, he is also conversant with the most recent Pauline scholarship. Even more important, he views Romans from his own pastoral and missionary perspective, an outloook shaped in turn by the great vision of the apostle. Here is a commentary for those who live on the edge of the third millennium, a commentary spanning the two worlds of Romans--Paul's and ours.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy if you are a serious reader. July 14 2013
By Sam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the best commentaries John Stott had written and I hope they will turn this into eBook some day so more people can read it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best on Romans: Conservative, Scholarly, Logical Aug. 10 2004
By Edward J. Vasicek - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is an ideal commentary for pastors, professors, and serious laymen. If you can only afford one commentary on Romans, make it this one.

Serving as a pastor for over 25 years, I have either taught or preached through Romans on several occasions. As I was sharing my plans to tackle Romans yet another time, my good friend ( a fellow pastor with degrees from Moody, Dallas, and Trinity) said, "Ed, you have to get Stott's commentary. It is the best. I just did Romans and bought Stott's when I was half-way through. Wish I had it the whole time." Since my pal hesitates making recommendations and does not inflate matters, I knew it had to be good. I took my friend's word and was not disappointed. It was better than I imagined. Much better than Hodge, Lenski, Newell, and a host of others. Not tedious or tangent-prone like some of the mega-sets.

Stott is first and foremost an interpretter. He addresses possibilities and then draws his conclusion. He is solid, conservative, believes in sovereign grace, and truly seeks to understand the original intent of the author. His purpose is to interpret correctly, not to twist texts to fit an agenda.

He is thorough yet not tedious; understandable but not simplistic; concise, but not cold. The commentary is 406 pages (not including the study guide at the end), but the print is large and easy on the eye. The many Scripture references are footnoted at the bottom of each page (making them easy to find), as are other references, but they take up little space at the bottom. There are no tedious explanatory notes footnoted; all you need is in the text itself.

If you are a Bible-believing Christian, this volume is the one to get.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for preaching & presentation ideas Aug. 12 2005
By David A. Bielby - Published on
I'm a preaching pastor who tries to work from the Greek text. I've read and marked up most of my Stott copy on Romans. It is in my top five commentaries on Romans and I use it a lot. However, I have to disagree with the other two reviews on this book.

Some positives on this book include:

Instead of giving the typical break at 1:15 & 1:16, like most commentators, Stott explains it like this:

Vs 14 I am bound

Vs 15 I am eager

Vs 16 I am not ashamed

(1:16 & 17 state the theme of Romans, but Stott splits 16 off and matches it to the end of the previous paragraph. This fresh view makes one think. I believe that is one of Stott's great assets). So he is unique and has some really good things to say. It's worth reading. It is great for preaching ideas. However, many times he gives a view that flows from one perspective of theology on a verse, with no hint or cue that there are other views that may differ from him. Sometimes his perspective is not really taken seriously by contemporary scholars-yet Stott fails to even mention there are opposing views. So he can have a bit of eisegetical theology mixed into his exegesis. For this reason, I totally disagree with the reviewer who said something like if you could only own one commentary on Romans that this was the one to get. It probably should be number three or four in a list of priorities-not number one, at least for exegetical work.


At one point he brings Calvinistic terminology into a simple use of the term law, attempting to suggest an exegetically exotic view. More careful commentaries, like Moo on Romans reject his approach as difficult to support. Another example is his effort on Romans 6 to say that the power of sin is not included in what Paul is talking about. Stott insists that it is the guilt of sin only that Paul is covering in 6:1-14. There is no contextual factor to warrant that conclusion. Again, more thorough and careful evangelical works on that section do not agree with his assessment. (Stott is this way in his Ephesians commentary as well).

So how I use Stott is for a fresh look at the text and great phrases that preach well. As far as exegetical accuracy, I would lean towards Moo and Edwards on Romans. So I recommend Stott on Romans, but not for every paragraph-and not as the main commentary one owns for serious work in the Greek text. For that, one cannot be without the NICNT by Moo-which is far more complete and careful in its analysis. So if you can afford to get Stott, add him to your collection and compare what he says to other guys like Edwards Moo, Kasemann, etc....He's got a great way of phrasing things and I've used his phrasing in sermon outlines more than once.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Exposition of Romans June 29 2006
By Dr. Marc Axelrod - Published on
John R.W Stott is one of the best scholarly pastors in the world because of his academic zeal coupled with a shrewd sense of how scripture applies to our lives. This really comes through in his Romans commentary. After a brief introduction where he descrobes how the book of Romans has impacted great Christian people of faith like Martin Luther, John Wesley, and Karl Barth, he dives right into the text. He identifies Romans 1:16-17 as the main theme of the book, and he teaches the federal headship of Adam in Romans 5. He sees Romans 7 as the present experience of the struggling believer, and he sees Romans 9 as teaching God's unconditional election of certain individuals to salvation and others to specific roles in redemptive history if not salvation (Pharoah, Esau).

The book is a treasure trove of good thoughts for preachers of the Romans to consider. It is highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome June 6 2014
By Paul Barnette - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great commentary on Romans. Easy to read and understand. Would highly recommend it. We are using this in small group bible study.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly, comprehensive, readable. Sept. 13 2007
By Dennis L. Gibson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stott conveys a sturdy solidarity with the historic Christian faith, rather than promoting any pet agendas of his own, or an abrasive combat with opposing views. He reasons in the spirit of an objective scientist whose field is theology. He offers evidence, reasoning, and cordial summaries of several conflicting viewpoints on key, difficult passages. The conclusions he favors in each case he sets forth mildly in a way that leaves the reader feeling equipped with a credible stance to take on the issue. So, this commentary serves the teacher as a rich resource, and the simple Christian studying Romans as uplifting nourishment to the soul.
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