Romans: Audience

Paul opens this letter by addressing it "to all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints." While this seems a bit vague many have concluded that Paul was writing to a group of Jews and Gentiles, who had been converted on the Day of Pentecost. By looking at the content of his writing we will see that Paul seemed to be somewhat unfamiliar with his audience. Though a lack of personal connection that is clear, but Paul had keen insight as to the problems and issues these Jew and Gentile believers had and would soon encounter.

We must view the content of this letter in light of the diversity of its audience. Paul was writing to Jews and Gentiles alike and though he had specific messages to each group, it is clear that he wanted both groups to receive the letter in its entirety. His many references to the law, the significance of Abraham, and the place of Israel in the history of Salvation would have been particularly relevant to the Jews because it addressed God's historical relationship to their nation. Paul additionally writes saying "you Gentiles" which seems to exclude the Jewish believers. However, Paul felt it relevant for each group to understand the other for some strange reason. Not only are the directives to each particular group scattered throughout the letter, but Paul could have very easily written two separate letters giving each group only what was purposed strictly for them. He didn't though. The reason becomes overwhelmingly apparent as we become more acquainted with Paul's purpose in writing to the church in Rome.