EDITOR'S INTRODUCTIONAn Interpretation of the English Bible is a twelve-volume exposition covering the entire Bible. Into this work B.H. Carroll, D.D., LL.D., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, poured the rich treasures of his scholarship. J.B. Cranfill, LL.D., edited the series, and Fleming H. Revell Company published it. With the consent of the editor and publisher, Doctor Carroll's Treatment of The Epistle to the Romans has been carefully condensed and adapted and is offered in this form, primarily as a part of the Sunday School Training Course.
Doctor Carroll was eminent both as an interpreter and advocate of Christianity. Dr. George W. McDaniel was accustomed to say of him: "He was the most colossal man I ever knew." Dr. George W. Truett said at the Ridgecrest Assembly: "B.H. Carroll was the biggest personality I ever met. He was greater than the presidents, greater than the prime ministers, the greatest man of his generation." He wrote much and well, but preeminent among his writings is his interpretation of Paul's Letter to the Romans.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
As we undertake these studies in Romans, our primary effort should be to familiarize ourselves with the Bible text itself. This we may do through careful reading and rereading.
Following Dr. James M. Gray in his book, How to Master the English Bible, we suggest the following five rules for this reading:
(1) Read the whole book at one time, ignoring chapter and verse divisions.
(2) Read it continuously, right through at a single sitting, without break or interruption.
(3) Read it repeatedly, over and over again; not twice, but ten or fifteen times.
(4) Read it independently, without consulting other people's interpretations, until you have direct contact and immediate acquaintance with the book itself.
(5) Read it prayerfully, seeking your interpretation from the HOLY SPIRIT who is present in the subject matter and also in the heart of the devout reader.
Reading is our first step, but mere reading is not study. Having read the Epistle, the next step is to study it carefully and purposefully, closing the book from time to time to summarize our study. We will use as our guide in this study the comments of Doctor Carroll. Additional books should be consulted where available, and a comparative study made of the different interpretations. A suggested bibliography is given. The questions for review and stimulation should guide us to creative thinking.
SOME VALUES TO BE SOUGHT
Closely connected with our purpose in reading and with the problems that we face are the values that we seek.
First, we want a working knowledge of the content of the Book of Romans.
Then, we want to know its aim and purport.
Finally, we want to lay hold of the message of the book both for its first century and its twentieth century readers.
The final test of value will not be how much of the text we have mastered, but how much CHRIST has mastered our lives through these Studies in Romans.