The first book we'll be studying for the 2013-2014 season will be the epistle to the Romans. The next few weeks of the "Getting Ready" series, we will be considering the high-level questions about this book. If you have additional questions, don't be shy about e-mailing the coaches!
When was the epistle to the Romans written?
Knowing for sure that the apostle Paul wrote this letter is very helpful to figuring out when (and where!) it was written. In Acts 20, we read about Paul's third missionary journey. During this journey, he collected funds for the church in Jerusalem (which you may remember was undergoing severe persecution). He mentions in Romans 15 that he has collected the money and the reason he can not go to Rome himself, is that he needs to deliver it. This pinpoints the timeframe for the letter in 57 A.D. (A.D. - if you forgot - means anno domini or "the year of our Lord", i.e. after Jesus was born).
He mentions in Romans 16 that the letter will be delivered by a woman named Phoebe from Cenchrea. Cenhrea was a town near Corinth, so it is likely that Paul wrote this letter while ministering in Corinth (the same place that both 1 Cornithians and 2 Corinthians are written to).