The city state at the heart of the great world empire of NT times, pictured in the book of Revelation as the embodiment of corrupt earthly power. A large church had been established in Rome long before Paul arrived there, towards the end of his life and his mission. His letter to the believers in Rome includes a comprehensive explanation of the gospel.
The church in Rome existed long before Paul’s arrival
Ro 15:23-24See alsoAc 28:15; Ro 1:8; Ro 16:3-16 Although Paul had never been to Rome, he seemed to be personally acquainted with 26 people associated with the church there, so its overall size was probably quite considerable.
Paul’s letter to the church in Rome presents the whole gospel
Ro 1:16-17The gospel is God’s offer of salvation to all.
Rome is pictured as the embodiment of corrupt earthly power
Rev 17:1-18Verse 9 clearly identifies the city as Rome, widely known then as the city built on seven hills. See alsoRev 14:8 Babylon was the great godless city of the OT and here is taken by most commentators to depict Rome, which in turn represents corrupt worldly power in general. However, some believe that only a general reference to the world system is in mind, and others that a literal reference to the actual city of Babylon is intended; Rev 16:19; Rev 18:1-24
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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