The most controversial interpretive issue in the Book of Romans concerns the identity of the “wretched man” in chapter 7. Normally I don’t trouble you over interpretive controversies. Usually they are divided along relatively neat lines. Typically they are quite minor. Often they clutter scholarly traffic but rarely intrude into the Christian’s daily life. But the interpretation of Romans 7:13-25 is different. Not to say that it is major in the sense of dividing Christian theology or practice. It is typically minor in this way. Rather, the difference about this passage is that it is not neatly divided among expositors.

In fact, the reason for this post is that I am quite aware that many of the best preachers accessible today say that the “wretched man” in Romans 7 is the regenerate, mature Apostle Paul. Likewise, most popular Christian books that touch on the passage assume the same. The history to this interpretation is important. But the interpretation itself cannot stand. I can heartily agree with the vast majority of the content that is often preached from this passage by those that I love and respect. For instance, regardless of the interpretation of Romans 7:13-25, we know that Christians continue to struggle with sin. But even this is certainly an example of right theology preached from the wrong text.

As a shepherd, I truly care about feeding the flock. I am sincerely interested in accuracy, not accolades. I say this only because popularity does not persuade me; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. My purpose in writing is to help any and all who might struggle with this passage to see from the text itself the line of argumentation more clearly. The interpretive challenge is significant and is not without consequence.

To this end, I have endeavored to put my research and analysis of this passage into a paper—a rather large paper.

My prayer is that this technical work may prove edifying to the saints who are serious about understanding the discourse analysis of the passage and that it may testify to the worthiness of Christ in all our efforts to rightly divide His word.

S. D. G.

Table of Contents (PDF)

Download the Table of Contents for The “Wretched Man” of Romans 7 (DOWNLOAD)

The "Wretched Man" (PDF)

Download The “Wretched Man” of Romans 7 – A Discourse Analysis of Romans 7:13-25 (DOWNLOAD)