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Paul’s letter to the Roman church is one of the most widely read, rigorously discussed and minutely dissected epistles ever written. What more could there be to say?

Plenty, it turns out.

In this highly engaging, perceptive and accessible commentary, J. R. Daniel Kirk situates Romans firmly in its first-century context, redirecting our attention from a modern-day concern with individual salvation towards the theological questions that consumed the apostle Paul. Questions such as what are the Jews and Gentiles to make of one another? Practically, how are they to live, worship and be community together in the right here and now? And, most importantly for Paul, how can God be faithful if God’s great act of salvation excludes God’s own chosen people: the covenantal community to whom all promises had been made?

By approaching the text from a first-century perspective, Kirk illuminates a letter and its writer deeply concerned with the day-to-day lives of its readers. A letter written not to provide answers and rules, but encouragement and inspiration. A writer concerned less with waiting for the new creation, than living it. And a God intent on inviting outsiders into a worldwide family. 

Romans for Normal People is an invitation to lay down everything you think you know about Romans and discover the text as it is. And, in doing so, encounter a letter as relevant today as it was some 2000 years ago.

You don't have to take our word for it... here's what some other awesome people are saying:

“For too long, mainstream Christianity in the United States has pushed an ideological interpretation onto the book of Romans by isolating a handful of plundered bible verses. Thankfully, Kirk has written Romans for Normal People, an accessible, clever, and engaging book that actually gets at the heart of Paul's letter. Get some friends together and read this vital book, together.”

Drew G. I. HartProfessor, Author of Who Will Be A Witness?, and Co-host of Inverse Podcast

“In this engaging treatment of Romans, Kirk puts to death the trite and misconstrued interpretations of Romans that have dominated Evangelical Christianity, ones that have caused great harm to church and society. He helps readers to comprehend the gospel the way Paul communicated it to his first-century audience—as an invitation to a new family. Kirk interprets the famous letter with a Jesus-centered lens, not because it is trendy but because it represents the heart of Paul’s message to the church at Rome. Kirk’s book will alter anyone’s perspective on Paul and the gospel and—let’s be honest—after centuries of irresponsible interpretation, we all need to look at Romans with different eyes.”

Dr. Jennifer Garcia BashawAssociate Professor of New Testament and Christian Ministry at Campbell University, author of Scapegoats: The Gospel through the Eyes of Victims, and Bible for Normal People Nerd-in-Residence

“The good Doctor Daniel Kirk has done the impossible! He wrote a commentary on Romans that I actually read straight through, paused to shout Amen a few times, and felt deeply challenged by Paul’s proclamation of the Gospel. While I doubt it makes for a tract or solicits a simple shallow road telling, Kirk makes Paul’s letter to the Roman church sing. Please read this book and then join me in telling the good Doctor thank you.”

Tripp FullerHost of the Homebrewed Christianity podcast and member of the Daniel Kirk fan club


Ph.D., Duke University

is an award-winning New Testament scholar and author who spent years engaging “normal people” about Bible nerd things through blogs, podcasts, books, and speaking. He currently lives in Dallas, TX and is training to be a physician assistant.