The doxology with which Paul concludes Romans is often judged inauthentic on thematic grounds and its unusual textual history. Though some have defended its Pauline origins, few have analyzed the doxology according to its liturgical structure. This article considers the formal features of the doxology as well as features of early Christian liturgy, suggesting that the doxology is best considered as a pre-Pauline liturgy that Paul adapted for his own purposes. Neither internal nor external evidence resolves the question of the doxology’s provenance. By considering the theological background and the formal criteria for homologies and hymns, a strong case can be made for the preexistence of the doxology. Preexistence best resolves the textual and stylistic tensions and explains the thematic overlap between the letter and the doxology. As a preexistent liturgical form, Rom 16:25–27 provides insight into the worship of the earliest Christians as well as the epistolary practices of Paul.

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