Anyway, my question in the title came about after reading the following in wikipedia’s entry for Romans in regards to chapters 15 & 16 being possible add-ons:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_t ... apter_form
I admit, I was a bit surprised to learn that besides the last two chapters, the only direct references to Rome are in 1:7 and 1:15. But maybe I shouldn't have been because the body of Romans doesn't directly address a specific audience or location. It just mostly lays out Paul's doctrine or testament.The Codex Boernerianus lacks the explicit references to the Roman church as the audience of the epistle found in Romans 1:7 and 1:15. There is evidence from patristic commentaries indicating that Boernarianus is not unique in this regard; many early, no longer extant manuscripts also lacked an explicit Roman addressee in Chapter 1.:31 It is notable that, when this textual variant is combined with the omission of Chapters 15 and 16, there is no longer any clear reference to the Roman church throughout the entire epistle. Harry Gamble speculates that 1:7, 1:15, and Chapters 15 and 16 may have been removed by a scribe in order to make the epistle more suitable for a "general" audience.:29ff
Anyway. Without going too deep into the weeds, it seems there isn't much historical evidence of 1st century christianity in Rome. Just thinking out loud, perhaps a very early editor took this existing letter (or a general sermon) and deemed it idiologically necessary to commandeer it for a better sounding audience than what was originally intended. Along with some references in Acts, this would help establish the later 'orthodox' thought of christians in Rome before 2nd century A.D.
Which leads to my main question. Was Romans originally intended for those living in Rome? If not, who was the original intended audience? Also, what early evidence is there for the 14 chapter version besides the Codex Boernerianus? And is it more compelling than evidence for the 16 chapter (or even 15 chapter) version(s)? There seems to be a lot of smoke around those last two chapters..