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Romans 15:14-21

Context
Paul’s Motivation for Writing the Letter

15:14 But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, 1  that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15:15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve 2  the gospel of God 3  like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, 4  sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

15:17 So I boast 5  in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience 6  of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 15:20 And in this way I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person’s foundation, 15:21 but as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” 7 

1 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.

2 tn Grk “serving.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text, but in keeping with contemporary English style, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

3 tn The genitive in the phrase τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ (to euangelion tou qeou, “the gospel of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“the gospel which God brings”) or an objective genitive (“the gospel about God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, an interplay between the two concepts is intended: The gospel which God brings is in fact the gospel about himself.

4 tn Grk “so that the offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable.” This could be understood to refer to an offering belonging to the Gentiles (a possessive genitive) or made by the Gentiles (subjective genitive), but more likely the phrase should be understood as an appositive genitive, with the Gentiles themselves consisting of the offering (so J. D. G. Dunn, Romans [WBC 38], 2:860). The latter view is reflected in the translation “so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering.”

5 tc ‡ After οὖν (oun), several important Alexandrian and Western mss (B C D F G 81 365 pc) have τήν (thn). The article is lacking in א A Ψ 33 1739 1881 Ï however. Ì46 supplies a relative pronoun and has a different reading entirely (“which I have [as a] boast”). Articles were frequently introduced to clarify the meaning of the text. In this instance, since the word modified (καύχησιν, kauchsin) is third declension, a visual oversight (resulting in omission) is less likely. Hence, the shorter reading is probably original. The difference in translation between these first two options is negligible (“I have the boast” or “I have a boast”). NA27 puts the article in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.

tn Grk “Therefore I have a boast.”

6 tn Grk “unto obedience.”

7 sn A quotation from Isa 52:15.



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