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  Discovery Box

Romans 1:10-32

Context
1:10 and I always ask 1  in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. 2  1:11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift 3  to strengthen you, 1:12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, 4  both yours and mine. 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, 5  brothers and sisters, 6  that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles. 7  1:14 I am a debtor 8  both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15 Thus I am eager 9  also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. 10 

The Power of the Gospel

1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11  1:17 For the righteousness 12  of God is revealed in the gospel 13  from faith to faith, 14  just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” 15 

The Condemnation of the Unrighteous

1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people 16  who suppress the truth by their 17  unrighteousness, 18  1:19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, 19  because God has made it plain to them. 1:20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people 20  are without excuse. 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts 21  were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed 22  to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings 23  or birds or four-footed animals 24  or reptiles.

1:24 Therefore God gave them over 25  in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor 26  their bodies among themselves. 27  1:25 They 28  exchanged the truth of God for a lie 29  and worshiped and served the creation 30  rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 31  1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women 32  and were inflamed in their passions 33  for one another. Men 34  committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, 35  God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. 36  1:29 They are filled 37  with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with 38  envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, 1:31 senseless, covenant-breakers, 39  heartless, ruthless. 1:32 Although they fully know 40  God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, 41  they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. 42 

1 tn Grk “remember you, always asking.”

2 tn Grk “succeed in coming to you in the will of God.”

3 sn Paul does not mean here that he is going to bestow upon the Roman believers what is commonly known as a “spiritual gift,” that is, a special enabling for service given to believers by the Holy Spirit. Instead, this is either a metonymy of cause for effect (Paul will use his own spiritual gifts to edify the Romans), or it simply means something akin to a blessing or benefit in the spiritual realm. It is possible that Paul uses this phrase to connote specifically the broader purpose of his letter, which is for the Romans to understand his gospel, but this seems less likely.

4 tn Grk “that is, to be comforted together with you through the faith in one another.”

5 sn The expression “I do not want you to be unaware [Grk ignorant]” also occurs in 1 Cor 10:1; 12:1; 1 Thess 4:13. Paul uses the phrase to signal that he is about to say something very important.

6 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited).

7 tn Grk “in order that I might have some fruit also among you just as also among the rest of the Gentiles.”

8 tn Or “obligated.”

9 tn Or “willing, ready”; Grk “so my eagerness [is] to preach…” The word πρόθυμος (proqumo", “eager, willing”) is used only elsewhere in the NT in Matt 26:41 = Mark 14:38: “the spirit indeed is willing (πρόθυμος), but the flesh is weak.”

10 map For location see JP4 A1.

11 sn Here the Greek refers to anyone who is not Jewish.

12 tn The nature of the “righteousness” described here and the force of the genitive θεοῦ (“of God”) which follows have been much debated. (1) Some (e.g. C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:98) understand “righteousness” to refer to the righteous status given to believers as a result of God’s justifying activity, and see the genitive “of God” as a genitive of source (= “from God”). (2) Others see the “righteousness” as God’s act or declaration that makes righteous (i.e., justifies) those who turn to him in faith, taking the genitive “of God” as a subjective genitive (see E. Käsemann, Romans, 25-30). (3) Still others see the “righteousness of God” mentioned here as the attribute of God himself, understanding the genitive “of God” as a possessive genitive (“God’s righteousness”).

13 tn Grk “in it”; the referent (the gospel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Or “by faith for faith,” or “by faith to faith.” There are many interpretations of the phrase ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν (ek pistew" ei" pistin). It may have the idea that this righteousness is obtained by faith (ἐκ πίστεως) because it was designed for faith (εἰς πίστιν). For a summary see J. Murray, Romans (NICNT), 1:363-74.

15 sn A quotation from Hab 2:4.

16 tn The genitive ἀνθρώπων could be taken as an attributed genitive, in which case the phase should be translated “against all ungodly and unrighteous people” (cf. “the truth of God” in v. 25 which is also probably an attributed genitive). C. E. B. Cranfield takes the section 1:18-32 to refer to all people (not just Gentiles), while 2:1-3:20 points out that the Jew is no exception (Romans [ICC], 1:104-6; 1:137-38).

17 tn “Their” is implied in the Greek, but is supplied because of English style.

18 tn Or “by means of unrighteousness.” Grk “in (by) unrighteousness.”

19 tn Grk “is manifest to/in them.”

20 tn Grk “they”; the referent (people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

21 tn Grk “heart.”

22 tn The participle φάσκοντες (faskonte") is used concessively here.

23 tn Grk “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God in likeness of an image of corruptible man.” Here there is a wordplay on the Greek terms ἄφθαρτος (afqarto", “immortal, imperishable, incorruptible”) and φθαρτός (fqarto", “mortal, corruptible, subject to decay”).

24 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 106:19-20.

25 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 81:12.

26 tn The genitive articular infinitive τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι (tou atimazesqai, “to dishonor”) has been taken as (1) an infinitive of purpose; (2) an infinitive of result; or (3) an epexegetical (i.e., explanatory) infinitive, expanding the previous clause.

27 tn Grk “among them.”

28 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

29 tn Grk “the lie.”

30 tn Or “creature, created things.”

31 tn Grk “for their females exchanged the natural function for that which is contrary to nature.” The term χρῆσις (crhsi") has the force of “sexual relations” here (L&N 23.65).

32 tn Grk “likewise so also the males abandoning the natural function of the female.”

33 tn Grk “burned with intense desire” (L&N 25.16).

34 tn Grk “another, men committing…and receiving,” continuing the description of their deeds. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

35 tn Grk “and just as they did not approve to have God in knowledge.”

36 tn Grk “the things that are improper.”

37 tn Grk “being filled” or “having been filled,” referring to those described in v. 28. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

38 tn Grk “malice, full of,” continuing the description. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

39 tn Or “promise-breakers.”

40 tn Grk “who, knowing…, not only do them but also approve…” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

41 tn Grk “are worthy of death.”

42 sn “Vice lists” like vv. 28-32 can be found elsewhere in the NT in Matt 15:19; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Tim 1:9-10; and 1 Pet 4:3. An example from the intertestamental period can be found in Wis 14:25-26.



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