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Romans 1:18-23

Context
The Condemnation of the Unrighteous

1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people 1  who suppress the truth by their 2  unrighteousness, 3  1:19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, 4  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 5  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 6  were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed 7  to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings 8  or birds or four-footed animals 9  or reptiles.

1 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).

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

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

4 tn Grk “is manifest to/in them.”

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

6 tn Grk “heart.”

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

8 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”).

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



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