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Romans 1:1--3:19

Context
Salutation

1:1 From Paul, 1  a slave 2  of Christ Jesus, 3  called to be an apostle, 4  set apart for the gospel of God. 5  1:2 This gospel 6  he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 1:3 concerning his Son who was a descendant 7  of David with reference to the flesh, 8  1:4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power 9  according to the Holy Spirit 10  by the resurrection 11  from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1:5 Through him 12  we have received grace and our apostleship 13  to bring about the obedience 14  of faith 15  among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name. 1:6 You also are among them, 16  called to belong to Jesus Christ. 17  1:7 To all those loved by God in Rome, 18  called to be saints: 19  Grace and peace to you 20  from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul’s Desire to Visit Rome

1:8 First of all, 21  I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 1:9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel 22  of his Son, is my witness that 23  I continually remember you 1:10 and I always ask 24  in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. 25  1:11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift 26  to strengthen you, 1:12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, 27  both yours and mine. 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, 28  brothers and sisters, 29  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. 30  1:14 I am a debtor 31  both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15 Thus I am eager 32  also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. 33 

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. 34  1:17 For the righteousness 35  of God is revealed in the gospel 36  from faith to faith, 37  just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” 38 

The Condemnation of the Unrighteous

1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people 39  who suppress the truth by their 40  unrighteousness, 41  1:19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, 42  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 43  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 44  were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed 45  to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings 46  or birds or four-footed animals 47  or reptiles.

1:24 Therefore God gave them over 48  in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor 49  their bodies among themselves. 50  1:25 They 51  exchanged the truth of God for a lie 52  and worshiped and served the creation 53  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, 54  1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women 55  and were inflamed in their passions 56  for one another. Men 57  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, 58  God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. 59  1:29 They are filled 60  with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with 61  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, 62  heartless, ruthless. 1:32 Although they fully know 63  God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, 64  they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. 65 

The Condemnation of the Moralist

2:1 66 Therefore 67  you are without excuse, 68  whoever you are, 69  when you judge someone else. 70  For on whatever grounds 71  you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. 2:2 Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth 72  against those who practice such things. 2:3 And do you think, 73  whoever you are, when you judge 74  those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, 75  that you will escape God’s judgment? 2:4 Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know 76  that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 2:5 But because of your stubbornness 77  and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed! 78  2:6 He 79  will reward 80  each one according to his works: 81  2:7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 2:8 but 82  wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition 83  and do not obey the truth but follow 84  unrighteousness. 2:9 There will be 85  affliction and distress on everyone 86  who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, 87  2:10 but 88  glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. 2:11 For there is no partiality with God. 2:12 For all who have sinned apart from the law 89  will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. 90  2:14 For whenever the Gentiles, 91  who do not have the law, do by nature 92  the things required by the law, 93  these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 2:15 They 94  show that the work of the law is written 95  in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend 96  them, 97  2:16 on the day when God will judge 98  the secrets of human hearts, 99  according to my gospel 100  through Christ Jesus.

The Condemnation of the Jew

2:17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law 101  and boast of your relationship to God 102  2:18 and know his will 103  and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law, 104  2:19 and if you are convinced 105  that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 2:20 an educator of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth – 2:21 therefore 106  you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 2:22 You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor 107  idols, do you rob temples? 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law! 2:24 For just as it is written, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” 108 

2:25 For circumcision 109  has its value if you practice the law, but 110  if you break the law, 111  your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcised man obeys 112  the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 2:27 And will not the physically uncircumcised man 113  who keeps the law judge you who, despite 114  the written code 115  and circumcision, transgress the law? 2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, 2:29 but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart 116  by the Spirit 117  and not by the written code. 118  This person’s 119  praise is not from people but from God.

3:1 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 3:2 Actually, there are many advantages. 120  First of all, 121  the Jews 122  were entrusted with the oracles of God. 123  3:3 What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being 124  shown up as a liar, 125  just as it is written: “so that you will be justified 126  in your words and will prevail when you are judged.” 127 

3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates 128  the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? 129  (I am speaking in human terms.) 130  3:6 Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? 3:7 For if by my lie the truth of God enhances 131  his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? – as some who slander us allege that we say. 132  (Their 133  condemnation is deserved!)

The Condemnation of the World

3:9 What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, 3:10 just as it is written:

There is no one righteous, not even one,

3:11 there is no one who understands,

there is no one who seeks God.

3:12 All have turned away,

together they have become worthless;

there is no one who shows kindness, not even one. 134 

3:13Their throats are open graves, 135 

they deceive with their tongues,

the poison of asps is under their lips. 136 

3:14Their mouths are 137  full of cursing and bitterness. 138 

3:15Their feet are swift to shed blood,

3:16 ruin and misery are in their paths,

3:17 and the way of peace they have not known. 139 

3:18There is no fear of God before their eyes. 140 

3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under 141  the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

1 tn Grk “Paul.” The word “from” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to indicate the sender of the letter.

2 tn Traditionally, “servant.” Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

sn Undoubtedly the background for the concept of being the Lord’s “slave” or “servant” is to be found in the Old Testament scriptures. For someone who was Jewish this concept did not connote drudgery, but honor and privilege. It was used of national Israel at times (Isa 43:10), but was especially associated with famous OT personalities, including such great men as Moses (Josh 14:7), David (Ps 89:3; cf. 2 Sam 7:5, 8) and Elijah (2 Kgs 10:10); all these men were “servants (or slaves) of the Lord.”

3 tc Many important mss, as well as several others (Ì26 א A G Ψ 33 1739 1881 Ï), have a reversed order of these words and read “Jesus Christ” rather than “Christ Jesus” (Ì10 B 81 pc). The meaning is not affected in either case, but the reading “Christ Jesus” is preferred as slightly more difficult and thus more likely the original (a scribe who found it would be prone to change it to the more common expression). At the same time, Paul is fond of the order “Christ Jesus,” especially in certain letters such as Romans, Galatians, and Philippians. As well, the later Pauline letters almost uniformly use this order in the salutations. A decision is difficult, but “Christ Jesus” is slightly preferred.

4 tn Grk “a called apostle.”

5 tn The genitive in the phrase εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ (euangelion qeou, “the gospel of God”) could be translated as (1) a subjective genitive (“the gospel which God brings”) or (2) 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. However, in view of God’s action in v. 2 concerning this gospel, a subjective genitive notion (“the gospel which God brings”) is slightly preferred.

6 tn Grk “the gospel of God, which he promised.” Because of the length and complexity of this sentence in Greek, it was divided into shorter English sentences in keeping with contemporary English style. To indicate the referent of the relative pronoun (“which”), the word “gospel” was repeated at the beginning of v. 2.

7 tn Grk “born of the seed” (an idiom).

8 tn Grk “according to the flesh,” indicating Jesus’ earthly life, a reference to its weakness. This phrase implies that Jesus was more than human; otherwise it would have been sufficient to say that he was a descendant of David, cf. L. Morris, Romans, 44.

9 sn Appointed the Son-of-God-in-power. Most translations render the Greek participle ὁρισθέντος (Jorisqentos, from ὁρίζω, Jorizw) “declared” or “designated” in order to avoid the possible interpretation that Jesus was appointed the Son of God by the resurrection. However, the Greek term ὁρίζω is used eight times in the NT, and it always has the meaning “to determine, appoint.” Paul is not saying that Jesus was appointed the “Son of God by the resurrection” but “Son-of-God-in-power by the resurrection,” as indicated by the hyphenation. He was born in weakness in human flesh (with respect to the flesh, v. 3) and he was raised with power. This is similar to Matt 28:18 where Jesus told his disciples after the resurrection, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

10 tn Grk “spirit of holiness.” Some interpreters take the phrase to refer to Christ’s own inner spirit, which was characterized by holiness.

11 tn Or “by his resurrection.” Most interpreters see this as a reference to Jesus’ own resurrection, although some take it to refer to the general resurrection at the end of the age, of which Jesus’ resurrection is the first installment (cf. 1 Cor 15:23).

12 tn Grk “through whom.”

13 tn Some interpreters understand the phrase “grace and apostleship” as a hendiadys, translating “grace [i.e., gift] of apostleship.” The pronoun “our” is supplied in the translation to clarify the sense of the statement.

14 tn Grk “and apostleship for obedience.”

15 tn The phrase ὑπακοὴν πίστεως has been variously understood as (1) an objective genitive (a reference to the Christian faith, “obedience to [the] faith”); (2) a subjective genitive (“the obedience faith produces [or requires]”); (3) an attributive genitive (“believing obedience”); or (4) as a genitive of apposition (“obedience, [namely] faith”) in which “faith” further defines “obedience.” These options are discussed by C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans (ICC), 1:66. Others take the phrase as deliberately ambiguous; see D. B. Garlington, “The Obedience of Faith in the Letter to the Romans: Part I: The Meaning of ὑπακοὴ πίστεως (Rom 1:5; 16:26),” WTJ 52 (1990): 201-24.

16 tn Grk “among whom you also are called.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. The NIV, with its translation “And you also are among those who are called,” takes the phrase ἐν οἳς ἐστε to refer to the following clause rather than the preceding, so that the addressees of the letter (“you also”) are not connected with “all the Gentiles” mentioned at the end of v. 5. It is more likely, however, that the relative pronoun οἳς has τοῖς ἔθνεσιν as its antecedent, which would indicate that the church at Rome was predominantly Gentile.

17 tn Grk “called of Jesus Christ.”

18 map For location see JP4 A1.

19 tn Although the first part of v. 7 is not a complete English sentence, it maintains the “From…to” pattern used in all the Pauline letters to indicate the sender and the recipients. Here, however, there are several intervening verses (vv. 2-6), which makes the first half of v. 7 appear as an isolated sentence fragment.

20 tn Grk “Grace to you and peace.”

21 tn Grk “First.” Paul never mentions a second point, so J. B. Phillips translated “I must begin by telling you….”

22 tn Grk “whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel.”

23 tn Grk “as.”

24 tn Grk “remember you, always asking.”

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

26 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.

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

28 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.

29 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).

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

31 tn Or “obligated.”

32 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.”

33 map For location see JP4 A1.

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

35 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”).

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

37 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.

38 sn A quotation from Hab 2:4.

39 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).

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

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

42 tn Grk “is manifest to/in them.”

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

44 tn Grk “heart.”

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

46 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”).

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

48 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 81:12.

49 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.

50 tn Grk “among them.”

51 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.

52 tn Grk “the lie.”

53 tn Or “creature, created things.”

54 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).

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

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

57 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.

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

59 tn Grk “the things that are improper.”

60 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.

61 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.

62 tn Or “promise-breakers.”

63 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.

64 tn Grk “are worthy of death.”

65 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.

66 sn Rom 2:1-29 presents unusual difficulties for the interpreter. There have been several major approaches to the chapter and the group(s) it refers to: (1) Rom 2:14 refers to Gentile Christians, not Gentiles who obey the Jewish law. (2) Paul in Rom 2 is presenting a hypothetical viewpoint: If anyone could obey the law, that person would be justified, but no one can. (3) The reference to “the ones who do the law” in 2:13 are those who “do” the law in the right way, on the basis of faith, not according to Jewish legalism. (4) Rom 2:13 only speaks about Christians being judged in the future, along with such texts as Rom 14:10 and 2 Cor 5:10. (5) Paul’s material in Rom 2 is drawn heavily from Diaspora Judaism, so that the treatment of the law presented here cannot be harmonized with other things Paul says about the law elsewhere (E. P. Sanders, Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People, 123); another who sees Rom 2 as an example of Paul’s inconsistency in his treatment of the law is H. Räisänen, Paul and the Law [WUNT], 101-9. (6) The list of blessings and curses in Deut 27–30 provide the background for Rom 2; the Gentiles of 2:14 are Gentile Christians, but the condemnation of Jews in 2:17-24 addresses the failure of Jews as a nation to keep the law as a whole (A. Ito, “Romans 2: A Deuteronomistic Reading,” JSNT 59 [1995]: 21-37).

67 tn Some interpreters (e.g., C. K. Barrett, Romans [HNTC], 43) connect the inferential Διό (dio, “therefore”) with 1:32a, treating 1:32b as a parenthetical comment by Paul.

68 tn That is, “you have nothing to say in your own defense” (so translated by TCNT).

69 tn Grk “O man.”

70 tn Grk “Therefore, you are without excuse, O man, everyone [of you] who judges.”

71 tn Grk “in/by (that) which.”

72 tn Or “based on truth.”

73 tn Grk “do you think this,” referring to the clause in v. 3b.

74 tn Grk “O man, the one who judges.”

75 tn Grk “and do them.” The other words are supplied to bring out the contrast implied in this clause.

76 tn Grk “being unaware.”

77 tn Grk “hardness.” Concerning this imagery, see Jer 4:4; Ezek 3:7; 1 En. 16:3.

78 tn Grk “in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”

79 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.

80 tn Or “will render,” “will recompense.” In this context Paul is setting up a hypothetical situation, not stating that salvation is by works.

81 sn A quotation from Ps 62:12; Prov 24:12; a close approximation to Matt 16:27.

82 tn This contrast is clearer and stronger in Greek than can be easily expressed in English.

83 tn Grk “those who [are] from selfish ambition.”

84 tn Grk “are persuaded by, obey.”

85 tn No verb is expressed in this verse, but the verb “to be” is implied by the Greek construction. Literally “suffering and distress on everyone…”

86 tn Grk “every soul of man.”

87 sn Paul uses the term Greek here and in v. 10 to refer to non-Jews, i.e., Gentiles.

88 tn Grk “but even,” to emphasize the contrast. The second word has been omitted since it is somewhat redundant in English idiom.

89 sn This is the first occurrence of law (nomos) in Romans. Exactly what Paul means by the term has been the subject of much scholarly debate. According to J. A. Fitzmyer (Romans [AB], 131-35; 305-6) there are at least four different senses: (1) figurative, as a “principle”; (2) generic, meaning “a law”; (3) as a reference to the OT or some part of the OT; and (4) as a reference to the Mosaic law. This last usage constitutes the majority of Paul’s references to “law” in Romans.

90 tn The Greek sentence expresses this contrast more succinctly than is possible in English. Grk “For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.”

91 sn Gentile is a NT term for a non-Jew.

92 tn Some (e.g. C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:135-37) take the phrase φύσει (fusei, “by nature”) to go with the preceding “do not have the law,” thus: “the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature,” that is, by virtue of not being born Jewish.

93 tn Grk “do by nature the things of the law.”

94 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.

95 tn Grk “show the work of the law [to be] written,” with the words in brackets implied by the Greek construction.

96 tn Or “excuse.”

97 tn Grk “their conscience bearing witness and between the thoughts accusing or also defending one another.”

98 tn The form of the Greek word is either present or future, but it is best to translate in future because of the context of future judgment.

99 tn Grk “of people.”

100 sn On my gospel cf. Rom 16:25; 2 Tim 2:8.

101 sn The law refers to the Mosaic law, described mainly in the OT books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

102 tn Grk “boast in God.” This may be an allusion to Jer 9:24.

103 tn Grk “the will.”

104 tn Grk “because of being instructed out of the law.”

105 tn This verb is parallel to the verbs in vv. 17-18a, so it shares the conditional meaning even though the word “if” is not repeated.

106 tn The structure of vv. 21-24 is difficult. Some take these verses as the apodosis of the conditional clauses (protases) in vv. 17-20; others see vv. 17-20 as an instance of anacoluthon (a broken off or incomplete construction).

107 tn Or “detest.”

108 sn A quotation from Isa 52:5.

109 sn Circumcision refers to male circumcision as prescribed in the OT, which was given as a covenant to Abraham in Gen 17:10-14. Its importance for Judaism can hardly be overstated: According to J. D. G. Dunn (Romans [WBC], 1:120) it was the “single clearest distinguishing feature of the covenant people.” J. Marcus has suggested that the terms used for circumcision (περιτομή, peritomh) and uncircumcision (ἀκροβυστία, akrobustia) were probably derogatory slogans used by Jews and Gentiles to describe their opponents (“The Circumcision and the Uncircumcision in Rome,” NTS 35 [1989]: 77-80).

110 tn This contrast is clearer and stronger in Greek than can be easily expressed in English.

111 tn Grk “if you should be a transgressor of the law.”

112 tn The Greek word φυλάσσω (fulassw, traditionally translated “keep”) in this context connotes preservation of and devotion to an object as well as obedience.

113 tn Grk “the uncircumcision by nature.” The word “man” is supplied here to make clear that male circumcision (or uncircumcision) is in view.

114 tn Grk “through,” but here the preposition seems to mean “(along) with,” “though provided with,” as BDAG 224 s.v. διά A.3.c indicates.

115 tn Grk “letter.”

116 sn On circumcision is of the heart see Lev 26:41; Deut 10:16; Jer 4:4; Ezek 44:9.

117 tn Some have taken the phrase ἐν πνεύματι (en pneumati, “by/in [the] S/spirit”) not as a reference to the Holy Spirit, but referring to circumcision as “spiritual and not literal” (RSV).

118 tn Grk “letter.”

119 tn Grk “whose.” The relative pronoun has been replaced by the phrase “this person’s” and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started in the translation.

120 tn Grk “much in every way.”

121 tc ‡ Most witnesses (א A D2 33 Ï) have γάρ (gar) after μέν (men), though some significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses lack the conjunction (B D* G Ψ 81 365 1506 2464* pc latt). A few mss have γάρ, but not μέν (6 1739 1881). γάρ was frequently added by scribes as a clarifying conjunction, making it suspect here. NA27 has the γάρ in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.

tn Grk “first indeed that.”

122 tn Grk “they were.”

123 tn The referent of λόγια (logia, “oracles”) has been variously understood: (1) BDAG 598 s.v. λόγιον takes the term to refer here to “God’s promises to the Jews”; (2) some have taken this to refer more narrowly to the national promises of messianic salvation given to Israel (so S. L. Johnson, Jr., “Studies in Romans: Part VII: The Jews and the Oracles of God,” BSac 130 [1973]: 245); (3) perhaps the most widespread interpretation sees the term as referring to the entire OT generally.

124 tn Grk “every man”; but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense here to stress humanity rather than masculinity.

125 tn Grk “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” The words “proven” and “shown up” are supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning.

126 tn Grk “might be justified,” a subjunctive verb, but in this type of clause it carries the same sense as the future indicative verb in the latter part. “Will” is more idiomatic in contemporary English.

127 tn Or “prevail when you judge.” A quotation from Ps 51:4.

128 tn Or “shows clearly.”

129 tn Grk “That God is not unjust to inflict wrath, is he?”

130 sn The same expression occurs in Gal 3:15, and similar phrases in Rom 6:19 and 1 Cor 9:8.

131 tn Grk “abounded unto.”

132 tn Grk “(as we are slandered and some affirm that we say…).”

133 tn Grk “whose.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, this relative clause was rendered as a new sentence in the translation.

134 sn Verses 10-12 are a quotation from Ps 14:1-3.

135 tn Grk “their throat is an opened grave.”

136 sn A quotation from Pss 5:9; 140:3.

137 tn Grk “whose mouth is.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

138 sn A quotation from Ps 10:7.

139 sn Rom 3:15-17 is a quotation from Isa 59:7-8.

140 sn A quotation from Ps 36:1.

141 tn Grk “in,” “in connection with.”



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