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Romans 1:18-32

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.

1:24 Therefore God gave them over 10  in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor 11  their bodies among themselves. 12  1:25 They 13  exchanged the truth of God for a lie 14  and worshiped and served the creation 15  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, 16  1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women 17  and were inflamed in their passions 18  for one another. Men 19  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, 20  God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. 21  1:29 They are filled 22  with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with 23  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, 24  heartless, ruthless. 1:32 Although they fully know 25  God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, 26  they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. 27 

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.

10 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 81:12.

11 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.

12 tn Grk “among them.”

13 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.

14 tn Grk “the lie.”

15 tn Or “creature, created things.”

16 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).

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

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

19 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.

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

21 tn Grk “the things that are improper.”

22 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.

23 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.

24 tn Or “promise-breakers.”

25 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.

26 tn Grk “are worthy of death.”

27 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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