Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
What advantage then hath the Jew? (τι ουν το περισσον του Ιουδαιου ti oun to perisson tou Ioudaiou̇). Literally, “What then is the overplus of the Jew?” What does the Jew have over and above the Gentile? It is a pertinent question after the stinging indictment of the Jew in chapter 2.The profit (η ωπελια hē ōphelia). The help. Old word, only here in N.T. See Mark 8:36 for ωπελει ōphelei the verb to profit.
Much every way (πολυ κατα παντα polu kata panta). Πολυ Polu points back to το περισσον to perisson So it means the overplus of the Jew is much from every angle.First of all (πρωτον μεν prōton men). As in Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 11:18 Paul does not add to his “first.” He singles out one privilege of the many possessed by the Jew. They were intrusted with (επιστευτησαν episteuthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of πιστευω pisteuō to intrust, with accusative of the thing and dative of the person in the active. In the passive as here the accusative of the thing is retained as in 1 Thessalonians 2:4. The oracles of God (τα λογια του τεου ta logia tou theou). In the accusative case, therefore, the object of επιστευτησαν episteuthēsan Λογιον Logion is probably a diminutive of λογος logos word, though the adjective λογιος logios also occurs (Acts 18:24). The word was early used for “oracles” from Delphi and is common in the lxx for the oracles of the Lord. But from Philo on it was used of any sacred writing including narrative. It occurs four times in the N.T. (Acts 7:38, which see; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11). It is possible that here and in Acts 7:38 the idea may include all the Old Testament, though the commands and promises of God may be all.
For what if? (τι γαρ ει ti gar ei̇). But Westcott and Hort print it, Τι γαρ ει Timothy gaṙ ei See note on Philemon 1:18 for this exclamatory use of τι γαρ ti gar (for how? How stands the case?).Some were without faith (ηπιστησαν ēpistēsan). First aorist active indicative of απιστεω apisteō old verb, to disbelieve. This is the common N.T. meaning (Luke 24:11, Luke 24:41; Acts 28:24; Romans 4:20). Some of them “disbelieved,” these “depositaries and guardians of revelation” (Denney). But the word also means to be unfaithful to one‘s trust and Lightfoot argues for that idea here and in 2 Timothy 2:13. The Revised Version renders it “faithless” there. Either makes sense here and both ideas are true of some of the Jews, especially concerning the Messianic promises and Jesus. The faithfulness of God (την πιστιν του τεου tēn pistin tou theou). Undoubtedly πιστις pistis has this sense here and not “faith.” God has been faithful (2 Timothy 2:13) whether the Jews (some of them) were simply disbelievers or untrue to their trust. Paul can use the words in two senses in Romans 3:3, but there is no real objection to taking ηπιστησαν απιστιαν πιστιν ēpistēsanapistianpistin all to refer to faithfulness rather than just faith.
Let God be found true (γινεστω ο τεος αλητης ginesthō ho theos alēthēs). “Let God continue to be true” (present middle imperative).But every man a liar (πας δε αντρωπος πσευστης pās de anthrōpos pseustēs). The contrast in δε de really means, “though every man be found a liar.” Cf. Psalm 116:12. As it is written (κατως γεγραπται kathōs gegraptai). Psalm 51:6. That thou mightest be justified (οπως αν δικαιωτηις hopōs an dikaiōthēis). οπως Hopōs rather than the common ινα hina for purpose and αν an with the first aorist passive subjunctive of δικαιοω dikaioō Used of God this verb here has to mean “declared righteous,” not “made righteous.” Mightest prevail (νικησεις nikēseis). Future active indicative with οπως hopōs of νικαω nikaō to win a victory, though B L have νικησηις nikēsēis (first aorist active subjunctive, the usual construction). When thou comest into judgement (εν τωι κρινεσται σε en tōi krinesthai se). “In the being judged as to thee” (present passive infinitive or, if taken as middle, “in the entering upon trial as to thee”). Common construction in the lxx from the Hebrew infinitive construct.
What shall we say? (τι ερουμεν ti eroumeṅ). Rhetorical question, common with Paul as he surveys the argument.Commendeth (συνιστησιν sunistēsin). This common verb συνιστημι sunistēmi to send together, occurs in the N.T. in two senses, either to introduce, to commend (2 Corinthians 3:1; 2 Corinthians 4:2) or to prove, to establish (2 Corinthians 7:11; Galatians 2:18; Romans 5:8). Either makes good sense here. Who visiteth the wrath (ο επιπερων την οργην ho epipherōn tēn orgēn). “Who brings on the wrath,” “the inflicter of the anger” (Vaughan). I speak as a man (κατα αντρωπον kata anthrōpon). See note on Galatians 3:15 for same phrase. As if to say, “pardon me for this line of argument.” Tholuck says that the rabbis often used κατα αντρωπον kata anthrōpon and τι ερουμεν ti eroumen Paul had not forgotten his rabbinical training.
For then how (επει πως epei pōs). There is a suppressed condition between επει epei and πως pōs an idiom occurring several times in the N.T. (1 Corinthians 15:29; Romans 11:6, Romans 11:22). “Since, if that were true, how.”
Through my lie (εν τωι εμωι πσευσματι en tōi emōi pseusmati). ] Old word from πσευδομαι pseudomai to lie, only here in N.T. Paul returns to the imaginary objection in Romans 3:5. The MSS. differ sharply here between ει δε ei de (but if) and ει γαρ ei gar (for if). Paul “uses the first person from motives of delicacy” (Sanday and Headlam) in this supposable case for argument‘s sake as in 1 Corinthians 4:6. So here he “transfers by a fiction” (Field) to himself the objection.
And why not (και μη kai mē). We have a tangled sentence which can be cleared up in two ways. One is (Lightfoot) to supply γενηται genētai after μη mē and repeat τι ti (και τι μη γενηται kai ti mē genētai deliberative subjunctive in a question): And why should it not happen? The other way (Sanday and Headlam) is to take μη mē with ποιησωμεν poiēsōmen and make a long parenthesis of all in between. Even so it is confusing because οτι hoti also (recitative οτι hoti) comes just before ποιησωμεν poiēsōmen The parenthesis is necessary anyhow, for there are two lines of thought, one the excuse brought forward by the unbeliever, the other the accusation that Paul affirms that very excuse that we may do evil that good may come. Note the double indirect assertion (the accusative and the infinitive ημας λεγειν hēmās legein after πασιν phasin and then the direct quotation with recitative οτι hoti after λεγειν legein a direct quotation dependent on the infinitive in indirect quotation.Let us do evil that good may come (ποιησωμεν τα κακα ινα ελτηι τα αγατα poiēsōmen ta kaka hina elthēi ta agatha). The volitive aorist subjunctive (ποιησωμεν poiēsōmen) and the clause of purpose (ινα hina and the aorist subjunctive ελτηι elthēi). It sounds almost uncanny to find this maxim of the Jesuits attributed to Paul in the first century by Jews. It was undoubtedly the accusation of Antinomianism because Paul preached justification by faith and not by works.
What then? (τι ουν ti ouṅ). Paul‘s frequent query, to be taken with Romans 3:1, Romans 3:2.Are we in worse case than they? (προεχομετα proechomethȧ). The American Revisers render it: “Are we in better case than they?” There is still no fresh light on this difficult and common word though it occurs alone in the N.T. In the active it means to have before, to excel. But here it is either middle or passive. Thayer takes it to be middle and to mean to excel to one‘s advantage and argues that the context demands this. But no example of the middle in this sense has been found. If it is taken as passive, Lightfoot takes it to mean, “Are we excelled” and finds that sense in Plutarch. Vaughan takes it as passive but meaning, “Are we preferred?” This suits the context, but no other example has been found. So the point remains unsettled. The papyri throw no light on it. No, in no wise (ου παντως ou pantōs). “Not at all.” See note on 1 Corinthians 5:10. We before laid to the charge (προηιτιασαμετα proēitiasametha). First aorist middle indicative of προαιτιαομαι proaitiaomai to make a prior accusation, a word not yet found anywhere else. Paul refers to Romans 1:18-32 for the Greeks and 2:1-29 for the Jews. The infinitive ειναι einai with the accusative παντας pantas is in indirect discourse. Under sin (υπο αμαρτιαν hupo hamartian). See note on Galatians 3:22; Romans 7:14.
As it is written (κατως γεγραπται οτι kathōs gegraptai hoti). Usual formula of quotation as in Romans 3:4 with recitative οτι hoti added as in Romans 3:8. Paul here uses a catena or chain of quotations to prove his point in Romans 3:9 that Jews are in no better fix than the Greeks for all are under sin. Dr. J. Rendel Harris has shown that the Jews and early Christians had Testimonia (quotations from the Old Testament) strung together for certain purposes as proof-texts. Paul may have used one of them or he may have put these passages together himself. Romans 3:10-12 come from Psalm 14:1-3; first half of Romans 3:13 as far as εδολιουσαν edoliousan from Psalms 4:9, the second half from Psalm 140:3; Romans 3:14 from Psalm 10:7; Romans 3:15-17 from an abridgment of Isaiah 59:7.; Romans 3:18 from Psalm 35:1. Paul has given compounded quotations elsewhere (2 Corinthians 6:16; Romans 9:25.,27f; Romans 11:26.,34f.; Romans 12:19.). Curiously enough this compounded quotation was imported bodily into the text (lxx) of Psalms 14 after Romans 3:4 in Aleph B, etc.There is none righteous, no, not one (ουκ εστιν δικαιος ουδε εις ouk estin dikaios oude heis). “There is not a righteous man, not even one.” This sentence is like a motto for all the rest, a summary for what follows.
That understandeth (συνιων suniōn). Present active participle of συνιω suniō late omega form of μι ̇mi verb συνιημι suniēmi to send together, to grasp, to comprehend. Some MSS. have the article ο ho before it as before εκζητων ekzētōn (seeking out).
They are together become unprofitable (αμα ηχρεωτησαν hama ēchreōthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of αχρεοω achreoō Late word in Polybius and Cilician inscription of first century a.d. Some MSS. read ηχρειωτησαν ēchreiōthēsan from αχρειος achreios useless (α a privative and χρειος chreios useful) as in Luke 17:10; Matthew 25:30, but Westcott and Hort print as above from the rarer spelling αχρεος achreos Only here in N.T. The Hebrew word means to go bad, become sour like milk (Lightfoot).No, not so much as one (ουκ εστιν εως ενος ouk estin heōs henos). “There is not up to one.”
Throat (λαρυγχ larugx). Old word, larynx.Open sepulchre (ταπος ανεωιγμενος taphos aneōigmenos). Perfect passive participle of ανοιγω anoigō “an opened grave.” Their mouth (words) like the odour of a newly opened grave. “Some portions of Greek and Roman literature stink like a newly opened grave” (Shedd). They have used deceit (εδολιουσαν edoliousan). Imperfect (not perfect or aorist as the English implies) active of δολιοω dolioō only in lxx and here in the N.T. from the common adjective δολιος dolios deceitful (2 Corinthians 11:13). The regular form would be εδολιουν edolioun The οσαν ̇osan ending for third plural in imperfect and aorist was once thought to be purely Alexandrian because so common in the lxx, but it is common in the Boeotian and Aeolic dialects and occurs in ειχοσαν eichosan in the N.T. (John 15:22, John 15:24). “They smoothed their tongues” in the Hebrew. Poison (ιος ios). Old word both for rust (James 5:3) and poison (James 3:8). Of asps (ασπιδων aspidōn). Common word for round bowl, shield, then the Egyptian cobra (a deadly serpent). Often in lxx. Only here in the N.T. The poison of the asp lies in a bag under the lips (χειλη cheilē), often in lxx, only here in N.T. Genitive case after γεμει gemei (is full).
To shed (εκχεαι ekcheai). First aorist active infinitive of εκχεω ekcheō to pour out, old verb with aorist active εχεχεα exechea f0).
Destruction (συντριμμα suntrimma). Rare word from συντριβω suntribō to rub together, to crush. In Leviticus 21:19 for fracture and so in papyri. Only here in N.T.Misery (ταλαιπωρια talaipōria). Common word from ταλαιπωρος talaipōros (Romans 7:24), only here in the N.T.
The way of peace (οδον ειρηνης hodon eirēnēs). Wherever they go they leave a trail of woe and destruction (Denney).
Before (απεναντι apenanti). Late double compound (απο εν αντι apoenanti) adverbial preposition in lxx and Polybius, papyri and inscriptions. With genitive as here.
That every mouth may be stopped (ινα παν στομα πραγηι hina pān stoma phragēi). Purpose clause with ινα hina and second aorist passive subjunctive of πρασσω phrassō old verb to fence in, to block up. See note on 2 Corinthians 11:10. Stopping mouths is a difficult business. See note on Titus 1:11 where Paul uses επιστομιζειν epistomizein (to stop up the mouth) for the same idea. Paul seems here to be speaking directly to Jews (τοις εν τωι νομωι tois en tōi nomōi), the hardest to convince. With the previous proof on that point he covers the whole ground for he made the case against the Gentiles in Romans 1:18-32.May be brought under the judgement of God (υποδικος γενηται τωι τεωι hupodikos genētai tōi theōi). “That all the world (Jew as well as Gentile) may become (γενηται genētai) answerable (υποδικος hupodikos old forensic word, here only in N.T.) to God (dative case τωι τεωι tōi theōi).” Every one is “liable to God,” in God‘s court.
Because (διοτι dioti again, δια οτι diaεχ εργων νομου hoti).By the works of the law (επιγνωσις αμαρτιας ex ergōn nomou). “Out of works of law.” Mosaic law and any law as the source of being set right with God. Paul quotes Psalm 43:2 as he did in Galatians 2:16 to prove his point. The knowledge of sin (epignōsis hamartias). The effect of law universally is rebellion to it (1 Corinthians 15:56). Paul has shown this carefully in Galatians 3:19-22. Cf. Hebrews 10:3. He has now proven the guilt of both Gentile and Jew.
But now apart from the law (νυνι δε χωρις νομου nuni de chōris nomou). He now (νυνι nuni emphatic logical transition) proceeds carefully in Romans 3:21-31 the nature of the God-kind of righteousness which stands manifested (δικαιοσυνη τεου πεπανερωται dikaiosunē theou pephanerōtai perfect passive indicative of πανεροω phaneroō to make manifest), the necessity of which he has shown in 1:18-3:20. This God kind of righteousness is “apart from law” of any kind and all of grace (χαριτι chariti) as he will show in Romans 3:24. But it is not a new discovery on the part of Paul, but “witnessed by the law and the prophets” (μαρτυρουμενη marturoumenē present passive participle, υπο του νομου και των προπητων hupo tou nomou kai tōn prophētōn), made plain continuously by God himself.
Even (δε de). Not adversative here. It defines here.Through faith in Jesus Christ (δια πιστεως Ιησου Χριστου dia pisteōs ̣Iēsoǔ Christou). Intermediate agency (δια dia) is faith and objective genitive, “in Jesus Christ,” not subjective “of Jesus Christ,” in spite of Haussleiter‘s contention for that idea. The objective nature of faith in Christ is shown in Galatians 2:16 by the addition εις Χριστον Ιησουν επιστευσαμεν eis Christon Iēsoun episteusamen (we believed in Christ), by της εις Χριστον πιστεως υμων tēs eis Christon pisteōs humōn (of your faith in Christ) in Colossians 2:5, by εν πιστει τηι εν Χριστωι Ιησου en pistei tēi en Christōi Iēsou (in faith that in Christ Jesus) in 1 Timothy 3:13, as well as here by the added words “unto all them that believe” (εις παντας τους πιστευοντας eis pantas tous pisteuontas) in Jesus, Paul means. Distinction (διαστολη diastolē). See note on 1 Corinthians 14:7 for the difference of sounds in musical instruments. Also in Romans 10:12. The Jew was first in privilege as in penalty (Romans 2:9.), but justification or setting right with God is offered to both on the same terms.
Sinned (ηρμαρτον hērmarton). Constative second aorist active indicative of αμαρτανω hamartanō as in Romans 5:12. This tense gathers up the whole race into one statement (a timeless aorist).And fall short (και υστερουνται kai husterountai). Present middle indicative of υστερεω hustereō to be υστερος husteros (comparative) too late, continued action, still fall short. It is followed by the ablative case as here, the case of separation.
Being justified (δικαιουμενοι dikaioumenoi). Present passive participle of δικαιοω dikaioō to set right, repeated action in each case, each being set right.Freely (δωρεαν dōrean). As in Galatians 2:21. By his grace (τηι αυτου χαριτι tēi autou chariti). Instrumental case of this wonderful word χαρις charis which so richly expresses Paul‘s idea of salvation as God‘s free gift. Through the redemption (δια της απολυτρωσεως dia tēs apolutrōseōs). A releasing by ransom (απο λυτρωσις apoλυτροω lutrōsis from λυτρον lutroō and that from λυτρον lutron ransom). God did not set men right out of hand with nothing done about men‘s sins. We have the words of Jesus that he came to give his life a ransom (Λυτρον lutron) for many (Mark 10:45; Matthew 20:28). τηι εν Χριστωι Ιησου Lutron is common in the papyri as the purchase-money in freeing slaves (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, pp. 327f.). That is in Christ Jesus (tēi en Christōi Iēsou). There can be no mistake about this redemption. It is like John 3:16.
Set forth (προετετο proetheto). Second aorist middle indicative. See note on Romans 1:13 for this word. Also in Ephesians 1:9, but nowhere else in N.T. God set before himself (purposed) and did it publicly before (προ pro) the whole world.A propitiation (ιλαστηριον hilastērion). The only other N.T. example of this word is in Hebrews 9:5 where we have the “cherubim overshadowing the mercy seat” (το ιλαστηριον to hilastērion). In Hebrews the adjective is used as a substantive or as “the propitiatory place” But that idea does not suit here. Deissmann (Bible Studies, pp. 124-35) has produced examples from inscriptions where it is used as an adjective and as meaning “a votive offering” or “propitiatory gift.” Hence he concludes about Romans 3:25: “The crucified Christ is the votive gift of the Divine Love for the salvation of men.” God gave his Son as the means of propitiation (1 John 2:2). ιλαστηριον Hilastērion is an adjective (ιλαστηριος hilastērios) from ιλασκομαι hilaskomai to make propitiation (Hebrews 2:17) and is kin in meaning to ιλασμος hilasmos propitiation (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10). There is no longer room for doubting its meaning in Romans 3:25. Through faith, by his blood (δια πιστεως εν τωι αυτου αιματι dia pisteōs en tōi autou haimati). So probably, connecting εν τοι αιματι en toi haimati (in his blood) with προετετο proetheto To show his righteousness (εις ενδειχιν της δικαιοσυνης αυτου eis endeixin tēs dikaiosunēs autou). See note on 2 Corinthians 8:24. “For showing of his righteousness,” the God-kind of righteousness. God could not let sin go as if a mere slip. God demanded the atonement and provided it. Because of the passing over (δια την παρεσιν dia tēn paresin). Late word from παριημι pariēmi to let go, to relax. In Dionysius Hal., Xenophon, papyri (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 266) for remission of punishment, especially for debt, as distinct from απεσις aphesis (remission). Done aforetime (προγεγονοτων progegonotōn). Second perfect active genitive participle of προγινομαι proginomai The sins before the coming of Christ (Acts 14:16; Acts 17:30; Hebrews 9:15). Forbearance (ανοχηι anochēi). Holding back of God as in Romans 2:4. In this sense Christ tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9).
For the shewing (προς την ενδειχιν pros tēn endeixin). Repeats point of εις ενδειχιν eis endeixin Romans 3:25 with προς pros instead of εις eisAt this present season (εν τωι νυν καιρωι en tōi nun kairōi). “In the now crisis,” in contrast with “done aforetime.” That he might himself be (εις το ειναι αυτον eis to einai auton). Purpose with εις eis to and the infinitive ειναι einai and the accusative of general reference. Just and the justifier of (δικαιον και δικαιουντα dikaion kai dikaiounta). “This is the key phrase which establishes the connexion between the δικαιοσυνη τεου dikaiosunē theou and the δικαιοσυνη εκ πιστεως dikaiosunē ek pisteōs ” (Sanday and Headlam). Nowhere has Paul put the problem of God more acutely or profoundly. To pronounce the unrighteous righteous is unjust by itself (Romans 4:5). God‘s mercy would not allow him to leave man to his fate. God‘s justice demanded some punishment for sin. The only possible way to save some was the propitiatory offering of Christ and the call for faith on man‘s part.
It is excluded (εχεκλειστη exekleisthē). First aorist (effective) passive indicative. “It is completely shut out.” Glorying is on man‘s part.Nay; but by a law of faith (ουχι αλλα δια νομου πιστεως ouchiclass="translit"> alla dia nomou pisteōs). Strong negative, and note “law of faith,” by the principle of faith in harmony with God‘s love and grace.
We reckon therefore (λογιζομετα ουν logizometha oun). Present middle indicative. Westcott and Hort read γαρ gar instead of ουν oun “My fixed opinion” is. The accusative and infinitive construction occurs after λογιζομετα logizometha here. On this verb λογιζομαι logizomai see Romans 2:3; Romans 4:3.; Romans 8:18; Romans 14:14. Paul restates Romans 3:21.
Of Gentiles also (και ετνων kai ethnōn). Jews overlooked it then and some Christians do now.
If so be that God is one (ειπερ εις ο τεος eiper heis ho theos). Correct text rather than επειπερ epeiper It means “if on the whole.” “By a species of rhetorical politeness it is used of that about which there is no doubt” (Thayer. Cf. 1 Corinthians 8:5; 1 Corinthians 15:15; Romans 8:9.By faith (εκ πιστεως ek pisteōs). “Out of faith,” springing out of. Through faith (δια της πιστεως dia tēs pisteōs). “By means of the faith” (just mentioned). Εκ Ek denotes source, δια dia intermediate agency or attendant circumstance.
Nay, we establish the law (αλλα νομον ιστανομεν alla nomon histanomen). Present indicative active of late verb ιστανω histanō from ιστημι histēmi This Paul hinted at in Romans 3:21. How he will show in chapter 4 how Abraham himself is an example of faith and in his life illustrates the very point just made. Besides, apart from Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit no one can keep God‘s law. The Mosaic law is only workable by faith in Christ.
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Mark: Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary
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