To the Romans (προς ωμαιους pros Rōmaious). This is the title in Aleph A B C, our oldest Greek MSS. for the Epistle. We do not know whether Paul gave any title at all. Later MSS. add other words up to the Textus Receptus: The Epistle of Paul to the Romans. The Epistle is put first in the MSS. because it is the most important of Paul‘s Epistles.Paul (Παυλος Paulos). Roman name (Παυλυς Paulus). See note on Acts 13:9 for the origin of this name by the side of Saul. Servant (doulos). Bond-slave of Jesus Christ (or Christ Jesus as some MSS. give it and as is the rule in the later Epistles) for the first time in the Epistles in the opening sentence, though the phrase already in Galatians 1:10. Recurs in Philemon 1:1 and desmios (bondsman) in Philemon 1:1. Called to be an apostle (δουλος klētos apostolos). An apostle by vocation (Denney) as in 1 Corinthians 1:1. In Galatians 1:1 δεσμιος klētos is not used, but the rest of the verse has the same idea. Separated (κλητος αποστολος aphōrismenos). Perfect passive participle of κλητος aphorizō for which verb see note on Galatians 1:15. Paul is a spiritual Pharisee (etymologically), separated not to the oral tradition, but to God‘s gospel, a chosen vessel (Acts 9:15). By man also (Acts 13:2). Many of Paul‘s characteristic words like απωρισμενος euaggelion have been already discussed in the previous Epistles that will call for little comment from now on.
He promised afore (προεπηγγειλατο proepēggeilato). First aorist middle of προεπαγγελλω proepaggellō for which verb see note on 2 Corinthians 9:5.By (δια dia). Through, by means of, intermediate agency like Matthew 1:22 which see. In the holy scriptures (εν γραπαις αγιαις en graphais hagiais). No article, yet definite. Perhaps the earliest use of the phrase (Sanday and Headlam). Paul definitely finds God‘s gospel in the Holy Scriptures.
Concerning his Son (περι του υιου αυτου peri tou huiou autou). Just as Jesus found himself in the O.T. (Luke 24:27, Luke 24:46). The deity of Christ here stated.According to the flesh (κατα σαρκα kata sarka). His real humanity alongside of his real deity. For the descent from David see Matthew 1:1, Matthew 1:6, Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:27; John 7:42; Acts 13:23, etc.
Who was declared (του οριστεντος tou horisthentos). Articular participle (first aorist passive) of οριζω horizō for which verb see note on Luke 22:22 and note on Acts 2:23. He was the Son of God in his preincarnate state (2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:6) and still so after his Incarnation (Romans 1:3, “of the seed of David”), but it was the Resurrection of the dead (εχ αναστασεως νεκρων ex anastaseōs nekrōn the general resurrection implied by that of Christ) that definitely marked Jesus off as God‘s Son because of his claims about himself as God‘s Son and his prophecy that he would rise on the third day. This event (cf. 1 Corinthians 15) gave God‘s seal “with power” (εν δυναμει en dunamei), “in power,” declared so in power (2 Corinthians 13:4). The Resurrection of Christ is the miracle of miracles. “The resurrection only declared him to be what he truly was” (Denney).According to the spirit of holiness (κατα πνευμα αγιωσυνης kata pneuma hagiōsunēs). Not the Holy Spirit, but a description of Christ ethically as κατα σαρκα kata sarka describes him physically (Denney). αγιωσυνη Hagiōsunē is rare (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 7:1 in N.T.), three times in lxx, each time as the attribute of God. “The πνευμα αγιωσυνης pneuma hagiōsunēs though not the Divine nature, is that in which the Divinity or Divine Personality Resided” (Sanday and Headlam). Jesus Christ our Lord (Ιησου Χριστου του κυριου ημων Iēsou Christou tou kuriou hēmōn). These words gather up the total personality of Jesus (his deity and his humanity).
Unto obedience of faith (εις υπακοην πιστεως eis hupakoēn pisteōs). Subjective genitive as in Romans 16:26, the obedience which springs from faith (the act of assent or surrender).
Called to be Jesus Christ‘s (κλητοι Ιησου Χριστου klētoi Iēsou Christou). Predicate genitive after κλητοι klētoi (verbal adjective from καλεω kaleō to call), though it is possible to consider it the ablative case, “called of (or from) Jesus Christ.”
In Rome (εν ωμηι en Rōmēi). One late uncial (G of tenth century) and a cursive omit these words here and one or two other late MSS. omit εν ωμηι en Rōmēi in Romans 1:15. This possibly proves the Epistle was circulated as a circular to a limited extent, but the evidence is late and slight and by no means shows that this was the case in the first century. It is not comparable with the absence of εν Επεσωι en Ephesōi in Ephesians 1:1 from Aleph and B (the two oldest and best MSS.).Beloved of God (αγαπητοις τεου agapētois theou). Ablative case of τεου theou after the verbal adjective like διδακτοι τεου didaktoi theou (taught of God) in John 6:45 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 516). From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (απο τεου πατρος ημων και κυριου Ιησου Χριστου apo theou patros hēmōn kai kuriou Iēsou Christou). “St. Paul, if not formally enunciating a doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, held a view which cannot really be distinguished from it” (Sanday and Headlam). Paul‘s theology is clearly seen in the terms used in Romans 1:1-7.
First (πρωτον μεν prōton men). Adverb in the accusative case, but no επειτα δε epeita de (in the next place) as in Hebrews 7:2 or επειτα epeita as in James 3:17 follows. The rush of thoughts crowds out the balanced phraseology as in Romans 3:2; 1 Corinthians 11:18.Through (δια dia). As the mediator or medium of thanksgiving as in Romans 7:25. For (περι peri). Concerning, about. That (οτι hoti). Or because. Either declarative or causal οτι hoti makes sense here. Your faith (η πιστις υμων hē pistis humōn). “Your Christianity” (Sanday and Headlam). Is proclaimed (καταγγελλεται kataggelletai). Present passive indicative of καταγγελλω kataggellō to announce (αγγελλω aggellō) up and down (κατα kata). See also αναγγελλω anaggellō to bring back news (John 5:15), απαγγελλω apaggellō to announce from one as the source (Matthew 2:8), προκαταγγελλω prokataggellō to announce far and wide beforehand (Acts 3:18). Throughout all the world (εν ολωι τωι κοσμωι en holōi tōi kosmōi). Natural hyperbole as in Colossians 1:6; Acts 17:6. But widely known because the church was in the central city of the empire.
I serve (λατρευω latreuō). Old verb from λατρον latron hire, and λατρις latris hireling, so to serve for hire, then to serve in general gods or men, whether sacred services (Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:2) or spiritual service as here. Cf. Romans 12:1; Philippians 3:3.Unceasingly (αδιαλειπτως adialeiptōs). Late adverb for which see note on 1 Thessalonians 1:3. Also see 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, only other N.T. examples. Always (παντοτε pantote). One might think that Paul prayed for no others, but he uses both adverbs in 1 Thessalonians 1:2. He seems to have had prayer lists. He never omitted the Romans.
If by any means now at length (ει πως ηδη ποτε ei pōs ēdē pote). A condition of the first class in the form of an indirect question (aim) or elliptical condition like Acts 27:12 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1024). Note the four particles together to express Paul‘s feelings of emotion that now at length somehow it may really come true.I may be prospered (ευοδωτησομαι euodōthēsomai). First future passive indicative of ευοδοω euodoō for which verb see note on 1 Corinthians 16:2. By the will of God (εν τωι τεληματι του τεου en tōi thelēmati tou theou). Paul‘s way lay “in” God‘s will.
Impart (μεταδω metadō). Second aorist active subjunctive of μεταδιδωμι metadidōmi to share with one. See Luke 3:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:8.To the end ye may be established (εις το στηριχτηναι υμας eis to stērichthēnai humas). Final clause (common in Paul) with εις το eis to and the first aorist passive infinitive of στηριζω stērizō for which verb see Luke 22:32; 1 Thessalonians 3:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:13.
That is (τουτο δε εστιν touto de estin). “An explanatory correction” (Denney). The δε de should not be ignored. Instead of saying that he had a spiritual gift for them, he wishes to add that they also have one for him.That I with you may be comforted (συνπαρακλητηναι εν υμιν sunparaklēthēnai en humin). “My being comforted in you (εν υμιν en humin) together (συν suṅ) with you,” a mutual blessing to each party (you and me).
Oftentimes I purposed (πολλακις προετεμην pollakis proethemēn). Second aorist middle of προτιτημι protithēmi old verb to place, to propose to oneself, in N.T. only here, Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:9. See note on Acts 19:21 for this purpose.And was hindered (και εκωλυτην kai ekōluthēn). “But was hindered,” adversative use of και kai That I might have some fruit (ινα τινα καρπον σχω hina tina karpon schō). Second aorist (ingressive), active of εχω echō to have, and here means “might get (ingressive aorist) some fruit.”
On debtor (οπειλετης opheiletēs) see note on Galatians 5:3.Both to Greeks and to Barbarians (ελλησιν τε και βαρβαροις Hellēsin te kai barbarois). The whole human race from the Greek point of view, Jews coming under βαρβαροις barbarois On this word see note on Acts 28:2, Acts 28:4; note on 1 Corinthians 14:11; and note on Colossians 3:11 (only N.T. instances). The Greeks called all others barbarians and the Jews termed all others Gentiles. Did Paul consider the Romans as Greeks? They had absorbed the Greek language and culture.
So as much as in me is I am ready (ουτω το κατ εμε προτυμον houtō to kat' eme prothumon). Literally, “Thus the according to me affair is ready” (προτυμος prothumos old adjective, προ τυμος proεχ υμων thumos). It is an awkward idiom like to τα κατ εμε ex humōn in Romans 12:18. The plural ta kat' eme we find in Philemon 1:12; Colossians 4:7; Ephesians 6:21.
It is the power of God (δυναμις τεου εστιν dunamis theou estin). This Paul knew by much experience. He had seen the dynamite of God at work.To the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Ιουδαιωι τε πρωτον και ελληνι Ioudaiōi te prōton kai Hellēni). Jesus had taught this (John 4:22; John 10:16; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). The Jew is first in privilege and in penalty (Romans 2:9.). It is not certain that πρωτον prōton is genuine, but it is in Romans 2:9.
For therein (γαρ εν αυτωι gar en autōi). In the gospel (Romans 1:16) of which Paul is not ashamed.A righteousness of God (δικαιοσυνη τεου dikaiosunē theou). Subjective genitive, “a God kind of righteousness,” one that each must have and can obtain in no other way save “from faith unto faith” (εκ πιστεως εις πιστιν ek pisteōs eis pistin), faith the starting point and faith the goal (Lightfoot). Is revealed (αποκαλυπτεται apokaluptetai). It is a revelation from God, this God kind of righteousness, that man unaided could never have conceived or still less attained. In these words we have Paul‘s statement in his own way of the theme of the Epistle, the content of the gospel as Paul understands it. Every word is important: σωτηριαν sōtērian (salvation), ευαγγελιον euaggelion (gospel), αποκαλυπτεται apokaluptetai (is revealed), δικαιοσυνη τεου dikaiosunē theou (righteousness of God), πιστις pistis (faith) and πιστευοντι pisteuonti (believing). He grounds his position on Habakkuk 2:4 (quoted also in Galatians 3:11). By “righteousness” we shall see that Paul means both “justification” and “sanctification.” It is important to get a clear idea of Paul‘s use of δικαιοσυνη dikaiosunē here for it controls the thought throughout the Epistle. Jesus set up a higher standard of righteousness (δικαιοσυνη dikaiosunē) in the Sermon on the Mount than the Scribes and Pharisees taught and practised (Matthew 5:20) and proves it in various items. Here Paul claims that in the gospel, taught by Jesus and by himself there is revealed a God kind of righteousness with two ideas in it (the righteousness that God has and that he bestows). It is an old word for quality from δικαιος dikaios a righteous man, and that from δικη dikē right or justice (called a goddess in Acts 28:4), and that allied with δεικνυμι deiknumi to show, to point out. Other allied words are δικαιοω dikaioō to declare or make δικαιος dikaios (Romans 3:24, Romans 3:26), δικαιωμα dikaiōma that which is deemed δικαιος dikaios (sentence or ordinance as in Romans 1:32; Romans 2:26; Romans 8:4), δικαιωσις dikaiōsis the act of declaring δικαιος dikaios (only twice in N.T., Romans 4:25; Romans 5:18). Δικαιοσυνη Dikaiosunē and δικαιοω dikaioō are easy to render into English, though we use justice in distinction from righteousness and sanctification for the result that comes after justification (the setting one right with God). Paul is consistent and usually clear in his use of these great words.
For the wrath of God is revealed (αποκαλυπτεται γαρ οργη τεου apokaluptetai gar orgē theou). Note in Romans Paul‘s use of γαρ gar now argumentative, now explanatory, now both as here. There is a parallel and antecedent revelation (see Romans 1:17) of God‘s wrath corresponding to the revelation of God‘s righteousness, this an unwritten revelation, but plainly made known. Οργη Orgē is from οργαω orgaō to teem, to swell. It is the temper of God towards sin, not rage, but the wrath of reason and law (Shedd). The revelation of God‘s righteousness in the gospel was necessary because of the failure of men to attain it without it, for God‘s wrath justly rested upon all both Gentiles (Romans 1:18-32) and Jews (2:1-3:20).Ungodliness (ασεβειαν asebeian). Irreligion, want of reverence toward God, old word (cf. 2 Timothy 2:16). Unrighteousness (αδικιαν adikian). Lack (α a privative and δικη dikē) of right conduct toward men, injustice (Romans 9:14; Luke 18:6). This follows naturally from irreverence. The basis of ethical conduct rests on the nature of God and our attitude toward him, otherwise the law of the jungle (cf. Nietzsche, “might makes right”). Hold down the truth (την αλητειαν κατεχοντων tēn alētheian katechontōn). Truth (αλητεια αλητης alētheiaα alēthēs from λητω a privative and λαντανω lēthō or κατεχω lanthanō to conceal) is out in the open, but wicked men, so to speak, put it in a box and sit on the lid and “hold it down in unrighteousness.” Their evil deeds conceal the open truth of God from men. Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:6. for this use of katechō to hinder.
Because (διοτι dioti). Gives the reason (δια οτι diaτο γνωστον του τεου hoti like our “for that”) for the revelation of God‘s wrath.That which may be known of God (γινωσκω to gnōston tou theou). Verbal adjective from η γνωσις ginōskō either “the known” as elsewhere in N.T. (Acts 1:19; Acts 15:18, etc.) or “the knowable” as usual in ancient Greek, that is “the knowledge” (χρηστον hē gnōsis) of God. See Philippians 3:8. Cf. same use of the verbal αμετατετον chrēston in Romans 2:4, πανερον εν αυτοις ametatheton in Hebrews 6:17. Manifest in them (ο τεος επανερωσεν phaneron en autois). In their hearts and consciences. God manifested (πανεροω ho theos ephanerōsen). First aorist active indicative of phaneroō Not mere tautology. See Romans 2:14-16.
The invisible things of him (τα αορατα αυτου ta aorata autou). Another verbal adjective (α a privative and οραω horaō to see), old word, either unseen or invisible as here and elsewhere in N.T. (Colossians 1:15., etc.). The attributes of God‘s nature defined here as “his everlasting power and divinity” (η τε αιδιος αυτου δυναμις και τειοτης hē te aidios autou dunamis kai theiotēs). Αιδιος Aidios is for αειδιος aeidios from αει aei (always), old word, in N.T. only here and Judges 1:6, common in Philo (ζωη αιδιος zōē aidios), elsewhere αιωνιος aiōnios Τειοτης Theiotēs is from τειος theios (from τεος theos) quality of τεος theos and corresponds more to Latin divinitas from divus, divine. In Colossians 2:9 Paul uses τεοτης theotēs (Latin deitas from deus) deity, both old words and nowhere else in the N.T. Τεοτης Theotēs is Divine Personality, τειοτης theiotēs Divine Nature and properties (Sanday and Headlam).Since the creation of the world (απο κτισεως κοσμου apo ktiseōs kosmou). He means by God and unto God as antecedent to and superior to the world (cf. Colossians 1:15. about Christ). Are clearly seen (κατοραται kathoratai). Present passive indicative of κατοραω kathoraō (perfective use of κατα katȧ), old word, only here in N.T., with direct reference to αορατα aorata Being perceived (νοουμενα nooumena). Present passive participle of νοεω noeō to use the νους nous (intellect). That they may be without excuse (εις το ειναι αυτους αναπολογητους eis to einai autous anapologētous). More likely, “so that they are without excuse.” The use of εις το eis to and the infinitive (with accusative of general reference) for result like ωστε hōste is reasonably clear in the N.T. (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 219; Robertson, Grammar, p. 1003). Αναπολογητους Anapologētous is another verbal with αν an from απολογεομαι apologeomai Old word, in N.T. only here and Romans 2:1 (“inexcusable” here).
Because that (διοτι dioti). As in Romans 1:19.Knowing God (γνοντες τον τεον gnontes ton theon). Second aorist active participle of γινωσκω ginōskō to know by personal experience. Definite statement that originally men had some knowledge of God. No people, however degraded, have yet been found without some yearning after a god, a seeking to find the true God and get back to him as Paul said in Athens (Acts 17:27). Glorified not as God (ουχ ως τεον εδοχασαν ouch hōs theon edoxasan). They knew more than they did. This is the reason for the condemnation of the heathen (Romans 2:12-16), the failure to do what they know. Their senseless heart (η ασυνετος αυτων καρδια hē asunetos autōn kardia). Καρδια Kardia is the most comprehensive term for all our faculties whether feeling (Romans 9:2), will (1 Corinthians 4:5), intellect (Romans 10:6). It may be the home of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) or of evil desires (Romans 1:24). See notes on Mark 7:21. for list of vices that come “out of the heart.” Ασυνετος Asunetos is a verbal adjective from συνιημι suniēmi to put together, and α a privative, unintelligent, not able to put together the manifest evidence about God (Romans 1:20). So darkness settled down on their hearts (εσκοτιστη eskotisthē first aorist ingressive passive of σκοτιζω skotizō to darken).
Professing themselves to be wise (πασκοντες ειναι σοποι phaskontes einai sophoi). Σοποι Sophoi is predicate nominative with ειναι einai in indirect discourse agreeing with πασκοντες phaskontes (old verb, from πημι phēmi to say, rare in N.T.) in case and number according to regular Greek idiom (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1038).Became vain (εματαιωτησαν emataiōthēsan). Ingressive first aorist passive indicative of ματαιοω mataioō from ματαιος mataios (empty). Empty reasonings as often today. Became fools (εμωραντησαν emōranthēsan). Ingressive first aorist passive of μωραινω mōrainō to be a fool, old word from μωρος mōros a fool. An oxymoron or sharp saying, true and one that cuts to the bone. For the likeness of an image (εν ομοιωματι εικονος en homoiōmati eikonos). Both words, “a likeness which consists in an image or copy” (Lightfoot). See note on Philippians 2:7 for “likeness of men” and Colossians 1:15 for “image of God.” Paul shows indignant contempt for these grotesque efforts to present pictures of a deity that had been lost (Denney). Why is it that heathen images of gods in the form of men and beasts are so horrible to look upon?
Wherefore (διο dio). Paul‘s inexorable logic. See it also in Romans 1:26 with the same verb and in Romans 1:28 και kai like “and so.”God gave them up (παρεδωκεν αυτους ο τεος paredōken autous ho theos). First aorist active indicative of παραδιδωμι paradidōmi old and common verb to hand over (beside, παρα para) to one‘s power as in Matthew 4:12. These people had already wilfully deserted God who merely left them to their own self-determination and self-destruction, part of the price of man‘s moral freedom. Paul refers to this stage and state of man in Acts 17:30 by “overlooked” (υπεριδων huperidōn). The withdrawal of God‘s restraint sent men deeper down. Three times Paul uses παρεδωκεν paredōken here (Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28), not three stages in the giving over, but a repetition of the same withdrawal. The words sound to us like clods on the coffin as God leaves men to work their own wicked will. That their bodies should be dishonoured (του ατιμαζεσται τα σωματα αυτων tou atimazesthai ta sōmata autōn). Contemplated result expressed by του tou (genitive article) and the passive infinitive ατιμαζεσται atimazesthai (from ατιμος atimos α a privative and τιμος timos dishonoured) with the accusative of general reference. Christians had a new sense of dignity for the body (1 Thessalonians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 6:13). Heathenism left its stamp on the bodies of men and women.
Exchanged (μετηλλαχαν metēllaxan). First aorist active indicative of μεταλλασσω metallassō old word for exchanging trade, only here and Romans 1:26 in N.T. What a bargain they made, “the truth of God for (εν en) the (τωι tōi) lie.” “The price of mythology” (Bengel).Worshipped (εσεβαστησαν esebasthēsan). First aorist passive (used transitively) of σεβαζομαι sebazomai old verb, used in late Greek like σεβομαι sebomai to worship. Rather than the Creator (παρα τον κτισαντα para ton ktisanta). Placed side by side (παρα para the Creator and the creature, κτισις ktisis) they preferred the creature. Who is blessed forever. Amen (ος εστιν ευλογητοσ Αμην hos estin eulogētoṡ Amēn). One of Paul‘s doxologies which may come at any moment when he is greatly stirred, as in Romans 9:5. Ευλογητος Eulogētos is verbal of ευλογεω eulogeō f0).
Unto vile passions (εις πατη ατιμιας eis pathē atimias). Unto passions of dishonour. Πατος Pathos old word from πασχω paschō to experience, originally meant any feeling whether good or bad, but in N.T. always in bad sense as here, 1 Thessalonians 4:5; Colossians 3:5 (only N.T. examples).That which is against nature (την παρα πυσιν tēn para phusin). The degradation of sex is what Paul here notes as one of the results of heathenism (the loss of God in the life of man). They passed by the Creator.
Turned (εχεκαυτησαν exekauthēsan). First aorist passive indicative, causative aorist, of εκκαιω ekkaiō old verb, to burn out, to set on fire, to inflame with anger or lust. Here only in N.T.Lust (ορεχει orexei). Only here in N.T. Unseemliness (ασχημοσυνην aschēmosunēn). Old word from ασχημον aschēmon (deformed). In N.T. only here and Revelation 16:15. Recompense (αντιμιστιαν antimisthian). See note on 2 Corinthians 6:13 for only other N.T. instance of this late Pauline word, there in good sense, here in bad. Which was due (hēn edei). Imperfect active for obligation still on them coming down from the past. This debt will be paid in full (apolambanontes pay back as in Luke 6:34, and due as in Luke 23:41). Nature will attend to that in their own bodies and souls.
And even as they refused (και κατως ουκ εδοκιμασαν kai kathōs ouk edokimasan). “And even as they rejected” after trial just as δοκιμαζω dokimazō is used of testing coins. They tested God at first and turned aside from him.Knowledge (επιγνωσει epignōsei). Full knowledge (επι epi additional, γνωσις gnōsis). They had a dim memory that was a caricature. Unto a reprobate mind (εις αδοκιμον νουν eis adokimon noun). Play on ουκ εδοκιμασαν ouk edokimasan They rejected God and God rejected their mental attitude and gave them over (Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28). See this adjective already in 1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5-7. Like an old abandoned building, the home of bats and snakes, left “to do those things which are not fitting” (ποιειν τα μη κατηκοντα poiein ta mē kathēkonta), like the night clubs of modern cities, the dives and dens of the underworld, without God and in the darkness of unrestrained animal impulses. This was a technical term with Stoics (2 Maccabees 6:4).
Being called with (πεπληρωμενους peplērōmenous). Perfect passive participle of the common verb πληροω plēroō state of completion, “filled to the brim with” four vices in the associative instrumental case (αδικιαι adikiāi unrighteousness as in Romans 1:18, πονηριαι ponēriāi active wickedness as in Mark 7:22, πλεονεχιαι pleonexiāi covetousness as in 1 Thessalonians 2:5; Luke 12:15, κακιαι kakiāi maliciousness or inward viciousness of disposition as in 1 Corinthians 5:8). Note asyndeton, no connective in the lists in Romans 1:29-31. Dramatic effect. The order of these words varies in the MSS. and πορνειαι porneiāi fornication, is not genuine here (absent in Aleph A B C).Full of (μεστους mestous). Paul changes from participle to adjective. Old adjective, rare in the N.T., like μεστοω mestoō to fill full (only in Acts 2:13 in N.T.), stuffed full of (with genitive). Five substantives in the genitive (πτονου phthonou envy, as in Galatians 5:21, πονου phonou murder, and so a paronomasia or combination with πτονου phthonou of like sounding words, εριδος eridos strife, as in 2 Corinthians 12:16, κακοητιας kakoēthias malignity, and here only in N.T. though old word from κακοητης kakoēthēs and that from κακος kakos and ητος ēthos a tendency to put a bad construction on things, depravity of heart and malicious disposition.
Paul changes the construction again to twelve substantives and adjectives that give vivid touches to this composite photograph of the God abandoned soul.Whisperers (πσιτυριστας psithuristas). Old word from πσιτυριζω psithurizō to speak into the ear, to speak secretly, an onomatopoetic word like πσιτυρισμος psithurismos (2 Corinthians 12:20) and only here in N.T. Backbiters (καταλαλους katalalous). Found nowhere else except in Hermas, compound like καταλαλεω katalaleō to talk back (James 4:11), and καταλαλια katalalia talking back (2 Corinthians 12:20), talkers back whether secretly or openly. Hateful to God (τεοστυγεις theostugeis). Old word from τεος theos and στυγεω stugeō All the ancient examples take it in the passive sense and so probably here. So στυγητος stugētos (Titus 3:13). Vulgate has deo odibiles. Insolent (υβριστας hubristas). Old word for agent from υβριζω hubrizō to give insult to, here alone in N.T. save 1 Timothy 1:13. Haughty (υπερηπανους huperēphanous). From υπερ huper and παινομαι phainomai to appear above others, arrogant in thought and conduct, “stuck up.” Boastful (αλαζονας alazonas). From αλη alē wandering. Empty pretenders, swaggerers, braggarts. Inventors of evil things (επευρετας κακων epheuretas kakōn). Inventors of new forms of vice as Nero was. Tacitus (Ann. IV. ii) describes Sejanus as facinorum omnium repertor and Virgil (Aen. ii. 163) scelerum inventor. Disobedient to parents (γονευσιν απειτεις goneusin apeitheis). Cf. 1 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:2. An ancient and a modern trait.
Without understanding (ασυνετους asunetous). Same word in Romans 1:21.Covenant-breakers (ασυντετους asunthetous). Another paronomasia or pun. Α A privative and verbal συντετος sunthetos from συντιτημι suntithēmi to put together. Old word, common in lxx (Jer 3:7), men “false to their engagements” (Sanday and Headlam), who treat covenants as “a scrap of paper.” Without natural affection (αστοργους astorgous). Late word, α a privative and στοργη storgē love of kindred. In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 3:3. Unmerciful (ανελεημονας aneleēmonas). From α a privative and ελεημων eleēmōn merciful. Late word, only here in N.T. Some MSS. add ασπονδους aspondous implacable, from 2 Timothy 3:3. It is a terrible picture of the effects of sin on the lives of men and women. The late Dr. R. H. Graves of Canton, China, said that a Chinaman who got hold of this chapter declared that Paul could not have written it, but only a modern missionary who had been to China. It is drawn to the life because Paul knew Pagan Graeco-Roman civilization.
The ordinance of God (το δικαιωμα του τεου to dikaiōma tou theou). The heathen knows that God condemns such evil practices.But also consent with them (αλλα και συνευδοκουσιν alla kai suneudokousin). Late verb for hearty approval as in Luke 11:48; Acts 8:1; 1 Corinthians 7:12. It is a tragedy of American city government that so many of the officials are proven to be hand in glove with the underworld of law-breakers.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Easter