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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Romans 15

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

Various writers formerly, from the days of Semler,(2) disputed, not that Paul was the author of chap. 15 and 16 (as to the doxology, Romans 16:25-27, see, however, the critical notes on chap. 16), but that chap. 15 and 16 along with chap. 1–14 compose one epistle. Semler himself thought that Paul had given to the bearers of the letter—of which Phoebe was not the bearer—a list, which they might exhibit, of the teachers whom they were to visit on their journey by way of Cenchreae (where Phoebe dwelt) and Ephesus (where Aquila dwelt), and to whom they were to hand a copy of the letter. This list was in his view chap. 16, of which, however, Romans 15:25-27 had their original place after Romans 14:23 (which also Paulus, Griesbach, Flatt, Eichhorn assumed); and chap. 15 was an open letter to those same teachers, with whom the travellers were to confer respecting the contents.

Paulus (de originib. ep. ad Rom., Jen. 1801, and in his Kommentar z. Gal. u. Rom. 1831, Introd.) held chap. 15 to be an appended letter for those who were enlightened, and chap. 16 to have been a separate leaf for the bearer of the letters, with commendations to the overseers of the church and commissions to those whom they were particularly to greet from Paul. Griesbach (curae in hist. text. Gr. epp. P. p. 45, and in his Opusc. ed. Gabl. vol. ii. p. 63; comp. in opposition to him, Gabler himself in the Preface, p. xxiv.), whom in the main Flatt followed, saw in chap. 15 an appendix for the further discussion of the last subject, subjoined after the conclusion of the letter, while chap. 16 Consisted originally of various appended leaflets. A similar hypothesis was constructed by Eichhorn (Einleit. III. p. 232 ff.), who, however, regarded Romans 16:1-20 as not belonging to Rome at all, but as a letter of commendation for Phoebe, probably destined for Corinth, but taken along with her to Rome. Among all the grounds by which these varied assumptions have been supported, there are none which are valid, not even those which appear the least to rest on arbitrary assumption. For the statement that Marcion did not read chap. 15 and 16 amounts to this, that he, according to his fashion (see Hahn, d. Ev. Marcion’s, p. 50 ff.), excised them.(3) See, besides, Nitzsch in the Zeitschr. f. histor. Theol. 1860, I, p. 285 ff. Further, that Tertullian, c. Marc. v. 14, designates the passage Romans 14:10 as to be found in clausula of the epistle, is sufficiently explained from the fact that he is arguing against Marcion and hence refers to his copy. Comp. also Rönsch, d. N. T. Tertullian’s, p. 350. Again, the repeated formulae of conclusion before the final close of the letter (Romans 16:20; Romans 16:24; Romans 15:33 is merely the concluding wish of a section) are most readily and naturally understood from the repeated intention of the apostle actually to conclude; which was to be done first of all at Romans 16:16, but was frustrated through the intrusion of the further observation Romans 15:17 ff., and was deferred till Romans 15:20, after which, however, some further commissions of greeting were introduced (Romans 15:21-23), so that not until Romans 15:24 did the last wish of blessing—and now, for the complete conclusion of the whole, the ample doxology, Romans 15:25-27—finish the epistle. Most plausible are the two difficulties felt in reference to chap. 16; namely, (1) that Paul would probably not have had so many acquaintances in Rome, where he had not yet been at all, as he greets in chap, 16, especially seeing that, in the epistles subsequently written from Rome, he mentions none of them; and (2) that Aquila and Priscilla could hardly at that time have been in Rome (Romans 16:3), because they not long before were still dwelling in Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:19), and were at a later period likewise in Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:19). This has been regarded as the most serious difficulty by Ammon (Praefat. p. 24)—who held chap. 16 to be a letter of commendation written by the apostle for Phoebe to Corinth after the imprisonment at Rome—and recently by Dav. Schulz (in the Stud. u. Krit. 1829, p. 609 ff.), Schott (Isag. p. 249 ff.), Reuss (Gesch. d. h. Schrift. § 111), Ewald, Laurent, Lucht. Schulz regards chap. 16 as written from Rome to Ephesus; while Schott’s judgment is as follows: “Totum cap. 16 composition est fragmentis diversis(4) alius cujusdam epistolae brevioris (maximam partem amissae), quam Paulus Corinthi ad coetum quendam Christianum in Asia Minori versantem dederat, ita ut, qui schedulas singulas haec fragmenta exhibentes sensim sensimque deprehendisset, continua serie unum adjiceret alteri.” Reuss (so also Hausrath and Sabatier) sees in Romans 16:1-20 a letter with which Phoebe, who was travelling to Ephesus, was entrusted to the church there; while Ewald (comp. Mangold, also Ritschl in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol. 1866, p. 352) cuts out only Romans 15:3-20, but likewise regards this portion as having originally pertained to an epistle of the apostle to the Ephesians, which, according to Romans 15:7, was written from the Roman captivity; as, indeed, also Laurent (neutest. Stud. p. 31 ff.) extracts from Romans 15:1-24 a special commendatory letter for Phoebe, written by the apostle’s own hand to the Ephesians, assuming at the same time marginal remarks;(5) and Lucht assigns the commendation of Phoebe, and the greetings by name in Romans 15:3-6, to a letter to the Ephesians, but the greetings following in Romans 15:7 ff. to the editor of the Epistle to the Romans. But (1) just in the case of Rome it is readily conceivable that Paul had many acquaintances there, some of whom had come from Asia and Greece, and had settled in Rome, whether permanently or temporarily (several perhaps as missionaries); while others, like Aquila, had been banished as Jews under Claudius, and then had returned as Pauline Christians. (2) It is by no means necessary that Paul should have known the whole of those saluted by sight; how many might, though personally unknown, be saluted by him! (3) The fact that Paul at a later period, when he himself was a prisoner in Rome and wrote thence (in my judgment, the Epistle to the Philippians here alone comes into consideration; see Introd. to Eph. and Col.; the Pastoral Epistles, as non-apostolic, must be disregarded), does not again mention any one of those here saluted, may have arisen from the altered circumstances of the time; for between the composition of the epistle to Rome and the apostle’s sojourn in Rome there lies an interval of three years, during which the majority of those referred to might have obtained other places of destination. Besides, the salutation which Paul in the Epistle to the Philippians offers to others (Romans 4:22) is merely a quite summary one. (4) There exists no ground at all for denying that Aquila and Priscilla might, after the writing of our First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:19), have returned from Ephesus to Rome and have informed the apostle of their sojourn and activity there. (5) The greeting from all churches in Romans 15:16 is suitable enough for an epistle addressed to the church of the capital city of the empire; and the first-fruits of Asia, Romans 15:5, was everywhere a distinguishing predicate, so that it does not presuppose one living precisely in Ephesus.(6) (6) Were Romans 15:3-20 a portion cast adrift of an epistle to the Ephesians, or even a separate small letter to the Ephesians, it would not be easy to see how it should have come precisely to this place; it must have from the outset lost every trace of the tradition of its original destination to such an extent, that no occasion was found even afterwards, when an epistle to the Ephesians was already in ecclesiastical use, to subjoin it to that epistle. From all this there just as little remains any sufficient ground for severing, in opposition to all testimony, chap, 16., as there is for severing chap. 15, having otherwise so close an external and internal connection with chap. 14, from the Epistle to the Romans, and giving up the unity of the as handed down.

It was reserved at last for the criticism of Baur to contest the apostolic origin of chap. 15, 16 (in the Tüb. Zeitschr. 1836, 3, and Paulus, I. p. 394 ff., ed. 2; comp. also in the theol. Jahrb. 1849, 4, p. 493 ff.; Schwegler, nachapostol. Zeitalt. p. 123 ff.; Volkmar, in the theol. Jahrb. 1856, p. 321 ff., and Röm. Kirche, 1857, p. 3). Baur finds in the last two chapters a making of advances towards the Jewish Christians,(7) such as does not suit the tenor of the rest of the epistle. In this view he objects particularly to Romans 15:3; Romans 15:8; Romans 15:14 in chap. 15; Romans 15:9-12 is a mere accumulation of Bible passages to pacify the Jewish Christians; Romans 15:15 is irrelevant, Romans 15:20 no less so; the statement of Romans 15:19 : from Jerusalem to Illyricum, is unhistorical, derived from a later interest; Romans 15:22-23 do not agree with Romans 1:10-13; Romans 15:24; Romans 15:28, intimating that Paul intended to visit the Romans only on his route to Spain, are surprising; Romans 15:25-26 have been taken by the writer from the epistles to the Corinthians for his own purpose, in order to win over the Jewish Christians; the long series of persons saluted in chap. 16—a list of notabilities in the early Roman church—was intended to afford proof that Paul already stood in confidential relations to the best known members of the church, in connection with which several names, among them the συγγενεῖς of the apostle as well as Aquila and Priscilla, and their characterization are suspicious; Romans 15:17-20 are unsuitably placed, and without characteristic colouring; the position of the final doxology is uncertain; the entire complaisance towards the Jewish Christians conflicts with Galatians 1, 2 But this same (so-called) complaisance (according to Volkmar, “with all manner of excuses and half compliments”) is assumed utterly without ground, especially seeing that Paul had already in an earlier passage expressed so much of deep and true sympathy for his people (comp. Romans 9:1 ff., Romans 10:1-2, Romans 11:1-2; Romans 11:11 ff., et al.); and whatever else is discovered to be irrelevant, unsuitable, and unhistoric in the two chapters is simply and solely placed in this wrong light through the interest of suspicion; while, on the other hand, the whole language and mode of representation are so distinctively Pauline, that an interpolation so comprehensive would in fact stand unique, and how singular, at the same time, in being furnished with such different conclusions and fresh starts! See, further, Kling in the Stud. u. Krit. 1837, p. 308 ff.; Delitzsch in the Luther. Zeitschr. 1849, p. 609 ff.; Th. Schott, p. 119 ff.; Wieseler in Herzog’s Encyklop. XX. p. 598 f.; Mangold, p. 67 ff.; Riggenbach in the Luther. Zeitschr. 1868, p. 41 ff.

Nevertheless Lucht, l.c., has once more come into very close contact with Baur, in proposing the hypothesis that the genuine epistle of Paul, extending to Romans 14:23, existed in an incomplete state; that thereupon, one hand, summing up the main points of the epistle in the (un-Pauline) doxology, added the latter after Romans 14:23; while another further continued the theme broken off at Romans 14:23, and subjoined an epilogue, along with greetings, to the Romans. In this way two editions arose, of which one (A) contained chap. 1–14 and Romans 16:25-27; while the other (B) contained chap, 1–14 and Romans 15:1-16; Romans 15:24; A and B were then supplemented from one another. That which Paul himself had appended after Romans 14:23, was removed from it by the Roman clergy, and laid up in their archives (out of consideration for the ascetics, namely); but subsequently it, along with fragments of an epistle to the Ephesians, which had also been placed in the archives, had been worked in by the composer of chap. 15 and 16. This entire hypothesis turns upon presuppositions and combinations which are partly arbitrary in themselves, and partly without any solid ground or support in the detailed exegesis.


Verse 1

Romans 15:1. Connection: To the preceding exposition of the perniciousness of the eating indicated in Romans 14:23, Paul now subjoins the general obligation,(9) which is to be fulfilled by the strong, over against ( δέ) that imperilling of the weak. The contrast of δυνατοί and ἀδύνατοι is just as in chap. 14; the τῇ πίστει of more precise definition in Romans 14:1 is so fully understood of itself after the preceding discussion, that we have here no right either to generalize the contrast (Hofmann: of the soundness and frailty of the Christian state of the subjects generally), or to single out the δυνατοί as a peculiar extreme party, which in their opposition to the weak had gone further and had demanded more than the remaining members of the church who did not belong to the weak (Mangold, employing this interpretation in favour of his view as to the Jewish-Christian majority of the church, as if the δυνατοί had been a Gentile-Christian minority). Against this, ἡ΄εῖς is already decisive, whereby Paul, in agreement with Romans 14:14; Romans 14:20, has associated himself with the strong, making his demand as respects its positive and negative portions the more urgent.

τὰ ἀσθενή΄ατα] the actual manifestations, which appear as results of the ἀσθενεῖν τῇ πίστει (Romans 14:1). The word is not found elsewhere. These imbecillitates are conceived as a burden (comp. Galatians 6:2) which the strong take up and bear from the weak, inasmuch as they devote to them, in respect to these weaknesses, patience and the helpful sympathy (2 Corinthians 11:29) of ministering love.(10) Thus they, in themselves strong and free, become servants of the weak, as Paul was servant of all, 1 Corinthians 9:19; 1 Corinthians 9:22.

μὴ ἑαυτοῖς ἀρέσκειν] not to please ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:33); “quemadmodum solent, qui proprio judicio contenti alios secure negligunt,” Calvin. This is moral selfishness.


Verses 1-13

Romans 15:1-13.(8) More general continuation of the subject previously treated: Exhortation to the strong to bear with the weak, according to Christ’s example (Romans 15:1-4); a Messing on concord (Romans 15:5-6); and a summons to receive one another as brethren, as Christ has received them, Jews and Gentiles (Romans 15:7-12). Blessing (Romans 15:13).


Verse 2

Romans 15:2. εἰς τὸ ἀγαθ.] for his benefit. Comp. 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. A more special definition thereof is πρὸς οἰκοδομήν, in order to build up, to produce Christian perfection (in him). See on Romans 14:19. According to Fritzsche, εἰς τὸ ἀγαθ. is in respect of what is good, whereby immoral men-pleasing is excluded. But its exclusion is understood of itself, and is also implied in πρὸς οἰκοδομήν. On the interchange of εἰς and πρός, comp. Romans 3:25-26.


Verse 3

Romans 15:3. Establishment of this duty by the pattern: for Christ also, etc.

ἀλλὰ, καθὼς κ. τ. λ.] but, as it is written, the reproaches of those reproaching thee fell on me. After ἀλλά a comma only is to be placed, and nothing is to be supplied, neither sibi displicuit with Erasmus, nor fecit with Grotius and others, nor ἐγένετο (Borger) and the like. Had Paul desired to express himself in purely narrative form, he would have written instead of σέ: θεόν, and instead of ἐμέ: αὐτόν. But he retains the scriptural saying, which he adduces, literally, enhancing thereby the direct force and vivacity of the discourse. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:31; Winer, 534, 556 [E. T. pp. 719, 749].

The passage is Psalms 69:10 (literally after the LXX.), where the suffering subject is a type of the Messiah (comp. Romans 11:9; John 2:17; John 15:25; John 19:28).

That the reproaches of the enemies of God fell on Christ, i.e. that the enemies of God vented their fury on Christ, proves that Christ was bent on pleasing not Himself (for otherwise He would have abstained from taking these His sufferings upon Himself; comp. Hebrews 12:2-3, Philippians 2:6-8), but men, inasmuch as He in order to their redemption surrendered Himself, with full self-renunciation of His αὐτάρκεια, to the enmity against God of His adversaries. Calvin and others: “Ita se Domino devovisse, ut descinderetur animo, quoties sacrum ejus nomen patere impiorum maledicentiae videret,” so that the idea of self-denying devotion to the cause of God (so also de Wette and Philippi) is expressed. But according to the connection, it is the devotion of Christ, not for the cause of God, but for the salvation of humanity (see Romans 15:2), into fellowship of suffering with which He entered, that is to be proposed as an example. Comp. Matthew 20:28.

ὀνειδισμός belongs to later Greek. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 512.


Verse 4

Romans 15:4. In O. T. words Paul had just presented the example of Christ as an encouragement, and not without reason: for all that was previously written, etc. This reason(11) might, in truth, cause the example of Christ set before them to appear all the more inviting and involving the more sacred obligation to follow it.

προεγράφη] προ clearly obtains its definition through the ἡ΄ετέραν in the second clause, prefixed with emphasis; hence: all that was written before us, before our time,(12) by which is meant the collective contents of the O. T. Wrongly, therefore, Reiche and Hofmann think that it refers to the Messianic oracles written before their fulfilment. On διδασκ. comp. 2 Timothy 3:16

διὰ τῆς ὑπο΄. κ. τ. παρακλ. τ. γρ.] through the perseverance and the comfort which the Scriptures afford to us. That τ. ὑπομ. is to be connected with τῶν γραφ. (in opposition to Melanchthon, Grotius, Amnion, Flatt, van Hengel, and others), is clear from the fact, that otherwise τ. ὑπο΄. would stand severed from the connection, as well as from Romans 15:5 : θεὸς τῆς ὑπο΄. κ. τ. παρακλ. The ὑπο΄ονή is here also, according to Romans 15:3, and conformably to the connection with παράκλησις, self-denying endurance in all sufferings (see on Romans 5:3), opposed to ἑαυτῷ ἀρέσκειν; and the γραφαί are conceived as “ministerium spiritus” (Melanchthon). Incorrectly Hofmann understands the ὑπομονὴ τ. γραφ. as the waiting upon Scripture (namely, upon that which stands written in it), upon its fulfilment. Thus there is substituted for the notion of ὑπομονή that of ἀποκαραδοκία (Romans 8:19), or ἀνα΄ονή (Symmachus, Psalms 38:8; Psalms 70:5), which even in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 it by no means has (see Lünemann); and how strangely would the only once used τῶν γραφ. be forced into two entirely different references of the genitive!

τὴν ἐλπίδα ἔχω΄εν denotes having the hope (i.e. the definite and conscious Christian hope of the Messianic glory); for to promote the possession of this blessed hope by means of patience and comfort in Christians, is the object for which the contents of the O. T. were written for the instruction of Christians. Accordingly neither is ἔχωμ. to be taken as teneamus, with Beza and others; nor is ἐλπ., with Reiche and others, of the object of hope. Against the latter (see on Colossians 1:5) militates the fact that ἐλπίδα ἔχειν never denotes anything else than the subjective spem habere. Acts 24:15; 2 Corinthians 10:15; Ephesians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; 1 John 3:3, et al.; Wisdom of Solomon 3:18; Xen. Mem. iv. 2. 28; Polyb. i. 59. 2. Comp. Lobeck, Aglaoph. I. p. 70. But that the ἐλπίς refers to the conversion of the world of nations is a misunderstanding of Hofmann’s, which is connected with his erroneous reference of γάρ, Romans 15:4 (see on Romans 15:4). It is the hope of eternal salvation which, warranted and fostered by the influence of Scripture imparting patience and consolation, can and should merge and reconcile all separate efforts of αὐταρέσκεια, which divide men, into the mutual unanimity of Christian sentiment. Comp. Ephesians 4:3-4.


Verse 5

Romans 15:5. δέ] leading over to the wish that God may grant them the concord which it was the design of the previous exhortation, Romans 15:1-4, to establish.

The characteristic designation of God as the author of the perseverance and of the consolation,(13) is intended not merely to supply an external connection with Romans 15:4, but stands in an internal relation to the following to τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν, since this cannot exist if men’s minds are not patient and consoled, so that they do not allow themselves to be disturbed by anything adverse in the like effort which must take place in their mutual fellowship ( ἐν ἀλληλ.). Through this identity ( τὸ αὐτὸ, comp. on Romans 12:16) of purpose and endeavour there exists in a church καρδία καὶ ψυχὴ ΄ία, Acts 4:32.

On the form δῷη, instead of the older Attic δοίη, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 346; Kühner, I. p. 644.

κατὰ χ. .] conformably to Christ. Either Christ is conceived as the regulative ideal of the frame of mind, according to which each is to adjust himself for his part in the common τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν; or: according to the will of Christ (comp. John 17:21), like κατὰ θεόν, Romans 8:27. The first is to be preferred, since the model of Christ, Romans 15:3 (comp. Romans 15:7), is still the conception present to the apostle’s mind. Comp. Colossians 2:8; Philippians 2:5; κατὰ κύριον, 2 Corinthians 11:17, is somewhat different.


Verse 6

Romans 15:6. ἐν ἑνὶ στόματι] By this the preceding ὁμοθυμαδόν is not explained (Reiche)—which is an impossible notion—but ὁμοθ. specifies the source of the ἐν ἑνὶ στ., and is to be closely joined with it: unanimously with one mouth, not: unanimously, with one mouth. It is otherwise, e.g., with Dem. 147. 1 : ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐκ μιᾶς γνώμης, where the explanatory addition has a place. If God is so praised, that each is led by the like disposition to the like utterance of praise, then all dissension is removed, and the unanimity of the fellowship has found in this σύμφωνος ὑμνῳδία (Theodore of Mopsuestia) its holiest expression. On ἐν ἑνὶ στόματι (instrumental), comp. the classical ἐξ ἑνὸς στόματος, Plato, 640 C, p. 364 A Legg. i. p. 634 E Rep. Anthol. xi. 159.

τοῦ κυρίου κ. τ. λ.] belongs simply to πατέρα, not also to θεόν (in opposition to Grotius, Bengel, and others, including Rückert, Reiche, Tholuck (?), Fritzsche), and καί adds epexegetically the specific more precise definition. So throughout with this description of God habitually used by the apostles, as 2 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3. This is clear from the passages, in which with πατ. the genitive ( ἰησοῦ χ.) is not subjoined, as 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:17; James 1:27; James 3:9. See on 1 Corinthians 15:24; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3. It ought not to have been objected, that the form of expression must either have been τὸν θεὸν ἡμῶν κ. πατέρα . χ. or τὸν θεὸν τὸν πατ. . χ. Either of these would be the expression of another idea. But as Paul has expressed himself, τόν binds the conceptions of God and “Father of Christ” into unity. Comp. Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 373 f.; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 1. 19, ad Anab. ii. 2. 8. Rightly Theodoret: ἡμῶν θεὸν ἐκάλεσα τὸν θεὸν, τοῦ δὲ κυρίου πατέρα.


Verse 7

Romans 15:7. διό] in order, namely, that this object, Romans 15:6, may be attained, that its attainment may not be hindered on your part.(14)

προσλαμβ.] See on Romans 14:1. That not the strong alone (Hofmann), but both parties, and thus the readers collectively, are addressed, and that subsequently ὑμᾶς refers to both (not merely or principally to the Gentile-Christians, as Rückert and Reiche think), follows from ἀλλήλους; and see Romans 15:8-9.

προσελάβετο] “sibi sociavit,” Grotius. Comp. Romans 14:3.

εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ] belongs to προσελάβ. ὑ΄ᾶς, beside which it stands, and to which, in accordance with Romans 15:8-9 ff., it is alone suitable. Hence it is not to be connected with προσλα΄β. ἀλλήλ. (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Erasmus, and others); and just as little with the latter immediately, but with προσελάβ. ὑμᾶς only mediately (as Hofmann splits the reference). But it means: that God might be thereby glorified, not: “ut aliquando divinae gloriae cum ipso simus (sitis) participes,” Grotius (so also Beza, Piscator, Calovius, Klee, Benecke, Glöckler), which is condemned by Romans 15:8-9 ff. as opposed to the context. Comp. Philippians 2:11; Ephesians 1:12.


Verse 8-9

Romans 15:8-9. A more precise explanation—which furnishes a still more definite motive for compliance with the προσλαμβ. ἀλλ.—respecting χριστὸς προσελάβ. ὑμ. εἰς δόξ. θεοῦ, first in respect of Jewish-Christians (Romans 15:8), and then of Gentile-Christians (Romans 15:9), and that in such a manner that the connection of the former with Christ appears as the fulfilment of their theocratic claim, but that of the latter as the enjoyment of grace;—a distinction so set forth, not from the Jewish-Christian narrowness of the author (Lucht), but designedly and ingeniously (comp. Romans 11:28-29), in order to suggest to the Gentile-Christians greater esteem for their weaker Jewish brethren,(15) and humility.

λέγω γάρ] I mean, namely, in order more particularly to explain myself respecting the προσελάβετο ὑμᾶς κ. τ. λ.; otherwise in Romans 12:3. But comp. 1 Corinthians 1:12; Galatians 4:1; Galatians 5:16. Frequently thus in the Greek writers.

διάκονον γεγεν. περιτ.] διάκ. has emphasis, in order to bring out the original theocratic dignity of the Jewish-Christians. Christ has become minister of the circumcised; for to devote His activity to the welfare of the Jewish nation was, according to promise, the duty of His Messianic office. Comp. Matthew 20:28; Matthew 15:24.

ὑπὼρ ἀληθ. θεοῦ] more particularly explained at once by what follows; hence: for the sake of the truthfulness of God, in order to justify and to demonstrate it through the realization of the hallowed promise given to the fathers; comp. 2 Corinthians 1:20. Thus the προσελάβετο ὑμᾶς in respect of the Jewish-Christians redounded εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ; but it redounded to this quite otherwise in respect of the Gentile-Christians, Romans 15:9.

ὑπὲρ ἐλέους] contrast to ὑπὲρ ἀληθ. θεοῦ, Romans 15:8 : on behalf of mercy, i.e. for mercy, which God has evinced towards them by His making them joint partakers in redemption. The references of ὑπέρ in the two cases are thus not alike.

δοξάσαι, ordinarily understood as dependent on λέγω, may neither denote: have praised (namely, at their adoption), as Reiche, Rückert, de Wette, Bisping would explain it, which not merely introduces an irrelevant idea, but also runs counter to the usage of the aorist infinitive (even 2 Corinthians 6:1, see in loc.); nor: have to praise (Tholuck, Philippi, and most), for there is no mention of a duty according to the parallelism of the two verses, since λέγω γάρ has not here the sense of commanding (see on Romans 12:3, Romans 2:22); nor, finally, is it an infinitive without reference to time (I say, that the Gentiles praise), as Winer, p. 311 f. [E. T. p. 417], and Fritzsche, after the Vulgate, Luther, and others, take it, which would have required the present infinitive, because λέγω does not here express the notion of willing, hoping, and the like (see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 749), but simply that of affirming with statement of the object. Moreover, the aorist infinitive necessarily leads to this, that δοξάσαι is parallel to the preceding βεβαιῶσαι, and consequently is not governed by λέγω at all, but is connected with εἰς τὸ, as Castalio and Beza have rightly perceived; comp. also Bengel (“glorificarent”) and van Hengel. Hence: “in order that He might ratify the promises of the fathers, but that the Gentiles, on behalf of mercy, might praise God.” The former, namely, ὑπὲρ ἀληθείας θεοῦ εἰς τὸ βεβαιῶσαι κ. τ. λ., was the proximate design of Christ’s having become minister of the circumcised; and the more remote design, which was to be attained through the passing of salvation from the Jews to the Gentiles (comp. Galatians 3:14), consisted in this, that on the other hand the Gentiles should praise God on account of mercy. Incorrectly, Hofmann takes δοξάσαι as optative: Paul wishes that the Gentiles, etc. In this way the εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ, Romans 15:7, would be something which was still only to set in, although it had set in long ago (comp. Romans 9:24-25, and see Romans 15:16-24). Without ground, Hofmann imports into the simple τὰ ἔθνη the idea of “the Gentile world as a whole;” it can in fact according to the context denote only the Gentile portion of those, whom Christ προσελάβετο εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ.

Observe, moreover, how logically correct is the contrast of ὑπὲρ ἀληθ. and ὑπὲρ ἐλέους (in opposition to Olshausen, Fritzsche); for although God had promised the future πρόσληψις of the Gentiles also (in the prophets), He nevertheless cannot have promised it to the Gentiles themselves, as He has given the Messianic promise to the Jews themselves and chosen them for His people, in accordance with which, He, by virtue of His truthfulness, was bound to His word, and consequently the Jews, not the Gentiles, were de jure the children in terms of the covenant and heirs of the kingdom; comp. Romans 9:4-5; Acts 3:25; see also Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 397.

καθὼς γέγρ.] This praising by the Gentiles takes place in conformity with (as a fulfilment of) Psalms 18:50, which passage is quoted after the LXX. The historical subject of the passage, David, is a type of Christ; hence neither the Gentile-Christian (Fritzsche), nor the apostle of the Gentiles as the organ of Christ (Hofmann, comp. Reiche), nor any messenger of salvation generally to the Gentile world (Philippi), is in the sense of the apostle the subject of the fulfilment of the prophecy, but only Christ can be so. The latter says to God that He, as present among the Gentiles (whom He has made His own through their conversion), will magnify Him. This, however, is a plastic representation of the praise of the Gentiles themselves, which in fact takes place ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου ἰησοῦ and διʼ αὐτοῦ (Colossians 3:17). Comp. already Augustine: “tibi per me confitebantur gentes.” Bengel aptly says: “Quod in psalmo Christus dicit se facturum, id Paulus gentes ait facere; nempe Christus facit in gentibus, Hebrews 2:12.”

διὰ τοῦτο] included as a constituent part of the citation, but without reference to the matter in hand in Paul’s text.

ἐν ἔθνεσι] to whom He, through the Spirit, by means of the preaching of the gospel has come, and has placed them in communion with Himself.

As to ἐξο΄ολογ. with the dative, comp. on Romans 14:11. It presupposes, as well as ψαλῶ and the corresponding verbs, Romans 15:10-11, the divine ἔλεος, which had been vouchsafed to the Gentiles, as motive.


Verse 10

Romans 15:10. πάλιν] Again, namely, in another passage containing the same thing. Comp. 1 Corinthians 3:20; Matthew 4:7; Matthew 5:33.

λέγει] sc. γραφή, which is to be taken from γέγραπται, Romans 15:9.

The passage is Deuteronomy 32:43, closely following the LXX., who, however, probably following another reading ( אֶת־עַמּוֹ in Kennicott), deviate from the Hebrew.(16)


Verse 11

Romans 15:11. Psalms 117:1 (closely following the LXX., but see the critical notes) contains a twofold parallel summons to the praise of God, addressed to all Gentile peoples.(17) In this case αἰνεῖν and ἐπαινεῖν are not different in degree (Philippi), but only in form, like praise and bepraise [loben and beloben].


Verse 12

Romans 15:12. Isaiah 11:10, with omission of ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ after ἔσται, literally after the LXX., who, however, translate the original inaccurately. The latter runs: “And it comes to pass at that day, that after the root-shoot of Jesse, which stands as a tanner of peoples ( לְּנֵם עַמִּים), Gentiles shall inquire;” see Umbreit in the Stud. u. Krit. 1835, p. 553, and the explanation in reference thereto, p. 880 f.; Drechsler and Delitzsch, in loc. But the words of the LXX., as Paul has quoted them, run as follows: “There shall be the root-shoot of Jesse and (i.e. and indeed, explanatory) He who arises (raises himself) to rule over Gentiles; on Him shall Gentiles hope.” This passage and its entire connection are Messianic, and that indeed in so far as the idea is therein expressed, that the promised descendant of David, the ideal of the theocratic king, will extend His kingdom over Gentiles also, and will be the object of their desire (according to the LXX. and Paul: of their believing hope). This prophecy likewise Paul sees fulfilled through the magnifying of the divine mercy by the already converted Gentiles (Romans 15:7; Romans 15:9). Observe that ἐθνῶν and ἔθνη are without the article, and hence do not denote “the Gentile world” (Hofmann).

ῥίζα is here, according to the Heb. שֹׁרֶשׁ, the root-shoot; comp. Sirach 47:22; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:6; 1 Maccabees 1:10; Sirach 40:15. He is the root-shoot of Jesse, because Jesse is the root from which He springs, as the ancestor of the Messianic king, David, Jesse’s son, sprang from it. This descendant of Jesse is the Messiah (comp. Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2), who (according to the original text) is a banner for peoples, and consequently their leader and ruler. Christ has entered on this dominion at His exaltation, and He carries it out by successive stages through the conversion of the Gentiles.

ἐπʼ αὐτῷ] of the resting of hope upon Him (Hemsterh. ad Xen. Eph. p. 128), 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Timothy 6:17; LXX. Isaiah 42:4. Comp. πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, Romans 9:33, Romans 10:11. The contents of the hope is the attainment of eternal salvation, which will be fulfilled in them at the Parousia.


Verse 13

Romans 15:13. As Romans 15:1-4 passed into a blessing (Romans 15:5-6), so now the hortatory discourse, begun afresh in Romans 15:7, passes into a blessing ( δέ), which forms, at the same time, the close of the entire section (from chap. 14 onwards).

θεὸς τῆς ἐλπίδος] God, who produces the hope (of eternal glory), namely, through His Spirit; see the closing words of the verse. This description of God (comp. on Romans 15:5) attaches itself formally to ἐλπιοῦσιν, Romans 15:12,(18) but rests upon the deeper substantive reason, that the becoming filled with joyfulness and peace here wished for is not possible without having hope as its basis, and that, on the other hand, this becoming filled produces the rich increase of hope itself ( εἰς τὸ περίσς. κ. τ. λ.).

πάς. χαρᾶς κ. τ. λ.] with all, i.e. with highest joyfulness. Comp. Theile, ad Jac. p. 8; Wunder, ad Soph. Phil. 141 f. χαρά and εἰρήνη (peace through concord), as Romans 14:17.

ἐν τῷ πιστεύειν] in the believing, to which without χαρά and εἰρήνη the fruits would be wanting, and without which no χαρά and εἰρήνη could exist. Comp. Romans 14:17.

εἰς τὸ περισς. κ. τ. λ.] Aim of the πληρῶσαι κ. τ. λ.: in order that ye, in virtue of the power (working in you) of the Holy Spirit, may he abundant in hope, may cherish Christian hope in the richest measure (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 8:7; Philippians 1:9; Colossians 2:7).


Verse 14

Romans 15:14. πέπεισμαι δέ] but I am of the conviction; Romans 8:38, Romans 14:14. The δέ is the simple μεταβατικόν, leading over to the concluding portion of the epistle.

καὶ αὐτὸς ἐγώ] et ipse ego; comp. on Romans 7:25. The apostle is, independently of the general advantageous estimation in which the Roman church stood with others (Romans 1:8), also for his own personal part of the conviction, etc. The emphasis lies on αὐτός. If the thought were: “even I, who have hitherto so unreservedly exhorted you” (Philippi, comp. de Wette, Fritzsche, and older interpreters), ἐγώ would have the emphasis (comp. κἀγὼ αὐτός, Acts 10:26); but καὶ αὐτός corresponds entirely to the following καὶ αὐτοί, et ipsi, i.e. even without first of all requiring influence, exhortation, etc., on the fart of others. Comp. afterwards καὶ ἀλλήλους. Thus, accordingly, Paul denotes by κ. αὐτὸς ἐγώ the autonomy of his judgment, but with a subtle indication of the judgment of others as coinciding therewith. Comp. Bengel: “Non modo alii hoc de vobis existimant.” Paul intends therewith to obviate the idea as if he for his part judged less favourably of the church, with reference to the fact, not that he had written this letter generally (Hofmann), but that he had written it in part τολμηρότερον. This is shown by the contrast, Romans 15:15.

ἀγαθωσύνης] goodness, excellence generally (that you also of yourselves are very excellent people), not equivalent to χρηστότης (as Thom. Mag. p. 391 states), not even in Galatians 5:22. Comp. 2 Thessalonians 1:11; Ephesians 5:9; Ecclesiastes 9:18. The word is not found in the Greek writers.

The three predicates, μεστοί κ. τ. λ., advance in co-ordination from the general to the particular.

καὶ ἀλλήλ.] also to admonish you among one another, without having need for a third, who should admonish you. On νουθετεῖν, in which the notion of its being well-meant, though not involved in the word of itself, is given by the connection or (as in Isocr. de pace, 72) by express contrast, see on 1 Corinthians 14:14, Ephesians 6:4. Paul does not express in this verse something more than he strictly means (Reiche), but that which he really believes of the Roman church, taken as a whole; at which favourable conviction he—apart from the universally-diffused good report of the church (Romans 1:8)—has arrived by means of experiences unknown to us, and perhaps also in virtue of his feeling assured that he might draw from the individuals and influential persons with whom he was acquainted a conclusion respecting the whole. But the fact that he does express it,—this commendation,—rests on his apostolic truth, and on that wisdom of teaching which by good and real confidence attracts a zeal of compliance.


Verses 14-33

Romans 15:14-33.(19) The apostle has now come to an end with all the instructions and exhortations, which he intended to impart to the Romans. Hence he now adds, up to Romans 15:33, an epilogue (which, however, he then follows up in chap. 16 with commendations, greetings, etc.). In this epilogue, which in substance corresponds to the introduction, Romans 1:8-16, and by no means applies only to the section respecting the weak in faith (Melanchthon, Grotius), but to the whole epistle, he testifies his good confidence towards the readers, and justifies his in a partial degree bold writing by his Gentile-apostolic calling (Romans 15:14-16) and working (Romans 15:17-21), which latter had also been usually the hindrance to his coming personally to Rome (Romans 15:22). This observation leads him to his present plan of travel, the execution of which will bring him, in the course of his intended journey to Spain, to Rome, after he has been at Jerusalem (Romans 15:23-29). For this impending journey he finally begs the prayers of the Romans on his behalf (Romans 15:30-33), and then concludes with a blessing (Romans 15:33).


Verse 15

Romans 15:15. More boldly, however (than so good a confidence appears to imply), I wrote to you in part, etc. “Quasi dicat: σπεύδοντα καὶ αὐτὸν ὀτρύνω,” Grotius.

τολμηρότερον] adverbially, Thuc. iv. 126. 3; Polyb. i. 17. 7; Lucian, Icarom. 10. The comparative sense is not to be obliterated (Bernhardy, p. 433; Winer, p. 228 [E. T. p. 304]), but may not be derived from the lesser right of the apostle(20) to write to a church not founded by him (Hofmann); comp. Bengel, who introduces the further idea: “cum potius ipse venire deberem.” It must, in fact, especially seeing that the more precise definition ἀπὸ μέρους is added, be necessarily a specification of the mode, expressing the how of the ἔγραφα. The repetition of ἀδελφοί flows from the earnestness of feeling. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:10-11; Galatians 5:11; Galatians 5:13; James 5:7; James 5:9-10.

ἀπὸ μέρους] belongs not merely to τολμ. (“paulo liberius,” Grotius, following the Peschito), but, as its position shows, to τολμ. ἔγραφα together: partly, i.e. in particular places, I wrote more boldly. This refers to passages like Romans 6:12 ff., Romans 6:19, Romans 8:9, Romans 11:17 ff., Romans 12:3, Romans 13:3 ff., Romans 13:13-14, Romans 14:3-4; Romans 14:10; Romans 14:13; Romans 14:15; Romans 14:20, Romans 15:1, et al. In ἀπὸ μέρους is implied the contrast, that he has not written τολμηρότερον all that he has written (comp. Romans 11:25; 2 Corinthians 1:14), but only a part thereof. Hofmann has now exchanged his earlier incorrect view, “provisionally and in the meantime” (Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 95), for another also incorrect (similarly Th. Schott), namely piecemeal, in contrast to a complete exposition of Christian truth, thus equivalent to ἐκ μέρους, 1 Corinthians 13:10 (not also in 1 Corinthians 12:27). Besides, this arbitrarily imported contrast would suit no epistle less than the Epistle to the Romans, which treats the whole gospel in the most complete manner. According to Lucht, the expression in this passage is only the product of a post-apostolic effort to wipe away the “bad impression” of the epistle on the highly esteemed church, which had in fact been founded by Peter (comp. Theodore of Mopsuestia).

ὡς ἐπαναμ. ὑμᾶς] as again reminding you,(21) i.e. in the way and manner of one who reminds you, etc. See Bernhardy, p. 476; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 263; Kühner, II. 2, p. 649 f.; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; Hebrews 13:17. ἐπαναμ. denotes in memoriam revocare. See Plat. Legg. iii. p. 688 A Dem. 74. 7. Comp. ἐπανάμνησις, Dion. Hal. Rhet. x. 18. Theodore of Mopsuestia: εἰς ὑπόμνησιν ἄγειν μεμαθήκατε.

διὰ τὴν χάρ]. i.e. in order to comply with the apostolic office, with which God has favoured me. See Romans 15:16.


Verse 16

Romans 15:16. εἰς τὸ εἶναι κ. τ. λ.] Specification of the object aimed at in τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι ὑπὸ τ. θεοῦ.

λειτουργόν] Comp. on Romans 13:6. Paul sets forth the service of his apostolic office, in the consciousness of its hallowed dignity, not merely as a public οἰκονομία (Ewald: “steward of the people”), but as a priestly service of offering, in which ἰησοῦ χ. expresses the λειτουργός as ordained by Christ. That Christ should be conceived of as He to whom the offering is presented (Reiche), is contrary to the conception of offering, which always refers to God as the receiver of it. Comp. Romans 12:1; Ephesians 5:2, Philippians 2:17. But neither is Christ to be conceived of (as by Bengel and Rückert) as high priest (a conception not of Paul, but rather of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and applying to Christ as the sole Atoner, in which case the idea of inferior priests is out of place), but as Lord and Ruler of the church, who has appointed His apostle, Romans 1:5. Lucht oddly thinks that the writer did not venture to call Paul, in consequence of his disputed position, ἀπόστολος, but only λειτουργός.

εἰς τὰ ἔθνη] in reference to the Gentiles; for these, as converted by the apostle, are to form the offering to be presented.

In the sequel, ἱερουργοῦντα τὸ εὐαγγ. τ. θεοῦ contains the more precise explanation of λειτουργ. . χ., and ἵνα γένηται προσφορὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν κ. τ. λ. that of εἰς τὰ ἔθνη; hence the latter belongs not to ἱερουργ. (Th. Schott, Hofmann), but to what precedes, and is not (with Buttmann) to be omitted on the authority of B.

ἱερουργ. τὸ εὐαγγ. τ. θεοῦ] in priestly fashion administering the gospel of God, i.e. “administrans evang. a Deo missum hominibus, eoque ministerio velut sacerdotio fungens,” Estius; comp. Chrysostom, Erasmus, and most older interpreters, also Rückert, Tholuck, Fritzsche, de Wette, Philippi. This usage of ἱερουργ. is confirmed by passages like Herodian. v. 3. 16; Joseph. Antt. vi. 6. 2; also by 4 Maccabees 7:8, where ἰδίῳ αἵματι is to be connected with ἱερουργοῦντας τὸν νόμον (in opposition to Hofmann, who will not admit the priestly notion in the word), not with ὑπερασπίζοντας (see Grimm, Handb. p. 329 f.); comp. Suicer, Thes. s.v.; Kypke in loc.; also ἱερουργός, Callim. fr. 450; ἱερούργημα, Joseph. Antt. viii. 4. 5; ἱερουργία, 4 Maccabees 4:1; Plat. Legg. p. 774 E Pollux, i. 29. Without warrant, Hofmann insists on adhering to the conception of. “administering holy service.” The gospel is not indeed the offering (Luther and others), which is presented, but the divine institute, which is administered—is in priestly fashion served—by the presenting of the offering. As to εὐαγγ. θεοῦ, see on Romans 1:1.

προσφορὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν] the offering of the Gentiles, i.e. the offering which the Gentiles are, Hebrews 10:10; Ephesians 5:2. The Gentiles converted, and through the Spirit consecrated as God’s property, are the offering which Paul, as the priest of Jesus Christ, has brought to God. Observe, however, the stress laid on the prefixed γένηται: in order that there may prosper (see on this use of γίνεσθαι as regards offerings, Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. vi. 4. 9), in accordance with which εὐπρόσδ. is then attributive (as well-pleasing), and ἁγιασμ. . πν. ἁγ. is subordinated to the latter as its ground: sanctified through the Holy Spirit, which is received through the gospel in baptism, Galatians 3:2; Galatians 3:5; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:26. A contrast to the ceremonial consecration of the Levitical offerings. Comp. Romans 12:1.


Verse 17

Romans 15:17. How readily might what was said in Romans 15:16 carry with it the appearance of vain self-boasting! To obviate this, the apostle proceeds: I have accordingly (in pursuance of the contents of Romans 15:16) the boasting ( τὴν καύχησιν, see the critical notes) in Christ Jesus in respect of my relation to God; i.e., my boasting is something which, by virtue of my connection with Christ (whose λειτουργός I am, Romans 15:16), in my position towards God (for I administer God’s gospel as an offering priest, Romans 15:16), properly belongs to me. The ἔχω is prefixed with emphasis: it does not fail me, like a something which one has not really as a possession but only ventures to ascribe to himself; then follows with ἐν χ. . and τὰ πρ. τ. θ., a twofold more precisely defined character of this ethical possession, excluding everything selfish.(22) Accordingly, we are not to explain as though ἐν χ. . bore the main stress and it ran ἐν χριστῷ οὖν τὴν καύχησιν ἔχω κ. τ. λ. (which is Fritzsche’s objection to the reading τὴν καύχ.); and καύχησις is neither here nor elsewhere equivalent to καύχημα (materies gloriandi), but is gloriatio (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:31), and the article marks the definite self-boasting concerned, which Paul makes (Romans 15:16; Romans 15:18). Reiche connects ἐν χ. with τ. καύχησιν, so that to τὸ καυχᾶσθαι ἐν χ. is to be explained as the boasting onself of Christ (of the aid of Christ). Comp. also Ewald. Admissible linguistically, since the construction καυχᾶσθαι ἐν (Romans 5:3, Romans 2:17; Romans 2:23; Philippians 3:3) allowed the annexation without the article; but at variance with the sequel, where what is shown is not the right to boast of the help of Christ (of this there is also in Romans 15:16 no mention), but this, that Paul will never boast himself otherwise than as simply the instrument of Christ, that he thus has Christ only to thank for the καυχᾶσθαι, only through Him is in the position to boast.

τὰ πρὸς τ. θεόν] Comp. Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:1. Semler and Rückert take the article in a limiting sense: at least before God. But the “at least” is not expressed ( τὰ γε πρ. τ. θ., or πρὸς γε τ. θ., or τὰ πρ. τ. θ. γε), and Paul has indeed actually here and elsewhere frequently boasted before men, and with ample warrant, of his sacred calling.

We may add that this whole assertion of his calling, Romans 15:17-21, so naturally suggested itself to the apostle, when he was on the point of extending his activity to Rome and beyond it to the extreme west of the Gentile world, that there is no sufficient ground for seeking the occasion of it in the circumstances and experiences of the Corinthian church at that time (so especially Rückert, comp. also Tholuck and Philippi); especially since it is nowhere indicated in our epistle (not even in Romans 16:17), that at that time (at a later epoch it was otherwise, Philippians 1:15 ff.) anti-Pauline efforts had occurred in Rome, such as had emerged in Corinth. See Introd. § 3.


Verse 18

Romans 15:18. Negative confirmation of what is asserted in Romans 15:17. The correct explanation is determined partly by the connection, to be carefully observed, of οὐ with κατειργ., partly by the order of the words, according to which οὐ κατειργάσατο must have the emphasis, not χριστός (Theodoret and others, including Calovius, Olshausen, Fritzsche, Tholuck). Hence: “for I will not (in any given case) embolden myself to speak about any of those things (to boast of anything from the sphere of that) which Christ has not brought about through me, in order to make the Gentiles obedient to Him, by means of word and work.” That is, affirmatively expressed: for I will venture to let myself be heard only as to such things, the actual fulfilment of which has taken place by Christ through me, etc.; I will therefore never pride myself on anything which belongs to the category of those things, which have not been put into execution by Christ through me.(23) This would be an untrue speaking of results, as if the Lord had brought them about through me—which nevertheless had not taken place.

εἰς ὑπακ. ἐθνῶς] namely, through the adoption of faith in Him; comp. Romans 1:5.

λόγῳ κ. ἔργῳ] applies to κατειργ.… ἐθνῶν.


Verse 19

Romans 15:19. In virtue of what powers Christ, by means of word and work, has wrought through the apostle as His organ: (1) ἐν δυνάμ. σημείων κ. τερ.,—this refers back to ἔργῳ; (2) ἐν δυν. πνεύματος,—this applies to λόγῳ and ἔργῳ together, and is co-ordinated to the above ἐν δυν. σημ. κ. τερ., not subordinated, as Beza, Glöckler, and others think, whereby the language would lose its simplicity and half of its import (the δύναμις πνεύμ would pass into the background). According to Hofmann, who reads in Romans 15:20 φιλοτιμοῦμαι (see the critical notes), a new sentence is meant to begin with λόγῳ κ. ἔργῳ, the verb of which would be φιλοτιμοῦμαι. This yields, instead of the simple course of the language, a complicated structure of sentence which is in nowise indicated by Paul himself, as he has not written ἐν λόγῳ κ. ἔργῳ (conformably to the following). Besides, the εὐαγγελίξεσθαι by word and deed (thus the preaching through deeds), would be a modern conception foreign to the N. T. The ἔργα accompany and accredit the preaching (John 10:38; John 14:11), but they do not preach. Comp. Luke 24:19; Acts 7:22; 2 Corinthians 10:11. If φιλοτιμοῦμαι is to be read, then with Lachmann a new sentence is to be begun with Romans 15:20, so that all that precedes remains assigned to the efficiency of Christ, which is not the case with the view of Hofmann, although it is only in entire keeping with the language of humility which Paul here uses. The genitives are those of derivation: power, which went forth from signs and wonders (which Paul, as instrument of Christ, has performed), and power, which went forth from the, (Holy) Spirit (who was communicated to the apostle through Christ) upon the minds of men. Comp. on ἐν δυν. πνεύμ., 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

σημεῖα κ. τέρατα] not different in substance; both miracles, both also denoting their significant aspect. See Fritzsche, p. 270 f. The collocation corresponds to the Heb. אֹתוֹת וּמֹפְתִים, hence usually (the converse only in Acts 2:22; Acts 2:43; Acts 6:8; Acts 7:36, comp. Romans 2:19) σημεῖα stands first, and where only one of the two words is used, it is always σημεῖα, because אתות was the striking word giving more immediately the character of the thing designated. Contrary to the constant usage of the N. T., Reiche understands not outward miraculous facts, but mental miracles, which the preaching of the gospel has produced in the hearts of the newly-converted. Even 2 Corinthians 12:12 is not to be thus understood; see in loc. Miracles belonged to the σημεῖα τοῦ ἀποστόλου (2 Cor. l.c.), hence there is already of itself motive enough for their mention in our passage, and there is no need for the precarious assumption of a reference to pseudo-apostolic jugglers in Rome (Ewald).

ἐν δυνάμ. πνεύμ. ἁγ.] is related, not “awkwardly” (Hofmann), to ὧν οὐ κατειργ. χριστός; for Christ has, for the sake of His working to be effected through the apostle ( διʼ ἐμοῦ), given to him the Spirit. Very unnecessarily, and just as inappropriately,—since ὥστε must comprise all the preceding elements,

Hofmann forces ἐν δυν. πν. ἁγ., by means of an hyperbaton, into special connection with ὥστε.

ὥστε κ. τ. λ.] Result, which this working of Christ through Paul has had in reference to the extension of Christianity.

ἀπὸ ἱερους.] From this spot, where Paul first entered the apostolical fellowship, Acts 9:26 ff. (he had already previously worked three years, including the sojourn in Arabia, at Damascus; see on Galatians 1:17-18), he defines the terminus a quo, because he intends to specify the greatest extension of his working in space (from south-east to north-west).(24)

καὶ κύκλῳ] enlarges the range of the terminus a quo: and round about, embracing not merely Judaea, but, in correspondence to the magnitude of the measure of length, Arabia and Syria also. Of course, however, κύκλῳ is not included in the dependence on ἀπό, but stands in answer to the question Where? inasmuch as it adds to the statement from, whence the working took place, the notice of the local sphere, which had been jointly affected by that local beginning as its field of action: from Jerusalem, and in a circuit round, Paul has fulfilled the gospel as far as Illyria. Flacius, Calovius, Paulus, Glöckler, following Chrysostom, Theodoret, and others, refer κύκλῳ to the arc which Paul described in his journey from Jerusalem by way of Syria, Asia, Troas, Macedonia, and Greece to Illyria. According to this, κύκλῳ would specify the direction in which he, starting from Jerusalem, moved forward. So also Hofmann. This direction would be that of a curve. But κύκλῳ never denotes this, and is never merely the opposite of straight out, but always circumcirca (comp. Judith 1:2; Mark 3:34; Mark 6:6; Mark 6:36; Luke 9:12; Revelation 4:6; very frequently in the Greek writers); and the addition, “and in the arc of a circle” would have been very superfluous and indeed like an empty piece of ostentation, seeing that in truth the straight direction from Jerusalem to Illyria passes for the most part through water. No reason also would be discoverable for Paul’s adding the καί, and not merely writing κύκλῳ, in order to express: from Jerusalem in a circular direction as far as Illyria.

μέχρι τοῦ ἰλλυρ.] The idea that Paul, as has recently been for the most part assumed, did not get to Illyria at all, but only to the frontier of this western region during a Macedonian bye-journey, throws upon him an appearance of magnifying his deeds, for which the silence of the Acts of the Apostles, furnishing, as it does, no complete narrative, supplies no warrant. Now, since in Romans 15:23 Illyria may not, without arbitrariness, be excluded from the regions where he has already laboured, because this country would otherwise have still afforded scope for labour, we must assume that Paul had really made an intermediate journey to Illyria. From what starting-point, cannot indeed be shown; hardly so soon as Acts 18:11, but possibly during the journey mentioned in Acts 20:1-3 (see Anger, temp. rat. p. 84), so that his short sojourn in Illyria took place not long before his sojourn in Achaia, where he at Corinth wrote the Epistle to the Romans. Titus 3:12 can only be employed in confirmation of this by those who assume the authenticity of the Epistle to Titus, and its composition thus early (see Wieseler, Philippi).

πεπληρωκέναι τὸ εὐαγγ. τ. χ.] have brought to fulfilment (comp. Colossians 1:25) the gospel of Christ. This πληροῦν has taken place in an extensive sense through the fact that the gospel is spread abroad everywhere from Jerusalem to Illyria, and has met with acceptance. Analogous is the conception: λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἠύξανε, Acts 6:7; Acts 12:24; Acts 19:20. So long as the news of salvation has not yet reached its full and destined diffusion, it is still in the course of growth and increase; but when it has reached every quarter, so that no place any longer remains for the labour of the preacher (Romans 15:23), it has passed from the state of growing increase into the full measure of its dimensions. This view of the sense is alone strictly textual (see Romans 15:23), while closely adhering to the literal signification of εὐαγγ., which denotes the message itself, not the act of proclamation (Th. Schott, Mangold); and hence excludes the many divergent interpretations, namely: (1) That of Beza, Piscator, Grotius, Bengel, de Wette, Rückert, in substance also Köllner, Tholuck, van Hengel, and permissively, Reiche, that εὐαγγ. is equivalent to munus praedicandi evang., which it does not mean; similarly Ewald: the executed commission of preaching. (2) That of Luther, Flacius, Castalio, and others: “that I have fulfilled everything with the gospel,” which is opposed to the words as they stand, although repeated by Baur. (3) That of Theophylact, Erasmus, and others, including Reiche and Olshausen: πληρ. τὸ εὐαγγ. denotes completely to proclaim the gospel. But the “completely” would in fact have here no relevant weight at all (such as at Acts 20:27); for that Paul had not incompletely preached the gospel, was understood of itself. Others arbitrarily take it otherwise still, e.g. Calvin: “praedicationem ev. quasi supplendo diffundere; coeperunt enim alii priores, sed ipse longius sparsit;” Krehl: that I have put the gospel into force and validity; Philippi: that I have realized the gospel, have introduced it into life (the gospel appearing as empty, before it is taught, accepted, understood); Hofmann, with comparison of the not at all analogous expression πληροῦν τὸν νόμον: the message of salvation misses its destination, if it remain unproclaimed—whereby πληροῦν would be reduced simply to the notion of κηρύσσειν.

The whole of the remark, Romans 15:19 f., connected with Romans 15:24, is to be explained, according to Baur, I. p. 307, simply from the intention (of the later writer) to draw here, as it were, a geographical line between two apostolic provinces, of which the one must be left to Peter. In opposition to such combinations, although Lucht still further elaborates them, it is sufficient simply to put into the scale the altogether Pauline character and emotional stamp of the language in Romans 15:19-33, in its inner truth, simplicity, and chasteness.


Verse 20-21

Romans 15:20-21. But prosecuting it as a point of honour to preach in this way, the οὕτω is now first negatively stated: not where Christ was named, then positively: but, agreeably to the word of Scripture, etc. Hence οὐχ ὅπου, not ὅπου οὐκ.

φιλοτιμ.] dependent on με, Romans 15:19. On φιλοτιμεῖσθαι, to prosecute anything so that one seeks one’s honour in it, comp. 2 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; see Wetstein and Kypke. This full signification (not merely the more general one: zealously to prosecute) is to be maintained in all passages, including the classical ones, and admirably suits the context. The matter was a special point of honour with the apostle in his working;(25), 2 Corinthians 10:15-16.

ὠνο΄άσθη] His name, as the contents of confession, has been named, namely, by preachers and confessors. See Romans 15:21.

ἵνα μὴ κ. τ. λ.] i.e., in order not simply to continue the work of conversion already begun by others. Comp. 1 Corinthians 3:10. The reason why Paul did not desire this, lay in the high consciousness of his apostolic destination (Acts 26:17-18), according to which he recognised the greatest and most difficult work, the founding of the church, as the task of the apostle, and found his apostolic honour in the solution of this task.(26) Others, as Reiche, specify as the reason, that he had sought on account of his freer system of doctrine to avoid polemical controversies. This would be a principle of practical prudence, corresponding neither to the apostolical idea, nor to Paul’s magnanimous character in following it out.

καθὼς γέγρ.] Isaiah 52:15, closely cited after the LXX., who took אֲשֶׁר in each case as masculine. The passage runs according to the original: “What was never told to them, they see; and what they have never heard, they perceive;” and the subject is the kings, who become dumb before the glorified Servant of God, not the nations (Hengstenberg, Christol. II. p. 305; Philippi). But the actual state of the case—seeing that, along with the kings, their peoples also must see the glory of the Servant of God—allowed the apostle here to put the nations as the subject, the Gentile-peoples, to whom, through him, the Servant of God as yet unknown to them is made known, i.e. Jesus Christ, in whom the Messianic fulfilment of that prophetic idea concerning the Servant of God, as the ideal of Israel, had appeared realized.(27)

περὶ αὐτοῦ] addition of the LXX.

ὄψονται] they shall see, namely mentally, in knowledge and faith, it (that which the preaching now brings before them).

οἳ οὐκ ἀκηκ.] namely, the news of Him (the gospel).

συνήσουσι] shall understand it (this news). Comp. Matthew 13:23; Matthew 15:10.


Verse 22

Romans 15:22. διό] because, namely, my apostolic mode of working, just described (Romans 15:20-21), did not yet permit me to depart from the districts mentioned, inasmuch as there was still work to do in founding. Comp. Beza: “dum huc et illuc avocor, interpellatus et ita prohibitus.” Incorrectly Bengel, Reiche, and others: because in Rome the foundation was laid by others. Romans 15:23 is decisive against this.

τὰ πολλά] more than πολλάκις, Romans 1:13 ( πολλά): in the most cases ( πλεῖστα, Plat. Hipp. maj. p. 281 B), as a rule, not “so often” (Th. Schott). The Vulgate renders correctly: plerumque. See Schaefer, ad Bos. Ell. p. 427; Ast, ad Plat. Legg. p. 62 f. Paul has had other hindrances also, but mostly such as had their ground in the above regulative principle of his working. Hofmann understands ἐνεκοπτ. of external hindrances; so that Paul means that he, even if he would, could not come otherwise than in pursuance of that principle, to Rome (whither that principle did not lead him). This is at variance with the following νυνὶ δὲ κ. τ. λ., which in μηκέτι τόπον ἔχων ἐν τ. κλ. τ. expresses the removal now of the hindrance meant by ἐνεκοπτ.

τοῦ ἐλθεῖν] genitive dependent on the verb of hindering. See Bornemann, ad Xen. Anab. i. 7. 20; Fritzsche, ad Matth. p. 845.


Verse 23-24

Romans 15:23-24.(28) But since I have now no longer room (scope, i.e. opportunitatem, see on Romans 12:19; Kypke, II. p. 190) in these regions (from Jerusalem to Illyria, Romans 15:19). Paul had in all these countries founded churches, from which Christianity was now spreading through other teachers, and especially through his own disciples, over the whole; and consequently he considered his apostolic calling to be fulfilled in respect of the region mentioned. His further working was to belong to the far west, where Christ was not yet named; hence he meditated, in the next instance, transferring his activity in founding churches to Spain—a design, indeed, which Lucht denies that the apostle entertained, and imputes it to a later conception of his task, in accordance with which the plan of a journey to Spain was invented. Probably the comprehensive maxim, that he had no longer a sphere of activity where Christianity might be planted at the principal places of a district by his personal exertions, was connected with the expectation of the nearness of the Parousia, before which the πλήρωμα of the Gentiles, and in consequence of this also all Israel, had to be brought in (Romans 11:25).

ἐπιποθίαν] not summum desiderium (Beza), but see on Romans 4:11. The word is not found elsewhere; but comp. ἐπιπόθησις, 2 Corinthians 7:7.

τοῦ ἐλθεῖν] genitive dependent on ἐπιποθ.

ἀπὸ πολλ. ἐτ.] now for many years; comp. Luke 8:43.

ὡς ἄν] simulatque, so soon as. See on 1 Corinthians 11:34; Philippians 2:23. It is a more precise definition to what follows, not to the preceding ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς (Hofmann), because otherwise Paul must have had in mind the plan of the journey to Spain for many years, which cannot be supposed either in itself or on account of Acts 16:9. This applies also against Tischendorf in his 8th edition.

σπανίαν] The usual Greek name is ἰβηρία (Herod. i. 163; Strabo, iii. 4. 17, p. 166), but σπανία (although in the passages in Athenaeus and Diodorus Siculus the variation ἱσπανία is found) was probably also not rare, and that as a Greek form (Casaubon, ad Athen. p. 574). The Roman form was ἱσπανία (1 Maccabees 8:3). It is the entire Pyrenaean peninsula. See Strabo, l.c.

That this project of a journey to Spain was not executed, see Introd. § 1. Primasius aptly remarks: “Promiserat quidem, sed dispensante Deo non ambulavit.” Already at Acts 20:25 a quite different certainty was before the apostle’s mind, and in his captivity he no longer entertained that plan of travel, Philemon 1:22, Philippians 2:24.

διαπορευόμ.] “quia Romae jam fundata est fides,” Bengel.

ἀφʼ ὑ΄ῶν] (see the critical notes): from you away.

προπεμφθ. ἐκεῖ] comp. 1 Corinthians 16:6, 2 Corinthians 1:16, and on Acts 15:3. As was his wont on his apostolical journeys, Paul hoped (“quasi pro jure suo,” Bengel) to obtain an accompaniment on the part of some belonging to the church from Rome to Spain, by which we must understand an escort all the way thither, since Paul would without doubt travel by sea from Italy to Spain, the shortest and quickest way. ἐκεῖ, in the sense of ἐκεῖσε, according to a well-known attraction. See John 11:8, et al., and on Matthew 2:22.

ἀπὸ μέρ.] “non quantum vellem, sed quantum licebit,” Grotius. It is a limitation out of compliment. Comp. Chrysostom. But the reservation of later complete enjoyment (Hofmann) is an idea imported: πρῶτον denotes in the first place (before I travel further), as Matthew 6:33; Matthew 7:5; Matthew 8:21, and frequently.

ἐμπλησθῶ] of spiritual satisfaction through the enjoyment of the longed-for personal intercourse ( ὑμῶν). Comp. Hom. Il. xi. 452; Kypke, II. p. 191. The commentary on this is given at Romans 1:12.


Verse 25

Romans 15:25. νυνὶ δέ] is not, like the above νυνὶ δέ (Romans 15:23), to be regarded as resumptive, as Buttmann and Hofmann, in consequence of the reading ἐλπίξω γάρ, Romans 15:24, take it,—a view with which what was previously said of the journey to Spain by way of Rome does not accord,(29) and the passage itself assumes a very stiff, contorted form. Observe, rather, that the first νυνὶ δέ, Romans 15:23, was said in contrast to the past ( ἐνεκοπτόμην κ. τ. λ.), but that the second νυνὶ δέ, Romans 15:25, commencing a new sentence, is said in contrast to the promised future. “So I design and hope to do (as stated in Romans 15:24): but at present a journey to Jerusalem is incumbent upon me; after its accomplishment I shall then carry out that promised one by way of Rome to Spain (Romans 15:28).” This νυνὶ δέ is more definite than if Paul had said, “but beforehand” (which Hofmann with this view requires); for he thinks that now he is just on the point of travelling to Jerusalem, whereas “but beforehand” would admit a later term of the πορεύομαι.

διακονῶν τοῖς ἁγ.] in service for the saints (Christians in Jerusalem), consequently not delaying the Romano-Spanish journey in his own interest. The present participle (not future, as Acts 24:17, and see Bornemann, ad Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 17) designates the very travelling itself as part of the service. See Markland and Matthiae, ad Eur. Suppl. 154; Heindorf, ad Phaed. p. 249 f.; Dissen, ad Pind. p. 81.

The intention, ascribed to the apostle, of protecting himself in rear by the collection-journey, before he passed into the far west (Th. Schott), is a purely gratuituous assumption.


Verse 26

Romans 15:26. More precise information respecting the διακονῶν τοῖς ἁγ.: “Placuit enim Macedonibus,” etc. On εὐδόκ., they have been pleased, comp. Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Galatians 1:15; Colossians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:8.

κοινων. τινὰ ποιής. κ. τ. λ.] to bring about a participation, in reference to the poor, i.e. to make a collection for them. The contributor, namely, enters into fellowship with the person aided, in so far as he κοινωνεῖ ταῖς χρείαις αὐτοῦ, Romans 12:13; κοινωνία is hence the characteristic expression for almsgiving, without, however, having changed its proper sense communio into the active one of communication; “honesta et aequitatis plena appellatio,” Bengel. Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:13; Hebrews 13:16. The added τινὰ, of some sort or other, corresponds to the freedom from constraint, and the consequent indefiniteness, of the amount to be aimed at. On the collection itself, see 1 Corinthians 16:1 ff.; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Acts 24:17.

τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῶν ἁγ.] the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. These were thus not all of them poor. Comp. Kühner, II. 1, p. 290. Of the community of goods there is no longer a trace in Paul. Philippi incorrectly holds that the πτωχοὶ τῶν ἁγίων are the poor saints generally. Since the genitive is in any case partitive (even in the passages in Matthiae, § 320, p. 791), the expression must at least have been τοὺς (not τῶν) ἐν ἱερους.


Verse 27

Romans 15:27. Information, why they did so, by way of more precisely defining the mere εὐδοκήσαν previously expressed.(30)They have been pleased, namely, to do it, and (this is the added element) their debtors they are”.

The Gentiles have acquired a share ( ἐκοινώνησαν) in the spiritual possession of the Christians of Jerusalem ( αὐτῶν), in so far as the mother church of Christianity was in Jerusalem, so that thus the spiritual benefits of Christianity, which in the first instance were destined for and communicated to the Jews and subsequently passed over also to the Gentiles, have been diffused from Jerusalem forth over the Gentile world (which march of diffusion so begun continues), as indeed in Antioch itself the first church of Gentile Christianity was founded from Jerusalem (Acts 11:20).

τοῖς πνευματικ.] for the benefits of Christianity (faith, justification, peace, love, hope, etc.) proceed from the Holy Spirit, are τὰ τοῦ πνεύματος δῶρα: comp. on Ephesians 1:3.

τοῖς σαρκικοῖς] for the earthly possessions concern the material and physical phenomenal nature of man, which is his bodily form of existence. Comp. 1 Corinthians 9:11.

The conclusion is a majori, which they have received, ad minus, with which they are under obligation to requite it. Comp. Chrysostom. By λειτουργῆσαι, Paul places the almsgiving of love under the sacred point of view of a sacrificial service (see on Romans 13:6, Romans 15:16), which is performed for the benefit of the recipients. Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:12; Philippians 2:30; Philippians 2:25.

That further, as Chrysostom, Calvin, Grotius, and many, including Rückert and Olshausen, assume, Paul intended “courteously and gently” (Luther) to suggest to the Romans that they should likewise bestow alms on those at Jerusalem, is very improbable, inasmuch as no reason is perceivable why he should not have ventured on a direct summons, and seeing, moreover, that he looked upon the work of collection as concluded, Romans 15:25. Without any particular design in view (Th. Schott thinks that he desired to settle the true relation between the Gentile Christians and the apostle to the Gentiles), he satisfies merely his own evident and warm interest.


Verse 28

Romans 15:28. τοῦτο] This work of service for Jerusalem.

κ. σφραγις. κ. τ. λ.] and when I shall have sealed to them this fruit, i.e. shall have confirmed the produce of the κοινωνία, Romans 15:26, to them, secured it as their property. σφραγίζ. in the figurative sense: to confirm, to ratify (see on John 3:33); for by delivery of the moneys they were, on the part of the apostle, confirmed to the recipients as the fruit collected for them, after the manner of the law of possession, as with seal impressed.(31) The expression chosen has a certain solemnity; the apostle is moved by the thought that with the close of the work of love to which he refers he was to finish his long and great labours in the East, and was to take in hand a new field in the far West. In these circumstances, an unusual thoughtful expression for the concluding act offers itself naturally. But that which Fritzsche finds in it (rendering of an account and other formalities) neither lies in the simple figurative word, nor was it doubtless intended by Paul, considering his apostolical dignity. Others take σφραγις. in the proper sense, either thus: “when I have brought over the money to them, sealed” (Erasmus, Cornelius a Lapide, Estius), which, however, the words do not express at all, and how paltrily unapostolic the thought would be! or, referring αὐτοῖς to the Greek Christians (so already Theodoret): “when I have made them secure with letter and seal respecting the right delivery of their collection” (Glöckler, and so already Michaelis), against which, apart from the unsuitableness of the sense, it is decisive that αὐτοῖς brooks no other reference than αὐτῶν and αὐτοῖς, Romans 15:27 (comp. τοῖς ἁγίοις, Romans 15:25). This also against Reithmayr, who brings out even a depositing for the almsgivers in God’s treasury!


Verse 29

Romans 15:29. Paul is convinced that his advent to the Romans will not be without rich blessing from Christ; he will bring with him a fulness (copia, see on Ephesians 3:19) of Christ’s blessing. On the matter itself, comp. Romans 1:11.

ἐν is to be explained: furnished with. See Bernhardy, p. 209, and on 1 Corinthians 4:21. Quite contrary to the words, Chrysostom. Oecumenius, Calvin, and others: “Scio me … vos inventurum repletos omnibus donis spiritualibus,” Estius.

ἐρχόμενος with the same verb ἐλεύσομαι; see Kühner, ii. 2, p. 656, and ad Xen. Mem. v. 2. 21. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 2:1; Philippians 2:2.


Verse 30-31

Romans 15:30-31. Even now (comp. Acts 20:22-23; Acts 21:10 ff.) Paul anticipates that persecutions await him in Judaea on the part of the unbelieving ( ἀπειθούντων, inobedientium, who refuse the ὑπακοὴ πίστεως; comp. Romans 11:30-31; John 3:36; Acts 15:2); but even on the part of the Palestinian Christians ( τ. ἁγίοις), he is not sure of a good reception for his διακονία, because he, the anti-Judaic apostle (comp. Romans 10:21; Acts 21:21), had set on foot and conducted a Gentile-Christian collection. Hence the addition of the exhortation ( παρακαλῶ) to the readers, subjoined by the continuative δέ, and how urgent and fervent!

διά] belonging to παρακ.: by means of a moving reference to Christ, as Romans 12:1, 2 Corinthians 10:1.

The ἀγάπη τοῦ πνεύμ. is the love wrought by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22); it Paul calls in specially by way of inciting his readers to compliance.

συναγων. μοι ἐν ταῖς προσευχ.] to contend along with me in the prayers which you make, hence: in your prayers. A very correct gloss is ὑμῶν (after προσευχ.) in codd. and VSS.; not one disfiguring the sense, as Reiche thinks, who explains: in my prayer. So also Ewald. Paul might certainly, according to the sympathy of the fellowship of love, claim the joint striving of the readers in his prayers; but ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ, which would otherwise be superfluous, points most naturally to the conclusion that the προσευχαί are those of the readers; comp. 2 Corinthians 1:11; Colossians 4:12. The ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ πρὸς τὸν θεόν is closely, and without the article, attached to ταῖς προσευχαῖς (similarly to προσεύχεσθαι ὑπέρ, Colossians 1:9, et al.) in the prayers which you address to God for me (for my welfare). Fervent prayer is a striving of the inner man against the hostile or dangerous powers, which it is sought to avert or overcome, and for the aims, which it is sought to attain. Comp. on Col. l.c.

ἵνα ῥνσθῶ ἀπὸ κ. τ. λ.] Aim of the joint striving: in order that I may be delivered from, etc. See on Matthew 6:13. It did not pass into fulfilment; even now the counsel of his Lord, Acts 9:16, was to be accomplished.

διακ. μου εἰς ἱερους.] my rendering of service destined for Jerusalem. See Romans 15:25-26. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 9:1.


Verse 32-33

Romans 15:32-33. ἵνα] Aim of Romans 15:31, and so final aim of συναγωνίσασθαι κ. τ. λ., Romans 15:30. Comp. Galatians 4:5.

ἐν χαρᾷ] in joyfulness.(32) But as a prisoner he came to Rome, whither the will of God ( διὰ θελήμ. θεοῦ) led him, nevertheless, otherwise than it had been his desire (comp. Romans 1:10).

συναναπαύσωμαι] refresh myself with you, namely, through the mutual communication of faith, of inward experiences, of love, of hope, etc. Comp. συμπαρακληθῆναι, Romans 1:12.

In the closing wish, Romans 15:33, the designation of God as θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης, the God who brings about peace, was the more naturally suggested, as the forebodings of the opposite of εἰρήνη which he was going to encounter had just been before the apostle’s mind. Hence we have neither to assume a reference to the differences in Romans 14:1 ff. (Grotius and others), nor to take εἰρήνη of the peace of reconciliation, Romans 5:1 (Philippi), or in the wide sense of salus (Fritzsche). Comp. rather 1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 4:9; Romans 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 15:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-15.html. 1832.

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Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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