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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Romans 6

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 6

Romans 6:1. ἐπιμένωμεν] approved by Mill, Griesb. and others; adopted by Lachm. Tisch. and Fritzsche. The Recept(1367) is ἐπιμενοῦμεν, contrary to decisive evidence (A B D E F G, min(1368)); also contrary to K P א, min(1369), which have ἐπιμένομεν. Brought into conformity with ἐροῦμεν.

Romans 6:11. After μέν Elz. has εἶναι against preponderating evidence. Supplementary addition, which is also variously placed. Notwithstanding Tisch. (8) has adopted it, but before νεκρούς, following B C א*.

τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν also, which Elz. has after ἰησοῦ, is, according to decisive testimony, not genuine (an ascetic addition).

Romans 6:12. ὑπακ. ταῖς ἐπιθ. αὐτοῦ] so also Lachm. and Tisch. following A B C* א, min(1370), and most vss(1371) and Fathers. D E F G Clar. Boern. Iren. Tert. Vict. tunun., have ὑπακούειν αὐτῇ. Preferred by Rinck, and adopted by Scholz and Fritzsche. The reading of Elz.: ὑπακ. αὐτῇ ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθ. αὐτοῦ has least evidence. The most strongly attested ὑπακ. ταῖς ἐπιθ. αὐτοῦ appears to have been the original. From it the ὑπακ. αὐτῇ arose through αὐτῇ being marginally annexed to ταῖς ἐπιθ. αὐτ. as a gloss, to render it apparent, that in the case of the lusts of the body the ἁμαρτία (original sin) was to be understood. This gloss was adopted partly instead of τ. ἐπιθ αὐτοῦ (so ὑπακ. αὐτῇ arose); and partly along with τ. ἐπιθ. αὐτοῦ, which latter course occasioned a connecting ἐν, and gave rise to the Recept(1372).

Romans 6:15. ἁμαρτήσομεν] A B C D E K L P א, min(1373) and Clem, have ἁμαρτήσωμεν. Recommended by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. Tisch. and Fritzsche, and rightly on account of the decisive evidence in its favour.

Romans 6:21. τὸ γὰρ τέλος] Lachm. reads τὸ μὲν γὰρ τέλος in agreement with B D* E F G א* § 73, Syr. p(1374) Theodoret. Rightly: how easily might the μέν solitarium be lost under the hands of unskilled copyists! Comp Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 313.

Chs. 6–8. Moral results from the δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ.(1376) Chapter 6 shows how it, so far from furthering immorality, on the contrary excludes the latter from the Christian state, and for the first time rightly establishes, promotes, and quickens true morality. Chap. 7 shows the same in relation to the law; and ch. 8 sets forth the blessed condition of those who as justified are morally free.

Ch. Romans 6:1-14. Continuance in sin in order that grace may abound—that is a thing utterly opposed to the fellowship with Christ, into which we are brought by baptism; for we are thereby rendered dead unto sin, and translated into a new moral life. Correspond therefore (Romans 6:12-14) to this new relation (your ideal, Romans 6:14) by your conduct.


Verse 1

Romans 6:1. οὖν] In consequence of what is contained in Romans 5:20-21.

With ἐπιμένωμεν κ. τ. λ(1377) Paul proposes to himself, as a possible inference from what he had just said “de pleonasmo gratiae” (Bengel), the problem, whose solution in the negative was now to be his further theme—a theme in itself of so decisive an importance, that it does not require the assumption of a Jewish-Christian church (Mangold) to make it intelligible. On the introduction in interrogative form by τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν, comp Dissen, a(1379) Dem. de cor. p. 346 ( τί οὖν φη΄ὶ δεῖν;). As however the “what shall we say then?” inquires after a maxim in some sort of way to be inferred, the deliberative “shall we continue, etc?.” could at once follow directly, without any need for supplying before it a repeated ἐροῦμεν, or ΄ὴ ἐροῦ΄εν ὅτι, and for taking ἐπι΄ένω΄εν in a hortatory sense (van Hengel, Hofmann).

ἐπιμένειν τῇ ἁμαρτ., to continue in sin, not to cease from it. Comp Romans 11:22 f.; Colossians 1:23; 1 Timothy 4:16; Acts 13:43; Xen. Hell. iii. 4, 6; Oec. 14, 7 : ἐπιμένειν τῷ μὴ ἀδικεῖν.


Verse 2

Romans 6:2. ΄ὴ γένοιτο] Let it not be (see on Romans 3:4), namely, that we continue in sin.

οἵτινες] as those who, contains the reason (of the πῶς ἔτι κ. τ. λ(1381)). See on Romans 1:25. The relative clause is put first with rhetorical emphasis, in order at once to make the absurdity of the maxim plainly apparent. Comp Kühner, II. 2, p. 1104; Bernhardy, p. 299.

ἀπεθάν. τ. ἁμαρτ.] The dying to sin, which took place by baptism (see Romans 6:3), is the abandonment of all life-communion with it experienced in himself by the convert (Colossians 2:20; Galatians 2:19; Galatians 6:14; 1 Peter 2:24). comp Theodoret: ἠρνήθης, φησὶ, τὴν ἁμαρτίαν καὶ νεκρὸς αὐτῇ γέγονας. This moral change, which has taken place in him, has put an end to the determining influence of sin over him; in relation to it he has ceased to be still in life. Similar is the Platonic conception in Macrob. Somn. Scip. i. 13 : “mori etiam dicitur, cum anima adhuc in corpore constituta corporeas illecebras philosophia docente contemnit et cupiditatum dulces insidias reliquasque omnes exuit passiones.” Michaelis, Cramer, Storr, Flatt, Nitzsch (de discr. revelat. etc. II. p. 233) take the sense to be: we who on account of sin have died (with Christ), i.e. who have to regard ourselves as if, on account of sin (or Nitzsch: “ad eripiendam peccati vim mortiferam”), we had ourselves endured what Christ suffered. But in this view the main point “with Christ” is arbitrarily imported; and see Romans 6:11.

πῶς] denotes the possibility which is negatived by the question. The having died to sin, and the living in it (as the life-element, comp Galatians 2:20), are mutually exclusive.

ζήσομεν] purely future. How is it possible that we shall be living in it (in its fellowship) still ( ἔτι), namely, at any future time whatever after the occurrence of that ἀπεθάνομεν? The very weakly attested reading preferred by Hofmann, ζήσωμεν, is only a case of mechanical conformity with ἐπιμένωμεν in Romans 6:1.


Verse 3

Romans 6:3. ] or, if this (Romans 6:2) should still appear doubtful. See Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 61; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 132. Comp Romans 7:1.

ἀγνοεῖτε] presupposes an acquaintance with the moral nature of baptism; it must in fact have been an experimental acquaintance. With this knowledge, how absurd would be that ζήσομεν ἐν αὐτῇ! Comp 1 Corinthians 6:2.

ὅσοι] all we who, not stronger than οἵτινες, but put differently; not characterising, but designating the whole collectively.

ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς χ. ʼι. εἰς τὸν θάν. κ. τ. λ(1387)] we, who were baptized in reference to Christ Jesus(1388) (we who through baptism became those specifically belonging to Him), were baptized in reference to His death; i.e. we were brought through our baptism into the fellowship of His death; so that we have a real share ethically in His death, through the cessation of all our life for sin. Theodore of Mopsuestia: τὸ βάπτισμα κοινωνοὺς ποιεῖ τοῦ θανάτου τοῦ χριστοῦ. Ambrosiaster: “cum baptizamur, commorimur Christo;” Bengel: “perinde est, ac si eo momento Christus pro tali homine, et talis homo pro Christo pateretur, moreretur, sepeliretur.” This interpretation, namely of the spiritual fellowship produced through baptism (prepared for by the repentance and πίστις that preceded baptism, accomplished by the baptism itself, Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:11 f.; Titus 3:5), is required by the context in Romans 6:2 ( ἀπεθάνο΄εν), Romans 6:4 ( συνετάφη΄εν), and Romans 6:5 f. It is therefore not the idea of imitation (Reiche, Köllner, following Grotius and others), but that of the dying along with ( συσταυροῦσθαι, Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20; comp 2 Corinthians 5:14) unto which, i.e. in order to the accomplishment of which in us, we were baptized. The efficient cause of this fellowship of death is the divine grace, which forgives sin and grants the Holy Spirit to him who becomes baptized; the means of this grace is baptism itself; the appropriating cause is faith, and the causa meritoria the death of Christ.(1390) Observe here also, however, that the spheres of justification and sanctification are not intermixed. The justified person becomes sanctified, not the converse. In baptism man receives forgiveness of sins through faith (comp Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16); justified by which he also becomes partaker of the virtue of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament unto new life (Titus 3:5). “Liberationem a reatu peccati vel justificationem consequitur liberatio a dominio peccati, ut justificati non vivant peccato, sed peccato mortui Domino,” Calovius. Compare ἀπελούσασθε, ἡγιάσθητε, 1 Corinthians 6:11, and the remarks thereon. The latter is the fellowship in dying and living with Christ, which is accomplished in baptism by the operation of the Spirit; see on Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 19:2 f.; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 345 f. But it is of course obvious that the idea of the baptism of children was wholly foreign to this view of the Apostle based on experience.


Verse 4

Romans 6:4. An inference from Romans 6:3, by which the impossibility indicated in Romans 6:2 is now made completely evident.

Buried with Him therefore (not merely dead with Him, but, as the dead Christ was buried in order to rise again, buried with Him also) were we, in that we were baptized into His death. The recipient of baptism, who by his baptism enters into the fellowship of death with Christ, is necessarily also in the act of baptism ethically buried with Him (1 Corinthians 15:4), because after baptism he is spiritually risen with Him. In reality this burial with Him is not a moral fact distinct from the having died with Him, as actual burial is distinct from actual dying; but it sets forth the fulness and completeness of the relation, of which the recipient, in accordance with the form of baptism, so far as the latter takes place through κατάδυσις and ἀνάδυσις (see Suicer, Thes.), becomes conscious successively. The recipient—thus has Paul figuratively represented the process—is conscious, (a) in the baptism generally: now am I entering into fellowship with the death of Christ, εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ βαπτίζομαι; (b) in the immersion in particular: now am I becoming buried with Christ; (c) and then, in the emergence: now I rise to the new life with Christ. Comp on Colossians 2:12.

εἰς τὸν θάνατον] is necessarily, after Romans 6:3, to be joined with διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσμ., in which case, since one can say βαπτίζεσθαι εἰς τι, the connecting article was not required (comp on Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 3:13); consequently: through baptism unto death. It is not however specially the death of Christ that is again meant, as if αὐτοῦ were again annexed; but the description is generalised, agreeably to the context, in a way that could not be misunderstood. Whosoever, namely, as Paul has just set forth in Romans 6:3, has been baptized unto the death of Christ, has in fact thereby received baptism unto death; i.e. such a baptism that, taken away by it from his previous vital activity, he has become one belonging to death, one who has fallen under its sway. This however is just that relation of moral death, which, in the concrete, is the fellowship of the death of Christ. The connection with συνετάφ., in which εἰς τ. θάνατον is sometimes referred to the death of Christ (Grotius, Baumgarten-Crusius), and sometimes to the death of sin (Calovius, Wolf, Winzer, Progr. 1831), is erroneous, for this reason, that whosoever is buried does not come into death, but is in it already; and hence “the becoming buried into death” would yield quite an incongruous conception. This also applies against the expedient tried by Hofmann of making θάνατος here the death-state of Christ, unto which we were given up. Even in this view that incongruity continues:(1394) but after Romans 6:3 θάνατος can only be again death simply, not state of death (as if Paul could not have conveyed that sense by εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, or εἰς τοὺς νεκρούς, or in some other suitable way). Observe, moreover, how Paul here also, since he has the bodily resurrection of Christ in view,(1395) mentions specially the correlative of the burial that preceded it. Comp on 1 Corinthians 15:4.

ἵνα] purpose of the συνετάφημεν.… θάνατον, and this statement of purpose has the chief importance, corresponding to the πῶς ἔτι ζήσο΄εν ἐν αὐτῇ in Romans 6:2.

διὰ τῆς δόξ. τ. πατρός] through the majesty of the Father was the resurrection of Christ brought about. The δόξα, כָּבוֹד, the glorious collective perfection of God, certainly effected the raising of Jesus chiefly as omnipotence (1 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Ephesians 1:19 f.); but the comprehensive significance of the word—selected with conscious solemnity, and in highest accordance with the glorious victory of the Son—is not to be curtailed on that account (in opposition to Koppe, Baumgarten-Crusius, and earlier expositors). According to the invariable representation of the N. T. God is the raiser of Jesus (Romans 4:24, Romans 8:11; Acts 2:24; Acts 2:31 ff. et al(1397); see on John 1:19); but yet the δόξα of God does not in this case any more than elsewhere in the N. T. denote God Himself (Langer, Judenth. in Paläst. p. 210 ff.). Erroneously however Theodoret, Theophylact, and several Fathers explain: διὰ τ. δόξ. τ. πατρ., τουτέστι διὰ τῆς οἰεκίας θεότητος. Linguistic usage admits as in itself allowable the view of Castalio and Carpzov: “in paterna gloria resurrexit,” so that διά would be used of the state; to which also van Hengel inclines. But, had Paul desired to express a relation corresponding to the ἐν καιν. ζ. in the apodosis, he must have inserted ἐν also; since the conception of the raising of Jesus through the Father was one of so solemn importance, and all the more appropriate here, since believers also owe their moral resurrection-life to the Father of Christ (Ephesians 2:10 al(1398)); it is in fact the life of regeneration. Besides, the paterna gloria was attained by Christ only through His ascension. See on Luke 24:26.

ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς] in a new (moral) constitution of life;(1399) a stronger way of bringing out the idea of καινότης, than ἐν ζωῇ καινῇ would be, for which it does not stand (in opposition to Grotius, Koppe, Reiche, and others). See Winer, p. 221 [E. T. 309]. Comp Romans 7:6. According to van Hengel ζωῆς is the genitive of apposition: “in novo rerum statu, qui vita est.” But this qui vita est is self-evident; and therefore the emphasis must remain upon καινότητι. This newness is the ethical analogue of the new estate in which Christ was alive from the dead, conceived in contrast to the παλαιότης which prevailed prior to baptism. Comp Romans 6:8.


Verse 5

Romans 6:5. Confirmatory elucidation ( γάρ) of the previous ἵνα ὥσπερ κ. τ. λ(1402)

σύμφυτος, which in classic authors usually means innate, naturally belonging to (see the passages from Plato in Ast, Lex. III. p. 313, Eur. Andr. 955; comp 2 Maccabees 3:22), is here grown together (Theophr, de caus. plant. v. 5, 2; LXX. Zechariah 11:2; Amos 9:14). This figurative expression represents the most intimate union of being, like our coalescent with anything (qui or quod coaluit cum aliqua re). Plat. Phaedr. p. 246 A Aesch. Ag. and Klausen in loc(1404) p. 111. In the classics συμφυής is the more usual form for this idea, especially with γίνεσθαι (Plato, Soph. p. 247 D, Tim. p. 45 D, p. 88 A Plut. Lycurg. 25). Hence: For, if we have become (through baptism, Romans 6:3-4) such as are grown together with that which is the likeness of His death, (comp on Romans 1:23), i.e. persons, to whose nature it inseparably belongs to present in themselves that which resembles His death, so also shall we be grown together with the likeness of His resurrection. On ὁμοίωμα comp Romans 1:23, Romans 5:14, Romans 8:3. The rendering of σύμφυτοι by complantati (Vulgate, Luther), in. connection with which Chrysostom, Origen, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, Theophylact, Beza, and others explain the figure of the plant by the fruits of the ethical burial, is linguistically incorrect, as if the word came not from συμφύω, but from συμφυτεύω (comp φυτευτός, Plat. Rep. p. 510 A, ἀφύτευτος, Xen. Oec. 20, 22). The interpretation engrafted (Erasmus, Calvin, Estius, Cornelius à Lapide, Klee) is likewise without linguistic evidence, and does not suit the abstract τῷ ὁμοιώματι.

τῷ ὁμοιώμ. τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ] i.e. the condition corresponding in similarity of form to His death, which has specifically and indissolubly become ours. This ethical conformity with His death, however, the growing together with which took place through our baptism, is just that moral death to sin, Romans 6:3-4, in which the spiritual communion in death with Christ consists. τ. ὁμ. τ. θ. α. is to be joined with σύμφυτοι (Vulgate, Chrysostom, Beza, Calvin, Estius, Koppe, Tholuck, Rückert, Reiche. Olshausen, de Wette, Philippi, and others; now including Hofmann). Others however take it as the dative of the instrument, and supply τῷ χριστῷ to σύμφυτοι: “for, if we have entered into close union with Christ through the ὁμοίωμα of His death,” etc. So Erasmus, Beza, Grotius, Flatt, Fritzsche, Krehl, Baumgarten-Crusius, Maier, Baur, van Hengel, and Reithmayr; also Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 344. Nevertheless it is arbitrary to separate τω ὁμ. from σύμφ. γεγ., seeing that it stands beside it and in a structural respect presents itself most naturally with it, and also as belonging to it yields a very appropriate sense; and on the other hand to attach to σύμφ a word which Paul has not put in, and which he must have put in, if he would not lead his readers astray. Still more mistaken is the view of Bisping, that σύμφ. belongs to τοῦ θανάτ. αὐτοῦ, and that τῷ ὁμοιώμ. comes in between them instrumentally. Hofmann has rightly abandoned this tortuous interpretation, which he formerly followed. Comp on the right connection Cyril, Catech. iii. 12; and even Martyr. Ignat. 5 : ἐμαυτὸν.… σύμφυτον θέσθαι τῷ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ ὁμοιώματι.

ἀλλὰ καί] but also. ἀλλά, for the speedy and more emphatic introduction of the contrasted element, as frequently also in the classics, at the head of the apodosis; see on 1 Corinthians 4:15; Colossians 2:5.

τῆς ἀναστάσεως] cannot, in keeping with the protasis, depend directly upon the σύμφυτοι to be again understood (Erasmus, Calvin and others; including Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette and Krehl), but only upon the τῷ ὁμοιώματι to be supplied (Beza, Grotius, Estius, and many others; including Winzer, Fritzsche, Baumgarten-Crusius, Maier, Philippi, Tholuck, Ewald, van Hengel, and Hofmann), so that when completed it would run: ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ ὁμοιώματι τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ σύμφυτοι ἐσόμεθα. The former view is indeed likewise unobjectionable grammatically, for σύμφυτοι may also stand with the genitive (Plat. Phil. p. 51 D, Def. p. 413 C, Bernhardy, p. 171); but the latter is suggested by the context, and presents itself easily enough and without harshness. Further, it is self-evident, after Romans 6:4, that in τ. ἀναστ. we are not to think of the resurrection of our body (Tertullian, Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, Oecumenius, Cornelius à Lapide, and others; comp also Ewald), or of this as included (Koppe and Klee).

ἐσόμεθα] receives its only correct interpretation from its relation to, and bearing on, the clause expressive of the purpose, ἵνα.… ἐν καιν. ζ. περιπ in Romans 6:4, according to which it must express the necessarily certain. Matthiae, p. 1122; Kühner, II. 1, p. 148, ed. 2. Compare πῶς ἔτι ζήσομεν, Romans 6:2. The sense of willing (“ut reviviscamus curabimus,” Fritzsche) is not suggested by the connection; nor is that of a summons (Olshausen, Rückert, and older expositors); but it is rather the expression of what shall certainly be the case, as the consequence of the σύμφυτοι γεγόν. τῷ ὁμοιώμ. τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ assumed as real in the protasis; it cannot be otherwise; with the having become σύμφυτοι this ἐσέσθαι is given; with that fact having begun and taken place is posited this further development, which necessarily attaches itself thereto.


Verse 6

Romans 6:6. τοῦτο γινώσκοντες] Definition to τῆς ἀναστάσ. ἐσόμεθα, which objective relation is confirmed by the corresponding experimental conscious knowledge (comp εἰδότες in Romans 6:9): since we know this; not a mere continuation of the construction instead of κ. τοῦτο γινώσκομεν (Philippi), as the participle is never so used, not even in ch. Romans 2:4; nor yet to be conceived as in the train of the ἐσόμεθα (Hofmann), as if Paul had expressed himself by some such word as ὥστε, or with the telic infinitive ( γνῶναι). Respecting τοῦτο see on ch. Romans 2:3.

παλ. ἡμ. ἄνθρ.] i.e. our old ego—our personality in its entire sinful condition before regeneration (John 3:3; Titus 3:5). Comp Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9. From the standpoint of the καινότης πνεύματος, constituting the Christian self-consciousness, the Christian sees his pre-Christian ethical personality as his old self no longer to be found in life, as the person which he had formerly been Comp on 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10.

συνεσταυρώθη] namely, when we were baptized and thereby transplanted into the fellowship of death. See on Romans 6:3-4. This special expression of the being killed with Him is selected simply because Christ was slain on the cross; not as Grotius and others, including Olshausen, hold: “quia sicut per crucem non sine gravi dolore ad exitum pervenitur, ita illa natura (the old man) sine dolore non extinguitur.” Compare Umbreit. The simple ἵνα καταργ. is not at all in keeping with this far-fetched reference, which is not supported by Galatians 2:19 f.; but just as little with the reference to the disgrace of crucifixion (Hofmann).

ἵνα καταργ.] Design of the παλ. ἡμ. ἄνθρ. συνεστ.: in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, i.e. the body belonging to the power of sin, ruled by sin.(1413) Comp Romans 7:24. The old man had such a body; and this σῶμα was to be destroyed, put out of existence by the crucifixion with Christ; consequently not the body in itself, but in so far as it is the sin-body, becoming determined by sin in its expressions of life to sinful πράξεσι (Romans 8:13). The propriety of this interpretation appears from Romans 6:7; Romans 6:12-13; Romans 6:23. Comp on Colossians 2:11. If we explain it merely of “the body as seat or organ of sin,” the idea would not in itself be un-Pauline, as Reiche thinks; for the σῶμα would in fact appear not as the soliciting agent of sin (not as the σάρξ), but as its vehicle, in itself morally indifferent, but serving sin as the organic instrument of its vital activity (see Stirm in the Tübing. Zeitschr. f. Theol. 1834, 3, p. 10 ff.); but καταργηθῇ is decisive against this view. For this could neither mean destroyed, annihilated, because in fact even the body of the regenerate is a σῶμα τ. ἁμαρτίας in the sense assumed (Romans 6:12); nor even evacuaretur (Tertullian, Augustine), rendered inactive, inoperative, partly because then the idea of σάρξ would be assigned to σῶ΄α, and partly because it is only the conception of the destruction of the body which corresponds to the conception of crucifixion. Others take the corpus peccati figuratively; either so, that sin is conceived under the figure of a body with significant reference to its being crucified (so Fathers in Suicer, Thes. II. p. 1215, Piscator, Pareus, Castalio, Hammond, Homberg, Calovius, Koppe, Flatt, and Olshausen; also Reiche, conceiving sin as a monster); or, similarly to this mode of apprehending it, in such a way as to find the sense: “the mass of sin,” τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν διαφορῶν μερῶν πονηρίας συγκειμένην.… κακίαν, Chrysostom. So Ambrosiaster, Pseudo-Hieronymus, Theophylact, Erasmus, Cornelius à Lapide, Grotius, Estius, Reithmayr and others; so also Calvin, who however takes the corpus peccati as a designation of the natural man itself, which is a massa, ex peccato conflata. Philippi also ultimately comes to the massa peccati, which is conceived as an organism having members, as σῶμα; so likewise Jatho and Julius Müller, v. d. Sünde, I. p. 460, ed. 5; also Baur (” as it were the substance of sin”). But all these interpretations are at variance partly with the Pauline usus loquendi in general, and partly with Romans 6:12 in particular, where ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὑμ. σώματι by its reference to our passage confirms “our view of the σῶ΄α. The right view is held substantially by Theodoret, Theophylact 2, Bengel and others, including Tholuck, Köllner, de Wette, Rückert, Fritzsche, Maier, Nielsen, Hofmann and Weiss; whereas Baumgarten-Crusius, and also Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, I. p. 113, convert σῶμα into the idea of state of life.

τοῦ μηκέτι δουλ. κ. τ. λ(1416)] “finem abolitionis notat,” Calvin. The sin, which is committed, is conceived as a ruler to whom service is rendered. See John 8:34.


Verse 7

Romans 6:7. Establishment of the τοῦ μηκέτι δουλ. ἡμ. τῇ. ἁμ. by the general proposition: whosoever is dead, is acquitted from sin.

ἀποθαν.] is explained by many of ethical death. So Erasmus, Calovius, Homberg, Bengel and others, including Koppe, Flatt, Glöckler, Olshausen, Tholuck (who regards sin as creditor), de Wette (“whosoever has died to sin, he—alone—is acquitted from sin”), Rothe, Krehl, Philippi (whosoever is ethically dead, over him has sin lost its right to impeach and to control, just as Bengel explains it), also van Hengel, Jatho, and Märcker. But neither the nature of the general proposition, which forms in fact the major premiss in the argument, and of which only the application is to be made (in the minor proposition) to ethical dying; nor the tautological relation, which would result between subject and predicate, can permit this explanation. The conception of ethical dying recurs only in the sequel, and hence σὺν χριστῳ is added to ἀπεθάνομεν in Romans 6:8, so that Paul in this development of his views draws a sharp distinction between the being dead in the spiritual (Romans 6:6; Romans 6:8) and in the ordinary sense. We must therefore explain Romans 6:7 as a general proposition regarding death in the ordinary sense, and consequently regarding physical death (so rightly Hofmann), but not specially of the death by execution, through which sin is expiated (Alethaeus, Wolf and others; with this view they compare δεδικ., the juristic expression: he is justified; see Michaelis’ note); for any such peculiar reference of the still wholly unrestricted ἀποθανών is forbidden by the very generality of the proposition, although for δεδικαίωται passages might be cited like Plat. Legg. II. p. 934 B Aristot. Eth. v. 9.

δεδικ. ἀπὸ τ. ἁμ.] “The dead person is made just from sin,” i.e. he is in point of fact justified and acquitted from sin, he is placed by death in the position of a δίκαιος, who is such thenceforth; not as if he were now absolved from and rid of the guilt of his sins committed in life, but in so far as the dead person sins no more, no longer δουλεύει τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, from whose power, as from a legal claim urged against him during his life in the body, he has been actually released by death as through a decree of acquittal. Comp Köstlin in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol. 1856, p. 98 f.; Th. Schott, p. 260, and Hofmann; also Baur, neut. Theol. p. 161 f.; Delitzsch, Illustrations to his Hebrew version, p. 84. Just for this reason has Paul added ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας (comp Acts 13:38; Sirach 26:29; Test. XII. patr. p. 541), which would have been quite superfluous, had he taken δεδικαίωται, justus constitutus est, in the dogmatic sense of his doctrine of justification. The proposition itself, moreover, is an axiom of the popular traditional mode of view, which Paul uses for his purpose as admitted. This axiom has also its relative truth, and that partly in so far as the dead person has put off the σῶμα τῆς σαρκός with which he committed his sins (Colossians 2:11), partly in so far as with death the dominion of law over the man ceases (Romans 7:1), and partly in so far as in death all the relations are dissolved which supplied in life the objects of sinning.(1419) For the discussion of the question as to the absolute truth of the proposition, in its connection with Biblical anthropology and eschatology, there was no occasion at all here,(1420) where it is only used as an auxiliary clause, and ex concesso. Comp 1 Peter 4:1. Usteri mistakenly explains it: by death man has suffered the punishment, and thus expiated his guilt. For that Paul does not here express the Jewish dogma: “death as the punishment for sin expiates the guilt of sin” (see Eisenmenger, entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 283 f.) is proved partly by the irrelevancy of such a sense to the context ( γάρ); and partly by its inconsistency with the doctrines of the Apostle as to justification by faith and as to the judgment, according to which death cannot set free from the guilt-obligation of sin. Ewald makes a new idea be brought in at Romans 6:7 : “Even in common life, in the case of one who is dead, the sins of his previous life cannot be further prosecuted and punished, he passes for justified and acquitted of sin.…; if in addition sin as a power has been broken by Christ (Romans 6:9 f.), then we may assuredly believe,” etc., Romans 6:8. But γάρ in Romans 6:7 indicates its connection with what goes before, so that it is only with the δέ in Romans 6:8 that a new thought is introduced. Besides, we should expect, in the case of the assumed course of thought, an οὖν instead of the δέ in Romans 6:8. Finally, it is not clear how that rule of common law was to serve as a joint ground for the faith of becoming alive with Christ.


Verse 8

Romans 6:8 f. Carrying onward the discussion by the metabatic δέ; and thereby passing from the negative side of the having died with Christ as proved in personal consciousness ( τοῦτο γινώσκοντες, Romans 6:6) in. Romans 6:6-7, to its positive side, which is likewise exhibited as based on the consciousness of faith ( πιστεύομεν). “But if we have died (according to Romans 6:6-7) with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, since we know,” etc. etc.

πιστεύομεν] expresses, not confidence in the divine aid (Fritzsche), or in the divine promise (Baumgarten-Crusius), or in God not leaving His work of grace in us unfinished (Philippi); but simply the being convinced of our συζήσομεν αὐτῷ; in so far, namely, as the having died with Christ is, seeing that He has risen and dieth no more, in the consciousness of faith the necessary premiss, and thus the ground for belief as to our becoming alive with Him. If the former, the ἀπεθάνομεν σὺν χριστῷ, be true, we cannot doubt the latter.

συζήσομεν αὐτῷ] must necessarily be understood, in accordance with the preceding and following context (Romans 6:11), of the ethical participation in the new everlasting life of Christ. Whosoever has died with Christ is now also of the belief that his life, i.e. the positive active side of his moral being and nature, shall be a fellowship of life with the exalted Christ; that is, shall be able to be nothing else than this. This communion of life is the ἐν χριστῷ and χριστὸν ἐν ἡμῖν εἶναι. In the full consciousness of it Paul says: ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγὼ, ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ χριστός (Galatians 2:20). At the same time it is not to be explained as if an ἀεί or the like stood beside συζήσομεν (without falling away), as is done by Tholuck; compare Theophylact. Others, in opposition to the context, hold that what is meant is the future participation of Christians in the bliss of the glorified Saviour (Flatt, Reiche, Maier, following Origen, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Grotius, and Heumann); and others still, at variance alike with the definiteness and unity of the sense, interpret it of the earthly moral and the eternal blessed life together (Sebastian Schmid, Böhme, Rosenmuller; and not rejected by de Wette). The reference or joint-reference to the future glory is not required either by the future, which, on the contrary, demands the same rendering exactly as ἐσόμεθα in Romans 6:5, nor by πιστεύομεν (see above).

εἱδότες, ὅτι κ. τ. λ(1422)] Since we know, that, etc. Were we, namely, obliged to fear that Christ is still subject to the power of death,(1423) that his life is not a perfected life, in that case we should lack the adequate secure ground of faith for that πιστεύομεν κ. τ. λ(1424) The being assured that Christ liveth eternally and dieth no more (Acts 13:34), lends to our faith in our own moral communion of life with Him its basis and firm footing; without that knowledge this faith would be wanting in that which gives it legitimacy and guarantee. For who can cherish the conviction that he stands in that holy communion of resurrection-life with Christ, if he should be compelled to doubt whether his Lord, though indeed risen, might not again fall a victim to death? This thought would only keep us aloof from that faith and make it a moral impossibility for us, since it would set before us the prospect of a similar perishing of the new life which we had gained. Hofmann, who makes a new sentence begin with εἰδότες, which is to continue till Romans 6:11, might have been warned against doing so by the absence of a particle ( οὖν); and should have been decisively precluded from it by the tortuous way in which, if Romans 6:10 is set aside in a parenthesis, it is necessary to obtain a forced regimen for the passage.

θάνατος αὐτοῦ οὐκέτι κυρ.] no longer dependent on ὅτι, but an independent and therefore all the more emphatic repetition of the important thought: death is no longer Lord over Him, has no more power over Him, such as it once had at the crucifixion. Comp 1 Corinthians 15:25.


Verse 10

Romans 6:10. Proof of the θάνατος αὐτοῦ οὐκέτι κυριεύει.(1426)

γὰρ ἀπέθανε] is in any case the accusative of the object. But whether Paul conceived it as: for as to what concerns His death (see Vigerus, ed. Herm. p. 34; Frotscher and Breitenbach, a(1427) Xen. Hier. 6, 12; Matthiae, p. 1063), or what, i.e. the death which He died (so Rückert, Fritzsche, de Wette, Philippi; see Bernhardy, p. 106 f.; comp on Galatians 2:20) cannot be determined, since both renderings suit the correct interpretation of what follows. Yet the latter, analogous to the expression θάνατον θανεῖν, is to be preferred as the more simple, and as uniform with Galatians 2:20.

τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθ.] the relation of the dative is to be determined from νεκροὺς τῇ ἁμ. in Romans 6:11; therefore it can be nothing else than what is contained in ἀπεθάν. τῇ ἁμ. in Romans 6:2 (comp Hofmann), namely: he is dead to sin (dative of reference), i.e. His dying concerned sin; and indeed so that the latter (namely the sin of the world, conceived as power) has now, after He has suffered death on account of it, become without influence upon Him and has no more power over Him; He submitted Himself to its power in His death, but through that death He has died to its power.(1430) So also have we (Romans 6:11) to esteem ourselves as dead to sin ( νεκροὺς τῇ ἁμ.), as rescued from its grasp through our ethical death with Christ, in such measure that we are released from and rid of the influence of this power antagonistic to God. The close accordance of this view of τῇ ἁμ. ἀπέθ. with the context (according to Romans 6:11; Romans 6:2) is decisive against the ex planations of the dative deviating from it, such as: ad expianda peccata (Pareus, Piscator, Grotius, Michaelis, and others including Olshausen); or: ad expianda tollendaque peccata (Koppe, Flatt, Reiche, Fritzsche, Philippi); or: in order to destroy the power of sin (Chrysostom, Beza, Calvin, Bengel, and others, including Ewald and Umbreit). Rückert, Köllner, and de Wette wish to abide by an indefinite reference of the death of Jesus to sin as the remote object; but this simply explains nothing, and leaves only a formal parallelism remaining.

ἐφάπαξ] for once, with emphasis, excluding repetition, once for all. Comp Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 10:10; Lucian, Dem. euc. 21.

ζῇ τ. θεῷ] vivit Deo, namely so, that now in His estate of exaltation, after He has through His death died to the power of sin, His life belongs to God, i. e. stands to God in the relation of being dependent on, and of being determined by, Him. The contrast to the preceding yields the excluding sense. Christ’s earthly life, namely, was also a ζῆν τῷ θεῷ, but was at the same time exposed to the death-power of human sin, which is now no longer the case, inasmuch as His life rescued from death is wholly determined by the fellowship with God. This latter portion of the verse belongs also to the proof of Romans 6:9, since it is in fact just the (exclusive) belonging to God of Christ’s life, that makes it certain that death reigns no longer over Him; as ζῶν τῷ θεῷ he can no longer be παθητός (Acts 26:23), which He previously was, until in obedience to God ἐξ ἀσθενείας He was crucified (2 Corinthians 13:4).


Verse 11

Romans 6:11. Application of Romans 6:10 to the readers.

Although in Romans 6:10 there was no mention of a λογίζεσθαι on the part of Christ, we are not, with Griesbach and Koppe, to break up the discourse by the punctuation: οὗτω καὶ ὑμεῖς λογίζεσθε κ. τ. λ(1432) (comp on the contrary Luke 17:10).

Accordingly reckon ye yourselves also (like Christ) as dead, etc. λογίζεσθε, namely, containing the standard by which they are to apprehend their moral life-position in its reality, is not, with Bengel and Hofmann, to be taken as indicative, but rather, seeing that here the discourse passes over to the second person and proceeds in exhortation in Romans 6:12 ff., with the Vulgate, Chrysostom and Luther, as imperative.

ἐν χρ. ʼι.] These words, which Rückert, Köllner, de Wette, and others quite arbitrarily join merely with ζῶντας δὲ τ. θεῷ, belong to both portions of the summons; and do not mean per Christum (Grotius and others, including Fritzsche), but denote rather the specific element, in which the being dead and living take place, namely, in the ethical bond of fellowship, which is just the εἶναι ἐν χριστῷ.


Verse 12

Romans 6:12 f. οὖν] in consequence of this λογίζεσθε, for the proof of it in the practice of life. For this practice the λογίζεσθαι κ. τ. λ(1434) is meant to be the regulative theory. The negative portion of the following exhortation corresponds to the νεκροὺς μὲν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ in Romans 6:11; and the positive contrast ἀλλὰ κ. τ. λ(1435) to the ζῶντας δἒ τῷ θεῷ.

΄ὴ βασιλ.] With this nothing sinful is admitted (comp Chrysostom); but on the contrary the influence of the (personified) sin, conquering the moral ego, is entirely forbidden,(1437) as the whole connection teaches.

ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὑ΄. σώ΄.] ἐν simply indicates the seat and sphere, in which the forbidden dominion would take place (not by means of, as Th. Schott thinks). As to θνητῷ, every explanation is to be avoided which takes the word in any other sense than the ordinary one of mortal (comp Romans 8:11), because it has no other signification (see all the examples in Wetstein), and because the context contains nothing at all in favour of giving any other turn to the notion of the word. We must reject therefore the opinion that it is equivalent to νεκρῷ, as taken in the ethical sense: dead for sin (Turretin, Ch. Schmidt, Ernesti, Schleusner, Schrader, and Stengel). Directly affirmed of the body, the mortality could not but be understood by every reader quite definitely as the physical. The purpose of the epithet however must manifestly result from the relation of motive, in which the mortality of the body stands to the prohibition of the reign of sin in the body. And the more precise definition of this motive is to be derived from the previous νεκροὺς μὲν τῇ ἁμαρτιᾷ, ζῶντας δὲ τῷ θεῷ. If we are convinced, namely, that we are dead for sin and alive for God; if we account ourselves as those who have put off the ethical mortality ( ὡς ἐκ νεκρῶν ζῶντας, Romans 6:13), then it is an absurdity to allow sin to reign in the body, which in fact is mortal. This quality stands in a relation of contradiction to our immortal life entered upon in the fellowship of Christ, and thus the dominion, for which we should deliver over our body to sin, would prove that we were not that for which, nevertheless, in genuine moral self-judgment, we have to take ourselves; since in fact the mortal life of the body, if we yield it to the government of sin, excludes the immortal Christian life described in Romans 6:11. Hofmann imports more into the passage than its connection with Romans 6:11 suggests; namely the double folly, that such an one should not use the power, which the life of Christ gives him over the mortal body and therewith over sin; and that he should permit himself to be entangled in the death to which his body falls a victim, while he possesses a life of which also his body would become joint-participant. This is a finespun application of the true interpretation. Different is the view of Köllner (comp Calvin: “per contemtum vocat mortale”), that it is here hinted how disgraceful it is to make the spirit subordinate to sin, which only dwells in the perishable body; and of Grotius: “de vita altera cogitandum, nee formidandos labores haud sane diuturnos” (comp Chrysostom and Theodoret; so also on the whole Reiche). But the context contains neither a contrast between body and spirit, nor between this and the other life. Flatt thinks that Paul wished to remind his readers of the brevity of sensual pleasure; comp Theophylact. But how little would this be in keeping with the high standpoint of the moral sternness of the Apostle! According to others, Paul desired to remind them warningly of the destructiveness of sin, which had brought death on the body (de Wette, Krehl, Nielsen, Philippi, also Maier). But this point of view as to destructiveness is remote from the connection, in which the pervading theme is rather the unsuitableness of the dominion of sin to the communion of death and life with Christ. Others still explain it variously.(1442)

σώ΄ατι] body, as in Romans 6:6; not a symbolic expression for the entire ego (Reiche, following Ambrosiaster and various early expositors); nor yet body and soul, so far as it is not yet the recipient of the Spirit of God (Philippi); for even in all such passages as Romans 8:10; Romans 8:13; Romans 8:23; Romans 12:1 σῶμα retains purely its signification body. But sin reigns in the body (comp on Romans 6:6), so far as its material substratum is the σάρξ (Colossians 2:11), which, with its life-principle the ψυχή, is the seat and agent of sin (Romans 7:18 ff. al(1444)). Hence the sinful desires are its desires ( αὐτοῦ), because, excited by the power of sin in the flesh, they are at work in the body and its members (Romans 7:5; Romans 7:23; Colossians 3:5). Sin aims at securing obedience to these desires through its dominion in man. Consequently εἰς τὸ ὑπακ. τ. ἐπιθ. αὐτ. implies the—according to Romans 6:11 absurd—tendency of the allowing sin to reign in the mortal body, which the Apostle forbids.

μηδέ] also especially not (as e.g. 1 Corinthians 5:8).

παριστάνετε] present, i.e. place at the disposal, at the service. Matthew 26:53; Acts 23:24; 2 Timothy 2:15; Athen. iv. p. 148 B Lucian, d. Mark 6, 2; Diod. Sic. xvi. 79; Dem. 597 pen.

τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν] your members, which sin desires to use as executive organs, tongue, hand, foot, eye, etc. The mental powers and activities, feeling, will, understanding, are not included (in opposition to Erasmus, Reiche, Philippi and others); but Paul speaks concretely and graphically of the members, in reference to which the mental activities in question are necessarily presupposed. Comp Colossians 3:5.

ὅπλα ἀδικίας] as weapons of immorality, with which the establishment of immorality is achieved. The ἁμαρτία is conceived as a ruler employing the members of man as weapons of warfare, wherewith to contend against the government of God and to establish ἀδικία (opposite of the subsequent δικαιοσύνης). It injures the figure, to which Romans 6:23 glances back, to explain ὅπλα (comp כּלי) instruments, as is done by many (including Rückert, Köllner, Baumgarten-Crusius, Krehl, Fritzsche, de Wette, and Ewald), a meaning which it indeed frequently bears in classic Greek since Homer (see Duncan, Lex. ed. Rost, p. 844), but never in the N. T. Comp especially 2 Corinthians 6:7; 2 Corinthians 10:4.

παραστήσατε] the aorist here following the present (comp Bernhardy, p. 393), marking the immediateness and rapidity of the opposite action which has to set in. It stands to παριστάνετε in a climactic relation. See Winer, p. 294 [E. T. 394], Kühner, II. 1, p. 158.

ἑαυτούς] yourselves, your own persons, and specially also your members, etc.

ὡς ἐκ νεκρ. ζῶντας] as those that are alive from the dead (risen), i.e. those who have experienced in themselves the ethical process of having died and attained to the resurrection-life with Christ. Only thus, in the sense of the moral renovation discussed in Romans 6:2-11—not in the sense of Ephesians 2:1 (Philippi and older expositors)—can it be explained agreeably to the context, especially as ὡς corresponds to the λογίζεσθε κ. τ. λ(1449) in Romans 6:11. This ὡς, quippe, with the participle (as in Romans 15:15, and very frequently), expresses, namely, the relation of the case, in which what is demanded is to appear to the readers as corresponding to their Christian state, which is described as life from the dead.(1450)

τῷ θεῷ] belonging to God, as in Romans 6:10-11.


Verse 14

Romans 6:14. Not the ground and warrant for the exhortation (Hofmann), in which case the thought is introduced, that obedience is dependent on the readers; but an encouragement to do what is demanded in Romans 6:12-13, through the assurance that therein sin shall not become lord over them, since they are not in fact under the law, but under grace. Comp the similar encouragement in Philippians 2:13. In this assurance lies a “dulcissima consolatio,” Melancthon, comp Calvin. They have not to dread the danger of failure. Understood as an expression of good confidence, that they would not allow sin to become lord over them (Fritzsche), the sentence would lack an element assigning an objective reason, to which nevertheless the second half points. Heumann, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Flatt, and Umbreit take the future imperatively, which is erroneous for the simple reason that it is not in the second person (Bernhardy, p. 378).

οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑπὸ νόμον (Galatians 4:21), ἀλλʼ ὑπὸ χάριν: For not the law, but divine grace (revealed in Christ) is the power under which you are placed. This contrast, according to which the norm-giving position of the law is excluded from the Christian state (it is not merely the superfluousness of the law that is announced, as Th. Schott thinks), is the justification of the encouraging assurance previously given. Had they been under the law, Paul would not have been able to give it, because the merely commanding law is the δύναμις τῆς ἁμαρτίας (1 Corinthians 15:56), and accumulates sins (v. 20), in which reference he intends to discuss the matter still further in ch. 7. But they stand under a quite different power, under grace; and this relation of dependence is quite calculated to bring to the justified that consecration of moral strength, which they require against sin and for the divine life (Romans 5:21; Romans 6:1 ff.). “Gratia non solum peccata diluit, sed ut non peccemus facit,” Augustine.


Verse 15

Romans 6:15. τί οὖν] sc(1454) ἐστι; what is then the state of the case? Comp Romans 3:9. Shall this Christian position of ours be misused for sinning?

With the reading ἁμαρτήσομεν the sense would be purely future: shall we sin? will this case occur with us? But with the proper reading ἁμαρτήσωμεν Paul asks: Are we to sin? deliberative subjunctive as in Romans 6:1. To the ἐπιμένωμ. τ. ἁμαρτ. in Romans 6:1 our ἁμαρτήσωμεν stands related as a climax; not merely the state of perseverance in sin, but every sinful action is to be abhorred; the former from the pre-Christian time, the latter in the Christian state of grace.

ὅτι οὐκ ἐσμὲν ὑπὸ νόμον κ. τ. λ(1456)] emphatic repetition. Bornemann, a(1457) Xen. Mem. iv. 3, 17, Schol. in Luc. p. xxxix.


Verses 15-23

Romans 6:15-23. This οὐκ εἶναι ὑπὸ νόμον, ἀλλʼ ὑπὸ χάριν does not therefore give us freedom to sin. From the οὐ χάρ.… χάριν, namely, the inference of freedom to sin might very easily he drawn by immoral Christians (comp Romans 6:1), which would be exactly the reverse of what the Apostle wished to establish by that proposition ( ἁμ. ὑμ. οὐ. κυρ. Romans 6:14). Paul therefore proposes to himself this possible inference and negatives it (Romans 6:15), and then gives in Romans 6:16 ff. its refutation. Accordingly Romans 6:15-23 form only an ethico-polemical preliminary to the positive illustration of the proposition, “ye are not under the law, but under grace,” which begins in ch. 7.


Verse 16

Romans 6:16. Paul begins the detailed illustration of the μὴ γένοιτο with an appeal to the consciousness of his readers, the tenor of which corresponds to the saying of Christ: “No man can serve two masters.” This appeal forms the propositio major; the minor then follows in Romans 6:17 f., after which the conclusion is obvious of itself.—“Know ye not, that, to whom ye yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, ye are slaves of him whom ye obey?” Here the emphasis is not on ἐστε (slaves ye are in reality, as de Wette and others think), or even on the relative clause ὑπακούετε (Hofmann), but, as is required by the order of the words, and the correlation with παριστ. ἑαυτούς, on δοῦλοι. Whosoever places himself at the disposal of another for obedience as a slave, is no longer free and independent, but is just the slave of him whom he obeys.

παριστάνετε] The present, as expressing the general proposition which continues to hold good. See Kühner, II. 1, p. 115.

ὑπακούετε] whom ye obey (erroneously rendered by Reiche and Baumgarten-Crusius: have to obey). By this, instead of the simple αὐτοῦ or τούτου, the relation of subjection, which was already expressed in the protasis, is once more vividly brought into view: that ye are slaves of him, whom ye, in consequence of that παριστάνειν ἑαυτοὺς δούλους to him, obey. The circumstantiality has a certain earnestness and solemnity. If ye yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, then ye are nothing else than slaves in the service of him whom ye obey. The less reason is there for attaching εἰς ὑπακ. to the apodosis (Th. Schott, Hofmann).

ἤτοι ἁμαρτίας] sc(1458) δοῦλοι.(1459) Respecting the disjunctive ἤτοι, aut sane, found nowhere else in N. T., see especially Klotz, a(1460) Devar. p. 609, Baeumlein, Partik. p. 244. It lays strong emphasis on the first alternative. Very frequently thus used in Greek authors. Comp Wisdom of Solomon 11:18.

εἰς θάνατον] result, to which this relation of slavery leads. The θάνατος cannot be physical death (Reiche, Fritzsche, van Hengel), since that is not the consequence of individual(1462) sin (see on Romans 5:12), and is not averted from the δοῦλος ὑπακοῆς; nor is it, either generally, the misery of sin (de Wette), or specially spiritual death, alienation from the true ζωή, an idea which Paul never conveys by θάνατος; but rather, seeing that θάνατος, as is more precisely indicated in Romans 6:21, and is placed beyond doubt by the contrast of ζωὴ αἰώνιος, must be conceived as the τέλος of the bondage of sin; eternal death (Chrysostom, Theophylact, and others, including Rückert, Reithmayr, and Tholuck). Comp Romans 1:32. This is not at variance with the antithesis εἰς δικαιοσύνην, which is not to be taken (as in Romans 6:13) in the sense of moral righteousness (Philippi and others); for this is not the result, but is itself the essence of the δοῦλον εἶναι ὑπακοής (comp Romans 5:19), since ὑπακοή, in contradistinction to the ἁμαρτία, is obedience to the divine will. On the contrary δικαιοσύνη, antithetically correlative with the θάνατος, must be conceived as the final result of that δοῦλον εἶναι ὑπακοῆς, and apply to the time of final perfection in the αἰὼν μέλλων, when the faithful, who have not relapsed into the service of sin, but in their faith have been servants of obedience, on account of the death of Christ δίκαιοι κατασταθήσονται, Romans 6:19. It is therefore the righteousness which is awarded to them in the judgment.(1465) If it were the righteousness of faith even now attained (Th. Schott), ὑπακοῆς would need to be taken, with Schott, of becoming a believer (Romans 1:5), which is contextually inadmissible, since what is spoken of is the state of grace already existing (Romans 6:15), in which service is rendered to the obedience of God only, and not to sin. In accordance with the misconceptions of Hofmann, already noticed in detail (see above), there results as his sense of the whole: “To whom ye place yourselves as servants at his disposal, ye are servants for the purpose of obedience; ye are so to him whom ye obey, servants either—for there is no third alternative—who act contrary to their master’s will and thereby merit death, or such as live in obedience and are therefore righteous in the presence of their master.” What kind of a θάνατος, and in what sense δικαιοσύνη is meant, is supposed accordingly to be self-evident. And by the following thanksgiving, Romans 6:17, the Apostle is alleged “as it were half to take back” his question, Whether they do not know etc., so that the medium of transition to Romans 6:17 is “why yet still the question?” A series of gratuitously imported fancies.


Verse 17

Romans 6:17. Propositio minor.

χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ, ὅτι] animated expression of piety; “ardor pectoris apostolici,” Bengel. Comp Romans 7:25.

ὅτι ἦτε δοῦλοι τ. ἁ΄., ὑπηκ. κ. τ. λ(1467)] ἦτε has emphasis: that ye were slaves of sin (that this condition of bondage is past) etc. Comp Ephesians 5:8. The prefixing of ἦτε, and the non-insertion of a μέν, clearly prove that this is the true interpretation, and not that, by which the main idea is discovered in the second half: “non Deo gratias agit, quod servierint peccato, sed quod, qui servierint peccato, postea obedierunt evangelio,” Grotius. In that case μέν at least would be indispensable in the first clause. The mode of expression is purposely chosen, in order to render more forcibly apparent their earlier dangerous condition (whose further delineation in Romans 6:19, moreover, points to the former heathenism of the readers).

ἐκ καρδίας] οὐδὲ γὰρ ἠναγκάσθητε, οὐδὲ ἐβιάσθητε, ἀλλʼ ἑκόντες μετὰ προθυμίας ἀπέστητε, Chrysostom. Comp Job 8:10; Mark 12:30; Wisdom of Solomon 8:21 al(1470); Theocr. xxix. 4; also ἐκ θυμοῦ, ἐξ εὐμενῶν στέρνων, and similar phrases in Greek writers. The opposite: ἑκ βίας.

εἰς ὃν παρεδ. τύπ. διδ.] may either be resolved: τῷ τύπῳ τῆς διδ., εἰς ὃν παρεδ., with Chrysostom and others, including Rückert, Reiche, Köllner, Tholuck, de Wette, Fritzsche, Winer, and Philippi (see Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 133, Conject. p. 34; Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. 177); or: εἰς τ. τύπ. τῆς διδ., εἰς ὃν παρεδ. (as in Romans 4:17); or: εἰς τ. τύπ. τῆς διδ., ὃν παρεδ. i. e. ὃς παρεδ. ὑμῖν (see Castalio and Grotius on the passage, Kypke, II. p. 167, Ewald and Hofmann). It is decisive in favour of the first mode of resolution that ὑπακούειν εἰς τι is never equivalent to ὑπακούειν τινί;(1471) while to take ὑπηκούσατε absolutely either in the sense of the obedience of faith, Romans 1:5 (Ewald), or in that of absolute obedience (“as obedient servants in contrast to sinful ones,” Hofmann), is inadmissible, because ὑπηκούσατε in its antithetical correlation with δοῦλοι τῆς ἁ΄αρτίας needs a more precise definition. And this it has precisely in εἰς ὃν παρεδόθ. κ. τ. λ(1472), which cannot therefore indicate whereunto (Ewald and Hofmann) the ὑπακούειν has taken place,—an artificial farfetched expedient, which is wrung from them, in order to get instead of obedience towards the doctrine obedience as effect of the doctrine (comp Matthew 12:41, where however μετενοήσαν stands by its side, which is in fact of itself a complete conception). The τύπος διδαχῆς, εἰς ὃν παρεδ. is usually (and still by Hofmann) understood of Christian doctrine generally, so far as it is a definite, express form of teaching. But since the singular expression τύπος does not thus appear accounted for, and since the Roman church was undoubtedly planted through the preaching of Pauline Christianity, which is certainly a particular type, different from Judaistic forms of Christian teaching and in various points even contrasting with these, it is preferable to understand by it the distinct expression which the Gospel had received through Paul, consequently the doctrinal form of his Gospel (Romans 2:16, Romans 16:25), in opposition to anti-Paulinism (Rückert, ed. 1, de Wette, comp Philippi). This εἰς ὃν παρεδ. is decisive in favour of the interpretation “form of doctrine” in an objective sense, and against the subjective explanation: image of the doctrine, which is impressed on the heart (Kypke). Following Theodore of Mopsuestia, Oecumenius, Calvin, Grotius, Calovius, and many others, Reiche (as also Olshausen, Reithmayr and Krehl) take τύπος in the sense of exemplar, ideal which the doctrine holds up, consequently in that of the ethical rule, which as model of life is contained in the Gospel ( διδαχ.).(1475) This is in harmony neither with the ὑπακούειν nor with the εἰς ὃν παρεδ. Unsuitable to the former is also the interpretation of Beza and others, to which Tholuck inclines, that the evangelical doctrine is “quasi instar typi cujusdam, cui veluti immittamur, ut ejus figurae conformemur.” Van Hengel understands ὑπηκούσατε in the sense of obedience toward God, and εἰς as quod attinet at; Paul in his view says: “obedivistis Deo ad sequendam quam profiteri edocti estis doctrinae formam.” This form of doctrine, to which the Romans were directed at the founding of their church, had been, he conceives, probably more Judaistic than purely Pauline. But against the absolute interpretation of ὑπηκούσ. see above; while the assumption of a τύπος διδαχῆς not truly Pauline is irreconcilable with the expression of thanksgiving, and is not supported by Philippians 1:15, a passage which is to be explained from the peculiar situation of the Apostle. We may add that Paul aptly specialises the ὑπακοή—which was set forth in the major, in Romans 6:16, quite generally (as obedience to God in general)—at the subsumption in the minor, Romans 6:17, as obedience to his Gospel.

παρεδόθ.] τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ βοήθειαν αἰνίττεται, Chrysostom. The reference to God, which is also to be observed for the passives in Romans 6:18, is plain from χάρις τῷ θεῷ. That it is not to be taken as middle (to yield themselves, so Fritzsche) is shown by the same passives in Romans 6:18. παραδίδωμι either with the dative or with εἰς, in the sense of delivering over to the disposal and power of another, is very current everywhere in Greek literature (Judith 10:15; Romans 1:26; Xen. Hell. 1, 7, 3; Dem. 515, 6, 1187, 5); but whether in a hostile sense or not, is conveyed not by the expression itself, but simply by the context. To the expression itself the abolition of one’s own self-determination is essential. So also here. The Christian has at his conversion ceased to be sui juris, and has been given over to the morally regulative power of the Gospel. On τύπος διδαχῆς comp Jamblichus, de Pythag. vit. 16 : τῆς παιδεύσεως τύπος, Plat. Rep. p. 412 B: οἱ τύποι τῆς παιδεἰας, p. 397 C: τύπῳ τῆς λέξεως, Jamblichus l.c(1477) 23: τὸν τύπον τῆς διδασκαλίας, Isoc. Antid. 186: τύπος τῆς φιλοσοφίας.


Verse 18

Romans 6:18. “But, freed from sin, ye have become servants of righteousness.” This is not to be regarded as the conclusion from the two premisses, Romans 6:16-17 (Rückert, Reiche), because οὖν is not used, and because substantially the same thought was already contained in Romans 6:17. Paul rather expresses once more the happy change in his readers just described; and does so in a thoughtfully chosen antithetical form, no longer however dependent on ὁτι, but independent and thus more emphatic (hence a colon is, with Lachmann, to be inserted before ἐλευθ.). But he leaves the reader to draw for himself the conclusion, namely: this μὴ γένοιτο is therefore fully justified.

The δέ is the autem of continuation; the transition, however, is not from activity ( ὑπηκούσατε) to passiveness (Hofmann, comp Th. Schott), for the latter is already given in παρεδόθητε, but from the state of the case expressed in Romans 6:17 to a striking specification, in a more precise form, of the revolution in the relation of service, which was accomplished in them.

ἀπὸ τ. ἁμαρτ.] that is, from the relation of slavery to it.

ἐδουλ. τῇ δικαιοσ.] ye have been placed in the slave-relation to righteousness; a representation of the complete dependence on the moral necessity of being righteous, implied in conversion. On the dative comp 1 Corinthians 9:19; Titus 2:3; 2 Peter 2:19. This slavery, where the δικαιοσύνη is the mistress, is consequently the true moral freedom ( ἐλευθεροπρεπὲς δὲ ἀρετή, Plat. Alc. I. p. 135 C.). Comp the similar paradox in 1 Corinthians 7:22.


Verse 19

Romans 6:19. Paul had, in Romans 6:16-18, represented the idea of the highest moral freedom—in a form corresponding indeed with its nature as a moral necessity (“Deo servire vera libertas est,” Augustine), but still borrowed from human relations—as δουλεία. He now therefore, not to justify himself, but to induce his readers to separate the idea from the form, announces the fact that, and the reason why, he thus expresses himself regarding the loftiest moral idea in this concrete fashion, derived from an ordinary human relation. I speak (in here making mention of slavery, Romans 6:16-18) what is human (belonging to the relations of the natural human life) on account of the (intellectual) weakness of your flesh, i.e. in order thereby to come to the help of this your weakness. For the setting forth of the idea in some such sensuous form is the appropriate means of stimulating and procuring its apprehension in the case of one, whose knowledge has not yet been elevated by divine enlightenment to a higher platform of strength and clearness released from such human forms. Respecting ἀνθρώπινον see the examples in Wetstein. It is the antithesis of θεῖον, Plat. Rep. p. 497 C. The expression κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω in ch. Romans 3:5 is in substance equivalent, since ἀνθρώπινον also necessarily indicates the form and dress employed for the idea, for whose representation the Apostle has uttered what is human. The σάρξ, however, i.e. the material human nature in its psychical determination, as contrasted with the divine pneumatic influence (comp on Romans 4:1), is weak for religious and moral discernment, as well as for good (Matthew 26:41); hence the σοφία σαρκική (2 Corinthians 1:12) is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 3:19). Others, taking it not of intellectual weakness, but of moral weakness, refer it to what follows (Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Erasmus, Calvin, Estius, Hammond, Wetstein, and others, including Klee, Reithmayr, and Bisping), in the sense: “I do not demand what is too hard ( ἀνθρώπ., comp 1 Corinthians 10:13); for although I might require a far higher degree of the new obedience, yet I require only the same as ye have formerly rendered to sin.”(1483) But the following ὥσπερ.… οὓτω introduces not the equality of the degree, but, as is plain from Romans 6:20, only the comparison in general between the former and the present state. Besides, the demand itself, which by this interpretation would only concern a lower stage of Christian life, would be inappropriate to the morally ideal character of the whole hortatory discourse, which is not injured by the concrete figurative form. This remark also applies to the dismembering explanation of Hofmann (comp Th. Schott), who makes ἀνθρώπινον λέγω form a parenthesis, and then connects διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειαν τ. σαρκὸς ὑ΄ῶν with ἐδουλώθητε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ, so that the thought would be: the weakness of our in born nature gives occasion that our translation into the life of righteousness is dealt with as an enslavement thereto, while otherwise it would be simply restoration to the freedom of doing our own will; according to this weakness what is right is not done freely of itself, but in the shape of a service. But how could Paul have so degraded the moral loftiness of the position of the δουλωθέντες τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ! To him they were indeed the δουλωθέντες τῷ θεῷ (Romans 6:22), and in his estimation there was nothing morally more exalted than to be δοῦλος θεοῦ, as Christ Himself was. The Christian has put on Christ in this respect also (Galatians 3:27), and lives in the spirit of the holiest freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17 f.); his subjection to the service of δικαιοσύνη has not taken place on account of his inborn nature incapacitating him for moral freedom (as though it were a measure of compulsion); but on the contrary he has put off the morally weak old man, and so he lives as a new creature—by means of the newness of the spirit, and in virtue of his communion in the resurrection-life of Christ—in the condition of righteousness, which Paul has here under the designation of bondage, accommodating himself by the ordinary human expression to the natural weakness of the understanding, brought into contrast with the having been freed from sin.

ὥσπερ γάρ κ. τ. λ(1485)] Practical assigning of a reason for the proposition just affirmed ἀνθρωπίνως in Romans 6:18, in the form of a concrete demand. In opposition to Hofmann, who (at variance with his own interpretation of Romans 13:6!) declares it impossible to clothe the assigning of a reason in the dress of an exhortation, see Baeumlein, Partik. p. 86. Hebrews 12:3 (see Delitzsch) is to be taken in the same way; comp James 1:7; and see on 1 Corinthians 1:26. Hence: for, as ye have placed your members at the disposal, etc., so now place, etc. Since the discourse proceeds indeed in the same figurative manner, but yet so that it now assumes the hortatory form, ἀνθρώπινον.… σαρκὸς ὑμῶν is not to be put in a parenthesis, but with Fritzsche, Lachmann, and Tischendorf, to be separated from ὥσπερ by a period.

τῇ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ κ. τῇ ἀνομίᾳ] The two exhaust the notion of ἁμαρτία (Romans 6:13), so that ἀκαθ. characterises sin as morally defiling the man (see on Romans 1:24), and ἀνομ. (1 John 3:4) as a violation of the divine law (see Tittmann, Synon. p. 48).

εἰς τὴν ἀνομ.] on behalf of antagonism to law, in order that it may be established (in facto). The interpretation εἰς τὸ ἐπιπλέον ἀνομεῖν, Theophylact (so also Oecumenius, Erasmus, Luther, Grotius, Köllner, Ewald, and others), is, in its practical bearing, erroneous, since it is only the yielding of the members to the principle of ἀνομία that actually brings the latter into a concrete reality.

εἰς ἁγιασμόν] in order to attain holiness (1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 f. 7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), moral purity and consecration to God. To be an ἅγιος in mind and walk—that goal of Christian development—is the aim of the man, who places his members at the disposal of δικαιοσύνη as ruler over him. The word ἁγιασμός is found only in the LXX., Apocr. and in the N. T. (in the latter it is always holiness, not sanctification,(1487) even in 1 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:2), but not Greek writers. In Dion. Hal. i. 21, it is a false reading, as also in Diod. iv. 39. ʼαγιασμόν stands without the article, because this highest moral goal is conceived of qualitatively.


Verses 20-22

Romans 6:20-22. With γάρ Paul does not introduce an illustration to Romans 6:19 (Fritzsche), but rather—seeing that Romans 6:20 through οὐν in Romans 6:21, as well as through the correlative antithesis in Romans 6:22, must necessarily form a connected whole in thought with what follows till the end of Romans 6:22—the motive for complying with what is enjoined in Romans 6:19; and that in such a way, that he first of all prepares the way for it by Romans 6:20, and then in Romans 6:21 f., leading on by οὐν, actually expresses it, equally impressively and touchingly, as respects its deterrent (Romans 6:21) and inviting (Romans 6:22) aspects. The fact that he first sets down Romans 6:20 for itself, makes the recollection which he thus calls up more forcible, more tragic. Observe also the emphasis and the symmetrical separation of the several words in Romans 6:20.

ἐλεύθ. ἦτε τῇ δικαιοσ.] Ye were free in relation to righteousness, in point of fact independent of its demands, since ye were serving the opposite ruler (the ἁμαρτία). οὐδὲ γὰρ διενέμετε τῆς δουλείας τὸν τρόπον τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, ἀλλʼ ὅλως ἑαυτοὺς ἐξεδίδοτε τῇ πονηρίᾳ, Chrysostom. A sad truth based on experience! not a flight of irony (Koppe, Reiche, Philippi, and others), but full of deep moral pain.

Romans 6:21. οὖν] in consequence of this freedom.

τίνα.… ἐπαισχύνεσθε is with Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Castalio, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Wetstein, Bengel, and others, including Winer, Reiche (but see below), Fritzsche, Jatho, and Hofmann (but see below)—in harmony with the punctuation of the text. rec(1488)—to be regarded as one connected question, so that the reason to be given for replying in the negative sense to this question is then contained in τὸ γὰρ τέλος ἐκείνων θάνατος; namely, thus: what fruit, now, had ye then (when ye were still in the service of sin, etc., Romans 6:20) of things, on account of which ye are now ashamed? i.e. ye had then no fruit, no moral gain, etc., and the proof thereof is: for the final result of them (those things) is death. What leads at last to death, could bring you no moral gain. For the grammatical explanation ἐκείνων is to be supplied before ἐφʼ οἷς (which in fact is perfectly regular, Winer, p. 149 [E. T. 203]), and to this the ἐκείνων in the probative clause refers. Regarding ἐπαισχ. ἐπί τινι, to be ashamed over anything (not merely of the being put to shame by the fact of something not proving to be what we thought it, as Th. Schott weakens the sense) comp Xen. Hell. v. 4, 33: ἐπὶ τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ φιλίᾳ αἰσχυνθῇς, Plat. Rep. p. 396 C: οὐκ αἰσχυνεῖσθαι ἐπὶ τῇ τοιαύτῃ μιμήσει, LXX., Isaiah 20:5, Romans 1:29; 1 Maccabees 4:31; also Dem. 426, 10. Reiche makes the double mistake of very arbitrarily referring ἐφʼ οἷς to καρπόν, which is to be taken collectively; and of explaining καρπὸν ἔχειν as meaning to bring forth fruit (which would be κ. ποιεῖν, φέρειν), so that the sense would be: “what deeds, on account of which ye are now ashamed, proceeded from your service of sin?” Hofmann, resolving the expression into ἐπὶ τούτοις νῦν ἐπαισχύνεσθε, wishes to take ἐτί in the well-known sense of addition to, so that Paul asks: “what fruit had ye then over and above those things of which ye are now ashamed?” those things being the former disgraceful enjoyments, with which they now desired to have nothing further to do. But how could the reader think of such enjoyments without any hint being given by the text? And how arbitrary in this particular place is that interpretation of ἐπί, especially when the verb itself is compounded with ἐπί, and that in the sense: to be ashamed thereupon, and accordingly indicates how ἐφʼ οἷς is to be resolved and properly understood! See generally on ἐπί with the dative, as specifying the ground with verbs of emotion, Kühner, II. 1, p. 436, and with αἰσχύν. II. 2, p. 381, rem. 6. Many others (Syriac, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, Luther, Melancthon, Erasmus Schmid, Heumann, Carpzov, Koppe, Tholuck undecidedly, Rückert, Köllner, de Wette, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Philippi, Reithmayr, Ewald, van Hengel, and Th. Schott) end the question with τότε, so that ἐφʼ οἷς νῦν ἐπαισχ. becomes the answer, of which again τὸ γὰρ τέλ. ἐκ θάν. is the proof: “what sort of fruit had ye then? Things (ye had as fruit) of which ye are now ashamed; for the end of them is death.” καρπόν is likewise regarded as a figurative description either of gain or reward (“ignoble and pernicious joys and pleasures,” Ewald), or of actions, which are the penal consequence of reprobate sentiments. But fatal to all this explanation, which breaks up the passage, is the antithesis in Romans 6:22, where the having of fruit, not its quality, is opposed to the preceding; if Paul had inquired in Romans 6:21 regarding the quality of the fruit, he must have used in Romans 6:22 some such expression as νυνὶ δὲ.… τὸν ἁγιασμὸν ἔχετε τὸν καρπὸν ὑμῶν. Besides, we cannot well see why he should not have written either τίνας καρπούς or ἐφʼ and ἐκείνου; he would by annexing the plurals, though these were in themselves admissible on account of the collective nature of καρπός, have only expressed himself in a fashion obscure and misleading. Finally, it is to be observed that he never attributes καρπόν or καρπούς to immorality; he attributes to it ἔργα (Galatians 5:19), but uses καρπός only of the good; he speaks of the καρπὸς του πνεύματος, Galatians 5:22; of the καρπὸς τοῦ φῶτος, Ephesians 5:9; of the καρπὸς δικαιοσύνης, Philippians 1:11; of the καρπ. ἔργου, Philippians 1:22; comp Romans 1:13; in fact he negatives the idea of καρπός in reference to evil, when he describes the ἔργα τοῦ σκότους as ἄκαρπα, Ephesians 5:11; comp Titus 3:14. With this type of conception our interpretation alone accords, by which in the question τίνα καρπὸν κ. τ. λ (comp 1 Corinthians 9:18) there is contained the negation of καρπὸς in the service of sin, the ἄκαρπον εἶναι. The most plausible objection to our explanation is this, that in accordance with it ἐφʼ οἷς νῦν ἐπαισχ. becomes merely an incidental observation. But an incidental observation may be of great weight in its bearing on the matter in hand. It is so here, where it contains a trenchant argumentative point in favour of replying in a negative sense to the question. Calvin aptly says: “non poterat gravius exprimere quod volebat, quam appellando eorum conscientiam et quasi in eorum persona pudorem confitendo.” Compare also Chrysostom.

ἐκείνων] neuter: those things, on account of which ye are now ashamed, the pre-Christian sins and vices. Bengel well remarks: “remote spectat praeterita.”

θάνατος] death, i.e. the eternal death, whose antithesis is the ζωὴ αἰώνιος, Romans 6:23; not the physical (Fritzsche), comp on Romans 6:16.

The μέν before γάρ (see the crit. remarks) does not correspond to the following δέ; on the contrary, we must translate: for the end indeed (which however excludes every fruit) is death. See Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 414, Winer, p. 534 f. [E T. 719 f.].

Romans 6:22. νυνὶ δέ κ. τ. λ(1494)] But now (ye are no longer without fruit, as formerly; no, now) ye possess your fruit unto holiness, so that its possession has as its consequence holiness for you ( εἰς consecutive). The ἁγιασ΄ός is consequently not the fruit (the moral gain) itself, which they already have (that would also be at variance with οὕτω νῦν παραστ.… εἰς ἁγιασμόν in Romans 6:19), but the state, which the ἔχειν of their fruit shall in future bring about. The fruit itself—and καρπός is to be taken, quite as in Romans 6:21, as ethical product—is consequently the new, Christian morality (comp the καινότης ζωῆς in Romans 6:4), the Christian virtuous nature which belongs to them ( ὑ΄ῷν), and the possession of which leads by the way of progressive development to holiness.

τὸ δὲ τέλος ζωὴν αἰών.] as the final result however (of this your fruit) eternal life in the kingdom of Messiah. This possession is now as yet an ideal one (Romans 8:24). Hofmann erroneously takes τὸ δὲ τέλος adverbially (1 Peter 3:8; comp on 1 Corinthians 15:24), which is impossible after Romans 6:21, in accordance with which the word must here also be the emphatic substantive, the finale of the καρπός; hence also ξωὴν αἰώνιον is dependent not on εἰς (Hofmann), but on ἔχετε.

The circumstance, moreover, that Paul in Romans 6:22 says δουλωθ. τῷ θεῷ, while in Romans 6:18 he has said ἐδουλ. τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ, is rightly illustrated by Grotius: “qui bonitati rebusque honestis servit, et Deo servit, quia Deus hoc semper amavit et in evangelio apertissime praecepit.” Comp Romans 12:2. And precisely therein lies the true freedom, 1 Peter 2:16; John 8:36.


Verse 23

Romans 6:23. τὰ ὀψώνια] the wages. Comp 1 Corinthians 9:7; Luke 3:14. ὀψώνιον κυρίως λέγεται τὸ τοῖς στρατιώταις παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως δεδο΄ένον σιτηρέσιον, Theophylact. Comp Photius, 367. See Lobeck, a(1500) Phryn. p. 420. The plural, more usual than the singular, is explained by the various elements that constituted the original natural payments, and by the coins used in the later money wages.

The wages which sin gives stands in reference to Romans 6:13, where the ἁμαρτία is presented as a ruler, to whom the subjects tender their members as weapons, for which they receive their allowance!

θάνατος] as in Romans 6:22.

τὸ δὲ χάρισ΄α τ. θεοῦ] Paul does not say τὰ ὀψώνια here also (“vile verbum,” Erasmus), but characterizes what God gives for wages as what it is in its specific nature—a gift of grace, which is no ἀντιταλαντεύεσθαι (Theodoret). To the Apostle, in the connection of his system of faith and doctrine, this was very natural, even without the supposition of any special design (in order—it has been suggested—to afford no encouragement to pride of virtue or to confiding in one’s own merit).

ἐν χριστῷ κ. τ. λ(1501)] In Christ is the causal basis, that the χάρισμα τ. θεοῦ is eternal life; a triumphant conclusion as in Romans 5:21; comp Romans 8:39.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 6:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-6.html. 1832.

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