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Full text of "A popular commentary on the New Testament, by English and American scholars, ed. by P. Schaff"

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VOLUME IV. 

THE CATHOLIC EPISTLES AND REVELATION. 



HEBREWS, By Prof. Joseph Angus, D.D., Regent's Park College, London. 

JAMES. By Rev. Paton J. Gloao, D.D., Galashiels. 

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POPULAR COMMENTARY 



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THE NEW TESTAMENT. 



BY ENGLISH AND AMERICAN SCHOLARS OF VARIOUS 

EVANGELICAL DENOMINATIONS. 



s 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS. 



EDITED BY 



PHILIP SCHAFF, D. D., LL. D., 

BALDWIN PROFESSOR OF SACRED LITERATURE IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NEW YORK. 



IN FOUR VOLUMES. 



VOL. III. 



ftfje Epistles of &t. Paul. 



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EDINBURGH : 
T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET. 

1882. 



ICI . h . 10, 2 



CO M M ENTA R Y 



ON 



THE EPISTLES OF ST. PAUL 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. 



ROMANS. 

Prof. PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D. 
Prof. MATTHEW B. RIDDLE, D.D. 

GALATIANS. 

Prof. PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D. 

PHILIPPIANS. 

Rev. J. RAWSON LUMBY, D.D., 

MORRISIAN PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY, CAMBRIDGE. 

THESSALONIANS. 

Rev. MARCUS DODS, D.D., 

TITUS. 

Rev. J. OSWALD DYKES, D.D. 



CORINTHIANS- 
Principal DAVID BROWN, D.D., 

FREE CHURCH COLLEGE, ABERDEEN. 

EPHESIANS. 

Prof. MATTHEW B. RIDDLE, D.D. 

COLOSSIANS. 

Prof. MATTHEW B. RIDDLE, D.D. 

TIMOTHY. 

The Very Rev. E. H. PLUMPTRE, D.D. 

DEAN OF WELLS. 

PHILEMON. 

Rev. J. RAWSON LUMBY, D.D. 



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1882. 



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5 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Toface 

The Forum at Rome i 

Corinth 157 

Ephesus 351 

Site of Philippi 417 

Colosse 465 

Thessalonica 529 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME III. 



GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO EPISTLES OF ST. PAUL 
EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS—SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON . 
FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS— INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON . 
SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS— INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS-INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS— INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS-INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSI ANS— INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLES TO THE THESSALONIANS— INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLES TO TIMOTHY-INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLE TO TITUS— INTRODUCTION TO . 

COMMENTARY ON 
EPISTLE TO PHILEMON— INTRODUCTION TO 

COMMENTARY ON 



»» 



TAGE 

I 

IO 

17 

157 
163 

235 
237 
285 
293 
351 

359 

4i7 
427 

46S 
47i 
5<>3 
508 

545 

559 

599 
603 

613 

621 






CONTRIBUTORS 



TO COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT. 



VOLUME I. 
Introduction, and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 

Introduction to the New Testament. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D.D., New York, and 

Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D.D., Hartford. 
The Gospel of Matthew. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D.D., and Prof Matthew B. Riddle, 

D.D. 
The Gospel of Mark. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D.D., and Prof. Philip Schaff, 

D.D. 
The Gospel of Luke. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D.D., and Prof. Philip Schaff, 

D.D. 

VOLUME II. 
The Gospel of John, and the Acts of the Apostles. 

The Gospel of John. By Prof. William Milligan, D.D., University of Aberdeen, and 

Prof. William F. Moulton, D.D., Cambridge. 
The Acts of the Apostles. By J. S. Howson, D.D., Dean of Chester, and Canon Donald 

S pence, Rector of St. Pancras, London. 

VOLUME III. 
The Epistles of Paul. 

Romans. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D.D., and Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D.D. 
/. and II. Corinthians. By Principal David Brown, D.D., Free Church College, Aber- 
deen. 
Galatians. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D.D. 
Ephesians. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D.D. 

Philippians. By Rev. J. Rawson Lumby, D.D., Norrisian Professor of Divinity, Cambridge. 
Colossians. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D.D. 
/. and II. Thessalonians. By Rev. Marcus Dods, D.D., Glasgow. 
/. and II. Timothy. By The Very Rev. E. H. Plumptrb, D.D., Dean of Wells. 
Titus. By Rev. J. Oswald Dykes, D.D., London. 
Philemon. By Rev. J. Rawson Lumby, D.D. 



VOLUME IV. 

The Catholic Epistles and Revelation. 

Hebrews. By Prof. Joseph Angus, D.D., Regent's Park College, London. 

James. By Rev. Paton J. Gloag, D.D., Galashiels. 

/. and II. Peter. By Prof. S. D. F. Salmond, M.A., Free Church College, Aberdeen. 

/. //. and III. John. By Prof. William B. Pope, D.D., Didsbury College, Manchester. 

Jude. By Prof. Joseph Angus, D.D., Regent's Park College, London. 

Revelation. By Prof. William Milligan, D.D., Aberdeen. 

Maps and Plans. 

By Prof. Arnold Guyot, Ph.D., LL.D., Professor of Geology and Physical Geography in 
Princeton, N.J. 

Illustrations. 

By Rev. William M. Thomson, D.D., late of Beirut, Syria, and William H. Thomson, 
M.D., New York. 



■■*£ 



%fk\i*\ 



V :. > 










I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION 

■ » 

TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 



§*T" Life or Paul. § 2. Character of Paul. § 3. Chronological Order of the Epis- 
tles. § 4. Character of the Epistles. 

§ 1. Life of the Apostle Paul} 

THE great Apostle to the Gentiles is the author of the much larger half of tM^ 
didactic portion of the New Testament, while his labors form the subject of 
the larger part of the one historical book, which tells of the spread of Christianity. 
« . He was the instrument chosen to give the religion of Christ the wider range, both 
** " %f thought^jfcd of territory, for which it was designed. Hence a failure to appre- 
hend his life and character necessarily involves ignorance of the historical begin- 
nings of Christianity, both as a system and as a vital force in the world. 

Paul, whose Hebrew name was Saul, 2 the son of Jewish parents, of the tribe of 

^ Benjamin (Phil. iii. 5 ; 2 Cor. xi. 22), was a native of Tarsus, in Cilicia, a city of 

commercial and literary renown. He therefore belonged to the ' Dispersion,* to the 

% Hellenistic (or Greek speaking) Jews, whose peculiarities of religious expression 

t were moulded by the Septuagint. That he was by birth a Roman citizen appears 

from Acts xvi. 37 ; xxii. 28. His theological education was received in the school 

.£ of the famous rharispe, Gamaliel (Acts xxii. 3 ; xxvi. 4, 5 ; comp. Acts v. 34, etc.). 

J^*.* Whether he was teamed in Greek literature has been much disputed, but that 

, he Urns not ignorant of Hellenic philosophy and poetry is clear from Acts xvii. 25 ; 

1 Cor. xv. 32; Tit. i. 12. Yet his Epistles show that the controlling human ele- 

1 The two great English works on the Life and Epistles of St. Paul, by Conybeare and Howfton 

(in numerous editions), and by Thomas Lewin, have recently been supplemented by a third, from 

the pen of Canon Farrar (1879), which is more critical than either of the others, dealing less with 

4 • the environments of the great Apostle, but seeking to enter more fully into his inner history. The 

~0f History of the'tUostolic Church, by the general editor, and the volume on Romans % in Lange's Com- 

* • jntntvy* edited*by the present writers, give the details in regard to most of the points here touched 

^ * upon. The proper articles in Herzog's Encyclopedia, Smith's Bible Dictionary, and kindred works, 

£^. will be consulted by those who are interested in special questions. 

* The name ' Saul ' occurs in the Acts up to chap. xiii. 9, where in the presence of Sergius Paulus, 

the Roman proconsul, the Apostle rebukes the Jewish sorcerer ; here we read : ' Saul (who is also 

called Paul) ' ; afterwards the name ' Paul ' is exclusively used. There are two view* : ( 1.) that ther% 

. i* was a change of name at this time, in commemoration of the conversion of the proconsul ; (2.) that 

, - * the Apostle had two names, being commonly known among the Gentile churches by the Latin (or 

fi jBellenistic) name, which the historian uses exclusively, after the Apostle is brought in contact with 

" the Gentiles. Against (1.) is the fact that Sergius Paulus was not yet converted at the time when 

the name ' Paul ' first appears ; and that teachers are not named after their pupils, but the reverse ; 

in favor of (2.) is the fact that it was customary with the Jews to have two names, and in intercourse 

with Gentiles to use the Greek or Latin one (Acts xii. 12, 25 ; xiii. 1 ; Col. iv. 11 ; see, also, the lists 

of the Apostles). To explain the change as due to Paul's own conversion is unwarranted, since the 

name ' Saul ' occurs in the narrative of events eight years later. 

VOL. III. 1 



•ti 



2 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 

, . ment in his training was that of the Rabbinical school of Gamaliel. 1 This is but 

fitting on any theory which recognizes the place of the Jewish people in the history 
of Redemption. Whatever of truth that people conserved was held by the Phari- 

% sees ; and among the Pharisees who appear at that epoch, Gamaliel is preeminent. 

' Thus, a " Hebrew of the Hebrews," yet at the same time a native Hellenist, and 
a Roman citizen, he combined in himself, so to speak, the three great nationalities 
of the ancient world, and was endowed with all the natural qualifications for a uni- 
versal apostleship.' 2 But while he possessed ' natural qualifications ' only, — in the 
absence of gracious qualifications, — he became 4 a blasphemer, and a persecutor, 
and injurious ' (i Tim. i. 13), appearing first in the New Testament narrative as a 
young man zealous for the death of the first Christian martyr, Stephen (Acts vii. 
58 ; viii. 1). He seems, after this, to have put himself at the head of the persecution 
(Acts viii. 3 ; ix. 1, 2) ; and, having obtained authority from the high-priest, was on 
his way to Damascus, to lay hold on the Christians he might find there, when the 
hand of Divine grace laid hold of him. That Jesus whom, in the persons of His 
disciples, he was persecuting, appeared to him and transformed the persecutor into 
a humble disciple. 8 
The importance of this occurrence is indicated by the repeated accounts in the 

• Acts (ix. 1-19 ; xxii. 3-16 ; xxvi. 9-20), as well as by the numerous allusions to it 

in the Pauline Epistles, especially Gal. i. n-16. That there was a real objective 
appearance of Christ is proven from 1 Cor. xv. 8, and by the failure to account for 
the transformation on any other theory. Whatever may have been the preparation 
for his office, which Paul received from his previous training, his conversion was a 
complete transformation of his life. 

The relation of Paul to the original twelve Apostles is open to discussion. There 
are two theories : (1.) That Paul was the twelfth Apostle, properly taking the place 
vacated by Judas; (2.) That there were twelve Apostles from the Jews (including 
Matthias), and that Paul was a distinct Apostle to the Gentiles. The latter is the 
more tenable view, but must not be made the basis of a continuance and succession 
in the Apostolic office. 'The divine irregularity of his call, and the subsequent 
independence of his labors make Paul, so to speak, a prototype of evangelical Prot- 
estantism, which has always looked to him as its main authority, as Romanism to 
PWer.' 4 

The conversion of Paul may be regarded as his call to the Apostolic office, but 
he did not enter fully on his Apostolic work until seven years later (Acts xiii. 12). 
He had, indeed, three years after his conversion, received in the temple at Jeru- 

1 From Acts xxvi. 10, where 'voice' means 'vote,' it has been inferred that Saul of Tarsus was a 
member of the Sanhedrin, when Stephen was tried. This would imply that he had been married. 
It is difficult to establish so important a point on so slight evidence. In Gal. i. 14, some allusion to 
such a position might have been expected, had Paul been a member of the Sanhedrin. But in favor 
of this view, see Lewin, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, i., p. 14, and elsewhere. Canon Farrar adopts 
the same opinion, with inferences. The last-named author is quite full on the Rabbinical training 
of the Apostle (St. Paul, i., chap, iii., and elsewhere throughout). 
% a Schaff, Church History, i., p. 68. 

8 The theories of Dr. Baur, of Tubingen, and his followers, which 'represent the gospel of Paul 
as having originated from the intrinsic action of his own mind, and the event at Damascus as a vis- 
ionary picture drawn from his own spirit ' (Meyer), have been repeatedly answered. Indeed, ' after a 
renewed investigation of the subject, the celebrated historian arrived at the conclusion that the con- 
version of Paul was an enigma, which cannot be satisfactorily solved by any psychological or dialec- 
tic analysis' (Schaff, in Lange, Romans, p. 5). 

* Schaff, Apostolic Church, p. 234. 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 3 

salem, a direct revelation of his mission to the Gentiles (Acts xxii. 17-21), and had 
preached at Damascus, apparently soon after he recovered his sight (Acts ix. 
19, 20). * For all half-heartedness was foreign to him ; now, too, he was, whatever 
he was, thoroughly, and this energetic unity of his profound nature was now sancti- 
fied throughout by the living spirit of Christ ' (Meyer). However, this activity was 
not long continued, for he himself tells of his withdrawal to Arabia (Gal. i. 17). 
This was doubtless for the purpose of retirement, a sort of substitution for a three 
years' intercourse with the Lord, enjoyed by the other Apostles. (See notes on 
Gal. i. 19.) Returning to Damascus he became the object of Jewish persecution 
(Acts ix. 23, 25 ; 2 Cor. xL 32, 33), but escaped to Jerusalem, where he encoun- 
tered the doubt, if not the suspicion, of the disciples (Acts ix. 26). At this time 
he met the Apostle Peter (Gal. i. 18, 19), but seems to have gained the full confi- 
dence of the other Apostles only when his labors among the heathen bore such 
fruit as to place his Divine call and peculiar mission beyond all doubt Even dur- 
ing his fifteen days' stay at Jerusalem he incurred the enmity of the Hellenistic 
Jews, and departed to Tarsus to escape their plots. From Tarsus he came to 
Antioch, after an interval of a few years, having been brought there by Barnabas 
(Acts xi. 25, 26), with whom he was associated in carrying alms to the church at 
Jerusalem (Acts xi. 29, 30). Shortly afterwards (a. d. 45), he began his wider 
missionary activity. Luke, his companion, mentions in the Acts three great mis- 
sionary journeys of the Apostle to the Gentiles. 

1. He set out (a. d. 45) under the special direction of the Holy Ghost, given 
through the prophets and the congregation at Antioch. His companions were 
Barnabas and John Mark (Acts xiii. 15 ; comp. xv. 37). Landing at Salamis, in 
Cyprus, they traversed the island from east to west. At Paphos they encountered 
a Jewish sorcerer, whom Paul rebuked and punished, the result being the conversion 
of the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus, who had been the patron of Elymas (Acts 
xiii. 6-12). They departed thence to Perga, where Mark deserted them (Acts xiii. 
13). At Antioch, in Pisidia, the next important point to which they journeyed, the 
first marked success of the gospel occurred, accompanied by the bitter opposition 
of unbelieving Jews. A careful study of the account (Acts xiii. 14-52) reveals all 
the marked characteristics of the whole religious movement inaugurated by Pfcul 
and Barnabas. Henceforth Paul's mission was to the Gentiles, although he never 
ceased to put forth efforts for his kinsmen according to the flesh. The leading 
incidents of the remainder of this journey were the miracle of healing a cripple at 
Lystra ; the attempt at idolatrous worship of Paul and Barnabas by the supersti- 
tious Lystrians ; the sudden change into hatred against them at the same place, 
instigated by Jews from Antioch and Iconium ; the stoning of the missionaries ; 
their escape from death ; their successful return to Antioch. 

2. At the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem (a. d. 50), the difference between Jew- 
ish and -Gentile Christianity was discussed and adjusted, Paul being present as a 
living witness to his own success among the Gentiles (Acts xv.). The second mis- 
sionary journey was undertaken in the year 51, by Paul independently of Barnabas, 
Mark being the occasion of their separation. Having visited his old churches in 
Syria and Cilicia, he proceeded, with the help of a young convert, Timothy (Acts 
xvi. 1-3), to establish new ones throughout Phrygia and Galatia. A special inter- 
vention of the Holy Spirit compelled them to journey unto Troas, when, in obe- 
dience to a heavenly vision, and in answer to the Macedonian cry : ' Come over 
and help us,' he crossed into Greece (Acts xvi. 6-12). In Greece (the Roman 



1 «■» 



t 



4 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 

provinces of Macedonia and Achaia) he proceeded with great success, the seal of 
the divine approval of his universal mission. At Philippi, the first city where he la- 
bored in Europe, a purple dealer, named Lydia, was the earliest convert to the new 
religion. Here Paul came in conflict with heathen superstition, and was imprisoned 
with Silas, but was miraculously delivered, and honorably released. Luke seems 
to have been of the company, from Troas to Philippi, where he probably remained 
until Paul's final journey to Jerusalem. (Compare Acts xvi. 10 ; xvii. i ; xx. 5.) 
The next place of activity was Thessalonica, where he was persecuted by Jews, but 
left a flourishing church, to which he wrote his earliest Epistles. While laboring at 
Berea the enmity of the Jews from Thessalonica drove Paul away to Athens, where 
he reasons with Stoics and Epicurean philosophers, and delivered, on Mars' hill, a 
remarkable discourse, without great result on the spot, although its effect is still 
felt everywhere. Coming to Corinth, his labors assumed a more settled character. 
This city was the commercial centre between the East and West, a flourishing seat 
of wealth and civilization. Here he spent eighteen months, and, despite great 
obstacles, built up a church, which exhibited all the virtues and all the follies of the 
Grecian character, under the influence of the gospel. The two important Epistles 
written to this Christian congregation show us more fully than any other documents 
the inner life of the early Church. In the spring of 54, he returned, by way of 
Ephesus, Cesarea, and Jerusalem, to Antioch. 

3. Towards the close of the same year Paul went to Ephesus. In this renowned 
city, the capital of proconsular Asia, he labored sucessfully for three years, and 
then visited the churches in Macedonia and Achaia, remaining three months in 
Corinth and the vicinity. During this period were written the Epistles to the Gala- 
tians, to the Corinthians, and to the Romans. From these we see what hostile in- 
fluences of Jewish origin opposed the Apostle in his labors. 

4. The fifth and last visit to Jerusalem was made by the Apostle in the spring of 
58, for the purpose of carrying to the poor brethren in Judea a contribution from 
the Christians of Greece (Rom. xv. 25, 26 : compare 1 Cor. xvi. 1-3). The route 
traversed by the Apostle was through Philippi, Troas, and Miletus (where he de- 
livered his affectionate valedictory to the Ephesian elders), Tyre, and Cesarea. 
The time of his arrival at Jerusalem was shortly before Pentecost, when the city 
was thronged with Jews from all regions. Some of the brethren at Jerusalem sug- 
gested to him, as a matter of prudence, to appear in the Temple with certain Naz- 
arites to prove the falsity of the charge made against him, that he taught the Hel- 
lenistic Jews to forsake the law of Moses. While in the Temple some fanatical 
Jews from Asia raised an uproar against him, charging him with profaning the 
Temple; they dragged him out of the sacred enclosure, lest he should defile it 
with his blood, and were about to kill him, when Claudius Lysias, the Roman 
tribune, hearing the uproar, appeared with his soldiers. This officer released 
Paul from the mob, sent him to the Sanhedrin, and, after a stormy and fruitless 
session of this body and the discovery of a plot against his life, sent him with a 
strong guard and a letter implying his innocence, to the procurator Felix in Ces- 
area. Here the Apostle was confined two whole years (a. d. 58-60), awaiting trial 
before the Sanhedrin, occasionally speaking before Felix, apparently treated with 
comparative mildness, visited by the Christians, and doubtless in some way not re- 
corded, promoting the kingdom of God. (We reject the view that dates any of the 
Epistles at this time.) When Festus succeeded Felix, Paul, as a Roman citizen, 
appealed to the tribunal of the Emperor, and this opened the way to the fulfilment 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 5 

of his long cherished desire to preach at Rome. Having once more testified his 
innocence, and made a masterly defence before Festus and Agrippa (King Herod 
Agrippa II.), he was sent in the autumn of the year 60 to the Emperor. After a 
stormy voyage and a shipwreck, which detained him and his companions during the 
winter at Malta, he reached Rome in the spring of the following year. Here he 
spent at least two years in easy confinement, preaching the gospel to the soldiers 
who attended him ; writing letters to his distant Churches in Asia Minor and 
Greece (Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, Philippians), organizing and directing 
the labors of others, thus fulfilling his Apostolic mission even in bonds and in 
prison. 

5. The account in the Book of Acts breaks off at this point in Paul's career. 

The usual view of the remainder of his life, supported by tradition, by hints in 
the Pastoral Epistles, and by the statements of the earliest church fathers, is some- 
what as follows : at the end of two years' imprisonment, Paul was released, before 
the persecution under Nero (a. d. 64). He probably went at once to Ephesus, 
where he left Timothy (1 Tim. i. 3), on proceeding to Macedonia. His next jour- 
ney was to Crete, passing through Troas and Miletus. Titus was left in Crete, as 
is inferred from the Epistle addressed to him. A winter, during this interval of 
freedom, seems to have been spent at Nicopolis (Tit. iii. 12), before which the 
Apostle had written the First Epistle to Timothy, and that to Titus. A journey to 
Spain, and even to Britain, has been supposed to have taken place ; but of this 
there are no historical traces. It is generally held that he was re-arrested, and, 
after writing the Second Epistle to Timothy during his second imprisonment, was 
executed at Rome ; but the date assigned varies from a. d. 66 to 68. Tradition 
says that Peter had been brought to Rome, and that the two Apostles suffered mar- 
tyrdom on the same day, adding a number of legends. But there is no certain 
evidence in the New Testament that Peter ever was at Rome, though it is not im- 
possible, and is made quite probable by the universal tradition of the second cen- 
tury (comp. Introd. to Romans, § 1). Of the fact of PauFs martyrdom at Rome, 
under Nero, there can be little doubt ; and also that, being a Roman citizen, he 
was put to death by the sword. The view which denies a second imprisonment 
places the death of Paul in a. d. 64, in connection with the first persecution under 
Nero, and shortly after the time at which the Book of Acts closes. 

This question of a second imprisonment cannot, with our present insufficient 
data, be solved with mathematical certainty. But on the theory of but one im- 
prisonment, it is very difficult to find a suitable place for the Pastoral Epistles, or 
to account for certain historical facts assumed in those writings, as well as to under- 
stand their valedictory tone and general spirit. Hence the admission of the genu- 
ineness of these writings usually leads to an acceptance of the theory of a second 
imprisonment. It seems impossible to deny that he was near the close of his 
earthly life of devotion to Christ, when he penned the triumphant words : ' I have 
fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; henceforth 
there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous 
Judge, shall give me at that day : and not only to me, but also to all them that 
have loved his appearing ' (2 Tim. iv. 7, 8). 

§ 2. Character of the Apostle Paul. 

Of the character of the Apostle Paul, we have the fullest representation in his 
numerous Epistles and the Book of the Acts. Endowed with uncommon depth and 



6 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 

acuteness of thought, with great energy and strong will, he first appears at the 
head of the zealots for the traditions of his fathers, a persecutor of the Nazarenes. 
But cursing Saul was transformed into praying Paul, the cruel persecutor into the 
most successful advocate of Christianity. This transformation was wrought by 
Jesus Himself appearing to him out of Heaven. Thus all those gifts of nature, 
which were used by him as a persecutor, became gifts of the Holy Ghost, and were 
consecrated to the service of Christ crucified. ' The same energy, decision, and 
consistency, but coupled with gentleness, meekness, and wisdom ; the same inflexi- 
bility of purpose, but no disposition to use violence or unholy means ; the same 
independence and lordliness, but animated by the most self-denying love, which 
strives to become all things to all men ; the same, nay, still greater zeal for the 
glory of God, but cleansed of all impure motives ; the same inexorable rigor, not, 
however, against erring brethren, but only against sin and all impeachment of the 
merits of Christ ; the same fire, no longer that of a passionate zealot, but of a 
mind at rest, considerate, and self-possessed ; the same dialectic acumen of a Rab- 
bin of Gamaliel's school, no longer busied, however, with useless subtleties, but 
employed to vindicate evangelical doctrine and oppose all self-righteousness/ x 

§ 3. Order of the Epistles of Paul. 

Thirteen of the books of the New Testament were certainly written by the Apos- 
tle Paul, and the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews is also ascribed to him. (See 
special Introduction to the Epistle to the Hebrews.) As is well known, the Epis- 
tles of Paul have been arranged in the New Testament by another principle than 
that of chronological order ; the larger Epistles to the churches coming first, and 
the Epistles to individuals coming last. The exact date of writing in the case of 
the several Epistles, and hence their chronological order, is open to great discus- 
sion. We place the conversion of Paul in a. d. 37. The dates of the more im- 
portant events of his life would then be as follows : — 

A. D. 

First visit to Jerusalem . - 40 

Second visit to Jerusalem 44 

Beginning of first missionary journey 45 

Council at Jerusalem (third visit) 50 

Second missionary journey begun 51 

Fourth visit to Jerusalem .... 54 

Third missionary journey begun 54 

Fifth and last visit to Jerusalem (spring) 58 

Imprisonment at Cesarea 58-60 

Voyage to Rome (autumn) 60, 61 

First imprisonment at Rome 61-63 

Release and second imprisonment (?) 63-67 (?) 

Martyrdom 64 or 67 

On the latter points, see § 1. 

In conformity with this table, we arrange the Epistles into three groups, — 

1. Before the first imprisonment (a. d. 53-58) : Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 and 
a Corinthians, Romans. 

2. During the first imprisonment (a. d. 61-64) : Colossians, Ephesians, Phile- 
mon, Philippians ; probably Hebrews. 

3. After the first imprisonment (uncertain date, but before 67) : the Pastoral 
Epistles (2 Timothy written last). 

1 SchafFs History of Apostolic Church, p. 441. 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 7 

The points most open to dispute are the position of Galatians in the first group, 
of Philippians in the second, and the date of the third group. (On these topics, 
see Introductions to the several Epistles.) 

§ 4. Character of the Epistles of Paul. 

As a whole, the Epistles form an inexhaustible mine of profoundest thought 
on the highest themes, without a parallel in the history of epistolary literature. 1 
They exhibit most fully the Christian system of truth, and reveal most plainly the 
inner life, both of the writer and of the congregations to which they are addressed. 
Specially adapted to the wants of these original recipients, they are yet applicable 
to the Church in all ages and countries. Strictly speaking, they are all pastoral 
letters, containing doctrinal exposition and practical exhortation. They begin with 
apostolic salutation and thanksgiving; they close, usually, with personal intelli- 
gence and greeting, along with the benediction. They give the inner or spiritual 
history of the Apostolic age, while the Book of Acts records its outward history, 
each illustrating and confirming the other. 9 

Taking up the books in the order followed in our New Testament, we find first 
in place, size, and importance the Epistle to the Romans (Corinth, spring, a. d. 
58). This was addressed to a church to which Paul was a stranger, and seems 
adapted to prepare the way for an intended visit. Its theme (chap. i. 16, 17) is, 
the gospel the power of God unto salvation to every believer, to the Jew first and 
also to the Greek, since it reveals a righteousness from God to faith. He proves 
the universal need of this salvation, and then unfolds the gospel itself as God's 
power, first to justify and then to sanctify. To this he adds an outline of the phi- 
losophy of the history of salvation as the revelation of an eternal plan, showing 
alike the divine sovereignty in the calling of the nations, and human responsibility 
in accepting or rejecting the gospel ; the whole discussion closing with a doxology 
in view of this mystery. The last four chapters comprise exhortations based upon 
the doctrines set forth, and greetings. 

The Epistles to the Corinthians (Ephesus, Macedonia, a. d. 57), deal with the 
virtues and vices, the trials and temptations of a young congregation in the rich 
and polished commercial capital of Ancient Greece, whose idols were secular 
wisdom and sensual pleasure. Here the Apostle contrasts the foolish wisdom of 
the gospel with the wise folly of human philosophy ; as in the Romans he repre- 
sents the same gospel as a power of God, which overpowers, at last, all the power 
of man. Upon the whole, the Corinthians are more ethical and pastoral than dog- 
matic ; but some of the most important doctrinal discussions are interwoven, as the 

1 ' When I more narrowly consider the whole genius and character of Paul's style, I must confess 
that I have found no such sublimity of speaking in Plato himself, .... no exquisiteness of vehe- 
mence in Demosthenes equal to his/ — Beza. 

2 On the genuineness of the Epistles, see the several special introductions. Dr. Baur, of Tubingen, 
admitted the genuineness of four : Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans (except chaps, xv., 
xvi.). The others were written, he held, in the second century, mainly for the purpose of harmoniz- 
ing the two opposing schools of Christianity which followed Peter and Paul respectively, as repre- 
sentatives of Jewish and Gentile tendencies. This theory leaves the most profound productions of 
early Christian literature without any acknowledged author, and places them at a time when no one 
lived who gave any token that he could have written them. The further progress of the liberal 
school of criticism leads to more positive results. Hilgenfeld, for example, admits the genuineness 
of seven of the Pauline Epistles, adding to those acknowledged by Baur, 1 Thessalonians, Philip- 
pians, and Philemon ; Renan accepts these, and Colossians also. 



8 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 

doctrine of the Lord's Supper, in chaps, x. and xi of the first Epistle, and the doc- 
trine of the resurrection in chap. xv. 

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians proceeded from profound agitation of 
mind and heart, and gives us an insight into the personal character and experience 
of the Apostle, his trials and joys, his severity and tenderness, his noble pride and 
deep humility, his constant care and anxiety for the welfare of his spiritual chil- 
dren. 

The Epistle to the Galatians (Ephesus, a. d. 54 to 57, or Corinth, a. d. 58) dis- 
cusses the same theme as the Epistle to the Romans, but more tersely, and in 
direct opposition to the errors of Judaizing teachers. The council at Jerusalem 
had opposed the same error, but the old leaven of self-righteousness was still at 
work, and produced the same legalizing results. The false teachers hated Paul, 
assailed his doctrine, and questioned his apostolic authority. The Epistle is there- 
fore a defence of his position as an Apostle (chaps, i., ii.), of his doctrine of justi- 
fication by faith (chaps, iii., iv.), closing with appropriate exhortations and warn- 
ings (chaps, v., vi.). It remains the bulwark of evangelical freedom, the armory of 
positive Protestantism. 

The Epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and to Philemon were 
written during the first captivity of Paul in Rome, between 61 and 63. His faith 
turned his prison into a temple of the Holy Ghost, from which he sent inspiration 
and comfort to his distant brethren in the far East. The Epistles to the Colos- 
sians and to the Ephesians closely resemble each other (somewhat as do Galatians 
and Romans), and exhibit Paul's doctrine of Christ and the Church. The Epistle 
to the Philippians contains likewise an exceedingly important Christological pas- 
sage (ii. 5-10), but is more personal, and overflows with joy, thanksgiving, and 
brotherly love. It is his midnight hymn in the dungeon at Philippi, where he 
founded one of his most flourishing and affectionate congregations. 

The two Epistles to the Thessalonians are the earliest, dating from 53 and 54, 
shortly after the organization of a church at Thessalonica, a commercial city in 
Macedonia. They correct certain misapprehensions respecting the second coming 
of Christ and the great apostasy that must precede it, and contain suitable exhorta- 
tions to a sober, diligent, and watchful life. 

The three Pastoral Epistles to Timothy and to Titus contain the last counsels and 
directions of the Apostle. They refer chiefly to church organization and adminis- 
tration, and the pastoral care of individual members. The Second Epistle to Tim- 
othy, written from the prison in Rome, in full view of his approaching martyrdom, 
is his swan-song. He expects the speedy close of his good fight of faith, and the 
unfading crown of righteousness awaiting him in the kingdom of glory. 

The short Epistle to Philemon exhibits him as a perfect gentleman in his social 
and personal relations. It is important, since it bears upon the question of slavery 
and the Apostolic remedy. 

The anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews was probably written by a pupil of the 
Apostle (ii. 3), under the influence of the genius of Paul, perhaps with his direct 
cooperation, apparently between 62 and 64, from some town in Italy (xiii. 23, 24), 
to the Christians of Hebrew descent in the East It warns them against the dan- 
ger of apostasy, and shows the immeasurable superiority of Christ over Moses, and 
of the Gospel dispensation over the dispensation of the Law. The latter was a 
significant type and prophecy of the former, the mysterious fleeting shadow of the 
abiding substance. Here we find the best exposition of the eternal priesthood 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES OF PAUL. 9 

and all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ. The doctrinal discussions are interwoven with 
the richest exhortations and consolations, fresh from the fountain of a genuine 
inspiration. Tradition and conjecture are divided with reference to the author 
between Paul, Luke, Barnabas, and Apollos. It is certain from internal evidence 
that it is full of the Holy Ghost, and speaks with divine authority. Like the mys- 
terious Melchisedek of the seventh chapter, it bears itself with priestly and kingly 
dignity, and has the power of an endless life. 

The Epistles may be briefly characterized as follows : — 

Romans : doctrinal (soteriological). 

i and 2 Corinthians ; personal and pastoral (practically polemical). 

Galatians: personal and doctrinally polemic (soteriological). 

Ephesians : doctrinal (Christological and ecclesio logical). 

Philippians : pastoral and personal. 

Colossians : doctrinal (Christological, with polemical parts). 

i and 2 Thessalonians : pastoral and doctrinal (eschatological). 

i and 2 Timothy and Titus : personal and pastoral. 

Philemon : personal. 

The value of the Epistles of Paul as evidence of the truth of the great facts of 
Christianity, can scarcely be overestimated. The theories which make our four Gos- 
pels compilations of the second century, with only a small basis of historic truth, are 
proven assumptions by the phenomena of Paul's writings. From those Epistles, the 
genuineness of which none have doubted, it can be shown that this Apostle accepted 
and believed the great facts which reveal the Christ of historical Christianity. If any 
son of Adam has ever trusted in a crucified and risen Saviour, that man was Paul. 
' Who can avoid the conclusion that such ought also to be our faith ? Or shall we 
say that Paul was deceived? But who that observes his vigorous intellect, his 
acuteness of reasoning, and, above all, his sound practical judgment, can, for a 
moment, suppose that such a man could, for the last thirty years of his life, have 
been under a delusion ? Or shall we impute to him, that, knowing Christianity to be 
a fable, he practised upon the credulity of mankind to further his own views ? But 
what could have been his inducement ? Could wealth or honor ? When he became 
a convert he sacrificed both for penury and disgrace ! Did he seek, under cover 
of a lie, to promote the good of mankind ? But who, in his senses, would build on 
so rotten a foundation? For, however cunningly devised, the imposture must, 
sooner or later, be detected ! Besides, it is impossible for any one to read Paul's 
letters without feeling that he, at least, was an honest man. The only alternative 
is, that Paul had a rational and deep-rooted conviction of the truth of Christianity, 
and that what he preached to others he believed himself.' * 

1 Lewin, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, ii. 435. 



IO II. INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. 



* r . 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION 

TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. 



{ i. The Congregation at Rome. § 2. Occasion and Purpose of the Epistle. § 3. 
Theme and Contents. § 4. Time and Place of Composition. § 5. Genuineness 
and Integrity. § 6. Characteristics. 

§ 1. The Congregation at Rome. 

THE origin of the congregation of Christians at Rome is a matter of inference 
and conjecture. That such a congregation existed at the time Paul wrote, 
is of course undoubted, and taken for granted in the Book of the Acts (chap, xxviii. 
15). An altogether untrustworthy tradition dates the first preaching at Rome dur- 
ing the life of our Lord. Some Jews from Rome may have been converted on the 
day of Pentecost (Acts ii. 10), and on their return formed the nucleus of a Jewish 
Christian congregation ; but more than this cannot be safely affirmed. The Roman 
ecclesiastical tradition which claims that the Apostle Peter was the founder of the 
Roman Church, is without any positive historical support. It cannot be proven 
that Peter was in Rome before a. d. 6$ ; even the universal testimony of tradition, 
that he labored there after that time and suffered martyrdom under Nero, has been 
repeatedly disputed by modern scholars. (Comp. Schaff, History of Apostolic 
Church, §§ 93, 94.) The statement of Eusebius, which tells of his removal there 
in a. d. 42, and of a twenty-five years' subsequent residence, is contrary to Acts 
xv., Gal. ii. n. Furthermore, Paul would probably not have written to the Chris- 
tians at Rome, if another Apostle had founded the congregation (comp. Acts xix. 
21 ; Rom. xv. 20; 2 Cor. x. 16). The Book of Acts contains no traces of Peter's 
labors there. 'We may add that our Epistle — since Peter cannot have labored in 
Rome before it was written — is a fact destructive of the historical basis of the Pa- 
pacy ; in so far as the latter is made to rest on the founding of the Roman Church 
and the exercise of its episcopate by that Apostle. For Paul, the writing of such a 
didactic Epistle to a church of which he knew Peter to be the founder and bishop, 
would have been, according to the principle of his apostolic independence, an 
impossible inconsistency ' (Meyer). 

It is, however, quite evident that the congregation had been founded some years 
before a. d. 58, when our Epistle was written. The Apostle had desired to visit 
the Christians there for many years (chap. xv. 23 ; comp. chap. i. 13), and refers 
to those among them who had been converted before himself (chap. xvi. 7). The 
widespread fame of the church (chap. i. 8), and its different places of assembly 
(chap. xvi. 5, 14, 15), confirm this view. Rome being the centre of all travel, full 
of foreigners from every part of the Empire, and with a large number of Jewish 
residents (comp. also Acts xxviii. 17 ff.), the gospel might have been carried 
thither earlier than to Asia Minor or Greece. If the edict of Claudius (a. d. 51), 
banishing the Jews from the city (comp. Acts xviii. 2), was occasioned by controver- 
sies excited by the introduction of Christianity, 1 then a very early origin must be 

1 Suetonius says that Claudius banished the Jews because they kept up a tumult at the instigation 



II. INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. II 

admitted. Still ' we may suppose that the gospel was preached there in a confused 
and imperfect form, scarcely more than a phase of Judaism, as in the case of 
Apollos at Corinth (Acts xviii. 25), or the disciples at Ephesus (Acts xix. 1-3).' 
Lightfoot. Even if there was no organized Christian community at the time of the 
edict of Claudius, the banishment of the Jews, followed by their speedy return, is 
closely connected with the growth of the Roman congregation, as it existed when 
Paul wrote. * Fugitives from neighboring Greece became Christians and disciples 
of Paul ; and after their return to Rome were heralds of Christianity, and took part 
in organizing a congregation. This is historically proved by the example of Aquila 
and Priscilla, who, when Jews, emigrated to Corinth, lived there over a year and a 
half, in the company of Paul, and subsequently appeared as teachers in Rome and 
occupants of a house where the Roman congregation assembled (Rom. xvi. 3). 
Probably other individuals mentioned in chap. xvL were led by God in a similar 
way ; but it is certain that Aquila and Priscilla occupied a most important position 
among the founders of the congregation ; for among the many teachers whom Paul 
salutes in chap, xvi., he presents his first greeting to them, and this, too, with such 
flattering commendation as he bestows upon none of the rest' (Meyer). This 
would hold equally good if, as is not unlikely, Aquila and his wife had become be- 
lievers before the banishment from Rome. If Gentiles had been converted in that 
city, the edict would not have affected them; while the returning Jews who had felt 
Paul's influence would be all the more ready to fraternize closely with them rather 
than with their unbelieving countrymen. This natural result accounts for the tone 
used by the leading Jews in their interview with Paul at Rome (Acts xxviii. 21, 22). 
This introduces the much discussed question, whether the Roman Christians 
were mainly of Jewish or Gentile extraction. (See § 2, on the relation of this ques- 
tion to the purpose of the Epistle.) We have already indicated the presence of a 
numerous Jewish element, and the Epistle itself points to the same fact (see on 
chaps, iv. 1, 12 ; vii. 1-6 ; xiv. iff.; xv. 8). The traces of Judaizing influences 
are, however, very slight, although the letters written during Paul's imprisonment 
show that these adverse tendencies were present at the later period. Christianity 
at Rome was therefore Pauline in its type when Paul wrote this Epistle. The 
theory of Dr. Baur, that the Church was not only Jewish but Judaistic and anti- 
Pauline, is altogether unwarranted (comp. Schaff, ApostoL Church, p. 297, and 
Romans, pp. 34, 35.). It seems most probable that the great majority of the con- 
gregation was composed of believers of Gentile origin. Rome was the centre 
of the Gentile world, and maintained constant intercourse with those places where 
Paul's success among the Gentiles had been most marked (*. g., Antioch, Ephesus, 
Corinth). The Epistle itself gives indications of this preponderance ; see on chaps, 
i. 5-7, 13 ; xL 13, 25, 28 ; xiv. 1 ; xv. 15, 16 ; in the last passage he grounds his 
right to instruct and strengthen the Roman Christians upon his call to be the 
Apostle to the Gentiles. The fact that the Epistle was written in Greek sheds 
little light upon the question before us, since the Jews who visited Rome would all 

of Chrestus (impulsore Chresto). This ' Chrestus' ' may have been a seditious Jew then living, one 
of those political false prophets, who abounded in Palestine before the destruction of Jerusalem. 
But as no such person is otherwise known to us, and as it is a fact that the Romans often used 
Chrestus for Christus, it is more than probable that the same mistake is made also in this edict ; and 
the popular tumults must, accordingly, be referred to the controversies between the Jews and Chris- 
tians, who were at that time, in the view of the heathen, not very distinct from one another (Schaff, 
Hist. Apcstol. Church, p. 295). Comp. Lange, Romans, p. 31, where the authorities and arguments 
on both sides are given. 



12 II. INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. 

speak that language. 1 But it seems probable that the Gentile Christians were 
mainly from the Greek population of Rome, which, pure and mixed, formed a large 
and important fraction of the whole. The names in chap. xvi. are mainly Greek, 2 
only a few are Latin. From this list of names Bishop Lightfoot makes the follow- 
ing inference as to the rank and station of the believers : ' Among the less wealthy 
merchants and tradesmen, among the petty officers of the army, among the slaves 
and freedmen of the imperial palace — whether Jews or Greeks — the gospel would 
first find a firm footing. To this last class allusion is made in Phil. iv. 22 : " they 
that are of Caesar's household." From these it would gradually work upwards and 
downwards ; but we may be sure that in respect of rank the Church of Rome was 
no exception to the general rule, that " not many wise, not many mighty, not many 
noble" were called (1 Cor. i. 20).' 

The subsequent history of the Roman Church does not fall within the limits of 
this Introduction, but this sketch of its beginnings may well be closed by these 
words of Dr. Lange : * As the light and darkness of Judaism was centralized in 
Jerusalem, the theocratic city of God (the holy city, the murderer of the prophets), 
so was heathen Rome the humanitarian metropolis of the world, the centre of all 
the elements of light and darkness prevalent in the heathen world; and so did 
Christian Rome become the centre of all the elements of vital light, and of all the 
antichristian darkness in the Christian Church. Hence Rome, like Jerusalem, not 
only possesses a unique historical significance, but is a universal form operative 
through all ages.' See Lange, Romans, pp. 29, 30. 

§ 2. Occasion and Purpose of the Epistle. 

The occasion was the non-fulfilment of the Apostle's desire to preach at Rome 
(chap. i. 9-15). He takes the opportunity, afforded by the departure of Phoebe 
from Corinth (comp. § 4), to write to the Roman congregation ; both to give in 
writing what he would have announced to them orally, and to pave the way for 
those personal labors he hoped to put forth among them in the future (chap. xv. 
22-32). There has been much discussion as to the purpose, involving a variety of 
opinions as to the occasion. Some writers insist that the Apostle purposed to 
make a formal doctrinal treatise on soteriology (or justification by faith) ; that he 
prepared it for Rome, because of the importance of the city. This view, while 
partially true, lessens the personal and historical character of the Epistle. 8 On the 
other hand, many commentators and critics, especially in Germany, have attributed 
to the Apostle a motive, too exclusively polemical, seeking the occasion for the 

1 On the general use of the Greek language at that period, see Dr. Alexander Roberts, Discussion 
en the Gospels ; Smith, Bible Dictionary, Amer. ed., Language of the A7ew Testament, by Professor 
Hadley. 

* See § 5, where the questions respecting that chapter are discussed. If it was not addressed to 
Rome, then, of course, no inferences can be drawn from it in regard to that congregation. 

1 ' When Paul had been last at Corinth, not only Aquila and Priscilla, but a vast number of other 
Jews, on their expulsion from the capital by the decree of Claudius, had either passed through Cor- 
inth on their way to Judea or other countries, or, like Aquila and Priscilla, had taken up a tempo- 
rary abode there. Paul had thus the opportunity (of which he availed himself) of securing the 
friendship of many fellow-countrymen, and it is not a little remarkable that at the close of the Epistle 
he salutes two households, and no less than twenty-six different individuals, and generally with some 
discriminating touch of character, so that evidently the Apostle was not paying a cold compliment, 
but was familiar with their personal and private history.' — Le win's Life and Epistles of St. Paul, 
ii., p. 41. 



II. INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. 13 

Epistle in the state of things among the Christians at Rome, assuming peculiar 
conflicts between the Jewish and Gentile elements, of which the Epistle itself, 
rightly interpreted, and the Acts of the Apostles, show no trace. 1 Such antago- 
nisms may have appeared, and the Apostle may have known of them ; but that 
they occasioned the Epistle, or largely modified its plan, seems very unlikely. 

On the occasion above noted, the Apostle wrote to this cosmopolitan congrega- 
tion of believers. In Rome, if anywhere, those evangelical principles which were 
of universal application would need the greatest emphasis. And the antithesis be- 
tween law and gospel, as it then existed, far from being solely between Jewish and 
Gentile Christians, was the expression of a world-historical contrast and contest 
(of which the city of Rome itself still remains a witness). As the Apostle had not 
founded the church, he felt himself less influenced by special purposes than in 
writing to the Christians of Asia Minor and Greece ; hence he not only omits all 
the polemical references which abound in the similar Epistle to the Galatians, but 
gives a much fuller doctrinal statement. His theme (chap. i. 16, 17) is wide 
enough to touch every possible case among the recipients (including the dark 
problem of Jewish unbelief), and this leads him to an ethical conclusion (chap. xii. 
1), that has application to any special cases he may have in mind. The various 
views respecting the analysis of the Epistle are, of course, affected by the theories 
held regarding the purpose. 

§ 3. Theme and Contents. 

As already indicated (Gen. Introd., § 4, p. 7), the theme of the Epistle is to be 
found in chap. i. 16, 17 : The gospel 'is the power of God unto salvation to 
every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.' The reason it is 
such a power is that ' therein is the righteousness of God (coming from Him) re- 
vealed from faith to faith,' in accordance with the Old Testament declaration, ' The 
just shall live by faith.' Strictly speaking, the main theme is not justification by 
faith, 8 as is usually held by those who think that the Apostle had a purely didactic 
purpose in writing the Epistle, but salvation by God* s power through faith, not through 
the law. This salvation is wrought by means of a righteousness which comes from 
God to the believer ; the first and essential step is God's giving (imputing) this 
righteousness to believing sinners, so that they are accounted righteous by Him ; 
but He makes them righteous by the same plan and power. The two are insepar- 
able, and both are treated of in this Epistle as constituting God's power unto salva- 
tion. After the full discussion of this doctrinal theme (chaps, i.-xi.), the Apostle 
passes to exhortations and ethical applications (chaps, xii.-xvi.), which are but ex- 
pansions of the leading practical inference (chap. xii. 1) : ' I beseech you there- 

1 Dr. Baur, at first, claimed that the Christians at Rome were mainly Jewish, and hostile to 
Paul ; hence that chaps, ix.-xi. constitute the doctrinal essence of the Epistle. This view he after- 
wards modified, though still upholding the polemic (or personal apologetic) character of the letter. 
Schott, on the other hand, makes the Epistle an apology for the Gentile apostolate of Paul before 
Gentile Christians of the Pauline school ; as if these required any such apology. A subordinate 
apologetic aim may be admitted, especially to account for chaps, ix.-xl ; but even here the Apostle 
has in mind, not so much his apostolate to the Gentiles, as the entire problem respecting the rela- 
tion of God's ancient people to the newly engrafted Gentile world. This explanation of God's plan 
of wisdom and mercy would be especially needed by Christians of Gentile origin. 

* Compare Dr. Shedd : The doctrine of gratuitous justification — chapters L-xi. : Necessity 
(chaps, i.-iii. 20), nature (chaps, iii. 21-iv. 25), effects (chaps, v.-viii.), and application (chaps, ix.- 
xi.) of gratuitous justification. 



14 II. INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. 

fore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, 
holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.' 

CONTENTS. 
Greeting and Introduction, chap. i. 1-15. Theme (salvation free and universal\ 
chap. i. 16, 17. 
I. Doctrinal part : The gospel, for every one that believeth, is the power of God 

unto salvation : to the Jew first and also to the Greek ; chaps, i. 18-xi. 36. 
II. Practical part : Therefore offer your bodies to God, a living sacrifice of thanks- 
giving for this salvation ; chaps. xii.-xvi. 

I. Doctrinal part ; chaps, i. 18-xi. 36. 1 

1. Every one needs this power of God unto salvation, for all are sinners; i. 17- 
iii. 20 ; Gentiles (chap. i. 17-32), and Jews (chaps, ii., iii. 20). 

2. This power of God is to every one that believeth; chaps, iii. 21-iv. 25. The 
plan is one of faith (chap. iii. 21-26). God is the God of the Gentiles as well 
as of the Jews (chap. iii. 27-31), and Abraham was justified by faith, being the 
father of believers, uncircumcised as well as circumcised (chap. iv. 1-25). 

3. Thus God actually saves men (chaps, v.-viii.). 

(a.) Reconciliation the result of justification (chap. v. 1-11). 

(b.) Righteousness and life, through and in Christ, overbear the parallel, yet 

contrasted, case of sin and death through Adam (chap. v. 12-21). 
(e.) This method of free salvation does not lead to sin, but to holiness (chaps. 

Vl.-Vlll.). 

i. Grace does not lead to sin (chap, vi.) ; 

ii. the law is in itself just and good, but powerless to sanctify (chap, vii.) ; 
iii. the work of the Spirit over against the failure of the law (chap, viii.) ; 
nothing can separate from the love of Christ ! 

4. The universality of this salvation : This gospel is to the Jew first, and also to 
the Gentile: it has apparently failed to save the Jew, but only apparently 
(chaps. ix.-xi.). 

(a.) God*s sovereignty : God's promise is not void (chap. ix. 1-29). 

(£.) Man's responsibility: The Jews are excluded by their own unbelief 

(chaps, ix. 30-x. 2 1). 
(c.) The prospective solution : God has not cast off His people, but overruled 

their unbelief for the salvation of the Gentiles, after which Israel shall be 

saved (chap. xi. 1-32). 
(d.) Doxology in view of this mystery (chap. xi. 33-36). 

II. Practical part (chaps. xii.-xvi.) : Mari s gratitude for the free salvation. 

1. General exhortations (chaps, xii. 1-2 1 ; xiii. 8-14). 

2. Special discussions : 

(a.) In regard to obedience to rulers (chap. xiii. 1-7;. 

1 Professor Godet, in substantial agreement with many others, divides the doctrinal part as fol- 
lows: — 

Fundamental pari: i. 18-v. 21. 

The righteousness of faith without legal works. 
First complementary part : vi.— viii. 

Sanctification without the law. 
Second complementary part : ix.-xi. 
The rejection of Israel. 



II. INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. 1 5 

(d.) In regard to scruples about eating meat and drinking wine, etc. (chap, xi v. 
i-xv. 13). 
3. Conclusion (chaps, xv. 14-xvi. 27). 

(a.) Personal explanations, as at the beginning (chap. xv. 14-33). 

(&.) Messages and greetings to various persons (chap. xvi. 1-16). 

(c.) Closing wishes, with greetings from various persons (chap. xvi. 17-24). 

(d.) Concluding Doxology (chap. xvi. 25-27). 

§ 4. Time and Place of Composition, 

There is no reason to doubt the generally received opinion that this Epistle was 
written from Corinth, during the three months' stay in Achaia (Greece), mentioned 
in Acts xx. 3. For, according to chap. xv. 25, etc., at the time of writing the 
Apostle was about to go to Jerusalem with the offerings for the poor, made by the 
churches of Macedonia and Achaia. At Corinth he had directed such collections 
to be made ; it was the largest city of Achaia ; Phoebe, who took the letter, was 
from Cenchreae, the sea-port of Corinth (chap. xvi. 1, 2) ; Gaius (chap. xvi. 23), 
his host, was probably a Corinthian (1 Cor. i. 14). Meyer suggests that the letter 
was written before the plot of the Jews (Acts xx. 3), which changed the route of 
the Apostle. According to our view of the chronology, the date would be early in 
a. d. 58, since the departure for Jerusalem was made in due season to reach that 
city before Pentecost (Acts xx. 16). 

§ 5. Genuineness and Integrity of the Epistle. 

This Epistle was written by the Apostle Paul. The testimony of the ancient 
church is unanimous ; the internal evidence is equally strong, and few of the most 
destructive critics have ventured to assail its genuineness. From the very first it 
was quoted by Christian writers, and even Marcion acknowledged it. 

But its integrity has been opposed frequently, and in various ways, the chief doubt 
being respecting chaps, xv., xvi. They were rejected by Marcion on doctrinal 
grounds, and in modern times by Baur. Others admit that Paul wrote them, but 
not as a part of the Epistle to the Romans. The main grounds for this position 
are, the insertion of the concluding doxology (in some MSS.) at the close of chap, 
xiv., and the long list of acquaintances at Rome, where Paul had not yet been, none 
of them named in the Epistles from Rome. Neither of these reasons are of great 
weight, while the theories that seek to account for the appending of the final chap- 
ters are unsustained by any historical facts. 1 (See on chaps, xv., and xvi. 25-27.) 

It may be added that the Greek text of this Epistle is remarkably free from im- 

1 Bishop Lightfoot (in Smith's Bib. Diet.) advocates the view 'that the letter was circulated at 
an early date (whether during the Apostle's lifetime or not it is idle to inquire) in two forms, both 
with and without the two last chapters.' This view he afterwards modifies : ' At some later period 
of his life ... . it occurred to the Apostle to give to this letter a wider circulation. To this end he 
made two changes in it : he obliterated all mention of Rome in the opening paragraphs by slight 
alterations ; and he cut off the two last chapters containing personal matters, adding at the same 
time a doxology, as a termination to the whole.' See Professor Abbot's supplementary article (Ro- 
mans) in Smith's Bib. Diet. On the other hand, Canon Farrar (St. Paul, ii., pp. 170, 171) advocates 
the view * that chap, xvi., in whole or in part, was addressed to Ephesus as a personal termination to 
the copy of the Roman Epistle, which could hardly fail to be sent to so important a church.' This 
is substantially the view of Renan, who thinks that our Epistle, in chaps, xv., xvi., is a collection of 
all the different conclusions addressed to the various churches that first received the encyclical 
letter. 



16 II. INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. 

portant variations ; even the very difficult critical question in chap. v. i, involves 
no point of doctrine. The most weighty passages have been preserved with won- 
derful accuracy. 

§ 6. Characteristics of the Epistle. 

The Epistle is the bulwark of the doctrines of sin and grace, the Magna Charta 
of the evangelical system against all Judaizing and Romanizing perversions. Luther 
calls it ' the chief part of the New Testament, and the perfect gospel ; ' Coleridge : 
' the most profound work in existence ; ' Meyer : * the grandest, boldest, most com- 
plete composition of Paul.' Godet terms it ' the cathedral of the Christian faith.' 
Owing to the character of the subject treated, it is full of difficulties ; almost every 
chapter is a theological battle-field ; but the leading truths are clear enough to those 
whose hearts are not crusted over by the legalism the Apostle so vigorously assails. 
This Epistle and that to the Galatians discuss the same fundamental doctrine, 
namely, justification by free grace through faith in Jesus Christ, with whom the 
believer enters into personal life-union. They differ, however : the latter is a per- 
sonal defence, directly opposing the false teachers of legalism who were perverting 
a church founded by the Apostle himself ; the former, written to strangers, opposes 
the corrupt (and legalistic) tendencies of the human heart, by a fuller statement of 
God's power unto salvation. They supplement each other, and together furnish 
the immovable Scriptural basis for evangelical freedom in Christ, the best defence 
against the perversions of doctrine which have been sustained by the most rigid ec- 
clesiasticism. Nor should it escape notice that these Epistles were addressed, in 
the one instance to Rome, and in the other to people of Keltic race (comp. Intro- 
duction to Galatians), the city and race at present most completely under the bond- 
age of organized legalism. Moreover, as Godet admirably sets forth, the Epistle 
sheds light upon many other topics which are of permanent interest to thoughtful 
men in every age. 

As regards style, the Epistle to the Romans is characterized by ' strength, fulness, 
and warmth ' (Tholuck), the latter qualities overbearing at times the perspicuity 
which we would expect from so powerful a writer, and which appears in the con- 
cluding chapters. Dean Alford notes the following peculiarities : (a.) insulating 
the one matter under discussion — up to a certain point ; (b.) then introducing the 
objections ; (c.) weaving these parenthetic objections into the main discussion ; 
(d.) frequent and complicated antitheses; (e.) frequent plays upon words, which 
cannot always be reproduced in English ; (f.) accumulation of prepositions ; 
(jr.) frequency and peculiarity of parenthetical passages. He also rightly calls 
attention to the emphatic position of words, and to the distinction of tenses. These 
are lost sight of in the common version. See the textual emendations and exeget- 
ical notes throughout. 

In the full vigor of his manhood, at the height of his Christian activity, this great 
Apostle wrote to the greatest city of the world this Epistle, which presents the truth 
he preached in the most symmetrical form. * Although the Epistle to the Romans 
belongs, in the chronological order, in the middle of the Pauline Epistles, yet its 
primacy has been recognized in manifest opposition to the alleged primacy of the 
Roman bishop. The Epistle to the Romans, in its Pauline type, opposes, by its 
doctrine of justification by faith without the works of the law, the system of Rome ; 
so that even to-day it can be regarded as an Epistle especially directed " to the 
Romans." ' — Lange. 



THE 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS, 



CHAPTER I. 1-17. 

Address, Introduction, and Theme. 

Chapter I. contains two distinct parts : vers. 1-17 form the introductory portion of the Epistle ; 
vers- 18-32 give the proof that the Gentiles need the gospel from the fact of their sinfulness ex- 
posing them to the wrath of God. (This statement is the first half of the first main division of the 
doctrinal part of the Epistle. See Introduction, § 3, p. 14, and notes on vers. 16, 18.) We divide 
vers. 1— 17 into three sections : vers. 1-7 contain the Address and Greeting (in an unusually full 
form) ; vers. 8-15 constitute the Introduction proper, since they give the occasion for this Apostle's 
writing to the Roman Christians ; by an easy transition he then passes to the Main Theme of the 
Epistle, which is stated in ver. 1 6, and further explained in ver. 17. 

Chapter I. 1-7. 
Address and Greeting. 

The Apostle conforms to the usage of his time, beginning his letters with his own name, followed 
by a designation of the persons addressed, to which a greeting is added. But he usually describes 
himself as related to Jesus Christ, indicates the character of those he addresses, and gives a distinct- 
ively Christian salutation. The most usual designation of himself is ' an Apostle of Christ Jesus 
through the will of God' (so 2 Cor., Eph., Col., 2 Tim.) ; in 1 and 2 Thess. no designation is added ; 
' prisoner,' 'servant,' etc., occur in other Epistles. But here and in Galatians the description is more 
full, in view of the thoughts which are to follow. (Compare also the full designation in Tit. i. 1-3.) 
He begins the address here, by describing himself as ' a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an 
Apostle;' he then particularizes his relation to the gospel (ver. 1) ; but designing to treat quite fully of 
evangelical truth, he enlarges upon these relations, introducing : ( 1 ) the connection of the gospel 
with the Old Testament, ver. 2 ; (2) the divine-human Person of Christ, who is the subject of this 
gospel, vers. 3, 4 ; (3) his call to the apostleship of the Gentiles (ver. 5), which gives him the right to 
address the Roman Christians, ver. 6. Then follows the usual apostolic greeting, ver. 7. The ful- 
ness of this address shows the importance which the Apostle attached to the fundamental thoughts 
of this Epistle, since they suggest themselves at the very outset, and are interwoven with what would 
ordinarily be merely the conventional beginning of a letter. 

The greeting found in ver. 7 occurs in this form (with trifling variations) in most of Paul's letters. 
It is partly Greek, partly Hebrew, in its origin, but wholly Christian in its sense. (On the words 
" grace " and " peace," see ver. 7.) The Pastoral Epistles (with the exception of Titus, according 
to the correct text) contain the form, "grace, mercy, and peace," the word " mercy" being probably 
derived from the Greek version of the priestly benediction, Numb. vi. 25. The Apostle Peter in his 
Epistles, and the Apostle John in the Apocalypse, join together "grace and peace" in their greet- 
ings, while in Jude 2 we find " mercy, peace, and love." 

The whole section shows Paul to be a model for the Christian minister, in his humility and dig- 
nity, in the sense of dependence on the personal Lord Jesus Christ which underlies his authoritative 
utterances, as well as in his devotion to this great personal theme of the gospel which he so earnestly 

desires to preach everywhere. 
vol. 11 r. 2 



18 THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. I. 1-7. 

1 T)AUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, ° called to be an apostle, ^com!*?!' 

2 X b separated l unto the gospel of God, ( e which he had prom- tj£ L i.\V ; 

3 ised afore d by 2 his prophets in the holy Scriptures,) 3 concern- f\ 7 t '; * Tim ' 
ing his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, 4 'which was f made 6 of the ' ^"'fitS. 

4 seed of David according to the flesh; and * declared to be 6 the c kcuxxvi. 
Son of God with power, according *to the Spirit of holiness, by d ck^'uL a* •, 

5 the resurrection from 7 the dead : by 8 whom * we have 9 received Satui.'s. 
grace and apostleship, for * obedience to the faith 10 'among all' LSkej.%'? 

6 nations, 11 m for his name: 12 among whom are ye also the called 13 » Tim-'uTi. 

7 of Jesus Christ: to all that be 14 in Rome, beloved of God, Gai. iv'. 4 - 4 ' 

g Actsxiii. 33. 

n called to be saints : lb * Heb. «. 14. 

> Chap. xii. 3 ; 

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord ££ r is x ; ■ 
Jesus Christ. Sk*'^.' 

* 9 ;c.pn. ui. 5. 

k Acts vi. 1 ; 
chap. xvi. 

1 set apart a he promised beforehand through i j*^ . 

8 omit the parentheses xxvi. 17. 

4 transfer the words Jesus Christ our Lord to the end of ver. 4 xv. 26; a 

6 who was born 6 who was installed, or declared 7 of n cRap*' ix."' 

8 through 9 omit have 10 unto obedience of faith a^V-Thess!" 

11 the nations, or the Gentiles, see notes l2 his name's sake iv - 7- . 

18 also, called l4 are " substitute (.)for (:) ° \ Cor! i* \ I 

Gal. i. 3. 



Ver. j. Paul. See Gen. Introd., § 1, and Acts occurs) ; but the reference here is probably to 
throughout. — A servant of Jesus Christ. The the call to be an Apostle, especially as the tense 
word 4 servant ' here means ' bondman, ' expressing used is not the same as in Galatians, but points 
the fact that Paul personally belonged to Jesus to a past act with a continuous result. — Unto the 
Christ, rather than the idea of service in His be- gospel of God. This was that for which he was 
half. Another word conveys the latter sense, set apart. The gospel is » of God/ having Him 
Any unpleasant thought connected with the for- as its author ; it is about Christ (vers. 3. 4). 
mer idea is removed by the character of the Ver. 2. Which he promised beforehand. The 
Master, Jesus Christ. This term of humility and parenthesis is unnecessary, for the whole passage 
dependence is the most honorable of all titles. — is closely connected. It must be God's gospel, 
Called to be an Apostle. Here he simply asserts for He had already promised it, and this thought 
the fact of his apostolic dignity and authority ; in would have force with the Gentile Christians as 
writing to the Galatians, he was forced to defend well as the Jews. Moreover it serves to empha- 
his apostleship (comp. the enlarged description size the sacredness of the gift intrusted to him as 
of the word in Gal. i. 1). He received the call on separated unto the gospel of God. — Through his 
the way to Damascus (Acts ix. 15 ; xxvi. 17) ; his prophets. In the New Testament the revelation 
call coincided with his conversion ; it was con- is always said to be made 'by' God, 'through the 
firmed in the temple at Jerusalem (Acts ix. 28; prophets. 1 The 'prophets' are not here distin- 
xxii. 17-21). His setting apart at Antioch (Acts guished from the other Old Testament writers. — 
xiii. 2, 3) was not the call, but a formal recognition In the holy Scriptures. The article is wanting in 
of the call on the part of the Church there, and the original, but this can scarcely alter the ac- 
for a special mission. The title is an official one, cepted sense. The Greek-speaking Jews prob- 
and while it might at first refer to any messenger, ably used the phrase as a proper noun, as in the 
in the early Church it was soon restricted to the case of the word ' law.' The omission of the 
Twelve and to Paul, as chosen witnesses of the article, in such usage, does not imply any indefi- 
resurrection, selected to lay the foundation of the nite or general meaning. ' The divine promises of 
Christian Church. Paul was not one of the the gospel, given through the prophets of God, 
Twelve, but represented the independent aposto- are found in such books as, being God's records 
late of the Gentiles (Gal. ii. 9). As preachers and for His revelations, are holy writings ' (Meyer), 
missionaries the Apostles must have successors, The reader would understand that the whole Old 
but as inspired and authoritative witnesses for Testament was meant. In fact, the entire revela- 
Christ, called directly by him for the whole world, tion is one organic system of types and prophe- 
they have none. — Set apart. This explains the cies pointing to Christ ; John v. 39. The gospel, 
apostleship. Paul was selected from the world, Paul implies, though new, is yet old. 
singled out, consecrated to, and destined for the Ver. 3. Conoeming his Son. The punctuation 
gospel service. In one sense this took place at of the E. V. connects this with the word 'gospel ' 
his pirth (comp. Gal. i. 15, where the same word (ver. 1), but it may be joined with ver. 2 : God's 



Chap. I. 1-7.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 19 

previous promise in the Old Testament was con- that side of the person of Christ wherein lie dif- 

cerning His Son. That promise was fulfilled in fers absolutely from those who are only human, 

the gospel. In any case it is fairly implied that This would exclude a reference to the personal 

the ' Son ' existed m a peculiar relation to God, Holy Spirit, who is nowhere designated by this 

lwfore the historical manifestations described in phrase, also to the human spirit of Christ as dis- 

the two parallel clauses which follow. These tinct from His body and soul (see on ver. 3). God 

clauses each contain three contrasted members : is a Spirit, hence the divine nature of the Incar- 

(1) was born, (2) of the seed of David, (3) ac- nate Son of God is Spirit. Of this 'Spirit* the 
cording to the flesh; (1) was declared to be the characteristic quality is ' holiness.' We reject 
Son of God with power, (2) by resurrection of the view which explains 'holiness' as 'sanctifica- 
the dead, (3) according to the Spirit of holiness. — tion.' — By the resurrection of the dead. Literally, 
Who was bora. Though He was the Son of God, ' out of resurrection of dead.' ' Out of * is here 
it was necessary for the fulfilment of the Messi- equivalent to ' by means of,' and not to ' after ' or 
anic promises that He should appear as man, * since,' as some have imagined. ' Resurrection,' 
hence He was born. — Of the seed of David. This though without the article, refers to the historical 
too was in fulfilment of the promise. On the fact by virtue of which was accomplished the ex- 

?uestion whether this refers to Marv as well as altation of the Son of God, who had previously 

oseph, see vol. i., pp. 29, 367. — According to humbled himself to be born. Hence it seems 

the flesh, *. *., according to His human nature, or best to insert the article in English. 'Of the 

descent. The word 'flesh' is also used of our dead' is probably not identical with 'from the 

sinful nature, but that sense is excluded here, dead' (as in E. v.), but points to the resurrection 

since He appeared 'in the likeness of the flesh of of Christ as the fact which implies and guarantees 

sin ' (see on chap. viii. 3). Nor does the phrase the final resurrection of all believers. — Jesus 

refer to the body alone, or to the body and soul, Christ our Lord. ' Having given this description 

distinguished from the spirit 4 Were He a mere of the person and dignity of the Son of God, very 

man, it had been enough to say that He was of man and very God, he now identifies this divine 

the seed of David ; but as He is more than man, person with Jesus Christ, the Lord and Master 

it was necessary to limit His descent from David of Christians, the historical object of their faith, 

to His human nature' (Hodge). and (see words following) the Appointer of him- 

Ver. 4. Who was installed, or, ' declared,' the self to the apostolic office' (Alford). 'Jesus' is 

Bon of God. The clause is strictly parallel with the personal name ; 'Christ' the official name; 

•who was born.' (The word 'and' as well as 'our Lord,' taking up the word applied to Jeho- 

the phrase 'to be' are interpolated in the E. V.) vah in the Septuagint, presents Him as the su- 

The word translated ' declared ' has been much preme Lord of the New Dispensation, the per- 

discusscd. It first meant, to bound, define, deter- sonal Master and King of all believers. The full 

mine, etc In this case a mistake of the Latin phrase always has a solemn and triumphant tone, 

Vulgate has confounded it with the word mean- and here serves not only to exalt Christ, but to 

ing ' predestined.' The sense ' constituted,' in so express the high dignity of the apostolic office 

far as that implies that the Sonship began at the (vers. 1, 5), the leading idea in the address, 

resurrection, is an impossible one. The two al- Ver. 5. Through whom, s. e., ' Jesus Christ our 

lowable meanings are : (1) instated or installed; Lord,' which should immediately precede. The 

(2) declared, manifested, etc They differ in this two verses should be separated only by a comma, 
respect that (1) points to what God did, and (2) to Everywhere Paul speaks of himself as called by 
the human recognition or proof of the Sonship of God to be an Apostle (comp. ver. 1), but called 
Christ. The former seems to be the more nat- through Jesus Christ, who had spoken to him on 
ural sense, but the latter is usually accepted. In the way to Damascus (Acts ix. 4, 5), and subse- 
neither case is there any suggestion that Christ quently (Acts xxii. 17-21). — We received. The 
became the Son of God in consequence of the res- plural is used, although the context shows that 
urrection, although the human nature of Christ he refers to himself alone. Such a custom was 
was then exalted, and made partaker of the glory very common among Greek authors. — Grace and 
which eternally belonged to the Son, John xvii. 5. apostleship. ' Grace,' in general ; and ' apostle- 
' For although Christ was already the Son of God ship,' in particular. The latter was indeed the 
before the creation of the world, and as such was special object and highest evidence of the for- 
sent (chap. viii. 3 ; Gal. iv. 4), nevertheless there mer, but the two ideas are not to be confounded. 
was needed a fact, by means of which He should Without the grace so fully bestowed upon him 
receive, after the humiliation that began with his he could not have been an Apostle (comp. Eph. 
birth (Phil. ii. 7 ff.), instating into the rank and iii. 8), but his apostleship was a special gift. As 
dignity of His divine Sonship ; whereby also, as suggested above (see ver. 1 ), the Apostles, as 
its necessary consequence with a view to the such, have no successors, yet the connection of 
knowledge and conviction of men, He was legiti- the words, ' grace and apostleship,' implies that a 
mately established as the Son ' (Meyer). — With gift of grace must underlie all genuine service in 
power. Lit., ' in power.' This should be con- the church, that without this there is certainly no 
nected with ' declared ' ; it thus sets forth the in- call to the ministry. — Unto obedience of faith. 
stating by the resurrection as an exhibition of the This might be paraphrased : ' in order to produce 
divine power. Some, however, prefer to join obedience to faith.' 'The faith' is misleading, 
the phrase with ' Son of God,' thus contrasting for it suggests a body of doctrine, whereas ' faith ' 
the majesty and power of the risen Son of God in the New Testament, well - nigh invariably, 
with the weakness of His human nature. In any means ' believing,' not what is believed. On the 
case the whole phrase ' installed the Son of God other hand, the two ideas of ' obedience ' and 
with power,' is to be taken together as in contrast 'faith' must not be confounded, by explaining 
with 'was born' (ver. 3). — According to the that obedience consists in faith, or has faith as 
Spirit of holiness. This is evidently in contrast its controlling principle. For ' faith ' is that to 
with ' according to the flesh,' and must set forth which the obedience is rendered. The end of his 



20 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. I. 8-15. 

apostleship was that people might submit them- first of all to consecration to God, and then as a 
selves to faith, become believers ; this would re- consequence to holiness. This must always be 
suit in a new and true obedience, but of this he borne in mind. (Since the greeting forms of it- 
is not now speaking. That * Tesus Christ our self a grammatically complete sentence, it seems 
Lord ' was the object of this faith is clear enough, best to place a period after ' saints.') 
— Among all the nations, or, ' Gentiles/ as the Grace to yon, and peaoe. This is the Christian 
word is usually translated, comp. ver. 13. The greeting. The word translated ' grace ' is akin to 
only objection to rendering it thus in this in- the common Greek salutation, while ' peace ' is the 
stance, is the probability that the Jews may be Hebrew salutation. The two, as here lifted up into 
Included, since he addresses himself to all the Christian usage, are related to each other as cause 
Christians at Rome (vers. 6, 7), some of whom and effect : the one is God's feeling toward us ; the 
were Jews ; but usually Paul emphasizes his other the result in us. The connection shows what 
apostleship to the Gentiles. The words qualify a profound sense js attached to both. The greet- 
4 unto obedience of faith.' — For nil nanp'i lake, ing seems to be an earnest wish or prayer, rather 
For the glorifying of His name. Comp. Acts ix. than an authoritative benediction, but on this point 
16; xv. 26 ; xxi. 13 ; 2 These, i. 12. The end of there is room for discussion. There is no verb in 
his apostleship was that men in all the nations the original, and to this usage the English version 
might believe, and the end of their believing was conforms here, but not elsewhere. — From God our 
the glory of Christ in whom they believed. Hence Father. This refers to the new and special re la- 
this was the end of his preaching. In the ' name ' tion which Christians hold to God, as adopted sons 
of Christ is summed up all that lie was, did, and (chap. viii. i£ ; Gal. iv. 5). — And the Lord Jesus 
suffered. The expression is borrowed from the Christ. This joining of Christ with God our Father 
Hebrew. as the personal source of ( grace and peace ' to us, 

Ver. 6. Among whom are ye alio. To pre- is a strong incidental proof of the divinity of 

pare for the address he says that his mission for Christ No one who believed the Hebrew Scrip- 

the glory of Christ's name is to them also ; they tures would thus associate the eternal Jehovah 

are included among those for whom he received with a mere man. At the same time, we learn 

his apostleship. — Called of Jesus Christ. They elsewhere that the Father is the Author, and 

were not called by Jesus Christ, but called to be Tesus Christ the mediator and procurer of these 

His, since the call of believers is always referred blessings. 

to God. The article is wanting before ' called/ it This section assumes the fundamental facts of 

seems better to place a comma after ( also.' Christianity. Written less than thirty years after 

' Called ' may here mean effectually called, but the death of Christ, to a bodv of believers far re- 

' called 'and * chosen/ or, 'elect,' are frequently dis- moved from Judea, it is itself sufficient evidence 

tinguished in the New Testament ; Matt. xxn. 14. that the Gospels contain history, and not myths or 

Ver. 7. To all that are in Borne. This is the fictions, that the doctrines peculiar to Christian- 
address proper, indicating the recipients of the ity were proclaimed and believed from the first, 
letter. The Christians at Rome, of whatever and are not the inventions of after ages. Paul 
nationality, are viewed as one community, though goes further, and affirms that the main facts were 
not addressed as a ' church.' The city was so promised in the Old Testament The Person of 
large that they may have worshipped in various Christ, the Incarnation, — the Resurrection, the 
domestic congregations (comp. chap. xvi. 5). But universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, these are the 
it does not follow that the organizations were im- facts. Faith in Him, loyal allegiance to Him, 
perfect ; for while Paul in all the Epistles written universal proclamation of Him — all for His 
before this time (Thessalonians, Galatians, Cor- glory — this is the human response to the facts of 
in t hi an s) addresses the churches, in his subse- salvation. This was the substance of Christianity 
quent letters to the fully organized Christian con- in the first century, and this is its substance now. 

§ negations at Ephesus, PhiTippi, and Colosse, he Such a gospel is imperishable, and the letter 

oes not. — Beloved of God. Because reconciled which treats of it most systematically is not for 

to God through Christ (chaps, v. 5 ; viii. 19). — one place and age alone, but of universal interest 

Called to be saints. Just as Paul \v as called to be and of permanent authority, even as this distinc- 

an Apostle (ver. 1 ), implying that they actually tively Christian greeting is as precious to us now 

were what they were called to be. ' Saints ' refers as to the Roman Christians then. 



Chapter I. 8-15. 
Introduction, Giving the Occasion of the Epistle. 

After the full and formal address and greeting, the Apostle, as usual, begins with thanksgiving on 
behalf of the Christians addressed. (In Galatians a rebuke takes the place of the thanksgiving.) 
Here Paul gives thanks, and that through Jesus Christ, for the extended fame of the faith of the Chris- 
tians at Rome (ver. 8), and then mentions his constant prayer for them (ver. 9), and especially his 
prayerful desire to come tv them (ver. 10), for their common edification (vers. 11, 12). His unful- 
filled purpose to come that he might have fruit among them also (ver. 13), grows out of his obligation 



Chap. I. 8-15.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 21 

to preach the gospel to all men (ver. 14), hence his readiness to preach to them also (ver. 15). The 
non-fulfilment of this desire and purpose occasioned the Epistle, the main thought of which imme- 
diately follows (vers. 16, 17). 

8 THIRST, 1 a I thank my God b through Jesus Christ for 2 you * j^gbr .i^ 
A all, that 'your faith is spoken of throughout 3 the whole '^p^.^ 

9 world. For d God is my witness, *whom I serve f with 4 my >-*;Phiiem. 
spirit in the gospel of his Son, that 9 without ceasing I make b c chap^w! 5 ' 

10 mention of you 6 always in my prayers; 6 * Making request, if . , ^ ,The »- 
by any means now at length 7 I might have a prosperous jour-^qJJJ; i'zl\ 

11 ney 8 'by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to ThlLl'ii.V- 
see you, that *I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to' f£* "i"i. 

12 the end ye may be established ; That is, that I may be com-/johniy. ?1 , 
forted together 9 with you 10 by 'the mutual faith both of you Y. 1 l '™' 

13 and me. 11 Now 12 I would not have you ignorant, brethren, 10. 

e • iu 1 /, A Chap. xv. 23, 

that m oftentimes Ja I purposed to come unto you (but "was ??;iThe». 

lit. 10. 

let 14 hitherto), that I might have some ° fruit among 16 you > James iv. 15. 

14 also, even as among 16 other Gentiles. 16 p l am debtor both *?• . 
to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians : both to the wise, and %• *• '• 

' tn v*nap. xv. 

15 to the unwise. 17 So, as much as in me is, J I am ready to w | 3 eeActs 
preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 18 Thiila.is. 

o Phil. iv. 17. 

1 First of all * concerning * published in 4 in * ^° r lx j^ 

* how unceasingly I remember you ; 6 omit ( ; ) 7 if haply now at last «&• «• 
8 I may be prospered 9 I with you may be comforted 

30 among, or, in you ll by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 

12 But " often 14 and was hindered 1S Greek in 

18 the rest of the Gentiles 

17 Both to Greeks and to Barbarians ; both to wise and to unwise, I am 
debtor. l8 to you also that are at Rome 



Ver. 8. First of alL Some find the second known to unbelievers, even to the Jews at Rome, 
thought in ver. 10, or ver. 13 ; others translate appears from Acts xxviii. 22. The praiseworthy 
" chiefly.' As the absence of ' secondly ' suggests a character of their faith may be inferred from the 
slight emphasis, we render as above (com p. chap, thanksgiving. — In the whole world. ' A popular 
iii. 2). — I thank my God. (See introductory note), hyperbole, but how accordant with the position 
* The Apostle pursues the natural course of first of the church in that city, toward which the eyes 
placing himself, so to speak, in relation with his of the whole world were turned ! ' (Meyer.) 
readers ; and his first point of contact with them Ver. a For. This introduces a solemn proof 
is gratitude for their participation in Christianity' of his thanksgiving. — God if my witness. Such 
(De Wette). There is a touching emphasis in tne appeals to God are not uncommon in Paul's writ- 
phrase ' my God/ with its personal appropriation ings. God only could know what his habit in 
and corresponding sense of personal obligation. In secret prayer was. The fact was important, since 
this expression he sums up ' all those experiences he had labored so widely and yet not visited 
he had personally made ' (Godet) of the covenant them. This might seem like ignorance or forget- 
faithfulness of God. — Through Jesus Christ. The fulness of them. — Whom I serve in my spirit 
thanksgiving is through Chris; ; comp. Heb. iii. This adds strength to the solemn asseveration. 
1 5, and similar passages. Jesus Christ is also the The word translated ' serve * is used in the Sep- 
medium through whom came the blessings for tuagint of priestly service, and probably retains 
which he is thankful ; but the other thought is some such force here. He renders true service, 
the prominent one. — For yon all. The thanks- not in the temple, but in his •spirit.' 'Spirit' is 
giving was concerning them, or, on their behalf. — the highest part of man's nature, and in passages 
ftiftt. The word also means ' because ; ' but here like this the reference is to the human spirit, not in 
the two senses are practically the same. — Tour contrast with soul or body, but as the sphere of the 
faith is published, declared among Christians, working of the Holy Spirit. Meyer says : ' in my 
That the Roman church was comparatively un- moral self- consciousness, which is the living inner 




22 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. 1. 8-15. 

sphere of that service. 1 But it is a regenerated which means 'comforted with/ s. *., at the same 

moral self-consciousness (so Godet). — In the got- time with, and also an added phrase, which means 

pel of his Bon. The gospel concerning his Son ' among you/ lit, ' in you.' The full meaning is : 

(comp. ver. 3). This is the sphere of the service that he might be comforted, i. e., encouraged and 

from another point of view ; his service is not the helped, as these ideas are included in the New 

performance of a ritual, but the proclamation of Testament use of the word, at the same time when 

the gospel, the good tidings about the Son of they were, namely, when by the fulfilment of his 

God. Notice here and throughout, that the gos- purpose, he should be 'among them.' The literal 

pel is spoken of, not as the gospel of Jesus, but as sense ' in you ' is preferred by some as indicating 

the gospel of God, the gospel of Christ, the gos- that the comfort was found in them ; but the next 

pel of his Son. Paul served God by telling the phrase designates the source of the comfort. — 

food tidings of the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Each, of of, etc The translation we adopt is now 
x>rd (vers. 1-5). — How unceasingly. The E. V. generally accepted. (' Mutual faith ' suggests the 
is incorrect here. It is the mode, rather than the incorrect sense, that the faith they had was faith 
simple fact, or the degree, which is brought out. in each other.) This turn of the thought indicates 
— I remember you. Here the E. V. is inaccurate that their faith is the same, that they can, there- 
in its punctuation. This phrase should be separ- fore, help and comfort one another; the closing 
atcd from what follows. The remembrance is expression shows tact and modesty. One can 
not a mere recollection, but an active recalling of scarcely fail to remark how the tone of Paul dif- 
them. ' Make mention ' is more literal, but it sug- fers from that of the Roman Popes, 
gests the thought of petition, which is first brought Ver. 13. Bat I would not have yon ignorant 
out in what follows. — Always in my prayers, or, (comp. chap. xi. 25). The phrase lays stress on 
' at my prayers/ 1. e. t always when engaged in what is said. The progress of thought is natural, 
prayer. Paul had expressed his prayerful longing to see 
Ver. 10. Making request. How unceasingly them (vers. 9-12), he now tells them that this 
he remembers them is evident from this constant longing had not been inactive ; it had frequently 

led to a definite purpose to visit them. — Brethren. 
This affectionate address agrees well with the 
fraternal tone of ver. 12. — Of tan I purposed. In 
which indicates both his earnest desire and his his frequent visits to Greece such a purpose 
submission of it to God's will. — How at last, on would readily be formed (comp. chap. xv. 23). — 
some occasion. This implies both earnest wish And was hindered hitherto. — This is a parenthet- 
and long delay (both of which are expressed in ical explanation, introduced by 'and,' not 'but' 
ver. 13), and also the possibility that he might be The word ' let ' is an instance of entire reversal of 
delayed much longer. Three years intervened meaning in English usage. It meant ' hinder ' at 
before his desire was granted. — I may be pros- the time when the E. V. was made. The hindrances 
pered. The E.V. here follows the incorrect trans- are not specified; but we infer from chap. xv. 
lation of the Vulgate. The word means to sue- 20-24, that he felt it to be his first duty to preach 
ceed, to have the good fortune ; the idea of where the gospel had not been yet proclaimed, 
journeying, which belonged to it originally, was At the same time, his necessary journeys to Jeru- 
lost in the usage of that time. — By the will of salem, and the task of organizing the Gentile 
God. This belongs to ' prospered,' not to ' come.' churches, of correcting their errors (comp. Gala- 
Ver. 11. For I long to see you. This longing tians), of allaying dissensions (comp. Corinthi- 
was the reason of his constant petition. There ans), filled up his time. It is nowhere hinted 
is no needless repetition, since this verse and what that he was forbidden to preach there. — That I 
follows show that thanksgiving, remembrance, might have some fruit. The main thought is here 
petition, and longing, all grow out of his desire resumed. The figure is quite common. The 
to preach that gospel, which he is about to set 'fruit' is the harvest to be gathered and presented 
forth in this Epistle. — 8ome spiritual gift. ' Spir- to God. Hence it is not Paul's reward, or the 
itual ' means, wrought by the Holy Spirit, and not result of his labor merely, but the good works 
simply, belonging to the inner life. Apparently, produced among the Roman Christians, as fruit 
Paul never uses trie word in the latter sense. 'Gift' unto God (comp. ver. 11). The conversion of 
does not refer to miraculous gifts, but to all gifts others is not alluded to. — Among you also. Lit., 
of grace. ' Some,' expresses 'not only the Apos- • in you also.' The literal sense would emphasize 
tic's modesty, but an acknowledgment that the the internal character of the fruit-bearing; but 
Romans were already in the faith, together with 'among,' which is a frequent sense of the prepo- 
an intimation that something was still wanting in sition, is, on the whole, to be preferred. — Among 
them.' ( Lange.) — To the end, etc. This was the the rest of the Gentiles. In ver. 5, the word is ren- 
object of the desired impartation of spiritual gifts ; dered • nations,' but here the reference to ' Gen- 
thcy were not desired for their own sake. — Be tiles' is more marked, since there is a marked 
established, or, ' strengthened.' The agent would hint of his special mission as Apostle to the Gen- 
be the Holy Spirit (comp. 'spiritual ') ; Paul was tiles, carried out in the next verse, 
but the instrument (see next verse). Ver. 14. The striking order of the original is 
Ver. 12. That is, etc. ' By this modifying ex- reproduced in the emended rendering we give 
planation, subjoined with humility, and expressed in foot-note 17. — I am debtor. ' Paul regards the 
in a delicate complimentary manner, Paul guards divine obligation of office, received through Christ 
himself, in the presence of a church to which he (ver. 5), as the undertaking of a debt, which he has 
was still a stranger, from the possible appearance to discharge by preaching the Gospel among all 
of presumption and of forming too low an esti- Gentile nations. Comp. in reference to this subject, 
mate of the Christian position of his readers.' Actsxxvi. 17 f. ; Gal. ii. 7; 1 Cor. ix. 16.' (Meyer). 
(Meyer.) — I with you may be comforted among Until he had fruit among the Romans, as among 
or, 4 in,' you. The phrase is difficult to translate ; the rest of the Gentiles (ver. 13), this debt was not 
since in the original there is a compound verb paid. — To Greeks and to Barbarians. The Greeks 



Chap. I. 16-17] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 23 

called all other peoples ' Barbarians ; ' the word Ver. 15. So, /. e. t in accordance with this posi- 

having reference to the strange, unintelligible Ian- tion of debtor (ver. 14). Other explanations are 

guage. It became a term of reproach, because less satisfactory. — As much at in me U, or, ' as 

the Greeks, with their pride of race and culture, far as in me lies.' The phrase is a strong one, as 

and the Romans, with their pride of power, looked if to say : ' As far as it depends on me, I am anx- 

down upon other nations. The Romans, accord- ious to come and preach to you, but my will is 

ing to the usage of those days, were not counted subject to the will of God, who may have decreed 

among the ' Barbarians/ but the Apostle probably it otherwise;' comp. vers. 10, 13. — I am ready, 

docs not class them here at all, for at Rome were This is a correct paraphrase of a difficult Greek 

representatives of all nations and all shades of expression. — To preach the gospel. One word in 

culture and ignorance. He is a debtor to all, the original, to evangelize. — To yon also that are 

whatever may be the distinctions of language or in Some. The Christians in Rome are meant 

race. The Jews are left out, because he is speak- here, as throughout. The gospel, which they had 

ing of his debt to the Gentiles. — Both to wise already heard from others, he was ready to preach 

and to unwise. This expresses the difference of to them, that he might have fruit among them 

natural intelligence and cultivation in every na- also (ver. 13). To refer it to unconverted Romans 

tion ; it is not a repetition of the previous clause, is incorrect, both because of the use of ' you ' in 

The article is omitted in the original, and is not what precedes, and because his readiness to 

necessary in English ; the word ' unwise ' is not preach this gospel to those who had already re- 

strictly accurate, since it suggests a verbal corre- ceived it is the warrant for writing it to believers, 

spondence which does not exist But " foolish ' Emphasis rests upon ' you also in Rome.' It was 

implies more of a bad sense than the word used the capital of the world ; even there he would 

by the Apostle. The two pairs together ' are not be ' ashamed of the gospel ' (ver. 16). • Paul 

used, apparently, merely as comprehending all subsequently attained the object of his wishes, 

Gentiles, whether considered in regard of race or though not according to human purposes, but ac- 

of intellect ; and are placed here certainly not cording to the counsel of God : first as a prisoner, 

without a prospective reference to the universality and last as a martyr 1 (Lange). The very same 

of guilt, and need of the gospel, which he is pres- power is required to make men missionaries as 

ently about to prove existed in the Gentile world.' to make them martyrs. 
(Atford.) 



Chapter I. 16, 17. 
The Theme of the Epistle. 

Paul is ready to preach at Rome also, because he is not ashamed of the gospel ; and he is not 
ashamed of the gospel, because of its character (ver. 16). The whole Epistle, to the end of chap, 
xi., is an expansion of the latter part of ver. 16. The gospel is to ' every one/ for every one needs 
it (chaps, i. iS-iii. 20) ; it is ' to every one that believethj for this is the one way (chaps, iii. 21-iv. 25) ; 
it is ' God's power unto salvation/ for thus salvation is accomplished (chaps, v. i-viii. 39) ; it is 'to 
the Jew first, and also to the Greek,' for the rejection of it by the Jews is but temporary (chaps, 
ix.-xi.). 

In ver. 17 it is further explained how the gospel is 'God's power unto salvation.' It is a revela- 
tion of God's righteousness ' (of a righteousness coming from Him), and that too by faith, as had 
already been set forth in the Old Testament These verses therefore contain the fundamental truths 
of God's plan of salvation. 

a Ps. xl.9, 10; 

16 "POR fl I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 1 for 6 it J^f^ 
A is the power of God 2 unto salvation to every one that 3 i£ or j l8 . 
believeth ; € to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. , £££ {l 

17 For d therein is the righteousness of God 3 revealed from faith l^X^m. 

to faith : as it is written, e The just 4 shall live by faith. 6 %\ S^t' 

9. 

1 omit of Christ, according to the best authorities iuJl'f.'^' 

1 God's power 8 God's righteousness £a? n j£ f % \ 

4 righteous 6 or The righteous by faith shall live £ h j »»• 9; 

Heb. x. 38. 

Ver. 16. For I am not ashamed. This gives the heathen world, with all its pride of power, pre- 

reason for his being ready to preach at Rome also sented a field, where, if anywhere, one might be 

(ver. 15), and forms an easy transition to the state- tempted to be ashamed of the gospel which cen- 

ment which follows. Rome, the metropolis of the tred in a Person whom Roman soldiers had cruci- 




24 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE xOMAXS [Chat. I. 16-17. 

ii&i- Oim^. OiC v_ IC Wrf 123£. T. £. 

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feasor, for ?y>t I>!r^f a*&az«d a i=e r^r=re c* tie 
f'A^l — GeeT f pvww. Tie iTLoe a rot fciesd ac^y cq-zrraVrs s» • juac'f t r a rVi e," or God's method 
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word ' God's-' It cjk£* frcn Hn. btsxiz* to cossets* fr:m God." by iwspata&ca. grows oat of 
If.-m, m ar/i ttrv^jdi it He works cwVacSics-ly, tbe nzrr^rcsaess wixh bejaces to God; in the 
' Hy awak:r.-g repentance, fahi, oxriort, lore, g 05 ?*^ He rrreajs His own righteoesaess by re- 
f/eaot, //r, enrage in l^e a&d riearh, rape, etc-, vealirig tial He is * ist aad the jastxiser of him 
the £0%pe* mar^Hest* itseif as /<n*vr, as a niig-ty thai harh raith ia Jesss * ^chap. fi. 26; ; nothing 
jy/ipr^y, a/yl that ^ C>/ f abwe rtrelx&xi aad shows His r%^ecos&ess so plainly as the death 
w/fk th* jT'^pel fat Meyer ). Writing to Rome, of Christ for ocr Redemption- (<-) Hence this 
t^#^ '.>/ m w/rJdJy f^/wer, he calls the gospel ' righteoasaess frcm Gcd," freely reckoned to the 
i *'A \ ysmer ; »r;t;r.g to Cor etc, the city of belieTer. necessah>r leads to a change of charac- 
w/fll'j wj&jm, he calls the go* pel God s wis- ter in the sizoer wrno bdieres, so that the right- 
(\<*ft it Cor. 11 7, <rtc_ ;- — Umto sahratiaa. Th5s eocsness imputed 'becomes righteousness in- 
ir^.l*uU-,% \jfAh reden-jption from s:n and positive wT^cghL' This is necessarily the case : because 

Kjvjkfr* ; a thare in the eternal glonr of the when God accoants a man righteous, He is 
*r**uh't k-.w/d'/m. ' Salvation ' incloJes more pledged to make him so ; because faith which 
than moral improvement or continued happiness; lays hold on this imputed righteousness brings 
it is, oti iu ymiivt %'idt, the equivalent of ' life, 1 the justified man into living fellowship with Jesus 
in iu full N«?w Testament ser.se. — To every one, Christ, who gives him the Holy Spirit ; and be- 
not to the Jew alone (tee next clause). The sub- cause on the human side this method of pardon 
valient argument (ver. iH-iii. 20) shows that and reconciliation affords motives for well-doing, 
every one neid* this power unto salvation ; guilt which that Holy Spirit uses to fulfil the pledge 
being universal. — B«li«vetlL This is the subject- God makes of sanctifying the believer. It has 
ive '/sudition of the gospel salvation ; faith lavs been found that a denial of the fundamental sense 
hold of what the gospel presents. There may Be (righteousness from God, imputed by Him) leads 
a ' otitriut to Jewish legalism, — as in the suose- to a practical obscuration of both the other senses ; 
'juerit di*/,tj*ftion (chaps. liL 21-iv. 2$). Comp. while God has been proven righteous and man 
ver, 17. — To th# Jew first. First in time, but in- made righteous by the maintenance of the truth 
dud if iff more than this. ' First, in having a prior that in the gospel He reveals a righteousness 
claim, as the covenanted people of God : first, which He puts to the account of the oeliever. — 
therefore, in the season of its offer, but not in the SereaJed. The present tense indicates continued 
i ondition of its recipients after its acceptance ' action : it is being revealed, it is continuously 
( Wordsworth). In chaps, ix -xi. this priority of proclaimed and made known. In the Old Testa 
the Jews is discussed in view of the general re- ment it was promised and prepared for, but first 
jet.tion of the gospel bv that people. — And alio made known fully in the gospel. — From faith to 
to tho Greek ' Greek ' is nere equivalent to faith. This is to be joined with ' revealed/ not 
' Gentile ; ' tomp. Acts xiv. I ; and 1 Cor. x. 32, with 'righteousness.' The righteousness is re- 
where the K. V. translates 'Gentiles.' Greek vealed • from faith ' as the starting-point, and 'to 
and Jiarbarian (ver. 14), was a national distinction faith' as its aim, continually producing new faith, 
used \ry the Greeks ; Jew and Greek, a religious This is substantially the generally accepted ex- 
one used by the Jews ; in both cases including all planation. (It is improper to refer 'from faith' 
mankind. to God's faithfulness.) The gospel makes known 
Ver. 17. For. The proof of ver. 16, especially constantly that faith on Christ is the subjective 
of the assertion that the gospel is the power of cause of the righteousness from God, the condi- 
God unto salvation, — Therein; in the gospel. — tion of its imputation, the organ which appropri- 
God'i rif hteonjnoM . The word ' righteous,' so ates it ; and it further makes known that thus 
frequent in the Old Testament, is used of con- faith is produced ; faith is the beginning and end, 
formity to law, equivalent to holy, perfect. It is the vital principle is ever the same. ' Faith,' in 
applied absolutely to God alone, and the entire the New Testament, has well-nigh invariably the 
family of similar terms has a religions significance, subjective sense, not what is believed, but beluv- 
* KiKJitcousncsH,' when used of man, means con- ing. It includes knowledge and belief, assent 
formity to the holy will and law of God, as the ul- and surrender, appropriation and application ; 
timatc standard of right ; when used of God, it ex- and hence cannot De limited to a purely intellect- 
presses one of His attributes, essentially the same ual credence. — Aa it is written. By this passage 
with His holiness and goodness, as manifested in (Hab. ii. 4), Paul would show that this revelation 
His dealings with His creatures, especially with of righteousness from God, from faith and to 
mm. Closely allied with these words is another, faith, is in accordance with the Old Testament 
weaning to declare or pronounce one righteous, Scripture, and heuce according to the divine plan. 



Chap. I. 18-32.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 2$ 

— The righteous. The rendering 'just * obi iter- We add a paraphrase of these important verses : 

ates the verbal correspondence with ( righteous- To you Romans also I am ready to preach, for 

ness.' Paul here refers to one who possesses even in your imperial city I would not be ashamed 

the righteousness from God. If this were not of the gospel. How can I be ashamed of it be- 

the case the quotation would lack point. — 8hall fore any sinful man, since it is that through and 

live by faith ; or, ' the righteous by faith shall in whicn God's power works so as to save men, 

live.' The former view of the connection agrees all of whom are sinful, and any one of whom can 

better with the original prophecy of Habakkuk, be thus saved when he believes — whether he be 

where ( faith ' is equivalent to ' faithfulness ' (both of God's ancient people, to whom it was first 

having the same fundamental idea of trust in God), preached, or of the Gentiles. It is God's power 

The latter, however, is accepted by some, on the unto salvation because it brings to sinful men 

ground that Paul, in this case, is seeking to prove righteousness which comes from God, given freely 

from the Old Testament, not a life by faith, but by Him, so that they are accounted righteous (and 

the revelation of righteousness by faith. ('By' made righteous because He so accounts them) ; 

here is the same word as that rendered * from ' in and this, not by any impossible way, but revealed 

the preceding clause.) In any case, Paul clearly from faith as its starting-point and faith as its 

holds that if the righteous man truly lives, it is terminal point : whatever of righteousness man 

because he has been accounted righteous by faith ; has comes by faith. And this was God's way, 

comp. Gal. iii. 11, where the same passage is predicted already in the Old Testament, for He 

quoted. In favor of the connection ' live by faith,' there says : The man who is declared righteous 

we may urge the greater emphasis which falls lives by faith (or, the man who is righteous by 

upon 4 by faith/ in accordance with the order of faith lives), 
the Greek. 



DOCTRINAL PART. CHAPTERS I. 18 — XI. 

Chapters I. 18 — III. 20. 

I. UNIVERSAL NEED. 

Having asserted that the gospel is God's power unto salvation to every one that believeth, whether 
Jew or Greek, the Apostle proceeds to show that all men are sinners, and therefore can be saved 
only by this method. He first (1.) describes the sinfulness of the Gentiles (chap. i. 18-32), and then 
(2.) proves that the Jews are equally in need of this salvation (chaps, li. — iii. 20). This proof of the 
universality of sinfulness establishes directly the propriety of using the phrase ' every one' in ver. 16, 
while it indirectly proves that ' God's power ' is needed, and that only he that ' believeth ' can be 
saved. Since all are sinners they cannot save themselves, and must be saved by faith. 

Chapter I. 18-32. 

1. The Sinfulness of the Gentiles. 

This fearful yet truthful description of the moral decay of the Gentile world is not introduced 
abruptly. In ver. 17 the Apostle had declared that righteousness from God was revealed by faith ; 
he now proves this (and thus the position of ver. 16) by the fact that God's wrath is revealed against 
unrighteousness. This is, indeed, a revelation of God's punitive righteousness, but it shows that sin- 
ful men can be saved only through the gospel. Ver. 18 suggests the thoughts developed more fully in 
the entire section. In vers. 19-23 the Apostle shows why this wrath was revealed ; in vers. 24-32, how 
it was revealed ; but in the latter part he constantly recurs to the previous thought The former 
part is a sketch of the downward progress of the heathen world, in its religious life ; the latter de- 
scribes the consequent immorality, which is in fact a revelation of God's wrath. (For an analysis of 
vers. 24-32, see under ver. 24.) The Apostle assumes that religion and morality are inseparably con- 
nected ; that God punishes impiety by giving up the impious to the wrong practices which are the 
legitimate fruit of their ungodliness ; that truth and right, error and wrong, are vitally connected in 
human experience. 



26 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. I. 18-32. 

18 a TI?OR the wrath of God l is revealed from heaven against all* *£*£$; r . 

JL ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who b hold 2 the b jj^fi^'J: 

19 truth in unrighteousness ; Because e that which may be 8 known j 1 * 1 "**-"** 
of God is manifest in them ; for d God hath shewed it 1 unto^ jSh n x iV; 7 

20 them. For *the invisible things of him from 6 the creation of , K^S*. 1, 
the world are. clearly seen, being understood by 6 the things SS'.i^tU. 
that are made, even his eternal 7 power and Godhead ; 8 so that 27 ' 

21 they are 9 f without excuse: Because that, when they knew^aKiEpirrii. 
God, 10 they glorified him not n as God, neither were thankful ; 12 J s ; EpS'iV 
but * became vain in their imaginations, 18 and their foolish 14 * J«r. *'. % 4 . 

22 heart was darkened. * Professing themselves to be wise, they etc.;Ps'.cvi! 

J 20; Is.xl. 18, 

23 became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible 15 Jf:£ er ^. 
' God into an image made like to 16 corruptible man, and to n £A *** 
birds and fourfootcd beasts, and creeping things. 18 

24 * Wherefore God also 10 gave them up to uncleanness, through * *•: aS'Vu. 
the lusts of their own hearts, 20 'to dishonour their own bodies 21 $;*£•'* 

25 m between themselves. 22 Who changed 23 the truth of God ^ e>fciL,, » 
* into M a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more 2571 ,^^;^/ 

26 than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this V l Pct ' IT ' 
cause God gave them up unto. °vile affections: 28 for even 27 *^. XVUI ' 
their women did change the natural use into that which is^jer-x/iVT* 

27 against nature : And likewise also the men, leaving the natural u!V 5, ... m 
use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another: «,i3;Eih. 

Y. 12} JtluG 

men with men working that which is unseemly, 28 and receiving *<>. 
in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet 29 

28 And even as they did not like 80 to retain 81 God in their knowl- 
edge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those > E h 

29 things p which are not convenient; 32 Being filled with *all un-* ££™p -JJ?* 
righteousness, fornication, 83 wickedness, covetousness, mali- gUl.?*;™' 
ciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, 84 deceit, malignity; J'i^Tim. 

God's wrath a hinder * is Tim. fit 1-4. 

God manifested it 5 since 6 being perceived through 

everlasting 8 Divinity 9 that they may be 

10 Because, though knowing God u did not glorify him 

12 nor give thanks u thoughts 14 senseless 

15 incorruptible ie for a likeness of an image of n of 

reptiles 10 omit also {according to the best authorities) 

20 in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness 

21 that their bodies were dishonored 
a among them (according to the best authorities') 
88 being such as exchanged ** for ** rather 
28 shameful passions w both a ///., the unseemliness, or, indecency 
» due w refused 81 have 
92 becoming M the best authorities omit fornication 
" strife 



Chap. I. 18-32.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 27 

30 whisperers, Backbiters, 86 r haters of God, 36 despiteful, 37 proud, 38 r ^° 5 n ! p ^h 

3 1 boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, With- p,butxi - 6 s 
out understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affec- 

32 tion, implacable, 39 unmerciful : Who, knowing the 'judgment 40 * ^* p 4 '. u ' * ; 
of God, that they which commit 41 such things 'are worthy of' &*** •«• 
death, not only do the same, but "have pleasure in them that« p».i. «8; 

y corop. Acts 

do 42 them. viii - » ; «"• 

85 or slanderers M hateful to God 

87 insolent M haughty w the best authorities omit implacable 

40 ordinance 41 who practise ** consent with 



Ver. 18. For. Direct proof of ver. 17: the ifested against them* (Meyer). The Apostle 
righteousness from God is revealed by faith, for proves first that men had the truth (vers. 19, 20); 
other revelations are of God's wrath. (See note then that they hindered it, and perverted it (vers, 
above.) — God's wrath. (The article is wanting 21-23). Afterwards the result is described. — 
here, as in vers. 16, 17 ; but the translation 'a That which if known of God. The word used has 
wrath of God/ is altogether unnecessary.) This this sense in the New Testament ; so that the 
phrase is anthropopathic (/'. e. t borrowed from hu- phrase does not mean the knowledge of God, nor 
man feelings), but it expresses a reality, namely, what may be known of God. The former is un- 
the punitive justice and holiness of God over grammatical, the latter illogical in this connec- 
against sin. Yet, this wrath of God, so frequently tion, since it is plainly shown that the heathen 
spoken of, must not be confounded with its re- did not know all that may be known of God. — 
suit, the punishment of sin ; it is rather ' an affec- In them ; not, ' among them/ which would refer 
tion of the personal God, having a necessary con- to a merely external revelation. The Apostle is 
nection with His love. The wrath of God, the speaking of a revelation in the heart and con- 
reality of which is indisputable as the very pre- science. — God manifested it. Through the crea- 
supposition of the work of atonement, is the love tion (ver. 20) ; the tense used pointing to one act. 
of the holy God (who is neither neutral nor one- Ver. 20. For the invisible things of God. Some 
sided in His affection) for all that is good in its of His attributes, as explained afterwards. — 
energy as antagonistic to all that is evil' (Meyer). 8ince the creation of the world. 'From/ while 
— If revealed. The continuous revelation is in- literally correct, may be misunderstood as refer- 
dicated. It is not necessary to assume that such ring to the means of clearly seeing. — Being per* 
a revelation is exclusively supernatural, especially ceived, etc The mode of clearly seeing the invis- 
here where historical facts exemplify the mode of ible attributes of God is the perception of them 
the revelation. Hence the revelation is an out- through the visible things which He has made. — 
ward one, not that accomplished through the Even hie everlasting power and divinity. The 
gospel. — From heaven ; to be joined with ' re- word ' everlasting ' here is not the same as that 
vealedV ' Heaven/ as the dwelling-place or throne usually rendered ' eternal • ; it belongs to both 
of God, is designated as the place from which nouns. ' Eternal, and Almighty, have always been 
this revelation of wrath proceeds. — Against all recognized epithets of the Creator' (Alford). 
ungodliness and unrighteousness. God's wrath Through the ' power ' men recognize the ' divin- 
is against every form of ir religiousness and im- ity/ which here means not the personal Deity, 
morality ; the two words distinguishing sin with but the sum of the divine attributes. The position 
respect to God and the law of right He has estab- Paul takes is opposed to Pantheism. — That they 
lished. * Ungodliness is more the fountain (but may be without excuse. The designed result is 
at the same time partially the result) of unright- here set forth ; ' so that ' is not literally exact 
eousness, — which unrighteousness is more the But man's inexcusableness, not God's sovereignty, 
result (but at the same time partially the fountain) is under discussion. 

of ungodliness ' (Alford). Hence the terms are Ver. 21. Because. The fact which renders 

not to be applied respectively to sins against God them inexcusable is now stated. — Though know- 

and against men. — Of men. The reference is not ing God. Although they had the knowledge indi- 

now to all men, but to those 'who hinder/ etc. cated in ver. 20. — Did not glorify him as God. 

Since the Apostle does not charge the Jews with What worship they rendered was not in accord- 

this in chap, ii., the Gentiles are meant here. — ance with the knowledge they had. ' Glorify ' 

Hinder, restrain, or hold back, rather than hold refers to praising God for what He is. — Nor give 

(see references) ; those who hinder the truth from thanks ; *'. e. t did not praise Him for all his benc- 

producing its proper results. — Unrighteousness is fits. — Became vain in their thoughts. ' Imagina- 

that wherein they hold the truth back, hindering tions ' is inexact ; ' thoughts,' discussions, rea- 

it thereby. sonings, are meant (comp. chap. ii. 15). 'The 

Ver. 10. Because. Here begins the statement conceptions, ideas, and reflections, which they 
why God's wrath was revealed, which is also a formed for themselves regarding the Deity, were 
proof that they hold back the truth in unright- wholly devoid of any intrinsic value correspond- 
eousness. ' If they did so out of ignorance, they ing with the truth ' (Meyer.) ' Vanity ' is a char- 
would be excusable : but they do not do so out acteristic term for idol-worship ; Deut. xxxii. 21 ; 
of ignorance, and therefore God's wrath is man- 2 Kings xvii. 5 ; Jer. ii. 5 ; Acts xiv. 15. — Bent*- 



28 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. I. 18-32. 

less, or, ' without understanding/ as the word is The truth or reality of God, the true Divine cs- 

translatcd in ver. 31. — Heart. Here, as so often sence, practically the same as 'the true God.' 

in the Bible, this refers to the whole inner man. The latter phrase would perhaps seem irrever- 

— Was darkened. (Comp. Eph. iv. 18.) This is ent. Other views, the true knowledge of God, the 

the culmination of the process : not worshipping true notion of God, etc., are less in keeping with 

and thanking God, although they knew Him, they the figure of exchanging. — For a lie ; comp. Jer. 

became vain in their reasonings ; this made their xiii. 25, and similar passages, where idols are 

heart senseless, and thus it was darkened, de- called a 'lie.' The term is apt because the heathen 

privcd of the truth which it might have had (for- gods have no existence. — Worshipped and served, 

mcrly had) from the light of nature. The former means religious reverence of every 

Ver. 22. Professing themselves to be wise, kind ; the latter, formal worship, with sacrifice, 
While, not because they professed themselves to and other acts and rites. — Bather than the Cre- 
te wise. This has reference, not to heathen phi- ator. The nature of the case leads us to prefer 
losophers, but to the conceit of wisdom which lay ' rather than ' to ' more than ' ; for idolatry is in- 
back of heathenism itself. — They became fools, compatible with the worship of the true God, who 
Their folly was manifested in their idolatry. * For shares His honor with none of His creatures. — 
heathenism is not the primeval religion, from Who is blessed, etc. The doxology is the natural 
which man might gradually have risen to the outburst of piety, aroused into holy indignation 
knowledge of the true God, but is, on the con- at the sin of idolatry, which is by the contrast 
trary, the result of a falling away from the known portrayed in its darkest colors. The word ren- 
original revelation of the true God in His works, dered 'blessed' is applied, in the Bible, only to 
Instead of the practical recognition and preserva- God ; a different one is used of man, in the Psalms, 
tion of the truth thus riven comes the self- wisdom Sermon on the Mount, etc. — Amen. Comp. chaps, 
rendering them foolish, and idolatry in its train ' ix. 5 ; xi. 33, for the solemn, liturgical close of a 
(Meyer). doxology. 

Ver. 23. And changed. Comp. the strikingly Ver. 26. For this cause ; namely, because of the 

similar passage, Ps. cvi. 20. ' Exchanged ' is the apostasy described in ver. 25. But as that passage 

meaning, as in ver. 25, where, however, a stronger repeats in another form the thought of ver. 23, so 

word is used. — The glory, etc. God's majesty, this verse takes up anew the thought of ver. 24. 

perfection, etc., made known as stated in vers. The uncleanness to which the heathen were given 

19-21. — Incorruptible; introduced to mark the up took a special and aggravated form; as vile 

folly of the exchange. — For a likeness of an im- passions, lit., ' passions of dishonor.* Those are 

age. This expression refers both to the grosser truthfully described, and yet with modest reti- 

and the more refined form of idolatry : the com- cence. — For both ; or, ' even ' ; but the former 

mon people saw in the idols the gods themselves ; seems preferable on account of * also ' (ver. 27). 

the cultivated heathen regarded them as symbol- — Women; lit., 'females.' Abundant evidence 

ical representations, etc. — Of corruptible man ; of such unnatural crime is found in heathen writ- 

so the Greeks universally. — Of birds, etc The ers. 

Egyptians worshipped idols of varied bestial Ver. 27. Bie men ; lit., ' males.' The vice of 
forms, and in Rome this worship prevailed ex- sodomy was very prevalent in the ancient world, 
tensively. The order marks a descent to the The description here is more intense, correspond- 
lowest lcind of idolatrous representation ; even ing with the prevalence and intensity of the im- 
the images of reptiles were worshipped. morality. — Receiving in themselves ; in their own 

Ver. 24. Wherefore. Having shown that the persons. ' The unseemliness ' points to some- 
heathen had the truth and held it back in un- thing well known. — That recompense of their 
righteousness, the Apostle now shows how God's error. The unnatural lusts and vices were the 
wrath was displayed: generally in giving them recompense, the due punishment, of their ' error,' 
up to uncleanness (vers. 24, 25), and specially to namely, their departure from God into idolatry, 
unnatural sensuality (vers. 26, 27), as well as to Ver. 28. And even as. This is not equivalent 
other vices which are named (vers. 28-32). — to ' because,' but marks the correspondence bc- 
Gave them up. This is more than 'permitted.' tween the sin and its punishment. Having chosen 
That sin is punished by sin, we are taught by the out the most glaring form of vice, the Apostle 
Bible and by daily experience. God abandons enumerates others which formed part of the pun- 
man to the consequence of his own doings, and ishment. Here, as throughout, he reverts to the 
thus punishes him. This is a divinely instituted reason they were given over, thus emphasizing 
law, in perfect harmony with our personal free- anew the connection between religion and moral - 
dom and moral accountability. — In the lusts of ity. — They refused, etc., did not deem it worth 
their hearts. Not ' through, but ' in,' signifying while ; the original makes ' God ' the object ; did 
the moral sphere in which they were, when the not deem God worthy to have in knowledge. — 
judicial abandonment by God delivered them over Unto a reprobate mind. ' Refused ' and ' repro- 
to a still worse condition. — Unto uncleanness; bate' represent words that sound alike, but the 
impurity, unchastity. The heathen scarcely rec- play on the words cannot be readily reproduced, 
ognized lewdness as sinful. — That their oodles ' Reprobate' means rejected of God as unworthy. 
were dishonored. This may mean either (1) the The heathen were not deprived of the faculty of 
purpose, or (2) the result, or (3) wherein the un- distinguishing between right and wrong, but they 
cleanness consisted. The last is preferable. — practised evil and encouraged it in others (ver. 
Among them. This seems a better supported 32). Because ' they knew the better and ap- 
reading than ' themselves ' ; but the notion is proved,' their guilt was the greater when they 
of reciprocal dishonor. ' yM the worse pursued.' — Which are not booom- 

Ver. 25. Being such as, or, ' since they were ing, indecent, immoral ; what these things were 

such as.' Herethe Apostle reverts to the reason is detailed in vers. 29-31. 

for the punishment. — Exchanged. A stronger Ver. 29. Being filled with all nnriffhteonsness. 

phrase than that in ver. 23. — The truth of God. This is a general statement, the specifications fol- 



Chap. II.-III. 20.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 29 

low. (Corap. similar catalogues of sins ; noted in of the substantives previously used. The long cat- 

marg. references to this verse.) Various ingenious alogue is thus varied. — Without nndentanung ; 

attempts have been made at classifying the list ; the same word as ' senseless ' (E. V. ' foolish ), 

but the Apostle seems to have had in mind rhe- ver. 21. — Covenant breakers. In the original 

torical effect, rather than systematic order, the there is another play upon the sound of the 

design being to bring out more strikingly the ab- words. (The best authorities omit ' implacable/) 

solute need of redemption. (The word 'fornica- — Unmerciful. This concludes the list, marking 

tion ' is omitted by the best authorities ; and after the absence of the least principle of moral ac- 

vers. 26, 27, the naming of this vice seems inap- tion. 

propriate.) — Wickedness; disposition to accom- Ver. 32. Who; or, as in ver. 2^, 'being such 
plish evil ; the adjective is applied to Satan. — as.' This verse adds to the description of vices 
Covetonsness ; this sin is emphasized in the New a deeper degree of immorality ; showing how en- 
Testament (see especially Eph. v. 3, j ; Col. iii. tirely the heathen are ' without excuse ' (ver. 20 ; 
5), and was widespread, at that time, in the Ro- chap. ii. 1). — Knowing. A stronger word than 
man world. — Maliciousness in the classical sense that in ver. 21. Their conscience gave such 
is vileness as opposed to virtue. — EnT7* Con- knowledge. — Ordinanoe of God. The word ' or- 
ceived here as the thought which has filled the dinance is derived from the verb meaning to 
man. — Murder. The similarity in sound of the justify, and means a justifying verdict or decree ; 
original words may have led to the mention of nere it is the sentence or decree of God as Right- 
this sin first here ; but ' envy ' and ' murder ' are eous Lawgiver and Judge, connecting death with 
related. — Strife. The word is that applied to sin, and life with righteousness, as recognized in 
the goddess of Discord. — Whisperers ; secret the conscience. — Practise. This word suggests 
slanderers, tale-bearers. (This word ought to be the repetition and continuance of the actions. — 
placed in the next verse.) Worthy of death. The heathen recognized that 

Ver. 30. Backbiters ; open slanderers, or ca- sin must be punished, and Paul indicates that the 
lumniators. — Hateful to God ; or, as in the E. V., punishment is ' death,* by which he usually meant 
* haters of God.' The former sense is the classical (whatever the heathen understood) eternal death, 
one ; the latter is supposed to be more in accord- There is, however, no objection to understanding 
ance with the Biblical view of God. * Leaving the it more generally. — Consent with them who prao- 
word in its strict signification, hated of God, we tise them. This is the sign of completed moral 
recognize in it a summary judgment of moral in- abandonment ; they fail even to condemn it in 
dignatum respecting all the preceding particulars ; others. It is almost equivalent to saving, ' evil, 
so that, looking back on these, it forms a resting- be thou my good.' The climax of the punish- 
point in the disgraceful catalogue ' (Meyer). This ment of sin by sin suggests one feature of the 
suits the connection better : * If any crime was eternal death threatened in the Bible. This dark 
known more than another, as " hated Dy the gods/' picture of heathen corruption is not overdrawn, 
it was that of informers, abandoned persons who though honorable exceptions existed. Not all 
circumvented and ruined others by a system of heathen had these vices, but as a whole the de- 
nial ignant espionage and false information ' (Al- scription is correct It can be verified by testi- 
ford). — Insolent, haughty, boasters ; three terms mony from the classical writers, especially from 
applying to self-exaltation, the last the least off en- Seneca and Tacitus. Com p. Schaff, Church His- 
sive. — Disobedient to parents. 'Apostasy from tory, vol. i., p. 302 ff. Deep moral corruption 
the piety and affection due to parents is a foun- has, it is true, pervaded Christendom. But there 
tain of corruption. See Mai. iv. 6 ; Luke i. 17 ' remains this radical difference : heathen religion 
(Lange). produced and sanctioned heathen corruptions; 

Ver. 31. In this verse adjectives take the place Christendom is corrupt in spite of Christianity. 



Chapters II. — III. 20. 

2. The Sinfulness of the Jews, as a Proof of their Need of the Gospel. 

This passage contains the second part of the proof of the universality of sin, and hence of the uni- 
versal need of the gospel, wherein is revealed a righteousness from God appropriated by faith. It 
begins with a direct address to one who is not named, but characterized as a Jew, and passes to a 
direct proof of the guilt of the Jews, not only in spite of, but also in consequence of, their greater 
privilege, concluding with the formal declaration that no one can be justified by the works of the 
law (chap. iii. 20). The general proof of the sinfulness of the Jews is found in chap, ii., while chap, 
iii. 1-20 presents a confirmation from the Scriptures, which it is the privilege of the Jew to possess. 
For convenience, we divide chap. ii. into two sections : the first (1.) setting forth the grounds of God's 
judgment of all men (vers. 1-16) ; the second (11.) applying this principle to the case of the Jews 
(vers. 17-29)1 while (in.) the Scriptural proof of their guilt is presented in chap. iii. 1-20. 



30 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. II. 1-16. 

Chapter II. 1-16. 
1. The Ground on which all men are yudged. 

The Jews would at once assent to the truthfulness of the previous description ; but while con- 
demning the Gentiles, they would mentally excuse themselves. To this natural, yet improper state 
of mind, the Apostle replies. He shows great rhetorical skill, both in the use of direct address, 
and in not at once naming the Jews. The truth he states, and which he uses to convict the Jews, is 
of universal validity. The rhetorical form only enhances the logical force of the argument. This 
section is, in fact, the major proposition of a syllogism : All who judge others for sins they them- 
selves commit, are under God's condemnation (vers. 1-5) ; for God's judgment is on moral (not 
national or ceremonial) grounds (vers. 6-11) ; and, moreover, He judges men according to the light 
they have (vers. 12-16). There is throughout a movement of thought toward the application to the 
Jew, which is expressed in vehement form in the next section ; the minor proposition being found in 
vers. 17-20 : the Jew, having more light, condemns others for sins he himself commits. The second 
paragraph of this section, which asserts the universal principle of God's judgment, contains a series 
of antithetic parallelisms (see notes). 

i 'TPHEREFORE thou art a inexcusable, 1 O man, whosoever J J^. 1 ^ 
A thou art that judgest: *for wherein thou judgest c an- $*£ ;*?**' 
other, 2 thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest d doest 8 f ic^.^l 

2 the same things. But we are sure 4 that the judgment of God'SSJ^V* 
is according to truth against them which d commit 6 such things. * 2^,5". !.* 

3 And thinkest 6 thou this, O man, that judgest them which d do 5 Sii.8,"*. 7 ' 
such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the* Ex-rav.*!; 

4 judgment of God ? Or despisest thou 'the riches of. his good-* i».mi8; 
ness and •'forbearance and 9 longsuffcring ; *not knowing that . «s- 

5 the goodness of God leadeth 7 thcc to repentance ? But, after 34; James v 
thy hardness and impenitent heart, 'treasurest up unto 8 thy-* J^g*]^ 
self wrath against 9 the day of wrath and revelation of the right- "'/"J®!* 
eous judgment of God ; jer. xvii. 10; 

* ° ' xxxu. 19 j 

6 * Who will render to every man according to his deeds : 10 JJ*"i,fxiV. 

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing 11 seek g'Vc&.'l'! 

8 for glory and honour and ' immortality, 12 eternal life : But unto 13 l° 3 \ * ev ; a " 
them that are contentious, 14 ro and do not obey 15 the truth, / ?c«r"V 42f 

9 but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 16 Tribulation 5rV 4 . p ' 
and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth 17 evil ; of theotchT'iS; 

10 Jew " first, and also of the Gentile ; 18 ° But glory, honour, 19 and * Am.^i; 

1 iion iiv /* Luke xii. 47, 

peace, to every man that worketh 20 good; to the Jew first, 48;iPet.i». 

1 1 and also to the Gentile : 18 For p there is no respect of persons * » p*. »• 7- 

1 r / Deut. x. 17; 

with God. aChr.xu.7; 

Job. XXX1T. 

12 For as many as have 21 sinned without law shall also perish ,9; . £2"jj.- 

without law ; and as many as have 21 sinned in the law 22 shall J; c5 h "iu!' 

1 without excuse 2 Greek the other 8 practisest 4 And we know **; ' Pet ' *• 

6 that practise • But reckonest 7 is leading n for 9 in 

10 works ll that by endurance in good work u incorruplion 18 to 

14 self-seeking (///., of faction) 16 and disobey 

18 shall be wrath and indignation (see notes) n is working out n Greek 

19 and honour %> is working 21 omit have 22 under law, Greek in law 



Chap. II. 1-16.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. ' 31 

13 be judged by the law; 23 (For 24 *not the hearers of the 25 law*Jj££™£8 
are just 26 before God, but the doers of the 26 law shall be justi- johVii! 7 . 

14 fied. 27 For when the Gentiles, which 28 have not the law, do 
by nature the things contained in the law, 29 these, having not * 

15 the law, are a law unto themselves: Which 31 shew the work 
of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing 
witness, and their thoughts the mean while 32 accusing or else r Ma C t*t "iv!* ; 

16 excusing one another; 33 ) r In the day when God shall judge &chap.ui: 
the secrets of men *by Jesus Christ 'according to my gospel. 34 5! Re*. '».' 

12. 

~ , , - . . , „ , * J°hn r. as ; 

28 by (///., through) law Acts x. 42 -, 

84 transfer parenthesis to the beginning of ver. 14 (see notes). Tim. Vr! if 8; 

* the best authorities omit the » righteous « substitute (:)for(.) t £££• £: * 

88 whenever Gentiles that M the things of the law *° not having 2 s\ » T»m- «• 

il who (or being such as) M one with another M even excusing them a. 8. 

i4 according to my gospel, through Jesus Christ 

Ver. 1. Therefore. This refers to the preced- Jews. ' The sinner can persuade himself, and by 

ing section (vers. 18-32), especially to the inex- many kinds of misconception stupefy himself, so 

cusableness of the heathen, the culminating proof as to believe that his sins will go unpunished.' 

of which is found in ver. 32. — Without excuse; (Tubingen Bible). Ah, how common is this de- 

as in chap. L 20. — man, whosoever thou art, etc. ception ! 

The application to the lews (vers. 17, etc) shows Ver. 4. Or detpisest thou, etc. A new error, 
that they are now in the Apostle's mind ; more- ' The despising of the divine goodness is the con- 
over this judgment of others was characteristic of temptuous unconcern as to its holy purpose, which 
the Jews. But what he says is true of every one produces as a natural consequence security in sin- 
•whosoever' he is (see above). — Wherein. *In ning (Eccles. v. 5 f.).' Meyer. — Riches; re- 
the matter in which.' — Another. Lit, 'the other;' fernng to abundance or magnitude; a favorite 
as it is rendered in 1 Cor. x. 29. We would use expression with the Apostle, especially in the 
'thy neighbor' to express the thought, but the Epistle to the Ephesians (see reft.). — Goodness: 
Jew would not call a Gentile ' neighbor.' — Con- the general and positive term (taken up again), 
demnest. There is a verbal correspondence in which is further explained by forbearance and 
the original between ' judgest ' and ' condemnest.' long suffering ; the negative terms referring to 
— For thou that judgest, etc. This is the proof God's tolerating sin and withholding punishment. 
of the self-condemnation ; for the judgment pro- ' To the present hour in each life, the series of 
nounced upon others applies to the man's own the Divine Goodness may be counted by the sue- 
conduct. There is a ' reproachful emphasis ' upon cession of a man's sins' (John Foster). — Not 
' thou that judgest' — Practisest The verb is the knowing. ' Inasmuch as you do not know.' Not 
same as in chap. i. 32, and in ver. 27; both it the same word as ver. 2. Culpable ignorance; 
and the corresponding noun have usually a bad ignoring the fact that might be known, is perhaps 
sense. — The same things. Not the same deeds, implied. — Is leading thee to repentance. This is 
but of the same moral quality. The censorious its purpose, and its tendency, but it is thwarted 
spirit is of the same sinful character as vice ; the by man's wilful ignorance. This verse is a ques- 
most moral men have sinful natures, and are kept tion ; but in the next verse, which is so closely 
from open transgression only by the grace of God, joined with it, this interrogative form is gradually 
or by a pride which is no less sinful than vice. lost. 

Ver. 2. And we know. Two very ancient man- Ver. 5. But. With this tendency of the good- 

uscripts read ' for ' ; but this was likely to have ness of God is contrasted the conduct of man. 

been an alteration. Paul thus introduces what he Instead of being thereby led to repentance, men 

regards, and what his readers regard, as an un- allow themselves to fancy that God s goodness is 

doubted truth. It is not necessary to suppose a proof that He will not punish sin. — After thy 

that he means 'we Jews.'— According to truth, hardness and impenitent heart. As might be ex- 

This belongs to the verb ' is ' ; the judgment of pected from, in accordance with and occasioned 

God is according to truth, and hence it is against by, thy hardness, etc. — Treasurest up for thyself ; 

them that practise such things. thou tor thyself, not God for thee. ' The despis- 

Ver. 3. But reekonest thou, etc. There is a ing of the riches of God's goodness in forbearance 

slight antithesis here: 'but (although this is the and long suffering is the heaping up of a treasure 

case, that God's judgment is against, etc) dost of wrath' (Lange). — In the day of wrath ; wrath 

thou reckon,' etc, have this opinion, or fancy. — which will be revealed in the day of wrath ; 

This, namely, what follows, the description of the ' against ' is quite incorrect — And revelation, etc 

man addressed : that thou shalt escape the judg- This qualifies ' day.' God's ' righteous judgment ' 

ment of God! This seems to have been the Jew- (one word in Greek) will not be fully revealed 

ish error ; according to ver. 2 such escape was until the great day of final judgment 

impossible. But it is an error not confined: to the Ver. 6. Who will render, etc. This is the 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. II. 1-16. 

ness ' are directly opposed to each other by the 
Apostle. — Wrath and indignation. This is the 
better supported order. ' Wrath ' points to the 
permanent attitude of a holy God toward sin ; 
'indignation/ to its particular manifestation, at 
the judgment. ' Shall be/ should be supplied 
to reproduce the change of construction m the 
original ; a delicate adjustment to indicate that, 
while God is directly the giver of eternal life, the 
punishment of sin is the necessary result of the 
sinner's own conduct, even though God punishes. 
Comp. a similar change in chap. ix. 22, 23. 

Ver. 9. Tribulation and anguish. The paral- 
lelism is continued in reverse order. ' Tribula- 
tion ' refers to the external weight of affliction ; 
* anguish ' to the internal sense of its weight, hence 
it forms the climax (comp. references). — Every 
soul of man. An emphatic and solemn way of 
saying ' every man ' (comp. chap. xiiL 1 ), but pos- 
sibly implying that it is the ' soul ' which feels the 
pain. That the body may not share in the pun- 
ishment is not stated, here or elsewhere. — Is 
working out eviL We attempt, by this rendering, 
to bring out the difference between the verbs 
here and in ver. 10 ; also to express the contin- 
uous action implied. The article is found in the 
original ('the evil/ ' the good '). The verb, which 
means to work out, to accomplish, is stronger than 
the simple verb which occurs in ver. 10. — Of the 
Jew first. First in privilege, the Jew becomes 
first in responsibility ; comp. chap. 1. 16. It now 
becomes evident that this chapter refers especially 
to the Jews. — Of the Greet This represents 
' Gentile/ as in chap. i. 16 ; but it should be cor- 
rectly translated here and in ver. 10, as it is the 
previous instance. 

Ver. 10. Glory and honor and peace. (Comp. 
ver. 7.) ' Peace* is here used in its fullest sense ; 
in the Old Testament it includes * peace, plenty, 
and prosperity/ but with more of a temporal ref- 
erence than in its New Testament use. Comp. 
chap. viii. 6, and similar passages. 

Ver. 11. For there is no respect, etc This is 
not a mere repetition of ver. 6 ; but shows the 
reason why ' the Jew first, and also of the Greek.' 
Since God has no respect of persons, He must 
judge the Jew^rrf. The verse, therefore, con- 
stitutes a proper transition to the next paragraph 
(vers. 12-16), which sets forth that God's judg- 
ment is according to light The phrase ' respect 
of persons ' is represented in the original by one 
word. The conception is from the Hebrew (to 
lift up, or accept, the face), and in the New Tes- 
tament is always used in a bad sense, of unjust 
Eartiality. In the Old Testament it sometimes 
as a good sense. 

Ver. 12. For. This introduces an explanation, 
namely, since God is no respecter of persons it 
follows that He will judge according to light. — 
As many as have sinned without law. ' Without 
law ' is a single adverb in the original, and refers 
to the absence of the Mosaic law as a standard 
of morals, since the Gentiles were not absolutely 
without law (comp. vers. 14, 15). The next clause 
also refers to the Mosaic law, although both here 



32 

universal principle of God's judgment, and it is 
net forth in detail in vers. 7-10, which form a par- 
allelism. In fact, vers. 6 and 11 are parallel; 
vers. 7-10 being an amplification of the contrast 
implied in both of these verses. — Works. This 
is the word so frequently used by Paul in this 
Epistle and in Galatians. Unfortunately the £. 
V. sometimes (as here) translates it ' deeds.' Some 
difficulty has been raised as to the agreement of 
this principle with the doctrine of justification by 
faith, to which such emphasis is afterwards given. 
But ( 1 ) the Apostle is expounding the law, or the 
revelation of wrath (chap. i. 18), not the Gospel. 
(2) Good works are the fruit and evidence of 
faith. 'The wicked will be punished on account 
of their works, and according to their works ; the 
righteous will be rewarded, not on account of, 
but according to their works. Good works are 
to them the evidence of their belonging to that 
class to whom, for Christ's sake, eternal life is 
graciously awarded ; and they are in some sense, 
and to some extent, the measure of that reward ' 
(Hodge). The fact that the Apostle, in this con- 
nection, speaks of the judgment as ' according to 
my gospel, through Jesus Christ/ shows that he 
was not aware of any inconsistency between the 
two principles. 

Vers. 7-10. The parallelism will appear from 
the following arrangement : — 

1T0 them that by endurance in good work 
Seek for glory and honor and incorruption, 
Eternal life : 

I But to them that are self-seeking 
And disobey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, 
Shall be wrath and indignation. 

I Tribulation and anguish, 

Upon every soul of man that is working out evil, 
Of the Jew first, and also of the Greek ; 

I But glory and honor and peace, 

To every man that is working good, 
To the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

The first and fourth, second and third stanzas 
are respectively parallel, but the lines in the first 
and second, give (1) the character, (2) the /«r- 
suits, and (3) the reward of the opposite classes, 
— the third and fourth stanzas reverse this order. 

Ver. 7. By endurance, perseverance, steadfast- 
ness, rather than 'patience/ is the idea of the 
word, and the preposition in the original points 
to the standard according to which the action is 
performed. — In good work. The singular is used 
to express the character as a unit. ( * Well-doing ' 
obscures the correspondence with ' works/ ver. 6.) 
The whole phrase qualifies the verb. — Seek for 
glory and honor and incorruption. Future salva- 
tion is thus described as the object of pursuit : it 
is 'glory/ because of its splendid manifestation ; 
• honor/ because it is a reward ; ' incorruption/ 
because it is eternal. Whether any who are not 
Christians have thus sought, is not declared by 
the Apostle; comp. ver. 14. — Eternal life. This 
is what God will render to the class just spoken 
of. The phrase is distinctively Christian. 

Ver. 8. To them that are self-seeking. Lit., 
' them of faction.' • Contentious ' is not exact, since 
the word is derived from serve, meaning to work 
for hire. In the New Testament the derivative al- 
ways means factiousness, venal partisanship ; here 
it refers to those who are intriguing, selfishly serv- 
ing a party, and not the truth. — Disobey the truth, 
etc. Notice how ' the truth ' and ' unrighteous- 



and in ver. 13 the article is wanting in the orig- 
inal. The word ' law ' in this definite sense was 
so common among the Greek-speaking Tews that 
they treated it as a proper name, and frequently 
omitted the article. Since the reference to the 
Mosaic law is so important here, it is to be re- 
gretted that Bishop Lightfoot has lent the weight 
of his authority to the position, that ' law ' without 



Chap. II. 1-16.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 33 

the article means abstract law, and ' the law ' the is not necessary to insist upon the insertion of 

Mosaic law. — Alio perish. 'Also* points to the marks of a parenthesis in the translation, but the 

correspondence between sinning and perishing ; two verses should not be separated by a period, 

the latter is the opposite of salvation, and does Here, as in the previous discussion, the theoret- 

not mean annihilation. Under law ; lit., ' in law/ ical effect of law is set forth. The Gentiles have 

in that condition, not simply in possession of it. a law within themselves, which is, so to speak, 

— Shell be judged by law. The Jews 'do not a substitute for the Mosaic law, and by this law 

escape the judgment (of condemnation) on ac- they are judged, by the doing of it, not by the 

count of their privilege of possessing the law, but hearing of it. It is not asserted that any do thus 

on the contrary are to be judged by means of the attain to justification ; the word we render when- 

law, so that sentence shall be passed upon them ever having a conditional force. — Gentiles. The 

in virtue of it. See Deut. xxvii. 26 ; comp. John article is wanting ; the expression refers to those 

v. 45' (Meyer). It is evident that any other ref- Gentiles among whom the supposed case occurs, 

erence than to the Mosaic law makes the passage — That have not the law, lit., or, 'having not a 

very flat. The verse teaches that the immoral law ; ' the state of the Gentiles as a whole, they 

heathen will not be punished, however, with the have not a revealed law. Hence this description 

rigor of the written law, as in the case of disobe- makes ' Gentiles' = 'the Gentiles.' — Do by na- 

dient Jews and unfaithful Christians, but accord- tore the things of the law. ' By nature,' indepen- 

ing to their light. The unfaithful Christians will dently of express enactment; on this the emphasis 

be judged more severely than the disobedient rests. The paraphrase of the E. V. : ' the things ' 

Jews, and the disobedient Jews than the immoral contained ' in the law/ is quite near the meaning. 

Gentiles. The last, however, will not go unpun- This form points to individual requirements, rather 

ished, since they are without excuse (chap. i. 20 ; than to the keeping of the whole law. The ex- 

vers. 14, 15). planation: 'do what the law does,' command, 

Ver. 13. For. This introduces the proof of convince, condemn, etc., is opposed by the phrase 
the latter part of ver. 12. The parenthesis of the 'doers of the law' (ver. 13). — Not having the 
E. V. is not only unnecessary, but misleading ; law, etc. Since they do not have, or though they 
for it improperly connects ver. 16 (which see) do not have. ^ The former is preferable, in view 
with ver. 12, and places the important proof of of the connection of thought. Their moral nature 
this verse in a subordinate position. The Jewish supplies for them the place of the revealed law, 
mistake was that the possession of the Taw of in the case supposed. It is not implied that the 
itself gave them an advantage in the judgment, place of the Mosaic law is thus fully supplied. 
They practically denied that those who sinned Ver. 15. Who: or, 'being such as. This is 
under the law would be judged by the law. Now virtually the proof that they are a law unto them- 
the Apostle's object is to prove the Jews guilty be- selves. — Shew the work of the law. By their do- 
fore God and in need of .righteousness by faith ; ing of it show what is the work of the law = the 
this verse, therefore, is an important link in the sum of 'the things of the law' (ver. 14). — Writ- 
chain of his reasoning, and not a parenthetical ten in their hearts. They show that this work of 
statement. — The hearers of the law. The best the law is written in their hearts. That is, the 
authorities omit the article before ' law ' in both Gentiles, in the case assumed, are a law unto 
clauses ; but the phrases are equivalent to ' law- themselves, as is evident from their showing by 
hearers ' and ' law-doers,' evidently referring here their acts that what the law enjoins is written in 
to the Mosaic law, however correct the more gen- their hearts. — Their conscience also bearing wit- 
eral application may be. — Are righteous before neat. Their conscience adds its testimony to that 
God. That God's verdict is meant, so that ' the of their act ; ' witnesses together with.' The prac- 
righteous before God' are those who are ' justi- tical proof ('show,' etc.), is confirmed by this in- 
fied,' is perfectly clear from the whole sweep of ternal use. — Their thoughts one with another, 
the argument. — But the doers, etc. This form 'Meanwhile' is incorrect The question arises, 
of the general principle of ver. 6 opposes the Jew- whether ' one with another ' refers to ' thoughts ' 
ish error, and it is not at all in opposition to the or to the persons spoken of. The latter view 
principle of justification by faith (see in ver. 6). (which would be better expressed by placing ' one 
* How in the event of its being impossible for a with another ' at the close of the verse) indicates 
man to be a true " doer of the law " (iii. 9 ff. ) that their moral judgments upon one another also 
faith comes in and furnishes a " righteousness by attest that the law is written in their hearts. The 
faith/' and then how man, by means of the " new- former view, which is preferable, makes the whole 
ness of life" (vi. 4) attained through faith, must of the latter part of the verse refer to the moral 
and can fulfil (viii. 4) the law fulfilled by Christ process which takes place in the heart of man 
("the law of the Spirit of life," viii. 2), were after a good or bad act: the conscience sits in 
topics not belonging to the present discussion ' judgment, rendering sentence in God's name ac- 
( Meyer). — Shall be justified. Hence this phrase cording to the law ; the ' thoughts ' are the several 
means, ' shall be accounted righteous/ (See&r- moral reflections which appear as witnesses in 
cursus am Galatians, chzp. ii., and below, under this court of conscience. — Accusing or even ex- 
chap, iii It is especially unfortunate here, where easing them. ' Even ' is preferable to ' also/ since 
the adjective 'righteous' occurs, that we have no it suggests that the conscience finds more accus- 
conresponding verb, of the same derivation, to ex- ing than excusing thoughts. It is also true, that 
press the sense of ' justify.') This is the theoret- adverse judgments of other persons are more com- 
ical effect of law, and is the practical effect when mon, but we adopt the view that the judgment 
by faith one is made, as the result of justification, spoken of is that of a man upon his own acts and 
a doer of the law. (Comp. note on ver. 6.) feelings. ' This judicial process, which takes place 

Ver. 14. For. The principle of ver. 13 is now here in every man's heart, is a forerunner of the 

applied, so far as it can be, to the Gentiles, and great judgment at the end of the world ' (comp. 

this thought is parenthetical (vers. 14, 15) ; ver. ver. 16). • How can we fail to admire here both 

16 being connected with the close of ver. 13. It that fine analysis with which the Apostle reveals 

VOL. III. 3 



34 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. II. 17-29. 

in the heart of the Gentiles a true hall of judg- The secrets of men. In order to justify the doers 
ment where are heard the witnesses against and of the law fver. 13), the moral quality of their ac- 
for the accused, then the sentence of the judge, — tions must be determined ; this is not known to 
and that largeness of heart with which, after hav- men, it belongs to the secret things. — Attending 
ing traced so repulsive a picture of the moral de- to my gospeL This cannot refer to a writing called 
formities of the Gentile life (chap, i.), he brings Paul's Gospel. It was the gospel he preached, 
out here in a manner not less striking the inde- ' my ' pointing either to the fact that he preached 
fitructiblc moral elements of which that life, al- it, or to his special message to the Gentiles. The 
though so profoundly sunken, offers now and then gospel of the free grace of God in Christ for 
the unexceptionable signs.' (Godet.) the salvation of all that believe, revealed to him 
Ver. 16. In the day. The question of conncc- directly by Christ at his conversion and call to 
lion is the important one. Some join directly the Apostleship; comp. Gal. i. 7-9, 11, 16. 'Ac- 
with ver. ic, referring the 'day* to the day when cording to* may refer only to the fact of judg- 
the gos])cf is preached to the Gentiles, and the ment, which his gospel declares ; but this seems 
demonstration of vers. 14, 15 is made. But this a weak thought in this connection. Paul was so 
vcr.se seems to point to the future judgment assured of the truth of the gospel he preached 
Most commentators, therefore, look for the con- that he conceives of it as presenting the standard 
ncction in some more appropriate part of the pre- of judgment in the great day. Nor is this an in- 
ceding context. The K. V. loins with ver. 1 2, but appropriate thought. The principle of ver. 13, it 
ver. 13 is not parenthetical (see ver. 13). Vers, is thus indicated, accords with the gospel ; fur- 
14, 15 arc, however, and the connection with ver. thermore, the gospel is about Jesus Christ (chap. 
13 ('the doers of the law shall be justified') is i. 3, 4), and the judgment is through Jesus Christ, 
even more appropriate, since it brings the discus- who is not only Mediator in the gospel, but Judge 
hion closer to the main thought, namely, the con- in the great ' aay ' (comp. Acts xvii. 30, 31 ) ; and 
viction of the Jews. (Vers. 5 and 10, which have many similar passages. The Saviour is Judge ; 
lxrcn suggested, are too remote.) The attempt gooa news for those who accept Him, but a warn- 
to preserve the close connection with ver. 15, mg to those who refuse Him. Since He is the 
rendering ' unto the day,' is grammatically objee- Judge, and God renders ' to every man according 
tionablc. — Shall judjre. A change of accent per- to his works ' (ver. 6), our good works also are 
mita the translation, 'judgcth,' but even the present through Jesus Christ, and His salvation must re- 
tense might point to the great day of judgment. — suit in such works. 



Chapter II. 17-29. 
11. The yctv is Condemned ; His External Cireumcision does not Avail. 

This section contains the direct application to the case of the Jew, in the form of an indignant 
outburst (vers. 17-24), much of the vehemence of which has been lost through the incorrect reading 
followed in the E. V. ; the general principle is then applied to circumcision (vers. 25-29) ; preparing the 
way for the thought of chap. iii. The stronghold of Jewish pride was the sign of circumcision, and a 
reference to it could not well be omitted in this rebuke of Jewish pride. Vers. 17-24 virtually re- 
sume the thought of vers. 1-3, but this thought had been enforced in the intervening verses, so that 
there is no abrupt change of subject. (Vers. 17-20 form the minor proposition; vers, a 1-24, the 
conclusion of the syllogism introduced by the last section.) No man must condemn another, for the 
judgment is on moral grounds and according to light (vers. 1-16) ; the Jew condemns others, proud 
of his religious privileges (vers. 17-20) ; which but makes his immorality the more inexcusable (vers. 
21-24), and there is no escape through circumcision, since true circumcision is of the heart (vers. 
25-29). 

17 TOEHOLD, 1 a thou art called 2 a Jew, and 6 rcstcst in 3 thc^g^M*"- 

18 -D law, 'and makest thy boast of 4 God, And d knowest his j?^ 8 ' 1 ^- 
will, 5 and 'approvest the things that are more excellent, 6 being b JJjJ'JJ'. ,,; 

19 instructed out of the law ; And 'art confident that thou thyself f fSk";.'; 
art a guide of the blind, a light of them which 7 are in darkness, jJE!' vili. 

20 An instructor 8 of the foolish, a teacher of babes, ° which hast compf^hlp 

V. It. 

1 But if {according to the best authorities) 2 bearest the name of d ^ u ^^ 8; 

8 upon 4 boastest in 6 Greek the will JS-f -* 

6 or dost distinguish the things that differ 7 that 8 trainer /Mattxv. 

14; xxiii. 16, 
17, 19, 24; John ix. 34, 40, 41. g Chap. vi. 17 ; 2 Tim. i. 13 ; iii. 5. 



Chap. II. 17-29.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 35 

2 1 the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. 9 * Thou * 5^*^35? 
therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself ? f -Seut : ; T u. a5 . 
thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal ? §?"£' MaL 

22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou/ a V sin X . 7 ;ii. 
commit adultery ? thou that abhorrest idols, 'dost thou commit mv^a* 

23 sacrilege ? 10 Thou that * makest thy boast of 4 the law, through ITg«l v.'s 5 ' 

24 breaking 11 the law dishonourest thou God? 12 For' the name*™. 

of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through 13 you, as it chaps.'i.s*; 
is m written. ? Matt. »i. 4 i, 

25 * For circumcision verily u profiteth, if thou keep 15 the law : r fejj^g: 9; 
but if thou be a breaker 16 of the law, thy circumcision is made 17 j»; dug ix. 

26 uncircumcision. Therefore, ° if the uncircumcision keep 'the ££ 5; Rev * 
righteousness 18 of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be J {£*{; £-,£•. 

27 counted 19 for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision f" 4; *'i. J 4 r ; 
which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, q judge *° thee, who by 21 J^&iUH. 

28 the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 22 For \\. 

r he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly ; neither is tliat cir-^aCof.'SIa/ 

29 cumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, *aCor!x.'i8;' 
* which ffl is one inwardly ; and * circumcision is that of the * 
heart, " in the spirit, 24 and** not in the letter; v whose praise 

is not of men, but of God. 

• having in the law the very form (model) of knowledge and of the truth ; 

10 rob temples ? (see notes) n the transgression of 

12 or thou dishonourest God. 18 because of 14 indeed 

16 Greek practice 16 art a transgressor 17 has become 

18 ordinances 19 reckoned 

30 And the circumcision .... shall judge a with 

82 art a transgressor of the law. M who M or Spirit M omit and 

Ver. 17. But if. The addition of a single let- tions are verbally exact, the latter being more in 
ter in the Greek gives this sense, which is without accordance with usage. But it gives so tame a 
doubt the correct one. The construction is modi- sense here, in this glowing rebuke, that the other 
fied by the change ; vers. 17-20 form the condi- is to be preferred. — Being instructed, etc. This 
tional part of the sentence, and vers. 21-24 the was the means by which the will of God was 
conclusion (apodosis) in the form of successive known, and the excellent things approved. There 
questions (but see on vers. 23). ' If ' is, of course, is a reference to the public reading and exposition 
rhetorical ; there could be no doubt as to the of the law in the synagogue, 
position and feelings of the Jew. — Thou, Em- Ver. 19. And art confident. Vers. 19, 20 set 
phatic, as the original indicates. — Bearest the forth the attitude of the Jew toward the Gentile, 
name of. * Art called,' is incorrect, ' art named ' not only regarding himself as superior, but can- 
is not so exact as the full paraphrase we give. — descending to make proselytes. This attitude 
A Jew. The name of Judah had a religious grew out of the facts indicated in ver. 18, as is sug- 
sense, and the title * Tew ' was regarded as highly gested by the connective used in the Greek. — 
honorable. The title ' Christian ' may also be- That thou thyself art, etc. These proud desig- 
come a mere title. — Hottest upon the law. The nations were not uncommon among the Jews, who 
article is omitted, but the Mosaic law is, of course, deemed the Gentiles ' blind ' and ' in darkness.' 
meant — Boaateat in God. The verb may be ren- In proselyting they presented themselves as 
dered ' boast ' or, ' glory.' The former word sug- 'guides' and Mights.' The history in the Acts 
gests a false glorying, arising from bigotry and shows how they held themselves toward the Gen- 
conceit, and wis is the sense here; but 'glory' tiles. 

would preserve the correspondence with the pas- Ver. 20. A trainer of the foolish. ' Instructor ' 

sage where the word retains its good sense. is too weak ; 'corrector ' is possibly too strong. — 

ver. 18. And knowett his win ; lit, ' the will,' A teacher of babes. These figurative expressions 

evidently God's will, as revealed in the law. — correctly represent the proud attitude of the Jews 

Approve* the things that are excellent ; or, ' dost as religious instructors. — Having in the law. 

distinguish the things that differ.' Both transla- The change of order gives clearness. This clause 



36 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. II. 17-29. 

gives, in effect, the reason of the Jewish attitude, verses favors the usual view, but a slight variation 
just described. (The article is here used with in the original is urged in support of the affirmative 
' law,' because the whole law as a book is spoken construction. It is an open question which is the 
of.) — The very form of knowledge and of the trutii. more forcible. The 'transgression of the law' 
Not the ' mere form,* (as in 2 Tim. iii. 5), but the points to the infraction of the law as a whole, rather 
exact model, pattern, representative. Religious than to single forms of transgression. ('The trans- 
knowledge and truth had found their embodiment gression * is equivalent to ' thy transgressions.) 
and expression in the law. Paul honored the law There is a summing up of the charges of vers. 21, 
(chap. iii. 21, 31, etc.), and would not speak of it 22. 'God' is dishonored, because it is His law 
as a mere appearance. Further, the severe re- which they transgress. See next verse 
buke of the following verses implies actual, not Ver. 24. For. This word is not found in Is. 
seeming, religious privilege. Because the Jew Iii. 5, the passage here quoted (from the LXX.). 
had such privileges, his sin was all the greater : Paul inserts it to show that he has applied it in 
to belong to the true church, to hold the true doc- his own way. That he does not cite it as a ful- 
trine, to be able to expound it to others should rilled prophecy appears further from the unusual 
make us better men ; but when these things are position of 'as it is written,' after the Old Testa- 
joined with un holiness, they but add to our con- ment words. This verse confirms the statement 
demnation. At the close of the verse a semi- of ver. 23, that God was dishonored through the 
colon should be substituted for the period (comp. transgression of the law by the Jews, and is ap- 
ver. 17). propriate, whatever view be taken of the construc- 
Ver. 21. Thou therefore. 'Therefore' sums tion of that verse. — The name of God, etc The 
up what has been previously said. ' Being such original passage is : ' and my name continually 
an one, to thee, I say,' etc. The questions imply every day is blasphemed.' The reference was to 
surprise at such a state of things, and rebuke it. the dishonor put upon God's name by the enslav- 
— Teaehest thou not thyself. This is the general ing of the Jews ; but, as already indicated, Paul 
accusation, that the conduct of the Jew aid not applies the words to different circumstances.— 
agree with his knowledge and assumed position, Amonjr. the Gentiles because of Ton. (' Through 
set forth in vers. 17-20. These specifications you' is incorrect.) The LXX. has these words, 
follow, with a summing up of the result in ver. 23. though the order is different from that of the 

— Dost thou steal. In this charge there is prob- Apostle's language. The sense of the verse is 
ably a reference 'to the passionate and treacher- plain : 'The Gentiles judged the religion of the 
ous method of transacting business adopted by Jews by the scandalous conduct of the Jews them- 
the Jews ; Jas. iv. 13.' (Lange.) selves, and thus were led to blaspheme their God, 

Ver. 22. Commit adultery. The loose prac- Jehovah. The Jews boasted of the law, and re- 

tices in regard to divorce (Matt. xix. 8, 9 ; Jos. iv. fleeted disgrace on the lawgiver' (Lange). For 

4), amounted to this sin, and the Talmud charges the Jews were ' the Gentiles' Bible.' It was as 

adultery upon some of the most celebrated Kab- true then as now, that ' the greatest obstructors 

bins. — Abhorrest idols. The noun correspond- of the success of the Word, are those whose bad 

ing to the verb here used is 'abomination' (Matt, lives contradict their good doctrine' (Henry). — 

xxiv. 1 j, etc.), a term applied to idols. — Dost As it is written. He had quoted the language of 

thou roD temples ; or, as in the E. V., ' commit the Old Testament, but not in its historical ap- 

sacrilege.' The passage has occasioned much plication. But Ezek. xxxvi. 23 expresses Paul's 

discussion. 'Commit sacrilege' seems to stand thought: 'I will sanctify my great name, which 

in no necessary connection with abhorring idols, was profaned among the heathen, which ye have 

whereas the robbing of heathen temples, thus profaned in the midst of them.' 

making personal gain of the ' abominations,' would Ver. 25. For eireumeisioxL The statement of 

be a grievous sin. The objection that the Jews, vers. 23, 24, which summed up the charge against 

not regarding the idol temples as sacred, would the sinful Jew, is now corroborated : 'what I have 

not deem it a special sin to rob them, does not said is true in spite of circumcision, for drcum- 

seem valid ; nor can the crime be deemed so cision without the keeping of the law is of no 

singular that it would not be mentioned here. In avail ; true circumcision and true Judaism are 

Deut. vii. 2c the destruction of graven images is not outward matters but of the heart' (vers. 28, 

commanded, but the robbery of the gold and silver 29). This turn of thought is not abrupt, for the 

on them is strictly forbidden. The words used in Jew would at once answer the preceding indict- 

the prohibition (in the LXX.) being similar to ment by adducing his privilege as one circum- 

' abhor ' here. Various less literal interpretations cised. The naturalness of this defence appears 

have been suggested : Embezzlement of their from the constant tendency to deal in the same 

own temple taxes, etc. ; avarice ; even robbing manner with the sacraments, and means of grace 

God by seeking salvation by works (Luther), in general. The reference here is to the actual 

The sense we advocate makes the Jew partaker rite, which was a sign of membership in the peo- 

in idolatry by making gain of heathen idol wor- pie of God. — Indeed proflteth. This implies that 

ship : there is a climax, theft, adultery, idolatry, the Jew would say : ' my circumcision profits me, 

— three sins so often associated in the Scriptures even if I am guilty as you charge.' — If thou keep 
and in practice. the law. The original points the constant prac- 

Ver. 23. Thou that boaetest in. Comp. ver. tice to habitual obedience as a characteristic 
17. — Through the transgression of the law dii- Circumcision is the sign and seal of a covenant, 
honorest thou God 1 or, ' thou dishonorest God.' and the covenant had for its condition on the part 
It is difficult to decide whether this verse is a of the Jew, the keeping of the law (Gen. xvii. 1 ; 
question, forming a climax to the interrogative Lev. xviii. 5 ; Deut. xxvii. 26 ; Gal. v. 3)^ A fur- 
charge, or an answer given by Paul himself to his ther use of circumcision is pointed out in chap, 
own questions, vers. 21, 22. The sense remains iv. 11, but here this does not come into view. Nor 
substantially the same whichever construction be is perfect obedience suggested here, but rather 
accepted. The general similarity of form in the such sincere and hearty obedience as the pious 



Chap. II. 17-29.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 37 

Jew could and did render, prompted by trust in that Paul omits the article only when he means 

Jehovah, the covenant God, who gave blessings Maw* in general. 

and promises to His people. — Is become unar- Ver. 28. For. This introduces the proof of the 
cumcifion. * Has lost, for thee, every advantage previous positions, ver. 27. — He if not a Jew who 
which it was designed to secure to thee over the if one outwardly. This gives the sense of the 
uncircumcised, so that thou hast now no advan- original ; but in this and the succeeding verse the 
tage over the latter, and art, just as he is, no construction is peculiar. The one who shows only 
member of God's people ' (Meyer). The unholy the outward marks of a Jew is not a true Jew. — 
Jew virtually becomes a Gentile. The same prin- Which is outward. The same phrase just ren- 
ciple applies to Christian baptism, the initiatory dered 'outwardly.' — In the flesh. This is a fur- 
rite of the New Dispensation ; it avails nothing; ther explanation of 'outward/ and is to be taken 
in fact, becomes a ground of condemnation, if the literally. 

baptized person violates the duties implied in the Ver. 29. Who is one inwardly ; in his secret 

covenant of which it is the sign and seal. inner life. — And rircumdiion if that of the heart, 

Ver. 26. If therefore. The unholy Jew vir- etc. The E. V. preserves the parallelism, which 
tually becomes a Gentile (ver. 25), does not the is not so marked, however, in the original. The 
obedient Gentile virtually become a Jew? — The difficult construction of the original has led to 
nncircumcision. The Jewish expression for ' the other renderings : ' And circumcision is of the 
uncircumcised;' comp. Gal. ii 7. — Keep the or- heart,' etc. ; 'And circumcision of the heart is 
*fa» w **f of the law. ' Righteousness' is mislead- (resides, rests) in the spirit,' etc. The sense re- 
ing here ; the righteous requirements of the law mains substantially the same. Circumcision of 
are meant (comp. chap. i. 32) ; mora/, not cere- the heart is demanded in the Old Testament, 
monial, for the chief ceremonial observance, cir- (See references). The same principle applies to 
cumcision, is necessarily excluded. Complete baptism, the sign and seal of regeneration. — In 
fulfilment of the law is not meant ; nor is any the spirit, not in the letter. The ' letter ' refers 
hint given as to the way in which a Gentile could to the command, viewed as a written form, which 
' keep the ordinances ot the law/ though, as Godet required outward circumcision. But various ex- 
thinks, the Apostle probably had in mind the ful- planations have been given of 'spirit.' (1.) The 
filment of the ordinance of the law by Gentile Holy Spirit, through whose power true circum- 
Christians (comp. chap. viii. 4), not proselytes cision takes place. This is the preferable sense, 
of the gate, as Philippi suggests. — Shall not. The agreeing with chap. vii. 6. (The exact reference 
form indicates that an affirmative answer is ex- is to the indwelling Holy Spirit See Excursus 
pected. — His nndrcummiion. 'His' takes up under chap, vii.) (2.) The human spirit. Objec- 
the concrete idea of ' uncircumcision ' in the pre- tionable, since unless the human spirit is regener- 
vious clause. — Be reckoned for circumcision. The ated by the Holy Spirit, it does not form a proper 
phrase is precisely the same as in the well-known contrast with 'letter.' (3.) Other views, the true 
one : 'reckoned for righteousness ' (chap. iv. 3, 9, spirit of the law, the true spirit of the Jew, etc 
22 ; Gal. iii. 6), except that here the future is All these give to ' spirit ' an unusual sense. Ob- 
used, probably pointing to the day of judgment, serve : Paul does not make an absolute antagonism 
At that time the uncircumcised Gentile, who has between letter and spirit. He does not object to 
kept the ordinances of the law, shall be regarded the rite which the ' letter ' commanded. The Holy 
precisely as though he were circumcised, i. e. t as Spirit caused the ' letter ' to be written ; even in 
a member of Goers covenant people. the indefinite sense so often given to spirit, there 

Ver. 27. And thall not the undrcnmriiion. As is no opposition, since we reach a knowledge of 

in ver. 23, the main question here is whether the the spirit of a command through the letter. Most 

verse is interrogative or affirmative. Here, how- objectionable is the use of this qualified antithesis 

ever, the original is more decisively in favor of to make an antagonism between the literal and 

the affirmative than in the previous instance, spiritual sense of Scripture. — Whose praise, etc 

We would then render: 'And the uncircumcis- Either the praise of true Judaism and true cir- 

ion/ etc 'shall judge thee,' etc — Which cumcision, or, of the true Jew. The former is 

if by nature ; i. e. f the Gentile ; ' by nature ' = by more grammatical. ' This praise is the holy satis- 

natural birth. — If it fulfil the law ; lit., ' fulfilling faction of God (His being well f leased), as He 

the law/ but it introduces the condition more has so often declared it to the righteous in the 

fully stated in ver. 26. — Shall Judge. This verb Scriptures. Observe how perfectly analogous 

stands in emphatic position. (Comp. Matt. xii. vers. 28, 29, in the tenor of thought, are to the 

41,42, and similar passages.) The reference is idea of the invisible church' (Meyer). The whole 

not to the direct, but to the indirect, judgment of section is a declaration that religious privilege 

the last day, when the conduct of the Gentile will, (from birth, knowledge, ritual observances) in- 

by comparison, show the true moral attitude of creases the guilt of those whose morality does not 

the sinning Jew. — Who with the letter and cir- correspond. This position does not detract from, 

eumeifion, etc. ' With ' refers to the circum- but rather enhances our estimate of these privi- 

stances in which the action takes place ; ' here leges. ' What a remarkable parallelism, that of 

according to the context : in spite of which the this whole passage with the declaration of Jesus 

transgression takes place' (Meyer). 'Letter' (Matt viii. 11,12): "Many shall come from the 

points to the law as written by God ; there is no east and the west," etc Yet there is nothing 

implied opposition to ' spirit/ ' Circumcision ' whatever to indicate that Paul has imitated. The 

points to the covenant obligation of the Jew to same truth has created for itself in each case an 

keep the law. Hence the aggravated guilt of one original form' (Godet). Here is the warrant for 

who in such circumstances is a transgressor of this the Protestant distinction between the visible and 

law — for that the Mosaic law is meant is plain the invisible church, and also between the church 

enough. The absence of the article here (in the and the kingdom of God. 

original) ought to be conclusive against the notion . - 



38 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. III. 1-20. 

Chapter III. 1-20. 
in. The Scriptural Proof of tlie Guilt of the yews. 

This section forms the conclusion of the first part ; ' Every one needs this power unto salvation/ 
While in general it may be regarded as presenting the Scriptural proof that the Jews are guilty, the 
train of thought is so involved, that it is rightly deemed one of the most difficult passages in the 
Epistle. The connection with chap. iL is obvious : If true Judaism and circumcision are as thus rep- 
resented (chap. ii. 28, 29), what is the advantage of the Jew ? etc The positive advantage is the 
possession of the Scriptures ; ver. 2. But the Apostle digresses to consider several misconceptions 
which may arise in view of this privilege of the Jew taken in connection with his guilt ; vers. 3-8. 
The form is not strictly that of a dialogue between a Jewish objector and the Apostle, but the mis- 
conceptions are from a Jewish (or Jewish Christian) point of view. The want of faith on the part of 
some Jews cannot annul God's faithfulness, for God must be true (vers. 3, 4) ; if God's righteous- 
ness seems to be furthered by sin, God is not unjust in punishing it (vers. 5, 6) ; for this amounts to 
the abhorrent principle that it is right to do evil that good may come (vers. 7, 8). The main thought 
is thus resumed in ver. 91 which restates the charge of sin against all men (set forth in chaps, i., ii.). 
The Apostle, then, by abundant Scriptural citation (vers. 10-18), shows God's estimate of human 
character, and he applies this estimate to the Jews especially (ver. 19), reaching in ver. 20 the great 
principle which must be accepted before the need of the gospel is felt. 

i T T THAT advantage then hath J the Jew ? or what profit is 

2 VV there 2 of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, 8 
because 4 that a unto them were committed 6 the oracles of God. a ^p^^J 

3 For what if *some did not believe? 6 e shall their unbelief 7 ii**!*** 

4 make the faith 8 of God without effect? d God forbid: 9 yea, b S5?'&£ ; 
let * God be 10 true, but f every man a liar ; as it is written, c i^Tii";" 

a That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, 11 Ti^?u. a u. 

And mightest overcome when thou art judged. 12 m. 43!, ' 

5 But if our unrighteousness commend 13 the righteousness of / John «.». 
God, what shall we say ? Is God unrighteous who taketh ***. «'. 

6 vengeance ? H (* I speak as a man. 16 ) God forbid : 9 for then h J^gj"-.'.. 

7 'how shall God judge the world? For 16 if the truth of God **- ... 

/ J o 1 G«n. xrui. 

hath more abounded through my lie 17 unto his glory ; why yet J? ;*-£*"; 

8 am I also judged as a sinner ? 18 And not rather, 19 (as we be 
slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) 'Let^J^JP;*-*^ 
us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation 20 is just 

9 What then ? are we better than they? 21 No, in no wise : for 

we have 'before proved 22 both Jews and Gentiles, that m they ' S|P £ *»■ 
10 are all under sin ; As it is written, m ei y„ m % y% 

Gal. iii. aa 

I What then is the advantage of 2 what is the profit {or benefit) 
* first of all 4 the best authorities omit because 

6 they were intrusted with • were without faith (or faithless) 

7 want of faith (or faithlessness) 8 faithfulness 

9 or let it never be (far from it) 10 Greek become (be proven) 

II words 12 (or standest in judgment) 

18 commendeth (or established) u who is inflicting the wrath 

15 after the manner of men 16 But (according to the better authorities) 

17 though (Greek in) my lie abounded 

13 why am I as a sinner still judged ? w and why not 

20 condemnation a See notes » charged 



Chap. III. 1-20.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 39 

"There is none righteous, no, not one : "ISim.'!! 

1 1 There is none that understandeth, 
There is none that seeketh after God. 

1 2 They are all gone out of the way, 23 they are together become 

unprofitable ; 
There is none that doeth good, no, not one. 21 

13 ° Their throat is an open sepulchre ; ° J e s * v v £ 
With their tongues they have used deceit ; 

* The poison of asps is under their lips : / PsA cxl 3 * 

14 q Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness : 9 Ps * x \ 7 " 

15 r Their feet are swift to shed blood : r iw ?.'*.' 

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways : 

1 7 And the way of peace have they not known : 

18 ' There is no fear of God before their eyes. ' f SAXXXvi - 

19 Now we know that what things soever 'the law saith, it'iv h a 5 x .' 34; 
saith u to them who are under the law : that every " mouth may * ps. <£«! 4 >; 

Ex. xvi. 63 • 

20 be stopped, and *all the world may become guilty before God. 26 chip. i.*2 | 
Therefore 27 v by the deeds a of the law there shall no flesh be 29 -* chip. a. *-, 

vers* Q« 2^ 

justified in his sight: for 'by 80 the law is the knowledge 81 oiy Pscxim.'a; 

/\Cts xiu* 3^ 9 

sin. S»>- "• » 6 i 

111. 1 1 ; Lph 



21 have all turned aside 24 not even one a speaketh \\\ 9 



; Tit. 



111. 5- 



26 subject to judgment before God ; ^ because * ctap. vii. 7 

28 works a no flesh shall be w through 



w cometh knowledge 



Ver. 1. What then if the advantage, etc. On into a guarantee that the oracles are still intrusted 

the connection of thought, see above. — The Jew. to them. Both views are grammatical, but the 

Used generically for the Jews. — The profit, or, usual one is preferable. Such objections would 

' benefit/ of circumcision. This is a specification, be addressed to the Apostle continually, as he 

which is naturally introduced in view of the pre- labored, more or less assailed by Jewish opposi- 

vious discussion (chap. ii. 25-29). tion ; while the confirmation of the fact of ver. 2 

Ver. 2. Much every way. This refers to both seems unnecessary. — Some were without faith, 

the preceding questions. 'Every way' means, The emendations of this verse are designed to 

under every moral and religious aspect, which- reproduce the verbal correspondence of the orig- 

cver way you look at it. — First of all. This is inal. There are, however, two views of the 

more literal than 'chiefly' (comp. chap. i. 8). sense: (1.) That the faithlessness of the Jews to 

The possession of the Old Testament was the their trust (ver. 2) is meant. (2.) That unbelief 

chief advantage, but 'first of all' suggests that in the Messiah is referred to. In favor of (1) 

there were others, which the writer does not are : the immediate context, both ver. 2, and the 

name here (but details in chap. ix. 4, 5). The thought of God's ' faithfulness ' which follows ; 

form of the original points to a ' secondly ' which the fact that the doctrine of faith has not yet be- 

is omitted. (The word rendered ' because ' is not come prominent. But in support of (2) may be 

found in the best authorities.) — They were in- urged the common sense of the words used ; the 

trusted with. This is the more exact rendering, fact that God's dealings, as told in the Old Testa- 

— The oracles of God. 'Oracles,' lit., sayings, not ment make the reference to ' unfaithfulness ' su- 

limited to prophetic sayings. The Old Testament perfluous ; the digressive character of the passage, 

is meant Even those writers who refer the the causal connection between unbelief and dis- 

phrase to the Messianic prophecies admit that obedience recognized in the Bible (if they were 

these are found throughout the Old Testament, and unfaithful, it was because they were without 

that the possession of that book placed the'ora- faith). We prefer (2), and find an objection 

cles' in their trust It clearly follows that the growing out of the unbelief of the Jews at that 

possession of the entire written revelation of God time, which is more fully discussed in chaps, ix.-xi. 

is to be deemed a greater privilege. The digression is then into a region of thought 

Ver. 3. For what if ; as is the case, thus in- where the Apostle's deepest feelings were con- 

traducing the fact as an objection to be answered, cerned. A Jew might well raise such an objec- 

Others divide the verse: 'For what ? (/'. *., what tion, as if to say: ' But how do you reconcile this 

is the case). If some,' etc. This turns the whole advantage with the rejection of the Messiah you 



40 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. III. 1-20. 



preach ? ' As Langc remarks, * the unbelievers 
always remain in the minority in real significance, 
let their number be ever so great.' — Shall their 
want of faith, etc. The original shows that a 
negative answer is expected. — The faithfulness 
of God. The word used is * faith,' but that it has 
here the sense of faithfulness is plain, from the 
Old Testament usage, and from the fact that no 
other sense is appropriately applied to God. 

Ver. 4. God forbid, or, ' let it never be ' (far from 
it). The expression is used in animated discus- 
sions, fourteen times by Paul (ten times in this 
Epistle), and elsewhere in the New Testament 
( Luke xx. 16). It is an indignant denial, includ- 
ing pious horror, and hence is equivalent to the 
English phrase * God forbid,' to which, however, 
objection has been raised, both because it is not a 
translation of the Greek, and on account of the 
unnecessary use of the name of God. (See note on 
Gal. ii. 1.) — Tea, let God be (lit, ' become ') true. 
The only question here is whether Paul refers to 
what God is, or what He is proven to be. The 
latter seems to accord better with the word ' be- 
come,' and suits the context best. Hence we ex- 
plain : be seen and acknowledged, even by His 
enemies, to be truthful. His faithfulness is essen- 
tial to His truthfulness : He cannot be found true, 
if men can make of none effect his faithfulness 
(ver. 3). — But every man a liar. Every man 
who is unfaithful is a liar, but the reference is to 
the recognition of the fact. * Rather let us believe 
all men on earth to have broken their word and 
troth, than God His. Whatever becomes of men 
and their truth His truth must stand fast* (Al- 
ford.) — As it is written. Ps. Ii. 4 ; the peniten- 
tial Psalms written by David after the visit of 
Nathan (2 Sam. xii. 1-14). It is precisely the 
recognition of his sin as against God (see first 
part of Ps. Ii. 4), that led David to add the pas- 
sage here auoted. The quotation is from the 
LXX., which varies verbally from the Hebrew. 
As here used, it gives exactly the profound sense 
of the original. — That, /. e. t ' in order that' (both 
here and in the Psalm). This sense is essential 
to the train of thought. Man's sin is overruled 
for the glory of God (vers. 5-7 ), through it God's 
justice shines. The aifficulty such a view always 
occasions is spoken of ; thus proving that this is 
the sense. — Thou ; *. *., God, to whom David 
speaks. — Mightest be justified, 1. e. % regarded as, 
declared, accounted righteous. The word, in the 
Old Testament, is frequently used of God, to 
whom no other sense is applicable. Indeed, no 
other sense suits the Old Testament usage in 
general ; no other is admissible in the New. The 
sense ' make righteous ' is indefensible on any 
ground but that of doctrinal prejudgment. Be- 
fore the doctrine of justification by faith is intro- 
duced, Paul himself furnishes a key to his mean- 
ing, by retaining this technical term from the 
LXX., though it deviates from the Hebrew. — 
In thy words, what thou hast spoken, the ' oracles ' 
just spoken of would come under this head. — 
Mightest overcome, lit, ' conquer.' The Hebrew 
is : ' the pure ' ( E. V. ' the clean ' ). The reference 
in Paul's quotation, is to winning a law suit — 
When thou art judged, or, ' standest in judgment.' 
Hebrew: 'in thy judging' (E. V.: 'when thou 
judgest'). The passive (or middle) form here 
used may have either of the meanings we give. 
But we tnink the reference is not to God's appear- 
ing as Judge, but to His appearing as a party in the 
judgment, upholding His own righteousness. This 



view preserves the parallelism, and is strictly gram- 
matical. God is represented as humbling Himself f 
to become a litigant, so that He may prevail, be de- 
clared righteous. ' It is a mark of genuine piety to 
be disposed always to justify God, and to condemn 
ourselves ' (Hodge). Thus the Apostle reaches 
this point : God's faithfulness cannot be made 
void ; even the sin of men makes His truthfulness 
and faithfulness known. Here is the starting- 
point for a new objection. 

Ver. 5. But, introducing the common objec- 
tion : ' If God thus prevails, do we not, by our 
sin, help on His glory.' The answer to this objec- 
tion follows (vers. 5-8). Paul admits the prem- 
ise but denies the conclusion. — Our nnrighteont- 
ness. The opposite of ' righteousness ; ' here used 
quite generally. — Commendeth, or, * established.' 
The word may have either sense. The former 
makes the objection stronger, and is preferable 
here ; in chapter v. 8, where the word occurs again, 
both senses are suggested. — The righteousness of 
God. Here His character or attribute. — What shall 
we say 1 This phrase occurs several times in this 
Epistle, and was frequent among the Rabbins. 
'It is a formula of meditation on a difficulty, a 
problem, in -which there is danger of a false con- 
clusion. It was also in use among the classical 
authors.' (Lange.) This is the preparation for 
the negative answer to the next question. — Is 
God unrighteous who is inflicting the wrath 1 This 
is the unwarranted conclusion, which is denied 
by the very form of the question in the original 
The emphasis rests on ' unrighteous,' which refers 
to His character as Judge (comp. vers. 6, 7). 
'The wrath,' the welf known judicial wrath, at 
the judgment. This is a designation of God, be- 
ing as He is, one who is inflicting the wrath, and 
is not equivalent to, where He inflicts, etc — I 
speak after the manner of men. This parenthet- 
ical clause is a third protest against the wrong 
conclusion, which is directly denied in ver. 6. He 
speaks as men would speak ; the question is one 
he could not ask as a Christian, still less as an 
Apostle. ' I say this just as an ordinary man, not 
under the influence of the divine Spirit, may well 
say it ' (Meyer). So that the phrase favors, instead 
of opposing, Paul's inspiration. 

Ver. 6. Let it never be. Exactly a% in ver. 4. 
— For then how, for otherwise how, etc. The 
denial rests on the universally accepted truth that 
God will judge the world, all mankind. This he 
does not prove, but assumes as an accepted truth. 
The argument is : God will judge the world ; to 
do this He must be righteous ; therefore He can- 
not be unrighteous. The argument would hold 
with his readers. In fact, when men deny that 
God will judge the world, argument with them is 
useless. The principle, that God cannot be the 
author of sin which He judges, is not expressed, 
but underlies the whole argument (vers. 3-8). 

Ver. 7. Bat This reading is more difficult, but 
preferable. If ' for ' were correct, it would intro- 
duce an illustrative confirmation ; ' but ' presents 
an objection or contrast. Yet even with this 
reading the thought is explanatory. God must 
judge the world ; but if, etc. ' The argument ac- 
cordingly rests on the basis, that in the case put 
(" then ' from ver. 6) the relation of God to the 
judgment of the world would vield two absurd 
consequences.' (Meyer.) * For ' presents this as 
Paul's argument ; ' but,' as an objection met at 
once. — The truth of God. Comp. ver. 4. His 
moral truth, in this connection, almost equivalent 



*. 



Chap. III. 1-20.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 41 

to His righteouness. — Through 1117 lie. The the context admirably; in ver. 2, the advantage 
emphasis rests on this phrase (notice the emended of the Jew was spoken of, but the digression 
order), which here refers to moral falsehood ; (vers. 3, 8) may well be followed by the assertion 
comp. 'oar unrighteousness' (ver. 5). Whether that the Jew is no better. This explanation gives 
the objection comes from a Jew or Gentile has been an active sense, but middle verbs frequently pass 
much disputed. But as the argument is based on over into an active sense. (2.) Strictly middle : 
the fact that God will judge 'the world,' no special 'Do we put forward anything in our defence?' 
reference is necessary. — Abounded onto his glory But this would require an object after the verb. 
Another form of the thought of ver. 5 ; but here (3.) Passive, (a.) ' Are we surpassed (by the Gen- 
something must be supplied : If this abounding tiles) ? ' A Jew would hardly ask such a question, 
unto His glory is a sufficient justification. The which is moreover out of keeping with the context, 
state of things at the day of judgment is in the (£.) 'Are we preferred (by God) ?' But this also 
hypothesis. — Why (if this is a sufficient justifica- is opposed by the context, which treats of man's 
tion, does He judge the world, and thus) am I sin, not of (rod's power. — No, in no wise. This 
also (I who thus glorify him) as a tinner still is the correct sense of a phrase which stands lit- 
judged, i. e. t at the day of judgment. The absurd erally, ' not altogether.' There is no contradiction 
consequence as respects God, is that He has no between ' much every way ' (ver. 2) and this de- 
right to judge man as a sinner, because man's nial. The former refers to historical and external 
falsehood glorifies His truth. The order we adopt advantages, the latter to the moral result — For 
places the emphasis on 'judged.' ' I,' here is to be we before charged; not, 'proved.' The word sug- 
taken generally as ' my ' in the previous clause, gests a formal indictment The change was made 
Although the application to the few is designed, m the previous part of the Epistle (chaps, i. 18-ii. 
' Still,' s. e. t after the supposed result has oc- 29). — Both Jews and Gentiles. The charge had 
curred, furnishing the supposed excuse. been made first against the Gentiles (chap, i.), 

Ver. 8. And why not. This is parallel to then against the Jews (chap, ii.), but the order 
'why am I,' etc. (ver. 7). The second absurd is here reversed, since the argument is directed 
consequence, as respects man, is the evil princi- against the Jews. — That they are all under sin, 
pie, so strongly condemned, as carrying its ref u- While unregenerate, they are all under the power 
tation with it The construction would regularly of sin (the notion of guilt is implied, but not ex- 
be : and why not let us do evil, etc, but the men- pressed). 'AH ' is emphatic, 
tion of the talse accusation leads to an irregular- Vers. 10-18. As it is written. This formula 
ity. Some propose to avoid this by supplying : here introduces a number of Old Testament quo- 
Met us say. — Slanderously reported; lit, 'bias- tations, describing the moral corruption of the 
phemed.' Such slander was in the last instance times of David and the prophets. Human nature 
blasphemy, since thus God's character was out- being essentially the same always and everywhere, 
raged. Here the reference is to what they were the description holds good universally, out the 
reported as doing. — Affirm that we say, Let us, application here is to the Jews first, afterwards to 
etc. The early Christians were charged with even ' all the world ' (ver. 19). In Ps. xiv. the general 
asserting this false principle, which would have application is most obvious, hence it is quoted first 
been worse than the previous charge. Men might ' The arrangement is such that testimony is ad- 
do this without being so hardened as to adopt it duced : ist> for the state of sin generally (vers, 
as a doctrinal principle. The foundation of this 10-12) ; 2</, the practice of sin in word (vers. 13, 
slander was doubtless the doctrine of free grace, 14) and deed (vers. 15-17); and 3</, the sinful 
and the Christian non-observance of the Mosaic source of the whole* (ver. 18).' Meyer, 
law. Similar slanderous and blasphemous infer- Ver. 10. There is none righteous, etc. The 
ences have frequently been made from Scriptural citation from Ps. xiv. 1-3 (covering here vers, 
truth. — Whose condemnation is just 'Whose/ 10-12) varies from the LXX. especially in this 
1. e. f of those who practice and announce this evil verse, which begins with the last clause of Ps. 
principle, not the slanderers. ' Damnation ' is too xiv. 1. Hebrew : ' there is not a doer of good.' 
specific a rendering of the original word, which LXX. : ' there is not (one) doing good, there is 
means ' condemnation ' of any kind. The ab- not even one.' ' Righteous is substituted, to con- 
surdity of the principle, that the end justifies the trast with ' under sin.' 

means, is not proven; the Apostle makes short Ver. 11. There is none that nnderstandeth, 

work of an objection which has this logical issue, etc. Latter half of Ps. xiv. 2 ; 'so quoted that 

A doctrine directly leading to immoral results the negative sense which results indirectly from 

cannot belong to the gospel Paul is setting forth, the text in the Hebrew and LXX. is expressed 

Ver. 9. What then. The Apostle now returns by Paul directly' (Meyer). As regards the mean- 
to his main argument, after the digression, which, ing, both parts of the verse refer to impiety ; sin 
however, is referred to in this question. —Are we being represented as folly, and then as failure to 
better than they 1 That ' we ' refers to the Jews seek God. 

appears, from the whole argument, as well as Ver. 12. They have all turned aside, etc Ac- 

from Paul's usage. But the exact meaning of the curately quoted from Ps. xiv. 3 (LXX.). — Un- 

verb used (the only Greek word occurring in the profitable. More literally, 'useless,' 'worthless, 

question) has been much discussed. In the ac- — Not even one. 'There is not even unto one.' 

tive voice it means, to hold before, then to sur- The same form occurs in ver. 1 of the Psalm, from 

pass, to excel ; in the middle, to hold before one's which ver. 10 here varies, 

self, hence to put forward something as a defence, Ver. 13. Their throat is an open sepulchre, 

or excuse ; in the passive, to be surpassed or pre- Quoted accurately from the Greek version of Ps. 

f erred. The form here may be either middle or v. 9. The reference is to sinful speech. The 

passive, but the former is uncommon in the New figure is either from the noxious odor, or from 

Testament. (1.) The usual explanation takes it the insatiableness of an open grave. In either 

as middle, with the meaning ; ' have we any ad- case, the reference is to the corrupting character 

vantage ' = ' arc we better than they ? ' This suits of the speech. — They have used deceit. Habit- 



42 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. III. 1-20. 



ual, continued action is expressed. Hebrew : 
' their tongues they make smooth/ — The poison 
of asps, etc. Accurately quoted from (LXX.) 
Vs. cxl. 3, latter half of the verse. The Hebrew 
is : * poison of an adder ; ' but the distinction be- 
tween the two classes of venomous serpents is 
not maintained in the LXX. The reference is to 
the malice which is behind the cunning of their 
tongues. Perhaps the thought of the poison bag 
under the serpent's fangs suggests the figure. 

Vcr. 14. Whose month, etc. (From Ps. z. 7.) 
The variations from the LXX. are slight. The 
Hebrew is : ' His mouth is full of oaths, and de- 
ceit, and fraud.' * Deceit,' which occurs in the 
original, was omitted, because already mentioned 
(vcr. 3). — Full of cursing and bitterness. The 
bitterness which prompts the speech is the cause 
of the cursing. 

Vers. 15-17. Their feet, etc Sinful doings are 

here described in a quotation from Is. lix. 7, 8. 

There are some omissions, as will appear from 

the following rendering of the original passage in 

the Hebrew : — 

' Their feet run to do evil. 
And they haste to shed innocent blood ; 
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity ; 
Wasting and destruction are in their highways ; 
A way of peace they hare not known, 
And there is no judgment in their paths, 
Their paths they hare made perverse for themselves ; 
No treader in it hath known peace.' 

The sense is plain : they readily commit murder 
(ver. 15) ; wherever they go, they produce destruc- 
tion and misery (ver. 16) ; the one opposite way, 
that where men walk peacefully, is strange to 
them. 

Ver. 18. There if no fear of God, etc. (From 
Ps. xxxvi. 1.) 'The transgression of the wicked 
is affirming within my heart : " Fear of God is 
not before his eyes. The quotation from the 
LXX. is exact. 'Fear of God,' reverence of Him, 
is here figuratively spoken of, as if it existed ex- 
ternal to man, for a rule of life. Paul's closing 
quotation reaffirms what the Scriptures every- 
where teach, that the source of sin is a wrong 
attitude toward God; not to fear God is to be 
(and become yet more) immoral. 

Ver. 19. Now we know. As in chap. ii. 2, a 
truth admitted by all his readers is thus intro- 
duced. The Apostle's argument is that these 
Scripture passages must apply to the Jews as 
well as to the Gentiles. — The law saith, 1. *., the 
Old Testament, as a whole ; not the Mosaic law 
alone, since other parts of Scripture have been 
cited. Regarded as a rule of life, the whole Old 
Testament is properly called ' the law.' — Bpeak- 
eth, speaks out, makes known by word. — Who 
are under the law ; lit; ' in the law,' as in chap, 
ii. 12 ; but the article is inserted here, since the 
argument turns on the specific reference to the 
Mosaic law. — That. 'In order that.' There is 
no necessity for weakening the exact sense. This 
was the purpose of God in thus speaking through 
the Law. Through this conviction of the whole 
world the gospel was revealed (comp. Gal. iii. 
22, 23). Notice the correspondence with the 
thought with which this division of the Epistle 
begins (chap. i. 18 : 'for the wrath of God, etc.). 
— Every mouth may be stopped. Jew as well as 
Gentile. The reference is not to the final judg- 
ment, but to the more immediate effect of the 
law : it cuts off every wrong ground of justifica- 
tion ; every one is witnout excuse. — All the world. 
This is the positive side of the purpose. All men 



are here included. — Kay become. This is the 
result purposed. — Subject to Judgment before 
God. This paraphrase brings out the sense, which 
includes more than 'guilty.' The whole world 
was to be convicted of guilt, proven obnoxious 
to punishment. To ' God ' satisfaction for sin is 
due. 

Ver. 20. B eca u se. The word here used means, 
in classical authors, * therefore,' giving a conclu- 
sion from preceding statements ; but the prevail- 
ing sense in the New Testament is 'because/ 
assigning a reason for what precedes. Taken in 
that sense here, it shows why this conviction of 
the whole world must be the result of God's 
speaking in the law. (This verse should not be 
separated by a period from ver. 19.) — By the 
works of the law; lit, ' from works of law.' But 
to refer ' law ' to anything else than the Mosaic 
law is to weaken the passage greatly, and ' works,' 
as here defined, is equivalent to ' the works ' in 
English. The Mosaic law, as a whole, is referred 
to; 'the whole revealed law as an undivided 
unity, yet with special regard to the moral law. 1 
A reference to the ceremonial law alone is for- 
bidden by the last clause of the verse. The verse 
admits of an application to law in general ; but to 
regard this as the primary thought is contrary to 
the scope of the Apostle's argument ' Works of 
the law ' are works required by the law, in har- 
mony with the law, 'good works,' as they are 
popularly termed. Some (the Roman Catholic 
expositors, etc.) refer the phrase to works fro- 
duced by the law, 1. e. t without the impulse of the 
Holv Spirit But this distinction implies that 
works wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit 
may be a ground of justification, which confuses 
the latter with sanctification. — Ho flesh. The word 
' flesh ' is here used in the Old Testament sense ; 
human being, with the added notion of frailty; 
as we say, no mortal man. The New Testament 
gives it an ethical sense, which will be discussed 
hereafter. In Ps. cxliii. 2, which resembles this 
clause, we find ' no man (or, no one) living.' The 
negative in the original is joined with the verb, 
but in English we must translate, 'no flesh.' — 
Justified, s. <?., accounted righteous. This is the 
obvious sense in the parallel passage in the Psalm. 
Indeed, this is the usual (probably the exclusive) 
sense in the New Testament Modern scholar- 
ship confirms the view of the Protestant reform- 
ers on this point. (See Excursus below.) — In his 
sight. The reference is to God's verdict, but not 
necessarily at the last judgment. The passage 
affirms that it is morally impossible for any man at 
any time to be declared righteous in God's judg- 
ment, by his doing what God's law has prescribed. 
Perfect compliance with the law would entitle a 
man to such a verdict (chap. ii. 13), but the Apos- 
tle thus far has been proving that all men are 
sinners, and that God purposed to convict them 
as sinners (ver. 14). Now he affirms this must be 
the first result of the revelation through the law, 
because by the works of the law justification is im- 
possible for every man. ' No man, even with an 
outwardly faultless observance of the law (comp. 
on Phil. iii. 6), is in a position to offer to it that 
full and right obedience, which alone would be 
the condition of a justification independent of ex- 
traneous intervention ; in fact, it is only through 
the law that man comes to a clear perception and 
consciousness of his moral imperfection by nature 
(his unrighteousness).' Meyer. — For through 
the law cometh knowledge of tin. The word rcn- 



Chap. III. 21-IV. 25.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 43 

dered 'knowledge ' means full knowledge, recog- German : Ziigel, Spiegel, Riegel ; restraint, mirror, 

nition,etc. Men without the law have some sense rule). Notice that this last clause confirms the 

of sin; but only through the law does man prop- usual view of 'law' and 'justify.' At the same 

erly recognize the sinfulness of sin (comp. chap, time it forms an appropriate conclusion to the 

vii. 13). This sentence of Paul, taken in connec* first division of the Epistle. All need the gospel 

tion with Gal. iii. 24, 25, contains the whole philos- as God's power unto salvation, for the knowledge 

ophy of the law as a moral educator. This is of sin, not ' righteousness from God,' comes 

the second use of the law, according to the old through the law. Thus, too, the way is opened 

Protestant Divines. The first was political ; the for the positive statement of the next division, 

second, convincing (pedagogical); the third, di- which shows that righteousness from God comes 

dactic, regulating the life of a believer (comp. the by faith. 



Chapters III. 21 — IV. 25. 

II. RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD IS BY FAITH. 

The theme of this second main division o^the doctrinal part of the Epistle may be found in ver. 
21 : (1.) The righteousness of God apart from the law has been made manifest (/'. e., a righteousness 
by faith), and (2.) this is attested by the law and the prophets. Chap. iii. 22-31 expands the former 
idea ; chap. iv. the latter. 1. Righteousness from God comes independently of the law, by faith in 
the atoning Saviour (vers. 21-26) ; hence the universality of its application (vers. 27-30), establishing 
the law ; for 2. Abraham was justified by faith, being the father of believers, uncircumcised as well as 
circumcised (chap. iv. 1-25). The whole division is based upon the evangelical idea of justification ; 
and in chap. iii. 23-26 we have presented to us the doctrine of justification by free grace through 
faith in Christ, in its inseparable connection with the atonement as its objective basis. We there- 
fore insert here the following Excursus. 



The Word Justify and Kindred Terms. 

The word ' justify,' in Greek as well as English, is derived from the adjective, meaning just or 
righteous. In the Bible, however, this is a religious idea, involving conformity to God's will or law, 
and not a purely ethical one. The verb, according to its etymology, in both languages, would mean : 
to make righteous, but it passes over in actual use into the sense : to account righteous, having a 
forensic or declarative meaning. The question is, which meaning does it have in the New Testa- 
ment There ought to be little doubt that the latter sense is that exclusively intended in the New 
Testament, especially by the Apostle Paul. 

1. The verb had this declarative sense in classical Greek, before the Hellenistic usage was formed. 

2. It is frequently used in the LXX., and in all but two or three cases the declarative sense is pref- 
erable ; in many instances (as where God is said to be justified ; and where judicial verdicts are 
spoken of) it is the only possible one. 

3. Not only is the Hebrew usage fairly reproduced in the LXX., but the Hebrew notions of 'right- 
eous/ pointing to God's will as the standard, God's estimate as the decisive one, would lead us to 
expect the word to take on a technical forensic sense, during the two centuries in which the peculiar- 
ities of New Testament Greek were fully developed. 

4. In the New Testament the declarative sense is appropriate in every instance. (Rev. xxii. 11 
might have been an exception, but the correct reading gives another form.) On the other hand, 
while there are passages in which the sense ' make righteous ' could be appropriate, in the majority 
of instances such a meaning is impossible. The word occurs thirty-nine times in the New Testament, 
twenty-seven times in Paul's Epistles, mostly in close argumentation. To suppose that he used the 
term indefinitely, is to cast contempt on all his writings. Already in his speech at Antioch, in Pisidia 
(Acts xiii. 39), he used it in a strictly declarative sense, as well known to his hearers. All the phe- 
nomena, philological and historical, point to a definite, technical sense, and that the sense upheld by 
Protestants generally. A comparison of the passages will confirm to the English reader this view. 
See any good Concordance. 

To justify^ then, denotes an act of jurisdiction, the pronouncing of a verdict, not the infusion of a 
quality. When God justifies, He accounts as righteous, treats as righteous. That He will make 
righteous those whom He accounts righteous, follows from His character, not from anything in the 
character of justification itself. It is ' an act of God's free grace,' bestowed without any merit of 
ours, on the objective ground of the perfect righteousness of Christ, as apprehended, and thus made 
subjective by a living faith (see ver. 25). The doctrine of justification may be distinguished from the 
broader and deeper doctrine of a life-union with Christ, but must not be sundered from it The same 
grace which justifies does also renew, regenerate, and sanctify ; faith and love, justification and sanc- 
tification, are as inseparable in the life of the Christian, as light and heat in the rays of the sun. The 



44 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. III. 21-31. 

distinction is necessary, however, for it is expressly made in Scripture, and is of the greatest impor- 
tance in preaching the gospel. 

5. The history of Christian experience confirms the philological result In this view was found 
the practical power of the Reformation. It turns the sinner away from his own doing to seek salva- 
tion outside of himself ; when joined with the atonement of Christ, it gives peace to his conscience ; it 
comforts the believer continually, giving an ever-fresh motive to holy living, which is the consequence, 
not the cause of justification. Notice, too, that everywhere justification is spoken of as an act, not 
a continuous work. The tenses chosen by Paul indicate this. The only apparent exception is in 
this verse, where a present participle (implying continuous action) is used ; but here the continuity 
is in the persons who are justified, and not in the act in the case of each. Comp. the full notes, 
philological and doctrinal, of Dr. Schaff in Lange, Romans, pp. 130 ff., 138 ff., and also the Excursus 
in this volume, Galatians, chap. ii. 



Chapter III. 21-31. 

1. Righteousness from God is to all, Jew and Gentile, by Faith. 

The section opens (ver. 21) with the statement of the theme of this division, as contrasted with 
ver. 20 ; vers. 22-26 set forth this way of faith, grounding justification upon the propitiatory death 
of Christ ; vers. 27-30 show that Jewish boasting is excluded, the same God justifies believing Jew 
and Gentile ; the law is not made of none effect, but established, by this method (ver. 31) ; the last 
thought furnishes a transition to the case of Abraham (chap. iv.). 

2i TDUT now a the righteousness of God * without the law 1 is chap.i.'iJV 
-D manifested, 2 c being witnessed by the law d and the proph- Heb. i* ll 

22 cts; Even the 8 righteousness of God which is € by faith of 4 *^";^ 
Jesus Christ unto all and upon all 6 them that believe; lor c i j 6 fi ir i46 . 

23 f there is no difference: 6 For *all have 7 sinned, and come 8 £v?.M? 3i 

24 short of the glory of God ; Being justified freely *by his grace* pp£'/;Ji 

25 i through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God/ch^. 1 *;,,. 
hath 9 set forth k to be a propitiation 10 through faith 'in his cS:».lt. 8 
blood, 11 to declare 12 his righteousness for the remission 18 of* ri^cSf" 

26 m sins that are past, 14 through 16 the forbearance of God; Toaaujpiiy. « 
declare, 16 / say, at this time his righteousness : 17 that he might 18 u.8? 'tu. «. 
be just, and the justifier of 19 him which believeth in Jesus. 20 « fia 7 tt.xx.«8; 

27 "Where is boasting 21 then? It is excluded. By what 22 coi.YiV; 1 

28 law ? of works ? Nay ; but by the M law of faith. Therefore we "^ ix. 1^ 
conclude 24 ° that a man is justified by faith without the deeds ** jVj* . 

20 of the law. Is he the God of p the Jews * only ? is he not also « J° hn "• ■ J 
30 of the Gentiles ? w Yes, of the 28 Gentiles also : Seeing q it is l ^*g£*^ 

1 apart from the law the righteousness of God (or God's righteousness) 1 Pet. i. i<)\ 

2 hath been made manifest 8 or God's righteousness (see notes) g^i'/if*. * # 
« through faith in (omitting which is) "a^Heb!*. 
6 the best authorities omit and upon all • distinction T omit have ifc 

r n Chap. 11. 17 

8 fall 9 omit hath 10 propitiatory sacrifice (or mercy seat) 13; iv.»; 

11 through faith, in his blood M exhibit ls on account of the passing over ^ Tun'thi 

" sins formerly done 16 in »• for the exhibition uZ?£l£ 

17 of his righteousness in the present time " might himself 3« ;E P h.ii.<j. 

10 ///., and justifying *° who is of faith in Jesus 39; *e*. »» 

21 the boasting (or glorying) M what kind of a a a i!\" Viii. 5* 

24 For we reckon (according to the better authorities) p ctfn£. ! 6 ",6; 

26 apart from the works 28 Or is God the Godoi Jews jj- fr ^ 4 ; 2 i ! t -' 

* is he not the Cod of Gentiles ? u omit the *r-Via ; . * 

f Chaps. 11. 
a6; iv. (j-iii 



Chap. III. 21-31.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 45 

one God, 29 which 30 shall justify the circumcision by faith, and Sawa's, *>» 

uncircumcision 81 through faith. **• 
31 Do we then make void the law through faith? r God for- r J£f* iv - 6 » 
bid : M yea* we establish the law. 

• Seeing that (#/., if so be) God is one w he who 

81 the uncircumcision w or Let it never be M nay 

Ver. 21. — Bat now. Either, 'at this time,*/. «., There may be other points of difference among 
in the gospel dispensation, or, ' in this state of men, but as respects this point, there is no ' dis- 
things,' i. *., as further defined. The latter is pref- tinction ' made in God's dealing with them, 
erable. — Apart from the law. Though the article Ver. 23. For all sinned; this is the historical 
is wanting, there can be no question that the Mo- fact, they became sinners. For this reason there 
saic law is meant This phrase should come first, is no distinction. ' Have sinned,' is not alto- 
as in the Greek, both for emphasis, and to pre- gether objectionable, since it implies a relation to 
vent the ungrammatical connection with 'right- what precedes. — Fall short. As the result of 
eousness of God,' which some advocate. It quali- their having become sinners. — Glory of God. 
fies the verb ' manifested,' and means not, ' without This is variously explained as, glory before God, 
the law,' as if that had no existence and no office glory like God (in His image, showing His 
to perform, but independently of the law ; the glory), glory from God. The last is preferable ; 
manifestation has been without its aid. — The His approval is meant (although it is true this 
righteousness of God, or, ' God's righteousness.' glory from Him alone can stand before Him), 
As in chap. i. 17, the article is wanting. The since the next verse closely joins the thought of 
meaning here is precisely as there, a righteousness justification. Civilization, refinement, intelligence, 
which proceeds from God ; it is given to the be- and external morality, have not made these words 
liever for Christ's sake in the act of justification, less universal in their application. 
It is here characterized by a series 01 antitheses ; Ver. 24. Being justified. The present tense 
independent of the law, yet authenticated by the points, not to continuous justification of the indi- 
law and the prophets (ver. 21); freely bestowed vidual, but to an action continuous as respects 
on the believer, yet fully paid for by tne redemp- those spoken of in vers. 22, 21. Because they are 
tion price of Christ (ver. 24) ; intrinsically holy, all in this condition (fallen short of the glory of 
yet justifying the sinner (ver. 26) ; thus God God), if they are justified it is in this way, namely, 
is displayed as Himself the righteous Ruler of freely; as a gift, not by their own merit. — By his 
the universe and the merciful Father who pro- grace. God's grace, i. e. t His unmerited favor. His 
vides free salvation. — Hath been made mani- love to the sinner, is the efficient cause of justifica- 
fest. This revelation of righteousness is set forth tion ; this led to the objective means : through the 
as an accomplished and still continued fact. It redemption that if in Christ Jesus. The word ' re- 
was not thus known before, and it is now known demption,' meant first of all, release or deliver- 
independently of the law. — Being witnessed. Con- ance of captives from a state of misery or danger 
tinuously witnessed in the whole Old Testament by the payment of a ransom as an equivalent. 
Scriptures. This is not a contradiction to ' apart This idea of a ransom price paid is the essential 
from the law.' The revelation having been made one in the figurative expression, and the connec- 
in the gospel, it turns out that the Old Testament tion not only forbids every attempt at explaining 
attests what its legal requirements did not and it away, but points to the historical Person who 
could not make known. While the law could not paid tne ransom (Christ Jesus) as well as to the 
justify (ver. 20), there is no contradiction between ransom itself (the death of Christ). Of course 
the parts of God's revelation. The unity of God, the widest sense of redemption includes a number 
on which Paul bases his argument in ver. 29, might of blessed truths ; but the reference here is spe- 
be used to enforce the principle here set forth ; cific ; and the idea of the payment of a price is con- 
indeed, chap. iv. forms the proof of this clause. firmed by a number of similar expressions in the 

Ver. 22. Even the righteousness of God through New Testament. Freedom from sin is the conse- 
faith, or, 'a righteousness, however (mediated), quence of the ' redemption ' here spoken of, but the 
through faith ' (Meyer) ; the article being omitted, ' redemption ' itself is an essential part of the work 
as in ver. 21, before ' righteousness.' There is a of Christ. Hence the redemption is said to be in 
contrast implied between ' the righteousness of Him, not through Him ; the next verse clearly 
God ' in general, and this specific form. — In Jesus shows that the reference is to His vicarious death. 
Christ. Lit., ' of Jesus Christ,' but as He is the ' Every mode of conception, which refers redemp- 
object of faith, the proper English expression is tion and the forgiveness of sins not to a real 
' in.' To explain the whole phrase of Christ's atonement through the death of Christ, but sub- 
faithfulness to us, or of faith produced by Him, is jectively to the dying and reviving with Him 
opposed by Paul's usage. — Unto all tnem that guaranteed and produced by that death, is op- 
believe. This briefer reading is supported by the posed to the New Testament, — a mixing up of 
four oldest manuscripts; the longer reading pre- justification and sanctification.' (Meyer.) 
sents the added sense of ' extending over.' That Ver. 25. Whom. The personal redeemer Christ 
this righteousness does not come to all, appears Jesus stands immediately connected with Justifiea- 
from the qualifying phrase: 'that believe.' — For tion ; how is here declared (vers. 25, 26). — God 
there is no distinction. This assigns the reason for set forth. One historical fact is spoken of. The 
what precedes. There is no other way for any ; all meaning ' purposed,' which the original word may 
must believe, in order to obtain this righteousness, have, is inappropriate, because the purpose is ex- 



46 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. III. 21-31. 

pressed in detail afterwards. ' Publicly set forth clause gives, not the design, but the occasion of the 

for himself* is the full sense of the term here. — showing of God's righteousness : 'passing over' 

To be a propitiatory sacrifice. One word in the is not the same as ' remission.' God had allowed 

original, but something must be supplied in Eng- the sins of the race which were committed be- 

lish : ' as,' ' for,' ' to dc/ have been suggested, fore Christ's death ('sins formerly done '), to pass 

the last being preferable because a fact is re- by without full punishment He had not forgiven 

f erred to. The Greek word is strictly an adjec- them ; the wrath that appeared (comp. chap. L 

tive, meaning ' propitiatory,' but is used in the 18) was not a sufficient punishment ; His passing 

LXX. as a noun, usually referring to the mercy- over these sins obscured His righteousness. The 

seat {kapporeth) t the lid of the ark of the covenant ; death of Christ as an atoning sacrifice showed 

in this sense it occurs in Hebrews ix. 5, the only what His righteousness demanded, while it ef- 

other instance of its use in the New Testament, fected pardon and justification. That this is the 

Explanations have been suggested: (1.) 'Mercy- correct view, appears not only from ver. 26, but 

seat ; ' but this confuses metaphors ; the mercy- from the next clause : in the forbearance of God, 

scat was hidden, not set forth ; the article is want- which explains the ' passing over.' Remission is 

ing ; the figure is nowhere else applied to Christ, a matter of ' grace ; ' passing over,' of forbear- 

and the mercy-seat was designed to show God's ance. To refer the latter part of this verse to 

grace, not 'His righteousness.' (2.) In consc- actual pardon under the Old Testament dispensa- 

quence of these objections we prefer to render it tion is contrary to the obvious sense of the words, 

' a propitiatory sacrifice/ either taking the word in however true it is that the Old Testament saints 

that sense, or supplying the noun. This amounts had remission of sins. 

to the same as the other explanation, but is not Ver. 26. For the exhibition. The noun is the 

open to the same objections. (3.) 'To be propi- same as in ver. 25, but a different preposition has 

tiatory ; ' but there is no instance of the adjective been chosen, perhaps for euphony. This verse, 

being applied to persons. (4.) ' As propitiator ; ' however, points more to the historical demonstra- 

this is open to the same objection. (5.) ' As a tion, ver. 25 to the purpose. — Bighteonmost, as 

means of propitiation ; ' this is too abstract. — It in ver. 25. — In the present time, when the his- 

will be noticed that all explanations rest on the torical demonstration has taken place, in contrast 

thought that Christ's death was sacrificial and ex- with 'formerly' (E. V. ' past'), not with ' in the 

{>iatory ; that it was a real atonement, required forbearance of God.' — Aat he might himmlf be. 
>y something in the character of God, and not This is the purposed result, the final aim of the 
merely designed to effect moral results in man. whole transaction. ' Himself gives an emphasis 
We may not know all that this ' propitiation ' to the fact that it is the personal God whose char- 
involves, but since God Himself was willing to acter is to be displayed ; this alone is a fitting 
instruct His ancient people by types of this real- end. ' Might be,' in this connection, is equivalent 
ity, we ought to know something definite and to 'might be shown and seem to be ; ' but it does 
positive respecting it. The atoning death of not refer merely to the human estimate. What 
Christ is the ground of the 'reconciliation' God did (ver. 25), actually had as its purpose and 
(wrongly translated ' atonement ' in chap. v. n), result that He was just and the justifier, etc 
since it satisfies the demands of Divine justice on Not just and condemning, but 'just and justify- 
the one hand, and on the other draws men to ing' (the comma after 'just' is unnecessary). 
God. Independently of the former, the latter By setting forth Christ, in His blood, as a propi- 
could not be more than a groundless human feel- tiation, to be appropriated by faith, God not only 
ing. — Through faith, in his blood. We insert a demonstrated His judicial righteousness which 
comma after ' faith/ because the word translated had been obscured in past ages, but also and 
' in ' is never joined with ' faith,' and because the mainly, He accomplished this purpose and result, 
important phrase ' in his blood,' is made too sub- that His own character was displayed, as just 
ordinate by the ordinary punctuation. Further, and justifier, as righteous and accounting right* 
faith in Christ is more than faith in His blood, eous him that hath faith in Christ. Not one 
We join ' in His blood ' with ' set forth,* etc. This without the other; not one in contrast with the 
setting forth of Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice other ; but both in harmony. Every notion of 
took place in the shedding of His blood. 'By making righteous confuses and weakens the whole 
His blood ' is not so exact. The entire thought passage, but especially this phrase. God could 
is purely expiatory ; the figure is that of doing not show Himself righteous in any simpler way 
away guilt by blood ; the reality is the atoning than by making men righteous ; the gospel para- 
death of Christ, which really removes the guilt dox is that He is righteous and accounting right- 
of sin. ' Through faith ' (lit, ' the faith,' point- eous believing sinners. The fact that 'righteous- 
ing to 'faith ' already mentioned in ver. 22) may ness ' in the immediate context refers to God's 
1* connected either with 'propitiation,' so that judicial righteousness, as well as the leading 
it indicates how this propitiation becomes effect- thought of ' propitiation/ combine with the lex- 
ive, or with ' set forth,' etc. The former is per- ical requirements of the passage itself in warrant- 
haps preferable, since the propitiation could ing the statement, that every reference to sancti- 
hardly be said to be set forth through faith. The fication is a gratuitous importation, the result of 
notion that ' faith ' here means Christ's faithful- theological prejudgment. Plain facts in the his- 
ness is altogether unwarranted. — To exhibit, or, tory of God's people warrant the further assertion, 
' unto the exhibition,' or, demonstration. — His that such an importation ultimately leads away 
righteousness. God's judicial (or punitive) right- from God's method of sanctification. — Of him 
eousness. His retributive justice is meant ; the who is of faith in Jesus ; lit, ' him of faith of 
death of Christ shows how He hates sin, while Jesus.' More fully expressed : ' him who is of 
He saves sinners. The rest of the verse, when the part of faith,' whose essential characteristic 
fairly interpreted, opposes the various other inter- is faith. The object of this faith is 'Jesus/ called 
pretations. — Because of the pasting over of lim here by His human name, probably with tender 
formerly done. The £. V. is misleading. This emphasis. At the close of this profound passage 



Chap. III. 21-31.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 47 

our thoughts are led back to the personal Re- all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but 

deemer. In the death of Christ, God punished worketh by love.' (Westminster Confession.) On 

sin and saved the sinner ; Divine justice was vin- ' works of the law/ see ver. 20. 

dicated in the culminating act of redeeming love. Ver. 29. Or if God the God of Jews only 1 ' Or,' 

The Son voluntarily, and in accordance with the which is omitted in the E. V., presents an alter- 

Ai/? love of the Father, assumed the whole curse of native, in case the principle of ver. 28 should be 

sin, and, as the representative Head of the human doubted. ' Belong to Jews only ' is the full sense, 

family, in its stead and for its benefit, satisfied the The Jews made this claim, and it would hold 

demands of Divine justice. His sacrifice was a good, if justification were by works of the law, 

real propitiation, in contrast with the types of the since the Jews alone possessed the law. — Yes, of 

Old Testament. The design was that God might Gentiles also. Paul's position as an Apostle to 

righteously account the believer righteous. To the Gentiles, the revelation of the universality of 

this view, the only one exegetically defensible, the gospel made to him, confirmed the promise 

it has been objected that it seems to conflict with of the Old Testament (chap. i. 1-5). Hence all 

morality, that God's design is to make men holy ; this establishes the position of ver. 28, that a man 

but the sufficient answer is, that the sacrificial is justified by faith. 

death of Christ has taught most of God's right- Ver. 30. Seeing that God if one, he who shall, 

eousness, that God's freely accounting men right- etc. (A slight change of reading gives the sen- 

eous has done most to make them righteous. tence a lively argumentative form ; the word used 

Ver. 27. Where is the boasting (or 'glorying ') being that translated 'if so be that ' in chap. viii. 

thenl We have here an inference ('then') viva- 9.) The argument is pressed further to the un- 

ciously set forth in question and answer. In view doubted fact ' that God is one.' ' The unity of 

of this manifestation of God's righteousness apart God implies that He is God, not merely of the 

from the law, the Jew cannot boast Such a Jews, but also of the Gentiles ; for otherwise an- 

scheme prevents any glorying ; but the immediate other special Deity must rule over the Gentiles, 

reference to the Jew is clear from the context, as which would do away with monotheism ' (Meyer), 

well as the use of the article. The Jewish at- But the unity of God's being involves the uniform- 

titude was well known ; hence the question is not ity of His method of justification. If God is one, 

abrupt. ' Glorying ' would cover both the good there can be no contradictory revelations from 

and bad senses of the Greek term, which, how- God ; hence Christianity, based equally with Ju- 

ever, has here the bad sense, namely, 'boasting.' daism upon monotheism, cannot admit of being 

In chap. iv. 2 another, but similar word is used, one among several religions equally true. — The 

— By what kind of a law 1 This refers to the circumcision by faith, and the unoireiunoision 

exclusion, which must have taken place according through faith ; lit., ' the faith.' The change from 

to some rule or principle revealed by God ; ' law ' ' by faith ' to ' through the faith,' may not have 

being here used in its widest sense, of any ex- been designed to express any distinction, as Paul 

pression of the will of God. — A law of faith; frequently uses the two phrases, 'by faith' and 

*'. /., a law that requires faith. ' The contrast is ' through faith,' as if they were equivalent. Some 

not here between the law and the gospel as two distinguish the former, as giving the general 

dispensations, but between the law of works and ground of justification (as opposed to that of 

the law of faith, whether found under the law or works) ; the latter, the particular means, through 

the gospel, or (if the case admitted) anywhere else, his faith (as opposed to want of faith). To make 

This is evident by the Apostle proving below that the former imply a different position on the part 

Abraham was justified t not by works, so as to of the Tew, is to oppose the whole current of 

have whereof to boast, but by faith ' ( Alford). Paul's thought. 

• If we were saved by our own works, we might Ver. 31. Do we then make void the law through 

put the crown upon our own heads. But the law faith 1 This verse may be regarded either as the 

of faith, the way of justification by faith, doth for- proposition of chap, iv., or as the conclusion of 

ever exclude boasting .... therefore it is most the preceding argument. It is both in fact, be- 

for God's glory, that thus we should be justified ' ing a transition from the doctrine of justification 

(Mathew Henry). by faith to the proof that Abraham was thus jus- 

Ver. 28. For we reckon. This reading is sup- tified. The objection to making it begin the next 

ported by the most ancient authorities (with the chapter is the form of ver. 1 (which see). But 

exception of the Vatican MSS.). It suggests the we place it in a separate paragraph. The article 

reason for the previous assertion : Glorying is is wanting with the word ' law,' but the reference 

excluded by the law of faith, for (we have already to the Mosaic law is unmistakable. — Let it never 

proved ana hence) we reckon, etc. The common be. See ver. 4. The Apostle indignantly denies 

reading makes this verse an inference. ' Reckon ' that faith abrogates the law, as might be objected. 

is the word usually so rendered ; ' conclude ' is — Hay ; or, ' but on the contrary,' we establish 

incorrect, in any case. — By faith apart from the the law, cause the law to stand. Not as a ground 

works of the law. This principle has already of justification, but as itself teaching justification 

been established (vers. 21-26) ; and is re-stated by faith, the next chapter giving the historical 

here to furnish a basis for the argument against proof. This is the main point here, although 

the pride of the Jew. Luther here adds 'alone,' there are many other reasons which might be 

and the phrase ' faith alone ' has been a watch- urged in support of the statement as a general 

word of evangelical Protestantism. Certainly, the one. The law was never intended as a means of 

context excludes every other ground of justifica- justification ; it could not therefore be abrogated 

tion and because it does there was no necessity as such a means. In its typical character it has 

for Paul's writing ' alone,' or for our inserting it. fulfilled its purpose ; as to its moral contents, as 

The emphasis rests on ' faith,' which ' is the alone the expression of the holy will of God, as a rule 

instrument of justification ; yet it is not alone in of conduct, it was perfectly fulfilled by Christ and 

the person justified, but is ever accompanied with is constantly fulfilled in the holy life of a believer. 



48 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IV. 1-25. 

Chapter IV. 1-25. 

2. Proof from the case of Abraham, that Righteousness is by Faith. 

The principle of faith, as the universal one, does not make void the law. In the truest sense it is 
by this principle that 'we establish the law ' (chap. iii. 31). As regards Abraham himself, the an- 
cestor of the Jews (ver. 1 ), the Scripture teaches that he was justified by faith (vers. 2-5) ; this ac- 
cords with what David says of free forgiveness (vers. 6-8) as well as with the fact that Abraham was 
justified while yet uncircumcised, and thus became the father of believers, untircumeised and circum- 
cised alike (vers. 9-12) ; furthermore the promise of the inheritance of the world came through the 
righteousness of faith, not through the law (vers. 13-17). This is further set forth by a description of 
Abraham's faith in God's omnipotence (vers. 18-22) ; the whole matter being applied to the case of 
all believers in Christ (vers. 23-25). Comp. throughout the similar argument in Gal. iii. 



:w 



XUT. 
2. 



HAT shall we say then that "Abraham our father, 1 as'lf^Ji,; 
pertaining to the flesh, hath found ? 2 For if Abraham ^T™' 
were 3 b justified by works, he hath whereof to glory ; 4 but not h cSp^'i, 

3 before 6 God. For what saith the Scripture ? 'Abraham* be- r &?. ^.6; 
lieved God, and it was counted 7 unto him for righteousness, jan^lu.i. 

4 Now rf to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of 8 toi^&i 6 * 

5 grace, but of 8 debt. But to him that worketh not, but be- r ' 4 " 
lieveth on him that justifieth 'the ungodly, his faith is counted 7 r j<*h. 

6 for righteousness. Even as David also describeth ° the bless- 
edness of the man, unto whom God imputeth 10 righteousness 

7 without n works, Sayings 

f Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, /psa.xxxH. 

And whose sins are covered. 

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute 12 sin. 

9 Cometh 13 this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, 

or upon the uncircumcision also? for 'we say that faith wasrVer. 3 . 

10 reckoned to Abraham M for righteousness. How was it then 16 
reckoned ? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision ? 

1 1 Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And *he received* J£ n **"• * 
the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the 

faith which he had yet being uncircumcised : 18 that 'he might* Lukexix.9; 

1 vera. ia, 16; 

be the father of all them that believe, though they be not cir- <*i. m. 7 . 
cumcised ; 17 that righteousness might be imputed 7 unto them 

1 2 also : 18 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of 
the circumcision only, 19 but who also walk in the steps of that 



1 The best authorities read forefather 

2 hath found according to the flesh (but see notes) * was 

4 ground of glorying 6 toward 6 And Abraham 

7 reckoned 8 ///., according to 9 pronounceth (/*/., saith) 

10 reckoneth u apart from u reckon 18 Is 
14 we say, To Abraham his faith was reckoned u How then was it 

18 while in uncircumcision 1T though yet in (//'/., through) uncircumcision 

11 the best authorities omit also w not only are of the circumcision 



Chap. IV. 1-25.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 49 

faith of 'our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircum- 
cised. 16 

1 3 For the promise, that he should be the * heir of the world, was * ?^;.?Gii 
not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, 20 but through / gj^*. i8 

14 the righteousness of faith. For 'if they which 21 are of the m ****' t ® m 
law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none ^iT-i 8 ' 

1 5 effect : Because a m the law worketh wrath : for where no law fc^?,; 

16 is, there is no transgression. 28 Therefore 2 * it is of faith, that it ?«j, I9; * I 11 ' 
might be n hy** grace; °to the end 28 the promise might be^^thap"^. 4 ' 
sure to all the seed ; not to that only which is of the law, but * c&i. ia. aa. 
to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; *who is the* 1 * 1 *?; 

1 chap. ix. 8. 

17 father of us all, (As it is written, q I have made thee a father * £ BN - xvii. 
of many nations, 28 ) before him whom he believed, even God, r ^\£\ 
r who quickened the dead, and calleth those 'things which be 29 , &!?.«. 
not as though they were : *> ?%\ \ c &L l 

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become Ul0m 
the 81 'father of many nations, according to that which was n ' Ver# ,7# 

19 spoken, * So shall thy seed be. And being not weak 88 in faith, * Gbn ' xv * s \ 

• he considered not w his own body now dead, 86 when he was * v ^iSi!' 

XT I* 

about a hundred years old, neither yet 87 the deadness of Sa- ii. ; n,ta.' 

20 rah's womb : He staggered not at the promise of God through 
unbelief ; w but was " strong in faith, giving glory to God ; 40 

21 And being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, w he Luke i. '37/ 

22 was able also to perform. And therefore 41 it was imputed «$;comj>. " 
to 42 him for righteousness. m- 

x Chap. xr. 

23 Now *it was not written for his sake alone, that it was im- 4; > cor.x. 

J ' 6, ix. 

24 puted to 42 him; But for us 48 also, to 44 whom it shall be im- 
puted, 7 if we 46 believe "on him that raised up Jesus our Lord' A£»j£ 2 *'* 

"25 from the dead; 'who was delivered 46 for our offences, and * *k£v> * ; . 

• was raised again 47 for our justification. JafaCw.v. 

at ; Gal. i. 

30 For not through the law is the promise to Abraham or to his seed, that he 4 ; Heb. ix 
should be heir of the world a that M For ptt?n. L; 

M but (according to the best authorities) where there is no law, neither is a " l 'cor\ xy. 
there transgression M On this account ■*» * Pet - *• 

* may be according to * in order that w may be 
18 A father of many nations have I set thee a that are 
» substitute (.) for (:) 8l omit the w had been 

u without being made weak M the best authorities omit not 

•* already (omitted by some authorities) become dead 

* he being ** and 

n yet with regard to the promise of God he did not waver in unbelief 

m was made *° substitute (,)/or (;) 41 Wherefore also 

41 reckoned unto u for our sake ** unto 

45 who *• delivered up 47 omit again 

Ver. 1. What shall we My then! 'Then' ence is open to discussion. Meyer and others 
connects with what precedes, but the exact refer- take it as introducing a proof of chap. iii. 31, 
VOL. III. 4 



So 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IV. 1-25. 



which they consider the proposition of chap. iv. 
The objection is that Paul is proving, not the 
agreement of the law and the gospel, but the 
true method of justification. It seems better to 
take vcr. 31 as a transition thought, which is il- 
lustrated in this chapter, and taken up again in 
chap, vi., and to find here a proof of the positions 
set forth in chap. iii. 28-30, to which exception 
might be taken in view of the Divine origin of 
the law. — Our forefather. This is the oetter 
supported reading. — According to the flesh. This 
may mean, according to natural descent, or it may 
have the ethical sense, according to his sinful hu- 
man nature (see chap. vii.). In the former case 
it must l>e connected with 'forefather,' in the 
latter with ' hath found.' The order of the com- 
mon Greek text favors the latter; while the best 
authorities sustain a different order, which throws 
the emphasis upon ' hath found,' but separates it 
from 'according to the flesh.' It is possible, 
however, to join it with the verb, even while ac- 
cepting this reading. The sense then is: what 
shall we say then that Abraham our forefather 
hath found (/'. e. t attained) according to the flesh 
(/. /•., through his own natural efforts as distinct 
from the grace of God). The opposite would be 
* according to the Snirit,' according to the work- 
ing of the Spirit of God. This evidently suits the 
context much better than the other view, which 
merely adds a seemingly unnecessary definition to 
the word ' forefather.' 

Vcr. 2. For if Abraham was justified by works. 
It is assumed that he was justified, but the Jews 
held the opinion that he was justified by works. 
Notice that even in their view, justification was 
a matter where God's verdict was concerned. — 
Ground of glorying (not the same word as in 
chap. iii. 27) ; comp. Gal. vi. 4, where the same 
phrase occurs. — But not toward God. The best 
paraphrase of this concisely expressed passage 
is : ' If Abraham, as the Jews suppose, was justi- 
fied by works, he has reason to glory toward God 
(for he could claim justification from God as " of 
debt "), but he has no ground of glorying toward 
God (and hence was not justified by works), for 
the Scripture says he was justified oy faith (ver. 
3).' Some commentators, however, following the 
Greek fathers, take the clause : * but not toward 
God,' as implying that his justification by faith 
gives him a ground of glorying toward God, but 
the supposed justification by works would give him 
only a grouna of glorying toward men, God hav- 
ing nothing to do with it except to acknowledge 
it as justly earned. The objections to this view 
are that ver. 3 would then contain a refutation in- 
troduced by * but,' not ' for ; ' that it is not like 
Paul to admit any ground of glorying toward men, 
much less toward God, in connection with the 
matter of justification. 

Ver. 3. For what aaith the Scripture 1 This 
introduces the Scriptural proof of the fact that 
Abraham has no ground of glorying toward God, 
and hence of the main position that the Old Tes- 
tament teaches thatjustification is by faith. The 
passage quoted is Gen. xv. 6, cited also in Gal. 
iii. 6 ; Jas. ii. 23 ; but the E. V. varies the form 
in each case. The New Testament citations all 
follow the LXX.: And Abraham believed God, 
and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness 
(Heb. : 'And He reckoned it to him for right- 
eousness'). The saying was with reference to 
the promise of an heir, as detailed in vers. 17-22. 
This believing was reckoned unto Abraham for 



righteousness. The word we translate ' reckon ' 
occurs eleven times in this chapter, and is rep- 
resented in the E. V. by ' count,' ' reckon,' * im- 
pute ; ' elsewhere in this Epistle by ' account ' 
(so Gal. iii. 6). The idea of putting to one's ac- 
count is obvious; and the full expression is a 
technical one, the equivalent of God's act of justi- 
fication. ' That is transferred to the person and 
imputed to him, which in and for itself does not 
belong to him ' (Cremer, Bib. Lexicon). The fol- 
lowing explanations attempt to avoid this sense : 
his faith was taken into account with a view to 
making him righteous; his faith being a new 
principle of obedience, was regarded as already 
a complete righteousness ; he was justified on ac- 
count of the merit of his faith, not through his 
faith. But all these are opposed to the proper 
sense of ' reckon ' as well as to that of the entire 
phrase. Furthermore, they are opposed not only 
to the line of Paul's argument, but to the facts 
of spiritual experience : the confusion of justifi- 
cation and sanctification has invariably, sooner 
or later, led to a decrease of holiness. As re- 
spects the character of Abraham's faith, it differs 
from Christian faith, as the promise differs from 
the fulfilment of the gospel salvation, and as hope 
differs from fruition; but the essential element 
in both is unconditional trust in God's truth and 
mercy. How far Abraham, in thus believing, 
had faith in a Messiah, we cannot tell. In any 
case, his faith was not a purely subjective mat- 
ter; it rested upon God, real and revealed, as 
its object, and the contents of his faith would 
correspond with the extent of the revelation. It 
is not for us, who have the personal Lord Jesus 
Christ as the object of our faith, to use the case 
of Abraham as a proof that one can have Chris- 
tian faith and yet reject Him. Meyer goes so 
far as to say : ' Abraham's faith had reference 
to the divine promise, and indeed to the promise 
which he, the man trusted bv God and enlight- 
ened by God, recognized as that which embraced 
in it the future Messiah (John viii. 56).' In the 
case of the Christian, the object of faith is the 
personal Messiah, the contents of faith respect 
His person and work. One who believes in Hira 
will not be seeking to diminish the contents of his 
faith. 

Vcr. 4. Vow te him that worketh. Vers. 4 
and 5 illustrate vcr. 3, by a general contrast of 
the two ways by which we can be accounted right- 
eous. A workman whose business it is to labor 
for hire represents the legal method, the plan of 
making one's own moral character and doings 
the basis of acceptance with God. — The reward; 
his reward, for which he works. — Hot reckoned; 
this takes up the verb from ver. 3. but without 
emphasizing it. — Of grace, but of debt; not ac- 
cording to, as a matter of favor, but of debt. That 
Abraham's case was ' of grace ' is so heavily im- 
plied, that it was not necessary to express it, espe- 
cially as the thought is now quite general. 

Ver. 5. But to him that worketh not ; to one 
who does not work for hire. The statement is 
general, including Abraham, but not specifically 
applied to him. — Believeth on him. The idea of 
trustfully resting on is suggested by the original. 
— That juitineth. Here any other idea than that 
of accounting righteous is forbidden by the con- 
nection. — The ungodly; the ungodly individual, 
the original is in the singular. The word is chosen 
to present a strong contrast of 'justifying,' one 
who is alienated from God is yet accounted right- 



Chap. IV. 1-25.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 5 1 



eous by God. — Hii faith, etc. Meyer, while in- In Gen. xvii. 11, circumcision is represented as 

sisting that the merit of Christ always remains 'a token (sign) of the covenant' God made with 

the meritorious cause, to which we are indebted Abraham. The covenant antedated the sign (Gen. 

for the imputation of our faith, objects to the xv.). In the Talmud also, circumcision is spoken 

usual view that the righteousness of Christ is im- of as the sign and seal of the covenant. — The 

puted to us, on the ground that thus the subjec- righteousness of the faith which he had while in 

live apprehension of Christ is confounded with untircumciiion. This is historically correct, and 

the apprehended Christ, the objective ground of doctrinally accurate. Abraham's faith was in God 

imputation. But the next verse speaks of God's who had promised him an inheritance, and his 

reckoning righteousness to a man, and the pro- faith was then reckoned to him for righteousness, 

found discussion at the close of chap. v. points this being a part of the story of the covenant ; 

more directly to the imputation of Christ's right- when afterwards circumcision was instituted it 

cousness. Comp. the Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 6a sealed the promise or covenant, and not less the 

Ver. 6. Even aa David also. The confirmatory righteousness reckoned to Abraham, which came 
illustration now introduced is from Ps. xxxii. 1, 2, from his faith. The true idea of a sacrament is 
here attributed to David. There is significance here suggested ; it is a sign, seal, and means of 
in the fact that David himself was a sinner who grace, but not the grace itself. Circumcision is 
had been greatly forgiven. — Pronounce th the not the covenant ; nor is baptism regeneration. 
hleasednesi ; speaks the congratulation, the pro- The sign and seal is not itself the ground of con- 
nouncing blessed. The quotation is of forgive- fidence, but it testifies and openly ratifies a Divine 
ness, of not being reckoned a sinner ; but the covenant or blessing. If Abraham needed a seal 
Apostle takes this as equivalent to the Lord reck* of the righteousness reckoned to him, some such 
cneth righteousness. • It is implied by Paul, that outward sign and seal may be expected in the 
the remission of sin is equivalent to the imputa- Christian church. — That he might be the father, 
tion of righteousness, that there is no negative etc. This was the end of his receiving a sign of 
ctate of innocence, none intermediate between previous faith. The idea of spiritual fatherhood 
acceptance for righteousness, and rejection for here set forth is quite Biblical, but the fullest ex- 
sin * (Alford). — Apart from works. Since the position of spiritual sonship of Abraham is found 
forgiveness of sins is here indicated as a part of in Gal. iii. ' They that are of faith, these are sons 
the reckoning of righteousness, this reckoning of Abraham.' ' Not Jews and proselytes as such, 
must be apart from meritorious works, for for- but the believers as such — all uncircumcised who 
giveness and merit are opposed ideas. believe, and (ver. 12) the believing circumcised ' 

Ver. 7. Bleated are they, etc The quotation (Meyer). The former came into view first, be- 
ts made exactly from the LXX. — Whose tins are cause this was the main position to be proved, 
covered. The idea of the first clause is repeated and the more striking inference from the his- 
under another figure, according to the parallelism torical facts. — Though yet in nndrenmoidon ; 
of Hebrew poetry. Their sins are hid by God a correct paraphrase of the original expression, 
Himself, which is the same as ' forgiven,' ' not which is literally ' through uncircumcision.' — 
reckoned.' That righteousness might he reckoned unto them. 

Ver. 8. will not reckon tin. The negation is The best authorities omit 'also'; which would 
very strong, ' will in no wise reckon.' This may suggest, ' unto them as well as to Abraham,' but 
refer to the final judgment, but more probably is quite unnecessary. This clause presents the 
points to the method of entire forgiveness (future purpose with respect to the individuals who be- 
to David's eye) revealed in the gospel. lieve though uncircumcised. It is parenthetical, 

Ver. 9. It this blessedness then, etc. 'This for ver. 12 is parallel with the preceding clause, 
pronouncing blessed, then, is it upon,' etc. The Ver. 12. And the father. 'Father' is repeated 
reference is to David's words. The inference, in to take up the line of thought slightly interrupted 
the form of a question, is, that this declaration of by the final clause of ver. 11. The full idea is : 
blessedness affects the undrenmcision also, for that he might be the father, etc. — Of dronmoision. 
an affirmative answer to this clause is implied in Not of the circumcision as such, but of such as 
the form of the original. — For wo say (1. e. % in are afterward further defined. — Hot only are of 
accordance with the quotation in ver. 3). This the dronmoision, bnt who, etc. The Greek is pc- 
begins the proof from the case of Abraham, by culiar, but the sense is easily perceived. Abraham 
restating the Scriptural fact. The further facts is, indeed, the father of drcumcision, but with 
and conclusion follow. ' That ' should be omitted, reference to those Jews who are not merely cir- 
— To Abraham, etc. The emphasis rests on 'Abra- cumcised, but also believe, as he did. The con- 
ham,' as the emended order indicates.— His faith, nection of the last idea with the historical facts 
lit., ' the faith,' the faith just spoken of in ver. 3. respecting Abraham's faith and subsequent cir- 

Ver. 10. How then was it reckoned 1 Not, cumcision is emphasized in the phrase : walk in 

what was the mode in which it was reckoned, the steps of that faith, etc. The sum of the argu- 

but, ' how was he situated when this took place ? ' ment is : ' For Abraham's righteousness through 

The rest of the verse makes this clear.' — Hot in faith was attained, when as vet there was no dis- 

cirenmdsion, bnt in undrcumddon. The ' reck- tinction between circumcised: and uncircumcised ; 

oning' took place (Gen. xv. 6) at least fourteen and to this mode of becoming just before God, 

years before the circumcision of Abraham (Gen. independently of external conditions, Christianity 

xvii. 25) ; consequently the latter was the Divine by its " righteousness by faith " leads back again 

ratification of grace already received, not the effec- and continues it ' (Meyer). — While in nndrenm- 

tive cause or condition of the bestowal of grace. ddon. The form of the original closely resem- 

Ver. 11. And he reodved the sign of dronmds- bles ver. 11 ; but the order is slightly changed. 

ion, a seal, etc. The ' sign ' was ' circumcision,' The emphasis there rests upon ' in uncircumcis- 

which is described as ' a seal/ etc. Meyer ex- ion * ; here on ' faith.' 

plains: a sign which was given him in the fact Ver. 13. For not through the law. This order 

that he was circumcised, he received as seal, etc. is required by the emphasis indicated in the orig- 



52 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IV. 1-25. 

inal. 'Through law' is the literal rendering, but tive statement, implying the positive truth, that 
this verse (com p. ver. 15) overthrows the view where there is a law, there is transgression of it, 
that ' law ' without the article does not mean spe- thus producing a more pronounced form of sin, 
cificaJly the Mosaic law. The argument is : The upon which God's wrath is visited ; thus the law 
Mosaic law was in no sense the ground or cause ' works wrath.' The negative form is probably 
of the promise, for the law was not then in exist- due to the character of the main thought , the 
ence ; and this fact is the ground of the position promise was independent of law (ver. 13). ' Trans- 
of Abraham as father of all believers, whether gression,' the infraction of known law, is one form 
Gentiles or Jews (vers. 11, 12). The phrase of sin, but does not include all sin. 'Sins without 
'through the law' must not be narrowed to positive law (chap. v. 13), are likewise, and, in- 
' through the works of the law ;' the agency of deed, on account of the natural law (chap. ii. 14), 
the Mosaic law is absolutely denied. — Is the objects of the divine wrath (see i. 18 ; Eph. ii. 3) ; 
promise. The purport of the promise is after- but sins against a given law are, in virtue of their 
wards given. The verb is wanting in the Greek, thereby definite quality of transgression, so spe- 
but we supply ' is,' because the reference is to a cifically and specially provocative of wrath in 
promise still valid ('or to his seed'). — ToAbra- God, that Paul could relatively, even, deny the 
ham or to his teed. ' Or ' after a negative binds imputation of sin when the law was non-existent, 
two words closely. The promise is to both, as Sec on chap. v. 13' (Meyer), 
one. Here ' his seed ' is not directly referred to Ver. 16. On tail aooount. An inference from 
Christ, as in Gal. iii. 16, but to all Del ie vers, as vers. 14, 15 (though some refer it to what follows), 
the spiritual descendants of Abraham. In Gala- — It is of faith. What ? Not the promise, but 
tians, the emphasis rests upon the fact that be- the inheritance, in view of the contrast in ver. 14. 
lievers form a collective unity in Christ. — That Strictly speaking, we should explain, supply 'the 
he should be heir of the world. This is Paul's heirs are of faith.'-— That it may be. The present 
summing up of various promises made to A bra- is preferable, as indicating a continuous result 
ham for himself and his seed (Gen. xii. 7 ; xiii. which is purposed by God in making men heirs. 
14, 15; xv. 18; xvii. 8 ; xxii. 17). The Rabbins 'As the law, bringing the knowledge of guilt, 
understood these as meaning the ultimate, uni- works wrath, so the promise awakening faith, 
versal sovereignty of the Messiah. As to the manifests God's free grace, the end for which it 
main point Paul accepts this view, though the was given ' (Alford). — In order that the promise 
religious significance to him was different from may be (the present is preferable here also). This 
the Jewish conception. The same idea underlies is the purpose of God in making men heirs by 
the gospel phrase ' kingdom of heaven, kingdom the way of grace ; His free unmerited favor thus 
of God.' The promise will be literally fulfilled makes the promise sure to all the seed, /. e^ to all 
when the kingdoms of the world are given to the believers (comp. vers. 11, 13), not only to the be- 
people of the Most High, and Christ returns to lieving Jews, that which if of the law, but also 
rule. Dan. vii. 27; Matt v. 5; Rev. xi. 15, etc. — to the believing Gentiles, who are described as 
Through the righteousness of faith. Gen. xv. 6, of the faith of Abraham (vers. 10, 11 ), though not 
auoted in ver. 3, follows the first promise ; but descended from him. That the former class in- 
this need not occasion difficulty, for the promises eludes only believing Jews, appears from the fact 
covered a long period, and Abraham's faith be- that the Apostle is describing the 'seed' who be- 
gan at the first promise. Comp. Gen. xii. 1-3 come heirs by faith in order to manifest God's 
with Heb. xi. 8. grace. That justification is by faith, not by works 

Ver. 14. For if, etc The proof of ver. 13 is of the law, has already been proved, and is here 
now given (vers. 14-17), from the nature of the presupposed. As the believing Jew was also 'of 
law, and the consequent necessity of faith as the the faith of Abraham,' ' of the law,' the contrast 
ground of inheritance. — They that are of the respects their race, not their way of obtaining the 
law. Comp. the contrasted idea, chap. iii. 26; promise. This is the same in both cases ('ac- 
Gal. iii. 7. Those who belong to the law are of cording to grace '), otherwise it would not be sure, 
that party whose religious lite springs from the — Who is the father of ns all. ' Reiterated (comp. 
law, and who are legalists in character. — Faith vers. 11, 12), solemn setting forth of the father- 
is made void, is made empty and continues so, hood of Abraham for all believers (us), which 
there is no use of it. — Of none effect. The prom- was, indeed, the pith and fundamental idea of the 
ise is made permanently invalid. Why so ? The entire argument (since ver. 9).' Meyer, 
reason is given in ver. 15. Ver. 17. As it is written. Gen. xvii. 5 is here 

Ver. 15. For. The statement that faith and quoted, from the LXX. In view of the connec- 

the promise would be ignored, if the inheritance tion the parenthesis is to be retained. — A father 

is through the law, must be true, for this reason, of many nations. Comp. the significant change 

— The law, the Mosaic law, as in the entire dis- of name (Abraham = father of a multitude) for 

cussion. — Worketh wrath. The wrath of God is which this phrase gives a reason. — Have I set 

meant, else the next clause would have little per- thee. ' Appointed or constituted* The word de- 

tinence ; moreover, ' wrath,' in the New Testa- notes that the paternity spoken of was the result 

ment, in the vast majority of cases refers to God's of a special arrangement or economy. It would 

wrath against 6in. The law does, indeed, stir up not be used to denote the merely physical connec- 

the wrath of man against God, as is set forth in tion between father and son ' (Shedd). Hence 

chap. vii. 5, etc, but the train of thought in that the promise was of a spiritual seed from many 

chapter is distinct from that found here. Because nations. The pertinence of the quotation thus 

the law brings about wrath, it cannot be the becomes obvious. — Before him whom he believed. 

ground of promise (ver. 13). — But where there This is to be joined with ver. 16 : who is the father 

is no law, neither is there transgression. ' For ' of us all, not physically, but spiritually, in the sight 

was substituted by the early transcribers, to and estimation of God, in wnose sight Abraham 

bring out the connection of thought. Strictly believed. Others prefer to explain : in the sight 

speaking, this pan of the verse is a general ncga- of God, whom Abraham believed ; but this is not 



Chap. IV. 1-25.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. S3 

• 

so grammatical. — Who qniekeneth the dead, etc. same as in the phrase rendered 'in faith.' The 

Paul thus describes God, because of the peculiar article points to ' the unbelief ' which might have 

circumstances of Abraham. His omnipotence is been expected from the facts which Abraham 

set forth in the first phrase, which is suggested ' considered.' • Some prefer the instrumental sense 




relatively non-existent, as the original suggests, Was made strong. Instead of being ' made weak,' 

non-existent until God calls them into oeing. he was ' made strong.' — In faith. Some prefer 

These things God treats as existent The main here also to render ' through faith,' but ' in faith,' 

question is, whether this means that God creates is a grammatical explanation, and accords better 

such things, or that in His decrees of Providence with ver. 19, where the same phrase occurs in the 

He disposes respecting them, just as He does re- original ('without being made weak in his faith '). 

specting things already in existence. The word — Giving glory to God. While he gave, cr since, 

' call ' is most frequently used in the former sense, he gave. This clause is to be closely joined with 

but the tense here used points to continuous ac- the next verse, which shows how he gave glory 

tion, which accords better with the latter view, to God. Not words of praise alone, but every 

The phrase thus suggests the numerous seed of action that tends to God's glory, may be included 

Abraham, in regardto which God had decreed in the phrase, according to Scriptural usage, 

and spoken (Gen. xv. 5) while they were non- Here the recognition of God's omnipotence is 

existent, except in His purpose. Some find here meant 

an undercurrent of reference to the calling of the Ver. 21. And being folly persuaded, etc This 

Gentiles, or to the imputing of righteousness simple confidence in God's promise gave glory 

without righteousness ; but this is far-fetched. to God, and is the essence of faith (comp. Gen. 

Ver. 18. Who. Abraham; 'who* in ver. 17 xviii. 14, and Heb. xi. 1). 'Many find it harder 
(referring to God) has no equivalent in the Greek, to believe that God can love them, notwithstand- 
which does not present the ambiguity of our ver- ing their sinfulness, than the hundred-years-old 
sion. Vers. 18-22, which may constitute a sep- patriarch did to believe that he should be the 
arate paragraph, give a more detailed description father of many nations. Confidence in God's 
of the faith of Abraham ; grammatically this verse word, a full persuasion that He can do what seems 
is parallel with 'who is the father of us all' (ver. to us impossible, is as necessary in the one case 
16). — Against hope believed in hope. Abraham's as in the other. The sinner honors God, in trust- 
belief rested 'upon hope' (the literal sense), but ing His grace, as much as Abraham did in trust- 
it was also contrary to hope, i. e. t contrary to ex- ing His power ' (Hodge), 
ternal hope, to what might naturally be hoped for. Ver. 22. Wherefore also, etc The whole dis- 
A similar antithesis is continued throughout — cussion is here summed up, the last clause of ver. 
That he might become father, etc This was the 3 being repeated. The immediate connection is 
end of the faith of Abraham in God's purpose. It with vers. 18-21 ; because Abraham had believed 
is not merely the result, nor is it the purpose of God in the way there described. 
Abraham, nor what he believed. — Aeeording to, Ver. 23. Now it was not written for his sake 
etc This qualifies 'become,' not, 'believed.'— alone. The rest of the chapter states in plain 
Had been spoken (Gen. xv. 5), before the promise language the application of the case of Abraham 
that he should become a father of many nations to the gospel believers. Thus Paul shows that 
(Gen. xvii. 5). — 80, 1. e. t as the stars of heaven God is the God of all believers, and that we 
for multitude. establish the law through faith (chap. iii. 28-31). 

Ver. 19. And without being made weak. This The phrase ' it is written,' which occurs here, is 

clause points to a result which might have been not the usual one : it denotes the past historical 

expected, but did not occur. — In faith; the ar- act of writing, and emphasizes the design of God's 

tide in the original points to ' his faith.' — He Spirit in causing it to be written ; the usual phrase 

considered his own body. The best manuscripts points to the permanent validity of the Scriptural 

omit ' not ' in connection with ' considered.' This quotation. Here, as throughout the Epistle, the 

gives to the whole passage a different turn. Al- Apostle insists that the whole Old Testament 

though he took' all these adverse circumstances pointed to the universality of Christianity. 
into the account, yet he wavered not His faith Ver. 24. But for our sake also. The design 

might have been weakened by the long delay, or was not merely to show how Abraham was justi- 

by the consideration of the physiological circum- fied, but also to show how we should be justified. 

stances which made it seem impossible that he — It shall be reckoned. ' Shall be ' is not the sim- 

should have an heir. This negative expression pie future, but points the purpose of God with 

in regard to Abraham's faith prepares for a de- respect to what is continuous ; the justification of 

scription of how strong his faith was. ' Not ' was each believer is a single act, but that of believers 

probably inserted, because the passage as it stood as a whole is continuous. — Who believe ; ' since 

seemed to cast a reflection upon Abraham. — we are such as believe' fairly presents the sense. 

Already become dead, as regards the hope of a — Him that raised up Jesus our Lord, etc. This 

son, in consequence of his age, he being abent a reference to the resurrection of Christ empha- 

hnndred Tears old: ninety-nine in exact numbers, sizes the power of God, just as ver. 17 had done. 

Gen. xvii. 1, etc. — Deadness; comp. Gen. xviii. The birth of Isaac was a proof of God's omnipo- 

u». These passages plainly show that Abraham tence, but Christ's resurrection is a still higher 

'considered this state of things. proof, both of this omnipotence, and, at the same 

Ver. 2a Tet with regard to the promise of time, of Divine grace, on which the whole argu- 
God. • Yet,' in contrast with the facts he ' con- ment turns (ver. 16). When the fact of Christ's 
sidereaV ( If ' not ' is retained in ver. 19, this resurrection is denied or ignored by nominal Chris- 
verse is not in contrast with what precedes). — tians, their faith is weak in every respect. 
Did not waver in unbelief. The form here is the Ver. 25. Who was delivered up. ' A standing 



54 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. V.-VIII. 

designation for the divine surrender of Christ, work could not have been appropriated by men, 

surrender unto death (chap. viii. 32), perhaps and their justification actually taken place. With- 

after Is. liii. 12. It is at the same time selfsur- out the resurrection, Christ's grave would be the 

render (Gal. ii. 20; Eph. v. 2), since Christ was grave of all our hopes (1 Cor.xv. 17). That great 

obedient to His Father* (Meyer). — Por our tres- fact testified that God accepted the atoning sac- 



clauses, in this one it gives the cause, namely, a matters vitally connected with the words of this 

past fact : because we had sinned ; in the next verse (though not fully expressed), that only the 

clause it points to a future result. Christ died to risen Saviour could intercede for us, could send 

remove our guilt which already existed, but He the Holy Spirit to apply redemption to us ; that 

rose again to accomplish our justification which as the death and resurrection of Christ are insep- 

could not otherwise take place. — Baited for our arably connected as the ground of our salvation, 

justification. This clause presents the positive so the effects are indivisible, though distinguish- 

aspect of the same exhibition of grace. The word able. The sinner cannot be buried with Christ, 

'justification ' points to the act, though the state without rising with Him as a new creature ; the 

(of being justified) which results may be implied, death with Christ is inseparable from the new life 

By His death our Lord atoned for sin (chap. iii. in Christ. Hence some commentators regard this 

25), and secured our pardon and peace; this is verse as a brief introduction of ' the great subject 

the meritorious ground of our justification (comp. of chaps, v.-viii., Death, as connected with Sift, 

chaps, iii. 24, 25 ; v. 9 ; 2 Cor. v. 9 ; Eph. 1. 7 ; 1 and Life, as connected with Righteousness* (Al- 

John i. 7. But unless Christ has risen the atoning ford). See beginning of next section. 



Chapters V.-VIII. 

III. THE GOSrEL THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION. 

In this third division of the doctrinal part of the Epistle, the Apostle presents the gospel as ' the 
power of God unto salvation,' setting forth how God's power becomes efficient in men, as the result 
of gratuitous justification. Death is shown to be connected with Sin, and Life with Righteousness. 

Chap. v. treats of the immediate result of justification, peace with God (v. 1-11) enforced by the 
parallel and contrast between the relations to the first and second Adam (v. 12-21). Chaps, vi.-vii. 
treat of the moral results of justification ; namely, sanctification. Stated more generally : chap. v. 
treats of the effect upon the feeling (peace) ; chaps, vi.— viii. upon the will (holiness). As, however, 
the Apostle has shown the need of justification by faith from the guilt of all, so he proves the need 
of sanctification by the gospel method from the failure of the law to sanctify (chaps, vi., vii.), before 
passing to the positive statements of chap. viii. (There is therefore good ground for the view 
which regards chaps, iii. 21 -v. as treating of justification, and chaps, vi.-viii. of sanctification.) But 
the course of thought is not that of a formal treatise ; the letter follows to a great extent the order 
of Christian experience, taking up difficulties as they arc presented in the Christian life. Even the 
parallel and contrast between Adam and Christ, in chap. v. 12-21, is not an exception ; for thus the 
connection between sin and death, and righteousness and life is set forth in its most extended form ; 
grace is shown to abound, and the gratuitous nature of justification enforced for the comfort of the 
believer. Moreover this apparent digression is but a more pronounced example of what occurs in 
well-nigh every section of the Epistle. Chap. vi. takes up an objection, which constantly recurs : will 
not this abounding grace allow men to continue in sin ? Paul answers, that Christians have a fellow- 
ship of life with Christ, are dead to sin and dedicated to God. Moreover, they arc thus freed from 
the law (chap. vii. 1-6). This thought suggests another objection (as constantly recurring as the 
previous one) ; will not freedom from the law lead to continued sin ? The Apostle, in reply, defends 
the spirituality of the law (chap. vii. 7-12), but shows that it is not the power of God unto salva- 
tion (chap. vii. 13-25). In the experience he portrays, the prominent distinction is between law and 
grace, not sin and grace. This part of the Epistle, so far from being adapted for Jewish readers 
only, or for that age alone, is the part which touches our experience most closely. The antithesis 
between law and grace is one constantly felt ; the Christian is in constant danger from legalism ; and 
few have learned to sympathize with the joyous utterances of chap. viii. without having proved in their 
own case that the law as a means of sanctification leads to wretchedness (chap. vii. 24), quite as 
truly as it fails to justify. Chap. viii. presents the work of the Spirit over against the failure of the 
law, showing the happy condition of the justified man, in the freedom of the new life, the conscious- 
ness of adoption and the assurance of future glory. 



Of ap. V. 1-1 1.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 55 

Chapter V. i-ii. 

1. The Blessed Inward Condition of the Justified. 

Justification has as its proper result peace with God (ver. i), which becomes hope of the glory of 
God (ver. 2), is actually increased by tribulation (vers. 3, 4), because of God's love (ver. 5). This love 
is assured by the vicarious death of Christ (vers. 6, 8) ; and this is a proof and pledge that reconciled 
sinners will be 'saved in his life* (vers. 9, 10), and may glory in God who through Christ provides 
this reconciliation (ver. 11). 

i HPHEREFORE a being justified by faith, we have 1 b peace *%.*%& 

2 A with God through our Lord Jesus Christ : c By a whom 3»j£ ui. *, 
also we have access 8 by faith into this grace d wherein wej£ ph . ^ 14 . 
stand, 4 and € rejoice 5 in hope 6 of the glory of God. And not * jSini*'; 

3 only so, but 7 we glory 7 in 8 tribulations also ; 9 * knowing that S^'sViuf 11 ' 

4 tribulation worketh patience ; 10 h And patience, 10 experience ; n !* 

5 and experience, 11 hope : * And hope maketh not ashamed ; u t Heb^iilV' 
* because the love of God 13 is shed abroad 14 in our hearts by 2 «; Acti v! 
the Holy Ghost which is 16 given unto us. xi. 36; «(. 

6 For when 16 we were yet without strength, 17 in due time "-^i. 

7 'Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous . , .?; , . p ? t - 
man will one die : yet 18 perad venture for a 19 good man some ^ V^ 4 ; { 

8 would even dare to die. But m God commendeth 21 his 22 lovejjjjjjj^ \ l ; \ 2 ' 
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for * gS°w!" 6 " ; 

9 us. Much more then, 28 being now justified n by 24 his blood, we ^ h * '* ,3i 

10 shall be saved °from wrath through him. 23 For p ii, when we'^eJ.V' 25 ' 
were 25 enemies, ff we were reconciled to God by 2 the death of '"JfTpS. 
his Son ; much more, being w reconciled, we shall be saved r by M John iii 16; 

1 1 his life. 28 And not only so, but we also * joy M in God through « ch?p! m. 
our Lord Jesus Christ, by 2 whom we have now received the 13'; Het>. ix! 

*r\ »4 » l John 

' atonement. 30 «. 7- . 

o Chap. 1. 18 ; 
1 Xhcss. i. 

1 let us have {according to the best authorities, see notes) 10. 

2 through z we have also had the access 32 . p * vm * 
4 substitute (\)for (,) * let us rejoice (glory) 6 the hope q J^Eph.^ 
7 let us also rejoice (glory) 8 in our »°; Col. i. 

9 omit also 10 or constancy "approval r John v. 26; 

11 putteth not to shame w God's love « hath been poured out Sor.'fvl 'o, 

M was 18 while n weak 18 for . /i; .. 

"the a some one 21 or doth establish 111.29,30; 

22 his own *• therefore 24 Greek in / Ver! lo; 9 i 

» through him from the wrath * being CT or having been f™' v * l8 ' 

28 substitute (;) for (.) 

29 rejoicing (glorying), according to the best authorities 
80 reconciliation. 



Ver. 1. Therefore being justified. The con- iii. 21-iv. 25). The single act of justification is 
nection is with chap. iv. 25, but through this with indicated in the original. The sense ' make right- 
thc whole argument in the second division (chaps, eous,' is altogether inappropriate here, destroying 



56 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. V. i-i i. 



the whole force of the Apostle's inference. — Let 3 in E. V.) — In the hope of the glory of God. 
ns have ; or, ' we have.' The two senses axe The ground of rejoicing is the hope of snaring in 
represented in Greek by two forms of the same that glory which belongs to God ; comp. John vii. 
verb, which differ only in a single letter (long or 22 ; 1 Thess. ii. 12 ; I John iii. 2 ; Rev. xxi 11. 
short o). The weight of authorities is decidedly That God will give this glory is implied, rather 
in favor of the form which must be translated, than expressed. The Roman Catholic doctrine 
' let us have.' But there are considerations which of the uncertainty of salvation is opposed to this 
weigh in favor of the other reading: (1.) The triumphant assurance of faith. We may, how- 
early transcribers frequently interchanged long ever, distinguish between assurance of a present 
and short 0; (2.) The form ' let us have,' if once state of grace, which is implied in true fauk, per- 
occurring, would be retained, because the doc- sonally apprehending Christ as a Saviour, and 
trine of justification was early obscured, and this assurance of future redemption, which is an arti- 
form is not so confident as the other ; (3.) the ex- cle of ' hope/ to be accompanied by constant 
hortation seems inappropriate here. These rea- watchfulness. 

sons are so strong, that many who would not, in Ver. 3. And not only so ; not only let us re- 
other cases, hesitate to give way to manuscript joice (or, do we rejoice) in the hope of glory ; but 
authority, here retain the reading : ' we have.' let ns also reioioe in our tribulations. The con- 
But it is safer to follow the better supported read- struction is the same as in ver. 2. * In ' is not 
ing, and to give it the sense : ' let us have peace/ the same word used in ver. 2 ; there the ' hope ' 
in full measure, let us accept fully what God has was the direct ground of the glorying, here the 
provided for us ; comp. Hetx xii. 28 : ' let us have ' tribulations ' are the indirect ground, since they 
grace.' The sense of vers. 2 and 3 is affected by become the means of sanctification. ' Our tribu- 
this reading. — Peace with God. Not, 'toward lations/ lit., 'the tribulations,' which Christians 
God.' We are, as a result of justification, no then knew so well. Lord Bacon says: 'Pros- 
longer under condemnation (chap. viii. 1) : God perity is the blessing of the Old Testament, ad- 
is at peace with us. Our feeling towards Him versity of the New.' See marginal references, 
may and ought to correspond ; but it is subject ' Christians do not glory in suffering, as such, or 
to change. God's relation to us is the great mat- for its own sake ; out as the Bible teaches : 1. 
tcr ; on that is based true peace of conscience. Because they consider it an honor to sutler for 
When God has accepted the believing sinner as Christ. 2. Because they rejoice in being the oc- 
righteous, He looks at him as in Christ, who is casion of manifesting His power in their sup- 
our Peace (Eph. ii. 14-16). The hindrance to port and deliverance ; and, 3. Because suffering 
peace has been removed by the death of Christ ; is made the means of their own sanctification and 
God's wrath against our sin is removed. Peace preparation for usefulness here, and for heaven 
that does not rest upon this great fact is a dream hereafter. The last of these reasons is that to 
and a delusion. — Through onr Lord Jesns Christ which the Apostle refers in the context ' (Hodge). 
This full form gives a tone of triumph to the — Knowing that, since we know that; the De- 
verse. This personal Lord has made peace, sat- liever finds this out in his own experience. This 
isfied justice, removed the curse, made it possible knowledge extends to the whole series of succes- 
for a holy God to be righteous in accounting sive results ; the climax is set forth in ver. 5. — 
righteous those, who by nature and character, are Worketh patience. Not ' patience ' as we gener- 
sinners. God is love, He first loved the world, erally understand it, but ' constancy/ patient 
but loved it in this way, that He gave His only endurance, steadfastness, holding out bravely 
begotten Son (John iii. 16) ; through this Son of against trials and persecutions. 
His love, we have peace with God. Ver. 4. Approval. ' Experience ' is too wide, 
Ver. 2. Through whom. The Personal Re- since it may include the whole Christian life. The 
deemer is kept in the foreground. — We have also term here used refers to the state of one who has 
had ; have obtained as our own. ' Also ' is mis- successfully stood a test In itself it might refer 
placed in the E. V., since it should be joined with to the act of testing (2 Cor. viii. 2), but here the 
the verb. — Access; 'the access,' something well- result is evidently meant. — Hope. As in ver. 2 f 
known. (Some prefer to render it 'in trod uc- ' hope of the glory of God.' But while this hope 
tion.') This access is the result of justification precedes the ' approval/ in an increased measure 
and the ground of peace. We have peace, be- it is the further result of the approval. 'The 
cause at the time of our justification we obtained more the Christian has become tried, the more 
as our possession this access into this grace. — also will hope continually possess him* (Meyer). 
By faith. Some important manuscripts omit this, Like faith and love, and every other Christian 
but the probabilities favor its genuineness. Paul grace, hope is never done in this world, but always 
constantly presents the personal Redeemer, but growing. Every enlargement of Christian life 
is ever reminding his readers that by faith we enlarges this also. 

appropriate what He has done for us. — Into this Ver. 5. Pntteth not to shame. It will not die* 

gTaee, 1. *., the state of justification, which is pre- appoint or mock us ; it even now gives triumphant 

eminently a position of * grace/ wherein we stand, certainty. — Because God's love. 'The love of 

have our permanent position, as accepted of God. God/ while more literal, is ambiguous ; the Apos- 

— And let ns rejoiee. The form here (and in ver. tie means the love God has toward us. We are 

3) may be either imperative or indicative ; but, as assured that hope shall not put us to shame, not 

the sentence corresponds with the beginning of by anything in ourselves, but because of the love 

ver. 1, we must translate in accordance with the of God. This love has been outwardly manifested 

reading there. (The E. V. gives the impression and inwardly given to us : hath been poured out 

that 'stand ' and ' rejoice ' are closely connected.) in our hearts. ' The love of God did not descend 

The word itself means to glory, boast, triumph, upon us as dew in drops, but as a stream which 

rejoice, exult. The first is the usual rendering, spreads itself through the whole soul, filling it 

but is infelicitous here, where 'glory' (another with a consciousness of His love and favor' 

word in the Greek) immediately follows. So ver. (Philippi). — Through the Holy Ghost whioh 



Chap. V. i-n.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. $7 

given nnto vs. The outward manifestation of lish ' (comp. chap. iii. 5). Probably both mean* 

God's love is through Christ (ver. 8), but the in- ings are included ; the proof is of such a charac- 

ward (and abundant) experience of it as ours ter as to render the love conspicuous, and thus to 

comes only through the Holy Ghost ' Was * commend ' it The word has an emphatic posi- 

given * points to a single bestowal ; not, however, tion in the original. The present tense is used, 

to the outpouring on the day .of Pentecost, since because the atoning death of Christ is the fact 

this could not apply to Paul himself, but to the which remains the most striking manifestation of 

gift of the Spirit at the time of the regeneration the love of God. — His own lore ; possibly in con- 

of each Christian. trast with the love of men, but certainly suggest- 

Ver. 6. For. This introduces the outward ing it was God's love (of benevolence) which led 
proof, or manifestation, of the love of God, the to the Atonement. — Toward m. To be joined 
same love which hath been poured out in our with ' love/ and referring, as does the whole sec- 
hearts through the Holy Ghost (ver. 5). But the tion, to Christians. — While we were yet rinner*. 
internal experience would be a delusion, were it So in character, and so before God, who had not 
not based on this historical fact, in which God's yet justified us. — Christ died for vs. (Comp. ver. 
love was specially displayed. — While we were 6.) His death was the ground of our justifica- 
yet weak, *. e. { spiritually weak, without the Holy tion ; God's love provided this ground, while we 
Spirit, through which we must receive spiritual were yet sinners. 

life. ' The sinfulness is purposely described as Ver. 9. Knch more therefore. The inference 
weakness (need of help), in order to characterize from God's love as displayed in the death of 
it as the motive for the love of God interfering to Christ (vers. 6-8), is the assurance of full salva- 
save ' (Meyer). ' Yet ' is repeated in the original, tion. An argument from the greater to the less, 
according to the best manuscripts, and thus re- ' If Christ died for His enemies, He will surely 
ceives an emphasis which we can scarcely repro- save His friends' (Hodge). — Being now justl- 
duce in English. — In doe time. At the proper fled, or, 'having been justified,' at the present 
season, which was also the appointed time. Christ time, ' now,' in contrast with « while we were yet 
appeared when all the preparation for His com- sinners' (ver. 8). — By his blood, lit., 'in.' A con- 
ing was complete, and when the disease of sin crete expression for the atoning death of Christ, 
had reached its crisis. It was, therefore, the ' due which is the meritorious cause of our justification 
time,' and in Paul's mind the death of Christ was (comp. chap. iii. 25). — Bayed through him from 
the central point of all human history (comp. Gal. the wrath. That this means the wrath of God 
iv. 4 ; where, however, the word rendered * time ' admits of no doubt. The full final escape from 
is a different one). — Died for the ungodly. The wrath, at the last judgment, is suggested, but this 
term ' ungodly ' is chosen rather than ' us/ which is only a negative expression for ' the hope of the 
would have been otherwise correct, to bring glory of God' (ver. 2); there being no middle 
out more forcibly the strength of God's love, position between objects of wrath and heirs of 
' For,' in itself, means * in behalf of ' ; but ' where glory. The Apostle thus joins together the cer- 
the question is concerning a dying for those who tainty of salvation with the fact of God's wrath 
are worthy of death, the conception naturally in- against sin and the certainty of its execution upon 
volves a will, understood " instead of ; " see Matt unbelieving sinners. As respects the word wrath, 
xx. 28' (Lange). The doctrine of the substitu- 'it denotes a personal emotion, and not merely 
tionary death of Christ (His vicarious atonement) an abstract attribute. A divine emotion is a 
rests, not on the preposition, but on the context, divine attribute in energy. In relation to it, the 
on the whole sweep of Biblical thought, and, as oblation of Christ is called a " propitiation " ( t 
far as Paul's view is concerned, on such passages John ii. 2 ; iv. 10). The feeling of anger towards 
as chap. iii. 25 ; Eph. v. 2 ; 1 Tim. ii. 6. sin is not incompatible with the feeling of com- 

Ver. 7. For. This death of Christ for the passionate benevolence (ver. 7) towards the sin- 
ungodly shows the greatness of God's love (comp. ner. The very Being who is displeased, is the 
ver. 8), since among men it is true that scarcely very same Being who, through a placatory atone* 
for a righteous man, still less for the ' ungodly,' ment of His own providing, saves from the dis* 
will one die. — For permdventure ; not, ' yet. The pleasure ' ( Shedd). 

Apostle adds another confirmatory clause, which Ver. 10. For. A further setting forth of ttv 
admits the possibility of some one dying for the thought of ver. o. — Being enemies ; i. e., being, 
good man. The exact sense is open to discussion, as we were, the objects of God's holy wrath. That 
Explanations : (1.) that there is no distinction be- this was while we, on our part, were opposed to 
tween • righteous ' and ' good,' so far as the Apos- God is certainly true ; but the best commentators 
tie's argument is concerned, the second clause agree in declaring that the other sense is the log- 
bringing out the thought of the first in another ical one. The only objection to it rests on a me- 
form, more with reference to the possibility of chanical and false view of Scripture language. It 
such rare cases. (2.) That ' the good man ' means is supposed to imply a wrong state of feeling on 
one who is a benefactor, or who has a noble, ad- the part of God. But this is impossible. When 
mirable, kind character, not merely a just one. the Scriptures say that God has wrath against 
This is the usual view, though the presence of sinners (which really means that they are 'ene- 
the article is variously explained. ' A righteous mies ' in the sense we advocate), tney do not 
man,' fulfilling all just demands, calls forth re- assert that He has the revengeful, passionate feel- 
spect and admiration ; but ' the good man,' him- ings which naturally belong to human enmity, 
self prompted by love, evokes our love, and for Every assertion, even in our ordinary use of lan- 
him some one would even dare to die. (3.) The guage, is modified by the character of the person 
phrase is taken as neuter by some : ' that which spoken of ; much more in this case, for God must 
is good,' but this is very flat, and quite unlikely be right, if there is any distinction between right 
in a discussion where persons are so constantly and wrong. Nor does this view contradict the 
in mind. love of God : His love shines out conspicuously, 

Ver. 8. Bat God oommendeth, or, ' doth estab- becomes effective, by means of the plan which 



53 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. V. i-ii. 

removes His enmity without detriment to His Ver. if. And not only to. Not only have we 
holiness. — We were reconciled to God, etc. In been reconciled. Some explain : not onlv shall 
accordance with the last remark, we refer this to we be saved ; but this is not so grammatical, since 
God's act by means of which we cease to be the the participle * rejoicing ' (glorying) is the correct 
objects of His holy wrath. (Comp. ver. n, where reading in the next clause. This verse then in- 
' reconciliation ' should be substituted for 'atone- troduces the side of human feeling. The recon- 
ment,' and where this * reconciliation ' is said to ciliation is God's act, it gives assurance of com- 
be ' received.') The primary sense, therefore, plete salvation in the living Christ ; but this pro- 
points to the great change which has taken place duces present joy, triumph, glory (comp. vers. 2, 
in the relation of God to us, by means of the vol- 3). — Bejoiemg in God. The verb is the same as 
untary atoning sacrifice of Christ ('through the in vers. 2, 3, rendered in three different ways in 
death of His Son '). Thus God's wrath was re- the E. V. (The correct reading requires us to 
moved, His justice satisfied, and, in consequence, connect this verse more closely with the preced- 
men are reunited to Him as a loving and recon- ing; see foot-note.) Our glory is this: 'that God 
ciled Father. While it is true that man is recon- is ours, and we are His, and that we have in all 
ciled to God ' through the death of His Son,' this confidence all blessings in common from Him 
is not the thought from which the Apostle is and with Him 1 (Luther). — Through our Lord 
arguing, nor is it justified by correct laws of in- Jesus Christ. No glorying that we have as Chris- 
terpretation. ' All attempts to make this, the tians comes to us other than through Him. He 
secondary meaning of the word, to be the primary, reconciles God to us, but He also reconciles us 
rest not on an unprejudiced exegesis, but on a to God ; for it is through Him we have now re- 
foregone determination to get rid of the reality ceived the reconciliation. In itself ' the reconcili- 
of God's anger against sin ' (Trench). On the ation ' primarily means a new relation of God to 
other hand, it is clear that the two sides are prac- us, not a moral change in us. 'The article points 
tically inseparable ; and this because our re concilia- to the well-known reconciliation, spoken of in 
tion to God, as a moral process on our side is ver. 10. But here the Apostle directly refers to 
prompted and encouraged by the assurance that the believing act of reception and appropriation. 
God has been reconciled to us, resting on the ' Our ' is open to the objection that it suggests 
demonstration of His love to us in the atoning too exclusively a reconciliation on our part, which 
death of Christ, which was the meritorious ground exclusive reference is forbidden by the word ' re- 
of His reconciliation to us. Our privilege will ceived.' When we were justified Dy faith, we re- 
seem all the greater, our duty the more impera- ceived this reconciliation, it became ours, through 
tive, from holding fast to the plain meaning of the our Lord Jesus Christ who procured it for us, 
passage. — Much more, being reconciled, or, ' hav- and who by being our personal Saviour makes us 
ing been reconciled,' once for all. The former glory in God. Thus is completed the circle of 
participle ('being') pointed to a past state; this thought began in vers. 1, 2. — The word 'atone- 
mdicates a past act. Paul is speaking of Chris- ment,' found here in the English version, has led 
tians, who have been justified (ver. 1), who have to much useless discussion. Within the last half 
embraced this plan of reconciliation, to whom century voluminous controversies have been car- 
God is actually reconciled. On this accomplished ried on, which failed to recognize the mistrans- 
fact he bases his argument : We shall be saved by lation, or recognizing it ignored it in the interest 
(or, ' in ') his life. Fellowship with the life of of dogmatic prejudices. The reader must bear 
the ascended and reigning Lord is here suggested, in mind the following facts : (1.) That the word 
•The death of Christ effected our reconciliation ; corresponds with that rendered (twice) ' recon- 
all the less can His exalted life leave our deliver- ciled ' in ver. 10 ; hence ' reconciliation ' is in 
ance unfinished. The living Christ cannot leave any case preferable. (2.) ' Atonement 'in its old 
without final success what His death effected, sense (= at -one -ment) meant 'reconciliation,' 
This, however, is accomplished not merely through but does not now mean this. (3.) It is now a 
His intercession (chap. viii. 34), but also through technical term applied to the death of Christ, as 
His whole working in His kingly office for be- an expiation, propitiation, satisfaction (see chap, 
lievers up to the completion of His work and iii. 25). All arguments as to the nature of the 
kingdom ; 1 Cor. xv. 22' (Meyer). 'This same atonement which fail to recognize these linguistic 
Saviour that died for them still lives, and ever facts, imply ignorance or dishonesty; neither of 
lives, to sanctify, protect, and save them ' ( Hodge), which should characterize one reconciled to God. 



Chapters V. 12-21. 



2. Parallel and Contrast between the results of connection with Adam and union 
with Christ : Righteousness and Life over against Sin and Death. 

This profound section is, in its immediate connection, an illustration of what precedes, namely, the 
blessed condition of those who receive reconciliation (who are justified, vers. I, n) as a free gift. As 
if the Apostle would say, this gratuitous justification through Christ closely resembles, though with 
points of difference, our connection as sinners with Adam : especially in this, that the one represents the 
many ; sin and death are bound together in the one head, Adam ; righteousness and life in the other 
head, Christ Like a skilful physician, the Apostle here goes to the root of the matter, not only in 



Chap. V. 12-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 59 

speaking of the disease, but also of the cure. Hence the section is not an episode, although on the 
other hand it is not the beginning of a new division of the Epistle. It is rather a forward step in 
the course of thought, serving as a basis for an advance from the doctrine of gratuitous justification 
to that of vital union with Christ, on which rest our sanctification and glorification. It is a con- 
firmation of this view of the passage that some able commentators begin a new division of the Epistle 
here, while others take it as the close of that part which treats of justification ; comp. the divisions of 
Lange and Godet. The beginning, middle, and end of history are here brought together in their 
representative moral powers and principles. Only a mind of the highest order — to say nothing of 
inspiration — could conceive such vast thoughts, and express them in so few words. 

This part of the Epistle has been a battle ground for exegetes from the days of Augustine ; every 
line bears the marks of theological controversy. Without anticipating, we may remark that here 
Paul evidently views the human race as an organic unit. Adam and Christ, he conceives, sustain to 
it a central and universal relation. The former was not merely an individual, but the head of the 
race, and his transgression affected the whole race. The latter, the second Adam, the Son of man, is 
the representative Head of renewed humanity, who has gained for His people more than Adam lost. 
God, in infinite wisdom, and mercy, has overruled the wrath of man for His own glory. These 
are the two leading thoughts of the section : as respects sin and death, righteousness and life, the 
act of the one (Adam, Christ) affects the position and character of the many. The main point is not 
* imputation,' which is, however, as we hold, plainly suggested ; but rather the oneness of the person, 
laying the meritorious ground, respectively, for the states of sin and death, and of righteousness and 
life. But the parallel is not complete : the triumph of grace exceeds the ruin of sin. (The ' much 
more ' is not numerical, nor merely logical, but dynamic,) We may analyze the section thus : — 

The connection of sin and death, asserted in the case of Adam ; the parallel suggested, but not ex- 
pressed ; ver. 12. Historical confirmation of the fact (respecting the result of Adam's transgression), 
closing with a reference to 'the coming One,' which supplies the omitted parallel; vers. 13, 14. 
Three points of difference stated, before the parallel is resumed ; vers. 15-17. (The punctuation of 
the E. V., making a parenthesis from vers. 13-171 joins vers. 12 and 18 too closely, and detracts from 
the force of the intervening verses.) Resumption and restatement of parallel ; vers. 18, 19. Purpose 
of the law to show the abounding of grace (indicated in vers. 15-17) ; vers. 20, 21. 

As regards the translation of the section there is unusual agreement among scholars, but no part 
of the E. V. calls for more frequent minor emendations to present the exact sense of the original. 
The inaccuracies in translating the Greek prepositions and the article are especially numerous. 

12 TX THEREFORE, 1 as°by 2 one man sin entered into the-fg^* 

V V world, and * death by 2 sin ; and so death passed upon 8 ^ ££ n a< 1?; 

13 all men, for that 4 'all have 6 sinned : (For until the law sin was JL'J: **"• 
in the world: but *sin is not imputed when there is no law. 6 ifiw. v £v* 35 

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to 7 Moses, even over, cWe p h. 
them that had not sinned 8 after the similitude 9 of Adam's 4 c£pi.iii. 
transgression, e who is the figure of him that was to come. 10 coinp. oai! 

15 But not as the offence, 11 so also is the free gift: 12 for if John in! 4 . 
through the offence of one 13 many be dead, 11 much more the 15 *«»")45 
grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, 13 

16 Jesus Christ, hath abounded •'unto many. 17 And not as it was/fcj™- tl > 
by one 18 that sinned, so is the gift : for the judgment was by Jg! 2 x co r '. v . 
one to 19 condemnation, but the free gift n is of many offences m ,s 

On this account 2 through * //'/., came through unto 

or because * omit have • where the law is not 

until 8 did not sin 9 likeness 

10 a type of the coming One n fall or trespass (see notes) 

l * or gift of grace ,8 by the fall (trespass) of the one 

14 the many died " did the 

16 by (Greek in) the grace of the one man 1T abound unto the many 

as through one . w came of {or from) one unto 

30 came of (or from) many false (trespasses) 



60 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. V. 12-21, 

17 unto 9 justification. 21 For if by one man's offence 21 death* Ver - 18 * 
reigned by one j 23 much more they which M receive abundance 25 

of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by 
one, 23 Jesus Christ.) 

18 Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment cante™ upon 

all men to 27 condemnation ; even so by the * righteousness of a ver. 16; 
one the free gift raw* 28 'upon all men unto * justification of ^ mp, ^ r * 

19 life. For as by one man's disobedience 29 many 80 were made 81 * «**•». V ' 
sinners, so by the obedience of one M shall many *° be made 81 as- 
righteous. 

20 Moreover 38 'the law entered, 34 that the offence 86 might 'fi^S-": 
abound. 38 But where sin abounded, grace did m much more M j£ gj ^ 

21 abound: That as "sin hath reigned unto w death, even so^^/ftS^ 

might ° grace reign through righteousness unto 'eternal life fVjjSSl. 

by « Jesus Christ our Lord. n %g£ " 

n a righteous (or justifying) act ** by the fall (trespass) of the one 17. 

28 through the one a4 that » the abundance / Sfaj.^ 

28 So then as through one fall (trespass) // came w unto 

28 so also through one righteous (or justifying) act // came 

20 through the disobedience of the one man * the many 

81 constituted n so also through the obedience of the one 

m But •* came in besides •* trespass w multiply 

37 multiplied n exceedingly w sin reigned in 

40 so also 41 through 



Ver. 12. On thii account, or, ' therefore.' First 14). Eve is not mentioned, for Adam had re- 
of all on account of the statement of ver. 11, but ceived the commandment, was the head of the 
virtually on account of all that precedes, since woman, and had he not transgressed, his posterity 
ver. 11 sums up the whole doctrine of righteous- would not have sinned (Bengel). The compari- 
ness and salvation. Since ' reconciliation ' is son between Adam and Christ is the only apt one, 
received through our Lord Jesus Christ in the and there is no reference to Satan, because the 
manner already set forth, ' therefore ' the follow- Apostle is concerned with the effect, not the mode, 
ing parallel between Adam and Christ holds good, of the fall (Meyer). — Sin. The presence of the 
— Ai, etc. The main difficulty is in regard to definite article in the Greek, and the course of 
what should correspond with 'as,' the construe- thought sustain the view that 'sin' is here re- 
tion not being regular. The view of Meyer, which carded as a power or principle, personified as a 
is grammatically most defensible, is that indicated fearful tyrant, who has acquired universal domin- 
in the analysis at the beginning of the section, ion over the human race. Compare the charac- 
The correspondence is suggested in ver. 12, the teristics of 'sin,' as given in this Epistle: he 
second member ('the coming One') indicated in 'reigns in death' (ver. 21); 'lords it over us' 
ver. 14 ; expressed, after some points of difference, (chap. vi. 14); 'deceives and slays' the sinner 
in vers. iS, 19. In the rush of ideas suggested by (chap. vii. 11) ; 'works death' in us (chap. vii. 
the parallel, Paul intentionally suspends the men- 13). This view is further sustained by the dis- 
tion of the second half, until he has proven one tinction made, throughout this section, between 
point in regard to the first half (vers. 13, 14), and ' sin ' and ' transgression,' ' offence ' (or ' tres- 
stated three important contrasts. In full form pass'). The term is, therefore, not to be limited, 
the parallel would be : 'so also by one man, Jesus either to original sin on the one hand, or to actual 
Chnst, righteousness entered into the world, and sin on the other. — Entered into the world; the 
life through righteousness, and thus life shall ex- world of man. ' According to the Apostle's con- 
tend to all men, on condition that all believe, or viction, evil was already in existence in another 
are justified.' But the parallel cannot hold in world' (Tholuck), that of the angels. Hence our 
the last clause ; for all men are sinners, but not passage sheds no light on the origin of evil, ex- 
all are believers ; all are one with Adam, but not cept in the human race. — Death. The entrance 
all are one with Christ. Other unsatisfactory ex- of death into the world of humanity was through 
planations : that there is a designed suppression, sin, death as a power in the world resulted from 
because the parallel would not hold ; that vers, the entrance of sin as a power ; the two are uni- 




Chap. V. 12-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 



6r 



result. But the results of 'sin' are more exten- 
sive, and the contrast with 'life' in vers. 17, 18, 
21, points to the evident sense of ' death ' through- 
out the entire passage. This includes all physical 
and moral evil, the entire penal consequences of 
sin, death of the body, spiritual death, and eter- 
nal death of both soul and body ('the second 
death/ Rev. ii. 11 ; xx. 6, 14; xxi. 8). The fact 
that physical death did not immediately follow 
the first transgression, shows that Gen. ii. 17 in- 
cluded a more extensive penalty. — Passed upon, 
lit., ' came through unto,' all men. The universal 
reign of death is thus connected, chronologically 
and logically, with its cause, the universal reign 
of sin. 'All men' here represents the several 
individuals making up 'the world.' — For that, 
or, ' because/ ' on the ground that.' This is the 
view now generally accepted. Other views : * In 
whom/ 1. e., Adam ; an ancient view (so Augus- 
tine) now generally rejected as ungrammatical. 
' On the condition that ; ' but this is unusual, 
and designed to meet a doctrinal difficulty. — All 
sinned, not, ' have sinned.' A single historical act 
is meant, namely, the past event of Adam's fall, 
which was at the same time virtually the fall of 
the human race as represented by him and ger- 
minal ly contained in him. (For tne views of this 
connection between Adam and his posterity see 
Excursus at the close of the section.) As regards 
the interpretation of the words, it may be insisted 
that ' sinned ' is not equivalent to ' became sinful.' 
There remain two views: (1.) As a historical 
fact, when Adam sinned all sinned, because of the 
vital connection between him and his posterity. 
(2.) When Adam sinned, all were declared sin- 
ners, he being the representative of the race. The 
objection to this is, that ' sinned ' is not equiva- 
lent to ' were regarded as sinners.' It makes the 
parallel between Adam and Christ more close 
than the passage, thus far, appears to warrant. 

Ver. 13. For until the law. Vers. 13, 14 pre- 
sent a historical confirmation of the statement 
that ' all sinned.' All sinned when Adam sinned, 
for the penalty of sin came from the very first, 
and that, too, when there was no such transgres- 
sion of positive precept as in the case of Adam. 
Hence the penalty was the result of Adam's sin, 
an idea familiar to all who believed the Old Tes- 
tament — Bin was in the world. Sin as a tyrant, 
with its penal consequences. This thought is 
resumed and expounded in ver. 1 4.-- But sin is 
not reckoned; 'fully reckoned' is perhaps the 
best reading of the compound verb in the orig- 
inal In a certain sense it is reckoned (comp. 
chap. ii. 9-16), but it cannot be fully reckoned as 
'transgression,' where law is not, or, in the ab- 
sence of law. This proposition would be self- 
evident to the readers, and it was emphatically 
true of the Mosaic law, which, as ver. 14 shows, 
was in the Apostle's mind. 

Ver. 14. Nevertheless. Although sin is not 
fully reckoned when the law is absent. — Death 
reined. ' Lorded it.' The consequence of sin 
('death through sin/ ver. 12) was universal, even 
before the law : from Adam until Moses. The word 
' until ' represents here a different word from that 
used in ver. 13, but there is no appreciable differ- 
ence in sense. — Even over them that, etc Death, 
which here includes more than physical death, as 
the penalty of sin, lorded it over even such as did 
lot sin, etc., 1. e~, were not guilty of a definite 
transgression, the transgression of a definite com- 
mand of God. The Apostle's argument is that 



death came upon these as a consequence of the sin 
of Adam, and thus he proves that 'death came 
through unto all men, because all sinned ' in that 
transgression. The class ' that did not sin/ etc., is 
not further described. Infants are doubtless in- 
cluded, though not specially referred to. In the 
period between Adam ana Moses divine com- 
mands were given ; those who transgressed them 
were punished accordingly, but even those, who- 
ever they were, who had not received positive 
command came under the consequence of sin, thus 
proving that Adam's sin was the cause. — Who is 
a type of the ooming One, 1. *., the second Adam, 
'Jesus Christ ' (ver. 15). Here we have suggested 
the second member of the parallel begun in ver. 
12. The first Adam, the one man through whom 
sin and death entered into the world, is the type 
of the one man Jesus Christ. The word 'type* 
is derived from the verb meaning to strike, and 
hence signifies first, a blow, an impression, then 
form, figure, pattern, model; at length we find 
the technical sense, a person or thing bearing a 
designed resemblance to some higher person or 
thing, foreshadowing or symbolizing an ' antitype.' 
Christ is here spoken of as ' the coming One, as 
historically related to the first Adam. Comp. 
1 Cor. xv. 45, where Paul directly contrasts the 
first and second Adam. 

Vers. 15-17. The parallel has been suggested, 
but the points of difference are brought out before 
the correspondence is fully stated (vers. 18, 19). 
The symmetry of the clauses will appear from 
the following arrangement of the passage : — 



«s 



16 



»7 



But not at the fall (trespass) 
so also is the free rift 
for if by the fall 
of the one man 
the many died ; 
much more 
did the grace of God and the gift by the grace 
of the one man Jesus Christ 
abound unto the many. 
And not as through one that sinned 
so (is) the gift : 
for the judgment (came) 
from one (man or trespass) 
unto condemnation, 
but the gracious gift (came) 
from many falls (trespasses) 
unto a righteous act (or verdict). 
For if by the fall (trespass) of the one 
death reigned 
through the one ; 
much more 
will they who receive the abundance 

of the grace and the gift of righteousness 
reign in life 
through the one Jesus Christ. 



The question arises whether ' much more ' ex- 
presses a stronger degree of evidence or a higher 
degree of efficacy. In vers. 16 and 17 the former 
is certainly preferable, and probably in ver. 15 
also. It is not that more are saved than are lost, 
this cannot be; nor yet that what is gained is 
more than what is lost, though this is true enough ; 
but the character of God, from a Christian point 
of view, is such that the comparison gives a ' much 
more' certain basis for belief in what is gained 
through the second Adam than in the certainties 
of sin and death through the first Adam. 

Ver. 1 J. But not as the fall, or, 'trespass.' 
The word here used refers to an act of sin, and 
is almost the same as 'transgression' (ver. 14), 
and 'disobedience' (ver. 19). Perhaps this sug- 
gests, more than the other terms, the idea of weak- 
ness, hence 'fall' expresses one phase of the 



62 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. V. 12-21. 

meaning. But it is usually rendered ' trespass.' to refer it to the subjective state of justification. 

All these words are less inclusive than ' sin ' (vers. See further on ver. 18. 

T 2, 13). ' But ' marks a strong contrast. — 80 alio Ver. 17. For if. A confirmation of ver. 16, 
if tke free gift, or, ' gift of grace,' ' the atoning yet an advance of thought — By tke fall (or, 
and justifying act of divine grace in Jesus Christ ' * trespass ') of tke one. A briefer reading : ' in 
(Meyer). Four different words are used in this one trespass/ is found in good authorities, but 
passage to express the same thought of free grace, the longer reading is now clearly established. — 
and it is difficult to distinguish them in English. Death reigned through tke one, 1. e* Adam. The 
— For introduces the proof of the difference just repetition is probably to prepare for the triumph- 
stated. — If, as is certainly the case, by (not ant close of the verse, contrasting the two persons, 
'through,' as the E. V. incorrectly renders) tke The correspondence between the clauses is in 
fall of tke one. The article must, of course, be other respects not exact. — Much more. Here cer- 
restored in English, to bring out the sense : ' the tainly not numerical : if this was God's way of 
one,' ' the many.' In this case Adam is * the one,' justice, with much more certaintywill His way of 
and the consequence to all of the immense multi- grace be, as is now described. — They who receive 
tude of his posterity is tersely expressed : the tke abundance of tke grace. The change of form 
many died. 'The many,' over against 'the one ;' brings into the foreground the persons who are 
not 'many' (as in the E. V.), implying a contrast the subjects of grace. With 'the trespass of the 
with 'few ' ; here it is equivalent to 'all' ; comp. one ' is contrasted the abundance of the grace as 
vers. 12, 18. — Much more. Not simply that the bestowed on, and accepted by, living persons. — 
gift was more abundant, but with much more Tke gift of rigkteonsneee. 'Righteousness' is 
certainty is it to be expected from God, or has 'the gift,' righteousness imputed. — Shall reign 
God proved, that grace abounds. — Tke grace of in Ufe through tke one, Jesus Christ. 'In life ' 
Ood. This is the source of the gift, namely, the is to be taken in its fullest sense ; this is the 
gift of justification. — By (lit., 'in') tke grace of sphere in which those who receive the abundance 
tke one man, Jesus Christ. This may be joined of the grace shall reign. The whole clause has a 
either with ' gift,' or with the verb ; the latter is triumphant tone, pointing from present grace to 
preferable. — Abound unto tke many. ' The many ' future glory, all mediated ' through the one, Jesus 
in Christ Meyer, who refers it to all mankind, Christ This is the emphatic side of the con- 
as in the previous clause, says : ' To this multi- trast If, as a fact, sin and death were through 
tude has the grace of God been plentifully im- Adam, then much more certain is it that abun- 
parted, namely ; from the objective point of view, dant present grace and triumphant future glory 
in so far as Christ's act of redemption has acquired shall be through our one head, Jesus Christ, 
for all the divine grace and gift* although the sub- Ver. 18. 80 then (not, ' therefore '). With 
jective reception of it is conditioned by faith.' this phrase, which means ' in consequence of all 
Ver. 16. And not as through one that tinned, this, it follows that,' Paul resumes the parallel, 
There is some (but insufficient) authority for an- summing up all the previously stated points of 
other reading : ' through one sin.' A single act resemblance and difference ; the design being to 
of sin is referred to in either case. — 80 is tke show how the inheritance and imputation of sin 
gift It is only necessary to supply ' is ; ' though confirms, renders more certain, the imputation of 
some suggest fuller explanations : ' judgment righteousness and the abounding reign of grace, 
came,' etc., in the first clause, ' gift ' is a different — Through one fall, or, ' trespass.' The E. V. is 
word from that in ver. 15, but refers to the same incorrect, since the acts, not the persons are here 
thing. — For the judgment The judicial sentence contrasted. — It came. Some verb of motion must 
of God. The word itself may refer to a favorable be supplied here, as in ver. 16. The E. V. (bor- 
or unfavorable sentence. — dame. This, or some rowing from ver. 16) brings out the sense clearly 
verb of motion, is to be supplied ; the preposi- enough, but ' it came * is sufficient in both clauses, 
tions involving the idea of motion, or result. — — Upon (lit., 'unto') all men unto condemnation. 
Of, or, ' from,' one. (Not ' by.') This may refer Here ' all men ' without exception. — 80 also, or, 
to one trespass, in accordance with the next ' even so ; ' but the former is preferable. — 
clause, or to one mart, namely, ' one that sinned,' Through one righteous act, or, ' verdict ; ' the 
in the previous clause. The latter is preferable ; same word rendered ' justification ' in ver. 16. 
what precedes usually determines the sense of an Here Christ's obedience, viewed as one act, as 
elliptical phrase. — unto condemnation. The ju- the ground of justification, seems to be meant, yet 
dicial sentence ('judgment'), in consequence of a reference to the justifying verdict gives a good 
the act of one man, resulted in ' condemnation ; ' sense. — Came, not, ' shall come,' since the Apos- 
as set forth in ver. 12. — But tke free gift, or, tie is speaking of the objective side. — All men 
'gift of grace' (as in ver. 15). — Of , or, 'from,' unto justification of life. ' All men ' may be taken 
many falls, or, ' trespasses.' The many sins of in a universal, but not in a Universalist sense, 
men could be pardoned only by a ' free gift.' In The ' righteous act ' which forms the meritorious 
this sense they were the origin or occasion of the ground of God's justifying act is sufficient for all 
free gift. As a result this free gift came unto men without exception ; and the Apostle speaks 
a righteous (or, justifying) aet. ' A righteous of it in this light. But the subjective application 
verdict,' or, an act that justifies. This is not the of it implies the receiving of it (ver. 17) oy faith, 
word usually rendered ' justification.' But the See further on ver. 19, which contrasts the actual 
meaning is substantially the same. The word, results as respects ' the many ' on the one side, 
derived from the verb meaning ' to account right- and ' the many ' on the other. ' Justification ' is 
eous,' here denotes either, in opposition to ' con- here the proper rendering. ' Of life,' 1. e. y lead- 
demnation,' the righteous decree or verdict which ing to life, in the fullest sense ; the interpretation 
God pronounces on account of the perfect obe- 'justification which is life ' confuses the Apostle's 
dience of Christ, or, in opposition to ' trespass ' thought. 

(as in ver. 18), the righteous act of Christ on Ver. 19. For. This word shows that we have 

which that verdict is based. It seems improper here the explanation of ver. 18, and thus of tke 



Chap. V. 12-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 63 

whole passage. The sense is : As in consquence privileges, without giving any evidence of their 
of the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the faith in Christ, and of a second state of probation 
many (including all his posterity) were constituted we have no proof whatever, 
sinners (put in the category of sinners, subject to Ver. 20. But the law. The Mosaic law is 
condemnation), so also in consequence of the meant, although the article is wanting in the orig- 
obedience of the one (Christ) shall the many (as inal. ' What of the law then?' was the question 
many as believe in Him, ver. 17) be constituted the Jew, and, indeed, any early Christian would 
righteous (be placed in that category). The con- ask. 'But' is therefore preferable to 'and.' — 
trasts are exact, except that * the many,' comes in Came in besides. The same phrase is used in a 
as a middle term of quantity, that ' man ' is omitted bad sense, Gal. ii. 4, but here it indicates corn- 
in the second clause, where moreover the future is ing in addition to, not coming in between, though 
substituted for the past, showing that the actual the latter is true. — That the trespass might 
efficacy of the gospel is here spoken of, and not multiply. This was the immediate, but not the 
the objective sufficiency, as in ver. 18. — Consti- final purpose (see ver. 21). The Apostle says 
tuied sinners — eonstitated righteous. The main ' trespass, 1 not ' sin,' because the design of the 
point open to discussion, is respecting the exact law was not to multiply sin as such, but to make 
sense of the word ' constituted ' or ' made.' Three it appear, to reveal it to the conscience, as a 
views : ( 1 ) set down, placed, as such, in a declare- transgression of the taw of God. Yet the pres- 
tive sense ; (2.) placed in the category, because ence of the law does provoke to sin, and this 
of a vital connection ; (3) becoming so ethically, thought is not to be ruled out in this passage. — 
not declaratively. The last seems contrary to But where sin multiplied. In the very sphere, 
the whole course of thought The first gives a in the world of men where ' sin ' (as a power, 
grammatical sense, but is often held in a way tyrant). — Grace exceedingly abounded ; ' over- 
which carries the parallel beyond Paul's state- abounded.' The verb is a compound one, differ- 
ments. The second is sustained by the best of ing in form entirely from that previously used ; 
modem commentators, though with considerable the force of ' over is superlative, not compar- 
difference in regard to the mode, and the extent ative. Hence we substitute ' exceedingly ' for 
of the parallel. Meyer's position is : Through the ' much more.' This clause is explained in ver. 21. 
disobedience of the one man, because all had a Ver. 21. That as sin reigned in death. The 
part in it, has the position of all become that of ultimate purpose of the exceeding abounding of 
sinners, consequently they were subjected to pun- grace is set forth in this verse, especially in the 
ishment ; on the other hand, God has forgiven be- last clause. The first clause simply takes up the 
lie vers on account of the death of Christ, and other side of the parallel. In ver. 14 death is 
counted their faith as righteousness; thus the represented as the tyrant, here ' sin ' is presented 
obedience of the one has caused that at the judg- under the same figure, ' death ' being the sphere of 
ment the many shall by God's sentence enter into its dominion or tyranny, and referring to all the 
the category of the righteous. Actual sin and penal consequences of sin. Some would render 
inwrought righteousness are results, on either side, ' by death,' but this is objectionable. — 80 also 
but these results are not here under discussion, might grace reign. This is the purpose. ' The 
* Obedience ' is chosen, in contrast with ' disobe- design of God in permitting sin, and allowing it 
dience,' with a reference, either to Christ's death to abound was to bring good out of evil ; to make 
as the culminating act of His obedience, or to His it the occasion of the most wonderful display of 
whole life of obedience culminating in that act. his glory and grace, so that the benefits of re- 
It must be noticed, that the emphasis in this verse demption should infinitely transcend the evil of 
and throughout is placed by Paul upon the posi- the apostacy ' (Hodge). — Through righteousness, 
tive and gracious side of the parallel : righteous- This refers to imputed righteousness, in conform- 
ness and life to the many through the One Jesus ity with the entire course of thought. Righteous- 
Christ, while interpreters too often dwell well- ness of life might be included, but cannot be the 
nigh exclusively upon the other side. The in- main idea. — Unto eternal life. ' Life ' in contrast 
ferenceof a universal salvation cannot properly be with 'death,' and 'eternal' in contrast with tern- 
drawn from vers. 15, 18. Paul teaches the uni- poral. Physical death is not abolished, but grace 
versal sufficiency of the gospel salvation, but we reigns through righteousness, eternal life as the re- 
must, in view of his language elsewhere and of suit. — Through Jesus Christ our Lord. This full 
the facts which meet us everywhere, make the im- form is solemnly triumphant. Adam is lost sight 
portant distinction between this and the subjec- of ; the personal redeemer, the king, is the One 
tive efficacy of Christ's atonement. All men may through whom grace reigns through righteousness 
be saved, hence we invite all ; how many and unto eternal life. — ' Sin, death, grace, righteous- 
which individuals will be saved, is known only to ness, life. These five stand thus : Grace rises high- 
God. Dr. Hodge says : • We have reason to be- est in the middle ; the two conquering giants, sin 
lieve that the lost shall bear to the saved no and death at the left ; the double prize of victory, 
greater proportion than the inmates of a prison righteousness and life, at the right; and over the 
do to the mass of a community.' Yet many adults buried name of Adam the glory of the name ot 
die in Christian lands and surrounded by gospel Jesus blooms* (Besser). 



C4 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. V. 12-21. 

Different Theories of Original Sin and Imputation. 

Excursus on Rom. V. 12-21. 

(Comp. Lange, Romans, pp. 191-195 ; where will be found the fuller statements of Dr. Schaff , here presented in an 
abridged form.) 

The universal dominion of sin and death over the human race is a fact, clearly taught by the 
Apostle here, and daily confirmed by our religious experience. This dominion extends in an unbroken 
line to our first parents, as the transgression of Adam stands in a causal relation to the guilt and 
sin of his posterity. The Apostle assumes this connection, in order to illustrate the blessed truth, 
that the power and principle of righteousness and life go back to Jesus Christ, the second Adam. 
However explained, the existence of sin remains a stubborn, terrible reality. Least of all can it 
be explained by the denial of the parallel, vet contrasted, saving facts which are prominent in the 
Apostle's mind throughout this section. The leading points which he asserts, and which therefore 
must enter into any consistent theory respecting his view of original sin, are : (1.) That the sin of 
Adam was the sin of all his posterity (see ver. 12) ; in what sense this is true, must be determined by 
the passage as a whole. (2.) That there is a parallel and contrast between the connection of Adam 
and his posterity, and Christ and His people (see vers. 14-19). (3.) That this parallel applies to the 
point which has been so fully discussed in the previous part of the Epistle, namely, that believers are 
reckoned righteous (see vers. 12-18). (4.) That the connection with the two representative heads of 
the race has moral results ; that guilt and sin, righteousness and life, are inseparably connected (see 
vers. 17-19). 

The various theories may be reviewed in the light of these positions : — 

I. The pantheistic and necessitarian theory, which regards sin as an essential attribute (a 
limitation) of the finite, destroys the radical antagonism between good and evil, and has nothing in 
common with Paul's views of sin or grace. 

II. The Pelagian heresy resolves the fall of Adam into a comparatively trivial childish act of 
disobedience, which sets a bad example. It holds that every child is born as innocent and perfect, 
though as fallible, as Adam when created. This view explains nothing, and virtually denies all the 
assertions made in this section. Its affinities, logically and historically, are with Socinianism and 
the multifarious forms of Rationalism. It and every other theory whicn denies the connection with 
Adam fails to meet the great question respecting the salvation of those dying in infancy. Such theo- 
ries logically exclude them from the heaven of the redeemed, either by denying their need of salva- 
tion, or by rejecting the only principle in accordance with which sucn salvation, if they need it, is 
possible, namely, that of imputation. 

III. The theory of a pre- Adam ic fall of all men, which implies the preexistence of souls, as held 
by Plato and Origen, is a pure speculation, and inconsistent with ver. 12 as well as with Gen. iii. It 
is incidentally opposed in chap. ix. 1 2. 

IV. The Augustinian or realistic theory holds that the connection between Adam and his 
posterity was such, that by his individual transgression he vitiated human nature, and transmitted it 
in this corrupt and guilty state to his descendants by physical generation, so that there was an imper- 
sonal and unconscious participation of the whole human race in the fall of Adam. ' There is this 
difference, however : Adam's individual transgression resulted in a sinful nature ; while, in the case 
of his descendants, the sinful nature or depraved will results in individual transgression. This view 
accords in the main with the grammatical exegesis of ver. 12, but Augustine himself incorrectly 
explained 'for that,' as 'in whom,' i. e., Adam. It accepts, but does not explain, the relation be- 
tween genus and species. Like all other matters pertaining to life, it confronts us with a mystery. 

1. In the application of this theory to the positions (3) and (4) named above, different views have 
arisen, mainly in regard to imputation, whether it is immediate (or antecedent), mediate (or conse- 
quent), or both conjoined and inseparable. That is, whether the imputation of the guilt of Adam's 
sin preceded or followed the euilt of man's inherent and hereditary depravity. (' Guilt' is here used 
in the technical sense of ' liability to punishment/ not in the ethical sense of sinfulness.) This dis- 
tinction was not made by Augustine and the Reformers. But examining their views in the light 
of subsequent discussions, we may say that both kinds of imputation were recognized by them ; some 
laying stress upon one side, some on the other, but not to the exclusion of either. It was only in 
later times that the two were sharply defined, in order to divide them. 

2. Mediate (or consequent) imputation makes inherent depravity derived from Adam, and this 
alone, the ground of condemnation. This view, however, as a matter of history, passes rapidly into 
a denial of any imputation. 

3. Immediate (or antecedent) imputation, as opposed to mediate imputation, makes the sin of 
Adam, as the sin of the federal head of the race, the exclusive ground of condemnation, independ- 
ently of, and prior to, native depravity and personal transgressions. Hereditary guilt precedes hered- 
itary sin. From this view the transition was easy to the next theory. 

V. The federal theory of a vicarious representation of mankind by Adam, in virtue of a cove- 
nant (faedus, hence ' federal ') made with him. It supposes a (one-sided) covenant, called the covenant 
of works (in distinction from the covenant of grace), to the effect that Adam should stand a moral 
probation on behalf of all his descendants, so that his act of obedience or disobedience, with all its 
consequences, should be accounted theirs, just as the righteousness of the second Adam is reckoned 
as that of His people. This transaction, because unilateral (one-sided), finds its ultimate ground 



Chap. V. 12-VIIL] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 65 

in the sovereign pleasure of God. It is a part of the theological system developed in Holland, 
and largely incorporated in the standards of the Westminster Assembly. Yet here, too, a distinction 
has been made. 

1. The founders and chief advocates of the federal scheme combined with it the Augustinian view 
of an unconscious and impersonal participation of the whole human race in the fall of Adam, and 
thus made imputation to rest on ethical as well as legal grounds. The supporters of this view, which 
differs very slightly from IV., hold that it accords best with the four leading points of this section, since 
it recognizes Adam as both federal and natural head of the race. It is preferred by Professor Riddle. 

2. The purely federal school holds, that by virtue of the federal headship of Adam, on the ground 
of a sovereign arrangement, his sin and guilt are justly, directly, and immediately imputed to his pos- 
terity. It makes the parallel between Adam and Christ exact, in the matter of the imputation of 
sin and of righteousness. ' In virtue of the union between him and his descendants, his sin is the 
judicial ground of the condemnation of the race, precisely as the righteousness of Christ is the judi- 
cial ground of the justification of His people.' This view does not deny that Adam is the natural 
head of the race, but asserts that ' over and beyond this natural relation which exists between a man 
and his posterity, there was a special divine constitution by which he was appointed the head and rep- 
resentative of his whole race' (C. Hodge, Theology, it, pp. 195, 197). 

VI. In sharp antagonism to the last view, most of the recent New England theologians have vir- 
tually rejected imputation altogether. They ' maintain that the sinfulness of the descendants of 
Adam results with infallible certainty (though not with necessity) from his transgression ; the one 
class holding to hereditary depravity prior to sinful choice, the other class teaching that the first 
moral choice of all is universally sinful, yet with the power of contrary choice.' In this view a nice 
distinction is made between natural ability and moral inability. When consistently held, it denies 
that 'all sinned' (ver. 12) refers to the sin of Adam, taking it as equivalent to the perfect, 'all have 
sinned,' namely, personally with the first responsible act 

VII. The Semi-Pelagian and kindred Arminian theories, though differing from each other, agree 
in admitting the Adamic unity, and the disastrous effects of Adam's transgression, but regard heredi- 
tary corruption as an evil or misfortune, not properly as sin and guilt, of itself exposing us to pnnish- 
ment. Arminianism, however, on this point, inclines toward Augustinianism more than Semi-Pelagi- 
anism does. The latter fails to give full force to the language of the Apostle in this section, and' to 
sympathize with his profound sense of the guilt and sinfulness of sin. The advocates of each theory 
fail to present explicit and uniform statements on this doctrinal point. 

Those views which seem to keep most closely to the grammatical sense of the Apostle's words 
involve mysteries of physiology, psychology, ethics, and theology. Outside the revelation there con- 
fronts us the undeniable, stubborn, terrible fact, of the universal dominion of sin and death over the 
entire race, infants as well as adults. No system of philosophy explains this ; outside the Christian 
redemption, the mystery is entirely one of darkness, unillumined by the greater mystery of love. 
Hence the wisdom of following as closely as possible the words which reveal the cure, as we attempt 
to penetrate the gloom that envelops the origin of the disease. The more so when the obvious pur- 
pose of the Apostle here is to bring into proper prominence the Person and Work of the Second 
Adam. Here alone can we find any practical solution of the problem respecting the first head of 
the race ; only herein do we perceive the triumphant vindication of Divine justice and mercy. The 
best help to unity in the doctrine of Original Sin will be by larger experiences of the ' much more ' 
which is our portion in Christ Jesus. Only when we are assured of righteousness and life in Him, 
can we fearlessly face the fact of sin and death in Adam. 



Chapters VI. — VIII. 



3. Moral Results of Justification ; those Justified by Faith live a New Life in the 

Spirit. 

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation ; through it the will is affected, and thus is accom- 
plished morally what the law could not do, namely, the sanctification of those born sinners. But 
just here the greatest objection is raised to the doctrine of free salvation ; and with this objection the 
Apostle begins his discussion : — 

I. The gospel method of grace does not lead to sin but to holiness ; chap. vi. 

(1.) Because of what is necessarily involved in the new life (vers. 1-11) ; (2.) those who partake 
of this new life are dead to sin and dedicated to God (vers. 12-23). 

II. The relation of Christians to the law : it is in itself just and good, but powerless to sanctify ; 
chap. vii. 

(1.) Believers are freed from the law (vers. 1-6), but (2.) this does not prove that the law is sin ; 
for, as it has been proven that it cannot justify, it now appears that though holy it cannot make sin- 
ners holy (vers. 7-25). 

III. The sanctifying work of the Spirit, the free life in the Spirit over against the life in the flesh; 
chap. viii. (see further analysis there). 

VOL. III. 5 



66 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VI. i-n. 

CHAPTER VI. 

I. GRACE DOES NOT LEAD TO SIN 

Chapter VI. i-ii. 
i. Fellowship in the Death of Christ involves a New Life. 

The objection with which the discussion opens, which has been repeatedly urged against the doc- 
trine of justification by faith, shows conclusively what Paul meant by that doctrine, namely, that God 
accounts men righteous when they believe in Christ. Otherwise the objection would not have been 
raised, nor the subsequent discussion necessary. But this discussion shows that the Apostle used 
the terms * death ' and ' life ' in the widest sense. We do not continue in sin, he argues, that grace 
may abound (vers. I, 2), for our baptism indicated fellowship with Christ, and this fellowship is dy- 
ing to sin and living to God (vers. 3-1 1 ). The section is not so much an argument as an appeal to 
Christian experience. The error it opposes is extirpated by a vital and growing knowledge of the 
saving power of Christ in the gospel. 

i a \ \ 7 HAT shall we say 6 then? c Shall we continue in sin^P^^^ 

2 V V that grace may abound ? God forbid. 1 How shall b £J** T *°> 
we, rf that arc dead 2 to sin, live any longer therein ? c | 8;w ' 

3 Know ye not, 3 that e so many of us as 4 were baptized into - ' ^S^w 4; 

4 Jesus Christ 5 f were baptized into his death ? Therefore we S?;": Si 
are 6 * buried with him by 7 baptism into death: that Mike u!'4! lPel 
as 8 Christ was raised up from the dead by 7 'the glory of the/iCw^f" 
Father, *even° so we also should walk in newness of life, r Soi.it «. 

5 'For if we have been planted together 10 in 11 the likeness of 11; i5." 
his death, we shall be also in n the likeness of his resurrection : Cor.nii.4; 

Eph- 1. 19 

6 Knowing this, that m our old man is crucified with him, that* J^s . «; 
n the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should* £•£ £ »$•• 

7 not serve 12 sin. For °he that is dead 13 is freed 14 from sin. ^^JC 01 

/ 111. Mb. 



iu. 10. 



8 Now p if we be dead 15 with Christ, we believe that we shall * ^ •*" *°» 

9 also live with him : Knowing that q Christ being raised from "* T ^. u ^ ao; 
the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over JJicS.S; 

10 him. For in that 17 he died, r he died unto sin once : 18 but in w %5.g. „. 

11 that 19 he liveth, *he liveth unto God. Likewise 20 reckon yeJixSLa. 1 ' 
also yourselves to be 21 'dead indeed unto sin, but u alive unto? Juts xin 
God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 23 ?s7 

r Heb. he 27, 

1 Let it never be 2 who died » Or are ye ignorant 4 all we who g {J ke ^ ^ 

6 Christ Jesus ° were T through 8 in order that, as 'Yf 1 .-?.' 

u Gal. u 19. 

9 omit even 10 grown together (become united) with him 

11 or with 12 or be the slaves of 18 hath died 

14 acquitted (///., justified) 16 we died 16 dominion over him no more 

17 the death that " once for all w the life that « Thus 

21 omit to be w in Christ Jesus {omitting our Lord) 



Ver. 1. What shall we lay then! 'Then/ in rather of a wrong inference that might be drawn 
view of chap. v. 20, 21. Comp. the similar phrase from the abounding of grace. This wrong infer- 
in chap. iv. 1. — Shall we continue in sin 1 The ence is a standing objection to the gospel, urged 
form of the question in the original indicates that by those who have not felt its power, 
this is the statement of a point to be discussed, or Vcr. 2. Let it never be. Comp. note in chap. 



• 



4 




Chap. VI. i-ii.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 67 

that 

the 

this 

likeness 

w . . , ing 

There is throughout an implied appeal to Chris- in similarity of form to His death, which has spe- 
tian consciousness, as witnessing the ethical cificallv and indissolubly become ours* (Meyer). 
change. The remission of sin, which is signified Our vital union with Him involves death to sin 
and sealed by baptism, involves a death to sin. (vers. 3, 4). Others take this phrase as instru- 
The reference, therefore, is to the time of baptism, mental, 1. e, t we became united with Christ through 
which, in the Apostolic church, usually coincided the likeness of His death ; with a latent reference 
with conversion and justification. This is prefer- to baptism. But this is grammatically less admis- 
able to the view that the reference is to Christ's sible than the other sense. — We shall be alio, etc. 
death and our fellowship in it. Observe, that the We shall also grow together in (or with) the like- 
Apostle assumes the inseparable connection be- ness of His resurrection. It seems best to sup- 
tween justification and sanctification, and yet dis- ply in full, so as to make an exact parallel. If 
tinguishes them ; the justified man is sanctified, the previous clause means : * united unto Christ 
not the reverse. through the likeness of His death/ then this must 
Ver. 3. Or an ye ignorant. ' If this is doubt- be explained accordingly. The whole points to 
ful, then I appeal directly to your experimental the certainty of the other result of vital union with 
knowledge.' — All we who, referring to the same Christ ; newness of life as truly as death to sin. 
persons as in ver. 2 ; all without exception. — Were Thus continuance in sin is doubly denied. 
baptised into Christ Jesus. ' Into,' in such expres- Ver. 6. Knowing this, or, ' since we know 
sions, does not point to the external element (al- this.' ' This ' refers to what follows, the whole 
though immersion was, and in the East still is, the defining the last clause of ver. 5. — That our old 
usual mode), but has a far deeper meaning. Bap- man. Our sinful nature is here personified (comp. 
tism into Christ Jesus was the sign of participation Eph. iv. 22 ; Col. iii. 9) ; almost equivalent to 
in Him, union with Him, and the Apostle asserts ' flesh,' in the ethical sense, as used in chaps, vii., 
that thev all knew that this union meant fellowship viii., and elsewhere. — Was erueifled with him. 
with His death, so that they were baptised into Not necessarily at baptism, but when Christ died, 
his death; hence with Him they die unto sin. The in virtue of our union with Him (comp. Gal. ii. 
reference to baptism does not suggest baptismal 20). — That the body of sin. Of this phrase there 
regeneration ; it both connects and distinguishes are three leading explanations : (1.) The body as 
baptism and regeneration, as the visible sign and the seat of sin ; this is contrary to the view of the 
the invisible grace of the renewing Spirit ' Let body which Paul especially presents. (2.) The 
us not separate what the Lord has joined together, body, so far as it remains under the power of 
We ought, in baptism, to recognize a spiritual the old man. This is less objectionable, but seems 
laver ; we ought in it to embrace a witness to the a confusing of the literal and figurative senses, 
remission of sins and a pledge of our renewal ; and (3.) Sin is conceived as an organism, with many 
and yet so to leave both to Christ and the Holy members ; the whole is but another form of the 
Spirit the honor that is theirs, as that no part of expression 'our old man.' This is, on the whole, 
the salvation be transferred to the sign' (Calvin), preferable, since even (2.) leads to ascetic infer- 
Ver. 4. Therefore we were buried with him ences which are quite unpauline. — Henceforth 
through baptism. A stronger expression than that we should not serve, or, ' be the slaves of,' sin. 
of the last verse. That the custom of baptism by Another form of expressing the destruction of the 
immersion is alluded to is generally admitted, but organism of sin, which is represented as a master 
the emersion is as significant as the immersion, who holds us in bondage. 
The death of the old man is at the same time the Ver. 7. For he that hath died. ' He that died ' 
birth of the new. One form may be more striking is more literal, but ' hath died 1 better expresses 




the mode of its application.— Into his death ; for its strictly legal sense, absolved, acquitted, freed, 
the appropriation of its full benefit, namely, the There are three views in regard to the meaning 
remission of sins and reconciliation with God. — of 'hath died': (1.) Physical death; the whole 
In order that, as Christ was raised up, etc. The verse being a proverb : he who has died is freed 
death and resurrection of Christ stand together ; from sin. The application to spiritually dying to 
so the Christian who is in fellowship with Christ, sin is afterwards made. Meyer modifies this view : 
shares in his life. — Through the glory of the Fa- in so far as the dead person sins no more. The 
ther. * The glorious collective perfection of God reference to physical death is favored by the con- 
certainly affected the raising of Jesus chiefly as nection ("for') with what precedes. (2.) Moral 
omnipotence (1 Cor.vi. 14; 2 Cor. xiii.4; Eph. i. death. But death to sin is the result, not the 
10, etc.) ; but the comprehensive significance of ground of justification. (3.) Death with Christ 
the word — selected with conscious solemnity, and {mystical or spiritual death) justifies the sinner, 
in highest accordance with the glorious victory of frees him from its guilt and punishment. This 
the Son — is not to be curtailed on that account' thought is true enough, but seems inappropriate 
(Meyer). — In newness of life ; this is more em- here, where the Apostle is giving a reason for 
phatic than ' a new life ' : a life which never grows ver. 6. Besides, dying with Christ is plainly ex- 
old, whose characteristic 'newness' is imperish- pressed in the next verse. We prefer (1.), regard- 
able, ing the verse as a proverbial maxim. 'As natural 
Ver. 5. For if. A confirmatory explanation of death cuts off all communication with life, so must 
ver. 4 ; ' if ' being almost equivalent to ' since.' — sanctification in the soul cut off all communication 
Have grown together, or, 'been united.' TheE.V., with sin' (Henry). 



A* 



68 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VI. 12-23. 

Ver. 8. Vow if we died with Christ That this burden of His people's sin, which He bore upon 

is the fact has been already stated, forming the the cross 9 (Hodge). The emphatic 'once for all' 

underlying thought of vers. 3-6. — We henere, shows that this sacrifice needs no repetition ; for 

etc The argument is plain, but the exact force His dying again no reason can exist — Ike life 

of live with him is doubtful. It seems best to unto God. Christ's life on earth was also a life 

accept a primary reference to sanctification, to 'unto God ', but in conflict with sin and death; 

ethical fellowship with Christ To this some add having triumphed over these at His resurrection, 

the thought of eternal life, others apply the phrase He now lives unto God in the fullest sense. This, 

to this exclusively. too, proves that death has dominion over Him no 

Ver. 9. Knowing; 'since we know.' The more, 

ground of our belief is the knowledge of His en- Ver. it. Thus, or, 'so.' This is an inference 

during life, after His triumphant resurrection.— and the application to the readers. — Beckon. The 

Being raised from the dead. The resurrection is word may be either imperative, or indicative ; the 

the pledge of His enduring life. — Hath dominion former suits the context best. — Alio; like Christ 

over him no more. It had dominion over Him, (ver. 10). — Dead indeed unto tin. The notion of 

as God decreed (chap. v. 8-10) and as He volun- reckoning that they died for sin, in and with 

tarily gave Himself up to it, but there its power Christ, seems contrary to the whole argument of 

ended. The sentence stands independently. The the passage. — But alive unto God in Christ Jems. 

transitoriness of the dominion of death is thus Only in fellowship with Christ Jesus can we reckon 

emphasized by the form of expression. (Comp. ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God. The 

Acts xiii. 34.) Unless our Saviour is now undy- negative and positive sides of the new moral life 

ing, we cannot be sure of living in and with Him. are based upon fellowship with the Personal Re- 

ver. 10. For the death that he died. Lit., deemer who died and rose again. The exhorta- 

' that which he died/ which is best paraphrased tion is to an apprehension (' reckon *) of this as a 

as we give it. — He died unto sin onoe for all ; no motive for holy living. Hence the utter impossi- 

repetition was necessary'. This is the proof that bility of our continuing in sin that grace may 

death has dominion over Him no more : His death abound (ver. 1). The obvious inference is that 

was ' unto sin,' it could have nothing more to do dying to sin and living to God is the evidence (and 

with Him, hence death could have power over the only valid evidence) of our fellowship with 

Him no more. Some refer the clause to Christ's Christ. On the other hand, the way is thus pre- 

expiating sin ; others, to His expiating and remov- pared for enforcing the thought, so essential in 

ing it ; others, in view of ver. 11, explain it of His Paul's argument (and equally so in Christian ex* 

being freed from sin. ' In both cases the idea of perience), that fellowship with Christ, and not the 

separation is expressed ; but in the case of the pressure of law, is the fundamental fact in a life 

believer, it is separation from personal, indwelling of holiness. Christian morality cannot exist with- 

sin ; in that of Christ, it is separation from the out Christ 



Chapter VI. 12-23. 
2. Christians are Dead to Sin, and Dedicated to God. 

The exhortation of ver. 1 1 is expanded in vers. 12-14 ; the negative part ('dead unto sin') in vers. 
12, 13 a ; the positive part (' alive unto God') in vers. 13 4, 14. But the concluding motive : 'for ye 
are not under the law, but under grace,' suggests another objection, namely, that this would imply 
freedom to sin (ver. 15). This objection the Apostle answers by carrying out in detail an illustration 
from service. Christians are no longer servants of sin, with the wages of death ; but servants of 
righteousness (servants of God), thus becoming sanctified, and receiving as the gift of God 'eternal 
life in Christ Jesus our Lord.' (The section is preliminary to chap. vii. which shows more fully that 
we are ' not under the law, but under grace.') 

12 ° T ET not sin therefore b reign in your mortal body, that ye'caifu^ 

13 JLrf should obey it in l the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye 2 v7m?«. * 
your 'members as d instruments 8 of unrighteousness unto 4 . C0i.iii.5V 
sin : but 'yield 6 yourselves unto 4 God, as those that are alive 6 ^SS^7* , " 

n r • 1 ^' or * x ' .4* 

from the dead, and your members as * instruments 8 of right-* cw«i.i; 

J , . 1 Pet u. m i 

14 eousness unto 4 God. For •'sin shall not have dominion over Jj^ „ 

■ j unap. tu. 

you : for ye are not under the 7 law, but under grace. J^Vcm* 1 

1 5 What then ? shall we sin, ° because we are not under the 7 J;^ 1 Cor - 

16 law, but under grace? God forbid. 8 Know ye not, that * to*;, ** *** 

h Matt, ru 
1 the best authorities omit it in * Nor render • weapons 4 to a$j John 

* render • as being alive 7 omit the • Let it never be Fit. IVi* 



Chap. VI. 12-23.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 69 

whom ye yield 6 yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye 
are to • whom ye obey ; whether 10 of sin unto death, or of 

17 obedience unto righteousness ? But God be thanked, 11 that ye 
were the servants of sin, but ye have 12 obeyed from the heart 

18 'that form of doctrine 18 which was delivered you. 14 Being ' a Tin1, *• ,3 * 
then 16 * made free from sin, ye became the 7 servants of right-* J !" 1 ,^ 

10 eousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the T "* ai g*J* 
infirmity 18 of your flesh : for as ye have yielded 17 your mem- "• l6 - 
bers servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; 
even so 18 now yield 6 your members servants to righteousness 

20 unto holiness. 19 For when ye were 'the servants of sin, ye/johnvui.34. 

21 were free from a righteousness. m What fruit had ye then in *« c^p- **»• 
those 21 things whereof ye are now ashamed ? for n the end of » chap. i. 3*. 

22 those things is death. But now ° being made free from sin, • John riii. 
and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, 19 

23 and the end everlasting 23 life. For p the wages of sin is death ;> c« n - »• jr. 
but q the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ M our ^J™** 8 -' 5 : 
Lord. v * ,5 » */» 

*-' v '* 21 ; 1 PeL u 

4. 

• omit to 10 either ll thanks to God M omit have 

11 teaching 14 whereunto ye were delivered 16 And being 

18 weakness 1T ye rendered 18 so also w or sanctification 

80 as regards n What fruit therefore had ye then ? (see exeg. notes) 

92 eternal n in Christ Jesus 

Ver. 12. Let not tin therefore. 'Therefore,' ity. — To tin. Personified as ruler (com p. ver. 

1. e. t because you reckon yourselves dead unto sin, 12). — But render yourselves to God ; the new and 

etc. (ver. 11). — Beign. 'It is no matter of com- true Ruler. The command is to present them- 

Earison between reigning and indwelling merely, selves entirely, once for all (the tense in the orig- 

ut between reigning and being deposed' (Alford). inal is not the same as in the previous clause). — 

— In your mortal body. This is to be taken liter- Ai being alive from the dead. Regarding your- 

ally, and not referred to a body dead to sin, or to selves as those that are alive, almost = since you 

a corrupt body. The connection with ver. 1 1 sug- are. There is no reference to a battle-field, but 

gests that this 'mortal body' is under the power rather to the thought of ver. 11. — Tour mem- 

of sin ; but it is the mortality of the body that is ben, etc. This is a more particular statement of 

emphasized, in coatrast with the life we have in the previous exhortation, corresponding with the 

fellowship with Christ who dieth no more (ver. 9) ; first clause of the verse. — To God ; not, ' for God,' 

hence, to allow sin to reign there is contrast to which disturbs the parallelism, 
living 'unto God in Christ Jesus' (ver. 11). — Ver. 14. For sin, etc. The future tense is that 

That ye should obey the lusts thereof. So the of confident assertion, and hence of consolation. 

briefer and better established reading. The reign It is not a new exhortation. — For ye are not un- 

of sin in our mortal body would have as its aim der law, etc This is the reason sin shall not 

obedience to the desires of the body, which are have dominion. ' Freedom from the law gives 

sinful, because we are sinful. Obeying these is you so little freedom to sin, that it is only by the 

living unto sin, hence opposed to the principle of exercise of grace upon you that your freedom from 

ver. 11. sin has begun' (Lange). Here the Apostle pre- 

Ver. 13. Bor render. ' Nor' = ' and especially pares for the fuller discussion as to the powerless- 

not' 'Render' (in chap.xii. 1, 'present') is pref- ness of the law to sanctify as well as to justify, 

erable to ' yield,' since the latter conveys the idea If the reason sin will not lord it over us, is that 

of previous resistance ; the thought is of placing we are not under the law, but under grace, then 

at the disposal of another ; probably the figure of grace sanctifies us, not the law. (Comp. chap, 

military service is suggested. — Your members, the vii. throughout ) 

various parts of the body which can be used in Ver. 15. What then! shall we sin, etc. This 

the service of sin. If 'mortal body' (ver. 12) is objection has been raised ever since. It is not 

taken figuratively, then ' members ' must be tak- precisely the same as that suggested in ver. 1 : 

en accordingly. — As weapons, or, ' instruments.' there the objection was that free pardon would 

The former sense is more literal, and accords encourage us to continue in sin ; here the obiec- 

better with the Apostle's usage, and with the tion is that freedom from the law leads to freedom 

figure of military service. — Of unrighteousness; in sinning. The connection with chap, vii., as 

opposed to ' righteousness,' not simply immoral- well as the entire argument of chaps. vL-viii., 



70 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VI. 12-24. 

points to sanctification by grace, and forbids an sense, of depraved human nature (see chap. vii.). 

exclusive reference to the grace of justification. — Others refer the phrase to moral weakness, and 

Let it never be ; as usual. The denial is ex- explain : ' I require nothing which your fleshly 

panded in what follows. The legal heart makes weakness could not do,' and then join it with what 

the objection ; but the loyal heart makes this in- follows ; ' for I only reauire such service as ye 

dignant denial. formerly rendered to sin. This is open to serious 

Ver. 16. Know ye not. ' I take it for granted objection, as lowering the moral standard pre- 
that ye know and believe' (Stuart). — To whom sented by the Apostle.— For as, etc This cx- 
ye render yourselves, etc. This principle is obvi- plains wnat was stated in ver. 18. — Servants to 
ous : To present yourselves as servants to any one uncleanneas, moral defilement, and to iniquity, 
implies service to that one : in this matter the mas- violation of God's law, the two sides of 'sin' 
ters are opposed, hence either, .... or, there is no (ver. 13). — Unto iniquity. This may mean : in 
third. — Of sin unto death. Both terms are used order to work iniquity, or, resulting in iniquity; 
in the usual wide sense : ' sin ' is personified as the latter, pointing to a state, rather than an act, 
the master, the result of the service is ' death/ in- seems preferable. — 80 also, etc. The explana- 
cluding all the consequences of sin. — Of obedience tion changes to an exhortation, based on the facts 
unto righteousness. Here ' righteousness ' refers of their experience, both before and since conver- 
not to justification but to inwrought righteousness, sion. — To righteousness unto holiness, or, 'sanc- 
not excluding the final verdict at the judgment, tification.' The former would express the ulti- 
Meyer accepts the latter sense alone. The more mate purpose or result, the latterthe immediate re- 
exact parallelism would be : ' of righteousness suit, coming into view here as a progressive state, 
unto lite.' The deviation may be thus explained : The same word occurs in ver. 22, and the mean- 
Of our own free choice we give ourselves as bond- ing ' sanctification ' seems preferable there, where 
men to sin, but cannot thus give ourselves to a further result is spoken of. 
righteousness: we can only yield ourselves up to Ver. 2a For. This verse 'restates the view 
God's grace, to save us, as servants of obedience, given of their former condition in respect to sin 
unto righteousness, given to us and inwrought of and righteousness, in preparation for the final and 
the Holy Ghost (so Forbes). In ver. 18, 'ser- most accurate statement of their present spiritual 
vants of righteousness ' occurs, after ' being made condition, ver. 22' (Webster and Wilkinson), 
free from sin.' Meyer here properly calls attention to the tragi- 

Ver. 17. But thanks to God. In reminding cal force of emphatic order of words in the orig- 

them which of these masters they served (ver. 16), inal. — When ye were servants of sin (comp. ver. 

his heart speaks. — That ye were the servants of 17), ye were free as regards righteousness. The 

sin. * Were ' is emphatic ; this state is past, and only freedom they had was this sad freedom as 

for this the Apostle is thankful, although this respects the right service ; the deepest slavery in 

negative side of salvation cannot be separated fact, just as to be servants of righteousness is the 

from the positive. — But ye obeyed from the heart, truest freedom. It was not that they counted 

The moral change at conversion made their true, themselves free, or that righteousness had no 

internal attitude that of obedience. — That form claims upon them, but that, as a terrible fact, they 

of teaching wherennto ye were delivered. This were uninfluenced by its demands, 

rendering is greatly to be preferred to that of the Ver. 21. What fruit therefore had ye them. 

E. V. The change to the passive suggests the 'Then' refers to their condition before conversion 

Divine agency in delivering them to this 'form of (ver. 20). Many editors and commentators nunc- 

teaching. This phrase, literally, ' type of teach- tuate the verse so as to read : ' What fruit there- 

ing,' is interpreted: (1) of Christian doctrine in fore had ye then? Things whereof ye are now 

general ; which is objectionable, because in that ashamed.' It is urged against this view that ' the 

case 'type' would be unmeaning; (2) of the question in antithesis to ver. 21, is the having of 




'ives. The second interpretation is the best Obe- the view presented in the E. V., Alford urges that 
dience to this type of teaching, over against legal- it is ' inconsistent with the New Testament mean- 
ism, is something for which to thank God ; be- ing of fruit, which is " actions," the fruit of the 
cause it is God's work, and because it is worthy man considered as the tree, not "wages," or "re- 
of thanks. It follows that it is important to know ward," the fruit of his actions.' Either view is 
what Paul's teaching is. The next verse should grammatically admissible, and both have been 
be connected more closely with this ; a semicolon advocated for centuries. — For the end of thou 
substituted for the period. things is death ; here in its most comprehensive 

Ver. 18. And being made free, etc. This is not meaning in contrast with close of ver. 22. 

the conclusion from what precedes, but a continu- Ver. 22. But now, as opposed to ' then ' (ver. 

ation of ver. 17. The single act of deliverance 21), being made free ; comp. ver. 18. — Servants 

and transformation is referred to. — Became ser- to God. ' God Himself here takes the place of 

vants, 1. e. t ' bondmen,' personally and wholly be- " righteousness," for their relation is now one of 

longing to this service. This bondage is real free- personal love ' ( Lange). — Your fruit unto holiness, 

dom. Compare the opposite thought in ver. 2a or, ' sanctification,' as in ver. 19 ; but the latter 

Ver. 19. I speak after the manner of men. 'I sense is even more appropriate here. They are 

take a figure from human relations, in thus rep- having fruit now, in contrast either with their hav- 

resenting Christian freedom as a bond service.' ing no fruit ' then,' or with the evil fruit in their 

(The phrase differs from that used in chap. iii. 5, previous condition. This fruit is of such a kind as 

but there seems to be no marked difference of at once results in ' sanctification ' the progressive 

thought) — Because of the weakness of your flesh, state, the ultimate issue being eternal Ufa. This 

Because of the intellectual weakness resulting is to be taken in its widest sense ; we already 

from the ' flesh/ which is here used in the ethical have eternal life in germ ; in its fulness it is the 



Chap. VII. 1-6.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 7* 

* end ' of all our fruit and fruitfulness. But this it is in its specific nature, — a gift of grace 

end is not attained by natural laws of develop- To the Apostle, in the connection of his system of 
ment ; each course of conduct has its inevitable faith and doctrine, this was very natural, even 
result, but for a different reason ; see next verse, without the supposition of any special design ' 
Ver. 23. For. The reason for the results (Meyer). — In Christ Jesus our Lord. Not simply, 
stated in vers. 21, 22, contrasting the ends of the * through ' Him. The phrase qualifies the whole 
two courses and the inherent difference. — The clause. In phrases like this there seems to be a 
wagos of sin, that is paid by sin. Possibly a con- propriety in the order * Christ Jesus/ emphasiz- 
tinuation of the figure of military service. — ing His Messianic (or mediatorial) title. ' In 
Doftth, as in ver. 21. — But the gift of God. The Him, by virtue of his relation to Deity, God is 
same word is rendered 'free gift ' in chap. v. 15, the giver ; in Him, we, as united with Him, h av- 
id. * Paul does not say " wages" here also, but ing an interest in Him, are recipients 1 (Webster 
characterizes what God gives for wages, as what and Wilkinson). 



CHAPTER VII. 

II. THE RELATION OF CHRISTIANS TO THE LAW. 

1. We are freed from it (vers. 1-6) ; for, 2, Although it is Holy, it cannot make Sin- 
ners Holy (vers. 7-25). 

Chapter VII. 1-6. 
1. Christians are freed from the Law. 

This section might more properly form a part of the preceding chapter. The statement of chap, 
vi. 14, which has been discussed negatively (chap. vi. 15-23), is now taken up on its positive side : 
Christians are not only freed from sin, but freed from the law. This state of things is here illus- 
trated under the figure of the marriage relation : ' your marriage with Christ, having taken the place 
of the dominion of the law, necessarily leads to such a dominion of God in a new life ' (Tholuck). 
The relation to the law (ver. 1) illustrated by the law of marriage (vers. 2, 3) ; the union with Christ 
who died to the law dissolves the old relation (ver. 4), with this result, that as, in the old relation, 
we brought forth fruit unto death (ver. 5), in the new relation we are dedicated to God (ver. 6). 
This idea of freedom from the law is the basis of the discussion in the remainder of the chapter. 

1 a T^" NOW ye not, 1 brethren, (for I speak to them that know <* ch* P . vi. 3 . 
AX* the law,) how 2 that the law hath dominion over a man 

2 as long 8 as he liveth? For *the woman which hath a hus-j iCor. vii. 
band 4 is bound by the law to her husband so long as he 
liveth ; 6 but if the husband be dead, 6 she is loosed from the 

3 law of her 1 husband. So then c if, while her 1 husband liveth,' Matt. v. 3 * 
she be married to another man, she shall be called an adul- 
teress: but if her 7 husband be dead, 6 she is free from that 

law ; so that she is no 8 adulteress, though she be married to 

4 another man. Wherefore, 9 my brethren, ye also are become *° 

d dead to the law by u the body of Christ ; that ye should be ' JfgiTSl' 
married to another, even to him who is u raised from the dead, E&ai! 8 ^; 

5 that we should u € bring forth fruit unto M God. For when we , Si.' "' ».' 
were in the flesh, the motions 16 of sins, which were by 11 the/ chap. vi. 13. 
law, 'did work 16 in our members *to bring forth fruit unto 14 *™; EwlV. 

iq ; James i. 

1 Or are ye ignorant a omit how * for as long time is- 

4 the married woman * to the living husband * have died 

7 the 8 not an • Accordingly w were made xl through 

M was M might u to 16 passions lf wrought 



72 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VII. 1-6. 

6 death. But now we are delivered 17 from the law, *that being k ^^ L2 * 
dead 18 wherein we were held ; that we should serve w * in new- ' ^?£ %££ 
ness of spirit, 20 and not in the 21 oldness of the letter. 

17 have been delivered {or loosed) 18 having died to that 

19 so that we serve w of the Spirit n omit the 



Vcr. 1. Or are ye ignorant (Comp. chap. vi. may express either the result ('so that') or the 

3.) In thus appealing to experience, it is implied purpose, 'in order that' The latter is perhaps 

that every believer, whether he can explain it or grammatically more exact ; the purpose of this 

not, feels that he is in the state described in chap, freedom was to prevent the woman from being 

vi. 22, 23, and hence has some knowledge of his an adulteress in case of a second marriage. In 

freedom from the law. This knowledge the Apos- ver. 4 the idea of result is evident enough, 

tie would bring into clearness and power. — Breth- Ver. 4. Accordingly ; lit, ' so that' This in- 

ren, etc. Not addressed to the Jewish Christians troduces the application of the figure in vers. 2, 3. 

alone; for in that age, especially, the knowledge — Te also, as in the case of the widow. — Wen 

of the Old Testament on the part of all Christians made dead to the law. The idea is not of being 

was presupposed ; the custom of reading the Old dead, but of being put to death, at some single 

Testament probably obtained in their assemblies, past time, namely, at justification. ' The expres- 

— Know the law. The law of Moses is meant, sion is chosen, not merely because Christ's death 
although the article is wanting in the original ; for was a violent one, but also because it describes 
while the argument might hold true when based the death of Christians to the law as a death in- 
upon law in general, the subject under discussion curred by virtue of the administration of the law ' 
is the relation to the Mosaic law. — The law hath (Lange); comp. GaL ii. 19. — Through the body 
dominion, etc. The whole law is meant, not sim- of Christ This refers to the death of Christ, 
ply the law of marriage: for that has not yet either ( 1 ) as the ground of justification, or (2) as 
come into view. — For at long time, etc. This is involving our fellowship in His death. The latter 
a peculiarity of the Mosaic law, ' that it cannot, is preferable ; it implies the former, and suits the 
like human laws, have merely temporary validity, tenor of the whole passage. — That *• '. in order 
or be altered, suspended, nor can one be exempt that, ye should be married to another, one of a 
from it for a time' (Meyer). But compare the different kind. The purpose of the death to the 
death to the law (ver. 4). law was union to Christ ; the figure of a marriage 

Ver. 2. For the married woman. This is an is still present, and quite appropriate. ' The ex- 
example of the principle of ver. 1. ' Married ' is alted Christ is the husband of His Church that 
more fully explained as 'subject to a husband.' — has become independent of the law by dying with 
If bound oy the law. The permanent binding is Him ' (Meyer). — Was raised from the dead. The 
indicated by the form of the original. The Mo- idea of a new ethical life is constantly joined by the 
saic law made no provision for her releasing her- Apostle to the fact of the resurrection. His own 
self from the marriage tie, though the husband experience gave emphasis to this. — Fruit to God, 
might put away his wife (Deut. xxiv. 1, 2). — To 1. *., for His glory, since Christ is the Husband, 
the living husband. The paraphrase of the E. V. Ver. 5. For. A confirmation of the statement 
is correct, but unnecessary. — If the husband have that they should bring forth fruit to God. — When 
died, or, simply * die ' ; a single event is spoken we were in the flesh, 1. *., in the natural condition 
of. The language is plain, but the application of depravity (see Excursus at next section) ; still 
has occasioned difficulty. In ver. 1 it is not the under the law is the negative side. — The passioni 
ruling law, but the man who dies ; here it is the of sins. The passions which led to sins seems a 
ruling man who dies. Allegorical explanations better explanation than either ' sinful passions,' 
have been suggested, but seem forced. It is or the passions produced by sins. — Which were 
better to understand it thus : Death is common through the law ; occasioned by the law, since the 
to both parties ; when the husband dies, the wife law brought them to light, but aggravated them, 
dies so far as that legal relation is concerned, as is shown in vers. 7, 8. — Wrought in our mem- 
The husband is represented as the party who dies, bers ; to be explained literally as in chap. vi. 13, 
because the figure of a second marriage is to be 19. — To bring forth fruit to death. Parallel to 
introduced, with its application to believers (ver. the last clause of ver. 4, hence expressing the aim 
4). 'As the woman is not dead, but is killed in as well as the consequence of the working of the 
respect to her marriage relation, or is situated as passions. ' Death ' is to be explained as in chap, 
dead, by the natural death of her husband, so be- vi. 21. 

lievers have not died a natural death, but are Ver. 6. But now. Comp. chap. vi. 22. — We 

made dead to the law, since they are crucified to have been delivered, or, ' loosed,* the same word 

the law with Christ. The idea, dead in a mar* as in ver. 2. The annulling of the marriage rela- 

riage relation^ is therefore the middle term of com- tion is referred to in both cases. Here the exact 

parison ' (Lange). reference is to the simple past act of release or 

Ver 3. 80 then. This being the case it fol- discharge from the law, at the time of justifica- 

lows. The verse forms a parallelism. — Shall be tion. —Having died to that, etc. This is the sense 

called an adulteress. This is the formal sentence, of the reading now generally accepted. The fig- 

with a definite penalty — stoning (Lev. xxi. 10; ure of marriage is retained ; we died so far as the 

comp. John viii. 5). — Free from that law; lit, law is concerned, hence the marriage tie is dis- 

' the law/ in so far as it binds her to the husband, solved (comp. ver. 2). ' Wherein ' points to the 

the binding effect of the law as respects the mar- law, which ' held ' us bound until we died to it 

riage relation. 'That law' is a good explanation, (comp. ver. 1). — 80 that we serve; serve God, 

— 80 that the is not an adulters*!. This clause as the whole passage shows. A present result, of 



Chap. VII. 7-25.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 73 

which the readers were aware, is expressed in the grievous yoke. This does not imply an antithesis 
original, but obscured in the E. V. — In newness between the grammatical sense of Scripture and 
of the Spirit, 1. *., the Holy Spirit The sphere some spiritual sense, but points to the legal state 
of the Christian service of God is a new one, where the attempt at obedience is prompted not 
of which the Holy Spirit is the ruling element or by the Holy Spirit but by the restraint of an ex- 
force. Comp. the life in the Spirit as described ternal, literal rule. The new service is the only 
in chap. viii. The former service was in oldness true service ; under the law such a service was 
of the letter. This is not simply ' old letter, 1 nor not possible. The law said : ' Do this and live ; ' 
is it exactly the same as ' in the flesh, 1 or, ' under the gospel says : 4 Live and do this,' and the doing 
the law. 1 The religious service, before death to is of a different character from all the previous 
the law, was ruled by the letter, by the outward attempts to earn eternal life, 
form ; hence it had an element of decay, it was a 



Chapter VII. 7-25. 
2. The Law is holy, but cannot make Sinners holy. 

The fact that Christians are freed from the law might suggest a wrong inference as to the character 
of the law. This Paul denies (ver. 7), but shows how the law, though in itself good, leads to acquaint- 
ance with sin and to destructive results (vers. 8-12). In ver. 13 he suggests another (but similar) 
wrong inference, and then portrays the operation of the law in man, producing conflict and captivity 
rather than holiness (vers. 14-23). In vers. 24, 25, the whole description is summed up in a cry of 
misery, followed by an outburst of gratitude for deliverance, closing with the contrast between the 
service of mind and flesh. 



w 



HAT shall we say then? Is the law sin? God for-*£f m P cha P- 

» 111. 5* 

bid. 1 Nay, 2 *I had not known sin, but by 8 the law:* 01 "?"'- 20 - 
for I had not known lust, 4 except the law had said, 6 'Thou* Ex.xx. i 7 ; 

8 shalt not covet. But rf sin, taking occasion 6 by the command- Act.'x£ ? i; 
ment, wrought 7 in me all manner of concupiscence. 4 For 9. 

o € without 8 the law sin was 9 dead. For 10 I was alive without 8 »5 ; v.' »'; 
the law once : but when the commandment came, sin revived, 11 * « cor. xv. 

10 and 12 I died. And the commandment, f which was ordained /Lev-*™. 

' 5 ; Ez. xx. 

11 to 18 life, I found 14 to be unto death. For sin, 'taking occa- "/-U'-k 5 

* * *-* 2 LOT. 111. 7. 

sion 6 by the commandment, deceived 15 me, and by 16 it slew * Vers » *» IO - 

12 me. Wherefore 17 *the law is holy, and the commandment a Psxix. 8; 
holy, and just, and good. is"' ? Tim. 

13 Was 18 then that which is good made 19 death unto me ? God 
forbid. 1 But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in 20 
me by 16 that which is good ; that sin by 16 the commandment 
might become exceeding sinful. 

14 For we know that the law is spiritual : but I am carnal, * sold ' , a £ i "*% Jud * 

15 under sin. For that which I do, 21 I allow 22 not: for *what I Km* 81 ™* 

k Ver. 19-33; 

1 Let it never be * Nay, but 8 except through Gal - Y - l i* 
4 evil desire or coveting * if the law had not said 6 taking occasion, 

T through the commandment wrought 8 apart from 9 is 

10 Now M or sprang into life M but 18 was unto 

14 this (or the same) was found by me 

14 through the commandment deceived 18 through n So that 

lf Did M become * to a perform M know 



74 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VII. 7-25. 

16 would, that do I not ; w but what I hate, that do I. If then I 
do that which I would not, 24 I consent unto 25 the law that it is 

17 good. Now then it is no more I that do^ it, but sin that 

18 dwelleth 27 in me. For I know that 'in me (that is, in my'^g'J?: 58 
flesh,) dwelleth no good thing : M for to will a is present with Srf^* p * 
me; but how 20 to perform that which is good I find not. 81 SI'**' 6 ' 

19 w For the good that I would, 82 I do not : but the evil which I m "* ,s " 

20 would ffl not, that I do. 83 w Now if I do that I would not, 24 it « ver. 17. 

21 is no more I that do 26 it, but sin that dwelleth 27 in me. I find* comp. * 
then a ^ law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with Eph. ui. *; 

Col. til. Qm 

22 me. 35 For I delight in the law of God after °the inward man : «o. 

23 But p see another ^ law in q my members, warring against the * ou^yuij. 
law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to ** the law of 

sin which is in my members. 

24 O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the 

25 body of this death? 88 r I thank God 39 through Jesus Christ r *f or ■**• 
our Lord. So then ' with the mind I myself 40 serve the law of J yS£ l%V y , 
God ; but 'with the flesh the law of sin. cha P .«d. 7 : 

58 For not what I wish, that I practise ; 

24 But if what I wish not, that I do ** agree with 

26 no longer I that perform ** dwelling M good doth not dwell 

89 wish M omit how M is not {according to the best authorities) 

82 wish M practise ** the 

85 to me wishing to do good, evil is present (see notes) 8tt a different 

87 under (///., in) M or this body of death » Thanks to God 

40 I myself (or of myself) with the mind (or with my mind indeed) 

Introductory Note. This section has been ence of man attempting to become better through 

a theological battle-field for fifteen hundred years : the law ; of an awakened man, before he comes 

the main question being, to whom does Paul refer to Christ ; but also of a Christian man so far as 

when he says ' I,' whose history is he describing ? he feels the pressure of law rather than the power 

It is generally agreed that the experience is his of the Spirit Hence it is not always possible to 

own, but that it is applicable to all men, in so far discriminate, if the distinction between the regen- 

as they are striving to obey the law. It is also erate and unregenerate states is emphasized. Yet 

generally conceded that the first part of the de- the Apostle himself, as a Jew, before his conver- 

scription (vers. 7-13) refers to Paul (and to men sion, probably passed through this entire expe- 

in general) before regeneration. The question rience. It was his state as a Pharisee (Godet), 

which remains is : To what class does the descrip- not when sunk in sin, but when awakened to earn- 

tion of vers. 14-25 apply? Explanations: 1. To est struggles against sin under the scourge of 

the unregenerate man, depicting the unsuccessful the law, under preparation for a state of grace. 

strivings of his better moral nature. The main Many legal, despondent Christians never pass out 

difficulty with this view is that some of the expres- of this conflict into the more joyous life of the 

sions indicate a higher moral purpose than is Spirit. They believe that they are justified by 

found in unrenewed man. 2. To the regenerate faith in Christ, and yet attempt to be fmnftififff 

man. In favor of this may be urged (a.) the by works of the law. 

change to the present tense from ver. 14 on ; But the section not only presents the common 
(b.) the common experience of Christians as re- experience of individuals, it also sketches the re- 
spects indwelling sin. The objection is that the ligious history of the race. Vers. 7-13 correspond 
whole passage up to ver. 25 is silent as to the dis- with the phenomena of heathenism; the natural 
tinctively Christian character of the work of sane- man, at first without revealed law and then con- 
tification. Moreover this view would tend to victed by it Vers. 14-25 present the phenomena 
ignore the obvious difference between chaps, vii. of Judaism, man under the law, his conscience 
and viii. If the experience is that of a Christian, quickened thereby, but he himself still in bond- 
it is that of a Christian who is still dallying with age, longing for a deliverer. The closing verses 
law as the principle of holy living. 3. It seems prepare for chap, viii., which presents Christianity 
best to hold that the Apostle does not have in with its life of freedom in the Spirit 
mind any sharp distinction between the unregen- In the fifth century the passage was discussed 
erate and regenerate states, but gives the experi- by Augustine, who changed his views in regard 



Chap. VII. 7-25.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 75 

to it after his controversy with Pelagius. Many to the law written in men's hearts, but because 

centuries later, in Holland, the exegesis of the sin is essentially opposition to God, the revealed 

passage was the pivotal point in the conflict be- law of God with its sanctions arouses the greatest 

tween the Calvimsts and Arminians. The ten- opposition. 

dency at present seems to be in favor of the posi- Ver. 9. Vow I was alive without the law ones, 

tion advanced under (3). ' For' is incorrect ; this clause continues the de- 
scription of the state without the law. 'Alive' 

Ver. 7. What shall we say then 1 Comp. chap, has been explained as meaning: (1.) I seemed 

iii. 5. The Apostle proposes to consider the wrong to mvself to live, because not knowing my sin. 

inference which arises in many minds, that because (2.) I lived securely as a Pharisee. (3.) I lived 

the law works as described in vers. 5, 6, it is itself comparatively innocent The first is too nar- 

wrong. — Is the law sin 1 Because, on account of row; the second is opposed by the immediate 

it, we sin, as already described, is it of an immoral context which does not point to conversion ; the 

nature ? This the Apostle indignantly denies, last is preferable, if not pressed too far. ' Before 

with the usual formula : Let it never be ; and then an individual has a distinct and vivid perception 

proceeds to show how the good law occasions of the nature and spirituality and extent of the 

these results in us. — Nay, but I had not known Divine law, he is less active and desperate in his 

sin. The law discovers sin, and in a measure in- sin and guilt than after he comes to seek a knowl- 

cites to it, but it is not itself sin nor the cause of edge ' (Stuart). — Bat when the commandment 

sin. We take ' but ' as ' but on the contrary,' for came ; when the specific precept came home to 

if it were not opposed to sin it would not discover me with its prohibition ana command. This does 

it. ' Howbcit ' is objectionable, since it concedes not refer to the experience immediately preceding 

too much : as does Alford's view : • I say not conversion, as some of the older expositors claim, 

that, but what I mean is that' 4 Known sin ' Sin revived, or, 'sprang into life.' The former is 

points to both theoretical and experimental knowl- the more literal sense, Dut involves a difficulty in 

edge of sin ; the latter includes the excitement to regard to the previous existence of sin, which it 

sin which every human being feels, to some extent, implies. We may, however, explain it as referring 

when confronted with a positive precept — Except to the power of sin which is dormant, though liv- 

throngh the law. The article is wanting, and the ing, until it is aroused into activity through the 

principle applies in part to law in general, but the commandment — But I died. Tust as sin became 

next clause shows that the Mosaic law is meant. — alive, he died ; he, through the knowledge and ex- 

For I had not known. This confirms the previous citement of sin, entered into a moral state, which 

statement ; the verb is different from that which he calls death. This is further explained in what 

precedes, suggesting a slighter knowledge ; even follows. 

this is denied. — Evil desire; or, 'coveting,' to Ver. 10. Which was unto life. The promise 

correspond with the similar verb which follows, of the law, covering its every 'commandment/ 

* Lust ' is too specific. — Thou shalt not covet, was ' do this and live ; ' its aim was ' life.' — This, 

From Ex. xx. 17. The objects of the coveting are or, ' the same.' The latter is perhaps preferable, 

omitted, for it was the evil desire itself which was giving a tragical force to the expression : ' this 

made known to him by the commandment forbid- very commandment' — Was found by me to be 

ding it onto death. The aim was ' life ; ' as a matter of 

Ver. 8. But sin. This approaches a person ifi- personal human experience the result was ' death.' 

cation of sin, as in chap. v. 12-21. The excite- The present misery resulting from the excitement 

ment resulting from the pressure of the law is now and knowledge of sin seems to be referred to, for 

described. — Taking occasion. This should be sep- this only could be ' found ' to be the result, as a 

anted by a comma from what follows : ' It indi- matter of experience. 

cates the furnishing the material and ground of Ver. 1 1. For sin, etc. In ver. 8, which rescm- 
attack, the wherewith and whence to attack ' ( AI- bles this, Paul explains the excitement of evil de- 
ford).— Through the commandment, namely, that sire through the law; namely, how sin revived, 
mentioned in ver. 7, wrought in me all manner but here he explains the other phrase : ' I died.' 
of evil desire ; the same word as in ver. 7. * To The word ' sin is herein more emphatic than in 
man everything forbidden appears as a desirable ver. 8. It was not in the ' law,' but ' sin ' that 
blessing ; but yet, as it is forbidden, he feels that wrought this sad result. — Through the eonunand- 
his freedom is limited, and now his lust rages more ment deceived me. These words are to be joined 
violently, like the waves against the dyke' (Tho- together, in accordance with the analogy of ver. 8, 
luck). Philippi calls this, 'an immovably certain and of the following clause. 'It first made the 
psychological fact, which man can more easily commandment a provocation, and then a means of 
reason away and dispute away, than do away* condemnation. Thus what applies to Satan, that 
The classic authors support the same principle : he was first man's tempter, and then his accuser, 
see the quotations given in the footnote, Lange, applies likewise to sin. This passage calls to 
Romans, pp. 220, 210. — For apart from the law, mind the serpent in Paradise, as in 2 Cor. xi. 3 
or, independently of law, sin is dead. Not 'was,' (Lange). To refer this to the conviction of sin 
the proposition is a general one. 'Dead ' is here which precedes conversion seems unnecessary. — 
used in a relative, not an absolute, sense. Sin is And through it slew me. It thus led to a con- 
relatively inoperative until excited into opposition sciousness of the state of sin and misery referred 
by the law. A reference to its being unobserved, to in ver. 10 : 'I died.' The experience here 
undetected, is less probable. The context shows portrayed has been reproduced in every age : this 
that the Mosaic law is meant. ' That this may be is the universal effect of God's law upon sinful 
and is misused by the principle of sin, in the way man whose conscience is not yet dead, 
indicated, arises from the fact, that it comes for- Ver. 12. 80 that. The result of the whole dis- 
ward merely with the outward command (thou cussion (vers. 7— 11) is not to cast doubt upon the 
shalt, thou shalt not), without giving the power law, but to maintain its character as worthy of 
of fulfilment' (Meyer). This is also applicable God who gave it The original suggests a sec- 



ond member of (he sentence, which is indicated dividual 
in ver. IJ. — The law ii holy. This positive char- present; 
acter of the law Paul does not stop to prove ; foi 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VII. 7-25. 

! long since past ; but he realises it at 
present ana places it before the eyes like 1. picture, 
in which the standpoint of the happier present in 
which he now finds himself renders possible the 
perspective that lends to every feature of his nor- 
trait the light of clearness and troth ' (Meyer). — 
Sold under tin. A permanent state of slavery is 
referred to ; sin being personified as the master. 
How this state of slavery manifests itself it de- 
scribed in the next verse. 

Ver. 15. For that which I partem. In (Jim 
passage there are three Greek words translated 
'do' in the A. V. We distinguish them thus: 
perform, practise, do ; the first is usually rendered 
'work.' — I know not. This does not mcani 'I 
do not approve,' but that like a slave he perform* 
ignorantly the will of his master. But Luge 
rightly says : ' thus one thing dawns upon him — 
that he acts in gloomy self-distraction, and in con- 
tradiction of a Detter but helpless desiie and re- 
pugnance.' The rest of the verse ind' 
For not what I with, that I praottss ; 



the law was constantly condemning, which con- 
demnation betokened that it was 'holy.' — And 
the commandment. What is true of the law as a 
whole, is also true of its single commandments. — 
Holy and jut and good. 'Holy,' because it comes 
from a holy God ; ' just,' because of it* form ; 
'good,' because of its end (so Bengel). As the 
specific commandment had in each case been 
used by sin to deceive and slay him, the Apostle 
gives (his full declaration of the character of ' the 
commandment.' 

Ver. 13. Did than that which it good, 1. e,, did 
the commandment itself, which was 'good,' de- 
signed for beneficial results, become death unto 
me. This the Apostle denies : The law itself was 
neither sin (ver. 7) nor the cause of death. — Bat 
tin; sin became death unto me. — That it might 
appear tin. This was (he design, namely, (ha( it 
might be shown to be what it really is ; compare 
the last clause. — Working death to ma through 
that whioh It good. This was the mode in which 
sin was made to appear sin t by making use of 
what is good to produce death in men, it reveals 
more fully its own hideous character. ' As it is 
the sovereign right of good to overrule evil results 
for good, so it is (he curse of sin to pervert the 
effects of wha( is good to evil ' (from Lange). — 
That sin, etc. This clause is parallel to (he pre- 
ceding one, expressing again (he purpose, — 
Through this commandment, i. t., ' that which is 
good.' — Exceeding sufnL 'Such is the design 
of the law, so far as (he salvation of sinners is 
concerned. It does not prescribe the conditions 
of salvation.' Neither is the law the means of 
sanctificalion. It cannot make us holy. On the 
contrary, its operation is to excite and exasperate 
sin — to render its power more dreadful and de- 
structive ' (Hodge). Because this is so true, it 
seems unlikely that what immediately follows is 
the distinctive experience of a Christian. 

Ver. 14. For we know, This is again an ap- 
peal to Christian experience, but we cannot infer 
from this that the experience of the 'I' is distinc- 
tively Christian. This verse is a proof of ver. 13. 
— The law is spiritual ; in its essence it is divine, 
because its characteristics are those of the Holy 
Spirit. This view agrees best with the contrast 
which follows. Other views .- inspired by (he 
Holy Spirit; related (O (he spiritual nature of 
man ; fulfilled by (hose only who have (he Holy 
Spirit ; requiring an angelic righteousness, etc. 
Most of these are true, but not in accordance with 
the Scripture use of the word ' spiritual,' or with 
the context. — But I am carnal. The change of 
a single letter gives, as the better reading, (he 
word meaning,' made of flesh,' instead of that mean- 
ing, ' of a fleshly character.' The correct reading 
seems (o give the stronger sense, though this is 
denied by some, in order (o defend the reference 
to the regenerate man. We think Paul here de- 
scribes himself not as a Christian, but over 
against the law. For he does not use the word 
'spirit' at all in this description, and applies 'spir- 
itual ' only to the law ; whereas in the Christian the 
conflict is directly between 'flesh' and 'Spirit* {on 
these terms, see Excuisus below). ' It is true the 
ation, which the Apostle thus exhibits in his 
1 representative Ego, was for himself as an in- 



j the condition 



hat do L We change 'would' to 'wish 'on 
account of the contrast with ' hate,' though ' will ' 
would be more literal. The main question here 
is respecting these two contrasted verbs, 'will' 
(or, 'wish') and 'hate.' Some strengthen the 
former into ' love,' in the interest of an exclusive 
reference to the regenerate ; others weaken the 
latter into ' do not wish.' We prefer to regard 
' hate ' as stronger than ' wish,' while ' practise ' is 
stronger than ' do.' This suggests that the desire 
for good is less strong than the hatred of evil. 
Passages from heathen writers express similar 
sentiments. It is asserted that no such ' will' ex- 
ists in the unregenerate man, but this is true only 
where (he sense of ' will ' is unduly pressed. To 
admit (hat an unregenerate man can use the lan- 

Euage of this verse, is perfectly consistent with 1 
clicf in the depravity of (he human will. 
Ver. 16. But if. This verse is a logical infer- 
ence from the position of ver. 15. It is, however, 
the logic of a Christian applied to *' 
under (he law, or it may mark 
in the recognition of (he (rue position tc 
law. — What I wish not, that I do. Compare the 
similar clause in ver- 15. Here the weaker phrase 
'wish not' is substituted For 'hate.' Even this 
negative a((i(ude proves (he character of the law. 
— I agree with the law that It it good. ' I agree 
with,' marks an acquiescence in the high moral 
character of the law. This acquiescence it more 
than intellectual, or no conviction of sin would re- 
sult. Some conviction of sin it implied, and 
must exist in every man awakened by the claims 
of the law. ' My conduct, therefore, to far as my 
"*._:__ '" opposed to it, appears according to this 
as a proof that I concur with the 
. beautiful, 1. t., morally good ; the 
moral excellence which the law affirms of itself 
(f. g., Deut. iv. 8) I also agree with it in acknowl- 
edging ; in point of fact, fsay/« to it' (Meyer). 
Ver. 17. Vow then, or, ' but now,' as the case 
stands. — It it no longer I that perform it, i. 1., 
' what I wish not.' I am a slave under sin, what 
' I perform, I know not ' (ver. 16). Both ' now ' 
' are logical, not temporal ; they 









point to an inference, not necessarily tr 

tion from a former condition int 

' I ' refers to the ' moral self-ci 
there is as vet no indication that this state of 
things of itself does or can lead to anything better. 
The desire is powerless ; the ' 1 * is enslaved — 



Chap. VII. 7-25.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 77 

But sin dwelling in me ; the master to whom I point. But it is very difficult to explain the verse 

am enslaved. 'In me ' is supposed by many to on this theory. Moreover, in what immediately 

differ from ' I,' since ver. 18 explains the former follows (vers. 22, 23), 'law' is used in a wider 

as ' in my flesh.' The two phrases are a verbal sense, and ' the law of God ' is specified, as if the 

reproduction of the apparent duality in the per- term here used had another reference. We pre- 

son who is passing through such a moral conflict, fer, therefore, the usual view : ' I find then (as the 

There is no sign of release, no assertion of power summing of my experience, ver. 14-20) the law 

to do good of which the ' I ' approves. Whether (of moral contradiction) when I wish to do good, 

the experience be that of a regenerate or unregen- that evil is present with me.* Ver. 22, 23 then 

erate man, the moral responsibility rests on him introduce the opposing laws which make the con- 

in whom sin dwells ; the description is intended to tradiction. (Meyer thus explains the verse : 4 1 

prove the powerlessness of man under the law, not find, then, while my will is directed to the law in 

to define his responsibility. order to do good, that evil is present with men.' 

Ver. 18. For I know ; not, ' we know,' which Some prefer : ' I find then with respect to the 

would point to common Christian experience. This law, when/ etc. ) 

verse proves from the experience of the man whose Vers. 22, 23. We have four phrases contrasted 
case is described the truth of ver. 17. — In me, in pairs : ' The law of God ; ' ' another law in my 
that is, in my flesh, in my depraved human nature ; members,' etc ; ' the law of my mind ; ' ' the law of 
* flesh ' being here used m its strict ethical sense, sin and death,' etc. Each phrase has its distinct 
Usually in this sense the antithesis is ' Spirit,' and meaning, while those forming pairs are closely re- 
even here that idea is implied in the spirituality lated : The law of God is the Mosaic law, but the 
of the law which produces the experience under law of the mind is the same law so far as it is 
discussion. Hence it is not necessary to assume operative in the mind ; the law in the members is 
that the case is that of a regenerate man, in order the law of sin, so far as it is operative in the 
to find room for a reference to the Holy Spirit, members ; the extreme contrast is between the 
over against the ' flesh.' The man under the law of God and the law of sin and death. ' The 
law, whether before or after conversion, is here law' of ver. 21 is this principle of moral conflict 
represented as becoming conscious that he is which the Apostle found in his experience. 
' made of flesh,' under the conflict awakened by Ver. 22. For I delight in the law of God. 'For ' 
the law. The better desire may exist (see next introduces an explanation of ver. 21. 'Delight in' 
clause), but in every case it is powerless unless the is stronger than * agree with' (ver. 16), but must 
man escapes from the law to Christ. — For to not be pressed too far, since ver. 21, of which this 
wish is present with me, lies before me. The is an explanation, is a summing up of the experi- 
word translated ' wish ' (' would,' A. V.) is the ence in vers. 14-20. Meyer explains : ' I rejoice 
same throughout the passage, and preserves the with the law of God, so that its joy (the law being 
same general sense, of wishing, being willing, personified) is also mine.' But this is not neces- 
rather than of a decisive purpose or controlling sary, and too strong. — After the inward man. 
desire. — But to perform that which is good is Those who refer the experience to the regenerate 
not. We follow here the better sustained reading, man consider this phrase as identical with 'the 
Wishing lies before me, but executing does not ; new man,' under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 
I can and do have a desire for what is good, but But why is the influence of the Spirit so carefully 
I cannot and do not carry that desire into effect ; kept out of view ? Some say : Because Paul 
this experience proves that there dwells in me, would set the conflict in the strongest light. But 
that is, in my flesh, no good thing. So far as one it is unlike him to keep Christ and the Holy 
is ' in the flesh,' this is his highest moral state ; Spirit in the background. We prefer, then, to 
only when 'in the Spirit' can good be truly per- distinguish between 'the inward man' and the 
formed * new man.' The former is the internal sphere of 

Ver. 19. For the good, etc. This verse is a proof spiritual influence where the law operates : in the 

of the last clause of ver. 18 ; and ver. 20, which regenerate man this has become the new man, but 

is an inference from this verse, leads back to the before renewal by the Holy Spirit the inner man, 

statement of ver. 17. — But the evil which I wish despite all its agreement with the law, even when 

not, that I praetioe. This is the strongest ex- in aroused feeling it might be said to delight in 

pression of sinfulness yet made. Paul, looking the law of God, is in a helpless condition, all the 

back from his Christian point of view, no doubt more miserable, because of its approval of the law. 

includes more than heathen writers have done When the Christian is ' under the law,' his delight 

when using similar expressions, but what he says may be more pronounced, but so long as he seeks 

is to a certain extent the experience of every man sanctification through the law, he is quite as help- 

whose conscience is affected by the law. less. ' The inward man ' here is nearly equivalent 

Ver. 20. But if what I with not, etc. Since to ' mind ' in vers. 23, 25 ; and also to ' spirit,' so 

this is the case (as ver. 19 shows), then the posi- far as that term exclusively applies to the highest 

tion of ver. 17 is sustained : it is no longer I, etc. part of man's nature, irrespective of the inwork- 

The repetition in this clause is exact, but in the mg of the Holy Spirit. (See Excursus below.) 

phrase ' I wish,' some emphasis rests on ' I.' Ver. 23. But I see a different law. Not sim- 

This is taken by many as indicating a progress in ply » another,' but a ' different,' one ; comp. Gal. 

thought But there is no sign as yet of a more 1. 6, 7. Paul represents himself as witnessing the 

hopeful condition. The progress is still toward conflict within his own person. — In my members, 

wretchedness, despite, or perhaps because of, To be joined with ' law. This does not mean ' in 

this increased desire. my flesh,' 1. *., carnal nature, over against my re- 

Ver. 21. I find then the law, etc. The literal newed nature, but points to the members of the 
sense of the verse is : I find then the law to me body, as the locality where the working of the op- 
wishing (willing) to do the good, that to me the posing law is most evident. It is not implied that 
evil is present Some refer ' the law ' to the Mo- these members are the sole seat of sin. This is 
saic law, because that has been In mind up to this unpauline, whether applied to the regenerate or 



& 



7% EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VII. 7-25. 

to the unregenerate. — Warring against the law sire for death, and on the other giving to ' body' 
of my mind. The conflict is against the law of that ethical sense which is peculiar to ' flesh.' 
God, not as such, but as having the locality of its The ethical idea is in this ' death ' not in 'body.' 
operation in the ' mind.' This term refers to the A turning point is now reached. It is probable 
higher part of man's nature, or spirit ; here re- that even this cry is uttered ' in full consciousness 
garded in its practical activity. This does not of the deliverance which Christ has effected, and 
mean the unfallen human spirit, there being no as leading to the expression of thanks which fol- 
trace of such a notion in the New Testament lows' (Alford, following De Wette). 
Nor on the other hand is ' mind ' here equivalent Ver. 25. I thank God, or, ' thanks to God ; ' it 
to renewed nature. In that case we would find being difficult to decide between the two. (Some 
some hint of the Holv Spirit's influence. So far authorities read : but thanks to God.) This 
as a man is living under the law, the best that his thanksgiving is for deliverance : it is a deliver- 
' mind ' can do for him is to present a powerless ance through Jesus Christ our Lord. Not simply 
opposition to the law in the members. — Bringing that the thanksgiving is through Him, but the net 
me into captivity, ' taking me prisoner,' under the that the thanks to God is due to Jesus Christ 
law of sin. ' In * is the literal sense. The sense Here is the key-note of a life distinctivly Chris- 
is not materially altered by this change of reading, tian over against the attempt to live better under 
The law in the members is the warrior that takes the law. — 80 then. This sums up the whole : 
the captive, the law of sin is the victor under since this is the conflict and a hopeless one until 
whom the captive is held ; the two laws are prac- Christ delivers. Others would connect this with 
tically identical. A wretched condition (ver. 24), ver. 24. — I myself , etc The two leading inter- 
but some recognition of it is a necessary prelimi- pretations are : (1.) 'I myself as the same man,' 
nary to deliverance. live this divided life ; (2.) ' I of myself,' apart 
Ver. 24. wretched man that I am! Some from Christ, thus live. If (1) be adopted, and 
would inclose this verse and the first clause of applied to the man who has uttered the thanksgiv- 
vcr. 25 in parenthesis ; but this is unnecessary, ing, the inference would be that such discord was 
The word ' wretched ' implies * exhausted by hard the normal condition of the Christian. To apply 
labor ; ' comp. Matt xi. 28. The prominent ideas it to the unregenerate man seems objectionable, 
are of helplessness and wretchedness ; the cry for for how can such an one be said to serve the law 
deliverance follows. A believer may thus speak, of God. On the whole, then, (2.) is more satis- 
doubtless often does ; but this condition is pre- factory. ' I in myself, notwithstanding whatever 
ciselv that from which we are delivered. — Who progress in righteousness the Spirit of Christ may 
Ehall deliver me. Not merely a wish : would that have wrought in me, or will work in this life, am 
I were delivered, but rather : who will deliver me, still most imperfect ; with my mind, indeed, I 
who can do it ; not without a reference to help serve the law of God, but with my flesh the law of 
from a person. Those who apply the passage to sin ; and, tried by the law, could not be justified, 
the regenerate must assume here a temporary but would come under condemnation, it viewed 
absence of relief. It does apply to the regen- in myself, and not in Christ Jesus' (Forbes), 
erate man, when bv seeking sanctification by the This suggests the connection with chap. viii. To 
law he forgets Christ, and deprives himself of the make an alternative : either with the mind, etc, 
help of the Spirit. — From, lit, ' out of,' the body or with the flesh, is not grammatical. — With the 
of this death, or, ' this body of death.' The inter- mind, or, 4 with my mind indeed.' Not • with the 
pretations are quite various : I. This body of Spirit,' for it is the man of the law who is still 
death ; (a) this mortal body. But this makes the spoken of, even though he has been delivered 
body the seat of sin, or amounts to a desire for and looks back upon the worst of the conflict. — 
death ; both of which are unpauline and contrary With the flesh the law of sin. The service of the 
to the context, (b) Still less satisfactory is the law, whose excellence is recognized by the mind, 
view that personifies death as a monster with a is attempted, but the flesh interferes, as the rul- 
body. 2. ' The body of this death.' This is pref- ing power it brings into captivity in every ease 
erable, since the emphasis in the original seems to where the mere service of law, even of the law 
rest upon ' this death.' There is, however, no ref - of God, is the aim. That the Christian is not 
erence to physical death, but to the whole condition ruled by the flesh is his distinctive privilege, but 
of helplessness, guilt, and misery just described, obedience from legalistic motives gives the flesh 
which is, in effect, spiritual death. But * body ' fresh power. Hence we find here, even after the 
may be taken either : {a) literally, or (b) figura- thanksgiving, a quasi-confession of defeat, to con- 
tively. The literal sense suggests that the body nect with the next chapter, 
is the seat of sin, and may be made equivalent to 4 The whole passage seems, by its alternations, 
a desire for death. Meyer guards it thus : ' Who its choice of words, as well as its position in the 
shall deliver me out of bondage under the law of Epistle, to point to an experience which is pro- 
sin into moral freedom, in which my bodv shall no duced by the holy, just, and good law of God, 
longer serve as the seat of this shameful death. 1 rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ ; so that 
This agrees with the reference to ' members ' in even the out-burst of Christian gratitude b fol- 
ver. 23. But the figurative sense has more to lowed by a final recurrence to the conflict, which 
recommend it • Body ' is the organism of ' this is, indeed, ever-recurring, so long as we seek holi- 
death ; ' it clings to me as closely as the body, ness through the law rather than through Christ' 
Wc thus avoid on the one hand making this a de- (Riddle in Lange, Romans, p. 244). 



Chap. VII. 7-25] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 79 

Excursus on some Psychological Terms of the New Testament. 

1. Body. This generally refers to the physical body, though it often suggests the organism of the 
body. A living body is usually meant Figuratively it is applied to the Church. In a few passages 
where it seems to imply sinfulness, it should be interpreted: in a figurative sense, as referring to the 
organism of sin (Rom. vi. 6 ; vii. 24 ; Col. ii. 11), since the thought that the body is the source of sin, 
or even its chief seat, is unwarranted alike by Scripture and by experience. 

2. Soul. The word we translate soul often means ' life,' animal life ; the word which represents 
eternal life, life in the highest sense, is a different one. ' Soul ' may mean the whole immaterial part 
of man, or it may be distinguished from ' spirit' But the distinction is difficult to define, see under 
3. It does not mean the fallen part of our immaterial nature over against an unfallen part called 
4 spirit,' nor is it to be limited to the animal life. The Old Testament usage seems decisive on both 
points. It is unfortunate that the influence of Hebrew modes of thought have not been sufficiently 
recognized in the discussions about this and kindred terms. Furthermore the analytic tendency of 
many modern systems has led to the acceptance of a division where the Scriptures suggest only a dis- 
tinction. 

3. Spirit. This term, the Hebrew equivalent of which is very common in the Old Testament, 
has in the New Testament a number of meanings. It is derived from t jie word meaning ' to blow,' and 
retains in rare instances (John. iii. 8 ; Heb. i. 7) its early sense of wind. We often use it now as 
equivalent to temper, disposition ; but in the New Testament it rarely, if ever, refers to this alone. It 
is, however, applied to evil, unclean, spirits, and to good angels. In these cases it refers to a mode 
of being, irrespective of the moral quality, which is defined by the context. 

Aside from these incidental meanings, the word is used in the New Testament in three senses : — 

(a.) The theological wealth referring to the Holy Spirit. 

\b.) The anthropological sense, referring to the spirit of man, as part of his nature. 

(V.) The soteriological sense, referring to the indwelling Holy Spirit, or to the spirit of man as in- 
formed by the indwelling Holy Spirit 

(a.) The prevailing sense in the New Testament is the theological one, that is, it means the Spirit 
of God, the Holy Spirit In the contrast with ' flesh ' (see below) it usually has this sense, but fre- 
quently in the modified form which is discussed under (<*.). 

(6.) The anthropological sense is not very common. It must be insisted upon, rather for the pur- 
pose of defining the other senses and kindred terms, than for its own sake. In 1 Thess. v. 23, we find 
a reference to ' body, soul, and spirit/ but even here Christians are spoken of. At the same time we 
infer from this passage, from the Old Testament distinctions, and from Heb. iv. 12, 4 that in the orig- 
inal structure of man there is something — yet remaining, needing, and capable of sanctification — 
corresponding to the three terms, body, soul, and spirit' It is implied in 1 Thess. v. 23, that the 
spirit needs sanctification, and that the body and soul also are to be preserved for God. Holding fast 
to these points, we shall escape many of the false inferences drawn from the theory of the tri-partite 
nature of man (trichotomy). On the other hand we must not go to the extreme of holding that the 
' spirit ' is the renewed nature, hence that man has not a ' spirit ' before regeneration. ' Ft must be 
held fast, that man could not receive the Spirit of God, if he were not himself a spiritual being ; yet 
it is a supposition of the Scriptures, that, since the fall, the spiritual nature is bound in the natural 
man, and does not come to its actuality ' (Lange). This view includes ' the mind,' and 4 the inward 
man' (see 5, below) under the term 'spirit,' making the spirit the sphere in which Divine influences 
begin their operations, like God in mode of being, but the very inmost seat of moral unlikcness to 
Him. Before renewal the 'spirit' is itself under the power of the ' flesh' (see 4, (1.), (£.), below). 
The New Testament never contrasts ' flesh ' with this sense of 'spirit' Hence this anthropological 
sense is rare compared with that which follows. 

(r.) The soteriological sense : the Holy Spirit in the human spirit, or, the human spirit acted upon 
by the Holy Spirit As distinguished from {a.) this is the subjective sense, as distinguished from (4.) 
it is a theological sense. In Paul's writings it is very frequent, and we find it expressed in the Gospels : 
' that which is born of the Spirit is spirit ' (John ui. 6) ; comp. Matt. xxvi. 41 ; Mark xiv. 38. This 
sense includes the term ' new man ; ' comp. also Eph. iv. 24 ; Col. iii. 10. 

4. Flesh. (1.) Physical sense. In the Old Testament this term is applied to 'man with the 
adjunct idea of frailty ' (Tholuck), but the idea of depravity is not suggested. In the New Testament 
the physical sense occurs, with a reference to the earthly life and relations (Gal. ii. 20 ; 2 Cor. x. 3 ; 
Eph. ii. 15; Phil. i. 22, 24; Col. i. 22, etc.). In these instances the contrast with man's new relation 
to God is only negatively implied. In other cases the term is almost = body, or to the material of 
which the body is composed. ' According to the flesh,' as applied to Christ, refers to His human na- 
ture (or, descent), probably with the idea of frailty, as in the Old Testament use. Here, too, we may 
trace the notion of physiological descent, suggesting the transmission of nature, a thought not remote 
from the strictly ethical sense ; comp. John iii. 6 : ' that which is born of the flesh is flesh.' 

(2.) The ethical sense of flesh is recognized by all commentators. It is in contrast with ' Spirit,' 
cither expressed or implied, and this gives the key to its meaning, 1. e. ? that it refers to our unregen- 
erate depraved nature, but the exact significance has been frequently discussed. 

(a.) How much of man's nature is included under the term 'flesh,' when used in the ethical 
sense. We answer more than the body, or the body with its animal life and appetites. The Bible 
nowhere justifies the Paean view that sin is confined to our animal life. Nor can we limit the term 
to body and soul, excluding the human spirit from the empire of the flesh. The distinction between 
soul and spirit is not essentially an ethical one ; the only passage suggesting this is 1 Cor. ii. 14, 
where ' spiritual,' however, implies the influence of the Holy Spirit The antithesis to * flesh ' in 



80 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VIII. 

this ethical sense never is the unregenerate human spirit Even in Rom. vii. i8, 25, where ' inward 
man/ and ' mind ' are contrasted with ' flesh/ the real antithesis is to be found in ver. 14 : 'the law 
is spiritual, but I am carnal,* which is illustrated in the description that follows. * Flesh,' therefore, 
means, not a tendency or direction of life in one part of man's nature, but the whole human nature, 
body, soul, and spirit, separated from God, the human nature we inherit ' according to the flesh,' from 
Adam. 

(b.) This human nature, termed ' flesh,' is essentially alienated from God ; antagonism to God is the 
essence of sin. Its positive principle is selfishness, for after God is rejected, self becomes supreme. 
The human nature, thus alienated from God, with selfishness as its ruling principle, seeks its gratifica- 
tion in the creature, for it has forsaken God, and it requires some object external to itself. This devo- 
tion to the creature has a higher form as sensuousness, and deems itself noble, in its intellectual and 
esthetic pursuit of other things more than God. But the course of heathenism, as portrayed in chap, 
i , shows that it is an easy step to sensuality, the lower form of fleshly gratification. Hence this ethical 
sense of ' flesh ' has been confused with its lowest manifestations, namely, physical appetites. But the 
true definition is : ' Flesh is the whole nature of man, turned away from Goo, in the supreme interest 
of self, devoted to the creature.' This definition links together ungodliness and sin, implies the inabil- 
ity of the law, and the necessity of the renewing influence of the Holy Spirit. 

5. Mind. The word translated ' mind ' in the preceding section is row, and may be distinguished 
from several other Greek terms occasionally rendered by the same English word. As indicated in the 
above comments, 'mind' here is not equivalent to renewed nature, nor does it include merely the 
intellectual faculties. It is rather the active organ of the human spirit, the practical reason, usually 
as directed to moral questions. Hence it properly covers what we term the moral sense, or con- 
science. But the Scriptural anthropology does not favor the view that this ' mind ' of itself is not 
depraved ; for it is used several times in connection with the worst forms of heathenism, and in other 
passages obviously means a sinful mind (chap. i. 28 ; Eph. iv. 17 ; Col. ii. 18 ; I Tim. vi. 5 ; 2 Tim. 
lii. 8 ; Tit. i. 15). The ' inward man ' (ver. 22) is practically equivalent to this term, and represents 
the same moral status : before regeneration under the dominion of the flesh, but made the sphere of 
the operations of the Holy Spirit, so that a 'new man' results, in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. But 
both ' mind ' and ' inward man ' may cover the whole immaterial nature of man ; the former in its 
moral and intellectual aspects ; the latter in its theological aspects (so EllicottJ. 

6. Heart. Although this term occurs with comparative infrequency in this Epistle, it is impor- 
tant to understand its application in the New Testament. More distinctly than any of the other terms 
it shows the influence of the Old Testament. It is regarded as the central organ of the entire human 
personality, and includes what we distinguish as intellect and feeling, sometimes the will also. It 
is the organ of both soul and spirit, and yet is sometimes distinguished from the former (comp. the 
sum of the commandments : ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy 
soul,' etc.), never from the latter, although occasionally used as if equivalent to it (Ps. Ii. 10, 17; 
comp. Col. ii. 5 with 1 Thess. ii. 17). Hence it is inferred that it is more closely allied to 'spirit ' than 
to ' soul ; ' but we must beware of making divisions, where only phases of a vital unity are concerned. 
The important point to be remembered is, that while ' heart ' includes the affections, the term in the 
Scriptures does not imply the contrast we make between ' head ' and ' heart,' 1. e. 9 intellect and affec- 
tions. In chap. x. 9, 10, believing is predicated of the ' heart,' but in contrast with confessing with 
the ' mouth,' not with intellectual credence. Hence the phrase ' new heart ' implies far more than a 
change of feelings, just as 'repentance' suggests more than our English 'change of mind,' which is 
the literal sense of the Greek. For ' mind ' and ' heart ' alike, according to the Hebrew conceptions, 
had moral aspects which were the controlling and important ones. ' Heart,' therefore, when used in 
the New Testament in a psychological (not physiological) sense, implies a moral quality, but what 
that moral quality is depends on the connection. In the case of the regenerate man the ' heart ' is 
spoken of as if it were the seat of the Holy Spirit's influence (chap. v. 5 ; 2 Cor. i. 22 ; Gal. iv. 6 ; 
Eph. hi. 16, 17). — The incidental meanings of the term may be readily determined. 

Clearly, then, the New Testament use of terms serves to emphasize the language of the Apostle in 
ver 24 : * O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? ' All the 
powers and organs of human nature are powerless from this organism of sin, until through Jesus Christ 
our Lord deliverance comes. 



CHAPTER VJII. 

III. THE LIFE IN THE SPIRIT OVER AGAINST THE FAILURE OF THE LAW; THE 
GOSPEL AS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO PRESENT SALVATION FROM SIN. 

This chapter is ' the climax of the Epistle ' (Tholuck). The gospel is a present power unto salva- 
tion ; the law has proven a failure, both in justifying (chap, iii.) and in sanctifying men (chap, vii.), 
but those who are in Christ Jesus, not only are justified, but also have a new life in the Holy Spirit. 
Hence Meyer gives as the theme of the chapter : ' the happy condition of a man in Christ.' Hodge 
prefers the heading : ' the security of the believer.' — The whole chapter may be summed up thus : 
the life in the Spirit leads to fellowship with Christ in suffering and glory (vers. 1-17) ; in this fellow- 
ship of suffering we have three grounds of encouragement insuring our blessedness, attesting our 
security (vers. 18-30) ; the believer has nothing to fear, for nothing can separate him from the love 



Chap. VIII. 1-17.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 8 1 

Chapter VIII. 1-17. 
1. The Life in the Spirit contrasted with the Life after the Flesh. 

The Christian is free from condemnation (ver. 1), because he is freed from the law of sin (ver. 2), 
a result which the law could not accomplish, but which is accomplished by God through Christ (vers. 
3, 4). Hence he lives according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh, for the former life is true 
life, the latter is death, and those who are in this condition cannot please God (vers. 5-8). The test 
of true spiritual life is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the pledge of the resurrection of our bodies 
(vers. 9-1 1 ). Therefore we ought not to live after the flesh, but through the Spirit mortify the deeds 
of the body (vers. 12, 13), being sons of God (ver. 14), having the witness of the Spirit of adoption 
(vers. 15, 16), and thus assured of the future glory which will follow the present suffering in fellowship 
with Christ (ver. 17). 

i ^THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which 1 

are *in Christ Jesus, who 2 walk not after the flesh, but^EphlV 

2 after the Spirit For * the law of e the Spirit of life in Christ chip. vi. p *3. 
Jesus hath made me free 3 from rf the law of sin and death. 36; chap. vi 

J 18, ij ; Gal. 

3 For 'what the law could not do, in that* it was weak through J'-^ J;'- 
the flesh, •'God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful £$ ; 6 aCor - 

4 flesh, 6 and for 6 sin, condemned sin in the flesh : That the d <?■£■ yU - 
'righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, *who walk' ^^-^j 
not after 7 the flesh, but after 7 the Spirit. !J; ill;?' 

5 For 'they that are after 7 the flesh do mind the things of the/J^y,,. 
flesh; but they that are after 7 the Spirit, *the things of the, fi^hi 3 / 

6 Spirit. For 'to be carnally minded 8 is death ; but to be spirit- u.^V. 3 ^ 

7 ually minded 9 is life and peace. Because m the carnal mind 8 HeiT£. p i, 
is enmity against God : for it is not subject 10 to the law of God, a Gai. ▼. 16, 

8 "neither indeed can be. 11 So then 12 they that are in the flesh ve«. 5 -n'. 

* John iu. 6 ; 

cannot please God. . < > cor.ii.14. 

r k Gal. y. a*, 

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that /( ^ ^ ai . 
°the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have 18 not oi'^s. 

10 'the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ 6e 1A inJ^JPj^J; 
you, 9 the body is dead because of sin ; but the Spirit is life be-* ^^'."g. 

11 cause of righteousness. But if the Spirit of r him that raised '^."V^ 
up Jesus from the dead dwell 16 in you, 'he that raised up fp e 't!i. ,9 ii. 
Christ from the dead 'shall also quicken 16 your mortal bodies J AcuuVaa. 
by 17 his Spirit that dwelleth in you. * JffcS; Ji. 

12 "Therefore, 18 brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to III EpiTii* 

13 live after 7 the flesh. For • if ye live after 7 the flesh, ye shall / <?om P . 1 cor. 

XV. 35,44* 
etc.; Phil. 

1 w ho JLV 20 » 2 . , • 

m Chap. vi. 7, 

3 The best authorities omit who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit m. 

• freed me 4 because * of the flesh of sin 6 or on account of v vi 8. ' 

7 according to 8 the mind of the flesh • the mind of the Spirit 

10 doth not submit itself " it " And " hath 

14 But if Christ is w dwelleth Ie will quicken even 

17 or on account of {according to some authorities) 18 or So then 

VOL. III. 6 



82 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VIII. 1-17. 

die : but it ye through 1B the Spirit do " mortify " the deeds of "cjjf ■£*■"' 

14 the body, ye shall live. For *as many as are led by the Spirit**^*-*. 

15 of God, they are the sons 11 of God. For 'ye have not re- , JtJIJl « 
ceived 23 the spirit of bondage again 'to fear; but ye have* 8 [^'* m "- 
received the "Spirit of adoption, whereby 8 * we cry, i Abba,''cii!w.t i 6. 

16 Father. 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with ** our spirit, ' &*""' 

17 that we are the 20 children of God : And if children, then n ".^xJiTl 
heirs; * heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; 'if so be^Am^m!' 
that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified to- Tt'wgpT 
gether. 28 .> ' ' 

"by "put to death H these are sons ** ye did not receive f^iiLi? 1 

** omit have M wherein " or to ** omit the B also * '■ " U. 

18 with him i- «4- 



Ver. 1. Than is therefore now, at this time. 
.'Therefore' sums up what precedes. But the 
exact connection is disputed. It may be joined 
either (I.) with the thanksgiving, at the beginning 
of vct. 25; (2.) or with the whole of ver. 25 ; 
(3.) orwith the entire preceding section. With the 
view we have taken of the previous description, 
it seems best, to connect it with the thanksgiv- 
ing. Meyer finds 'now' explained in ver. x, 'now 
[hat Christ has freed me.' This is really talcing 
up the thanksgiving again. Some, who refer the 
preceding experience to the regenerate, explain 
thus: 'Although I am thus divided in service, 
stilt, being in Christ Jesus, there is now therc- 






'No' : 



phatic position. Some confine 
justification at the beginning of the Christian life, 
but it is better to refer it to the stale of justifica- 
tion which culminates in final acquittal and glory. 
For here the Apostle is treating of those who arc 
in Christ Jesus, and the context points to the 
Spirit's work of sanctification. — In Chriat Jesus. 
In vital union with Him; the phrase being a 
deeply significant One ; comp. John xv. 1-7 ; Eph. 
i. 23. — The clause : 'who walk not,' etc, is to be 
rejected, being probably taken from ver. 4. This 
addition weakens the Apostle's statement, by mak- 
ing the walk appear as the ground of ' no condem- 

Ver. 2. Tor introduces the proof that there is 
' no condemnation.' — Law of the Spirit of life. 
'l.aw' is here to be taken in its wide sense, the 
principle, ruling power, etc The reference is not 
to the moral law, or the Mosaic law, or to the law 
of the mind, nor yet to the gospel as a system, 
but to the new principle of living which comes 
from the working of the Holy Spirit, here called 
the Spirit of life, because it gives life, works life 
in us. — In Chriit Jeans. This should be joined 
with what follows. The deliverance took place 
in virtue of union to Him who fulfilled the law 
and delivers from its bondage. —Freed me. The 
reference is to a single act ; not, however, to jus- 
tification, but to the first act of ethical emanci- 
pation which attends it, because the Spirit then 
begins its work. The whole verse refers to what 



nthe n 






law of fin and death. Not the Mosaic law, 

those hold who refer 'law of the Spirit of life' 

to (he gospel system, but rather, as chap. vii. 



13-25 indicates, the old principle of sin which 
held us captive, and which had 'death,' spiritual 
and eternal, as its consequence. It is this conse- 
quence which is denied in ver. 1. There is no 
condemnation, not only because in Christ Jesus 
we have the ground of full justification, but be- 
cause, at our justification, in virtue of our union 
with Christ, we receive from the Holy Spirit a 
new principle of life, an act of emancipation oc- 
curs, which has as its development and conse- 
quence progressive sanctification. 

Ver. 3. For what the law could not do; lit, 
' the impossible (thing) of the law.' The Mosaic 
law is certainly meant. What was impossible far 
the law to do, God did, i. a, condemned sin, etc 
This is better than to explain : ' in view of the 
powerlessness of the law.' — Became it wsa freak 
through the Both. Its weakness has been proven 
by the experience of chap, vii, and this waa 
' through the flesh,' for this depraved nature was 
the means of setting forth its weakness. — 6od 
sending his own Bon. It was by sending Him, that 
He accomplished what was impossible for the law. 
' His own Son,' preexisting before He waa sent, 
and that too as Sen, in a specific sense. — In the 
likeness of the flash of da. Notice the careful 
wording of this description of the humanity of 
Christ. The characteristic of 'flesh,' i. e., our 
ordinary human nature, is 'sin;* in the 'likeness' 
of this the Son of God appeared. He was en- 
tirely human, hence we do not find here, 'in the 
likeness of flesh ' ; He was entirely sinless, hence 
lie waa not ' in the flesh of sin,' but only ' in the 
likeness of the flesh of sin.' — And for am, or, 'on 
account of sin.' Some would restrict this clause 
to expiation for sin, 'for a sin-offering' ; but this 
seems a forced interpretation of the words. The 
idea of expiation is of course included, but the 
reference is more general ; ' in order by expiating 
sin (o destroy it ' (Fhilippi).— CendaniTwd itm In 
the flesh. This was what the law could not do. 
' Sin' has the article in the original, pointing to 
the 'sin' on account of which the Law of God was 
sent into the world. — 'In the flesh' is to be joined 
with 'condemned,' referring to the human nature 
which Christ has in common with us. It seems 
objectionable to take it in the ethical sense, or to 
apply it only to the human nature of Christ. ' Sin 
had tyrannized over us in our flesh, as the seat of 
its empire ; and by our flesh, as " 



Chap. VIII. 1-17.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 83 

and weapon. But God used our flesh as an in- Ver. 6. For the mind of the flesh. Explana- 

strument for our deliverance, and for the condem- tion of ver. 5. The word * mind ' corresponds 

nation of sin, and for the establishment of His own with the verb ' mind ' in the last verse ; it is that 

empire in us' (Wordsworth). As the Apostle is which embodies the thinking, caring, striving ; the 

treating of the emancipation from the power of disposition, we might call it — It death ; amounts 

sin (ver. 2), it is unnecessary to confine this con- to death. ' Death is here conceived of as present 

demnation of sin in the flesh to the expiation of (comp. 1 Tim. v. 6; Eph. ii. 1, J), not merely as 

Christ By sending Christ God condemned sin a result, but as a characteristic mark, an im- 

entirely, both as to its punitive and polluting ef- manent definition of the carnal mind ' (Philippi). 

fects. The one great act by which sin was con- — The mind of the Spirit. Here also the Holy 

demned in the flesh was the death of Christ, and Spirit ; the minding, striving, which comes from 

this expiating act was the delivering act which the Holy Spirit. — Life and peaee. 'Life 'is to 

should destroy the power of sin. For while the be taken in its full sense, in contrast with ' death ; ' 

law could, to a certain extent, condemn and pun- ' peace ' is added, probably to prepare for ver. 7, 

ish sin, what was utterly impossible for it was the where ' enmity ' is introduced, 

removal oi sin. Those in Christ have in the fact Ver. 7. Became the mind (same word as in 

of His death the ground of pardon and the pledge ver. 6) of the flesh. Proof that the mind of the 

of purity. The removal of sin is the end to be flesh is death (ver. 6) ; in vers. 10, 11, it is proved 

accomplished, as the next verse shows. that the mind of the spirit is life and peace, though 

Ver. 4. That the righteousness of the law. The that is implied here. — Enmity against God. This 

word 'righteousness 1 is that used in chap. v. 16, is equivalent to death. — For introduces an illus- 

18, in the sense of ' righteous verdict/ or, ' right- tration and evidence of this enmity. — Both not 

eous act,' and in Luke i. 6 ; chaps, i 3a, ii. 20, in submit itself to the law of God. This fact, al- 

the sense of ' ordinance,' 1. e., righteous require- ready set forth in the previous description of man 

ment. We explain it here as meaning ' that ri^ht- (chap. i. 11) and of the work of the law (chap, 

eous act (viewing all the acts as forming a unity) vii.), shows that the enmity is not latent, but ac- 

which meets the requirements of the law.' Some tive. — Neither indeed can it. ' For it is not even 

would refer this to the imputation of Christ's possible for it' (Meyer). Paul declares that the 

righteousness as the ground of our justification, cause of non-submission to the law of God, which 

but according to our view of the whole passage is a proof of enmity to God, is the fact that the 

it means the actual holiness of the believer. — mind of the flesh has no ability to produce this ■ 

Might be fulfilled. The fulfilment is wrought by submission, being essentially antagonism to God. 

God, who sent his Son (ver. 3) and who sends Possibility of conversion and ability to believe 

I lis Spirit to fulfil this purpose of His grace. — are not under discussion ; these imply the death 

In us ; not, ' among us,' nor, ' through us,' nor of the flesh as a ruling principle, 

ret, ' on us,' but, * in us.' This points to actual Ver. 8. And. Not, ' so then,' but a simple 

holiness ; most of the other interpretations grow continuation of the thought of ver. 7. — They that 

out of the reference to justification. The ideal are in the flesh. Substantially the same as : ' they 

aim of the Christian life is set forth. — Who walk, that are according to the flesh' (ver. 5), but 

etc * Who are of such a kind as walk,' etc. This stronger, and presenting a better contrast to the 

part of the verse is an explanation of the charac- full gospel phrases : ' in Christ ' ' in the Spirit' — 

ter of those in whom the fulfilment takes place, Cannot please God, because of the character of the 

and neither the result, nor the cause of what pre- mind of the flesh. By this negative expression, 

cedes. — Not according to the flesh. Here, and in * it is said, in a mild way, that they are objects of 

the rest of the section, 'flesh ' has its strict ethical Divine displeasure, children of wrath' (Lange). 

sense (see Excursus at close of chap. vii.). — Ae- Ver. 9. But ye, etc. The Apostle now turns 

cording to the Spirit, 1. * ., the Holy Spirit, as in to the other class, spoken of in ver. 5, gladly using 

vers. 2, 5. Others explain : the spiritual nature direct address, for * ye ' is emphatic in the origi- 

imparted by the Holy Spirit (the renewed nature) ; nal. — If so be. This conditional form is ' an indi- 

the subjective spiritual life-principle. Here espe- rect incitement to self-examination ' (Meyer), and 

daily any subjective sense is inappropriate, for does not imply special doubt. — Tho Spirit of God 

' he walks according to the Spirit, who follows dwell in yon. In the previous clause the ' Spirit ' 

the guidance, the impelling and regulating power is represented as the element in which they live ; 

(ver. 2), of the Holy Spirit ' (Meyer). A refer- here as the indwelling power which enables them 

ence to the human spirit alone is preposterous, in to live in this element This change of figure is 

view of the Pauline anthropology. quite common in the New Testament language re- 

Ver. 5. For they, etc. In chap. vii. the con- specting the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit 

trast was between the workings of the law and is here meant ought not to be doubted. ' In 

the flesh in the same person ; in vers. 5-8 the you ' must not be weakened into ' among you.' — 

Apostle contrasts two classes of persons ; snowing Now if. This is a pure hypothesis, and does not 

why the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in one imply that such was the case. — Hath not the 

class, and cannot be in the other. — That are ao- Spirit of Christ There is no better evidence of 

cording to the flesh. The same idea as in ver. 4, careless reading of the Scripture than the frequent 

bat under a slightly different aspect : walking ac- use of this clause as if it referred to the temper 

cording to the flesh pointing to the outward life ; or disposition shown by Christ. It means the 

being according to the flesh, to the carnal state. Holy Spirit which belongs to, or proceeds from, 

— Hind the things of the flesh ; they think of, Christ, this designation being adopted to prove 

care for, strive to obtain, those things which be- the truth that those who have not this Spirit are 

long to the ' flesh,' which includes all that gratifies ' none of Christ's.' The whole passage has an 

the depraved heart; 'not merely sensual things, important bearing on the doctrine of the Trin- 

but all things which do not belong to the category ity, especially as related to Christian experience, 

of the things of the Spirit' (Hodge). — The things It must be admitted that such statements gen- 



of the Spirit, those things which belong to the erally have reference to the economy of grace, 
Holy Spirit but they form the basis for the doctrinal state- 



* TV 



8 4 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VIII. 1-17. 



mcnts of (he Church. This text has therefore ' through,' and baa turned the current of opinion 

been a proof text for the Western doctrine of the in favor of that reading. A* early as the latter 

procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father part of the fourth century the variation was intro- 

and the Sun (JUiogut, Synod of Toledo A. D. 589). duced into a controversy respecting the Divinity 

This was the final contribution to the doctrinal of the Holy Spirit. ' Through ' would point to 

statement of the Trinity. The Greek Church ad- the fact that the Holy Spirit which is now work- 

mils that the Holy Spirit is tent by the Son as ing moral renovation in us will be the Agent in 

well as the Father, Dut denies that He proceeds completing the triumph in the resurrection of the 

tlernaily, or, metaphysically, from the Son. The body. 'Because of may include this thought, 

undine belongs to the economical Trinity ; the but would refer mainly to the indwelling Spirit as 

eternally procetding, to the ontological Trinity. — the pledge of the resurrection. If this Spirit now 

He 1* bom of hi*. He does not belong to Christ, dwells in the body of the believer, that body will 

perhaps implying that the Spirit unites the mem- not be left unredeemed. In either case, the ret 

hers of the mystical body of Christ to their Head, erent 

and that without this Spirit such union does not than 

exist. sage 

Ver. to. But if Christ U in yon. Not doubt, spoken of in t Cor ._ _, ,_.., 

but rather a suggestion that this is the case ; in the human spirit entirely renovated by the Holy 

contrastwith the latterpart of ver. 9. Notice that Spirit. 

the indwelling of the Spirit of God, having the Ver. is. Therefore, or, 'so then,' as the phrase 

Spirit of Christ, belonging to Christ, having Christ is usually translated ; here introducing an exhor- 

in us, are only varied expressions of the same tation based upon the previous statement; be- 

great fact. The underlying basis of the mystical cause the indwelling of the Spirit invob 



seems to be to the final resurrection, rather 
any present moral quickening. This pas- 



' Flesh 'i 



_ .>n of Christ and the believer 
mysterious unity of the Persons of the Godhead. — 
Ths body is dead. This refers to the certain fact of 
physical death, since ver. 1 1 takes up this thought. 
Every other interpretation gives to 'body' an 
ethical sense, which seems unwarranted ; all the 
more because the word ' dead' is not that corre- 
sponding with ' death,' as used by the Apostle in 
the wide sense. — Because of sin. Not because 
of the special sins of the body, nor because the 
body is the source and scat of sin, but because the 
body has shared in the results of sin, and thus be- in ver. 10, 1 1 
comes a prey to physical death. It will ultimately Te shall die, 
'• -'; full blessings of redempt" ' 



ilts.— We an debtbra, net to the & 
used in the ethical sense ; the 
antithesis is suggested indirectlyin ver. 13. "Not' 
applies to the following clause also : to five after 
the flesh. The truths of vers, to, 1 1 imply that 
we are under obligation net to do this, but ob 
the contrary to live after the Spirit. Strictly ren- 
dered, this clause is one of design, in order to 
live after the flesh. 

Ver. 13. For, etc If you lived thus, yon 

would not fulfil the glorious destiny announced 

in ver. 10. 11. Hence this is a proof of ver. it.— 

e about to die. Death in the fulU 

eternal death alone, 



— Bat the snirit Is life. Not the Holy Spirit, but and certainly not physical death, which c 
the renewed human spirit, in which the Holy Spirit to all men ; comp. ver. 10. — But if ye by tie 
dwells. This is suggested by the entire context. Spirit ; the Holy Spirit, the agent of this process. 



1 Life,' not 'alivi., tl 

meaning to this side of the contrast. Hence we 
may include spiritual life, here and hereafter, the 
life eternal, beginning now. — Eectmo of right- the organ 
eonsnesa. Some refer this to the imputed right- Holy Spi 
eousness, but while this, as the basis of the life, is terminate, 
not to be excluded, the whole argument points to ' flesh,' he 
actual righteousness of life, inwrought by the art about to livt ; this life being no natural con- 
Holy Spirit, in virtue of union to Christ. sequence of a course of mortifying the deeds of 
Ver. 11. Bat if , etc The body will indeed the body, but the gift of God through Christ; and 
die, but despite this grace will triumph even over coming, therefore, in the form of an assurance, 
physical death ; even the body that must die will " ye shall live," from Christ's Apostle ' (Alfordl- 



death the deeds of the body. ' Deeds,' 

practices,' has usually a bad sense in the New 
■' ■ body ' is here regarded as 
g evil practices which the 
s to put to death, to ex- 
body,' is not equivalent to 



Vet 1 



-For ■ 



This 



itely fully share in redemption 

rection, through the indwelling Holy Spirii 

that raised up Jesus from the dead, etc. This ex- again that the mortifying (ve 

pression has a demonstrative force here r the fact the Holy Spirit. — Led by '*- 

that the indwelling Spirit is the Spirit of Him tinuuusly and specially n 

who raised Jesus from the dead is a pledge that their whole life. ' The pa 

the spiritual quickening will be followed by the complete dominion, witho . 

physical quickening. — Will quicken even your nymg the voluntary icing led on the part of the 

mortal bodies. This is most naturally referred to human will' (Lange). — These are eons of Qoi. 

the final resurrection of the body ; for, although These, and none other. In the Epistle to the 

quicken ' might of itself include something al- Galatians there is a similar line of argument, but 



'shall live,' indicating 



loved by the Spirit, in 
ssive form expresses its 
e time de- 



withm 



ready begun, the word ' even ' (or, ' also ') s 

to limit it to the bodily resurrection. This , _ 

of revelation is so important, and so distinctive, that by birth they were entitled to this sonship. 

that it deserves the emphasis thus given to it. Ver. 15. For ye did not receive. The fact that 



' Even ' 



e body which h 



ccumbs to the ef- they ai 



a proven from their Chris- 

fects of Sin, shall be quickened; the victory of tian experience at conversion. — The spirit of bond- 
redemption will be complete when this occurs. — age, etc. The latter part of the verse most nat- 
Through, or, ' on account of,' hit Spirit that dwell- urally refers to the Holy Spirit, but many find a 
oth in you. It is difficult to decide between the difficulty in this clause, if such a reference be ac- 
two readings. The Sinai tic manuscript supports ccptcd. But the difficulty is only apparent, aa 



Chap. VIII. 18-39.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 85 

the following paraphrase shows : ' The Spirit ye the witness borne ? the answer is to the man him- 

received was not a spirit of bondage, but a Spirit self, who needs both so long as he is here and 

of adoption.' The Apostle does not suggest that disturbed by doubt and sin. The clause is an im- 

the Holy Spirit could be a spirit of bondage, but portant one, in warranting an assurance of salva- 

emphatically denies this. This view is confirmed tion, and also in marking the distinction between 

by the difficulties which attend the other explana- the Holy Spirit and our spirit — That we are 

tions. To interpret : a slavish spirit, a filial spirit, children of God. This is what is testified, and for 

is not only weak, but contrary to the New Testa- such assurance we may seek, however fanaticism 

ment use of the word * spirit' To refer it to the has perverted the passage. ' That the world deny 

subjective spirit of the renewed man disturbs the any such testimony in the hearts of believers, and 

antithesis. — Again to fear. 'In order again to that they look on it with scorn and treat it with 

fear.' ' Again, as in the native condition, when derision, proves only that they are unacquainted 

fear was the motive of religious life. This applies with it ; not that it is an illusion ' (Stuart). 
to Gentile, as well as Jewish, Christians. All Ver. 17. And if children, also heirs. Comp. 

unchristian religiousness is in principle legalism, the similar, but fuller statement in Gal. iv. 7. — 

which is a bondage ; and bondage produces fear. Heirs of God. The kingdom of glory is their in- 

— Sat ye received the Spirit of adoption. The heritance. ' As He Himself will be all in all, so 

repetition is for solemn emphasis. They received shall His children receive with Him, in His Son, 

the Holy Spirit ; this Spirit was not that of bond- everything for an inheritance ; 1 Cor. iii. 21, etc' 

age, to make them fear, but of adoption, leading (Lange). — And joint -heirs with Christ The 

to the ioyf ul cry ' Abba, Father.' They were sons Roman law made all children (adopted ones in- 

of God, not by birth, but by reason of grace num- eluded) equal heritors ; but the Jewish law gave 

bering them among His children ; the particular a double portion to the eldest son. Hence a dis- 

reference being to the method by which they be- cussion has arisen as to the exact reference in 

came sons, rather than to their sonship. — Wherein, this clause. The Roman law would be naturally 

not strictly, 'whereby,' but in the fellowship of in the Apostle's mind when addressing Romans, 

the Spirit of adoption, we cry, Abba, Father, and suits the context, where adopted sonship is 

4 Abba ' is the Syrian name for ' Father,' to which the basis of inheritance. The other view empha- 

Paul adds the equivalent Greek term. * It seems sizes the mediation of Christ, through whom we 

best to regard this repetition as taken from a litur- inherit. — If so be, etc. This is the order, not the 

gical formula, which may have originated among reason, of obtaining full salvation (Calvin). There 

the Hellenistic Jews, who retained the consecrated is a latent admonition in the conditional form : 

word "Abba," or among the Tews of Palestine, after 'if so be.' On the sharing in these sufferings, 

they became acquainted with the Greek language, comp. Col. i. 24. — That we may be also glorified 

The latter theory best explains the expression as with him. This is God's purpose, not ours ; in 

used Mark xiv. 36.' Riddle, in Lange, Gaiatians our case it is a result. ' He who would be Christ's 

(chap. iv. 6, a parallel case). Some add the notion brother and joint-heir, must bear in mind to be 

of affectionate address in ' Abba ' ; others find a also a joint-martyr and joint-sufferer ; not feeling 

hint of the union of Jews and Gentiles in Christ Christ s sufferings and shame after Him, but with 

Ver. 16. The Spirit itself; the Holy Spirit. — Him, as vers. 10, 32, 33, declare' (Luther). The 

Beareth witness with, or, ' to,' our spirit, our re- sufferings are needed to prepare us for the glory, 

newed spirit, in which the Holy Spirit dwells. We suffered as He suffered, but He suffered for 

But it is doubtful whether we should render ' with,' our sake, and we suffer for our own good ; we are 

or, ' to.' The former sense necessarily involves glorified as He is glorified, but He was glorified 

the latter (the converse is not true), ana is some- for His own sake, and we for His sake. His suf- 

what preferable grammatically. This implies a ferings were penal, ours are purifying ; His glory 

twofold witness : of the Holy Spirit, and also of was His own, ours is a gift of grace, 
our renewed spirit. If it be asked, to whom is 



Chapter VIII. 18-39. 

2. Grounds of Encouragement, Attesting the Believer's Security. 

The life in the Spirit involves fellowship with Christ in suffering and glory (ver. 17). The suffer- 
ings are present, while the glory is yet future ; but we are encouraged by the conviction that the glory 
will far outweigh the sufferings ; the longing of the creation is an intimation that it will share in the 
full glorification which awaits us, and which we should wait for in patient hope (vers. 18-25). A 
further ground of encouragement is found in the sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit, interceding 
for us, and that too according to the will of the heart-searching God (vers. 26, 27). Finally ' we know 
that all things work together for good ' to Christians, designated as those who love God, and on the 
other hand as the called according to His purpose (ver. 28). Their security rests upon Hhp/an of 
salvation (vers. 29, 30) on His love as proved by the saving facts of the gospel (vers. 31-34) on the as- 
surance that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (vers. 35-37)- The chapter closes with 
a triumphant expression of the Apostle's personal confidence (vers. 38,39), forming a striking, appro- 
priate, and triumphant conclusion to one of the most precious passages in the word of God. 



86 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VIII. 18-39. 

18 T^OR I reckon that "the sufferings of this present time are a J 7 ?7pi 1 
JL not worthy to be compared 1 with * the glory which shall be b j&L'^ ? 

1 9 revealed in us. For e the earnest 2 expectation of the creature 8 rTobniu/*. 

20 waiteth 4 for the d manifestation 6 of the sons of God. For e the c lo^kii: 
creature 8 was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by rea-<* ven/ai,** 

21 son of him who hath subjected the same* in hope ; Because 7 the * Bin. m. i 9; 
creature 8 itself also •'shall be delivered from the bondage of cor-/ Acts ai. « ; 

22 ruption into the glorious liberty 8 of the children of God. For we *yu- »• 

g Jer. xn. u. 

know that the whole creation *groaneth 9 and travaileth in pain k IS*:*; 55 

23 together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, 10 j j^w •*** 
which have u h the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves ' ^|Sf. i* 
'groan within ourselves, * waiting for the adoption, to wit, the JJ;.^ ,p * 

24 ' redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope : ia but 1S W H e b!ri v 'i! ; 
m hope that is seen is not hope : for what a man seeth, why doth * UfjaSs 

25 he yet u hope for ? But if we hope for that which we see not, 2kil.xR.10; 
then do we with patience wait for 1V. 15 /i E <?&.5*i£ 

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: 16 for "we 9!^' 
know not what we should pray for as we ought : but °the Spirit S"»; , x^* 
itself maketh intercession 17 for us with groanings which cannot A«Jsi.\;' 

I AwCSS* It. 

27 be uttered. And p he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what 4; Re*, a. 
is the mind of the Spirit, because 18 he q maketh intercession 19 * ^W » 
for the saints r according to the will of God. sktn** w 4 * 

28 And 'we know that all things work together for good to , ^w «, u, 
them that love God, to them 'who are the called "according to ^^[^ 

29 his purpose. For whom r he did foreknow, 20 "he also did pre-"!?^ 9 * 
destinate 21 x to be conformed to the image of his Son, v that he v mvtli, 

30 might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom ilj. i s ) ; 
he did predestinate, 21 them he also 'called : and whom he called, astern, 
them he also "justified : and whom he justified, them he also 19*1 Fell 
* glorified. w kph. i. 5, 

3 1 What shall we then M say to these things ? c If God be 23 f or * Vim *w. 

32 us, who can be ^ against us ? d He that 24 spared not his own ig.'«8;Pti 
Son, but • delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with A°J n .k •• 

33 him also freely give us all things ? Who shall lay any thing l s . ; ^\ L 
to the charge of God's elect? ' It is God that justifieth. 26 *^. 1 ^ 

34 9 Who is he that condemneth ? // is Christ » that died, yea £ £*& 

u. 9. 

a iCor. viit. 

insignificant in comparison a patient 8 creation b a? Epfa. 

is waiting 6 revelation 6 who subjected it £ 

c Nun. xit. 9i 

in hope that (connecting vers. 20, 21) 8 freedom of the glory Pt.cxviii.6. 

groaneth together 10 even we ourselves u though we have io. ** T * 

2 in hope we were saved 18 now 14 still (out see notes) /Sj^V^? 5 " 

6 with patience we wait for it 18 our weakness n intercedeth Rev - *"• lo » 

8 or that 19 he pleadeth *> he foreknew g Job nod*. 

21 foreordained M What then shall we M is * He who a9 ' 

25 (;) instead of (.) M Christ Jesus (according to the best authorities) 



Chap. VIII. 18-39.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. &7 

rather, that is risen again, * who is even at the right hand of * ^cSrvL 

35 God, 'who also maketh intercesssion 27 for us. 25 Who shall sep- ^^'4. 3; 
arate Us from the love of Christ ? shall tribulation, or distress, 28 \\ lPetUi - 

36 or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? As ' ix 6 ^™' 5 ' 

.. . ... John ii. 1. 

it is written, 

* For thy sake we are killed all the day long ; * psa. xiiv. 

We are 29 accounted as sheep for the slaughter. %*. 30,31'; 

37 ' Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through/ « cor! %i. ' 

57 » a Cor. 11. 

him that loved us. m* « J° hn 

iv. 4 ; v. 4, 5 ; 

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, Rev.xa.11. 
nor m principalities, nor powers, 80 nor things present, nor things m $&}£*'> 

39 to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 81 shall [£*[£• ^ 
be "able to separate us from the love of God, which is in*Jj*M: •*£ 
Christ Jesus our Lord. a9} xiv - 

27 irpleadeth w anguish a were 

80 transfer nor powers to close ofver. 38. 81 created thing (///., creation) 

Ver. 18. For. This connects the verse with humanity alone is meant, it is singular that Paul 

the whole thought culminating in ver. 17 (see should choose the word 'creation' rather than 

above), and not with * glorified ' alone. — I reckon, the common term ' world.' 

No doubtful calculation is implied ; comp. chap. 4. All creation except humanity. This limita- 

iii 28. Alford paraphrases: 'I myself am one tion has. much in its favor, (a.) Believers are 

who have embraced this course, being convinced evidently excluded ; (b.) mankind as a whole do 

that' — Tnrigniflcant in comparison with. This not have this expectation ; {e.) man is not unwill- 

paraphrase gives the correct sense ; ' not worthy 1 inglv subject to vanity (ver. 20) ; (d.) ver. 21 points 

is more literal, but objectionable as suggesting to tne fulfilment of the expectation (but see be- 

the idea of merit, which is foreign to the course of low, where it is taken as giving the purport of the 

thought. — The glory which shall be revealed, hope). On the other hand, man is the head of cre- 

At the end of 'the present time/ when full re- ation,and it seems unnatural to exclude him ; man 

demption comes with the coming of the Lord. — is, on his physical side, part of the material crea- 

In us. In us and upon us, or, ' to usward,' as the tion ; if that be referred to, it seems arbitrary to 

phrase is rendered in Eph. i. 19. Of this glory exclude him from it 

Christians are the subjects, the possessors, and 5. ' The material world surrounding man ' (Tho- 

the centre also, for vers. 19-23 represent the ere- luck). But this is open to the same objections as 

ation as sharing in it (2.) and (4.). 

Ver. 19. For toe patient expectation. The 6. The whole creation, rational as well as ir- 

idea is not of anxiety, but of a constant and per- rational t not yet redeemed, but needing and capable 

sistent awaiting ; the word translated ' patient ex- of redemption, here opposed to the new creation 

pectation ' being derived from one which means in Christ and in the regenerate. The children of 

4 to expect with uplifted head.' This verse con- God appear, on the one side, as the first-fruits of 

firms the thought of ver. 18, by indicating the the new creation, and the remaining creatures, on 

greatness of the future glory which the creation the other, as consciously or unconsciously longing 

awaits, probably its certainty also. — Of the ere*- after the same redemption and renewal This 

tion. The main question respects the exact refer- explanation seems to be the most correct one. It 

ence of the term, which must be the same through- most satisfactorily accounts for the expressions : 

out the passage. (The E. V. makes an unneces- expectation, waiting, groaning, not willingly (ver. 

sary variation by using both • creature ' and ' ere- 20), and the whole creation (ver. 22). The whole 

ation' to translate the same Greek word.) Un- creation, then, looks forward to redemption ; all 

doubtedly the Apostle means the things created, natural birth, to the new birth. As all that is 

not the act of creation, but how much is included ? created proceeded from God, so it all, consciously 

Explanations, i. The entire universe with- or unconsciously, strives after Him as its final 

out any limitation. But this does away with the end. What shows itself in nature as a dim im- 

contrast to * sons of God,' and involves incorrect pulse, in the natural man, among the heathen, 

inferences. and yet more among the Jews, under the influ- 

2. Inanimate creation. This avoids some diffi- ence of the law, comes to distinct consciousness 
culties, but, by shutting out all intelligent crea- and manifests itself in that loud cry after deliver- 
tures deprives the passage of its most appropriate ance (chap. vii. 24), which Christ alone can sat- 
application. isfy ; and then voices itself in happy gratitude for 

3. Humanity alone, either as a whole, or with the actual redemption (Schaff in Lange, Romans). 
limitations. This seems too restricted. Further, This view differs from (4) in including man in 
if Christians are included, the contrast with 'sons his fallen condition, as the head of the longing 
of God' is done away; but if non - Christian creation under the bondage of corruption. His 



88 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VIII. 18-39. 

material body shares in this corruption, and his a proof of the existence of the hope, and not of 

unregenerate soul responds with an indefinite long- ' the bondage of corruption.' ' For if that hope 

ing, yet too often uses its power over the body to of glorious deliverance had not been left to it, all 

stifle the inarticulate desire of the physical nature, nature would not have united its groaning and 

In any case the degradation of sin is fearfully travailing until new. This phenomenon, so uni- 

manifest ; the natural man is less alive to the versal and so unbroken, cannot be conduct with- 

'hope 1 in which creation has been subjected (ver. out an aim; on the contrary, it presupposes as 

20) than nature itself. — Is waiting, continues to the motive of the painful travail that very hope, 

wait. — The revelation of the sons of God. The toward the final fulfilment of which it is directed' 

final revelation of Christ's glory is here spoken (Meyer). — Oroaneth together. The word 'to- 

of as that ' of the sons of God.' Thus the Apos- gether ' must be repeated to bring out the sense. 

tie expresses his deep sense of the fellowship of It refers to the common groaning of the whole 

believers with Christ. This revelation will show creation, and should not be explained as ' together 

them as the sons of God, and in the glory then to with us ' ; this idea is first brought out in ver. 

be revealed (ver. 18) the creation will share. 23. — Travaileth in pain together. The reference 

Ver. 20. For the creation was made subject, to birth-pangs suggests a new form of nature, to 
i. *., by God, in consequence of the fall of man which this pain is the necessary preliminary. — 
(see close of the verse). — To vanity. It became Until now, i. e. t the present moment ; the idea of 
empty, lost its original significance. This does unbroken duration is the prominent one. There 
not necessarily imply a change in matter corre- is no reference to some point of time in the future, 
sponding to the fall of man, but that as a result Ver. 23. And not only so. Not only is this 
of the fall the whole creation fell away from its true, that the whole creation, etc — Bat even we 
original design ; it is probable that thus its devel- ourselves. There are a number of slight varia- 
opment was checked, and it became a prey to cor- tions in the Greek, but in any case a repetition of 
ruption (ver. 21). — Not willingly. The subjec- ' ourselves ' brings out the correct emphasis. The 
tion to vanity was, therefore, not a self-subjection, reference is to Christians, possibly to the Chris- 
hut by reason of him who subjected it. The ref- tians of that time (see below}. Even Christians 
erence is to God, not to Adam : (1.) the verb is who are highly privileged unite with creation in 
passive, implying that the subjection was inten- its groaning. — Though we have, etc This ren- 
tional, which could not be true of Adam ; (2.) The dering is both more forcible and more grammat- 
will of God was the moving cause, but the expres- ical. — The first-fruits of the Spirit. ' First-fruits,' 
sion : ' by reason of him '(rather than 'through as a pledge of a full harvest Explanations: 
him') reverently removes this supreme will of (1.) The early Christians have the first fruits of 
God to a wider distance from corruption and van- the Spirit ; the full harvest will be the imparta- 
ity (com p. Alford). Hence we object to the inter- tion of the Spirit to all Christians ; (2.) what we 
pretation : the creature submitted itself to vanity, now possess is but ' first-fruits,' the harvest will 
etc. — In hope. Resting on hope. This is to be be the full outpouring in the future ; (3.) the first- 
joined with ' was made subject,' rather than with fruits of our redemption consist in the possession 
' subjected it' Another view makes the previous of the Holy Spirit. The reference to full glorifi- 
part of ver. 20 parenthetical, joining 'in hope' cation at the close of the verse makes (2.) slightly 
with ver. 19 ; this has much to recommend it, but preferable; (3.) is the least probable view. — 
can scarcely be insisted upon. Even we ourselves groan within ourselves. Though 

Ver. 21. That the creation itself also. This we have the first-fruits of the Spirit, our salvation 

view of the connection seems preferable to that is incomplete ; the groaning is internal and in- 

of the E. V. (The Greek word means either tense. — waiting for the adoption. 'Awaiting the 

'that,' or 'because.') We thus have the pur- fulness of our adoption' (Alford). We are already 

port of the hope, what is hoped. The phrase adopted children (vers. 14-17), but the outward 

' the creation itself ' is repeated in contrast with condition corresponding to this new relation is 

' children of God.' To attribute such a hope to not yet complete. — The redemption of our body. 

the creation is jn accordance with the thought of The redemption is not complete until the body is 

the entire passage. — From the bondage of eorrnp- redeemed : then we shall have the full blessing 

tion. The bondage which consists in corruption, of adoption. The explanation : ' redemption from 




freedom of the glory of the children of God. Not of Christ (comp. ver. 11). The mention of the 

only delivered from bondage, but transferred into body confirms the view of ' creation ' which refers 

this freedom, which consists in, or at least results it to material existences also ; for the groaning in 

from, a share in the glory of the children of God. ourselves respects that part of our being which is 

The word ' glory ' is prominent, and hence the most akin to the material creation, 
rendering ' glorious liberty ' is unfortunate. The Ver. 24. For we were saved. The tense points 

' glory ' is that spoken of in ver. 18, it will appear to the time of conversion. — In hope, or, ' for 

at the ' revelation of the sons of God ' (ver. 19) ; hope ' ; either rendering is preferable to 'by hope.' 

in it the creation delivered from corruption will The fact of salvation placed us in a condition of 

share. If the reference here were to the longings which hope was a characteristic Luther : ' We 

of heathen humanity alone, and not also to those are indeed saved, yet in hope.' ' Inasmuch as the 

of nature, Paul would have spoken more distinct- object of salvation is both relatively present and 

ly of the future conversion of the Gentiles. also relatively future, hope is produced from faith 

Ver. 22. For we know. Here, as in chaps, ii. and indissolubly linked with it; for faith appre- 

2 ; iii. 19 ; vii. 14, and vers. 26, 28, the Apostle hends the object, in so far as it is present ; hope, 

appeals to the consciousness of Christians, rather in so far as it is still future' (Philippi). — How 

than to the consciousness of all men. If ver. 21 hope that is seen, etc By these self-evident state** 

be taken as the purport of the hope, then this is ments about ' hope/ the Apostle leads his readers 



Chap. VIII. 18-39.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 89 

up to the thought of ver. 25, which is both an en- edge is the fact that He pleadeth (a slightly dif- 
coaragement and an exhortation.— Why doth he ferent word from ' intercedeth,' ver. 26) for the 
•till hope fort Some good authorities omit the taints according to the will of God, in harmony 
word we translate 'still' (literally ' also/ ' even'), with the Divine will. Hence what we cannot ut- 
thus giving the sense : why doth he hope (at ter, because we do not know what to pray for as 
all) ? We prefer the other reading : why does he we ought, what the indwelling Spirit in its plead- 
still hope, when there is no more ground: for it ? ings cannot articulately utter through us, is known 

Ver. 2C. With patience we wait for it Lit- to God, because in accordance with His will, 

erally, ' through,' but it here indicates a charac- * We may extend the same comforting assurance 
teristic of the waiting. ' Patience,' as usual, sug- to the imperfect and mistaken verbal utterances 

gests the notion of enduring constancy. Because of our prayers, which are not themselves answered 

the Christian hopes for a glory yet to be revealed to our hurt, but the answer is given to the voice 

(ver. 18), he awaits it persevenngly, which even of the Spirit, which speaks through them, which 

the creation patiently expects ; his patient endur- we would express, but cannot ' (Alford). 

ance of the present sufferings has one strong mo- Vers. 28-30. The third ground of encourage- 

tive in this hope. ment ; the Christian has nothing to fear, for noth- 

Ver. 26. likewise the Spirit alto. This is the ing can separate him from the love of God (see 

second ground of encouragement. ' Likewise ' analysis above). 

introduces that which takes place at the same Ver. 28. And we know. Comp. references 
time, and in correspondence with what precedes : under ver. 22. Here the context unmistakably 
to our patient human waiting is added the help indicates that this is an expression of Christian 
of the Divine Spirit It is now generally conceded experience. — All things. All events, even afflic- 
that the personal Holy Spirit is referred to. — tive ones (ver. 35), indeed all created things (vers. 
Helpeth our weakness. The best manuscripts 38, 39). Some ancient manuscripts insert ' God ' 
give the noun in the singular number : ' weak- in this clause, giving the sense : * God works all 
ness ' is a better translation than ' infirmity.' things together, etc. But the insertion can read- 
The verb means ' to lay hold of in connection ily be accounted for ; it gives s correct explanation 
with ' ; the Spirit helps our weakness, in bearing of what is here implied, and the word ' God ' would 
the burden spoken of in ver. 23, in awaiting final naturally be taken from the context. (In the 
redemption. The reference is not to weakness in Greek ' to them that love God * comes first ) — Work 
prayer alone, nor is our weakness the burden together. The usual sense : cooperate, combine 
which the Spirit helps us bear. — For introduces to produce the result, is preferable. Others ex- 
an illustration of our weakness, showing how the plain : ' contribute,' • help,' work together with 
Spirit helps us. — We know not, etc This refers Christians. — For good. For their advantage, in- 
to our continued state of ignorance, not to special eluding their eternal welfare. — To them that lore 
seasons. — What we should, etc. This includes God. In emphatic position in the original. This 
also ignorance of ' how ' to pray ' as we ought : ' distinguishes the class referred to ; and is not in 
' it is not absolutely and altogether unknown to us itself the main reason of their security. ' The love 
what we ought to ask, but only what is necessary of believers for God is therefore not the ground 
to ask according to the given circumstances ' of their confidence, but the sign and security that 
(Meyer). — Bat the Spirit itself. This phrase they were first loved of God' (Lange). — Who are 
brings into prominence the Holy Spirit as the the called. Some would explain : ' who are called,' 
Intercessor, who knows 'what we should pray which would be equivalent to 'since they are 
for.' — Interoedeth f or us. The phrase answering called,' but it seems more in accordance with 
to * for us ' is omitted, according to the best au- grammatical usage to take the phrase as a descrip- 
thorities, but the verb of itself implies this. — tion of Christians from another point of view: 'as 
With grosnings which cannot be uttered. The being those who are the called.' The context 
adjective here used may mean (1.) unutterable; shows that the call has been accepted, and hence 
(2.) unuttered; (3.) not speaking ; the first sense that this is not a general expression for hearing 
is much to be preferred. Care should be taken the invitations of the gospel. — According to his 
not to weaken the expressions to the unutterable purpose. The call is in accordance with the pur- 
longings of the human spirit, nor on the other pose (comp. vers. 29, 30) ; the former becomes a 
hand to refer it to the Holy Spirit independently fact we can perceive, the latter we cannot per- 
of us. The Holy Spirit is here spoken of in His ceive, but receive as a fact, for all things cannot 
saving work in us : while dwelling in us He makes work together for good to them that love God, 
intercession thus, ' Himself pleads in our prayers, unless God has a purpose, with which what occurs 
raising us to higher and holier desires than we accords. It should be remembered that to limit 
can express in words, which can only find utter- the efficacy of His purpose is to deny freedom to 
ance in sighings and aspirations ' (Alford). Him, in our anxiety to maintain our own freedom. 

Ver. 27. Bat he who sesreheth the hearts. If our hearts rest on Him, in hope and trust and 

Though the groanings are unutterable, God un« love, then we know that in order thus to rest, we 

derstands their meaning. The Old Testament must feel that He is infinitely free, strong, and 

frequently describes God as omniscient by Ian- right, as well as loving. The difficulty which 

guage of this kind (1 Sam. xvi. 7; Ps. vii. 10, arises in reconciling Goers sovereignty and man's 

etc.). — The mind of the Spirit. This is an object free will confronts us whenever we accept the 

of knowledge to the heart-searching God, though existence of a Personal God, and is not peculiar 

it may be but partially recognized by us in our to Christianity, much less to some one school of 

weakness. — Because, or, 'that,' etc. The word Christian theology. 

may have either sense; but the former seems Ver. 29. This verse and the next prove the 

more appropriate here. The latter makes the statement of ver. 28, showing how the calling 

verse quite tame. Some explain : He approves agrees with God's purpose, forming part of His 

what is the mind of the Spirit, because, etc. This plan ; the successive steps of the unfolding of this 

is unnecessary. The ground of the perfect knowl- purpose are indicated, up to the certain glorifica- 



90 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. VIII. 18-39. 

tion of the chosen ones. The whole matter is linked with predestination and justification in the 

stated as presenting the objective ground of confi- unfolding of God's gracious purpose. But the 

dence of believers. The other side is not touched term is not identical with ' effectually called,' for 

upon, and no attempt is made to solve the great the latter phrase emphasizes those subjective 

problem of reconciling the two. Those read aspects which are left out of view here. The 

aright here, who seek to learn for their comfort Apostle is not detailing our experience, but the 

what God has done for them in eternity. How acts of God which secure our salvation. — Them 

He did these successive acts is beyond our com- he also justified. Here, as elsewhere, accounted 

prehension ; why He did them can be answered righteous. Only those who believe are justified, 

in this world only by the responsive love of the but as throughout the subjective side is not pre- 

believer's heart But precisely because the Apos- sented. The whole passage is for the comfort of 

tie is pressing the objective, Divine side of our those who believe. — Them ha also glorified. Not 

salvation, we should not attempt to depart from ' them he also sanctified/ which we might have 

the obvious sense of his words in order to attempt expected. This would turn our thoughts upon 

to accommodate his language to that phase of the ourselves, disturbing the rhetorical climax quite 

subject he is not discussing. — Whom he foreknew, as much as it weakened the sense of security in 

he also foreordained. ' Predestinated ' is quite ac- God's grace, which it is the Apostle's design to 

curate, but 'foreordained* preserves the corre- strengthen. Moreover, the past tense is chosen 

spondence with the previous verb which is found to present the matter as necessary and certain, so 

in the Greek. God knew beforehand certain in- much so that it can be spoken of as already ac- 

dividuals of our race, and those He destined be- complished. While we may include here succes- 

forehand, etc. The foreknowledge precedes the sive steps by which believers are led to their final 

foreordaining, is its ground as it were (although and complete glorification, that end is the promi- 

strictly speaking, there is no before nor after in the nent thought, and the certainty of its accomplish- 

eternal God). Hence we must not confound the ment gives the triumphant tone to what follows, 
two, nor apply them to other than the same in- Ver. 31. What then shall we say! In chaps. 

dividuals ; nor should we depart from the obvious iii. 5 ; iv. 1 ; vii. 7 ; ix. 14, this form introduces 

sense of • foreknew ' by explaining it as mean- an inference which the Apostle opposes ; here and 

ing ' approve' (introducing the idea of foreseen in chap. ix. 30, one he accepts. — These things; 

faith). Such a thought is, moreover, entirely for- *. e. t set forth in vers. 29, 30. What we should 




but it does not of itself include the idea of selec- love in the facts of redemption. — If God is for us, 

tion, though closely connected with it here. The who is against us f This rendering is more literal 

beginning of the whole plan is in the good pleas- That God is for us, has already been shown (vers, 

ure of God : He foreknew certain persons as 29, 30) ; there is but one answer. But it is easier 

those whom He would destine unto salvation, to accept the logic and admire the rhetoric of the 

and those He foreordained. That they would passage, than to take the proper encouragement 

believe is also included in His plan, but it is pre- from it 

cisely this subjective ground of salvation which Ver. 32. He who, etc. This is an answer to 

the Apostle does not even name in this entire the question of ver. 31 ; but as the great historical 

section. — To be conformed to the image of nil facts of the gospel now come into view, there is 

Son. Some limit this to conformity to Christ in an advance in thought The peculiar form of the 

having a glorified body, but the whole context fa- original might be paraphrased : He who even, or, 

vors a wider reference to 'that entire form, of indeed. — Spared not. The negative side of what 

glorification in body and sanctification in spirit, of is positively stated in the next clause. — Bui ova 

which Christ is the perfect pattern, and all His Son. This points to the only begotten Son (comp. 

people shall be partakers ' (Afford). Some in- ver. 3, where a similar expression occurs), to give 

elude a present partaking in His sufferings and emphasis to the display of love. Some find a 

moral character. While this may be implied (for contrast to adopted sons, but this is not necessa- 

thc thought of suffering is not remote, vers. 18, rily involved. — Delivered him up. The entire 

31, etc.), it must not be made the main idea. Pre- humiliation may be included, but the special ref- 

destination is more than predestination to holi- erence to death is obvious ; comp. chap. iv. 25.— 

ness through suffering ; though attempts have For us all ; all believers, since this class is referred 

been made to represent this as the only predes- to throughout. On the phrase, comp. chap. v. 

tination that is defensible. — That he might be. 6-8. — How shall he not, etc An argument from 

The final purpose of the predestination, is con- the greater to the less ; comp. chap. v. o, 10. — 

cerning Christ ; comp. Eph. i. 4, 5.— The first-born With him also. Some join ' also ' with the verb, 

among many brethren. First in order of time, as but in any case the fact that the gift of Christ for 

well as chief in rank ; comp. Col. i. 15. The pur- us is the gift of Christ to us, forms the basis of 

pose of grace began in Him, even as His glory is the conclusion. — Freely give us all things. Give 

its end. Some place the emphasis upon 'first- as a matter of grace or favor, all those things 

born ' ; others upon ' many brethren ' ; but be- already indicated in vers. 26-30, everything cre- 

cause the end of the foreknowledge and fore- ated that can work for good to us as those who 

ordaining is the glory of Christ in His people, are the objects of the love of God in Christ. This 

equal emphasis rests on both ; nothing can separ- is the middle term which binds the two sides pre- 

ate the tirst-born and His many brethren. sented in ver. 28: 'those who love God;' 'who 

Ver. 30. Them he also called. This certainly are the called according to his purpose.' 
means more than the general invitation to believe Vers. 33-35. The main point open to discus- 

and accept the gospel, since the series of gracious sion is respecting the punctuation of these verses, 

acts here announced does not include all who are (1.) The £. V. gives answers as well as questions 

thus invited. The call is effectual, is inseparably in vers. 33, 34. (2.) Others find two questions in 



Chap. VIII. 18-39.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 91 

each of these verses ; so Augustine and many an- the world. Then there comes persecution itself, 

dent and modern commentators. 3. Meyer joins which drives them out to famine and nakedness ; 

together the latter part of vers. 33, 34, with the the end is peril, the danger of death, and sword, 

first clause of vers. 34, 35 respectively: 'Who death itself (Lance). There seems to some 

shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect ? such climax. In those days these very things 

It is Cod that justifieth ; who shall condemn ? threatened ; in our day the dangers are Afferent, 

Christ (Jesus) is He that died, etc., who also but none the less real and quite as often disturb- 

maketh intercession for us ; who shall separate ing our sense of Christ's love to us. 

us from the love of Christ ? ' This view his Ver. 36. As it is written. From Ps. xliv. 22, 

much to recommend it, and is at least, preferable quite exactly in the words of the LXX. The 

to the second one. whole Psalm refers to the sufferings of God's 

Ver. 33. Who shall bring any charge against, people, and the verse, even if not directly prophet- 
The term used is a legal one, and suggests an ac- ic, is typical of the treatment the world bestows 
cusation resulting in condemnation. — God's elect on God's children. The special point proven by 
Those referred to throughout, especially in vers, the quotation is the danger of the ' sword/ since 
2S-30, thus designated to confirm the security of to this extremity persecution had gone in the case 
believers. Only believers can with any propriety of the saints of old. — We were accounted, etc. 
find comfort in the thought, and even they should Because thus reckoned as sheep destined for 
be careful not to rest their faith upon a decree of slaughter, they were killed all the day long, 
election rather than the personal Saviour.— It is Ver. 37. Kay ; literally, 'but.' Some connect 
God that justifieth, or, ' God is the justifier.' If this with ver. 35, making ver. 36 parenthetical, but 
the common punctuation be accepted, this is the this is not necessary, for the course of thought is 
proof that no one can successfully accuse. If unbroken, and this verse is antithetical to both 
taken as a question, it is only a more rhetorical vers. 35 and 36. — In all these things ; just men- 
form of the same proof : ' Shall God who justi- tioned. — We are more than conquerors. A single 
fieth ? ' Meyer's view, however, makes it the word in the Greek : ' over conquer ; ' we are over- 
basis of the statement of ver. 34 : since it is God victorious. This tone of triumph is not selfish, 
that justifieth, who is he that condemneth ? for the abounding victory is through him who 

Ver. 34. Who is he that condemneth 1 See loved us. That the reference is to Christ, appears 
above. — It is Christ Jesus. The weight of evi- from the context ver. 35 (comp. ver. 39); from 
dence apparently favors the insertion of 'Jesus.' the tense used, which points to one crowning act 
We may paraphrase : ' Christ Jesus is the one of love (comp. chap. v. 6 ; Gal. ii. 20), His death 
who died,' etc. — Died, etc. The four great sav- on the cross. Since His love conquered death, 
ing facts about Christ Jesus are here mentioned even in death we cannot be separated from His 
in order : His death, resurrection, ascension, and love, but are more than conquerors, 
continued intercession. The usual view presents Ver. 38. For I am persuaded. In thus ex- 
these facts as a proof that Christ will not con- pressing his own triumphant conviction, the Apos- 
demn us. (The interrogative form would be : tie not only sums up what precedes, but goes 
Shall Christ Tesus who died, etc.). Meyer's view further. The list here given exceeds the pre- 
bases upon them the question of ver. 35, proving vious one ; not only so, but to the great facts of 
that nothing can separate us from His love. — God's purpose, ana the gracious facts of Christ's 
Tea, rather Not His death alone, but His death work, there is added the subjective side, the per- 
followed by His resurrection gives security. — sonal confidence of the Apostle himself . — Neither 
Bison again, or, ' was raised,' some good author- death, nor life. * Death ' is named first, prob- 
ities adding * from the dead.' There is about the ably because of the reference in ver. 36, and the 
same amount of evidence against inserting ' even ' natural antithesis is ' life.' Dying or living, we are 
before 'at the right hand of God.' — Xakethin- the objects of this love. It is altogether incor- 
tsfoossion, or, ' pTeadeth,' as we render it in ver. rect to explain : ' neither anything dead nor any- 
27. To the three great past facts is added one thing living.' — Nor angels, nor principalities, 
which is present and abiding. Comp. Heb. vii. This second pair refers to angelic beings ; the lat- 
25 ; ix. 24 ; 1 John ii. 1. The fact is undoubted, ter term to a higher order. Comp. Eph. i. 21 ; vi. 
and its pertinence in the Apostle's argument ob- 12 ; Col. i. 16 ; ii. 15. The insertion at this point 
vious, whatever view be taken of the connection, of the phrase ' nor powers,' which should be placed 

Ver. 35. Who shall separate us from the love at the close of the verse, shows that the early trans- 
of Christ ? Christ's love to us, rather than our cribers so understood the passage. But it is dif- 
love to Him, or even our sense of His love to us. ficult to determine whether we should understand 
Still the separation .must refer to possible hin- good angels, or bad, or both. To refer the one 
drances in its gracious effects upon us ; hence the term to the former, and the other to the latter, is 
separation would include a failure to feel His both abrupt and arbitrary ; to leave the evil spirits 
love to us. If we connect the question with ver. unnoticed in such a catalogue would seem strange. 
34, we may paraphrase thus : ' Christ Jesus is Hence, we may refer both terms to both classes, 
the very one who died to atone for our sins ; yes, in the wide hypothesis the Apostle here con- 
more tnan this, He is the one who was raised ceives. — Nor tilings present, nor things to come, 
from the dead for our justification (chap. iv. 25) ; nor powers. Instead of continuing the arrange- 
it is He who sits at the place of power lovingly ment by pairs, the Apostle now gives two sets in 
ruling the world for our sake ; He it is who is threes % ' in such a way, that to the two which 
pleading on our behalf ; how then can any one, stand contrasted, he adds a third of a general 
or anything, separate us from His love?' The character' (Meyer). The first and second terms 
questions which follow suggest what might seem point to vicissitudes of time, the third to earthly 
to threaten such separation. — Tribulation, or an- powers of any kind. This seems to be the only 
gush, as in chap. ii. 9 ; the former referring to sense of ' powers,' which is in accordance witn 
outward trial, the latter to the inward sense of it. the position assigned it by the best authorities. 
' First of all believers are pressed into anxiety by Ver. 39. Nor height, nor depth. The idea of 



92 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chaps IX.-X1. 

space is now substituted for that of time ; but it is Christ Jesus oar Lord. This is not to be distin- 

difficult to define the exact reference. The most guished from ' the love of Christ ' (ver. 35), since 

probable one is : heaven and hell ; though heaven it is rather a fuller statement of the same love, 

and earth, happiness and unhappiness, honor and ' God is the original fountain, Christ the constant 

shame, lofty and lowly, have been suggested. It organ and mediating channel of one and the 

is doubtful whether any specific definition is re- same love ; so that in Christ is the love of God, 

quired. — Nor any other created thing. What- and the love of God is the love of God in Christ ' 

ever created being has not been previously in- (Meyer). Since God is above every created 

eluded, is included here. The phrase seems to thing, since this love is ours, this completes the 

sum up rather than merely to supplement what demonstration of the security of the believer, 

precedes. The tone of the whole passage justi- With this triumphant expression the Apostle 

ties the language of Meyer : ' The attempt to closes his exposition of the main theme : the Goa- 

bring the collective elements named in their con- pel is to every one that believeth the power of 

secutive order under definite logical categories God unto salvation : this it could not be if any- 

leads to artificialities of exposition, which ought thing could separate us from the love of God 

not to be applied to such enthusiastic outbursts which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Erasmus : 

of the moment.' — The lore of God which is in ' Cicero never said anything more eloquent* 



Chapters IX. -XI. 

IV. THE UNIVERSALITY OF THIS SALVATION, AND THE HISTORICAL ORDER 

OF ITS APPLICATION. 

The gospel is God's power unto salvation, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (chap. L 16) : 
The unbelief of the Jews seemed to invalidate the Apostle's statement respecting the universality of 
this salvation, and he therefore discusses the question which lay so close to his own heart. This of 
itself would account for these chapters ; but it is also true that every one of his readers, irrespective 
of any supposed conflict between Jewish and Gentile Christians, would be profoundly interested in the 
matter. Ever since Christian people have been interested in it, both as belonging to the historical 
course of the development of the kingdom of God, and as one of the darkest mysteries of God's 
dealings with men. So long as the mass of the Jews reject the Lord Jesus as the Messiah, the mys- 
tery will remain unsolved, except as, these chapters present a solution. It seems idle, therefore, to 
build up a baseless theory about the internal condition of the Roman congregation, to account for 
this portion of the Epistle (comp. Introduction). 

On the other hand, this natural view of the passage helps the reader to avoid the false notion, that 
the Apostle here treats of Divine sovereignty in an abstract manner. He writes, not in a cold, meta- 
physical tone, but with a pathos at times almost tragical (comp. chap. ix. 3). Luther, therefore, well 
says of these chapters as related to what precedes : ' Who hath not known passion, cross, and travail 
of death, cannot treat of foreknowledge (election of grace), without injury and inward enmity toward 
God. Wherefore take heed that thou drink not wine, while thou art yet a sucking babe. Each 
several doctrine hath its own season, and measure, and age.' 

Analysis : 1. Chap. ix. 1-29: God's Sovereignty : His promise is not void. 

1. Expression of deep sorrow at the fact of the exclusion of so many of his people, God's covenant 
people, from salvation in Christ, chap. ix. 1-5. 

11. But this does not render God*s promise void ; chap. ix. 6-29. For (a.) that promise was made 
of free grace, only to the chosen ones, as illustrated in the case of Isaac and Jacob (vers. 6-13) ; 
(6.) In this election God is not unjust, for He has a right to choose, being sovereign (vers. 14-29). 

2. Chaps, ix. 30-x. 21 : Man's Responsibility : The Jews were excluded on the ground of tkeir 
ortvn unbelief, 

I. The fact that the Jews rejected the way of faith : chap. ix. 30-33. 

II. The proof that this was the one way of salvation; hence the unbelieving Jews themselves re- 
sponsible ; chap. x. 1-2 1. 

3. Chap. xi. : The Prospective Solution : But God has not cast off His people forever. 

I. The rejection of Israel is not total ; a remnant, elected of grace, will be saved (vers. 1-10). 

II. // is not final ; the unbelief and fall of Israel turns out for the salvation and reviving of the 
Gentiles, who, however, should not boast (vers. 11-24) ; since the rejection is only temporary, ulti- 
mately Israel will be saved (vers. 25-32). 

In conclusion, the Apostle breaks forth into a doxology to the grace and wisdom of God, who will 
thus solve the enigma of the world's history, and lead all things to the glory of His name and the best 
interest of His kingdom (chap. xi. 33-36). 



Chap. IX. 1-29.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 93 

Chapter IX. 1-29. 

I. God's Sovereignty: His Promise is not Void. 

Chapter IX. 1-5. 

1. Deep Sorrow of the Apostle for the Unbelief of the yews, his Brethren, and 
God's Covenant People, from whom the Messiah came. 

The pathos of the partially apologetic opening of this division of the Epistle is so great, that it has 
survived the interminable discussions which have been called forth by vers. 3 and 5. Probably he 
will interpret both passages most nearly aright who approaches them with the most vivid apprehen- 
sion of the Apostle's feelings ; it is ' a fervent outburst of Israelitish patriotism, the more sorrowful by 
contrast with the blessedness of the Christian previously extolled and so deeply experienced by the 
Apostle himself* (Meyer). The language is that of sorrowful sympathy, deprecatory in tone, 'to 
take at once the ground from those who might charge him, in the conduct of his argument, with hos- 
tility to his own alienated people ' (Alford). 

1 T fl SAY the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also * fcJ* {■ J» 

2 A bearing me witness 1 in the Holy Ghost, 2 * That I have JJ. 3 ^ 1 ?-; 

3 great heaviness 8 and continual sorrow in my heart. For C I ^tu^u. 
could wish that myself 4 were d accursed 6 from Christ 'for 6 my h '^ x? , x . ,. 

4 brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh : 'Who are Isra-' ^ x - xxxu * 
elites ; 'to whom pertaineth 7 the adoption, and *the glory, and^Siil^t** 
*the covenants, and *the giving of the law, and 'the service of xvi.aa"'dai. 

5 God, % and m the promises; "Whose are the fathers, and ° of # coip. Eph. 
whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, 9 p who is over all, i- '34. ' 

___,_- . / Deut. vii. 6. 

God blessed for ever. Amen. g £«• iv. « ; 

Deut. xiv. 

1 or bearing witness with me f Spirit 8 grief ll jer.xxxi. 

4 I myself 6 /*/., anathema 6 for the sake of * V «j»- J9? 

7 whose is 8 of the sanctuary Sam. iv. 21; 

• of whom is Christ, according to the flesh {some place a period here, and nj P«. 
render he who is over all, God, be blessed for ever). lxxliit 61. 

1 Gen. xx vi. 
34; xxviii. 13, 14; Heb. via. 8. 9, 10. k Ps. cxlvii. 19. / Heb. ix. 1. m Acts xiii. 31 ; chap. Hi. a ; Eph. ii. ta. 
n Deut. x. 15 ; chap. xi. a8. Luke iii. 33 ; chap. i. 3. / Jer. xxiii. 6 ; John i. x ; Acts xx. 38 ; Col. i. 15 ; ii. 9 ; 
Eph. i- ao; 1 Cor. viii. 6; a Cor. iv. 4; viii. 9; Heb. i. 8; 1 John v. 30. 

Ver. 1. I fay the truth in Christ. The as- to the Romans. — In the Holy Spirit To be 

severation of the Apostle is threefold : and is in- joined with ' bearing me witness/ not with ' my 

traduced abruptly, without a conjunction, in ac- conscience.' His conscience is, indeed, governed 

cordance with the feeling which prompts it ' In by the Holy Spirit, but in what he is about to say, 

Christ ' is not an adjuration (the form of an oath he cannot lie, for the testimony his conscience 

in Greek would be entirely different), but means, bears is 'in the Holy Spirit' Notice the sym- 

in fellowship with Christ, the element in which metry : He speaks tne truth, in fellowship with 

he lives. Such fellowship with Him who is the Christ ; he does not lie, for his conscience bears 

Truth implies the sincerity of one who enjoys it. testimony in the Holy Spirit 

— I lift not. This negative form of asseveration Ver. 2. Groat grief and oontinnal sorrow. The 

is a rhetorical strengthening of the previous ex- cause of this grief obviously is the unbelief of his 

pression. — My oonscianoe also hearing me witness ; countrymen, their practical exclusion from the 

or, 'my conscience bearing witness with me.' The Messianic salvation. This feeling was respecting 

former explanation is preferable : he does not He, those who had for years persecuted him with re- 

for his conscience, which would convict him of lentless hatred, and who, shortly after this time 

falsehood, gives testimony to him in accordance occasioned him a long imprisonment, thus becom- 

whh what lie is about to state. The other ex- ing the immediate cause of his martyrdom. 

planatkm points to a joint testimony ; but his con- ver. 3. For I could wish that I myself, etc. 

science and himself could not be joint witnesses The order of the better established reading makes 



94 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IX. 1-29. 

' accursed' (lit., 'anathema') mere emphatic, and term in later times, and this sense is altogether 
forbids our taking ' I myself ' as the subject of inappropriate in the other New Testament pas- 
' could wish,' which was grammatically possible sages where the word occurs, and to our mind 
with the order of the common reading. unsatisfactory here also. The notion of ' tempo- 
The Greek verb rendered 'could wish' is in ral death' is entirely foreign to usage. These 
the imperfect tense, and might mean ' was wish- remarks hold good in regard to the corresponding 
ing ; • out the same tense is constantly used of verb, which is found several times in the New 
what is termed 'arrested action.' The latter Testament Wieseler, after a full investigation 
sense is preferable here. (1.) The other view (see his Galatians t \. 8; comp. Lange, JfostojRi, pp. 
would seem to require ' I myself ' as subject of 302-304), says : ' Anathema, in entire congruity 
• was wishing.' (2.) The reference to the past with the Old Testament cAerem, is used of a/er- 
makes an anti-climax, or at best a common place son who is dedicated to God, subjected to the 
sense : if the past wish were before his conversion, Divine curse for his death, not, however, to bodily 
referring to his blind zeal for Israel against Christ, death, as in the more ancient formula (this refer- 
then the terms are strangely chosen to express ence, however, being not necessarily contained in 
that sense ; to explain the wish as a past one, but the root, but resulting only from the historical re- 
occurring since his conversion, is open to all the lations of the Jews in ancient times), but to spirit- 
objections that are urged against the common ual and eternal death.' — From Christ. Separated 
view, without having the same reasons in its favor, from Christ, from the fellowship with Him. — For 
We therefore accept the obvious meaning: 'I the sake of my brethren. Not, 'instead of,' 
could wish that I myself were devoted to destruc- which the preposition, of itself, does not mean, 
tion from Christ for the sake of my brethren,' etc but for their benefit, just as the same term is used 
The implication is that the wish was not formed, in Eph. Hi. 13, Col. L 24 to indicate that Paul's suf- 
cither because it was impossible thus to wish, or, ferings might result advantageously for others.— 
because the wish could not be fulfilled, or, both. My w««nf according to the flesh. Notice the 
The Apostle, however, is not using a hyperbole, tender way in which the Apostle characterizes the 

antithesis 




patriotism grew 
v „t but as the fol- 

sity of Paul's feeling, which thus seeks expression, lowing description shows, has its deepest ground 
This feeling, too, is most akin to the self-sacrificing in the gracious gifts and religious privileges hith- 
love of the Lord he preached. Comp. the Ian- erto possessed by his countrymen, 
guage of Moses (Ex. xxxii. 32). There is no Ver. 4. Who are. The form of the original is 
wish to be separated from the holy will of Christ almost equivalent to : 'seeing they are.' — lariat 
— which would be wicked — but only from the itet, belonging to God's chosen people. In ver. x 
enjoyment of Christ, temporarily, as Christ Him- it is stated that they are Paul's people, but he loved 
self, on the cross, was separated from the enjoy- them all the more oecause they were God's people, 
ment of His Father's presence, when He criea : descendants of one whom God himself had chosen 
* My God, my God, whv hast thou forsaken me.' and named. Since their advantages grew out of 
And it detracts nothing from our estimate of Paul's this relation, all the privileges named point toward 
affection to know, as he did, that the very feeling the sovereignty of God, which comes into view in 
he expresses was the result of Christ's love to the subsequent discussion of the enigma presented 
him, and would be impossible were he sundered by their rejection of Christ. — Whose is the adop- 
from fellowship with Christ. ' It is the expres- tion. Six privileges of the Jews are enumerated 
sion of an affectionate and self -denying heart, in the remainder of this verse: 'purely sacred, 
willing to surrender all things — even, if it might historical divine benefactions ' (Meyer). The first 
be so, eternal glory itself — if thereby he could is ' adoption,' not in the full New Testament sense 
obtain for his beloved people those blessings of (comp. vers. 6, 7), but in the theocratic sense 
the gospel which he now enjoyed, but from which pointing forward to the close union between God 
they were excluded. Others express their love and men formed by Christ the only begotten, 
by professing themselves ready to give their life through the Holy Ghost.-— And the glory. This 
for their friends : he declares the intensity of his refers to the visible Shekinah, which attended the 
affection by reckoning even his spiritual life not people of Israel through the wilderness. Those 
too great a price, if it might purchase their salva- who insist upon a chronological order, find a ref- 
tion ' ( Alford). It is not implied that this is the erence to earlier manifestations of Jehovah's pres- 
constant and conscious state of every Christian, ence, especially as ' the Angel of the Lord,' with 
still less that our salvation depends upon our at- which the later appearance is identified, however, 
taining to such a height of disinterested affection, in Ex. xiv. 19. — And the covenants. The repeated 
— Accursed, lit., 'anathema.' This word, which covenants made with the patriarchs after the first 
occurs several times in the New Testament, as covenant with Abraham, not the Old and New 
well as in the Septuagint, is the Hellenistic form Testaments (covenants), nor the two tables of the 
of a word, originally meaning ' dedicated to God.' law. — And the giving of the law. Not exactly 
But as a rule, this form in the Bible denotes the law itself, but the formal and distinctive act 
something dedicated to God in a bad sense, by which it became the possession of the Jews ; a 
There is little reason to doubt that in the New secondary reference to its substance may be im- 
Testament (see references) the word has the uni- plied. — And the service of the sanctuary, /. e. t the 
form sense of ' having become obnoxious to the Jewish (or, Mosaic) ritual service in the worship 
wrath or curse of God.' Efforts have been made of God ; in the tabernacle first, and then more 
to prove that 'anathema,' in the time of Paul, fully established in the temple. — And the prom- 
meant only ' Jewish excommunication.' Others lies. This includes all the promises made to the 
have explained it of banishment from church fel- chosen people, from the days of Abraham on- 
lowship ; some, of temporal death. But the idea ward. This inclusive term prepares for the next 
of excommunication was first attached to this clause. 



Chap. IX. 1-29] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 95 

Vcr. 5. Whote are the fathers. Persons are thermore, in all such doxologies, as the other view 

now introduced : the whole line of patriarchs and would make of this, the word ' Blessed ' stands 

prophets were types of Christ, who is next named, first (4.) The words ' who is ' would be unneces- 

as the crowning glory and privilege of Paul's na- sary if this were a doxology. (5.) As regards the 

Hon. — Of whom if Christ aooording to the flesh, objection drawn from Paul's usage, we may not 

The original is peculiar, suggesting a limitation, only cite such passages as Col. i. 15, etc., but 

or, antithesis : as far as concerns the flesh, i. *., argue that for this Apostle not to have added 

His human nature, as in chap. i. 3. — Who is oyer something in regard to the Divine nature of Christ 

all, etc The natural connection of this clause is would be far more unlike him than for him to 

with what precedes, especially since the last ex- have once expressed himself in terms which agree, 

pression used suggests an antithesis. Accord- not only with the expressions of John, but also 

ingly, this has usually been referred to Christ, as with his own statements. It should be added, that 

defining what He is, other them ' according to the even if the clause be taken as a doxology, the 

flesh.' As, however, our earliest manuscripts are Divinity of Christ is not thereby proven unscrip- 

without punctuation, some editors and commenta- tural ; while on the other hand, if the usual view 

tore, prominent among whom are Tischendorf be correct, there is no room for a denial of that 

(8th ed.) and Meyer, separate this from what pre- doctrine. Paul could not have been ignorant of 

cedes, taking it as a doxology. This would re- the great question of the Master, which soon be- 

quire one of the following translations: ' He who came the question of the Church, * What think ye 

is over all, God, be (or, is) blessed for ever,' of Christ ? whose Son is he ? ' (Matt xxil 42.) Is 

adopted by Reiche, Van Hengel, and others, or it likely that he could so express himself as to 

•He who is God over all {be) blessed forever/ mislead the vast majority of Christians on that 

adopted by Meyer and others. (Another view point ? ' It therefore does not seem to us at all 

sets a period after ' over all,' including in the dox- doubtful, that Paul here indicates, as the crown 

ology only the words, ' God be blessed for ever.') of all the prerogatives accorded to Israel, that of 

Any one of these explanations is possible, ana having produced for the world the Christ, who 

would be preferable to the usual one, if it were now, exalted above all things, is God blessed for 

proven that the word * God,' standing without the ever • (Godet). 

article, as here, is never applied to Christ in the As regards details : ' over all ' seems to refer to 

New Testament But Meyer not only admits that all things, not to the exclusion of persons (comp. 

John thus applies it, but that Paul also might Eph. i. 21-23, and similar passages). 'Who is' 

have done so, ' by virtue of his essential agree- points to the present exalted condition of the In- 

ment in substance with the Christology of John ' carnate Lord. — God. The words ' over all ' should 

(Meyer, Romans, ii. 118). The objection he not be joined with this, as is done by many of 

raises is that Paul has never done so. After re- those wno could find here a doxology to God the 

newed investigation of the subject we feel con- Father Almighty. Such an idea would have been 

strained to say that this is the only objection that expressed in another form from that here used. — 

is even plausible, and that it is clearly outweighed Blessed for ever. * The expression " Blessed for 

by the many considerations to be presented in ever " is twice besides used by St Paul, and each 

favor of the usual punctuation. ( 1.) We sav time unquestionably not in an ascription of praise, 

* usual punctuation,' for in all the authorities which but in an assertion regarding the subject of the 

can give evidence on a matter of punctuation sentence. The places are, chap. i. 25, and 2 Cor. 

(manuscripts, versions, and fathers), the unanimity xi. 31 : whereas he uses the phrase "Blessed be 

is very remarkable. All the early writers accepted God " as an ascription of praise without joining 

this view of the meaning, with the single exception " for ever " ' (Alford). — Amen. This conclusion 

of Theodore of Mopsuestia. (2.) Moreover, ' the is appropriate in either view of the passage. For 

doxology would be unmeaning and frigid in the if this is indeed the only place where Paul directly 

extreme. It is not the habit of the Apostle to calls Christ 'God,' the mention of this coming 

break out into irrelevant ascriptions of praise ; privilege of Israel might well be regarded as an 

and certainly there is here nothing in the imme- act of worship, to which he devoutly adds : Amen, 
diate context requiring one ' (Alford). (3.) Fur- 



Chapter IX. 6-29. 
11. Gods Promise is not Void, 

The rejection of the gospel by the Jews, which has caused the deep emotion of the Apostle in view 
of their great privileges (vers. 1-5), does not render God's promise void. This position the Apostle 
proves : (a.) By showing that this promise was made of free grace, only to those who were individ- 
ually chosen (vers. 6-13). Two Old Testament illustrations are cited : the case of Isaac (vers. 7-9), 
and that of Jacob (vers. 10-13). (b.) But this assertion of God's freedom may give rise to the false 
inference that God is unrighteous in thus choosing (ver. 14). But this very objection involves an 
admission of the fact of God's sovereignty (implying that His promise is not void), which the Apostle 
affirms, citing the case of Pharaoh (vers. 15—18). Another objection is then raised, if God is sover- 
eign, why doth He find fault (ver. 19). This objection the Apostle answers by reasserting God's 
sovereignty (vers. 20, 21), but suggesting that even in the exercise of this, His right, long suffering 



g6 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IX. 6-29. 

and mercy are displayed (vers. 22, 23), especially the latter to both Jews and Gentiles (ver. 24), in 
accordance with various Old Testament predictions (vers. 25-29). 

As regards the free, unconditioned grace of God, we must regard this as the fundamental fact in 
the discussion. We may further assume that Paul holds this in such a way as to exclude every the- 
ory which makes God the author of sin. In other words, the Apostle, in accordance with the teach- 
ings of the Scriptures as a whole, presents, on the one hand, the absolute causality and unconditioned 
grace of God ; and, on the other, the moral nature of man, including also that relative freedom which 
involves human responsibility (human personality). To reconcile these two truths is the problem 
which confronts every one who believes in a personal God and is conscious of his own responsibility. 
Thus far the Christian life has proved the only practical solution, while Christian theology has been 
busied with the necessary task of attempting a theoretical solution. Probably such a solution will 
be reached, only when the full victory over evil has been achieved. We add the following remarks : — 

(1.) The Scriptures teach an eternal predestination of believers unto holiness and blessedness, and 
hence they must ascribe all the glory of their redemption, from beginning to end, to the unmerited 
grace of God alone. 

(2.) But it is as plainly asserted or assumed that believers do not, on this account, cease to be free 
agents, responsible for all their doings. As God works in nature, not magically and immediately, but 
through natural laws, so He works in men, through their wills, hence through the mediation of finite 
causes ; the more His grace is developed within them, so much the more is their true freedom devel- 
oped ; the result being the coincidence of perfect holiness and perfect freedom. For the highest 
freedom is the complete triumph over the evil, and is consequently identical with the moral necessity 
of the good. In this sense, God is free, precisely because He is holy. 

(3.) It is nowhere asserted that God has foreordained sin as sin, although He has foreseen it from 
all eternity, and with respect to redemption, permitted it, while constantly overruling it to His pur- 
poses. Hence, those who are lost are lost through their own fault, and must blame their own unbe- 
lief, which rejects the means of salvation proffered them by God (comp. chap. ix. 30-33). 

(4.) In the time of the calling of nations and individuals to salvation, God proceeds according to a 
plan of eternal wisdom and love, which we cannot fathom here, but should reverently adore. 

(5.) The doctrine of election is designed and adapted to humble sinners, to comfort believers, while 
it increases their gratitude and happiness. Only a culpable misapprehension and misuse of it can 
lead either to a careless security or to despair. But because the depths of the divine decrees cannot 
be fathomed, the Christian may well accept the doctrine, not to puzzle himself with attempts to solve 
the mystery, but to gain new encouragement to make his own calling and election sure, and with fear 
and trembling to work out his own salvation. 

6 a XJOT as though l the word of God hath taken none effect. 2 a JJ^yj* 

1^1 For *they are not all Israel, which are of Israel : 8 b ) ohn via. 

7 'Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all iS;^*?;"* 

8 children : but, In d Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, J? *: GaL 
They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the chil- c c^* p iv gU. 5 
dren 4 of God: but *the children of the promise are counted «/G«N*Hi. 

o for the seed. 6 For this is the word of promise, 6 'At this !i. f e *" 

e Gal. iv *S 

10 time 7 will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only/GE»i x*ui 
this ; but when g Rebecca also had conceived 8 by one, eveti by g Gen. «▼. 

1 1 our father Isaac, 9 ( 10 For the children being not yet born, u neither 



having done any good or evil, 12 that the purpose of God accord- 
ing to election might stand, 18 not of works, but of *him that k p?^ 1 

1 But it is not so, that 2 come to nought 

8 Not all who are of Israel, are Israel 
4 Not they who are the children of the flesh, are children 
6 reckoned as seed 6 of promise is this word 7 season 

8 but Rebecca also having conceived 9 one, our father Isaac — 

10 omit parentheses u without their having as yet been born 

12 or having done anything good or bad 18 abide 



IT. 
25. 



Chap. IX. 6-29.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 97 

12 calleth;) 10 It was said unto her, 'The elder shall serve thej^JJ*"?^^: 

13 younger. As it is written, * Jacob have 14 I loved, but Esau S 1 ^ 
have" I hated. JJT^ 

14 'What shall we say then? m Is there unrighteousness with & ; .*> U ; kc 

15 God? -God forbid. 16 For he saith to Moses, °l will have/S n P xiias - 
mercy on whom I will 16 have mercy, and I will have compas- vi.Ttiu.;.' 

16 sion on whom I will 16 have compassion. So then it is not of 4.; »chr. 
him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that vial 3; 

17 sheweth mercy. For *the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, |«- *«»• «s- 

tt dec crisp. 

9 Even for this same 17 purpose have I raised 18 thee up, r that I jg;* etc - 
might shew my power in thee, 19 and 'that my name might be > sS?Gad 9 ui 

18 declared throughout all the earth. Therefore 20 hath he mercy | x 2 ^ ^ 
on whom he will have mercy, 21 and- whom he will he hard- r J?^ cvi 8 
eneth. * See Ex ° d ' 

\, 111,111. xv ,_, 9- 

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault ?' jJJ r i^! ; 

20 For ' who hath resisted a his will ? " Nay but, • O man, who S2: & ; «. 
art thou that "repliest against God ? x Shall the thing formed % : T£phS! 
say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made 23 me thus ?*cdmpl chap. 

21 Hath 21 not the * potter power 26 over the clay, of 26 the same w job xxxiii. 
lump to make 'one vessel 27 unto honour, and another unto* fi.xxix.i6-, 

xlv O " 1X1 V 

22 dishonour? What* 8 if God, willing 29 to shew his wrath, and J- ' . 

y Prov.xvi.4; 

to make his power known, 80 endured with much longsuffering ^{^^ 

23 • the 8I vessels of wrath * fitted to ffl destruction : And w that a l Th °**- v - 

9* 

he might make known c the riches of his glory on the 81 ves-* j^wl' 8 * 
sels of mercy, which he had d afore prepared unto 34 glory/ E$fci' 7 4; 

24 Even us, whom he hath called, 85 e not of the Jews only, 86 but d cS^; Jfc. 
also of « the Gentiles ? , ckap 9 :^ 

25 As he saith also in Osee, 88 f l will call them 89 my people,/ H °«- »: a v. 
which were 40 not my people; and her beloved, which 41 was 

26 not beloved. 'And it shall come to pass, that in the places Hosi, °- 
where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there 

27 shall they be called the children 43 of the living God. Esaias* isx.a2.a3 
also 48 crieth concerning Israel, * Though the number of the* x%\*i 7 , en ' 

XXXII. 14. 

children of Israel be 'as the sand of the sea, *a 44 remnant * chap. %i. 5 

28 shall be saved : For he will finish the work, and cut it short 

in righteousness : ' because a short work will the Lord make [**• 

14 omit have u Let it never be ie omit will 17 very 18 did I raise 

19 in thee my power m So then n on whom he will he hath mercy 

** resisteth ** didst thou make M Or hath ** authority 

*• from * one part a vessel M But what w although willing 

m make known his power 8l omit the M for 

u or also, but some authorities omit * 4 before prepared for 

•* also called (or as such he also called us) 

*• not only from among the poor w from among M Hosea 

9 that «° was 4l who 

43 called sons ** And Isaiah " the 

vol. in. 7 



xxviu 



98 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IX. 6-39. 

29 upon the earth.* 1 ' And as Esaias said before,* 6 " Except the "i^ a'jt 



Lord of Sabaoth had left us ■ a seed, 
and been made like unto Gomorrah. 



we had been as Sodoma,* 7 ' 



" The verse reads according to the best authorities for finishing and cutting » 
short his word, will the Lord execute it upon the earth, but some authorities 
give a longer form (see exeg. notes). 

10 And, as Isaiah hath said before {or beforehand) " become as Sodom 



Ver. 6. Bat it Is not so, that. The Apostle 
returns to the fact that the Jews rejected the 
gospel, and proceeds to account for it by stating 
that the promise holds good only for the true 
Israelites ; a result indicated in the Scriptures. 
The opening clause, which is quite peculiar, 
means s ' What I am saying is not of such a kind 
as to mean that,' or, ' the matter is not of such a 
kind that.' The former sense would imply the 
latter. Whatever he says, he does not mean that 
the ward of God hath corns to nought. The prom- 
ise of God, as given in the Old Testament, has 
not ' fallen to the ground,' notwithstanding the un- 
belief of the Jews. — for not all who ire of Israel 
(that is Israelites by birth) an Iiraol, constitute 
the true Israel of God. The exact form of the 
original cannot be reproduced, but the meaning 
is unmistakable. The Apostle here presents the 
negative side of the idea already advanced in this 
Epistle (chap. iv. 12) and in Gal. iii. 9, that phys- 
ical relationship does not constitute membership 
in the true Israel. 

Ver. 7. Neither; 'and also not,' extending 
the same thought to physical relationship with 
Abraham, the father of the faithful. — Because 
thoy ; either, 'all those of Abraham,' or, referring 
to the subject in ver. 6 : ' they who are of Israel? 
The former suits the immediate context (Isaac 
and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau), but the latter is 
grammatically more exact. — The lead of Abra- 
ham. A well-known phrase, here meaning, as the 
context shows, 'the physical posterity of Abra- 
ham'; tn Gal. iii. 29, the phrase is used of his 
true spiritual descendants. — All children; in the 
true, spiritual sense, inheritors of the promise 
made to him. — But; on the contrary, the Scrip- 
ture itself shows that this was the design. — In 
Issae ihall thy Mod bo called. Spoken to Abra- 
ham (Gen. xxi. 12), at the time when Hagar and 
Ishmael were sent away. Explanations: 1. In 
the person of Isaac shall thy seed be named. 
2. Through Isaac shall the race be bom which 
shall be truly and properly called thy seed. Both 
are true in fact, but as the Apostle is choosing 
historical illustrations, it seems better to accept 
(1.) which refers to the historical person. 'Called' 
is here = 'named,' not, 'called into being,' or, 
•chosen.' 'Paul finds in this divine declaration 
the idea enunciated (ver. 8), that not on bodily 
descent (which was also the case with Ishmael), 
but on divine promise (which was the case with 
Isaac, ver. g), the true sonship of Abraham is 
founded ' (Meyer) 

Ver. 8. That is; the Old Testament saying 
amounts to this. — Hot they who are the children 
of the fleth, are children of God. Not those who 
must be regarded merely as the fruit of physical 
generation, as was the case with Ishmael (comp. 
Gal. iv. 13). — But the children of the promise an 
reckoned aa saad. The reference is directly to the 
birth of Isaac (ver. 9), but also to his true de- 



scendants, who ' 



: reckoned * such in virtue of 



through the promise, which Abraham believed, 
and thus by his faith in the promise obtained the 

Kwer that rendered him capable of becoming the 
her of this son (comp. chap. iv. 16-31 ). * In vir- 
tue of this superior element, Isaac and his de- 
scendants alone could be regarded as "children 
of God." It is this which explains the second 
proposition of the verse, where the title of (prom- 
ised) posterity is expressly given to that descent 
obtained through faith in the promise. The first 
proposition of the verse by implication justifies 
the rejection of carnal Jews ; the second, the adop- 
tion of believing Gentile*' (Godet). 

Ver. 9. For of piamiee is this ward. We re- 
store the emphatic order of the original. That 
' the children of the promise are reckoned as seed ' 
is proven, for the word, in accordance with which 
the birth of Isaac took place, this passage now 
cited, is a word of promise. (Not 'was,' for the 
reference is to an existent passage of Scripture.) 
— At this season, or, more literally, ' according to 
this season.' The passage is freely quoted from 
the I.XX.fGen.xviii. 10,14b The Hebrew phrase 
rendered : ' at this season, means when the time 
(shall lie) reviving,' ('. *., at this season of Ike 
nextyear: so the LXX. substantially. 'Accord- 
ing to' here suggests nothing more than 'at*— 
And Sarah ihall havs a son. From Gen. xvHL 
14, substituted for a similar clause in ver. 10, be- 
cause of the emphasis it gives (in the original) 
to the word 'Sarah,' who is the principal person 
(comp. Gal. iv. 12, etc.). 

Ver. 10. And not only thia. These words in- 
troduce a second proof from history, namely, the 
case of Rebecca and her two sons, one of whom 
was chosen. 'This,' is preferable to 'so,* be- 
cause this case is not strictly of the same kind as 
that of Sarah, but furnishes a stronger proof. — 
But Rsbeoox also. Some explain : not only Sank 
but Rebecca also, had a divine promise, was 
treated in the same manner. Others find a broken 
Rebecca' being re-introduced in 



case ' also ' points tc 
— Having conceived by one, ( 
the previous instance the two children n 
two mothers ; here the children were twins, bar- 
ing the same father and mother, and yet of such a 
different destiny. 'Our father Isaac;' recalling 
the quotation in ver. 7. 

Ver. It. The parentheses are unnecessary, 
since we place a dash at the end of ver. 10, — Tor 
without their having as yet bean bora, or Ism 
anything good or ill. This rendering, though va- 
rying from the form of the Greek, expresses the ex- 
act sense in its relation to what follows. 'Their' 
is property supplied, rather than 'the children.' 



Chap. IX. 6-29.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 99 

The reading of the best authorities gives a word sage to mean, ' I preferred Jacob to Esau. 1 But, 
which we render * ill/ as having a wider range of despite such instances as Luke xiv. 24, compared 
meaning than 'evil/ though here it means im- with Matt x. 37, this explanation is not allowable. 
moral. The second clause incidentally opposes the The historical dealings of God with Esau (and 
doctrine of the preexistence of souls, and a pre- with Edora also), indicate, not less love, but the 
vious falL — That the purpose of God according to deprivation or absence of love, to say the least. 
olsotion This clause indicates the purpose of ' God loves the good, because He produces the 
what was said to Rebecca, and is put first for very good that is in them ; and He elects them 
emphasis. ^ The phrase, ' according to election/ not on account of their faith and their holiness, 
is closely joined with ' purpose ; ' ' the purpose but to faith and holiness. But it cannot be said, 
which was so formed, that in it an election was on the other hand, that He hates the evil men be- 
made ' (Meyer). Both are ' before the foundation cause He produces the very evil that is in them ; 
of the worm' (Eph. i. 4; iii. 11). The whole ex- for that would be absurd, and destroy His holi- 
pression involves God's freedom in His choice of ness ; but He hates them on account of the evil 
individuals as an essential part of His purpose of that they do or will do in opposition to His will. 
redemption. Whether we can reconcile this with While human goodness is the effect of Divine 
oar consciousness of freedom, or not, it is here as- love and grace, on the contrary, human wicked- 
serted to be a fact — Might abide, unchangeable, ness is the cause of Divine hatred and abhor- 
instead of ' coming to nought ' (ver. 6) ; and this, rence ; and on that account alone can it be the 
not simply in man's estimate, but in reality. ' It object of the punitive wrath, and condemnatory 
is not only in the thought of man, it is really decree of God' (Schaff, in Lange, Romans, p. 
that the liberty of God would be compromised, if 328.) This is implied in the subsequent discus- 
any human merit regulated his choice ' (Godetj. sion, where the ill desert of all men is assumed, and 
— Mot of works, but of him that calleth. This is salvation in the case of any presented as caused 
joined by some with * purpose/ by others with by God's mercy. But whatever be the extent of 
' abide/ out is most correctly taken by others, as a the preference, or the result of the choice in the 
definition of the whole preceding clause : and this case of Jacob and Esau, the main thought is : 
design, that his purpose according to election God does exercise a prerogative of election, inde- 
might abide, was not effected by reason of works, pendently of the human considerations referred to 
did not depend on works, but on God Himself in these instances. That this is Paul's mean- 
who calls. Whatever view be taken of the con- ing is evident from what immediately follows, 
nection, the ultimate ground of our salvation is in His assertion of the freedom of God might be 
God Himself. ' God does not choose us because used to impeach His moral character. If the 
we believe, but that we may believe ' (Augustine). Apostle's argument thus far had not plainly set 
Our salvation is not on account of faith, but forth that freedom, the objection of ver. 14 could 
through faith. not have been raised. 

Ver. 12. It was said unto her. Gen. xxv. 23 ; Ver. 14. What shall we say then 1 This cjues- 
here cited, quite closely, from the Septuagint — tion introduces an objection, as in chaps, iii. 5 ; 
The alder shall servo the younger ; lit., ' the vi. 1 ; vii. 7, which is then stated in the form of 
greater shall serve the less.' As spoken to Re- another question. The usual indignant denial 
becca, this language referred not only to the twin follows, and then the detailed answer (vers. 15- 
children, but to the nations springing from them 18). In ver. 19, etc, a further objection (grow- 
respectively (Gen. xxv. 23: 'two nations are in ing out of the answer to this one) is raised and 
thy womb *)• Hence it seems best to accept here answered. The question is not put in the mouth 
both the national and personal reference. The of an objector, still less is it represented as the 
former is required by the citation from Malachi language of an unbelieving Jew. The connection 
(see ver. 13), but the latter is necessary to give of thought is natural : may it not be said that the 
point to the argument of the Apostle. As re- exercise of this free choice on the part of God, 
spects the nations, the prophecy was fulfilled in as already illustrated, involves unrighteousness in 
the days of David, who conquered the Edomites Him ? Let it never be 1 He only is unrighteous 
(2 Sam. viii. 14), but how unlikely that Paul who is under obligations which he does not fulfil ; 
would, in this connection, separate the nations but God is under no obligations to His creatures 
from their respective ancestors, especially when who have become sinful, 1. e. t opposed to Him. 
the prophecy became a fact in the history of the The blessings they receive of Him are not their 
two brothers themselves ; comp. Gen. xxvii. 29, 37, right, but of His mercy, as the words of God 
4a Eternal results in the case of these persons Himself in the Old Testament plainly show. The 
are not involved in the original prophecy; and underlying principle, already assumed, in this Epis- 
doubtless theocratic privileges and promises are tie, is that God's will is the absolute and eternal 
more prominently in the mind of the Apostle in norm of righteousness, and all that He does is 
both these historical cases. necessarily right (see references). If there were 

Ver. 13. As it is written (Mai. i. 2, 3), Jacob I any superior norm of righteousness to which this 

loved, but Esan I hated. In the original prophecy Personal God is subject then He would cease to 

the statement that Esau was hated, is proved by be God. — Is there unrighteousness with God 1 In 

the added words : ' and laid his mountains and making this choice of individuals, the objection 

his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilder- ends here. — Lot it never be. See chap. iii. 4, etc. 

ness.' The reference to the nation of Edomites Some of the fathers took vers. 15-18 as a renewal 

is therefore clear. ' As it is written,' however, of the objection, but the close connection, with 

implies a correspondence with ver. 12. We there- ' for ' and ' so then,' as well as the Scripture cita- 

fore apply the language to Jacob and Esau per- tions, show that those verses give the reason for 

tonally, regarding the national destiny as bound this indignant denial. 

op in the personal position of the two ancestors. Ver. 15. For he faith to Moses. An exact 

The word 'hated' seems harsh, and hence some quotation from the LXX. (Exod. xxxiii. 19), giv- 

explain it as ' love less,' making the whole pas- ing part of Jehovah's answer to Moses, when on 



100 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IX. 6-291 

Mount Sinai, he said : ' I beseech thee, show Paul has, apparently with purpose, deviated from 
me thy glory.' 'In condescending to grant this that translation. Moreover, this view fails to give 
request, the Lord would have him understand sufficient strength to this link in the chain of the 
that nothing in him, notwithstanding all he had Apostle's reasoning. (3.) ' Excited thee to oppo- 
hitherto been able to do for the service of God, sit ion.' But this does not agree either with the 
would merit such a favor. If God accorded it to original Hebrew, or with the LXX. Nor does 
him, it was not because it was Moses who be- the context sustain it, since the reference to hard- 
sought Him, or had any right to it ; it was pure ening in ver. 18 is based upon this verse as a 
grace on His part' (Godet). — On whom I have whole, not on the sense of this phrase. (4.) 'Cre- 
merey. The present tense is used in this and the ated thee,' as a hardened sinner. This is a fatal- 
corresponding clause (' I have compassion '), re- istic view, alike uncalled for by the words of the 
ferring to the settled disposition of mercy and com- argument. The first view is, therefore, decidedly 
passion. The word 'whom' in both instances preferable. — That I might show in theo my 
might be rendered 'whomsoever,' and has an power. This purpose was accomplished in the case 
emphasis here, describing not merely the mercy, of Pharaoh by means of the supernatural events 
but the choice of the individual objects, as the accompanying the deliverance of the Israelites, 
free act of God. — Have compassion is stronger which were called forth by the opposition of 
than ' have mercy ; ' it ordinarily includes out- Pharaoh. — My name mignt be declared, etc 
ward manifestations of compassion. The future Further purpose. Comp. the song of Moses, 
tenses (' will have mercy ; ' ' will have compas- after the destruction of Pharaoh's army (Exod. 
sion ') point to the active exercise of God's mercy xv. 1-19, especially where he refers to the effect 
and compassion. produced on other nations by these events.— Hm 
( Ver. 16. So then. With this favorite expres- whole earth. ' A result which, in the later course 
sion, Paul introduces an inference from the pas- of history, was especially fulfilled in the dispersion 
sage cited: 'In consequence of all this, it is of the Jews and the spread of Christianity, and 
proven that.' The word to Moses is accepted as continues to be fulfilled' (Meyer). Comp. the 
a divine axiom, and the inference is to be re- many allusions in the Psalms to these events as 
garded as of universal validity, since neither the fulfilling these purposes. 

preceding context nor the scope of the argument Ver. 18. So then (as in ver, 16 ; the E. V. 
suggests any limitation. ' It is in parts of Scrip- varies unnecessarily), summing up the whole mat- 
ture like this that we must be especially careful ter, after considering both sides. — On whom he 
not to fall short of what is written — not to allow will he hath mercy. We thus restore the corre- 
of any compromise of the plain and awful words spondence in form between the two clauses. Here 
of God's Spirit, for the sake of a caution which the emphasis rests on 'will ;' not, as in ver. 15, 
He Himself does not teach us ' ( Alford). — It is on 'whom.' — Whom he will he hardeneth. Here, 
not of him that willeth, etc. The participation as throughout, the freedom of God is the main 
in any and all of the effects of God's mercy and thought ; the holiness, love, and wisdom of His 
compassion, does not depend on human will, nor will are implied. Hence we say, this freedom is 
on human effort, but on the will of God, who not arbitrary, but more because of what God is, 
thus spoke to Moses. The reference of ' him than from our ability to explain how it is so. As 
that willeth' to Abraham's wish respecting Ish- respects the word 'hardeneth,' it assumes, as docs 
mael, and of ' him that runneth ' to Esau's run- the whole discussion, the presence of sin in the 
ning home from hunting, is worth mentioning as individual, without referring to its origin. It here 
a specimen of farfetched interpretation. suggests such a fortification in sin, that the sinner 
Ver. 17. For the Soripture faith onto Pharaoh, is unsusceptible of all workings of grace and bet* 
What the Scripture says is here regarded as ter influences, the removal into a state where con- 
equivalent to what Goa says : comp. Gal. iii. 8, version is either absolutely impossible, or ren- 
22. The choice of an illustration outside the tew- dered difficult in the highest degree. This may 
ish nation confirms the view that Paul is here be termed an act of God, in so far as He has or- 
concerned with principles of universal applica- dained the laws of the development of evil, ' that, 
tion. The case of Pharaoh presents the antith- propagating still, it brings forth evil ' (Schiller), 
csis to God's showing mercy. — Even for this The objection which follows (ver. 19) shows that 
very purpose did I raise thee up. Freely quoted the Apostle regards this hardening of Pharaoh as 
from the LXX. (Exod. ix. 16). Moses was com- penal, and hence as to some extent effected by 
manded to say this to Pharaoh, after the sixth God. The personal tone of the answer (ver. 20) 
plague had fallen on Egypt. The main ques- indicates further that the principle is of universal 
tion is respecting the meaning of 'did I raise application. 

thee up,' which is an exact translation of Paul's Ver. 19. Thon wilt fay then unto me. This 

language. But the Hebrew means literally: 'have verse states a further objection, growing out 

caused thee to stand,' and this the LXX. weak- (' then ') of what has already been said. It is 

ens into ' thou wert preserved. Explanations : not necessary even here, where the answer is so 

(1.) 'Allowed thee to appear,' thy whole histor- sharply personal, to regard the objection as ut- 

ical appearance has been brought about by me, tered by a Jew. For it will arise, wherever there 

in order that, etc. This is the view of the ma- is any such notion of God, however derived, as 

jority of our best modern commentators. It is admits the possibility of His being the author of 

neither fatalistic, nor does it improperly weaken evil in man, or what amounts to the same thing, 

the strong language of the Apostle. Since God denies His righteousness, because there is a theo- 

numbers the hairs of our head, He superintended retical difficulty in reconciling our responsibility 

the exodus of His people, and in this as a matter with His free will. The difficulty is an ontological 

of history, the principal human factor was Pha- one : Given an infinite free will, how can there be 

raoh. He did not cause the evil, but bent and other free wills. — Why doth he yet find fault 1 

guided it for His own glory. (2.) 'Preserved Some good authorities insert ' then,' here also, re- 

thee alive.' This agrees with the LXX. But ferring to the previous discussion. ' Yet,' this 



Chap. IX. 6-29.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. IOI 

being the case, that whom He will He hardens uses, and another is for dishonorable uses. The 

f ver. 18). — For who retisteth nil will. The word emphasis in the original seems to rest on the 

a peculiar, meaning ' the thing willed/ but imply- words ' unto honor,' just as below (ver. 23) the 

ing deliberation. ' Kesisteth ' is better than ' hath corresponding phrase, ' vessels of mercy/ is made 

resisted ' ; and the question implies the helpless- prominent, ft should be observed that the whole 

ness of the objector, and acknowledges the Al- verse is designed to assert God's freedom, under 

mightiness of God, but at the expense of His the figure of the potter; hence the failure of all 

rectitude, since it virtually makes Him responsible attempts to limit the application to the Jews, or 

for men's sins. to temporal distinctions. ' The honor and dis- 

Ver. 20. Nay but. An unusual word, mean- honor are not here the moral purity or impurity 

Ing, * Yes indeed ; ' here used, either with a slight of the human vessels, but their ultimate glori/ua- 

tone of irony, or, more probably, of indignant re- turn or perdition. The Apostle, in asking this 

buke. ' I do not examine the intrinsic verity of question, rather aims at striking dumb the ob- 

what you allege ; but, be that as it may, this much jector by a statement of God's undoubted right, 

is certain, that you are not in a position to dispute against which it does not become us to murmur, 

with God' (Godet). — Oman. This address sug- than at unfolding to us the actual state of the 

gests the contrast between man and God, after- case' (Alford). 

wards brought out more fully. — Who art thou. Ver. 22. But what if God. The construction 
' How great art thou ?' — That repliest against is elliptical : the original is simply : 'but if.' We 
God. The peculiar word here used suggests an may supply, as follows : ' But what will be said, 
answer given to a previous response, 1. e. t to God's if/ /. e. t How can the objection raised be urged, 
response (finding fault, ver. 19) to man's sin. — if , as is the case, God, etc 'But' thus introduces 
Shall the thing formed, etc We have here an an additional thought, which forms the main an- 
echo of Isa. xxiv. 16 (not a quotation). 'The swer to the objection. — Although willing, etc 
thing formed/ as a vessel is moulded. Hence The participle ' willing ' may mean either, ' since 
the question has no reference to original creation, He is willing/ or, ' although He is willing.' We 
but to subsequent ethical moulding. The nature prefer the latter, for (1.) the former view gives to 
of the 'clay' and 'lump' is not yet suggested, 'willing' the sense of ' purposing/ which it does 
The original indicates that a negative answer is not necessarily have ; (2.) it obscures the logical 
expected. — Why didst thou make me thus! The relation between 'showing wrath' and 'endur- 
word 'make,' in accordance with what precedes; ing;' (3.) it relieves somewhat the difficult con- 
is to be referred to preparing, adjusting, etc, not struction of ver. 23. On this view, 'willing ' refers 
to creating. The folly, rather than the error of to the spontaneous will of God, growing out of 
the objector, is thus rebuked. His moral character, not to His fixed purpose. 

Ver. 21. Or hath not the potter. ' Or ' suggests This will would lead Him to show his wrath, etc 

the dilemma arising out of the figure : Either the — His power. This peculiar expression, meaning 

thing formed cannot speak thus, or the potter has ' what is possible to him/ suits the view we take 

not authority, etc The interrogative form here of 'willing.' — Endured with much long-suffering, 

implies an affirmative answer : ' The potter has That the Apostle means to assert the fact of such 

authority/ etc. The figure of a potter is found in endurance is plain. But how does this stand re- 

the Old Testament (see references) and here un- lated to the previous clause ? Our view accepts 

a contrast ; ' yet He endured ; ' the other inter- 
pretation makes this the result of His purpose to 

^ , m . s show His wrath, etc This raises a new difficulty, 

represents the human subjects under discussion ; while the former explanation really answers the 

the article suggests that it is the potter's clay. — objection of ver. 19, by showing that the sovereign 

Tram the same lamp to make, etc. The whole God had withheld the exercise of a power in ac« 





lump ' and ' the clay ' re- chap. 
fer to the same thing ; the latter is the substance meant, and these vessels are to be its objects. It 
itself, the former presents it as already in use by is not necessary to carry out the figure and explain 
the potter for his purposes. To limit the ' lump ' a vessel full of wrath. This phrase is suggested 
to tne Jews is narrow, and opposed by vers. 22, by the corresponding one in ver. 21 ('vessel — 
24, etc Meyer explains : ' The same lump denotes unto dishonor '). — Fitted for destruction ; ever- 
human nature in and of itself, as with its opposite lasting destruction is meant, as the contrasted 
moral capabilities and dispositions it is equally in word ('glory ; ' ver. 23) plainly shows, as well as 
all, but not yet conceived: of in its definite indi- the mention of God's enduring with much long- 
vidual moral stamp.' Similarly Godet: 'The suffering. The participle, 'fitted,' expresses the 
mass represents entire humanity, not that human- permanent present result of past action. It is not 
itv which God created, but in that state in which said that God has fitted them for destruction, 
He finds it at each moment when He makes it although Meyer thinks this is implied. Others 
serve His reign.' The supralapsarian explana- think that they are represented as having fitted 
tion, referring it to the created man, seems con- themselves for destruction, by deserving it Prob- 
trary to the figure and to revealed facts. The ably the mediate agency of God is not to be ex- 
view taken of the moral status of the 'lump/ rep- eluded, but the obvious differences between the 
resenting humanity, will depend largely upon the two phrases (' fitted for destruction ' and ' which 
interpretation of chap. v. 12-21. The denial of He before prepared for glory/ see below) point 
original sin makes the difficulty here all the greater, unmistakably to such a difference as should guard 
—One part a vessel unto honor, and another unto the passage against fatalistic interpretations. ' Ev- 
dishonor. This rendering is more exact than that ery development of sin is a network of human 
of the E. V. The potter makes from the same offences and divine judgments, that are related to 
lump, a part into a vessel designed for honorable each other/ 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IX. fr-19. 



[02 

Ver. 11. And that, or, 'also that,' la order that 
The omission of 'and' by some authorities wai 
probably due to an effort to relieve the difficult 
construction. The simplest view is to translate 
'also that,' and connect the verse with 'endured.' 
Besides His great long-suffering toward the ves- 
sels of wrath. He had another purpose in the 
endurance, one with reference to ' vessels of mer- 
cy.' To this it is objected that it makes the 
purpose in reference to the vessels of mercy sec- 



ondary, but in our view the long-suffering suggests 
the thought of the revelation of God's glory, 
which is fully carried out here. Alford supplies 
'what jf this took place,' others repeat 'willing,' 
which is inadmissible if 'although willing' is the 
correct explanation in ver. 22. To join this verse 
with 'fitted for destruction' gives an unwarranted 
sense- Some would supplj ''" ' ' ■■-■■-'■ 
as the purpose of the call! 
24 ; but this only increases the grammatical diffi- 
culties. — The richsi of his glory. This phrase, 
which Godet thinks was suggested by the request 
of Moses (comp. ver. 15): ' Shew me thy glory* 
(Exod. xxxiii. 18), refers to the fulness of the 
divine glory, in its beneficence, in its bestowal of 
blessing ; riches of 'goodness, grace, mercy, wis- 
d6m, omnipotence ' (Hengel). This making known 
is something which occurs throughout the gospel 
dispensation, as ver. 24 indicates. — On vessels of 
mercy. This may be joined with 'make known,' 
or, with ' riches ' j (he former being preferable. 
The vessels are the object of divine mercy in 
every age, but especially in the gospel dispensa- 
tiun.'— Which he before prepared. The verb does 
not mean ' predestined,' nor is it to be explained 
as ' prepared by providence and grace,' since the 
latter involves a process, while the tense here used 
points to a single act, which takes place ' before' 
these providential and gracious dealings, probably 
referring to the actual constitution of the individ- 
ual, as clay in the hands of the potter, the result 
of election, yet distinct from it. — For glory. The 
end of the preparation is the possession of the full 
and eternal glory of the kingdom of heaven. Al- 
ford remarks, that the theological difficulties here 
' are inherent, not in the Apostle's argument, nor 
even in revelation, but in any consistent belief of 
an omnipotent and omniscient God.' Yet, the va- 
riations between the description of the two classes 
are so marked, as to show that the Apostle dis- 
tinguishes between God's agency in the salvation 
oi the one class and in regard to the destruction 
of the other. Two different words are chosen to 
express the preparation; in this verse we have 
'before,' which is wanting in ver. 22; here 'He' 
is mentioned as preparing the objects of mercy, 
there the indefinite passive is used; here a single 
act (in eternity) is spoken of, there a process, the 
former referring to the beginning of a develop- 
ment, the latter to its result. These differences 
cannot be accidental. 

Ver. 24. Even as, etc. Or, 'as such He also 
called us.' ' Also,' (translated 'even' in the E. 
V.) belongs to the word 'called,' besides prepar- 
ing, He also called. 'As such' brings out the 
sense fully, but is a paraphrase rather than a 
translation. The calling is that of individuals 
through the gospel. — Hot only from among the 
Jews, etc. 'The believing Jew is not called as 
" , because he is a Jew, but from a 

.' (Hengel). There is no preferer 

1. ' How naturally does the Apostle here rc- 
to the main subject of discussion 1 How 



skilfully is the conclusion brought out at which 
he has continually aimed I ' (Hodge.) 

Ver. 25. As he taith also in Host* (ii. ;j). 
The Hebrew text is here followed more closely 
than the Septoagint What has just been said 
of the Gentiles accords with ('as') this proph- 
ecy ; ' also,' probably, suggests that this is a sec- 
ondary (or typical) application of the passage, 

while 'Hosea' refers to the book, as in our 
usage. On Paul's use of the Old Testament, see 
Excursus on Gal. iv. 19-30. Here we may say 
either that the prophecy lays down a general 
principle which is applicable to the calling of 
Gentiles, or that its primary reference was typical 
of this later event. The latter is more accordant 
with Paul's conception of the Old Testament, and 
with the peculiar character of the original proph- 
ecy. —I will call that ray peopls, etc. Thispas- 
sage refers to the fact that the prophet had been 
told (Hos. i. 6, 9I to give to a daughter and a son 
the names Lo-Rvhamak (not having obtained 
mercy) and Lo-Ammi (not my people). The 
former name symbolized the visible deprivation 
of mercy, the latter visible rejection as a peo- 
ple. The Apostle uses the LXX. equivalent of 
these names ('not beloved' for Lo-Rubamah '), 
inverting the order, to emphasize the thought 
'not my people,' which was prominent in nn 
mind. ' I will call ' is substituted for ' I will say 
to,' without altering the sense, for 'calling' here 
means to ' name,' as do the words of the original 
prophecy. But undoubtedly the Apostle in this 
application had in mind the calling of the Gen- 
tiles to salvation. The original reference was to 
the ten tribes, not to the heathen ; but they had 
become idolatrous, and any typical significance of 
the language addressed to them would apply to 
the reception of the Gentiles. 

Ver. 26. And it shall coma to pass, etc This 
is the latter half of Hos. i. 10, which is closely 
connected in thought with the other passage 
The only variation from the LXX. is the strength- 
ening of 'also' into 'there,' a word supplied in 
Italics in the E. V. of the prophecy. — In tha 
place, etc. Some have thought that the prophet 
meant Palestine (Samaria), to which the ten tribes 
returned. This makes Paul's application of this 
part of the prophecy purely typical. Lange, 
more correctly, finds in Hos. L n a proof that 
the expression of the prophet denotes the stay of 
the jews in the Gentile world. Others explain 
the phrase as referring generally to the heathen 
world ; some, as meaning the Christian Church, 
the ideal state, etc. 

Ver. 27. And Isaiah arista normsrning Israel. 
To the prediction of Hosea which is applied to 
the calling of the Gentiles, the Apostle adds an- 
other which presents the other side, namely, that 



was to the return of the Jews from Babylon. 
'Crieth' describes ' the bold declaration of a truth 
very offensive to the people ' (Lange). — Though, 
lit., ' if,' the number, etc The LXX. is followed, 
which varies but slightly from the Hebrew. — 
Band of tha tea, Comp. the promises to Abra- 
ham and Jacob (Gen. xxii. 17; xxxii. 14). — Tha 
remnant. This is the emphatic word, only 'the 
remnant,' mainly with a reference to the call of 
the Gentiles, but probably suggesting the thought 
Of the future salvation of Israel, fully brought out 



'■•; 



Chaps. IX. 6 — X. 2i.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 103 

in chap. xi. — Shall be saved. So the LXX. ren- pretations are all too numerous. While the orig- 

ders the Hebrew word : 'shall return.' Paul, of inal reference was to the Jews in the time of 

course, applies the phrase in the fullest sense. Isaiah, the Apostle here makes a prophecy of 

Ver. 28. This verse presents unusual difficul- of more general validity, applying it to the sad 

ties, both as to the Greek text, the English trans- fact, discussed in this part of the Epistle, that 

lation, and the principle of citation which led the most of the Tews were cut off, but including the 

Apostle to use it — The weight of authority sup- other fact that the remnant should be saved, 

ports the briefer reading, although that reading Both points are closely connected with the great 

can be explained as due to an oversight on the thought of this section, the freedom of God in 

part of a transcriber. The longer reading may be election, and this application does no violence to 

translated thus : ' For he (1. e. t the Lord) is fin- the original sense of the prophecy, 

ishing and cutting short his word in righteous- Ver. 29. And, as Isaiah hath said before, or, 

ness, because a short (lit., cut-short) word will 'beforehand.' The punctuation we adopt, in- 

the Lord execute upon the earth.' This longer volves this explanation of the passage : 'And, 

reading does not vary materially from the LXX. ; even as Isaiah has predicted (so I repeat his 

hence it may have been enlarged to correspond words), Except,' etc. Another view explains : 

with that But the variations from the Hebrew ' And (it is) as Isaiah has predicted.' Tne for- 

are considerable, as may be seen from the fol- mer is preferable, since Paul is thus preparing 

lowing translation : — the way for his own prophetic utterances in chap. 

'Consumption (extirpation) b decided, flowing with right- **• 'Before' can scarcely refer to the place of 

eousnest; the passage m the Book of Isaiah, since this is a 

For a consumption and decree shall the Lord of hosts make, matter of no importance in this connection. The 

In the nudst ol all the land. rendering ' beforehand ' indicates that this was 

The question is whether the LXX. has varied said before the fulfilment — Except the Lord of 

from the meaning of the original prophecy as Sabaoth, etc. The Septuagint version of Is. i. 9 

well as from its form. We think that the LXX., is cited word for word. — Seed. So the LXX. 

especially as here applied by the Apostle, has renders the Hebrew word, meaning 'remnant,' 

preserved most fully the thought of the original which occurs in the original prophecy. This sug- 

prophecy, in fact conveying it to the mind of a gests an idea found in Is. vi. 13 (comp. Ezra ix. 

reader familiar with Greek more clearly than 2), that the remnant should be ' a holy seed.' In 

could have been done by a literal rendering of fact, the Jewish Christians, who escaped the judg- 

the Hebrew. — For is inserted by the Apostle ment which fell on their nation at the destruc- 

to strengthen the connection. — Finishing and tion of Jerusalem, constituted such a seed for the 

cutting short his word, not, 'work,' as in the E. Christian Church. — Became is to be substituted 

V. The Greek word has been rendered ' decree,' for ' been.' — As regards the application made by 

to correspond more closely with the Hebrew, Paul of this prophecy, it will seem all the more 

but this is not its meaning, though the idea of appropriate when the full scope of the original 

such a decree underlies Paul's use of the passage, prediction is considered. ' The prophet with a few 

* Word ' is preferable, u *., a word of promise and ground-strokes gathers up the whole future of the 

threatening (to the remnant and the mass respec- people of Israel. He announces a period of 

tively). Others prefer in view of the reference to judgment as an unavoidable passage way ; then, 

numbers, to translate ' make a reckoning,' instead again, a time of salvation. But the period of 

of 'execute a word,' but it is doubtful whether judgment comprehends in itself all the judgments 

the phrase has this meaning. ' His ' is properly then standing without as yet : every visitation, of 

supplied in English. ' Finishing and cutting which history from that time on knows aught, is 

short ' then refer to the rapid accomplishment of a proof of this word of prophecy, a fulfilment of 

the word uttered by the Lord. This applies, as it Just so is the period of salvation con- 

we think, to both tne threatening and the prom- ceived as the sum-total of all fulfilment in general, 
ise, and that too, whichever reading be accepted, since the complete realization of all God's prom- 
Some have interpreted the whole of God's mercy, ises will bring what will still all the longing and 
of His cutting short judgment But this explan- the thirsting of the human heart from thenceforth 
ation gives to ' righteousness ' the sense of mercy, and forever ' (Dreschler). With this thought of 
Moreover it is foreign to the Hebrew, and quite the rejuvenation of Israel, through a remnant 
inappropriate here, where the Apostle is empha- which is also a germ, the Apostle passes to the 
sizing the fact that only a remnant will be saved, other side of the dark problem, namely, the unbe- 
The fathers had the fantastic notion that the lief of the Jews as the human cause of their reiec- 
' short word ' is * the gospel as an abridged doc- tion. This phase of the subject is introduced in 
trine of salvation, in antithesis to the elaborate- ver. 30, with which, therefore, we begin another 
ness of the Old Testament' Other fanciful inter- section. 



Chapters IX. 30 — X. 21. 

2. Man's Responsibility : the Jews excluded through their own Unbelief. 

For convenience we may divide this passage into two sections : (1.) Chap. ix. 30-33 sets forth the 
fact that the Jews had not attained to righteousness because they rejected God's way of obtaining it, 
namely, by faith. The responsibility for their rejection therefore rests upon themselves. (11.) The 



104 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. IX. 30-33. 

Apostle proceeds to lay emphasis upon this position, by proving that the Old Testament itself pointed 
to Christ as the end of the law, and to faith as the one way and the universal way of salvation ; hence 
the unbelief of the Jews, in spite of the many prophetic warnings, left them without excuse, as a dis- 
obedient and gainsaying people ; chap. x. 1-2 1. 



Chapter IX. 30-33. 
1. The yews excluded through their Unbelief. 

The Gentiles were saved, the Jews failed of salvation (vers. 30, 31), but the latter fact was due to 
their seeking righteousness, not by faith, but as by works (ver. 32) ; they took offence at Christ, 
who is a stone of stumbling to unbelievers, as well as an object of faith (ver. 33). 




Israel, 'which followed 4 after the law of righteousness, * hath *<*-»-. + 

32 not attained to the law of righteousness. 6 Wherefore? Be- 
cause they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works 

of the law. 6 For 7 'they stumbled at that 8 stumblingstone ; 9 ' ^q^^; 

33 As it is written, f \£&!«g* 

'Behold, I lay in Sion 10 a stumblingstone 9 and rock 11 of of- J^SSt! 
ience . p*. a. ^ 7 , 

And 'whosoever 12 believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 18 ^ auu>*.n. 

omit the a who were not following • omit have 

following 

did not come unto that law {the best authorities omit of righteousness) 
as by works (the best authorities omit of the law) 

the best authorities omit For 8 the • stone of stumbling 

Zion u a rock u he who 

8 put to shame 



\ 



Ver. 30. What shall we say then! Precisely neat. The verb is used of laying hold of the 
; in ver. 14, where, however, it introduces an < * ~ 

jection. But when followed by an assertion, 



as in ver. 14, where, however, it introduces an ob- prize in the Grecian games. Here the technical 

"it Christian sense of ' righteousness,' righteousness 




liar 

---.-„„.. . _ — true 

cr), yet with a view to present a new phase of the righteousness, 

subject. What he would say is that 'Gentiles/ Ver. 31. But Israel, following the law of right- 

etc — Gentiles. The article is wanting ; what is eousnest. Lit., ' a law of righteousness,' but re- 

affirmed is true of Gentiles, but not of the Gen- ferring to the Mosaic law. Here, however, it is 

tiles as a whole. — Who were not following after described as a law which affords righteousness. 




pursue was ' ri^hteou: _ ___ 

not mean * justification/ we need not give it here a (comp. chap. x. 4). Others explain the phrase as 

purely ethical sense. For some of the Gentiles ' righteousness of the law/ which is ungrammat- 

had a high ethical ideal which they pursued. But ical, while some, without good reason, explain 

they did not follow this ethical aim with the ' law ' in the general sense of rule. — Did not eome 

thought of attaining a verdict of righteousness be- unto that law. The word ' come unto/ • arrive 

fore God. Conformity to His law was not their at* is here substituted for 'attain ' (ver. 30), and 

ideal of virtue, nor was His judgment the ultimate the best authorities omit ' of righteousness,' which 

ground of acceptance. Thus much we may un- would naturally be inserted by the transcribers, to 

derstand, both from Paul's previous discussions, make the sense more obvious. The omission makes 

and from what follows. — Attained to righteous- impossible that (otherwise objectionable) explaaa* 



Chap. X. 1-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. IC5 

• 

Hon of the verse, which takes ' law ' here as • the is meant is evident from the New Testament appli- 

law of faith, 1 and in the previous clause as ' the cation of the phrase. The figure is very appropri- 

law of Moses.' The better view is : they did not ate to the previous notion of following (vers. 30, 

even arrive at the real inward character of that 31). ' Offence at Christ is culpable ; it is taken, 

law, which they pursued as affording righteous- not given' (Heubner). 

ness. They arrived at the letter, but not at the Ver. 33. Ai it if written, etc. Two passages 
meaning ot the Holy Spirit, for the law, rightly from Isaiah are here combined. — 8tone of stum- 
understood, would have led them to Christ bling, etc. In Is. viii. 14, God Himself is rep- 
Ver. 32. Wherefore 1 Why did they fail to resented as being ' for a stone of stumbling and 
arrive at that law, which they yet pursued as af- for a rock of offence ' to His enemies. — This 
fording righteousness. — Because they sought it was properly applied to the Messiah by the Jews, 
not by faith. The words ' they sought it ' are and to our Lord by the Apostle. But he substi- 
properly supplied in the E. V. 'Had thev started tutes these expressions for similar ones in Is. 
from faith in their striving, they would nave ob- xxviii. 16, where the figure of a corner-stone oc- 
tained in Christianity the realization of their en- curs, applied by both Peter and Paul to Christ, 
deavor ' (Meyer). They would have arrived at This combination is both justifiable and natural, 
the law, in its real sense, and it would have be- In both cases the supreme revelation of Jehovah 
come to them a * law of righteousness.' Comp. in the Messiah is referred to ; in one passage as a 
chap. x. 4. Here the Apostle distinctly asserts sanctuary for His people, but for a stone of stum- 
that the Jews were themselves responsible for bling, etc, to His enemies; in the other as a 
their position, and the general principle which is corner-stone laid in Zion, for a secure foundation, 
involved here, is implied in every other passage — He who believeth on him, etc In chap. x. 1 1 
of Scripture which bears upon the awful problem, this clause is introduced again, but there ' every 
The same principle, or fact, is asserted in those one ' (E. V. incorrectly : 'whosoever ') occurs, 
doctrinal statements which lay the greatest em- which is to be omitted here, according to the best 
phasis upon God's sovereignty ; see Lange, Ro~ authorities. In the LXX. it is not found ; nor 
mans, pp. 329, 330, and comp. Hodge, Shedd, and could it be emphatic here, since the antithesis to 
others in loco. — Bat as by works. The word ' stumbled ' makes ' believeth ' the prominent 
•as ' implies that they imagined they were doing word. — Shall not be put to shame. The Hebrew 
the works of the law, while really they failed to is : ' shall not make haste,' or, ' flee hastily,' with 
do them, because thev did not apprehend the pur- a primary reference to escaping from danger, but 
pose of the law, nor the spirit in which its require- the LXX., from which Paul varies very slightly, 
ments should be met. — They stumbled. 'For 'is gives the meaning with substantial correctness 
properly omitted. Some would join this closely (comp. ' confounded ' in the margin of the E. V.). 
with what precedes : ' Because they sought it not This negative promise is rightly regarded as im- 
by faith, but as by works, they stumbled,' etc. plying a positive blessing. ' As though he had 
But this disturbs the relation to 'wherefore ? ' and said : Because Christ is called the stone of stum- 
is far less striking. — At the stone of stumbling; bling, there is no reason that we should dread 
to which repeated reference is made in Scripture ; Him, for He is appointed for life to believers ' 
see references on ver. 33. That Christ Himself (Calvin). 



Chapter X. 1-21. 
11. Proof that the yews were Excluded through their Unbelief. 

The section may be divided into four paragraphs : — 

The Jews with all their religious zeal failed to recognize (i.) Christ as the end of the law (vers, i- 
4) ; (2.) the gratuitous character of salvation (vers. 5-1 1) ; (3.) the universal character of salvation 
(vers. 12-18) ; and (4.) all of these things together with their rebellion had been prophesied (vers. 
19-21). The last paragraph contains the direct application to the Jews. 'They could not excuse 
themselves by this, that God had not done His part to make humanity know the gospel, or that it 
had not reached them, or that they could not have seen what their conduct in regard to it and God's 
dealings with the Gentiles would be ' (Tholuck). 

The argument is very concise, sometimes obscure, but there is general agreement that the respon- 
sibility of the Jews is proven from the Old Testament Scriptures, which point to salvation in Christ 
as by faith and hence universal, so that unbelief is the ground of rejection. The evangelical purpose 
of the Old Testament is implied throughout, and the Scripture citations assume that ' Christ is the 
end of the law ' (ver. 4) in its typical and prophetical significance. 

The section opens with an expression of Paul's affection for his nation, an echo of chap. ix. 1-5, 
and with his testimony to their religious zeal which, however, did not prevent them from refusing 
Christ and His gratuitous and universal salvation, offered to all who believe. Despite their zeal, 
their unbelief must exclude them. The argument is carried out without any reference to the sup- 
posed conflict with the position taken in chap. ix. 6-29. 



I06 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. 

t "DRETHREN, my heart's desire 1 and prayer* to God for 

2 -D Israel 8 is, that they might be saved.* For I bear them 
record* "that they have a zeal of* God, but not according to* 

3 knowledge. For they, being ignorant of 7 * God's righteous- 
ness, and going about 8 to establish their own 'righteousness, 9 , 
have not submitted themselves unto" the righteousness of, 

4 God. For - Christ is the end of the law for u righteousness to * 
every one that believeth. 

5 For Moses describeth B the righteousness which is of the 
law, 'That the man which doetb those things shall live by' 

6 them. 13 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on 
this wise, 11 'Say not in thine 16 heart, Who shall ascend into/- 

7 heaven? (that is, to bringChrist down/r<7«i above:) 1 * Or, Who 
shall descend into the deep? 17 (that is, to bring up Christ 

8 again 18 from the dead.) But what saith it? 'The word is* 
nigh thee, even 1B in thy mouth, and in thy heart : that is, the 

9 word of faith, which wo preach ; That M * if thou shalt confess * 
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus," and shalt believe in thine 18 
heart that God hath 21 raised him from the dead, thou shalt 

10 be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteous- 
ness ; and with the mouth confession is made 88 unto salvation. 

1 1 For the Scripture saith, ' Whosoever believeth on him shall not ' ■ 
be ashamed. 2 * ; 

1 2 For * there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. : * 
for ' the same Lord over all x ™ is n rich unto all that call upon 

] 3 him. " For whosoever " shall call • upon the name of the Lord 

14 shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they™ 
have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom 
they have not heard? and how shall they hear 'without a/ 

15 preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? 
as it is written, * How beautiful are the feet of them that preach » 
the gospel of peace, and w bring glad tidings of good things ! 

1 the desire (lit-, good pleasure) of my heart * my petition 

* on their behalf {according to the best authorities) 

* is for their salvation * witness * for 

' not knowing ' striving * the best authorities omit righteousness 

'• did not submit themselves to " unto u write th 

" that the man who hath done the righteousness which is of the law shall 
live in it {according to the weight 0/ authority, see notes) 
M the righteousness of faith saith thus ll thy >* omit, from above 

17 abyss 1B omit again ™ omit, even 

" because " Jesus as Lord B omit, hath 

M or man confesseth « put to shame 

M no distinction between Jew and Greek 
n one and the same is Lord of all " and is 

a every one who " omit preach the gospel of peace and (see notes) 



tsts 



Chap. X. 1-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 107 

16 But r they have not all obeyed the gospel. 80 For Esaias 31 saith, r g£f -.^s 

1 7 J Lord, who hath ffl believed our report ? ffl So then faith com- * joh^iu. 38 

18 eth by 88 hearing, and hearing by 8 * the word of God. 35 But I 
say, Have they not heard ? * Yes w verily, 

1 Their sound went * into all the earth, ' Mat t x ^iv. ; 

" And their words unto the ends of the world. JJ : jS* 

19 But I say, Did not Israel 38 know ? First Moses saith, tSiii 1 . 
r I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, 40 * Julio;"** 
And by 41 a " foolish nation I will anger you. v dbut. ' 

20 But Esaias 81 is very bold, and saith, chap.'xi.'u. 

x I was found of them that sought me not ; •* i**- *? v - » ; 

chap. ix. 30. 

I was made 42 manifest unto them that asked not after me. 

21 But to 43 Israel he saith, v All day long I have stretched forth 44 ' i**-i™.a 

my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. 

*° did not all hearken to the glad tidings 81 Isaiah 

IJ /**/., hearing M of 84 through 

w the better authorities read, Christ M Did they not hear 

87 Nay, w went out w Israel not 

40 with Ma/ wA&A is no nation 4I with (omitting, and) 

42 I became 48 with respect to 44 I spread out 



Ver. 1. Brethren. This term of affection, though ing to knowledge. The word often means full 




etc, 1 Cor. ix. 20 ; Gal. iii. 15. — The desire, lit., ligious zeal, which degenerated into blind fanati- 

• good pleasure,' not, 'good will ;' the latter sense asm. But this, we infer from the passage, is 

does not suit the context. ' Desire ' is not exact, better than indifferentism. Where there is some 

yet probably suggests the true sense : the salva- earnestness, there is something to hope for. In 

tion of Israel was the ideal of his heart (Godet). this respect the condition of many in Christian 

A Greek particle occurs here, which implies that lands is less encouraging than that of the Jews in 

this verse presents the first member of a contrast ; Paul's time. 

the corresponding word is not found in what fol- Ver. 3. For they. In vers. 3, 4, we have the 

lows, but the contrasted thought is evidently ex- proof from fact, that their religious zeal was ' not 

according to knowledge.' The thought, however, 
in contrast with ver. 1, as already indicated. — 
Not knowing, or, more exactly, 'Deing ignorant 

joined with ' petition ' (as an incorrect reading in- of ' (as in £. V.), but ' not knowing ' preserves the 

dicates), and not with ' is/ which must be sup- verbal correspondence with ' knowledge,' which 

plied in English (see below). — On their behalf, exists in the original also, and, moreover, it does 

or, ' for them.' The word ' Israel ' is poorly sup- not suggest that the ignorance was excusable, 

ported, and was substituted for ' them,' as an ex- But we need not press the phrase so far as to 

pUmatory gloss, since a church lesson began here, render it ' mistaking,' or, ' overlooking.' — God's 

The correct reading shows the intimate connection righteousness, as throughout the Epistle, 'that 

of thought with the close of chap. ix. — Is for their righteousness which avails before God, which be- 

salTation. 'Is' must be supplied, since the best comes ours in justification' (Alford). — Striving 

authorities omit it. ' Their salvation ' (lit, 'jinto to establish their own. ' Righteousness ' is prob- 
salvation *) expresses 
expands into : ' that 





these two ideas need occasion no difficulty when while ' establish,' or, ' set up,' suggests the pride 

it is remembered that in the New Testament the of their endeavor. — Did not submit themselves, 

combined purpose and purport of prayers are etc. The verb is not passive, but middle ; for 

usually introduced by the word meaning ' in order the former would indicate merely the historical 

that' result, while the latter points to their personal 

Ver. 2. For I bear them witness. The reason guilt, a thought better suited to the context, and 

for his desire and prayer is the fact to which he bringing out the implied contrast with ver. 1. — 

now bears his testimony. — They have a teal for The righteousness of God; here 'conceived of as 

God, 1. *., of which God is the object, not great a divine ordinance, to which one submits one's 

zeal, or, godly zeal. Their zeal was religious, self, through faith' (Meyer), as the context 

conscientious, out misdirected. — Bat not aooord- plainly indicates. 



ioS 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chat. X. 1-1 



Ver. 4. For Christ l» the ad of ths tow. The 

emphatic word is 'end'; its meaning, however, 
is open to discussion. Explanations: (1.) Christ 
is the oijtcl, or aim, of the law. This may be ex- 
panded in two ways : (a.) The end of the law was 
to make men righleous, and this end was aceom- 

flishcd in Christ ; hence the Jews by rejecting 
lim did not submit themselves, etc (*.) The 
end of the law was to lead to Him, hence by 
stumbling at Him, while seeking their own right- 
eousness, they did not submit themselves, etc. 
The two may be combined ; each of them pre- 
serves ihe force of 'for,' as a proof of ver. 3. 
(2.) Christ is the fulfilment of the law. This, 
which is true enough, does not meet the require- 



talors, among them Meyer, who paraphrases : 
' For in Christ the validity of the law has come 
to an end, that righteousness should become the 
portion of every one who believes.' This 'chron- 
ological ' view has much to recommend it, espe- 
cially the fact that there is such a sharp contrast 
made in vera. 5, 6, between the law and Chris!. 
On the other hand we may ask why should Paul 
quote from the law, if it had lost its validity? 
This view, moreover, does not furnish so strong 
a proof of ihe position of ver. 3, as (1.) which is, 
on the whole, the preferable explanation. — Unto 
righteousness to every ona that believeti. If 
'end' is taken in the sense of 'aim,' then 'unto' 
expresses the rtsull ; if it means 'conclusion,' 



(ver. 3). 

Ver. 5. For. Here the Apostle enters upon a 
proof from Ihe Old Testament, of his position 
that the one way of salvation is by faith (vers. 
5-1 1 ). He cites the law against the law as a way 
of obtaining righteousness. Other citations follow, 
' 1 support of similar positions. But thi 



itself, is 



si writeth 



which, to of the tow shall live in it We here 
give a rendering of Ihe text which seems to be 
better established. The critical questions, how- 
ever, are not only numerous, but difficult to de- 
cide. The authority of the Sinaitic manuscript 
has turned the scale in regard to the following 
readings: 'that' to be placed immediately after 
' writeth ; ' ' these things ' to be omitted ; ' in it,' 
referring to 'righteousness,' to be substituted for 
'by (iit., in) them.' The acceptance of these 
changes alters the const luction, as indicated in 
our rendering. The received text conforms more 
closely to the LXX. (Lev. xviii. 5), which is an 
argument against it. In Gal. iit. is, where the 
Apostle quotes the same passage, the variations 
are slight, although 'man' is to be omitted there, 
while it is retained here (as in the LXX.). It will 
appear then that the Apostle interprets the pas- 
sage, instead of citing it directly, and his interpre- 
tation is obviously correct. — ni nun who hath 
dona. The participle sums up the obedience as 
one act, which is the condition of 'living'; the 
starting-point is not faith, but the exact and full 
performance of that which the law requires, which 
the Apostle here terms : the righteousness which 
i) of tho tow. It is implied, but not directly as- 
serted, that no one had thus fulfilled it.— Shall live 
in it, 1. 1., in this righteousness, 'it will be the 



means of salvation and life for him who really 
does the law' (Godet). It has been maintained 
that ' live,' in Lev. xviii. 5, and similar Old Testa* 
ment passages, refers only to temporal prosperity, 
but even the Jewish interpreters included more, 
and certainly ' life ' in the New Testament has an 
exalted meaning. Since the Apostle implies that 
the higher obedience and consequently the higher 
reward were unattainable, it has been urged that 
Moses could not have seemingly proposed any 
such meaning as is here involved. Bat this either 
dwarfs the moral scope of the law, or puts it in a 
false position : for the law, although made by the 

(ewa merely an expression of the condition of a 
egal righteousness, was far more than this ; it led 
to Christ [comp. ver. 4; Gal. iii. 19-15). The 
antithesis between vers. 5 and 6 is relative, not 
absolute. Even the doing and living, so far as 
they became a reality, pointed to Christ, who by 
His vicarious doing and living makes us tax vii 
do. 

Vers. 5-8. The language from ' Say not in thy 
heart' (ver.6) to 'in thy heart' (ver. 8), Is that 
of Moses in DeuL in. 11-14. according to the 
LXX., with variations and interpolated explana- 
tions. The question then arises : How are we to 
understand Paul's use of the passage f The an- 
swers have been: (1.) as an interpretation of the 
deeper sense of the original passage; (a.) as an 
employment of it, but in a new sense ; (j.) as an 
application of the general principle underlying the 
words of Moses. Of these views we decidedly 
prefer the first, urging in favor of it the following 
considerations: (a.) Paul is proving that 'Christ 
is the end of the law for righteousness,' etc If 
that means, as we hold, the aim, or object, of the 
law, then it is natural that the Apostle would use 
the law itself to prove it. (A.) The contrast is 
not between ' the righteousness of faith ' and ' Mo- 
ses,' but between the former and ' the righteous- 
ness which is of the law' (ver. 5), and the correct 
reading only makes this contrast the sharper. 
Hence we may expect to find here what Moses 
writes respecting the righteousness by faith over 
against what he has written of the righteousness of 
the law. But if this is an adaptation or applica- 
tion, the words derive no enforcement from Mo- 
ses. (<-.) As ver. 5 stands in the received text, it 
appears to be a direct verbal citation. But the 
correct reading shows that the words of Moses 
are used in the same free manner both in that 
verse and in vers. 6-8. Hence it cannot be ar- 
gued tbat Paul cites in the one case, and adapts, 
or applies, in the other, {d.) It is unlikely that 
Paul would argue respecting the case of the Jews, 
from their own Scriptures, and give the language 
a meaning that was not, at least, typically involved 
in the primary sense. \e.) This interpretation is 
neither far-fetched nor forced. The words of 
Moses referred to the law, that very law the end 
of which was Christ. When viewed as a thing to 
be done (ver. 5), it did not lead to Christ ; viewed 
as a revelation, intelligible and accessible, leading 
to trust in God then I comp. Dent, xxx.), and more 
fully to faith In the Christ when He had come, the 
words of Moses respecting il had as their deepest 
meaning a reference to Christ : ' if spoken of lit 
law as a manifestation of God in man's heart and 
mouth, much more were they spoken of Him, who 
God manifest in the flesh, the end of the law 



iween the law and (he gospel, and thus accords 



Chap. X. 1-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 109 

with chap. ix. 31 ('did not come unto that law '), various explanations have been given of the varia* 
and with the whole sweep of Paul's argument, tion from the Old Testament language. 'The 
Accepting this view, we extend the application of probable solution of the difference is, that the 
* Moses writeth ' (ver. 5) to the whole passage, ideas beyond the sea and beneath the earth coincide 
'The righteousness which comes from faith is as designations of the realm of the dead* (Lange). 
personified (comp. Heb. xii. 5), so that the fol- — That is, etc. See the similar clause in ver. 6. 
lowing words of Moses, in which Paul recognizes The two verses imply that the Incarnation and 
an aUegorically and typically prophetic description the Resurrection are accomplished facts ; hence 
of this righteousness, appear as its self-descrip- that such questions are forbidden by ' the right- 
tion' (Meyer). On this mode of interpretation, eousness of faith.' But what kind of questions 
see Excursus on Gal. iv. 21-31. The objections are they? simply of unbelief, or also of perplex- 
to the other views will be readily inferred from ity, or of anxiety ? Certainly the fundamental 
what has been said. Both of them grow out of error is one of unbelief, and that in regard to the 
a failure to recognize the true validity of the law main facts here presented (comp. ver. 9). But it 
(and of the Mosaic economy) as leading to Christ, is not necessary to exclude the other views, which 




the principle which underlies the words of Moses, therefore accessible ; plain and simple, and there- 

is in reality a concession to the view we have ad- fore apprehensible — deals with definite historical 

vocated. To deny any such agreement in prin- fact, and therefore certain' (Alford). It is but 

ciple seems to deny honesty to the Apostle's fair to present another view of the whole passage, 

argument. as summed up by Godet : ' All the doing demanded 

For convenience we append a literal rendering from man by the law (ver. 5) and which he can 

of the entire passage (Deut. xxx. n-14) from the accomplish only imperfectly, has been already 

LXX. perfectly accomplished by Christ, whether it has 

to do with the conquest of heaven by holiness, or 

ix. Became this commandment, which I command thee the doing away of condemnation by expiation, 

this day, is not exalted (out of reach), nor is it far from thee. There only remains then to man, in order to be 

is. It is not in the heaven above, saying. Who shall ascend «j. vm j tft m;^ : n *u af wnr lr hv -.nnldna it tn 

for os into the heaven, and bring it to us, and hearing it we f avca » to *•*** m . "** W ?* k u b ? applying It to 

wffl do it? 13. Nor is it beyond the sea, saying, Who shall himself ; and this is that which the righteousness 

pass through to beyond the sea, and may bnng it for us, of faith commands us (ver. 8), after having forbid- 

and may make it heard, and we will do it? 14. Very nigh d en ^ ( vers , 6, 7) to pretend ourselves to open 

&£*."«! ! do fc** m y ' m 7 *"■* y hea ™ ^ close hell. .. . Christ having chared 

Himself with the doing, and having left to us only 

Ver. 6. But the righteousness of faith. (' Which the believing the work of Christ puts an end to 

is* maybe omitted ; the form in the similar expres- the legal regime; that which the Apostle would 

sion of ver. 5 is fuller.) As already indicated, prove (ver. 4).' 

'but' introduces a contrast with the other ' right- > Ver. 8. But what faith it. This is inserted to 

eousness' of doing (ver. 5). The personification is introduce the positive statement of Moses; but 

quite natural. — Smith thus ; not, ' speaketh,' which ' it ' here refers to ' the righteousness of faith ' 

suggests a contrast with ' writeth.' — Say not in thy (ver. 6). — The word is nigh thee, etc. (comp. the 

heart (LXX, defectively; • saying ;'E. V. :' that LXX. as given above). — In thy month, and in 

thou shouldst say.') This phrase is = ' think thy heart. These terms explain how the word is 

not,' but usually suggests an evil thought — Who nigh. As a matter of fact the pious Israelite had 

shall aseend into heaven! 'For us' (LXX.) is the law in his mouth and heart, i. e., to confess 

omitted. This question is thus explained by the and believe, precisely as Paul afterwards explains 

Apostle in his own language, which he substitutes in applying the language to the gospel. Others 

for the clause of design in the Old Testament find in the original passage only a reference to 

passage. Similar clauses are substituted in vers, the familiar accessible character of the law (see 

7,8. — That is, to bring Christ down. 'That is' above). But after all any true grasp of God's 

introduces the explanation, but the whole clause revelation, even in the days of Moses, was gained 

may mean either (1.) 'Whoever asks this' ques- in the way Paul describes. — The word of faith; 




fatter sense agrees best with the view that Paul is Old Testament passage is in accordance with the 

interpreting the passage in Deuteronomy ; the statement of ver. 4. Any nearness of the Old 

former with the other theories respecting nis use Testament ' word ' was due to its leading to 

of it We interpret this clause as referring to Christ, whom the gospel proclaimed as the object 

the Incarnation, the coming down from heaven of faith ; hence to this ' word ' the Old Testament 

of the preexistent and promised Messiah (comp. passage pointed. Some limit the reference to the 

ver. q). Others refer it to the present exalted easy and familiar doctrine of faith, 
position of Christ Ver. 9. Because. The word may mean ' that ' 

Ver. 7. Who shall descend into the abyss 1 (as in £. V.), indicating the purport of the word 

LXX. 'Who shall pass through into beyond preached, but ' because ' is preferable here. We 

the sea ?' The descent of Christ to the realm of have then a proof that 'the word is nigh.' — If 

the dead ' is in any case the undoubted presuppo- then shalt confess with thy month. This is placed 

si tion, which led Paul to substitute the words of first, to correspond with ' in thy mouth' (ver. 8) ; 

our passage for those of the original ' (Meyer), after the proof is completed the order is changed 

The next clause compels us to take this view, but (ver. 10).— Jesus as Lord. There is little doubt 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. X. ML 



that this is the correct explanation. This con- 
fession implies that He has become Incarnate 
(comp. vet. 6 : ' who shall ascend into heaven i ') ; 
fur ' Lord ' is the term applied to Jehovah in the 
l.XX. 'In this appellation is the sum of faith 
and salvation' ( tiengel). -Believo in thy heart 
Comp. 'in thy heartT; ver. 8. 'Heart' is to be 
taken in the wide Biblical sense, and not limited 
to the affections.— That God raised htm, etc This 
answers to the question of ver. 7. Paul always 
gives prominence to this fact of Redemption. 
His example should be followed by all modem 
preachers. — Tboa shall be saved. The requisites 
for salvation, as here stated, are : belief with the 
heart in the Resurrection of Jesus, not as an iso- 
lated historical event, but as involving the pre- 
vious Advent of the Son of God, who is now the 
ascended Lord — and hence confession of Him as 
Lord. 

Ver. 10. Fox with the heart, etc. This is an 
explanation of ver. 9. 'The idea of saltation is 
analyzed ; it comprises two facts : being justified 
and being saved (in the full sense of the word). 
The first fact is specially connected with the 
act of faith, the second with that of confusion' 
(Godet). Here belief comes first, in accordance 
with Christian experience. — Kan balfeveth, lit., 
1 it is believed,' unto righteousness, i. t,, with this 
result, that righteousness is obtained; men are 
accounted righteous when they believe with the 
heart. — And with the mouth confession is made, 
or, ' man confesseth,' lit., ' it is confessed.' The 
impersonal form has the force of a general state- 
ment. The E. V. fails to preserve the correspond- 
ence. We might render r ' faith is exerdsed,* to 
conform with 'confession is made.' — Unto salva- 
tion, with this result, namely, 'salvation'; here 
including, as we hold, aanctification and glory. 
It is not necessary to limit this to the latter. The 
two parallel clauses are closely_ connected. True 
faith always leads to confession ; confession is 
nothing without true faith. Public confession is a 
confirmation of our own faith ; a bond of union 
with others ; an outward pledge to consistent liv- 
ing 1 but above all an act of loyalty to Christ. 

Ver. 11. For the Scripture ssith. Is. xxviii. 
16, already cited in chap. ix. 33. After the ex- 
tended proof that 'Christ is tile end of the law 
unto righteousness to every one that believeth,' 
the passage is introduced again to confirm that 
statement. Strictly sneakJntr. 'for' furnishes a 
proof of the former hal 
etc. The word answering to 'whosoever,* 
literally, 'every one' is not found in the original 



m, but is the theme of the succeeding 
Vers, iz-18. We mark these verses as a separ- 
ate paragraph. In the previous verses the method 
of faith is shown to have been God's way of sal- 
vation in all ages ; here it is declared to be His 
way for all people. It is gratuitous, hence uni- 
versal. This way is open to all (vers, iz, 13) and 
is \o be preached to alf {vers. 14-18). This serves 
to emphasize the responsibility of the Jews for 
their own exclusion. 

Ver. 12. For there It no rUiUnetfon (comp. chap, 
iii. 22) between lew and Greek, i. e., Gentile (comp. 
chap. i. 18 and elsewhere). Proof of the universal 
' whosoever ' {ver. it). — For one and the lame it 
Lord of all ; lit., ' the same is Lord of all.' Other 



constructions have been defended, but the mam 
thought remains unaltered. It seems beat to refer 
this, not to the Father, but to Christ (the eicln. 
sive subject since ver. 4), especially as He is 
termed 'Lord of all ' (Acts 1. 36), arid ver. 9 has 
emphasized the confession of Hun 'as Ixud.' The 
oneness of the Lord is a proof that there Li no 
distinction. — And la rieh 1 shows Himself rich ia 
giving. — Unto alL Toward all the riches of His 
grace may be directed 1 this proves that there ia 
no distinction; but only those are really the re- 
cipients of it, that eall upon Urn, thus proving 
their faith by their invocation of Him, which n a 
confession of Him. ' The true confession of faith 
ia in effect that cry of adoration: Tenia Lord] 
And that cry can be uttered equally "by every hu- 
man heart, Jew or Gentile, without it* having need 
of any law. Behold how the universalism founded 



13. For every ona who. We thus indicate 
the full form of the Greek (differing from that of 



iS'SS 



). The citation is from Joel ii 
Acts ii. 11, where the LXX. is even 
followed. ' For * is inserted, sine* 
is introduced here as a proof of ver. ia. — Shall 
eall upon the name of the Lord, etc The proph- 
ecy refers to ' Jehovah,' but in His final revelation 
of Himself (comp. Acts ii 17 : ' in the last dan'). 
If Christ is meant in ver. la, then this prophecy 



the n 



• His 



Representative and Revealer, and Mediator, whose 
name was now the very specific object of the 
Christian calling on the Lord' (Meyer). When, 
however, this author speaks of this 'calling' at 
not being ' the worshipping absolutely,' but rather 
' worship according to that relativity in the con- 
sciousness of the worshipper, which is conditioned 
by the relation of Christ to the Father,' he is un- 
supported by the records of Christian experience; 
The heart of the believer, calling upon Jesus as 
Ixird, makes a loyal surrender to Hun, and in its 
joyous devotion to the Master, ia not apt to make 
this distinction between absolute and relative wor- 
ship, — a distinction which is not in accordance 
with Biblical monotheism, and is verbal rather 
than real. 

Ver. 14. How they shall call, etc In the case 
of the four verbs : ' shall call,' ' shall believe,' 
'shall hear,' ' shall preach,' the subjunctive (de- 
liberative) form is better supported. "They" 
throughout is indefinite. 'Can' might be substi- 
tuted for 'shall,' but is perhaps too strong. The 
Apostle argues from the cited prophecy (ver. 13) 
the necessity of preachers sent forth in accordance 
with another prophecy (ver. 15], In order by thus 
enforcing the ttuivtTsalti]) of the gospel to show 
more plainly the responsibility of the Jew*. — 0* 
him, etc Here and throughout the reference is 
to Christ — Have not believed; lit., 'did not be- 
lieve,' indicating the beginning of faith ; but Eng- 
lish usage favors 'have believed,' and so in the 
nextclause. — Of whom they have not heard. The 
reference is to hearing Christ through His preach- 
ers, or to hearing the Christ who is preached ; 
since ' of whom ' here cannot be grammatically ex- 
plained as = about wham, — Without * preacher; 
apart from, independently of, one preaching, i. r, 
proclaiming a message as a herald. 

Ver. 15. Except they be sent Sent by Christ is 
implied, Gut the main thought is, sent, ' through the 
word of God' (ver. 17). Commissioned through 



Chap. X. 1-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. I II 

the message they proclaim, as this citation from directly spoken of. The question in the Greek 
Isaiah indicates. — As it is written (Is. lii. 7), points to a negative answer: It cannot be that 
How beautiful, etc. The four oldest manuscripts, they did not hear, = they did hear, though they 




bring glad tidings of good things!* The word is rendered ' nay 

fuller form is that of the LXX., hence is likely to for ' yes, 1 to indicate the relation to the question : 

hare arisen from a desire to conform. The Apos- so far from its being the case that they did not 

tie has also omitted ' upon the mountains,' and hear, the very opposite is true. — Their sound, etc. 

substituted the plural for the singular. (TheE.V. The rest of the verse is taken from Ps. xix. 4 

obscures the parallelism of the original; 'preach (E. V.), in the exact words of the LXX. But it 

the gospel ' and ' bring glad tidings/ represent is not cited as in itself a proof from Scripture ; 

the same word.) The prophecy is undoubtedly for there is no formula of quotation, and the 

Messianic, and, hence, properly applied by the Psalmist is speaking of the universal revelation 

Apostle to the preachers of the gospel. The of God in nature, not in the gospel. The Apos- 

prunary reference to the restoration from exile tie applies the language to the universal preach- 

• derived all its value from being introductory to ing of the gospel, which he affirms. ^ There is, 

that more glorious deliverance to be effected by however, a propriety in this application. ' The 

the Redeemer' (Hodge). The necessity and dig- manifestation of God in nature, is for all His 

nity of the preachers of the gospel, as here set creatures to whom it is made, a pledge of their 

forth, form a solemn warning to all who attempt participation in the clearer and higher revelation* 

to preach without being sent, as well as an en- ( Hengstenberg). That the gospel had actually 

couragement to all, however feeble, who have been preached everywhere is not what the Apos- 

been sent The character of the message is the tie affirms. It had become universal in its scope, 

main test of the preacher's mission. and occupied the central positions of the Roman 

Ver. 16. But, on the contrary, contrasting the world. Its wide extension among the Gentiles 

preaching to all with the limited result, they, in- showed that the Jews could find no excuse for 

definitely used, though the application to the Jews their unbelief in not having heard. Everywhere 

is implied, did not all hearken to the glad tid- there had been opportunity for them to hear. The 

tags. All who heard did not ' hearken/ There verse applies even more strikingly to those in 

is a verbal correspondence in the Greek also, gospel lands. — 'Sound' is the LXX. rendering 

Faith was reauirea ; those who did not believe of the Hebrew ' line, 1 which in the Psalm means 

were those who did not hearken. — For, intra- ' a musical chord.' 

duces the proof that ' not all ' hearkened. — Isaiah Ver. 19. But I say ; as in ver. 18, introducing 

taith (chap. liii. 1). Paul believed that Isaiah a similar question, and another supposed excuse. 

was the author of the entire book. This state of — Did Israel not know 1 This is the direct ap- 

things was foreseen and predicted; was not ac- plication to the Jews, who have been in mind 

cidental, but was recognized in the Divine plan, throughout. The anticipated answer (as the orig- 

— Who believed our report 1 Tbe word 'report ' inal indicates) is a denial of the not-knowing, 1. e. % 

is the same as 'hearing ' in ver. 17; the variation an affirmation that Israel knew. But 'knew ' 

in rendering obscures the argument But it is what? The connection with ver. 18 favors the 

difficult to find a word which will express the ex- explanation : ' knew that the gospel would go 

act sense, namely, ' that which is heard,' almost forth into all the earth.' The prophecies which 

equivalent to that which is preached. In older follow, it is true, prove that the gospel was to 

English the phrases ' a good hearing,' ' a bad pass over from the Jews to the Gentiles. But the 

hearing,' occur in the sense of good and bad news, more general view seems preferable. Meyer : 

It confuses the sense to understand it as what is ' This universal destination of the preaching of 

heard of God (= the word of God), and the act of Christ expressed in ver. 18 must have been known 

hearing is not meant ; comp. Gal. iii. 2. The cita- by the Jews, for long ago Moses and also Isaiah 

tion is quite exact from the LXX., ' Lord ' being in- had prophesied the conversion of the Gentiles, — 

serted. The Messianic reference of the passage Isaiah likewise, the refractory spirit of opposition 

is an ample warrant for the application here made thereto of the Jews (vers. 20, 21). If they had not 

by the Apostle, to unbelief in the Christian preach- known this, there might have been some excuse 

ing. The preaching of the gospel is a duty, for them, as surprised by the event. But there 

whether men hearken or not ; to believe the mes- was not even this palliation. Most of the other 

•age is the necessary condition of really hearkening, views are opposed by the form of the question. — 

Ver. 17. 80 then faith oometh of Wring, 1. e. t First Motes saith. From this point to the close 

from the announcement which is heard. ' The of the chapter we have the direct Scriptural proof, 

heard preaching of the gospel brings about in that the Jews ought not to have been in igno- 

men's minds faith in Christ' (Meyer). — And hear- ranee. The universality had been announced to 

ing through the word of Christ The weight of Abraham, but Moses was the 'first' to write of 

authority favors the substitution of ' Christ ' for this ; others, among them Isaiah, repeated the 

' God.' ' ' Word ' is literally ' saying,' and probably prophecy. — I will provoke you, etc The citation 

means command or order, taking up again the idea is quite exact, from the LXX. of Deut. xxxii. 21. 

of the verb, 'except they be sent '(ver. 1 5). Thus 'You' is substituted for 'them.' — With that 




sponsibility of the Jews. ' aroused on -account of and directed against a. 
Ver. 18. But I say. ttie strongly adversative " no-nation." ' ' No-people ' (comp. chap. ix. 25) is 
•but * introduces the answer to a possible objec- the meaning of the Hebrew. —With a foolish na- 
tion, in excuse of the unbelief spoken of in ver. tion, one without understanding, idolatrous, I will 
16. — Did they not heart ' They,' #. e. t those who anger you, or, 'e/tcite you to anger.* The use 
did not hearken ; the Jews are meant, but not yet made by the Apostle of this prophecy is very apt. 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XI. i-io. 






'Moses prophetically assumes the departure of 
Israel from God, and His rejection of them, and 
denounces from God that, as they had moved 
Him to jealousy with their "no-gods" (idols) 
and provoked Him to anger by their vanities, — 
so He would, by receiving into Hit favor a " no- 
nation " make them jealous, and provoke them 
to anger by adopting instead of them a foolish 
nation ' (Afford). The application of the original 
prophecy need not be confined to the Canaanitcs. 
Ver. so. But (introducing another prophet) 
Isaiah it very bold and islth. ' But Isaiah even 
ventures to say' (Lange), or, be is emboldened, 
and hence he says. — I was fraud of them, etc. 
Is. iiv. i. is here cited, with transposed clauses ; 
otherwise quite closely after the LXX., which 
chances 'I was sought' (Hebrew) into 'I was 
found,' but quite in accordance with the original 
prophecy. That Paul understood the original 
prophecy as referring to the Gentiles must be 
maintained by all who admit his logical acuteness, 
and oE course by those who accept his authority 
as an inspired Apostle. But many apply the 
words of Isaiah to the Jews, a view which is op- 
posed by the rest of the verse (Is.Uv. I : 'I said, 
behold me, behold me, unto a nation that wis not 
called by my name '), since the privilege of being 



called by the name of Jehovah was ever cherished 
by the ancient Jews and the word ' nation ' is that 
used of Gentiles. 

Ver. 31. But with iwpMt to land; not 'to,' 
nor yet, ' against' The contrast is between ' Is- 

I 1 ami tfkm ti 



LXX. is slightly changed in the citation. 'Spread 
out,' as one who invites to his embrace, or, even 
supplicates ; this God is represented as doing with- 
out intermission, ' the whole day.' — A dlooBwiiort 
and gainsaying people. So the LXX., but the 
Hebrew is simply 'a rebellious people.' Prob- 
ably 'disobedient' presents the positive, and 
'gainsaying' the negative side of the rebellious 
conduct ; or rebellion is distinguished into refin- 
ing God's commands and contradicting His words, 
disobedience and unbelief, acting and reacting 
upon each other continually. Habitual and con- 
tinuous conduct is indicated by the form of the 
Greek. Thus the discussion of the responsibuitv 
of the Jews end* : God offered them the gospel, 
but i hey would not accept. The universality of 
the gospel implied the one way of faith ; want of 
faith was the rejection of the universal gospel. 



The Prospective Solution : (i.) The Rejection op Israel is not Total ; v 
(it.) It is not Final; vers. 11-36. 



•• 



Chapter XI. i-io. 

1. The Rejection of Israel is not Total. 

This section opens with the question ('Did God cast off His people?'), which the whole chapter 
answers in the negative, and which Paul discusses with a feeling both patriotic and religious (ver. \\ 
The historical fact in the days of Elijah (vers. 2-4) shows tbat, now as then, when all seem to have 
rejected Jehovah, He stilt has a remnant according to the election of grace (ver. 5), not of world 
(ver. 6). At the same time the many were rejected (ver. 7), in accordance with the predictions ol 
Isaiah (ver. S) and David (vers. 9, 10). 

i T SAY then, " Hath God cast away ' his people ? God for- - J.'te* 
J- bid. 8 For *I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, j&jjjjf , 

2 of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away 8 his people * L'jphiLs 
which 'he foreknew. Wot 4 ye not what the Scripture saith of , ft» P .«.,. 
Elias? 5 how he maketh intercession to 8 God against Israel, d^iSa* 

3 saying, 7 *Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and 8 digged, "*;£;& 
down thine altars ; and I am left alone, 9 and 'they seek my/c«p. iin 

4 life. But what saith 'the answer of God 10 unto him? 'I BattB. ■». 
have reserved 11 to myself seven thousand men, who have not «J 33. 

> Did God cast off a Let it never be » did not cast off ' iKn.oa.ia 

* Or know • in the story of Elijah * pleadetb with 
1 the best authorities omit saying ■ they have {omitting and) 

• or the only one w the divine response " left remaining 



Chap. XL i-io.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 113 

5 bowed ia the knee to the image of Baal™ h Even so then at M this * o»p-«- a 7 
present time also there is ^ a remnant according to the election 

6 of grace. And ' if 16 by grace, then is it no more 17 of works : « c !^ iv v * * 
otherwise grace is no more 18 grace. But 19 if it be of works, p 6 * Deut - 

**• 4» 5* 

then is it no more grace : otherwise work is no more work. * J^*P; £• 

7 What then? * Israel hath not obtained that which he seek-'^g:^ 
eth for; 20 but the election hath 21 obtained it, and the rest g^lFfo 

8 were 'blinded 22 (» According as it is written, m God hath 21 J^J*£g: 
given them the spirit of slumber, 24 "eyes that they should not *DiuT.xxix 
see, and ears that they should not hear;) 26 unto this 26 day. Jer.T.«; 95 

9 And David saith, Matt^xSi. 

Let their table be made w a snare, and a trap, iS.'^; Acts 

And a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them : * p»a. box. 

10 p Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, * PsA.ixk. 
And bow down their back ** alway. 

12 never bowed M to Baal u in u ///., has become 

16 Now if it is w no longer w or no longer becometh 

19 the best authorities omit the remainder of the verse: But if ... . work 
m That which Israel is seeking for, he obtained not u omit hath 

22 hardened ; n omit parenthesis ** gave them a spirit of stupor 

26 substitute (,) for ( ;) and omit parenthesis w this present 

27 become * their back do then bow down 

Vcr. 1. I say then. ' Then ' introduces the himself as an Israelite* (Alford). But this, how- 
question as a plausible, but incorrect, inference ever well suited to the thought of the next sec- 
from the entire previous discussion; especially, tion, does not suit the immediate context. As 
however, from the Scriptural proof of vers. 19-21. between (1.) and (2.), the latter is tenable, if the 
— Did God cast off hit people 1 'Cast off' is theocratic idea is included, but the former is on 
preferable to ' cast away ; ' comp. Ps. xciv. 14. the whole preferable. Weizsacker well suggests 
' The divine act of casting off from Himself is not that such an argument proves that the Roman 
viewed as the cause (against this is chap. x. 21), congregation included no large Jewish element 
but as the penal consequence, of the disdaining — Of the teed of Abraham ; to whom the cove- 
God's loving will' (Meyer). ' His people ' refers nant promise was first made. — Of the tribe of 
to the Jewish nation, and the phrase itself ' con- Benjamin ,* comp. Phil. iii. 5 ; this tribe with Judah 
tains the reason for the denial' (Bengel). Some made up the nation of Israel after the captivity. 
however find here, as in ver. 2, an exclusive refer- This does not exclude the patriotic feeling, which 
ence to the elect among the Jews. So Hodge : has appeared throughout the whole discussion. 
* The rejection of the Jews as a nation was con- Ver. 2. His people whom he foreknew. Here, 
sistent with all that God had promised to their too, the reference is to the nation, and not to the 
fathers. Those promises did not secure the sal- spiritual remnant, the elect. If the latter part of 
vation of all Jews, or of the Jews as a nation.' the chapter were wanting, this might be the sense. 
This view is objectionable on many accounts : it The phrase ' which He foreknew ' need not be 
removes the discussion from the historical point of taken in its individual reference, as in chap. viii. 
view to a strictly theological one ; it proposes a 36, where a plural pronoun is joined with the 
less natural inference ; it uses ' people ' in a dif- verb. To limit it to those electee! is not only con- 
ferent sense from that of the preceding verse, and trary to the sweep of the argument, but to the his- 
is less suited to the entire discussion than the torical position of the theocratic nation : a fore- 
other view. See further on ver. 2. — For I also, knowledge resulting in such theocratic privilege 
etc. The indignant denial is followed by this is as consistent with the tenor of Scripture as the 
proof from the Apostle's descent. But wnat is more individual reference. — Or know ye not. 
the nature of this proof ? Three views are held : 'Or' introduces a new answer to the question 
(1.) He is one among many examples ('also ') that (comp. chaps, vi. 3 ; ix. 21), namely, the historical 
God had not entirely rejected His people. This case from the Scripture. — In the story of Elijah ; 
is the common one. (2.) His patriotic feeling lit, in Elijah;' comp. Mark xii. 26: 'at the 
leads him to deny this indignantly ; the proof of Bush,' the passage treating of that occurrence, 
his denial follows in vers. 2, etc. This is favored 'Of Elias ' (E. V.) is inaccurate. This method 
by the detailed reference to his descent. (3. ) The of reference is common in Philo and in Rabbini 
restoration of Israel as a nation is so prominent, cal authors ; some instances occur in the classics 
that ' if such a hypothesis were to be conceded, it The occasion was after the fast of the prophet at 
would exclude from God's kingdom the writer Horeb (1 Kings xix). — How he pleadeth with 

VOL. III. 8 



U4 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XL i-jo. 



God against Israel. This is the object of ■ do ye 
not know.' 'Pleading against' is equivalent to 
complaining of. ' Saying ' is an unnecessary ad- 
dition, supported by few authorities. 

Ver. 3. Lord, they havs killed, etc This verse 
is freely cited from the LXX. ; I Kings xix. 10 
(ver. 14 is a repetition of ver. to). The two 
clauses are transposed. — Thsy have digged down. 
1 And ' is poorly supported. — Thine altar*. The 

E'ural points to the altars as the high places in the 
ngdom of Israel where Elijah lived. Although 
it was originally forbidden to erect such altars, 
they became the only places in Israel where Jeho- 
vah was publicly worshipped. Hence in the time 
of Elijah neglect of these was really neglect of 
worship. — I am left alone, or, 'the only one.' 
The latter rendering corresponds better with the 
LXX., but is somewhat stronger than Paul's cita- 
tion. The language of Elijah meant that he was 
the only prophet left 1 while the transposition of 
the clauses suggests here the further notion : I 
am the only true worshipper of Jehovah. It is 
not necessary to suppose that the Apostle has 
departed from the original sense. — They seek my 
Ufe. See 1 Kings xix. 1.2. 

Ver. 4. But what earth the divine response. 
The word answering to 'divine response ' occurs 
only here in the New Testament, But in a num- 
ber of cases (see marginal references) the cognate 
verb occurs, and is usually rendered 'warned of 
God.' The meaning here is obvious ; but the noun 
first had the sense of 'business,' the formal audi- 
ence given to an ambassador, then a response 
from an oracle ; this was not the classical sense, 
but occurs in 2 Matx.fi. 4 j xi. 17. — I nave left 
is;, etc The citation is from 1 Kings lit. 
d varies, though not materially, from both 
the Hebrew and (he LXX. The mistake of the 
latter in reading the verb is corrected by the 
Apostle. ' Reserved ' is inexact ; ' left ' is bald : 
• left remaining ' brings out the thought that these 
had not been 'killedMver. 3). — To rajeelf ; this 
addition of the Apostle fairly presents the sense 
of the original: 'as my possession and for my 
service, over against the idolatrous abomination' 
(Meyer). — Seven thousand men. Probably a defi- 
nite expression for an indefinite number; 'seven' 
need not be regarded as significant. — Who; of 
such a kind as, emphasizing the faithful character 
of the men ; the Hebrew shows that these were 
all that remained faithful. — Hover bowed the 
knee; on any occasion. — To Baal, The feminine 
article is used by Paul, while the LXX. has the 
masculine article. Explanations : (1.) An ellip- 
sis, hence the rendering ' to the image of Baal.' 
The fact that the LXX. sometimes uses the fem- 
inine article with the name of the false deity, ren- 
ders this improbable, and this sense would re- 
quire a second article with Baal. (2.) This hea- 
then deity was conceived of as of both sexes 
(androgynous). This is quite probable, but not 
historically proven. It should be observed, how- 



e regard the f 
it; but this .. 
' Baal ' (signifying lord, ruler) ' 
Bun-god, representing the active generative prin- 
ciple in nature. The greatest idolatrous apostasy 
among the Israelites was to the worship of this 
Phoenician deity, and the name occurs in the Old 
Testament history from the time of Moses to that 
of Jeremiah. 



Ver. J- iTen so then, or, 'thus therefore;' in 
accordance with this historical fact which indi- 
cates (' therefore ') a permanent principle. In this 
present time alee, as well as fat the simitar ancient 
times, there 1* (more exactly, ' has become,' and 
still exults) a remnant, a small number out of the 
mass j and this ' remnant ' has become and re- 
mains such, according to the election of grass. 
This phrase is to be joined, not with the noun, but 
with the verb (as above indicated). Here the 
reference is not national, but individual, a* in 
chap, it This view is further sustained by ver. 
6, and by the obvious opposition to Jewish pride of 



works : the election has its 
Ver. 6. How if it is by gi 



source in God's grace. 



r?!> • 



... negatively,' 
world. Here the individual reference i 
•No longer' is logical, not temporal; 'works' 
are entirely excluded in this matter of the rem- 
nant existing according to the election of grace, 
— Otherwise ; ' since in that case,' in case it were 
of works, grace no longer beeometh grace. ' Be- 
coraeth ' is not only more literal than 'is,' bat 
suggests as the more exact sense that in such a 
case grace would fail to show itself as what it is; 
' positively expressed r it becomes what according 
to its essence it it not ; it gives np its specific 
character' (Meyer). The emphasis placed at this 
point on the doctrine of free grace is doubtless to 
prepare for what follows: the reference to the many 
rejected (vers. 7-10), as well as the statement of 
the final solution (vers. 11-32}, are based on the 
sovereignty of God in His dealings. — The latter 
half of the verse is found in but one of the more 
ancient manuscripts (B), though it is added by a 
late corrector in the Sinairjc Codex. Critical 
judgment has recently become more decidedly 
against the genuineness of the passage. In addi- 
tion to the authorities which omit it, the varia- 
tions of those containing it oppose its retention. 
If retained it must be regarded as an antithetical 
repetition of the same thought, since the attempts 
to discover an additional argument have been 
futile (comp. the far-fetched views of Lange, 
Wordsworth, and others). 

Ver. 7. What than) The inference from vers. 
5, 6, is introduced by this question. — That whieh 
Israel (as a mass) is seeking- far, now as former- 
ly ; chaps. Ix.311 x. 3 show that 'righteousness' 
is the object sought. Zealous searching is not 
necessarily indicated here. — Ha obtained not ; did 
not attain unto ; the idea of not finding is not 
suggested. The connection with vers. 5 and 6 
shows that this took place, because the mass of 
the nation sought the end 'as of works* (chap, 
ix. 32), a method opposed to 'grace.' — Bnt the 
election ('the remnant,' abstractly and vivaciously 
termed ' the election,' rather than ' the elect ') ob- 
tained it — And the rest were hardened. ' Blind- 
ed ' is incorrect. The word denotes in its primary 
meaning : ' to deprive an organ of its natural sen- 
sibility ; in the moral : to take from the heart the 
faculty of being touched by what is good or divine. 



agency* (Godet). Comp. on chap. ix. 18. God's 
agency is undoubtedly indicated here (comp. vera. 



Chap. XI. u-36.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 1 15 

8-10), but nowhere is this spoken of in a way that a Messianic fulfilment, and justifies the Apostle's 

implies a lessening of human responsibility. The application of the passage. The imprecations of 

parenthesis of the E. V. is unnecessary. It is de- the Psalm ' are to be considered as the language of 

signed to connect this clause with the last one of an ideal person, representing the whole class of 

ver. 8. righteous sufferers, and particularly Him who, 

Ver. 8. According as it if written. The Scrip- though He prayed for His murderers while dying 

tore passages are cited here, because they set (Luke xxiii. 34), had before applied the words of 

forth the principle of divine action, underlying the this very passage to the unbelieving Jews (Matt, 

statement of ver. 7 : ' the rest were hardened,' xxiii. 38), as Paul did afterwards ' (J. A. Alexan- 

what had occurred in Old Testament times was der). — Let their table. In the Psalm the ' table ' 

not only analogous, but pointed to this punish- represents the material enjoyments of life ; here 

ment of the Tews, the agreement being ' that of it is referred by some to the law, or to the pre- 

prophecy ana fulfilment according to the divine sumptuous confidence the Jews had in it ; but it 

theology' (Meyer). — He gave them a spirit of is not necessary to define it so closely. — Become 

stupor. The citation is made freely from Is. xxix. a snare ; be turned into this. — And a trap. ' The 

10 (LXX.). 'Stupor' (a word found only here) word more usually signified "a hunt," or the act 

meant first the numbness produced by stupefying of taking or catching, — but here a net % the instru- 

wine, the corresponding verb being applied to the ment of capture. It is not in the Hebrew nor in 

paralyzing from astonishment or grief. — Eyes the Septuagint, and is perhaps inserted by the 

that they should not see, etc. This part of the Apostle to give emphasis by the accumulation of 

verse is from Deut xxix. 4, freely cited, and joined synonymes ( Alford). — And a stumbling block, 

by the Apostle to the preceding as an explana- This phrase follows the next one in the LXX. 

turn ; the connection in the original passage being The reference to hunting probably led to the 

also with ' He gave.' Others find here a further transposition. — A recompense unto them. Here 

combination with Is. vi. 9, but this is less likely, the Apostle varies slightly from the form of the 

The clauses 'that they should not see,' 'that they LXX , which preserves the sense, but not the 

should not hear,' express the purpose of the giv- figure of the Hebrew. In fact this phrase is an 

ing. — Unto this p r es en t day is a strengthening of interpretation of the entire verse. ' While they 

the words of Deut xxix. 24, and should be joined think they are consuming the spoils of their earthly 

with what immediately precedes. The fact that sense, they become themselves a spoil to every 

Isaiah repeats substantially what Moses previously form of retribution ' (Lange). 

said, justifies the application of this principle to Ver. 10. Let their eyes be darkened, etc The 

the attitude of the mass of the Jews in the Apos- reference is not to old age, but to some more sud- 

tle's day. Clearly then God punishes men by den blinding. This verse explains the 'recom- 

giving tnem over to spiritual insensibility. pensc ' of ver. 9. Spiritual blindness is one form 

Ver. 9. And David faith. The citation is from of the punishment — Their back do thou bow 
Ps. lxix. 22, 23, which is attributed to David, in down alway. The Hebrew means : ' make their 
the heading as well as by Paul. Many argue that loins to waver, 1 but the LXX., here followed 
some parts of the Psalm point to a date after the closely, presents the same thought under another 
captivity. But the references to the house of figure. Present loss of strength is meant, repre- 
God (ver. 9), the description of the opposers (ver. senting spiritual servitude, under the yoke of le- 
8), and other passages, seem to prove that the galism, rather than that of Roman conquerors. — 
date was much earlier. The Psalm is a portrayal Meyer thinks the retribution is for want of faith 
of the sufferings of the Servant of Jehovah at the in Christ ; Godet, with more reason, says : ' the re- 
hands of spiritual foes, rather than of the sorrows jection of Jesus by the Jews was the effect, not 
of the exiled Jews. The latter reference gives to the cause of the hardening. The cause — Paul 
the imprecations a national and personal charac- has said clearly enough (chap. ix. 31-33) — was 
ter which seems revolting. The former points to the obstinacy of their own righteousness. 



Chapter XI. u-36. 
11. The Rejection of Israel is not Final. 

In this section is presented the prospective solution of the great historical problem, discussed in 
this part of the Epistle. Here Paul becomes a prophet ; revealing that the rejection of Israel is not 
final, since the chosen people will be restored. 

The section naturally falls into four paragraphs : (i.) The present hardening of so many of the 
Jews will not result in the final rejection of the nation, but will accomplish two ends : first, the con- 
version of the Gentiles, and secondly their own restoration, to be ' life from the dead ' ; vers. n-15. ( 2. ) 
In view of this the Gentiles should not exalt themselves over the Jews, since the restoration of the 
latter to spiritual blessings is an event both desirable and probable ; vers. 16-24. (3.) The Apostle 
makes known, by revelation, the final conversion of Israel, showing that this is in accordance with 
prophecy, and with the general principles which underlie God's dealings with men ; vers. 25-32. 






* i 



110 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [CHAP. XI. 11-36 

(4-) The thought of vex. 31 leads to a doiology, which forms the climax of the Epistle ; vers. 33-36, 
This doxology forms an appropriate conclusion, first to this section, then to the discussion of chaps. 
U.-11 , and, finally, to the entire doctrinal part of the Epistle. 

11 T SAY then, Have they stumbled 1 thai they should fall? 

J. God forbid: 3 but father "through their fall 8 salvation " -Ac S'£-« 6! 
come unto the Gentiles, for to 4 provoke them to jealousy." S= , * , * ,i 

12 Now if the fall of them be 6 the riches of the world, and the f*!^*- 
diminishing of them 7 the riches of the Gentiles; how much ™"* :J * 

13 more their fulness? For 8 I speak* to you Gentiles, 10 inas- * ^*.?;!!j : 
much n as * I am the apostle of the Gentiles," I magnify mine £: iJf&j. 

14 office : ,s If by any means u I may provoke to emulation them Lj^tfr 

15 which are' my flesh, 1 " and * might save some of them. For if r™%.\; 
the casting away of them fV lfl the reconciling " of the world, t Cawetap' 
what sliall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead ? rfidw.* 

16 For 18 if "the firstfruit be n holy, the lump ij also holy: y9 and Ifi£.'£' 

17 if the root be 1B 'holy, so are** the branches. And 21 if "some »■*>■ „ 
of the branches be 22 broken off, *and thou, being a wild olive ™! »■• 
tree, 23 wert grafted 2 * in among them, and with them paitak- rc *£ 

18 est 25 of the root and 28 fatness of the olive tree; 'Boast not -jJj'ItrfJ 
against 27 the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not* £3^^ 

19 the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then. The branch- ,- ,'c«. 1. ,». 

20 es " were broken off, that I might be grafted w in. Well ; be- 
cause of 30 unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by 

21 faith. 31 *Be not highminded, but 'fear: For if God spared not U-.'m^ 
the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not ** thee. 1 Pn£S.i'ii. 

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them *\m\.%. 
which " fell, severity ; but toward M thee, goodness,* 5 ■ if thou « ■ c«. «& 
continue in his goodness: otherwise "thou also shalt be cut ^j*- 

23 off. And they also, °if they abide not still 89 in unbelief, 3T *■ Ct,, ■' ii -■*' 
* shall be graffed M in : for God is able to graft M them in again. * Vtr - *• 

1 Did they stumble a Let it never be * but by their trespass 

I in order to B emulation (camp. vtr. 14) • if their trespass is 

* their diminishing 8 But {according to the best authorities) 

• am speaking >* substitute (:) for (,) 

II the best authorities insert then " ///., apostle of Gentiles 
'* glorify my ministry " if haply 

11 my own flesh {omitting them which are) " is " reconciliation 

" Moreover " so also is the lump * so also are 

" But "* were a omit tree 

M wast grafted 2S and became fellow partaker 

*■ of the {according to the better authorities) " or exult not over 

M Branches {the best authorities omit the) a grafted 

10 by their " thou by thy faith standest 

w he will also not spare {according to the best authorities) ■ that 

"on ** God's goodness {according to -the best authorities) 

" their unbelief * graft 



Chap. XI. 1 1-36.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 117 

24 For if thou wert 89 cut out of the olive tree which is wild by ' f°^?\ C Q^[ 
nature, 40 and wert grafted 24 contrary to nature into a good Jci.'-jy.' 
olive tree ; how much more shall these, which be 41 the natural | 3 The88, iv * 
tranches, be grafted a into their own olive tree ? r S^S J :h , ap ' 

25 For I would not, brethren, «that ye should be 42 ignorant of to\'^\. 
this r mystery, lest ye should 48 be * wise in your own conceits,, fcLJ^K" 
that 'blindness 44 in part is happened 46 to Israel, "until the ful-/ see rcf*. in 

26 ness of the Gentiles be come in. 46 And so 47 all Israel shall be« Liie'xri. 
saved: as it is written, — vu.' 9 . 

• There shall come out of Sion ** the Deliverer, *« ; see Pa. 

XIV. 7. 

And 49 shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob : w 1sa - " v ». 

Jo J 9 ; jer. xxxi. 

27 For 60 this is my covenant unto them, iieSwi.8- 
•"when I shall take away their sins. *De , ut.vii.8; 

28 As concerning 61 the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes :^ Nu^.^xSu. 
but as touching the election, they are 'beloved for the fathers' t g^h.u.2; 

20 sakes. For the gifts and 62 calling of God are v without repent- * cwfo 7 **; 

30 ance. For as ye 'in times past have not believed 68 God, yet s Ps.'xnvi?6. 

31 have now obtained mercy through their unbelief. 64 Even so' ilSi';. 
have these also now not believed, 66 that through your mercy 66 jobxv.'sf' 

32 they also may 67 obtain mercy. For a God hath concluded them i8;i cor. 
all in unbelief, 68 that he might have mercy upon all. * Job ium. 



23. 



33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom 60 and knowl-ZJoBxU. m 

•'*' * comp. Job 

edge of God ! 6 how unsearchable are his judgments, and c his ^g^ 7 ;-. 

34 ways past finding out ! w d For who hath known the mind of ^coi.L 

35 the Lord? or e who hath been his counsellor? Or 7 who hath* p* 1 ^*^. 
first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again ? JgT'neb." 

36 For 9 of him, and through him, and to 61 him, are all things : pet.V.M 1 ; 
* to whom be glory ra for ever. Amen. JsVjude . 

35 ; Rev. i. 

» wast *> that which by nature is a wild olive 41 omit which be *• 

4J have you u may 44 hardening a hath happened in part 

46 substitute (;) for (.) 4T And thus 48 Zion 

• He (the best authorities omit and) M And w touching 

M insert the M ye once were disobedient to 

M by the disobedience of these 

** So also have these now been disobedient 

M by the mercy shown to you (//'/., your mercy) 

17 may now (according to the best authorities) 

** God shut up all unto disobedience *° and wisdom 

60 and untraceable his ways ! w unto M to him be the glory 



Ver. 11. I say then. Comp. ver. 1. This in- was the final fall (*. *., eternal destruction) of 

traduces a possible, but incorrect, inference from the nation. The first ' they ' refers to the unbe- 

▼er. 7 ('the rest were hardened 1 ). — Did they lieving mass of the nation, but the second evi- 

itamfcU that they should falL The form of the dently applies to them as representing the na« 

question points to a negative answer. The fact tion as a whole. As individuals they both stum- 

of stumbling is not, however, denied, since that bled and fell, but the design was not that the na- 

has been affirmed in chap. xi. 32, 33, nor yet the tion should fall. This view alone accords with 

existence of a divine purpose (' that * = in order the close of the chapter. — But by their trespass, 

that) in connection with that fact, but as the con- The word ' fall ' suggests a correspondence with 

text shows, the Apostle denies that this purpose the verb ' should fall, whereas the reference is to 



n8 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XI. 11-36, 






At (he same time 'trespass'is not inasmuch,' eic. But ' then ' opposes this view. — 

,_... itisfactorv. — BalYntion, etc. This tn the I am, etc 'I' is emphalk here. — I glorify at* 

historical fact, and this fact had as its purpose : ministry ; 1. 1., his ministry to the Gentiles- * Glo- 

to provoke thorn to emulation (as in ver. 14). The rify ' is not = praise, or, magnify ; the meaning 

salvation of the Gentiles was therefore the im- is, by faithfully discharging the duties of this tpe- 

medtate purpose, but there was a further design, cific ministry he could do honor to it. The ong- 

namely, bringing about the final salvation of the inal suggests that there is another phase of the 

Jews by stirring them up to emulation, or, seal subject, which is stated (though not in exact cor- 

(' jealousy' has a bad sense not implied in the relation) in the neat verse. 

original). This twofold purpose forms the theme Ver. 14. If haply. Comp. chap. i. 10. The 

of the whole section. faithful discharge of his duty to the Gentiles had 

Ver. 13. Vow if theiT trespass is, etc. 'If this as its /aumpitd result. — My own flash; 

is logical, not conditional ; ver. 1 1 has stated the comp. chap. ix. 3. — Save soma of them, i. 1., of 

fact here assumed. — Their flhaJafatog The the Jews. Notice the modesty of the expression, 

word rendered 'diminishing' means, becoming in- which, however, recalls Paul's ill-success among 

fcrior, suffering defeat. It has here a numerical his own countrymen. This tone opposes theview 

sense : the reduction in number of the Jewish that he is here apologizing for the mention of the 

people, ' inasmuch, namely, as the unbelieving Gentiles. 



portion by its unbelief practically seceded from 
the people of God ' (Meyer). But the idea of a 
defeat is not necessarily suggested. The contrast 
with ' fulness ' opposes the sense of ' impoverish, 
ment,' or 'degradation; ' while the common ex- 
planalion : ' the minority of them,' is objectiona- 
1 both lexical and grammatical grounds. 



Ver. 15. For introduces the reason for vers. 
13, 14 ; his labor was in view of the more blessed 
results indicated in the close of this verse. — lbs 
fisting sway of them, i. t., the exclusion of the 
Jews through their unbelief, analogous to, bat not 
precisely identical with, ' diminishing ' (ver. 13). 

Is the reconciliation of the world. Their w 



The fact that the nation, regarded as the people belief occasioned the preaching of ' recondlia.- 

of God, had been thus reduced proved to be the tion' (comp. chap. v. u) to the Gentiles; many 

riches of the Gentiles, i. e., thus the Gentile na- Gentiles were actually reconciled to God, and this 

tions were enriched through the Gospel preached was the token of the design and adaptation of the 

to them. This is parallel to the previous phrase. Gospel for the whole world. — What shall the re- 

'the riches of the world.' — How much mors their earring of them be. The reception to salvation 

fnlnesi. 'Fulness' has three senses: (i.) that of the Jewish nation as a whole ; comp. ver. n, 

with which anything is filled ; (2.) that which is where the numerical phase of the comparison is 

filled, the state of fulness ; (3.) the act of tilling, brought out. That they would be thus received, 

The first sense is most common, and is to be ac- is the leading thought of the entire chapter.— Bat 

cepted here in the numerical sense (comp. ver. (lit., 'if not') life from too dead. Evidently the 

25): that which fills up the nation to complete- Apostle has in mind something beyond 'the recon- 

ness. If the diminution of Israel through unbe- ciliation of the world,' some greater blessing than 

lief had such a blessed result, how much more the gradual conversion of the Gentiles through the 

their full number when they as a nation become gospel, and this he terms ' life from the dead. Ex- 

believers. Some find here their full restoration planations : (1.) The literal view; the resurrection 

or blessedness, contrasted with their impoverish- from the dead will follow the conversion of Israel, 

ment ('diminishing'). But this leaves out of This view has been held by many commentators, 

view the numerical sense, giving to both the con- both ancient and modem, but with various modi- 

trasted terms a less obvious meaning, and identi- fications. Some add to this view speculations of 

lies the thought of this verse with that of ver. 15. which the Apostle, here at least, gives no hint 

The reference to the filling up of the number of whatever. Objections : (a.) The use of ' life ' not 



s of 



Ver. I. 



*r supported than ' for.' The clause 
implies the preponderance of Gentile Christians 
in the congregation at Rome. We do not regard 
vers. 13, 14 as parenthetical, but as meeting a 
thought which might arise in the minds of the Gen- 



, 1 which he so often refers; {c.) 
the lack of evidence from other passages of Scrip. 
ture that the resurrection will immediately follow 
the conversion of the Jews. The latter event may 
be closely connected with the final acts of the 



tie to the Gentiles, had no reference to the Jews, to other events as intervening. Meyer and others 
He shows that the blessed results to the Jews meet some of these objections by including the 
formed a part of the purpose of his labors (ver. life which follows the resurrection as Its blessed 
14). Others think the implied objection relates to consequence. (2.) The figurative explanation re- 
the prominence given to the Gentiles in God's pur- fers the phrase to a new spiritual life which will 
pose respecting the Jews. But it is unlikely that be introduced by the conversion of the Jews. To 
the Gentiles would raise such an objection. Godet this it may be objected, (a.) that it presents tt> 
differs from both views, and finds in these verses further thought than the previous ' recondlia- 
a proof that the Apostle was laboring for the ulti- tion;' [*.) that the language of the remainder of 
mate benefit of the Gentiles by seeking theconver- the verse is literal ; {t.) that the upholders of this 
sion of the Jews, since the latter would result in view are not agreed as to what the new and sur- 
' life from the dead' (ver. 15), and thus bring prising spiritual blessing is, which thus surpasses 
blessing to the Gentiles. But the first view is to the present effects of the gospel. These objec- 
be preferred. — Inasmuch then, etc, ' Then ' is tions, however, do not seem to us so weighty as 
well supported, and disconnects the clause from those to the preceding view. New Testament 
what precedes. We separate the clauses by a prophecy does not as yet demand specific inter- 
colon; others explain: 'I say to you Gentiles, prctation. That a figurative expression might 



Chap. XL n-36/) EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 119 

occur here scarcely needs proof. Godet, in ac- ' them ' points to ' the branches/ referring to the 

cordance with his view of ver. 13, applies this Jews in general. It is quite improbable that Paul 

phrase to the blessedness of Gentile Christendom alludes to the custom of renewing the fertility 

in consequence of the conversion of Israel, while of olive trees by grafting upon them shoots of the 

others limit it to the Jews themselves. We pre- wild olive. There is no evidence that he knew of 

fer the wide reference to the entire body of be- this custom ; nor is the illustration furthered by 

lievers. To combine the two views seems im- the thought thus suggested. The Gentile scion 

proper, as Meyer affirms, yet his own explanation was to receive, not to impart, fertility. ( Moreover 

scarcely differs from a combination of the literal ver. 24 shows that the Apostle conceives of the 

and figurative interpretations. matter as taking place through grace and con- 

Ver. 16. Moreover, lit, 'but,' not, 'for.' This trary to nature. — And became fellow partaker, 
suggests a reason for expecting this ' receiving ' #". e. t in common with the natural branches, of the 
of the Jews, namely, the consecrated character root of the fatness of the olive tree. Some of our 
impressed on this people, when they were separ- best manuscripts omit ' and,' thus giving the sense 
ated from other nations. This moral necessity as above ; but the other reading is also well sup- 
for the restoration of the Jews becomes the theme ported. The former presents the ' root ' as the 
of the remainder of the chapter, both in its warn- source of the ' fatness,' the vitality and fertility ; 
ing to the Gentiles (vers. 17-24) and in the positive the latter indicates that the graft is partaker of 
statements respecting the future of Israel (vers. both. The ideas are substantially identical. As 
25-32). We therefore begin a paragraph here. — regards the application : it is historically true that 
The firstfruit is holy. This is assumed, the ref- the Roman and Greek civilization, already decay 
erence being to the portion of dough taken as a ing in Paul's time, was preserved during the sue* 
peace-offering, so that the whole lump (of kneaded ceeding centuries mainly by the new religious life 
dough) from which it was taken was thereby con- from the patriarchal root. The unity of the 
secrated ; see marginal references. The firstfruits church in both dispensations is plainly asserted, 
of the field are not meant. The ' firstfruit,' it is and this overthrows all the assumptions of an an- 
generally agreed, refers to the patriarchs (some tagonism between Paul and the Twelve, in re- 
limit the application to Abraham), with whom gard to the relative position of the Jewish and 
the covenant was made by which Israel became Gentile Christians. 

the theocratic people. ' Holy ' here means • con- Ver. 18. Boast not against, or, 'exult not 
secrated ' (comp. 1 Cor. vii. 14), and the under- over,' the branches, /. e. y the people of Israel, not 
lying argument resembles that of vers. 1, 2. — If the branches which had been broken off. In ver. 
too root, etc. The parallelism leads us to find 19 the latter are specifically indicated. The warn- 
here the same thought as in the previous clause, ing has never been without an application to us 
but under another figure, which admits, as the Gentile Christians. — Bat if thou boast ; the verb 
other did not, of an application to the conversion is the same as before, and is unusual. We may 
of the Gentiles (so Godet). The attempts to ex- supply in thought ' against them.' — Thou bearest 
plain the two clauses differently have not been not the root, etc This is the fact which should 
successful (e. g~, Christ, the firstfruit; the patri- prevent this disdainful attitude to the Jews. 'The 
archs, the root ; or Christ, both firstfruit and Gentiles had been brought into fellowship with 
root ; the firstfruit, the believing Jews, and the the patriarchs, not the patriarchs with them. 
Mump' the mass of unbelievers). 'God, in se- Salvation was from the Jews' (Hodge). 
lecting the Hebrew patriarchs, and setting them Ver. 19. Thou wilt say then ; despite the last 
apart for His service, had reference to their de- consideration, ' although we are borne by the root 
scendants, as well as to themselves ; and designed of the patriarchs, yet natural branches have been 
that the Jews, as a people, should, to the latest taken away, and their place is now ours.' This 
generations, be specially devoted to Himself, has been the presumptuous attitude of too many 
They stand now, therefore, and ever have stood, during all the Christian centuries. — Branches 
in a relation to God which no other nation ever were broken off, etc. The article is omitted by 
has sustained ; and in consequence of this rela- the best authorities ; the reference is to ' some of 
tion, their restoration to the divine favor is an the branches' (ver. 17). — I is emphatic 
event in itself probable, and one which Paul after- Ver. 20. Well. Not necessarily ironical ; but 
wards teaches (ver. 25) God has determined to an admission of both the fact and the purpose of 
accomplish' (Hodge). the breaking off of the branches. The Apostle, 

Ver. 17. But if some of the branehes were however, passes immediately to the cause of this 

broken off. This was the fact, and the Gentiles state of things, ' as one which must prevent haught- 

are warned against a wrong inference from it. iness, and inspire fear and anxiety respecting the 

' Some ' does not of itself indicate whether there duration of the state of grace ; assigning the 

were many or few; it was, however, probably reason in ver. 21 ' (Meyer). — By their unbelief. 

chosen ' in order not to promote Gentile-Chris- The form is the same as in the other phrase by 

tian self -exaltation ; ver. 18 ' (Meyer). The term thy faith ; the Greek article in each case being 

' broken off ' is that used of the removing of bar- equivalent to the possessive pronoun, though both 

ren twigs. — And thou, emphatic and addressed terms may be used abstractly. * Thou ' is em- 

to the individual Gentile believer, being, although phatic, while standest refers to the position as a 

thou art, a wild olive, i. e., a branch of the wild branch, rather than to standing as opposed to 

olive tree, since the word here used may be re- falling. — Be not highmindod : be not haughty. A 

carded as an adjective. The reference to the few older manuscripts give a slightly different 

'tree ' is objectionable, for the Gentiles are ad- form (answering to that in chap. xii. 16), which, 

dressed not as a whole, but as individuals. — however must be taken in the same sense. — But 

Wast grafted in among them, or, ' in their place.' fear. 'Fear is oppposed, not to faith, but to 

Either view is grammatically admissible, but the superciliousness and security' (Bengel). The 

former is preferable, especially because of the reason is added in ver. 21, with which these 

word ' fellow partaker ' which follows, and because, clauses should be joined. 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XI. It-jfiu 
tlw natural In am 1m I the phrase above rendered 
' bj nature '}, those who sprang from the original 
patriarchal root * Id the former case, that of 
the Gentile, the fact of natural grmetA a set 
against that of engrafted fruwtA : whereas in the 
latter, the fact of ctmgwty of nature ( " their own 
olive tree " ] is set against incongruity, — as mak- 
ing the re-engrafting more probable' (Alford). 
The tree is not merely ' their own,' but it is 
God's; He remembers His covenant What is 
here shown by a figure to be probable, the Apos- 
tle neat declares will certainly take place. 

Ver. 25. For I would not, brethren, hare yon 



I20 

Ver. 21. Tor If God spared not, as had been 
the case, the natural (lit, ' according to nature ') 
Branches, i. e., the Jews who were not ingrafted 
but original branches of the patriarchal tree, ha 
will also not opart the*. The more ancient au- 
thorities omit the word rendered 'lest,' which 
made it necessary to supply ' take heed,' or, ' it it 
to lie feared' (Meyer)- Internal grounds may be 
urged in favor of the longer reading, but the man- 
uscript authority is decisive against it. 'Spare' 
implies such an attitude in the person addressed 
as merits condemnation, so that nothing need be 
supplied. 

Ver. 22. Behold therefore. The exhortation 
of ver. 20 (' Be not high-minded, but fear ') is 
virtually repeated in vers. 21-24, but now as an 
inference ('therefore') from ver. 91. — The good - 
■mm and severity of God. The former word is 
rendered ' kindness ' in Eph. iL 7 and elsewhere ; 
the latter is the inflexible rigor of justice ; both 
refer to the manifestations of God's attributes, 
rather than to the attributes themselves- — On 
them that fell; the unbelieving Jews, the figure 
of the branches being dropped for the moment- — 
Berority. This word is in the nominative, accord- 
' luthorities, and we may sup- 



both cases, but ' on ' is somewhat cl( 
original. — God's goodness ; the norr 
the correct form here also, and the word ■ G od's ' 
is abundantly supported. — If thou continue, etc. 
This is the common language of warning to 
Christians ; the passage should not be used for 
or against the doctrines of perseverance, irresisti- 
ble grace, etc. Moreover the warning is ad- 
dressed to the Gentiles as indhiidualiied, not to 
an individual Gentile. — Otherwise, or, 'seeing 
that otherwise' the last word being implied, not 
expressed. — Thou also shall be out off. The 
Word is a Strong one, as if the branch were taken 
off with a sudden stroke of the axe. The warn- 
ing is for every one of us Gentile Christians, and 
the wider application seems more appropriate 
than ever. Should judgment come on what is 
termed Christendom for its failure to abide in 
God's goodness, the cutting off will be final ; no 
promise remains as in the case of the Jewish na- 

Ver. 23. And they also, >'. (-, the unbelieving 
Jews, who are like wild olive branches. The 
verse should not be joined too closely with ver. 
22, since it presents a further thought. — Con- 
Untie; the same word as in ver. 22. — Their nn- 
belief; as in ver. ;o . — For God is able, etc. When 
unbelief ceases, His power will be manifested. 
It is implied that even when broken off it is easy 
for God to graft them in again, as it was to graft 
in the wild olive branches. The next verse shows 
that such a result is more to be expected, not that 
it is easier for God to do this. 

Ver. 24. For introduces the entire verse as a 
proof of the probability that the Jews will ulti- 
mately be grafted in again, not of the statement 
that God is able to graft them in (against Godet). 
If God's power is in question, it is needless to 
prove that he could more easily do one thing than 
another. — If thou west, etc. The fact in the 
case of the Gentiles is stated under the same fig- 
ure 1 contrary to nature suggesting, not the greater 
difficulty, but the antecedent improbability of the 
fact. All notions of additional life imparted by 
the grafts are here shown to be foreign to the 
Apostle's thought. — How much more shall these 



addressed to the whole body of Christians, who 
were, however, mostly Gentiles (see Introd., pp. 
10, 11). The decisive proof ('for') that the Jews 
shall be grafted in again (vers. 23, 14) is found in 
the prophetic announcement now made by the 
Apostle (vers. 25-32). — Of this mystery. On 
the New Testament use of the word ' mystery,' 
see notes on Eph. i. 9. It does not have the 
classical sense, but usually refers to a matter of 
fact, undiscovered by men themselves, which is 
made known to them by revelation from God. 
' Thus it frequently denotes with Paul the divine 
counsel of redemption through Christ, as a whole, 
™ : " particular parts of it, — because it was veiled 



ts of a mystery have already become known 



to his readers. He regarded the revealed fact u 
a very important one, and as standing in intimate 
relations to the greatest mystery of all ; the Per- 
sonal Christ. — Lest ye may be wis* In your own 
eoneeita ; they were in danger of cherishing their 
own incorrect views in regard to the future of 
Israel ; the Apostle would prevent this by telling 
them the truth revealed to him. (There is a va- 
riation of reading here which does not alter the 
sense.) — That hardening hath happened flit., 
' hath become ') in part to Israel. ' 1'hat ' intro- 
duces the contents of the mystery (extending to 
the word ' saved ' in ver. 26). ' Hardening ' (not 
' blindness,' comp. ver. 7) is preferable to * hard- 
ness,' since the process rather than the state is 
indicated. 'In part' is to be joined with the 
verb, not with ' hardening,' or ' Israel.' The 
' hardening ' has been spoken of in ver. 7, but the 
extent of it is here revealed. This thought would 
check the pride of the Gentiles. -Until the fas- 
nee* of the Gentile* be oome in. This is the sec- 
ond fact revealed, namely, that this hardening 
('in part ') will continue until another event oc- 
curs. No other explanation is grammatical : 
comp. Luke xxi. 24. Most modern commentators, 
though differing as to the exact sense of the word 
'fulness,' agree in referring the phrase, 'the ful- 
ness of the Gentiles,' to the totality of the Gen- 
tiles, not including every individual, but the na- 
tions as a whole. It is more than 'a great multi- 
tude,' denoting rather the great majority. Some 
refer it to the ' complement ' from the Gentiles to 
take the place of the rejected Jews, but this 
seems unnatural. 'Come in' points to their en- 
trance among the people of God, conceived of 
throughout as one, 

Ver. 26. And thus; in this manner and after 



Chap. IX. 11-36.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 121 

this event. This is connected with ver. 25, and ally ' according to/ /. e. t according to the relation 
is the third and crowning fact of the * mystery.' — of the gospel to believers .and unbelievers, offer- 
All Israel shall be saved. This statement has ing salvation to them whoSielieve, and proving 
been narrowed in many ways (see Lange, Romans, those who reject it as under the Divine wrath, 
p. 370), and on the other hand the obvious sense they (the unbelieving Jews, at that time including 
has been loaded down with notions to which Paul the mass of the nation) are enemies. Not his en- 
does not allude, here or elsewhere. The view emies, nor yet enemies of the gospel, but the ob- 
now generally adopted is : that the ancient peo- jects of God's wrath ; comp. chap. v. 10. — For 
pie of God (so marvellously preserved in their your takes ; as explained in the previous discus- 
distinctive life, as if in earnest of this) shall be re- sion, see ver. 11. — But as touching the election, 
stored, as a nation, to God's favor. As in ver. 25, As regards the fact that Israel was the chosen 
it is not implied that every individual Jew will nation. This is simpler than to take ' the elec- 
ta converted ; but probably the proportion will be tion ' as referring to the elect remnant among 
greater than in the case of the Gentiles, since ' all ' them, or, to the whole elect church. The former 
is more definite. We must also place in connec- view fails to establish the very point of the con- 
tion with this statement, the argument of vers, trast, and the latter improperly introduces the 
12 and 15. But respecting the details of this res- Gentiles. — Beloved, 1. ;., of God, for the fathers* 
toration of the Jews as a body little has been sakes. This is another statement of what has 
revealed. The picture is everywhere drawn, only been indicated throughout ; ' they are still re- 
in broad outline. The attempt to fill it out has garded with peculiar favor, because descended 
always produced a reaction, which has opposed from those patriarchs to whom and to whose seed 
even the obvious literal sense of the clause. Lu- the promises were made ' (Hodge), 
thcr, Calvin, and others of the reformers denied Ver. 29. For the gifts and the calling of God 
the reference to the Jewish nation, mainly on dog- are without repentance ; not subject to recall. The 
matic grounds. Whether Paul expected this to adjective rendered 'without repentance* occurs 
occur sooner or later does not affect the points elsewhere in the New Testament, only in 2 Cor. 
revealed ; chronological and prophetical nearness vii. 10. This general principle of God's dealings 
are not necessarily identical. The lengthening is the basis of the latter half of ver. 28. The fact 
term of Israel's unbelief presents cumulative evi- that God had once bestowed His gifts upon Is- 
dence that Israel's preservation is to the end that rael, and called them to become His people, 
* all Israel shall be saved.' — As it is written, proves, on this principle, that they are still be- 
There has been much discussion as to the pas- loved for the sake of their fathers. The principle 
sage or passages here cited, since similar expres- is universal, but here the application is national, 
sions are not infrequent in the Old Testament, hence both 'gifts' and 'calling' are not to be 
The simplest explanation is that the Apostle limited to spiritual gifts to individuals, and to 
freely cites from Is. lix. 20, 21, appending a clause effectual calling, or to election. Still less should 
from Is. xxvii. 9 (' when I shall take away their the former be referred to the Jews, and the latter 
sins '). The variations are not greater than in to the Gentiles. The Jewish nation had special 
many other citations. The view that the Apostle endowments from God, chief among these, or 
merely gives the general sense of many predic- rather the cause of all these, was the calling of 
tions is very objectionable. — The prophecies are the nation as the theocratic people to whom the 
introduced to confirm the last statement : ' and Messiah was promised. All was in accordance 
thus all Israel shall be saved/ But that predic- with God's covenant, hence the irrevocableness. 
tion is made by the Apostle himself, who here In what way this spiritual restoration of the Jews 
presents a warrant for it, not its ground (so Tho- will affect tneir national life is not stated. God's 
luck and others). — There shall come out of Zion. faithfulness to His covenant is the truth of most 
The Hebrew reads : ' And (or, then) shall come practical value. 

for Zion a Redeemer, and for those turning from Ver. 30. For introduces statements (ver. 30- 

apostacy in Jacob.' The LXX. has ' on account 32) showing how the course of God's dealings as 

of Zion,' which the Apostle changes into ' out of a whole, to Gentiles and Tews, will establish the 

Zion.' The reason for this change is not obvious, principle there announced. — Te, Gentiles, were 

but it seems to express more fully the thought so onoe disobedient to God. That this disobedience 

common in Isaiah, that the Redeemer should was the result of unbelief has been clearly es- 

spring out of Israel. 'The Redeemer' is evi- tablished by the Apostle (chap. i. 18, etc.), but 

dently the Messiah. * And,' which occurs in the ' have not believed ' is not the sense of the orig- 

LXX., is omitted here by the best authorities, inal. ' Once ' points, as usual, to the time before 

The second clause refers to the work of the Re- conversion. — How, since they became Christians ; 

deemer, which results in the conversion of Israel, comp. Eph. ii. 8. — Obtained mercy ; all their 

Ver. 27. And this, 1. e. t what follows, is my blessings as Christians are summed up as the re- 
eorenant (the covenant from me) unto them, suit of the mercy of Him to whom they had been 
From the same passage in Isaiah, but the second disobedient. — By the disobedience of these, s. e., 
clause is from Is. xxvii. 9. — When I shall take the unbelieving Jews. Their 'unbelief is how- 
away their sins. Meyer nghtly explains the verse ever characterized here as ' disobedience.' How 
thus : ' And when I shall have forgiven their sins, their disobedience became the occasion of the 
this (this remission of sins conferred by me) will Gentiles obtaining mercy has already been shown, 
be my covenant to them {i.e., they will therein Ver. 31. 80 also; the cases are parallel. — 
have from me the execution of my covenant).' Have these (Jews) now, since the gospel of Christ 
This reference to the taking away of sin was more was preached, been disobedient ; lit., ' were dis- 
appropriate to the Apostle's purpose than the obedient,' as in ver. 30, but ' now ' compels us to 
promise of the Spirit which follows in Is. lix. 21. render ' have been disobedient.' — That, in order 

Ver. 28. This verse sums up the previous that, by the mercy shown to yon (lit. 'your 

discussion. — As touching the gospeL The two mercy;' in emphatic position in the original) they 

clauses correspond ; ' as touching ' is more liter- also may now obtain mercy. The leading thought 



122 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XI. 11-56, 

of ihe section (ver. 1 1) is here repeated, in the fore-knowledge of ends and menu. These con- 
final summing up. This view is so natural and stitute an ocean, the depth* of which we should 
accords so entirely with the parallelism ax to for- ever explore, but can never fathom. In these 
bid the explanations of the Vulgate, Luther, and three words Origen found an allusion to the Trio- 
others; ' they have not believed in the mercy ity (as in ver. 36), but however applicable the 
shown to you,' or, ' were disobedient through the terms might be to the attributes of Jehovah mani- 
mcrcy shown to you.' tested by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, it is 
Ver. 3 2. For. This introduces another general not proper to assert that the Apostle intended to 
principle of God's dealings. It serves to establish make any such distinction in this verse. — How 
vers. 30, 31, especially the latter, which is but a irns— iraiihh, etc The discrimination between 
restatement of the entire discussion since ver. 11. 'wisdom ' and ' knowledge' seeins to be implied 
' Thus ver. 3a is at once the grand summary and here ; judgments are the decisions (not exclu- 
the glorious key-stone — impelling once more to sivelv judicial) of God's wisdom, according to 
the praise of God (ver, 33 ff.) — of the whole pre- which He acts; these are 'unsearchable.' — Hal 
ceding section of the Epistle ' (Meyer), i. c, of ways, the general modes of procedure, in accord, 
chaps, ix.-xl — God shut up all ; not, ' hath con- ance with His infinite knowledge, arc 'untrace- 
cluded them all.' The verb means ' to shut up' able;' the adjective, from the word meaning 
as in » prison (not necessarily 'shut up togeth- 'foot-print,' is aptly used with 'way*.' Precisely 
er '] ; ' hath' is unnecessary, and ' them ' is im- because this is true, God is an inexhaustible on- 
properly supplied, as if the Jews only were meant ject for Our minds as well as our hearts. 
'AH' refers, however, to persons; COmp. Gal. iii. Ver. 34. Forwho,etc. The Apostle here uses, 
22, where 1 all things 'occurs. — Unto disobedience ; almost exactly the language of Is. il. 13; but, 
ciimi), vers. 30, 31. This shutting up of all unto by adding ■ for,' he makes it the confirmation cf 
disobedience is an tffetthi, not simply a dedara- what precedes. The first question may be re- 
ihie or f-trminrve, activity of God. In the devel- ferred to God's 'knowledge' and 'His ways,' 
opment and punishment of sin — not in its origin since no one hath known the mind of the Laid ; 
— He orders all things so that this result occurs the second to His ' wisdom,' and 'judgments,' 
with the further purpose, that he might have since in forming His decision no one hath bass 
mercy npon alL This gracious design has already IDs eomusllor. 

been indicated in vera. 30, 31. ' A LI ' here refers to Ver. 35. Or who hath first given, etc This is 
persons, and is to be interpreted in the light of from Job ili. 1 1, but follows the Hebrew, not the 
other passages, particularly Gal. iii. 22. To ex. mistranslation of the LXX. This question refers 
plain it as meaning ' all nations ' is to weaken it ; to the depth of God's riches. No gift can rec- 
to limit it to the 'elect ' is contrary to the parallel, ompense God; nothing can be purchased of 
and to the fact that the showing of mercy here on Him. How appropriate to the entire discussion, 
the earth seems to be indicated (so Godet). To The gospel is all of grace ; the plan respecting 
refer it to the ultimate salvation of all individu- Jews and Gentiles is all of grace. Nothing of 
als without exception, is contrary to Gal. iii. 22 merit or recompense ; all freely bestowed out of 
(where ' all ' is qualified by ' them that believe '), the ocean depths of riches in God Himself, 
to many other passages, and introduces a median- Ver. 36. For. What was negatively expressed 
ical and fatalistic thcoir of Divine operations, in ver. 35, is now positively stated in language 
The verse, however, sheds light on the profound which is as simple as it is sublime. — Of him, as 
mystery of sin. It will be overruled through the the original Source, Author, Creator; and through 
more profound and exalted plan for general bless- him, as our Preserver and Governor and Bounii- 
ing. The universality of sin is overborne by the ful Benefactor, as superior to nature which He 
universality of Divint grace ; comp. chap. v. 12 ff.; created, controlling and directing it, and that for 
t Cor. xv. at, 22. Here this universality is pre- His own ends, since the Apostle adds : and ants 
sentcd mainly with reference to the proffering of him are all things. All things (not simply all 
cy, not its efficiency. God makes to every persons) will carry out His will, will contribute 
<h< " - " " "* 



ve) thisproffi , 
•where stated that all men are actually 
redeemed. Belief and unbelief are antithetical, 
and only through the former is grace accepted. 
Redemption is not a matter of force, but of free- 
dom ; of freedom on God's part as well as man's. 
And the Apostle by the doxology which follows 
teaches us 10 leave what we cannot understand in 
> the wisdom of this Free Be 



His glory. Human thought can rise no higher 
than this. Attempts have been made to refer the 
three phrases respectively to the three Persons 
of the Trinity, but the second and third preposi- 
tions do not seem distinctively applicable to the 
Son and the Holy Spirit- Nor does the train of 
thought demand such an explanation. — To aba 
bo the glory forover (Gr., 'unto the ages'). 
The glory befitting such a God is here 



'lory befitting such a 

We have learned Paul's meaning only when wc ascribed to Him ; ' unto the ages ' is, as usual, 

can join in this ascription of praise. equivalent to ' forever ; ' and the doxology prop- 

Ver. 33. the depth of the riohM and wisdom crly closes with the solemn 'Amen;' comp. 

and knowledge of God. With Chrysostom and chaps. L 25 ; ix. 5. 

most modern commentators, we prefer this view This doxology is * the sublimest apostrophe ex- 
of the passage to that followed in the E. V. isting even in the pages of Inspiration itself' 
Either is grammatical, but the formeris not only (Alford). Vet how logical its arrangement, bow 
more natural, but agrees better with what follows, apt its argument, It forms a conclusion to the 
' The depth of the riches ' may refer to the fulness section, and not less appropriately to the whole 
of God's grace, as shown in the preceding discus- discussion in chaps, ix.-xi., m fact, to the whole 
sion. or be taken in a wider sense, as if to say : doctrinal part of the Epistle. The greatest treat- 
s' superabundantly rich is God !' (Meyer), ise on God's dealings with men ends not only 



The depth of God's ' wisdom ' is i 
ing of all the means for his ow~ 
the depth of His ' knowledge,' ii 



with praise to Him, but with a confession of His 
cious ends ; sovereignty. This which so exalts God does in- 
all inclusive deed humble us, But it is through this humility 



Chaps. XII.— XVI.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 123 

that we too are exalted. The gospel of grate remarks, ' in chap. xi. are traced the grand out* 
would be no real gospel were it not the message lines of the philosophy of History,' but Paul's 
of the sovereign God whom the Apostle thus philosophy of history ends in this conception of 
adores. He only has practically solved the mys- God, which is as essential for our every day needs 
tcry of God's sovereignty and our free will who as for the solution of the problem of man's origin, 
can join in this doxology. It is our privilege, in history, and destiny. Rightly then the Apostolic 
regard to the great mysteries of humanity as well ' therefore,' the practical inference, is at once 
%s in the personal perplexities which meet us, it is added. Unless Paul's theism is acknowledged, 
our privilege to trust and praise God, when we and his praise repeated, his ethics are power- 
can no longer trace His purposes. As Godet well less. 



PRACTICAL PART. CHAPTERS XII. — XVI. 

MAN'S GRATITUDE FOR FREE SALVATION. 

The theme of this part of the Epistle is given in chap. xii. 1 : The believer saved by Christ through 
faith is to present himself a thank-offering to God ; all Christian duty is praise for deliverance. For 
convenience we may divide this portion as follows : — 

I. General Exhortations ; based directly upon the theme ; chaps, xii., xiii. (Strictly speak- 
ing, chap. xiii. 1-7 forms a special discussion, see p. 14 and in loco.) 

II. Special discussion regarding the scruples of certain weak brethren, who abstain from eating 
meat, etc. : chaps, xiv. i-xv. 13. 

III. Concluding Portion ; personal explanations, greetings to and from various persons, with a 
dosing doxology : chaps, xv. 14-xvi. 27. 

Chapters XII., XIII. 

I. General Exhortations. 

In these two chapters the Apostle gives exhortations respecting Christian duties, based upon the 
controlling obligation to present ourselves a living thank-offering to God. Godet distinguishes these 
precepts as pertaining respectively to the religious (chap, xii.) and to the civil sphere (chap. xiii.). 
We prefer to divide into sections as follows : (1.) Practical theme : duties according to special gifts ; 
chap. xii. 1-8. (2.) Duties for all Christians in personal relations, springing from brotherly love and 
extending to returning good for evil ; chap. xii. 8-21. (3.) The Christian's duty to earthly rulers; 
chap. xiii. 1-7. (4.) General exhortation to love, and to a Christian walk ; chap. xiii. 8-14. The 
thoughts are linked to each other rather than arranged by a formal method. Other divisions readily 
suggest themselves, but this will prove as convenient as any other. 



Chapter XII. 1-8. 
1. Practical Theme ; Ditties according to special Gifts. 

The theme is fully stated in vers. 1, 2 ; then follows an exhortation to humility (vers. 3-5), which 
introduces the special reference to various gifts, mainly but not exclusively official in their nature 
(vers 6-8.) 

i T •BESEECH 1 you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of rt |S r ; v *- i ; 
A God, * that ye e present 3 your bodies d a living sacrifice, b c l P f*\f % \\ 
holy, acceptable unto 3 God, which is your reasonable 4 service. 6 ^? 9 JV 3f 

Cor. vi. 13, 

1 or exhort • to present 8 well-pleasing to d » cb ^ ^ 

4 rational * substitute (,)for(.) 



124 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XII. 1-4 

2 And *be 8 not conformed to 7 this world: but ■"* be ye 1 trans-* ■ p* Lm 
formed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may * prove/" pph- { j^* 
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.' i.*i,iiiki 

3 For I say, * through the grace given unto 10 me, to every man * f*££ 
that is among you, * not to think of himself more highly than h j£* . . 
he ought to think ; but to think soberly," according as God gar'**.',,,. 

4 hath dealt * to every man ,a the measure of faith. For ' as we ™',™e!*!' 
have many members in one body, and all " members have not ,- ?££'. *£ 

5 the same office : So ™ we, being many, 14 are one body in Christ, JJi *££? 

6 and every one 16 members one of another. "Having then w * "c£. a 
gifts differing "according to the grace that is given to M us, »".' _ 
whether 'prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion \ 1 \t.^\,. 

7 of faith ; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering ; " or • he « ■ Q*. i. 

8 that teacheth, on teaching ; Or r he that exhorteth, on exhorta- *r\ Epi *■ 
lion : * he that giveth, let him do it with ' simplicity ; a " he that • ' c°t™- 
ruleth, 19 with diligence; he that showeth mercy, 'with cheer-^"- 
fulness. * A 2» » 



iCor.xiL 

■ and not to be * fashioned after * but to be *>m. ^ 
iv what is the will of God, {ivhal is) good and well-pleasing and perfect f AcbWi; 

that was given to " so as to think soberly, or to be sober-minded m,^. 6 , 1 ,, 

'eachone " all the H the many iS™'*'": 

* and severally w But having M ministry * • Cor^m.'' 

■ or liberality » or presideth. , fc^a. *, ,, 

< Conp. 1 Cor. Tiii. ). ■ Aniii.iSi iTfen.V.ttl Heb.iiii. 7i»«i > P«t. t-,. * ?C*ir. k. j 



h(o r 



t') you therefore , 
brethren. The connection is undoubtedly with 
the conclusion of chap. xi. ; but for this very tea- 
Bon the practical inference is from the entire doc- 
trinal part which culminated in that passage. 
'Beseech' is not a word of legal command, but 
an appeal addressed to Christians whose hearts, 
it is assumed, will respond to the motives on 
which the appeal is based. ' Brethren,' as fre- 
quently before. The notion that Paul would not 
thus exhort the Christians of a church he had 
not founded, is altogether unsupported. Kenan 
and others, by disputing the place of chaps, xii-, 
xiii. (and xiv.) in this Epistle, reveal an entire 
misapprehension of the Apostle's character. The 
man who really btlievtt what is contained in 
chaps, i.-xi. could not fail to exhort thus. — Bj 
(lit., 'through') the merclei (or, 'compassions ') 
of God ; as summed up in chap. xi. 35, 36, but 
expounded in the former part of the Epistle. 
These are called to mind to furnish the motive 
for obedience to the exhortation ; ' as if any one 
wishing to make an impression on one who had 
received great benefits, were to bring his Bene- 
factor himself to supplicate him ' (Chrysostom). 
' He who is rightly moved by the mtrty of God, 
enters into the entire wiilot God ' (Bengel). —To 
present. The word is used of bringing for sacri- 
fice. It points to a single act, not to a continued 
process, to the thankful bringing once for all of 
the offering, not to sacrificing it. — Your bodies. 
This cannot be referred to the body as the seat 
of sin. It is either a designation of the entire 



personality, chosen to suit the figure of a sacrifi- 
cial thank-offering, or the body is specially re- 
ferred to as the organ of practical activity, the in- 
strument by which the living to God is to mani- 
fest itself. There is no objection to the view that 
this is 'an indication that the sanctification of 
Christian life is to extend to that part of man's 
nature which is most completely under the bond- 
age of sin' (Afford). Meyer takes the term liter- 
ally here, finding in ver. 2 another reference, 'so 
that the two verses tofftthtr contain the sanctifica- 
tion of the whole man distributed into its parts, 

— that of the outer man (set forth as the offering 
of a sacrifice), and that of the inner (as a renew- 
ing transformation).' But the phrase 'rational 
service' seems to oppose this distinction, and 
there are other objections. — A living Meriflse ; 
over against the Levitical offerings, which were 
to be slain. We indeed die to sin, but live unto 
God (comp. chap. vi. throughout). — Holy and 
well-nlessing to tied; these terms qualify 'sacri- 
fice.' This offering is 'holy,' morally pure over 
against the ceremonial purity of the Levitical of- 
ferings, as well as in opposition to the previous 
devotion to sin ; it is * well-pleasing to God,' as ' a 
savor of a sweet smell* (comp. Eph. v. a), since 
such an offering is not only based upon the ex- 

S'atory offering of Christ, but is well-pleasing to 
od, whose will is our sanctification, as the Apos- 
tle declares in his earliest Epistle (1 Thess. iv.3). 

— Whioh Is your raUonal eervie*. This explains 
the whole clause: 'to present,' etc. 'Service' 
is used of religious service, or worship. The 



Chap. XII. i-8.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 125 

contrast undoubtedly is with the Old Testament it is difficult to reproduce in English : Alford 
ritual service. That of the new covenant, just renders ' not to be highminded, above that which 
described, is characterized as ' rational/ which he ought to be minded, but to be so minded as 
seems to be nearly equivalent to ' spiritual ' (1 to be sober-minded. 1 — But to think so as to think 
Pet. ii. 5), over against the external, fleshly ser- soberly, or, 'so as to be sober-minded.' Some 
vice (ofus operatum). The term ' rational ' brings would render, ' but to be so disposed as to be sober 
out this contrast better than 'spiritual/ which minded;' but the reference to thought of one's 
might improperly suggest that the Old Testament self is preferable. The aim of one's self-knowl- 
service was in itself fleshly, in the ethical sense, edge should be wise discretion. Practically self- 
Some, however, prefer the sense ' reasonable,' ex- esteem leads to indiscretion. — According as God, 
plaining the phrase, * the service which answers etc. This clause qualifies the last one : ' to think 
in a rational manner to the moral premises estab- so as,' etc. — To each one the measure of faith, 
lished in the faith you profess ' (Godet). In any The article is wanting before ' measure,' but as it 
case the true Christian service is one of self-dea- refers to the particular measure in each case, we 
ication to God ; only this is well pleasing to must supply it, or strengthen it into 'his meas- 
Him. ure.' ' Faith ' is here subjective, as usual ; and the 

Ver. 2. And not to be. The best authorities entire phrase points to the individual Christian's 

give the infinitive (not the imperative) form in 'receptivity of grace of the Spirit, itself no in- 

this verse, which must therefore be connected herent congruity, but the gift and apportionment 

closely with 'beseech' (ver. 1). The tense used of God. It is in fact the subjective designation 

points to continued action. — Fashioned after, of the grace which is given us; ver. 6' (Alford). 

The words rendered 'conformed' and 'trans- This clause prepares the way for the specifica- 

formed ' have different derivations ; the former tions which follow (vers. 6-8) which show that the 

refers more to the outward form (the noun is usu- ' measure of faith ' is different in degree in differ- 

ally rendered ' fashion '), the latter to the or- ent cases, and adapted to peculiarities of charac- 

panic form. Some deny such a distinction in this ter. Since this standard is ' as God hath dealt to 

instance, but it is well to reproduce the verbal each one,' there is no room for thinking too 

variation in English. — This world, or, 'age;' highly of ourselves. • 

comp. Gal. i. 4 ; Eph. ii. 2. The phrase is used ver. 4. For as we have many members in one 

in a bad sense. — But to be transformed, or, body. The parallel here set forth (vers. 4, 5) is 

' transfigured,' as in Matt. xvii. 2 ; Mark ix. 2 (the more fully carried out in 1 Cor. xii. 12, etc In 

same word occurs in 2 Cor. Hi. 18). Here also Ephesians (throughout) the unity is emphasized, 

a continuous process is indicated. — By the re- here the variety. This variety is introduced as 

newing of your mind. This is the instrument of an explanation of the variety in the measure of 

the transformation. The 'mind' (comp. chap, faith, and hence as a motive for the humility en- 

vii. 23, 25, and Excursus), or, practical reason, is joined. — Have not the same office, or, ' activity,' 

naturally under the dominion of the flesh ; it e. g., eyes, ears, hands, etc. 

needs renewal, which is wrought by the Holy Ver. 5. 80 we, the many, not, ' being many,' 

Spirit, faith being the subjective element of its but ' the many,' like the many members of the 

operation. Through this renewed mind there re- body, are one body in Christ (see marginal refer- 

suits the transformation in the whole man. The ences). — And severally, etc. The phrase is very 

passive suggests the agency of the Holy Spirit, unusual ; it is literally : ' and what (is true) as to 

while the exhortation implies moral freedom. — individuals, (they are) members of one another.' 

That ye may prove, or, ' in order to prove,' to put Christ is the Head, and fellowship with Him 

to the practical test, what is the will of God. Not makes us one body, and in consequence the indi- 

simply to be able to do this, but actually to do so, vidual relation is that of fellow-member with 

the conscience being continually educated by the every other. 

Holy Ghost The inward renewal has as its re- Ver. 6. But having gifts, or, ' having, however,' 

suit an increasing delicacy of judgment in Chris- etc Some would connect this verse grammatic- 

tian ethics, the will of God respecting our conduct ally with ' we are ' (ver. j), but it seems better to 

in the world. The practical portion of this Epis- begin a new sentence here, and to supply the 

tie is designed to help this judgment — What is proper imperatives, as is done in the E. V. The 

(lit, 'the ") good and well-pleasing (to God) and construction of the Greek is irregular, whatever 

perfect. This is in apposition with what pre- explanation be given. ' But ' makes an advance 

cedes, and not a qualification of it as the E. V. in thought: 'and not only so, but' (Alford). 

indicates. The latter view compels us to take ' Then ' is misleading. — Gifts differing, etc The 

' well-pleasing ' in the sense of agreeable to men. ' charisms ' are different, but all having one ori- 

What God wills is that which is ' good,' in its gin, according to the grace that was given to us. 

end, ' well-pleasing ' to Him, and ' perfect ' as unit- This is the same thought as that of ver. 3 : ' ac- 

ing these two. As a practical matter, what is cording as God hath dealt,' etc Seven of these 

God's will in our particular circumstances is de- differing ' gifts ' are named, and made the basis 

termined by the renewed mind prayerfully seek- of a corresponding exhortation. Four of these 

ing what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. seem to be official gifts (though not pointing to 

ver. 3. For I say. ' The special requirement four distinct and permanent orders in the minis- 

which he is now to make serves in fact by way of try), the last three probably being ' charisms,' 

confirmation to the general exhortation of ver. 2 ' with which no special official position was con- 

(Meyer). — Through the grace that was given to nected. The reasons for making this distinction 

me. He thus refers to his apostleship (see mar- are : omission of ' or ' with the fifth clause ; the 

ginal references) ; humbly making an appeal for difficulty of referring the remaining gifts to offi- 

the humility he enjoins. — To every man that is cial persons; the change in the admonitions, 

among yon ; applying the precept to each and all which do not define the sphere, as before, but the 

without exception. — Hot to think of himself , etc. mode. Furthermore, we might expect exhorta* 

There is a play upon words in the original which tions to private Christians after the reference to 



I zO EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XII. 1-8. 

' nil thr metn\tcrn ' in vera. 4, 5. (See below, on mefhnrh and need not be limited to any special 
the Mjvcral clause*). — Whether p? ■fiaty. This office. Paul was himself a teacher. This gift is 
U thr fir At ' gift ' named. In the Bible ' prophecy * a permanent one, and cannot be too highly prized ; 
on thr otic hand, includes more than tne predic- the danger now as then, is the possessor's mistak- 
lliift of future event*, it i* a speaking for God not ing his gift, or stepping outside of it to exercise 
mrt fly ht forehand ; on the other hand, it is not functions for which he » not adapted. 
JdcntM ill with ^reaching. In the New Testament Ver. 8. Or he that axfcflrtetfc, am •xhertatun, 
tlir irfrrrmr is to the gift of immediate inspira- lit, 'the exhortation,' which is his sphere, 
lion, for the on anion, 'leading the recipient to •Teaching' was directed to the understanding; 
drlivn, am thr mouth of Cod, the particular com- 'exhortation,' rather to the heart and will. The 
mtinli 4tl<Mi which he had received* (Hodee). It exhorter might also be a prophet, but the habit 
would u|»|»rar ftom the statements in the book of seems to have been to base the exhortation on a 
Ail« mid In I Corinthian* (see marginal refer- passage of Scripture, as in the synagogue (comp. 
i«m r«), tlmt thr gift was not unusual, and that the Acts xiiL 15). It is impossible to find here any 
piHiM'Miit of It had an official position. The office permanent office in the church, though these four 
ot thr ( Mil TmUmcnt prophet became more prom- were probably the basis of a subsequent develop- 
Inmt In thr later period of the Old Dispensation, mentmto more permanent official positions. — He 
Iml In thr New, which presents a gospel of fact, that giveth, or, 'imparteth,' let hint do it with tim- 
thr sj.it t wa« not |>crmancnt, though needful in the plieity, or, 'liberality.' This should be referred 
ApofttolU times and held in the highest esteem to all who have the 'gift' of imparting, private 
(\ornp, 1 Cot. *iv. t). It differed from the ecstatic Christians as well as the official almoners of the 
ftpt'.ikiuu with tongue*. Thin view of the gift op- Church. It does not mean the imparting of spir- 
ing* Any Attempt to introduce it into modern itual benefit, but of earthly Roods. This is a 
di«t u««toit« ulnnit church otttces. — Aooorriing to 'charism' which many may have, who can do 
Its pntportltMi el faith, lit., * the faith.' But the little else for Christ's cause. He who thus gives 
(vim t« not «'tptiv,tlntt to a Ixxly of doctrine; should do it 'with simplicity,' /. *., ' without any 
mmuk «h«tp V \, Their U not an instance in selfishness, without boasting, without secondary 
\\w \w\ lV«UuuMtt u*.u;e up to the time when designs, etc, but in plain sincerity of disposition ' 
lh»» \po«ih* wtoto whUn requires such a sense. (Meyer). Many explain 'with liberality, because 
* r 4«th ' \\>\v \\w\\n% the subjective * l>clieving/ and the other qualifications referred to outward char- 
1 om \m\\s * *outd tv a« Appiopriate as 'our min- acter, rather than to the frame of mind. But this 
\*\\\ v h\ wm * \\w eutite phi4*e, with which ' let sense of the Greek word is very unusual, and the 
u« t*t%iph««\ v U pi\»|vilv sumtlicd, is equivalent exhortation to simplicity seems both appropriate 
t«t ' \W \\\s \+\\w \4 t nth/ Tnia view is favored and needful Liberal giving is far easier than 
l*\ thv t^uit \t, * wht%h aim* at showing that the simple giving. — Be that nueth, or, 'presideth,' 
iu* ^-smv ^ \m\K ttwll th<» gift of luxU is the re- with diligwioe. That this 'gift' was necessary 
n^^\v l^^h txM aU mpiuuud gifts, which are for the presbyter (the ruler, or, bishop) of the 
th***t>Mv not «>« lv t\v*«tfd **f. nor pushed be- church, is quite evident. But since the preceding 
\ % md iK, *t kMv\m\>\v but humNv exercised within and subsequent clauses point, either to private 
IK* u fttu lwm* ^ \tt\M>lV The technical theo* Christians, or to the deacons, an exclusive ref- 
^\%'>^\ «v<u>\ \^v aimK^x of uith»* seems quite erence to the office of presbyter seems out of 
m^^v^ M>v h^>\ *hvtv **\ exttAotdinarY gift place. 'Diligence' should characterize the per- 
\si ^»\A\\ * ivtvttwt t\\ and has been aKin« formance of duty of all those who have the gift 
tV»>*%i >^ W\*l £t\mtsU ta the \a*t maKM-itv oi leadership. The explanation: ' he that enter- 
xm ^y^> »n^.h tv*utttvttMt\M* \e\wpt l^hftippi, taineth strangers,' is unsustained by good evi- 
N\^n* W vv>\K VfcM vN^ **w»e has Nren dence. — Hit that ahowtth merey, with ehaerfol- 
s N ,. v w,. v ..» wuv^^^* vw^vxt * a matter v>f naam. This also refers to all Christians who ad- 
w ,.x.. y. \^ ^'-^^V w^\%h>^ >* ^ om when a minister help and comfort to the suffering. Here 
v * * ;* .v.* n s n .*«. n vk«"\ iA^vv NN ^ xs ^^M ww hi* there is great danger of rendering perfunctory 
^ v\ %• \ N x %% ^«,.\ ,\^ £.„; ^ u .;^ >a»^fc |^ service, hence the appropriate exhortation 'witn 
i A * « -s\A^v. cheertume$&* — The three ' gifts ' which private 
\ ' % - \r^ «^Mvt ; V ^snvn^ $■** Ss>oc v % hrx$tians abo have might feu* more frequently be 
t* « > • » • .%\ • a x , N .^, N . s ^sjk.vx v* « $.^V exerctjaed. Too many who could do great service 
V* , xi - ■*\ x '\* "V !| w \» v*'J^ ^«K m »» K ^rit^ presiding (or, performing other execu- 
.* ,x - " > u t"^ >* v *^v ^\ sNStojtRNNXx-** va tw carrV. and showing mercy, waste their encr- 
x *^ y . ■» *%v *'k a \n "»\\^ *>-<v >>ii % S*< « ^v* Sr attesapdng to exhort and teach, or even 
• v< *-\« > w«v*.vv. Wwmm'xvv ^ |cve^N9T« Let each prayerfully consider what 






v-\\ 



\ 



- x ^ *Hns ^\\-v^v,>t ,-V v» TV hsafe g:ven bete and elsewhere in the 
v ' ^--- » ^* vV ^ w» w«A «i «ae ^>««ic* «*> wc« «apf«oit any one theory of church 

wptvw\. - ' v -i r v ... ^x N \^ ,v vxvfri n» wwole smatter seems to have been in 



> x * . • \ v v * " Nx vi-NN vV ^ ^vKvit rv%vr^ j« ^rurikfawet daring the Apostolic age. 

x \ \ v . ^ x - *\nx\ - ^- vw\i*\v ^ ^^^ * B *^ W d i in g wsage there is little trace. 

■; * \ % v s •« • • vw> ^ v;^\ ;vi w Vxvr)e saw* Hale, becaase so much was to 



t 



u 



v % NN ^ ^ » ^ ^vv v^ t ^if, V^^At 3r*e cnartsacsn of the various bodies 

■ - x "m ^>v *> *V x'Vv-^ %r« v ;^ ,■« OVK-ssruaaik TV trae war to unity will doubt- 

■ '■ % *v- sx . ,s.. A «. ^ >j.«i »K»i v^^r ^^naj^^Sem.aad to Ubettr the freedom 

\" >^ v.;* SN ^W4m^ w *^vna?vit * esmcu! ; and to freedom of as- 

A * ^ "* x * «v ?■,*. v.v v^Vv ^vswvifc ^ar^e^i v« tons seesns, for the present at 



Chap. XII. 8-21.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 127 



Chapter XII. 9-21. 

2. Exhortation for all Christians, in their Personal Relations, from Love of 

the Brethren to returning Good for Evil. 

All the precepts of this section are based upon Christian love (ver. 9). After exhorting that this 
love be without hypocrisy, and noting the moral attitude it produces, the Apostle gives special in- 
junctions respecting its various active manifestations. He begins with tenderness toward the breth- 
ren (ver. 10), and names many ways in which Christian love outwardly manifests itself (vers. 11 -13, 
15. 16), culminating in its treatment of those who are opposed to us and have injured us (vers. 14, 
17-21). 

9 T ET love be ° without dissimulation. 1 b Abhor that which is a ?S'.l!"sV 
10 '^ evil ; cleave to that which is good. c Be kindly affec- Jjlaj.";/.' 



tioned one to another with brotherly love ; 2 d in honour prefer- b p* 



1 Pet. i. 22. 



xzxiv. 



14; xxxvi. 



1 1 ring one another ; Not slothful in business ; 8 fervent in spirit ; 4 4; XCV u. 10; 

12 serving the Lord ; 6 * Rejoicing in hope; 6 ■'patient in tribula-, HSTJii. 1 ?; 

13 tion; 7 'continuing instant in prayer; 8 * Distributing to 9 the £. i 7i k 3 l\ 

14 necessity of saints; 10 ' given to hospitality. * Bless themrf phu.u.'J; 

15 which 11 persecute you: bless, and curse not. 'Rejoice with * Luke 'x.'ao' ; 

Chap. V. 2 \ 

16 them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. m Be of xyu.phii. 
the same mind one toward another. n Mind not high things, 'J^Hir.' 

° ' i6;Heb.in. 

but condescend to men of low estate. 12 °Be not wise in your ^ «Pet.iv. 

17 own conceits. p Recompense to no man evil for evil. ff Pro-/^*^ 

18 vide 18 things honest 14 in the sight of all men. If it be possi- l 1 ;^:^'^. 
ble, as much as lieth in* 6 you, r live peaceably 18 with all men. J^fVpii. 

19 Dearly beloved, 'avenge not yourselves, 17 but rather give place-. 1 lJ£ Sin. 
unto wrath : 1S for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine ; I will re- l A> t Sit; 

20 pay, 19 saith the Lord. ■ Therefore 2° gu* .? ; 

If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; ! 7 . ' *' 

If he thirst, give him drink : J^cJr.ii. 

_ . , . 1. 12 ; Heb. 

For in so doing v5. 10; xm. 

21 thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome "»^>7-... 

11 Tiro. 111.2; 

of 2I evil, but overcome evil with good. Tit. i. 8; 

** Heb. xin. 2 ; 

1 Pet. iv. 9. 

1 your love be unfeigned * Matt. v. 44; 

* In brotherly love be affectionate one to another xxiii. 34/; ' 
« in diligence, not slothful « in spirit, fervent f cZZw* 1 

* some authorities read the opportunity 6 in hope, rejoicing . , . a; '.?.?*• . 
7 in tribulation, patient 8 in prayer, persevering cpmp! chap. 

* Being partakers in 10 the necessities of the saints ll that Convij! 10; 
12 or lowly things « Have a care for »« honorable i*^?, 5 p?,| 
M dependeth on ,fl be at peace 17 Avenge not yourselves, beloved "»• m; »*• 
12 to the wrath of God n recompense again. / 1 Cor. xii. 
15 the best authorities read But (/. e. % on the contrary). 2l by m'chap. xv. 

5 ; 1 Cor. i. 

10; Phil, u 
7 : in. 16 ; 1 Pet. iii. 8. n Ps. cxxxi. i, 2 ; Jer. xlv. 5. o Prov. iii. 7 ; xxvi. 12 ; Is. v. 21 ; chap. xi. 25. 

p Prov. xx. 22; Matt. v. 39: 1 Thess. v. 15 ; 1 Pet. iii. 9. a Prov iii. 4; chap. xiv. 16; 2 Cor. viii. 2: 

r Mark ix. 50; chap. xiv. 19; Heb xii. 14. t Lev. xix. 18; Prov. xxiv. 29; ver. 17; cotnp- 1 Pet. ii. 23. 

t Dxut. xxxii. 35 ; Heb. x. 30. u Pmov. xxv. 21, 22; Ex. xxiii. 4, 5 ; Matt. v. 44. 



128 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XII. 9-21. 



Ver. 9. Lot your lore (lit., "the love') he. [ace margin*! references). Neither joy nor en- 

The imperative form is to be supplied, there be- durance is abiding without such constant prayer. 
ing no verb in the Greek. The participles which Ver. 13. Being sharers in tha TuomiHi of 

follow are to be explained accordingly. This is tha taints; taking part in these necessities as 

unusual, but not ungrammatical ; since in vers, your own ; hence relieving them. ' Communicat- 

16-19 this construction recurs. We also supply ing'is inexact, as also in Gal. vi. 6; ramp. 1 

* your,' since the article point- *- "--■ '">--; ■■■--- ■- ■•■>•- - ■'■ ■■■'- * L - -- 

grace they already possess. - 
' unhypocritical.' Com p. the u 



7, where the verb occurs in the same sense as 
here. (Some manuscripts present a curious vari- 

, ation in this clause, substituting for ' necessities ' 

marginal references 1 in some of these » word which refers to the days consecrated to 

passages ' faith ' is thus characterized, but faith the commemoration of martyrs ; apparently an in- 

IS the root of love. This brief clause is the title tentional corruption of the test.) All Chris- 

of the entire section. — Abhor that which is aril, tians are included under the term 'saints.' — 

etc. Christian love will manifest itself in this Siren to hotnttalitj, lit, 'pursuing hospitality.' 

abhorrence of what is morally evil and permanent This virtue is frequently enjoined in the New 

adherence to what is morally good. (It is not nee- Testament (see marginal references), and was 

essary to restrict the adjectives to what is inju- especially necessary in those days, when Chris- 

rious and what is kind.) ' This antithesis con- tians were persecuted and banished. The early 

atitutes the practice of heaven and heavenly life, church responded to the precept. ' He does not 

and its realization is the life of our Lord ' say, practising, but pursuing, teaching us not to 

(Lange). wait for those that are in need, but rather to run 

Ver. 10. In brotherly lore, lit., 'the brotherly after them and track them out' (Chrysostom). 

tove,' implying as before that this is already pos- While this presses the sense of the word, it is a 

scssed. 'In 'is properly supplied, but the exact fair inference. 

sense is ' with respect to.' The E. V. inverts (he Ver. 14. Bleu them that persecute yon, etc 
emphatic order of the Greek in these clauses. — 'The saying of Christ, Matt. v. 44, was perhaps 
Be affectionate one to another. The word is that known to the Apostle and here came to hit re- 
applied to family affection, and is properly chosen ollection ' (Meyer). It is quite unlikely, however, 
in view of the new and peculiar relation of Chris- that he had read the gospel of Matthew. The 
tian brethren. — In honour preferring one an- Sermon on the Mount was, doubtless, well known 
other. Meyer explains: 'going before as guides,' through oral transmission, and there are allusion; 
1. *., with conduct that incites others to follow, to it in the Epistles (chap. ii. 19; I Cor. vii. tc; 
ipacimj one an- Jas. iv. 9; v. 12; 1 Pet. iij. 14; iv. 14). The 



atuarl : in giving honor, antii 

other.' The former is probably 

ance with usage ; but ' in honor going before 

another' would suggest the reverse of humility, 

hence we do not alter *' ' ' ' "' 

E. V. Godetparaphi 



Ver. 



in advance of ynurselv 
In diligence, not slothful. We ra- 
the emphatic order throughout. ' In dili- 



word rendered ' persecute ' is the same at that 

the last clause of ver. 13 ; an intentional play 

1 words. Probably the change of form to the 

eading of the imperative shows how difficult a duty this was 

making them in all felt to be. ' How hard this 



■nipt hum 



fence' (the s 
usiness,' but with respect to zeal;' in whatever 
Christian duty requires your diligence, do not 
be slothful. — In spirit, ferrent The figure is 
that of seething, boiling like a hot spring ; hence 
the human spirit is meant, but the regenerated 
human spirit, since Christians are addressed. 
This clause is opposed to mere animal excitement 
in our diligence ; the spirit itself must be stirred, relati 
™ — '~j the Lord. Many ancient authorities, 



of t 



1 letters ( 



_, ry one who is acquainted w 

heart well knows. Yet this is the standard of 
Christian temper and character exhibited in the 
Scriptures ' (Hodge). Hardest of all is the duty 
when the persecutor is a professed Christian 
brother. 

Ver. 15, Rejoice with them, etc The infini- 
tive occurs in the original, and we may para- 
phrase; 'it is necessary, to rejoice," etc 'Ver. 
14 defines the proper conduct in relation to per- 
sonal antipathy; ver. 15, the proper conduct in 
personal sympathy'' (Lange). The 
- '-*- rjected, nor is the exhortation 



* for Kupiuj weaker. Syr 



« less difficult than for- 



Sympathy is no 
. . up- giveness. The latter is less active than the for- 
k's daily task adapt- mer, and may exist when the range of Christian 
Ml. to the circum- feeling is too limited for wide and quick sym- 
- * L - But forgetfulness of self is tie basis of 

er, decides in favor of the other reading. The Ver. 16. Be of the same mind, etc. The par- 
variation can readily be accounted for. The ob- ticipial form recurs, but the force is still impera- 
iection that so general a precept is inappropriate live. This precept refers to concord in feeling, 
here is invalid. It is characteristically Pauline to though not to the exclusion of corresponding 
insert a distinctively Christian motive in his mi- thought and endeavor. — Kind not high things. 
nute exhortations. In whatever we find to do we The verb is the same as in the previous clause 
are not only to be active, but to have a spiritual (lit., 'minding the same; minding not the high 
enthusiasm, which is prompted by the knowledge things '), This may be taken as a general warn- 
that all our doing, however humble, is in the ing against ambition, or ' high things ' may refer 
service of Christ. to the distinctions which arise among Christians, 

Ver. 12. In hope, rejoicing. The hope, i. e., whether social or official, and which are so statu- 

the thing hoped for, is the ground rather than the rally sought after. The latter view accords with 

object of the joy. — In tribulation, patient, 1. e., the common rendering of the next clause. — But 

steadfast as usually. This clause follows, prob- eondeieend to (be carried along by) man of low 

ably because the Christian's joyous hope produces estate, or ' lowly things.' It is difficult to decide 

endurance in affliction. — In prayor, persevering whether the last phrase is masculine or neuter. 



Chap. XIII. I-7-] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 1 29 



die same form being used for both genders, either by letting him have his will, or by getting 
„_, . the latter and explains : 'yielding out of its way, neither of them suited to the con- 
to that which is humble, to the claims and tasks text, or in harmony with the tone of the passage. 



Meyer accepts t 



which are presented to you by the humbler rela- Alford refers it to anger in general, without add 

tions of life ; ' he cites Paul's example, as tent- ing anything to the correct interpretation. * The 

maker and sufferer. The neuter occurs in the morality of this precept is based on the holiness 

previous clause, but the adjective is masculine in of God ; hence so far as love and wrath are the 

all other instances in the New Testament, and two poles of holiness, it does not exclude the 

the next clause favors the reference to persons. — blessing of our adversaries (ver. 14) and interces- 

Be not wise in your own conceits. This is closely sion for them' (Meyer). — For it is written 

connected with the other precepts, for such self- (Deut xxxii. 35), Vengeance is mine (lit, ' to me is 

sufficiency in judgment usually attends ambition, vengeance ') ; I will recompense again (a strength- 

and serves to foster the aristocratic feeling, which, ened form of the word used in ver. 17), saith the 

as Godet intimates, the Apostle opposes through- Lord (a formula naturally added by the Apos- 

out this verse. Nothing destroys Christian fel- tie). The Hebrew is : ' Mine is revenge and re- 

lowship more effectually than this conceit of wis- quital ; ' the LXX. reads : ' in the day of ven- 

dom. geance I will recompense.' In Heb. x. 30, the form 

Ver. 17. Booompense to no man evil tor eviL is the same as here, which suggests that it had 
The proper treatment of those opposed to us was become usual, especially as it occurs in the para- 
spoken of in ver. 14, and from this point is the phrase of Onkelos. 

sole topic of the section. ' No man ' who injures Ver. 2a Bat} u e. t * on the contrary,' ' nay 

us, whether Christian brother or one without, so rather' (Alford). The authorities present several 

in ver. 14. The Apostle ' knew too well by ex- variations ; but the oldest manuscripts and more 

perience that in the bosom of the Church itself recent editors accept * but.' — If thine enemy, etc 

one could encounter malevolence, injustice, jeal- The rest of the verse corresponds exactly with 

ousy, hate' (Godet). The principle is plain, but Prov. xxv. 21, 23 (LXX.) and is adopted oy the 

the temptation to disobey is often very strong. — Apostle without a formula of citation. The only 

Have a care for thinirs honorable in tie sight of difficulty is in the last clause ; thou thalt heap 

all men. The E. v. is misleading, conveying to coals of Are on his head. Explanations : (1.) Thou 

the ordinary reader the thought that we are bid- wilt thus leave him to severer divine punishment 

den to provide for ourselves and our families in This is opposed by the next verse, and contrary 

an honest way. 'In the sight of all men' is to to Prov. xxiv. 17. (2.) Thou wilt prepare for 

be joined with the verb, not with * honorable.' him the glowing shame of penitence ; so Augus- 

Man's estimate of what is ' honorable ' is not the tine, Meyer, Godet, and many others. This is 

standard ; but all should see that our effort is for not open to any serious objection, if real peni- 

what is ' honorable.' Hodge finds here the mo- tence be understood. Simply to make him 

tive for the preceding exhortation : ' let a regard ashamed is not an exalted motive.' (3.) Thou wilt 

for the honor of religion and your own character by this kindness most readily subdue him, thus 

prevent the returning of evil for evil,' but the taking the most effectual vengeance ; so Alford, 

connection is not obvious. The care for things Hodge, and others. This really includes (2), and 

honorable might serve to dispossess the desire is favored by the next verse. Tyndale's gloss is : 

for retaliation. * This means that thou shalt kindle him and make 

Ver. 18. If it be possible, as much as depend- him to love.' Besides these, a number of fanciful 
eth on you ; not, ' ft you can? but if it be possible, interpretations have been suggested. 
if others allow you to do so, be at peaee with all Ver. 21. Be not overcome by evil, 1. *., injury 
men. That this is sometimes impossible, the done you, but overcome evil with good. This 
Apostle's life shows ; but our responsibility ex- sums up the entire matter respecting the treat- 
tends as far as our ability to keep the peace. ment of adversaries : When we requite evil for 

Ver. 19, Avenge not yourselves, beloved. We evil, we are overcome, when we return good for 

restore the Greek order ; the address becomes evil, we overcome it So Christ did on the cross, 

more affectionate, in order to press lovingly the When we do this, we achieve the greatest victory 

more difficult duty. —But rather (or, on the con- of love : we win by yielding ; we gain by giving ; 

trary) give place unto the wrath of God. This we avenge by forgiving ; we conquer by forget- 

seems to be the only sense consistent with what ting ourselves so as to return good for evil. * Men 

follows. Let God's wrath take its course, do not whose minds can withstand argument, and whose 

attempt to execute it vourself ; comp. our Lord's hearts rebel against threats, are not proof against 

conduct, as described in 1 Pet. ii. 23. So most the persuasive influence of unfeigned love ; there 

commentators, but a variety of untenable expla- is, therefore, no more important collateral reason 

nations have been given : * aefer your own wrath,' for being good, than that it increases our power 

a larinism, and not the meaning of Paul's Ian- to do good.' (Hodge.) 
guage ; give place to the wrath of your enemy, 



Chapter XIII. 1-7. 

3. The Christian's Duty to Rulers. 

This exhortation has seemed to many out of place, since in ver. 8 the precepts resume their general 
character, and the connection with what precedes is not obvious. Some have found this connection 
in the persecuting character of the state ; others discover an apologetical design ; others again find 
VOL. IIL 9 



EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XIII. 1-7. 
9 of the church, while Godet thinkm that the 
crating ha body to the service of God, place* him 
successively in the two domains In which he should realize the ucrifice of " 
life properly to termed, and that of itvil life.' He include* Ten. 8-10 b 
ting this, we may yet find an occasion for the exhortation, and one, m 
it with the closing thought of the last chapter. The Jew* in Roue had been banished from the city 
for a time by the Emperor Claudius (a. d. 51} on account of their turbulent spirit. This tarbolence 
was doubtless the result of the political character of their Messianic expectations. Nowhere would 
such a result be more pronounced than at Rome, and the Christians there, though not Jewish, could 
scarcely fail to be more or less affected in the same way. It is no reproach to them to assume that 
they had not yet understood what many, even now, do not recognize, namely, that the freedom of the 
gospel is primarily spiritual, out of which, by degrees, in the appointed way, a reformation and trans- 
formation of civil relations should proceed. Moreover, the character of the imperial rulers was such 
(Nero was then emperor) that the exhortation was only a specific application to the precept : 'over- 
come evil with good ' {chap. zii. 21), By obedience to this exhortation, under such mien, the 
Church of Christ won her moral victory over the Roman empire and heathendom. When she ex- 
alted herself to rule, instead of humbling herself to obedience, her weakness began. 

The course of thought is simple : The duty of obedience to rulers and its motive in the divine ap- 
pointment (vers. 1, 2) ; another motive, from the salutary design of government (vera. 3, 4) ; the two 
thoughts combined (ver. 5), and the principle illustrated from the universal paying of taxes) (vex. 6), 
then applied in a detailed exhortation (ver. 7). 

1 T ET every soul * be subject 1 unto the higher powers." ■ Tfe,* ',', 
J— t For*there is no power 8 but of* God: the powers that * f^U^. 

2 be are* ordained of God. Whosoever therefore* resisteth JfjiyE 
'the power, 8 resisteth 7 the ordinance of God: and they that re-, S ait. 

3 sist 8 shall receive to themselves damnation. 9 For rulers are 
not a terror to good works, 10 but to the evil. Wilt thou then 

not u be afraid of the power ? * do that which is good, and thou d ■ tw, a, 

4 shalt have praise of ia the same : For he is the minister of '*' '* 
God a to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be 
afraid ; for he beareth u not the sword in vain : for he is the 
minister of God, 18 a revenger to execute wrath upon u him that 

5 doeth evil. Wherefore *_>v must needs be subject, 18 not only &x. vs. >■ 

6 for 17 wrath, 'but also for conscience' sake. For, for this cause ' 4 P am ^-^^ 
pay ye u tribute also: for they are God's ' ministers, 19 attend- "fc*£ ! 

7 ing continually upon this very thing. * Render therefore K to ■»> PH \ i - 
all their dues : tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to SSiiL 
whom custom ; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. k Siit,™. 

I submit himself * to the authorities which are over him nL* 17; 
•authority • some authorities read 'from ""■* 

* they that exist (according to Ike best authorities) have been 

* So that he who * withstandeth * withstand 

* judgment, or, condemnation 

10 the good work {according to the best authorities) 

II Dost thou then wish not to u from » God's minister 

11 weareth " an avenger for wrath to " submit yourselves 
17 because of the w ye pay " the ministering servants of God 
50 the best authorities omit therefore. 



Chap. XIII. 1-7] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 131 

rendering suggests that the obedience is of a vol- better with the fuller statements of vers. 3, 4.9+- 
untary and rational character, not a servile and Hot a tenor to the good work, etc. ' The good 
blind subjection. — To the authorities which are work ' and ' the evil" are personified. ' Beyond 
tfftr him. We substitute 'authorities' for 'pow- the work, and to the intention, the prerogative of 
en,' both because it is a more exact rendering the magistrate does not extend' (Meyer). If this 
and accords better with the use of the singular in verse gives a reason for the last clause of ver. 2, 
the next clause. Political rulers are undoubtedly then ' good work ' and 'evil ' must be limited to 
meant, and most probably all such, of every rank ; obedience and resistance ; which seems objection- 
the exclusive reference to the higher class of nil- able. — Dost thou then wish, etc. The clause 
ers being very doubtful. — For there is no author- may be taken as hypothetical : ' Thou dost not 
ity (of any kind, the proposition being universal) wish,' etc — Thou shalt have praise from the same, 
hut of God. The preposition, according to the In thus presenting an ideal of civil government, 
received reading is more exactly ' from ; ' accord- the Apostle gives the reason for obedience to right- 
ing to the better established text, ' by/ The for- ful authority, and establishes a principle of general 
mer indicates that there is no authority apart from validity. But the ideal itself suggests that when 
Him as the source ; the latter that authority is rulers become a terror to the good work, another 
established by Him. This general proposition is maxim can have place, that of the Apostles (Acts 
applied in the next clause, which gives the mo- v. 29) : ' We must obey God rather than man.' 
tive for obedience to the preceding exhortation. — Nero had not yet shown his true character, when 
They that exist The word ' authorities ' (£. V., this Epistle was written. Even he persecuted the 
' powers ') is not found in the best manuscripts Christians as alleged evil-doers. 
and is rejected by modern editors. The refer- Ver. 4. Tor he is God's minister to thee for 
ence here is to existing civil authorities, de facto good. This is a purpose for which civil govern- 
governments, which the Apostle asserts, have been ment was ordained of God (the word ' God's ' is 
ordained of God. The simple, pellucid meaning in emphatic position). By the fulfilment of this 
of the Apostle, is that civil government is nee- purpose the relative excellence of forms of gov- 
essary, and of divine appointment We infer eminent may be determined. It is an empirical 
that anarchy is as godless as it is inhuman ; maris- test, and does not assume that there is a jure 
trates derive their authority from God, even when divino form. The verse presents a confirmation 
chosen by the people. This principle, moreover, of ver. 3 : ' Dost thou then wish,' etc. — Be afraid ; 
respects the office, not the character of the ruler, for he weareth not the sword in vain. ' Wear- 
But as the obedience is demanded because of eth ' points to the habitual bearing ; ' the sword ; ' 
God's appointment, there inheres this limitation, is not the dagger of the emperor and his prefect 
that obedience is not demanded in matters con- but the curved sword of the provincial Roman 
trary to God's appointment When the civil magistrates, which moreover was borne before 
power is most directly under the control of the them in public processions as a symbol of their 
popular will, the personal responsibility of Chris- right to punish with death. — An avenger for 
tian citizens is greatest : to the duty of obedience wrath, etc The magistrate is God's minister, 
are added those of political knowledge and pru- not only for good, but in this respect also ; he is 
dence. Unfortunately the ' rights ' are too fre- * an avenger for wrath,' it is his office to punish 
quentlv recognized more clearly than the duties ; evil, to vindicate those who have been wronged 
and history proves plainly enough that popular (comp. Luke xviii. 3-8), for the execution of the 
government, when, and only when the people are Divine wrath, which is here named to strengthen 
permeated by Christian principle contains m itself the force of the argument. The theory of civil 
the preventive of revolutionary excess. penalty here involved includes more than efforts 

Ver. 2. 80 that (as a result of the principle to restrain and reform the criminal. The Apos- 

just stated) he who resisteth (or, ' setteth himself tie undoubtedly here asserts the right of capital 

against') the authority, that particular existing punishment He is describing an ideal of civil 

authority, to which he should submit himself, government and this right has been and will be 

(There is a play upon the words in the Greek abused, to the extent that the state falls below 

which cannot be reproduced in English. — With- this ideal. But the right remains; fully justified 

■tandtth, or, ' opposeth ; ' not the same word as by the theory of punishment here advanced, and 

before, though the E. V. renders both * resisteth.' by the necessities of self-preservation on the part 

— The ordinance of God. The word 'ordinance' of society represented by the punishing power, 

corresponds with 'ordained' (ver. 1). — They that Moreover, the right to punish also implies the 

withstand shall reeeive to themselves judgment, or, right to pardon; and the measure of the right 

'condemnation.' The former is more literal, but (*. /., the conformity to the ideal here presented) 

the latter sense is evidently implied. ' Damna- will be also the measure of the sense of respon- 

tion ' is incorrect, since it suggests future eternal sibility, both as to the punishing and pardoning 

punishment, which is not meant here. But the power. The usual objections to capital punish- 

' judgment' is from God, since it is His 'ordi- ment misapprehend both the nature of punish- 

nance ' which is withstood. That the rulers are ment in general, and the divine authority in civil 

instruments in inflicting the divine punishment is government. 

indicated in vers. 3, 4, but the punishment may Ver. 5. Wherefore ye must needs, etc. In ac- 

come in other ways. ' Paul reproduces here in a cordance with what has been stated (' wherefore '), 

certain sense, but in another form, the saying of the necessity of obedience rests, not only on 

Jesus (Matt xxvi. 52) : "All they that take the grounds of prudence, because of the wrath, but 

sword shallperish with the sword. ' (Godet.) on moral grounds, hut also for conscience' sake ; 

Ver. 3. For rulers (lit, 'the rulers,' as a class), obedience is a religious duty. 

etc Some connect this with ver. 1, as an addi- Ver. 6. For, for this cause ye pay tribute also, 

tional reason for obedience, namely, the salutary This clause is indicative, not imperative (though 

design of government; others find here the ground the form in the Greek admits of either sense). 

for the last clause of ver. 2. The former accords The fact of tribute paying was universal, and ' for ' 



also" 






EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XIII. 1-14. 

* a reason for this fact, rather view, refers to all kinds of rulers, though the 

■ an exhortation. The connec- principle is applied in the next section to all per- 

tful. Some join 'lor this cause sons. — Tribute, etc. 'Is due' is properly snp- 

1-4, making this verse parallel plied in English, the Greek construction being 



with ver. 5 as the statement of another result of elliptical. 'Tribute' is a direct tax on person or 

the divine appointment. Meyer connects it im- property. — Custom is a toll, or duty, on goods. — 

mediately with ver. 5, finding here a result of the raw .... honor. If the reference it to rulers, 

necessity there stated, as well as a confirmation the former is to be applied to the proper sent)- 

of it. But, as that verse is an inference from ment and conduct toward the higher magistrates, 

what precedes, this view implies a reference to especially judges, the latter to magistrates in gen- 

the entire discussion. ' For introduces the fact craL Alford applies honor ' to all on whom the 

of paying tribute as a proof that obedience is due State has conferred distinction. ' If the wider ref- 

for the reasons assigned in ver. 5. ' Also,' sue- erence is accepted, ' fear ' means the reverence 

gests the correspondence with other acts of ebedi- paid to superiors ; honor, the courtesy doe to 

ence. The two views may be thus paraphrased : equals. This is a fair inference, but the more 

' Besides the necessity of obedience as just set limited application seems preferable. 

minority of the magistrates is As regards the present application of the sec- 

., .._: > .. _i tion a variety of opinion obtains. 

Views : (1.) That the Apostle's exhortation has 

hat it is necessary to obey for these two reasons no application to our time when Christianity is the 

ver. S), I adduce from among the duties prompted governing principle of the dvilixed world. Here 



3 obey for these ti 

.. . m among the duties , v , 

by these reasons (" for this cause "J one (" also ") the premise is only partially true, and the condu. 



governing 

_, , .„ ,----, — , thepremis , .. — .., — , ._.. „ 

universally performed, namely the paying of trib- sion not warranted by the premise, if true. 
ute.' — For they (i. t., the magistrates) are th* That passive obedience to civil power it "' 



M 



_ _ie emphasis rests riablc rule for Christians. This is am . 

on the word rendered ' ministering servants,' conception of the Apostle's position, and opposed 
which is a stronger one than that used in ver. 4- by considerations drawn from the New Testament 
It belongs to a class of words applied to the tern- itself. Moreover, where any branch of the gov. 
pie service of the Jewish priests (see marginal ref- eminent represents the people, the duty of op- 
"•"™' ("IiipwimI 'liRirn> ja <leri v ed from the posing the tillers by constitutional means is a vi- 
se who rule, in so tual denial of the theory of non-resistance. (3.) 
t the divine counsel and will, and The correct view seems to be that the principles 
employ their strength and activity to this end, are here laid down are of universal application, but 
to be regarded as persons whose administration that such application has of necessity its limita- 
has the character 01 a divinely consecrated iacri- tions and variations. The ideal of civil govern- 
filial itrviet, a pruttly nature' (Meyer). — At- ment here presented affords on the one hand 
landing oontinuslly upon (lit., ' for ') this vary abundant reason for obedience to rightful author- 
thing. Godet joins ' for this very thing ' with the ity , and yet on the other makes room for Chris- 
preceding clause, but this seems forced. 'This tian resistance to rulers who utterly and entirely 
very thing ' may refer either to the payment of depart from this ideal. But the Christian's duty 
taxes, or to the entire 'ministry' of the magis- is to obey, until the duty of resistance is clearly 
trates. The wider thought of ver. 7 favors the proven. Such obedience has led to civil freedom, 
latter view, which is preferable for the further and consists with the highest spiritual freedom, 
reason that the participle, ' attending continually,' When rendered as the principle here laid down, 
J idea. ' You pay taxes because it continually a ' 



1 rulers, and it is basis of the lower authority, and thus tends to ele- 

' vate the State toward the Apostolic ideal. 

This ideal of the Apostle neither confounds 
Church and State, nor places them in antagonism, 
but properly coordinates them in Christian ethics. 
Romanism subordinates the State to the Church, 



they are necessary ti 

necessary to maintain rulers because of the na- 
ture of the office, as ministering servants of God, 
whose constant duty it is to be a terror tc 
doers and a praise to those who do what is 

Ver. 7. Bender to all their dues. The weight usually placing them it 

of evidence is against the word 'therefore,' which subordinates the Church t 

would readily be inserted, since we have here an confounding them. Puritan ._ 

inferential exhortation. Some connect this verse them, but with more of acknowledged theocratic 

with the next section, in view of its general state- principle. Godet well says : ' The essence and 

a summing up of what precedes, origin of the two societies are different, then* ad- 



> the it 



■All,' i 



this 



ministration should rt 



Chapter XIII. 8-14. 

4. General Exhortation to Love, and to a Christian Walk. 

The more general exhortation of ver. S seems to have been suggested by the thought of obligation 
which underlies ver. 7 : fulfil all obligations ; but the universal one, which can never be fully dis- 
charged, is that of love to one another. The ground of this obligation, as the fulfilment of the law, is 



• I 



Chap. XIII. 8-14] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 133 

then discussed (vers. 9, 10). A motive is introduced, drawn from the approaching day of the Lord 
(vers, ii, 12 a), which is made the basis of further exhortations to a corresponding Christian walL 
(vers. 12 £-14). 

8 /^""\WE no man anything, but 1 to love one another: for a £*, r ; v ,0 ; 4 . 

9 V^ "he that loveth another 2 hath fulfilled the law. For f^Vl! 
this, * Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, ^ £S5S ».*" 
Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 3 Thou i&ut lc V. , 7 , 
shalt not covet ; and if there be any other commandment, it is JUL' 5 ,*! 1 *"' 
briefly comprehended 4 in this saying, 6 namely, c Thou shalt e ^TiiSt. 

10 love thy neighbour as thyself. d Love worketh no ill to his Swk«i. 
neighbor : therefore 'love is the fulfilling 6 of the law. i 4 ; japes' 

11 And that, 7 knowing the time, 8 that now it is high time 9/ to</com P .i 
awake 10 out of sleep : for now is our salvation nearer than * Matt. xx'h. 

40; vcr. 8. 

12 when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand '^ xQ fyX\ 



9 let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and Met us put h; «Jhe*s 

13 on the armour of light. 'Let us walk * honestly, 11 as in the*§f-.. T ; g ""» 
day ; 'not in rioting and drunkenness, m not in chambering and * flhjj; V V 

14 wantonness, " not in strife and envying : ia But °put ye on the ,- p hil> iv 8 . 
Lord Jesus Christ, and p make not provision for the flesh, to | a T h I e p e t! 1f " 



fulfil the lusts thereof. k &£. in 

the Greek, 

1 save * Greek the other " Cor ;* iv - 

40; 1 Thess 

• the best authorities omit Thou shalt not bear false witness iv. 12. 

4 summed up again (recapitulated) 6 lit., word ioTlS" 1 " 

• Love therefore is the fulfilment 7 this 8 season pS.%! 3. 

• it is already time "» * S°r. vi. 

' 9 ; Eph. v. 

10 for you (according to the best authorities) to awake n seemly 5- 

"jealousy «J»»«m. 

o Gal. iii. 27; Eph. iv. 24; Col. iii. 10. 
/ Gal. v. 16; 1 Pet. ii. 11. 

Vcr. 8. Owe no man anything. On the con- sympathies which cannot be digested into a code 
nection of thought, see above. The clause is un- and reduced to rule, it adds the flesh which fills it, 
doubtedly imperative, and the meaning is very and the life which actuates it* (Webster and Wil- 
wide, including all possible obligations to every kinson). The context (vers. 9, 10) plainly shows 
human being, and not to be limited to a caution that the Mosaic law is meant, while the whole 
against pecuniary indebtedness. — Save to love Epistle excludes any idea of justification as based 
one mrtfrtr This is an exception which is not on this fulfilment The Apostle is writing to 
an exception. ' Owe ' in the first clause refers to those who love because they are justified. 
external obligations, but from the nature of the Ver. 9. For this, etc Four out of the five 
case the obligation referred to in the second commandments in the second table of the law arc 
clause is a moral one, the apprehension of which cited: The received text inserts the ninth corn- 
will grow with exercise. The more we love, the mandment also, but on insufficient authority. The 
more we will feel the claims of love. This obli- seventh commandment here precedes the sixth, as 
gatkm can never be paid ; hence here we must elsewhere in the New Testament (Mark x. 19, re- 
"owe,* but we must here most faithfully attempt ceived text; Luke xviii. 20; Jas. ii. 11). The 
to discharge our obligations. — For ho that lor- same order occurs in some MSS. of the LXX ; 
eth. This clause snows that the previous one and Paul may have followed these. The tenth 
a command to love, irrespective of our inabil- commandment is given in brief form. It forbids 



ity to discharge the growing sense of obligation. — the most frequent cause of a violation of the 

Another, lit, 'the other,' the other one who is rights of others. Only the second table is re- 

loved, in the given case. — Hath fulfilled the law. called, because duties to our neighbor are under 

'In and with the loving there has taken place discussion. — If there be, etc. This includes the 

what the Mosaic law prescribes, namely, in re- omitted commandment, whether Paul had this in 

spect of duties towards one's neighbor' (Meyer), mind or not — Summed up again. The Greek 

Love is more than a performance of the single word answers exactly to our word ' recapitulate,' 

precepts of the law, it is the essence of the law to bring together again under one head. Comp. 

itself. ' It reaches those lesser courtesies and Eph. i. 10. — This saying, lit, ' word,' a term ap- 



l' M 



I 



> 



I 



•" ¥ 



* f 



* 134 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XIII. 8-14. 

plied to the commandment — Thou shalt love, error. Bat Stuart, Hodge, and others maintain 

etc. The commandments were more than pro- quite strongly the exclusive reference to the de- 

| _ hibitory, as this recapitulation by Moses plainly hverance from present evil, the consummation of 

W showed ; see marginal references also. salvation for the individual believer in eternity. 

Ver. 10. Lore worketh no ill to his neighbor, Undoubtedly we must accept such an application 

| lit., ' the neighbor.' Alford : * All the command- and press it as a motive, but the other view seems 

ments of the law above cited are negative : the to be the correct one. 

formal fulfilment of them is therefore attained, Ver. 12. Die night is far spent, etc The figure 

by working no ill to one's neighbor. What here must be interpreted in accordance with the 

greater things love works he does not now say.' view taken of ' salvation ' (ver. 11). 'The night' 

1 » Paul's further comments on this thought may oe is primarily the period up to the Advent, the ap- 

+ found in 1 Cor. ziii. 4-7 (Meyer). Love therefore proach of which is indicated : the day is at hand. 

ii the fulfilment of the law. A repetition of the Of course there are other applications ; ' the day 

proposition of ver. 8 after its truth has been will break a hundred times, in ever greater po- 

demonstrated (vers. 9, 10). 'Fulfilment' is a tencies, between the first and the second coming 

more accurate rendering than 'fulfilling' (E. of Christ' (Lange). But it is fanciful to refer 

V.). 'the night' to the spiritual condition of heathen 

Ver. 11. And this. It is not necessary to sup- Rome, and ' the day' to Christian Rome. — Let us 

(1 - ply anything; the sense is: and ye should the therefore east off, as one casts off his clothing, the 

rather do this, /'. e., 'love one another' (ver. 8), works of *«*»«■■, works done in darkness, as 
as afterwards expanded. — Knowing the season ; their characteristic moral element ; comp. Eph. 
since ye know the season. What this means is v. 11. — Let us put on the armor of lipht. Spirit- 
then explained : that it is already time, etc. We ual light is the possession of the believer ; he is 
prefer this rendering as more exact. — For yon. exhorted to put on the armor which properly be- 
The received text has ' us,' which does not appear longs thereto. His clothing is not for luxury, or 
in the E. V., but the oldest authorities support show, but for a conflict (comp. Eph. vi. 13). The 
' you,' which is the subject of the following infin- ' armor ' represents principles, modes of action, 
itive. We therefore supply ' you ' in our explana- rather than the resulting good deeds, 
tionof the preceding part of the verse, the whole be- Ver. 13. Let us walk seemly, as in the day. 
4, ing hortatory in its tone. — To awake out of sleep ; Both ' honestly ' (E. V.) and ' decently' (E. V. 
T + it is already time that you should awake out of margin) are too limited, the reference being to 
f sleep. Meyer joins 'already' with the infinitive decorum, such as befits the day when conduct is 

clause, which seems unnecessary. Since this ex- open to observation. — Hot in rioting said drunk* 

f • hortation is addressed to Christians, 'sleep' must ennees. The former refers to nocturnal revels, 

be taken in a relative sense, and explained of ' the and was probably suggested by the figures of 

¥■ state of worldly carelessness and indifference to ' night ' and ' day ; ' the latter means drunken ca- 

! sin, which allows and practices the works of dark- rousals ; both are plural in the original. — Hot in 

ness. The imagery seems to be taken originally chambering and wantonness. Various forms of 

, from our Lord's discourse concerning his coming : secret vice are here indicated by the plural. These 

< see Matt. xxiv. 42 ; Mark xiii. 33, and Luke xxi. sins are closely connected with the preceding, 

28-38, where several points of similarity to our often caused by them. In Gal. v. 19 ; Eph. iv. 

, ! * vers. 11-14 occur' (Alford). — For now (not the 19 and elsewhere, the word rendered 'wanton- 

• . same word as ' already ') is salvation nearer to us ness ' occurs, but is translated ' lasciviousness.' It 

' (or, ' is our salvation nearer ') than when we first points to an abandoned sensuality. — Hot in strife 

' believed. This is the motive for the preceding ex- and jealousy. These follow in the train of sen- 

- hortation. Of the renderings we gpve, the former suality, as Roman life was then testifying most 

I ■ g *> is favored by the order of words in the original, sadly. (• Envying' is inexact.) The entire fam- 

f * ' First believed ' is a correct paraphrase, indicat- ilv of vices is well-known, and the relationship 

ing the single act of faith with which the Chris- oovious. 

tian life began. ' Salvation ' is regarded by most Ver 14. But pat ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. 

' of the recent commentators as referring to the Comp. marginal references. In GaL iii. 27 the put- 

}» ',. i second coming of Christ Others object to this ting on of Christ is represented as a finished fact 

l- ' j view on the ground that it implies a mistaken ex- (in principle), but here the exhortation is to a 

«* ■ pectation on the part of the Apostle, as well as continuous duty. In both cases vital fellowship 

> because either the word 'coming,' or, ' appearing,' is meant, but each step in the growing conformity 

would be used, if that were the sense. The latter to Christ is a new putting on of Him, so that we 

objection is not of much weight, since the word present Him, not ourselves, in our conduct. — And 

' salvation ' often has a future reference, and in make not provision for the flesh, etc. There are 

the Apostle's mind the blessedness of the future two views of this passage. (1.) Flesh is taken in 

was intimately associated with the coming of the the strictly ethical sense ; the meaning will then 

{ Lord. Further, even if Paul had a personal hope be : make no provision whatever for the flesh (the 

> » that the Lord would soon return, that did not depraved nature), so as to fulfil its lusts, and also 

1 interfere with his so writing that his teaching cor- because such provision would fulfil them. In 

rected the errors of others, because it was itself favor of this may be urged, the emphatic position 

inspired. He himself knew that he could not know of ' flesh ' in the original ; its usual sense in tins 

the time ; and therefore he could not, and did not, Epistle, and the contrast with putting on Christ 

teach any error on this point. Indeed, the very Jesus. (2.) Flesh is understood in its physio 

statements which are used to prove that he had logical sense, the material of the body, which is 

this expectation prove even more clearly their the source and seat of sensual desires. The sense 

own adaptation to the needs of the waiting church, then is, make such provision for the flesh, as shall 

They have been literally true in their application not fulfil its lusts. The position of the word 

to Christians for centuries. On this great subject ' not ' in the original favors this view, but it is 

the Apostle taught the truth, as well as rebuked otherwise ojectionable. 



1 



i* 1 



■ »■ 



♦ 



t» 



Chap. XIV. i-ix] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 1 35 

Chapters XIV. i— XV. 13. 

II. Special Discussion respecting the Scruples of certain Weak Brethren. 

This part of the Epistle was occasioned by the existence at Rome of a class of Christians who had 
scruples in regard to eating meat and drinking wine, and who clung to the observance of the Jew- 
ish festivals. Whatever may have been the origin of such a class (see below), the result was that 
these judged their less scrupulous Christian brethren, who in return looked upon them with contempt. 
The Apostle's exhortation, while addressed mainly to the stronger brethren, who constituted the 
great majority of the church,. lays down a principle of universal validity in regard to differences of 
opinion among Christians on practical joints not inconsistent with common faith in Christ, and hence 
not essential to salvation. The passage may be, for convenience, divided into three sections : (1.) 
Exhortation to reciprocal forbearance and regard, mainly addressed to the weak ; chap. xiv. 1-12. 
(2.) Proper use of Christian liberty, on the part of the stronger brethren ; chap. xiv. 13-23. (3.) 
More general treatment of the subject, passing over into expressions of Christian praise ; chap. xv. 
1-13. The entire passage is 'at the same time the first step in the return from the form of a treatise 
to that of a letter; it forms, in consequence, the transition to the epistolary conclusion of the entire 
writing • (Godet). This is important in its bearing upon the question respecting the place of chaps. 
xv. v xvi. in the Epistle. 

The Weak Brethren at Rome. The scruples of the weak brethren were respecting eating 
flesh, drinking wine, and the non-observance of Jewish festivals. The result of these scruples, as in- 
dicated by the Apostle's exhortation, gives no certain clue to their origin. But the tone of the exhor- 
tation shows that Paul did not regard these brethren in the same light as he did the Judaizing teach- 
ers in Galatia, the errorists in Colosse, or even the weak brethren at Corinth (1 Cor. viii., x.). He 
speaks of and to them in a mild and persuasive way, entirely different from his language against 
false teachers. We must therefore consider them as men with weak ascetic prejudices rather than 
as legalists, or antipauline Judaizers. The persons referred to in 1 Cor. seem most closely allied in 
opinion to these, but at Rome the scruple does not appear to have been confined to meat offered to 
idols. They were not Jewish Christians who wished to retain the law, but it is probable that they 
were mainly of Jewish origin. Scrupulousness about meat offered, and wine poured out to idols, may 
have led to entire abstinence from meat and wine, or even from all food which in their view others 
might have rendered unclean in their preparation of it Possibly this asceticism was due to Essenic 
influences ; but it could scarely have been derived from the schools of heathen philosophy. Godet 
discovers an attempt to return to the vegetarian rule of the antediluvian age. The entire discussion 
shows profound insight respecting human character, and the adaptation of the principles laid down 
to social Christian life in all ages has been again and again proven. Unfortunately ecclesiastical 
bodies have too often made deliverances on matters of minor morals which overpass the limits here 
set to bearing the infirmities of the weak. The attempt to make men holy by ecclesiastical law has 
always failed ; no other result is possible, since the law of Moses proved powerless to sanctify. 



Chapter XIV. 1-12. 
1. Fraternal Duty in the Case of the Weak Brethren. 

The exhortation to receive the weak (ver. 1) ; the difference between the strong and the weak in 
the matter of eating (ver. 2), with admonitions to these classes respectively (ver. 3), especially to the 
weak brother who judges (ver. 4) ; the difference respecting the observance of days (ver. 5) ; the 
Christian attitude of both classes in their different conduct (ver. 6), based upon the common relation 
to Christ our Ruler (vers. 7-9) ; a warning to both classes in view of the accountability to God as 
Judge (vers. 10-12). 

The caution about judging is prophetic : more divisions and discords have arisen in the Church 
from the questions here referred to, about which the Apostle has given no authoritative decision, 
than from the discussion of the truly weighty matters of the previous chapters, in regard to which 
he speaks so positively. Neglect of distinctively Christian truth is often joined with pettiness in 
Christian ethics. 



136 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XIV. 1-12. 

1 T T IM that • is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubt- * £*?<£; * 

2 11 ful disputations. 1 For one believeth that he *may eat 8 J^g " J 

3 all things : another, who 8 is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him* cS.'£is\ 
that eateth despise 4 him that eateth not ; and • let not him which Th^i* 4 
eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.* " ' 

4 'Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? 6 to his*J«»esw. 
own master 6 he standeth or falleth ; yea, he shall be bolden up : 7 

q for God 8 is able to make him stand. 'One man esteemeth * £■! !7 -»s 

J Cot. u. 16. 

one day above another : another esteemeth every day alike. 

6 Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that 
'regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and 9 he that /GtLhr - ,a 
regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it He 10 

that eateth, eateth to n the Lord, for * he giveth God thanks ; 12r ;SlV. i; 
and he that eateth not, to u the Lord he eateth not, and giveth * 

7 God thanks. 12 For *none of us liveth to 11 himself, and no ** ?■£:!• '.* 

8 man 18 dieth to 11 himself. For whether we live, we live unto "jo 1 . 1 ^ 
the Lord ; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord : whether Um ** 

9 we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For 'to this end* aCor ' T,,s 
Christ both died, and rose, and revived, 14 that he might be 

10 *Lord both of the dead and living. 16 But why dost thou judge* Act* %.*. 
thy brother ? or why 16 dost thou set at nought thy brother ? 

for 'we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ 17/ $£^Aen 

1 1 For it is written, J 4 V<5J!' 

m As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, Tl7* Jode 

And every tongue shall confess 18 to God. m *f?n5ln. 



1 2 So then " every one 19 of us shall give account of himself to * Matt »i. 

5i 

5- 



r* , 36; Gal yi. 

UOu. 5; « Pet it. 



1 lit , unto judgings (or decisions) of thoughts 

2 one man hath faith to eat * but he that 4 set at nought 
6 ///., house-servant 6 lord T made to stand 

8 the Lord {according to the best authorities) 

• the best authorities omit the clause and he that regardeth not, etc 

10 And he ll unto M thanks unto God 

ls none 14 Christ died and lived again (according to the best authorities) 

16 of both the dead and the living M or thou also, why 

17 the best authorities read God 18 give praise w each one 



Ver. 1. Km that ii weak in the faith. (See tion*, lit, ' unto judgings of thoughts.* This 
note above.) The phrase might be rendered clause is addressea to the stronger brethren, who 
' weak in faith/ or even, ' in his faith,' since faith formed the great majority of the church. While 
in Christ is meant, not Christian doctrine, or, they receive the weak brother, it should not be in 
moral conviction, or, knowledge. The latter ideas such a way as to produce this result, that his 
are implied ; for in the cases referred to the faith thoughts (in this case the scruples named in vers. 
did not have its practical result in moral discern- 2, c, etc.) are criticised and judged. To refer it 
roent and conviction in regard to what properly to both parties is opposed by the form of the sen- 
belonged to a life of faith. — Beeeive ye ; do not tence. The word 'thoughts' here refers to doubts, 
reject or discourage him, but count him one of but does not itself mean this. Godet explains : 
your number, in fraternal fellowship. This ex- debates consisting in vain reasonings. But the 
nor tat ion suggests that the weak brethren were in word 'judgings ' means decisions, or, discrimina* 
a small minority. — But not to doubtful disputa- tions of judgment, while ' thoughts,' though usually 



Chap. XIV. 1-12.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 137 

having a bad sense in the New Testament, never Christ who is his master, and Christ, who is able, 

means vain reasonings. Lange's view : ' Not to will make him stand in his daily Christian faith 

the judicial decision of motives/ though a proper and life. 

inference, is lexically indefensible. Ver. 5. Ons man esteemoth one day above an- 

Ver. 2. One man ; as in ver. c. ' For ' is not other; fit, ' judges day above day ; ' distinguishes 
found in the original. — Hath faith to eat all one day from another, the reference probably be- 
things. ' Believeth ' is literal, but the reference ing to the Jewish feasts and fasts. This is a see- 
to 'iaith ' throughout makes this paraphrase nee- ond point of difference, but not so prominent as 
essary. One has a confidence resulting from the first, which is emphasized throughout. The 
faith which permits him to eat every kind of occasion of offence would be more frequent in 
food. This is the first point of difference, and the matter of eating and drinking — Another 
the position of the majority naturally comes first, esteemoth every day alike; lit., 'judgeth every 
— But ho that is weak, oatoth herbs. (See day.' — Let every man be fully persuaded in 
above.) This is best taken in its exact sense; his own mind. He does not say 'spirit,' but, 
the scruple was such that only vegetables were ' mind ; ' the practical reason is to be exercised in 
eaten. Even bread, prepared by others, may the decision of matters of personal duty ; the full 
have been deemed unclean. But there may have conviction of an educated conscience should be 
been a variety of usage among the weak breth- sought for, not fancied spiritual intuitions. 
ren. Such believers are apt to differ among Ver. 6. He that regaideth the day, repardeth 
themselves, as well as with their stronger breth- it unto the Lord. However weak his faith, ' he 
ren. who directs his carefulness to the day, exercises 

Ver. 3. Let not him that eateth sot at nought this carefulness in his interest for the Lord, 
(as in ver. 10) him that oatoth not ' The self- namely, in order thereby to respond to his relation 
consciousness of strength misleads into looking of belonging to the Lord 9 (Meyer). So far as the 
down with contempt on the weak ' (Meyer), scruples lead to conduct with this Christian tone, 
Against this so natural tendency the Apostle cau- they appeal to the kind tolerance of those who 
tions ; in the latter half of the chapter, the duty of are conscious of greater freedom. — The clause : 
the strong is more fully explained. — Judge nim ' and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord 
that oatoth. The weak brother fails to compre- he doth not regard it,' is omitted by the best au- 
hend the liberty of the stronger one ; his misiudg- thorities, and rejected by most modern editors, 
ment leads to false judgment, namely, in condemn- It was probably inserted to complete the antithet- 
ic the person whose conduct he fails to recon- ical form of tne passage, though some who re- 
tiie with the scruples of his weak faith. The tain it are disposed to think it was omitted De- 
reference is, not to doctrinal differences, but to cause it seemed to be against the observance of 
practical Christian ethics. — For God hath ro- the Lord's day and Christian holidays. As re- 
osived him. * Did receive him ' is more literal, gards the latter, the Apostle's principle is against 
pointing to the time when fellowship in Christ compulsory observance, but the Lord's day has 
Degan. This clause gives a reason for not judg- other claims than those of Jewish or Christian 
ing (comp. ver. 4), though some would prefer it festivals. The presence of the Fourth Com- 
to both the preceding prohibitions. But it is far mandment in the Decalogue, the recognition (and 
more pertinent to the weak brethren, since they explanation) of the obligation to keep the Sab- 
are apt to excommunicate, withdraw from fellow- bath by our Lord, as well as the relation of the 
ship on trivial grounds of external observance, law to the Christian life, suggest for the observ- 
thus rejecting him whom God received. The ance of the Lord's day a higher sanction than 
strong do not reject, but, while tolerating, are is afforded by 'considerations of humanity and 
prone to despise tne weak. religious expediency ' or by ecclesiastical enact- 

Ver. 4. Who art thou that judgestl Comp. ment. The application to the Jewish Sabbath 

chap. ix. 20. Evidently addressed to the weak may be admitted, but ' the observance of Sunday 

brother, rather than to both classes. — Another does not comprise anything in common with that 

man's servant, lit., ' house-servant,' one more Sabbatic observance which sunders life into two 

closely connected with the family than the other parts, one sacred, the other profane. It is this 

slaves, and in those times often the recipient of legal distinction which Paul excludes in our ver. 

great and special favors from a powerful master. 5 and Col. ii.' (Godet). — And ho that oatoth, oat- 

— To his own lord. ' Lord ' is preferable to eth unto the Lord, for ho giveth thanks unto God, 

' master/ to indicate the correspondence with the etc The Apostle now reverts to the first point 

correct reading of the last clause of the verse, and of difference, and applies to both parties the 

also to suggest the evident reference to Christ — Christian maxim just laid down. All Christians 

Ho standout or faUoth. The judgment of the were in the habit of thanking God at meals (and 

weak would exclude the stronger brother from his have been ever since). This was the proof that 

place as a Christian (ver. 3), hence it is most nat- the man who ate without scruple ate as a Chris- 

ural to explain this phrase of the continuance or tian man, ' unto the Lord ; ' while on the other 

non-continuance m the daily fidelity of a true Chris- hand he who scrupulously abstained also regarded 

tian life. To refer it to God's final judgment himself as abstaining from the same Christian 

seems less in accordance with the context, where motive, and hence gave thanks unto God over the 

Christ's power, not his grace, is spoken of. The meal of herbs to which he confined himself. 

passage implies that God only is the Lord of the Ver. 7. For none of us livoth unto himself, 

conscience, but that is not its primary meaning. — etc The Christian's eating or not eating is unto 

Ho shall be made to stand ; for the Lord (' his own the Lord, because the sum of his earthly exist- 

lord,' namely, Christ) is able to make him stand, ence, living and dying, is not ' unto himself ; ' and 

The argument is still addressed to the weak broth- this is true in the case of all. This is the nega- 

er, who condemns the stronger one, thinks he must tive side ; the positive follows. 

fall, if he exercises such freedom. But the Apos- Ver. 8. For whether we live, we live unto the 

tie asserts: the standing and falling concerns Lord, #./., Christ — We die unto the Lord; even 



138 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XIV. 13-23. 

our dying is an act of consecration to Christ — the stronger brother, who ' also/ by setting at 

Whether we live therefore, etc. The whole course nought hie brother, overlooks the fact that both 

of our existence here being unto Christ, it follows belong to Christ — For, as a reason for both the 

that in all we belong to Christ, whose divine maj- preceding questions, we shall all stand before the 

csty and power (Bengel) are set forth in the rep- jndflment seat of God. The oldest manuscripts 

etition of the word ' Lord.' read 'God,' which is accepted by nearly all mod- 

Ver. 9. For to this end, as described below, era critical editors. ' Christ ' was prooabiy sub- 

and including the thought of ver. 8, Christ died stituted, to correspond with ver. 9, or, from 2 Cor. 

and lived again, or, ' became alive,' at the resur- v. 10. The question of the divinity of Christ is 

rection. There is general agreement as to the not affected by the variation. ' The judging of 

correctness of the briefer reading, from which the one's brother therefore, first encroaches upon 

numerous variations can readily be explained. Christ's office as ruler, and, second, anticipates 

That followed in the E. V. contains two errors, and the judgment bar of God ' ( Lange). 

is poorly supported. — Might be Lord of both the Ver. 11. For it is written (Is. xlv. 23). The 

dead and the living. The correspondence with citation is freely made, the variations are, As I 

what precedes (' died and lived') is intentional, live for ' I have sworn by myself ' and shall give 

but the two facts and classes should not be di- praise to God for 'shall swear' (LXX. 'unto 

vided. God's purpose in Christ's death and res- God '). The word ' give praise ' usually means 

nrrection together was that he might be Lord of 'confess,' but followed by a dative, as here, has 

the race of men, whether in the state of the dead the signification, ' render nomage,' 'give praise/ 

or still living. Hence Christians, whether living The general thought thus expressed by the Apos- 

or dying, belong to Him (ver. 8). Eph. iv. 10 tie lay at the basis of the more special one of the 

contains a wider thought, which may be included Old Testament passage. The wnole, in any case, 

here, though for the Apostle's argument the ref- is regarded as a prophecy of the final judgment, 

erence to believers is quite sufficient. Notice, furnishing a proof of the last clause of ver. 10, 

that the Lordship is that of the risen Jesus Christ, Ver. 12. So then eaeh one of us, etc The em- 

the incarnate Word phasis rests on ' each one of us,' not on ' of himself/ 

Ver. 10. But why dost thou judfle thy broth- or, ' to God/ There is no exception ; let each 

or 1 ' Thou ' is emphatic, ' thou ' belonging to remember this, and each will be guarded against 

Christ the Lord. ' Thy brother ' marks an ad- judging his brother. ' That which precedes 

vance in thought from ver. 3, 4. This is addressed means : " Do not judge thy brother, since God 

to the weak brother. — Or thou also, why dost will judge him ; " this verse means : " Judge thou 

thou set at nought thy brother! Addressed to thyself, since God will judge thee" 1 (Godet) 



Chapter XIV. 13-23. 
2. Proper Use of Christian Liberty on the Part of the Stronger Brethren. 

The section opens with a caution against judging (ver. 13 a), which furnishes a transition to the 
leading thought, namely, that our practice should recognize the principle of not causing others to 
offend (ver. 13 b). This principle is further explained and enforced s our liberty should not grieve 
the weak brother (vers. 14-18), nor destroy in him the work of God, by leading him to do what he 
has not freedom of conscience in doing (ver. 19-23). 



vm. 
x. ja. 



13 T ET us not therefore judge one another any more: but*' * 
1— ' judge this rather, that °no man put 1 a stumblingblock' A«**^'» 

14 or an occasion to fall 2 in his 8 brother's way. I know, and am 2~ ;t , Cor 
persuaded by 4 the Lord Jesus, *that there is nothing 6 unclean tS'iTIsV 
of itself: but c to him that esteemeth anything 6 to be unclean, * iCor.via 

15 to him it is unclean. But 7 if thy brother be grieved with thy 
meat, 8 now walkest thou not charitably. 9 d Destroy not him * « c*- *»* 



1 



not to put 9 of falling • in a 4 in 

6 that nothing is • reckoneth anything 

7 For {according to the best authorities) 

8 because of thy meat {or food) thy brother is grieved 
thou art no longer walking according to love 



• 



Chap. XIV. 13-23.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 139 

16 with thy meat, 10 for whom Christ died 'Let not then your ' ^!*p- *"• 

17 good be evil spoken of: 'For the kingdom of God is not meat/ 1 Cor. Yiu. 
and drink; u but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the 

18 Holy Ghost ,a For he that in these things M serveth Christ 9 is* * c^- *"»• 

19 acceptable 14 to God, and approved of men. * Let us therefore * *•• ™* T - 
follow after the things which make for peace, 16 and things . 3^*?^ a . 

20 wherewith * one may edify another. 16 * For meat destroy not 17 j^-njj,, 
the work of God. 'AH things indeed are pure; 18 m but it is k\£\s- 

21 evil for that 19 man who eateth with offence. // is good'^^JJj 
neither 20 to eat 'flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing 71 il\* 4iTlu 
whereby a thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made m 9 ] ,£7,™ 

22 weak» Hast thou faith ? have it ** to thyself before God. n I?"' ™- 
# Happy * is he that condemneth * not himself in that thing * 1 John m. 

23 which v he alloweth. 28 And * he that doubteth is damned " if 

he eat, because he eateth zl not of faith: for 82 p whatsoever is/ Tit i. 15. 
not of faith is sin. 

M Destroy not by thy meat (or food) him u eating and drinking 

u Spirit ,9 herein 14 well-pleasing 

11 the things of peace 

19 the things which pertain to mutual edification 
17 Do not for the sake of meat undo (or pull down). 18 clean 

19 the » not n to do any thing » ///., in which 

99 omit or is offended, or is made weak (according to the weightier authori- 
ties) " The faith which thou hast, have * Blessed 
99 judgeth w that which " approveth " But 
99 condemned 91 it is " and 

Ver. 13. Let tui not therefore judge one an- 'common/ impure, according to the distinction 

other any more. Both classes are here addressed, made by the Jews, and ascetics generally, of itself, 

since ver. 12, to which 'therefore' refers, included i. e. t by nature. (See marg. refs. on tnis point.) 

both ; ' one another ' points back to * of himself ' There is some doubt about the correct reading of 

in the same verse. The clause, however, fur- this phrase, but the sense is well established, 

nishes a transition to the exhortation to the strong. Paul thus declares that the freer brethren are in 




tion. — A stumbling block or an occasion of fall- of love (ver. 15). — But, or, ' except' If the lat- 

lag. Evidently this is addressed to those whose ter sense be accepted, the exception holds good 

freer conduct gave offence to the weak brethren, in regard to ' unclean/ not to ' unclean of itself.' 

The two expressions are regarded by many as syn- — To him that reekoneth, etc ' Reckoneth ' is 

onymous, or the second as explanatory of the first, the word used of justification, it points to a judg- 

Godet refers ' stumbling block ' to that which ment, not to moral quality. — To him it is un- 

grieves the weak brother, and 'occasion of fall- clean ; the emphasis rests on ' to him ; ' his scru- 

mg ' to that which may lead him to sin by entic- pie makes it so for him. 

mg him to act against nis conscience. This view Ver. 15. For. The best authorities give this 

is favored by the fact that the section discusses reading, which introduces the reason for speaking 

these two forms of offence. — In a brother's way. of the exception (ver. 14), namely, to warn against 

Fellow Christians are spoken to and spoken of. the lack of love in disregarding it. — If because 

The principle does not apply to all men, to the of thy meat (or, ' food ') thy brother is grieved, 

same extent. The ' brother is assumed to have The freer brother would eat that which the weaker 

a conscience more enlightened than that of an un- reckoned unclean, and thus he would be 'grieved,' 

believer, whose judgment and ground of offence vexed in conscience. This is not identical with 

cannot therefore have the same weight. 'destroy/ which is a possible result of it — Thou 

Ver. 14. I know, and am persuaded in the art no longer walking aoeoxdinff to love. Love 

Lord Jesus. His knowledge on the point in ques- limits liberty, and substitutes for it self-denial, 

tion amounts to full conviction growing out of even when the scruple is an incorrect one. — De- 

his fellowship with Christ. The principle which stroy not by thy meat, etc. To this the grieving 

he thus prefaces is : that nothing is unclean, lit, may lead ; the weak brother may be so influenced 



140 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XIV. 13-23. 

as to act against his conscience, and so sin as to misapprehension, perversion of the moral judg- 

fall into eternal destruction. There is a pathos ment, and the like are at work ' (Meyer). Men 

in the closing phrase : him for whom Christ died, can approve of the conduct of Christians even 

If Christ save up life for him, canst not thou while they hate it for the reproof it conveys. 

give up a kind of food for him. ' Believers (the Ver. 19. Lei us therefore ; an inference from 

elect) are constantly spoken of as in danger of vers. 17, 18. — Follow titer the things of pease; 

perdition. They are saved only if they continue those things which constitute peace.— Ami the 

steadfast unto the end ' (Hodge). This principle things which pertain to mutual **««^tifn Here 

holds good in this warning also. the edification of individuals is meant ; elsewhere 

Ver. 16. Let not then your good be evil spoken the building up of the entire Church is spoken of. 
of, lit., 'blasphemed.' 'Then' implies that to Godet finds in this clause the beginning of the 
act in the way forbidden in ver. 15 would have second part of the section: not only follow after 
this result The exhortation may "be applied to peace, and thus avoid grieving the weak brother, 
the strong ; ' good ' referring accordingly to their out build up, instead of pulling down, the work of 
Christian liberty, or strength of faith, which God already begun in his heart ; vers. 20-23 car- 
grieved the weak brethren, and would lead to rying out the thought. 

censure. But many think the exhortation is ad- Ver. 20. Do not for the sake of mint undo (or, 

dressed to the whole Church, since the plural is 'pull down') the work of God. The verb 'poll 

introduced here. ' Good ' would then point to the down • is in contrast with ' edification/ upbuild- 

doctrine of the gospel, or the kingdom of God ing. Hence it is most natural to refer ' the work 

(ver. 17). Those who 'blasphemed' would be of God' to the Christian brother (as in ver. 15), 

such of the outside heathen world as noticed the but here in his relation to God as the author of 

discord. The wider view is favored not only by his spiritual life. (Other explanations : Christian 

the emphasis resting upon ' your,' but by the ex- faith, the extension of the kingdom of God, the 

istence of ' our ' as a various reading, pointing to fellowship of faith.) To abuse Christian liberty 

a possession of the whole Church, and also by the is to fight against God. — All things indeed are 

thought of the next verse. clean (comp. ver. 14) ; but it is evu for the mam 

Ver. 17. For the kingdom of God. This king- who eateth with (lit., ' through ') offence. The 

dom is 'God's dominion over the heart, insti- exhortation is addressed to toe strong brother, 

tuted and administered by Christ ; it is the heav- whose principle is admitted to be correct ; but it 

enly sphere of life, in which God's word and does not follow that 'the man who eateth with 

Spirit govern, and whose organ on the earth is offence ' is the freer Christian who gives offence 

the Church' (Lange). To refer it here to the by eating. This gives to the phrase 'through 

future Messianic kingdom seems impossible. If offence ' a very forced sense. It is rather the 

the previous verse refers to Christian liberty, then weak brother who is led by the example of the 

this verse urges a limitation of it, because nothing strong brother to eat against its awn canseientims 

essential to the kingdom is involved in this re- scruple. In such a case, according to the prin- 

striction. But if all are addressed, then the mo- ciple of ver. 14, it is evil to him. This is here 

tive is derived from the wrong estimate of Chris- urged upon the stronger brother as a motive, 

tianitv which would be formed by those without not to eat This agrees best with what precedes, 

who blasphemed their ' good.' As what follows and is as accordant with the next verse as the 

has a special fitness for the weak brethren, the other view. 

latter view is further sustained. — Is not eating Ver. 21. It Is good; admirable, honorable, 

and drinking ; the act of eating and drinking, not, morally good, in view of what has been said ; 

food (as in vers. 15, 20). — But righteousness, end hence this is the general principle of action, for 

peace, end joy in the Holy Spirit. Two views : the strong brother, — Hot to eat flesh, etc. This 

(1.) ' Righteousness' from God (= justification), suggests that the weak brother had special scro- 

' peace ' with God (= reconciliation) 'joy in the pies on the two points here named, totally ab- 

Holy Spirit,' produced by fellowship with the staining from animal food and wine. — Hor te do 

Holy Spirit; these are named as the essential anything. It is best to supply 'to do,* since 

matters in the kingdom of God. This is favored other things than eating and drinking are in- 

by the tone of the entire Epistle. (2.) Others eluded. — whereby; lit, 'in which,' referring to 

understand ' righteousness ' as moral rectitude to- all that precedes. — Stumbleth. Some of the 

ward men, ' peace ' as concord in the Church, and most ancient authorities omit the rest of the 

'joy in the Holy Spirit* as above, but with a verse. While it is difficult to decide which is the 

wider reference to the common joy of Christians, correct reading, the preponderance is slightly in 

This view is favored by the context, especially favor of the briefer form. The principle is in- 

vers. 18, 19, and by the practical nature of the en- eluded in the word 'stumbleth,' which is related 

tire passage. to that rendered ' offence ' (ver. 20). (If the longer 

Ver. 18. For he that herein, lit, 'in this,' ac- reading be accepted, 'made weak' should be 

cording to the correct reading. Some have re- chanced to ' is weak ; ' the meaning being that 

f erred 'this 'to the 'Holy Spirit,' which seems we should avoid the weak point of a Christian 

unnatural. Others, to avoid the difficulty, retain brother, even when knowing that his scruple is 

the poorly supported plural. ' Herein * points to incorrect.) A strong Christian should strive to 

the sphere of life, just described, and the verse act upon the principle of this verse, but the weak 

confirms the statement of ver. 17. — Serveth Christ, brother has no right to demand itpf him ; such a 

This phrase not only indicates the moral refer- demand is a confession that he is wrong in his 

ence of what precedes, but shows that duty in scruple. The self-denial of the strong is not a 

the kingdom of God consists in service of Christ warrant for the tyranny of the weak, who should 

— Is well pleasing to God ; since such service is study the passages meant especially for him. 

what He enjoins, and approved of men ; standing Ver. 22. Ike faith whioh then hast, etc. The 

the test of their moral judgment — ' a fact not authority for ' which * is decisive, and this reading 

annulled by abnormal manifestations, in which gives the above rendering, which does not alter 



Chap. XV. 1-13.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 141 

the purport of the verse. — Have it te thyself be* ments. • Faith ' here is saving faith (and not sub- 
fore God ; it is not necessary to parade it before jective, moral conviction), regarded as a principle 
men. This is a commendation of the position of of life, informing the morals of the Christian, 
the strong brother : keep this faith because it is ' It refers as always to the acceptance of the sal- 
well founded, but keep it to thyself, when it might vation obtained through Christ. That which one 
injure the weak brother. — Busied (as the word cannot do as his redemption and in the enjoy- 
is usually rendered) is he that jndgeth net him- ment of His salvation, he should not do at all, 
self in that which he approveth ; tests and then otherwise that act, of which faith is not the soul, 
chooses to do. The clause points to one ' who becomes sin, and can conduct to the result indi- 
is so certain of his conviction, that his decision cated in ver. 20 : the total destruction of the work 
for this or that course is liable to no self-judg- of God in us ' (Godet). — The conduct of Chris- 
ment ; he does not institute any such judgment, tians alone is under discussion ; so that there is 
as the anxious and uncerain one docs' (Meyer), no direct application of the principle to unbeliev- 
Christian practice ought to be out of the sphere era. But, making due allowance for the state- 
of morbid introspection. ments of chap. ii. 14, 15, respecting the natural 
Ver. 23. But he that doubteth (in contrast law of conscience, the passage furnishes a strong 
with the one who judgeth not himself) is (has indirect proof of the sinfulness of all acts not re- 
been and is) condemned, if ho oat. ' The act of suiting from faith ; especially in view of the pre- 
eating itself condemns him, of course, according vious demonstration of the Apostle in chaps, i. 
to the Divine ordering, so that the justice of this 18-iii. 20. The more important matter is, how- 
verdict appears not only before God, but before ever, to remember that for Christians, at least, 
men, and himself also ' (Philippi). This guards Christian ethics should have full validity, and 
against the extreme view, that • condemned "ref era that here the principle admits of no exception: 
to eternal condemnation. — Because it is not of whatsoever is not of faith is sin ; genuine Chris- 
faith ; his eating was not an ethical result of his tian morality is all of faith. — On the doxology 
faith in Christ; comp. vers. 1, 2. — And ('for' is inserted at this point in some authorities, see 
incorrect) whatsoever is not of faith is sin. This chap. xvi. 25-27. 
is the general truth underlying the previous state- 



Chapter XV. I- 1 3. 



3. General Discussion of the Subject, passing over into Expressions of Chris- 
tian Praise. 

The section opens with a statement of the principle which should govern the strong brethren (ver. 
1), which is at once extended to both classes (ver. 2), as an injunction to please our neighbor. The 
motive is found in the example of Christ, as indicated in an Old Testament prophecy (ver. 3). This 
quotation suggests the patience and comfort of the Scriptures (ver. 4), the word of the God of patience 
and comfort (ver. 5) who alone can unite their hearts for common praise of the Father (ver. 6). 
Common praise suggests anew the duty of fellowship, even as Christ received them all, that all might 
praise God (ver. 7). For He received Jews to fulfil God's promises (ver. 8), and Gentiles to awaken 
praise for God's mercy, as the Scriptures abundantly testify (vers. 9-12). The section closes ap- 
propriately invoking blessing from the God of hope (ver. 13). 

On the special questions respecting chap, xv., xvi., see Introd. p. 15, and chap. xvi. 25-27. 

1 \ll/E 'then 1 that are strong ought to bear the * infirmities JSJ^ 1 ;,. 

2 V V of the weak, and not to please ourselves. e Let every a e JJFjJ'.*; 
one of us please his neighbour for his good d to 8 edification. Jt'p'&i.a"" 

3 f For even Christ 4 pleased not himself; but, as it is written, «/c&p.«v. 
f The reproaches of them that reproached 6 thee fell on me. , Jlitt. xxvi. 

4 For 9 whatsoever things were written aforetime were written |o| v£#. v " 
for our learning, that we through patience 8 and comfort 7 of*-chap.iv! 

5 the Scriptures might have hope. 8 * Now the God of patience <%. ». 9, 
and consolation • grant you to be likeminded 10 one toward an- Tim. m It, 

1 Now we * each s unto 4 Christ also ,6; ?Cor.L 

• them reproaching • the patience £ ; phUUi ' 

T through (according to the best authorities) the comfort 
8 our hope (///., the hope) * comfort 10 of the same mind 



\ 



142 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chaf. XV. 1-13. 

6 other according to Christ Jesus: That ye may 'with one mind ' *J^ "*■ ** 
and one mouth u glorify *God, even the Father 11 of our Lord*^^^. 

7 Jesus Christ. Wherefore 'receive ye one another, as Christ J^'jjn 

8 also received us, 11 to the glory of God. Now M I say that »f»*»*- 1 
"Jesus Christ was 11 a minister of the circumcision for the' —p- 11 *-'' 
truth of God, "to confirm w the promises made unto the ia.- m £f£\. 

9 thers : And " that the Gentiles might glorify God for kis 1J,' »«f5i 
mercy ; as it is written, - cWia- 

9 For this cause I will confess " to thee among the Gentiles, Ji* 
And sing unto thy name. ^v. ■*, » 

10 And again he saith, ♦> 

•Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. ito*»* 

11 And again, 

r Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles ; * fco * 1 

And laud him, all ye people. 18 

12 And again, Esaias saith, 

•There shall be a root of Jesse, » g*. ai mi 

And he that shall rise '• to reign over the Gentiles ; *•*■ '*■ 

In him shall the Gentiles trust 30 

13 Now the God of hope fill you with all 'joy and peace in believ- ' ^J"**™j. 
ing, that ye may abound in hope, through ,1 the power of the 

Holy Ghost. 2 " 

11 That with one accord ye may with one mouth >* the Cod and Father 

11 the test authorities read you '* For {according to the best authorities) 

11 hath been made " that he might confirm " give praise 

" Let all the people praise him {according to the best authorities) 
» that riseth •> hope » in » Holy Spirit 



Ver. 1. Blow w* that am strong. ' Then 1 U in- 
correct, though the connection is logically with 
what precedes. — Ought to bear, as a burden is 
borne. — lie infirmities of the weak; all such 
weaknesses of faith, but particularly those referred 
to in the previous discussion. This bearing is 
often simply forbearing, but frequently involves 
forgiving, and self-denying. 'Thus they, in them- 
selves strong and free, become the servants of the 
weak, - "-' ' -" ■ '-■- =■■ " 



selfishness is involved in disregarding the weak- 
nesses of the brethren who have false scruples. 

Ver. 2. Let sash au of us (weak as well as 
strong) please his neighbor for Us good unto sdi- 
fleatlon. ' His good? lit-. ' the good,' but it 
seems best to explain ' for his benefit.' The last 

Chrase, ' unto edification,' with a view to building 
im up in Christian character, defines more especi- 
ally wherein this 'good ' consists. 

Ver. 3. For Christ also, etc. ' Also ' is slightly 
preferable to ' even.' ' The example of Christ is 
for the believer the new law to be made real 
(Gal. vi. 1) ; hence the for aim ' (Godet). 
a It U written (Ps. txix. 9), the 
-' ■■-» 1*11 u 



iah. Tucm 



the Hebrew. The clause may be connected di- 
rectly with ' but ; ' some supplying : ' it came to 
pass,' before it is written. In the Psalm, ' thee ' 
refers to God, and 'me' to I 
person who is a type of the Mi 
ings of Christ, according to toe nan 
fulfil the Father's purpose ; that this p 
for the salvation of men gives the pa 
its most appropriate application. 

Ver. 4. Ver. This introduces a jus 
of the previous citation, and a preparation for the 
subject which follows, the dun of being 'at the 
same mind one toward another (ver. 6). — Wk»*. 



is fro, 



XX , which literally reproduc 



including the whole Old Testai 
tan for our learning; to instruct tu also; the im- 
mediate design does not preclude this further and 
permanent one, a principle which underlies many 
other citations made by the Apostle. — That in 
through the patienea and through the a—fart at 
the Scriptures. This is the literal rendering of 
the better established reading. ' Of the Scrip- 
tures ' qualifies both words: 'the patience and 
comfort produced by a study of the Sc ri pt u res ; 
the repeated 'through' does not disconnect them, 
but gives rhetorical emphasis. ' Patience ' is es- 
pecially needed to hold out in not pleasing our- 
selves (ver. 1), and 'comfort' or ' consolation,' 



Chap. XV. 1-13.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 143 

that we may find joy therein. — Might have our Ver. 9. And that thaOentilM might glorify God. 

hope, lit, ' the hope/ the specific hope of the This clause is parallel in form with the one im- 

Christian, possessing more and more of it by mediately preceding (see the change made above), 

means of the patience, etc. Those who neglect expressing another purposed result of Christ's 

the Old Testament Scriptures may well remember having been made a minister. Most commcnta- 

that this expresses the Christian experience of an tors, however, take it as dependent upon ' I say/ 

inspired Apostle. but in different senses : I say that the Gentiles 

Ver. 5. Vow the God of patience and comfort praised (at the time of conversion), or, ought to 
(as in ver. 4). 'He well knows that the Scrip- praise, or, do praise. But Christ's ministry among 
ture itself is inefficacious without help of the God the Jews hath this further purpose ; comp. Gal. 
of the Scriptures' (Godet). He is the source iv. 5. — For his mercy. Whatever view be taken 
of the patience and comfort they afford. — Grant of the construction this is the main point of con- 
yen to bs of the same mind one toward another, trast In the case of the Jews God's faithfulness 
Thus the Apostle returns to the leading thought was proven, in the case of the Gentiles His mercy, 
of the section. ' To be of the same mind ' points — As it is written (Ps. xviii. 50), For this cause I 
to harmony of feeling in their intercourse rather will give praise to thee (comp. chap. xiv. 11) 
than to unanimity of opinion on the disputed among the Gentiles (lit, 'among Gentiles '), etc. 
points of practice. For such harmony patience The quotation, made exactly from the LXX., 
and comfort are needed ; only the God of patience ' originally spoken by David of his joy after his 
and comfort can produce these, but He produces deliverance and triumphs, is prophetically said of 
them through the Scriptures. — According to Christ in His own Person. It is addressed to 
Christ Jesus. According to His example (ver. 3), show that among the Gentiles Christ's triumphs 
but also according to His will as Head of the were to take place, as well as among the Jews ' 
Church and according to His Spirit as the Life of (Alford). 
the Church. Ver. 10. Rejoice, 70 Gentiles, with his people. 

Ver. 6. That with one accord yo may with one From the LXa., Deut. xxxii. 43. But our He- 
mouth glorify, etc. ' One accord ' results from brew text reads : ' Rejoice, O ye nations, His 
being ' of the same mind,' and is in its turn the people.' Probably the LXX. follows another 
source of the praising ' with one mouth.' It is in reading, though other explanations have been 
the utterance of common praise that harmony of suggested. In any case the praise of Gentiles is 
feeling finds its highest expression. — The God predicted. 

and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ The phrase Ver. 1 1. Praise the Lord, all yo Gentile*, 

is the same as in Eph. i. 3 (see marginal refer- From Ps. cxvii. 1, exactly after the LXX., in this 

ences), and we prefer to render it thus. Meyer clause ; in the second the best authorities sup- 

and others, however, acccept the view indicated port the reading ; and let all the peoples praise 

in the £. V. This thought of praise now be- him. The £. V. follows the text which conforms 

comes the prominent one. to the LXX. 

Ver. 7. Wherefore receive ye one another, etc. Ver. 12. Isaiah saith (Is. xi. 10) ; from the 
Since this utterance of praise is so sacred a priv- LXX. — There shall be, etc. The Hebrew is 
ilege, they are exhorted, strong and weak alike, more closely rendered in our version : ' And in 
to receive one another (comp. chap. xiv. 1) in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall 
Christian fellowship. — As Christ alto received stand for an ensign of the people ; to it shall the 
yon, Good authorities read ' us ; ' but the weight Gentiles seek.' But the LXX. presents the same 
of evidence is in favor of ' you,' which here in- thought in a strengthened form well suited to the 
eludes all the Roman Christians, not merely those Apostle's purpose. These citations, taken from 
of Gentile origin. — To the glory of God, *'. *., that the three divisions of the Old Testament (Law, 
God might be glorified. This is to be joined with Psalms, and Prophets) confirm Paul's view of his 
* as Chnst also received you,' since vers. 8, 9, ex- own work as well as furnish a motive for unity. 
plain this purpose of Christ's receiving them. The last clause : in him shall the Gentiles hope, 
This is. however, a motive for receiving one an- forms a fitting conclusion. Thus through the pa- 
other, that all may together praise God. (Comp. tience and comfort of the Scriptures he had hope 
ver. 6.) (ver. 4), and this all might have. ' For this adora- 

Ver 8. For I say. ' For' is strongly supported, tion of the Gentiles, to which the four preceding 

and introduces the explanation of how Christ had citations refer, is the fruit not only of the enjov- 

received both Jewish Christians (ver. 8), and ment of actual blessings but also and preemi- 

those of Gentile origin (ver. 9) : 'the connection nently of the hope of future blessings ' (Godet). 

of the former with Christ appears as the fulfil- Ver. 13. Vow the God of hope, etc. Most 

ment of their theocratic claim, but that of the aptly is God here called the God of hope (comp. 

latter as the enjoyment of ^race* (Meyer). — That the similar repetition, vers. 4, 5), the God who 

Christ (the word 'Jesus' is to be omitted) hath produces the hope they possess. 'As vers. 1-4 

boon made (not only became, but continues to be) passed into a blessing (vers. 5, 6), so now the hor- 

a minister of the circumcision; i. e. t those cir- tatory discourse, begun afresh in ver. 7, passes 

cumcised, as so frequently in Paul's writings. The into a blessing, which forms, at the same time, 

emphasis rests on the word ' minister,' which sug- the close of the entire section (from chap. xiv. 

gests the condescension of Christ, as an example onwards). (Meyer.) — With all Joy and peace, 

of humility. His obedience to the law (Gal. iv. These are based on hope, but are the direct fruit 

4 ; Phil. ii. 7) may also be suggested, showing how of believing. — The end of this being filled with 

he entered into fellowship with the weak. — For joy and peace is the increase in turn of hope : 

the sake of God's truth (His veracity) that ho that ye may abound in hope ; and this not by their 

might confirm (by fulfilment) the promises made own power, but in the power of the Holy Spirit 

unto the fathers (in the Old Testament). Thus ' Believing,' is the subjective state, but this is the 

Christ's receiving the Jews was • to the glory ot objective means, the inworking power. As the 

God,' showing His faithfulness, and this fur- Holy Spirit is the author of peace, and as faith 

nished a motive for fellowship. and hope, peace and joy, are the greatest helps 



144 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XV. 14-33. 

to true unity, this benediction is a fitting close to in? passage in the practical part of the Epistle, 
the exhortation respecting mutual forbearance The Apostle's main task is now completed ; he 
and true fellowship, which forms the most strik- prepares at once for the conclusion of his letter. 



Chapters XV. 14 — XVI. 27. 
III. Concluding Portion of the Epistle. 



This part of the Epistle may be divided into four sections. (1.) Personal explanations, similar to 
those in chap. i. 8-15 (chap. xv. 14-33). ( 2 ») Greetings to different persons at Rome (chap. xvi. 
1-16). (3.) Closing exhortation, with greetings, from various persons (chap. xvi. 17-24). (4.) Con- 
eluding Doxology (chap. xvi. 25-27). 



Chapter XV. 14-33. 
1. Personal Explanations. 

This section forms an 'epilogue' (Meyer), corresponding in matter with the introductory para- 
graph ; chap. i. 8—15. The Apostle first expresses his confidence in the Roman Christians, and, in a 
partially apologetic tone, justifies his writing to them by a reference to his office as Apostle to the 
Gentiles (vers. 14-16), by a statement of his principle of labor (vers. 17-21), which had hindered 
him from going to Rome (ver. 22). He then speaks of his hope of visiting them (vers. 23, 24), after 
he had fulfilled his service in carrying alms to the poor saints at Jerusalem (vers. 25-29), in which 
service and hope he asks their prayers (vers. 30-32), adding a brief benediction (ver. 33). 

14 A ND a I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, 1 * \ j^iL"! 
■**■ that ye also 8 are full of goodness, * filled with all knowl- ' ».Cor- 1 5; 

1 5 edge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, 8 breth- 
ren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, 4 as 
putting you in mind, 6 e because of the grace that is 8 given to me e ^»p* ; \£\ 

16 of God, That d I should be the minister of Jesus Christ 7 to the Su'tV* 1 *' 
Gentiles, ministering 8 the gospel of God, that the • offering up 9 d 2^Bd?a. 
of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the fti. 9 ^.',. 

17 Holy Ghost. 10 I have therefore whereof I may glory n through e \%. £li!'i\' 
Jesus Christ 12 7 in those things which pertain to God. For 1/ Heb.' ▼.* !. 7 * 

18 will not dare to speak of any of those things 'which Christ* 19; cSu*a. 
hath not wrought by 18 me, * to make the Gentiles obedient, 14 AChap.i. $; 

19 by word and deed, * Through mighty 16 signs and wonders, by 16 « Agm. i «{ 
the power of the Spirit of God ; 17 so that from Jerusalem, and »»• 
round about unto 18 Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel 

I Now I am persuaded, my brethren, even I myself, concerning you 
* ye also yourselves 8 But 4 measure 

6 in remembrance again 6 was * a minister of Christ Jesus 

8 ministering as a priest in 9 omit up ,0 in the Holy Spirit 

II my (/**/., the) glorying u in Christ Jesus 

18 did not work through 14 unto the obedience of the Gentiles 

18 in the power of 16 in 

11 Holy Spirit (according to the best authorities) 18 as far as 



Chap. XV. 14-33] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 145 

20 of Christ. Yea, so have I strived to preach 19 the gospel, not 

where Christ was * named, * lest I should M build upon another * j Cor. *. 1* 

21 man's foundation : But as 22 it is written, 

' To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see : ffl ' Isa - m * ,J - 

And they that have not heard shall understand. 

22 For which cause 24 also m I have been much hindered 26 from "^S^a?* 

23 coming to you. But now having no more x place in these lh ,8 ' 
parts, and ■ having a great desire these many years v to come« Actsxix. 

24 unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into 28 Spain, I will \\\ %£?'&. 
come to you : w for * I trust to see you in my journey, ° and to * acu *v. 3. 
be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat 

25 filled with your company. But now p l go 81 unto Jerusalem to' ^fj^i. 

26 minister w unto the saints. For q it hath pleased them of Mace-^ fcw.'xvi. 
donia and Achaia w to make a certain contribution for the poor Jja/,". £ r ' 

27 saints which 84 are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily ; 86 r cbp.xi. 
and their debtors they are. For r if the Gentiles have been * l 7 cm. k. 

ii* Gal. vi. 

made partakers of their spiritual things, * their duty is M also to 6. \ 

28 minister unto them in carnal things. When therefore I have « chap. i. «'. 
performed this, and have sealed to them 'this fruit, I willwaCor.'i.' 

vr qq ix ; Col. iv. 

29 come w by you into M Spain. • And I am sure ro that, when I '^ ia 
come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of * Cor v ... 
the gospel « of Christ. \ \^ ™ 

30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's a *?*, cjjj; 
sake, and 'for 41 the love of the Spirit, "that ye strive together j v an |£ iv . 

31 with me in your prayers to God for me ; 'That I may be deliv- * I 5 c or . X vi. 
ered from them that do not believe 42 in Judea ; and that * my J»; ?,?*• 
service 48 which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of 44 the aojrom™ 

32 saints ; 'That I may come unto you with joy ° by the will of (in a GrSk). 

33 God, and may with you be * refreshed. 46 Now e the God of'S^g?/. 
peace be with you all. Amen. cor. 3 ™. 2 

11 ; Phil. iv. 

** Yet making it my ambition so to preach * was already 9 ; » The**. 

n that I might not M but, as ThSi.lii. 

* They to whom no tidings of him came, shall see M Wherefore im. ». * 

* was hindered for the most part (or, these many times) 

""•• no more having w these many years a longing M I journey unto 

* the best authorities omit I will come to you 

m On the rendering and punctuation see cxeg. notes sl I am journeying 

91 ministering M For Macedonia and Achaia thought it good 

u who u For they thought it good *• they owe it 

r proceed *• unto w I know 

40 the best authorities omit of the gospel 

41 by the Lord Jesus Christ, and by 42 that are disobedient 
** ministration 44 acceptable to 

u That in joy coming unto you through the will of God, I may together with 

you find rest (see exeg. notes) 
vol. in. 10 



I 



m r 



•t 
i 



. * 
i 



* 



146 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XV. 14-33. 

Ver. 14. Vow I am persuaded, my brethren, seems far-fetched. This verse furnishes a transt- 

This direct affectionate address indicates the re- tion to the statement of the principle governing 

I ^ turn to more personal matters. — Even I myself, his labors (vers. 17-21, the carrying out of which 

or, ' I myself also.' The former implies : ' even had hindered him from visiting Rome (ver. 22). 

I, the one who has just admonished you, have this Ver. 18. For I will not dare ('be bold,' prob- 

favorable conviction respecting you ; the latter, ably in allusion to ver. 15) to opoak, etc The 

' I of myself/ without the testimony of others, or, emphasis rests not on the word Christ, but on the 

' I as well as others.' The second view accords phrase did not work through mo ; the contrast 

with chap. vii. 25, but the implied contrast in ver. being, not with what he did of himself, or strictly 

15 seems to favor the first. — Te also yourselves ; with what others did, but more exactly with what 

'without any exhortation of mine' (Alford). — Christ had wrought through him. The sense is: 

Are full of goodness ; moral excellence in general, I will speak boldly, have my ground of glorying, 

though it may be specially applied to kindness. — only in such things as Christ wrought through 

: . Filled with all knowledge ; Christian knowledge, me. — Unto the obedience of the Gentiles, with 

m moral as well as intellectual. — Able also to ad- this design and result, that they became obedient 

■ t I ' moniih one another; without assistance from with- to Christ by believing in Him. — Byword and 

' r * * out. This is a special result of the preceding deed. This phrase qualifies ' did work through 

oualities ascribed to them. It requires abun- me,' etc. 'Word' refers to his preaching; 'deed' 

ti dance of goodness as well as of knowledge to fit includes all the other labors of his apostolic acthr- 

us for mutual admonition. ity. 
¥ ¥ Ver. 15. But (though I am convinced of this, Ver. 19. In the power of signs and wonders, 
f J| - ' yet), brethren I have written (lit, 'I wrote,' in in the power of the Holy Spirit. Some authori- 
al „ [' this Epistle) the more boldly (in contrast with the tics read ' Spirit of God/ and the Vatican manu- 
1, assurance of ver. 14 respecting their goodness, script has ' Spirit ' alone ; but the best established 
\ etc.) unto yon in some measure; 1. e. t in special form is as above. The two clauses are parallel, 

|)1 aces ; the phrase qualifies the verb, not 'more and should be closely joined with what precedes. 

ik boldly ' as if the sense were : ' somewhat too Christ wrought through him, in word and work, 

boldly.' — As putting yon in remembrance again ; in virtue of these powers ; that proceeding from 

simply as one who reminds you. — Because of the (miraculous) signs and wonders, and that which 

t grace that was given, etc His apostolic office is came from the Holy Spirit working through him 

* referred to in this phrase (comp. marginal refer- on the minds of men. — 80 that from Jerusalem, 

? ences) ; this was the ground and reason of his the actual starting point of his apostolical labors 

boldness. But notice the humility of the great (Acts iv. 28, 29 ; xxii. 18), round about, not in the 

f ' ' Apostle. arc of a circle, but in a wide circuit, round about 

Ver. 16. That I should be, etc. The purpose Jerusalem. — As far as Illyrioum. Illyrica was 

I 1 ►• of the grace given him. — A minister ; not the north of Macedonia. No mention is made in the 

j word usually so rendered (as in ver. 8), but one Book of Acts of a visit there. Hence many 

applied to a minister in public worship (our word have thought that the Apostle thus indicates the 

■ ' liturgy ' is allied to this) ; it is more closely de- limit of labors. But it is quite probable that 

> fined by what follows. — Of Christ Jesus ; as the during the journey mentioned in Acts xx. 1-3 

I " 1 lead and King of the Church, not as Highpricst (just before the writing of this Epistle) he actually 

— Ministering as a priest in the gospel of God. entered that region. — I have fully preached (lit, 
, The word 'ministering' does not correspond with 'have fulfilled^) the gospel of Christ The E. 

' . the previous one, but distinctly expresses priestly V. fairly presents the sense, though a variety of 

J service. But the gospel is not the offering, but in other explanations have been suggested, e. g. t 

his preaching of the gospel he renders priestly ser- have given the gospel its full dimensions, com- 

* + vice, and in this way : That the offering of the pletely proclaimed it, accomplished everything 

Gentiles, the offering consisting of them, might be with it, etc. He had fully spread the glad tidings 

acceptable, being sanctified in the Holy Spirit ; and with success everywhere, sufficient to attest 

not consecrated after the Ixvitical ritual, but his apostolic mission, and give him a ground of 

1 , truly by means of the indwelling Spirit. This glorying in what Christ had wrought through him. 

If t ■] . verse is properly used to oppose the idea that the Ver. 2a Yet making it my ambition. The 

j i Christian ministry is a priesthood. If the Apos- participle here used means, 'to make it a point of 

\ tie had laid any claim to sacerdotal functions, or honor,' but this exact sense need not be pressed 

I designed to give any warrant for such claim on here. — 80 to preach the gospel, ' to evangelize,' 

'■ ' 1 the part of Christian ministers, he would not have not the same word as in ver. 19. ' So/ 1. a, in 

■ j expressed himself as he does here. The offering this manner (as afterwards defined), may qualify 

■ is figurative ; the priestly functions are figurative, the participle, but the sense is better expressed 

'This is my priesthood!, to preach the gospel, in English by the above rendering.— Hot where 

My knife is the word, ye are the sacrifice ' (The- Christ was already named. 'Already' is properly 

j > ophylact). 'With such sacrifices God is well supplied; ' named, as the object of faith ana the 

♦ pleased.' Person to be confessed, by other laborers, as ap- 

Ver. 17. I have therefore my (lit., ' the ') glory- pears from the next clause : that I might not, etc 

ing; the same word we render 'boasting' in This principle, here negatively stated, was not 

1 chap. iii. 27 ; here used in a good sense. — In adopted to avoid opposition, or in consequence of 

j (not, ' through ') Christ Jesus ; only in fellowship differences with the other Apostles, nor yet of an 

with Him can he glory ;' thus incidentally oppos- arrangement to divide geographically the mission 

ing the thought that his glorying was in himself, field, out resulted from the high sense of his duty 

— In those things which pertain to God, lit., ' the as an Apostle, to lay the foundation of a universal 
|S> 1 things toward Cod,' referring to his ' ministering Church* His writing to Rome was not contrary 

f J as a priest,' etc. (ver. 16). It does not limit, but to this principle, which concerned his labor in 

, p - defines the ' glorying.' The explanation : ' I have person, not his intercourse by letter with churches 

1 ' offerings for God, namely, Gentile converts/ ne had not founded. 



1 



1 
t 

1 
1 



Chap. XV. 14-33.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 147 

Ver. 21. Bat, preaching the gospel in this way, latter included Greece proper. — Thought it good ; 

not where others had preached, but, as it ij writ- ' were well-pleased,* willingly did this service. — 

ton (according to this rule of Scripture), They to A certain contribution. The Greek word means 

whom no tiding! of him came, shall see ; And they, * fellowship,' ' communion,' and is allied with 

etc. From Is. Hi. 15, following the LXX., which ' communicate' (Gal. vi. 6). No contribution be- 

adds ' of him ' (comp. the E. V., which renders the longs,, to Christian charity, unless it is willingly 

Hebrew accurately). The prophecy refers to bestowed and as a matter of fellowship. — For 

* kings,' but is properly applied to nations whom tht poor saints which are at Jerusalem. Com- 

they represent ; the wide extension of the Mes- munitv of goods evidently did not exist in the 

siah's kingdom being the main thought church of Jerusalem. The number of poor saints 

Ver. 23. Wherefore alto. Because of this there need occasion little surprise, 
aim of wide missionary activity, not because a Ver. 27. For they thought it good (namely, to 
church had already been formed at Rome. — I was make this contribution ) ; and their debtors they 
hindered lor the most part ; or, * these many times.' are. The Apostle emphasizes by the repetition 
Some authorities read, ' oftentimes ' as in chap. I the willingness of the Grecian Christians, but 
13 ; but the usual reading is better supported, adds another statement to mark the reasonable- 
T*he rendering we adopt refers to the principal ness of such contributions : they were a matter of 
(though not the only) cause of his not visiting repayment. — They owe it also to minister, etc. 
them ; the other to the frequency of the hinder- The word ' minister ' is that used of priestly ser- 
ing. Either is allowable, but we prefer the for- vice (comp. 'minister of Christ Jesus,' ver. 16), 
mer. not that found in ver. 25. To such priestly ser- 
vers. 23, 24. The construction of these verses vice belongs the privilege and duty of providing 
occasions much difficulty, which was relieved by for the poor saints. This thought is the more 
the insertion of the clause (ver. 24) : 'I will come emphatic in view of the antithesis between spirit- 
to you,' to complete the sense ; decisive authority nai things and carnal things ; the former refer- 
proving the words to be an interpolation. An- ring to the gifts of the Holy Spirit which came to 
other attempt to relieve the abruptness was made the Gentiles from the mother church at Jerusalem 
by omittuip 'for' in the same verse; but here (comp. Acts xi. 20) ; the latter including those 
too the weightiest evidence is against the easier things which pertain to the external, material side 
reading. We are compelled then to accept a of man's nature. The reference to the Holy 
broken construction as follows : ' But now no Spirit does not require the ethical sense in this 
more having place in these parts, and having contrast, though the reverse is true. 
these many years a longing to come unto you, Ver. 28. when therefore, etc. Reverting to 
whensoever I journey into Spain (for I hope, as I the hope expressed in ver. 24. — Have sealed to 
am journeying through, to see you, and to be sent them tail fruit. Secured to them as their prop- 
forward thither by you, if first I be in some meas- erty the ' fruit/ the produce, of this contribution. 
ore filled with your company) — but now, etc. Some take ' sealed ' in a literal sense, but this 
The sense would be the same, if the participles of seems out of keeping with the tone of the pas- 
ver. 23 were rendered as verbs, and a period sage. The Apostle is moved by the thought that 
placed after the word ' Spain.' — But now. The with the close of the work of love to which he re- 
Apostle begins to say that the main hindrance is fers he was to finish his great and long labors in 
removed ; in ver. 25 he states the special reason the East, and was to take in hand a new field in 
for delay. — Having place. Opportunity to carry the far West. In these circumstances an unusual 
out his principle of labor. — In these parts ; thoughtful expression for the concluding act of- 
spoken of in ver. 19. — Whensoever I journey into fers itself naturally (Meyer). — I will proceed by 
Spain. Paul does not use the common Greek yon unto Spain. The full idea of the original is : 
name for Spain ('Iberia'), nor even the exact I will depart (or, return) from Jerusalem, pass 
Latin one. Whether this purpose was ever ful- through your city, and go unto Spain. From 
filled is unknown, and immaterial as respects the Spain the way was discovered, after many cen- 
visit to Rome in which God's purpose, not Paul's, turies, to a farther West 

was carried out in the actual visit to the imperial Ver. 29. And I know that, etc. The Apos- 

city. — Hope; not, 'trust.' — As I am journeying tie's humility did not prevent him from knowing 

through. This qualifies both the following clauses, this and writing of it More confidence of this 

— And to be sent forward thither by yon. (Some kind would promote humility in the preacher. — 




as I will, but as much as is permitted ' (Grotius). would attend him at Rome. 

Not merely complimentary. — Filled with your Ver. 3a Vow I beseech you, brethren. This 

eompany. ' Spiritual satisfaction through the en* fervent exhortation is the natural expression of 

joyment of the longed-for personal intercourse ' his confidence in them and of the anticipation he 

(Meyer). has respecting what awaits him at Jerusalem 

Ver. 25. But now. Partly resumptive of ver. (comp. Acts. xx. 22 ; xxi. 10, etc.) — By our Lord 

23, since it returns to his present circumstances, Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit. ' For ' 

but introducing a new thought in contrast with is incorrect in both cases ; ' through ' is the literal 

the hope expressed in ver. 24. — I am journeying sense, with the same force as in chap. xii. 1, pre- 

vnte Jerusalem (on the point of doing so) minis- senting a motive. ' Love of the Spirit ' is that 

Wring unto the taints. How is afterwards ex- affection wrought by the Holy Spirit Between 

plained. The present participle indicates that Paul and the mass of his readers personally un- 

the journey is part of the ministering. On this known to him, only such a love could be urged as 

service, see 2 Cor. ix. 1, 2 ; Acts xxiv. 27. a motive. It is more extended than personal af- 

Ver. 26. For Macedonia and Aehaia. Person- fection. — That ye strive together with me (the 

ification for the Christians in these provinces ; the figure is that of a contest in the games) in your 



148 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XVI. 1-16. 

prayers, etc. ' Your ' brings out the force of the Ver. 33. That In joy (the emphasis rests on 

article; the possessive pronoun, thoi -1 *-■ ' ' ' -' ' ---' --- "■ "- "■ — '" " 

some authorities, must be rejected. 

Ver. 31. Thai etc. The purpose 
of the prayer. — That an disobedient. "Co'mp. ing)*, I may together with 70a find rsct. This 
chap. Xi. 30. The word may mean 'unbcliev- rendering follows the better supported reading, 
ing, and in any case the two senses are closely though the sense is not altered ; some authorities 
related, but the unbelief of the Jews is here re- omit the last clause. The reality was entirely dif- 
garded as disobedience to the gospel. — And that ferent from this hope and prayer; bntwe cannot 
my ministration (of alms) may become acceptable doubt that the Apostle's arrival at Rome was 'in 
(the same word as in ver. 16) to the saints. Be- joy,' even though in bonds, since in all he sub- 
sides the hostility of the Jews, be must encounter milted himself to the will of God. 
the doubts of the Jewish Christians, whom he Ver. 33. How the God of paaea, etc. A bene- 
however calls ' saints.' On the state of feeling diction was natural, and the anticipated conflicts 
here hinted at, see Excursuses, Galatiam, chap, might well lead him to speak of God as ' the God 
ii. 1-14. of peace.' 



Chapter XVI. 1— 16. 

1. Greetings to different Persons at Rome. 

The bearer of the letter is commended in vers. 1, a. Then follow greetings to many individuals, 
and to some households or household churches. About one third of the persons mentioned are 
women. On the names as indicative of origin and station of the believers at Rome, see Introd.,p. 12. 
Of this chapter, Chrysostom says : ' It is possible even from bare noma to find a treasure.' The 
list shows s (1.) Paul's personal regard; (z.) The high place he accords to women ; (3.) The consti- 
tution of the Roman congregation ; (4.) The great influence he exerted, since so many friends were 
present in a place he had never visited ; [5.) The undying name received from his friendly mention, 
is a type of the eternal blessing which belongs to those whose names are written in the Lamb's book 
of life. Classic authors have not preserved for us the record of so many friends ; the mention of 
their friends has not awakened so great an interest as this list of humble people whom they would 
have despised. On the origin and social standing of the Roman believers, as indicated by this list, 
tee Introd., pp. 1 1, ta. Bishop Lightfoot {Philiffians, pp. 169-176) finds that most of the name* 
occurring in this section occur also in the inscriptions discovered in recently excavated burial places 
at Rome (columbaria). These inscriptions refer mainly to freedmen and slaves of emperors, and it 
is a fair inference that some of the imperial household are included here (comp. Phil. iv. 12). Idea, 
tification of the persons is of course impossible. The names are mainly Greek ( ' Mary ' alone is 
Jewish), but this gives no clue to the nationality, since Greek names were borne by the Hellenistic 
Jews. We may assume that many of (hose saluted here were of Jewish extraction ; proportionally 
more than in the Roman congregation as a whole. 



Ser- - Acta xi 



1 T COMMEND unto you Phebe our sister, which is i 

2 X vant'of the church which is at "Cenchrea: 8 *That ye* 
receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist 
her in whatsoever business she hath 8 need of you: for she 4 
hath been a succourer 6 of many, and of myself also. * 

3 Greet *PrisciIIa a and Aquila, my helpers 7 in Christ Jesus : 

4 Who have B for my life laid down their own necks : unto whom 
not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gen- 

5 tiles. Likewise greet 9 ''the church that is in their house. 
Salute my well beloved Epenetus, 10 who is *the first fruits of"' 

1 who is a deaconess > Cenchrex * may have < she too 

* helper ■ Salute Prisca ' fellow workers • emit have 

' And salute w Epenetus my beloved 



Chap. XVI. 1-16.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 149 

6 Achaia 11 unto Christ. Greet 13 Mary, who bestowed much 

7 labour on us. 18 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, 
and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, 

8 who also f were M in Christ before me. Greet 12 Amplias, 16 my /Gal . L aj . 

9 beloved in the Lord. Salute Urbane, 16 our helper 17 in Christ, 

10 and Stachys my beloved. Salute Apelles approved 18 in Christ. 

11 Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. 19 Salute 
Herodion my kinsman. Greet ia them that be *° of the house- 

12 hold of Narcissus, which 21 are in the Lord. Salute Tryphena 
and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved 

13 Persis, 22 which n laboured much in the Lord. Salute Rufus 

14 'chosen 23 in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Salute Asyn- r a John '• 
critus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, 24 and the brethren 

15 which 26 are with them. Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, 
and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which ** are with 

16 them. * Salute one another with a holy kiss. The 26 churches »;* r cor.* 
of Christ salute you. Tben?V. K 

' 26; 1 PeL 

u Asia (according to the best authorities) ia Salute v * ,4 * 

18 the best authorities read you 14 have been 

u Ampliatus (according to the best authorities) 

16 Urbanus 1T fellow worker 18 the approved 

lf that are of the household of Aristobulus *° are a who 

n Persis the beloved n the chosen 

14 Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas (the order of the best authorities) 

** that ae the best authorities read All the 

Ver. 1. I oomnwmd, etc. Both an introduction to Ephesus, or some church east of Corinth, is 

and a commendation are suggested. — Phebe our puerile. 

sister ; a Christian believer ; this is the general Ver. 2. That ye receive her in the Lord. This 
ground for receiving her. — Who is a deaconess, is the purpose of the commendation, that the Ro- 
etc. This is the special reason, in view of the man believers give her a Christian welcome. — 
fidelity with which she had fulfilled her duty Worthily of the saints, as saints ought to receive 
(ver. 2). It is implied that she occupied this po such an one. — And that ye assist her, etc The 
sition at the time Paul wrote. The word here term used is a legal one, and hence it has been 
used may mean ' servant,' but it is unlikely that inferred that her visit to Rome was on private 
this is the sense, since there were deaconesses legal business. It is unlikely that she was travel- 
in the Christian church during the first century, ling in the discharge of her official duty as dea- 
their duty being to take care of the sick and poor, coness. — For she too, * she herself also,' hath 
and of strangers, in the female portion of the been a helper of many. The word used is an hon- 
churches. The rigid separation of the sexes made orable one, indicating service bestowed by a su- 
this the more necessary. The custom continued perior on inferiors (patroness). It suggests here 
for centuries in the Greek church. In the Prot- her labors as deaconess, though it may include 
estant church the office of deaconess has recently private service. — Of myself alio. Where is un- 
been revived. The Roman Catholic church has, known ; possibly Paul had once been ill during a 
as is well known, special orders of celibate women visit to Cenchreae, or the Apostle may have made 
to perform the duties properly belonging to this her house his home, as in the case of Lydia, at 
office. The term here used may be either mas- Philippi. This commendation has the true Chris- 
cnline or feminine. Some regard the * widows ' tian tone ; what she has done for other Christians 
spoken of in 1 Tim. v. 3-16 as deaconesses, a gives her a claim on the helpfulness of the Roman 
view opposed by Neander ; see that passage, and believers. 

Schaff, Apostolic church, p. 535, where the idcn- Ver. 3. Salute. 'Greet' (E. V.) and 'salute' 

tity is defended. Phebe was the bearer of the represent the same word throughout the chapter, 

letter, else no such special mention would have — Prises and Aqnila. ' Priscilla' is the diminu- 

been necessary. From the independent manner tive form, found elsewhere and in the versions 

of her movements, it has been inferred that she and Fathers. The wife seems to have been the 

was a widow. — Cenehrass. The eastern part of more prominent and active Christian; her name 

Corinth, about nine English miles from that city, comes first in Acts xviii. 2, as well as here. 

To argue from this that the letter was addressed Then as now, capacity and fidelity formed the 



ISO EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XVI. 1-16. 

standard. * This married couple, tentmakers like is meant But the description is supposed by 
Paul (Acts xviii. ?), expelled from Rome as Jews many commentators to favor the reference to a 
under Claudius, had been converted at Corinth man. — My kinsman. This may mean 'fellow- 
by Paul (see on Acts xviii. 1), had then migrated countrymen/ here and in vers. 11, 21 ; bat all the 
to Ephesus (Acts xviii. 18, 26; 1 Cor. xvi. 19), persons thus termed may have been actual 'kins- 
are now again in Rome ; but, according to 2 Tim. men.' It cannot be affirmed that they were not 
iv. 19, were at a later period once more in Ephe- — My fellow prisoners. When and where is un- 
sus' (Meyer). Their stay at Ephesus has been known.— Who are of note among the Apostles; 
made the basis of the theory that this chapter (or honorably known by the Apostles. The phrase 
Epistle) was originally addressed to that city ; but does not imply that they were Apostles. So loose 
persons of their trade would be apt to travel ex- a sense of the term cannot be accepted : see 
tensively. — Fellow workers (so E. V. in Col. iv. Schaff, Apostolic Church, pp. 512, etc — Who also 
11) in tinrist Jesus. They had wrought together (*./., the two persons named, not 'the Apostles') 



at their common handicraft, but this refers to have boon in Christ before mo. Became Christians 

working for Christ, in Him as the sphere of activ- before the conversion of Paul ; probably in Judea, 

ity. On the question whether 'Prisca' publicly since they were known to the Apostles. Paul 

preached, comp. the Epistle addressed to the had a nephew at Jerusalem, we learn from Acts 

church where she first labored for Christ ( 1 Cor. xxiii. 16. 

xiv. 34). Ver. 8. Ampliatu ; so the weightier authori- 

Ver. 4. Who for (' in behalf of,' not, ' instead ties ; * Amplias ' is an abbreviated form. A com- 
of ') my life laid down, etc Lit., ' laid under/ mon name in itself, it occurs several times in con- 
used of submitting to execution. That they under- nection with the imperial household ' (Lightfoot). 
went peril of their life for the sake of Paul is The same is true of nearly every name in the rest 
clearly meant ; whether at Ephesus or Corinth is of the section. — My beloved in the Lord; in 
uncertain, since in both places Paul had been ex- Christian fellowship. 

posed to violence. But the mention of this fact Ver. 9. Urbanms (the Latin form of this Latin 

opposes the Ephesian destination of the chapter, name), our follow worker in Christ. ' Our ' refers 

— All the churches of the Gentiles ; evidently in- not to Paul alone, since he says 'my ' so frequently 

eluding the Roman congregation. The Gentile here, but to the Roman Christians also. — 8taehyi 

churches owed gratitude for what was done in my beloved. The variety in these commendatory 

behalf of the Apostle to the Gentiles. phrases was probably due to specific reasons. 

Ver. 5. And salute ; the verb is properly sup- Ver. 10. ApoUos. Not to be confounded with 
plied, but the clause is grammatically connected 'ApoUos.' The name occurs in Horace (Sat, L 
with ver. 3, and should form a part of ver. 4. — v. 100) as that of a Jew. He may have been a 
The church that is in their house. The early freedman, as some suppose, but the name was not 
Christians had, as a rule, no public place of as- uncommon. There are various conjectures as to 
sembly, but probably met in the houses of the the groupingof freedmen and slaves in these sal- 
more prominent brethren. In larger cities there utations. — The ap prov e d in Christ ; one whose 
seem to have been several such places of meet- Christian steadfastness had been tested. — Of the 
ing ; and one of these is here referred to. The household of Ariitobulus ; the Christians in that 
language of Justin Martyr sustains this view, household (comp. ver. 11), probably slaves. 
The same persons were doubtless wont to gather There is no evidence that the person named was 
there, forming a household parish of the one a believer ; the phrase used has been thought by 
Roman congregation. As the city was four miles some to indicate that he was dead, 
in circumference, there was a necessity for a num- Ver. 11. Narcissus. A powerful freedman of 
ber of these assemblies. — Eponotns my beloved. Claudius bore this name, but died two or three 
All the persons named, from this point to the years before this Epistle was written. Possibly 
close of the section, are unknown. ' The legends the household of this person is meant, 
of the Fathers made the most of them martyrs Ver. 12. The three persons mentioned in this 
and bishops, and the Synopsis of Dorotheas mis- verse were probably deaconesses. — Persia. The 
places the most of them among the seventy dis- name is derived from Persia, but on this fact no 
ciples' (Meyer). — The nrst-froite of Asia unto inference can be based. This woman is not only 
Christ ; 1. /., among the first converts in the distinguished by the mention of her greater labor, 
Roman province of Asia, of which Ephesus was but is called the beloved. Meyer notices the deli- 
the chief city. Comp. 1 Cor. xvi. iq, where the cacy of the phrase ; not, 'my beloved,' as in the 
same expression occurs. There ' Acnaia ' is the case of the men referred to in vers. 5, 8. 
correct reading ; here ' Asia ' is much better sup- Ver. 13. Kufus. Possibly the person men- 
ported. The change may have arisen from the tioned in Mark xv. 21 (see in loco), since Mark 
fact that this Epistle was written in Corinth, the probably wrote in Rome. But the name was 
capital city of Achaia. frequent. — The chosen in too Lord; not merely 

Ver. 6. Salute Mary. This is the sixth person ' elect in Christ,' but a chosen distinguished Chris- 

of this name mentioned in the New Testament, tian man. — His mother and mine. ' His mother 

Otherwise unknown, but characterized as one who by nature, mine by maternal kindness ' (Webster 

bestowed much labor on yon. So the best au- and Wilkinson). The peculiarly affectionate tone 

thorities, and most recent editors. ' Bestowed suggests some special kindness, in regard to 

labor ' points to practical activity, in charity and which we can only conjecture. If she were the 

womanly ministrations. When preaching and wife of Simon of Cyrene and had lived at Jerusa- 

teaching are meant, ' in the word ' is usually lem, opportunities to befriend Paul would have 

added. been frequent. 

Ver. 7. Andronicus and Junias, or, ' Junia.' It Ver. 14. The numerous group here re fe rred to 

is impossible to decide which form of the latter was probably intimately associated, and less known 

name is correct; if the feminine form (* Junia') to the Apostle. — Hermes, Patrobas, Horsmas is 

be accepted, then the wife or sister of Andronicus the order of the best authorities. The last named 



Chap. XVI. 17-24.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 151 

person can scarcely be the author of the Shepherd testify their mutual love, in this, the ordinary 
tf Htrmas, since that work was probably not method of salutation, but having among Chris- 
written before the middle of the second century, tians a Christian and holy meaning' (Alford). 
— lb* brethren who are with than. Comp. ver. See marginal references. The custom is still 
15. The two phrases may refer to household known in the Greek Church. — All the churches 
churches, or to associations of Christians for busi- of Christ salute yon. The word ' all ' was prob- 
ness purposes. The former seems more prob- ably omitted by the scribes, because the expres- 
able. In that case five assemblies are indicated, sion seemed too extensive. But Paul was in com- 

Ver. 15. Julia ; probably the wife of Philo- munication with most Christian churches ; all 

logus. — Olympai is the name of a man. — Alltht such would feel interested in the believers at 

aamts, etc. In any case pointing to a numerous Rome, and if, as is probable, his intention of 

bodv of Christians. going there was known, many salutations would 

Ver. 16. Salute one another with a holy kiss, be intrusted to him. As he knew so well the be- 

' The meaning of this injunction seems to be, that lievers at Rome which he had not visited, how 

the Roman Christians should take occasion, on well qualified he was to speak for the many be- 

the receipt of the Apostle's greetings to them, to lieving assemblies he had himself organized. 



Chapter XVI. 17-24. 
3. Closing Exhortation, with Greetings from Various Persons. 

The warning of this section (vers. 17-20) indicates, not the presence of false teachers at Rome, but 
rather the danger of such persons making their appearance. The tone of the warning suggests this, 
as well as the fact that it occurs incidentally in a closing paragraph, instead of in the body of the 
Epistle. That Jewish zealots for the law were those against whom the Apostle warns is the most 
probable view. The description of ver. 18 is plainly applicable to these Judaizers, to whom the 
weak brethren would afford an opportunity. Vers. 21-24 form a distinct paragraph. Most of the 
names are found in the Book of the Acts, but the persons may be different, except in the case of 
Timothy. Attempts have been made to prove that this paragraph was not destined for Rome, or is 
not genuine, but there is nothing in the passage itself to confirm either of these opinions. 

17 "\JOW I beseech you, brethren, mark them "which 1 cause * A *V5ri m . 
1^1 divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine 2 which b ?<£;.. v. 9, 

18 ye have 8 learned ; and * avoid them. For they that are such i". ; 6 a ,T^* 
serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 but c their own belly ; and tKl'w! 

19 *by 6 good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the* pfiu. Si x *i 9; - 
simple. 6 For* your obedience is come abroad unto all men. d coui'.^'; 5 

I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet 7 1 would have you Tit!?/w;a' 

20 'wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning 8 evil. j. o»p. i- s. 
And 9 the God of peace * shall bruise Satan under your feet * c^. »*• * 
shortly. * c ^p- **• 

'The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. 9 J ^^ js- 

21 *Timotheus my workfellow, 10 and 'Lucius, and m Jason, and fc^^S?' 

22 * Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. 11 I Tertius, who wrote J}j x P Thi!i 

23 this epistle, 12 salute you in the Lord. • Gaius mine host, and xh£l. la. 
of the whole church, saluteth you. *Erastus the chamber- S^T* 

24 lain 18 of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a u brother. « The 16 * pSS^V 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Th<^'. W 

2 ; x Tim- i. 

1 that * teaching • omit have ajHeb.xiii. 

4 our Lord Christ (according to the best authorities) 5 insert their ' Acu xiii ;. »• 

• guileless T omit yet • unto that which is « Acta xx. 4. 

• the best authorities omit Amen. p Actsxix.aa'; 
10 Timothy my fellow worker saluteth you (according to the best authorities) vS^'f* 
u omit salute you lf write the epistle " treasurer Thcs».v.a8. 
M the 1§ the best authorities omit ver. 24. 



152 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XVI. 17-24. 

Ver. 17. Now, I beseech you, brethren. Comp. in contrast with those who cause divisions, ver. 
chap. xv. 30. — Hark them; note carefully. In 17) shall bruise Satan (who moves all these dis- 
Phil. iii. 17, it is applied to those who are to be turbing teachers) under your feet shortly. The 
imitated. — Which cause, etc The present tense figure is based upon Gen. iii. 15. God will give 
indicates that such persons were doing this, but them the victory ; both agencies will be employed, 
not necessarily at Rome. — Divisions and offences. ' Shortly ' is usually taken in the sense of * soon.' 
The article (in the Greek) points to what is 'The preservation of primitive Christianity from 
well known. The two words refer to divisions the fatal errors that very soon assailed it is one 
in churches and to temptations to depart from of the most striking of the gracious providences 
the gospel basis of faith and life. Others, with of God toward His church ' (Shedd). But Godet 
less reason, apply them to doctrinal divisions and gives it the sense of ' rapidly,' as better sup- 
moral offences. — Contrary to the teaching, etc. ported by usage. A reference to the return of 
' Doctrine ' may mislead ; the reference is to the Christ is by no means necessarily implied. — The 
entire range of Christian truth. The commen- grace of our Lord, etc This benediction, except 
dation of their teachers implied here indicates the word 'Amen,' is supported by the oldest 
that the church was founded mainly by Chris- authorities (two of them omitting * Christ '), most 
tians of the Pauline type. — Avoid them; lit 'turn of them, however, omitting ver. 24 (see below), 
off from them.' There is no reference to official The salutations which follow seem to have been 
excommunication, but to a rule of private con- added after the Epistle was virtually ended, 
duct toward such. The other might follow, but Ver. 21. Timothy, my fellow-worker, saluteth 
that was for the local church to determine. you. That Timothy was with Paul at this time 
Ver. 18. For they that are such, etc. Comp. appears from Acts xx. 4. — Lucius. Not ' Luke,' 
Phil. iii. 18, 19. — Our Lord Christ ; He is the but possibly 'Lucius of Cyrene' (Acts xiii. 1). — 
true Master (notice the unusual form, which is Jason. This may refer to the person named in 
supported by all the early manuscripts), yet they Acts xviL 5, as a resident of Thessalonica. — 80- 
do not serve Him, hut their own belly ; a figure aipater. The same name as ' Sopater ' (Acts xx. 
for sensuality. It is remarkable how often schis- 4), and possibly the same person. All three 
matics have proved their Epicureanism. — By names were frequent — My kinsmen. Comp. 
their good words and fair speeches; lit., ' by the vers. 7, 11. Here also the term probably means 
kind speaking and blessing. These terms refer more than ' countrymen.' That Paul's relatives 
either to the tenor and force of their words, or the should become Christians, and be associated with 
former may point to the mask of kindliness, and him, is probable enough. 

the latter to flattery. The unctiousness of sen- Ver. 22. I Tertiui. Otherwise unknown ; 

sual hypocrites is well known. — Deceive the probably an Italian, though some have sought to 

hearts of the guileless; those who are unsus- identify him with Silas, because the Hebrew 

picious, unwary. How many were deceiving and word answering to Tertius sounds like Silas. — 

deceived appears from Phil. i. 15, written from Who write the epistle. 'Wrote' is more literal, 

Rome a few years after this. Undue severity but 'write' gives the sense of this epistolary 

cannot be ascribed to the Apostle's language : aorist. Paul seems to have dictated most of his 

few earnest Christian teachers have failed to ob- letters. Comp. Galatians, chap. vi. It was nat- 

serve how apt it still is. ural that the amanuensis, as a Christian brother, 

Ver. 19. For your obedience, etc. ' Obedience ' would send his salutation in the first person. In 

to the gospel, obedience of faith, is meant, as ver. 23 the dictation is resumed. — In the Lord. 

throughout the Epistle. Because of their well- It is more natural to connect this with ' salute,* 

known obedience, he does not class them among though the Greek order permits it to be joined 

the ' guileless.' This view of ' for,' as implying with ' write.' 

an antithesis, is further favored by the next Ver. 23. Gains mine host Paul was lodging 
clause. Other views : I warn vou thus, because with this man, as he had previously done with 
your obedient disposition is well known ; and you Aquila and Justus (Acts xviii. 1-7). The name 
are therefore likely to be led astray ; or, I am occurs in connection with Paul in 1 Cor. i. 14, 
confident you will heed my warning, because your Acts xix. 29 ; xx. 4. The same person is prob- 
obedience is well known. The former gives an un- ably meant in the first instance, probably in the 
usual sense to ' obedience ; ' the latter does not ac- last, and possibly in all three. — And of the whole 
cord well with the force of ' for ' and ' therefore.' church. This may mean that a household church 
— Over you (the better supported order places met with him, or that he was universal in his hos- 
tile emphasis on this phrase) therefore I rejoice: pitality to Christians. — Erastus the treasurer (lit, 
hut I would have you, etc. A delicate combina- * steward ') of the city ; of Corinth. This may be 
tion of warning with the expression of firm con- the person mentioned in Acts xix. 22 ; 2 Tim. iv. 
fidence. Here is the added reason for the ex- 20 ; but in that case he had relinquished his of- 
hortation of ver. 17. — Wise unto that which is fice before the time. — Quartus the brother; some 
good, and simple unto that which is evil. ' Sim- Christian brother, known to the believers at 
pie ' is not the same word as in ver. 18 ; it might Rome, but totally unknown to us. 
be rendered ' harmless,' as the margin of the E. Ver. 24. This verse is omitted by the best 
V., since it denotes ' unmixed,' ' pure/ * free authorities. The repetition of the benediction is 
from.' ' Unto ' in both cases points to the result, not so unexampled as to have given offence to 
Wisdom is needed that we may rightly do what the early transcribers, while it might readily have 
we know to be right ; but in regard to what is been transferred from ver. 2a No great weight 
evil, the one way is the simple, unmixed way of can be allowed to arguments respecting the gen- 
avoiding it altogether. uineness of the closing doxologv (vers. 25-27) 
Ver. 2a Ana the God of peace (so designated based upon the repetition of this Senediction. 



Chap. XVI. 25-27.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 153 

Chapter XVI. 25-27. 
4. Concluding Doxology. 

In no other Epistle does the Apostle conclude with a doxology, but this need occasion no difficulty. 
The passage bears every internal evidence of genuineness, and is exceedingly appropriate. * As a 
final complete conclusion, we have now this praising of God, rich in contents, deep in feeling (per- 
haps added by the Apostle's own hand), in which the leading ideas contained in the whole epistle, 
as they had already found in the introduction (chap. i. 1-5) their preluding key note, and again in 
chap. xL 33-36, their preliminary doxological expression, now further receive, in the fullest unison of 
inspired piety, their consecrated outburst for the ultimate true consecration of the whole ' (Meyer). 

25 \T OW • to him that is of power l to stablish you b according* , E fw !§! 
1 ^1 to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, e accord" H? ; iJ; T ui!Ti 
ing to the revelation of the mystery, * which was kept secret 2 comp.*chap. 

26 since the world began, 8 But 'now is made manifest, and by the * c£p. a.16. 
Scriptures of the prophets, 4 according to the commandment c vli**i?s\ 
of the everlasting 6 God, made 6 known to all 7 nations for the^iCorijw; 

° Eph. ui. s* 

27 •'obedience 8 of faith: To 'God only wise, be glory through 9; Coi.t 
Jesus Christ forever. 9 Amen. * Eph.i.j; 

J a Tim. 1. zo; 

Tit. i 2 3 • 
T Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe, servant of the church , p ct . i! to. 

at Cenchrea." 'ggtll 

1 who is able * hath been kept in silence e if im.i. 17; 

» during eternal ages 4 through prophetic Scriptures JV ,6; - ,u ^ e 

* eternal • is made T unto all the 8 unto obedience 

• To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be the glory forever. 
M The subscription is not genuine, but in this case seems to be correct. 




venes being descriptive. There is, however, a Apostle would thus efface what might seem too 

grammatical difficulty, owing to the change of personal in that noun, "according to my gos- 

construction in the latter part of ver. 27. The pel"' (Godet). To refer the phrase to the 

phrase on which all that precedes logically de- preaching of Christ himself when on earth, is 

pends ('be the glory') is placed in a dependent unwarranted. — Aooording to the revelation, etc 

relative clause. Some have thought that in be- The connection of the clause here introduced has 

ginning the Apostle had in mind another form of been explained in three ways : (1.) Coordinate 

expression than a doxology, and that the relative with * according to my gospel,' etc., and thus 

in ver. 27 refers to Christ, while others regard the closely connected with ' stablish.' (2.) Explana- 

relative as an interpolation (see below). — Who is tory of the whole preceding statement, and thus 

tide to stablish you. Comp. marginal references, denning ' able to stablish,' etc. (3.) Explanatory 

This description of God is appropriate in this of ' my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, 9 

Epistle. — Aooording to my gospel It is difficult connected with the verbal idea therein implied. 

to determine the exact sense and connection of The last seems least defensible grammatically. 

this phrase, but it seems best to join it with ' stab- Either of the other two would be linguistically 

lish,' with the sense ' in reference to my gospel,' correct, but it is more probable that ' according 

that you may remain steadfastly faithful to the to' here has the same sense as before. We 

teaching I have set forth. Others give it the therefore prefer (1), which gives us another des- 

wider sense of ' in subordination to and accord- ignation of the gospel, ' as the revelation of the 

mvs- 

c, out 

jtery' as the specific 

closely joined with tfie preceding phrase, and is one on which the Apostfe delighted to dwell. 

probably an explanation of it ; either the preach- On the word, see chap. xi. 25, but especially Eph. 

ing concerning Christ, which is the substance of i. 9. Here, as in Ephesians, the contents of tnis 

, — t 1_. t-s.i. /-.i—'-.. . ^ ^ c salvation f sinful 

eternity, accomplished by 




his gospel, or the preaching which Christ causes mystery are, in general, 
to be promulgated through him. • Preaching ' here men, decreed from etei 



154 EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. [Chap. XVI. 25-27. 

Christ, proclaimed through the gospel to all men, the present — Unto all the nation*. ' Unto ' here 
so that this is the revelation of the mystery t points to the local extension of the gospel ; it 
But the Apostle in such expressions seems al- was made known so as to reach ' all the nations.' 
ways to have in mind the extension of salvation (The introduction of this phrase opposes the Ihn- 
to the Gentiles, so that they become one body Ration of 'mystery' to the fact of the reception 
with believing Jews (see Eph. iii. 3-9 ; Col. i. 26). of the Gentiles ; what was made known unto 
But the view we take of the connection prevents them was the entire gospel mystery.) The uni- 
our limiting the reference to this extension. — versal scope of the gospel has been the ground 
Hath been kept in silence during eternal ages, tone of the whole epistle; hence this phrase 
The thought is a common one in the Apostle's stands last in the original, to give it due emphasis. 
writings. ' Eternal ages ' include all the ages of — Unto obedience of faith- Precisely as in chap, 
human history, but also plainly suggest that eter- i. 5 ; * in order to produce obedience to faith/ 
nal past when God formed nis counsels of re- to make men become believers. The gospel 
demption (Eph. i. 4). ' Since the world began ' made known : by Divine authority, through re- 
(E. V.) needlessly limits the sense to the period corded prophecy now fulfilled, in order to make 
since the creation. men believe, and extended to all the nations. In 
Ver. 26. Bat now is made manifest The em- the mystery thus made known, which was really 
phasis rests on ' made manifest ; ' the whole the Apostle's gospel, God was able to slabush 
thought is explanatory of the ' revelation of the them. Beginning with the form of a doxology to 
mystery,' and in contrast with the long silence this God of powerful helpfulness, he has so en- 
just spoken of (ver. 25). * Now,' as usual, refers larged upon the method of His help as to render 
to the period since the gospel was preached, a resumption necessary ; hence the difficulty of 
' Made manifest ' suggests the revelation of the the construction in ver. 27. 
mystery made to the Apostles (comp. Eph. iii. Ver. 27. To the only wise God* etc. We give 
5); while ' is made known,' which all the rest of the literal rendering, which shows the difficult 
the verse qualifies, points to the publication of construction. Efforts have been made to avoid 
the mystery through preaching. The two expres- it by rejecting to whom ; but a due regard for ex- 
sions, however, are closely united by and (in the ternal authorities will not permit this. We re- 
original a conjunction used only to connect sim- card the opening phrase as a resumption of the 
ilar things). — Through prophetic Scriptures. This doxology begun m ver. 25, and the relative as an 




(4) the aim of this publication. In the original (1.) It refers to God. This is grammatically most 
the order of (3) and (4) is inverted, to give that probable, since otherwise the entire passage is 
emphasis to the universality of the proclamation left without any logical form. A change of con- 
which befits the close of this Epistle. The ar- struction is common enough in Paul's writings ; 
rangement of these phrases is not arbitrary, but we can hardly accept a logically incomplete 
4 The prophetic Scriptures ' were actually the doxology. ' Through Jesus Chnst ' may then be 
means employed in the universal diffusion of the explained as meaning that God through Christ 
gospel. (The article is wanting. Comp. chap, appears as the absolutely wise God (Meyer). We 
1. 2.) Until they were fulfilled the matter was indicate this connection by placing a semicolon 
still a mystery, but Christ himself, as well as his (instead of a comma) before the relative clause. 
Apostles, used the Old Testament constantly to The view of the E. V. (and many older versions 
teach evangelical truth. It is altogether unneces- and commentators), which joins ' through Jesus 
sary to argue from this reference to the Old Tes- Christ ' with ' be the glory,' is opposed by the 
tament that the * mystery ' spoken of is exclu- presence of the relative. (2.) Many refer the dox- 
sively the reception of the Gentiles. The entire ology to Christ The Apostle might utter such 
mystery of redemption could be made known a doxology, but it seems narsh to turn the refer- 
through the Old Testament, when once it had ence from the leading Person in the entire pas- 
been manifested to the inspired Apostles. Godet sage. (3.) Godet refers the relative to both God 
labors to prove that New Testament prophetic and Chnst, urging that it is difficult to separate 
writings are here meant, but such a sense is not them in a passage like this. In chap. i. 7, ' the 
obvious. In fact the statement that the mystery two substantives are placed under the govern- 
had been kept in silence (ver. 5) seems to require ment of one and the same preposition ; they 
a reference to the Old Testament ; otherwise the might therefore here be includea in the same 
Apostle would have failed to give it the place in pronoun.' Much such interpretation is precari- 
this grand passage which it has everywhere else ous. The view of Meyer seems preferable. -~ 
in New Testament history and literature (see Be the glory forever. 'The glory,' which befits 
again, chap. i. 2.) — According to the command- Him (see chap. xi. 36). 'Be' is properly sup- 
ment of the eternal God. The reference to the plied, rather than ' is.' The latter would give a 
Scripture naturally suggests God who spake true sense, but this is an ascription of praise. 
through the prophets. But it is not necessary to The Apostle, who had dived so deeply into the 
take this phrase as subordinate to ' Scriptures ' ; riches of the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, 
still less to make it parallel with ' according to ' might well close such an Epistle by declaring that 
in ver. 25. The publication of the gospel was by God was revealed as absolutely wise through 
Apostles who were fully persuaded that the same Jesus Christ, and ascribe to Hun, as such, the 
God who spoke through the prophets had sent glory forever. And when, through the preach- 
them by specific commandment : comp. Matth. mg of Jesus Christ, according to this gospel, the 
xxviii. 19, 20, and the Apostle's language every- mystery of God's love in Jesus ( Christ shall be 
where. 'Eternal' is appropriately used here, make known unto all the nations, and they, 
since the whole passage has reference to what he through the written revelation, become obedient 
has disposed • during eternal ages ' as well as in to faith; then to Him at whose command the 



Chap. XVI. 25-27.] EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS. 155 

message is proclaimed, and who is therein re- labor for and await the final triumph of Him 
vealed as the only wise God, to Him be the glory whose plan of saving grace is so fully set forth 
forever. — Aman. They only say ' Amen ' who in this great Epistle. 



Excursus on Chapters XV., XVI. 

As already stated in the Introduction (p. 15), the integrity of the Epistle to the Romans has been 
frequently discussed ; some rejecting chaps, xv., xvi. as un- Pauline, others denying their place in this 
Epistle. The main reason for such discussions is found in the peculiar phenomena discoverable in 
early manuscripts respecting the place of the concluding doxology* 

I. The Textual Phenomena, (i.) The doxology is found at the close of chap, xvi., in tf, B, 
C, D. (four of the five earliest Greek manuscripts), in the Peshito, Vulgate, and other versions, and 
in some Fathers. All recent critical editors accept this position. (2.) The verses stand immediately 
after chap. xiv. 23, in L, most of the cursive Greek manuscripts, in several versions, and in six im- 
portant Greek fathers. This position was accepted by some textual critics of the last century, and 
usually by those authors who deny the integrity of the Epistle. (3.) In A and a few cursives the 
doxology occurs in both places. That it was repeated in the original letter is very improbable ; but 
the existence of this repetition in so old a manuscript as A (fifth century), shows an early doubt as 
to the true position. (4.) A later corrector of D, usually known as D 8 , marked these verses for eras- 
ure ; in F and G they do not occur, but a space has been left blank in chap. xiv. (not exactly at the 
same point), as if with the design of inserting them. Marcion rejects them, and Jerome found a few 
manuscripts which omitted them. (5.) No authorities omit chaps, xv., xvi. 

IL The Genuineness of the Doxology. The variation in position calls for a satisfactory 
explanation, but it is least of all accounted for by denying the genuineness of these verses. The 
manuscript authority is overwhelming, and the internal evidence very strong. Although Paul's dox- 
ologies are usually simple, at the close of this Epistle such a sentence as this need occasion no sur- 
prise. Moreover the expressions are Pauline, and the style precisely that which is found in passages 
where he writes with his own hand. This he probably did in the case of this doxology. 

III. The Genuineness of Chaps, xv., xvi. In the case of so long a passage, containing 
so many personal details, the burden of proof rests with those who deny the genuineness. Hence 
few critics have been bold enough to take a decided position against the Pauline authorship of the 
chapters. (Baur is one of the few.) We may regard the genuineness as now universally accepted. 

IV. The Destination of these Chapters. Here also the burden of proof rests with those 
who deny the place of the chapters in the Epistle to the Romans. 

1. The Roman Destination. The usual view is, that the Epistle was written originally and sent to 
Rome in the full form, and that the doxology was displaced in some later copies. This displacement 
may have been due to the habit of copying the Epistles for public reading, the final chapters being 
omitted, as less suitable for this purpose in all the churches. It is objected chat all the ancient lee- 
tionaries contain these chapters. * But the epoch when the omission of these two chapters would 
have taken place is much earlier than the date of the collection of the pericopes which have been 
preserved for us ' (Godet). Other reasons have been assigned for the position of the doxology at 
the close of chap. xiv. by those who accept the Roman destination of the concluding chapters. The 
theory of Bishop Lightfoot, which is given in the Introduction, is the most plausible one, though it 
tieems to place too early the briefer form of the Epistle. 

2. The non- Roman Destination. Here a number of conflicting theories have been suggested. The 
view of Renan makes of these chapters a patch-work collection of the various personal and local 
items written by the Apostle, but for different churches to which the Epistle was sent as an encycli- 
cal letter. Semler, Paulus, and many others, had previously suggested this composite character. 
Admitting this theory, we give to each critic the liberty of dissecting the chapters and exercising 
his ingenuity in disposing of the disjecta membra. ' Among all the reasons which are adduced in sup- 
port of these different opinions, none hold good, not even those which seem least founded upon mere 
arbitrariness' (Meyer). Most of these theories, however, agree in designating Ephesus as the place 
for which these salutations (in whole or in part), were destined, assuming that Aquila and Priscilla 
could not have been at Rome when this Epistle was written, but probably were at Ephesus. It is a 
pure assumption. In their zeal for the gospel, these two could as readily go from Ephesus to Rome 
as they had gone from Corinth to Ephesus (Acts xviii. 18, 19); especially as they had previously re- 
sided m Italy (Acts xviii. 2). The further assumption that Paul could not have had so many ac- 
quaintances m Rome, but would send greetings to many in Ephesus, scarcely deserves an answer. 
The movement among the early Christians was very great. The classes to which they belonged were 
great travellers. Every hint we have of the social life of the early Church sustains the probability 
that the Apostle did know many Christians at Rome before he visited that city. The fact that he 
wrote his longest Epistle to the congregation there is of itself a proof that personal ties were not 
wanting. Here we may revert again to the list of names in chap. xvi. 1-16. Bishop Lightfoot's 
comparison with the inscriptions in the excavated columbaria shows ' that the names and allusions 
at the close of the Roman Epistle are in keeping with the circumstances of the metropolis in St. 
Paul's day.' We therefore accept the integrity of the Epistle as one addressed to the Romans. 
This is the only solution of the whole question which has positive evidence to support it, and it 
agrees best with all the phenomena, external and internal, which enter into the discussion. 



iS7 



INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE 

CORINTHIANS. 



CORINTH. — The geographical position and physical configuration of this ancient 
city might have enabled any one to predict for it a double distinction — that it 
would become the great emporium of commerce between East and West, rising to 
paramount importance among the cities of Greece ; and that it might be made a place 
of great military strength. Built upon a narrow neck of land, and hence called the 
Isthmus or ' neck ' of Corinth, its shores were washed by two seas — on the east by 
the Crissaean Gulf or Gulf of Corinth (now the Gulf of Lepanto), and by the Saronic 
Gulf on the west (now the Gulf of JEgina). Thus, what the Isthmus of Suez now is 
for transit between England and India — by which the storms of the Bay of Biscay are 
avoided, the 'doubling of the Cape' rendered unnecessary, and a great distance 
saved — such was the Isthmus of Corinth to ancient mariners, enabling them to 
transport their merchandise between the East and the West, not only with much 
more expedition, but without having to ' double ' the two southern capes of Greece, 
whose seas were the terror of sailors in those days. In respect of military strength, 
Corinth had from nature almost unequalled advantages ; and of these its builders 
wisely availed themselves. They placed it about a mile and a half to the south of 
the isthmus, on a rocky eminence two hundred feet above the sea-level This 
eminence formed part of the Onoean range of mountains which stretched across the 
line of the Isthmus, and reached to the Saronic Gulf. Behind the city stood that 
magnificent rock known as the citadel of Corinth, and called the Acroeorinthus, 
nearly 1900 feet high, and whose sides are so precipitous that military men have pro- 
nounced it unequalled even by Gibraltar. To the west there ran from the city to the 
Corinthian Gulf a double wall, a mile and a half long, terminating at a port called the 
port of Lechaeum ; while to the east the city was connected with the seaport town of 
Cenchreae (Rom. xvl 1), on the Saronic Gulf, by a road of eight or nine miles in 
length. Thus the Isthmus was, what Pindar calls it, 'the bridge of the sea; 11 and 
Xenophon rightly calls it 'the bridge of the Peloponnesus,' as it formed the dividing 
line between the northern division of Greece — or Hellas proper — and the southern 
almost insular division, hence called the ' Peloponnesus "or 'island of Pelops' (now 
the Morea). Thus fitted as Corinth was to take a distinguished place among the 
cities of Greece, alike for military and political influence, its rulers early saw that by 
developing its commercial resources it might easily rise to be the wealthiest and most 
powerful of the Grecian cities — a distinction of which, indeed, it had given early 
promise, even from the time of its conquest by the Dorians, about a thousand years 
before Christ, and actually reached some centuries later under the sway of Periander. 
Its fortunes, however, fluctuated greatly in the succeeding centuries ; and when the 

1 «w»» y'lf*, Mm. vi. 40 ; Isthm. Hi. 35. * «"• niA#*wwfw» vfau, Ages, it 17. 



! 



158 INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 
liberties of Greece were crushed by Philip of Macedon, B.C 338, Corinth became 
subject to the Macedonian kings, who took care to keep it always strongly garrisoned 
This galling yoke was broken, indeed, in the year B.C. 196, when Corinth was 
re-united to the celebrated Achaean League ; but, though nominally free, it became 
really subject to its Roman liberators. And when the League were foolish enough 
to go to war with Rome, and even to maltreat the Roman ambassadors at Corinth, 
which was the League's seat of government, the Achaean troops were easily defeated ; 
and the Romans, under Lucius Mummius, their commander, in B.C. 146, revenged 
the insult with almost unparalleled barbarity — killing all the males, selling into 
slavery the women and children, stripping the city of its immense wealth, and 
carrying off its invaluable works of art Having done this, the conquerors laid the 
city in ashes, ' thus extinguishing ' (says Cicero) ' the light of all Greece/'or, as another 
writer calls it, ' the head of Achaia, the glory of Greece.* 1 For a whole century 
Corinth lay in this desolate state, with scarce anything to mark that architectural 
beauty for which it bad been renowned, save seven Doric columns, the remains of an 
ancient temple. At length Julius Caesar — with that sagacity which marked all his 
public actions, perceiving how much might be made of a spot so favoured by nature, 
and having such traditional renown — determined, in the year ac. 46, to found on it 
a Roman colony, to be peopled, in the first instance, by his own veterans and freed- 
nien. Ey them the city was rebuilt, and soon grew to be something enormous; 
Greek merchants pouring into it to make it their home, while Jews were attracted to 
it from its advantages for business and its proximity to their fatherland. In fact, 
though it was constituted into a Roman colony, became the capital of the Roman 
province of Achaia, and was governed by a Proconsul, residing at Corinth (Acts 
xviii. r 2, where that official is called 'the deputy' in our Authorised Version) — the 
Romans themselves were outnumbered in Corinth by their Greek and Jewish fellow- 
citizens. The city now became wealthier than ever, its temples and civic buildings 
glittered as of old, and the same luxury and vice for which it had become so 
infamous of old, reappeared and flourished in all their ancient vigour. Accordingly, 
as of old, when one would describe a person abandoned to sensuality, he or she would 
be said to Corinthianiu, to be a Corinthianizer, and in the case of a female, to be a 
Corinthian gitl. Even the detestable practice was kept up of consecrating a thousand 
courtesans to the public worship of Aphrodite (Venus) in her temple. As for intellec- 
tual endowments, though Corinth seems never to have produced men of eminence, it 
was vain of the patronage it bestowed on philosophy and rhetoric, and doated on 
those distinguished for either whom it succeeded in attracting to it Such was Corinth 
when, in the year 51, our apostle first entered it; and what a sight must it have 
presented to his eye ! 

Entrance of Christianity into Corinth. — Fresh from Athens, our apostle first 
set foot in Corinth. The proud metropolis of intellectual culture had heard from his 
lips a message of surpassing dignity — a message embodying truths as profound as 
they were novel — but with philosophic indifference had allowed him to leave their 
city without further inquiry. Would he fare any better in this money-making, 
pleasure-loving, commercial metropolis? That remained to be seen. But he who 
had already marched through violence and bloodshed from victory to victory in 
Asia Minor, and now in Europe at Philippi and Thessalonica and Beroea, was not to 
be daunted by Corinthian luxury any more than by Athenian indifference. So he 
will feel his way, beginning, as usual, with ' the Jew first ' in the synagogue — reasoning 
from Sabbath to Sabbath, ' persuading ' both the Jews and proselyte Greeks. On the 
arrival of his colleagues, Silas and Timothy, from Macedonia, he seems to have 
1 Cic. Ltg. Manil. 5. ■ Fbr. ii. 16, 1. 



INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 159 

increased in boldness — ' pressed in spirit/ but, according to the true reading, ( con- 
strained by the word' to ' testify to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ' (Acts xviii. 5). 
This roused his opponents into such ' resistance and blasphemy,' that, seeing all hope 
of making way in the synagogue to be hopeless, ' he shook off his raiment, saying, 
Your blood be upon your own heads ; I am clean : from henceforth I will go unto 
the Gentiles.' Accordingly, on leaving the synagogue, he entered into the house of a 
certain man named Titus Justus, ' whose house joined hard to the synagogue,' and so 
would be easily accessible to such of its frequenters as were still open to light ; while 
Justus himself, being 'one that worshipped God' — a Gentile proselyte — his house 
would be better suited for drawing a mixed audience than the synagogue itself. 
The surprising result of this move soon appeared in no less a person than ' Crispus, 
the ruler of the synagogue,' himself ' believing with all his house.' And not only so, 
but ' many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.' Cheering as 
this must have been, there was vouchsafed to our apostle a richer encouragement 
still His glorified Lord appeared to him in a night vision, saying, * Be not afraid, but 
speak, and hold not thy peace ; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to 
hurt thee ; for I have much people in this city ' (Acts xviii. 9, 10). And he ' was not 
disobedient unto the heavenly vision,' but ' dwelt there a year and six months, 
teaching the Word of God among them.' Thus consolidated and trained, the Church 
of Corinth became, of all the churches which owed their birth to our apostle, the 
most important as well as most numerous — embracing within itself not only the little 
daughter-church of Cenchreae (Rom. xvi. 1), the adjoining seaport town, but knots of 
scattered Christians throughout ' all Achaia' (2 Cor. i. 1 ; 1 Thess. L 8), and extend- 
ing probably to Athens itself. Though the members of this powerful church consisted 
chiefly of the humbler classes (1 Cor. i. 26-29), ** so roused the opposing Jews that they 
tried to get the Proconsul to put the man down who had done it all, as a disturber of 
the peace, ' persuading men to worship God contrary to the law.' In this, however, 
they signally failed ; and after some further stay, ' taking his leave of the brethren, he 
set sail for Syria.' 

Occasion of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. — Not long after our 
apostle's departure, Corinth was visited by a preacher of one mind with him, but of a 
very different type. And as it is important to know the source and character of that 
difference, the singularly interesting account given of him in the Acts should be care- 
fully studied. ' A certain Jew, named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent ' (or 
learned) ' man, came to Ephesus, and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man 
had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in the spirit, he spake 
and taught carefully the things of Jesus, 1 knowing only the baptism of John ' (Acts 
xviiL 24, 25). Instructed in Christianity, probably, by some of John's disciples, his 
knowledge would be imperfect ; and ' knowing only the baptism of John ' may mean 
that he regarded Christianity from the Baptist's point of view, rather as the perfecting 
of Judaism than as a provision for the salvation of a sinful world of Gentiles as well 
as Jews. But, being 'fervent in the spirit and mighty in the Scriptures,' he poured 
forth in the synagogue, according to his light, the truth he had received. Among his 
audience at Ephesus was a distinguished couple, — Aquila and Priscilla, — who had 
just come with Paul from Corinth, where they and he had lived together during all 
the apostle's stay there. Thus, trained as none of the Christians of Ephesus had 
been, they would be quick to perceive that, gifted as this new teacher was, there was 
a certain imperfection in his views of the truth he was setting forth, the removal of 
which would add greatly to his usefulness in the Christian cause, and give his preach- 

1 So the true reading is. 



j 



160 INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, 
ing a new power. Accordingly, they 'took him unto them, and expounded unto him 
the way of God more perfectly.' It says much for the humility and teachableness of 
such a man, that he should have been content to sit at the feet of a Christian woman 
and her husband ' while opening to him what he had hitherto had no opportunity of 
learning, while they, on their part, would doubtless lay the stress of what they ven- 
tured to press upon him on the superior teaching which they themselves had enjoyed 
at Corinth. His views being thus enlarged, and his interest in Corinth excited by 
the glowing picture doubtless given him by this couple of what the great apostle 
had done for it, he resolved to visit it So, 'when he was minded to pass over into 
Achaia' — that is, to its capital, Corinth, almost due east from Ephesus by sea — 'the 
(Ephesian) brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him.' 
Perhaps the difference they had observed between the style of this gifted teacher and 
that of their father in the faith, in their proclamation of their common message, 
would seem fitted only to further the cause. And at first these expectations were 
probably more than realized. For ' when he was come he helped them much who 
had believed through grace ; for he powerfully confuted the Jews, and that publicly, 
shewing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ' (Acts xviiL 97, 38). 

But soon it proved the reverse. All unwittingly, Apollos was the occasion of 
serious divisions. Speaking naturally in his own style, and putting forth all his 
eminent gifts with the one object of commending Christ, one party was carried away 
with the apparent resemblance of his style to that of the empty rhetoric to which they 
had been accustomed in the pagan schools ; while those who valued more the truth, 
that had made them what they now were, than the manner in which it bad been 
dealt out, were jealous for the reputation of their father in the faith. How long 
Apollos stayed at Corinth we have no means of knowing ; for his name after this does 
not occur in the Acts, nor is he mentioned anywhere else, with the exception of the 
opening chapters of this First Epistle, on which we shall have occasion to comment 
pretty fully, and once in the Epistle to Titus, asking him to set forward on their 
journey Zenas the lawyer and Apollos. But we may safely say, that so long as be 
remained at Corinth, that party spirit which was gathering strength under his ministry 
would receive no countenance from one who would only regard it as a blight upon 
the work that lay nearest his heart. 

After his departure, however, it seemed to have assumed alarming proportions, and 
to have come to a head, demanding apostolic interposition ; and besides this, there 
were other alarming abuses calling for immediate attention and sharp correction. 
Old Corinthian vices were reappearing ; questions of conscience touching the limits 
of Christian freedom were leading to dangerous compromises on the part of some, 
wounding the feelings and trying to the principles of others ; the spiritual gifts in 
which that church abounded were degenerating into abuse ; the most sacred 
institution of the Church of Christ was desecrated by the manner in which it was 
observed; unauthorized teachers were calling in question the apostolic authority of 

1 ' A Christian woman and her husband,' we have said advisedly. For whereas in the fire! men- 
tion of tlm couple, in Acts xviii. a, the husband is naturally placed first, in ver. 18 the order is 
reversed ; and though this might have been accidental on the part of the historian, the woman is again 
placed first in ver. 26 — according to the undoubtedly true text — and this precisely where the 
delicate office of instructing (hut eminent teacher ' more perfectly in the way of the Lord * is mentioned 
as discharged by them ; and as the same order is observed in Rom. xvi. 3 and a Tim. iv. 19, then 
can be no reasonable doubt that this was intentional, as indicating that the wife was the superior of the 
two in intelligence and energy, and bad in this case, perhaps, won upon Apollos by her superior tact 
and lively sympathy with his position. 



INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 161 

the very founder of their church ; and to such an extent were pagan ideas creeping 
in that the resurrection itself was by some among them openly explained away. No 
wonder that our apostle at length proceeded to deal with evils so complicated and so 
alarming, in a church that once had stood out as one of the brightest trophies of the 
simple preaching of the Cross. This he would have the less scruple in doing, as 
they themselves had written him, expressly asking instruction on some of the ques- 
tions which were perplexing them (i Cor. vii. i). Yet how repulsive the task, in some 
features of it, and how deep the pain it cost him, he tells them touchingly : — ' Out of 
much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears ' (2 Cor. il 4). 

But what was drawn forth reluctantly by this church has been to the Christian 
Church in all time of priceless value. For in the two Epistles to the Corinthians — 
the earliest which the apostle wrote, with the exception of those to the Thessalonians 
— we have what is to be found in none of the other Epistles, nor in all of them put 
together. For here the curtain is drawn, and a state of things disclosed of a character 
perfectly unique and pregnant with instruction of the most valuable kind. In view 
of this Dean Stanley says with much truth : ' The First Epistle to Corinth gives a 
clearer insight than any other portion of the New Testament into the institutions, 
feelings, and opinions of the Church of the earlier period of the apostolic age. It is 
in every sense the earliest chapter of the history of the Christian Church.' 

The Genuineness and Date of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. — The 
external evidence of its genuineness is quite decisive. Clement of Rome, in his Epistle 
to the Corinthians (a.d. c. 95), 1 expressly refers to it in chap. xlviL as having brought 
down upon them a rebuke for their dissensions about Paul and Apollos and Cephas ; 
and in chap. xlix. he recurs to this, saying, ' Love knows no schisms, is not factious.' 
Clear allusions are made to it by Ignatius to the Ephesians (c 1 15), by Poly carp to the 
Philippians (e. 150), and by Justin Martyr in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew (c. 155). 
The references to it in Irenaeus (c. 180-185), in Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian 
(c. 210), are still more explicit But it is the internal evidence which has carried 
conviction even to the most advanced of the negative schooL Of all writers who 
have handled this point, none has written with such force and felicity as Paley, in his 
incomparable Horct Paulina, of which we here give one specimen, as it is peculiarly 
to the purpose of this Commentary (abridging a few of the unimportant clauses) : — 
• From chap. viL 1 it appears that this letter was written in answer to one from them, 
and that this and some following chapters are taken up in resolving certain doubts and 
regulating certain points of order about which they had consulted him. This alone 
is greatly in favour of the authenticity of the Epistle : for it must have been a far- 
fetched contrivance in a forgery, first to have feigned the receipt of a letter from them, 
which letter does not appear, and then to have drawn up a fictitious answer to it, 
relating to a great variety of doubts and inquiries, purely economical and domestic ; 
and which, though likely enough to have occurred to an infant society, in a situation 
and under an institution so novel as that of a Christian church then was, it must have 
very much exercised the author's invention, and could have answered no imaginable 
purpose of forgery, to introduce the mention of at all. Particulars of the kind we 
refer to are such as the following : the rule of duty and prudence relative to entering 
into marriage, as applicable to virgins, to widows ; the case of husbands married 
to unconverted wives, of wives having unconverted husbands ; where the unconverted 
party chooses to separate, where he chooses to continue the union ; the effect pro- 
duced by their conversion on their prior state, of circumcision, of slavery ; the eating 
of things offered to idols, as it was in itself, as others were affected by it ; the joining 

1 See Lightfoot's edition (1869), pp. 145, 150. 
vol. m. it 



162 INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIAJ 
in idolatrous sacrifices ; the decorum to be observed in their religions assemblies 
order of speaking, the silence of women, the covering or uncovering of the hea 
it became men, as it became women. These subjects, with their several a bdiris 
are so particular, minute, and numerous, that, though exactly agreeable to the cir 
stances of the persons to whom the letter was written, nothing, I believe, but the < 
ence and reality of those circumstances could have suggested to the writer's thouf 
To this we only add Meyer's remark, that the Epistle ' bears the most definite im] 
of the peculiar spirit and tact of Paul, and displays the full power, art, and subtle 
his eloquence.' No wonder, then, that only the most outrageous criticism has 
ventured to impugn this Epistle. 

As for the date, a comparison of the Epistle itself with corresponding passagi 
the Acts of the Apostles fixes it very definitely. It must have been written near 
close of the third year of the apostle's stay at Ephesus, some time before Pentt 
(xvi. 8), and not improbably in the spring of the year, on the eve of the Pass 
(v. 6-8). [The subscription at the close of the Authorised Version rests upc 
worthless tradition.] 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE 

CORINTHIANS. 



Title. The most ancient Manuscripts of the New Testament place the 
Pauline Epistles by themselves, under the general title of ' Epistles of Paul,' 
[eiiiztoaai iiataot], each Epistle being headed simply by the name of 
the party addressed. Thus : ' To the Corinthians — First ; To the Corinthians 
—Second ' [npoz kopin0IOT2— a, b]. 

Chapter I. 1-9. 

Address and Salutation — Thankfulness for the Past, and Confidence for 

the Future. 

1 T)AUL, * called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ 1 b through ;S°j"*. Lf - 

2 A the will of God, and c Sosthenes our 9 brother, unto the cA*MXfsLtj. 
church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are 8 d sancti- rfCh. vL «. 
fied in Christ Jesus, ' called to be saints, with all that in every * Rom. i. 7 . 
place -'call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, 4 both* /Ac* «. 14, 

3 g theirs • and ours : h Grace be unto you, and peace, from God *ch. viii. *. 
our Father, andfrotn 7 the Lord Jesus Christ. 

4 'I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of « Rom. is. 

5 God which is • given you by 9 Jesus Christ ; that in every thing 

ye are 10 enriched by 9 him, in all * utterance, and in ll all know- *«Cor. viu. 7. 

6 ledge; even as 'the testimony of Christ was confirmed in /aTim/i.8. 

7 you : so that ye come behind in no gift ; waiting for the 

8 ""coming 1 * of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also * con- m *2***- 1 7. 

° J n Phil. a. 6. 

firm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day ° c** 1 - *• aa - 

9 of our Lord Jesus Christ God is * faithful, by whom ye were /phu. i.6. 
called unto " f the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, f 1 Jo. l 3, 7 . 

1 Christ Jesus 2 our 8 omit to them that are 

4 our Lord Jesus Christ 5 omit both 6 their Lord 7 omit from 

8 was • in 10 were n omit in 

12 revelation ,$ into 

Ver. I. Paul. The Hebrew family name Saul twice, where he himself has occasion to report the 
was changed into this Roman form probably at or never-to-be-forgotten words addressed to him from 
about the time when the incident occurred in con- heaven on his way to Damascus (Acts xxii. 7, 
nection with which it is first mentioned (Acts xxvi. 14), and in the historian's narrative of that 
xiil 9) ; nor does the old name ever reappear save scene (chap. ix. 4). Jerome's explanation of 

163 



16 4 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. I. 1-9. 



the change, as designed to commemorate the con- zt. 7 and Jama ii. 7, where the tense is undoubtedly 

version of Sergius Pauhts {Dt vir. il/ustr. c 5), passive. Bnt in these two places it is the ermntf 

though approved by good critics from August™ turn which fixes the sense, whereas here, and in a 

downwards, is surely far-fetched. That it was multitude of other places, the middle sense of (he 

suggested by the diminutiveness or insignificance verb ' call ' (' calling on ' or ' invoking '} is plainly 

of his personal appearance (such a! tradition repre- intended. See Acts ix. 14, II, mil. 16 ; Rom. 

sents him) one wonders (hat any should suppose ; x. 12, 13, 14 ; 2 Tim. ii. 32 ; I Pet. i. 17. In 

for though, to any one who understood Latin, the the Old Testament the identical Hebrew phrase 

coincidence would occur, it could not have been (as also in the LXX. Greek), ' to call on the name 

intended to express it. But since to Gentile ears of Jehovah,' means, as every one knows, 'to 

the Hebrew name would easily pass into the invoke ' or 'worship Jehovah.' When, then, we 

smoother Roman form, no further explanation find a phrase already so familiar and so dear to 

seems necessary. — called ta be an apoatle, ap- devout Jewish ears transferred 10 Christians, defin- 

parently when first called to discipleship (comp. ing them ss ' callers upon,' ' invokers,' or ' wor- 

Acts xxvL 16-1S with I Cor. ix. I and xv. IS), shippers of Christ — and this incorporated among 

though it was not till events put it beyond all the household words of the churches — what can we 

doubt that his apostolic calling was publicly recog. conclude but that the first Christians were taught 

nised. Some prefer to translate ' a called apostle ; * to regard their Master as the rightful Heir, in 

but in the very next verse — where we have the human fink, of all the worship which thiamin! 

similar phrase, 'called to be saints' — that rendering Church had been trained jealously to render t$ 

would be unsuitable. — of Christ Jeans. Once for Jehovah a/em I Some critics think to evade (his 

all we here note that what appears the true order by saying that since this worship is always onder- 

of these words io this verse is the apostle's usual stood to be rendered "to theglory of God die Father" 

style ; though in such cases the MSS. vary so much (as in PhiL ii. 10), it is meant not of absolute bat 

that certainty is not always attainable. — through relative worship. Bat not to say that the New 

the willofOod. Notincr- r ' ■*-■■■■ 



with ' the falsi 
apostles ' referred to in * Cor. xL 13 ; for the 

— e phrase, and in the same connection, is found 

re no such contrast can be supposed (Epb. 

; Col. i. a; * Tim. i. 1). Rather, it ' ' 

to the front 1 



Testament knows nothing of two kinds of worship, 
the question is not. In what relation does the Son 
stand (o the Father in this worship t That relation 
is internal. Personal, and (to all created intelligence 
probably) unfathomable. But the one real ques- 



ning to the front at once that official authority (ion is, What is that worship itself I and if it H 

*hich he had to exercise in disposing of the diffi- precisely what is peremptorily forbidden to be 

cult and delicate questions about which the Cor- offered (o any creature, the New Testament most 

inthians had consulted him, and which required be held to teach the proper Personal Divinity of 

(o be firmly dealt with. — and Sosthonee, our Christ. — Ver. 3. Grace unto you and peace. 

brother [Or. the brother]. Was this (hat ruler of What in the Old Testament is called 'mercy,' ism 



synagogue at Corinth who had dragged (he (he New Testament expressed by the richer and 

wtie himself before Gallio the Roman pro- ,...»■ 

I, and who, when that official refused to 



meddle with the a 



. as beyond his jurisdi 
upon and roughly handled by the Jews 
before the judgment-seat (Acts -™ »«-.»**» 



Some critics think this all bnt incredible. But 
since the name of this ' brother ' occurs nowhere 
but in an Epistle addressed to these same Corin- 
thians, as of one they were familiar with, and 
since it is often the ' ' 

truth who, when oni 

apostle himself, its most icalous promoters, we 
cannot but judge that they are one and the same 
person. And was not the example of so notable 
. a convert as ' Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue,' 
going before (Acts xviii. 8) fit(ed to make on im- 
pression on his successor in office ? If we are right 
in our impression, this Sosthenes would be to our 
apostle, in a very tender sense, 'a brother beloved.' 
—Ver. 2. sanctified In Christ Jenu; through 
living union with the Fountain of Holiness in His 
Person. — called to be saints ; not in the mere 
external sense of Matt. xx. 16, but (at tie word is 
always used in the Pauline Epistles) in that inward, 
efficacious, saving sense which invariably issues in 
the cordial reception of the Gospel message : as in 
"i. 30, ' Whom He called, them He also 



comprehensive term 'grace,' — that Divine affection 
whence flows all salvation to Adam's fallen family 
(Eph. ii. 10). The first remit of this, when it 
enters any soul, is ' peace. ' And here both these 
are solicited for the Corinthian converts, from God 
our Father— as the primal Fountain, and the 
Lord Josus- as the mediatorial Channel of these 
precious gifts ; and by coupling both Persons in 
one and the same invocation, their equality in the 
violent opposers of (he Godhead is brightly confirmed. 

Vet. 4. I thank myCtod always., .fbrthegrsce 
. . . given yon In Jeans Christ (cf. ver. 2, "Sancti- 
fied in Christ Jetus"). But lest it should seem 
strange that a Church so rich in ' grace ' should 
be so severely blamed as in the sequel of this 
Epistle, the apostle is careful to specify what be 
refers to — namely, certain gifts which are all too 
compatible with a low-toned moral and spiritual 
character.— Ver. 5. that in everything ye an 
enriched ... In all utterance ( Cr. ' word '), or 
aptitude to give utterance to divine truth. — and all 
knowledge, or apprehension of the truth (see 1 Cor. 



t. 6. e 



-i- 7. J- 

CJhrist was confirmed In yon, by its marvellous 
transformation ofoneof theunUkeliest communities 
(a Cor. iii. 1-3).— Ver. 7. so that ye come behind 
in no gift ; waiting for the revelation of our 
justified ; and whom He justified, them He also Lord Jeans Ohrirt. The faith of His first coming, 
glorified. '—with all that call upon, or 'invoke,' to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and (be 
the name of our Lord Jeans Christ. To get hope of His second appearing without sin onto 
rid of the natural sense of these words, which salvation to them that look for Him — these were 
holds forth our Lord Jesus Christ as an Object of the two wings on which Christians were taught to 
worship, a passive sense has been put upon (hem, mount up as eagles in their spiritual life (1 These, 
as if the meaning were 'who are called by the i. 8-10),— Ver. a. who shall also oonflrm yon unto 
name of Christ ; and we arc referred to Acts the end. . . tiiireproveableinthedayoa'oux Lord 



Pu 



Chaf. I. 10-31.] THE rtRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 165 

Jetos Chrirt, the decisive day of His second ticipation of Him, in all His fulness (see Gr. of 

coming (Rom. ii. 16 ; 2 Cor. v. 10). — Ver. 9. God Rom. xv. 6 ; 2 Cor. ix. 13 ; Heb. xiii. 16). 

is faithful, to do this (Rom. viii 30 ; I Thess. These preliminaries disposed of, the Epistle now 

v. 23, 24; Phil. i. 6). — by whom ye were called proceeds to deal successively with tne topics 

into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ which had called for it. The first topic occupies 

Not into fellowship with Him, but into the par* the four opening chapters. 



FIRST TOPIC— DIVISIONS I.-IV. 
Chapter I. 10-31. 

Tlie Glory of Christ obscured by Divisions. 

10 ^wJOW I beseech you, brethren, by 1 the name of our Lord 
-l ^l Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that 

there be no * divisions among you ; but that ye be 'perfectly Jp^- 18 
joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 

1 1 For it hath been declared f unto me of you, my brethren, by 

them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are *conten- eCh - ai - 3 * . 

12 tions among you. Now this I say,* that every one of you 
saith, I am of Paul ; and I of Apollos ; and I of Cephas ; and 

13 I of Christ. 'Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? dQh - xii - 5 

14 or were ye baptized * in * the name of Paul ? I thank God that * J**"- xxviii - 

1 5 I baptized none of you, but f Crispus and * Gaius ; lest any * 'k^^*' 

16 should say that I had baptized in * mine own name. And I 
baptized also the k household of Stephanas: besides, I know ACh - ™- »s- 

17 not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me ' not to i A** 4 *- 48. 
baptize, but to preach the gospel : not * with • wisdom of words, *ch. u. 1, 4 . 
lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 7 

18 For the preaching 8 of the cross is 'to them that perish 9 /«Cor. n. 15. 
foolishness ; but unto us which are saved ,0 it is **the power of ,wRomi ,6 - 

19 God. For it is written, * I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, «i»- xwx.14. 
and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 11 

20 ' Where is w the wise ? where is " the scribe ? where is lf the dis- **»»• »*• "• 
puter of this world ? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of 

21 this" world ? For after that in the wisdom of God the world 

'by 14 wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness / ^ m • i • 2, • 

22 of 1 * preaching to save them that believe. For 16 q the Jews require ? Matt - *»-3* 

23 a sign, and the r Greeks seek after wisdom : but we preach * Christ Jgj'a V ' 3 
crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks 

24 foolishness ; but unto them which are called, both Jews and 
Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men ; and the 
weakness of God is stronger than men. 

1 through f signified 8 mean 4 into 5 add one 

• in T made void 8 word * are perishing 

'• being saved n and the prudence of the prudent will I reject lf is 

"the 14 through its la /»-^rthe 16 Seeing that 



166 THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [ Cka1 

26 For ye sec " your calling, brethren, how that ' not many wise 
men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are 

27 called: but " God hath chosen '* the foolish things of the world 
to confound the" wise; and God hath chosen'* "the weak 
things of the world to confound ** the things which are mighty ; 

28 and " base things of the world, and " things which are "despised, * 
hath" God chosen, 1 ' yea, and " * things which are not, to bring 

29 to nought ,l things that are : ' that no flesh should glory in his ■ 

30 presence." But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is ■ 
made unto us ' wisdom," and " righteousness, and 'sanctifica- ; 

3 1 tion, and ' redemption : that, according as it is written, d He 
that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 



{"•»-! 



'behold 
* put to sh 



°tt£* 

wisdom fi 



* to pul 
•did 



it in shame them that are 



Summary. ' I beseech you, study unity. In- 
Mead of this, I hear ye are ranging yourselves 
into schools and parties, each contending for its 
favourite preacher as if your salvation hung upon 
him. Thus is the glory of Christ obscured— the 
attention which ought to be directed to Him being 
drawn away to the preacher of Him. For myself, 
fearful of such a result, I have studiously eschewed 
every art that might fascinate you with the servant 
rather than the Master. And though knowing 
right well that since the cross of Christ is distasteful 
to the natural man, alike in Tew and Gentile, the 
ranks of the Church would be filled for the most 
part from those who are of no account in the world, 
I knew also that its Divine power to transform 
and ennoble all who receive it would thus be only 
more signally displayed, and glory only more mani- 
festly accrue to God.' 

The evil dent by undue exaltation n/fireaiAeu, 

Ver. 10. I beaoech you . , . by the name of 
our Lord Joans Christ — a touching appeal at the 
outset to that Name which is above every name, 
not to let any other name eclipse it, by making it 
a rallying point around which to gather. — that . . . 
there be no divisions among yon ( Gr. ' schisms ') 
— not ill the modern sense of that word, implying 
outward Church rupture, but in the sense rather of 
'schools' of religious thought, feeling, or taste, 
occasioned by attaching undue importance, or 
giving undue prominence to particular truths, or 
particular ways of conceiving them, to peculiar!- 
lies of the preacher, and such like. — Quit ye be 
perfectly joined together In the same mind and 
. . . Judgment — not as if all must view everything 
alike, but that all should look at Divine truth 
with that simplicity of mind and heart which 
would secure unbroken harmony amidst that diver- 
sity in the shades of thought and feeling which 
constitutional diversity and different training never 
fail to beget This is that 'like-mindedness' 
which we find elsewhere commended, as in Rom. 
av. J, Phil. ii. 2, and which, next to truth itself, 
"is of priceless value, alike in churches, 
--'-•••■ ' - ! ;ty.— Ver. It 



Ghloe — members either of her family or of her 
household ; she herself being otherwise unknown, 
though no doubt occupying a prominent p ^itj^n 
in the Church of Corinth.— thai then an con- 
tentions among yon— the nature of which a next 
explained.— Ver. 12. How this I mean, that each 
one. .. *mith, I am of Paul; andlof ApoUoa;aad 
I of Oephaa — the Aramaic name given to Simon 
when first called (John i. 43), its Grerk equivalent 
being Pttros, both word* meaning "rock/o * J " 



Epistle where he is mentioned, this Aramaic form, 
'Cephas,' is used (iii. 21, ix. 5, xv. 5), not 'Peter;' 
and in Galatians also it is four times used (L 18, 
ii. 9, II, 14).— andlof Christ 

Note. — These few words have given rise in Ger- 
many to a prodigious deal of speculation, and been 
made the basis of a new theory even of Chris- 
tianity itself, as well a* of the date, objects, and 
credibility of several of the hooka of the New 
Testament In combating these wild theories, 
great research, learning, and ability have been 
called forth. But, after all, the question, ' What 
are the divisions here referred to ? * may be brought 
within very narrow limits. That 'Paul,' 'Apollo*,' 
' Cephas, and ' Christ' were meant to represent 
four distinct and conflicting Christianities is demon- 
strably false. First, as to ' Paul ' and ' Apollos,' 
is it credible that he who said that even an angel 
from heaven would deserve to be accursed who 
should preach a different Gospel from his own 
(Gal. L 8, 9), and who to these very Corinthians 
denounced the corrupters of the Gospel as * minis- 
ters of Satan ' (2 Cor. xi. a-4, 13-15). would ear 
of Apollos that he only ' watered what hebimseu* 
had 'sown' at Corinth (iii. 6), and would hold 
him up as one of Christ's gifts to the Church (iii. 
21-23)? Apollos, too, bad come to Corinth fresh 
from the teaching of Priscilla and Aquila (Acta 
xviiL 14-28], whom Paul calls his 'helpers in 
Christ Jesus ' (Rom. xvi. 3) ; and did he come to 
contradict what hehad just been taught? Wherein, 
then, did Paul and Apollos differ? They differed 
in their mode of setting forth the same truth*. 
Paul so dreaded the passion for the - ' wisdom ' 
which reigned at Corinth — a wisdom which 
sacrificed substance to form — that be resolved 



CHAP. I. 10-31.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 



167 



to eschew all oratorical art, determining to ' know 
nothing' at Corinth 'save Jesus Christ and Him 
crucified.' And so sensitive was he on this point 
that he was with them ' in weakness and in fear 
and in much trembling.' But Apollos, an Alex- 
andrian Jew, a learned man, and probably well 
acquainted with Alexandrian* philosophy and 
rhetoric, would bring to Corinth no mean gifts ; 
and being ' mighty in the Scriptures ' and ' fervent 
in spirit —not to say in the glow of newly-dis- 
covered views of the truth — would naturally 
throw into his expositions and appeals some of 
those very qualities which Paul had eschewed. 
Certainly his entrance made a great impression, 
for he 'helped them much which had believed 
through grace, powerfully confuting the Jews, and 
that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus 
was the Christ ' (Acts xviii. 27, 28). Perhaps he 
deemed it right — 'becoming all things to all 
men, that by all means he might gain some' — 
to give free scope to all his gifts and culture in 
the service of the truth. In this case it is easy to 
tee how a one-sided admiration of the man might 
spring up, and a contrast be drawn to the dis- 
advantage and disparagement of their father in the 
faith. In reply to this it might have been said, 
with much truth, that the method of Apollos, had 
the ground been first broken by him, would pro- 
bably have yielded no fruit, and that all his success, 
under the great Husbandman, was owing to the 
ground having been first broken roughly and tremu- 
lously by him whom some were beginning to dis- 
parage. But Paul had his advocates at Corinth, 
jealous for their father in the faith, whose vast 
range of thought and wonderful insight into Scrip- 
ture would be held up, perhaps, with as much of 
a party spirit as in 'those who cried up Apollos. — 
Next, as to ' Cephas,' it is true that Paul had once 
a dispute with him (Gal. iL 1 1-16) ; but this had 
to do with his acting, not at all with his teaching; 
or, rather, that while his teaching was right, his 
acting on a certain occasion had not been in accord- 
ance with it, but had been too much of a trimming 
character. 1 The whole difference, intellectual and 
theological, between these two great apostles — 
over and above method, form, and style — lay in 
their point of view and breadth of conception. 
The natural gifts of the one towered far above 
those of the other, and even of most men ; and 
the former had a varied training and wide oppor- 
tunities which the latter never enjoyed. As Peter's 
one theme was ' Jesus as the Christ ' of the Old 
Testament, so his labours were almost exclusively 
among the Jews. Indeed, on one occasion, when 
ministering to a whole company of Gentile con- 
verts, and baptizing them without circumcision, 
he seemed out of his proper element, and after- 
wards apologised for what he had done as a thing 
forced on him by Divine direction. In his speeches 
and in his Epistles we find no Pauline breadth of 
view and no Apollonian grace of method ; but we 
do find in his speeches a grand simplicity and 
directness of manner, a concentration of thought, 
and a heroism of character ; and in his First Epistle 
such a chastened and unctuous spirit as has made 
it dear to every Christian heart ; while in his Second 
we find all his early fire kindling up afresh as he 
writes of those who, at that later stage of the 
Church, were undermining its faith and staining 



• We waive all reference to Peter's high encomium on Baal, 
e Pet. Hi. 15, 16. as thmt Epistle is rejected as spurious by 
those wfaosi we ben comb a t * 



its purity. Such a type of Christianity — so distinct 
from that both of Paul and Apollos — would make 
the name of this apostle and the character of his 
ministry well enough known at Corinth, though, 
up to this time at least, he had never been there. 
Still we hardly think there is ground to conclude 
that there was an actual Cephas-party at Corinth. 
It remains only to ask, Was there a Christ-paity 
there ? That amidst the dissensions in that Church 
some would lift up an indignant protest against all 
such partisanship, as obscuring the glory of the 
one Master, is conceivable enough ; nor is it im- 
probable that some of these might hold up Christ's 
personal teaching in contrast with that even of His 
apostles. But in the absence of even a hint that 
such a party did exist (which 2 Cor. x. 7 has been 
groundiessly thought to point to), we cannot regard 
it as having a shadow of probability. To us, in 
short, it appears that the Corinthians ranged them- 
selves under two names only, their first and second 
teachers, to whom respectively they owed the exist- 
ence and the consolidation of their Church ; that 
' Cephas ' is introduced only to vary the illustra- 
tion ; and that ' Christ ' is added to crown the 
absurdity of such mischievous partisanship. In- 
deed, such disputes only too readily spring up still 
in churches with distinguished but differently gifted 
preachers. 

Ver. 13. Is Christ divided? 1 The point of 
this question does not lie in the rending of the 
Church (as is the view of Estius, Olshausen, etc.), 
nor in the dividing of Christ Himself into parts 
(Osiander, Alford, etc.), but it is whether Christ 
divides with His own preachers the honour of 
being Lord and Master of the converts. — was 
Paul crucified for youf or were ye baptized into 
the name of Paul? Here the apostle, purposely 
sinking Apollos and Cephas, puts himself modestly 
in the forefront to expose the repulsiveness as well 
as absurdity of the thought which alone could 
justify such exaltation of men. (Note here the 
place assigned to the Cross, as the central and 
vital feature of Christ's work ; ' baptism into ' His 
name simply setting its seal to this.) — Ver. 14. I 
thank God (it was so ordered) that I baptized 
none of you save Grispua — ' the ruler of the syna- 
gogue ' (Acts xviii. 8) ; an event in the Jewish 
community at Corinth of such importance as to 
justify a deviation from his usual practice of bap- 
tizing by deputy. On the same principle Peter 
seems to have acted on one memorable occasion 
(Acts x. 48). — and Gains. We read of a Gaius, 
or Caius, of Macedonia (Acts xix. 29), of Derbe 
(Acts xx. 4), and of Corinth (here), under whose 
roof the Epistle to the Romans was written (Rom. 
xvi. 23). The Third Epistle of John also is ad- 
dressed 'to Gaius the beloved.' The two last, if 
we may judge from the uncommon hospitality 
ascribed to them, seem to be identical ; and pos- 
sibly all four were the same person. — Ver. 15. lest 
any one should aay that ye were baptized into my 
name. Thankful he is that he is able to give them 
undeniable proof of the absence of all self-seeking 
on his part, little thinking when at Corinth that 
he should ever have occasion to recall the fact. — 
Ver. 16. And I baptized . . . any other—* I am 

1 Lachmann points this clause indicatively— ' Christ is 
divided'— and Meyer, Stanley, and Alford assent to this; 
because (as they hold), if the sense had been faterrogative, 
the negative particle H should have preceded. But this is 
disproved by chap. x. 33 and a Cor. in. x, where in the first 
of two questions, to which a negative answer is expected, 
this particle is not inserted. 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. I. 10-31. 

destroy the wisdom of the arise, and the mtan 
of the prudent will I reject. The ' wise ' are three 
who pride themselves on their insight, their capacity 
to search into principles, their speculative attaiu- 
ments ; the ' prudent ' pique themselves on their 
shrewdness, as men of affairs, their sharp- wittednoa 
or sagacity; a diitioction familiar alike to the 
Greek thinkers and to Jewish moralixers (secMalt. 
xi. 25). Cod'* purpose to expose the imnrEdeney 
of both these, as a cure for the mttd fa of onr 
fallen nature and a guide to happiness, is variously 
held forth in the Old Testament (see Isa.Tiii.jo, 
xiix. 14, here quoted ; Jer. viii. 9, it 13, 14, etc.); 
but it is only in the Gospel of Christ that this a 
done effectually and once for alL — Ver. 2a When 
ii the win I— in general ; but particularly, whan 



wrong; I did baptize one other family, that of 
Stephanas ; but if I baptized any more it ha* 
escaped me. ' The easy freedom with which this 
is expressed is plainly intentional, to show how 

insignificant he all alone held such a circumstance 
to be.— Ver. 17. For Christ lent ma not to bap. 
Use, but to preach the gospel 

Nelt. — Would the apostle hare so written if in 
and by baptism a new life were imparted to the 
soul? It is no answer to this to say that the agent 
is of no consequence ; it is the ordinance itself : 
for It IS the tomparative unimportance of the ordi- 
nance itself which is thus emphatically expressed. 
Adult believers are indeed said to ' wash away 
their sins' in baptism (Acts xxii. 16), and to be 
baptized into newness of life (Rom. ii. 3-6) ; but 
since believing always came first, and it was in 
believing that they received their new life (John 
ix. 31 ; Eph. i. 13),— and Peter grounded the 
right of Cornelius and his company to be baptized 
upon their having already received the Holy Ghost 
as well as themselves who were Jewish believers 
(Acts t 47, 48),— it is perfectly clear, unless we 
are to put the effect for the cause, that the baptism 
of adults could only be said to ' wash away their 
sins ' and impart new life, as a symbolical expres- 
sion and open declaration that they were believers 
first (Acts ii. 41), and as such already in a state of 
reconciliation and newness of life. This alone 
explains the minimizing and almost contemptuous 

— is here referred 
The injury done to the Cros 
17-3'. 
Ver. 17. not In wisdom of words, Inst the 
cross of Christ should be made void. Thus 
easily, in the middle of a verse, does the apostle 
here slide into the great theme of this and the 
three following chapters, namely, the place which 
' Christ crucified ' should hold in the esteem of all 
who believe, forgetfulness of which was the cause, 
as a due regard to it would be the effectual cure, 
of all their miserable dissensions. ' Wisdom of 
word' here comprehends more than the mere 
rhetorical tricking out of the message, indeed, more 
or less of the substance of the message itself, as 
will presently appear. To a people thoroughly 
vitiated in their taste, to what temptation would 
the preacher of the Gospel be more open than 
that of shading off those features of it which are 
repulsive to the pride of the heart, and of urging 
the reception of it rather on the ground of its own 
'sweet reasonableness' thHD of its being an autho- 
message from heaven, as on Mars hill the 
' '• 't foith at Athens.— Ver. 18. For 
j> them that are perish- 
ing— that are pursuing a course 'whose end is 
destruction '—foolishness. For if to bid them 
change their whole course of life would startle 
them, to expect them to do it by believing in one 
who died a malefactor's death would seem nothing 
less than sheer absurdity. — bat unto as who are 
being saved-in the sense of Acts ii. 40, 44 (and 
see 3 Cor. ii. 15), it is the power of God— 
divinely efficacious. Yes, the Gospel attracts or 
repels, is embraced or rejected, according to the 
standard by which it is judged and the object 
in life of those who hear it. This is the great 
lesson of the parable of the Sower ; and see John 
v. 44, vii. 17, xii. 41, 43.— Ver. 19. For it is 
written (Is*, xxit 14, nearly as in LXX.), I will 



to whom the Greek d 

foolish th9 wisdom of U10 world !'- Ver. 21. For 
seeing that in the wisdom of God the world by 
wisdom knew not God. Full time and swing He 

Ere it, to try what it could do for humanity, 
Tore disclosing His own sovereign remedy ; snd 
it was only when it failed to find any clear light, 
and get any solid footing on the most elementary 
of alt religious truths, end the knowledge of Gad 
Himself (Rom. i. 11, 23, 38 ; Acts xvii. 23, n), 
that It pleased God by the fooliahttees of the 
Ureechinff— mean in e the message itself, the thing 
preached— to save them that believe — toe in the 
believing reception of it lies it* whole saving 
, , . , efficacy.— Vet. 12. Since the Jews) ask for signs 
by human wtidem, ^ & B Greeks .oek after wisdom.' The Jews, 
when our Lord was on earth, clamoured for 'signs' 
— supernatural attestation of His claims ; bat the 
more they got of them, the less they were satis- 
fied ; contrariwise, the Greeks looked with philo- 
sophic indifference on the whole field of the 
supernatural, regarding even the resurrection of 
Christ as adding but one more to the already 
plentiful stock of childish fables, At only for the 
vulgar. Give us 'wisdom,' was their cry — any- 
thing that will carry its own evidence on us 
face. Nor was this state of things a peculiarity 
of that time. Every age has its 'Jews' and its 
' Greeks ' — its blind devotees of supernatural inter- 
position and its self-sufficient worshippers of hi 

reason. — Ver. 33. but we preach Christ eruci_ 
unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and onto 
Gentiles foolishness. — Ver. 24. bat onto them 
which are- (internally and efficaciously) called, 
both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power oil God, 
and the wisdom of God— a power by Jew* never 
dreamt of, and a wisdom unimagined by the 
subtlest Greeks. And if so, why need the preacher, 
to please the Jew, hide the obnoxious features of 
his message, and to feed the intellectual pride of 
the Greek laboriously strive to show how rational 
the Gospel is ?-Ver. 25. Because the foolishness 
of God (in the doctrine of the Cross) la wiser than 
(the wisdom of) men; and the weakness of God 
(In the Gospel) la stronger than ((he strength of) 
men. It is the ram's-ham which throws down the 
walls or Jericho, the jawbone of an ass which 
slays its thousand men, and the sling and the 
Gmt 



CHAP. II. 1-5.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 



169 



stone which lays low alike the giant power and 
wisdom of men. 

Is proof wanting? Look, says the apostle, at 
the classa whence its conquests are chiefly gained. 
— Ver. 26. For behold your calling, brethren, 1 
how that not many wise men after the flesh, 
not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 
— Ver. 27. but God chose the foolish things of 
the world that he might put to shame them 
that are wise. There is here a significant transi- 
tion from the neuter of the one class to the mas- 
culine of the other, to express a passage from the 
contemptible to the esteemed. — and God chose 
the weak things of the world that he might put 
to shame the things that are strong. — Ver. 28. 
and the base things of the world, and the 
things that are despised, did God choose, yea, 
and the things that are not,— or as we might say, 
• the nothings,' — to bring to nought the things 
that axe. Five times in succession is the neuter 
sender purposely used here— the foolish things, 
the weak tilings, the base things, the despised 
things, the no-things,— emphatically to hold forth 
and reiterate the mean condition of the generality 
of converts, as persons of no culture, of no weight, 
of no account in any respect — in fact, mere no- 
bodies. And is not this the history of all the early 
triumphs of Christianity ? And with what design ? — 
Ver. 29. that no flesh should glory before God. 
This has been all along the design of God in the erec- 
tion and growth of His kingdom of grace (Jer. ix. 23 ; 
Kom. iii. 27 ; Eph. ii. 8, 9) ; and in the first con- 
quests of the Gospel He kept this end specially in 
view. No doubt, when once gained to Christ, the 
rich, the mighty, and the noble were quite as ready 
to cast their crowns at His feet as the poorest, 
weakest, rudest of this world ; and in doing so, 
they made a sacrifice proportionably nobler. But 
had the early converts been chiefly drawn from 
such influential classes, would not the triumphs of 
Christianity have been set down rather to the rank, 
power, and culture which it had contrived to draw 
within its pale than to the Divine power residing 
in and going along with the message itself? Now 
it was to preclude all such surmises that, by a 
Divine ordination, the bulk of the converts in 
every church and for a long time consisted of the 

1 This imperative rendering is preferable to the indka- 
tfwof oar Authorised Version: 'Ye see.' It is the peculiar 
of tfce New Testament, and it is thrice so used in this 



despised classes, that none might have even a pre- 
text for glorying before God. — Ver. 30. But of 
him are ye in Christ Jeans, who was made unto 
us wisdom from God, 1 both righteousness, and 
sanctiflcation, and redemption* 

Thus reads this great statement, to catch the 
true sense of which requires careful attention. It 
is not four co-ordinate blessings which the apostle 
says ' Christ is made unto us ' — as our Authorised 
Version represents it, and most modern interpre- 
ters understand it. On the contrary, 'wisdom' 
stands out here by itself, as all-comprehensive — as 
the one thing which Christ is " made unto us from 
God " in contrast with all boasted human wisdom. 
But that we may see how comprehensive this gift 
is, the apostle makes it branch out into three 
divisions, corresponding to the three great stages 
of our whole salvation : — (1) ' righteousness,' 
which brings us into a right relation to God ; (2) 
sanctification, embracing our whole progres- 
sive transformation into the image of God; and 
(3) that in which this at length culminates, RE- 
DEMPTION from all the effects of the fall in soul 
and body onwards to final glory. All this, ' Christ 
is made unto us from God,' thus precluding all 
boasting. Still, had it been left wholly to our- 
selves to receive or reject it, the thought might 
have crept into the proud heart, that after all, in 
the last instance, 'salvation is of him that willeth' 
— a thought repudiated in Rom. ix. 16. But to 
cut off even this last refuge of human pride, the 
statement opens with these words : ' Of Him are 
ye in Christ Jesus;' that is to say, it is not by a 
self-originated act that any one is ' in Christ, 1 and 
so partaker of His fulness, but by an immediate 
Divine operation upon the soul that this vital 
union is effected, and that in virtue of it, He is 
' made unto us wisdom ' in its threefold provision 
of ' righteousness, and sanctification, and redemp- 
tion.' And the grand design of this entire exclu- 
sion of human merit is, — Ver. 31. that according 
as it is written (Jer. ix. 23, abridged), He that 
glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. Well may 
we ask with the apostle elsewhere, ' Where is boast- 
ing, then ? It is excluded. By what law — on what 
principle ? Why, on every principle, and at every 
avenue, by this method of peerless wisdom.' 

1 This is beyond doubt the correct order of the original 
words, and it is only when they are read in this order that 
the true sense comes clearly out. 



Chapter II. 1-5. 

TJte Cross the one Tlietne of his own Preaching at Corinth. 

1 A ND I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excel- 

ii lency of speech or of * wisdom, declaring 1 unto you the « v *™ 4 «3- 

2 testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing 

3 among you, save * Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was *GaLvi 14. 
with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 

4 And my speech and my preaching was 1 not with enticing 

1 proclaiming * were 



170 THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. II. 6-16 

words of man's wisdom,* but in demonstration of the 'Spirit eiTW.L» 

1 5 and of power : that your faith should, not stand in the wisdom 
of men, but in the power of God. 

1 in persuasive words of wisdom 

Ver. I. And 1, brethren, when I came onto 
you, came not with excellency of speech (as a 
rhetorician), or of wisdom (asa philosopher), pro- 
claiming to yon the testimony of Qod ' — that con- 
cerns Hit Son. — Vcr. z. For I determined not 
to know anything among yon, tare Jeans 
Christ, and him crucified. He would not only 
know bat one theme, but would hold that forth in 
precisely the light which he knew would prove the 
most repulsive to their fastidious ears and corrupt 
taste. For this being that in which every fact of 
His life has its explanations, and from which the 
whole principle of His work takes its character, 
he felt he could neither keep it back, nor soften 
it down. Yet this was no bravado. He was 
tremblingly alive to the possible effect of making 
this the pivot of His ministry. — Ver. 3. And I 
wm with yon In weakness, and in fear, and in 
mneb trembling. It is remarkable that nowhere 

1 Or, according to another reading, which hu striking 



received reading, given above, appear* 
with Meyer we think the word dvu 



sciousness of his insufficiency (see 2 Cor. ii. 15-17); 
and it is worthy of notice that the historian of the 
Acta (iviii. 5) refers to these very feelings at 
Corinth in the following gnwanaj term*: But 
when Silas and Timothy came down from Mace- 
donia (to Corinth), Paul was csmttraiiud by lit 
wrd (as the true text is), testifying to the Jem 
that Jesus was the Christ' — Ver. 4. And my 
speech and my preechiug,— the 'message' itself 
as well as its clothing, — wen rant in per- 
snaaive words of wUtlom, ' bat In the power of 
God. It was not that he could not have wielded 
the weapon of ' man's wisdom ' to excellent effect, 
as may be seen in various passages of these very 
Epistles to the Corinthians, whose eloquence ■ 
confessedly surpassing ; but that for the reason 
given, he studiously avoided it Of course, how. 
ever, there is nothing here disparaging to the right 
use of human culture in the Christian ministry. 



1 Not (1 






Chapter II. 6-16. 



•■ Wisdom resides in the Cross, though s 
instructed. 



1 only by the fully 



6 T T OWBEIT we speak wisdom among them that are ' 'per- ■««» ». '♦■ 
i- i- feet : yet not the wisdom * of this world, nor of the 

7 princes* of this world, that come 4 to nought : but we speak the 
wisdom of God in a * mystery, even the hidden wisdom, 1 which **«•"•«*! »» 

8 God 'ordained* before the world' unto our glory: ** which ££***?- lt - 
none of the 'princes* of this world knew*: for /had they »*owa»a.s», 
known it* they would not have crucified 'the Lord of glory : j£j*jjj a ' M: 

9 but as it is written, * Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither f J™ jy- 
have entered into the heart of man," the things which God 11 

10 hath" prepared for them that love him. But 'God hath 'J°j«»i>j; 
revealed tketn unto us by " his Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth 

1 1 all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth 

the things of a man, * save the spirit of man " which is in him ? *£"* s ^; "'• 

1 among the * a wisdom not a rulers * are coming 

* -wisdom that hath been hidden s fore-ordained ' worlds 

* knoweth • it 

10 Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, and which entered not into 
the heart of man 

11 Whatsoever things " omit hath 
11 unto us God revealed them through " prefix the 



Chap. II. 6-16.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 171 

1 even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of 'Rom. xi. 33 

12 God Now we have la received, not the spirit of the world, but 

■"the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things ""Rome's. 

13 that are freely given to us of God. "Which things also we **?«*•« **• 
speak, not in the " words which man's wisdom teacheth, but 

which the Holy Ghost I7 teacheth ; comparing " spiritual things 

14 with spiritual. 'But the natural man receiveth not the things * Mat xvi.23. 
of the Spirit of God: ^for they are foolishness unto him: t * i. 18,23. 
f neither can he know tlutn" because they are spiritually dis- fRonuviu.* 

15 cerned ,d r But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he rP !°J r J ^ i ^ 

16 himself is judged of no man. * For who hath known the mind '{**£ J ; 
of the Lord, that he may" instruct him? 'But we have the /Jo xv. f5 . 
mind of Christ 



11 omit have 
lf them 



16 omit the 
* • judged 



17 the Spirit 
21 should 



18 



conjoining 



Ver. 6. Howbeitwe speak wisdom among the 
perfect. This is a favourite Pauline word, having 
one well-defined sense, with only varying shades 
according to the subject treated of. With refer- 
ence to Christ's work, it denotes its ' completion ' 
by His death (Heb. ii. 10, v. 10) ; with regard to the 
believer's standing before God in virtue of that com- 

f>leted work, it expresses his ' perfect ' acceptance 
Heb. x. 14, compared with ix. 9 and x. I) ; and in 
relation to his stage of advancement in the Christian 
life, it means his 'full' apprehension of gospel truth 
— that of full-grown ' men ' as contrasted with the 
immaturity of the ' babes in Christ ' (chap. iii. 1, 
2 ; Heb, v. 12-14). This last is clearly the sense 
here. For only when this stage is reached — when 
the gospel scheme can be grasped as a whole, and 
be surveyed all round — can the ' wisdom ' there is 
in it be fully discovered.— yet a wisdom not of 
this world, nor of the rulers of this world,— the 
rulers of its thought even more than of its power, 
Greek and Jew alike, —that are coming to nought, 
— through the silently butsurely undermining power 
of the Gospel — Ver. 7. but we speak God's 
wisdom in a mystery — i.e. (in the apostolic sense 
of the word 'mystery') a wisdom long hidden 
from view, but now disclosed (see Rom. xvi. 25, 
26; Eph. iii. 6; I Tim. iii. 16). In the same 
sense our Lord uses the word (Matt. xiii. 11, 17). 
—even the wisdom thai hath been hidden, which 
God fore-ordained before the worlds unto our 
glory (see 2 Tim. ii 10). — Ver. 8/ which (wisdom) 
none of the princes of this world knoweth: for 
had they known it, they would not have crucified 
the Lord of glory (as He is also called in Jas. 
ii 1) — inflicting hereby (exclaims Bengel) on the 
Lord of glory the punishment of slaves ! — Ver. 9. 
but as it Is written (Isa. lxiv. 4, or ver. 3 in Heb. , 
which is here recalled in fragmentary form), 
Things which eye saw not, etc The truth here 
expressed by the prophet and the apostle is, that 
what God has in store for His people transcends not 
only all past experience, but all human conception. 
This leads the apostle into a new line of thought, 
an episode which extends to the close of the chap- 
ter. The ' wisdom ' of the Gospel, being in its 
nature purely spiritual, can be apprehended only 
by the spiritual, as even to the apostles themselves 



it is disclosed through the teaching of the Spirit — 
Ver. 10. But unto us God revealed them through 
the Spirit. 1 Though this is true of believers 
generally, the reference here, as appears from ver. 
13, is to the apostles. — for the Spirit searcheth 
au things, yea, the deep things of God— not the 
depths of His Being, but of His purposes, though 
in themselves these are inseparable. 

Note here the relation and interaction of ' God ' 
and ' the Spirit' Why, it may be asked, does 
God employ the Spirit s agency to reveal to be- 
lievers what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor 
heart conceived ? Because (says this verse) those 
depths of the Godhead lie open to the Spirit's 
penetrating gaze ; — a unique statement to which 
there is no actual parallel, save Rom. viii. 26, 27, 
which throws much light on the statement here. 
But the following verse contains an equally unique 
and noteworthy statement. — Ver. 11. For who 
among men knoweth the things of a man save 
the spirit of the man which is in him? even so 
the things of God none knoweth save the Spirit 
of God. The relation of • the Spirit ' to ' God ' is 
here compared to that of a man to bis own spirit 
As each man's own spirit is known to no man but 
himself (Rom. xiv. 10), so the mind of God (says 
the apostle) is known only by the Spirit of God. 
But like every other comparison, this one must not 
be pressed beyond its immediate purpose : for in 
the case of ourselves, we and our own spirit are 
numerically one; whereas in this very passage — and 
in every other place where the Holy Spirit is 
spoken of— there is observed a distinction of con- 
scious personality between * God' on the one hand 
and the ' Spirit of God ' on the other. And not 
only so, but while the Personal identity of these 
two is certainly never taught, the Personal 
Divinity of the Spirit is here so clearly taught, 
that on any other supposition the statement in the 
latter part of this verse would be inept 

Ver. 12. Now we received, not the spirit of 
the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that 
we might know the things that are freely given 
to us of God. Not only are the things themselves 
1 freely given us, 'but we only ' know ' them, so as 
to make them our own, through the Spirit which 
1 Not (as in the received text) ' through his Spirit' 



isgivent 

wtichta 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS [Chap. II. 6-iS. 

(Ix-spcakiog Christiana will do wen 



i> of God Tot that very end. — Vcr. 13. 



the Spirit ' teacheth, combining spiritual things 
(in their matter) with spiritual (things in theii 
firm). So we understand this very difficult clause. 
While the word we have rendered ' combining ' 
or ' connecting,' signifies in its simple form to 
'divide 'or 'separate,' the compound form of it, 
here used, signifies lo ' combine or ' connect ' to- 
gether the separate puts. It has indeed a second, 
ary sense, to ' compare,' and in 3 Cor. x. ta it it 
twice used in that sense ; and guided by this, oar 
translators have so rendered it here — "comparing 
spiritual things with spiritual." But though good 
critics think this correct, it seems to us quite un- 
suitable here. For what is the drift of the 
apostle's statement? He had said enough in the 
preceding verses about the thing! of the Spirit ; 
here he has come to the suitable words for con- 
veying them : — " which things we speak not in the 
words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which 
the Spirit teacheth." Then follows our participial 
clause, which naturally we expect to be but an 
expansion or varied expression of the same state- 
ment, and so to relate both lo the things themselves 
and to the •words or forms fitted to express them. 
These, accordingly, he says, we take care shall 
correspond with the things they express — tying 
spiritual things to spiritual forms of expression. 
None have caught the true sense, as we think, 
better than Calvin, who says : " That the original 
word here means to adapt, I doubt not. This 
agrees far better with the context than to tempore, 
as others render it. What he says, then, is that he 
adapts spiritual things to things that are spiritual 
— adapting the wards to the thing." Bets is 
equally decided for this sense. And with them 
agree De Wette, Osiander, and Meyer, of modern 

Nile.— That the style as well as the matter of 
spiritual things should have been divinely provided 
for, is most noteworthy. What then, we naturally 
ask, is its character and mould ? We see it in the 
apostle's own style, and in that generally of the 
New Testament ; and this we find to be just that of 
the ancient oracles, only purified, enriched, and in- 
formed with a new and higher life. Thus the things 
of the Spirit are married indissolubly to a phrase- 
ology suited to the things themselves; and what 
God hath joined together let no man put asunder. 
There are those who think they can now couch 
" the things of the Spirit of God" to far better effect 
by st ripping off the husk of the biblical phraseology, 
as that of a past age, and using those modem 
forms of speech to which we are accustomed in 
secular affairs. But those who listen to them find 
that the things themselves, in their life and efficacy, 
have to a large extent evaporated in the process, 
while the biblical language is as music to their 
ears. Nor should the interesting fact be over- 
looked, that the first translators of the New Testa* 
meat into Latin, to whom the style of it seemed 
as sacred as the thoughts, instead of employing 
the polished Latinity of the classics, invented a 
Latinity of their own, which, though to the classic 
ear barbarous enough, conveyed almost literally 
the biblical style as well as its thought ; and to this 
culiar phraseology or theirs our own Authorised 
le of its best turns of expression, 



C$ 






holy ' b. 






ently 



Vcr. 14. But the natural m 
sense of which it would be v 
from the classical writers, who bad no conception 
of the spiritual things intended here. In Greek 
writings, the noun, from which the adjective hen 
used is formed, means ' the ■"'""' soul,' or that 
life which man has in common with all rnimili 
Hence it came to signify the appetite or passion 
of man's lower nature, as distinguished from his 
higher reason or 'spirit,' So understood, 'the 
natural man ' of our passage would mean no more 
than the man governed by sensual appetite, or the 
inferior impulses of his nature. And this is the 
•ease in which it is taken by all interpreters 
of a shallow school of theology. But it is far 
beneath the apostle's meaning. With him "the 
natural man" is he who in spiritual things has otdy 
his natural human faculties to guide him, without 
spiritual perception or apprehension, but not 
necessarily the slave of grovelling impulses. True 
it is, that all unrenewed, unspiritual men, even the 
best and most refined, being dominated by sensible 
things, may thus far be said to be under the 
dominion of the lower part of their nature ; for 
the true capacities of their higher nature can only 
be drawn forth when they become "new creatures. 
But it is simply the absence of this Life which is 
denoted by the phrase " the natural man."— m- 
emiveth not the things of the Bpirf t of God : tor 
they are foolishness unto Mm — since he wants 
the capacity to apprehend them : and lte cannot 
know them, because they are spiritually judged 
— they are to him as light to the blind-bom. Bnt 
it is an utter perversion of such statements to 
maintain, as fanatics do, that there is in the oatend 



ritual perception, requiring to be crealai in , 

the Holy Ghost. For maintaining this an eminent 
Lutheran professor of divinity, soon after Luther s 
death, had to be deposed. The uniform bea ching 
of Scripture is, that the change effected in regenera- 
tion is a purely moral and spiritual one. 

Ver. 15. Bnt ho that U spiritual Judgath all 
things — not only those spiritual things which the 
natural man cannot judge, but also those which 
belong to the natural man's own domain, and 
which he only views in their true light. — yet ha 
hinuwlf is judged of no roan (who is not spiritual). 
—Ver. 16. For who bath known the mind of the 



have the mind of Christ. The meaning is, that 
though none can penetrate 'Jehovah's mind, yet 
since in Christ are bid all the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge (CoL iii. 3), if we have the mind 
of Christ, we know all of "the things of God " 
which a creature is permitted to know. 

Note. — The contrast here so sharply drawn be- 
tween Divine and human wisdom is far-reaching, 
involving the great question of the rival claims of 
Reason and Revelation to be the supreme guide 
to the discovery of what man needs for the regula- 
tion of his life and the attainment of his highest 
bliss. The one light is from beneath, the other 
from above. In a profound sense, indeed, "the 
spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching 
all the inward parts of the belly " (Prov. x*. 17); 
but it has never of itself, in any age or any land, 
led man to the true knowledge of God and eternal 
life. Whereas, so soon as " God, who commanded 



Chap. III.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 



1/3 



the light to shine out of darkness, shines into our 
hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the 
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ/' we enter 
the region and breathe the air, become alive to the 
interests, kindle with the sympathies, and taste 
the joys, of all that is spiritual, seeing everything 
in its true light. Is it so ? Then the deep diver- 
sities of Christendom cease to be stumbling. For 
the family of the spiritual dwell alone in the world. 
" Therefore the world knoweth them not, because 
it knew Him not " They know and recognise each 
other, yet they themselves are known of no men. 



They are at home with each other at once, though 
meeting for the first time from the ends of the 
earth. The rude and the refined, the savage and 
the civilised, meet together as one ; " the Lord 
is the maker of them all " in the highest sense. 
Their diversities are lost in their higher unity, 
and they can pour out their common hymn with 
one heart as with one voice, " Unto Him that 
loved us, and washed us from our sins in His 
own blood, and made us unto our God kings and 
priests, to Him be glory and dominion for ever 
and ever." 



Chapter III. 



The Mischief of Divisions further exposed. 

1 A ND I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto 

-*V 'spiritual, but as unto * carnal, even as unto € babes in «ch. a . i* 

r ' ' b Ch. 11. 14. 

2 Christ. I have ' fed you with * milk, and f not with meat : for '{}«!>• r I3 . 

* ' aHcb. v 1a. 

hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye * J°- **»• "• 

3 able : for ye are yet carnal : for / whereas tliere is 8 among you /ch i « ; 
envying* and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk 

4 as men ? For while one saith, I am of Paul ; and another, I 

5 am • g of Apollos ; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and rChtia. 
who is Apollos, but k ministers by 7 whom ye believed, 'even **££*£* 

6 as the Lord gave to every man ? * I have l planted, ' Apollos * ^q^-^ 5 ; 

7 watered ; m but God gave the increase. So then * neither is he ^chfSfi* 4 
that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth ; but God that mGaL vU 3 - 

8 giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth 

are one : # and every* man shall receive his own reward accord- 0F * uii - »*• 

9 ing to his own labour. For 'we are labourers together with > aCor -* 1 '• 
God : ye are God's husbandry, 7* are 9 q God's building. ^H?b!iu.^i. 

10 According to the grace of God which is l0 given unto me, as 

a wise master-builder I have ' laid r the foundation, and another rRom - **• •* 
buildeth thereon. But * let every man take heed how he * l *«■ iv - "• 

11 buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay 

12 than 'that is laid, * which is Jesus Christ Now if any man t \^ xxylil 
build u upon this 12 foundation gold, silver, precious stones, * Eph - u **• 

13 wood, hay, stubble; v every 8 man's work shall be made mani- rCh.ir.5. 
fest : for the day w shall declare it, because * it shall be revealed • I u^ L s J 
by u fire ; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort 

14 it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, 

15 he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, 



1 omit have * omit and 

4 jealousy * omit and divisions " am 

1 What then is Apollos ? and what is Paul ? Ministers through 



• there is 

6 



* each 
" buildeth 



• omit ye are 
"the 



10 
is 



was 
in 



174 THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. III. 

he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; 'yet so as 'Jed"** 
by" fire. 

1 6 " Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the 'ff^i 

17 Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? If any man defile u the temple 
of God, him shall God destroy ; for the temple of God is holy, 
which temple ye are." 

iS 'Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you ' p™ *- r 
seemeth to be " wise in this world, let him become a fool, that 

19 he may be u wise For the wisdom of this world is foolishness 

with God. For it is written, 'He 1 * taketh the wise in their *J*».ij. 

20 own craftiness. And again, "The Lord knoweththe thoughts™ tf*.m.u. 

21 of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in 

22 men. For ''all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, *»Car.w.» 
or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or 

23 things to come; all are yours; and 'ye are Christ's; and *^cS^- ,: 
Christ is God's. 



Vet, 1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto 
you as unto qnritutl, but H auto carnal, even 
m unto babes In Christ — those in whom the 
spiritual principles, like the higher faculties in a 
hsbe, lie all undeveloped. Spiritual, indeed, they 
were, for they were in Christ ; " but it was only 
as babe*, unfit to digest the "strong meat " of that 
"hidden wisdom' which the apostle longed to 
impart to them as soon as they should reach the 
stake of " the perfect " (ii. 6).— Ver. 2. I fed you 
with milk— the elementary truths of the Gospel. 
—not with, moat— the piofoundei aspects of Chris- 
tian truth. — tor ye were not yet able, etc See 
Heb. t. 12-14.— Ver. 3* toT whereas there la among 
yon jealousy — each party for its favourite preacher. 
— and strife — engendered by such jealousies (the 
next words in the received test, " and divisions," 
are feebly attested, and indeed are oat of place). 
—are ye not carnal, and walk u men 1— unre- 
newed men.— Vcr. 4. For when one salth, I am 
of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye 
not ai maul ' — men who have never passed into the 
new life.— Ver. 5. What then is Apollos, and 
what is Paul I Ministers — mere 'servants.' — 
through whom (ss instruments) ye believed, and 
each aa the Lord gave to him. — Ver.6. I planted ; 
Yes ; the first ground at Corinth was indeed broken 
by me, and 1 am your spiritual father. — Apollos 
watered — following up what I began. But though 
in husbandry planting goes before watering, each is 
necessary at its proper stage. Yet something above 
both was needed.— bnt God gave the Increase. 
— Ver. 7. So then neither is he that planteth 
anything, neither he that watereth; bnt Qod 
that giveth the Increase. — Vcr. S. Now he that 
planteth and he that watereth are one — Gr. 
'one thing,' co-operating to one end. — but each 
shall receive his own reward according to his 
own work. While the work is one, in one field, 
to one Master, on one principle, and to one end, 
each his his own sphere in it, his own gifts for it, 









cess in it, his own reward for iL O 
his to cheer the faithful labourer, who 
moderately gifted, may be placed in a 
— ' — iting part of the field, may have 

f obstacles ar * 



to fight with 

ments, and may 

best labour t (S 

we are Qod 1 

husbandry, God's building. After 

self, with his fellow- workers, to the le*el 

servants, be now lifts them uj 

eooperators 



ay obstacles and sore discourage- 
rs, and may live to see but little fruit of hst 
" (See John h. 36-38.)— Ver. 9. Fat- 
's fellow ■ workers : ye an God's 
od's building. After sinking him- 
~ fellow- workers, to the level of mere 
- now lifts them np to the dignity of 
s with God Himself— in owe Getd, to 



alluding to our Lords parable of the " 
who built his house upon the rock " (Matt vii. 14, 
35). But he takes care to ascribe the "wisdom'' 
shown in this to "the grace of God, "--and anoth er 
buildeth thereon. But let each man take head 
how he buildeth thereon— that ii (as will pre- 
sently appear), with what mattrialt he bauds. 
— Ver. 11. For other foundation can no man lay 
than that Is laid, which la Jena Christ The 
allusion is to that grand announcement, Iaa. nviii. 
16, "Behold, I have laid in Zion for a 



:." There is a peculiar appropriateness iu thi 
ation, from the similarity of the ssstnrsav 



haste." 
quotation, I 

which follow, in both cases. Christ, says t 
apostle here — including all those doctrinal cc 
ceptions which are inseparable from right appre- 
hensions of Himself — is the great Foundation of 
faith and ground of hope. — Ver. 12. Now if any 
man buildeth upon the foundation gold, silver, 
precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. The highly 
artistic form of this statement should be noted. 



Chap. III.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 



175 



Two triplets of materials are supposed to be built 
on the same true foundation. The one set of 
materials — as incombustible as they are valuable — 
repr e se nt those ministers of Christ whose teaching 
a sound and faithful; the other — as inflammable as 
they are inferior in value — represent those whose 
teaching is the reverse of the former. The figure 
is an old biblical one, used in Ps. cxviii. 22, "The 
stone which the" builders refused is become the 
head (stone) of the corner. " This our Lord appro- 
priates to Himself, as rejected by the builders of 
His day (Matt xxi. 42). And as Peter alludes to 
these same unworthy builders in Acts iv. 11, 
" This is the stone which was set at nought of you 
builders," — so, in his following words, we have the 
very point before us, " Neither is there salvation 
in any other," etc Now, since in all these places 
Ht* foundation is "Jesus Christ, 11 it follows that 
what is " built thereupon " must mean what is taught 
regarding Him— considered as sound or unsound, 
wholesome or noxious. If so, then, those critics 
who— led away by a different set of passages, in 
which believers themselves are viewed as stones 
of the spiritual temple — understand the apostle to 
be treating of the admission of improper persons 
to Church privileges, misunderstand this passage. 
No doubt important lessons on that subject may 
be got from such a view of the passage. But it is 
not the subject here treated. 

Ver. 13. each man's work shall be made mani- 
fest: for the day shall declare it— not 'some 
day' sooner or later (as some critics), nor (with 
Calvin and others) ' the day of clearer light ' or 
advancing knowledge; least of all, that never- 
(ailing refuge of poor critics, 'the day of Jerusalem's 
destruction ; ' — lor what had those Corinthians to 
do with that? One definite day alone suits all 
that is here said — '* the day when God shall judge 
the secrets of men by Jesus Christ " (Rom. ii. 16). 
— because it shall oe revealed by fire (see 
2 Thess. i. 7)— literal fire, as seems clearly taught, 
the bursting forth of which will perhaps be the 
visible herald of Christ's coming. At the same 
time, this fire — ss elsewhere so here — is but as the 
symbol of that "fiery" judgment which shall 
search to the bottom every case, as indeed is imme- 
diately e x pres se d.— and the fire itself shall prove 
each Bum's work of what sort it is— and with 
what result ?— Ver. 14. If any man's work shall 
abide which he bnflt thereupon— as being built 
of the incombustible materials and on the true 
foundation, and hence able to abide the fiery trial. 
—he shall receive a reward— with the welcome 
word of the Master Himself, " Well done, good 
and faithful servant." — Ver. 15. If any man's 
work shall be burned — as consisting of the inflam- 
mable " wood, hay, stubble,"— he shall suffer loss 
— loss of his time, his pains, his hopes, his credit ; 
his whole ministry, even though right at bottom, 
yet all of it which is of this character, disap- 
pearing.— hot he himself shall be saved — a state- 
ment of vast importance, as showing that the 
apostle is not speaking here of false teachers, but 
of the true servants of Christ— -yet so as by fire 
—as of one who escapes from the fire by a rush, or 
is plucked out of it, his naked person alone saved. 

Note, — That the Church of Rome should deem 
such a passage any justification of their dogma of 
a purgatorial fire in the intermediate state is 
■trance. For everything said of " the fire" here 
would seem to preclude any such interpretation. 
(1) This fire is to " try every man's work ; " but 



no Romanist believes that of the purgatorial fire. 

(2) The purgatorial fire precedes the judgment, 
being designed to prepare the imperfectly sanctified 
to abide it, whereas this fire is the judgment itself 

(3) Those here spoken of are saved in the judg- 
ment, ft so ashy fire," — not by means of the fire, 
but simply with difficulty ; whereas the Romish 
doctrine is that a purifying process by means of 
fire will have to be gone through to fit those in it 
for heaven — a totally different idea. 

Ver. 16. Know ye not that ye are the temple 
of God? — a sudden transition, apparently, from 
the teachers to the taught; yet this is more in 
appearance than reality. For the transition is 
simply from warnings against a dangerous pander- 
ing in teachers to the corrupted taste of their 
hearers to warnings directed to those vitiated 
hearers themselves. — and that the Spirit of God 
dwelleth in yon f The word rendered " temple " 
here means, classically, ' the dwelling-place of a 
deity.' In the New Testament, when applied to 
the temple of Jerusalem, it denotes the holy of 
holies — that most sacred part of it where of old 
the Shechinah, or visible symbol of the Divine 

f>resence, was manifested. As applied to be- 
ievers under the new economy, it means that 
they are " a habitation of God through the Spirit " 
(Eph. ii. 22).— Ver. 17. If any man shall destroy 
the temple of God, him shall God destroy. The 
sin and its punishment are in the original pur- 
posely expressed by the same word ; but this can- 
not be represented in English. — for the temple of 
God is holy, and such are ye— not, as in the 
Authorised Version, " which temple ye are;" for 
that had just before been said, but 'such holy 
persons ye are,' inasmuch as ye are the temple of 

What follows, to the close of this chapter, 
reiterates what had been said about the mischief 
which this false wisdom, and their disputes in con- 
nection with it, were doing at Corinth. — Ver. 18. 
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among 
yon thinketh that he is wise in this world— in 
the world's sense of wisdom, let him become a 
fool (as to such wisdom), that he may be (truly) 
wise. — Ver. 19. For the wisdom of this world 
is foolishness with God (see on ch. i. 20). — For it 
is written (Job v. 13), He that taketh the wise in 
their own craftiness.— Ver. 20. And again (Ps. 
xciv. 11), The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the 
wise, that they are vain. — Ver. 2 1 . Wherefore, let 
no one glory in men — in one preacher as opposed 
to another.— For all things are yours. — Ver. 22. 
whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas — including 
all the characteristics of each ; for as Christ^ 
donation to the Church, each and all are its common 
property. There is probably as much diversity in 
the gifts and graces of the Christian ministry as in 
the capacities, sympathies, attainments, and tastes 
of the Church's members ; and this is doubtless 
wisely arranged for the good of the whole. Some 
suit the educated and refined ; some the masses. 
But the Pauls, the Apolloses, and the Cephases 
are alike ours, and each, therefore, should be 
honoured in his own sphere. — or the world — 
now no longer master, but servant. — or life— now 
much more than a mere natural blessing, but 
ours by the highest right, to the highest ends, and, 
viewed as such, enjoyed as never before, —or 
death — once a dreaded, now a conquered enemy, 
and the gate of heawn. — or things present 
— in all the good of them without their curse, 



i;6 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. IV. 



and the ill of them without iheii sting; andmaywe all thing* doom to ourselves, and from onndia 
not include among "things present" "the first- up again to God 1 But while all things ate ours, 
fruits of the Spirit," " the earnest of out inherit- by a seeming paradox there is something which is 






— but who can tell not our*. "We are 
are reached? This Christ's," and none 

might seem an exhaustive inventory ; 

make room for anything that might t 

been omitted, the apostle repeats hi 

—all an yours. — Ver. 23. and ye an Christ' 

(possession), and Christ Is Qod'a (possession). 
What a climax, —and an anti-climax too, — froi 



His soul deiighteth, and from whom He cannot be 
separated. Thus, through Him that loved and 
gave Himself for us, those who are His are secured 
by a golden chain reaching up to the eternal 



CHAPTER IV. 
The True Place of the Ministers of Christ. 

1 T ET a man so account of us, as of 'the 1 ministers of •iCw.n.j. 

2 \—d Christ, 'and stewards of the mysteries of God. more- *!»««.«•. 
over * it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of 
you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 

4 For I know nothing by' myself; 'yet am I not hereby justi- 'gUffi^ 

5 fied: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. ''Therefore judge '*££•;£;; 
nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will 

bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make 
manifest the counsels of the hearts: and 'then shall every* «*—•"••* 
man have praise * of God. 

6 And * these things, brethren, I have In a figure transferred to 
myself and to' A polios for your sakes; /'that ye might learnyitaai.au.}. 
in us not to think of men above that which is written ; * that no 

7 one of you be puffed up for one * against another." For who 
maketh thee to differ front another f" and 'what hast thou tJ—- >■ >t- 
that thou didst not receive ? now if thou didst receive it," why 

8 dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received iff" Now ye 

are full, 'now ye are " rich, ye have reigned as kings 1 * without *k*». a. it, 
us : and I would to God " ye did reign, that we also might 

9 reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the 
apostles last,'* 'as it were appointed" to death: for 'we are "i 1 *- *&».»: 
made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. •.Sp-'**-*** 

10 We are 1 ' 'fools for Christ's sake, but ye are" wise in Christ ; '**«■■*. d. 

""we aw* weak, but ye aw™ strong; ye are" honourable, but „*gj*£;* 
n we are" despised. "Even unto this present hour we both "JSlIsF* 

hunger, and thirst, and 'are naked, and J* are buffeted, and jSgCS*! 

1 omit the. * prefix Here "against * each 

1 prefixhis • Now * omit to 

•learn not to go beyond the things which are written * prefix fix 

18 the other n omit from another ,I it ™ add become 

'* omit as kings '* omit to God " add of all 

,f as men doomed " are 



Chap. IV.J THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 

12 have no certain dwelling-place; *and labour, 19 working with 
our own hands : r being reviled, we bless ; being persecuted, 

1 3 we suffer it : Being defamed, we intreat : * we are made as the 
filth of the world, and are** the offscouring of all things unto 
this day.* 1 

14 I write not these things to shame you, but ' as my beloved 

15 sons I warn you.** For though ye have ten thousand in- 
structed in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers : for *in Christ 

16 Jesus I have begotten 18 you through the gospel. Wherefore I 

17 beseech you, r be ye followers of me. For this cause have I 
sent unto you w Timotheus, 'who is my beloved son, and faith- 
ful in the Lord, who shall bring you y into remembrance of my 
ways which be in Christ, as I * teach every where a in every 

18 church. *Now some are puffed up, as though I would not 

19 come" to you. c But I will come to you shortly, d il the Lord 
will,, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed 

20 up, but the power. For ' the kingdom of God is not in word, 

21 but in power. What will ye? f shall I come unto you with a 
rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness ? 



177 

g Acts xviii. 3 ; 

z Thes. ii. 9. 
r Mat. v 44 ; 

Acts vii. 60. 
s Lam. iii. 45. 



/ iThes. ii. 11. 



u Gal. iv. 19 ; 
J as. i. 18. 



xr Phil. iii. 17 ; 
z Thes. i. 6. 
tvActsxix. 22. 
x 1 Tim. i. 2. 
/ Ch. xi. 2. 

% Ch. vii. 17. 
a Ch. xiv. 33. 

b Ch. v. a. 

c Acts xix. 21 ; 

a Cor. i. 15. 
</Rom. xv. 32. 

e i Thes. L 5. 

/a Cor. xiii. 
10. 



lf we toil 



ss 



you 



,0 omit and are 
* 8 begat 



11 even until now 
24 were not coming 



Ver. 1. Letaniansoacoountof usas of minis- 
ten of Christ, and steward! of the mysteries of 
God. — Ver. 2. Here, moreover, 1 — »>. in this 
matter of stewardship, —it is required in stewards 
that a man be found faithful. The figure here 
is warily changed in order to fasten attention on 
this property of a true servant of Christ, fidelity. 
Where this is found, the absence of much else can 
be borne with, but for the want of this in a steward 
nothing can compensate. — Ver. 3. Bnt with me 
it Is a very small thing that I should be judged 
of yon, or of man*s judgment— Gr. * man's day ;' 
as if he had said, ' Men have their days for sitting 
in judgment on their fellows, and my detractors 
at Corinth may make free with my character and 
doings; but another "day" is coming when the 
doings of their day will be judged, and that by 
another. standard from theirs.'— yea, I judge not 
mine own self. I trust to no judgment of my 
own upon myself. — Ver. 4. For I snow nothing 
against myself. As this is clearly the intended 
sense, so our translators probably meant to express 
the same, using the word *' by " in a now obsolete 
sense.— yet am I not hereby justified— all human 
judgments being but provisional. — but he that 
judgeth me is the Lord— the Lord Christ (as will 
presently appear). — Ver. 5. Wherefore judge no- 
thins; before the time, until the Lord come (the 
second time), who will . . . make manifest the 
counsels of the hearts (Eccles. xii. 14 ; Rom. ii. 
16), and then shall each man have his praise 
from God — according to his fidelity ; for that is 
the one Quality which the Judge Himself has 
announced that He will single out as the cha- 
racteristic of His true servants — "Well done, 

1 Stich is the correct reading. The & 
fband is Rev. xiii. to, sS, xiv. is, xvii. 9. 



YOU III. 



expression is 
ia 



good and faithful servant" ("good" because 
"faithful"), "thou hast been faithful over a few 
things," etc. 

Ver. 6. Now these things, brethren, I have in 
a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for 
your sakes — putting ourselves forward merely as 
illustrations of great principles applicable to all — 
that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the 
things which are written (in such places as Jer. 
ix. 23, 24). — Ver. 7. For who maketh thee to 
differ (in the way of superiority) ? — Ver. 8. Now 
ye are filled, now ye are rich, ye have reigned 
as kings without us: yea, and I would ye did 
reign, that we might reign with you. There is 
keen irony here : ' A fine time of it ye have had 
since ye were relieved of our presence; we stood 
in your way, we kept you in bondage, it seems ; 
but now ye breathe more freely, and your Christi- 
anity is an easy-going thing ; ye have got past the 
suffering, and have reached the reigning period. 
Would that it were so indeed, for then were it our 
time to reign along with you as your father in 
Christ ; but alas, the reverse of all this we daily 
and bitterly feel. '—Ver. 9. For I think, God hath 
set forth us the apostles last of all, as men 
doomed to death ... a spectacle (to be gazed on 
as in a theatre) unto the world, and to angels, 
and to men — to exhibit men's enmity to the truth. 
— Ver. 10. We are fools for Christ's sake, but 
ye are wise in Christ — how enviable your lot, how 
pitiable ours ! (irony, however, this is) — we weak, 
ye strong ; ye have glory, we dishonour. — Ver. 
1 1. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, 
and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, 
and have no certain dwelling-place — having 
often scarce the necessaries of life. — Ver. 12. and 
we toil, working with our own hands— see Acts 



I 7 8 THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [CllAP. V. 

them. — Ver. 16. I hranech. 70a therefore, be ye 
imitators of me — in preparedness to suffer for Hii 
name— Ver. 17. For tluaoause have I sent nnto 
you Timothy, who la my beloved and faithful 
ion In the Lord — for he was his spiritual lather 
as well as theirs (see 1 Tim. i. a, 18; a Tim. L z, 
ii. 1). The apostle's plans at this time are stated 
in Acts lis. 21, 22 (see Paley 's Hortt Paulino, 



aviii. 3, 11. 34 ; I Thess. IL 9 J 2 Thess. iii. 8. 
Indeed he had to vindicate his liberty to preach at 
Corinth without hire {when that was ascribed to 
want of manly openness), and in order to do this he 
had to work for his own support (see chap. ix. 6). 
— Ver. 13. Being defamed, wo Intreat — in the 
sense of returning soft words for calumnies. 1 — we 
are made as the filth of the world, the cdnwonr- 
Ing of all things, even until now. As these are 
the strongest conceivable figures, so the element of my way* which be In Christ, c 



duration, as eitending through his whole apostolic 
life, is added to intensify the statement. 

Ver. 14. I write not these things to shame 
you— as if I thought your Christianity unreal, but 
that ye may be led to inquire whether it is not sit- 
" ilightly upon you, and as to your preachers. 



whether tl 



rpopuh 



everywhere In every church— for he would insist, 
on nothing at Corinth but what he required of 
every church. Timothy, as his chosen companion 
in missionary travel, was fully cognisant of hit 
whole principles and procedure, character and 
carriage, in everything. No fitter substitute, 
dactoihcirpreach- then, could have been sent. — Ver. 18. How m 



n easy religion.— Ver. 15. For if you should are puffed up aa though I were not o 

have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet yon (afraid to shew myself). — Ver. rg. Bat I wilt 

have ye not many fathers ; for in Christ Jesus come to yon shortly, if the Lord will (see ivi. 

I begat you through the Gospel. Three agencies 7, 8); and this caveat he might well put in, for 

are named here as factors in conversion : Christ, he had found already that his own plans were 

as the proper Agent (through His Spirit) ; tbe liable to be overruled by the plans of a Higher 

Gesptl, as [lie instrumental means; nnd Ihtpreaihtr than he, at whose absolute disposal he d ' 

...i... .._: v. messar , e (in this case the apostle — '- — J T ~"' ' ' " 



himself). Every spiritual father will feel 
thing of the jealousy here expressed, in relation to 
others who after him have dealings with his con- 
verts ; and all the more, since any insensibility to 
or forgetfulness of what they owe to their spiritual 
father argues either decline in their spiritual life, 
or some unwholesome influences operating upon 

(MVyerl.* *™" *'"' '* " ' " ™ 



' to be. — and I will know, not the wad of 
them which are puffed np (their swelling preten- 
sions), but the power. — Ver. 30. For the king- 
dom of God Is hot In word (empty plausibilities), 
but In power — and, in the case of preachers, seen 
in self-emptying consecration to the one end in 
view. — Ver. 21. What will yet shall I come 
nnto yon with a rod, or in lore and ■ spirit of 
meekness! — in severity of discipline, or the 



SECOND AND THIRD TOPICS.— IMPURITY AND LITIGATION: 

CHAPTERS V. AND VI. 

{As the first of these topics is resumed after the treatment of the second, 

they are best taken together.) 

CHAPTER V. 

SECOND TOPIC. — IMPURITY. 

Case of Incest, and Lessons suggested by it, 

1 TT is reported commonly 1 that there is 1 fornication among 

i- you, and such fornication as is not so much as "named* «Eph.i.> 
among the Gentiles, l that one should have ' his ' father's wife. *•*»«■ "*. 

2 d And ye are puffed up, and have not rather ' mourned, that he 5*^;™;'*' 
that hath done this deed might be taken away from among »»csr.»w.i. 

3 you. ^For I verily, as 6 absent in body, but present in spirit, /CM.ii. j. 
have judged* already, as though I were present, concerning 

4 him ' that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord 

Jesus Christ," when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, i*"**.** 

5 'with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,' Mo deliver such an * xiSS*' 



actually 


1 that there is 


one of you hath 




judged him 


1 omit Christ 



Chap. V.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 179 

one unto ' Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit « Acuxxvi.xs. 

6 may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. * Your glorying *J«. »v. 1*. 
is 9 not good. Know ye not that ' a little leaven leaveneth the 'Gai. v 9. 

7 whole lump? Purge out therefore 10 the old leaven, that ye 

may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even m Christ ""Jp"^ 7! 

8 our * passover is sacrificed for us : " therefore * let us keep the ;{£ *%& ;«• 
feast, 'not with old leaven, neither *with the leaven of malice ^S^ Lxy \ 3 ' 

' g Mat. xvi. o. 

and wickedness ; but with the unleavened dread 1 * of sincerity 
and truth. 

9 I wrote unto you in an" epistle r not to 'company with for- r 2xj2; a-* 45 

10 nicators : yet u not altogether with the fornicators of this world, * Ch - *• a *- 
or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters ; for then 

1 1 must ye needs go ' out of the world : but now I have written * ' Jo - xvU - ,5 * 
unto you not to keep company, "if any man that is called a *^j"S?* ,7; 
brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, 

or a drunkard, or an extortioner ; with such an one v no not to »Gai. n 12. 

12 eat For what have I to do to judge w them also 16 that are^Mk. iv. »; 

13 without? do not ye judge * them that are within? But them *ch. vLi.V 
that are without God judgeth. Therefore 17 ■'put away from ^Deut.xUi. 5 . 
among yourselves that wicked person. 

9 is 10 omit therefore 

11 For our passover also hath been sacrificed, ei>en Christ 12 bread 

13 mv 14 om jf yet 15 I write lc omit also 17 omit Therefore 

The question, ' Shall I come to you in mildness have been reluctant to meddle with the case ; and 

or with severity ?'— with which chap. iv. closes — fearing to drive the man from bad to worse, they 

prepares the way for the extreme sternness and may have hoped, by tender treatment to soften his 

solemnity with which the distressing topic of this heart. And doubtless the laxity of morals at 

chapter is handled. Corinth, which would not fail to leave its evil effects 

Ver. 1. It is Actually reported that there is on real converts, tended to blunt the edge of that 

fornication among you. The word is used here abhorrence which such a case was fitted to awaken, 

in its widest sense for all violations of the seventh — Ver. 2. And ye axe puffed up — as if all were 

commandment. — and such fornication as is not right with you — and have not rather mourned 

even among the Gentiles, 1 that one of yon — that such a blot should come upon your com- 

hath hie father's wife— not his own mother, but munity, — (in order) that he that had done this 

his step-mother (after the death of his father), deed might (by formal ejection) be taken away 

Such connection, expressly forbidden in Lev. xviii. from among 70a. Sharp measures are therefore 

8, b abhorrent to nature. Though not absolutely peremptorily ordered to take place. — Ver. 3. For 

unknown to the heathen, Cicero speaks of it as a I verily, being absent in body, but present in 

crime incredible, and, with the single exception of spirit, have already (in the exercise of my apos- 

the case he is speaking of, unheard of.* How tolic authority) judged him that hath so wrought 

such a church member should have been tolerated, this thing, in the name of our Lord Jesus l — in 

even for a day, is the difficulty. To say, with whose name, as the unseen yet ever-present Lord 

some, that since the conversion of a Pagan to of the Church, every act of discipline should be 

Judaism was held to dissolve all former relation- performed, whether in the way of binding or of 

ships, a Christian convert might deem himself at loosing (Matt xviii. 18-20, xxviii. 18-20). — ye 

liberty, and by the Church be allowed, to marry being gathered together (for that express pur- 

within the scripturally forbidden degrees, is absurd, pose), and my spirit, with the power of our Lord 

For not only is there no evidence that the Jews at Jesus (resting on you in the discharge of this duty), 

this time held any such principles, and every pro- to deliver such a one unto Satan for the de- 

bability that they did not, but this connection struction of the flesh — the depraved inclina- 

was plainly regarded, alike by Jews and Gentiles, tions of this offender — that the spirit may be 

as monstrous. Still, if the social position of the saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Corrective, 

parties was considerable, the office-bearers may therefore, not destructive, was this severe disci- 

, ^ pline designed to be — destructive only of what 

UmSEJS^&^y Ae reCeMred te * tf appearS to would have destroyed the soul of the offender. 

* Sce/us imcrrJttiU, eg /rairr Matte unattt (mulierem) in 1 The word " Christ," twice in this verse, is omitted by 

0MNM vita inanditum (Pro Quentto, 5, 6). the best authorities. 



i8o 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. V. 

• new lump, even njim (already) n 

—considered a* "M*ctM' " — - 

things have become new." 



expositors liiiJ here— over and above baie 

munication — some bodily chastisement from 

above which was to light upon ma offender after his 
expulsion from church membership. In support of 
this, they refer to Ihe case of Job, whose property, 
family, and person Satan was permitted 






' hath been ') —jflwd, 
even Christ. 1 ' Yes, and ours is infinitely more 
precious than Israel's. It was Ihe blood of i bruie 



o the case of Ananias and Sapphira ; and to that creature, the sprinkling of which on their door-posts 
of Elytnss the sorcerer. But none of these cases wis the means of their redemption ; we are " re- 
seem to be in point. In the only case which seems deemed with the precious blood of Christ," the 
strictly parallel— that of Hymenxus and Philetus, Limb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; 
whom our apostle says he "had delivered unto their redemption was merely national and temporal, 
Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme " ours is world-wide and eternal.' — Ver. 8. therefore 
([ Tim. i. ao)— no hint is given of what was let na keep the feast — ' keep festival ' as the word 
meant in this act of apostolic judgment, and signifies. As the Passover meal was designed to 
certainly none of bodily infliction. In fact, the litiengthenihelsraelitesfortheu-wildemess journey, 
only difficulty in both these cases is the strength so is this for ours heavenward. Theirs was an 
of the language employed. Bui if it be borne in annual festival ; ours is the continuous, uninter- 
mind that the act of ejection was to be performed rupted, glad festival-keeping of a redeemed and 
* " whole church, convened ex. consecrated life. But jus' 

_.j .... _ l ..._ . from corrupt adm 

Lord Jesus, as being Himself present ; that it 
certainly carried with it exclusion from ail Chris- 
tian fellowship, and consequently banishment to 
the society of those among whom Satan dwelt, 
am! from which the offender had publicly severed 
himself: it will not seem very difficult to understand 
how, in this first case of severe discipline — too 
long delayed— the strongest terms which he could 



_ ... .... ... . consecrated life. But just as theirs had to be cele- 

Ercssly for this purpose ; that it was (o be done as brated with unleavened bread, so must ours be free 
y the apostle himself, and in the name of our from corrupt admixtures. — not with old leaven— 

■ ' ... .:■ .l_. :. .., :__... u — u ed from our*-' 

the leaven of 



- ■ , . 9} 

malice and wickedness — not their 

but such corrupt elements as are apt to spring 

up in Christian communities, creeping in under 

new and subtle forms. (This seems better than 

taking both clause* as saying the tame thing in 

_.. „ _ different forms.)— but with the unleavened broad 

find should have been employed by the apostle, of sincerity and trnth— with entire consistency oi 
What a caricature of this is the greater excom- character and conduct 

muulcation of the Church of Rome, as carried into Note. — What a sublime idea does this give 
effect in the darker and palmier days of sacerdotal of the Christian life, a* a lifelong Paschal cele- 
powerl It was performed amid such ghostly bralion of our "eternal redemption" by the 
forms as w-~ J -- — J -....-. .,-,,.... ...^. ,., , . .. _ . . 



strike ti 

stoutest heart, after which the culprit wt 
by methods of refined cruelty which it wa 
for nn apostatized and heartless Chris 



sacrificial death of the Lordji 

to add that, save on the strict vicarious principle 
of that death, all such allusions would cither be 
unintelligible or would certainlybe misleading? As 
to the Lord's Supper, though it certainly embodies, 
or heresies to which perhaps he was an utter in their highest and simplest form, all the highest 
stranger. He was then handed over to the secular Past hoi ideas, (here is no reason to think that then 
power to be put to death, " that the spirit (for- is here any express reference to that ordinance.' 
sooth) might be saved in the day of the lord So much for this peculiar case of impurity. But 
lesus" 1 Such deeds, happily, cannot be done since the injunction to keep aloof from this 
now, but they have died out very slowly, and offender might be misunderstood, as applying 
never has the right to carry them out been re- equally to all Ihe unholy, the apostle now draws s 
nounced ; nay, some of the less refined yet ulii- sharp distinction between those vritiiit and those 
matcly crushing forms of them are still practised -wiskouS the Church ; instructing them, that while 
where it can be done with impunity. keeping no company at all with Ihe former, they 

Ver. 6. Tour glorying la not good— is out of were not with the latter to decline the ordinal 
place, unseemly. Know ye not that a little intercourses and courtesies of life. 
leaven leaveneth the whole lampt "Tis only Ver. 9. I wrote onto you In my epistle not to 
one cose, ye say; but are ye so ignorant as not company with fornicators). This statement raises 
10 know that the communicative properties of a question which has occasioned not a little dis- 
good and evil are as leaven (Matt. xiii. 3, v. 13 ; cussion— What Epistle is here referred to? * The 
1 Cor. xv. 33), and that the leavening property of present Epistle," say some, viewing what follows 
evil is greater than that of good?' "One sinner as a sort of postscript to the preceding verses, 
destroyetb much good." In a church gathered, (So Chrysostom, Erasmus, Hiddleton, Stanley.) 
like that of Corinth, out of a proverbially licentious But the objection to this is that neither in the pre- 
city, and themselves before conversion no I>ettcr ceding verses nor in any previous chapter it any 
than others (vi. 9-ri), howdangerous the presence such general injunction given. The only alternative 
of such an offender, going out and in among is, that there is here a reference to some previously- 
them in full fellowship, must be obvious to every written letter to that church not now preserved, 
one.— Ver. 7. Purge ont 1 the old leaven. Refer 



ring to the practice enjoined in Ex 
almost supers! it iously observed 
time, of removing every particl. 
their houses, the apostle would hi 
away in the person of this fli 
corrupt element, " the old m 
conversion they had "put off. 



the Pns 



IS. »"d 



mt offender, that 



1 The wardi H ' for 111 ■ »hich arewitboat ai 
rily, ire alto out of plant [for ihe apoulr'i 

i°pS°v«-fa™ to Wp! u mil as the lews 
s BengeL'i hint, at totbobcarinf of ihis hi 
Romi Ji doctrine of ihe ■urinoe olio* 
in it— namely, thai iflha apoatla had 
he would naturally have u>ed the urewit ieibe. and not iha 

aoriii, at he dw here ("was taciiftoed ^ : and all lb 

at the whole strain of hit argument woaLj havaa 
and been ItrcnatbeDed by ihe use of the present U 



Chap. VI. 1-8.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 



iSl 



(So Calvin, Beza, Estius, Bengel, De Wette, 
Meyer, Alford. l ) Nor is this unworthy of Inspira- 
tion, as is evident from the Old Testament pro- 
phetic writings, which are very far from containing 
all that the prophets ottered by inspiration. And 
though all that our Lord spoke and acted must 
have been pre-eminently worthy of permanent 
record, yet the last Evangelist says that " the world 
would not have contained it " Why, then, should 
everything which an apostle found occasion to 
write require of necessity to be recorded for all 
time ? Certain it is that the Corinthians sent 
written questions to the apostle on points of 
practical difficulty, and even on this very subject 
(vii. i); and if one of these related to what inter- 
course, if any, they should keep up with their heathen 
friends and fellow-citizens, and a messenger was 
then going to Corinth who could take his answer, 
how naturally might he send a hasty reply by him, 
with the promise to write more fully thereafter ! 
In this case, would he not refer to that letter very 
much as he here does ? and of course the present 
letter would be understood as superseding the other. 
— Ver. 10. not altogether with the fornicator! 
of this world, or with the covetous, and ex- 
tortioner*, or with idolater! ; for then moat 
70 needa go out of the world. Observe the 
caution — " not altogether" restricting the allowed 
intercourse with them to what was necessary and 
safe. The collocation of " the covetous and ex- 
tortioners" with "fornicators and idolaters*' sounds 
strange to us ; but it is a favourite classification 
with our apostle (Eph. v. 3; Col. iii. 5). Perhaps 
the explanation of this may be found in Gal. v. 
19-21, where these are all ranked under the head 
of " works of the flesh," any one of which might, 
according to individual bent, stir up another. 
Ver. 11. but now I write onto yon— I did it 
before in a general way, but " now " I do it more 
fully, — not to keep company, if any man that is 

1 It b replied to this, that since the same tense (the 
aorist) is used both in ver. o and in ver. 11, they must 
be rendered alike in both— either " I wrote " or " I write." 
But the shade of thought in the latter case is in English 
intelligibly conveyed by our present tense, and Greek 
sumoenuy bears this out. 



named a brother — one in full standing as a 
member. — be a, fornicator . . . with such a one, 
no, not to eat — in friendly meals, or any way 
implying brotherly recognition. — Ver. 12. For 
what have I to do with Judging them that are 
without (the Christian pale)? As the Jews so 
described those outside the covenant, our Lord 
and the apostles borrowed the phrase from them 
(Mark iv. 11 ; Col. iv. 5 ; 1 Thess. iv. 12).— do 
not ye judge them that are within f — and that 
surely is responsibility enough. — Ver. 13. Where- 
aa them that are without God Judgeth — that is 
His sole prerogative, and to Him ye may well leave 
it. — Put away the wicked man from among 
yourselves. The marked abruptness with which 
the subject is thus dismissed well conveys the re- 
pulsiveness of the subject to the apostle's feelings. 

Note.— (1) The grace of the Gospel, though it 
renews the whole character, neither eradicates 
constitutional tendencies nor interferes with their 
natural working. It subdues and regulates the 
passions ; but where the members of a church 
nave been drawn out of a community steeped in 
vice, and themselves habituated, up to the time 
of their conversion, to the sight and practice of it, 
they may be expected — after the first warmth of 
their new life has begun to cool— to have many 
a sore struggle with reactionary tendencies. 
Plague spots will then appear; and at times the 
whole renovation effected by the Gospel may seem 
ready, like a passing wave, to be swept away. In 
such circumstances, should self-complacency be in- 
dulged, and open iniquity quietly tolerated in the 
community, sharp dealing becomes indispensable 
to recovery, and will, as in the present case, be 
so ratified in heaven as to prove successful. 

(2) What a view of the world's morality is 
suggested by the statement that to get quite away 
from even its grosser forms one " must needs go 
out of the world " ! And though this stamps con- 
demnation on all cloistral seclusion — as an attempt 
to escape from the evils incident to contact with 
the unholy — it no less condemns the tainting of 
church fellowship which follows the tolerance of 
open sin, and voluntary association with it, on the 
part of Christians. 



Chapter VI. 1-8. 



THIRD TOPIC. — LITIGATION. 



y^V ARE any of you, having a matter against another, go to 



2 -L/ law before the unjust, and not before the saints ? Do 
ye not know that a the saints shall judge the world ? and if the « 
world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the 

3 smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall b judge angels? b 

4 how much more things that pertain to this life ? c If then ye c 
have judgments of things ! pertaining to this life, set them to 

5 judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your 1 

1 to judge things * this to move you to 



Dan. vii. aa ; 
Mat. xix. 38. 



a Pet. ii. 4. 
Ch. v. 1 a. 



182 THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. VI. 9-10. 

shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, 

6 not one that shall be a*ble to judge between his brethren, but 
brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the un- 

7 believers f Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, 
because* ye go to law one with another. "'Why do ye not '22^V* ; 
rather take wrong ? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to 

8 be* defrauded? Nay, ye* do wrong, and defraud 'and that i<Tha.™.«. 
your brethren. 

3 Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you, that 

* why not rather be * but ye yourselves 



This topic seems to have been suggested by the 
closing verses of the preceding chapter, about 
Christians having nothing to do with judging "them 
that are without." 'Yes (says the apostle), but 
what is this that 1 hear, that some of you arc 
dragging "them that are within " before the 'tri- 
bunals of such, to settle your miserable disputes 
among yourselves. How dare ye thus to scan- 
dalize the Christian name?' 

Ver. 1. Dare any of yon, having a matter 
against his neighbour, go to law before the 
unrighteous, and not before the sainta t Excel- 
lently, says Bengcl here, ' by this grand word 
"Dare" does the apostle mark the injured ma- 
jesty of the Christian name,' thuscaused. Not with- 
out a special design is the contrast here so sharply 
drawn between Christians and heathens ; for the 
Jews themselves made it a rule never to carry their 
disputes before heathen tribunals. Yet let it not he 
thought that there is any condemnation here of the 
general principle of having recourse to taw for the 
settlement of differences. For civil government is 
a Divine ordinance, of which "law" is an essential 
department ; and our apostle himself once and 
again claimed the protection of law, heathen 
though the empire then was. Indeed, there are 
cases, in the best conditioned Christian countries, 
where nice and intricate points can be satisfactorily 
and peacefully settled only by a legal tribunal. 
What is here so sharply rebuked is, exposing 
before eyes that ought to see in Christians only 
that which is "lovely and of good report," what was 
the opposite of this, as if (by a cruel satire on our 
Lords words) to invite those heathens to ask, 
" What do ye more than others?" (Matt. v. 47).— 
Ver. 2. What, know ye not that the saintu shall 
judge the world? — shall sit, after yourselves have 



been judged (Matt, m, 41), as Christ's asses- 
sors, tn judgment on all others. This is not else- 
where expressly staled ; but it is in accordance 
with Matt. xix. 28, and is in strict analogy with 
angels being represented (in Job i. and iL) as in the 
councils of Heaven sitting as assessors. Perhaps 



(he apostle may refer here to something he himself 
had taught on this subject.— so id If the world is 
to be judged {Gr. 'it being judged') by yon, 

(The word 
means first a 'test 'or 'rule of judgment;' (hen, a 
' court of judgment, ' and here the cause to be 
tried — an unusual application of the word, but 
plainly the sense hoe.) — Ver. 3. Know ye not 
that we shall judge angelal The word "angels" 
usually means the good ones, but here it is clearly 
the bad. — how muoh more, thinga that pertain to 
this life I— Ver. 4. H then ye hove to judge 
things pertaining to this life, set them to judge 
who are of no account in the nhuxch — an ironical 
way of hinting that their differences were to petty 
that the poorest-wilted among them were fit 
enough to deal with them. 1 — Ver. 5. ... Is it so, 
that then Is not one wise man """"ft you! 
who, etc.: 'Abounding in gifts, and boasting of 
your wisdom, are ye incompetent to settle your 
own small disputes?' The principle of arbitration 
is here suggested ; but iiaait of arbitration are a 
modem invention.— Ver. J. . . . Why not rather 
tale wrong? why not rather be cwtTMided?— 
like your Master, submitting to felt wrong (I Pet. 
ii. 23 ; and see Matt. v. 40, 44 ; Rom. xii. 17 ; 
1 Pet. ii. 19, 20; Prov. ax. 22). 



wthis: 



-'Doyt 



Chapter VI. 9-20, 

SECOND TOPIC (resumed). — IMPURITY. 

9 TV' NOW ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the 

X\.. kingdom of God? Be not deceived: "neither forni- '{H T -. 
cators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers 
10 of themselves with mankind,' nor thieves, nor covetous, nor 



Chap. VI. 9-2a] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 183 

drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the king- 

11 dom of God. And such were *some of you: but ye are* *ch.«a.a; 
washed, c but ye are 1 sanctified, but ye are 1 justified in the **&>' x. 22. 

12 name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. d All ^ch. x. a3 . 
things are lawful unto me, but all things are not * expedient : 

all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under 

13 the power of any. 'Meats for the belly, and the belly for r ^^;\ 7: 
meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the 

body is 4 not for fornication, but f for the Lord ; * and the Lord fS x ^£\iJ} 

14 for the body. And k God hath 4 both raised up the Lord, and f R&Jaft,; 

1 5 will also raise up us ' by his own power. Know ye not that # EphTi^i. 14 * 
*your bodies are the 6 members of Christ ? shall I then take *g om - ** l s'* 

* Eph. v. 30. 

the members of Christ, and make them 1 the members of an 

16 harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is 

joined to an harlot is one body? for 'two, 8 saith he, shall be l uSx}^l 

17 one flesh. '"But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. wE P h - iv «- 

18 *Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the *Rom.vi. ». 
body ; but he that committeth fornication sinneth ° against his * * The$. w. 4 . 

19 own body. What ? ' know ye not that your body is the temple £ \££;£; m l6m 
of the Holy Ghost which is 9 in you, which ye have of God, r i c 8 t ; xx . a8: 

20 * and ye are not your own ? For r ye are * bought with a price : ^."uAV; 
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which J^PeL 8, 
are God's. 10 



U. I. 



2 were 8 not all things are 4 is 6 omit hath 

* omit the 7 them 8 The twain 9 which is 
10 omit and in your spirit, which are God's 

From wrong-doing in one particular the apostle three distinct things experienced by the Corin- 

is now led to speak of wrong-doing in its widest thians ; for then " sanctification " would naturally 

tense, but emphatically of that form of it already have been placed after "justification" (as in chap. 

demit with in part. i. 30), not before it ; and besides there is no real 

Ver. 9. What, know ye not that the unright- distinction between being " washed " and being 

eons ('the wrong-doers') shall not inherit the "justified." For though some take " washing " to 

irjwgiifrmi of Goaf Be not deceived: neither represent the whole change wrought in conversion, 

fornicators, nor idolaters, — whose religion was and "sanctifying" and "justifying" to mean two 

itself voluptuous, particularly at Corinth, — nor subdivisions of it, this seems very artificial ; and 

adulterers, nor effeminate— -given to voluptuous it is far best to take the whole as simply a 

ease, encouraging their sensual inclinations, — nor varied expression — trebly emphasized — of the same 

abusers of themselves with men — practising the great change. And the triumphant " but," with 

unnatural vice of Rom. L 27, but which "ought not which each clause starts, confirms this, as if— 

to be named among us as becometh saints. The exulting in the wondrous change from the lowest 

five grosser forms of vice thus mentioned are next to the highest moral state, expressed in the first 

followed by five of a more familiar but not less clause — he had been borne along to reiterate it in 

soul-destroying kind. — Ver. 10. nor thieves, etc. a second, and yet again in a third : — 'Yes, time 

— Ver. 11. And each were some of yon. Not all was when ye lay in all that is foul, but now ye have 

bat only "some "of his converts are thus spoken of ; got "washed;" deeply stained was your whole 

and when he says of them that "such" they were, nature then, but now ye are "sanctified;" and 

he simply means to describe morally the sink of then ye stood before a righteous God all condemned, 

vioe — "the horrible pit, the miry clay"— out of but now ye are "justified."' The rest of the verse 

which they had been raised through the Gospel. — almost fixes this as the true sense of the statement 

but ye were washed, 1 ye were sanctified, ye in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ 1 — that 

were justified. These are not to be viewed as is, by virtue of His saving work, as the Divine 

> Not " ye washed them off," as some excellent critics- CVkwtiar/,— and in (or « by^ the Spirit of our God 

having respect to the middle voice here used— would trans- — as the Divine Agent of all that flows from the 

late. For though " ye had yourselves washed" would con- Infinite Fountain of purity into the soul. But not 

W£ , S&37\2d dsWtaJSSSa » »«* » ™*™ & ™ F»< itude are „ the Corin - 

with the strictly p+xtivt sense of the two next verbs. * So the true text would seem to read. 



1 84 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. VI. 9-20. 



thians reminded of this here ; it is rather to warn 
them of the danger in which they stood of return- 
ing like the dog to his vomit, and the sow that 
was washed to her wallowing in the mire. True, 
indeed, it is that the deepest and most inveterate 
depravity, provided only it be radically cured, will 
exclude none from the kingdom of heaven ; but it 
is no less true that none shall inherit the kingdom 
of God under the final mastery of any one sin. 

Ver. 12. All things are lawful for me, but not 
all things are expedient. * In things indifferent, 
such as the eating of meats forbidden under the 
ceremonial law, the Gospel has made all things 
clean, and I can use my liberty without scruple ; 
but there are some of tender conscience who are 
still afraid to meddle with such things. For their 
sake, therefore, I must consider whether that 
which in itself is perfectly lawful is at the same 
time expedient.'— all things are lawful for me, 
but I will not be brought under the power of 
any— of anything (not ' any person *), to become 
its slave.— Ver. 13. Meats for the belly, and the 
belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it 
and them: — 'Meats, no doubt, are indifferent, 
but since both they and the mortal body to which 
they minister are destined to perish in their corrup- 
tibility, scorn to become enslaved to them.' — Now 
the body is not for fornication, but for the 
Lord, and the Lord for the body:— 'As the 
body was not made to be pampered by " meats," 
much less to be prostituted to vile uses, so the bodv 
of every believer is redeemed to be the Lords 
property, and the Lord belongs to it in return.' — 
Ver. 14. And God both raised the Lord, and will 
raise up 1 us through his power — see Rom. viii. 11. 
As the body of Christ was endued at His resurrec- 
tion with imperishable properties, and stamped 
with a spiritual and celestial character, so will it 
be with all that are His (chap. xv. 42-44). — Ver. 
15. Know ye not that your oodles are members 
of Christ? He expects this to be recognised as 
a first principle (see Eph. v. 30). — shall I then 
take away* the members of Christ? — 'alienate' 
them from their proper use. — and make them, 
etc. — Ver. 16. What, know ye not that he that 
is joined to a harlot is one body? for the twain, 
saith he, shall become one flesh. As the sexes, 
by marriage, become one natural life, an abhorred 
unity of nature is formed by the action here re- 
ferred to.— Ver. 17. But he that is Joined unto 
the Lord is one spirit— becomes by that union 
partaker of a life in common with the Lord, 
spiritual and imperishable. — Ver. 18. Flee forni- 
cation. Note the studiously curt and stringent 
language (as that in v. 13), and not for nothing is 
" flight " here urged. This was what Joseph did 
(Gen. xxxix. 12), and what the great mediaeval 
schoolman Thomas Aquinas, when a youth, liter- 

1 The addition of the word ' up ' in the second verb is 
designed to mark the difference between the compound form 
of the verb here used and the simple form in the first clause. 
The form would seem to be varied merely from variety's 
sake ; but since (as Meyer observes) the simple form is in- 
variably used in the fifteenth chapter, both of the resurrec- 
tion of Christ and that of believers — and there, indeed, no 
fewer than eighteen times— whereas the compound form is 
used here only of the resurrection of believers, it is as well 
that the distinction should appear in the translation also. 
And as it was the resurrection of believers that was denied 
by "some" at Corinth, and that of Christ is brought in 
only to show what would follow if the views of this party 
were right, possibly the apostle intentionally departed from 
his usual style by employing the compound form as more 
emphatic for the resurrection of believers. 



ally did in exactly similar circumstances. —Every 
sin that a man doeth is without the body. Sur- 
feiting and drunkenness, for example, are pro- 
duced by the introduction into the body of foreign 
elements in excess. — bat he that oommitteth 
fornication sinneth against his own body— 
against its proper nature and use, prostituting it to 
base and blasting uses. Viewed in this light, 
that sin is like nothing else. It is a leprosy, 
which, when systematically practised, renders the 
body loathsome, enervates and slowly destroys the 
whole animal nature, and, what is worse, stupefies 
all the intellectual and moral powers. — Ver. 1 9. 
What, know ye not that your oody is the temple 
of the Holy Ghost which is in you (see on chap, 
ii. 11), which ye have from God— as His gift 
through the risen Saviour, and whose presence in 
you is the presence of God Himself, by reason of 
their essential oneness : ' Will ye then pollute and 
profane such a temple?'— and ye are not your 
ownf — Ver. 20. For ye were bought with a 
price 1 — " with precious blood, even Christ's," says 
Peter (1 Pet L 19). Is it so? then, as the pur- 
chased property of another, ye are at no liberty 
to dispose of yourselves for uses of your own. — 
glorify God therefore in your body. The words 
of the received text that follow were beyond 
doubt wanting in the original text, and have crept 
in to fill up the supposed sense.* But since the 
subject in hand was the abuse of the body, the 
seeming abruptness of this way of closing the sub- 
ject will be seen to give it a telling effect. 

Note. — It is impossible not to be struck with the 
contrast between the views of even the most culti- 
vated portions of the heathen world on the subject 
of morality and religion and those of Christianity. 
It is to Christianity alone that we owe that purity 
of feeling which has expelled almost the knowledge 
of those unnatural lusts which were current in 
heathen lands, which has banished to the darkest 
caverns of secrecy such of them as still live, and has 
made the mention of even the less abhorrent im- 
purities — which were unblushinglv practised and 
freely spoken about — to be offensive to Christian 
ears, and felt to be tainting to Christian lips. But 
another thing, the counterpart of this, should not 
escape notice — that although Christianity furnishes 
motives to holiness peculiar to itself, motives in- 
appreciable save to its genuine disciples, it is so 
far from disdaining considerations favourable to 
virtue which are derived from natural ethics, that 
it readily avails itself of them all, and both kinds 
of motives are found so readily to fit into each 
other as to shew that they come from one Divine 
source. In the present case, for example, while 
Christians are asked with astonishment if they are 
not aware that their bodies are members of Christ 
and temples of the Holy Ghost — a sphere with 
which only Christians can intermeddle— they are 
at the same time reminded that unnatural sexual 
connections are of such an intrinsic character as to 
be a species of corporeal suicide. Thus are the 
lower ethical principles taken up into the higher 
and thereby consolidated and sublimed. 




kauft\ But, as Bengel well says, the emphasis is best 

veved by being left to speak for itself, as in chap. vii. ax. 

* They are wanting in all the Uncial mss. save three 
(two of these of less value) ; they are found only in one 
good Cursive ; they are wanting in both the old Latin and 
the Vulgate, as also in other versions: and they are wanting 
in the oldest and best patristic authorities. 



Chap. VII.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. ,g 5 



FOURTH TOPIC— MARRIAGE. 

Hitherto the burden of this Epistle has been reproof, founded on informa- 
tion received from others. Henceforward, to near the end, all appears to 
have been drawn forth by written inquiries of the Corinthians themselves, as 
to how, as Christians, they were to act and to judge in certain cases. Per- 
haps this first subject — Marriage — was introduced here as a natural sequel to 
the topic last handled. The directions are of extreme delicacy ; but let it 
be carefully remembered that they were not volunteered by the apostle 
himself, but demanded by his correspondents. Some of these, by a natural 
revulsion from former excesses, seem to have run to the opposite extreme, 
and by their ascetic severity to have troubled their brethren. The proper 
line of demarcation, therefore, needed to be drawn with a precision more 
explicit than otherwise it might have been desirable to particularise. 



Chapter VII. 

1 "NT OW concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me : 1 

2 1 ^1 * It is* good for a man not to touch a woman. Never- «ve«. 8, t«. 
theless, to avoid fornication,* let every * man have his own wife, 

3 and let every 4 woman have her own husband. * Let the h E «- xx k* 6 : 

** " x Pet. ui. 7. 

husband render unto the wife due benevolence : * and likewise 

4 also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of 6 
her own body, but the husband : and likewise also the husband 

5 hath not power of - his own body, but the wife. e Defraud ye 'I<*i »»•.•«; 
not one the other, except it be 1 with consent for a time, 8 that seeE*»x. 

' r ' 15 j 1 Sam. 

ye may give yourselves to fasting and 9 prayer; and come 10 **-4.s. 
together again, that d Satan tempt you not for your incon- </xThes - iii s- 

6 tinency. But I speak this by 11 permission, 'and 11 not of '^cix.wft; 

7 commandment. For lt f I would that all men were ' even as I £c£*£^!* a9, 
myself. But k every man hath his proper gift of God, one after a Mat. six. i»; 
this manner, and another after that. 

8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, * It is good for « v *»- ?, *& 

9 them if they abide even as I. But *if they cannot contain, 14 *xTim.T.i 4 

10 let them marry : for it is better to marry than to burn. And 

unto the married I command, l yet lb not I, but the Lord, "Let 'Seerer* ™, 

11 not the wife depart from her" husband: but 17 and if she "***$** 
depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to Aer 1 * hus- \* t \ J^'xw 

12 band : 1§ and let not the husband put away his 19 wife. But to 



xvu 

18. 



1 omit unto me * It is 8 But because of fornications 4 each 

* her due 6 over 7 it be 8 season 

* omit fasting and ,0 may be l1 add by way of ,§ omit and l8 Yet 
14 have not continency u yea 16 her ,T (but 
18 husband) 19 his 



I-S6 THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. VII. 

the rest speak 10 I, *not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife «ver.6. 
that believeth not, and she be pleased " to dwell with him, let 

1 3 him not put her away." And the woman which hath an hus- 
band that believeth not, and if he be pleased fl to dwell with 

14 her, let her not leave him." For the unbelieving husband is 
sanctified by* 4 the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified 

by 14 the husband : else ° were your children unclean ; but now *MaLii i* 

1 5 are they holy. But 18 if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. 
A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases : but 

16 God hath called us 'to** peace. For what" knowest thou, 'J-J^f ,§ * 
O wife, whether thou shalt *save thy™ husband? or how "p^^V; 
knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy™ wife? 

17 But* 7 as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath 

called every one, so let him walk. And r so ordain I in all" r ^c££U. 

18 churches. Is* 9 any man called being circumcised? let him 
not become uncircumcised. Is any 90 called in uncircumcision ? 

19 'let him not be circumcised. 'Circumcision is nothing, and s t%, x l^^; 
uncircumcision is nothing, but *the keeping of the command- /gJJJJ; 

20 ments of God. Let every 81 man abide in the same calling "^j^u. 1 * 1 

21 wherein he was called. Art* 2 thou called being a servant?" 
care not for it : but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 

22 For he that is* called in the Lord, being a servant," is r the ^fe,^. 3 ^ 
Lord's freeman : " likewise also he that is " called, being™ free, %} Whikm ' 

23 is w Christ's servant.* 7 'Ye are* 8 bought with a price ; be not * r 2L i J: V 2 \ 

24 ye the servants of men. Brethren, *let every* 1 man, wherein f&.'a. 6 ^ 
he is * 4 called, therein abide with God. '^pjS** 

25 Now concerning virgins '1 have no commandment of the 1Sr.xxv.4a. 
Lord: yet* 9 I give my judgment, as one "that hath obtained JvSi. 9 ?. w. 

26 mercy of the Lord b to be faithful. I suppose 40 therefore that JS/.t *' 
this is good for the present distress, / say,' 1 'that it « 4i good Jch-U".?; 1 " 

27 for a man so to be. 43 Art thou bound unto a wife ? seek not c v«. i.V** 
to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife ? seek not a wife. 

28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned ; and if a virgin 
marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless 44 such shall have 

29 trouble in the flesh: but I 45 spare you. But ''this I say, ****««• «"-«; 
brethren, the time is short : 4 * it remaineth, 47 that both 48 they »**.»••. 

30 that have wives 49 be as though they had none ; and they that 
weep, as though they wept not ; and they that rejoice, as 
though they rejoiced not ; and they that buy, as though they 

20 say 2l is content 22 leave her M her husband 

24 in 25 how 26 thy "Only 28 <a#the 

29 was 30 Hath any man been 8I each fi Wast 

33 being a bond-servant 84 freedman 85 was 8e being 

37 bond-servant 88 were 39 but l0 think 

41 namely 42 it is 48 to be as he is 44 but 

45 and I would 40 shortened iT omit it remaineth 

48 prefix henceforth 40 prefix may 



Chap. VII.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 187 

31 possessed not; and they that use this 60 world, as not 'abusing 'Ch.ix.18. 

32 it: for / the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would ^fcY^it 1 
have you without carefulness. 61 * He that is unmarried careth 5i »« : ; * *?• l 
for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the g \^^i\ 

33 Lord : but he that is married careth *' for the things that are M 

34 of the world, how he may please his M wife. There w is differ- 
ence also** between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried 
woman * careth 82 for the things of the Lord, that she may be *^ t " x,4( * 
holy both in body and in spirit : but she that is married careth * f 

for the things of the world, how she may please her 57 husband. 

35 And this I speak M for your own profit ; not that I may cast a 
snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may 

36 attend upon the Lord without distraction. But if any man 
think ** that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, 60 
if she pass 61 the flower of her* age, and 6 * need so require, 6 * let 

37 him do what he will, he sinneth not : let them marry. Never- 
theless " he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no neces- 
sity, but hath power over 6 * his own will, and hath so decreed ** 
in his 67 heart that he will keep 68 his 67 virgin, 60 doeth 69 well. 

38 ' So then 70 he that giveth her 11 in marriage doeth well ; but he • Hcb.xiii.4. 

39 that giveth her* not in marriage doeth 69 better. *The wife is *Rom. vU. a. 
bound by the law as long as her husband liveth ; but if her 
husband be dead, she is at liberty 7t to be married to whom she 

40 will ; * only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, 71 /aCor. vi. 14. 
"* after my judgment : and * I think also that 1 7i have the Spirit "V*^*s 

of God. 



M the $l to be free from cares 

*« his M prefix And M also 

*• thinketh M add daughter 

•* requireth ** But •* as touching 

67 add own M to keep 

n his own virgin daughter 

r * abide as she is 



58 is careful * 8 omit that are 

57 ner «» say 

61 be past 62 add if 

ee determined this 

69 shall do 70 prefix both 

Ti is free 

74 think that I also 



Marriage and its Duties , l-i 1. 

Ver. 1. Now concerning the things whereof 
ye wrote: * It I* good for a man not to touch a 
woman — i.e. to marry (an Old Testament phrase). 
Not as if he meant that marriage was wrong in 
itself, as the next verse and ver. 28 sufficiently shew. 
Indeed, the "present distress" (ver. 26) seems to 
have been his main reason for recommending the 
single state ; and " forbidding to marry " is given 
as one of the signs of " the apostasy of the later 
times" (l Tim. iv. 3). In Heb. xiii. 4, also, 
marriage is declared to be "honourable in all," or 
" to be had in honour of all ; " and see Mark 
x. 6-9. — Ver. 2. But, because of fornications — 
of the prevalence of this sin, and the temptations 
to it in a vicious community. — let each man have 
Ida own wife, and each woman her own husband 

' Hie words v to me " of the received text, though im- 
plied, are an addition to the genuine text. 



— the designed and normal condition of the sexes. 
—Ver. 3. Let the husband render unto the wife 
her due, 1 etc— Ver. 5. That ye may give your- 
selves unto prayer. 3 — Ver. 6. But this I say by 
permission, not of commandment — as permis- 
sible in the married state, but giving no command- 
ment, for what is suitable in one case may be the 
reverse in another.— Ver. 7. Yet I would that all 
men were as I myself— i.e. in present circum- 
stances (see ver. 1).— Howbeit each man hath his 
own gift— Gr. * gracious gift ; ' for in Christians 
natural gifts are presumed to be brought under 
the influence of grace for the good of others. — 
Ver. 10. But unto the married I give charge, yea 
not I, but the Lord {i.e. the Lord Jesus), that the 
wife depart not from her husband. The Lord 

1 The received reading, " due benevolence," has hardly 
any authority. 

* The words " and fasting " are wanting in all the greater 
authorities. 



1 83 



THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. [Chap. VIL 



Jesus hid Himself emphatically given this charge 
(Matt v. 32, xix. 9), and it is on this that the 
apostle falls bock. — Ver. II. (but and if the 
depart, let her remain unmarried, or else bo 
reconciled to her husband.) The case here sup- 
posed is that of such disagreement between Chris- 
tian husband and wife as induces the wife, in 
spite of the prohibition, to leave her husband. 
In this case she must either get reconciled to her 
husband — which is best— or remain single. 

Duties of the Married where One oftkt Parties is 
unconverted \ 12-17. 

Ver. 12. Bat to the rest say I, not the Lord: 
If any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and 
she is content to dwell with him, let him not 
leave her. — Ver. 13. And the woman, etc. Two 
noteworthy reasons are given for this injunction. 
—First reason :— Ver. 14. For the unbelieving 
husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbe- 
lieving wife is sanctified in the brother: l else 
were . . . unholy — not as if personal holiness 
were communicated from the one party to the 
other by their marriage union ; for parents, even 
where both are Christian, cannot by propagation 
convey their own holiness to their children. Rela- 
tive holiness, then, can alone be meant. But what 
is that? Under the law, whatever was conse- 
crated to sacred uses was counted holy, whether 
days (Ex. xx. 8), or vessels (Ex. xxviii. 38), or 
persons (Ex. xxix. 1, 35, 44). Seizing on this 

{ninciple, our apostle in one place applies it to 
bod — as "sanctified by the word of God and 
prayer" (1 Tim. iv. 4, 5), and here he applies it 
to the conjugal relation, as taking the unbelieving 
wife of a Christian away from " them that are 
without," and giving her a standing within the 
sacred pale, with all its opportunities and influ- 
ences. Nor is this an empty name. It is cer- 
tainly fitted, as it was doubtless designed, to issue 
in saving results ; for when in one of the parties 
Christianity enters any home, it may justly be said 
as of Zaccheus — who left his house an avaricious 
publican, but after his interview with Jesus re- 
entered it a new creature, in all the freshness, 
fragrance, and power of a new life : "To-day is 
salvation come to this Mouse. 1 * On this principle, 
children breathing such an atmosphere are within 
a sacred enclosure, and not at all on the same 
footing with "them that are without." — Ver. 15. 
But and if he departeth, let him depart. Some, 
disgusted — possibly enraged — at the change in their 
wives — or husbands, as the case might be — and 
their refusal to surrender their religious convic- 
tions, would leave them ; as to this day is done 
in not a few cases, both in heathen and Jewish 
families. In such a case there was no help ; the 
wife must let her husband turn his back upon her. 
— God hath called us in peace— therefore, in the 
last extremity, separation must be peacefully 
submitted to, and this surrender may yet be blessed 
to the resisting party. — Second reason : — Ver. 16. 
For how knowest thou, wife, whether thou 
shalt save thy husband f or ... husband . . . 
thy wife! — i.e. whether thou shalt not do so. A 
totally different turn to the question is given by 
some superior critics, — ' Let him go ; for what 
assurance have you that by longer endurance you 
will gain him over?'* Their reason is, that 

1 Such is the striking reading here, the word " husband " 
easily creeping in, as of course meant, but poorly supported. 
• bo Esuus, De Wette, Meyer, Stanley, Alford. 



" whether thou shalt " cannot mean "whether thou 
shalt not" But in the Greek usage of the Old 
Testament this phrase is often so used. Thus, 
2 Sam xii. 22, u Who can tell whether God will 
be gracious to me?" (i.e. whether He will not be 
so) ; Esth. iv. 14, " Who knoweth whether thou 
art come to the kingdom for such a time as this ?" 
Joel ii. 14, " Who knoweth if he will return and 
repent ? " etc ; and the same in Jonah iiL 9. In 
vain is it alleged that such passages are not in 
point. As to our passage, the whole strain of the 
context is in favour of our view of it — Ver. 17. 
Only— 'I have only this to say'— as the Lord 1 
hath distributed to each man, aa God & hath 
called each, so let him walk — each, in his special 
case, as may seem most conducive to the great end 
of the marriage relation. — And so ordain I in all 
the churches— « On such principles I will have all 
the churches to act in like 



The foregoing Principles applied to other Cases, 

18-24. 

And first, Circumcision. — Ver. 18. Wm any 
man called being dronmeised f let him not 
become uncircumcised— which, under the per- 
secution of Antiochus, the Jews contrived to 
accomplish, to conceal their nationality (1 Mace 
i. 15 ; Joseph. Antt. xii 5. 1). — Ver. 10. Gircum- 
dsion is nothing, and uncircumciaion u nothing; 
but the keeping of the commandments of God 
— is everything in religion. It is worthy of notice 
that the unimportance of both in religion is thrice 
expressed, and each time in contrast with some- 
thing essential. Here, where the point in ques- 
tion is how to act, the essential thing is made 
obedience; in Gal. v. 6, where the point is to have 
the foundation of the Christian life rightly laid, the 
essential thing is "fatih, working bv love ; " in 
Gal. vi. 15, where those are dealt with who think 
they can "sow to the flesh," and yet not "reap cor- 
ruption," the essential thing is the being "a new 
creature." — Ver. 20. Let each man abide in that 
calling wherein he is called — not his 'occupa- 
tion,' but his ' condition in life.' Secondly, Bond- 
service. — Ver. 21. Wast thou called Doing a 
bond - servant f care not for it: but if thorn 
canst become free, use it rather. Such is the 
natural sense of the statement, and some of the 
best expositors so understand it But looking at 
the strain of the argument and the strict sense of 
the words themselves, it has been plausibly argued 
that the sense must be, ' nay, even if thou mayest 
be made free, use it {i.e. your state of slavery) 
rather.' But if so, why did the apostle express it 
in this strange way— " use it rather * ? why did he 
not say "seek it not," " be content, " ■■ abide still," 
or some similar phrase? And then, only take 
this last clause parenthetically, as follows : — * If 
called as a slave, think not that to serve Christ in 
that condition is hopeless (though, of course, if 
thou mayest be made free, that is to be preferred) 
— and the sense will at once be seen to be good, 
and quite consistent with the strain of the argu- 
ment.* This sense, too, is all the more probable, 
as the apostle is about to add (ver. 23), "Ye were 
bought with a price, become not bond-servants of 
men." — Ver. 22. For he that was called in the 

1 Such is the right order of the words " Lord M and M God" 
here. 

* The adversative conjunction (AAX&) ' on the contrary ' 
has been urged as inconsistent with this view ; but though 
opposition is undoubtedly expressed, all depends on 
the opposition lies 



Chap. VII.] THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. 



189 



Lord, being a bond-servant, is the Lord's freed- 
man— or ' manumitted slave/ l liberated from the 
slavery of sin ; for " whosoever committeth sin is 
the slave of sin " (John viii. 34 ; 2 Pet ii. 19 ; 
2 Tim. it 26). — likewise he that was called, 
being free, is Christ's bond-servant Thus have 
these two very dissimilar conditions of life a 
beautiful meeting • place and bond of union in 
Christ. Well might it be said (Jas. i. 9, 10), 
" Let the brother of low degree glory in that he is 
exalted, and the rich in that he is made low " — both 
meeting on the platform of a common redemption. 
— Ver. 23. Ye were bonght with a price ; become 
not bond-servants of men. This does not mean, 
Get not into actual slavery, but, ' Being set inwardly 
free at such a cost, suffer not yourselves to be 
despoiled of this higher liberty by any party.' 

Answers to Corinthian Questions regarding 
Marriage, 25-40. 

Ver. 25. Now concerning virgins I have no 
commandment of the Lord : but I give my judg- 
ment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the 
Lord to be faithful. When the apostle thus 
sharply distinguishes between what he utters by 
authority — under immediate inspiration — and what, 
in the exercise of his own Christian wisdom, he 
judges to be right and recommends to be done, we 
may be sure that wherever no such intimation as 
this is given, he is to be understood as speaking 
authoritatively, both in the expression of truth 
and in the giving of commands. — Ver. 26. I think 
. . . this is good for the present distress. 1 What 
was that ? Some say, the great dearth in the reign 
of Claudius (Acts xi. 28) ; others, the existing 
troubles in Corinth ; others