Locate verse: Type a verse reference like 'Romans 10:9' or abbreviated 'Rm 10:9'.
By just typing the verse one can jump to the corresponding verse on the active page (only works if the current page displays a chapter).
If a chapter and a verse is entered without a book, the current selected book is assumed.
Providing only the name of a book will bring one to the chapter index of that book.
Examples (without the quotes): '1 Tim 3:16', 'Rv 1:8', 'Matthew 5', '3:16', '8', 'Phm'.
RO1:1 Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ,1
called to be an apostle,2
separated to God’s good news,3
Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ: The inspired disciples who wrote the epistles often called themselves slaves or servants. Compare
Galatians 1:10 and Philippians 1:1. The salutary sentence beginning here runs through verse 7 and is one of the longest sentences in the epistle to the Romans. Essentially these seven verses are introductory and state in a few words what the Gospel is about:
the promised Christ has been raised from the dead and declared God’s Son.
Separated to God’s good news: The Greek word for “separated” is APHORISMENOS [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #873] and literally means
designated or defined and is the same word found in Romans 1:4 regarding Jesus as God’s Son. Also: NEB: set apart; KIT: defined off. Regarding Paul’s separation compare Galatians 1:15 and 1 Corinthians 15:8. Paul has proved to be a unique person
in the history of mankind.
RO1:2 which He promised by means of His prophets in sacred writings,4
He promised by means of His prophets in sacred writings: Note Romans 15:4 and Romans 16:25, 26. Compare with 1 Peter 1:10-12.
Regarding two great prophecies read Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53. See “holy writings” at 2 Timothy 3:15-17. Paul quotes from many of these in his letter to the Romans. [See words in blue.]
concerning His Son5
who descended from David’s seed by means of flesh,6
Concerning His Son: Compare Psalm 2:6, 7 and Psalm 89:26 regarding the sonship of Messiah.
Who descended from David’s seed by means of flesh: The word “seed” is from the Greek SPERMATOS (Genesis 3:15 LXX). See notes on Revelation 22:16. Compare 2 Samuel 7:12, Luke 1:32 and 2 Timothy 2:8. The prophets foretold this Son would be related to King David and his he ways by birth from Mary.
RO1:4 declared God’s Son (our Master Jesus Christ) by a resurrection from the dead7
through a spirit of holiness –
Declared God’s Son… by a resurrection from the dead: To Paul Christ rose only because The God resurrected him by
His power. (Acts 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:15; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Galatians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; see notes on Romans 4:24 and Romans 10:9; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Romans 6:4; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 2:12; Ephesians 1:19; Hebrews 7:16) “Declared”
is from the Greek HOPISTHENTOS  and is also rendered: IB: marked out; MOF: installed; RSV: designated; ABU: instated. This was prophetically foretold by Psalm 2:6, 7 and Psalm 16:10. See commentaries on Psalm 2:7 by Paul at Acts 13:33; and, commentaries
on Psalm 16:10 by Peter at Acts 2:27-29. There are several ways Jesus became a “son” – a) at his creation (Proverbs 8:22-30); b) at his birth (Luke 1:32); c) at his baptism and anointed (see notes on Matthew 3:17); d) at his resurrection (Romans 1:4); and, e) possibly upon his enthronement in heaven when he ascended to God (see notes on Daniel 7:13; Psalm 2:6, 7).
RO1:5 through whom we received unmerited favor8
and an apostleship9
for faith’s obedience10
among all the non-Jewish peoples11
on the basis of the name [of Jesus],
We received unmerited favor: Or, grace. The Greek is CHARIN and is traditionally “grace” or in Spanish “gracias.”
The English “charity” is drawn from this word. Also rendered: BER: undeserved gift; RHM: favour; NWT: undeserved kindness. It is among Paul’s favorite words.
Apostleship: Paul says “we” and may mean all the Saints who are assigned as representatives of Jesus Christ. In this sense all those within the Church share an apostleship. Others render this: MOF: commission. On the other hand he may limit its use to himself and others. (1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11) See notes on 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11, 12 on the word apostles.
Faith’s obedience: Or, obedient conviction. Faith is often associated with works and obedience, indeed, the phrase, “the works of faith,” occurs a number of times. Compare John 3:16, 36.
The non-Jewish peoples: Or, Gentiles, people of the nations. The Greek is ETHNESIN [ETHNOS] from which the English “ethnic” comes. It was first used by the Romans to mean “non-Romans” and then adopted by the Jews for “non-Jews.” It is often rendered “Gentiles.” See notes on Ephesians 2:11.
RO1:6 in whom you also are called of Jesus Christ –
RO1:7 to all those in Rome,12
called as Saints:13
unmerited favor and peace to you14
from God our Father and our Master Jesus Christ.15
To all those in Rome: Paul has not visited Rome as yet though he will later be imprisoned and finally beheaded there for his faith around the year 65/66. He does know a number of people who are greeted in chapter
Called as Saints: The early Christians were are called “saints” from the Greek HAGIOIS
[Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #40, most holy thing] which means holy, sanctified. (Compare 1 Corinthians 1:2 and 1 Corinthians 6:2 with Daniel 7:22 [LXX].)
Unmerited favor and peace to you: Or, grace. Paul’s standard greeting in all of his letters.
From God our Father and our Master Jesus Christ: As in all of Paul’s letters he omits the “holy spirit” in his standard dual formula. Nowhere does Paul express a belief in the Trinity, something
that evolved in the Third and Fourth Centuries. See the work De Trinitatis Erroribus. [Error of the Trinity]
Romans 1:8-12 – Prayers of Thanks with Hopes to Visit
RO1:8 First, indeed, I continue to thank my God16
through Jesus Christ regarding every one of you because your faith is being proclaimed in all the world of humankind.17
I continue to thank my God: This is Paul’s common introduction. He tells his readers they are in his prayers. He tells
them why. And, he sometimes prays for their future development. The expression “my God” is rare. No writer ever uses “my Father.” It is always “our Father.”
Because your faith is being proclaimed in all the world of humankind: Most Christian congregations were very small home meeting affairs. There were several locations where the local
congregations were larger: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Athens, and Rome. Of course, the original congregation in Rome is to become the most powerful in all of Christendom. Paul’s first experience there as a Christian missionary is taken up in Acts
RO1:9 For The God18
– whom I
worship in my spirit19
[John 4:24] in the good news of His Son20
– confirms how I remember you without ceasing21
The God: The Greek is HO THEOS and most versions omit the article. However, in by far the majority of cases in the Christian
Bible it is always “The God” which differentiates this God from others. It is similar to the Arabic Allah which means “the God.”
Whom I worship in my spirit: The phrase is similar to John 4:24. It is also rendered: KJV: I serve with my spirit; BER: with my spiritual self; CON: with the worship of my spirit; KNX: the inner worship of my
heart. The Greek for worship or service here is LATREUO [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #3000] and is also rendered: NEB: humble service; MON: holy service; KIT: sacred service; WEY: priestly and spiritual service. There are two or three words sometimes
translated “worship.” This one is associated with religious or formal worship as worshippers “serving” their God(s). Compare Matthew 4:10 with Exodus 3:12 (LXX).
By spirit [or, pneuma] Paul sometimes means the mind or the highest element in a human being. (See notes on Romans 1:9; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 2:11; 16:18; 2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:13; Galatians 6:18; Philippians 4:23; 2 Timothy 4:22)
In the good news of His Son: Or, the “gospel.” The Son is the center of this gospel.
Confirms how I remember you without ceasing: Paul here, as he does several times, calls on the witness of God. Also rendered: NJB: God… is my witness. Paul often assures his readers that his prayers are genuine in their behalf.
RO1:10 as I always do in all of my prayers, requesting that some how some time I will visit you22
in the will of The God.
Requesting that some how some time I will visit you: The second reason for Paul’s prayers in their behalf. He longs
to visit them as the pastoral and apostolic missionary. It seems at the time of this writing Paul did not realize the circumstances which would finally take him to Rome in chains.
yearn to travel to you that I may impart to you a spiritual gift23
in order to strengthen you
I may impart to you a spiritual gift: The Greek is CHARISMA… PNEUMATICON, or a spiritual charisma. He may allude to
those apostolic gifts in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14. Or, WEY: spiritual help. (Romans 15:29)
RO1:12 and be encouraged24
by means of one another’s faith – both yours and mine.
In order to strengthen you and be encouraged: Or, BER: for your confirmation; TCN: fresh strength; KJV: comforted together; BER: mutually strengthened. (Philippians 2:1; Hebrews 10:24)
Romans 1:13-17 – Power for Salvation
RO1:13 However, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware that often I made plans to travel to you25
– though I was hindered until now – so that I might have some fruitage among you also26
as in all the other non-Jewish peoples.
Often I made plans to travel to you: It is unthinkable that such a missionary as Paul would not have Rome on his travel itinerary.
It seems likely Paul composes this letter in anticipation of visiting the Jews and Christians in Rome. How would the Master arrange for such an expensive and distant journey? Read the latter chapters of the book of Acts to see the development of events under
the guidance of God.
Some fruitage among you also: Rome is the premier non-Jewish nation of the known
world. Someone else (Peter some believe, though Paul makes no mention of him) has started a Christian congregation there. It seems fair to conclude these first Christian evangelists were those “sojourners from Rome” mentioned at Acts 2:10. It is
interesting that when Paul does reach Rome he makes contact with the Jewish leadership. It is Paul’s custom to work within the Jewish synagogue system to spread his Evangel. (Acts 28:17, 23-25) According to tradition Paul has his hearing before Caesar
and is released to return to Israel. He will return to Rome once more for his execution.
RO1:14 I feel obligated27
to both Greeks and Barbarians,28
to both the schooled and unschooled.29
I feel obligated: The Greek is “indebted,” and is also rendered: TCN: I have a duty; RSV: I am under obligation.
Greeks and Barbarians: Greek is actually HELLESIN [HELLENIST]. “Greek” does not mean merely persons
from Greece. The Romans adopted the Greek culture and thus Greek includes Rome. The term “barbarians” did not have the stigma it does today. “Barbarian” implied “foreigner.” Note: TAY: to civilized peoples and heathen nations;
NOR: non-Greeks; AMP: cultured and to the uncultured.
Schooled and unschooled: The Greek is SOPHOIS…
A-NOETOIS. Or, KJV: wise, and to the unwise; ASV: wise and foolish; KNX: learned and simple; TAY: educated and uneducated. The latter would have included Jesus and his disciples for they were called IDIOTAI… A-GRAMMATOI, or unlettered and ordinary. (Acts 4:13) Paul would have been included among the Sophists as he was educated.
RO1:15 So, as far as my own eagerness, I want to visit those of you in Rome in order to proclaim the good news.
RO1:16 For I am not ashamed of the good news30
because it is God’s power resulting in salvation31
to everyone who believes32
– to a Jew first33
and but also to a Greek.34
I am not ashamed of the good news: Though opposers called the Christians fools, morons, idiots, Paul is not embarrassed to
be considered a disciple or friend of the Nazarene. Or, MOF: I am proud of. Compare Psalm 119:46. (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:1-5)
God’s power resulting in salvation: Or, NEB: it is the saving power of God; KNX: the instrument.
To everyone who believes: The Greek for belief (Old English) or faith (Latin) is PISTEUONTI [PISTEOS, PISTIN] and literally means: trust. Now the English “trust” is drawn from dru which means oak tree (thus the tree worshippers
the Druids; endurance, durable). Dictionary of New Testament Theology discuss the Greek: “In classical Gk. literature pistis means trust that a man may place in men or the gods [and is used of]… credibility…
credit in business… guarantee… proof… pisteuo means to trust something or someone… [In Paul] ‘Faith’ means receiving the message of salvation and conduct based on the gospel.” (Volume 2, pages 594, 601) Compare Romans 1:8 (above); 1 Corinthians 2:5; 1:14, 17. Consider Paul’s definition and description of “faith” at Hebrews 11:1-6+.
To a Jew first: Compare the Nazarene’s teachings at John 4:22. The Jews were the first to experience faith in Yehowah. The premier men of ancient generations were people characterized by faith. Paul continues to explain what he means “Jew first” and the phrase is to occur several times. (See notes on Romans 2:9, 10) The prophet Daniel alludes to this “Jew first” thought in Daniel 9:26, 27. (See notes on these verses in Nazarene Commentary 2000 under commentary on Daniel). A special period of grace to fulfill the Abrahamic and Law Covenant was extended to the Jews for seven years. From 29 CE and the arrival of Messiah until 36 CE and the first non-Jewish convert to Christianity the Jews were solely privileged to attain entrance into the Realm of Christ’s Kingdom.
Also to a Greek: A designation (Hellenist) which means a non-Jew and is similar to “Gentile.” Literally the Greek would dominate Christianity for two thousand years in two ways: a) the language in which most of the Christian Bible was written; and, b) disastrously the key elements of the later apostasy came from Greek philosophy. (Trinity, immortality of the soul, and hell-fire torment) After two thousand years Jews represent a very small portion of the membership in the Christian Church while descendants of the former Hellenist world dominate.
RO1:17 For God’s righteousness35
is being revealed out of faith resulting in more faith.36
Just as it is written:
“But, those righteous will live because of their faith.”37
God’s righteousness: Compare Matthew 6:33. This is God’s righteousness and not that of the Law of Moses or any other law.
Revealed out of faith resulting in more faith: God’s revelations to mankind begin with faith as these revelations came through the prophets and resulted in more faith of those who believed or trusted in the Hebrew Scriptures. Or, KJV: from faith to faith; NEB: a way that starts from faith and ends in faith; CON: springs from faith, and which faith receives; PME: a process begun and continued by their faith; WMS: the way of faith that leads to greater faith.
Those righteous will live because of their faith: This phrase is among Paul’s favorites which he will use several times in his letters. The phrase is from Habakkuk 2:4 which may find its root in Isaiah 26:20 (see Hebrews 10:37, 38). A study of the Hebrew versus the Greek on Habakkuk 2:3, 4 is a study in itself. Here Paul seems to prefer a paraphrase of the Hebrew Text rather than the Greek Septuagint. (Galatians 3:11) Paul is to explain later that this “righteous(ness)” is not that due to Law and that the faithful will attain everlasting life in Christ.
Romans 1:18-23 – Jewish Suppression of Truth Inexcusable
RO1:18 For God’s wrath is [being] revealed38
from the Celestialum upon all irreverent and unrighteous humans39
– those who are wickedly suppressing the truth.40
God’s wrath is [being] revealed: From the coming of Messiah in the year 29 God has been revealing in greater detail
His purpose to judge humanity. Note John the Baptist’s announcement introducing the Messiah. (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7) Paul uses the word “wrath” a dozen times. (Romans 2:5, 8; 3:5; 4:15; 5:9; 9:22; 12:19; 13:4, 5) By means of Paul God’s
wrath was revealed even more. The Bible closes with Revelation and the final revealing of God’s wrath.
Upon all irreverent and unrighteous humans: Or, KJV: all ungodliness and wickedness; KNX: against impiety and wrong-doing; NEB: godless wickedness.
Wickedly suppressing the truth: As the context begins to show Paul has in mind the apostate Jews who twisted the Law and abandoned the Prophets. The Gospels and the Book of Acts show the Jews as opposers of the truth. Paul will be sent to Rome because of Jewish opposers. (See notes on Romans 1:25.) Or, KJV: who hold the truth in unrighteousness; CON: kept down the truth; MON: smother the truth; TCN: stifling; AMP: repress.
RO1:19 Because that which is known of The God is manifest among them.41
That which is known of The God is manifest among them: This is true of the Jews among whom God has manifest and revealed Himself for fifteen centuries. (See notes on Romans 3:1)
RO1:20 For The God is made manifest to them.42
For His invisible things are understood by the things made43
from the world’s creation44
– even His eternal power and divinity45
– so they are without a defense.46
God is made manifest to them: As discussed above the Jews were blessed by God’s centuries of manifestations to them
beginning at Sinai. Additionally they have had the Messiah walk among them – whom they executed.
invisible things are understood by the things made: A point of logic: the thing made reveals the unseen maker. (Hebrews 3:4) It is a truth evident in everyday life. Most people never see the one who makes or constructs the multitude of things they enjoy.
Design means a purpose means a purposer means an intelligent being. (Psalm 19:1; Isaiah 40:26; Revelation 4:11) Or, KJV: invisible things; BAS: those things of God which the eye is unable to see; BER: invisible qualities; MOF: invisible nature; TCN: invisible
attributes; WEY: invisible perfections; WMS: invisible characteristics.
The world’s creation:
It may be argued that it is creation that proves a Creator. (Isaiah 40:21, 26)
Divinity: The Greek
is THEIOTES [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2305, divine nature] and translated variously: KJV: Godhead; RSV: deity; GDS: divine character; KNX: divineness; MOF: divine being; WEY: divine nature. On the words godship and godhead it is wise to consider
the dictionary on the original meaning of these terms in English. The Latin is DIVINITAS. (Acts 17:29) In English the word “divine” has a wide latitude of meaning, from God to mom’s apple pie.
They are without a defense: The Jews had God’s own revelations to them by means of Moses and the Prophets. If they ignore or suppress these revealed truths they still have creation as a witness against them. Paul later uses a similar argument in Romans 10:18. Or, KJV: without excuse; NEB: no possible defense; PME: without a rag of excuse. Thus, the godless or atheists are called “foolish” in Psalm 14:1.
RO1:21 Because knowing The God they did not glorify nor thank Him as God.47
Rather their logical thinking became vain48
and their unfeeling hearts darkened.49
Knowing The God they did not glorify nor thank Him as God: These Jews knew God but refused to glorify Him or to be thankful
Their logical thinking became vain: The Jews were Babylonized and Grecianized by these pagan
philosophies. They were enamored by Plato and overcome by Aristotle. The very religion they fled in Egypt came back to conquer them intellectually. They adopted hell-fire torment, the immoral human soul, and a religious hierarchy. Or, ABU: vain in their reasonings;
NEB: their thinking has ended in futility; BEC: their thoughts turned to worthless things; KNX: they became fantastic in their notions; NOR: silly speculations; GDS: futile speculations; NW: empty-headed.
Claiming to be wise they became foolish: Or, KJV: professing; ABU: affirming; NEB: they boast of their wisdom; PME: behind
a facade of wisdom. Their intellectualism turned to foolishness.
RO1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God51
into the likeness of an idol52
of corruptible humankind, birds, animals, and reptiles.53
Changed the glory of the incorruptible God: Or, WEY: immortal; CON: imperishable. (Acts 17:29)
Into the likeness of an idol: Both the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds succumbed to the need for the material in their worship. Compare the Nazarene’s teachings at John 4:21-24.
Mankind, birds, animals, and reptiles: Compare Ezekiel’s vision. (Ezekiel 8:10)
Romans 1:24-27 – God Abandoned Jewish Apostates to Uncleanness
RO1:24 Therefore, because of the lusts of their hearts54
The God abandoned them to their uncleanness,55
dishonoring their own bodies among themselves.56
The lusts of their hearts: The context and inference is to sexual lusts. Compare Matthew 5:28. (See notes on Matthew 5:28
in Nazarene Commentary 2000) Or, When God’s own people fail to repent and produce the fruitage of repentance they are near to being rejected or abandoned. Compare notes on Jude 5, 6.
God abandoned them to their uncleanness: Paul is to use the word “abandoned” three times in this context. This is a subtle nuance to his style: to use a word three times
to emphasize the underlying theme. Or, ABU: delivered them up in the desires of their hearts; RHM: God gave them up; BEC: letting them follow; TAY: let them go ahead. “Uncleanness” [AKATHARSIA] is also rendered: impurity, immorally, sexual
vice, vileness, filthy practices.
Dishonoring their own bodies among themselves: Compare 1 Corinthians
6:18. Or, WMS: they degrade their own bodies with one another.
RO1:25 They changed the truth of The God into the lie57
and venerated and worshipped58
the creation instead of the Creator59
– who is blessed60
throughout all future periods of time. Amen!
Changed the truth of The God into the lie: Likely the context means God’s truth regarding morality. It may also mean
philosophical and theological doctrines: for the Jews changed the truth that death is non-existence into the immorality of the human soul. (See details in Where Are the Dead?)
Venerated and worshipped: The Greek is ESEBASTHESAN KAI ELATREUSAN. See notes above on worship. Or, KJV: worshipped and served.
The creation instead of the Creator: Compare Ezekiel 8:10-18. Or, KJV: served the creature more than the Creator; CON: the things made instead of the Maker.
Though the context here deals with apostate Jews, virtually the same words could be charged against Christendom throughout its history. The majority of Christians began to worship Jesus and Mary, both creations of the Creator. (Colossians 1:15)
Who is blessed: Compare notes on Romans 9:5. Or, PME: who alone is worthy to be worshipped; TCN: who is to be praised for
ever. (Revelation 4:11)
RO1:26 So, The God abandoned them in their dishonorable lusts.61
For even their females changed their natural function62
into that contrary to nature.
God abandoned them in their dishonorable lusts: The second “abandoned.” Or, KJV: vile affections; ASV: vile passions;
PME: disgraceful passions.
Their females changed their natural function: A clear reference to lesbianism.
Compare Leviticus 18:23. Or, RSV: women exchanged natural relation for unnatural; KNX: exchanged natural for unnatural intercourse; TCN: perverting the natural use of their bodies; MOF: exchanged the natural function of sex. The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality
as a perversion and subject to God’s wrath.
RO1:27 And likewise, also, the males left the natural function of the female,63
inflamed in their craving for one another;64
males in males working out indecent acts.65
And the reward which is due for their error66
they received back in themselves.67
Males left the natural function of the female: Or, RSV: gave up natural relations with women; WEY: neglecting sexual intercourse with women. Compare Leviticus 18:22. A clear reference to male homosexuality.
Inflamed in their craving for one another: Or, KJV: burned in their lust one toward another; RHM: flamed out in their eager desire for one another;
WEY: burned fiercely; MON: ablaze with passion; KNX: burned up with desire. (Genesis 19:5; Leviticus 19:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9) The Greek in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is MALAKOI (The modern Greek word for masturbation and there referring to mutual abuse with another.)
[KJV: effeminate; KIT: soft men]… ARSENOCOITAI [KJV: abusers of themselves with men; NEB: homosexual perversion].
Males in males working out indecent acts: Or, KJV: men with men working that which is unseemly; CON: men working abomination; MON: men with men practicing shameless acts; NWT: obscene. Or, sodomy. See notes on Jude 7.
The reward which is due for their error: Or, TCN: incurred in their own persons the inevitable penalty. (Deuteronomy 7:15) Possibly an allusion
to sexually transmitted diseases or emotional imbalance. In the Jewish Greek Septuagint of the Law of Moses gonorrhea is mentioned often.
They received back in themselves: Some sins repay their victims by their own abuse: drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution. (2 Peter 2:19; Jude 10)
Romans 1:28-32 – Conduct Calling for God’s Judgment
RO1:28 And as they did not approve of holding The God in a heightened relationship,68
The God abandoned them to a disapproved mind69
to continue doing things that were improper.70
Not approve of holding The God in a heightened relationship: Or, KJV: they did not like to retain God in their knowledge;
ASV: as they refused to have God in their knowledge; RSV: did not see fit to acknowledge God; GDS: refused to recognize God. The Greek is EPI-GNOSEI [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #1922, precise and correct knowledge], or literally over-knowing and
may infer a relationship which these Jews no longer which to continue. They are true apostates who have parted company with their God.
God abandoned them to a disapproved mind: The third “abandoned.” Since they refuse to remain in their covenant relationship with Yehowah He lets them go their way into degradation. Or, KJV: God gave them over to a reprobate mid; CON: outcast
mind; TCN: depraved thoughts; RSV: base mind; RHM: disapproved mind; PME: degenerate minds; NW: disapproved mental state. Compare notes on Romans 11:7. (2 Corinthians 3:14)
To continue doing things that were improper: Or, KJV: things not convenient; ASV: things not fitting; RSV: improper conduct; PME: unmentionable deeds; MON: indecent.
RO1:29 They were filled up with all unrighteousness:71
those full of envy,75
of murder, bad manners, malice, whisperers,76
They were filled up with all unrighteousness: Paul now begins one of his many lists of vices or virtues which were common
in Jewish and non-Jewish literature. This list clearly enumerates what is unrighteous and thus would not be habitually practiced by righteous persons. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:19-21. Note that master Greek texts vary in this list.
Sexual immorality: Or, prostitution, fornication, immorality. See notes elsewhere on PORNEIA. (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 2)
Greediness: Or, a desire for more, covetousness. The Latin for “greed” is cupidatis. The desire for more may involve material things, social or political position, immoral relationships. (Deuteronomy 5:21; see notes on 2 Peter 2:14)
Badness: Or, maliciousness, injury to others. (1 Peter 2:16) Most things that are bad, evil, wicked or vile are those things harmful to others.
Those full of envy: Or, overflow with envy. (Titus 3:3)
Bad manners, malice, whisperers: Or, debate, strife, quarreling. (Galatians 5:20)
inventors of evil,82
disobedient to parents,83
Backbiters: Or, slanderers, defamers, stabbers-in-the-back, scandal-mongers, malingers. (1 Peter 2:1)
Unmerciful: Or, merciless, ruthless, without pity, lacking sympathy. (James 2:13)
RO1:32 who knew perfectly well the judgments88
of The God that those who are habitually doing those things are worthy of death.89
But, not only do they habitually do these things they also think approvingly of others who habitually do such things.90
Who knew perfectly well the judgments: These Jews were thoroughly familiar with God’s Law. Christians, likewise, are not ignorant of the
items in Paul’s list. The danger of habitually practicing any of these is made clear in the next phrase. (Deuteronomy 4:8) The Nazarene’s own list of what defiles a person should be noted at Matthew 15:19 and Mark 7:23, 24 (see notes on Matthew
They also think approvingly of others who habitually do such things: One cannot approve of the sins of others or in some way rationalize or justify their erroneous conduct without becoming guilty themselves.
Summary of Chapter One
Paul introduces himself to the Romans in a format similar to his other letters but particularly lengthy here. The sentence is so long as to make it difficult to reach the kernel of his thought. Paul’s style is very parenthetical with complex and compound
sentences. Such writing styles were common for thousands of years until the twentieth century when a journalistic style began to influence modern styles with shorter sentences.
Paul has introduced one of his major themes in these verses: the Gospel centered on the Son of God and his resurrection from the dead. He will not introduce his greatest theme until the later part of chapter one.
Paul has assurance of his prayers in their behalf because of their world famous faith and his desire to visit them. He longs to see them to give them a charismatic spiritual gift so they will be mutually encouraged.
Paul stresses his genuine prayers and his yearning to preach the Gospel to Jews, Greeks, and Barbarians. He introduces one of his major themes: the saving power of the Gospel to those who believe. He quotes his key text to be discussed in what follows.
Since these apostate Jews rejected God He abandoned them to their own lustful practices. Because they rejected His truths (moral and doctrinal) God abandoned them to their own chosen course, resulting in sexual perversion.
Paul lists about twenty vices which the disapproved practice. The habitual practice of any of these is deserving of death in harmony with God’s judgment.
Review Questions on Chapter One
How does Paul describe a) himself; b) Jesus; c) the Christians?
What does the “gospel” include here in these verses?
How well-known is their faith?
About what does Paul pray?
What is his longing?
What does Paul want them to know?
To whom does Paul feel indebted?
How does Paul feel about the Gospel?
What Scripture does he quote?
What became dishonored among the apostate Jews?
What fatal mistake did they make?
God abandoned them to what?
Why did God abandon them?
What are some of the evils they practiced?
What is the danger of doing or approving these things?