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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ROMANS 12

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    12:1 {Therefore} (oun). this inferential participle gathers up all the great argument of chapters #1-11. Now Paul turns to exhortation (parakalw), "I beseech you." {By the mercies} (dia t"n oiktirm"n). "By means of the mercies of God" as shown in his argument and in our lives. See #2Co 1:3 for "the Father of mercies." {To present} (parastesai). First aorist active infinitive of paristemi, for which verb see #6:13, a technical term for offering a sacrifice (Josephus, _Ant_. IV. 6, 4), though not in the O.T. Used of presenting the child Jesus in the temple (#Lu 2:22), of the Christian presenting himself (#Ro 6:13), of God presenting the saved (#Eph 5:27), of Christ presenting the church (#Col 1:28). {Bodies} (s"mata). So literally as in #6:13,19; 2Co 5:10 and in contrast with nous (mind) in verse #2. {A living sacrifice} (thusian z"san). In contrast with the Levitical sacrifices of slain animals. Cf. #6:8,11,13. Not a propitiatory sacrifice, but one of praise. {Acceptable} (euareston). "Well-pleasing." See on ¯2Co 5:9. {Which is your reasonable service} (tˆn logikˆn humwn latreian). "Your rational (spiritual) service (worship)." For latreia, see on ¯9:4. Logikos is from logos, reason. The phrase means here "worship rendered by the reason (or soul)." Old word, in N.T. only here and #1Pe 2:2 to logikon gala (not logical milk, but the milk nourishing the soul).

    12:2 {Be not fashioned} (mˆ sunschˆmatizesthe). Present passive imperative with me, stop being fashioned or do not have the habit of being fashioned. Late Greek verb suschˆmatiz", to conform to another's pattern (#1Co 7:31; Php 2:7f.). In N.T. only here and #1Pe 1:14. {According to this world} (twi aiwni toutwi). Associative instrumental case. Do not take this age as your fashion plate. {Be ye transformed} (metamorphousthe). Present passive imperative of metamorfow, another late verb, to transfigure as in #Mt 17:2 (#Mr 9:2); #2Co 3:18, which see. On the distinction between scema and morfe, see #Php 2:7. There must be a radical change in the inner man for one to live rightly in this evil age, "by the renewing of your mind" (tˆi anakain"sei tou noos). Instrumental case. The new birth, the new mind, the new (kainos) man. {That ye may prove} (eis to dokimazein). Infinitive of purpose with eis to, "to test" what is God's will, "the good and acceptable and perfect" (to agaqon kai euareston kai teleion).

    12:3 {Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think} (me huperfronein par' ho dei fronein). Indirect negative command after legw (I say). Play on the two infinitives phronein, to think, and huperphronein (old verb from huperphr"n, over-proud, here only in N.T.) to "over-think" with par' ho (beyond what) added. qen another play on phronein and s"phronein (old verb from swfrwn, sober-minded), to be in one's right mind (#Mr 5:15; 2Co 5:13). Self-conceit is here treated as a species of insanity. {A measure of faith} (metron pistews). Accusative case, the object of the verb emerisen. Each has his gift from God (#1Co 3:5; 4:7). There is no occasion for undue pride. {To each man} (hekast"i). Emphatic position before hws (as) and emphasizes the diversity.

    12:4 {The same office} (ten auten praxin). Mode of acting or function. Cf. #Ac 19:18; Ro 8:13.

    12:5 {And severally} (to de kaq' heis). A difficult late idiom where the preposition kaq' (kata) is treated adverbially with no effect on the nominative case heis like huper eg" (#2Co 11:23). So heis kaq' heis (#Mr 14:19) and in Modern Greek katheis as a distributive pronoun. But we have kaq' hena in #1Co 14:31. The use of the neuter article here to with kaq' heis is probably the accusative of general reference, "as to each one."

    12:6 {Differing} (diaphora). Old adjective from diaferw, to differ, to vary. So #Heb 9:10. {According to the proportion of our faith} (kata ten analogian tes pistews). The same use of pistis (faith) as in verse #3 "the measure of faith." Old word. analogia (our word "analogy") from analogos (analogous, conformable, proportional). Here alone in N.T. The verb prophˆteu"men (present active volitive subjunctive, let us prophesy) must be supplied with which econtes agrees. The context calls for the subjective meaning of "faith" rather than the objective and outward standard though pistis does occur in that sense (#Ga 1:23; 3:23).

    12:7 {Let us give ourselves}. There is no verb in the Greek. We must supply d"men heautous or some such phrase. {Or he that teacheth} (eite ho didaskwn). Here the construction changes and no longer do we have the accusative case like diakonian (general word for Christian service of all kinds including ministers and deacons) as the object of econtes, but the nominative articular participle. A new verb must be supplied of which ho didask"n is the subject as with the succeeding participles through verse #8. Perhaps in each instance the verb is to be repeated from the participle like didasket" here (let him teach) or a general term poieitw (let him do it) can be used for all of them as seems necessary before "with liberality" in verse #8 (en haplotˆti, in simplicity, for which word, see #Mt 6:22; 2Co 8:2; 9:11,13). {He that ruleth} (ho proistamenos). "The one standing in front" for which see #1Th 5:12. {With diligence} (en spoudˆi). "In haste" as if in earnest (#Mr 6:25; 2Co 7:11f., 8:8,16), from speudw, to hasten. Again verse #11. {With cheerfulness} (en hilarotˆti). Late word, only here in N.T., from hilaros (#2Co 9:7) cheerful, hilarious.

    12:9 {Without hypocrisy} (anupokritos). Late double compound adjective for which see #2Co 6:6. Hypocritical or pretended love is no love at all as Paul describes agape in #1Co 13. {Abhor} (apostugountes). Old verb with intensive (apo) dislike, only here in N.T. The present active participle is here employed in the sense of the present active indicative as sometimes happens with the independent participle (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1132ff.). this same idiom appears with koll"menoi (cleaving) for which verb see on ¯1Co 6:17, with proˆgoumenoi (preferring) in verse #10 (old verb here only in N.T.), and with the participles in verses #11-13 and again in verses #16-18. One can supply este if he prefers.

    12:10 {In love of the brethren} (tˆi philadelphiai). Late word for brotherly love for which see #1Th 4:9. {Tenderly affectioned} (filostorgoi). Old compound adjective from filos and storgˆ (mutual love of parents and children), here alone in N.T.

    12:11 {Lazy} (okneroi). Old adjective from okne", to hesitate, to be slow. Slow and "poky" as in #Mt 25:26.

    12:12 {Patient in tribulation} (tei qliyei hupomenontes). So soon this virtue became a mark of the Christians.

    12:13 {Communicating} (koin"nountes). "Contributing." From koinwnew for which see #2Co 9:13. Paul had raised a great collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem. {Given to hospitality} (ten filoxenian diwkontes). "Pursuing (as if in a chase or hunt) hospitality" (filoxenia, old word from filoxenos, fond of strangers, filos and xenos as in #1Ti 3:2). In N.T. only here and #Heb 13:2. See #2Co 3:1. They were to pursue (diwkw) hospitality as their enemies pursued (di"kontas) them.

    12:14 {And curse not} (kai me katarasqe). Present middle imperative with me. Like #Mt 5:44 in spirit, not a quotation, but a reminiscence of the words of Jesus. The negative addition gives emphasis. See #Lu 6:28 for the old verb kataraomai from katara (curse).

    12:15 {Rejoice} (cairein). Present active infinitive of cairw, absolute or independent use of the infinitive as if a finite verb as occurs sometimes (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1092ff.). Literally here, "Rejoicing with rejoicing people, weeping with weeping people."

    12:16 {Be of the same mind} (to auto phronountes). Absolute or independent use of the participle again as with all the participles through verse #18, "thinking the same thing." {Set not your mind on high things} (mˆ ta hupsˆla phronountes). "Not thinking the high things" (hupsˆlos from huyos, height). Cf. #1Co 13:5. {Condescend to things that are lowly} (tois tapeinois sunapagomenoi). "Be carried away with (borne along with) the lowly things" (in contrast with ta hupsˆla, though the associative instrumental case may be masculine, "with lowly men." See #Ga 2:13; 2Pe 3:17 for the only other N.T. examples of this old verb. {Be not wise} (mˆ ginesthe phronimoi). "Do not have the habit of becoming (ginesqe) wise in your own conceits" (par' heautois, beside yourselves). Note the imperative in the midst of infinitives and participles.

    12:17 {Render to no man} (mˆdeni apodidontes). "Giving back to no man." Independent participle again. {Evil for evil} (kakon anti kakou). Directly opposite to the law of retaliation of the Pharisees as in #Mt 5:39; 1Th 5:15; 1Co 13:5f. {Take thought of} (pronooumenoi). "Taking thought beforehand." Old word. See #2Co 8:21.

    12:18 {As much as in you lieth} (to ex humwn). Accusative of general reference, "so far as what proceeds from you" ("the from you part"). See to kat' eme in #1:15. this phrase explains "if it be possible" (ei dunaton). "All _your_ part is to be peace" (Alford). For "be at peace" (eirˆneuontes) see #2Co 13:11.

    12:19 {Avenge not} (mˆ ekdikountes). Independent participle again of late verb ekdikew from ekdikos, exacting justice (#13:4). See already #Lu 18:5; 2Co 10:6. {But give place unto wrath} (alla dote topon tei orgei). Second aorist active imperative of didwmi, to give. "Give room for the (note article as in #5:9; 1Th 2:16) wrath" of God instead of taking vengeance in your own hands. See #Eph 4:27 for didote topon. Paul quotes #De 32:35 (the Hebrew rather than the LXX). So have #Heb 10:30 and the Targum of Onkelos, but the relation between them and Paul we cannot tell. Socrates and Epictetus condemned personal vindictiveness as Paul does here. {I will recompense} (antapod"s"). Future active of the double compound verb quoted also in #11:35.

    12:20 {Feed him} (ps"mize auton). Quotation from LXX text of #Pr 25:21f. Present active imperative of verb from ywmos, a morsel, and so to feed crumbs to babies, qen to feed in general. In N.T. only here and #1Co 13:3. {Thou shalt heap} (swreuseis). Future active of old verb swreuw from swros, a heap. In N.T. only here and #2Ti 3:6. {Coals of fire} (anthrakas puros). That is, burning or live coals. {Anthrax} (our "anthracite") is an old word, only here in N.T. It is a metaphor for keen anguish. The Arabs have a proverb "coals in the heart,"fire in the liver." Such kindness may lead to repentance also.

    12:21 {Be not overcome of evil} (mˆ nik" hupo tou kakou). Present passive imperative of nikaw, to conquer. "Stop being conquered by the evil (thing or man)," {But overcome evil with good} (alla nika en twi agaqwi to kakon). "But keep on conquering the evil in the good." Drown the evil in the good. Seneca: _Vincit malos pertinax bonitas_.

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