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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ROMANS 14

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    14:1 {Him that is weak} (ton asthenounta). See on ¯1Co 8:7-12; 9:22; Ro 4:19. {Receive ye} (proslambanesthe). Present middle imperative (indirect), "take to yourselves." {Yet not to doubtful disputations} (me eis diakriseis dialogismwn). "Not for decisions of opinions." Note dia (between, two or duo) in both words. Discriminations between doubts or hesitations. For diakrisis, see #1Co 12:10; Heb 5:14 (only N.T. examples). For dialogismos see #Lu 2:35; 24:38; Php 2:14. The "strong" brother is not called upon to settle all the scruples of the "weak" brother. But each takes it on himself to do it.

    14:2 {One man} (hos men). " this one," demonstrative pronoun hos with men. {Hath faith} (pisteuei). Like ecei pistin (#Ac 14:9). {But he that is weak} (ho de asthen"n). One would expect hos de (but that one) in contrast with hos men. ho is demonstrative with de sometimes, but here is probably just the article with asthen"n. {Herbs} (lachana). From lachan", to dig. Hence garden herbs or vegetables. Denney feels certain that Paul has in mind a party of vegetarians in Rome.

    14:3 {Set at nought} (exoutheneit"). Present active imperative of exouqenew, to treat as nothing and so with contempt (#Lu 23:11; 1Th 5:20). {Judge} (krinetw). Present active imperative of krinw, criticize. One side (the meat-eaters) despises the vegetarians, while the vegetarians criticize the meat-eaters. {Received him} (auton proselabeto). Aorist middle (indirect) of proslambanw, same verb used in verse #1. God took both sides into his fellowship without requiring that they be vegetarians or meat-eaters.

    14:4 {Who art thou?} (su tis ei?). Proleptic position of su, "thou who art thou?" {The servant of another} (allotrion oiketen). Not another (allon) servant (household servant, oiketˆn), but "another's servant." For the adjective allotrios, see #Lu 16:12; 2Co 10:15f. {Shall be made to stand} (stathˆsetai). Future passive of histemi. In spite of your sharp criticisms of one another. {Hath power} (dunatei). Verb found only in Paul (#2Co 9:8; 13:3; Ro 14:4), from verbal adjective dunatos.

    14:5 {One man} (hos men), {another} (hos de). Regular idiom of contrasted demonstratives ( this one, that one). {One day above another} (hˆmeran par' hˆmeran). "Day beyond day." For this use of para (beside) in comparison see #1:25; Lu 13:2. {Be fully assured} (plˆrophoreisth"). Present passive imperative of pleroforew, late compound verb for which see on ¯Lu 1:1; Ro 4:21. {In his own mind} (en twi idiwi noi). Intelligent and honest decision according to the light possessed by each.

    14:6 {Regardeth} (phronei). "Thinks of,"esteems,"observes," "puts his mind on" (from fren, mind). The Textus Receptus has also "he that regardeth not," but it is not genuine. {Unto the Lord} (kuriwi). Dative case. So as to twi qewi (unto God). He eats unto the Lord, he eats not unto the Lord. Paul's principle of freedom in non-essentials is most important. The Jewish Christians still observed the Seventh day (the Sabbath). The Gentile Christians were observing the first day of the week in honor of Christ's Resurrection on that day. Paul pleads for liberty.

    14:7 {To himself} (heautwi). Dative of advantage again. But to the Lord as he shows in verse #8. Life and death focus in the Lord.

    14:8 {Whether--or} (ean te--ean te). "Both if--and if" (condition of third class with present subjunctive (z"men--apothnˆsk"men). Both living and dying are "to the Lord." Paul repeats the idiom (ean te--ean te) with the conclusion "we are the Lord's (tou kuriou esmen). Predicate genitive, "we belong to the Lord."

    14:9 {And lived again} (kai ezˆsen). First ingressive aorist active indicative of zaw, "he came to life." {Might be lord of} (kurieusei). Ingressive aorist active subjunctive of kurieu", "become Lord of." Purpose clause with hina (that). Old verb from kurios, lord. See #Lu 22:25; Ro 6:9.

    14:10 {But thou, why dost thou judge?} (su de ti su krineis?). Referring to the conduct of the "weak" brother in verse #3. {Or thou again} (ˆ kai su). Referring to the "strong" brother. {Shall stand before} (parastesomeqa). Future middle of paristemi and intransitive, to stand beside (para) with the locative case (t"i bemati, the judgment seat) as in #Ac 27:24. See the same figure of God in #2Co 5:10.

    14:11 {As I live} (z" eg"). "I live." The LXX here (#Isa 45:23) has kat' emautou omnnu", "I swear by myself." {Shall confess to God} (exomologesetai twi qewi). Future middle of exomologew, to confess openly (ex) with the accusative as in #Mt 3:6. With the dative as here the idea is to give praise to, to give gratitude to (#Mt 11:25).

    14:12 {Shall give account} (logon dwsei). So Aleph A C rather than apod"sei of Textus Receptus. Common use of logos for account (bookkeeping, ledger) as in #Lu 16:2.

    14:13 {Let us not therefore judge one another any more} (meketi oun allelous krin"men). Present active subjunctive (volitive). "Let us no longer have the habit of criticizing one another." A wonderfully fine text for modern Christians and in harmony with what the Master said (#Mt 7:1). {That no man put a stumbling block in his brother's way or an occasion of falling} (to me tiqenai proskomma twi adelfwi e skandalon). Articular present active infinitive of tiqemi in apposition with touto, accusative case after krinate: "Judge this rather, the not putting a stumbling block (see #9:32 for proskomma) or a trap (skandalon, #9:33) for his brother" (adelph"i, dative of disadvantage).

    14:14 {I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus} (oida kai pepeismai en kuriwi iesou). He knows it and stands persuaded (perfect passive indicative of peiqw, to persuade), but in the sphere of the Lord Jesus (cf. #9:1), not by mere rational processes. {Unclean of itself} (kainon di' heautou). So Paul takes his stand with the "strong" as in #1Co 8:4f., but he is not a libertine. Paul's liberty as to food is regulated by his life in the Lord. For this use of koinos, not as common to all (#Ac 2:44; 4:32), but unhallowed, impure, see on ¯Mr 7:2,5; Ac 10:14,28. God made all things for their own uses. {Save that} (ei me). The exception lies not in the nature of the food (di' heautou), but in the man's view of it (to him, ekein"i, dative case).

    14:15 Because of meat (dia brwma). "Because of food." {In love} (kata agapen). "According to love" as the regulating principle of life. See #1Co 8 where Paul pleads for love in place of knowledge on this point. {Destroy not} (mˆ apollue). Present active imperative of apolluw, the very argument made in #1Co 8:10f. {With thy meat} (twi brwmati sou). Instrumental case, "with thy food." It is too great a price to pay for personal liberty as to food.

    14:16 {Your good} (humwn to agaqon). "The good thing of you" = the liberty or Christian freedom which you claim. {Be evil spoken of} (blasfemeisqw). Present passive imperative of blasfemew for which see #Mt 9:3; Ro 3:8.

    14:17 {The kingdom of God} (he basileia tou qeou). Not the future kingdom of eschatology, but the present spiritual kingdom, the reign of God in the heart, of which Jesus spoke so often. See #1Co 4:21. Paul scores heavily here, for it is not found in externals like food and drink, but in spiritual qualities and graces.

    14:18 {Herein} (en toutwi). "On the principle implied by these virtues" (Sanday and Headlam). {Approved of men} (dokimos tois anqrwpois). "Acceptable to men." Stands the test for men. See #1Co 11:19; 2Co 10:18; 2Ti 2:15.

    14:19 {So qen} (ara oun). Two inferential particles, "accordingly therefore." {Let us follow after} (di"k"men). Present active subjunctive (volitive). "Let us pursue." Some MSS. have present indicative, "we pursue." {The things which make for peace} (ta tes eirenes). "The things of peace," literally, genitive case. So "the things of edification for one another" (ta tˆs oikodomˆs tˆs eis allelous).

    14:20 {Overthrow not} (mˆ katalue). "Destroy not,"do not loosen down" (carrying on the metaphor in oikodome, building). {The work of God} (to ergon tou qeou). The brother for whom Christ died, verse #15. Perhaps with a side-glance at Esau and his mess of pottage. {But it is evil} (alla kakon). Paul changes from the plural koina to the singular kakon. {With offence} (dia proskommatos). "With a stumbling-block" as in verse #13. this use of dia (accompaniment) is common. So qen it is addressed to the "strong" brother not to cause a stumbling-block by the way he eats and exercises his freedom.

    14:21 {Not to eat} (to mˆ fagein). "The not eating." Articular infinitive (second aorist active of esqiw) and subject of kalon estin (copula, understood). {Flesh} (kreas). Old word, in N.T. only here and #1Co 8:13. {To drink} (pein). Shortened form for piein (second aorist active infinitive of pinw). {Whereby} (en hwi). "On which thy brother stumbleth" (proskoptei).

    14:22 {Have thou to thyself before God} (su--kata seauton ece enwpion tou qeou). Very emphatic position of su at the beginning of the sentence, "Thou there." The old MSS. put hen (relative "which") after pistin and before echeis. this principle applies to both the "strong" and the "weak." He is within his rights to act "according to thyself," but it must be "before God" and with due regard to the rights of the other brethren. {In that which he approveth} (en hoi dokimazei). this beatitude cuts both ways. After testing and qen approving (#1:28; 2:18) one takes his stand which very act may condemn himself by what he says or does. "It is a rare felicity to have a conscience untroubled by scruples" (Denney).

    14:23 {He that doubteth} (ho diakrinomenos). Present middle participle of diakrinw, to judge between (dia), to hesitate. See #Jas 1:6f. for this same picture of the double-minded man. Cf. #Ro 4:20; Mr 11:23. {Is condemned} (katakekritai). Perfect passive indicative of katakrinw (note kata-), "stands condemned." {If he eat} (ean phagˆi). Third class condition, ean and second aorist active subjunctive. If in spite of his doubt, he eat. {Whatever is not of faith is Sin} (pan ho ouk ek pistews hamartia estin). {Faith} (pistis) here is subjective, one's strong conviction in the light of his relation to Christ and his enlightened conscience. To go against this combination is Sin beyond a doubt. Some MSS. (A L etc.) put the doxology here which most place in #16:25-27. But they all give chapters 15 and 16. Some have supposed that the epistle originally ended here, but that is pure speculation. Some even suggest two editions of the epistle. But chapter 15 goes right on with the topic discussed in chapter 14.

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