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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ROMANS 15

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    15:1 {We the strong} (hemeis hoi dunatoi). Paul identifies himself with this wing in the controversy. He means the morally strong as in #2Co 12:10; 13:9, not the mighty as in #1Co 1:26. {The infirmities} (ta asthenˆmata). "The weaknesses" (cf. asthen"n in #14:1,2), the scruples "of the not strong" (t"n adunat"n). See #Ac 14:8 where it is used of the man weak in his feet (impotent). {To bear} (bastazein). As in #Ga 6:2, common in the figurative sense. {Not to please ourselves} (mˆ heautois areskein). Precisely Paul's picture of his own conduct in #1Co 10:33.

    15:2 {For that which is good} (eis to agaqon). "For the good." As in #14:16,19. Not to please men just for popular favors, but for their benefit.

    15:3 {Pleased not himself} (ouc heautwi eresen). Aorist active indicative of areskw with the usual dative. The supreme example for Christians. See #14:15. He quotes #Ps 69:9 (Messianic Psalm) and represents the Messiah as bearing the reproaches of others.

    15:4 {Were written aforetime} (proegraphˆ). Second aorist passive indicative of prografw, old verb, in N.T. only here, #Ga 3:1 (which see); #Eph 3:3; Jude 1:4. {For our learning} (eis ten hemeteran didaskalian). "For the instruction of us." Objective sense of possessive pronoun hˆmeteros. See #Mt 15:9; 2Ti 3:16 for didaskalian (from didaskw, to teach). {We might have hope} (tˆn elpida ecwmen). Present active subjunctive of ecw with hina in final clause, "that we might keep on having hope." One of the blessed uses of the Scriptures.

    15:5 {The God of patience and comfort} (ho qeos tˆs hupomonˆs kai tˆs paraklesews). Genitive case of the two words in verse #4 used to describe God who uses the Scriptures to reveal himself to us. See #2Co 1:3 for this idea; #Ro 15:13 for "the God of hope"; #15:33 for "the God of peace." {Grant you} (dwie humin). Second aorist active optative (_Koin‚_ form for older doie) as in #2Th 3:16; Eph 1:17; 2Ti 1:16,18; 2:25, though MSS. vary in #Eph 1:17; 2Ti 2:25 for dwei (subjunctive). The optative here is for a wish for the future (regular idiom). {According to Christ Jesus} (kata criston iesoun). "According to the character or example of Christ Jesus" (#2Co 11:17; Col 2:8; Eph 5:24).

    15:6 {With one accord} (homoqumadon). Here alone in Paul, but eleven times in Acts (#Ac 1:14, etc.). {With one mouth} (en heni stomati). Vivid outward expression of the unity of feeling. {May glorify} (doxazete). Present active subjunctive of doxazw, final clause with hina "that ye may keep on glorifying." For "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" see #2Co 1:3; 9:31 for discussion. It occurs also in #Eph 1:3; 1Pe 1:3.

    15:7 {Receive ye} (proslambanesthe as in #14:1), {received} (proselabeto, here of Christ as in #14:3 of God). The repetition here is addressed to both the strong and the weak and the "us" (hemas) includes all.

    15:8 {A minister of the circumcision} (diakonon peritomes). Objective genitive, "a minister to the circumcision." Diakonon is predicate accusative with gegenˆsthai (perfect passive infinitive of ginomai in indirect assertion after legw, I say) and in apposition with criston, accusative of general reference with the infinitive. See #Ga 4:4f. {That he might confirm} (eis to bebai"sai). Purpose clause with eis to and the infinitive bebai"sai (first aorist active of bebaiow, to make stand). {The promises given unto the fathers} (tas epaggelias t"n pater"n). No "given" in the Greek, just the objective genitive, "the promises to the fathers." See #9:4,5.

    15:9 {And that the Gentiles might praise} (ta de eqne doxasai). Coordinate with bebai"sai and eis to, to be repeated with ta eqne, the accusative of general reference and ton qeon the object of doxasai. Thus the Gentiles were called through the promise to the Jews in the covenant with Abraham (#4:11f.,16f.). Salvation is of the Jews. Paul proves his position by a chain of quotations from the O.T., the one in verse #9 from #Ps 18:50. For exomologew, see #14:10. {I will sing} (psal"). Future active of yallw, for which verb see on #1Co 14:15.

    15:10 {Rejoice, ye Gentiles} (eufranqete). First aorist passive imperative of eufrainw, old word from eu, well and fren, mind. See #Lu 15:32. Quotation from #De 32:43 (LXX).

    15:11 {All the Gentiles} (panta ta eqne). From #Ps 117:1 with slight variations from the LXX text.

    15:12 {The root} (he riza). Rather here, as in #Re 5:5; 23:16, the sprout from the root. From #Isa 11:10. {On him shall the Gentiles hope} (ep' autwi eqne elpiousin). Attic future of elpizw for the usual elpisousin.

    15:13 {The God of hope} (ho qeos tˆs elpidos). Taking up the idea in verse #12 as in verse #5 from #4. {Fill you} (plˆr"sai humas). Optative (first aorist active of plerow) of wish for the future. Cf. dwie in verse #5. {In believing} (en twi pisteuein). "In the believing" (en with locative of the articular infinitive, the idiom so common in Luke's Gospel). {That ye may abound} (eis to perisseuein humas). Purpose clause with eis to, as in verse #8, with perisseuein (present active infinitive of perisseuw, with accusative of general reference, humas). this verse gathers up the points in the preceding quotations.

    15:14 {I myself also} (kai autos eg"). See #7:25 for a like emphasis on himself, here in contrast with "ye yourselves" (kai autoi). The argument of the epistle has been completed both in the main line (chapters #1-8) and the further applications (#9:1-15:13). Here begins the Epilogue, the personal matters of importance. {Full of goodness} (mestoi agaqosunes). See #2Th 1:11; Ga 5:22 for this LXX and Pauline word (in ecclesiastical writers also) made from the adjective agaqos, good, by adding -sune (common ending for words like dikaiosune. See #1:29 for mestos with genitive and peplˆr"menoi (perfect passive participle of plerow as here), but there with instrumental case after it instead of the genitive. Paul gives the Roman Christians (chiefly Gentiles) high praise. The "all knowledge" is not to be pressed too literally, "our Christian knowledge in its entirety" (Sanday and Headlam). {To admonish} (nouthetein). To put in mind (from nouqetes and this from nous and tiqemi). See on ¯1Th 5:12,14. "Is it laying too much stress on the language of compliment to suggest that these words give a hint of St. Paul's aim in this epistle?" (Sanday and Headlam). The strategic position of the church in Rome made it a great center for radiating and echoing the gospel over the world as Thessalonica did for Macedonia (#1Th 1:8).

    15:15 {I write} (egraya). Epistolary aorist. {The more boldly} (tolmˆroter"s). Old comparative adverb from tolmˆr"s. Most MSS. read tolmˆroteron. Only here in N.T. {In some measure} (apo merous). Perhaps referring to some portions of the epistle where he has spoken plainly (#6:12,19; 8:9; 11:17; 14:3,4,10, etc.). {As putting you again in remembrance} (hos epanamimneskwn humas). Delicately put with hws and epi in the verb, "as if calling back to mind again" (epi). this rare verb is here alone in the N.T.

    15:16 {That I should be} (eis to einai me). The eis to idiom with the infinitive again (verses #8,13). {Minister} (leitourgon). Predicate accusative in apposition with me and see #13:6 for the word. "The word here derives from the context the priestly associations which often attach to it in the LXX" (Denney). But this purely metaphorical use does not show that Paul attached a "sacerdotal" character to the ministry. {Ministering} (hierourgounta). Present active participle of hierourge", late verb from hierourgos (hieros, ergw), in LXX, Philo, and Josephus, only here in N.T. It means to work in sacred things, to minister as a priest. Paul had as high a conception of his work as a preacher of the gospel as any priest did. {The offering up of the Gentiles} (hˆ prosphora t"n eqnwn). Genitive of apposition, the Gentiles being the offering. They are Paul's offering. See #Ac 21:26. {Acceptable} (euprosdektos). See #2Co 6:2; 8:12. Because "sanctified in the Holy Spirit" (hˆgiasmenˆ en pneumati hagiwi, perfect passive participle of hagiazw).

    15:17 {In things pertaining to God} (ta pros ton qeon). Accusative of general reference of the article used with the prepositional phrase, "as to the things relating to (pros, facing) God."

    15:18 {Any things save those which Christ wrought through me} (ti hwn ou kateirgasato cristos di' emou). Rather, "any one of those things which Christ did not work through me." The antecedent of h"n is the unexpressed toutwn and the accusative relative ha (object of kateirgasato) is attracted into the genitive case of toutwn after a common idiom. {By word and deed} (logwi kai erg"i). Instrumental case with both words. By preaching and life (#Lu 24:19; Ac 1:1; 7:22; 2Co 10:11).

    15:19 {In power of signs and wonders} (en dunamei semeiwn kai teratwn). Note all three words as in #Heb 2:4, only here dunamis is connected with semeia and terata. See all three words used of Paul's own work in #2Co 12:12 and in #2Th 2:9 of the Man of Sin. See #1Th 1:5; 1Co 2:4 for the "power" of the Holy Spirit in Paul's preaching. Note repetition of en dunamei here with pneumatos hagiou. {So that} (hwste). Result expressed by the perfect active infinitive peplˆr"kenai (from plerow) with the accusative me (general reference). {Round about even unto Illyricum} (kukl"i mecri tou Illurikou). "In a ring" (kukl"i, locative case of kuklos). Probably a journey during the time when Paul left Macedonia and waited for II Corinthians to have its effect before coming to Corinth. If so, see #2Co 13; Ac 20:1-3. When he did come, the trouble with the Judaizers was over. Illyricum seems to be the name for the region west of Macedonia (Dalmatia). Strabo says that the Egnatian Way passed through it. Arabia and Illyricum would thus be the extreme limits of Paul's mission journeys so far.

    15:20 {Yea} (houtws de). "And so," introducing a limitation to the preceding statement. {Making it my aim} (filotimoumenon). Present middle participle (accusative case agreeing with me) of philotimeomai, old verb, to be fond of honor (filos, time). In N.T. only here and #1Th 4:11; 2Co 5:9. A noble word in itself, quite different in aim from the Latin word for {ambition} (ambio, to go on both sides to carry one's point). {Not where} (ouch hopou). Paul was a pioneer preacher pushing on to new fields after the manner of Daniel Boone in Kentucky. {That I might now build upon another man's foundation} (hina me ep' allotrion qemelion oikodom"). For allotrios (not allos) see #14:4. For qemelion, see #Lu 6:48f.; 1Co 3:11. this noble ambition of Paul's is not within the range of some ministers who can only build on another's foundation as Apollos did in Corinth. But the pioneer preacher and missionary has a dignity and glory all his own.

    15:21 {As it is written} (kaqws gegraptai). From #Isa 52:15. Paul finds an illustration of his word about his own ambition in the words of Isaiah. Fritzsche actually argues that Paul understood Isaiah to be predicting his (Paul's) ministry! Some scholars have argued against the genuineness of verses #9-21 on wholly subjective and insufficient grounds.

    15:22 {I was hindered} (enekoptomen). Imperfect passive (repetition) of enkoptw, late verb, to cut in, to cut off, to interrupt. Seen already in #Ac 24:4; 1Th 2:18; Ga 5:7. Cf. modern telephone and radio and automobile. {These many times} (ta polla). "As to the many things." In #1:13 Paul used pollakis (many times) and B D read it here. But Paul's work (ta polla) had kept him away. {From coming to you} (tou elqein pros humas). Ablative case (after the verb of hindering) of the articular infinitive, "from the coming."

    15:23 {Having no more any place in these regions} (meketi topon ecwn en tois klimasin). Surprising frankness that the average preacher would hardly use on such a matter. Paul is now free to come to Rome because there is no demand for him where he is. For klima (from klinw, to incline), slope, qen tract of land, region, see already #2Co 11:10; Ga 1:21 (the only N.T. examples). {A longing} (epipotheian). A _hapax legomenon_, elsewhere epipothˆsis (#2Co 7:7,11), from epipoqew as in #Ro 1:11. {These many years} (apo hikan"n etwn). "From considerable years." So B C, but Aleph A D have pollwn, "from many years."

    15:24 {Whensoever I go} (hws an poreu"mai). Indefinite temporal clause with hws an and the present middle subjunctive (cf. #1Co 11:34; Php 2:23 with aorist subjunctive). {Into Spain} (eis ten spanian). It was a Roman province with many Jews in it. The Greek name was Iberia, the Latin _Hispania_. The Textus Receptus adds here eleusomai pros humas (I shall come to you), but it is not in Aleph A B C D and is not genuine. Without it we have a parenthesis (or anacoluthon) through the rest of verse #24. {In my journey} (diaporeuomenos). Present middle participle, "passing through." Paul planned only a brief stay in Rome since a strong church already existed there. {To be brought on my way thitherward} (propemphthˆnai ekei). "To be sent forward there." First aorist passive infinitive of propempw, common word for escorting one on a journey (#1Co 16:6,11; 2Co 1:16; Tit 3:13; 2Jo 1:6). {If first in some measure I shall have been satisfied with your company} (ean humwn protwn apo merous emplˆsth"). Condition of third class with ean and first aorist passive subjunctive of empimplemi, old verb, to fill up, to satisfy, to take one's fill. See #Lu 6:25. Literally, "if I first in part be filled with you" (get my fill of you). delicate compliment for the Roman church.

    15:25 {But now} (nuni de). Repeats the very words used in #23. {I go} (poreuomai). Futuristic present as in #Joh 14:2. {Ministering unto the saints} (diakonon tois hagiois). Present active participle of purpose like eulogounta in #Ac 3:26. this collection had been one of Paul's chief cares for over a year now (see #2Co 8; 9). See #2Co 8:4.

    15:26 {For it hath been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia} (ˆudokˆsan gar Makedonia kai Achaia). "For Macedonia and Achaia took pleasure." The use of ˆudokˆsan (first aorist active indicative of eudokew) shows that it was voluntary (#2Co 8:4). Paul does not here mention Asia and Galatia. {A certain contribution} (koinwnian tina). Put thus because it was unknown to the Romans. For this sense of koin"nian, see #2Co 8:4; 9:13. {For the poor among the saints} (eis tous pt"cous t"n hagiwn). Partitive genitive. Not all there were poor, but #Ac 4:32-5:11; 6:1-6; 11:29f.; Ga 2:10 prove that many were.

    15:27 {Their debtors} (opheiletai autwn). Objective genitive: the Gentiles are debtors to the Jews. See the word ofeiletes in #1:14; 8:12. {For if} (ei gar). Condition of the first class, assumed as true, first aorist active indicative (ekoin"nˆsan, from koinwnew, to share) with associative instrumental case (pneumatikois, spiritual things). {To minister unto} (leitourgˆsai, first aorist active infinitive of leitourgew with dative case autois, to them), but here certainly with no "sacerdotal" functions (cf. verse #16). {In carnal things} (en tois sarkikois). Things which belong to the natural life of the flesh (sarx), not the sinful aspects of the flesh at all.

    15:28 {Have sealed} (sphragisamenos). First aorist middle participle (antecedent action, having sealed) of sfragizw, old verb from sphragis, a seal (#Ro 4:11), to stamp with a seal for security (#Mt 27:66) or for confirmation (#2Co 1:22) and here in a metaphorical sense. Paul was keenly sensitive that this collection should be actually conveyed to Jerusalem free from all suspicion (#2Co 8:18-23). {I will go on by you} (apeleusomai di' humwn). Future middle of apercomai, to go off or on. Note three prepositions here (ap' from Rome, di' by means of you or through you, eis unto Spain). He repeats the point of verse #24, his temporary stay in Rome with Spain as the objective. How little we know what is ahead of us and how grateful we should be for our ignorance on this point.

    15:29 {When I come} (ercomenos). Present middle participle of ercomai with the time of the future middle indicative eleusomai (coming I shall come). {In the fulness of the blessing of Christ} (en plerwmati eulogias cristou). On plˆr"mati, see #11:12. Paul had already (#1:11f.) said that he had a carisma pneumatikon (spiritual blessing) for Rome. He did bring that to them.

    15:30 {By} (dia). The intermediate agents of the exhortation (the Lord Jesus and the love of the Spirit) as dia is used after parakalw in #12:1. {That ye strive together with me} (sunag"nisasthai moi). First aorist middle infinitive of sunag"ni zomai, old compound verb, only here in N.T., direct object of parakalw, and with associative instrumental case moi, the simplex agwnizomenos, occurring in #Col 4:12 of the prayers of Epaphras. For Christ's agony in prayer see #Mt 26:42; Lu 22:44.

    15:31 {That I may be delivered} (hina rusqw). First aorist passive subjunctive of ruomai, old verb to rescue. this use of hina is the sub-final one after words of beseeching or praying. Paul foresaw trouble all the way to Jerusalem (#Ac 20:23; 21:4,13). {May be acceptable to the saints} (euprosdektos tois hagiois genetai). "May become (second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai) acceptable to the saints." The Judaizers would give him trouble. There was peril of a schism in Christianity.

    15:32 {That} (hina). Second use of hina in this sentence, the first one sub-final (hina rusqw), this one final with sunanapaus"mai, first aorist middle subjunctive of the double compound verb sunanapauomai, late verb to rest together with, to refresh (anapauw as in #Mt 11:28) one's spirit with (sun), with the associative instrumental case humin (with you), only here in the N.T.

    15:33 {The God of peace} (ho qeos tes eirenes). One of the characteristics of God that Paul often mentions in benedictions (#1Th 5:23; 2Th 3:16; 2Co 13:11; Php 4:9; Ro 16:20). Because of the "amen" here some scholars would make this the close of the epistle and make chapter 16 a separate epistle to the Ephesians. But the MSS. are against it. There is nothing strange at all in Paul's having so many friends in Rome though he had not yet been there himself. Rome was the center of the world's life as Paul realized (#1:15). All men sooner or later hoped to see Rome.

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