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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 19

Verse 19. Because. The apostle proceeds to show how it was that the heathen hindered the truth by theft iniquity. This he does by showing that the truth might be known by the works of creation; and that nothing but their iniquity prevented it.

That which may be known of God. That which is knowable concerning God. The expression implies that there may be many things concerning God which cannot be known. But there are also many things which may be ascertained. Such are his existence, and many of his attributes, his power, and wisdom, and justice, etc. The object of the apostle was not to say that everything pertaining to God could be known by them, or that they could have as clear a view of him as if they had possessed a revelation. We must interpret the expression according to the object which he had in view. That was, to show that so much might be known of God as to prove that they had no excuse for their crimes; or that God would be just in punishing them for their deeds, for this it was needful only that his existence and his justice, or his determination to punish sin, should be known; and this, the apostle affirms, was known among them, and had been from the creation of the world. This expression, therefore, is not to be pressed as implying that they knew all that could be known about God, or that they knew as much as they who had a revelation; but that they knew enough to prove that they had no excuse for their sins.

Is manifest. Is known; is understood.

In them. Among them. So the preposition in is often used. It means that they had this knowledge; or it had been communicated to them. The great mass of the heathen world was indeed ignorant of the true God; but their leaders, or their philosophers, had this knowledge. See Barnes "Ro 1:21".

But this was not true of the mass, or body of the people. Still it was true that this knowledge was in the possession of man, or was among the pagan world, and would have spread, had it not been for the love of sin.

God hath shewed it unto them. Comp. Joh 1:9. He had endowed them with reason and conscience, (Ro 2:14,15;) he had made them capable of seeing and investigating his works; he had spread before them the proofs of his wisdom, and goodness, and power, and had thus given them the means of learning his perfections and will.

{1} "in" or, "to" {f} "for God" Joh 1:9

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