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Chapter 14

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 [mē eis diakriseis dialogismōn]. “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 [echei pistin] (Ac 14:9). But he that is weak [ho de asthenōn]. 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 [asthenōn]. Herbs [lachana]. From [lachanō], 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 [exoutheneitō]. Present active imperative of [exoutheneō], to treat as nothing and so with contempt (Lu 23:11; 1Th 5:20). Judge [krinetō]. Present active imperative of [krinō], criticize. One side (the meat-eaters) despises the vegetarians, while the vegetarians criticize the meat-eaters. Received him [auton proselabeto]. Aorist middle (indirect) of [proslambanō], 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 oiketēn]. Not another [allon] servant (household servant, [oiketēn], but “another’s servant.” For the adjective [allotrios], see Lu 16:12; 2Co 10:15f. Shall be made to stand [stathēsetai]. Future passive of [histēmi]. 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 [hēmeran par’ hēmeran]. “Day beyond day.” For this use of [para] (beside) in comparison see 1:25; Lu 13:2. Be fully assured [plērophoreisthō]. Present passive imperative of [plērophoreō], late compound verb for which see on Lu 1:1; Ro 4:21. In his own mind [en tōi idiōi 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 [phrēn], mind). The Textus Receptus has also “he that regardeth not,” but it is not genuine. Unto the Lord [kuriōi]. Dative case. So as to [tōi theōi] (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 honour of Christ’s Resurrection on that day. Paul pleads for liberty.

14:7 To himself [heautōi]. 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) [zōmen—apothnēskōmen]. 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 ezēsen]. First ingressive aorist active indicative of [zaō], “he came to life.” Might be lord of [kurieusei]. Ingressive aorist active subjunctive of [kurieuō], “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 [ē kai su]. Referring to the “strong” brother. Shall stand before [parastēsometha]. Future middle of [paristēmi] and intransitive, to stand beside [para] with the locative case [tōi bemati], the judgment seat) as in Ac 27:24. See the same figure of God in 2Co 5:10.

14:11 As I live [zō egō]. “I live.” The LXX here (Isa 45:23) has [kat’ emautou omnnuō], “I swear by myself.” Shall confess to God [exomologēsetai tōi theōi]. Future middle of [exomologeō], 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 dōsei]. So Aleph A C rather than [apodōsei] 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 [mēketi oun allēlous krinōmen]. 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 mē tithenai proskomma tōi adelphōi ē skandalon]. Articular present active infinitive of [tithēmi] 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” [adelphōi], dative of disadvantage).

14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus [oida kai pepeismai en kuriōi Iēsou]. He knows it and stands persuaded (perfect passive indicative of [peithō], 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 mē]. The exception lies not in the nature of the food [di’ heautou], but in the man’s view of it (to him, [ekeinōi], dative case).

14:15 Because of meat [dia brōma]. “Because of food.” In love [kata agapēn]. “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 [mē apollue]. Present active imperative of [apolluō], the very argument made in 1Co 8:10f. With thy meat [tōi brōmati sou]. Instrumental case, “with thy food.” It is too great a price to pay for personal liberty as to food.

14:16 Your good [humōn to agathon]. “The good thing of you” = the liberty or Christian freedom which you claim. Be evil spoken of [blasphēmeisthō]. Present passive imperative of [blasphēmeō] for which see Mt 9:3; Ro 3:8.

14:17 The kingdom of God [hē basileia tou theou]. 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 toutōi]. “On the principle implied by these virtues” (Sanday and Headlam). Approved of men [dokimos tois anthrōpois]. “Acceptable to men.” Stands the test for men. See 1Co 11:19; 2Co 10:18; 2Ti 2:15.

14:19 So then [ara oun]. Two inferential particles, “accordingly therefore.” Let us follow after [diōkōmen]. Present active subjunctive (volitive). “Let us pursue.” Some MSS. have present indicative, “we pursue.” The things which make for peace [ta tēs eirēnēs]. “The things of peace,” literally, genitive case. So “the things of edification for one another” [ta tēs oikodomēs tēs eis allēlous].

14:20 Overthrow not [mē katalue]. “Destroy not,” “do not loosen down” (carrying on the metaphor in [oikodomē], building). The work of God [to ergon tou theou]. 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 then 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 mē phagein]. “The not eating.” Articular infinitive (second aorist active of [esthiō] 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 [pinō]. Whereby [en hōi]. “On which thy brother stumbleth” [proskoptei].

14:22 Have thou to thyself before God [su—kata seauton eche enōpion tou theou]. Very emphatic position of [su] at the beginning of the sentence, “Thou there.” The old MSS. put [hēn] (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 then 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 [diakrinō], 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 [katakrinō] (note [kata-], “stands condemned.” If he eat [ean phagēi]. Third class condition, [ean] and second aorist active subjunctive. If in spite of his doubt, he eat. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin [pan ho ouk ek pisteōs 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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