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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Romans: Chapter 15)

15:1 {We the strong} (\hēmeis 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 asthenēmata\). "The weaknesses" (cf.
\asthenōn\ in 14:1,2)
, the scruples "of the not strong" (\tōn
. 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} (\mē heautois
. Precisely Paul's picture of his own conduct in 1Co

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

15:3 {Pleased not himself} (\ouch heautōi ēresen\). Aorist active
indicative of \areskō\ with the usual dative. The supreme example
for Christians. See 14:15. He quotes Ps 69:9 (Messianic
and represents the Messiah as bearing the reproaches of

15:4 {Were written aforetime} (\proegraphē\). Second aorist
passive indicative of \prographō\, old verb, in N.T. only here,
Ga 3:1 (which see); Eph 3:3; Jude 1:4. {For our learning}
(\eis tēn hēmeteran didaskalian\). "For the instruction of us."
Objective sense of possessive pronoun \hēmeteros\. See Mt 15:9;
2Ti 3:16 for \didaskalian\ (from \didaskō\, to teach). {We might
have hope}
(\tēn elpida echōmen\). Present active subjunctive of
\echō\ 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 theos tēs hupomonēs
kai tēs paraklēseōs\)
. 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} (\dōiē
. Second aorist active optative (_Koinē_ form for older
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 \dōēi\ (subjunctive). The
optative here is for a wish for the future (regular idiom).
{According to Christ Jesus} (\kata Christon Iēsoun\). "According
to the character or example of Christ Jesus" (2Co 11:17; Col
2:8; Eph 5:24)

15:6 {With one accord} (\homothumadon\). 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} (\doxazēte\). Present active subjunctive of
\doxazō\, 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" (\hēmās\) includes all.

15:8 {A minister of the circumcision} (\diakonon peritomēs\).
Objective genitive, "a minister to the circumcision." \Diakonon\
is predicate accusative with \gegenēsthai\ (perfect passive
infinitive of \ginomai\ in indirect assertion after \legō\, I
and in apposition with \Christon\, accusative of general
reference with the infinitive. See Ga 4:4f. {That he might
(\eis to bebaiōsai\). Purpose clause with \eis to\ and
the infinitive \bebaiōsai\ (first aorist active of \bebaioō\, to
make stand)
. {The promises given unto the fathers} (\tas
epaggelias tōn paterōn\)
. 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 ethnē
. Coordinate with \bebaiōsai\ and \eis to\, to be
repeated with \ta ethnē\, the accusative of general reference and
\ton theon\ 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 \exomologeō\, see 14:10. {I will
(\psalō\). Future active of \psallō\, for which verb see on
1Co 14:15.

15:10 {Rejoice, ye Gentiles} (\euphranthēte\). First aorist
passive imperative of \euphrainō\, old word from \eu\, well and
\phrēn\, mind. See Lu 15:32. Quotation from De 32:43 (LXX).

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

15:12 {The root} (\hē 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' autōi ethnē elpiousin\). Attic future of
\elpizō\ for the usual \elpisousin\.

15:13 {The God of hope} (\ho theos tēs elpidos\). Taking up the
idea in verse 12 as in verse 5 from 4. {Fill you}
(\plērōsai humas\). Optative (first aorist active of \plēroō\) of
wish for the future. Cf. \dōiē\ in verse 5. {In believing} (\en
tōi 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 \perisseuō\, with accusative of general
reference, \humas\)
. This verse gathers up the points in the
preceding quotations.

15:14 {I myself also} (\kai autos egō\). See 7:25 for a like
emphasis on himself, here in contrast with "ye yourselves" (\kai
. 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 agathosunēs\). See 2Th
1:11; Ga 5:22 for this LXX and Pauline word (in ecclesiastical
writers also)
made from the adjective \agathos\, good, by adding
\-sunē\ (common ending for words like \dikaiosunē\. See 1:29
for \mestos\ with genitive and \peplērōmenoi\ (perfect passive
participle of \plēroō\ 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 \nouthetēs\ and this from \nous\ and \tithēmi\). 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 centre for
radiating and echoing the gospel over the world as Thessalonica
did for Macedonia (1Th 1:8).

15:15 {I write} (\egrapsa\). Epistolary aorist. {The more boldly}
(\tolmēroterōs\). Old comparative adverb from \tolmērōs\. Most
MSS. read \tolmēroteron\. 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,
. {As putting you again in remembrance} (\hos epanamimnēskōn
. Delicately put with \hōs\ 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
\hierourgeō\, late verb from \hierourgos\ (\hieros, ergō\), 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} (\hē prosphora tōn
. 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" (\hēgiasmenē en pneumati hagiōi\, perfect passive
participle of \hagiazō\)

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

15:18 {Any things save those which Christ wrought through me}
(\ti hōn ou kateirgasato Christos di' emou\). Rather, "any one of
those things which Christ did not work through me." The
antecedent of \hōn\ is the unexpressed \toutōn\ and the
accusative relative \ha\ (object of \kateirgasato\) is attracted
into the genitive case of \toutōn\ after a common idiom. {By word
and deed}
(\logōi kai ergōi\). 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 sēmeiōn kai
. Note all three words as in Heb 2:4, only here
\dunamis\ is connected with \sēmeia\ 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} (\hōste\). Result
expressed by the perfect active infinitive \peplērōkenai\ (from
with the accusative \me\ (general reference). {Round
about even unto Illyricum}
(\kuklōi mechri tou Illurikou\). "In a
ring" (\kuklōi\, 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} (\houtōs de\). "And so," introducing a limitation to
the preceding statement. {Making it my aim} (\philotimoumenon\).
Present middle participle (accusative case agreeing with \me\) of
\philotimeomai\, old verb, to be fond of honour (\philos, timē\).
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 mē ep'
allotrion themelion oikodomō\)
. For \allotrios\ (not \allos\) see
14:4. For \themelion\, 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} (\kathōs 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} (\enekoptomēn\). Imperfect passive
(repetition) of \enkoptō\, 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
elthein 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} (\mēketi topon
echōn 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 \klinō\, to incline), slope, then tract of land,
region, see already 2Co 11:10; Ga 1:21 (the only N.T.
. {A longing} (\epipotheian\). A _hapax legomenon_,
elsewhere \epipothēsis\ (2Co 7:7,11), from \epipotheō\ as in
Ro 1:11. {These many years} (\apo hikanōn etōn\). "From
considerable years." So B C, but Aleph A D have \pollōn\, "from
many years."

15:24 {Whensoever I go} (\hōs an poreuōmai\). Indefinite temporal
clause with \hōs an\ and the present middle subjunctive (cf. 1Co
11:34; Php 2:23 with aorist subjunctive)
. {Into Spain} (\eis tēn
. 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}
(\propemphthēnai ekei\). "To be sent
forward there." First aorist passive infinitive of \propempō\,
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 humōn protōn apo merous
. Condition of third class with \ean\ and first aorist
passive subjunctive of \empimplēmi\, 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
(\ēudokēsan gar Makedonia kai Achaia\). "For Macedonia
and Achaia took pleasure." The use of \ēudokēsan\ (first aorist
active indicative of \eudokeō\)
shows that it was voluntary (2Co
. Paul does not here mention Asia and Galatia. {A certain
(\koinōnian tina\). Put thus because it was unknown
to the Romans. For this sense of \koinōnian\, see 2Co 8:4;
9:13. {For the poor among the saints} (\eis tous ptōchous tōn
. 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 autōn\). Objective genitive:
the Gentiles are debtors to the Jews. See the word \opheiletēs\
in 1:14; 8:12. {For if} (\ei gar\). Condition of the first
class, assumed as true, first aorist active indicative
(\ekoinōnēsan\, from \koinōneō\, to share) with associative
instrumental case (\pneumatikois\, spiritual things). {To
minister unto}
(\leitourgēsai\, first aorist active infinitive of
\leitourgeō\ 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 \sphragizō\, 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' humōn\)
. Future middle of \aperchomai\, 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} (\erchomenos\). Present middle participle of
\erchomai\ with the time of the future middle indicative
\eleusomai\ (coming I shall come). {In the fulness of the
blessing of Christ}
(\en plērōmati eulogias Christou\). On
\plērōmati\, see 11:12. Paul had already (1:11f.) said that
he had a \charisma 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 \parakalō\ in 12:1. {That ye strive together with me}
(\sunagōnisasthai moi\). First aorist middle infinitive of
\sunagōni zomai\, old compound verb, only here in N.T., direct
object of \parakalō\, and with associative instrumental case
\moi\, the simplex \agōnizomenos\, 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 rusthō\). 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;
. {May be acceptable to the saints} (\euprosdektos tois
hagiois genētai\)
. "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 rusthō\), this one final with
\sunanapausōmai\, first aorist middle subjunctive of the double
compound verb \sunanapauomai\, late verb to rest together with,
to refresh (\anapauō\ as in Mt 11:28) one's spirit with
(\sun\), with the associative instrumental case \humin\ (with
, only here in the N.T.

15:33 {The God of peace} (\ho theos tēs eirēnēs\). 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 centre of the world's life as Paul
realized (1:15). All men sooner or later hoped to see Rome.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Romans: Chapter 15)