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1. God's Wrath Against Mankind

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 10Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 12That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 13Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

29. Understand by unrighteousness, the violation of justice among men, by not rendering to each his due. I have rendered πονηρίαν, according to the opinion of Ammonium, wickedness; for he teaches us that πονηρον, the wicked, is δραστίκον κακου, the doer of evil. The word (nequitia) then means practiced wickedness, or licentiousness in doing mischief: but maliciousness (malitia) is that depravity and obliquity of mind which leads us to do harm to our neighbour. 5454     The two words are πονηρία and κακία Doddridge renders them “mischief and malignity.” Pareus says that κακία is vice, opposed to τη αρετη — virtue. — Ed. For the word πορνείαν, which Paul uses, I have put lust, (libidinem.) I do not, however, object, if one prefers to render it fornication; but he means the inward passion as well as the outward act. 5555     “Πορνεία has an extended sense, comprehending all illicit intercourse, whether fornication, adultery, incest, or any other venus illicita.” —Stuart The words avarice, envy, and murder, have nothing doubtful in their meaning. Under the word strife, (contentione,) 5656     Improperly rendered “debate” in our version — ἔριδος, “strife”, by Macknight, and “contention,” by Doddridge. — Ed. he includes quarrels, fightings, and seditions. We have rendered κακοηθείαν, perversity, (perversitatem;) 5757     In our versions “malignity;” by Macknight, “bad disposition;” and by Doddridge, “inveteracy of evil habits.” Schleusner thinks that it means here “malevolence.” — Ed. which is a notorious and uncommon wickedness; that is, when a man, covered over, as it were, with hardness, has become hardened in a corrupt course of life by custom and evil habit.

30. The word θεοστυγεῖς, means, no doubt, haters of God; for there is no reason to take it in a passive sense, (hated of God,) since Paul here proves men to be guilty by manifest vices. Those, then, are designated, who hate God, whose justice they seem to resist by doing wrong. Whisperers (susurrones) and slanderers (obtrectatores) 5858     Καταλάλους, literally gainsayers, or those who speak against others, — defamers, calumniators; rendered “revilers,” by Macknight. — Ed. are to be thus distinguished; the former, by secret accusations, break off the friendships of good men, inflame their minds with anger, defame the innocent, and sow discords; and the latter through an innate malignity, spare the reputation of no one, and, as though they were instigated by the fury of evilspeaking, they revile the deserving as well as the undeserving We have translated ὑβριστὰς, villanous, (maleficos;) for the Latin authors are wont to call notable injuries villanies, such as plunders, thefts, burnings, and sorceries; and these where the vices which Paul meant to point out here. 5959     The three words, ὑβιστὰς ὑπερηφάνους, and ἀλαζόνας seem to designate three properties of a proud spirit — disdainful or insolent, haughty and vainglorious. The ὑβρισται are those who treat others petulantly, contumeliously, or insultingly “Insolent,” as given by Macknight, is the most suitable word. The ὑπερηφάνος is one who sets himself to view above others, the high and elevated, who exhibits himself as superior to others. The αλαζων is the boaster, who assumes more than what belongs to him, or promises more than what he can perform. These three forms of pride are often seen in the world. — Ed. I have rendered the word ὑπερήφανους, used by Paul, insolent, (contumeliosos;) for this is the meaning of the Greek word: and the reason for the word is this, — because such being raised, as it were, on high, look down on those who are, as it were, below them with contempt, and they cannot bear to look on their equals. Haughty are they who swell with the empty wind of overweeningness. Unsociable 6060     Unsociabiles — ἀσυνθετους. “Faithless,” perhaps, would be the most suitable word. “Who adhere not to compacts,” is the explanation of Hesychius
   To preserve the same negative according to what is done in Greek, we may render Romans 1:31 as follows: —

   31. Unintelligent, unfaithful, unnatural, unappeasable, unmerciful. — Ed.
are those who, by their iniquities, unloose the bands of society, or those in whom there is no sincerity or constancy of faith, who may be called truce-breakers.

31. Without the feelings of humanity are they who have put off the first affections of nature towards their own relations. As he mentions the want of mercy as an evidence of human nature being depraved, Augustine, in arguing against the Stoics, concludes, that mercy is a Christian virtue.


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