Romans 14

Him that is weak ( τον ασθενουντα ). See on 1Co 8:7-12; 9:22; Ro 4:19.

Receive ye ( προσλαμβανεσθε ). Present middle imperative (indirect), "take to yourselves."

Yet not to doubtful disputations ( μη εις διακρισεις διαλογισμων ). "Not for decisions of opinions." Note  δια (between, two or  δυο ) in both words. Discriminations between doubts or hesitations. For  διακρισις, see 1Co 12:10; Heb 5:14 (only N.T. examples). For  διαλογισμος 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.

One man ( ος μεν ). "This one," demonstrative pronoun  ος with  μεν.

Hath faith ( πιστευε ). Like  εχε πιστιν (Ac 14:9).

But he that is weak ( ο δε ασθενων ). One would expect  ος δε (but that one) in contrast with  ος μεν.  Hο is demonstrative with  δε sometimes, but here is probably just the article with  ασθενων.

Herbs ( λαχανα ). From  λαχανω, to dig. Hence garden herbs or vegetables. Denney feels certain that Paul has in mind a party of vegetarians in Rome.

Set at nought ( εξουθενειτω ). Present active imperative of  εξουθενεω, to treat as nothing and so with contempt (Lu 23:11; 1Th 5:20).

Judge ( κρινετω ). Present active imperative of  κρινω, criticize. One side (the meat-eaters) despises the vegetarians, while the vegetarians criticize the meat-eaters.

Received him ( αυτον προσελαβετο ). Aorist middle (indirect) of  προσλαμβανω, same verb used in verse 1. God took both sides into his fellowship without requiring that they be vegetarians or meat-eaters.

Who art thou? ( συ τις ει? ). Proleptic position of  συ, "thou who art thou?"

The servant of another ( αλλοτριον οικετην ). Not another ( αλλον ) servant (household servant,  οικετην ), but "another's servant." For the adjective  αλλοτριος, see Lu 16:12; 2Co 10:15f.

Shall be made to stand ( σταθησετα ). Future passive of  ιστημ. In spite of your sharp criticisms of one another.

Hath power ( δυνατε ). Verb found only in Paul (2Co 9:8; 13:3; Ro 14:4), from verbal adjective  δυνατος.

One man ( ος μεν ),

another ( ος δε ). Regular idiom of contrasted demonstratives (this one, that one).

One day above another ( ημεραν παρ' ημεραν ). "Day beyond day." For this use of  παρα (beside) in comparison see 1:25; Lu 13:2.

Be fully assured ( πληροφορεισθω ). Present passive imperative of  πληροφορεω, late compound verb for which see on Lu 1:1; Ro 4:21.

In his own mind ( εν τω ιδιω νο ). Intelligent and honest decision according to the light possessed by each.

Regardeth ( φρονε ). "Thinks of," "esteems," "observes," "puts his mind on" (from  φρην, mind). The Textus Receptus has also "he that regardeth not," but it is not genuine.

Unto the Lord ( κυριω ). Dative case. So as to  τω θεω (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.

To himself ( εαυτω ). Dative of advantage again. But to the Lord as he shows in verse 8. Life and death focus in the Lord.

Whether--or ( εαν τε--εαν τε ). "Both if--and if" (condition of third class with present subjunctive ( ζωμεν--αποθνησκωμεν ). Both living and dying are "to the Lord." Paul repeats the idiom ( εαν τε--εαν τε ) with the conclusion "we are the Lord's ( του κυριου εσμεν ). Predicate genitive, "we belong to the Lord."

And lived again ( κα εζησεν ). First ingressive aorist active indicative of  ζαω, "he came to life."

Might be lord of ( κυριευσε ). Ingressive aorist active subjunctive of  κυριευω, "become Lord of." Purpose clause with  ινα (that). Old verb from  κυριος, lord. See Lu 22:25; Ro 6:9.

But thou, why dost thou judge? ( συ δε τ συ κρινεισ? ). Referring to the conduct of the "weak" brother in verse 3.

Or thou again ( η κα συ ). Referring to the "strong" brother.

Shall stand before ( παραστησομεθα ). Future middle of  παριστημ and intransitive, to stand beside ( παρα ) with the locative case ( τω βεματ, the judgment seat) as in Ac 27:24. See the same figure of God in 2Co 5:10.

As I live ( ζω εγω ). "I live." The LXX here (Isa 45:23) has  κατ' εμαυτου ομννυω, "I swear by myself."

Shall confess to God ( εξομολογησετα τω θεω ). Future middle of  εξομολογεω, to confess openly ( εξ ) 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).

Shall give account ( λογον δωσε ). So Aleph A C rather than  αποδωσε of Textus Receptus. Common use of  λογος for account (bookkeeping, ledger) as in Lu 16:2.

Let us not therefore judge one another any more ( μηκετ ουν αλληλους κρινωμεν ). 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 ( το μη τιθενα προσκομμα τω αδελφω η σκανδαλον ). Articular present active infinitive of  τιθημ in apposition with  τουτο, accusative case after  κρινατε: "Judge this rather, the not putting a stumbling block (see 9:32 for  προσκομμα ) or a trap ( σκανδαλον, 9:33) for his brother" ( αδελφω, dative of disadvantage).

I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus ( οιδα κα πεπεισμα εν κυριω Ιησου ). He knows it and stands persuaded (perfect passive indicative of  πειθω, to persuade), but in the sphere of the Lord Jesus (cf. 9:1), not by mere rational processes.

Unclean of itself ( καινον δι' εαυτου ). 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  κοινος, 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 ( ε μη ). The exception lies not in the nature of the food ( δι' εαυτου ), but in the man's view of it (to him,  εκεινω, dative case).

Because of meat ( δια βρωμα ). "Because of food."

In love ( κατα αγαπην ). "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 ( μη απολλυε ). Present active imperative of  απολλυω, the very argument made in 1Co 8:10f.

With thy meat ( τω βρωματ σου ). Instrumental case, "with thy food." It is too great a price to pay for personal liberty as to food.

Your good ( υμων το αγαθον ). "The good thing of you" = the liberty or Christian freedom which you claim.

Be evil spoken of ( βλασφημεισθω ). Present passive imperative of  βλασφημεω for which see Mt 9:3; Ro 3:8.

The kingdom of God ( η βασιλεια του θεου ). 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.

Herein ( εν τουτω ). "On the principle implied by these virtues" (Sanday and Headlam).

Approved of men ( δοκιμος τοις ανθρωποις ). "Acceptable to men." Stands the test for men. See 1Co 11:19; 2Co 10:18; 2Ti 2:15.

So then ( αρα ουν ). Two inferential particles, "accordingly therefore."

Let us follow after ( διωκωμεν ). Present active subjunctive (volitive). "Let us pursue." Some MSS. have present indicative, "we pursue."

The things which make for peace ( τα της ειρηνης ). "The things of peace," literally, genitive case. So "the things of edification for one another" ( τα της οικοδομης της εις αλληλους ).

Overthrow not ( μη καταλυε ). "Destroy not," "do not loosen down" (carrying on the metaphor in  οικοδομη, building).

The work of God ( το εργον του θεου ). The brother for whom Christ died, verse 15. Perhaps with a side-glance at Esau and his mess of pottage.

But it is evil ( αλλα κακον ). Paul changes from the plural  κοινα to the singular  κακον.

With offence ( δια προσκομματος ). "With a stumbling-block" as in verse 13. This use of  δια (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.

Not to eat ( το μη φαγειν ). "The not eating." Articular infinitive (second aorist active of  εσθιω ) and subject of  καλον εστιν (copula, understood).

Flesh ( κρεας ). Old word, in N.T. only here and 1Co 8:13.

To drink ( πειν ). Shortened form for  πιειν (second aorist active infinitive of  πινω ).

Whereby ( εν ω ). "On which thy brother stumbleth" ( προσκοπτε ).

Have thou to thyself before God ( συ--κατα σεαυτον εχε ενωπιον του θεου ). Very emphatic position of  συ at the beginning of the sentence, "Thou there." The old MSS. put  ην (relative "which") after  πιστιν and before  εχεις. 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 ( εν ο δοκιμαζε ). 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).

He that doubteth ( ο διακρινομενος ). Present middle participle of  διακρινω, to judge between ( δια ), to hesitate. See Jas 1:6f. for this same picture of the double-minded man. Cf. Ro 4:20; Mr 11:23.

Is condemned ( κατακεκριτα ). Perfect passive indicative of  κατακρινω (note  κατα- ), "stands condemned."

If he eat ( εαν φαγη ). Third class condition,  εαν and second aorist active subjunctive. If in spite of his doubt, he eat.

Whatsoever is not of faith is sin ( παν ο ουκ εκ πιστεως αμαρτια εστιν ).

Faith ( πιστις ) 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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