Romans 15

We the strong ( ημεις ο δυνατο ). 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 ( τα ασθενηματα ). "The weaknesses" (cf.  ασθενων in 14:1,2), the scruples "of the not strong" ( των αδυνατων ). See Ac 14:8 where it is used of the man weak in his feet (impotent).

To bear ( βασταζειν ). As in Ga 6:2, common in the figurative sense.

Not to please ourselves ( μη εαυτοις αρεσκειν ). Precisely Paul's picture of his own conduct in 1Co 10:33.

For that which is good ( εις το αγαθον ). "For the good." As in 14:16,19. Not to please men just for popular favours, but for their benefit.

Pleased not himself ( ουχ εαυτω ηρεσεν ). Aorist active indicative of  αρεσκω with the usual dative. The supreme example for Christians. See 14:15. He quotes Ps 69:9 (Messianic Psalm) and represents the Messiah as bearing the reproaches of others.

Were written aforetime ( προεγραφη ). Second aorist passive indicative of  προγραφω, old verb, in N.T. only here, Ga 3:1 (which see); Eph 3:3; Jude 1:4.

For our learning ( εις την ημετεραν διδασκαλιαν ). "For the instruction of us." Objective sense of possessive pronoun  ημετερος. See Mt 15:9; 2Ti 3:16 for  διδασκαλιαν (from  διδασκω, to teach).

We might have hope ( την ελπιδα εχωμεν ). Present active subjunctive of  εχω with  ινα in final clause, "that we might keep on having hope." One of the blessed uses of the Scriptures.

The God of patience and comfort ( ο θεος της υπομονης κα της παρακλησεως ). 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 ( δωιη υμιν ). Second aorist active optative (Koine form for older  δοιη ) 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  δωη (subjunctive). The optative here is for a wish for the future (regular idiom).

According to Christ Jesus ( κατα Χριστον Ιησουν ). "According to the character or example of Christ Jesus" (2Co 11:17; Col 2:8; Eph 5:24).

With one accord ( ομοθυμαδον ). Here alone in Paul, but eleven times in Acts (Ac 1:14, etc.).

With one mouth ( εν εν στοματ ). Vivid outward expression of the unity of feeling.

May glorify ( δοξαζητε ). Present active subjunctive of  δοξαζω, final clause with  ινα "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.

Receive ye ( προσλαμβανεσθε as in 14:1),

received ( προσελαβετο, here of Christ as in 14:3 of God). The repetition here is addressed to both the strong and the weak and the "us" ( ημας ) includes all.

A minister of the circumcision ( διακονον περιτομης ). Objective genitive, "a minister to the circumcision."  Διακονον is predicate accusative with  γεγενησθα (perfect passive infinitive of  γινομα in indirect assertion after  λεγω, I say) and in apposition with  Χριστον, accusative of general reference with the infinitive. See Ga 4:4f.

That he might confirm ( εις το βεβαιωσα ). Purpose clause with  εις το and the infinitive  βεβαιωσα (first aorist active of  βεβαιοω, to make stand).

The promises given unto the fathers ( τας επαγγελιας των πατερων ). No "given" in the Greek, just the objective genitive, "the promises to the fathers." See 9:4,5.

And that the Gentiles might praise ( τα δε εθνη δοξασα ). Coordinate with  βεβαιωσα and  εις το, to be repeated with  τα εθνη, the accusative of general reference and  τον θεον the object of  δοξασα. 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  εξομολογεω, see 14:10.

I will sing ( ψαλω ). Future active of  ψαλλω, for which verb see on 1Co 14:15.

Rejoice, ye Gentiles ( ευφρανθητε ). First aorist passive imperative of  ευφραινω, old word from  ευ, well and  φρην, mind. See Lu 15:32. Quotation from De 32:43 (LXX).

All the Gentiles ( παντα τα εθνη ). From Ps 117:1 with slight variations from the LXX text.

The root ( η ριζα ). Rather here, as in Re 5:5; 23:16, the sprout from the root. From Isa 11:10.

On him shall the Gentiles hope ( επ' αυτω εθνη ελπιουσιν ). Attic future of  ελπιζω for the usual  ελπισουσιν.

The God of hope ( ο θεος της ελπιδος ). Taking up the idea in verse 12 as in verse 5 from 4.

Fill you ( πληρωσα υμας ). Optative (first aorist active of  πληροω ) of wish for the future. Cf.  δωιη in verse 5.

In believing ( εν τω πιστευειν ). "In the believing" ( εν with locative of the articular infinitive, the idiom so common in Luke's Gospel).

That ye may abound ( εις το περισσευειν υμας ). Purpose clause with  εις το, as in verse 8, with  περισσευειν (present active infinitive of  περισσευω, with accusative of general reference,  υμας ). This verse gathers up the points in the preceding quotations.

I myself also ( κα αυτος εγω ). See 7:25 for a like emphasis on himself, here in contrast with "ye yourselves" ( κα αυτο ). 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 ( μεστο αγαθοσυνης ). See 2Th 1:11; Ga 5:22 for this LXX and Pauline word (in ecclesiastical writers also) made from the adjective  αγαθος, good, by adding  -συνη (common ending for words like  δικαιοσυνη. See 1:29 for  μεστος with genitive and  πεπληρωμενο (perfect passive participle of  πληροω 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 ( νουθετειν ). To put in mind (from  νουθετης and this from  νους and  τιθημ ). 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).

I write ( εγραψα ). Epistolary aorist.

The more boldly ( τολμηροτερως ). Old comparative adverb from  τολμηρως. Most MSS. read  τολμηροτερον. Only here in N.T.

In some measure ( απο μερους ). Perhaps referring to some portions of the Epistle where he has spoken plainly (6:12,19; 8:9; 11:17; 14:3,4,10, etc.).

As putting you again in remembrance ( ος επαναμιμνησκων υμας ). Delicately put with  ως and  επ in the verb, "as if calling back to mind again" ( επ ). This rare verb is here alone in the N.T.

That I should be ( εις το εινα με ). The  εις το idiom with the infinitive again (verses 8,13).

Minister ( λειτουργον ). Predicate accusative in apposition with  με 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 ( ιερουργουντα ). Present active participle of  ιερουργεω, late verb from  ιερουργος ( ιεροσ, εργω ), 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 ( η προσφορα των εθνων ). Genitive of apposition, the Gentiles being the offering. They are Paul's offering. See Ac 21:26.

Acceptable ( ευπροσδεκτος ). See 2Co 6:2; 8:12. Because "sanctified in the Holy Spirit" ( ηγιασμενη εν πνευματ αγιω, perfect passive participle of  αγιαζω ).

In things pertaining to God ( τα προς τον θεον ). Accusative of general reference of the article used with the prepositional phrase, "as to the things relating to ( προς, facing) God."

Any things save those which Christ wrought through me ( τ ων ου κατειργασατο Χριστος δι' εμου ). Rather, "any one of those things which Christ did not work through me." The antecedent of  ων is the unexpressed  τουτων and the accusative relative  α (object of  κατειργασατο ) is attracted into the genitive case of  τουτων after a common idiom.

By word and deed ( λογω κα εργω ). Instrumental case with both words. By preaching and life (Lu 24:19; Ac 1:1; 7:22; 2Co 10:11).

In power of signs and wonders ( εν δυναμε σημειων κα τερατων ). Note all three words as in Heb 2:4, only here  δυναμις is connected with  σημεια and  τερατα. 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  εν δυναμε here with  πνευματος αγιου.

So that ( ωστε ). Result expressed by the perfect active infinitive  πεπληρωκενα (from  πληροω ) with the accusative  με (general reference).

Round about even unto Illyricum ( κυκλω μεχρ του Ιλλυρικου ). "In a ring" ( κυκλω, locative case of  κυκλος ). 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.

Yea ( ουτως δε ). "And so," introducing a limitation to the preceding statement.

Making it my aim ( φιλοτιμουμενον ). Present middle participle (accusative case agreeing with  με ) of  φιλοτιμεομα, old verb, to be fond of honour ( φιλοσ, τιμη ). 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 ( αμβιο, to go on both sides to carry one's point).

Not where ( ουχ οπου ). 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 ( ινα μη επ' αλλοτριον θεμελιον οικοδομω ). For  αλλοτριος (not  αλλος ) see 14:4. For  θεμελιον, 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.

As it is written ( καθως γεγραπτα ). 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.

I was hindered ( ενεκοπτομην ). Imperfect passive (repetition) of  ενκοπτω, 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 ( τα πολλα ). "As to the many things." In 1:13 Paul used  πολλακις (many times) and B D read it here. But Paul's work ( τα πολλα ) had kept him away.

From coming to you ( του ελθειν προς υμας ). Ablative case (after the verb of hindering) of the articular infinitive, "from the coming."

Having no more any place in these regions ( μηκετ τοπον εχων εν τοις κλιμασιν ). 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  κλιμα (from  κλινω, to incline), slope, then tract of land, region, see already 2Co 11:10; Ga 1:21 (the only N.T. examples).

A longing ( επιποθειαν ). A hapax legomenon, elsewhere  επιποθησις (2Co 7:7,11), from  επιποθεω as in Ro 1:11.

These many years ( απο ικανων ετων ). "From considerable years." So B C, but Aleph A D have  πολλων, "from many years."

Whensoever I go ( ως αν πορευωμα ). Indefinite temporal clause with  ως αν and the present middle subjunctive (cf. 1Co 11:34; Php 2:23 with aorist subjunctive).

Into Spain ( εις την Σπανιαν ). It was a Roman province with many Jews in it. The Greek name was  Ιβερια, the Latin Hispania. The Textus Receptus adds here  ελευσομα προς υμας (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 ( διαπορευομενος ). 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 ( προπεμφθηνα εκε ). "To be sent forward there." First aorist passive infinitive of  προπεμπω, 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 ( εαν υμων προτων απο μερους εμπλησθω ). Condition of third class with  εαν and first aorist passive subjunctive of  εμπιμπλημ, 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.

But now ( νυν δε ). Repeats the very words used in 23.

I go ( πορευομα ). Futuristic present as in Joh 14:2.

Ministering unto the saints ( διακονον τοις αγιοις ). Present active participle of purpose like  ευλογουντα 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.

For it hath been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia ( ηυδοκησαν γαρ Μακεδονια κα Αχαια ). "For Macedonia and Achaia took pleasure." The use of  ηυδοκησαν (first aorist active indicative of  ευδοκεω ) shows that it was voluntary (2Co 8:4). Paul does not here mention Asia and Galatia.

A certain contribution ( κοινωνιαν τινα ). Put thus because it was unknown to the Romans. For this sense of  κοινωνιαν, see 2Co 8:4; 9:13.

For the poor among the saints ( εις τους πτωχους των αγιων ). 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.

Their debtors ( οφειλετα αυτων ). Objective genitive: the Gentiles are debtors to the Jews. See the word  οφειλετης in 1:14; 8:12.

For if ( ε γαρ ). Condition of the first class, assumed as true, first aorist active indicative ( εκοινωνησαν, from  κοινωνεω, to share) with associative instrumental case ( πνευματικοις, spiritual things).

To minister unto ( λειτουργησα, first aorist active infinitive of  λειτουργεω with dative case  αυτοις, to them), but here certainly with no "sacerdotal" functions (cf. verse 16).

In carnal things ( εν τοις σαρκικοις ). Things which belong to the natural life of the flesh ( σαρξ ), not the sinful aspects of the flesh at all.

Have sealed ( σφραγισαμενος ). First aorist middle participle (antecedent action, having sealed) of  σφραγιζω, old verb from  σφραγις, 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 ( απελευσομα δι' υμων ). Future middle of  απερχομα, to go off or on. Note three prepositions here ( απ' from Rome,  δι' by means of you or through you,  εις 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.

When I come ( ερχομενος ). Present middle participle of  ερχομα with the time of the future middle indicative  ελευσομα (coming I shall come).

In the fulness of the blessing of Christ ( εν πληρωματ ευλογιας Χριστου ). On  πληρωματ, see 11:12. Paul had already (1:11f.) said that he had a  χαρισμα πνευματικον (spiritual blessing) for Rome. He did bring that to them.

By ( δια ). The intermediate agents of the exhortation (the Lord Jesus and the love of the Spirit) as  δια is used after  παρακαλω in 12:1.

That ye strive together with me ( συναγωνισασθα μο ). First aorist middle infinitive of  συναγων ζομα, old compound verb, only here in N.T., direct object of  παρακαλω, and with associative instrumental case  μο, the simplex  αγωνιζομενος, occurring in Col 4:12 of the prayers of Epaphras. For Christ's agony in prayer see Mt 26:42; Lu 22:44.

That I may be delivered ( ινα ρυσθω ). First aorist passive subjunctive of  ρυομα, old verb to rescue. This use of  ινα is the sub-final one after words of beseeching or praying. Paul foresaw trouble all the way to Jerusalem (Ac 20:23; 21:4,13).

May be acceptable to the saints ( ευπροσδεκτος τοις αγιοις γενητα ). "May become (second aorist middle subjunctive of  γινομα ) acceptable to the saints." The Judaizers would give him trouble. There was peril of a schism in Christianity.

That ( ινα ). Second use of  ινα in this sentence, the first one sub-final ( ινα ρυσθω ), this one final with  συναναπαυσωμα, first aorist middle subjunctive of the double compound verb  συναναπαυομα, late verb to rest together with, to refresh ( αναπαυω as in Mt 11:28) one's spirit with ( συν ), with the associative instrumental case  υμιν (with you), only here in the N.T.

The God of peace ( ο θεος της ειρηνης ). 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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