Early Church Fathers
4 Verse 12 is best understood as a quasi-correction, or modification of v. II, to show that he does not mean that his coming to them would be a blessing to them alone, but also to himself; thus: I mean to say that I want to visit you not only that I may impart (metadw, v. 2) something unto you, but that I may be encouraged in you (or among you) through the action and reaction of our common (en allhloij) faith. Thus touto de estin is taken not as simply explanatory, but as mildly adversative.-G. B. S.
5 periplakwmen seems here to have a double sense from the context.
6 Verse 13 adds a new reason for his wish to visit Rome-ina tina karpon sxw. It seems to me that more is here meant than the establishing and encouragement of v. 11, 12; that the Apostle is not here merely repeating the idea of ti metadw xarisma (Meyer, Afford), but is thinking of the conversion of those outside of the Roman Christian community. This is confirmed by the generalization of v. 14: "And to Greeks and Barbarians, I am debtor." It was not merely a joy that he might experience, but a conquest which he might win for Christ. His purpose to go to Rome is grounded upon his fixed purpose to carry the gospel to all Gentile nations without distinction of race or culture (so Godet, Hofmann). Chrysostom's exposition proceeds upon the B.S.supposition of the simple identity of these statements.-G. B. S.
7 ecwmidaj, a short tunic leaving the arms and shoulders bare, which had with it a kind of mantle. It was used by slaves, and adopted perhaps by these philosophers as a badge of austerity. See Aelian. Var. Hist. 1. ix. c. 34. Ed. Varior. note of Perizonius.
8 Field reads adomenoj kai periferomenoj, Vulg. agomenoj which may mean "alleged."
9 And this the wiser heathen urge, as Plato, Rep. xi. and Euthyph. and Aristoph. Nub.
10 Joel ii. 25. S. Ephrem considers that passage to allude to the plagues of Egypt; and so others.
11 See the Ceremonies of Baptism, St. Cyril Lect. xx. (ii. on Myst.) c. 4. He says they "were led to the holy pool." p. 264.
12 Verse 16 might almost be considered as a summary of the apostle's doctrine. It could be expressed thus: subject: The gospel, what is it? God's power. For what? Salvation. For whom? Every one that believeth. On what historic conditions? To the Jew first and also to the Greek. Prwton is best taken not as simply chronological (Chrys. Godet, Hodge), but as denoting a providential, economic B.S (Meyer, De Wette, Tholuck, Philippi, Alford).-G. B. S.
13 Dikaiosunh qeou (17) means a righteousness which is from God (gen. orig.) and of which God's character is the norm. The dikaioj stands in an ethical relation which, on its divine side, is designated as dik. qeou. God is the author of this right condition, but man is placed in it on condition and in consequence of faith. The dik. is ek pistewj as its conditioning cause and its aims at faith and terminates in faith-eij pistin. How closely and vitally are faith and righteousness connected! And yet they are to be distinguished. Faith is a subjective exercise; righteousness is a status. The former is that which man does; the latter is the relation and condition in which God places the believer. They represent respectively the human and the divine sides of salvation and are so vitally related that Paul can say: logizetai h pistij eij dikaiosunhn (Rom. iv. 5 sq).-G. B. S.
14 See Eccles. xi. 5. and Homer, Odys. 1. 216, also Menander as quoted by Eustathius on that passage.
15 2 mss. "to call God to account for His injunctions."
1 The author does not make it plain in what he understands' the revelation of God's wrath here spoken of to consist. He mentions famines and pestilences as things in which it "often takes place." Paul evidently means that God's wrath is manifest in the judicial hardening of the people for their sins (vid. vv. 21, 28). Their shameful deeds and lives are the penalty of their sin. "God punishes their sin by sin" (Weiss), that is, He made them reap the bitter fruit in sinful lives of their sinful choices and acts. The view of Ritschl that orgh qeou is here eschatological in meaning seems very inadequately supported (vid. Godet on Romans-Am. ed. p. 102).-G. B. S.
2 St. Basil speaks similarly of various punishments, Reguloe. Br. Tr. int. 267, ed. Ben. text ii. p. 507. Theophylact on Matt. viii. 12, seems to allude to this passage. Both say that "outer darkness" implies an "inner," but seemingly in opposite senses Theoph. taking esw to be towards Heaven. Origen on Matt. xxii. 13 makes it a temporary punishment. St. Chrys. on Matt. xxii. 13. St. Aug. on Ps. vi. 6. St. Jerome on Matt. viii. 12, take it otherwise. See also St. Bas. on Ps. 33 (4), 11, text i. 151 e. See Maldonatus on Matt. viii. 12, and St. Chrys. on Rom. xvi. 16, infra on the difference of punishments.
3 Pascal. Pen. c. 20, thinks an inward illumination implied here.
4 agnohsantej 4 mss. and Sav. marg.; in text agnwmonhsantej, having been obstinate.
5 Thus Tert. Ap. 46. Lact. iii. 20. Origen cont. Cels. vi. c. 4, quotes this as showing the Philosophers guilty of St. Paul's charge at the same time speaking of Socrates' previous discourse as "what God had shown them;" the note of Spencer, Ed. Ben. i, 631, quotes an allegorical explanation. Theodoret, Groec. Aff. Cur. Dis. vii. de Sacr. says it was done to disprove the charge of Atheism.
[Probably Socrates' real judgment on the popular mythology was, that it was an imperfect and economical revelation of a higher truth than it expressed: and its ceremonies the legitimate though conventional expression of true devotion. Thus "the cock to Aesculapius" was the sick man's thank-offering for recovery from "life's fitful fever."]
6 See Plat. Io 533 E. and perhaps Euthyph. 6 A. B: passages certainly not fairly representative of Plato's deliberate opinions. But Greek Philosophy is here treated as attempting to rival the Gospel. The Fathers who most value what is true in it, as Clement of Alexandria and Justin Martyr, speak of it as from partial Divine Light, and use it against the false; as CI. A. Str. 1. recommends the study of it for subordinate knowledge, and Cohort. ad Gr. quotes Heathens against the mythology, whose authors he considers led by demons to deceive men. So too Justin, Ap. i. 46, allows Heathens a partaking of the Logoj, and 20, 55, 58, 62, etc., refers idol rites to the demons. St. Augustin de Civ. Dei, viii. 10, and elsewhere, gives a fair estimate of Gentile Philosophy. The Apostolical Constitutions, 1. i. c. 6, forbid studying heathen books. Cotelerius in his note quotes on the same side, 1. ii. c. 61, recog. x. 15, 42. Isid. Sent. iii. 13, etc., and the blame cast on Origen by many. On the other side Tert. de Idol. c. 10, who however only defends learning in heathen schools, rather than Christians should conform to heathen customs as teachers. Origen Philocal. c. 13. Greg. Naz. Or. 20. Hieron. ep. 84. 70 Vall ad Magnum Oratorem Greg. Papa. ad 1 Reg. xiii. 19, 20. Theod. H. E. iv. 26, as checking excess in such studies, Greg. ad Desiderium, l. ix. Ep. 48. Hier. adv. Luciferianos, c. 5. Ep. 61, c. 1. Cassian. Coll. xiv. c. 12, etc.
7 The steps of this degeneracy of the Gentile world as indicated in v. 21-23 maybe indicated thus: (1) ceasing to give glory to God and to recognize his power and divineness. (2) Thanklessness. They lost the sense of their relation to him as recipients of his bounty. (3) They entered into vain and foolish speculations-dialogismoi. (4) These ended only in blindness of mind and heart to the truth which they once possessed. (5) Mistaking all this folly for wisdom, they were ripe for complete self-deception. They perverted their religious feeling' by ceasing to make the glorious perfection of God the object of their worship and by substituting images of men and animals.-G. B. S.
8 The expression: "God gave them up," etc. is not to be so softened down into the idea of mere permission. With this v. (24) begins the description of God's revelation of his wrath against them. This is introduced by dio; because they had pursued the course outlined in the preceding verses (19-23) God set in operation against them those moral and providential forces which reduced them to the lowest depth of misery and shame. Vv. 25-32 show what this exhibition of his wrath was and what were its consequences. For historic illustration of the condition of the Heathen world at this time, see Fisher, Beginnings of Christianity, chap. vi.-G. B. S.
9 Greg. Nyss. i. p. 720.epei apaqej to Qeion, o en paqei wn thj proj to Qeion sunafeiaj aposxoinizetai.
10 ta thj pr. i.e. his fastings, etc. S. Ephrem notes that it was not the miracles which were supernatural, but the grace of the doers thereof, in Nat. Dom. ix. text 2. p. 427. f.
1 3 mss. tauta de (boulomenw) amfotera ouk enon (katorqoun). (Sav. enhn) but in these one cannot succeed merely by wishing it.
2 mikraj, mss. the fem. is used of jewels. The Translator once had some earth which the natives of Mozambique eat in this way; it becomes a dram to them, its taste is like magnesia with iron, which last would give it a stimulant property. There are some other instances, but cases of madness are perhaps intended.
3 3 mss. I should say, ...and if you ask whence is the desertion of God, I shall answer you again.
4 Gal. 6, 1. prolhfqentej, but 5 mss. paral.
5 kuriwj, perhaps "as by name."
6 See Mùller's Dorians, 1. iv. c. 4, §6, where it is shown that this charge is more than exaggerated from confounding earlier times with later. Aristotle, Pol. ii. and Plato, Leg. i. 636, accuse the Lacedaemonians in like manner, but see Xen. de Rep. Lac. ii. 13. Aelian. v. H. iii. I. 12, and other writers quoted by Mùller. At Athens opinion was, according to Plato, rather lax than positively immoral: it may be doubted if Solon's law (Aesch. in Tim. 19, 25,) was meant to bear the worst sense, though censured by Plutarch in almost the same terms as here. That there was however a fearful prevalence of this vice among the heathen cannot be disputed.
7 There is no more forcible exhibition of the meaning of the apostle in the volume, then that found in this Homily. The depravity of the heathen world of which Paul has drawn but an outline picture is here painted in full in dark and awful colors. The force of dia touto (26) is rightly brought out as showing the relation of this depravity to the divine penalty for unbelief and irreligion. This deplorable moral condition is the judicial consequence of not following the light which God had given. It follows from the recoil of the moral law upon those who violate it. It is an example of the Saviour's warning: "If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness?" (Matt. vi. 23). The inevitable result of continued sin is a constantly increased and inveterate sinfulness which, as Chrys. says, is itself a most bitter punishment.-G. B. S.
1 mss. the evil mind and negligence (or self-will, raqumiaj) to which the sins belonged. See St. Aug. Conf. b. 3, c. 16, b. 5, c. 18, b. 7, c. 4, Oxf. Tr. pp. 40, 78, 110, etc.
2 Chrys. is correct in denying that Paul refers sin to the flesh (in the sense of the body), as its cause and seat. With the apostle sarc is not the same as swma in its relation to sin. Sarc comprehends the whole unregenerate man and not merely his body or the impulses and passions connected with his physical life. It is true that Paul regards the body as the sphere in which sin makes many of its worst manifestations. It may be due to this that he chose the word sarc to denote unrenewed human nature. With Paul the cause and seat of sin are in the will. He nowhere identifies evil with the body and therefore lays no basis for asceticism or for the contempt or ill-treatment of the body. Of the "works of the flesh" which he enumerates in Gal. v. 19-21 more than half are sins having no special relation to the body and not manifesting themselves through physical appetites or passions, as, e.g. "idolatry, enmities, jealousies, divisions, heresies."-G.B.S.
3 adokimoj, usually rendered "reprobate" as in the text, here seems to be used with a consciousness of its etymology, as St. Paul plays on the word in ouk edokimasan.
4 The author seems here to overlook the fact that Paul at the beginning of ch. ii. turns to the Jews. Chrys. speaks as. if he were now addressing specifically "rulers." But as the argument goes on, the language shows more and more clearly that he is here thinking of the Jewish world (see v. 12 sq and esp. 17). The "therefore" grounds the fact of universal condemnation upon the description of sin as universal, contained in i. 18-32. The only peculiarity is that the statement that this picture of Gentile depravity is a picture of universal application, is made afterwards, "For wherein," etc. The argument proceeds as if after i. 32 the apostle had been interrupted with the objection, "But your description. does not apply to us." The apostle answers: "It does, for you do the same things." The "therefore" is proleptic so far as it assumes as shown what he now asserts: ta gar auta prasseij o krinwn. The conclusion is thus stated before the major premiss.-G. B. S.