I have read some of the most ridiculous arguments on Romans 1:18-32.
How is it that the reprobate mind see’s itself as Holy practicing that which God Condemns, searches for meanings in scripture which cannot be supported in the text. This is not about people God hates, it is a plea to flee the unrighteousness and repent before it is too late and judgement ensues, be ye Holy for I AM Holy.
As A. T. Robertson has so eloquently stated in his work,
Robertson, A.T. “Commentary on Romans 1:1”. “Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament”.
For the wrath of God is revealed (αποκαλυπτεται γαρ οργη τεου — apokaluptetai gar orgē theou). Note in Romans Paul‘s use of γαρ — gar now argumentative, now explanatory, now both as here. There is a parallel and antecedent revelation (see Romans 1:17) of God‘s wrath corresponding to the revelation of God‘s righteousness, this an unwritten revelation, but plainly made known. Οργη — Orgē is from οργαω— orgaō to teem, to swell. It is the temper of God towards sin, not rage, but the wrath of reason and law (Shedd). The revelation of God‘s righteousness in the gospel was necessary because of the failure of men to attain it without it, for God‘s wrath justly rested upon all both Gentiles (Romans 1:18-32) and Jews (2:1-3:20).
Ungodliness (ασεβειαν — asebeian). Irreligion, want of reverence toward God, old word (cf. 2 Timothy 2:16).
Unrighteousness (αδικιαν — adikian). Lack (α — a privative and δικη — dikē) of right conduct toward men, injustice (Romans 9:14; Luke 18:6). This follows naturally from irreverence. The basis of ethical conduct rests on the nature of God and our attitude toward him, otherwise the law of the jungle (cf. Nietzsche, “might makes right”).
Hold down the truth (την αλητειαν κατεχοντων — tēn alētheian katechontōn). Truth (αλητεια αλητης — alētheiaα — alēthēs from λητω — a privative and λαντανω — lēthō or κατεχω — lanthanōto conceal) is out in the open, but wicked men, so to speak, put it in a box and sit on the lid and “hold it down in unrighteousness.” Their evil deeds conceal the open truth of God from men. Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:6. for this use of katechō to hinder.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”
It is a revealing of the motives of men God is speaking with, Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Roberson continues on verse 19:
Because (διοτι — dioti). Gives the reason (δια οτι — diaτο γνωστον του τεου — hoti like our “for that”) for the revelation of God‘s wrath.
That which may be known of God (γινωσκω — to gnōston tou theou). Verbal adjective from η γνωσις — ginōskō either “the known” as elsewhere in N.T. (Acts 1:19; Acts 15:18, etc.) or “the knowable” as usual in ancient Greek, that is “the knowledge” (χρηστον — hē gnōsis) of God. SeePhilemon 3:8. Cf. same use of the verbal αμετατετον — chrēston in Romans 2:4, πανερον εν αυτοις— ametatheton in Hebrews 6:17.
Manifest in them (ο τεος επανερωσεν — phaneron en autois). In their hearts and consciences.
God manifested (πανεροω — ho theos ephanerōsen). First aorist active indicative of phaneroō Not mere tautology. See Romans 2:14-16.”
This is the Law written on our hearts when we are honest and we cannot deny the unholy acts of man.
20 For 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:
Note how Robertson continues this study,
The invisible things of him (τα αορατα αυτου — ta aorata autou). Another verbal adjective (α — aprivative and οραω — horaō to see), old word, either unseen or invisible as here and elsewhere in N.T. (Colossians 1:15., etc.). The attributes of God‘s nature defined here as “his everlasting power and divinity” (η τε αιδιος αυτου δυναμις και τειοτης — hē te aidios autou dunamis kai theiotēs). Αιδιος —Aidios is for αειδιος — aeidios from αει — aei (always), old word, in N.T. only here and Judges 1:6, common in Philo (ζωη αιδιος — zōē aidios), elsewhere αιωνιος — aiōnios Τειοτης — Theiotēs is from τειος — theios (from τεος — theos) quality of τεος — theos and corresponds more to Latin divinitas from divus, divine. In Colossians 2:9 Paul uses τεοτης — theotēs (Latin deitas from deus) deity, both old words and nowhere else in the N.T. Τεοτης — Theotēs is Divine Personality, τειοτης — theiotēs Divine Nature and properties (Sanday and Headlam).
Since the creation of the world (απο κτισεως κοσμου — apo ktiseōs kosmou). He means by God and unto God as antecedent to and superior to the world (cf. Colossians 1:15. about Christ).
Are clearly seen (κατοραται — kathoratai). Present passive indicative of κατοραω — kathoraō(perfective use of κατα — katȧ), old word, only here in N.T., with direct reference to αορατα — aorata
Being perceived (νοουμενα — nooumena). Present passive participle of νοεω — noeō to use the νους — nous (intellect).
That they may be without excuse (εις το ειναι αυτους αναπολογητους — eis to einai autous anapologētous). More likely, “so that they are without excuse.” The use of εις το — eis to and the infinitive (with accusative of general reference) for result like ωστε — hōste is reasonably clear in the N.T. (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 219; Robertson, Grammar, p. 1003). Αναπολογητους — Anapologētous is another verbal with αν — an from απολογεομαι — apologeomai Old word, in N.T. only here and Romans 2:1 (“inexcusable” here).
21 Because 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 .
Robertson’s says in disecting verse 21 how men deal with their understand of God out of their own vain hearts of unbelief in this manner.
Because that (διοτι — dioti). As in Romans 1:19.
Knowing God (γνοντες τον τεον — gnontes ton theon). Second aorist active participle of γινωσκω —ginōskō to know by personal experience. Definite statement that originally men had some knowledge of God. No people, however degraded, have yet been found without some yearning after a god, a seeking to find the true God and get back to him as Paul said in Athens (Acts 17:27).
Glorified not as God (ουχ ως τεον εδοχασαν — ouch hōs theon edoxasan). They knew more than they did. This is the reason for the condemnation of the heathen (Romans 2:12-16), the failure to do what they know.
Their senseless heart (η ασυνετος αυτων καρδια — hē asunetos autōn kardia). Καρδια — Kardiais the most comprehensive term for all our faculties whether feeling (Romans 9:2), will (1 Corinthians 4:5), intellect (Romans 10:6). It may be the home of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) or of evil desires (Romans 1:24). See notes on Mark 7:21. for list of vices that come “out of the heart.” Ασυνετος — Asunetos is a verbal adjective from συνιημι — suniēmi to put together, and α — a privative, unintelligent, not able to put together the manifest evidence about God (Romans 1:20). So darkness settled down on their hearts (εσκοτιστη — eskotisthē first aorist ingressive passive of σκοτιζω — skotizō to darken).”
There is no wonder why men today speak so rabidly about Biblical Authority and God for it foretold of there ignorance, arrogance, and effectual destruction of the high mined disbeliever of our day.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ,
Further study with Roberson says:
Professing themselves to be wise (πασκοντες ειναι σοποι — phaskontes einai sophoi). Σοποι —Sophoi is predicate nominative with ειναι — einai in indirect discourse agreeing with πασκοντες —phaskontes (old verb, from πημι — phēmi to say, rare in N.T.) in case and number according to regular Greek idiom (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1038).
Became vain (εματαιωτησαν — emataiōthēsan). Ingressive first aorist passive indicative of ματαιοω— mataioō from ματαιος — mataios (empty). Empty reasonings as often today.
Became fools (εμωραντησαν — emōranthēsan). Ingressive first aorist passive of μωραινω — mōrainōto be a fool, old word from μωρος — mōros a fool. An oxymoron or sharp saying, true and one that cuts to the bone.
For the likeness of an image (εν ομοιωματι εικονος — en homoiōmati eikonos). Both words, “a likeness which consists in an image or copy” (Lightfoot). See note on Philemon 2:7 for “likeness of men” and Colossians 1:15 for “image of God.” Paul shows indignant contempt for these grotesque efforts to present pictures of a deity that had been lost (Denney). Why is it that heathen images of gods in the form of men and beasts are so horrible to look upon?”
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.
Robertson skips this verse however, but Fritz Rienecker, ALinguistic Key To The Greek New Testament 1982 Zondarvan states verse 23 this way:
“ηλλαξαν aor. άλλáσσω to exchange. The exchanged one thing for another (Hodge). ἄφθαρτος likeness, implies a resemblance which maybe accidental. Είκων image, presupposes and archetype of which it is a copy. The gen. is gen. of apposition or explanation. (For the word and the preceding, s. Lightfoot, Notes.) φθαρτός corruptible. πετεινά (pl.) birds.τετράπους four-footed. έρπετά (pl.) creeping things, snakes.”
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Robertson continues the his study of verse 24 this way:
God gave them up (παρεδωκεν αυτους ο τεος — paredōken autous ho theos). First aorist active indicative of παραδιδωμι — paradidōmi old and common verb to hand over (beside, παρα — para) to one‘s power as in Matthew 4:12. These people had already wilfully deserted God who merely left them to their own self-determination and self-destruction, part of the price of man‘s moral freedom. Paul refers to this stage and state of man in Acts 17:30 by “overlooked” (υπεριδων — huperidōn). The withdrawal of God‘s restraint sent men deeper down. Three times Paul uses παρεδωκεν — paredōken here (Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28), not three stages in the giving over, but a repetition of the same withdrawal. The words sound to us like clods on the coffin as God leaves men to work their own wicked will.
That their bodies should be dishonoured (του ατιμαζεσται τα σωματα αυτων — tou atimazesthai ta sōmata autōn). Contemplated result expressed by του — tou (genitive article) and the passive infinitive ατιμαζεσται — atimazesthai (from ατιμος — atimos α — a privative and τιμος —timos dishonoured) with the accusative of general reference. Christians had a new sense of dignity for the body (1 Thessalonians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 6:13). Heathenism left its stamp on the bodies of men and women.”
Here we note the same marks on how we view ourselves today, how we fashion the views of ourselves. On the one hand as those made in the image of God the Latin as Imago Dei as Kiel and Delitzsch Vol. I Pg.61-62 The Pentateuch says in reference to this verse: “The creation of man does not take place though a word addressed by God to the earth, but as the result of the divine decree, “We will make man in Our image, after our likeness,” which proclaimes at the very outset the distinction and pre-eminence of man above all the other creatures of the earth.”.
We have a distinction laid on us that sets us apart from the rest of the creation. We have within us body, soul (ψυχή psuche) and spirit, no other creature has this distinction. Worship is reserved for mankind no other species upon the earth does this. Note in verse 25 what happens next it is a replay of the fall of man in the garden.
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator , who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Robertson continues his explanation of these passages in this manner.
Exchanged (μετηλλαχαν — metēllaxan). First aorist active indicative of μεταλλασσω — metallassōold word for exchanging trade, only here and Romans 1:26 in N.T. What a bargain they made, “the truth of God for (εν — en) the (τωι — tōi) lie.” “The price of mythology” (Bengel).
Worshipped (εσεβαστησαν — esebasthēsan). First aorist passive (used transitively) of σεβαζομαι —sebazomai old verb, used in late Greek like σεβομαι — sebomai to worship.
Rather than the Creator (παρα τον κτισαντα — para ton ktisanta). Placed side by side (παρα —para the Creator and the creature, κτισις — ktisis) they preferred the creature.
Who is blessed forever. Amen (ος εστιν ευλογητοσ Αμην — hos estin eulogētoṡ Amēn). One of Paul‘s doxologies which may come at any moment when he is greatly stirred, as in Romans 9:5.Ευλογητος — Eulogētos is verbal of ευλογεω — eulogeō f0).
This returns us to the problem of the Garden of Eden when Eve desires to be as God. Man always returns to the heights of vanity in comparing himself as a god or setting others up as gods even in early Rome Hercules and others assessing themselves to be god like. The Roman emperor was deemed as a god with the power over life and death and many others even in our late centuries the Japanese Emperor was deemed as a god. But none of us can Create any thing, that is to say as in the scriptural definition: To bring into existence something out of nothing. We cannot breath life into anyone with body soul and spirit, only God can for we are God breathed. Not even Women as pom-pus as they are about bringing life into the world they are only the vessels by which life is delivered. Without God they are empty vessels and devoid of all life and life as we know it ceases. This is why Life is sacred otherwise murder, euthanasia, abortion and any other sin would simple have no sense at all, no morality we would be like the beasts or as the humanist who believes “All things are permissible but not all things are expedient.”. There would be no law and killing some only a matter of circumstance, rape, incest all permissible and in fact the pleasure principal would rule” that which bring me the greatest pleasure is the greatest good.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
We will continue the study with Robertson:
Unto vile passions (εις πατη ατιμιας — eis pathē atimias). Unto passions of dishonour. Πατος —Pathos old word from πασχω — paschō to experience, originally meant any feeling whether good or bad, but in N.T. always in bad sense as here, 1 Thessalonians 4:5; Colossians 3:5 (only N.T. examples).
That which is against nature (την παρα πυσιν — tēn para phusin). The degradation of sex is what Paul here notes as one of the results of heathenism (the loss of God in the life of man). They passed by the Creator.”
We hear the cries of the Preacher echoed in Ecclesiastes 1:ff “Vanity of Vanity all is Vanity and vexation of spirit” we hear in verse 14. These verse here echo the same message and the same conclusion for in Chapter 12: 13-14 we find this ” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter fear God and keep his commandment for this is the whole duty of man for God shall bring every work into judgement every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil.”
27 And 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.
we will continue this study with Robertson:
Turned (εχεκαυτησαν — exekauthēsan). First aorist passive indicative, causative aorist, of εκκαιω —ekkaiō old verb, to burn out, to set on fire, to inflame with anger or lust. Here only in N.T.
Lust (ορεχει — orexei). Only here in N.T.
Unseemliness (ασχημοσυνην — aschēmosunēn). Old word from ασχημον — aschēmon (deformed). In N.T. only here and Revelation 16:15.
Recompense (αντιμιστιαν — antimisthian). See note on 2 Corinthians 6:13 for only other N.T. instance of this late Pauline word, there in good sense, here in bad.
Which was due (hēn edei). Imperfect active for obligation still on them coming down from the past. This debt will be paid in full (apolambanontes pay back as in Luke 6:34, and due as in Luke 23:41). Nature will attend to that in their own bodies and souls.
What have our accusers missed when they read this “the natural use of the woman”, what did the creator say, she will be a help meet (Companion) for him for this is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone she shall be called Woman. After the fall of mankind note the curse in Gen. 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children: and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Anyone that has been around a pregnant woman for any length of time knows the difficulties associated here. The natural order is male and female, not male and male or female and female or even male and male and occasionally a female this is not the natural order, but we see the corruption evident even in nature and the animal lust that is exhibited. But here he describes those who should know better than to act as the base animals do. We have altered the divine pattern which was given by the Creator and dishonored ourselves by practicing that which the Creator has deemed an abomination in Lev. 20:13, 18:22 or the condemnation of Sodomites in Deut. 23:17, which is stated again in 1Cor. 6:9 and even condemns acts which lend men to acting as women, defined as effeminate. This is the baseness of life without the Creator contrary to the whims of men or women the ultimate goal in life is not the multiple orgasm or life without nagging to put it politically correct and not having to put down the toilet seat or any of the other of the reasons I have heard from the wranglings of those who practice this life style. This life style is contrary to the understand of what Love is in Jn. 5:3 If you love me keep my commandments and my commandments are not grievous (or burdensome).
Instead let us move on and learn the rest of this passage.
28 And 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 ;
Continuing this study Robertson clarifies:
And even as they refused (και κατως ουκ εδοκιμασαν — kai kathōs ouk edokimasan). “And even as they rejected” after trial just as δοκιμαζω — dokimazō is used of testing coins. They tested God at first and turned aside from him.
Knowledge (επιγνωσει — epignōsei). Full knowledge (επι — epi additional, γνωσις — gnōsis). They had a dim memory that was a caricature.
Unto a reprobate mind (εις αδοκιμον νουν — eis adokimon noun). Play on ουκ εδοκιμασαν — ouk edokimasan They rejected God and God rejected their mental attitude and gave them over (Romans 1:24,Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28). See this adjective already in 1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5-7. Like an old abandoned building, the home of bats and snakes, left “to do those things which are not fitting” (ποιειν τα μη κατηκοντα — poiein ta mē kathēkonta), like the night clubs of modern cities, the dives and dens of the underworld, without God and in the darkness of unrestrained animal impulses. This was a technical term with Stoics (2 Maccabees 6:4).
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Being called with (πεπληρωμενους — peplērōmenous). Perfect passive participle of the common verbπληροω — plēroō state of completion, “filled to the brim with” four vices in the associative instrumental case (αδικιαι — adikiāi unrighteousness as in Romans 1:18, πονηριαι — ponēriāi active wickedness as in Mark 7:22, πλεονεχιαι — pleonexiāi covetousness as in 1 Thessalonians 2:5; Luke 12:15, κακιαι— kakiāi maliciousness or inward viciousness of disposition as in 1 Corinthians 5:8). Note asyndeton, no connective in the lists in Romans 1:29-31. Dramatic effect. The order of these words varies in the MSS. and πορνειαι — porneiāi fornication, is not genuine here (absent in Aleph A B C).
Full of (μεστους — mestous). Paul changes from participle to adjective. Old adjective, rare in the N.T., like μεστοω — mestoō to fill full (only in Acts 2:13 in N.T.), stuffed full of (with genitive). Five substantives in the genitive (πτονου — phthonou envy, as in Galatians 5:21, πονου — phonou murder, and so a paronomasia or combination with πτονου — phthonou of like sounding words, εριδος — eridos strife, as in 2 Corinthians 12:16, κακοητιας — kakoēthias malignity, and here only in N.T. though old word from κακοητης — kakoēthēs and that from κακος — kakos and ητος — ēthos a tendency to put a bad construction on things, depravity of heart and malicious disposition.
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Paul changes the construction again to twelve substantives and adjectives that give vivid touches to this composite photograph of the God abandoned soul.
Whisperers (πσιτυριστας — psithuristas). Old word from πσιτυριζω — psithurizō to speak into the ear, to speak secretly, an onomatopoetic word like πσιτυρισμος — psithurismos (2 Corinthians 12:20) and only here in N.T.
Backbiters (καταλαλους — katalalous). Found nowhere else except in Hermas, compound likeκαταλαλεω — katalaleō to talk back (James 4:11), and καταλαλια — katalalia talking back (2 Corinthians 12:20), talkers back whether secretly or openly.
Hateful to God (τεοστυγεις — theostugeis). Old word from τεος — theos and στυγεω — stugeō All the ancient examples take it in the passive sense and so probably here. So στυγητος — stugētos (Titus 3:13). Vulgate has deo odibiles.
Insolent (υβριστας — hubristas). Old word for agent from υβριζω — hubrizō to give insult to, here alone in N.T. save 1 Timothy 1:13.
Haughty (υπερηπανους — huperēphanous). From υπερ — huper and παινομαι — phainomai to appear above others, arrogant in thought and conduct, “stuck up.”
Boastful (αλαζονας — alazonas). From αλη — alē wandering. Empty pretenders, swaggerers, braggarts.
Inventors of evil things (επευρετας κακων — epheuretas kakōn). Inventors of new forms of vice as Nero was. Tacitus (Ann. IV. ii) describes Sejanus as facinorum omnium repertor and Virgil (Aen. ii. 163)scelerum inventor.
31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Without understanding (ασυνετους — asunetous). Same word in Romans 1:21.
Covenant-breakers (ασυντετους — asunthetous). Another paronomasia or pun. Α — A privative and verbal συντετος — sunthetos from συντιτημι — suntithēmi to put together. Old word, common in lxx (Jer 3:7), men “false to their engagements” (Sanday and Headlam), who treat covenants as “a scrap of paper.”
Without natural affection (αστοργους — astorgous). Late word, α — a privative and στοργη — storgēlove of kindred. In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 3:3.
Unmerciful (ανελεημονας — aneleēmonas). From α — a privative and ελεημων — eleēmōn merciful. Late word, only here in N.T. Some MSS. add ασπονδους — aspondous implacable, from 2 Timothy 3:3. It is a terrible picture of the effects of sin on the lives of men and women. The late Dr. R. H. Graves of Canton, China, said that a Chinaman who got hold of this chapter declared that Paul could not have written it, but only a modern missionary who had been to China. It is drawn to the life because Paul knew Pagan Graeco-Roman civilization.
32 Who 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.
The ordinance of God (το δικαιωμα του τεου — to dikaiōma tou theou). The heathen knows that God condemns such evil practices.
But also consent with them (αλλα και συνευδοκουσιν — alla kai suneudokousin). Late verb for hearty approval as in Luke 11:48; Acts 8:1; 1 Corinthians 7:12. It is a tragedy of American city government that so many of the officials are proven to be hand in glove with the underworld of law-breakers.”
In conclusion all of those who seek to hate God and mock his laws will still have to answer in the end. We are here to inform men of the Truth, remember your fight is not with me it is with the principalities and power above this world, those who practice these abominations are fighting against God not men. This is not an interpretation it is plain when you read the scripture, it not a grey area we have sufficient understanding from scripture to access the meaning in fact it is self evident to anyone who takes the time to read the text and evaluate it meaning , Robertson is only one tool in the Master tool box of understanding the Greek. For those who brand me as a Legalist I will deal with that in a later post you can be rest assured, You will not change the Truth of God into a lie….