Exhortation for the Strong to Help the Weak
1 But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves.#tn Grk “and not please ourselves.” NT Greek negatives used in contrast like this are often not absolute, but relative: “not so much one as the other.” 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”#sn A quotation from Ps 69:9. 4 For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. 5 Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another#tn Grk “grant you to think the same among one another.” in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Exhortation to Mutual Acceptance
7 Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised#tn Grk “of the circumcision”; that is, the Jews. on behalf of God’s truth to confirm the promises made to the fathers,#tn Or “to the patriarchs.” 9 and thus the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy.#tn There are two major syntactical alternatives which are both awkward: (1) One could make “glorify” dependent on “Christ has become a minister” and coordinate with “to confirm” and the result would be rendered “Christ has become a minister of circumcision to confirm the promises…and so that the Gentiles might glorify God.” (2) One could make “glorify” dependent on “I tell you” and coordinate with “Christ has become a minister” and the result would be rendered “I tell you that Christ has become a minister of circumcision…and that the Gentiles glorify God.” The second rendering is preferred. As it is written, “Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name.”#sn A quotation from Ps 18:49. 10 And again it says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”#sn A quotation from Deut 32:43. 11 And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him.”#sn A quotation from Ps 117:1. 12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, and the one who rises to rule over the Gentiles, in him will the Gentiles hope.”#sn A quotation from Isa 11:10. 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him,#tn Grk “in the believing” or “as [you] believe,” with the object “him” supplied from the context. The referent could be God (15:13a) or Christ (15:12). so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s Motivation for Writing the Letter
14 But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters,#tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13. that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve#tn Grk “serving.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text, but in keeping with contemporary English style, a new sentence was started here in the translation. the gospel of God#tn The genitive in the phrase τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ (to euangelion tou qeou, “the gospel of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“the gospel which God brings”) or an objective genitive (“the gospel about God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, an interplay between the two concepts is intended: The gospel which God brings is in fact the gospel about himself. like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering,#tn Grk “so that the offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable.” This could be understood to refer to an offering belonging to the Gentiles (a possessive genitive) or made by the Gentiles (subjective genitive), but more likely the phrase should be understood as an appositive genitive, with the Gentiles themselves consisting of the offering (so J. D. G. Dunn, Romans [WBC 38], 2:860). The latter view is reflected in the translation “so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering.” sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17 So I boast#tc ‡ After οὖν (oun), several important Alexandrian and Western mss (B C D F G 81 365 pc) have τήν (thn). The article is lacking in א A Ψ 33 1739 1881 Ï however. Ì46 supplies a relative pronoun and has a different reading entirely (“which I have [as a] boast”). Articles were frequently introduced to clarify the meaning of the text. In this instance, since the word modified (καύχησιν, kauchsin) is third declension, a visual oversight (resulting in omission) is less likely. Hence, the shorter reading is probably original. The difference in translation between these first two options is negligible (“I have the boast” or “I have a boast”). NA27 puts the article in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.tn Grk “Therefore I have a boast.” in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience#tn Grk “unto obedience.” of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And in this way I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”#sn A quotation from Isa 52:15.
Paul’s Intention of Visiting the Romans
22 This is the reason I was often hindered from coming to you. 23 But now there is nothing more to keep me#tn Grk “now no longer having a place…I have.” in these regions, and I have for many years desired#tn Grk “but having a desire…for many years.” to come to you 24 when I go to Spain. For I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will help me#tn Grk “and to be helped by you.” The passive construction was changed to an active one in the translation. on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
25 But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints.#tn Grk “to them”; the referent (the Jerusalem saints) has been specified in the translation for clarity. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them,#tn Grk “have sealed this fruit to them.” I will set out for Spain by way of you, 29 and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters,#tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13. through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf. 31 Pray#tn Verses 30-31 form one long sentence in the Greek but have been divided into two distinct sentences for clarity in English. that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea and that my ministry in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen.#tc Some mss lack the word “Amen” here, one of them (Ì46) also inserting 16:25-27 at this point. See the tc note at 16:25 for more information.
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