Παῦλος, δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, κλητὸς ἀπόστολος ἀφωρισμένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον Θεοῦ,
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called an apostle, being set apart for the gospel of God,
Paraphrase: I Paul am writing this letter. I am a slave of Jesus Christ who called Me to be an apostle and dedicated me to the work of proclaiming the good news. This is the good news that God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
ὃ προεπηγγείλατο διὰ τῶν προφητῶν αὐτοῦ ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγίαις,
which was promised before through His prophets in the holy Scriptures
Paraphrase: This good news was preached long ago by the prophets whose writings are preserved for us in the canon of Holy Scripture. This good news told us the story of
περὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα,
concerning His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh
Paraphrase: Jesus who is the Son of God in terms of His divine nature and in His human nature is a son of David in keeping with God’s promise to David. (2Sam 7:13)
τοῦ ὁρισθέντος Υἱοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν δυνάμει κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν·
being marked out as the Son of God by power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Paraphrase: We know he is the Son of God because the Holy Spirit made this clear to us when He gave Jesus the power to come out of the grave and to come back from the dead. This is the same Holy Spirit who leads us in a new life of holiness, and this is Jesus Christ, our great God and King.
δι’ οὗ ἐλάβομεν χάριν καὶ ἀποστολὴν εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ,
through whom we have received grace and apostleship for the obedience of the faith in all nations for His Name.
Paraphrase: From Jesus our Savior, we received both the mandate and the ability to carry His Name to all the nations and to call them to bow before this King and to find their life in Him.
ἐν οἷς ἐστε καὶ ὑμεῖς κλητοὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
in whom, you are the called of Jesus Christ
Paraphrase: Now this message has gone out to many nations, and it has reached you as well. You have also received the call of Jesus to come and bow before Him and to find your life and salvation in Him alone.
Πᾶσιν τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Ῥώμῃ, ἀγαπητοῖς Θεοῦ, κλητοῖς ἁγίοις· Χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
to all those in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints, Grace to and peace from God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paraphrase: To you then, I am writing this letter. All you who are in Rome, loved by God from eternity past and called now to be holy before Him, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Πρῶτον μὲν, εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ μου διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ περὶ πάντων ὑμῶν, ὅτι ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν καταγγέλλεται ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ κόσμῳ.
μάρτυς γάρ μού ἐστιν ὁ Θεός, ᾧ λατρεύω ἐν τῷ πνεύματί μου ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ Υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, ὡς ἀδιαλείπτως μνείαν ὑμῶν ποιοῦμαι,
πάντοτε ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου δεόμενος, εἴ πως ἤδη ποτὲ εὐοδωθήσομαι ἐν τῷ θελήματι τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς.
ἐπιποθῶ γὰρ ἰδεῖν ὑμᾶς, ἵνα τι μεταδῶ χάρισμα ὑμῖν πνευματικὸν, εἰς τὸ στηριχθῆναι ὑμᾶς,
τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν, συμπαρακληθῆναι ἐν ὑμῖν, διὰ τῆς ἐν ἀλλήλοις πίστεως ὑμῶν τε καὶ ἐμοῦ.
Οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι πολλάκις προεθέμην ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, καὶ ἐκωλύθην, ἄχρι τοῦ δεῦρο, ἵνα τινὰ καρπὸν σχῶ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν, καθὼς καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσιν.
Ἕλλησίν τε καὶ Βαρβάροις, σοφοῖς τε καὶ ἀνοήτοις, ὀφειλέτης εἰμί.
οὕτως τὸ κατ’ ἐμὲ πρόθυμον καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς ἐν Ῥώμῃ, εὐαγγελίσασθαι.
Οὐ γὰρ ἐπαισχύνομαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, δύναμις γὰρ Θεοῦ ἐστιν, εἰς σωτηρίαν παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι— Ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ Ἕλληνι.
δικαιοσύνη γὰρ Θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται, ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν, καθὼς γέγραπται· Ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται.
Ἀποκαλύπτεται γὰρ ὀργὴ Θεοῦ ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν καὶ ἀδικίαν ἀνθρώπων, τῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐν ἀδικίᾳ κατεχόντων,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven on all wickedness and unrighteousness of men, the ones suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.
Paraphrase: Now we have already shown that in the gospel, God reveals to believers a perfect righteousness which they can have simply by believing in Jesus. The same gospel, however, has a message for unbelievers and it’s anything but good news. To those who persist in a life of sin and rebellion, God reveals a perfect storm of wrath and condemnation. These wicked people live lives that are marked by complete disregard for the truth of God. In fact, they are busy suppressing what they do know about God. They push it away from them and pretend that there is no God in order that they might continue their life of sin uninterrupted. (Ps 14:1)
διότι τὸ γνωστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ φανερόν ἐστιν ἐν αὐτοῖς, ὁ θεὸς γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἐφανέρωσεν.
Wherefore, the thing known about God is clear in them, for God has revealed it to them.
Paraphrase: Perhaps some might object and wonder how it is just for God to punish someone who knows nothing about God. After all, the Gentiles do not have the Scriptures. The answer to this is simple. People do not need a copy of the Bible to know that there is a God. There are a number of things about God which anyone can know because God has made these things obvious to any thinking person. This is what we call God’s general revelation. It’s called “general” because it is accessible to any human person no matter where they live. (Ps 19)
τὰ γὰρ ἀόρατα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ κτίσεως κόσμου, τοῖς ποιήμασιν νοούμενα, καθορᾶται, ἥ τε ἀΐδιος αὐτοῦ δύναμις καὶ θειότης, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἀναπολογήτους.
For His invisible attributes being understood from the creation of the world are clearly seen by the works; His eternal power and divine nature in order that they might be without excuse.
Paraphrase: Now by this general or universal revelation that God makes, any person can discern both the existence of God as well as His power to bring things into existence that did not exist before. This means that even the Gentiles who do not have the written or special revelation of God have no excuse.
νοούμενα is an anarthrous participle modifying ἀόρατα; cf principle 7.
καθοράω is more than just “see”; see here.
The article ἥ goes with δύναμις. Stuart writes:
Δύναμις must here have special reference to the creative power of God; and this seems to be called αΐδιος, because it must have been possessed antecedently to the creation of the world, or before time began. source
For εἰς τὸ εἶναι, see Burton §411.
ἀναπολογήτους a predicate adjective.
Διότι γνόντες τὸν Θεὸν, οὐχ ὡς Θεὸν ἐδόξασαν, ἢ ηὐχαρίστησαν, ἀλλὰ ἐματαιώθησαν ἐν τοῖς διαλογισμοῖς αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐσκοτίσθη ἡ ἀσύνετος αὐτῶν καρδία.
Wherefore, knowing God, they glorified not as God or thanked, but they became vain in their deliberations and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Paraphrase: On the contrary, even without a copy of the Bible, the Gentiles still know God. They can understand enough about God to know that they should respond in worship and submission. Instead, they choose to go down a very dark path. (1Pet 2:9) They torture their minds to try and find something like an answer, but they just sink deeper and deeper into darkness.
φάσκοντες εἶναι σοφοὶ, ἐμωράνθησαν,
professing to be wise wise, they became fools.
Paraphrase: The more philosophizing they do, the farther they sink into confusion and folly. As they sink deeper into darkness, they pride themselves on their great learning and wisdom. They claim to be wiser than all the uneducated people around them. They think that the whole world should sit at their feet and learn from them. Their “wisdom”, however, is folly to anyone who knows the truth of God. These philosophers have become so “wise” that they have become fools.
φάσκοντες is nominative plural as is the implied subject of ἐμωράνθησαν; cf principle 7.
καὶ ἤλλαξαν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ ἀφθάρτου Θεοῦ ἐν ὁμοιώματι εἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πετεινῶν καὶ τετραπόδων καὶ ἑρπετῶν.
and they exchanged the glory of the invisible God for the likeness of a decaying man and birds and four-footed beasts and snakes.
Paraphrase: What really happened with these philosophers? They traded in the glory of the Great God in heaven for lifeless images of decaying men, birds, snakes, and all sorts of other four-footed beasts.
Διὸ παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Θεὸς ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῶν καρδιῶν αὐτῶν εἰς ἀκαθαρσίαν τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι τὰ σώματα αὐτῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς,
οἵτινες μετήλλαξαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν τῷ ψεύδει, καὶ ἐσεβάσθησαν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τῇ κτίσει παρὰ τὸν Κτίσαντα, ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας! ἀμήν.
Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας. αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν.
ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες, ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας, ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν, τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι, καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν, ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.
Καὶ καθὼς οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν τὸν Θεὸν ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει, παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Θεὸς εἰς ἀδόκιμον νοῦν, ποιεῖν τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα·
πεπληρωμένους πάσῃ ἀδικίᾳ, πονηρίᾳ, πλεονεξίᾳ, κακίᾳ· μεστοὺς φθόνου, φόνου, ἔριδος, δόλου, κακοηθείας· ψιθυριστάς,
καταλάλους, θεοστυγεῖς, ὑβριστάς, ὑπερηφάνους, ἀλαζόνας· ἐφευρετὰς κακῶν, γονεῦσιν ἀπειθεῖς·
ἀσυνέτους, ἀσυνθέτους, ἀστόργους, ἀνελεήμονας·
οἵτινες τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπιγνόντες, ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες, ἄξιοι θανάτου εἰσίν, οὐ μόνον αὐτὰ ποιοῦσιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ συνευδοκοῦσιν τοῖς πράσσουσιν.