Romans 1:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

King James Bible
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Darby Bible Translation
and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man and of birds and quadrupeds and reptiles.

World English Bible
and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.

Young's Literal Translation
and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of fowls, and of quadrupeds, and of reptiles.

Romans 1:23 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And changed - This does not mean that they literally "transmuted" God himself; but that in their views they exchanged him; or they changed him "as an object of worship" for idols. They produced, of course, no real change in the glory of the infinite God, but the change was in themselves. They forsook him of whom they had knowledge Romans 1:21, and offered the homage which was due to him, to idols.

The glory - The majesty, the honor, etc. This word stands opposed here to the "degrading" nature of their worship. Instead of adoring a Being clothed with majesty and honor, they bowed down to reptiles, etc. They exchanged a glorious object of worship for what was degrading and humiliating. The glory of God, in such places as this, means his essential honor, his majesty, the concentration and expression of his perfections, as the glory of the sun, 1 Corinthians 15:41 means his shining, or his splendor; compare Jeremiah 2:11; Psalm 106:20.

The uncorruptible God - The word "uncorruptible" is here applied to God in opposition to "man." God is unchanging, indestructible, immortal. The word conveys also the idea that God is eternal. As he is incorruptible, he is the proper object of worship. In all the changes of life, man may come to him, assured that he is the same. When man decays by age or infirmities, he may come to God, assured that he undergoes no such change, but is the same yesterday, today, and forever; compare 1 Timothy 1:17.

Into an image - An image is a representation or likeness of anything, whether made by painting, or from wood, stone, etc. Thus, the word is applied to "idols," as being "images" or "representations" of heavenly objects; 2 Chronicles 33:7; Daniel 3:1; Revelation 11:4, etc. See instances of this among the Jews described in Isaiah 40:18-26, and Ezekiel 8:10.

To corruptible man - This stands opposed to the "incorruptible" God. Many of the images or idols of the ancients were in the forms of men and women. Many of their gods were heroes and benefactors, who were deified, and to whom temples, altars, and statues were erected. Such were Jupiter, and Hercules, and Romulus, etc. The worship of these heroes thus constituted no small part of their idolatry, and their images would be of course representations of them in human form. It was proof of great degradation, that they thus adored human beings with like passions as themselves; and attempted to displace the true God from the throne, and to substitute in his place an idol in the likeness of men.

And to birds - The "ibis" was adored with special reverence among the Egyptians, on account of the great benefits resulting from its destroying the serpents which, but for this, would have overrun the country. The hawk was also adored in Egypt, and the eagle at Rome. As one great principle of pagan idolatry was to adore all objects from which important benefits were derived, it is probable that all birds would come in for a share of pagan worship, that rendered service in the destruction of noxious animals.

And fourfooted beasts - Thus, the ox, under the name "apis," was adored in Egypt; and even the dog and the monkey. In imitation of the Egyptian ox, the children of Israel made their golden calf, Exodus 22:4. At this day, two of the most sacred objects of worship in Hindostan are the cow and the "monkey."

And creeping things - Reptiles. "Animals that have no feet, or such short ones that they seem to creep or crawl on the ground." "(Calmet.)" Lizards, serpents, etc. come under this description. The "crocodile" in Egypt was an object of adoration, and even the serpent so late as the second century of the Christian era, there was a sect in Egypt, called "Ophites" from their worshipping a serpent, and who ever claimed to be Christians, (Murdock's Mosheim, vol. i. p. 180, 181). There was scarcely an object, animal or vegetable, which the Egyptians did not adore. Thus, the leek, the onion, etc. were objects of worship, and people bowed down and paid adoration to the sun and moon, to animals, to vegetables, and to reptiles. Egypt was the source of the views of religion that pervaded other nations, and hence, their worship partook of the same wretched and degrading character. (See "Leland's" "Advantage and Necessity of Revelation.")

Romans 1:23 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Third Sunday after Easter
Text: First Peter 2, 11-20. 11 Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme; 14 or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evil-doers and for praise
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The Gospel the Power of God
'I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.'--ROMANS i. 16. To preach the Gospel in Rome had long been the goal of Paul's hopes. He wished to do in the centre of power what he had done in Athens, the home of wisdom; and with superb confidence, not in himself, but in his message, to try conclusions with the strongest thing in the world. He knew its power well, and was not appalled. The danger was an attraction to his chivalrous
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

The Holy Spirit in the Glorified Christ.
"Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."--Rom. i. 4. From the foregoing studies it appears that the Holy Spirit performed a work in the human nature of Christ as He descended the several steps of His humiliation to the death of the cross. The question now arises, whether He had also a work in the several steps of Christ's exaltation to the excellent glory, i.e., in His resurrection, ascension, royal dignity, and second coming.
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Proposition Though the Necessity and Indispensableness of all the Great and Moral Obligations of Natural Religion,
and also the certainty of a future state of rewards and punishments, be thus in general deducible, even demonstrably, by a chain of clear and undeniable reasoning; yet (in the present state of the world, by what means soever it came originally to be so corrupted, the particular circumstances whereof could not now be certainly known but by revelation,) such is the carelessness, inconsiderateness, and want of attention of the greater part of mankind; so many the prejudices and false notions taken up
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:16
so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

Deuteronomy 4:17
the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky,

Psalm 106:20
Thus they exchanged their glory For the image of an ox that eats grass.

Jeremiah 2:11
"Has a nation changed gods When they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory For that which does not profit.

Acts 10:12
and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air.

Acts 17:29
"Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.

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