Romans 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--

New Living Translation
This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.

English Standard Version
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

New American Standard Bible
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

King James Bible
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God's good news--

International Standard Version
From: Paul, a servant of Jesus the Messiah, called to be an apostle and set apart for God's gospel,

NET Bible
From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Paulus, a Servant of Yeshua The Messiah, a called one, and an Apostle, who was separated to The Gospel of God,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
From Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle and appointed to spread the Good News of God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Paul, slave of Jesus, the Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God

King James 2000 Bible
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

American King James Version
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God,

American Standard Version
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Douay-Rheims Bible
PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Darby Bible Translation
Paul, bondman of Jesus Christ, [a] called apostle, separated to God's glad tidings,

English Revised Version
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Webster's Bible Translation
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God,

Weymouth New Testament
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, set apart to proclaim God's Good News,

World English Bible
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Good News of God,

Young's Literal Translation
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, having been separated to the good news of God --
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-7 The doctrine of which the apostle Paul wrote, set forth the fulfilment of the promises by the prophets. It spoke of the Son of God, even Jesus the Saviour, the promised Messiah, who came from David as to his human nature, but was also declared to be the Son of God, by the Divine power which raised him from the dead. The Christian profession does not consist in a notional knowledge or a bare assent, much less in perverse disputings, but in obedience. And all those, and those only, are brought to obedience of the faith, who are effectually called of Jesus Christ. Here is, 1. The privilege of Christians; they are beloved of God, and are members of that body which is beloved. 2. The duty of Christians; to be holy, hereunto are they called, called to be saints. These the apostle saluted, by wishing them grace to sanctify their souls, and peace to comfort their hearts, as springing from the free mercy of God, the reconciled Father of all believers, and coming to them through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle. In his salutations to the Philippians and to Titus also St. Paul calls himself δοῦλος (i.e. "bondservant") of Jesus Christ; but usually only ἀπόστολος, or, as here, κλητὸς ἀπόστολος, which is rightly translated in the Authorized Version, "called to be an apostle," Divine vocation to the office being the prominent idea. St. Paul often elsewhere insists on the reality of his vocation from Christ himself to be an apostle to the Gentiles; and this with regard to disparagement of his claim to be a true apostle at all on the part of some (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:1; 2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Galatians 1:1, 12; Galatians 2:8). It does not follow from his thus asserting his claim here and afterwards in this Epistle that he was aware of any disparagement of it at that time among the Roman Christians; still less that he wrote his Epistle with a polemical purpose against the Judaizers, as some have supposed. Still, he may have suspected that some might possibly have been busy there, as they were in other places; and, however that might be, writing as he was to a Church not founded by, and as yet unvisited by, himself, he might think distinct assertions of his claim to be heard desirable. Separated (or, set apart) unto the gospel of God; i.e. to the preaching of the gospel, not the reception of it only, as is evident from the context. The word ἀφωρίσμενος here, as well as the previous κλητὸς, is best taken, in pursuance of the line of thought, as referring to the Divine counsels, not to the agency of the Church. It is true that the word is elsewhere used with the latter reference, as in Acts 13:2, Ἀφορίσατε δὴ μοι τόν τε Βαρνάβαν καὶ τὸν, Σαῦλον εἰς τὸ ἔργον ο} ππροσκέκλημαι αὐτούς, where the ἀφορισμὸς spoken of was subsequent to the Divine κλῆσις, and effected by human laying on of hands. But we have also St. Paul's own words (Galatians 1:15), Ὁ Θεὸς ὁ ἀφόρρισας με ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου καὶ καλίσας διὰ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ, where the ἀφορισμὸς is that of God's eternal purpose, and previous to the κλῆσις (cf. Acts 9:15 and Acts 26:16, 17).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,.... The name of the author of this epistle is Paul, who formerly was called Saul. Some think his name was changed upon his own conversion; others, upon the conversion of the Roman deputy Sergius Paulus, Acts 13:7; others, that he was so called from the littleness of his stature; but rather it should seem that he had two names, which was usual with the Jews; one by which they went among the Gentiles, and another by they were called in their own land; See Gill on Acts 13:9. "A servant of Jesus Christ"; not a servant of sin, nor of Satan, nor of man, nor of Moses and his law, nor of the traditions of the elders, but of Jesus Christ; and not by creation only, but by redemption, and by powerful efficacious grace in conversion; which is no ways contrary to true liberty; nor a disgraceful, but a most honourable character; and which chiefly regards him as a minister of the Gospel:

called to be an apostle: an apostle was one that was immediately sent by Christ, and had his authority and doctrine directly from him, and had a power of working miracles from him, in confirmation of the truth of his mission, authority, and doctrine; all which were to be found in the author of this epistle, who did not thrust himself into this office, or take this honour to himself, of which he always judged himself unworthy, but was "called" to it according to the will, and by the grace of God:

separated unto the Gospel of God. This may regard either God's eternal purpose concerning him, his preordination of him from eternity to be a preacher of the Gospel, to which he was separated from his mother's womb, Galatians 1:15; or the separation of him to that work made by the order of the Spirit of God, Acts 13:2. The phrase used is either in allusion to the priests and Levites, who were separated from their brethren the children of Israel, to their sacred employments; or rather to the apostle's having been "a Pharisee", which signifies "one separated", as he was now; only with this difference, before he was separated to the law, but now "to the Gospel", to preach and defend it, which he did with all faithfulness and integrity; the excellency of which Gospel is signified by its being called "the Gospel of God": he is the author of it; his grace is the subject of it; and he it is who commits it to men, qualifies them for the preaching of it, and succeeds them in it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE ROMANS Commentary by David Brown

INTRODUCTION

The Genuineness of the Epistle to the Romans has never been questioned. It has the unbroken testimony of all antiquity, up to Clement of Rome, the apostle's "fellow laborer in the Gospel, whose name was in the Book of Life" (Php 4:3), and who quotes from it in his undoubted Epistle to the Corinthians, written before the close of the first century. The most searching investigations of modern criticism have left it untouched.

When and Where this Epistle was written we have the means of determining with great precision, from the Epistle itself compared with the Acts of the Apostles. Up to the date of it the apostle had never been at Rome (Ro 1:11, 13, 15). He was then on the eve of visiting Jerusalem with a pecuniary contribution for its Christian poor from the churches of Macedonia and Achaia, after which his purpose was to pay a visit to Rome on his way to Spain (Ro 15:23-28). Now this contribution we know that he carried with him from Corinth, at the close of his third visit to that city, which lasted three months (Ac 20:2, 3; 24:17). On this occasion there accompanied him from Corinth certain persons whose names are given by the historian of the Acts (Ac 20:4), and four of these are expressly mentioned in our Epistle as being with the apostle when he wrote it—Timotheus, Sosipater, Gaius, and Erastus (Ro 16:21, 23). Of these four, the third, Gaius, was an inhabitant of Corinth (1Co 1:14), and the fourth, Erastus, was "chamberlain of the city" (Ro 16:23), which can hardly be supposed to be other than Corinth. Finally, Phoebebe, the bearer, as appears, of this Epistle, was a deaconess of the Church at Cenchrea, the eastern port of Corinth (Ro 16:1). Putting these facts together, it is impossible to resist the conviction, in which all critics agree, that Corinth was the place from which the Epistle was written, and that it was despatched about the close of the visit above mentioned, probably in the early spring of the year 58.

The Founder of this celebrated church is unknown. That it owed its origin to the apostle Peter, and that he was its first bishop, though an ancient tradition and taught in the Church of Rome as a fact not to be doubted, is refuted by the clearest evidence, and is given up even by candid Romanists. On that supposition, how are we to account for so important a circumstance being passed by in silence by the historian of the Acts, not only in the narrative of Peter's labors, but in that of Paul's approach to the metropolis, of the deputations of Roman "brethren" that came as far as Appii Forum and the Three Taverns to meet him, and of his two years' labors there (Ac 28:15, 30)? And how, consistently with his declared principle—not to build on another man's foundation (Ro 15:20)—could he express his anxious desire to come to them that he might have some fruit among them also, even as among other Gentiles (Ro 1:13), if all the while he knew that they had the apostle of the circumcision for their spiritual father? And how, if so, is there no salutation to Peter among the many in this Epistle? or, if it may be thought that he was known to be elsewhere at that particular time, how does there occur in all the Epistles which our apostle afterwards wrote from Rome not one allusion to such an origin of the church at Rome? The same considerations would seem to prove that this church owed its origin to no prominent Christian laborer; and this brings us to the much-litigated question.

For What Class of Christians was this Epistle principally designed—Jewish or Gentile? That a large number of Jews and Jewish proselytes resided at this time at Rome is known to all who are familiar with the classical and Jewish writers of that and the immediately subsequent periods; and that those of them who were at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:10), and formed probably part of the three thousand converts of that day, would on their return to Rome carry the glad tidings with them, there can be no doubt. Nor are indications wanting that some of those embraced in the salutations of this Epistle were Christians already of long standing, if not among the earliest converts to the Christian faith. Others of them who had made the apostle's acquaintance elsewhere, and who, if not indebted to him for their first knowledge of Christ, probably owed much to his ministrations, seemed to have charged themselves with the duty of cherishing and consolidating the work of the Lord in the capital. And thus it is not improbable that up to the time of the apostle's arrival the Christian community at Rome had been dependent upon subordinate agency for the increase of its numbers, aided by occasional visits of stated preachers from the provinces; and perhaps it may be gathered from the salutations of the last chapter that it was up to that time in a less organized, though far from less flourishing state, than some other churches to whom the apostle had already addressed Epistles. Certain it is, that the apostle writes to them expressly as a Gentile Church (Ro 1:13, 15; 15:15, 16); and though it is plain that there were Jewish Christians among them, and the whole argument presupposes an intimate acquaintance on the part of his readers with the leading principles of the Old Testament, this will be sufficiently explained by supposing that the bulk of them, having before they knew the Lord been Gentile proselytes to the Jewish faith, had entered the pale of the Christian Church through the gate of the ancient economy.

It remains only to speak briefly of the Plan and Character Of this Epistle. Of all the undoubted Epistles of our apostle, this is the most elaborate, and at the same time the most glowing. It has just as much in common with a theological treatise as is consistent with the freedom and warmth of a real letter. Referring to the headings which we have prefixed to its successive sections, as best exhibiting the progress of the argument and the connection of its points, we here merely note that its first great topic is what may be termed the legal relation of man to God as a violator of His holy law, whether as merely written on the heart, as in the case of the heathen, or, as in the case of the Chosen People, as further known by external revelation; that it next treats of that legal relation as wholly reversed through believing connection with the Lord Jesus Christ; and that its third and last great topic is the new life which accompanies this change of relation, embracing at once a blessedness and a consecration to God which, rudimentally complete already, will open, in the future world, into the bliss of immediate and stainless fellowship with God. The bearing of these wonderful truths upon the condition and destiny of the Chosen People, to which the apostle next comes, though it seem but the practical application of them to his kinsmen according to the flesh, is in some respects the deepest and most difficult part of the whole Epistle, carrying us directly to the eternal springs of Grace to the guilty in the sovereign love and inscrutable purposes of God; after which, however, we are brought back to the historical platform of the visible Church, in the calling of the Gentiles, the preservation of a faithful Israelitish remnant amidst the general unbelief and fall of the nation, and the ultimate recovery of all Israel to constitute, with the Gentiles in the latter day, one catholic Church of God upon earth. The remainder of the Epistle is devoted to sundry practical topics, winding up with salutations and outpourings of heart delightfully suggestive.

CHAPTER 1

Ro 1:1-17. Introduction.

1. Paul—(See on [2162]Ac 13:9).

a servant of Jesus Christ—The word here rendered "servant" means "bond-servant," or one subject to the will and wholly at the disposal of another. In this sense it is applied to the disciples of Christ at large (1Co 7:21-23), as in the Old Testament to all the people of God (Isa 66:14). But as, in addition to this, the prophets and kings of Israel were officially "the servants of the Lord" (Jos 1:1; Ps 18:1, title), the apostles call themselves, in the same official sense, "the servants of Christ" (as here, and Php 1:1; Jas 1:1; 2Pe 1:1; Jude 1), expressing such absolute subjection and devotion to the Lord Jesus as they would never have yielded to a mere creature. (See on [2163]Ro 1:7; [2164]Joh 5:22, 23).

called to be an apostle—when first he "saw the Lord"; the indispensable qualification for apostleship. (See on [2165]Ac 9:5; [2166]Ac 22:14; [2167]1Co 9:1).

separated unto the—preaching of the

gospel—neither so late as when "the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul" (Ac 13:2), nor so early as when "separated from his mother's womb" (see on [2168]Ga 1:15). He was called at one and the same time to the faith and the apostleship of Christ (Ac 26:16-18).

of God—that is, the Gospel of which God is the glorious Author. (So Ro 15:16; 1Th 2:2, 8, 9; 1Pe 4:17).

Romans 1:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Greetings to the Saints in Rome
1Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,…
Cross References
Mark 1:14
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.

Acts 9:15
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

Acts 13:2
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

Romans 15:16
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

1 Corinthians 9:1
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?

2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

2 Corinthians 2:12
Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me,

2 Corinthians 11:7
Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge?

Galatians 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:15
But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by his grace, was pleased

Philippians 1:1
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God's holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

1 Thessalonians 2:2
We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.

1 Thessalonians 2:8
so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

1 Thessalonians 2:9
Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.

Titus 1:1
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness--

James 1:1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

1 Peter 4:17
For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

Jude 1:1
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
Treasury of Scripture

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God,

Paul.

Acts 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, …

Acts 21:40 And when he had given him license, Paul stood on the stairs, and …

Acts 22:7,13 And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, …

Acts 26:1,14 Then Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. …

a servant.

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son…

Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering …

Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly…

John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall …

John 13:14-16 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also …

John 15:15,20 From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what …

Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves …

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for …

Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints …

Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to …

Philippians 3:6,7 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness …

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according …

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve …

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them …

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to …

Revelation 22:6,9 And he said to me, These sayings are faithful and true…

called.

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to …

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the …

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel …

Acts 22:14,15,21 And he said, The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should …

Acts 26:16-18 But rise, and stand on your feet: for I have appeared to you for this purpose…

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of …

1 Corinthians 9:1,16-18 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ …

1 Corinthians 15:8-10 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time…

2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy …

2 Corinthians 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles.

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

Galatians 1:1,11-17 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, …

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints …

Ephesians 3:5-7 Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it …

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; …

Colossians 1:1,25 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus …

1 Timothy 1:1,11,12 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, …

1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the …

2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher …

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according …

Hebrews 5:4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he that is called of …

separated.

Leviticus 20:24-26 But I have said to you, You shall inherit their land, and I will …

Numbers 16:9,10 Seems it but a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated …

Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark …

1 Chronicles 23:13 The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that …

Isaiah 49:1 Listen, O isles, to me; and listen, you people, from far; The LORD …

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came …

Acts 13:2-4 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said…

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, …

1 Timothy 1:15,16 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ …

Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, …

the gospel.

Romans 1:9,16 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son…

Romans 15:16,29 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering …

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, …

Mark 16:15,16 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel …

Luke 2:10,11 And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good …

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to …

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, …

1 Thessalonians 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, …

2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brothers beloved …

1 Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed …

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