|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:26-32 In the horrid depravity of the heathen, the truth of our Lord's words was shown: Light was come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil; for he that doeth evil hateth the light. The truth was not to their taste. And we all know how soon a man will contrive, against the strongest evidence, to reason himself out of the belief of what he dislikes. But a man cannot be brought to greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts. As the Gentiles did not like to keep God in their knowledge, they committed crimes wholly against reason and their own welfare. The nature of man, whether pagan or Christian, is still the same; and the charges of the apostle apply more or less to the state and character of men at all times, till they are brought to full submission to the faith of Christ, and renewed by Divine power. There never yet was a man, who had not reason to lament his strong corruptions, and his secret dislike to the will of God. Therefore this chapter is a call to self-examination, the end of which should be, a deep conviction of sin, and of the necessity of deliverance from a state of condemnation.
Verse 28. - And even as they did not like to have God in their knowledge, God gave them over (παρέδυκεν, as before) to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (i.e. unfitting or unseemly things). It is difficult to render in English οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν and ἀδόκιμον so as to retain the apparently intended correspondence between the verb and the adjective. The verb δοκιμάζειν is capable of the senses
(1) "to prove" (as in assaying metals), and, generally, "to discern," or "judge;"
(2) "to approve," after supposed proving. Jowett, in his commentary on this Epistle, endeavours to retain in English the correspondence between ἐδοκιμασαν and ἀδόκιμον by translating, "As they did not discern to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an undiscerning mind," thus taking the verb in sense (1), and the adjective in the same sense actively. But it is at least doubtful whether ἀδόκιμος can be taken in an active sense, which is not its classical one. In the New Testament it occurs 1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5, 6; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16; Hebrews 6:8. In the first of the above passages the word obviously means "rejected" (in the Authorized Version a castaway), with reference to the comparison of a competitor in athletic contests being proved unworthy of the prize - a sense cognate to the common one of the same adjective as applied to spurious metals, rejected or worthless after being tested. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, 6, either sense seems admissible - ἑαυτοὺς δοκιμάζετε... εἰ μήτι ἀδόκιμοί ἐστε. But not so in Hebrews 6:8, where the word is applied to barren land. The passages from 2 Timothy and Titus may in themselves admit the sense of undiscerning, but the passive one is more probable in view of the common usage of the word. On the other hand, ch. 12:2 may be adduced in favour of the active sense; for there the consequence of the renewal of the mind in Christians is said to be that they may prove, or discern (εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς), what is Gods will; and hence it may seem probable that the want of such discernment is denoted here. The same passage also favours the verb δοκιμάζειν being taken here in sense (1) given above, and Jowett's rendering of the whole passage. It is, after all, uncertain; nor does it follow that the Greek paronomasia can be reproduced in English.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And even as they did not like,.... This accounts for the justness of the divine procedure in leaving them to commit such scandalous iniquities; that since they had some knowledge of God by the light of nature, and yet did not care
to retain God in their knowledge; or to own and acknowledge him as God, to worship and glorify him as such; but took every method to erase this knowledge out of their minds, and keep it from others:
God gave them over to a reprobate mind; a vain empty mind, worthless, good for nothing devoid of all true knowledge and judgment; incapable of approving what is truly good, or of disapproving that which is evil; a mind that has lost all conscience of things, and is disapproved of by God, and all good men:
to do those things which are not convenient; which are neither agreeably to the light of nature, nor convenient to, or becoming the honour of human nature; things which the brutes themselves, who are destitute of reason, do not do.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28-31. gave them over—or "up" (see on Ro 1:24).
to do those things which are not convenient—in the old sense of that word, that is, "not becoming," "indecorous," "shameful."
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