Romans 15:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation.

New Living Translation
My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else.

English Standard Version
and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation,

Berean Study Bible
In this way, I have aspired to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation.

Berean Literal Bible
and thus being ambitious to preach the gospel where Christ had not been named, so that I might not build upon another's foundation.

New American Standard Bible
And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man's foundation;

King James Bible
Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
My aim is to evangelize where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else's foundation,

International Standard Version
My one ambition is to proclaim the gospel where the name of the Messiah is not known, so I don't build on someone else's foundation.

NET Bible
And in this way I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person's foundation,

New Heart English Bible
yes, making it my aim to proclaim the Good News, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build on another's foundation.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
While I take pains to preach The Good News, not where the name of The Messiah is invoked, lest I build on an unusual foundation.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
My goal was to spread the Good News where the name of Christ was not known. I didn't want to build on a foundation which others had laid.

New American Standard 1977
And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man’s foundation;

Jubilee Bible 2000
And in this manner I preached this gospel, not where Christ had been named previously, not to build upon a foundation belonging to another,

King James 2000 Bible
Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:

American King James Version
Yes, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation:

American Standard Version
yea, making it my aim so to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I have so preached this gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation.

Darby Bible Translation
and so aiming to announce the glad tidings, not where Christ has been named, that I might not build upon another's foundation;

English Revised Version
yea, making it my aim so to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation;

Webster's Bible Translation
And so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:

Weymouth New Testament
making it my ambition, however, not to tell the Good News where Christ's name was already known, for fear I should be building on another man's foundation.

World English Bible
yes, making it my aim to preach the Good News, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build on another's foundation.

Young's Literal Translation
and so counting it honour to proclaim good news, not where Christ was named -- that upon another's foundation I might not build --
Study Bible
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
19by the power of signs and wonders, and by the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20In this way, I have aspired to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about Him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”…
Cross References
Romans 1:15
That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

Romans 10:15
And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

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

1 Corinthians 3:10
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise master builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds.

2 Corinthians 10:15
Neither do we boast beyond our limits in the labors of others. But we hope that, as your faith increases, our area of influence among you will greatly increase as well,

2 Corinthians 10:16
so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. Then we will not be boasting in the work already done in another man's territory.
Treasury of Scripture

Yes, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation:

so.

2 Corinthians 10:14-16 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached …

build.

1 Corinthians 3:9-15 For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, you …

2 Corinthians 10:13-16 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according …

Ephesians 2:20-22 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus …

(20, 21) Throughout all this long missionary career, the Apostle had made it his endeavour not merely to go over old ground where others had been before him, but to seek out new and virgin soil, where he might enter as a pioneer, and convey the good news of the kingdom of heaven for the first time.

(20) Yea, so have I strived.--Rather, but making it my ambition. The Apostle set it before him as a point of honour, not merely to carry forward a work that others had begun, but to build up the whole edifice from the foundation himself.

Not where Christ was named.--Not in places where there were Christians already.

Another man's foundation.--Comp. 2Corinthians 10:15-16; and for the use of the word "foundation" for the first preaching of the gospel, 1Corinthians 3:10.

Verse 20. - Yea (or, but), so striving (or, earnestly desiring, or making it my aim. The word is φιλοτιμούμενον, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:11) to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation. In the compact between St. Paul and the apostles of the circumcision referred to in Galatians 2:1-7, it was agreed that he should confine his apostolic ministry to the Gentiles. Consequently, we find him selecting as centres of his work the principal cities of the heathen world. But he was further careful to avoid places, wherever they might be, in which Churches were already founded. It was the function of an apostle to extend the gospel by founding new Churches, rather than to invade the provinces of others. Those founded by himself, and thus under his immediate jurisdiction, as e.g. the Corinthian Church, he visited as need arose, and addressed them in authoritative letters, commanding as well as exhorting. But his rule in this respect did not preclude his writing also letters of general encouragement and admonition to any whom his peculiar commission as apostle of the Gen- tiles gave him a claim to be heard by. Thus he wrote to the Colossians, though he had never seen them (Colossians 1:4; Colossians 2:1); and thus also to the Romans, at the same time (as we have seen, Romans 15:15, seq.) almost apologizing for doing so; and, though he proposes visiting them, it is nor with the view of staying among them long, so as to take up the superintendence of them, but only on his way to Spain for mutual comfort and edification (see Romans 1:11, 12; Romans 15:24). Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel,.... The sense is, not barely that he strove to preach the Gospel and not the law, the pure Gospel, and, not a mixed one; nor only that he endeavoured to preach it fully, and leave out nothing; but that he had an holy ambition to preach it,

not where Christ was named; as in Judea, where he had been for many ages spoken of and expected, and where he had lately appeared, lived, suffered, and died, and where his Gospel had been preached by all the apostles; as also in such parts of the Gentile world, where others of the apostles had been, and had made mention of his name, and published the glad tidings of salvation by him; but he chose rather to go to such Heathen nations, as were wholly without any knowledge of him; who had only the dim light of nature to guide them; had had no promises nor prophecies of the Messiah, nor so much as any hints, at least very distant ones, concerning him; and where as yet the sound of the Gospel bad not reached:

lest I should build on another man's foundation; meaning not the law of Moses, nor the doctrines of the false teachers, but the foundation of the true apostles, and which was no other than the foundation Christ, he himself laid; but he chose not to go where they had laid the foundation by preaching Christ and his Gospel, that he might not take another man's crown, or boast in another man's line, or of other men's labours; but rather to go where others had never been, that he might first lay the foundation himself, by preaching Christ, and him crucified, and so the more act up to his character as an apostle, and as the apostle to the Gentiles. 20, 21. Yea, etc.—rather, "Yet making it my study (compare 2Co 5:9; 1Th 4:11, Greek) so to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was [already] named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation: but (might act) as it is written, To whom no tidings of Him came, they shall see," etc.15:14-21 The apostle was persuaded that the Roman Christians were filled with a kind and affectionate spirit, as well as with knowledge. He had written to remind them of their duties and their dangers, because God had appointed him the minister of Christ to the Gentiles. Paul preached to them; but what made them sacrifices to God, was, their sanctification; not his work, but the work of the Holy Ghost: unholy things can never be pleasing to the holy God. The conversion of souls pertains unto God; therefore it is the matter of Paul's glorying, not the things of the flesh. But though a great preacher, he could not make one soul obedient, further than the Spirit of God accompanied his labours. He principally sought the good of those that sat in darkness. Whatever good we do, it is Christ who does it by us.
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