Romans 15:15
Nevertheless, brothers, I have written the more boldly to you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
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(15) Nevertheless, brethren.—Apologetic. Holding this good opinion of you as I do, I nevertheless presumed somewhat upon my position as an Apostle, and especially as an Apostle of the. Gentiles, to write with an earnestness which I should, perhaps, otherwise not have ventured to show.

Brethren.—The weight of evidence in the MSS. is against the retention of this word.

In some sort.—Literally, in part, qualifying the phrase, “I have written more boldly,” both in extent and degree. In some passages the Apostle feels that he had gone beyond the modest limits which he might have seemed to mark out for himself by what he had just been saying. He had taken a liberty, but not too great a liberty. He had spoken to them rather pointedly at times, but he had been careful not to go too far. The reference may be supposed to be to exhortations such as those in Romans 13, 14, and in other parts of the Epistle.

As putting you in mind.—Another delicate expression. The Apostle has not been telling them of something that they did not know before, but merely reminding them of what they knew. And he claims the right to do this because of the special grace given to him as an Apostle. The Judaising section in the Church at Rome did not go so far as that in Galatia. It recognised the apostleship of St. Paul, and he knew that he could safely appeal to this recognition.

Because of the grace.—Comp. “grace and apostleship” in Romans 1:5. “Grace” is here that special endowment with divine gifts by which the Apostles were distinguished from other Christians.

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.Nevertheless - Notwithstanding my full persuasion of your knowledge and your purpose to do right. Perhaps he refers also to the fact that he was a stranger to them.

The more boldly - More boldly than might have been expected from a stranger. The reason why he showed this boldness in declaring his sentiments, he immediately states - that he had been especially called to the function of instructing the Gentiles.

In some sort - ἀπὸ μέρος apo meros. In part. Some have supposed that he referred to a "party" at Rome - the Gentile party (Whitby). Some refer it to different "parts" of his epistle - on some subjects (Stuart). Probably the expression is designed to qualify the phrase "more boldly." The phrase, says Grotius, "diminishes" that of which it is spoken, as 1 Corinthians 13:9, 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 2:5; and means the same as "somewhat more freely;" that is, I have been induced to write the more freely, "partly" because I am appointed to this very office. I write somewhat more freely to a church among the Gentiles than I even should to one among the Jews, "because" I am appointed to this very office.

As putting you in mind - Greek, Calling to your "remembrance," or "reminding" you; compare 2 Peter 1:12-13. This was a delicate way of communicating instruction. The apostles presumed that all Christians were acquainted with the great doctrines of religion; but they did not command, enjoin, or assume a spirit; of dictation. How happy would it be if all teachers would imitate the example of the "apostles" in this, and be as modest and humble "as they were."

Because of the grace ... - Because God has conferred the favor on me of appointing me to this function; see the note at Romans 1:5.

15. Nevertheless, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort—"measure"

as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God—as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

q.d. Though I am thus persuaded of you, or of many of you, yet I thought good to write to you

in some sort, or in part, or a little the more boldly and freely, that I may stir you up to the practise of that which you know already: see 2 Peter 1:12,13 3:1. This he speaks to allay the sharpness of his former reprehensions, and that what he had written might be the better digested; for all men more easily endure to be noted of negligence, than of malice or ignorance. And further he tells them, he could do no less,

because of the grace that was given him of God; i.e. because of his apostolical office and authority: see Romans 1:5 12:3. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you,.... Or freely, in taking notice of their party contentions and ill usage of each other, and in reproving, advising, and exhorting them; and which he excuses by observing, that it was,

in some sort, or "in part" only; meaning either that it was only in some part of the epistle he had took such a liberty, which is the sense of the Arabic version, which renders it, "in some parts of the oration"; or else that he had regard not to all of them, but to some only, to a part of the church who were most culpable; and did not design a charge against them all, and that what he said should be applied to the whole body; or rather that the boldness and freedom he had taken was bat in some sort, it was but in part: this he says to mitigate it, and that it might not be thought to be so large as it might appear at first; it was but "a little more boldly", that he wrote unto them, as the Syriac renders it; for this clause is not to be read in connection with the word "written", as if the apostle had only wrote of the doctrines of grace in some sort, or in part, for he declared the whole counsel of God, and never kept back anything profitable to the churches: he adds,

as putting you in mind; which is also said to excuse his writing, and the manner of it; he did not take upon him to be their teacher and instructor, to inform them of things they knew nothing of; only to be their monitor, to put them in mind of and refresh their memories with what they had been well instructed and established in before; see 2 Peter 1:12;

because of the grace that is given to me of God; meaning not the doctrine of "grace, concerning" which, as the Ethiopic version renders it, he was putting them in mind; nor the internal grace of the Spirit, by which he was inclined and assisted to write unto them; but the grace of apostleship, or that high office, which, by the grace of God, and not because of any merits of his, he was called unto: this he mentions also to excuse the freedom of his writing; since what he did was in consequence of, pursuant and agreeably to, his office as an apostle; and therefore could not have answered it to God, or them, if he had not done it; wherefore he hoped it would be took well by them.

Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
Romans 15:15. More boldly, however (than so good a confidence appears to imply), I wrote to you in part, etc. “Quasi dicat: σπεύδοντα καὶ αὐτὸν ὀτρύνω,” Grotius.

τολμηρότερον] adverbially, Thuc. iv. 126. 3; Polyb. i. 17. 7; Lucian, Icarom. 10. The comparative sense is not to be obliterated (Bernhardy, p. 433; Winer, p. 228 [E. T. p. 304]), but may not be derived from the lesser right of the apostle[20] to write to a church not founded by him (Hofmann); comp. Bengel, who introduces the further idea: “cum potius ipse venire deberem.” It must, in fact, especially seeing that the more precise definition ἀπὸ μέρους is added, be necessarily a specification of the mode, expressing the how of the ἔγραφα. The repetition of ἀδελφοί flows from the earnestness of feeling. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:10-11; Galatians 5:11; Galatians 5:13; Jam 5:7; Jam 5:9-10.

ἀπὸ μέρους] belongs not merely to τολμ. (“paulo liberius,” Grotius, following the Peschito), but, as its position shows, to τολμ. ἔγραφα together: partly, i.e. in particular places, I wrote more boldly. This refers to passages like Romans 6:12 ff., Romans 6:19, Romans 8:9, Romans 11:17 ff., Romans 12:3, Romans 13:3 ff., Romans 13:13-14, Romans 14:3-4; Romans 14:10; Romans 14:13; Romans 14:15; Romans 14:20, Romans 15:1, et al. In ἀπὸ μέρους is implied the contrast, that he has not written τολμηρότερον all that he has written (comp. Romans 11:25; 2 Corinthians 1:14), but only a part thereof. Hofmann has now exchanged his earlier incorrect view, “provisionally and in the meantime” (Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 95), for another also incorrect (similarly Th. Schott), namely piecemeal, in contrast to a complete exposition of Christian truth, thus equivalent to ἐκ μέρους, 1 Corinthians 13:10 (not also in 1 Corinthians 12:27). Besides, this arbitrarily imported contrast would suit no epistle less than the Epistle to the Romans, which treats the whole gospel in the most complete manner. According to Lucht, the expression in this passage is only the product of a post-apostolic effort to wipe away the “bad impression” of the epistle on the highly esteemed church, which had in fact been founded by Peter (comp. Theodore of Mopsuestia).

ὡς ἐπαναμ. ὑμᾶς] as again reminding you,[21] i.e. in the way and manner of one who reminds you, etc. See Bernhardy, p. 476; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 263; Kühner, II. 2, p. 649 f.; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; Hebrews 13:17. ἐπαναμ. denotes in memoriam revocare. See Plat. Legg. iii. p. 688 A; Dem. 74. 7. Comp. ἐπανάμνησις, Dion. Hal. Rhet. x. 18. Theodore of Mopsuestia: εἰς ὑπόμνησιν ἄγειν ὧ μεμαθήκατε.

διὰ τὴν χάρ]. i.e. in order to comply with the apostolic office, with which God has favoured me. See Romans 15:16.

[20] This lesser right is assumed quite without warrant. Paul certainly wrote to other churches of Gentiles not founded by him (Colossians, Laodiceans); and how could he, as the apostle of the Gentiles, be of opinion that he thereby was taking any special liberty? He had to glorify his office (Romans 11:13), in doing which his care for all churches (2 Corinthians 11:28) certainly suggested no limitation of epistolary intercourse to such as he himself had founded, as if it were a boldness in him needing excuse, when he also wrote to others.

[21] In opposition to Baur’s erroneous explanation of ἐπαναμ., “further therein to remind,” and its reference to what follows, see Mangold, p. 69, who, however, on his part, in virtue of the assumption of the Jewish-Christian character of the church, limits the ἀπὸ μέρους arbitrarily to those portions of the epistle (especially chap. 9 and 10) in which, in the interest of the Gentile-Christian apostolate, Jewish-Christian pretensions had been combated. It is just such entirely doctrinal discussions as chap. 9, 10 which answer least to the character of τολμηρότερον, which presupposes the ready possibility of offence being given. The exculpation implied in ver. 15 is not calculated for a Jewish-Christian church (Mangold, p. 72), but rather for a church as yet strange to the apostle and held in very good repute, towards which he felt himself not in a like relation as e.g. to the Galatians and Corinthians, but in one more delicate and calling for more forbearance. Artfully and gently, too, is the ὡς ἀναμιμν. κ.τ.λ. added, as if what was written τολμηρότερον was only meant to be a help to their memory. Ἀνάμνησις δʼ ἐστὶν ἐπιῤῥοὴ φρονήσεως ἀπολειπούσης, Plat. Legg. v. p. 732 B.Romans 15:15 f. τολμηροτέρωςἀπὸ μέρους: the description does not apply to the letter as a whole, but only to parts of it: Gifford refers to Romans 6:12-21, Romans 11:17 ff., Romans 12:3, and especially chap. 14 throughout. ὡς ἐπαναμιμνήσκων ὑμᾶς: here only in N.T. There is the same courteous tone as in Romans 1:11 f. He does not presume to teach them what they do not know, but only to suggest to their memory what they must know already but may be overlooking. διὰ τὴν χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι: this is the real justification of his writing. As in Romans 1:5, Romans 12:3, the χάριν is that of Apostleship. It is not wantonly, but in the exercise of a Divine vocation, and a divinely-bestowed competence for it, that he writes. εἰς τὸ εἶναί με λειτουργὸν Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ εἰς τὰ ἔθνη: there is a certain emphasis on εἰς τὰ ἔθνη, and the whole sentence would be inept, as a justification of Paul for writing to Rome, unless the Roman Church had been essentially Gentile. For λειτουργὸν see note on Romans 13:6. The word here derives from the context the priestly associations which often attach to it in the LXX. But obviously it has no bearing on the question as to the “sacerdotal” character of the Christian ministry. The offering which Paul conceives himself as presenting to God is the Gentile Church, and the priestly function in the exercise of which this offering is made is the preaching of the Gospel. Paul describes himself as ἱερουργοῦντα τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ sacerdotis modo evangelium administrantem. Fritzsche (on whose note all later expositors depend) explains the sacerdotis modo by accurate et religiose; just as a Levitical offering was not acceptable to God unless the prescribed ceremonial was precisely observed, so the offering of the Gentiles at God’s altar would be unacceptable unless Paul showed a priestlike fidelity in his ministry of the Gospel. But this is to wring from a word what an intelligent appreciation of the sentence as a whole, and especially of its pictorial character, refuses to yield: the clause ἵνα γένηταιεὐπρόσδεκτος depends not on ἱερουργοῦντα, but on the whole conception of Paul’s ministry, i.e., on εἰς τὸ εἶναί με λειτουργὸν κ.τ.λ. For ἡ προσφορὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν, genitive of object, cf. Hebrews 10:10. This great offering is acceptable to God (1 Peter 2:5) because it is ἡγιασμένη consecrated to Him ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ. Those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the result of Paul’s sacred ministry of the Gospel, received the Holy Spirit: this (as distinct from the ceremonial “without spot or blemish”) was the ground of their acceptance (cf. Romans 12:1 f.).15. I have written] Lit. I wrote; the “epistolary past.”

the more boldly] Lit. more boldly; i.e., in our idiom, somewhat boldly.

in some sort] More lit., and better, in part; i.e. here and there. He refers to occasional passages such as Romans 6:17-21, Romans 9:19-20, Romans 11:19-21; Romans 11:14.

as putting you in mind] Of what, as regards substance and principle, they already knew. Such is evidently the tone of both the doctrinal and practical passages of the Epistle, taken as a whole. Cp. 2 Peter 1:12-13; 2 Peter 3:1.

the grace] i.e. the loving favour which had made him an Apostle. Cp. Romans 1:5, and especially Ephesians 3:2-3; Ephesians 3:7-8. St Paul’s deep and beautiful personal humility is in sincere harmony with his distinct knowledge and firm assertion of his Divine commission.Romans 15:15. Τολμηρότερον, more boldly) That is, I have acted somewhat boldly in writing to you, who are unknown to me, when I should rather have gone to you in person. He says, that the degree of boldness on his part consisted in the very fact of writing at all, not in the manner of writing. Διὰ, because of, depends on, I have written.—ἀπὸ μέρους, in part) [in some sort, Engl. V.] He uses this phrase from modesty, and does not assume to himself the whole office of teaching, but only one part of it, that of admonition, and that not entirely; for he subjoins ἐπαναμιμνήσκων with ὡς, as, before it; he does not say simply, ἀναμιμνήσκων, putting you in mind, but ἐπαν.Verse 15. - But I have written unto you the more boldly, brethren, in some measure (so, as in the Revised Version, or, in part (ἀπὸ μέρονς), rather than in some sort, as in the Authorized Version. The allusion seems to be to the passages in the Epistle in which he has been bold to admonish urgently; such as Romans 11:17, seq.; Romans 12:3; and especially ch. Romans 14.), as putting yon in mind (reminding you only of what you doubtless know), because of the grace given me of God; i.e., as appears from what follows, of apostleship to the Gentiles (cf. Romans 1:5, 14; also Acts 22:21: Galatians 2:9). Though the Church of Rome was not one of his own foundation, and he had no desire, there or elsewhere, to build on another man's foundation (ver. 20), yet his peculiar mission as apostle to the Gentiles gave him a claim to admonish them. The reason thus given is, it will be observed, a confirmation of the view, otherwise apparent, that the Roman Church consisted principally of Gentile believers. I have written (ἔγραψα)

Rev., I write. The epistolary aorist. See on 1 John 2:13.

The more boldly (τολμηρότερον)

Not too boldly, but the more boldly because you are full of goodness.

In some sort (ἀπὸ μέρους)

See on Romans 11:25. Rev., in some measure, qualifying I write, and referring to some passage in which he had spoken with especial plainness; as Romans 6:12, Romans 6:19; Romans 8:9; Romans 11:17; Romans 14:3, Romans 14:4, Romans 14:10, Romans 14:13, Romans 14:15, Romans 14:20, etc.

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