Romans 1:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

King James Bible
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Darby Bible Translation
Because, knowing God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but fell into folly in their thoughts, and their heart without understanding was darkened:

World English Bible
Because, knowing God, they didn't glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.

Young's Literal Translation
because, having known God they did not glorify Him as God, nor gave thanks, but were made vain in their reasonings, and their unintelligent heart was darkened,

Romans 1:21 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Because that when they knew God - When they thus acquired a general knowledge of the unity and perfections of the Divine nature, they glorified him not as God - they did not proclaim him to the people, but shut up his glory (as Bishop Warburton expresses it) in their mysteries, and gave the people, in exchange for an incorruptible God, an image made like to corruptible man. Wherefore God, in punishment for their sins, thus turning his truth into a lie, suffered even their mysteries, which they had erected for a school of virtue, to degenerate into an odious sink of vice and immorality; giving them up unto all uncleanness and vile affections.

They glorified him not - They did not give him that worship which his perfections required.

Neither were thankful - They manifested no gratitude for the blessings they received from his providence, but became vain in their imaginations, διαλογισμοις, in their reasonings. This certainly refers to the foolish manner in which even the wisest of their philosophers discoursed about the Divine nature, not excepting Socrates, Plato, or Seneca. Who can read their works without being struck with the vanity of their reasonings, as well as with the stupidity of their nonsense, when speaking about God? I might crowd my page with proofs of this; but it is not necessary to those who are acquainted with their writings, and to others it would not be useful. In short, their foolish, darkened minds sought God no where but in the place in which he is never to be found; viz. the vile, corrupted, and corrupting passions of their own hearts. As they did not discover him there, they scarcely sought him any where else.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

when.

Romans 1:19,28 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them...

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light...

they glorified.

Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to you among the Gentiles...

Psalm 50:23 Whoever offers praise glorifies me: and to him that orders his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.

Psalm 86:9 All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name.

Hosea 2:8 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.

Habakkuk 1:15,16 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag...

Luke 17:15-18 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God...

2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven...

Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? for you only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before you...

but became.

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth...

Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet smell; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake...

2 Kings 17:15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them...

Psalm 81:12 So I gave them up to their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 See, this only have I found, that God has made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Isaiah 44:9-20 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses...

Jeremiah 2:5 Thus said the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity...

Jeremiah 10:3-8,14,15 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax...

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to you from the ends of the earth...

Ephesians 4:17,18 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you from now on walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind...

1 Peter 1:18 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold...

their foolish.

Romans 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always.

Deuteronomy 28:29 And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways...

Isaiah 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise on you...

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God...

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people...

Library
Beautiful Thoughts
"Beautiful Thoughts" From Henry Drummond Arranged by Elizabeth Cureton {Project Gutenberg Editorial note: Many quotes from "The Greatest Thing in the World" did not provide a page number.} 1892 The invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.--Rom. i. 20. To My Dear Friend Helen M. Archibald This Book Is Affectionately Inscribed.
Henry Drummond—Beautiful Thoughts

Nineteenth Day. Holiness and Resurrection.
The Son of God, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead.'--Rom. i. 4. These words speak of a twofold birth of Christ. According to the flesh, He was born of the seed of David. According to the Spirit, He was the first begotten from the dead. As He was a Son of David in virtue of His birth through the flesh, so He was declared to be the Son of God with power,
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

Knowledge. Worship. Gratitude.
The people mentioned by Paul in our text fell into two great evils, or rather into two forms of one great evil--atheism: the atheism of the heart, and the atheism of the life. They knew God, but they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful. We will first consider the first sin mentioned here, and then the second. I shall not look at these two evils as if you were Romans, because I know that you are not, but I shall adapt the text to your own case, and speak of these sins, as Englishmen
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 30: 1884

Inexcusable Irreverence and Ingratitude
"They are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful."--Romans 1:20-21. This first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans is a dreadful portion of the Word of God. I should hardly like to read it all through aloud; it is not intended to be so used. Read it at home, and be startled at the awful vices of the Gentile world. Unmentionable crimes were the common pleasures of those wicked ages; but the chapter is also a striking picture of heathenism
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Cross References
Genesis 8:21
The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

1 Kings 20:23
Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, "Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they.

2 Kings 17:15
They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, "Do not do as they do."

Isaiah 44:20
Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

Jeremiah 2:5
This is what the LORD says: "What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.

Jeremiah 9:14
Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them."

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

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