W. (William) Sanday.

A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans online

. (page 41 of 71)
Online LibraryW. (William) SandayA critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans → online text (page 41 of 71)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the process into its subdivisions, of which the landmarks are
(KoXrafv, fSiKcucoa-fv, e'Su'^ncrf. These are not quite exhaustive :
Tiyiaatp might have been inserted after eSiKuiaatv ; but it is suffi-
ciently implied as a consequence of edtKcuaxrev and a necessary
condition of (co^aa-e: in pursuance of the Divine purpose that
Christians should be conformed to Christ, the first step is the call ;
this brings with it, when it is obeyed, the wiping out of past sins,
or justification ; and from that there is a straight course to the
crowning with Divine glory. tKaXeaev and fdiKalaa-eu are both
naturally in the aorist tense as pointing to something finished
and therefore past : iSo^aa-fv is not strictly either finished or past,
but it is attracted into the same tense as the preceding verbs ; an
attraction which is further justified by the fact that, though not
complete in its historical working out, the step implied in e^6^aa-(v
is both complete and certain in the Divine counsels. To God
there is neither ' before nor after.'



VIII. 31-39. WifA the proofs of God's love before him^
the Christian has nothing to fear. God, the Judge, is on
his side, and tJte ascended Christ itttercedes for him
(w. 31-34).

The love of God in Christ is so strong that earthly
sufferings and persecutions — nay, all forms and phases of
being — are powerless to intercept it^ or to bar tlie Christians
triumph (vv. 35-39).

"What conclusion are we to draw from this? Surely the
strongest possible comfort and encouragement. With God on our
side what enemy can we fear ? '' As Abraham spared not Isaac,
so He spared not the Son who shared His Godhead, but suffered
Him to die for all believers. Is not this a sure proof that along
with that one transcendent gift His bounty will provide all that is
necessary for our salvation ? " Where shall accusers be found
against those whom God has chosen ? When God pronounces
righteous, '* who shall condemn ? For us Christ has died ; I should
say rather rose again ; and not only rose but sits enthroned at
His Father's side, and there pleads continually for us. " His love
is our security. And that love is so strong that nothing on earth
can come between us and it. The sea of troubles that a Christian
has to face, hardship and persecution of every kind, are powerless
against it; "though the words of the Psalmist might well be
applied to us, in which, speaking of the faithful few in his own
generation, he described them as ' for God's sake butchered all
day long, treated like sheep in the shambles.' "We too are no
better than they. And yet, crushed and routed as we may seem,
the love of Christ crowns us with surpassing victory. ** For I am
convinced that no form or phase of being, whether abstract or
personal ; not life or its negation ; not any hierarchy of spirits ; no
dimension of time; no supernatural powers; ^'no dimension of
space ; no world of being invisible to us now, — will ever come
between us and the love which God has brought so near to us in
Jesus Messiah our Lord.


32. OS ye too ISiou uloG ouk e4>€iCTaTo. A number of emphatic
expressions are crowded together in this sentence : os ye, ' the same
God who'; tov t8iov vhw, 'His own Son,' partaker of His own
nature ; oIk ((pdadro, the word which is used of the offering of
Isaac in Gen. xxii. i6. and so directly recalls that offering — the
greatest sacrifice on record. For the argument com p. v. 6-10.

33-35. The best punctuation of these verses is that which is
adopted in RV. /exi (so also Orig. Chrys. Theodrt. Mey. £11.
Gif. Va. Lid.). There should not be more than a colon between
the clauses eeoy 6 btKaiibv' rii 6 KaraKptvcbv ; God is conceived of as
Judge : where He acquits, who can condemn ? Ver. 34 is then
immediately taken up by ver. 35 : Christ proved His love by dying
for us ; who then shall part us from that love ? The Apostle
clearly has in his mind Is. 1. 8, 9 ' He is near that justifieth men ;
who will contend with me ? . . . Behold, the Lord God will help
me ; who is he that shall condemn me ? ' This distinctly favours
the view that each affirmation is followed by a question relating to
that affirmation. The phrases 6 KaraKpivutv and 6 Sikmcov form
a natural antithesis, which it is wrong to break up by putting a full
stop between them and taking one with what precedes, the other
with what follows.

On the view taken above, 0eoy i iiKaiwv and Xpiffrbt 'Irjffovs S iwodavo/v
are both answers to ris (yKaXiaet; and ris 6 KaraKpivCji/ ; t/s ij/zas x^'P'"'*' »
are subordinate questions, suggested in the one case by StKaiwy, in the other
by evT. vnlp fifjiujv. We observe also that on this view ver. 35 is closely
linked to ver. 34. The rapid succession of thought which is thus obtained,
each step leading on to the next, is in full accordance with the spirit of the

Another way of taking it is to put a full stop at SiKaiwv, and to make rlt
fyKa\eafi; ris 6 KaraKpivwy; two distinct questions with wholly distinct
answers. So Fri. Lips. Weiss Oltr. Go. Others again (RV. marg. Beng.
De W. Mou ) make all the clauses questions (0euy o hiKamv; evTvyx- vn'ip
^ix5)v ;) But these repeated challenges do not give such a nervous concatena-
tion of reasoning.

33. Ti's ^Y**'^^^"'^' ; another of the forensic terms which are so
common in this Epistle ; ' Who shall impeach such as are elect of
God ? '

cKXeKTwi'. We have already seen (note on i. i) that with
St. Paul kXtitoI and €K\eKToi are not opposed to each other (as they
are in Matt. xxii. 14) but are rather to be identified. By reading
into KXtjToi the implication that the call is accepted, St. Paul shows
that the persons of whom this is true are also objects of God's
choice. By both terms St. Paul designates not those who are de-
stined for final salvation, but those who are 'summoned' or 'se-
lected ' for the privilege of serving God and carrying out His will.
If iheir career runs its normal course it must issue m salvation,
the ' glory ' reserved for them ; this lies as it were at the end of


the avenue; but eVXficTcoi' only shows that they are in the right
way to reach it. At least no external power can bar them from
it; if they lose it, they will do so by their own fault.

KaraKpCvbiv : KaraKpivSiv RV. t£Xt Mou. This is quite possible, but hicaiwv
suggests the present.

34. XpiCTTos 'Itjo-oCs N A C F G L, Vulc;. Boh. Arm. Aeth., Orig.-lat. Did.
Aug. : Xp«TT(5s (om. 'lj]aovs) B D E K &c., Syrr., Cyr.-Jerus. Chrys. ai.
Another instance of B in alliance with authorities otherwise Western and
Syrian. \VH, bracket 'It;^.

«Y«p6«ls «K veKpcov N*AC al. plur., RV. \VH" : om. Ik viKpwv N«BDE
FGKL &c., Ti. WH''. The group which inserts l« vfKpSiv is practically
the same as that which inserts 'IjjffoSs above.

OS Koi. Stroke follows stroke, each driving home the last. *It
is Christ who died — nay rather (immo verd) rose from the dead —
who (rai should be omitted here) is at the right hand of God — who
also intercedes for us.' It is not a dead Christ on whom we depend,
but a Hving. It is not only a living Christ, but a Christ enthroned,
a Christ in power. It is not only a Christ in power, but a Christ
of ever-active sympathy, constantly (if we may so speak) at the
Father's ear, and constantly pouring in intercessions for His
struggling people on earth. A great text for the value and
significance of the Ascension (cf. Swete, Apost. Creed, p. 67 f.).

35. ciTTo TY)s dydinqs toG Xpio-ToG. There is an alternative reading
rov Qiov for which the authorities are J>? B, Orig. (1/3 doubtfully in
the Greek, but 6/7 in Rufinus' Latin translation) ; Eus. 4 '6 ; Bas.
2/6 ; Hil. 1/2 and some others. RV, WH. note this reading in
marg. But of the authorities B Orig.-lat. 2/7 read in full Cmo t^s
ayaTrrjf roO GfoO rr\% iv XpiaToi 'Irjaoii, which is obviously taken from
ver. 39. Even in its simpler form the reading is open to suspicion
of being conformed to that verse : to which however it may be
replied that Xpirrrov may also be a correction from the same source.
On the whole XptaroC seems more probable, and falls in better with
the view maintained above of the close connexion of vv. 34, 35.

' The love of Christ ' is unquestionably ' the love of Christ for
us,' not our love for Christ : of. v. 5.

GMiJ/is K.T.X. We have here a splendid example of Kavxw'-'' «"
roly 6\[\j/eai.v of which St. Paul wrote in ch. v. 3 ff. The passnge
shows how he soared away in spirit above those ' sufferings of this
present time' which men might inflict, but after that had nothing
more that they could do. On 6\l-^ts rj arevoxoipia see iu 9 ; for

dicoypos cf. 2 Cor. xi. 23 ff., 32f. ; xii. 10, &C.; for XtMoy ^ yvfivoTrjs,

I Cor. iv. 11; 2 Cor. xi. 27; for KivBwos 2 Cor. xi. 26; i Cor.
XV. 30.

36. oTt lve.K6. CTou. The quotation is exact from LXX of Ps.

xliv [xliii]. 23 : ort belongs to it.

ivtKtv is decisively attested here : in the Psalm B has tvtKa, NAT IvtKtv
where there is a presumption against the reading of B.


Oai/aTOufieOa oXt]i' t^k -fniipav : cf. I Cor. xv. 31 Kaff ^/itpav
i'mo6vi)(TKu, : * tota die, hoc est, omni vilae meae tempore ' Orig.

irpoPaTo o-(})aYTis : cheep destined for slaughter; cf. Zech. xi. 4
ra npuidara Ti)s acpaytjs (cf. Jer. xii. 3 npo^ara (Is <r<payi^v Cod. Marchal.


The Latin texts of this verse «re marked and characteristic. Tertullian,
Scorp. 1 3 T'ua causa mortijicamur tota die, deputati sumus ut pecora iugU'
lationis. Cyprian, Test. iii. 18 (the true text; cf. Epist. xxxi. 4) Causa tut
occidimur tota die, deputati sumus ut oves victimae. Hilary of Poitiers,
Tract, in Ps. cxviii. (ed. Zingerle, p. 429) Propter te moi-tijicainur tota die,
deputati sumus sicut oves occisionis. Irenaeus, Adv. haer. II. xxii. 3
[Latine; cf. IV. xvi. 2) Propter te morte afficimur tota die, aestimati sumus
ut oves occisionis. (Similarly Cod. Clarom Speculum Augustini, codd. ML)
Vulgate (Cod. Amiat.) Propter te mortijicamur tota die, aestimati sumus
ut oves occisionis. Here two types of text stand out clearly : that of Cyprian
at one end of the scale, and that of the Vulgate (with which we may group
Iren.-lat. Cod. Clarom. and the Speculum) at the other. Hilary stands
between, having deputati in common with Cyprian, but on the whole leaning
rather to the later group. The most difficult problem is presented by
Tertullian, who approaches Cyprian in Tua causa and deputati, and the
Vulgate group in mortijicamur: in pecora iugulationis he stands alone.
This passage might seem to favour the view that in Tertullian we had the
primitive text from which all the rest were derived. That hxpothesis how-
ever would be difficult to maintain systematically; and in any case there
must be a large element in Tertullian's text which is simply individual.
The text before ns may be said to give a glimpse of the average position of
a problem which is still some way from solution.

37. uirepi'iKwjjLei'. Tertullian and Cyprian represent this by the
coinage super vinctmus (Vulg. Cod. Clarom. Hil. superamus) ; * over-
come strongly ' Tyn. ; * are more than conquerors ' Genev., happily
adopted in AV.

8id Tou dYairi^aai'TOS TjfJias points back to Tr)s ayajrijs rov Xptaroi
in ver. 35.

38. 0UT6 ayyeXoi cure dpxai. * And He will call on all the host
of the heavens and all the holy ones above, and the host of God,
the Cherubim, Seraphim, and Ophanim, and all the angels of
power, and all the angels of principalities, and the Elect One, and
the other powers on the earth, over the water, on that day ' Enoch
Ixi. 10. St. Paul from time to time makes use of similar Jewish
designations for the hierarchy of angels: so in i Cor. xv. 24;

Eph. i. 21 "('X"?) f^ovala, dvvafus, Kvpiorrfs, nav oiopa 6vopa(6pfVov :

iii. 10 J vi. 12; Col. i. 16 (5/joVot, KvpioTTjTfs, upx^^> f^ovaiaCj; ii. 10,
15. I'he whole world of spirits is summed up in Phil. ii. 10 as
fTtovpdvioi, iniye.oi, KixraxBoviui. It is somewhat noticeable that whereas
the terms used are generally abstract, in several places they are
made still more abstract by the use of the sing, instead of plur.,

orav Karapyrjar] naaav apxTjv koi nacrav f^uvaiav Kin Svvapiv I Coi". XV.
24; imfpdvo) nd(rT)s apx^f "«' t^ovaias naX. Eph. \. 21 ', rj m^uA^
TiufTTis dp)(jjs Kat f^ovvuit Col. 11 lO.


It is also true {as pointed out by Weiss, Bibl. Theol. § 104 ;
Anm. I. 2) that the leading passages in which St. Paul speaks of
angels are those in which his language aims at embracing the
whole Kua^xo^. He is very far from a dpTjo-Kfla to^v ayyiXwv such as he
protests against in the Church at Colossae (Col. ii. 18). At the
same time the parallels which have been given (see also below
under bwditus) are enough to show that the Apostle must not be
separated from the common beliefs of his countrjmen. He held
that there was a world of spirits brought into being .like the rest of
creation by Christ (Col. i. 16). These spirits are ranged in
a certain hierarchy to which the current names are given. They
seem to be neither wholly good nor wholly bad, for to them too
the Atonement of the Cross extends (Col. i. 20 imnKaTaWa^ai to.

■navTci fls avTov . , . ciVf to cTrt r^r -y^f eire ra iv rois ovpavois). There

is a sense in which the Death on the Cross is a triumph over them
(Col.ii. 15). They too must acknowledge the universal sovereignty
of Christ (i Cor. xv. 24; cf. Eph. i. 10); and they form part of
that kingdom which He hands over to the P'ather, that ' God may
be all in all' (i Cor. xv. 28). On the whole subject see Everling,
Die paulinische Angelologie u. Ddmoiiologi'e, Gottingen, 1888.

For dyy(\ot the Western text (D E F G, Ambrstr. Ang. Arab.) has
dyyeXos. There is also a tendency in the Western and later authorities to
insert ovre e^ovaiai before or after "px"'> obviously from the parallel passages
in which the words occur together.

0UT6 Sui-dfjicis. There is overwhelming authority (t^ A B C D &c.)
for placing these words after ovrt fieWovra. We naturally expect
them to be associated with dpxai, as in i Cor. xv. 24 ; Eph. i. 21.
It is possible that in one of the earliest copies the word may have
been accidentally omitted, and then added in the margin and re-
inserted at the wrong place. We seem to have a like primitive
corruption in ch. iv. 12 {roU <TToixov<riv). But it is perhaps more
probable that in the rush of impassioned thought St. Paul inserts
the words as they come, and that thus cure Bwdnfis may be slightly
belated. It has been suggested that St. Paul takes alternately
animate existences and inanimate. When not critically controlled,
the order of association is a very subtle thing.

For the word compare 'the angels of power' and 'the other powers on
the earth ' in the passage from the Book of Enoch quoted above ; also Tesf.
XII Pair. Levi 3 kv r^ rplrcu (sc. ovpavai) elalv at Sui'dfias tcDj' irapf^i^oXwi',
ol Tuxdivra (Is Tjiiipav Kplaiws, voiriaai iKbinr^aiv iv rois Jinvjj.aai tjjs v^dyyjs
Kal rov B(\iap.

39. oure uij/ufia oure PdOos. Lips, would give to the whole
context a somewhat more limited application than is usually
assigned to it. He makes oiire ivevr. . . ^ddo': all refer to angelic
powers: 'neither now nor at the end of life (when such spirits
were thought to be most active) shall the spirits either of the


height or from the depth bar our entrance into the next world,
where the love of Christ will be still nearer to us.' This is also
the view of Origen (see below). But it is quite in the manner of
St. Paul to personify abstraciions, and the sense attached to them
cannot well be too large: of. esp. Eph. iii. i8 tI t6 nXdros Ka\ h^kos

KOI v\l/oi KOI ^ddiis, and a Cor. X. 5 nav v^oofxa (itaipi'tiKvop Kara lifs
yvaaf (lis rov Qtov.

The common patristic explanation oi vipufxa is 'things above the heavens,'
and of pdOos, 'things beneath the earth.' Theod. Monach. i/i/w/ja niv rd
0701' eniSo^a, ^dOos Si rd ayav dSo^a. Theodoret BdOos Si ttjv -/Uwav,
vif/oj/xa T^v Paaikeiav. Origen (in Cramer's Catena) explains vipcoi^a of the
'spiritual hosts of >vickedness in the heavenly places' I'^ph. vi. 12), and
$ndos of rd KaTa\B6via. The expanded version of Rufinus approaches still
more nearly to the theory of Lipsius: Similiter et altitude at profnndum
impitgnant nos, sicut et David dicit multi qui debellant me de alto : sint
dubio cum a spiritibus neqiiitiae de caelestibus urgeretur: et sicut ilerum
dicit : de profundis clamavi ad te, Domine : cum ab his qui in inferno
deputati sunt et gehennae spiritibus impugnaretur.

0UT6 Tis KTiCTis €T£pa. The use of ir^pa and not oXX?; seems to
favour the view that this means not exactly ' any other created
thing ' but ' any other kind of creation/ ' any other mode of being,'
besides those just enumerated and differing from the familiar world
as we see it.

Origen (in Cramer) would like to take the passage in this way. He asks
if there may not be another creation besides this visible one, ' in its nature
visible though not as yet seen ' — a description which might seem to anticipate
the discoveries of the microscope and telescope. Comp. Balfour, Foundations
of Belief, p. 71 f. 'It is impossible therefore to resist the conviction that
there must be an indefinite number of aspects of Nature respecting which
science never can give us any information, even in our dreams. We must
conceive ourselves as feeling our way about this dim comer of the illimit-
able world, like children in a darkened room, encompassed by we know
not what ; a little better endowed with the machinery of sensation than the
protozoon, yet poorly provided indeed as compared with a being, if such
a one could be conceived, whose senses were adequate to the infinite variety
of material Nature.'

dirS Ttjs Aydirris too Geou ttjs iv Xpiaxw 'iTjaoO. This is the full
Christian idea. The love of Christ is no doubt capable of being
isolated and described separately (2 Cor. v. 14; Eph. iii. 19), but
the love of Christ is really a manifestation of the love of God.
A striking instance of the way in which the whole Godhead
co-operates in this manifestation is ch. v. 5-8 : the love of God
is poured out in our hearts ihroup;h the Holy Spirit, because Christ
died for us; and God commends His love because Christ died.
The same essential significance runs through this section (nolB
esp. vv. 31-35, 39)-



IX. 1-5. The thought of this magnificent prospect fills
me with sorrow for those who seem to be excluded from it —
my own countrymen for whom I would willingly sacrifice
my dearest hopes — excluded too in spite of all their special
privileges and their high destiny.

^ How glorious the prospect of the life in Christ ! How mournful
the thought of those who are cut off from it! There is no
shadow of falsehood in the statement I am about to make. As
one who has his life in Christ I affirm a solemn truth ; and my
conscience, speaking under the direct influence of God's Holy
Spirit, bears witness to my sincerity. "There is one grief that
I cannot shake off, one distressing weight that lies for ever at my
heart. * Like Moses when he came down from the mount, the prayer
has been in my mind : Could I by the personal sacrifice of my
own salvation for them, even by being cut oflF from all communion
with Christ, in any way save my own countrymen ? Are they not
my own brethren, my kinsmen is far as earthly relationship is
concerned ? * Are they not God's own privileged people ? They
bear the sacred name of Israel with all that it implies ; it is they
whom He declared to be His ' son,' His ' firstborn' (Exod. iv. 22);
their temple has been illuminated by the glory of the Divine
presence; they are bound to Him by a series of covenants re-
peatedly renewed ; to them He gave a system of law on Mount
Sinai ; year after year they have offered up the solemn worship of
the temple ; they have been the depositories of the Divine promises ;
' their ancestors are the patriarchs, who were accounted righteous
before God ; from them in these last days has come the Messiah
as regards his natural descent — that Messiah who although sprung
from a human parent is supreme over all things, none other than
God, the eternal object of human praise 1

IX-XI. St. Paul has now finished his main argument He
has expounded his conception of the Gospel. But there still
remains a difficulty which could not help suggesting itself to
every thoughtful reader, and which was continually being raised
by one class of Christians at the time when he wrote. How is
this new scheme of righteousness and salvation apart from law


consistent with the privileged position of the Jews? They had
been the chosen race (we find St. Paul enumerating their privileges),
through them the Messiah had come, and yet it appeared they
would be rejected if they would not accept this new righteousness
by faith. How is this consistent with the justice of God ?

The question has been continually in the Apostle's mind. It
has led him to emphasize more than once the fact that the new
tvayyf\iov if for both Jew and Greek, is yet for the Jew first (i. i6;
ii. 9). It has led him to lay great stress on the fact that the Jews
especially had sinned (ii. 17). Once indeed he has begun to
discuss it directly (iii. i); 'What advantage then is there in being
a Jew ? ' but he postponed it for a time, feeling that it was necessary
first to complete his main argument. He has dwelt on the fact
that the new way of salvation can be proved from the Old Testa-
ment (chap. iv). Now he is at liberty to discuss in full the question :
How is this conception of Christ's work consistent with the (act of
the rejection of the Jews which it seems to imply ?

The answer to this question occupies the remainder of the
dogmatic portion of the Epistle, chaps, ix-xi, generally considered
to be the third of its principal divisions. The whole section may
be subdivided as follows : in ix. 6-29 the faithfulness and justice of
God are vindicated; in ix. 30-x. 21 the guilt of Israel is proved;
in chap, xi St. Paul shows the divine purpose which is being fulfilled
and looks forward prophetically to a future time when Israel will
be restored, concluding the section with a description of the Wisdom
of God as far exceeding all human speculation.

Marcion seems to have omitted the whole of this chapter with the possible
exception of vv. 1-3. Tert. who passes from viii. 11 to x. 2 says salio et
hie amplissimum abruptum intercisae icripturae {Adv. Marc. v. 14). See
Zahn, Gesch. des N. T. Kanom p. 518.

1. We notice that there is no grammatical connexion with the
preceding chapter. A new point is introduced and the sequence
of thought is gradually made apparent as the argument proceeds.
Perhaps there has been a pause in writing the Epistle, the amanu-
ensis has for a time suspended his labours. We notice also that
St. Paul does not here follow his general habit of stating the
subject he is going to discuss (as he does for example at the
beginning of chap, iii), but allows it gradually to become evident.
He naturally shrinks from mentioning too definitely a fact which is
to him so full of sadness. It will be only too apparent to what he
refers; and tact and delicacy both forbid him to define it more

dX>]0eiai' X^yo) Iv Xpiorw: *I speak the truth in Christ, as one
united with Christ'; cf. 2 Cor. ii. 17 aXX' »$• t'l elXiKpu'das, oXX' a>s
tK QtoVf Kartpavn 6cov cV Xpiar<^ XoXou/xei/: xii. 1 9. St. Paul has jUSt


described that union with Christ which will make any form of sin
impossible; cf. viii. i, lo; and the reference to this union gives
solemnity to an assertion for which it will be difficult to obtain full

ou \|»eu8ofi,oi. A Pauline expression, i Tim. ii. 7 dX^detav Xeyw,
oil ^^^ev8o|lal: 2 Cor. xi. 31 ; Gal. i. 20.

aofAfiapTupouCTtjs: cf. ii. 15 ; viii. 16. The conscience is personified
so as to give the idea of a second and a separate witness. Cf.

Oecumenius ad loc. fxeya GtXei etjretv, 810 TrpooSoTTOtet tw 7rt(TTtv6rjvai,
rpcis eTrL(j)ep6[ievQS fiapTvpaSy Tov Xpiarov, to 'Ayiov Uvevpa, Koi rifv iavToi/

iv nfeo|jioTi 'AyiM with avfiftapTvpovat]!. St. Paul adds further
solemnity to his assertion by referring to that union of his spirit

Online LibraryW. (William) SandayA critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans → online text (page 41 of 71)