W. (William) Sanday.

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

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prob. lib. § 10 (quoted by Gifford), *And yet what need is there
either of long journeys over the land, or of long voyages for the
sake of investigating and seeking out virtue, the roots of which the
Creator has laid not at any great distance, but so near, as the wise
law-giver of the Jews says, *' They are in thy mouth, and in thy
heart, and in thy hands," intimating by these figurative expressions
the words and actions and designs of men ? ' Bava Mezia, f. 94. i
(quoted by Wetstein) Si quis dixerit mulieri. Si adscenderis in
firmamenhim, aut descenderis in abyssum, eris mihi desponsata, haec
conditio frustranca est ; 4 Ezra iv. 8 dicebas mihi fortassis : Ifi abys-
sum non descciidi, neque in inferniim adhuc, neqite in coelis iinquani
ascendi ; Baruch iii. 29, 30 r'n avflBrj els t6u ovpavbv *ral eXajBfv avTTjU,
Koi KaTfj3ifiaa(v avrrjv (k tcov vecfxXwv J Tis dif^rj Tvepnv TT)i 6dKd(T(Tris Kai

fvpev avTrjv (of W isdom) ; /ubilees xxiv. 32 'For even if he had
ascended to heaven, they would bring him down from there . . .
and even if he descends into Sheol, there too shall his judgement
be great ' ; cp. also Amos ix. 2.

(5) St. Paul certainly elsewhere uses the words of Scripture in
order to express his meaning in familiar language, cf. ver. 18 ; xi. i.

For these reasons it seems probable that here the Apostle does
not intend to base any argument on the quotation from the O. T.,
but only selects the language as being familiar, suitable, and pro-
verbial, in order to express what he wishes to say.

It is not necessary therefore to consider that St. Paul is interpret-
ing the passage of Christ by Rabbinical methods (with Mey. Lid.
and others), nor to see in the passage in Deuteronomy a prophecy
of the Gospel (Fri.) or a reference to the Messiah, which is certainly
not the primary meaning. But when we have once realized that no
argument is based on the use of the O. T., it does not follow that
the use of its language is without motive. Not only has it a
great rhetorical value, as Chiysostom sees with an orator's instinct :
' he uses the words which are found in the O. T., being always at


pains to keep quite clear of the charges of love of novelties and of
opposition to it'; but also there is to St. Paul a correspondence
between the O. T. and N. T. : the true creed is simple whether
Law on its spiritual side or Gospel (of. Aug. De Natura et Gratia,


9. on lh.v ifioXoyiio'Tis k.t.X. This verse corresponds to and
applies the preceding verse. The subject of the p^^a which is
preached by the Apostles is the person of Christ and the truth
of His Resurrection. Kvpios refers to ver. 6, the Resurrection
(oTt 6 0f6j avrov ^yttptv tK peKpuv) to ver. 7« The power of Christ
lies in these two facts, namely His Incarnation and His Resur-
rection, His Divine nature and His triumph over death. What
is demanded of a Christian is the outward confession and the
inward belief in Him, and these sum up the conditions necessary
for salvation.

The ordinary reading in this verse is tav SnoXoyrjaris iv tZ orSnarl aov
Kvptov 'Irjoovv, for which \VH. substitute rh prjijua. tv rw arofMTi aov ort
Kvpios 'Irjaovi. rb prjfxa has the authority of B 71, Clem.-Alex. and perhaps
Cyril, on K. 'I. of 13, Boh., Clem.-Alex. and Cyril 2/3. The agreement in
the one case of B and Boh., in the other of B and Clem.-Alex. against nearly
all the other authorities is noticeable.

10. KapSi'a yap moretJeTai k.t.X. St. Paul explains and brings
out more fully the application of the words he has last quoted. The
beginning of the Christian life has two sides : internally it is the
change of heart which faith implies ; this leads to righteousness,
the position of acceptance before God : externally it implies the
' confession of Christ crucified' which is made in baptism, and this
puts a man into the path by which in the end he attains salvation ;
he becomes acoC^fievos.

11. Xeyei yo^p T YP°^4>i1 *tX. Quoted from Is. xxviii. 16 (see
above, ix. 33) with the addition of iras to bring out the point on
which emphasis is to be laid. St. Paul introduces a proof from
Scripture of the statement made in the previous verse that faith is
the condition of salvation, and at the same time makes it the
occasion of introducing the second point in the argument, namely,
the universal character of this new method of obtaining righteous-

In ver. 4 he has explained that the old system of biKaioaivr} «
vofjLov has been done away with in Christ to make way for a new
one which has two characteristics : (i) that it is « iTlaTtat,: this has
been treated in vv. 5-10; (2) that it is universal: this he now
proceeds to develope.

12. ou ydp cCTTi SiaaToXr) 'louSaiou re Kal *EXXt]1'0s, St. Paul
first explains the meaning of this statement, namely, the universal
characitr of the Gospel, by making it clear that it is the sole
method for Jews as well as for Gentiles. This was both a warning


and a consolation for the Jews. A warning if they thought that,
in spite of the preaching of the Gospel, they might seek salvation
in their own way ; a consolation it once they realized the burden
of the law and that they might be freed from it. The Jews have
in this relation no special privileges (of. i. i6; ii. 9, 10; iii. 9;
I Cor. i. 24; xii. 13; Gal. iii. 28; Col. iii. 11); they must obtain
biKaioarvtnr) by the Same methods and on the same conditions as the
Gentiles. This St. Paul has already proved on the ground that
they equally with the Gentiles have sinned (iii. 23). He now
deduces it from the nature and the work of the Lord.

6 yoip aoTos Ku'pios TrdvTwv, cf I Cor. xii. 5. This gives the
reason for the similarity of method for all alike : 'it is the same
Lord who redeemed all mankind alike, and conferred upon all alike
such wealth of spiritual blessings.' It is better to take Kvpios wavTcov
as predicate for it contains the point of the sentence, ' The same
Lord is Lord of all ' (so the RV.). O

Kupios must clearly refer to Christ, cf. w. 9, 11. He is called
Kvpios ndvTcov Acts X. 36, and cf. ix. 5, and Phil. ii. 10, 11.

irXouTwK : ' abounding in spiritual wealth,' cf esp. Eph. iii. 8

Tols edvecriv evayyeXlaaadai ro avi^i^viaaTov ttXovtos tov Xpiarov.

Tous eiTiKaXoufi^koos aoT<5i'. (iriKaXuadai tov Kvpiov, or more cor-
rectly eTTiKciXf'KTdcu TO ouopu TOV Kvpiov, Is the habitual LXX transla-
tion of a common Hebrew formula. From the habit of beginning
addresses to a deity by mentioning his name, it became a tech-
nical expression for the suppliant to a god, and a designation
of his worshippers. Hence the Israelites were ol eniKaXovpevoi top
Kvpiov or TO ovopa Kvpiov. They were in fact specially distinguished
as the worshippers of Jehovah. It becomes therefore very signifi-
cant when we find just this expression used of the Christians as
the worshippers of Christ, 6 Kvpios, in order to designate them as
apart from all others, cf. i Cor. i. 2 avv iraa-i to7s eTTiKaXovfitvois t6
ovopa TOV Kvpiov fjpwv 'iqaov XpioroO. There is a treatise on the
subject by A. Seeberg, D/e Anhetung des Herrn bet Paulus, Riga,
1 89 1, see especially pp. 38, 43-46.

13. ttSs y°^P OS ^v emKa\eo-T)Tai. St. Paul sums up and clenches
his argument by the quotation of a well-known passage of Scripture,
Joel ii. 32 (the quotation agrees with both the LXX and the Hebrew
texts). The original passage refers to the prophetic conception of
the ' day of the Lord.' * The sun shall be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the
Lord come.' At that time ' whosoever shall call on the name of the
Lord ' shall be saved. This salvation (amOfjo-eTai, cf. ver. 9 a-wOfja-r},
10 aurrjplav), the Jewish expectation of safety in the Messianic
kingdom when the end comes, is used of that Christian salvation
which is the spiritual fulfilment of Jewish prophecy.

Kupiou. The term Kvpiot is applied to Christ by St. Paul in


quotations from the O. T. in 2 Thess. i. 9; 1 Cor. ii. 16; x. 21,

26 ; 2 Cor. iii. 16, and probably in other passages.

This quotation, besides concluding the argument of w. 1-13,
suggests the thought which is the transition to the next point dis-
cussed — the opportunities offered to all of hearing this message.


X. 14-21. This unbelief on the part of Israel was not

owing to want of knowledge. Fully accredited messengers —
such a body as is necessary for preaching and for faith —
have annoMiced the Gospel. There is no latid but has heard
the voices of the Evangelical preachers (w. 14-18). Nor
was it owing to want of understanding. Their own Prophets
warned them that it was through disobedience that they
would reject God's message (vv. 19-21).

'* All then that is required for salvation is sincerely and genuinely
to call on the Lord. But there are conditions preliminary to this
which are necessary ; perhaps it may be urged, that these have not
been fulfilled. Let us consider what these conditions are. If a man
is to call on Jesus he must have faith in Him ; to obtain faith it is
necessary that he must hear the call; that again implies that
heralds must have been sent forth to proclaim this call. "And
heralds imply a commission. Have these conditions been fulfilled ?
Yes. Duly authorized messengers have preached the Gospel. The
fact may be stated in the words of the Prophet Isaiah (Iii. 7) de-
scribing the welcome approach of the messengers who bring news
of the return from captivity — that great type of the other, Messianic,
Deliverance : * How beautiful are the feet of them that preach good

"But it may be urged, in spite of this, all did not give it a '
patient and submissive hearing. This does not imply that the
message has not been given. In fact Isaiah in the same passage
in which he foretold the Apostolic message, spoke also of the in-
credulity with which the message is received (liii. i) * Lor^l, who
haih believed our message ? ' " Which incidentally confirms what
we were saying a moment ago : Faith can only come from the


message heard, and the message heard implies the message sent —
the message, that is, about Christ.

" But it may be alleged : We grant it was preached, but that
does not prove that Israel heard it. Is that possible, when in the
words of Psalm xix * the voices of God's messengers went forth
into all lands, and their words to the limits of the known world ? '

" Or another excuse : ' Israel heard but did not understand.'
Can you say that of Israel ? From the very beginning of its history
a long succession of its Prophets foretold the Divine scheme.
Moses, to begin with, wrote (Deut. xxxii. 21) 'I will excite you
to jealousy at a nation outside the pale, that does not count as a
nation at all. I will rouse your anger at seeing yourselves out-
stripped by a nation whom you regard as possessing no intelligence
for the things of religion.' *° Isaiah too was full of boldness. In
the face of his fellow-countrymen he asserted (Ixv. i) that God's
mercies should be gained by those who had not striven after them
(the Gentiles). ** And then he turns round to Israel and says that
although God had never ceased stretching out His arms to them
with all the tenderness of a mother, they had received His call with
disobedience, and His message with criticism and contradiction.
The Jews have fallen, not because of God's unfaithfulness or in-
justice, not because of want of opportunity, but because they are a
rebellious people — a people who refuse to be taught, who choose
their own way, who cleave to that way in spite of every warning
and of every message.

14-21. This section seems to be arranged on the plan of sug-
gesting a series of difficulties, and giving short decisive answers to
each : (i) ' But how can men believe the Gospel unless it has been
fully preached ? ' (v. 14). Answer. ' It has been preached as Isaiah
foretold' (ver. 15). (2) 'Yet, all have not accepted it' (ver. 16).
Answer. 'That does not prove that it was not preached. Isaiah
foretold also this neglect of the message' (vv. 16, 17). (3) 'But
perhaps the Jews did not hear' {v. 18). Answer. 'Impossible.
The Gospel has been preached everywhere.' (4) 'But perhaps
they did not understand' (ver. 19). Answer. 'That again is im-
possible. The Gentiles, a people without any real knowledge,
have understood. The real fact is they were a disobedient, self-
willed people.' The object is to fix the guilt of the Jews by re-
moving every defence which might be made on the ground of want
of opportunities.


'The passage which follows (14-21) is in style one of the most obscnre
portions of the Epistle.' This statement of Jowett's is hardly exaggerated.
'The obscurity arises,' as he proceeds to point out, 'from the argument
being founded on passages of the Old Testament.' These are quoted without
explanation, and without their relation to the argument being clearly
brought out. The first difficulty is to know where to make a division in
the chapter. Some put it after ver. 11 (so Go.) making w. 11-21 a proof
of the extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles; some after ver. 13 (Chrys.
Weiss, Oltr. Gif.); some after ver. 15 (Lid. \VH. Lips.). The decision of
the question will always depend on the opinion formed of the drift of the
passage, but we are not without structural assistance. It may be noticed
throughout these chapters that each succeeding paragraph is introduced by
a question with the particle ovv : so ix. 14x4 ovv epovfiev; 30; xi. i, 11.
And this seems to arise from the meaning of the particle : it sums up the
conclusion of the preceding paragraph as an introduction to a further step in
the argument This meaning will exactly suit the passage under consideration.
' The condition of salvation is to call on the Lord ' — that is the conclusion
of the last section : then the Apostle goes on, ' if this be so, what then (ovv)
are the conditions necessary for attaining it, and have they been fulfilled 1'
the words forming a suitable introduction to the next stage in the argument.
This use of ovv to introduce a new paragraph is very common in St. Paul.
See especially Rom. v. i, vi. i, xii. i ; Eph. iv. i ; i "Tim. ii. I ; 3 Tim. ii. i,
besides other less striking instances. It may be noticed that it is not easy
to understand the principle on which WH. have divided the text of these
chapters, making no break at all at ix. 29, beginning a new paragraph at
chap. X, making a break here at ver. 15, making only a slight break at
chap, xi, and starting a new paragraph at ver. 13 of that chapter at what
is really only a parenthetical remark.

X. 14, 15. The main difficulty of these verses centres round two
points : With what object are they introduced ? And what is the
quotation from Isaiah intended to prove ?

I. One main Hne of interpretation, following Calvin, considers
that the words are introduced to justify the preaching of the Gospel
to the Gentiles; in fact to support the nas of the previous verse.
God must have intended His Gospel to go to the heathen, for a duly
commissioned ministry (and St. Paul is thinking of himself) has
been sent out to preach it. The quotation then follows as a justi-
fication from prophecy of the ministry to the Gentiles. The possi-
bility of adopting such an interpretation must depend partly on the
view taken of the argument of the whole chapter (see the G. .leral
Discussion at the end), but in any case the logical connexion is
wrong. If that were what St. Paul had intended to say, he must have
written, ' Salvation is intended for Gentile as well as Jew, for God
has commissioned His ministers to preach to them : a commission
implies preaching, preaching implies faith, faith implies worship,
and worship salvation. The conversion of the Gentiles is the
necessary result of the existence of an apostolate of the Gentiles.'
It will be seen that St. Paul puts the argument exactly in the
opposite way, in a manner in fact in which he could never prove
this conclusion.

a. Roman Catholic commentators, followed by Liddon and


Gore, considtr that the words are introduced in order to justify an
apostolic or authorized ministry. But this is to introduce into the
passage an idea which is quite alien to it, and which is unnecessary
for the argument.

3. The right interpretation of the whole of this paragraph seems to
be that of Chrysostom. The Jews, it has been shown, have neglected
God's method of obtaining righteousness; but in order, as he desires,
to convict them of guilt in this neglect, St, Paul must show that they
have had the opportunity of knowing about it, that their ignorance
(ayvoovvTfs ver. 3) is culpable. He therefore begins by asking what
are the conditions necessary for ' calling upon the Lord ? ' and then
shows that these conditions have been fulfilled. There may still
be some question as to the meaning of the quotation, (i) It may
be introduced merely as corroborative of the last chain in the
argument (so most commentators). This need of a commissioned
ministry corresponds to the joy and delight experienced when they
arrive. Or better, (2) it may be looked upon as stating the fulfil-
ment of the condidons. ' Yes, and they have come, a fact that no
one can fail to recognize, and which was foretold by the Prophet
Isaiah.' So Chrysostom, who sums up the passage thus : ' If the
being saved, then, came of calling upon Him, and calling upon
Him from believing, and believing from hearing, and hearing from
preaching, and preaching from being sent, and if they were sent,
and did preach, and the prophet went round with them to point
them out, and proclaim them, and say that these were they whom
they showed of so many ages ago, whose feet even they praised
because of the matter of their preaching; then it is quite clear that
the not believing was their own fault only. And that because
God's part had been fulfilled completely.'

14. irois oov cTTiKaXe'crwiaoi. The word o'l*, as often in St. Paul,
marks a stage in the argument. 'We have discovered the new
system of salvation: what conditions are necessary for its acceptance?'
'The quesdon is not the objection of an adversary, nor merely
rhetorical, but rather deliberative (see Burton, M. and T. § 169):
hence the subjunctive (see below) is more suitable than the futu#e
which we find in ix. 30. The subject of eVotaXe'o-coi/rai is implied in
w. 12, 13, 'those who would seek this new method of salvation by
calling on the name of the Lord.'

In this series of qnestions in w. 14, 15 the MSS. vary between the sub-
junctive and the future. Generally the authority for the subjunctive strongly
preponderates : iiriKaXecrojurai N A B D E F G, iriaTevaojaiv N B D E F G P,
Krjpv^QXTiv N A B D E K L'P. In the case of aKovncuaiu there is a double
variation. N' A^ (A /aM) B and some minuscules read aKovawaiv ; N D E F
G K P and some minuscules read aKovaovrai ; L etc., Clem. -Alex. Atb.
Chrys. edd. Theodrt. and tlieTR. read dicovoovcn. Here however the double
variant makes the .subjunctive almost certain. Although the form aKoi/aovai
isppssibie is N.T. Greek, it is oiost improbable that it should have arisen as


a corruption from dKovcrovrai, and it is too weakly supported to be the
correct rearling. aKovcroaaiv, which will explain both variants and harmonizes
with the other subjunctives, is therefore correct. B here alone among the
leading MSS. is correct throughout.

ou ouK tJKouo-aK: 'how can they believe on Him whom they
have not heard preaching?' ov is for fls tovtov ov: and as okoikiv
Ttpos means not ' to hear of some one,' but * to hear some one
preaching or speaking,' it must be so translated, and what follows
must be interpreted by assuming that the preaching of Christ's
messengers is identical wiih the preaching of Christ Himself. This
interpretation (that of Mey. and Gif.), although not without diffi-
culties, is probably belter than eitlier of the other solutions proposed.
It is suggested that ov may be for 01/, and the passage is translated
'of whom they have not heard'; but only a few instances of this
usage are quoted, and they seem to be all early and poetical.
The interpretation of Weiss, ov = where, completely breaks the
continuity of the sentences.

15. KTjpu^oKrii'. The nominative is ol KTjpvaaovTts, which is implied

in KTjpvaaovTos.

By means of this series of questions St. Paul works out the
conditions necessary for salvation back to their starting-point.
Salvation is gained by calling on the Lord ; this implies faith.
Faith is only possible with knowledge. Knowledge implies an
instructor or preacher. A preacher implies a commission. If
therefore salvation is to be made possible for everyone, there must
have been men sent out with a commission to preach it.

Ka6fa)9 yeypairTai, 'Q. upaioi ol TroSes toji' eiayyeXityOii.ivbiv &yaQd.
By introducing this quotation St. Paul implies that the commis-
sioned messengers have been sent, and the conditions therefore
necessary for salvation have been fulfilled. ' Yes, and they have
been sent : the prophet's words are true describing the glorious
character of the Evangelical preachers.'

The quotation is taken from Isaiah lii. 7, and resembles the
Hebrew more closely tlian our present LXX text. In the original
it describes the messengers who carry abroad the glad tidmgs
of the restoration from captivity. But the whole of this section of
Isaiah was felt by the Christians to be full of Messianic import, and
this verse was used by the Rabbis of the coming of the Messiah
(see the references given by Schoettgen, Ilor. Heb. ii. 179). St.
Paul quotes it because he wishes to describe in O. T. language the
fact which will be recognized as true when stated, and to show
that these facts are in accordance with the Divine method. ' St.
Paul applies the exclamation to the appearance of the Apostles of
Christ upon the scene of history. Their feet are inpawi in his eyes,
as they announce the end of the captivity of sin, and publish dpr}vr\
(Eph. vi. 15 TO fiiayyeXiov Ttjs flp^vrjs) made by Christ, through the


blood of His Cross, between God and man, between earth and
heaven (2 Cor. v. 18-20; Eph. ii. 17; Col. i. 20); and all the
blessings of goodness [ra dyadd) which God in Christ bestows on
the Redeemed, especially diKmoaivrj.' Liddon.

There are two critical questions in connexion with this quotation : the
reading of the Greek text and its relation to the Hebrew and to the LXX.

(1) The RV. reads ws wpatoi ol nooes rSiiv evayy fXt^oufvcuv d~fa£d : the
TR. inserts tot tiiay. dprfv-qv after ol TroSey. The balance of authority is
strongly in favour of the RV. The clause is omitted by N ABC miiiusc.
pauc. Aegyptt. (Boh. Sah.) Aeth., Clem.-Alex. Orig. and Orig.-lat. : it is in-
serted byDEFGKLP &c., Vulg. Syrr. (Pesh. Hard.) Arm. Goth., Chrys.
Iren.-lat. Hil. al. The natural explanation is that the insertion has been
made that the citation may correspond more accurately to the LXX.
This end is not indeed altogether attained, for the LXX reads dfcorjv uprjvrjs,
and the omission might have arisen from Homoeoteleuton ; but these con-
siderations can hardly outweigh the clear preponderance of authority.

There is a somewhat similar difficulty about a second minor variation.
The RV. reads dyadd with ABCDEFGP, Orig. Eus. Jo.-Damasc, the
TR. has tA dyadd with N etc. Clem.-Alex. Chrys. and most later authorities.
Here the LXX omits the article, and it is diflicult quite to see why it should
have been inserted by a corrector ; whereas if it had formed part of the
original text he could quite naturally have omitted it.

(2) The LXX translation is here very inexact, ndpdfxi is ipa e-rrl raiv
bpictiv, wi TToSes (vayyfXi^o/.ievov dKO-^v (iprjvijs, wJ evayyfXi^ofifvos dyaOd.
St. Paul's words approach much more nearly to the Hebrew (RV.) ' How
beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,
that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth
salvation.' He shortens the quotation, makes it plural instead of singular
to suit his, and omits the words ' upon the mountains,' which have
only a local significance.

16. dW ou irdfTes. An objection sugQ:ested. ' Yet, in spite of
the fact that this message was sent, all did not obey the Gospel.'

ov navres is a nuiosis ', cf. tI yap « TjTrlaTrjrrdv Tlt'CS ', (iii. 3).

Online LibraryW. (William) SandayA critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans → online text (page 50 of 71)