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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 1:2

 

 

which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

Adam Clarke Commentary

Which he had promised afore - Both in the law and in the prophets God showed his purpose to introduce into the world a more perfect and glorious state of things; which state was to take place by and under the influence of the Messiah, who should bring life and immortality to light by his Gospel.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Which he had promised afore - Which gospel, or which doctrines, he had before announced.

By the prophets - The word “prophets” here is used to include those who wrote as well as those who spake. It included the teachers of the ancient Jews generally.

In the holy scriptures - In the writings of the Old Testament. They were called holy because they were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and were regarded as separated from all other writings, and worthy of all reverence. The apostle here declares that he was not about to advance anything new. His doctrines were in accordance with the acknowledged oracles of God. Though they might appear to be new, yet he regarded the gospel as entirely consistent with all that had been declared in the Jewish dispensation; and not only consistent, but as actually promised there. He affirms, therefore:

(1) That all this was promised, and no small part of the Epistle is employed to show this.

(2) that it was confirmed by the authority of holy and inspired men.

(3) that it depended on no vague and loose tradition, but was recorded, so that people might examine for themselves.

The reason why the apostle was so anxious to show that his doctrine coincided with the Old Testament was because the church at Rome was made up in part of Jews. He wished to show them, and the remainder of his countrymen, that the Christian religion was built on the foundation of their prophets, and their acknowledged writings. So doing, he would disarm their prejudice, and furnish a proof of the truth of religion. It was a constant position with the apostle that he advanced nothing but what was maintained by the best and holiest men of the nation. Acts 26:22-23, “saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come,” etc. There was a further reason here for his appealing so much to the Old Testament. He had never been at Rome. He was therefore personally a stranger, and it was proper for him then especially to show his regard for the doctrines of the prophets. Hence, he appeals here so often to the Old Testament; and defends every point by the authority of the Bible. The particular passages of the Old Testament on which he relied will come before us in the course of the Epistle. See particularly Romans 3;4; 9; 10; 11. We may see here,

(1)The reverence which Paul showed for the Old Testament. He never undervalued it. He never regarded it as obsolete, or useless. He manifestly studied it; and never fell into the impious opinion that the Old Testament is of little value.

(2)if these things were promised - predicted in the Old Testament, then Christianity is true. Every passage which he adduces is therefore proof that it is from God.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Romans 1:2

Which He had promised afore by His prophets.

The Messiah predicted

The Jews, throughout their history, differed from every other nation in their expectation of a Messiah. While heathen kingdoms decayed and fell without hope of deliverance, in Israel political decline was attended by an increasing expectation of a high and God-sent deliverer. This idea was always referred by the prophets to Divine revelation, and we have every reason to receive their testimony; for it is contrary to the very nature of things that such golden fruit as this should grow on the barren thorn of the simple human heart. Could this have been, surely the great and noble spirits of other nations would also have confidently expected salvation, whereas we only hear from the lips of a few some dim and obscure yearnings of this kind. It was only as a vanished epoch, a poetical dream, or a political panegyric, that heathen poets ever sang of a golden age. The heathen were “without hope” because they were without God in the world. (Professor Auberlen.)

Christ foretold by the prophets

I. Who they were. Persons--

1. Speaking by special Divine impulse (1 Samuel 10:6; 1 Corinthians 14:1).

2. Employed by God to reveal His will and to foretell future events.

3. Moved to compose and sing hymns to God (Exodus 15:20; 1 Chronicles 25:1).

4. Living in habitual communion with God.

II. What they promised. Christ and His salvation (Luke 24:27; Acts 3:18; Act_10:43).

1. By Moses as--

2. By David as--

3. By Isaiah as--

4. By Jeremiah as--

5. By Ezekiel as the true David, the Shepherd King (Ezekiel 37:24).

6. By Daniel as Messiah the Prince (Daniel 9:25-26).

7. By Micah as the Judge of Israel (Micah 5:2).

8. By Haggai as the Desire of all nations (Haggai 2:7).

9. By Zechariah as--

10. By Malachi as--

Messianic prophecy

The prophets had foretold concerning the Messiah--

1. His Divine and human natures (Isaiah 9:6).

2. His descent (Genesis 3:15; Gen_12:3; Gen_49:10; Isaiah 11:1; 1 Samuel 16:11).

3. The time of His appearing (Genesis 49:10; Daniel 9:24-25; Haggai 2:6-9).

4. The place of His birth (Micah 5:2).

5. The virginity of His mother (Isaiah 7:14).

6. The Forerunner who should prepare His way (Malachi 3:1).

7. The special scene of His ministry (Isaiah 9:1-2).

8. The miracles that should accredit His mission (Isaiah 35:5-6).

9. His sufferings and death (Psalms 22:16, etc.; Zechariah 13:7; Isaiah 53:5-9).

10. Jeremiah His resurrection (Psalms 16:10).

11. His ascension (Psalms 68:18).

12. His sitting down at the right hand of the Father (Psalms 110:1).

13. His effusion of the Holy Ghost (Joel 2:28).

14. His second coming in judgment (Daniel 7:13). (T. Robinson, D. D.)

The gospel is no afterthought, but the forethought of God

God sees the end from the beginning. All things in nature and grace are working out one grand scheme, which God before the creation of heaven and earth designed. The gospel was but a further and fuller development of God’s plans in Old Testament times. The stem is no afterthought; the leaves and buds are no afterthought; the flower is no afterthought; the fruit is no afterthought; for they were all wrapped up from the first in the seed, or cutting, or bulb. Or, to take another illustration, it is of no unfrequent occurrence that the architect designs a Gothic church which is not to be built all at once, but as sufficient funds are forthcoming, or as the congregation increases. At first the nave is constructed, then one aisle after another is added; and afterwards the chancel is built, and last of all is erected the spire--whose “silent finger points to heaven.” The pulling down of temporary walls and hoardings, and the additions from time to time made, are no afterthought, but only the carrying out of the original design. Thus the doing away with the ceremonial law and Jewish ritual, and the bringing life and immortality to light through Jesus, are no afterthought, but the forethought of God--the revealing of His glorious scheme of grace designed before the foundation of the world, and previously promised by His prophets. (C. Nell, M. A.)

In the holy Scriptures.

The Old Testament Scriptures called holy from

I. Their Author, God the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1).

II. Their matter, God’s holy will, thoughts, words, and works.

III. Their design and tendency, to make man holy (2 Timothy 3:17; John 17:17).

IV. To distinguish them from all other books. (T. Robinson, D. D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Romans 1:2". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/romans-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy Scriptures.

This verse seals the identity of the Christian religion with that divine institution set forth prophetically and typically in the Old Testament. The redemptive gospel Paul preached was the very same system proclaimed and partially unfolded in the Old Testament. The identity and character of the Messiah, the nature of his kingdom, and the ultimate replacement of the old covenant with a new (Jeremiah 31:31-35) - all of these things, and many others, are contained in the Old Testament. By so bold a claim, Paul at once established the principle that any believer of the Old Testament should likewise be a believer of the New Testament; for they surely answer, each to the other, as type and antitype, prophecy and fulfillment.

Through his prophets ... Here is a distinction one meets constantly in the Bible, that the words therein contained are not the words of the prophets, but the word of God delivered "through his prophets" (as here), and "through the apostles" (2 Peter 3:2). (See Matthew 1:22; 2:5; 2:15; 2:17; 3:3; 4:14, and throughout the Bible). Paul's summary of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3,4) stresses this same point through the recurrence of the phrase, "according to the scriptures." Bruce's definition of the gospel is:

(It is) his joyful proclamation of the victory and exaltation of his Son, and the consequent amnesty and liberation which we may enjoy through faith in him.[5]

ENDNOTE:

[5] F. F. Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1963), p. 7.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/romans-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Which he had promised afore,.... The Gospel is here further commended from the antiquity it: it was no novel doctrine, an upstart notion, but what God had conceived in his own breast from eternity. This mystery was hid in him from the beginning of the world, and was ordained before the world was; in time God was pleased to make it known to the sons of men; he "promised" it, he spoke of it, and declared it

by his prophets, Isaiah and others, "afore" the Apostle Paul was called forth to be a preacher of it; which promise, or promises of it, lie

in the Holy Scriptures; the books of the Old Testament, so called from the author, matter, and usefulness of them. The apostle speaks in the language of his nation, for the Jews frequently call the Bible, writings, Holy Ones; "for", say they, כל כתובים קדש, "all the Scriptures are holy"F3Misn. Yadaim, c. 3. sect. 5. , and style them, כתבי הקדש, "Scriptures of holiness", or holy ScripturesF4Misn. Parah, c. 10. sect. 3. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 116. 2. .


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/romans-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

in the holy scriptures — Though the Roman Church was Gentile by nation (see on Romans 1:13), yet as it consisted mostly of proselytes to the Jewish faith (see on Introduction to this Epistle), they are here reminded that in embracing Christ they had not cast off, but only the more profoundly yielded themselves to, Moses and the prophets (Acts 13:32, Acts 13:33).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

He promised afore (προεπηγγειλατοproepēggeilato). First aorist middle of προεπαγγελλωproepaggellō for which verb see note on 2 Corinthians 9:5.

By (διαdia). Through, by means of, intermediate agency like Matthew 1:22 which see.

In the holy scriptures (εν γραπαις αγιαιςen graphais hagiais). No article, yet definite. Perhaps the earliest use of the phrase (Sanday and Headlam). Paul definitely finds God‘s gospel in the Holy Scriptures.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/romans-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Rom

The gospel long promised.—A scheme long in preparation, the carrying out of which seems long delayed, may be expected to be of great value and importance. The scheme of the gospel was long in preparation to human seeming. The prophetic utterances extend over thousands of years—long to human estimates. Long and short may only be known to the divine mind in condescension to human weakness. How great must be the scheme of divine love and mercy which the prophets made the burden of their message! No wonder Paul felt himself empowered to write with authority, as he grasped the great idea that he was separated to the gospel of God which was proclaimed by the prophets as they walked with beautiful feet upon the mountains of early time. His one idea to stir the soul with noblest enthusiasm. Preachers of this gospel may well be calm, though the moderns may say, Oh, what an old, effete, wornout system! Old, of course—older than the sun, older than creation; but as fresh as the verdant landscape touched into beauty by the magic hand of summer. Creation keeps unfolding new wonders to the scientist; and so the old gospel has yet more wonders to reveal.

I. What God promises He will fulfil.—Did He promise a gospel in Eden, then in due time—which is God's and not man's time—the promise will be accomplished. The winter has in it the promise of summer, and that season must come, though the winter blasts howl and the east winds tarry long. The winter of the race carried in it the promise of a gospel summer, and that must come, though the darkness grew denser, and though devout souls were weary waiting. For God to be untrue to His promise would be for God to be untrue to Himself, and that He can never be. Sweet the thought that God's promises cannot fail. He who gave the gospel, in His own good time will give with it every promise He has made for our good. How much the gospel carries with it to devout hearts!

II. What God promises through a series of faithful men must be good.—The guarantee for the goodness of this scheme is the wisdom, power, love, and mercy of the infinite and all-loving Father. Men may scoff; but let scoffing men produce their better systems. Men may jeer; but what are men in the presence of that which is the product of unerring wisdom, unfailing power, and abiding love? Is God mindful of our weakness? Does He appear to say, Look at My confidence in the goodness of this great remedial scheme, since I empower My prophets to announce it to the world in plainest terms? The mere fact that such men as Isaiah and Jeremiah have foretold this gospel shows that it must be good. Isaiah is one of the greatest of all bards, and his fancy did not so overrule his judgment as to lead him to be guilty of the folly of foretelling a worthless device. The prophets believed in this gospel as good; the apostles received it as such; the martyrs esteemed it as a good better far than the good of earthly life. It is our good, and by it we will stand. Its pleasures we will enjoy. Its delicious fruits we will taste. In its sublime banquets we will revel.

III. What God promises through a series of faithful men conveyed through holy writings must be binding.—That is, the gospel comes to us with highest sanctions, and we ought gladly to accept the good news. The Jews ought to accept this gospel, for it is the burden of the message of those writings for which they had great reverence. The Gentiles ought to accept it, for the holy writings are incomparably superior in their moral tone, and in many of their literary aspects, to all other writings. Let all receive the good news from heaven with thankful hearts.

IV. What God has promised through four thousand years cannot have grown old in two thousand.—The tree, the germ of which was planted in Eden and was developed in Palestine, has not lost its power of bearing fruit for the healing of the nations. It still bears all manner of wondrous fruit, and brings forth its fruit for every changing month. It had its fruit for the month of dire persecution, for the month of the dark ages—fruit for the month of the revival of literature; and it has fruit still for the month that may feel the sirocco breath of modern scepticism, modern luxury, and modern indifference. Grown old indeed! God's works cannot grow old till their task is done. Sometimes we think the earth is growing old; but her landscapes are as beautiful as when Adam trod the green carpet of the newly laid planet, and the stars gem the midnight sky with brilliancy as great as when Isaac went forth at eventide to meditate. Some people say the gospel has grown old. The wish may be the father of the saying, because the fool's heart is darkened. Ask the last convert to Christianity, who has really been enriched by its treasures, if it has grown old, and he will reply, It has to me about it all the freshness of youth. It has given me "the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." It has made me and for me all things new.

SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS ON Rom

The Old Testament not a final revelation.—Paul has told us his name, and has claimed our attention by calling himself a servant of Jesus Christ—a servant of the first rank, one whose whole life is spent in proclaiming good news from God. He now further claims our attention by showing the importance of the gospel for which he is set apart. "Which He promised before": God foretold through the prophets, not only good things to come, but the announcement of the good things—i.e., that salvation would be preceded by glad tidings of salvation. In one sense God actually proclaimed beforehand the good news to Abraham, but only as something far off and indistinct (Gal ). The good news promised, but not proclaimed, by Isaiah was good news of present deliverance. "Prophet" (Rom 12:6): Notice that the prophet was but the mouth through (see Rom 1:5) which God spoke the promise (Heb 1:1). The following words prove that the prophets referred to were those whose writings have come down to us. "Scripture": something written, sacred or profane. "Holy": that which belongs to God, of whose activity and tendency God is the one end and aim. Paul here applies to certain writings the solemn word "holy," and thus classes them with other holy objects—the Sabbath, temple, sacrifices, priesthood. Therefore whatever solemnity belongs to these belongs to the writings. In Paul's view these books, in a special sense, were God's; they were written, and everything within them tends, to work out His purposes. The promise of good news passed through the prophets' lips; it abides and speaks in the sacred writings. This verse claims attention for the gospel. That for which the way was prepared during centuries, and to proclaim the advent of which men like Isaiah and Ezekiel were sent, must indeed be great. To many of Paul's readers the prophets were almost superhuman, and to them the Old Testament was separated from all other books as holy—i.e., as a book of which every word spoke from God and for God. This holy book and these prophets of God declared that in days to come good news from God would be announced. Therefore, by his readers' reverence for the book and for the men, he claims their attention. Again, by appealing to the prophets and Scriptures, Paul pays honour to the old covenant. That the ancient prophets and Scriptures foretold the gospel increases our respect for them as well as for it. Paul thus guards in this verse against the error both of those who deny that the Old Testament came from God and of those who take it to be a final revelation. We shall find that it was because the thoughts here expressed lay near to the apostle's heart that they sprang to his lips at the first mention of the gospel.—Beet.

Paul's doctrine not new.—It was peculiarly pertinent to the apostle's object to state that the gospel which he taught was not a new doctrine, much less inconsistent with writings which his readers knew to be of divine authority. This idea he therefore frequently repeats in reference to the method of salvation.—Hodge.

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 1

Rom . The experience of conviction.—When M. Monod attended the University of Geneva, there was a professor of divinity who confined himself to lecturing on the immortality of the soul, the existence of God, and similar topics. As to the Trinity he did not believe. Instead of the Bible he gave us quotations from Seneca and Plato. St Seneca and St. Plato were the two saints whose writings he held up to admiration. But the Lord sent one of His servants to Geneva; and I well remember the visit of Robert Haldane. I heard of him first as an English or Scotch gentleman who spoke much about the Bible, which seemed a very strange thing to me and the other students, to whom it was a shut book. I afterwards met Mr. Haldane at a private house, along with some other friends, and heard him read from an English Bible a chapter from Romans about the natural corruption of man, a doctrine of which I had never heard before—in fact, I was quite astonished to hear of men being corrupt by nature. I remember saying to Mr. Haldane: "Now I see that doctrine in the Bible." "Yes," he replied; "but do you see it in your heart?" That was a simple question, but it came home to my conscience. It was the sword of the Spirit; and from that time I saw that my heart was corrupt, and knew from the word of God that I could be saved by grace alone.—D'Aubigne.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/romans-1.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Vincent's Word Studies

Had promised afore ( προεπηγγείλατο )

Only here in the New Testament. Rev., He promised afore. Paul's Old Testament training is manifest. Naturally, in beginning the more precise description of the new revelation, he refers first to its connection with ancient prophecy. The verb ἐπαγγέλλομαι ; means more than to proclaim. It occurs frequently, and always in the sense of profess or promise. See Mark 14:11; Acts 7:5; 1 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 6:21.

Prophets

Not limited to the prophets proper, but including all who, in the Old Testament, have prophesied the Gospel - Moses, David, etc. Compare Hebrews 1:1.

In the holy scriptures ( ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγίαις )

Or, more strictly, in holy writings. The scriptures would require the article. See on John 5:47; see on John 2:22. Here again the absence of the article denotes the qualitative character of the phrase - books which are holy as conveying God's revelations. On ἅγιος holysee on Acts 26:10. This is the only passage in which it is applied to scriptures.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/romans-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Which he promised before — Of old time, frequently, solemnly. And the promise and accomplishment confirm each other. Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 9:6,7; 53:1; 61:1; Jeremiah 23:5.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/romans-1.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2.Which he had before promised, etc. — As the suspicion of being new subtracts much from the authority of a doctrine, he confirms the faith of the gospel by antiquity; as though he said, “Christ came not on the earth unexpectedly, nor did he introduce a doctrine of a new kind and not heard of before, inasmuch as he, and his gospel too, had been promised and expected from the beginning of the world.” But as antiquity is often fabulous, he brings witnesses, and those approved, even the Prophets of God, that he might remove every suspicion. He in the third place adds, that their testimonies were duly recorded, that is, in the Holy Scriptures.

We may learn from this passage what the gospel is: he teaches us, not that it was promulgated by the Prophets but only promised. If then the Prophets promised the gospel, it follows, that it was revealed, when our Lord was at length manifested in the flesh. They are then mistaken who confound the promises with the gospel, since the gospel is properly the appointed preaching of Christ as manifested, in whom the promises themselves are exhibited. (18)


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/romans-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Ver. 2. Promised] Foreshowed and foreshadowed in the types of the ceremonial law (which was their gospel, it was Christ in figure), and in the writings of the prophets; only by degrees and piecemeal, πολυμερως. God spake of old to our fathers, by his servants the prophets, Hebrews 1:1. All was in riddles to what it is now; and that saying took place, Et latet, et lucet. It is close, and yet clear.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Romans 1:2. Which he had promised afore, &c.— The Apostle, it is likely, asserts this to insinuate a good idea of the Gospel into the mind of the Jews at first setting out, and to put them upon inquiring; for even an unbelieving Jew, if at all disposed to think, could not overlook or slightly regard this sentiment. Taylor.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/romans-1.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

That is, Which gospel God had promised before by his holy prophets speaking in the holy scriptures.

Where note, 1. The antiquity of the gospel, how ancient that doctrine is, even as old as the prophets themselves; nay, as old as Adam himself. The gospel, or glad tidings of a Saviour, was first preached to Adam by God himself, Genesis 3:15 next to Abraham, Genesis 15 then it was predicted by all the prophets which have been since the word began. The gospel which we preach can by no means fall under the charge and imputation of novelty: it is no new or modern doctrine, but almost as old as the word itself: Which gospel he had promised before by his holy prophets.

Behold then a great correspondency, a sweet agreement and harmony, between the Old and New Testament, between the prophets and apostles; though great difference in the manner and measure of revalation. For, as one says, the Old Testament is the hiding of the New; the New Testament is the opening of the Old. The Old Testament is the New Testament veiled; the New Testament is the Old revealed.

Note, 2. The venerable title given to the scriptures: they are called the holy Scriptures: Which he had promised before by his prophets speaking in the holy scriptures.

The scriptures are holy in several respects.

1. In regard of their author and inditer, the Holy Spirit of God.

2. In regard of the penmen and writers of them, holy men of God.

3. In regard of the subject-matter contained in them, the holy will of God.

4. In regard of their design, to make us holy both in heart and life.

And, if the word of God be an holy word, than let it be treated by us in all holy deference and regard.

Lord! what an impious liberty do some men take, in this wanton age, to furnish out a jest in scripture-attire, and in their jocular humour to make light and irreverent applications of scripture phrases and sentences!

They lay their schemes of ridiculous mirth in the Bible, and play the buffoons with the most serious things in the world. These men bring forth scripture as the Philistines brought forth Sampson, only to make them sport; but they shall ere long find Almighty God in earnest, though they were in jest. He that has magnified his word above all his name, will not brook it, that any man should make it vile and contemptible, by rendering it the theme of his giddy mirth and profane drollery.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/romans-1.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

2.] This good tidings is no new invention, no after-thought,—but was long ago announced in what God’s prophets wrote concerning His Son:—and announced by way of promise, so that God stood pledged to its realization. ἐπειδὴ δὲ καὶ καινοτομίαν ἐνεκάλουν τῷ πράγματι, δείκνυσιν αὐτὸ πρεσβύτερον ἑλλήνων ὄν, καὶ ἐν τοῖς προφήταις προδιαγραφόμενον. Chrys. Hom. ii. p. 431.

γραφ. ἁγ.] not, ‘in sacred writings,’—nor ‘in passages of Holy Writ:’—but in the Holy Scriptures. The expression used is defined enough by the adjective, to be well understood without the article;—so πνεῦμα ἁγιως. below,— πν. ἅγιον passim. See Winer, edn. 6, § 19. 2 (and for nouns in government, Middleton, ch. iii. § 6). But one set of writings being holy, it was not necessary to designate them more particularly. See also above on εὐαγγ. θεοῦ. This expression ( εὐαγγ. ὃ προεπηγγ.) is used in the strictest sense. Moses gave the Law: the prophets proclaimed the Gospel. See Umbreit’s note, p. 159.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/romans-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:2. A more precise description of the character of this εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ, according to its concrete peculiarity, as far as Romans 1:5 inclusive, advancing and rising to a climax under the urgent sense of the sacredness of his office, which the Apostle has frankly to assert and to establish before the church of the metropolis of the world, personally as yet unknown to him.

προεπηγγείλατο κ. τ. λ(283)] How natural that the Apostle with his Old Testament training should, in the light of the New Testament revelation which he had received, first of all glance back at the connection divinely established in the history of salvation between the gospel which he served and ancient prophecy, and should see therein the sacredness of the precious gift entrusted to him! To introduce the idea of an antithetic design (“ut invidiam novitatis depelleret,” Pareus, Estius, Grotius and others, following Chrysostom and Theophylact) is quite arbitrary, looking to the general tenor of Romans 1:1-7. The news of salvation God has previously promised ( προεπηγγείλατο, 2 Corinthians 9:5; Dio Cass. xlii. 32) through His prophets, not merely in so far as these, acting as the organs of God ( αὐτοῦ), foretold the Messianic age, with the dawn of which the εὐαγγέλιον, as the “publicum de Christo exhibito praeconium” (Calovius), would necessarily begin, but they foretold also this praeconium itself, its future proclamation. See Romans 10:18, Romans 15:21; Isaiah 40:1 ff; Isaiah 42:4; Isaiah 52:1 ff.; Zephaniah 3:9; Psalms 19:5; Psalms 68:12; Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 18:18. It is the less necessary therefore to refer , with Philippi and Mehring, to the contents of the gospel.

τῶν προφητῶν] is not to be limited, so as either to include merely the prophets proper in the narrower sense of the word, or to go back—according to Acts 3:24, comp Acts 13:20—only as far as Samuel. The following ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγ. suggests, on the contrary, a reference to all who in the O. T. have prophesied the gospel (even Moses, David and others not excluded); comp Hebrews 1:1.

ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγίαις] Not: in the holy Scriptures (so most expositors, even Fritzsche), in which case the article must have been used; but qualitatively: in holy writings. The divine promises of the gospel, given through the prophets of God, are found in such books as, being God’s records for His revelations, are holy writings. Such are the prophetic writings of the O. T.; thus designated so as to lay stress on their qualitative character. In a corresponding manner is the anarthrous γραφῶν προφητικῶν to be understood in Romans 16:26.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Romans 1:2. , which). The copiousness of Paul’s style shows itself in the very inscriptions: and we must, therefore, watchfully observe the thread of the parentheses. [God promised that He would not only display His grace in the Son, but also that He would publish that very fact to the whole world. Listen to it with the most profound attention.—V. g.]— προεπηγγείλατο, promised afore) formerly, often, and solemnly. The truth of the promise, and the truth of its fulfilment, mutually confirm each other.— διὰ τῶν προφητῶν ατο͂ υ, by His prophets) That which the prophets of God have spoken, God has spoken, Luke 1:70; Acts 3:24.— γραφᾶις, in the Scriptures) ch. Romans 16:26. The prophets made use of the voice, as well as of writing, in the publication of their message; and the voice was likely to have greater weight in the case of a single people [the Jews], than among the countries of the whole globe: therefore, the greater weight in delivering the message, would give an advantage to the voice over writing: notwithstanding, as much respect is paid to writing, with a view to posterity, as if there had been no voice. To such an extent does Scripture prevail over tradition. [The believing Romans were, in part, originally Jews, and, in part, originally Gentiles (exjudaei, Ex-Gentiles), and Paul particularly has regard to the latter, Romans 1:13.—V. g.]


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Which he had promised; the meaning is not, that the history of the gospel was promised by the prophets, but that Jesus Christ, with all his benefits, (which is the direct subject of the gospel history and revelation), was promised or foreshown by them.

Afore; this word is added to prevent the imputation of novelty: q.d. Let none object and say, the gospel is a new and modern doctrine; for it was promised or foretold of old, by all the prophets which have been since the world began, Luke 1:70.

By his prophets: by prophets we may understand, not only those that were commonly dignified with that title, but all those also whom God condescended to converse with in a familiar manner, revealing his secrets to them: that such are called prophets, see Genesis 20:7 Psalms 105:15.

In the holy Scriptures; to wit, of the Old Testament; he hath respect to the oracles and promises therein contained, concerning Christ and his kingdom; chiefly to Genesis 3:15 49:8,10 Deu 18:18 Psalms 16:10 Psalms 22:1-31 40:1-17 110:1 Isaiah 7:14 9:6 53:1-12 63:1-3 Daniel 9:24-26 Micah 5:2 Zechariah 9:9 Malachi 3:1, &c. He hereby intimates, that there is a great harmony and consent betwixt the prophets and apostles, the doctrine of the Old Testament and the New; see Luke 24:44 John 12:16 Acts 10:43. Our modern translators include this verse in a parenthesis; the ancients did not.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/romans-1.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Which he had promised afore; he is careful to show at the outset that the gospel is no new religion, but the fulfilment of the promises made in the Old Testament to the fathers.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/romans-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

2. ὃ κ.τ.λ. This message is continuous with GOD’S earlier revelation and fulfils it, cf. Hebrews 1:1-2.

προεπηγγείλατο., 2 Corinthians 9:5 only; cf. Romans 15:4; Galatians 3:8; 1 Peter 1:10; for the converse cf. Ephesians 1:12.

διὰ τῶν πρ. α. ἐν γρα. . The fulness of the expression suggests that Gentiles are specially addressed: not simply ‘the prophets,’ but the prophets whom He inspired, whose utterances are preserved in writings which reproduce in their degree the divine character of the inspiration (ἁγίαις). It is the same GOD who used the prophets and now uses Paul, and for the same object.

γραφαῖς ἁγίαις, the permanent record of revelation; cf. Romans 16:26; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20. Anarthrous, expressing the nature of the means by which the utterances of GOD are revealed, stating that there are scriptures, not appealing to the scriptures as known. Perhaps the earliest extant instance of the use of the phrase. The argument from prophecy was from the first addressed to Gentiles: cf. Acts 8:28; Acts 10:43; Acts 24:14. So with the Apologists great stress is laid on prophecy.


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"Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/romans-1.html. 1896.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

2. “Which He before proclaimed through His holy prophets.” “Gospel” means the good news that God has redeemed the world and salvation is free. This was the burning message of His prophets from the days of Abel.


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/romans-1.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Which he promised beforetime through his prophets in the holy scriptures,’

Paul was concerned to stress that this Good News of God had not arrived unannounced. It had been promised beforetime through the prophets in the Holy Scriptures (the Old Testament). Thus it was not something novel, but was something promised and prepared for through the inspiration of God’s revered messengers of old. These great and holy men of old had pointed forward to Jesus Christ, preparing the way before Him, just as heralds would proclaim the coming of a king. And it was promised in the Holy Scriptures, the widely honoured sacred book of the Jews (the Old Testament) which was seen as containing God’s revelation to man. It bore the authenticity of firmly testified prophetic promises given through revered men of old, and contained within the sacred book of the Jews, a book which was honoured, even in the Gentile world.

The fact that this Good News was promised by Godin His Holy Scriptureswill be brought out throughout the letter:

· In the Scriptures is revealed the expectancy of the coming saving righteousness of God (Romans 1:17). The coming of this righteousness was a prominent theme of Isaiah where it is closely related to salvation. Compare Isaiah 45:8; Isaiah 46:13; Isaiah 51:5; Isaiah 51:8; Isaiah 56:1; etc. Note especially that in Isaiah 51:5 righteousness is to go out to the peoples who as a result will trust in Him. The coming of His righteousness would therefore bring salvation in a way that was compatible with what He is.

· In the Scriptures is revealed the sinfulness of man (Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:23). Having ignored the message given by the majesty of the heavens (Romans 1:20; compare Psalms 19:1-4) man indulged in every kind of sin and idolatry, something of which the Old Testament is a continual record.

· In the Scriptures is revealed God’s method of atonement through the shedding of blood (Romans 3:24-31; compare Isaiah 53, and all references in the Old Testament to sacrifice and atonement). All these offerings and sacrifices have now been fulfilled through Christ’s offering of Himself once for all.

· In the Scriptures is revealed God’s method of accounting men as righteous by faith as revealed in the life of Abraham (Romans 4:1-25; compare especially Genesis 15:6). Through faith we too can be accounted righteous.

· In the Scriptures is revealed the very source of man’s sinfulness in the first man, and the fact that God would provide a remedy through Another (Romans 5:12-21; Genesis 3; Isaiah 42:1-6; Isaiah 49:1-6; Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 53:12 and often). As we are naturally a part of Adam, so must we become a part of Christ by being united with Him by believing in Him.

· In the Scriptures is revealed the Law, the purpose of which was originally good, but which ended up condemning men, from whose condemnation we have now been delivered (Romans 7:1-25; compare Exodus 21:1-18; etc)

· In the Scriptures is revealed God’s way of salvation for His true people (9-11 against the background of the Old Testament).

· As the Scriptures foretold in the beginning, God will now bruise Satan under their feet (Romans 16:20; compare Genesis 3:15).

Thus the whole of the letter to the Romans is undergirded by the Holy Scriptures.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/romans-1.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. Promised—This Gospel is new and yet old. Old, as being really folded up in the Old Testament and concealed in its precious promises; new, as unfolded and unfurled in a fresh form and promulgation. The apostle here and in this whole epistle develops what he had maintained in all his arguments with the Jews in their synagogues in their various cities, and in his defences in their various arraignments, that new Christianity was but the real continuity of old Israelitism, and that modern Judaism was but its cast-off garments. (See note on Acts 26:1; Acts 6:13; Acts 7:2.)

Promised afore—Even as early as the protevangelium or primal Gospel announcement. (Genesis 3:15.)


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/romans-1.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Paul next began to exalt the gospel that God had called him to proclaim. It was a message that God had promised, not just prophesied, in the Old Testament Scriptures. The words "his" and "holy" stress the unique origin of the gospel. God had inspired the Old Testament by speaking through men as He gave His revelation. Paul did not preach an unanticipated gospel but one that God had promised through His prophets (cf. Romans 4:13-25; Romans 9:4; Romans 15:8). This is the reason Paul appealed to the Old Testament so fully in this and other of his epistles. Specifically, Paul"s gospel was not a human invention that tried to make the best of Israel"s rejection of Jesus Christ.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/romans-1.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:2. Which he promised beforehand. The parenthesis is unnecessary, for the whole passage is closely connected. It must be God’s gospel, for He had already promised it, and this thought would have force with the Gentile Christians as well as the Jews. Moreover it serves to emphasize the sacredness of the gift intrusted to him as separated unto the gospel of God.

Through his prophets. In the New Testament the revelation is always said to be made ‘by’ God, ‘through the prophets.’ The ‘prophets’ are not here distinguished from the other Old Testament writers.

In the holy Scriptures. The article is wanting in the original, but this can scarcely alter the accepted sense. The Greek-speaking Jews probably used the phrase as a proper noun, as in the case of the word ‘law.’ The omission of the article, in such usage, does not imply any indefinite or general meaning. ‘The divine promises of the gospel, given through the prophets of God, are found in such books as, being God’s records for His revelations, are holy writing’(Meyer). The reader would understand that the whole Old Testament was meant. In fact, the entire revelation is one organic system of types and prophecies pointing to Christ; John 5:39. The gospel, Paul implies, though new, is yet old.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/romans-1.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Romans 1:2. προεπηγγείλατο. The Gospel is not in principle a new thing, a sub-version of the true religion as it has hitherto been known to the people of God. On the contrary, God promised it before, through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. It is the fulfilment of hopes which God Himself inspired. διὰ τῶν προφητῶν does not restrict the reference to the prophets in the strict sense of the word. The O.T., as a whole, is prophetic of the New, and it is in the law (Abraham) and the Psalms (David), as much as in the prophets (Isaiah, Hosea), that Paul finds anticipations and promises of the Gospel: see chap. 4. The omission of the article with ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγίαις (cf. Romans 16:26) is probably significant, for as against these two passages there are over forty in which αἱ γραφαὶ or γραφὴ occurs: it emphasises the Divine character of these as opposed to other writings. That is ἅγιον which belongs to God, or is connected with Him: ἅγιαι γραφαὶ is the O.T. as God’s book.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/romans-1.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Which he had promised before, &c. That is, God before, in the Scriptures, promised the blessings, which are not come by the preaching of the gospel, and that they should come by his Son. (Witham)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/romans-1.html. 1859.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

Which He had promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures.

By declaring that the Gospel had been before promised, Paul tacitly repels the accusation that it was a novel doctrine. At the same time, he states its Divine origin as a reason why nothing new is to be admitted in religion. He further shows in what respect the Old and New Testaments differ — not as containing two religions essentially dissimilar, but as exhibiting the same grand truth — predicted, prefigured, and fulfilled. The Old Testament is the promise of the New, and the New the accomplishment of the Old. The Gospel had been promised by all the prophecies which foretold a new covenant, — by those which predicted the coming of the Messiah, — by all the observances, under the law, that contained in themselves the promise of the things they prefigured, — by the whole of the legal economy, that preceded the Gospel, in which was displayed the strictness of Divine justice, which in itself would have been a ministration only of condemnation, had it not been accompanied by all the revelations of grace and mercy, which were in substance and embryo the Gospel itself, and consequently foretold and prepared the way for a more perfect development.

By His Prophets. — Paul here also repels another accusation of the Jews, namely, that the Apostles were opposed to Moses and the Prophets; and intimates their complete agreement. He thus endeavors to secure attention and submission to his doctrine, by removing the prejudices entertained against it, and by showing that none could reject it without rejecting the Prophets. In addition to this, he establishes the authority of the Prophets by intimating that it was God Himself who spoke by them, and consequently that their words must be received as a revelation from heaven.

In the Holy Scriptures. — Here he establishes the inspiration of the Scriptures, by pronouncing them holy, and asserting that it was God Himself who spoke in them; and shows whence we are now to take the true word of God and of His Prophets, — not from oral tradition, which must be uncertain and fluctuating, but from the written word, which is certain and permanent. He teaches that we ought always to resort to the Scriptures; for that, in religion, whatever they do not contain is really novel, although it may have passed current for ages; while all that is found there is really ancient, although it may have been lost sight of for a long period.


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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/romans-1.html. 1835.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Romans 1:2 which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy scriptures,

"Which" -i.e. which gospel. The O.T. had looked forward to this message. (; 3:21; 4:3,6; 1 Peter 1:10-12)

"God"s good news was not unknown in the O.T. This is why we read of the apostles (in the book of Acts and elsewhere) making a constant appeal to the O.T. scriptures (Acts 17:1-3). Those who see the Church Age as a great parenthesis or gap between the cross of Christ and a coming kingdom have seriously misunderstood God"s mind in this matter."


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/romans-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

had. Omit.

promised afore. Greek. proepangello. Only here: epangello occurs fifteen times; always rendered "promise", save 1 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 6:21 (professing).

Prophets. App-189.

scriptures. Greek. graphe. Occurs fifty-one times (sing, and plural) Fourteen times by Paul, but only here with adjective hagios, holy.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/romans-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures. Though the Roman church was Gentile by nation (see the note at Romans 1:13), yet, as most of them had been proselytes to the Jewish Faith, they are here reminded that in embracing the Gospel they had not cast off Moses and the prophets, but only yielded themselves the more intelligently and profoundly to the testimony of God in that earlier Revelation (Acts 13:32-33).

(Romans 1:3) Christ-as THE SEED OF DAVID and THE SON OF GOD-the Grand Burden of the Gospel


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Which he had promised.—More correctly, which He promised before by His prophets in holy writ. There is a nicety of meaning expressed by the absence of the article before this last phrase. A slight stress is thus thrown upon the epithet “holy.” It is not merely “in certain books which go by the name of holy scriptures,” but “in certain writings the character of which is holy.” They are “holy” as containing the promises referred to in the text, and others like them. It will thus be seen how even this faint shade of meaning works into the general argument. The writings in which the promises are contained, like the promises themselves, their fulfilment, and the consequences which follow from them, all are part of the same exceptional divine scheme.

The prophetic writings describe not only salvation, the substance of the gospel, but also the preaching of salvation, the gospel itself. (See Isaiah 40:2, “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,” and following verses; Isaiah 42:4; Isaiah 52:1 et seq.; Psalms 19:4; Psalms 68:11, et al.)

Prophets.—In the wider sense in which the word is used, including not only Samuel (Acts 3:24), but also Moses and David, and all who are regarded as having prophesied the Messiah.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/romans-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Which
Luke 24:26,27; Acts 10:43; 26:6; Titus 1:2
by
3:21
the holy
3:2

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/romans-1.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

Which he promised afore. That is, the gospel which Paul was sent to preach, was the same system of grace and truth, which from the beginning had been predicted and partially unfolded in the writings of the Old Testament. The reason why the Apostle here adverts to that fact probably was, that one of the strongest proofs of the divine origin of the gospel is found in the prophecies of the Old Testament. The advent, the character, the work, the kingdom of the Messiah, are there predicted, and it was therefore out of the Scriptures that the apostles reasoned, to convince the people that Jesus is the Christ; and to this connection between the two dispensations they constantly refer, in proof of their doctrines. See Romans 3:21; Romans 4:3; Romans 9:27, Romans 9:33; Romans 10:11, Romans 10:20. Comp. Luke 24:44; John 12:16; Acts 10:43.

By his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. As in Scripture the term προφήτἡ, Hebrews נָבִיא, is applied to any one who spake by inspiration as the ambassador of God and the interpreter of his will; προφητῶν here includes all the Old Testament writers, whether prophets in the strict sense of the term, or teachers, or historians. Meyer indeed insists that the line of the prophets begins with Samuel according to Acts 3:24 — "all the prophets from Samuel, and those who follow after," and therefore that the earlier writers of the Old Testament are not here included. But Moses was a prophet, and what is here expressed by the words "his prophets," is explained by the phrase "the law and the prophets," in Romans 3:21.

By the Holy Scriptures must of course be understood, those writings which the Jews regarded as holy, because they treated of holy things, and because they were given by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.


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Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:2". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/romans-1.html.

: which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy scriptures,

The word "which" refers back to the gospel. God promised the gospel through the "prophets" and in the "holy scriptures." Paul didn't give any examples, but other New Testament passages like 1 Peter 1:9-12 help explain the thought. At the end of 1 Peter 1:10, there is a reference to "grace that was to come." The subject of grace is prominent in the preaching of the gospel. The information in 1 Peter 1:11 proves the prophets had knowledge about Christ, the sufferings He would undergo, and the glories which would follow His death. All of these matters made the prophets very, very curious. One person with this information was Abraham (see John 8:56 and Hebrews 11:13).

The "holy scriptures" in Romans 1:2 refer to the Old Testament. By appealing to the Old Testament, Paul showed the gospel was promised. There is a definite relationship between the gospel and the Old Testament. One of the places where this relationship is illustrated is Acts 8:30-35. Philip used Old Testament Scriptures to preach Jesus to the Ethiopian Eunuch. The book of Acts is filled with Old Testament references, and these continually show the relationship between the Old Testament and the gospel. Preachers used Old Testament references because they predicted the coming of the gospel. Even Jesus taught the gospel is tied to the Old Testament ( John 5:39; Luke 24:25-27; Luke 24:45-47). Old Testament texts which clearly predicted the gospel include Isaiah 52:7; Isaiah 53:1-12; Isaiah 57:19; Zechariah 13:1-9. Martin Luther said, "The words of the prophets are now set free….Now we can see and understand what was written, for we have an ‘entrance into the Old Testament.'"

Willmington (p222) observed how the Old Testament prophets speaking of the gospel completely refutes "the silly claims of the cults, all of which claim to have some new and exotic truth concerning the gospel. It is rightly observed that ‘if something is new, it's probably not true, and if it's true, then it is not new!'"


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Price, Brad "Commentary on Romans 1:2". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bpc/romans-1.html.

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