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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 1:27

 

 

and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Receiving in themselves that recompense, etc. - Both the women and men, by their unnatural prostitutions, enervated their bodies, so that barrenness prevailed, and those disorders which are necessarily attendant on prostitution and sodomitical practices.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And likewise the men … - The sin which is here specified is what was the shameful sin of Sodom, and which from that has been called sodomy. It would scarcely be credible that man had been guilty of a crime so base and so degrading, unless there was ample and full testimony to it. Perhaps there is no sin which so deeply shows the depravity of man as this; none which would so much induce one “to hang his head, and blush to think himself a man.” And yet the evidence that the apostle did not bring a railing accusation against the pagan world; that he did not advance a charge which was unfounded, is too painfully clear. It has been indeed a matter of controversy whether paederastry, or the love of boys, among the ancients was not a pure and harmless love, but the evidence is against it. (See this discussed in Dr. Leland‘s Advantage and Necessity of Revelation, vol. i. 49-56.) The crime with which the apostle charges the Gentiles here was by no means confined to the lower classes of the people.

It doubtless pervaded all classes, and we have distinct specifications of its existence in a great number of cases. Even Virgil speaks of the attachment of Corydon to Alexis, without seeming to feel the necessity of a blush for it. Maximus Tyrius (Diss. 10) says that in the time of Socrates, this vice was common among the Greeks; and is at pains to vindicate Socrates from it as almost a solitary exception. Cicero (Tuscul. Ques. iv. 34) says, that “Dicearchus had accused Plato of it, and probably not unjustly.” He also says (Tuscul. Q. iv. 33), that the practice was common among the Greeks, and that their poets and great men, and even their learned men and philosophers, not only practiced, but gloried in it. And he adds, that it was the custom, not of particular cities only, but of Greece in general. (Tuscul. Ques. v. 20.) Xenophon says, that “the unnatural love of boys is so common, that in many places it is established by the public laws.”

He particularly alludes to Sparta. (See Leland‘s Advantage, etc. i. 56.) Plato says that the Cretans practiced this crime, and justified themselves by the example of Jupiter and Ganymede. (Book of Laws, i.) And Aristotle says, that among the Cretans there was a law encouraging that sort of unnatural love. (Aristotle, Politic. b. ii. chapter 10.) Plutarch says, that this was practiced at Thebes, and at Elis. He further says, that Solon, the great lawgiver of Athens, “was not proof against beautiful boys, and had not courage to resist the force of love.” (Life of Solon.) Diogenes Laertius says that this vice was practiced by the Stoic Zeno. Among the Romans, to whom Paul was writing, this vice was no less common. Cicero introduces, without any mark of disapprobation, Cotta, a man of the first rank and genius, freely and familiarly owning to other Romans of the same quality, that this worse than beastly vice was practiced by himself, and quoting the authority of ancient philosophers in vindication of it. (De Natura Deorum, b. i. chapter 28.) It appears from what Seneca says (epis. 95) that in his time it was practiced openly at Rome, and without shame.

He speaks of flocks and troops of boys, distinguished by their colors and nations; and says that great care was taken to train them up for this detestable employment. Those who may wish to see a further account of the morality in the pagan world may find it detailed in Tholuck‘s “Nature and moral Influence of Heathenism,” in the Biblical Repository, vol. ii., and in Leland‘s Advantage and Necessity of the Christian Revelation. There is not the least evidence that this abominable vice was confined to Greece and Rome. If so common there, if it had the sanction even of their philosophers, it may be presumed that it was practiced elsewhere, and that the sin against nature was a common crime throughout the pagan world. Navaratte, in his account of the empire of China (book ii. chapter 6), says that it is extremely common among the Chinese. And there is every reason to believe, that both in the old world and the new, this abominable crime is still practiced. If such was the state of the pagan world, then surely the argument of the apostle is well sustained, that there was need of some other plan of salvation than was taught by the light of nature.

That which is unseemly - That which is shameful, or disgraceful.

And receiving in themselves … - The meaning of this doubtless is, that the effect of such base and unnatural passions was, to enfeeble the body, to produce premature old age, disease, decay, and an early death. That this is the effect of the indulgence of licentious passions, is amply proved by the history of man. The despots who practice polygamy, and keep harems in the East, are commonly superannuated at forty years of age; and it is well known, even in Christian countries, that the effect of licentious indulgence is to break down and destroy the constitution. How much more might this be expected to follow the practice of the vice specified in the verse under examination! God has marked the indulgence of licentious passions with his frown. Since the time of the Romans and the Greeks, as if there had not been sufficient restraints before, he has originated a new disease, which is one of the most loathsome and distressing which has ever afflicted man, and which has swept off millions of victims. But the effect on the body was not all. It tended to debase the mind; to sink man below the level of the brute; to destroy the sensibility; and to “sear the conscience as with a hot iron.” The last remnant of reason and conscience, it would seem, must be extinguished it those who would indulge in this unnatural and degrading vice. See Suetonius‘ Life of Nere, 28.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-1.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the women,.... The very sin of "sodomy" is here designed, so called from Sodom, the place where we first hear of it, Genesis 19:5, the men of which place, because they

burned in their lust one towards another, as these Gentiles are said to do, God rained upon them fire and brimstone from heaven: an exceeding great sin this is, contrary to nature, dishonourable to human nature, and scandalous to a people and nation among whom it prevails, as it did very much in the Gentile world, and among their greatest philosophers; even those that were most noted for moral virtue are charged with it, as Socrates, Plato, Zeno, and othersF13A. Gellius Noct. Attic. l. 2. c. 18. Laert. Vit. Philosoph. l. 2. in Vit. Socrat. & l. 3. in Vit. Platon. : it is a sin which generally prevails where idolatry and infidelity do, as among the Pagans of old, and among the Papists and Mahometans now; and never was it so rife in this nation as since the schemes of deism and infidelity have found such a reception among us. Thus God, because men dishonour him with their evil principles and practices, leaves them to reproach their own nature, and dishonour their own bodies:

men with men working that which is unseemly; and of which nothing like it is to be observed in the brutal world:

receiving in themselves the recompence of their error, which was meet: God punishes sin with sin; for as the Jews sayF14Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 2. , as

"one commandment draws on another, so one transgression draws on another; for the reward of the commandment is the commandment, ושכר עבירה עבירה and the reward of transgression is transgression.'


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/romans-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that l recompence of their error which was meet.

(l) An appropriate reward and that which they deserved.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/romans-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet — alluding to the many physical and moral ways in which, under the righteous government of God, vice was made self-avenging.


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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 1:27". "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

Turned (εχεκαυτησανexekauthēsan). First aorist passive indicative, causative aorist, of εκκαιωekkaiō old verb, to burn out, to set on fire, to inflame with anger or lust. Here only in N.T.

Lust (ορεχειorexei). Only here in N.T.

Unseemliness (ασχημοσυνηνaschēmosunēn). Old word from ασχημονaschēmon (deformed). In N.T. only here and Revelation 16:15.

Recompense (αντιμιστιανantimisthian). See note on 2 Corinthians 6:13 for only other N.T. instance of this late Pauline word, there in good sense, here in bad.

Which was due (hēn edei). Imperfect active for obligation still on them coming down from the past. This debt will be paid in full (apolambanontes pay back as in Luke 6:34, and due as in Luke 23:41). Nature will attend to that in their own bodies and souls.


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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 1:27". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/romans-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Burned ( ἐξεκαύθησαν )

The terms are terrible in their intensity. Lit., burned out. The preposition indicates the rage of the lust.

Lust ( ὀρέξει )

Only here in the New Testament. It is a reaching out after something with the purpose of appropriating it. In later classical Greek it is the most general term for every kind of desire, as the appetite for food. The peculiar expressiveness of the word here is sufficiently evident from the context.

That which is unseemly ( τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην )

Primarily, want of form, disfigurement. Plato contrasts it with εὐσχημοσύνη gracefulness(“Symposium,” 196).

Which was meet ( ἔδει )

Rev., was due, which is better, though the word expresses a necessity in the nature of the case - that which must needs be as the consequence of violating the divine law.

The prevalence of this horrible vice is abundantly illustrated in the classics. See Aristophanes, “Lysistrata,” 110; Plato, “Symposium,” 191; Lucian, “Amores,” 18; “Dialogi Meretricii,” v., 2; Juvenal, vi., 311; Martial, i., 91; vii., 67. See also Becker's “Charicles;” Forsyth's “Life of Cicero,” pp. 289,336; and Dollinger's “Heathen and Jew,” ii., 273 sqq. Dollinger remarks that in the whole of the literature of the ante-Christian period, hardly a writer has decisively condemned it. In the Doric states, Crete and Sparta, the practice was favored as a means of education, and was acknowledged by law. Even Socrates could not forbear feeling like a Greek on this point (see Plato's “Charmides”). In Rome, in the earlier centuries of the republic, it was of rare occurrence; but at the close of the sixth century it had become general. Even the best of the emperors, Antoninus and Trajan, were guilty.

On the Apostle's description Bengel remarks that “in stigmatizing we must often call a spade a spade. The unchaste usually demand from others an absurd modesty.” Yet Paul's reserve is in strong contrast with the freedom of pagan writers (see Ephesians 5:12). Meyer notes that Paul delineates the female dishonor in less concrete traits than the male.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "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

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Receiving the just recompense of their error — Their idolatry being punished with that unnatural lust, which was as horrible a dishonour to the body, as their idolatry was to God.


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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 1:27". "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

27.Such a reward for their error as was meet. They indeed deserved to be blinded, so as to forget themselves, and not to see any thing befitting them, who, through their own malignity, closed their eyes against the light offered them by God, that they might not behold his glory: in short, they who were not ashamed to extinguish, as much as they could, the glory of God, which alone gives us light, deserved to become blind at noonday.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/romans-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Ver. 27. Leaving the natural] As at this day in the Levant, sodomy is held no sin. The Turkish pashas have many wives, but more catamites, {a} which are their serious loves. (Blount’s Voyage.)

Burned in their lust] Gr. εξεκαυσθησαν, "were scalded." Some men put off all manhood, become dogs, worse than dogs. Hence Deuteronomy 23:18; "The price of a dog," that is, of a sodomite, as Junius and Deodatus expound it.

{a} A boy kept for unnatural purposes. ŒD


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Romans 1:27. And likewise also the men How just the Apostle's reflections are, and how pertinently he has placed this most abominable abuse of human nature at the head of the vices into which the heathen world were fallen, will be seen, if we observe, that Cicero,—the greatest philosopher in Rome,—a little before the Gospel was preached,—in his book concerning the Nature of the Gods, (where you will find a thousand idle sentiments upon that subject,) introduces, without any mark of disapprobation, Cotta, a man of the first rank and genius, freely and familiarly owning to other Romans of the same quality, this worse than beastly vice as practised by himself; and quoting the authority of ancient philosophersin vindication of it. See lib. 1: sect. 28. Nay, and do we not even find the most elegant and correct both of the Greek and Roman poets, avowing this vice, and even celebrating the objects of their abominable affection?—Indeed it is well known, that this most detestable vice was long and generally practised among the heathens by all sorts of men, philosophers and others: whence we may conclude, that the Apostle has done justice to the Gentile world in the other instances that he gives of their corruption. Error is used also for idolatry, 2 Peter 2:18. See Calmet and Bos.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/romans-1.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

27.] τὴν ἀσχημ. perhaps, as De W., ‘the (well-known, too frequent) indecency,’—‘cui ipsa corporis … conformatio reclamat,’ Bengel: but more probably the article is only generic, as in 2 Peter 1:5-8 repeatedly.

τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν] The Apostle treats this ἀτιμία into which they fell, as a consequence of, a retribution for, their departure from God into idolatry,—with which in fact it was closely connected. This shame, and not its consequences, which are not here treated of, is the ἀντιμισθία of their πλάνη, their aberration from the knowledge of God, which they received. This is further shewn by ἣν ἔδει in the past tense. εἰ λὰρ καὶ μὴ γέεννα ἦν, μηδὲ κόλασις ἠπείλητο, τοῦτο πάσης κολάσεως χεῖρον ἦν. εἰ δὲ ἥδονται, τὴν προσθήκην μοι λέγεις τῆς τιμωρίας. Chrys. Hom. v. p.457.

ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, in their own persons, viz. by their degradation even below the beasts.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/romans-1.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Romans 1:27. ἐξεκαύθησαν, were all in a flame) [burned] with an abominable fire ( πυρώσει, viz., of lust.)— τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην, that which is unseemly) against which the conformation of the body and its members reclaims.— ἣν ἔδει) which it was meet [or proper], by a natural consequence.— τῆς πλάνης, of their error) by which they wandered away from God.— ἀπολαμβάνοντες), the antithetic word used to express the punishment of the Gentiles; as ἀποδώσει, that of the Jews, Romans 2:6. In both words, ἀπό has the same force.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". 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

This was the sin of the Sodomites of old, for which they were destroyed, Genesis 19:5: see Leviticus 18:22. How meet was it that they who had forsaken the Author of nature, should be given up not to keep the order of nature; that they who had changed the glory of God into the similitude of beasts, should be left to do those things which beasts themselves abhorred! God only concurred as a just judge in punishing foregoing with following sins: see Romans 1:25.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 1:27". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/romans-1.html. 1685.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

27. ἀπολαμβάνοντες, ‘receiving as due.’


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"Commentary on Romans 1:27". "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

27. These two verses describe a horrible state of humanity, cohabitation with animals, and other abominations unmentionable, peculiar to the inhabitants of Sodom and in the hell dens of many other cities in all ages. When I was in that country I went to the site of Sodom and Gomorra and found it all covered by the Dead Sea. Not only is the sea utterly desolate, no fish competent to live in its poisonous waters, but the surrounding country is all a burning desert waste without a drop of rain, whereas in the days of Abraham and Lot it was “well watered,” God having sent the withering desolation because of their wickedness. As this wicked age fast ripens for destruction, the horrors of Sodom are fast multiplying with the inventions of the age utilized by Satan. I write these pages in New York. A sanctified man, saved out of the horrors of slumdom, tells me that we need not leave the American metropolis to find all the horrors of ancient Sodom.


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/romans-1.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And in the same way also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.’

And in the same way men, ‘leaving the natural use of women’, indulged in sex with one another, burning with lust for one another, with men ‘working unseemliness with men’, by indulging in practising homosexuality. We have here a clear Biblical condemnation of practising homosexuality. Those who indulge in it are seen as walking in disobedience to God and as ‘unseemly’. The receiving ‘in themselves’ of the recompense which was their due may refer to sexually transmitted diseases and other problems, or may have the final day of judgment in mind. But either way the emphasis is on the fact that judgment inevitably follows. That this is an indictment of homosexuality cannot be denied, although it is paralleled by the sexual sins of the women. Both are equally sinful (as are the practises that follow in Romans 1:28-32).

We must remember that in Paul’s days such homosexual practices were nothing new. They were widespread and not necessarily disapproved of by a society which was very liberal in its tendencies. It was a society which was as ‘sexually liberated’ as the Western world is today. Paul was not thus following the norms of his time. He was rather very much condemning the norms of his time. Although, of course, as is true today, there were many in the society who did disapprove. It was only among people like the Jews, however, that such things were frowned on by the whole of society. Paul’s indictment of these practises is therefore to be seen as all the more significant, for we must remember that Paul did not see himself as bound by Jewish practises. Yet he clearly saw any sex outside Biblical marriage (that is, outside of marriage of a man to a woman) as exceedingly sinful, and as basically disgusting (‘vile passions’, ‘changed their natural use’, ‘burned in lust’, ‘working unseemliness’), and this in words which typically of Scripture sought not to be too blatant.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/romans-1.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:27. The men; lit., ‘males.’ The vice of sodomy was very prevalent in the ancient world. The description here is more intense, corresponding with the prevalence and intensity of the immorality.

Receiving in themselves; in their own persons. ‘The unseemliness’ points to something well known.

That recompense of their error. The unnatural lusts and vices were the recompense, the due punishment, of their ‘error,’ namely, their departure from God into idolatry.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/romans-1.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Receiving in themselves the recompense...due to their error. That is, were justly punished for their wilful blindness and error, by which they had worshipped and adored creatures, instead of the Creator, idols instead of the one true God. (Witham)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/romans-1.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Romans 1:27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.

"Burned in their lust one toward another, men with men"-God condemns "mutually loving" homosexual relations.

Homosexuality and lesbianism are traits of a society that is being given up. They are not signs of "improvement and enlightenment", they are manifestations of ignorance and spiritual darkness. They are not found at the "high point" of a society, but the "low point".

"Unseemliness" -"shameless acts" (Mon). Old word from a Greek word that means "deformed". (Robertson p. 331) It isn"t "just another kind of love" either.

-Primarily want of form, disfigurement. (Vincent p. 20)

"Receiving in themselves" -"in their own persons" (RSV)

"that recompense of their error which was due"-"the due penalty of their error" (NASV) There was always an due penalty, a proper reward, a just paying back for such sinfulness. "The fitting wage of such perversion" (NEB)


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/romans-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

also the men = the men also.

men. App-123.

leaving = having forsaken. App-174.

burned = were inflamed. Greek. ekkaiomai. Only here.

lust. Greek. orexis. Only here.

toward. App-104.

working. Greek. katergazomai. Occurs eleven times in Romans, seven in 2 Corinthians. See also James 1:3, James 1:20; 1 Peter 4:3.

that which is unseemly. Greek. aschemosune. Only here and Revelation 16:15. Compare Genesis 19:7.

receiving = receiving back, or in full. Greek. apolambano.

that = the.

recompence. Greek. antimisthia, retribution; only here and 2 Corinthians 6:13.

error. Greek. plane, literally a wandering = wrong action, wickedness. Here, Matthew 27:64. Ephesians 4:14. 1 Thessalonians 2:3. 2 Thessalonians 2:11. James 5:20. 2 Peter 2:18; 2 Peter 3:17. 1 John 4:6. Jude 1:11.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "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

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly. The practices here referred to, though too abundantly attested by classic authors, cannot be described and illustrated from them without trenching on things 'which ought not to be even named among us as becometh saints.' 'At the period when the apostle wrote, unnatural lusts broke out (says Tholuck) to the most revolting extent, not at Rome only, but over the whole empire. He who is unacquainted with the historical monuments of that age-especially Petronius, Suetonius, Martial, and Juvenal-can scarcely figure to himself the frightfulness of these excesses.' (See also Grotius, Wetstein, Fritzsche.) Reiche, indeed; throws doubt upon the apostle's accuracy, alleging that the Christian world has been at various times no better in these respects than the pagan.

No doubt passages can be produced from ecclesiastical writers, at different periods, in which charges quite as strong as anything in this chapter are, with too much justice, laid at the door of the Christian Church. (See, for example, one from Salvian, in the fifth century, which Tholuck quotes.) But besides that (as Tholucuk observes) the very pagan writers themselves (Seneca, for example, de brev. vit., 100: 16) expressly blame the vicious character of the pagan deities for much of the immorality which reigned among the people, whereas all vice is utterly alien to Christianity, the worst vices of humanity have since the glorious Reformation (which was but true Christianity restored, and raised to its legitimate ascendancy) almost disappeared from European society. To return, then, to the state of the pagan world, we may add (with Bloomfield) that the disclosures lately made by the disinterment of Herculaneum and Pompeii (Roman towns near Naples, overwhelmed by the terrible eruption of Mount Vesuvius, 79 AD-first discovered in 1713, and now gradually undergoing disentombment) are such as too fully bear out and illustrate all that the apostle says or hints on the tremendous abominations of even the most civilized nations of the ancient world.

Indeed, it was just the most civilized that were plunged the deepest in the mire of pollution, the barbarians being (as will appear from the 'Germania' of Tacitus) comparatively virtuous. Observe how, in the retributive judgment of God, vice is here seen consuming and exhausting itself. When the passions, scourged by violent and continued indulgence in natural vices, became impotent to yield the craved enjoyment, resort was had to artificial stimulants by the practice of unnatural and monstrous vices. How early these were in full career, in the history of the world, the case of Sodom affectingly shows; and because of such abominations, centuries after that, the land of Canaan 'spued out' its old inhabitants. Long before this chapter was penned, the Lesbians and others throughout refined Greece had been luxuriating in such debasements; and as for the Romans, Tacitus, speaking of the emperor Tiberius, tells us that new words had then to be coined to express the newly invented stimulants to jaded passions. No wonder that, thus sick and dying as was this poor Humanity of ours under the highest earthly culture, its many-voiced cry for the balm in Gilead and the Physician there - "Come over and help us" - pierced the hearts of the missionaries of the Cross, and made them "not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!"

And receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet - alluding to the many physical and moral ways in which, under the righteous government of God, vice was made serf-avenging.

The Consummated Penal Debasement of the Pagan World


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "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

(27) In themselves—i.e., upon themselves, upon their own persons thus shamefully dishonoured.

That recompence of their error which was meet.—The “error” is the turning from God to idols. The “recompence of the error” is seen in these unnatural excesses to which the heathen have been delivered up.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/romans-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
that recompense
23,24

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/romans-1.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

The apostle for the third time repeats the idea that the moral degradation of the heathen was a punishment of their apostasy from God. Receiving, he says, in themselves the meet recompense of their error. It is obvious from the whole context that πλάνη here refers to the sin of forsaking the true God; and it is no less obvious that the recompense or punishment of this apostasy was the moral degradation which he had just described.

The heathen themselves did not fail to see the intimate connection between impiety and vice. Silius, . "Heu primae scelerum causae mortalibus aegris naturam nescire Dem." Cicero De natura Deorum, 12. "Haud scio, an, pietate adversus Deos sublat, fides etiam et societas, et una excellentissima virtus justitia tollatur." See Wetstein. Those therefore who would merge religion into morality, or who suppose that morality can be sustained without religion, are more ignorant than the heathen. They not only shut their eyes to all the teachings both of philosophy and of history, but array against themselves the wrath of God, who has revealed his purpose to abandon to the most degrading lusts those who apostatize from him.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:27". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/romans-1.html.

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