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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 1:28

 

 

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

Adam Clarke Commentary

They did not like to retain God - It would, perhaps, be more literal to translate ουκ εδοκιμασαν, They Did Not Search to retain God in their knowledge. They did not examine the evidences before them ( Romans 1:19, Romans 1:20;) of his being and attributes; therefore God gave them over to a Reprobate mind, εις αδοκιμον νουν, to an Unsearching or undiscerning mind; for it is the same word in both places. They did not reflect on the proofs they had of the Divine nature, and God abandoned them to the operations of a mind incapable of reflection. How men of such powers and learning, as many of the Greek and Roman philosophers and poets really were, could reason so inconsecutively concerning things moral and Divine is truly astonishing. But here we see the hand of a just and avenging God; they abused their powers, and God deprived them of the right use of these powers.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And even as they did not like … - This was the true source of their crimes. They did not choose to acknowledge God. It was not because they could not, but because they were displeased with God, and chose to forsake him, and follow their own passions and lusts.

To retain God … - To think of him, or to serve and adore him. This was the first step in their sin. It was not that God compelled them; or that he did not give them knowledge; nor even is it said that he arbitrarily abandoned them as the first step; but they forsook him, and as a consequence he gave them up to a reprobate mind.

To a reprobate mind - A mind destitute of judgment. In the Greek the same word is used here, which, in another form, occurs in the previous part of the verse, and which is translated “like.” The apostle meant doubtless to retain a reference to that in this place. “As they did not approve, ἐδοκιμασαν edokimasanor choose to retain God, etc. he gave them up to a mind disapproved, rejected, reprobate,” ἀδοκιμον adokimonand he means that the state of their minds was such that God could not approve it. It does not mean that they were reprobate by any arbitrary decree; but that as a consequence of their headstrong passions, their determination to forget him, he left them to a state of mind which was evil, and which he could not approve.

Which are not convenient - Which are not fit or proper; which are disgraceful and shameful; to wit, those things which he proceeds to state in the remainder of the chapter.


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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Romans 1:28

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.

The state of heathendom

Idolatry is essentially the same in every age and place.

1. In its origin. It flows from a corrupt heart, desirous not to retain the knowledge of God.

2. In its nature. However great the variety, or modes of worship, there is a grand generic likeness in them all. The Greeks may worship Jupiter, and the Hindoos Vishnu; one class a god, and another a goddess; but still all agree in this one point, they “like not to retain God in their knowledge.”

3. In its effects: “God gave them over to a reprobate mind”; and, as the necessary consequence of that, they did “those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:29-32). Such were the effects produced by idolatry in ancient times. And we ask those who object to this language to show us by idolatry, by being continued in for nearly two thousand years, has grown better than it was in the days of the apostle?

I. The state of the heathen as here described.

1. God has given them over to “a reprobate mind.” The term signifies disapproved. The mind which God approves must be one which has correct views of the Divine character--a just idea of the plan of salvation; and these views must have a holy influence on the heart and life. The views of the heathen on these points prove that they are given over to a reprobate mind.

2. God has given them over “to do those things which are not convenient,” Without entering into all here stated, we may instance--

II. What effect ought this view to produce in our minds? We ought to learn--

1. How evil and dreadful a thing it is to separate God from our thoughts. If we exclude God from our thoughts, we must expect that He will east us out from His presence. It became the righteous God to give over to a reprobate mind those who “did not like to retain Him in their knowledge.”

2. To be truly thankful for our superior state and privileges. Contrast your state with theirs: they have no Bible, you have the Word of God. Their sacred books countenance the most unhallowed feelings, while the Bible teaches you to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,” and to “follow holiness.” Your Bible reveals an immortality of purity and bliss, their Bible reveals nothing except a sensual heaven. You have teachers to guide you in the way to heaven, but ignorance is perfect bliss compared to the knowledge which they obtain from their Brahmins. The priest will visit them at their houses, and covet some article which he sees in the room; and if it be not given to him, he will leave a curse instead of a blessing. You have Sabbaths, but the Sabbath never shines on Hindoostan!

3. To pity and to pray for the heathen. We ought to look on them as Christ looked on us when in our sins and our blood. If your feeling of pity be genuine, it will lead to prayer.

4. To make the most strenuous exertions for the amelioration of their condition. It is well to pity them and to pray for them; but if you do no more, it will be difficult to prove to God or man the sincerity of your pity and your prayers.

God lost to the sight of an evil heart

The heart that is addicted to evil, that is in love with sin, that is clogged and burdened with guilt, has lost the capacity of discerning God as it has lost the wish to be near Him. His name is not welcome, the idea of Him is not pleasant; we are neither willing nor able, when we are plunged in our selfish sinfulness, to cherish the bright and purifying thought of our loving Father. As a cloud darkens the heavens, the mist of our own evil hearts rises up and fills our sky, and blots out all the starry intentions of our spirit, and drapes the face of God Himself in a blackness that can be felt. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Diminishing light but not diminishing responsibility

We would infer from this account that men, in the first instance, had a far more clear and convinced sense of God; but, not liking to retain it, committed the sin of a perverse disposition against the light which they had, and in part extinguished it--that they of course left their own immediate posterity in a light more shaded than that which shone around the outset of their own progress through the world--that these still disliked the remainder of truth which they enjoyed; and, by their wilful resistance inflicted upon it a further mutilation, and transmitted it to their descendants with a still deeper hue of obscurity thrown over it; but still with such glimpses as were enough at least to try the affection of man towards it, to stir up a distinct resistance on the part of those who disliked it, to keep up the responsibility of the world, and to retain it in rightful dependence on the judgment of Him who made the world--so as to make it clear on the day of reckoning, that men, even in their state of most sunken alienation from the true God, were never so destitute of all capacity for discerning between the good and the evil, as to render them the unfit subjects of a moral sentence and a moral examination. With every human creature who shall be pronounced worthy of death on that day, will it be seen that there was either a light which he actually had and liked not to retain, or a light which he might have had and liked not to recover. To whom much is given of him much shall be required; and there will be gradations of punishment in hell. (T. Chalmers, D. D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Romans 1:28". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/romans-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting.

Thus, the third time in half a dozen verses, it is written that "God gave them up," and, in each instance, reference is made to the principle of retribution. God's giving people up was not capricious, but founded upon the righteous premise that such conduct deserved the adverse judgment it received. There is also observed here the concept of punishment fitting the crime, or "retribution in kind"; for it is not said merely that God gave them up, but that "even as" they had refused to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a reprobate mind, making their reprobacy correspond to the reprobate act of forsaking the knowledge of God. The same thought is expressed in Romans 1:27 where the judgment was mentioned as one that "was due."

WHEN GOD GIVES UP ON PEOPLE

In the paragraph above, Paul affirmed that for just reasons God gave up on some people; but that was hardly a new concept. The psalmist noted that,

My people hearkened not to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart, that they might walk in their own counsels (Psalms 81:11,12).

The martyr Stephen likewise said,

But God turned and gave them up to serve the host of heaven (Acts 7:42).

The extent of man's ruin that inevitably follows when God gives him up involves the total moral, intellectual, and physical nature of man. The dwarf peoples in some parts of earth show that man's physical body suffers the penalty of sin, some sins, in particular, being cited in scripture as sins against "the body" (1 Corinthians 6:18). The affections of people are corrupted (Romans 1:26), and they reach a state of loving darkness rather than the light (John 3:20). The intellect is darkened, and people become vain, or foolish, in their imaginations (Romans 1:21). Also, there is finally an adverse, punitive change effected in people, that being the action that God himself takes against the incorrigibly wicked. For example,

Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved; and for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 KJV).

Thus, the ruin that ensues when God gives man up is fourfold: physical, moral, intellectual, and physical.

The specific sins revealed in scripture as causing God to give man up are: (1) sinning against the light (Romans 1:21); (2) refusing to give God thanks (Romans 1:21); (3) vain imaginations (Romans 1:21-22); and (4) worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25); but perhaps these specifics are but facets of a greater sin encompassing all these things, namely, that of the deification of humanity. It is the invariable and instinctive thrust of hearts filled with Satan, that they would slay God and take his place, thus partaking of the primeval sin of Eve who believed the Satanic lie that "Ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5).

In these times, people are still deifying humanity in a thousand ways, traveling old forbidden roads to ruin, as witnessed by the widespread neglect of religion and the worship of God, and the increasing secularization of the total life of the people. Wherever people exalt self, wherever people's words are preferred and heeded, rather than God's word, wherever images that are "like" people are bowed down to and consecrated, and wherever may be accepted the foolish notion that the solution of man's problems lies within man - there the creature is worshipped and served more than the Creator. The step-by-step progression of the spiritual condition of them that turn away from God is outlined in the three short paragraphs in this part of Paul's letter, each of them beginning with the statement that God gave them up.

What happens to the worship of God under conditions prevailing after God has given man up? (1) There is the conscious neglect of God's worship, coupled with ingratitude and failure to give God thanks for all his mercies. As a consequence of this, the mind itself is darkened (Romans 1:21). (2) Next, idolatry ensues with the worship of things more and more abased, first, images of people, then worship of birds, beasts, and finally creeping things - all of this accompanied by sensuality. (3) God gives them up to the sensuality they have preferred, with the resultant immorality. (4) God gives them up even further to the progressive erosion of the very principle of morality, leading to perversion and depravity of both sexes. (5) Finally, God gives them up to complete and irreversible reprobacy of mind, leading to conditions in people that deserve the sentence of death to be executed upon them (Romans 1:28-32).

All of the horrors of Gentile paganism began with neglect of the worship of God and the omission of thanksgiving due to the Father, and this surely suggests that such sins are not merely "faults," but are radical and determinative. Thus, there can be nothing more important for humanity than a willing acceptance of divine light and the constant love and pursuit of it, coupled with diligent worship, prayer, and thanksgiving, which things will polarize the soul with reference to its Maker, and perpetuate the knowledge of God upon the earth. Failure to observe such an important duty will cut all the roots which nourish the flowers of every truth and virtue.


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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 1:28". "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

And even as they did not like,.... This accounts for the justness of the divine procedure in leaving them to commit such scandalous iniquities; that since they had some knowledge of God by the light of nature, and yet did not care

to retain God in their knowledge; or to own and acknowledge him as God, to worship and glorify him as such; but took every method to erase this knowledge out of their minds, and keep it from others:

God gave them over to a reprobate mind; a vain empty mind, worthless, good for nothing devoid of all true knowledge and judgment; incapable of approving what is truly good, or of disapproving that which is evil; a mind that has lost all conscience of things, and is disapproved of by God, and all good men:

to do those things which are not convenient; which are neither agreeably to the light of nature, nor convenient to, or becoming the honour of human nature; things which the brutes themselves, who are destitute of reason, do not do.


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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 1:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/romans-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

11 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a m reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

(11) He proves the unrighteousness of man by referring to many types of wickedness, from which (if not from all, yet at the least from many of them) no man is altogether free.

(m) To a corrupt and perverse mind, by which it comes to pass that the conscience, having been removed by them, and they having almost no more remorse for sin, run headlong into all types of evil.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/romans-1.html. 1599-1645.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

And even as they refused (και κατως ουκ εδοκιμασανkai kathōs ouk edokimasan). “And even as they rejected” after trial just as δοκιμαζωdokimazō is used of testing coins. They tested God at first and turned aside from him.

Knowledge (επιγνωσειepignōsei). Full knowledge (επιepi additional, γνωσιςgnōsis). They had a dim memory that was a caricature.

Unto a reprobate mind (εις αδοκιμον νουνeis adokimon noun). Play on ουκ εδοκιμασανouk edokimasan They rejected God and God rejected their mental attitude and gave them over (Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28). See this adjective already in 1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5-7. Like an old abandoned building, the home of bats and snakes, left “to do those things which are not fitting” (ποιειν τα μη κατηκονταpoiein ta mē kathēkonta), like the night clubs of modern cities, the dives and dens of the underworld, without God and in the darkness of unrestrained animal impulses. This was a technical term with Stoics (2 Maccabees 6:4).


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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 1:28". "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

Even as

Expressing the correlation between the sin and the punishment.

They did not like to have God in their knowledge ( οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν ).

Lit., did not approve. Rev., refused. They did not think God worth the knowing. Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:4. Knowledge ( ἐπιγνώσει ) is, literally, full knowledge. They did not suffer the rudimentary revelation of nature to develop into full knowledge - “a penetrating and living knowledge of God” (Meyer). In Dante's division of Hell, the section assigned to Incontinence, or want of self-control, is succeeded by that of Bestiality, or besotted folly, which comprises infidelity and heresy in all their forms - sin which Dante declares to be the most stupid, vile, and hurtful of follies. Thus the want of self-restraint is linked with the failure to have God in knowledge. Self is truly possessed only in God. The tendency of this is ever downward toward that demoniac animalism which is incarnated in Lucifer at the apex of the infernal cone, and which is so powerfully depicted in this chapter. See “Inferno,” ix.

Reprobate mind ( ἀδόκιμον νοῦν )

Lit., not standing the test. See on is tried, James 1:12; and see on trial, 1 Peter 1:7. There is a play upon the words. As they did not approve, God gave them up unto a mind disapproved. This form of play upon words of similar sound is perhaps the most frequent of Paul's rhetorical figures, often consisting in the change of preposition in a compound, or in the addition of a preposition to the simple verb. Thus περιτομή circumcision κατατομή concision Philemon 3:2, Philemon 3:3. “Our epistle known ( γινωσκομένη ) and read ( ἀναγινωσκομένη ).” Compare Romans 2:1; 1 Corinthians 11:29-31; Romans 12:3. The word reprobate is from re-probare, to reject on a second trial, hence, to condemn.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "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 even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

God gave them up to an undiscerning mind — Treated of, Romans 1:32.

To do things not expedient — Even the vilest abominations, treated of verses Romans 1:29-31.


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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 1:28". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/romans-1.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Not convenient; not right.


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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/romans-1.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

28.And as they chose not, etc. There is an evident comparison to be observed in these words, by which is strikingly set forth the just relation between sin and punishment. As they chose not to continue in the knowledge of God, which alone guides our minds to true wisdom, the Lord gave them a perverted mind, which can choose nothing that is right. (53) And by saying, that they chose not, (non probasse - approved not,) it is the same as though he had said, that they pursued not after the knowledge of God with the attention they ought to have done, but, on the contrary, turned away their thoughts resignedly from God. He then intimates, that they, making a depraved choice, preferred their own vanities to the true God; and thus the error, by which they were deceived, was voluntary.

To do those things which were not meet As he had hitherto referred only to one instance of abomination, which prevailed indeed among many, but was not common to all, he begins here to enumerate vices from which none could be found free: for though every vice, as it has been said, did not appear in each individual, yet all were guilty of some vices, so that every one might separately be accused of manifest depravity. As he calls them in the first instance not meet, understand him as saying, that they were inconsistent with every decision of reason, and alien to the duties of men: for he mentions it as an evidence of a perverted mind, that men addicted themselves, without any reflection, to those vices, which common sense ought to have led them to renounce.

But it is labor in vain so to connect these vices, as to make them dependent one on another, since this was not Paul’s design; but he set them down as they occurred to his mind. What each of them signifies, we shall very briefly explain.

“To acknowledge God” is literally “to have God in recognition τὸν θεὸν ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει. ” [Venema ] says, that this is a purely Greek idiom, and adduces passages from [Herodotus ] and [Xenophon ] ; from the first, the following phrase , ἐν αλογίῃ ἔχειν — to have in contempt, i.e., to contemn or despise. — Ed.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/romans-1.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 28. "And even as they did not think good to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a mind void of discernment, to do those things which are not fitting."

The ungodliness of the Gentiles was accompanied by a depth of iniquity: the refusal to let the thought of the perfect God rule human life. To retain God as an object of distinct knowledge (the literal sense of Paul"s words), is to keep alive within the mind the view of that holy Being, so that His will shall give law to our whole conduct. This is what the Gentiles refused to do. Ceasing to contemplate God and His will, they were given over to all unrighteousness.— καθώς, even as (literally, agreeably to which), indicates anew the exact correlation between this unrighteousness and the punishment about to be described.— νοῦς ἀδόκιμος, which we translate: a mind void of discernment, corresponds to the οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν, they did not think good; having refused to appreciate God, they lost the true sense of moral appreciation, and this loss with all its consequences is a judgment, as well as the unnatural passions described above. Such is the force of the παρέδωκεν, gave over, corresponding to the same verb in Romans 1:24; Romans 1:26.

The phrase: those things which are not fitting, to express evil, is well suited to the notion of appreciation which is included in the verb δοκιμάζειν, to judge good, and the adjective ἀδόκιμος. Evil is here characterized as moral incongruity, calculated to revolt the νοῦς, reason, if it were not deprived of its natural discernment. The infinitive ποιεῖν, to do, is almost equivalent to a Latin gerund "in doing." The subjective negation μή with the participle signifies: all that is ranked in the class designated by the participle.

Remark, finally, the intentional repetition of the substantive ὁ θεός, God: "As thou treatest God, God treateth thee." It is by mistake that this second God is omitted in the Sinaït. and Alex.

Volkmar makes Romans 1:28 the beginning of a new section. He would have it that the subject begun here is Jewish, in opposition to Gentile guiltiness (Romans 1:18-27). But nothing, either in the text or in the thought, indicates such a transition; the καί, also, is opposed to it, and the charge raised by the apostle in the following verses, and especially Romans 1:32, is exactly the opposite of the description which he gives of the Jews, chap. 2. The latter appear as the judges of Gentile corruption, while the men characterized in Romans 1:32 give it their applause.


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Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/romans-1.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

did not like

refused to have. Lit. did not approve God.


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Romans 1:28". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/romans-1.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Ver. 28. To a reprobate mind] Or, an injudicious mind; or, a mind rejected, disallowed, abhorred of God; or a mind that none hath cause to glory in, but rather to be much ashamed of.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Romans 1:28. And, even as they did not like to retain God, &c.— The word Δοκιμαζω, which we render like, signifies to search or explore; as goldsmiths try metal, to distinguish the good from the counterfeit. 1 Thessalonians 5:21. 1 Peter 1:7. In opposition to this, the phrase αδοκιμος νους, which we render a reprobate mind, Mr. Locke very ingeniously observes, must signify an unsearching injudicious mind; for St. Paul often uses compounds and derivatives, in the sense wherein a little before he used the primitive words, though a little varying from the precise Greek idiom; an example whereof we have in this very word αδοκιμος, 2 Corinthians 13 where, having, Romans 1:3 used the Greek word δοκιμη for a proof of his mission by supernatural gifts, he uses the contrary word αδοκιμος, for one who was destitute of such a proof. So here he tells the Romans, that the Gentiles not exercising their minds tosearch out the truth, and form their judgments right, God left them to an unsearching injudicious mind. The words rendered, In their knowledge, εν επιγνωσει, would be rendered more properly, with acknowledgment: for that the Gentiles were not wholly without the knowledge of God in the world, St. Paul tells us in this very chapter. But they did not acknowledge him as they ought: they did not so improve their knowledge, as to acknowledge or honour him as they ought. This verse seems in other words to express the same as Romans 1:21. The last words are an instance of the figure called meiosis; for they imply those things which are most inexpedient and enormous; such as are mentioned in the next verses. The reader will find in Wisdom of Solomon 14:11, &c. a discourse like this of St. Paul, wherein idolatry is set forth as the source of men's greatest crimes and profligacies. Mr. Locke thinks that the copulative and, at the beginning of this verse, joins it to the 25th, and that the intermediate verses should be read in a parenthesis: but it is easy to see how the thread of the Apostle's discourse is carried on, without supposing any parenthesis.—Ver. 23 the heathen dishonoured God, by representing him under the images of the meanest things: and Romans 1:24 he suffered them to dishonour and debase themselves by the vilest lusts. Romans 1:25 they changed the true nature of God into a lie: And Romans 1:26-27 he left them to change their nature into something worse than brutal. Lastly, Romans 1:28 they did not exercise their minds in searching and inquiring, that they might retain the knowledge of God, and reject thefalse notions of men; and therefore God gave them up to an unthinking, unsearching, stupid mind. They would not use their reason, through the divine light and grace offered to them, in the knowledge and worship of God; and they acted as if they had no reason in the manner of their living among men. And in the same way, all corruption of true religion is, and ever will be in proportion attended with corrupt and vicious practices. See Hammond, Locke, and Bos.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/romans-1.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

28.] The play on δοκιμάζω and ἀδόκιμος can hardly be expressed in any other language. ‘Non probaverunt’ and ‘reprobum’ of the Vulgate does not give it. Because they reprobated the knowledge of God, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, is indeed a very inadequate, but as far as the form of the two words is concerned, an accurate representation of it. (Mr. Conybeare gives it,—“As they thought fit to cast out the acknowledgment of God, God gave them over, to an outcast mind.”) For ἀδόκιμος is not ‘judicii expers’ (as Beza, Tholuck, &c.), but reprobate, rejected by God. God withdrew from them His preventing grace and left them to the evil which they had chosen. The active sense of ἀδόκιμος, besides being altogether unexampled, would, in the depth of its meaning, be inconsistent with the assertion of the passage. God did not give them up to a mind which had lost the faculty of discerning, but to a mind judicially abandoned to that depravity which, being well able to exercise the δοκιμασία required, not only does not do so, but in the headlong current of its abandonment to evil, sympathizes with and encourages (Romans 1:32) its practice in others. It is the ‘video meliora proboque,’ which makes the ‘deteriora sequor’ so peculiarly criminal.

οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν ἔχειν is not = ἐδοκίμ. οὐκ ἔχειν (as Dr. Burton): the latter would express more a deliberate act of the judgment ending in rejection of God, whereas the text charges them with not having exercised that judgment which would, if exercised, have led to the retention of God in their knowledge.

ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγν.] So Job 21:14,—“they say to God, Depart from us: for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways,” and Job 22:15-17.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". 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 1:28. From the previous exclusive description of the sensual vice of the Gentiles, Paul now proceeds to a summary enumeration of yet other vices to which they had been given up by God in punishment of their apostasy.

καθώς] is not causal, but quemadmodum. The giving them up was something corresponding to their disdainful rejection of the knowledge of God, proportionate as punishment.

οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν] they deemed God not worth (1 Thessalonians 2:4); οὐ γὰρ ἀγνοίας, ἀλλὰ μελέτης εἶναι φησὶ τὰ τολμήματα, Chrysostom.

ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει] Their γνῶναι τὸν θεόν, derived from the revelation of nature (Romans 1:21), ought to have been brought by cultivation to an ἐπιγνῶναι, that is, to a penetrating and living knowledge of God (see on Ephesians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 13:12); thus they would have attained to the having God ἐν ἐπιγνώσει; but they would not, and so became τὰ ἔθνη τὰ μὴ εἰδότα τὸν θεόν, 1 Thessalonians 4:5; Galatians 4:8; Ephesians 2:12; Acts 17:30. On ἔχειν ἐν with an abstract noun, which represents the object as appropriated in the action, so that it is possessed in the latter (here in ἐπιγνῶμναι), comp Locella, a(531) Xen. Eph. p. 255. Similar is ἐν ὀργῇ ἔχειν, and the like, Krüger on Thucyd. ii. 8, 3.

εἰς ἀδόκ. νοῦν] An ingenious paronomasia with οὐκ ἐδοκί΄., to set forth the more prominently the recompense, to which the emphatically repeated θεός also contributes: as they did not esteem God worthy, etc., God gave them up to an unworthy, reprobate νοῦς (the collective power of the mind’s action in theoretic and moral cognition(532)). The rendering judicii expers (Beza, Glöckler and others) is opposed to the genius of the language, even as Bengel turns it, and Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 280, defines it. The ἀδόκιμον of the νοῦς is its blameworthiness according to an objective moral standard, but does not express the mode of thinking which they themselves must condemn among one another (Th. Schott; comp Hofmann), which is neither to be taken by anticipation from Romans 1:32, nor extracted from ΄ὴ.

ποιεῖν τὰ ΄ὴ καθήκοντα] to do what is not becoming, what is not moral. Comp 3 Maccabees 4:16. The Stoical distinction between καθῆκον and κατόρθω΄α Paul has not thought of (as Vitringa conceives). The infinitive is epexegetical: so that they do. The participle with μή indicates the genus of that which is not seemly (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 296); τὰ οὐ καθήκοντα (comp Ephesians 5:4), would be the unseemly. The negative expression is correlate to the ἀδόκιμος νοῦς.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". 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 1:28. ἔχειν to have) [or retain] the antithesis is παρέδωκεν, [God] gave them over: ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει, to have [or retain] in knowledge, denotes more than ἐπιγινώσκειν, to know) [to be acquainted with]. Knowledge was not altogether wanting to them; but they did not so far profit in the possession of it, as to have [or retain] God, Romans 1:32.— ἀδόκιμον) As ἀδύνατος, ἄπιστος, and such like, have both an active and passive signification, so also ἀδόκιμος. In this passage, there is denoted [or stigmatized], in an active sense, the mind, which approves of things, which ought by no means to be approved of; to this state of mind they are consigned, who have disapproved of, what was most worthy of approbation. In this sense, the word ἁδοκίμον is treated of at Romans 1:32; συνευδοκοῦσι: and the words ποιε͂ ιν τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα, at Romans 1:29-31.— τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα), an example of the figure Meiosis [by which less is said, than the writer wishes to be understood].


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". 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

To retain God in their knowledge; or, to have God in acknowledgment. The apostle proceeds to show the analogy betwixt their sin and their punishment. The evil he here taxed them with is much the same with that in Romans 1:21; though they had some knowledge of God, yet they did not acknowledge him as God, by glorifying him, and giving thanks to him; it did not seem good to them so to do.

God gave them over to a reprobate mind; or, an injudicious mind, a mind void of judgment. It is just and equal, that he, who in his judgment disapproves of God, should be left either to be of a corrupt judgment, or of none at all. The word may be taken passively, for a mind disapproved of God; or actively, for a mind which disapproves of all good. They were not given up to this reprobate mind all at once, but by degrees. First, they were given up to their own hearts’ lusts, Romans 1:24; then, to vile affections, Romans 1:26; and then, lastly, to a mind void of judgment; to such an evil habit, that they could do nothing but evil.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 1:28". 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

Reprobate mind; a mind abhorred of God, and upon which his curse rests.

Not convenient; not fit or proper, a disgrace to human nature.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/romans-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

28. ἐδοκίμασαν, ‘they thought not fit’ (cf. Field, ad lo[77]). The verb implies approval after testing: the infinitive is epexegetic. τὸν θεὸν closely with the verb; cf. in passive construction 1 Thessalonians 2:4. They tested or proved GOD and decided not to keep Him, etc.

ἔχειν, pres. = to keep, maintain what they had received. ἐν ἐπιγνώσει = rather ‘intimate’ than ‘full’ knowledge, close application of mind rather than mastery, though the latter follows in due degree. cf. Robinson, Eph. 248 f.; Moulton, p. 113; cf. Romans 3:20, Romans 10:2; Philippians 1:9; cf. 2 Corinthians 13:5 f.

ἀδόκιμον νοῦννοῦς the mind as originating purposed action, good or bad. ἀδόκιμος, unable to stand the test which is properly applied to it; cf. 2 Cor. l.c[78]; Hebrews 6:8.


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"Commentary on Romans 1:28". "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

28. “And so as they did not approve to hold God in perfect knowledge, he gave them up to a reprobate mind to do the things which are abominable.” Here we see how people become reprobated. They first reprobate God and then He reprobates them, as He saves none against their will. So if you want to be elected to glory, heaven and immortality, you go ahead at once and elect God, and be true to God and it will turn out that He has elected you. Here we have a picture, like the brutality in Romans 1:26-27, too black for description.


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "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 even as they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an unfit mind, to do those things which are not fitting,’

Not only did mankind ‘know God’ but refuse to own His worth (Romans 1:21), turning instead to idols (Romans 1:23), they also considered that to keep the true God in their knowledge (epignosis - spiritual knowledge) at all was not worthwhile. Thus they not only blasphemed against Him with their false worship (Romans 1:21-23), but also despised Him at the same time, by forgetting Him in their daily lives. As a result God once again ‘gave them up’ to the consequences of their sins, allowing them to develop unfit minds, minds which would be rejected after testing (adokimos). Note the play on the words dokimazo (did not approve, think it worthwhile) and adokimos (disapproved, rejected after testing). They did not approve and so, having tested them, He did not approve them.

The verb dokimazo means ‘to approve, to regard as worthy, to think of as worthwhile’. Thus they did not ‘approve’ of having God in their knowledge, which was why God did not ‘approve’ of them. The choice is open to us all. Either we retain God in our knowledge and commit ourselves to His ways, or we put Him out of our minds and are given up by Him to unfitness and disapproval. We cannot be neutral.

And the end result of God’s disapproval was that their minds became unfit, and they began to do what was not fitting. Not all followed the way of sexual perversion. But all became involved in at least one of the sins in the long catalogue of sins that follows. Many a person has come to the crossroads where they had to choose whether they wanted to retain God in their knowledge or not, and having rejected the opportunity have sunk into deep sin. Judas is the prime example.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/romans-1.html. 2013.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

Andeven as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.

The Apostle shows here how justly the Pagan idolaters were abandoned since they had so far departed from the right knowledge of God. In the 18th verse he had declared that the wrath of God was revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. He had now conclusively established the first charge of ungodliness against the Gentiles, adding to it their consequent abandonment to the vilest affections; he next proceeds to demonstrate their unrighteousness.

And as they did not like, — This is not quite literal, yet it seems the best phrase that can be used to convey the spirit of the original. The word is the Greek signifies to prove or approve. They did not approve of retaining God in their knowledge. But this cannot mean that their approbation respected their conscience, dark as it was. They did not approve, because, as the common translation well expresses it, they did not like. 10 There is no just ground to conclude, with Dr. Macknight, that there is here a reference to the magistrates and lawgivers, who did not approve of giving the knowledge of God to the people. It applies to them all; neither the lawgivers, nor the people, liked to hold in remembrance a God of holiness and justice. To retain God in their knowledge. — The common translation has here substantially given the spirit of the original, and is better than ‘holding God with acknowledgment,’ as rendered by Dr. Macknight. The heathens are thus said to have known God, but, knowing Him, they did not wish to retain that knowledge. This is a crime in the sight of God which subjects men to the most awful judgments of His justice; for it is on this account that the Apostle adds, that God also gave them up to a reprobate mind.

This pointedly refers to the word applied to them, as not approving the retaining of the knowledge of God. It denotes a mind judicially blinded, so as not to discern the difference between things distinguished even by the light of nature. Thus the dark eclipse of their understanding concerning Divine things, which they had despised and rejected, had been followed by another general eclipse respecting things human, to which they had applied themselves, and in this consisted the proportion which God observed in their punishment. They did not act according to right reason and judgment towards God, — this is their crime; they did not act according to it among themselves in society, — this was the effect of the abandonment of God, and became their punishment. This passage clearly shows that all that remains of moral uprightness among men is from God, who restrains and sets bounds to the force of their perversity. Not convenient. — This is a very just and literal translation, according to the meaning of the word convenient in an early stage of the history of our language; but it does not, at present, give the exact idea. The original word signifies what is suitable to the nature of man as a rational and moral being.

To do things not convenient, is a figurative expression denoting the doing of things directly contrary and opposite, namely, to the light of reason, the reflections of prudence, and the dictates of conscience.

Footnote:
10: The words, not to approve, are frequently used in the sense of not liking. It is often said that a person does not approve of, i.e. does not like, a person.

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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/romans-1.html. 1835.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:28. And even as. This is not equivalent to ‘because,’ but marks the correspondence between the sin and its punishment. Having chosen out the most glaring form of vice, the Apostle enumerates others which formed part of the punishment. Here, as throughout, he reverts to the reason they were given over, thus emphasizing anew the connection between religion and morality.

They refused, etc., did not deem it worth while; the original makes ‘God’ the object; did not deem God worthy to have in knowledge.

Unto a reprobate mind. ‘Refused’ and ‘reprobate’ represent words that sound alike, but the play on the words cannot be readily reproduced. ‘Reprobate’ means rejected of God as unworthy. The heathen were not deprived of the faculty of distinguishing between right and wrong, but they practised evil and encouraged it in others (Romans 1:32). Because ‘they knew the better and approved,’ their guilt was the greater when they ‘yet the worse pursued.’

Which are not becoming, indecent, immoral; what these things were is detailed in Romans 1:29-31.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "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 1:28 ff. In Romans 1:28-30 we have the third and last παρέδωκεν expanded. As they did not think fit, after trial made ( ἐδοκίμασαν), to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a mind which cannot stand trial ( ἀδόκιμον). The one thing answers to the other. Virtually, they pronounced the true God ἀδόκιμος, and would have none of Him; and He in turn gave them up to a νοῦς ἀδόκιμος, a mind which is no mind and cannot discharge the functions of one, a mind in which the Divine distinctions of right and wrong are contused and lost, so that God’s condemnation cannot but fall on it at last. νοῦς is not only reason, but conscience; when this is perverted, as in the people of whom Paul speaks, or in the Caananites, who did their abominations unto their Gods, the last deep of evil has been reached. Most of the words which follow describe sins of malignity or inhumanity rather than sensuality, but they cannot be classified. τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα covers all. καθήκοντα is the Stoic word which Cicero renders officia. κακοηθία, the tendency to put the worst construction on everything (Arist. Rh. ii. 13), and κακία are examined in Trench’s Synonyms, § xi., and ὑβριστής, ὕπερήφανος, ἀλάζων in § xxix. θεοστυγεῖς appears to be always passive in the classics, not God hating, but God hated: Deo odibiles, Vulg. The characters are summed up, so to speak, in Romans 1:32 : οἵτινες τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιγνόντες κ. τ. λ.: such persons as, though they know the sentence of God, that those who practise such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but give a whole-hearted complacent assent to those who follow the same practice. τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ θεοῦ is that which God has pronounced to be the right, and has thereby established as the proper moral order of the world. θάνατος is death, not as a natural period to life, but as a Divine sentence executed on sin: it is not to be defined as physical, or spiritual, or eternal; by an such abstract analysis it is robbed of part of its meaning, which is as wide as that of life or the soul. ἀλλὰ καὶ συνευδοκοῦσιν: to be guilty of such things oneself, under the impulse of passion, is bad; but it is a more malignant badness to give a cordial and disinterested approval to them in others.

It is a mistake to read these verses as if they were a scientific contribution to comparative religion, but equally a mistake to ignore their weight. Paul is face to face with a world in which the vices he enumerates are rampant, and it is his deliberate judgment that these vices have a real connection with the pagan religions. Who will deny that he was both a competent observer and a competent judge? Religion and morality in the great scale hang together, and morality in the long run is determined by religion. Minds which accepted the religious ideas of Phenicia, of Egypt or of Greece (as represented in the popular mythologies) could not be pure. Their morality, or rather their immorality, is conceived as a Divine judgment upon their religion; and as for their religion, nature itself, the Apostle argues, should have saved them from such ignorance of God, and such misconceptions of Him, as deformed every type of heathenism. A converted pagan (as much as Paul) would be filled with horror as he reflected on the way in which he had once thought of God; he would feel in himself that he ought to have known better, and that everything in the world cried shame upon him. Now to recognise this fact is to accept the premises of the Apostle’s argument, and the use to which he puts it. “Once we went after dumb idols; our very worship led us into sin, and sometimes even consecrated it; now we can only see in this our own blindness and guilt, and God’s judgment upon them”—so we can fancy the converted pagan speaking. Such a world, then, as the Apostle describes in this chapter, with this terrible principle of degeneration at work in it, and no power of self-regeneration, is a world which waits for a righteousness of God.

For an interesting attempt to show Paul’s indebtedness for some of the ideas and arguments of Romans 1:18-32 to the book of Wisdom, see S. and H., p. 51 f.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/romans-1.html. 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Romans 1:28 And even as they refused to have God in {their} knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

"Reprobate"-"their own depraved reason" (NEB). Lit., not standing the test. They did not "approve" of the truth (God in their knowledge), and God called such an attitude, "disapproved". They rejected God, and God rejected their attitude. Being a skeptic doesn"t impress God!

"Refused"-"did not see fit" (RSV)


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/romans-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

And even . . . mind. There is a play upon two words here, not easily expressed in Eng. "As they rejected God, God rejected them. "

did . . . like. Greek. dokimazo, to accept after testing, to approve. Compare Romans 2:18; Romans 12:2; Romans 14:22. 1 Corinthians 9:27.

knowledge. App-132.

reprobate. Greek. adokimos. The negative of dokimos. Compare dokimazo, above. Here, 1 Corinthians 9:27. 2 Corinthians 13:5, 2 Corinthians 13:6, 2 Corinthians 13:7; 2 Timothy 3:8. Titus 1:16. Hebrews 6:8.

convenient. Greek. kathekon. See Acts 22:22.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "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 even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

And even as they did not like , [ ouk (Greek #3756) edokimasan (Greek #1381) = apedokimasan (Greek #593)] - or 'disliked,' though the negative form of the expression is intended to convey its own shade of thought,

To retain God in their knowledge , [ echein (Greek #2192) en (Greek #1722) epignoosei (Greek #1922)] - 'to have God in recognition,'

God gave them over (or 'up,' see the note at Romans 1:24)

To a reprobate mind [ eis (Greek #1519) adokimon (Greek #96) noun (Greek #3563)]. The word signifies 'disapproved' on trial (as metals, when they are assayed and found worthless), 'reprobate;' and, next, as the result of this, 'rejected,' 'cast away.' But it is very difficult to convey in any English translation the play upon words which has been long observed in the two terms here employed. [The Vulgate and Calvin have tried it in Latin-Et sicut non probaverunt ... tradidit Deus in reprobum sensum (reprobam mentem-Calvin)]. Conybeare's version is not good English-`As they thought fit to cast out the acknowledgment of God, God gave them over to an outcast mind.' DeWette's version comes pretty near it-`Und so win sie die Kenntnisz Gottes verwarjen, so gab sie Gott einem verworfenen Sinnepreis.' Were we, at some sacrifice of smooth English, to retain this alliteration, perhaps it might not be too harsh to translate thus: 'And even as they reprobated retaining God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.'

To do those things which are not convenient , [ ta (Greek #3588) mee (Greek #3361) katheekonta (Greek #2520)] - in the old sense of that word, that is, 'not becoming,' 'indecorous.'


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "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

(28) Even as.—Rightly translated in the Authorised version: “as” is not here equivalent to “because,” but means rather, just in like proportion as. The degree of God’s punishment corresponded exactly to the degree of man’s deflection from God.

Did not like.—There is a play upon words here with “reprobate” in the clause following which cannot be retained in English. “As they reprobated the knowledge of God, so He gave them up to a reprobate mind.” As they would have nothing to do with Him, so He would have nothing to do with them. “Reprobate” means, properly, tried and found wanting, and therefore cast away as worthless.

To retain God in their knowledge.—The word for knowledge here means “exact,” “advanced,” “thorough knowledge.” They refused to hold the true idea of God so as to grow and increase in the knowledge of it.

Those things which are not convenient.—That which is unbecoming, disgraceful.

Fornication.—This word is wanting in the best MSS. and should be omitted, as also the word “implacable” in Romans 1:31.

Wickedness, . . . maliciousness.—These two words appear to be related together, so that the latter expresses rather the vicious disposition—vicious in the special sense, the disposition to do hurt to others—the former rather the active exercise of it. Similar catalogues of sins are given in other of St. Paul’s Epistles, as, for example, 2 Cor. ; Galatians 5:19 et seq.; Ephesians 5:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; 2 Timothy 3:2 et seq.

Murder, debate.—By “full of murder” the Apostle means “full of murderous thoughts.” “Debate” is the spirit of strife and contention generally; not as the English would seem to imply, specially verbal contention.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/romans-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
as they did
18,21; Job 21:14,15; Proverbs 1:7,22,29; 5:12,13; 17:16; Jeremiah 4:22; 9:6; Hosea 4:6; Acts 17:23,32; Romans 8:7,8; 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; 10:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 2:10-12; 2 Peter 3:5
retain
or, acknowledge. a reprobate mind. or, a mind void of judgment.
Jeremiah 6:30; 2 Corinthians 13:5-7; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16
not convenient
Ephesians 5:4; Philemon 1:8

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/romans-1.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

And as they did not think it worth while to retain God in their knowledge, he gave them up to a reprobate mind. Another repetition of the sentiment is expressed in Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, that God abandons those who abandon him. And as, καὶ καθώς. The cases are parallel; as they deserted God, so God abandoned them; comp. John 17:2. They did not like, οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν; the verb means to try or put to the test, to examine, to approve, and, dignum habere, to regard as worthy, 1 Corinthians 16:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:4 and when followed by an infinitive, to think it worth while. The heathen did not think it worth the trouble to retain the knowledge of God. They considered religion as useless, and supposed they could live without God. The phrase ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει is stronger than simply to know; both because ἐπίγνωσις, full knowledge, is stronger than γνῶσις, and because ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει is stronger than ἐπιγιγνώσκειν. The text therefore means to retain in accurate or practical knowledge. It was the practical recognition of the only true God, whose eternal power and Godhead are revealed in his works, that men were unwilling constantly to make. God gave them up to a reprobate mind. Beza, Bengel, and others, give ἀδόκιμος here the sense of judicii expers, incapable of judgment or discernment. But this is contrary to usage, and contrary to the etymology of the word. δόκιμος from δεχομαι, means receivable, worthy of being received; and ἀδόκιμος, worthy of rejection, reprobate. To do things not becoming; that is, to do things not becoming the nature and duties of man. Of the things meant, the following verses contain a long, and painful catalogue. ποιεῖν is the exegetical infinitive, to do, that is, so that they did. It expresses the consequence of the dereliction just spoken of, and the natural fruit of a reprobate mind.


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Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/romans-1.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

To corrupted minds. Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. Those whom God cannot convince, he confuses. See note on Matthew 24:21 for an example of what people bring on themselves by rejecting God.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/romans-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

: And even as they refused to have God in (their) knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

The preceding material shows there are Acts , especially in the area of sexuality, which are not "fitting" (katheko). This word is only found here and Acts 22:22. Here, it describes "the lowest state of fallen man" (CBL, GED, 3:201). It means the people "were doing what is against the most basic duties and responsibilities of mankind" (ibid). The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (2:222) defines it as "what is not permitted/not fitting before God." Why did the people behave in this way? Part of the reason is that what is forbidden is often desirable (think of Adam and Eve). People often want what they cannot have or are told to leave alone.

In the past Gentiles decided to pursue the forbidden and refused to have God as part of their lives. The word "refused" (dokimazo) expressed the idea of testing. The Gentiles tested God and determined that they disapproved of Him. They checked out God and decided to reject Him and His plan. According to Paul God allowed the Gentiles to reject Him. God left these people to themselves, and they began to pay the price for life without God. The word translated "knowledge" (epignosis) meant full knowledge.


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

Bibliography
Price, Brad "Commentary on Romans 1:28". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bpc/romans-1.html.

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