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The Condemnation of the Unrighteous

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people[a] who suppress the truth by their[b] unrighteousness,[c] 19 because what can be known about God is plain to them,[d] because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people[e] are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts[f] were darkened. 22 Although they claimed[g] to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings[h] or birds or four-footed animals[i] or reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over[j] in the desires of their hearts to impurity,[k] to dishonor[l] their bodies among themselves.[m] 25 They[n] exchanged the truth of God for a lie[o] and worshiped and served the creation[p] rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

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  1. Romans 1:18 tn The genitive ἀνθρώπων could be taken as an attributed genitive, in which case the phrase should be translated “against all ungodly and unrighteous people” (cf. “the truth of God” in v. 25 which is also probably an attributed genitive). C. E. B. Cranfield takes the section 1:18-32 to refer to all people (not just Gentiles), while 2:1-3:20 points out that the Jew is no exception (Romans [ICC], 1:104-6; 1:137-38).
  2. Romans 1:18 tn “Their” is implied in the Greek, but is supplied because of English style.
  3. Romans 1:18 tn Or “by means of unrighteousness.” Grk “in (by) unrighteousness.”
  4. Romans 1:19 tn Grk “is manifest to/in them.”
  5. Romans 1:20 tn Grk “they”; the referent (people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  6. Romans 1:21 tn Grk “heart.”
  7. Romans 1:22 tn The participle φάσκοντες (phaskontes) is used concessively here.
  8. Romans 1:23 tn Grk “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God in likeness of an image of corruptible man.” Here there is a wordplay on the Greek terms ἄφθαρτος (aphthartos, “immortal, imperishable, incorruptible”) and φθαρτός (phthartos, “mortal, corruptible, subject to decay”).
  9. Romans 1:23 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 106:19-20.
  10. Romans 1:24 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 81:12.
  11. Romans 1:24 tn Or “God delivered them up to the desires of their hearts for impurity.” It is possible that a technical, legal idiom is used here; if so, it would describe God delivering sinners up to a custodian for punishment (see R. Jewett, Romans [Hermeneia], 166-67). In this instance, then, sinners would be given over to their own desires for the express purpose of working more impurity.
  12. Romans 1:24 tn The genitive articular infinitive τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι (tou atimazesthai, “to dishonor”) has been taken as (1) an infinitive of purpose; (2) an infinitive of result; or (3) an epexegetical (i.e., explanatory) infinitive, expanding the previous clause.
  13. Romans 1:24 tn Grk “among them.”
  14. Romans 1:25 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  15. Romans 1:25 tn Grk “the lie.”
  16. Romans 1:25 tn Or “creature, created things.”