Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle(A) and set apart(B) for the gospel of God(C) the gospel he promised beforehand(D) through his prophets(E) in the Holy Scriptures(F) regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a](G) was a descendant of David,(H) and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b](I) by his resurrection from the dead:(J) Jesus Christ our Lord.(K) Through him we received grace(L) and apostleship to call all the Gentiles(M) to the obedience that comes from[c] faith(N) for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.(O)

To all in Rome who are loved by God(P) and called to be his holy people:(Q)

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.(R)

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you,(S) because your faith is being reported all over the world.(T) God, whom I serve(U) in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness(V) how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times;(W) and I pray that now at last by God’s will(X) the way may be opened for me to come to you.(Y)

11 I long to see you(Z) so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift(AA) to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware,(AB) brothers and sisters,[d](AC) that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now)(AD) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

14 I am obligated(AE) both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.(AF)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel,(AG) because it is the power of God(AH) that brings salvation to everyone who believes:(AI) first to the Jew,(AJ) then to the Gentile.(AK) 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed(AL)—a righteousness that is by faith(AM) from first to last,[e] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[f](AN)

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18 The wrath of God(AO) is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.(AP) 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,(AQ) so that people are without excuse.(AR)

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.(AS) 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools(AT) 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images(AU) made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over(AV) in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.(AW) 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie,(AX) and worshiped and served created things(AY) rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.(AZ) Amen.(BA)

26 Because of this, God gave them over(BB) to shameful lusts.(BC) Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.(BD) 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.(BE)

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over(BF) to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,(BG) 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;(BH) 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love,(BI) no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death,(BJ) they not only continue to do these very things but also approve(BK) of those who practice them.


  1. Romans 1:3 Or who according to the flesh
  2. Romans 1:4 Or was declared with power to be the Son of God
  3. Romans 1:5 Or that is
  4. Romans 1:13 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 7:1, 4; 8:12, 29; 10:1; 11:25; 12:1; 15:14, 30; 16:14, 17.
  5. Romans 1:17 Or is from faith to faith
  6. Romans 1:17 Hab. 2:4

I, Paul, am a devoted slave of Jesus Christ on assignment, authorized as an apostle to proclaim God’s words and acts. I write this letter to all the believers in Rome, God’s friends.

2-7 The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ! And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah.

8-12 I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That’s first. People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him. And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son—the Message!—knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you. The longer this waiting goes on, the deeper the ache. I so want to be there to deliver God’s gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes! But don’t think I’m not expecting to get something out of this, too! You have as much to give me as I do to you.

13-15 Please don’t misinterpret my failure to visit you, friends. You have no idea how many times I’ve made plans for Rome. I’ve been determined to get some personal enjoyment out of God’s work among you, as I have in so many other non-Jewish towns and communities. But something has always come up and prevented it. Everyone I meet—it matters little whether they’re mannered or rude, smart or simple—deepens my sense of interdependence and obligation. And that’s why I can’t wait to get to you in Rome, preaching this wonderful good news of God.

16-17 It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23 But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

24-25 So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

26-27 Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

28-32 Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Which he had promised before, by his prophets, in the holy scriptures,

Concerning his Son, who was made to him of the seed of David, according to the flesh,

Who was predestinated the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of sanctification, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead;

By whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith, in all nations, for his name;

Among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ:

To all that are at Rome, the beloved of God, called to be saints. Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

First I give thanks to my God, through Jesus Christ, for you all, because your faith is spoken of in the whole world.

For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make a commemoration of you;

10 Always in my prayers making request, if by any means now at length I may have a prosperous journey, by the will of God, to come unto you.

11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual grace, to strengthen you:

12 That is to say, that I may be comforted together in you, by that which is common to us both, your faith and mine.

13 And I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that I have often purposed to come unto you, (and have been hindered hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

14 To the Greeks and to the barbarians, to the wise and to the unwise, I am a debtor;

15 So (as much as is in me) I am ready to preach the gospel to you also that are at Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and to the Greek.

17 For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice:

19 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

21 Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

23 And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things.

24 Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.

27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.

28 And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,

30 Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.

32 Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

From Paul, a ·servant [slave; bondservant] of Christ Jesus. ·God called me [L …called] to be an ·apostle [messenger] and ·chose me [set me apart; appointed me] to tell the ·Good News [Gospel].

God promised this ·Good News [Gospel] ·long ago [beforehand; previously] through his prophets, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures. The Good News is about God’s Son. ·As a man [or With reference to his earthly life; L According to the flesh], he was born ·from the family [a descendant; L of the seed] of David [2 Sam. 7:11–14]. But through the Spirit of holiness [C a Jewish way of referring to the Holy Spirit] he was ·declared [or designated; appointed] to be God’s Son with great power by rising from the dead [C though eternally the Son of God, Jesus was appointed such “with power” at his resurrection; see Ps. 2:7; 110:1–2]. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through ·Christ [L whom], ·God gave me the special work of an apostle [L we have received apostleship; C “we” could be a formal way of saying “I,” or could refer to Paul and the other apostles], which was to lead ·people of all nations [the Gentiles] to ·believe and obey [or the obedience that comes from faith; or the obedience that is faith]. I do this work for ·him [L his name]. And you who are in Rome are also among those [C Gentiles] called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all of you in Rome whom God loves and has called to be ·his holy people [T saints]:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Prayer of Thanks

First I want to say that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because people everywhere in the world are talking about your faith. God, whom I serve ·with my whole heart [in/with my spirit] ·by telling [or for the sake of; L in] the ·Good News [Gospel] about his Son, ·knows [L is my witness] that I ·always [continually; never cease to] mention you 10 every time I pray. I pray that now at last ·if God wants it [by God’s will] I will ·be allowed to come [succeed in coming] to you. 11 I ·want very much [long] to see you, to ·give [impart to; or share with] you some spiritual gift to make you strong. 12 I mean that I want us to ·help each other [be mutually encouraged/comforted] ·with the faith we have [by each other’s faith]. ·Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you [L …both yours and mine]. 13 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that I ·planned [intended] many times to come to you, but ·this has not been possible [L have been hindered/ unsuccessful until now]. I wanted to come so that I could ·help you grow spiritually [L harvest some fruit among you] as I have ·helped the other [L among the rest of the] Gentiles.

14 I have a ·duty [obligation; debt] to all people—Greeks and ·those who are not Greeks [or barbarians; C this pairing could mean (1) ethnic Greeks and other Gentiles; (2) Greek speakers (people in the Roman empire) and non-Greek speakers (those outside the Roman empire); or (3) cultured people and uncultured people], the wise and the foolish [C perhaps contrasting educated with uneducated, or philosophically sophisticated (1 Cor. 1:18–31) with simple-minded]. 15 That is why I ·want so much [am so eager] to preach the ·Good News [Gospel] to you in Rome.

16 [L For] I am not ashamed of the ·Good News [Gospel], because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes—to save the Jews first, and then to save ·Gentiles [L the Greeks; C here meaning anyone who is not Jewish; contrast v. 14]. 17 The ·Good News [Gospel] shows ·how God makes people right with himself [or God’s righteous character; L the righteousness of/from God]—·that it begins and ends with faith [or that advances from one believing person to the next; or that begins with God’s faithfulness and results in people’s faith; L from faith to faith]. As the Scripture says, “But ·those who are right with God will live by faith [or those made righteous through faith will live (eternally); Hab. 2:4].”

All People Have Sinned

18 [L For] God’s ·anger [wrath; retribution] is ·shown [being revealed] from heaven against all the ·evil [ungodly] and ·wrong [wicked; unrighteous] things people do. By their ·own evil lives [wickedness; unrighteousness] they ·hide [suppress] the truth. 19 God ·shows [reveals] his ·anger [wrath; retribution] because ·some knowledge of [what can be known about] him has been made ·clear [plain; evident] to them. Yes, God has ·shown himself [revealed/disclosed it] to them. 20 For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and ·all the things that make him God [his divine nature]—have been clearly ·seen [perceived], understood through what God has made. So people have no excuse. 21 They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became ·useless [futile; pointless]. Their ·foolish [ignorant; uncomprehending] ·minds [L hearts] were ·filled with darkness [darkened]. 22 They claimed to be wise, but they became fools. 23 They ·traded [exchanged] the glory of ·God who lives forever [the immortal/imperishable God] for the worship of ·idols [images] made to look like ·earthly [mortal; perishable] people, birds, animals, and reptiles.

24 Because they did these things, God ·abandoned them to [allowed them to pursue; gave them over to] ·their sinful desires [L the desires of their hearts], resulting in ·sexual impurity [L uncleanness; impurity] and the dishonoring of their bodies with one another. 25 They ·traded [exchanged] the truth of God for ·a lie [or the lie; see Gen. 3:4–5] and worshiped and served ·the creation [or the creature; or created things] instead of the Creator, who ·should be praised [or is blessed] forever. Amen.

26 Because people did those things, God ·abandoned them to [allowed them to pursue; gave them over to] ·shameful [dishonorable; degrading] ·lusts [passions]. [L Their] Women ·stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women [L exchanged natural (heterosexual) relations for unnatural ones]. 27 In the same way, men ·stopped having [abandoned] natural ·sex [L relations with women] and ·began wanting [L were inflamed in their lust for] each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and in ·their bodies [L themselves] they received the ·punishment [recompense; due penalty] for ·those wrongs [their error].

28 [L And since/just as] People did not ·think it was important [consider it worthwhile; see fit] to ·have a true knowledge of [or acknowledge] God. So God ·abandoned them to [allowed them to pursue; gave them over to] ·their own worthless thinking [a depraved/corrupted mind] to do things they should not do. 29 They are filled with every kind of ·sin [unrighteousness; injustice], ·evil [wickedness], ·selfishness [greed], and ·hatred [evil; malice; depravity]. They are full of ·jealousy [envy], murder, ·fighting [strife; quarreling], ·lying [deceit; treachery], and ·thinking the worst about each other [spite; maliciousness]. They are gossips 30 and ·say evil things about each other [slanderers; backstabbers]. They hate God. They are ·rude [insolent; haughty] and ·conceited [proud; arrogant] and ·brag about themselves [boastful]. They invent ways of doing evil. They do not ·obey [respect] their parents. 31 They are ·foolish [senseless; undiscerning], they ·do not keep their promises [or are covenant-breakers], and they show no ·kindness [love; affection] or ·mercy [pity] to others. 32 They know God’s ·law says [righteous decree; just requirement] that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they ·applaud [approve of; encourage] others who do them.