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].
Then I should like you to know, my brothers, that I have long intended to come to you (but something has always prevented me), for I should like to see some results among you, as I have among other Gentiles. I feel myself under a sort of universal obligation, I owe something to all men, from cultured Greek to ignorant savage. That is why I want, as far as my ability will carry me, to preach the Gospel to you who live in Rome as well.
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.
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