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Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Romans 1:21

Because that - The apostle here is showing that it was right to condemn people for their sins. To do this it was needful to show them that they had the knowledge of God, and the means of knowing what was right; and that the true source of their sins and idolatries was a corrupt and evil heart.When they knew God - Greek, “knowing God.” That is, they had an acquaintance with the existence and many of the perfections of one God. That many of the philosophers of Greece and Rome had a knowledge of... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Romans 1:21-23

Romans 1:21-23. “Because that when they knew God The writings of Plato, Xenophon, Plutarch, Cicero, and other philosophers, which still remain, together with the quotations made by Just. Martyr and Clem. Alexandrinus from those which are lost, prove that the learned heathen, though ignorant of the way of salvation, were not entirely unacquainted with the unity and spirituality of God, and had pretty just notions of his perfections, of the creation and government of the world, and of the... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Romans 1:18-32

1:18-3:20 HUMANKIND’S SINFUL CONDITIONThe Gentile world (1:18-32)Because God is holy, just and true, he has an attitude of wrath, or righteous anger, against all that is wrong. He is opposed to sin in all its forms, and therefore guilty sinners are under his judgment. The Gentiles may not have received the teaching about God that the Jews have received, but they cannot excuse themselves by saying they know nothing about God. The created universe should tell them that there is a supreme being, a... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Romans 1:21

knew . Greek. ginosko. App-132 . glorified . Seep. 1511. but . Emphatic. became vain . Greek. mataioomai. Only here. Compare Acts 14:15 . imaginations = reasonings. See Matthew 15:19 . foolish . Greek. asunetos, as Romans 1:31 . read more

James Burton Coffman

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible - Romans 1:21

Because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.Those Gentiles were not ignorant of God, nor was their information limited to that incomplete knowledge that came from the observance of natural phenomena and the existence of a conscience within man's moral constitution. The commentators are mistaken in so limiting the sources of Gentile light. As explained under Romans 1:18-20, above, God... read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - Romans 1:21

Romans 1:21. Neither were thankful— It is worthy our observation, that gratitude to God is here put for the whole of religion; and as no principle can be nobler, so none can be stronger or more extensive. Mr. Locke illustrates the next clause by the stupid folly and vanity of their idolatry. See 2 Kings 17:15-17. Acts 14:15. But the word διαλογισμοις, imaginations, or rather reasonings, seems more properly to refer to the sophistry of the philosophers. They did violence to their judgments, and... read more

Robert Jamieson; A. R. Fausset; David Brown

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Romans 1:21

21. Because that, when they knew God—that is, while still retaining some real knowledge of Him, and ere they sank down into the state next to be described. they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful—neither yielded the adoration due to Himself, nor rendered the gratitude which His beneficence demanded. but became vain—(compare Jeremiah 2:5). in their imaginations—thoughts, notions, speculations, regarding God; compare Matthew 15:19; Luke 2:35; 1 Corinthians 3:20, Greek. and their... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Romans 1:18-32

A. The need of all people 1:18-32Perhaps Paul began by showing all people’s need for God’s righteousness first because he was the apostle to the Gentiles and his Roman readers were primarily Gentiles. His argument in Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20 moves inward through a series of concentric circles of humanity."God never condemns without just cause. Here three bases are stated for His judgment of the pagan world. For suppressing God’s truth (Romans 1:18) For ignoring God’s revelation (Romans... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Romans 1:21-23

Honoring God as God and giving Him thanks (Romans 1:21) are our primary duties to God in view of who He is. When people reject truth, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to recognize and receive truth.Whenever human wisdom sets itself against God, the result is soon seen in human foolishness." [Note: Griffith Thomas, St. Paul’s Epistle . . ., p. 69.] Mythology and idolatry have resulted from man’s need to identify some power greater than himself and his refusal to acknowledge God as that... read more

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