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Romans 3:23 - Exposition

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . The "glory of God," of which all men are here said to come short ( ὑσεροῦνται ) , has been taken to mean

(1) honour or praise from God. "Dei favore et approbatione carent" (Sehleusner). So decidedly Meyer, Tholuek, Alford, and others. In this case θεοῦ would be the gen. auctoris, which Meyer argues is probable from its being so in θεοῦ δικαιοσύνη . This argument (which is not worth much in any case) tells the other way if, as we hold, it is not so in the latter phrase. For the New Testament use of δόξα in the sense of "praise" or "honour," 1 Thessalonians 2:6 is adduced ( οὔτε ζητοῦντες ἐν ἀνθρώποις δόξαν ); also John 5:44 ( δόξαν παρὰ ἀλλήλων λαμβάνοντες καὶ τὴν δόξαν τὴν παρὰ τοῦ μόνου θεοῦ οὐ ζητεῖτε ); and especially John 12:43 , where δόξα is, as here, followed by the genitive θεοῦ without any connecting preposition: ἠγάπησαν γὰρ τὴν δόξαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων μᾶλλον ἤπερ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ ("the praise of God," Authorized Version). But, even apart from the different, and in itself more obvious, meaning of the phrase, δόξα τοῦ θεου , where it occurs elsewhere, it is at least a question whether in the last cited passage it can be taken to mean praise or honour from God. It comes immediately after the quotation from Isaiah 6:9 , etc., followed by "These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory ( τὴν δόξα αὐτοῦ ) , and spoke of him." Hence the meaning of John 12:43 may probably be that the persons spoken of loved mundane glory (cf. Matthew 4:8 ; Matthew 6:29 ) rather than the Divine glory, seen in the vision of faith, manifested to the world in Christ (cf. John 1:14 , "We beheld his glory," etc.), and "loved" by those who have not the eyes blinded and the heart hardened. So, even in the previous passage of St. John's Gospel ( John 5:41 , John 5:44 ), ἡ δόξα ἡ παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ may denote man's participation in the Divine glory, rather than praise or honour, while δόξα παρὰ ἀλλήλων may mean the mundane glory conferred by men on each ether. These considerations commend, in the passage before us, the interpretation

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