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Romans 1:14

    Romans 1:14 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    I have a debt to Greeks and to the nations outside; to the wise and to those who have no learning.

    Webster's Revision

    I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

    World English Bible

    I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 1:14

    I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians - It has been remarked before that all the nations of the earth, themselves excepted, were termed barbarians by the Greeks. See the origin of the word barbarous in the note on Acts 28:2 (note). The apostle considers himself, by his apostolical office and call, under obligation to preach the Gospel to all people, as far as the providence of God might open his way; for this is implied in the Divine commission: - Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature - to the wise and the unwise; to the learned and cultivated as well as to the unlearned and uncultivated. This evidently appears to be the import of the terms.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 1:14

    I am debtor - This does not mean that they had conferred any favor on him, which bound him to make this return, but that he was under obligation to preach the gospel to all to whom it was possible. This obligation arose from the favor that God had shown him in appointing him to this work. He was specially chosen as a vessel to bear the gospel to the Gentiles Acts 9:15; Romans 11:13, and he did not feel that he had discharged the obligation until he had made the gospel known as far as possible among all the nations of the earth.

    To the Greeks - This term properly denotes "those who dwelt in Greece." But as the Greeks were the most polished people of antiquity, the term came to be synonymous with the polished, the refined, the wise, as opposed to barbarians. In this place it doubtless means the same as "the wise," and includes the Romans also, as it cannot be supposed that Paul would designate the Romans as barbarians. Besides, the Romans claimed an origin from Greece, and Dionysius Halicarnassus (book i.) shows that the Italian and Roman people were of Greek descent.

    Barbarians - All who were not included under the general name of Greeks. Thus, Ammonius says that "all who were not Greeks were barbarians." This term "barbarian," Βάρβαρος Barbaros, properly denotes one who speaks a foreign language, a foreigner, and the Greeks applied it to all who did not use their tongue; compare 1 Corinthians 14:11, "I shall be unto him that speaketh, a barbarian, etc. that is, I shall speak a language which he cannot understand. The word did not, therefore, of necessity denote any rusticity of manners, or any lack of refinement.

    To the wise - To those who esteemed themselves to be wise, or who boasted of their wisdom. The term is synonymous with "the Greeks," who prided themselves much in their wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:22, "the Greeks seek after wisdom;" compare 1 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 3:18-19; 1 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 11:19.

    Unwise - Those who were regarded as the ignorant and unpolished part of mankind. The expression is equivalent to ours, 'to the learned and the unlearned.' It was an evidence of the proper spirit to be willing to preach the gospel to either. The gospel claims to have power to instruct all mankind, and they who are called to preach it, should be able to instruct those who esteem themselves to be wise, and who are endowed with science, learning, and talent; and they should be willing to labor to enlighten the most obscure, ignorant, and degraded portions of the race. This is the true spirit of the Christian ministry.

    So, as much as in me is - As far as opportunity may be offered, and according to my ability.

    I am ready ... - I am prepared to preach among you, and to show the power of the gospel, even in the splendid metropolis of the world. He was not deterred by any fear; nor was he indifferent to their welfare; but he was under the direction of God. and as far as he gave him opportunity, he was ready to make known to them the gospel, as he had done at Antioch, Ephesus, Athens, and Corinth.

    This closes the introduction or preface to the Epistle. Having shown his deep interest in their welfare, he proceeds in the next verse to state to them the great doctrines of that gospel which he was desirous of proclaiming to them.

    Wesley's Notes on Romans 1:14

    1:14 To the Greeks and the barbarians - He includes the Romans under the Greeks; so that this division comprises all nations. Both to the wise, and the unwise - For there were unwise even among the Greeks, and wise even among the barbarians. I am a debtor to all - I am bound by my divine mission to preach the gospel to them.