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Romans 16:18

    Romans 16:18 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For such people are not servants of the Lord Christ, but of their stomachs; and by their smooth and well-said words the hearts of those who have no knowledge of evil are tricked.

    Webster's Revision

    For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.

    World English Bible

    For those who are such don't serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the innocent.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 16:18

    They - serve not our Lord Jesus - They profess to be apostles, but they are not apostles of Christ; they neither do his will, nor preach his doctrine; they serve their own belly - they hate intruded themselves into the Church of Christ that they might get a secular support; it is for worldly gain alone that they take up the profession of the ministry: they have no Divine credentials; they convert not the heathen nor the ungodly, for they have no Divine unction; but by good words and fair speeches (for they have no miraculous nor saving powers) deceive the hearts of the simple, perverting Christian converts, that they may get their property, and thus secure a maintenance for themselves. The Church of God has ever been troubled with such pretended pastors - men who Feed themselves, not the flock; men who are too proud to beg, and too lazy to work; who have neither grace nor gifts to plant the standard of the cross on the devil's territories, and by the power of Christ make inroads upon his kingdom, and spoil him of his subjects. On the contrary, by sowing the seeds of dissension, by means of doubtful disputations, and the propagation of scandals; by glaring and insinuating speeches, χρηστολογιας, for they affect elegance and good breeding, they rend Christian congregations, form a party for themselves, and thus live on the spoils of the Church of God.

    Should it be asked, Whom do you intend by this description? I:answer: No soul, nor party, but such as the description suits. Irasceris.? - De Te fabula narratur. O, you are angry, are you? O, then, the cap fits you - put it on.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 16:18

    Serve not - Obey not. Though they are professedly, yet they are not his real friends and followers.

    But their own belly - Their own "lusts;" their own private interests; they do this to obtain support. The authors of parties and divisions, in church and state, have this usually in view. It is for the indulgence of some earthly appetite; to obtain function or property; or to gratify the love of dominion.

    And by good words - Mild, fair, plausible speeches; with an appearance of great sincerity, and regard for the truth; compare Colossians 2:4; 2 Peter 3:3. People who cause divisions commonly make great pretensions to peculiar love of truth and orthodoxy; and put on the appearance of great sincerity, sanctity, and humility.

    And fair speeches - Greek εὐλογίας eulogias, eulogy, praise, flattery. This is another very common art. "Flattery" is one of the most powerful means of forming parties in the church; and "a little special attention," or promise of an office, or commendation for talents or acquirements, will secure "many" to the purposes of party whom no regard for truth or orthodoxy could influence a moment.

    Deceive the hearts of the simple - The minds of the unsuspecting, or those who are without guile τῶν ἀκάκων tōn akakōn. The apostle means to designate those who are simple-hearted, without any disposition to deceive others themselves, and of course without any suspicions of the "designs" of others. He has thus drawn the art of making parties with the hand of a master. First, there are smooth, plausible pretences, as of great love for truth. Then, an artful mingling of attentions and flatteries; and all this practiced on the minds of the unsuspecting, drawing their "hearts" and "affections" toward themselves. Happy would it have been if the art had been confined to his own times.

    Wesley's Notes on Romans 16:18

    16:18 By good words - Concerning themselves, making great promises. And fair speeches - Concerning you, praising and flattering you. The harmless - Who, doing no ill themselves, are not upon their guard against them that do.