20 Barbaroj,Though this word is not equivalent to Barbarian, it has force enough to give a fitness to the term "merciless." St. Chrysostom excels in these side-strokes, which he so much admires too in the Apostle.
1 So St. Chrysostom here and in the next homily, but in both places some Mss. (and Vulg. ante Field) had inserted the common reading of the text of the N. T. "what then? are we better than they? No, in no wise."
2 The meaning of proexomeqa here is much disputed. What is its subject? Most agree (vs. Olshausen, Reiche) that it is Ioudaioi. Is proex. middle or passive? If middle, it may mean (1) Do we hold (a place) before them? Are we superior to them (the Gentiles) as respects the condition of sinfulness? So Vulgate ("praecellimus") Luther, Calvin, Bengel, Tholuck, Baur, De Wette, Alford, Weiss; or (2) Do we hold before us (any protection)? Have we any excuse or pretext? So Meyer, Godet, Schaff, on the ground that (1) is against the admitted advantage of the few (vv. 1, 2). If passive, it can mean (a) Are we held superior to them? This is substantially the same as (1) or (b) Are we surpassed by them? This is the sense given in the trans. of the R. V.: "Are we in worse ease than they?" It connects v. 9 immediately with the special points of v. 1-8. It seems to me that it is better to suppose that he here breaks away from these special objections and recurs to the larger subject. In this view the pro in compos. points back to such passages as i. 18-32; ii. 15 and 17-29. The argument is: "We have established the sinfulness of all; therefore we Jews have no advantage in relation to sin, repentance and justification."-G. B. S.
5 h fusij, here used probably for the particular nature or kind in question, viz. the human. Somewhat in the same manner it is used of individual beings. For the several uses of the term, see Arist. Metaph. 4, where he calls this use metaphorical.
7 With iii. 21 begins the great central argument of the epistle: the positive development of the doctrine of justification by faith. He had prepared the way for this negatively by showing that all men were sinners and could not hope for justification on the condition of obedience to the law of God. This he proved in regard to the Gentiles in i. 18-32, and in regard to the Jews in ii. 1-iii. 20. Having now showed that justification cannot be by law he proceeds to prove that it is by faith. This central argument extends to the end of chap. viii. It may be analyzed as follows; (1) General introductory statement iii. 21-31. (2) O. T. proof, iv. (3) Consequences of justification, v. 1-11. (4) Universality of the principles of sin and grace, showedby the parallel between Adam and Christ, v. 12-21. (5) Objections answered and false inferences refuted, vi. vii. (6) Triumphant conclusion: the blessedness of justification, viii. This argument concludes the doctrinal portion of the Epistle so far as the question of justification is concerned. chaps. ix.-xi. treat of the rejection of the Jews and may be considered a kind of doctrinal appendix to the main argument. The remaining chaps. (xii.-xvi.) are chiefly practical.-G. B. S.
13 paresin. Our translation cannot be kept without losing St. Chrysostom's meaning. He taxes this word in a medical sense, for the cessation of vital energy. It was sometimes used thus, or for paralysis. It does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament; the usual word for remission is afesij.
15 The term kauxasqai, here rendered boasting, is used in a good sense also, and sometimes rendered glorying in our Version. See Rom. v. 2, Rom. v. 3, Rom. 2; Rom. xv. 17; 1 Cor. i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 17; 2 Cor. xii. 9; Gal. vi. 4 and Gal. vi. 14 ; Phil. iii. 5; 1 Thess. ii. 19; James i. 9, etc.
19 apostrofh, "turning away," some read epistrofh, as Cyr. Al. Glaph. ad. loc. who speaks of the apostrofh or turning away of God's face from Cain; but to render it thus here is inconsistent with Gen. iii. 16, and with St. Chrysostom's interpretation in Gen. iv. Hom. xix. which illustrates several expressions here.
2 agxisteian, which the orators use for right of inheritance as next of kin. See verses 13, 14; c viii.15 17; ix. 8; Gal. iii. 7, Gal. iii. 15, Gal. iii. 16, Gal. iii. 18; Heb ix. 16, Heb. ix. 26; which renders it probable that there is reference to the death of Christ, (see Rev. xiii. 8.) and so to the idea of "Testament," in the Ep. to the Galatians.
3 St. Chrysostom understands proj ton qeon not "as claiming credit with God," but "glorying in reference to God," in which He has a share. He takes the argument to be, "If Abraham was justified by works he hath not whereof to glory before God" (in this sense), "but can only glory in himself: as it is, he hath whereof to glory before God, and therefore was not justified by works."
12 Chrys. is free from the polemical treatment of the subject of justification which has been so prominent in modern expositions. The following points may be suggested: (1) It is the imputation of faith which here receives chief emphasis-logizetai h pistij autou eij dikaiosunhn (vv. 3, 5, 6, 8, 9). (2) Although logizesqai is an actus forensis, it has an ethical counterpart involved in the very conception of faith and righteousness. (3) While faith is not to be identified with righteousness, it can be reckoned as such because it involves the soul's commitment to a life of fellowship with Christ, in which a perfect righteousness is guaranteed and increasingly secured. This righteousness is real as well as putative. (4) The power and value of faith are in its object, not in its own inherent moral excellence. It brings the believer into real and vital union with God and Christ. The dikaiosunh qeou is the righteousness of which God is the author but in faith we appropriate it and God makes it ours. Man does not attain it by any act of goodness; he receives it from God as a gift of grace. It is God's righteousness as coming from God; it is man's as being imparted to him on condition of faith.-G. B. S.
14 The meaning seems to be that the faithful Jews were brought in as it were to the house of Abraham, and added to the number of the faithful already existing as uncircumcised, and children of Abraham by their faith. The reading of Savile's text, h kai toutouj touj en akrobustia ekeinoij proserrimmenouj, means, "in that these too, that were in uncircumcision, were added to them," which is inconsistent with the context and is not noticed in the Ben. Edition. Possibly the passage is still corrupt.