AND IN THE
SAME WAY ALSO THE MEN ABANDONED: homoios te kai oi arsenes
the same way (3668)
to being similar in some
similarly, of equal degree or manner and denoting perfect agreement.
the same way - That is, in the same way that the females had
forsaken their natural function fulfilling their shameful, disgraceful
passions with other women, so too the males followed suit.
The men - Literally the males.
(arrhen or arsen) means the gender male
or the male sex, not the more common word
for man (sometimes translated husband or generically for human beings).
NT uses of arrhen
Matt. 19:4; Mk. 10:6; Lk. 2:23; Ro 1:27; Gal. 3:28; Re 12:5, 13
The 47 uses of arrhen in
the Septuagint -- Gen. 1:27; 5:2; 6:19, 20; 7:2, 3, 9, 16; 17:14, 23;
34:24; Ex 1:16, 17, 18, 22; 2:2; 12:5; Lev. 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6; 4:23; 6:29;
7:6; 12:2, 7; 15:33; 18:22; 20:13; 22:19; 27:3, 5, 6, 7; Nu 1:2; 3:40;
31:17, 18; Jos. 17:2; Jdg. 21:11, 12; Job 3:3; Is 26:14; 66:7; Jer.
20:15; 30:6; Mal. 1:14;
John MacArthur -
The usual Greek terms
for women and men, like corresponding terms in most
languages, imply a certain dignity, and Paul refused to ascribe even an
implied dignity to those who degenerate into homosexuality.
J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)
from apo = separation,
dissociation + hiemi
= send) conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation
and thus means to send away or to let go from oneself. Aphiemi
was used for example of the action of dismissing a wife.
The idea is to let go from one's possession!
The verb abandoned is
aorist tense (action at a moment in
time, speaks of effective action) and
active voice (subject makes a choice of
their will to carry out this action). Thus these men made a
deliberate, conscious choice of their will to abandon the natural for the unnatural.
These men in essence "jettisoned"
their God given attraction to the opposite sex. This is a vivid picture
of personal choice which all began when they refused to acknowledge God
as Creator. They forsook their God given natural role, God having
created men (Adam) with the direct instruction to be fruitful and
multiply (Ge 1:22, 28, cp post-flood commands Ge 9:1, 7)! How ironic
that if they had obeyed God they would have brought forth life, but in
disobeying Him, the result was death (cp James 1:15-note,
And so we see that not only is homosexuality a willful choice, it is one
that completely reverses the natural order of creation. It is thoroughly
"unnatural" or literally "against nature." Men and women have to
deliberately repress the way God made them in order to practice
Homosexuality was common in first
century Rome, and is often spoken of without a sense of
shame by Roman writers. Homosexuality was prohibited neither by religion nor law,
and was acknowledged without shame (cp Is 3:9, Je 6:15, 8:12, Zeph 3:5,
Phil 3:19-note). At times, the Roman empire
specifically taxed approved homosexual prostitution, and even gave
prostitutes a legal holiday! Same sex marriage was legally recognized, and even some of the Roman emperors married men. At the very
time Paul was writing, Nero was emperor. He had taken a boy named Sporus
and had him castrated. He then married him (with a full ceremony),
brought him to the palace with a great procession, and made the boy his
"wife." Later, Nero lived with another man, and Nero was the "wife."
Barnes has this historical
Cicero says that...the practice of
(homosexuality) was common among the Greeks, and that their poets and
great men, and even their learned men and philosophers, not only
practiced, but gloried in it. And he adds, that it was the custom, not
of particular cities only, but of Greece in general. Xenophon says, that
"the unnatural love of boys is so common, that in many places it is
established by the public laws." He particularly alludes to Sparta.
Plato says that the Cretans practiced this crime, and justified
themselves by the example of Jupiter and Ganymede. (Book of Laws, i.)
And Aristotle says, that among the Cretans there was a law
encouraging that sort of unnatural love. Plutarch says, that this
was practiced at Thebes, and at Elis. He further says, that Solon, the
great lawgiver of Athens, "was not proof against beautiful boys, and had
not courage to resist the force of love." Diogenes Laertius says that
this vice was practiced by the Stoic Zeno. Among the Romans, to whom
Paul was writing, this vice was no less common. It appears from what
Seneca says that in his time it was practiced openly at Rome, and
without shame. He speaks of flocks and troops of boys, distinguished by
their colors and nations; and says that great care was taken to train
them up for this detestable employment. There is not the least evidence
that this abominable vice was confined to Greece and Rome. (Romans
1 - Barnes' Notes)
George Duncan rightly said
In nothing did early Christianity so
thoroughly revolutionize the ethical standards of the pagan world as in
regard to sexual relationships.
Pastor Ray Pritchard has some strong words in
conclusion on this section of Scripture exhorting us to...
not lose the main
point. More than anything else, homosexuality is a willful choice. No
one can say, "I was born that way." No one is born homosexual. No one.
Anyone who argues otherwise is either ignorant of the Bible or has
deliberately perverted its teaching. You can talk all you want about
genetics, the size of the hypothalamus, about absent fathers,
over-protective mothers, about early sexual confusion, and even about
sexual abuse. Some of those things may indeed create a predisposition to
this particular sin. But the fact remains: Every act of
homosexuality—whether in word or deed or in lustful thought—every single
act is a personal moral choice. Temptation is not the issue
because temptation in and of itself is not a sin (cp James 1:14-note).
But giving in to temptation—whether mentally, verbally or in actual
deed—is a sin (James 1:15-note).
That's a moral choice for which God will hold you 100% accountable. You
can't blame your choices on your hypothalamus! You can't even blame your
father for his failure to be there when you needed him...As a society
moves away from God, one mark of its drift into judgment is widespread
homosexuality. The tragic fact is that this is exactly where America is
God Gives Up)
I find it impossible to avoid offending guilty men, for there is no way
of avoiding it by our silence or their patience; and silent we cannot be
because of God's command, and patient they cannot be because of their
THE NATURAL FUNCTION OF THE WOMAN AND BURNED: ten phusiken chresin tes
thleias exekauthesan (3PAPI):
(phusikos from phúsis = nature) means pertaining to things
in accordance with nature or belonging to the naturally regulated order
of things. Phusikos refers to those things which one does out of
instinct. The idea is that something pertains to that which is in
accordance with the nature or character of that thing. Thus it is
natural for both men and woman to desire heterosexual relationships.
Peter uses phusikos to
describe false teachers as likened to animals whose natural
destiny is to be victims of predators. (see exposition of
2 Peter 2:12-13)
(chresis from chráomai = to use) describes use or the act
(usage) or manner (use) of using. It can refer to the habitual or
customary usage of something. In the two NT uses (Romans 1:26, 27)
chresis refers to "use" of the body or more accurately in the
context of Romans 1, the perverted use of one's body and not the
use specified in God's plan and order for men and women who were
created in His image.
O R Johnson wrote
Homosexual practices are against
nature and against revealed truth... Homosexual indulgence is something
which God condemns as the ultimate sign of decadence and degradation in
(ekkaio from ek = intensifies meaning of the following
verb + kaío = burn, set fire to) literally means to set on fire
or to cause to burn or flame
BDAG writes that ekkaio means "to instigate something
destructive, kindle, start" as a schism (Diod. S. 20, 33, 7)"
Figuratively as used in this passage in Romans means to be inflamed with
passion or burn furiously with lust. It speaks of a strong desire. There
a number of figurative uses in the Septuagint several referring to the
the anger or wrath of Jehovah being kindled (ekkaio)...
Deuteronomy 29:20 "The LORD
shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD
and His jealousy will burn (ekkaio) against that man, and every
curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will
blot out his name from under heaven. (cp 2Ki 22:13, 17)
Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is
kindled (ekkaio) in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of
Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, And sets on fire the
foundations of the mountains.
Job 3:17 There the wicked cease
(Hebrew = agitation, excitement, turmoil; Lxx = ekkaio), And there the
weary are at rest.
Their lusts or desires were enflamed.
They were made to flame up or burn furiously with lust. What a
picturesque word: fire destroys, fire spreads quickly on dry timber,
fire is flamed up by winds.
While this verse in
Romans is the only NT use of ekkaio, there are 40 uses of ekkaio in the
Septuagint - Ex 22:6; Num. 11:1, 3; Deut. 29:20; 32:22; Jdg. 15:5, 14; 2
Sam. 22:9, 13; 24:1; 1 Ki. 21:21; 2 Ki. 22:13, 17; 2 Chr. 34:21, 25;
Neh. 10:34; Job 3:17; Ps. 2:12; 39:3; 73:21; 78:38; 79:5; 89:46; 106:18;
118:12; Pr 6:19; 14:5, 25; 19:9; 29:8; Is 50:11; Jer. 1:14; 4:4; 15:14;
44:6; Ezek. 20:48; Dan. 3:19, 22; Obadiah 1:18; Nah. 2:13
The terms are terrible in their intensity. Literally, ‘burned
out.’ The preposition ("ek") indicates the rage of lust because this
preposition ( ek) prefixed to the verb, intensifies its meaning.
Their lust could not be satiated. It was an all-out endeavor to satisfy
their totally-depraved natures.
IN THEIR DESIRE: en te orexei
= to reach out for ~ stretching out of the body to touch or grasp an
literally a reaching out and thus a striving for something. It
refers to an eager desire, lust
or appetite. Orexis is
only here in NT but in classic Greek was the
most general term for every kind of desire, even describing one's appetite for food.
The idea of orexis is that of a deep, abiding, and profound degree of
internal longing for the object of one's desire. Orexis
thus refers to a continual reaching out after an object with the purpose
of drawing it to oneself and appropriating it.
Zodhiates writes that orexis is...
always the reaching out
after an object with the purpose of drawing it to oneself and
Vincent - The peculiar expressiveness of the word (orexis)
here is sufficiently evident from the context. (Word Studies in the New Testament)
We see this so poignantly portrayed in those men
who blatantly park by the woods unashamedly waiting for a partner who
too is literally consumed by the perverted passion to a degree that the
longing after absolutely will not let them rest until this desire is fed. It is
like a ravenous wolf in the winter when food is scarce and it will do
almost anything to quench the pangs of hunger.
Louw-Nida says that the combination of ekkaio and
orexis forms a Greek idiom meaning literally ‘to burn with
intense desire’ or to have a strong, intense desire for something and so
‘to be inflamed with passion, to have a strong lust for, to be
inflamed with lust.’ They add
that "In some languages the equivalent idiom is ‘to boil with desire"! (Greek-English
Lexicon of the New Testament)
There is a burning level of lust among homosexuals that defies accurate description
and is rarely seen among heterosexuals. The homosexuals of Sodom were
so passionately consumed with their lust that they ignored the fact that
they had been made blind! Instead they literally “wearied (Hebrew word is "la'ah"
--to tire; to be disgusted--faint, grieve, be made weary) themselves
trying to find the doorway” into Lot’s house in order to gratify
their perverted cravings (Genesis 19:11).
TOWARD ONE ANOTHER MEN WITH MEN COMMITTING INDECENT ACTS: eis allelous,
arsenes en arsesin ten aschemosunen katergazomenoi (PMPMPN):
(eis) is a picturesque preposition
in this context for it implies motion into, toward or upon another place
or object. Obviously in this
context the motion is directed toward other men.
Men with men - A clear
reference to homosexuality.
to do that from which something results, to carry to its ultimate
conclusion, to work to bring something to fulfillment or completion. The
idea is to carry out a task until it finished AND to do it thoroughly
carrying out these indecent tasks until they are finished.
Present tense pictures this as a continuous action (lifestyle, habitual
Middle voice is reflexive conveying the idea that they
themselves initiate these acts and participate in the carrying out to
completion of those acts.
from aschemon = indecent from
a = without + schema = outward shape) refers to want of
form, disfigurement, deformed, nakedness, shame, indecency,
obscenity. Aschemosune means to act in defiance of social and
moral standards with resulting disgrace, embarrassment and shame. This
noun describes behavior which elicits disgrace as when one commits a
Septuagint uses (Ex 20:26,
Dt 23:14, Lev 18:6ff) aschemosune refers to something that is
considered too private for public exposure such as one's nakedness.
word here in Romans refers to that which is unseemly a term which Webster
describes as not conforming to what is accepted as right, fitting, or in
good taste. Unseemly adds a suggestion of special
inappropriateness to a situation or an offensiveness to good taste.
The word also implies indecency which is grossly unseemly or offensive
to manners or morals.
The only other NT use of
aschemosune is by John who quotes Jesus' sobering reminder...
Behold, I am coming like a thief.
Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk
about naked and men see his shame." (see note
There are 32 uses of
aschemosune in the
Septuagint -- Ex 20:26; 22:27; 28:42; Lev 18:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19,; 20:11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21;
23:13, 14 ; Ezra 4:14; La 1:8; Ezek 16:8; Ho 2:9
These men in defiance of social and
moral standards continually commit acts that are "unseemly" with
resulting disgrace, embarrassment and shame.
As noted above, history records that ancient
Greece and Rome were hotbeds of homosexuality. Many of our most revered
philosophers were homosexuals as were many of the political leaders of
that day. In fact, 14 of the first 15 Roman emperors were homosexual,
some of them blatantly so. How ironic that even those that were most
noted for moral virtue (Socrates, Plato, Zeno) are charged with the sin
of homosexuality. Homosexuality generally prevails with idolatry and
infidelity, as among the Pagans of old and interestingly nothing like it
is observed in the animal world.
Expositor's Bible Commentary
The "gay" facade is a thin veil for
deep-seated frustration. The folly of homosexuality is proclaimed in its
inability to reproduce the human species in keeping with the divine
commandment (Gen 1:28). To sum up, what men do with God has much to do
with their character and life style. Godet put it well when he said, "A
law broods over human existence, a law which is at the same time a
divine act: Such as thou makest thy God, such wilt thou make thyself"
(in loc.). Throughout the passage man is represented as active-- seeing,
thinking, doing. He is not represented as victimized, as taken captive
against his will, as the dupe of evil influences from outside himself.
"Sin comes from the mind, which perverts the judgment. The effect of
retribution is to abandon the mind to that depravity" (Henri Maurier,
The Other Covenant [New York: Newman Press, 1968], p. 185) (Gaebelein,
F, et al:
Expositor's Bible Commentary)
Pritchard adds that
"Whenever men turn away from God, terrible things begin to happen in
society. Long-held standards disappear. Things once considered
incredible now become commonplace. Evil no longer seems evil. The basic
distinctions between male and female are obliterated. No one knows the
difference between right and wrong. In such an atmosphere, homosexuality
is first tolerated, then accepted, then praised, and finally enshrined
as the ultimate freedom." (When
God Gives Up)
AND RECEIVING IN THEIR OWN PERSONS THE DUE PENALTY
(recompense, retribution) OF THEIR ERROR: kai
ten antimisthian en edei (3SIAI) tes planes auton en heautois
And (kai) couples the indecent acts with unavoidable
from apo = from + lambáno
= to receive) means to receive back in the general sense of that which is due.
The following is an attempt to separate out the nuances of this verb,
but some of the distinctions are not easy to determine and the careful
student of Scripture is advised to take time to personally examine each
use in its specific context.
(1) as receiving back or recovering something one previously possessed
(Lk 6:34 - receive back payment from a debtor, Lk 15:27 - father
receiving back his son safely). (2) as receiving back in the sense of
retribution (dispensing of either reward or punishment - in latter sense
= act of taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin or injury) (Lk 23:41)
Receiving back in a good sense, including rewards (Lk 18:30, 2Jn
1:8, cp Col 3:24). (3) In Mk 7:33 apolambano means to take one
away from a particular point.
Here in Romans 1 Paul refers uses
apolambano to refer to the natural result of the sin of these men
committing indecent acts with one another which pays them back (they
receive back) for what
they have done.
Apolambano is in the
present tense which
these men continually receive in full what is their due. Here we see a
clear affirmation of God's principle of "sowing and reaping" (see Ga 6:7, 8, Ho 8:7, Ro 6:13; 8:13, Pr 22:8; Jer 12:13; Ho 10:13).
This verse speaks of the tragic self-destructive nature of sin
indicating that it often carries within itself it’s own penalty -- the
penalty of disease: the consequence of violating nature’s order & the
penalty of rebellion: spiritual emptiness and all it’s ramifications.
Here are the 10 uses of apolambano
in the NT -- Mk. 7:33; Lk. 6:34; 15:27; 16:25; 18:30; 23:41; Ro
1:27; Gal. 4:5; Col. 3:24; 2Jn. 1:8. They are translated in NASB -
receive(3), receive back(1), received(1), received back(1),
receiving(2), took aside(1).
There are 2 uses of apolambano in the
Septuagint -- Nu 34:14; Is 5:17.
Due penalty - Robert Haldane
comments - As the impiety of the Pagans
respecting God reached even to madness, it was also just that God should
permit their corruption
to recoil upon themselves, and proceed also to madness. It was just that
they who had done what they could to cover the Godhead with reproaches,
should likewise cover themselves with infamy, and thus receive a
proportionate and retributive recompense. (Exposition
of the Epistle to the Romans)
from deo = to bind or tie
objects together, put in prison and also root of
refers to what is not optional but needful (binding) out of intrinsic
necessity or inevitability. Dei refers to inward constraint which
is why it is often translated "must". Dei describes that
which is under the necessity of happening or which must necessarily take
place, often with the implication of inevitability. Dei To
express the sense of necessity dei is translated "one ought",
"one should", "one has to" or "one must".
In sum dei has the idea that something is necessary (binding) and thus
speaks of the certainty or inevitableness of what is bound to happen.
Men committing indecent acts with men must bring a penalty.
Kenneth Wuest adds that dei
a necessity in the nature of
the case.” The evil consequences
were necessary as ordained by divine law. When one violates the laws of
nature, one must pay the price. (Wuest, K. S.
Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament)
(antimisthia from antí = in return + misthós =
reward,) means a recompense, either in a good or as in the present
context, a bad sense. A reward given in compensation. The idea is a just retribution which is based upon
what one deserves. This word gives a special emphasis upon the
reciprocal nature of the recompense.
Friberg says that
an emphasis on receiving what is due
in exchange; 1) in a positive sense reward, recompense, fair exchange
(2Co 6:13 - "Paul appealed strongly for his readers to reciprocate
his openness and love completely. However, he knew that he could not
demand this but only request it, as a parent requests the love of his or
(2) n a negative sense requital, retribution, due penalty (Ro 1:27).
Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker Academic -
very nice resource!)
BDAG writes that
expresses the reciprocal (anti)
nature of a transaction as requital based upon what one deserves,
recompense, exchange, either in the positive sense of reward or the
negative sense penalty, depending on the context.
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian
Antimisthia is used in only 2
passages - Rom. 1:27; 2 Co. 6:13
from planos = deceitful, root idea = has idea of wandering) (Click
word study of related verb
describes a roaming or a wandering and then figuratively a going astray
or a wandering out of the right way
and thus straying from orthodoxy or piety. Plane
a wandering, a straying about, whereby one, led astray from the right
way, roams hither and thither and deviates.
Plane in the present verse
describes men who wander from the path of truth (cp Ro 1:18) and into
error, delusion and deceit.
says plane is an
error which shows itself in
action...It may imply deceit as accompanying or causing error.
The literal use of
plane is in the sense of roaming is found in the Greek historian
Herodotus who records this note of Solon "who roamed the earth in search
of new information".
the following note on plane writing that...
Plane describes a wanderer, as
a star or planet that appears not to stay on course. Planes is
frequent in Greek secular writings to mean deceit. Aristotle uses
plane for mistakes in investigation...Plane used in the
active sense of deceit is late and rare (secular Greek). The passive
(meaning) "illusion" in seeing and sense perception generally, the
vacillation of knowledge found even in wise men, the error which is to
be explained by overestimation of a hedone (pleasure) -- all these
things can be denoted plane. (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
There are 13 uses of plane
in the NT - Matt. 27:64; Rom. 1:27; Eph. 4:14; 1 Thess. 2:3; 2 Thess.
2:11; Jas. 5:20; 2 Pet. 2:18; 3:17; 1 Jn. 4:6; Jude 1:11
There are 3 uses of plane
in the Septuagint - Prov. 14:8; Jer. 23:17; Ezek. 33:10
God allows this whole
process of widespread, unchecked sexual immorality to pervade a culture
as a means of showing how empty and barren life is without Him. When
people think they can find fulfillment in sex, God says, "Look, it won't
work. But you won't believe that until you find out for yourself." So
both women and men abandon God's order and God "abandons" them to sexual immorality. He lets women and then men
indulge their fantasies. He stands back while they rush headlong off the
cliff of unbridled lust to be broken on the jagged rocks of
disobedience. Why? He does it because He knows that in the end they will
be more unhappy than they were in the beginning. Only then hopefully
will they begin to see their need for their Creator.
Newell comments on this
section writing that...
Here men are seen visited with a like
condign, judicial “giving up” by God, in which they forget not only the
holy relations of marriage, but even the burnings of ordinary lust, and
plunge into nameless horrors of unnatural lust-bondage, all, males and
females, receiving in themselves the due recompense of their error.
Compare “among themselves” of verse 24, with “in themselves” of verse
27: “These words bring out,” as Godet remarks, “the depth of the blight.
It is visible to the eyes of all.” And Meyer also: “The law of history,
in virtue of which the forsaking of God is followed among men by a
parallel growth of immorality, is not a purely natural order of things;
the power of God is active in the execution of this law.”
What a fearful account is here! A
lost race plunging ever deeper, by their own desire! Left in shameful,
horrid bondage, unashamed,—not only immoral, but unmoral, hideous.
Missionaries abroad can tell you of what they find; as can the Christian
workers in our great cities. But you would be unprepared to believe what
exists, in the private lives of many, even in country districts through
Christendom. And if God has “made you to differ,” thank Him only! It
will not do to hold up your hands in self-righteous dismay, and say,
These verses do not in any particular describe me. For God will show you
and me that this is exactly the race as we were born into it, and out of
which the only rescue is being born again. All these things pertain to
lost, fallen man. Man is a tenant of the earth only by Divine grace,
since the Deluge. — (Romans
concludes this section by noting that
"The logic of Paul's argument
should not be missed. Those who reject what they know of God in so doing
divorce themselves from truth and reality. This means, among other
things, that a person out of touch with the reality of God is out of
touch with reality, period, including the truth about humanity. To be
out of touch with the meaning of humanity means a crisis of identity
which is demonstrated in many ways, not least in confusion about
sexuality. When sexuality is misunderstood, the sheer power of
unrestrained sexual drive and uneducated sexual insight will produce all
manner of aberrant sexual behavior. In short, confusion about God breeds
confusion about man, which breeds confusion about sexuality which
produces sexual confusion and chaos. Far from being, as was fondly
imagined by many, an enlightened age of sexual freedom, Paul showed his
contemporaries that they lived in a dark day of divine wrath."
(Romans, The Communicator's Commentary, p50-51)
Before we leave this section we
should note that all is not as dark as it appears for with God nothing
is impossible and no man or woman is too far away from the touch of
God's grace as Paul reminded the Corinthian church
do you not know that the
unrighteous will not
God? Do not be
some of you;
but you were
but you were
but you were
name of the
Christ and in the
Spirit of our
(1Cor 6:9, 10, 11)
Praise God for this marvelous truth. God is the God of hope and Christ
is our Hope (1Tim 1:1).
WILL NOT BE
(Ro 10:11, 9:33; Is 28:16; 49:23; Jer 17:7, 8; 1Pe