The whole chapter sounds like much ado to me… here we go.
Romans as Interpreted by an Atheist – Chapter 1
1 Basically Paul, in the name of the Lord, is talking to non-Israelite’s calling for their obedience through faith.
7 Yes, God loves them too.
8 Their faithfulness is noted. I assume he’s talking about the gospel of memory unless Jesus wrote something down… might be a tricky translation? Anyway, by whatever gospel he’s talking about the Lord knows Paul prays for them and wishes to visit.
11 He longs for mutual encouragement of faith with the recipient… it’s nothing against them, Paul talks to other non-Isaelites, please don’t hate Paul.
14 Paul feels obligated regardless of nationality or levels of stupidity.
16 Paul mentions gospel again… again I wonder, specifically, what he’s referring to. My Bible had a snip-it on Martin Luther below this paragraph; I think it implied that it’s what set him off to translate the Bible to the common language. Not sure, I’m going off memory and a wiki page on what I know of the matter. Anyway, Paul talks about righteous faith being found in this gospel thing he mentions.
18 Paul goes off, in the name of God, until the end of the chapter. Luckily it sounds like he isn’t talking about me… unless my wickedness is unconsciously suppressing truth, but I don’t really have a lot of control over my unconsciousness. My consciousness contests, honestly as far as I can tell, that God’s invisible qualities have not been clearly seen, or coherently read by me. This is an observation of circumstances having to do with my awareness while going through happenstantial events.
21 More condemnations to about those who knew without appreciation. Sounds like Pauls talking about idol, and/or materialistic, worshipers here.
24 More condemning of those who knew without appreciation and the worship of material things.
26 And more condemnation, this time specifically regarding lustfulness in general and especially that which led to unnatural relations. You want to talk about homosexuality? That could be an interesting topic… I don’t see why it would matter, but it obviously matters from a Biblical perspective.
28 Paul concludes his first chapter condemning as many adjectives as possible in this last paragraph. Still he’s talking about those who knew God but refuse to give Him proper acknowledgment.
A final commentary:
I thought this chapter was like eavesdropping on a sibling writing home about how dad’s doing. It starts out pleasant saying dad loves them and Paul wish he could visit… then a guilt trip starts rolling as Paul lets loose how Dad thinks some of the siblings take their father and his generation for granted. Without mentioning any names, Paul goes on to tell them that dad thinks a few of the ladies in this family are sluts and how he caught some of the guys checking out his butt… which just wasn’t right. Then RAWR! For good measure Dad says: “()*&$%(*). You guys should know better!”
There’s more to read so I assume his blood pressure was ok. 🙂
Anyway, let the discussion begin.
The rest is the actual text from my NIV, I typed it to help with my own comprehension, so you can’t say I didn’t read something, and so I have a reference in the same window while I’m working things out.
Romans ala NIV: Chapter 1
1: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of Christ our Lord. Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7: To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
8: First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you , because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at least by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11: I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14: I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.
16: I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Referencing Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:11 ?)
18: The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made if plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities —his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24: Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desired of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26: Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for the perversion.
28: Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.