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1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,
6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
These first seven verses are one complicated sentence in Greek (Paul often uses such long, complicated sentences) Morris, L. (1988).
The Epistle to the Romans (p.
Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
Morris, L. (1988).
The Epistle to the Romans (p.
Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Paul - means little
Born Roman Citizen
Grew up in Tarsus, one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire
Grew up around & exposed to Graeco-Roman customs, religions, and philosophies, and he apparently became fluent in Greek.
Often quotes Greek philosophers of his day, Aratus (), Menander (), and Epimenides ()
Paul’s expertise in Jewish law and thorough understanding of Greek and Roman culture made him ideally suited to proclaim the gospel among the Gentiles (non-Jews).
Born a Roman citizen (), Paul grew up in Tarsus, one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire (located in the southeastern region of modern-day Turkey).
In Tarsus, he was exposed to Graeco-Roman customs, religions, and philosophies, and he apparently became fluent in Greek.
Paul’s quotations of thinkers like Aratus (), Menander (), and Epimenides () are evidence of his knowledge of Greek philosophy.
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016).
Faithlife Study Bible ().
Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Bond-servant: doulos slave
Sense: Slave - a person who is legally owned by someone else and whose entire livelihood and purpose was determined by their master.
The NT variously defines servant as a hired servant or hireling (; , ; ), more widely as slave (; , ; , ; ; , ; , , , ; ; ; ; ; ), and also as a domestic servant ()—such a person could not serve two masters (; ).
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988).
Trades and Occupations.
In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol.
2, p. 2090).
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
Idea behind bond-servant found in NASB
“But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’6 then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost.
And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.
6. Bring him to God: that is, to the sanctuary (to render ‘to the judges’, with some editors, is explanation, not translation).
The approach to the sanctuary is presumably to make a solemn declaration (swearing by YHWH), in the presence of witnesses, as to the status of the slave.
Whether the doorpost is that of the sanctuary or of the home is, however, disputed.
The latter seems preferable, in view of the nature of the ceremony, which made the slave a permanent member of the household.
To bore the ear is probably to earmark as private property (as with animals today).
There is, however, no clear ancient evidence that a pierced ear as such denoted slavery.
The other possible connotation seems to be that of obedience ().
On consecration, the priest’s right ear was smeared with blood, presumably with much the same significance ().
Cole, R. A. (1973).
Exodus: an introduction and commentary (Vol.
2, pp.
Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Idea of obedience NASB - this idea is carried on in verse 5
6 aSacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
The Psalmist uses the expression about his ears to denote that he is a servant of God, ready to do his will, as he further declares in verse eight.
He seems to have in mind the ceremony by which a Hebrew servant, if desiring to stay with his master, might be bound to him for life: “if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges.
He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl.
Then he will be his servant for life” (, see also ).
This custom was observed not only by the Jews but also by many other ancient nations.
Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998).
Manners & customs of the Bible (p.
North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.
The second line is difficult: lit., ‘ears thou hast dug for me’.
Since ‘dug’ may mean ‘pierced’ (cf.
22:16, Heb.
17) it could allude to the ceremony of making a slave his master’s for ever (, using a different word).
But the plural, ‘ears’, is a difficulty, and few accept this view.
More probably it is a forceful parallel to the expressions used in .; ‘he wakens my ear’, ‘the Lord God has opened my ear’; speaking of the Servant’s training in perception and obedience.
lxx, quoted by , has ‘a body hast thou prepared for me’.
Whatever the origin of this reading, it carries forward the sense of dedication implied in the Hebrew text, and it is worth noting that in .
Kidner, D. (1973).
: an introduction and commentary (Vol.
15, p. 177).
Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
The Popularity of this terms use among Christians:
Five NT authors called themselves “slaves [or servants] of Jesus Christ” (; ; ; ; Tm 2:24; ; ; ; ; ).
In many cases the term is a synonym for “Christian.”
Why would such a term become a name for Christians?
In the OT God was viewed as a great king; the subjects of kings were their slaves, since a king could do with them as he liked.
The people of Israel saw themselves in the same relationship to God: they were his slaves.
Often the title “slave of the king” meant that the person was an officer in the king’s service; it was a title of honor.
In Jewish literature Moses and others were called slaves of God (, ; ).
The term “slave” was thus a title both of honor and of subjugation; in the NT it is hard to know which sense is intended.
Certainly subjection was often meant (; ), but when applied to the apostolic writers the term probably suggested their honored position in God’s household.
At the same time it indicated their obedience to Christ: he commanded and they obeyed.
Since obedience was characteristic of all Christians, “slaves of Christ” became a title for members of the young church.
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988).
Christians, Names For.
In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 433).
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