The Epistle to the Romans
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The Epistle to the Romans

John Murray

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The Epistle to the Romans

John Murray

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Careful scholarship and spiritual insight characterize this enduring commentary by John Murray on Romans, first published in 1959 as part of the New International Commentary on the New Testament series.

After a brief introduction to the authorship, occasion, setting, and message of the epistle, Murray provides a verse-by-verse exposition of Romans that is deeply penetrating in its elucidation of the text. In ten appendices he gives special attention to select themes and scholarly debates—the meaning of justification, Isaiah 53: 11 in relation to Romans, Karl Barth on Romans5, the interpretation of the "weak brother" in Romans 14, and more.

Murray's classic commentary on Romans in this new edition will continue to be valuable to pastors, students, and scholars everywhere.

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The Epistle to the Romans
The English Text with Introduction, Exposition and Notes
In Two Volumes
Volume I: Chapters 1–8
Volume II: Chapters 9–16
John Murray
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546
© 1959, 1965 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
All rights reserved
First published 1959 (vol. 1) and 1965 (vol. 2) in the
New International Commentary on the New Testament series
Combined edition published 1968
Paperback edition published 1997
This Eerdmans Classic Biblical Commentaries edition published 2018
The text and layout of the 1968 edition have been preserved
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN 978-0-8028-7588-4


Editor’s Preface
Author’s Preface
The Author
The Occasion
The Church at Rome
Summary of Contents
III.Theme of the Epistle
IV.The Universality of Sin and Condemnation
A.The Gentiles
B.The Jews
C.The Aggravation of the Jew’s Condemnation
D.The Faithfulness and Justice of God
V.The Righteousness of God
VI.Corroboration from the Old Testament
VII.Fruits of Justification
VIII.The Analogy
IX.The Sanctifying Effects
A.The Abuse of Grace Exposed
B.The Imperatives for the Sanctified
X.Death to the Law
XI.Transitional Experience
XII.The Contradiction in the Believer
XIII.Life in the Spirit
APPENDIX A: Justification
The Old Testament
I.The Usage
II.God’s Justification of Men
The New Testament
I.The Terms
II.The Righteousness Contemplated
The Romish Doctrine of Justification
APPENDIX B: From Faith to Faith
APPENDIX C: Isaiah 53:11
APPENDIX D: Karl Barth on Romans 5
When in the early days of the development of plans for The New International Commentary on the New Testament Professor Murray consented to undertake the exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, the utmost encouragement was given to press forward eagerly with the entire project. And now that the present volume is about to be published, it affords me distinct pleasure to express my gratification with the finished work. If indeed full expression were to be given to my estimate of the volume, my sense of elation might easily result in the use of superlatives. A measure of restraint must be observed, however, considering especially my intimate relationships with the author over a period of nearly thirty-five years. These associations, first as a classmate in Princeton Theological Seminary and later as colleague, have led to an enthusiastic appraisal of the author as exegete and theologian as well as a warm affection for him personally.
No effort will be made here to assess in detail the scholarly character of the work, the knowledge disclosed of the problems which have emerged in the older and newer literature, the devotion of the author to the primary responsibility of expounding the text, the pervasive note of reverential devotion to the God of the Word, the elevated style which generally characterizes it. The volume must speak for itself. It will speak differently to different readers. Unless I am greatly mistaken, however, it will be recognized on all sides as a distinguished contribution to the literature on this great epistle.
Should there be a measure of disappointment that this work is confined to the first eight chapters of Romans and that a second volume on the rest of the epistle will not be immediately available, I trust that ultimately the reader will discover lasting gain in this temporary loss. Considering the intrinsic worth of this epistle and its profound significance for the understanding of Christianity, it seemed wise not to impose upon the author any rigid limitations with regard to space but rather to allow him full and free scope to deal with the text in such a way as to do the greatest possible justice to the exegetical questions. Nothing is more disconcerting to the reader of a commentary than to discover that the more thorny questions are treated in meagre fashion, if at all. Although one cannot guarantee that every reader will attach the same value as the author to the problems dealt with at considerable length, most readers, whether or not they agree with the conclusions reached, will doubtless appreciate the fullness of treatment at many points.
For those who are not otherwise familiar with the life and career of the author, a few biographical details may be of interest. Born in Scotland, John Murray received his literary education and a portion of his theological education, both undergraduate and graduate, in his native land, particularly in the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. In America he studied theology in Princeton for three years, and upon graduation was awarded the Gelston-Winthrop Fellowship in Systematic Theology from that institution. His teaching career began in Princeton where he served as Instructor in Systematic Theology for one year (1929-30). Since that time he has been a member of the Faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary, serving first as Instructor and since 1937 as Professor of Systematic Theology. Besides his contributions to many journals, his major publications are Christian Baptism (1952), Divorce (1953), Redemption, Accomplished and Applied (1955), the Payton Lectures for 1955, Principles of Conduct (1957), and The Imputation of Adam’s Sin (1959).
These lines, while written principally to introduce the volume and its author to the public, would not be complete without some reflection upon the ultimate goal of the undertaking, shared by the author with the editor, that this work may stimulate men in our times to grapple anew with the sacred text of this epistle which stands out majestically among the mountain peaks of the New Testament writings. May the devout and meticulous scholarship of the author as it finds expression in these pages contribute richly to the end that the message of the inspired apostle may come unto men “in the fulness of the blessing of Christ.”
Ned B. Stonehouse
General Editor
In accordance with the aim of both the General Editor and the Publishers of The New International Commentary on the New Testament that these commentaries could be freely used by those who are not familiar with the original languages of Scripture, I have consistently refrained from the use of Greek and Hebrew terms in the text of the commentary. These have been included in the footnotes and appendixes. This practice has in many instances increased the difficulty. It is much easier for an expositor to discuss the exegesis of a particular clause, phrase, or word if the original is reproduced and the exposition proceeds on the assumption that the reader is conversant with the original text. But, when this assumption cannot be entertained, it is necessary to use other method...