Α Study Of Pauline Passages with Vice Lists -- By: René A. López

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 168:671 (Jul 2011)
Article: Α Study Of Pauline Passages with Vice Lists
Author: René A. López


Α Study Of Pauline Passages with Vice Lists*

René A. López

* This is the third article in a six-part series, “The Pauline Vice Lists and Inheriting the Kingdom.”

René A. López is Adjunct Professor of Greek and New Testament and Spanish Biblical Studies, Criswell College, Dallas, Texas.

Α study of passages (other than 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-5) in which Paul used virtue-vice catalogs will help distinguish between his references to believers and unbelievers and show how he understood inheriting the kingdom of God. Examining these verses will also help readers know whether Paul deviated from or followed conventional usage of the terms in these many vice lists.

Romans 1:29-32; 2:8; 13:13

Romans 1:29-32 records vices of a group of people who manifest “ungodliness and unrighteousness . . . [and] who [in this way] suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18).

They have become filled with all kinds of unrighteousness, sexual depravity, greediness, evil, full of envy, murder, fighting, deceit, malicious, gossipers, slanderous, God haters, violent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of evil schemes, disobedient to parents, senseless, covenant breakers, hardhearted (without affection), unmerciful; although they know the righteous requirement of God that those doing such things deserve death, not only do they do these things but also they approve of others practicing them.1

Although these individuals know God in the sense of having an innate knowledge of Him (v. 21) as Creator,2 they have refused to

acknowledge Him by their actions. Hence Paul summarized, in 3:9-12, 20, 23, that apart from faith in Jesus, Jews and Gentiles remain unrighteous sinners. “Paul’s first leveling argument in 1:18-32 will deal with all persons outside of Christ, but in particular Gentiles and their fallen condition and sin.”3 The people practicing the vices in 1:18-32 are Gentile unbelievers, as the evidence suggests.4

Romans 2:8 ment...

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