Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some Commentators on Romans 8:11

I concede that certain scholars understand Romans 8:11 as a reference to the future. But these comments below are posted to show the other side of things:

"Your mortal bodies. That this does not refer to the resurrection of the dead seems to be apparent, because that is not attributed to the Holy Spirit. I understand it as referring to the body, subject to carnal desires and propensities; by nature under the reign of death, and therefore mortal—i. e. subject to death. The sense is, that under the gospel, by the influence of the Spirit, the entire man will be made alive in the service of God. Even the corrupt, carnal, and mortal body, so long under the dominion of sin, shall be made alive and recovered to the service of God. This will be done by the Spirit that dwells in us, because that Spirit has restored life to our souls, abides with us with his purifying influence, and because the design and tendency of his indwelling is to purify the entire man, and restore all to God. Christians thus in their bodies and their spirits become sacred. For even their body, the seat of evil passions and desires, shall become alive in the service of God" (Barnes' New Testament Notes).

"By mortal bodies he understands all those things which still remain in us, that are subject to death; for his usual practice is to give this name to the grosser part of us. We hence conclude, that he speaks not of the last resurrection, which shall be in a moment, but of the continued working of the Spirit, by which he gradually mortifies the relics of the flesh and renews in us a celestial life" (Commentary on Romans, John Calvin).

"The apostle believed in a present participation in those revivifying forces which broke into the history of the world with the advent of Jesus Christ; the power of God is now active in the believer who yields to that action. In particular the doctrine of the Spirit included the assurance and the present experience of the power of God; on this point Paul shares a very widespread tradition. Hence the allusion here [in Rom 8:11] is to the vivifying energy of the Spirit, who liberates from the tyranny of sin, according to the framework of ideas already sketched out in [Rom] 6:12-23" (Franz J. Leenhardt, The Epistle to the Romans. London: Lutterworth Press, 1961. Pages 209-10).

Others could be marshaled.


Andrew Barker said...

This passage is currently under close inspection by myself. I note you say "others could be marshaled".

I would be most grateful if you could "marshal" them my way. Links will do fine to save your time and any help you can give will be much appreciated.

Andrew Barker

Edgar Foster said...

Three of the better commentaries about Romans are D. Moo. See

Also, James Dunn and Robert Jewett. See


See also Bengel's Gnomon at

Richard Longenecker also has a detailed commentary and here is a link for plenty of resources:

Best regards,