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Romans 1:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Because that when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Because, knowing God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but fell into folly in their thoughts, and their heart without understanding was darkened:
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Inasmuch as, having come to know God, not, as God, did they glorify him, or give him thanks, but were made fruitless in their reasonings, and darkened was their undiscerning heart,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— because, having known God they did not glorify [Him] as God, nor gave thanks, but were made vain in their reasonings, and their unintelligent heart was darkened,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God or given thanks: but became vain in their thoughts. And their foolish heart was darkened.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankefull, but became vaine in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened:
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— For when they knew Aloha, they did not as Aloha glorify him and praise him, but became vain in their imaginations, and their heart was darkened, that they understood not.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— because they knew God, and did not glorify him and give thanks to him as God, but became vain in their imaginings, and their unwise heart was darkened.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Because y1360
[1360] Standard
διότι
dioti
{dee-ot'-ee}
From G1223 and G3754; on the very account that, or inasmuch as.
that, x1360
(1360) Complement
διότι
dioti
{dee-ot'-ee}
From G1223 and G3754; on the very account that, or inasmuch as.
when they knew 1097
{1097} Prime
γινώσκω
ginosko
{ghin-oce'-ko}
A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' (absolutely), in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as shown at left, with others not thus clearly expressed).
z5631
<5631> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 889
God, 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
they glorified 1392
{1392} Prime
δοξάζω
doxazo
{dox-ad'-zo}
From G1391; to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application).
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
[him] not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
as 5613
{5613} Prime
ὡς
hos
{hoce}
Probably adverb of comparative from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown).
God, 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
neither 2228
{2228} Prime

e
{ay}
A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.
were thankful; 2168
{2168} Prime
εὐχαριστέω
eucharisteo
{yoo-khar-is-teh'-o}
From G2170; to be grateful, that is, (active) to express gratitude (towards); specifically to say grace at a meal.
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
but 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
became vain 3154
{3154} Prime
ματαιόω
mataioo
{mat-ah-yo'-o}
From G3152; to render (passively become) foolish, that is, (morally) wicked or (specifically) idolatrous.
z5681
<5681> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 602
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
their y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
imaginations, 1261
{1261} Prime
διαλογισμός
dialogismos
{dee-al-og-is-mos'}
From G1260; discussion, that is, (internal) consideration (by implication purpose), or (external) debate.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
their y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
foolish 801
{0801} Prime
ἀσύνετος
asunetos
{as-oon'-ay-tos}
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and G4908; unintelligent; by implication wicked.
heart 2588
{2588} Prime
καρδία
kardia
{kar-dee'-ah}
Prolonged from a primary κάρ [[kar]] (Latin cor, 'heart'); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle.
was darkened. 4654
{4654} Prime
σκοτίζω
skotizo
{skot-id'-zo}
From G4655; to obscure (literally or figuratively).
z5681
<5681> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 602
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Romans 1:21

_ _ Because that, when they knew God — that is, while still retaining some real knowledge of Him, and ere they sank down into the state next to be described.

_ _ they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful — neither yielded the adoration due to Himself, nor rendered the gratitude which His beneficence demanded.

_ _ but became vain — (compare Jeremiah 2:5).

_ _ in their imaginations — thoughts, notions, speculations, regarding God; compare Matthew 15:19; Luke 2:35; 1 Corinthians 3:20, Greek.

_ _ and their foolish — “senseless,” “stupid.”

_ _ heart — that is, their whole inner man.

_ _ was darkened — How instructively is the downward progress of the human soul here traced!

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Romans 1:19-32.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 1:21

Because, knowing God — For the wiser heathens did know that there was one supreme God; yet from low and base considerations they conformed to the idolatry of the vulgar. They did not glorify him as God, neither were thankful — They neither thanked him for his benefits, nor glorified him for his divine perfection. But became vain — Like the idols they worshipped. In their reasonings — Various, uncertain, foolish. What a terrible instance have we of this in the writings of Lucretius! What vain reasonings, and how dark a heart, amidst so pompous professions of wisdom!

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Romans 1:21

Because that, when they knew God, they (e) glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became (f) vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

(e) They did not honour him with that honour and service which was appropriate for his everlasting power and Godhead.

(f) As if he said, became so corrupt in themselves.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
when:

Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

they glorified:

Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for [his] mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
Psalms 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth [his] conversation [aright] will I shew the salvation of God.
Psalms 86:9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
Hosea 2:8 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, [which] they prepared for Baal.
Habakkuk 1:15-16 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. ... Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion [is] fat, and their meat plenteous.
Luke 17:15-18 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, ... There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

but became:

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.
Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
2 Kings 17:15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that [were] round about them, [concerning] whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
Psalms 81:12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: [and] they walked in their own counsels.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
Isaiah 44:9-20 They that make a graven image [are] all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they [are] their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. ... He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, [Is there] not a lie in my right hand?
Jeremiah 2:5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
Jeremiah 10:3-8 For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. ... But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a doctrine of vanities.
Jeremiah 10:14-15 Every man is brutish in [his] knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image [is] falsehood, and [there is] no breath in them. ... They [are] vanity, [and] the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and [things] wherein [there is] no profit.
Ephesians 4:17-18 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, ... Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

their foolish:

Romans 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
Deuteronomy 28:29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save [thee].
Isaiah 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 6:5; 8:21. Dt 28:29. 2K 17:15. Ps 50:23; 81:12; 86:9. Ec 7:29. Is 44:9; 60:2. Jr 2:5; 10:3, 14; 16:19. Ho 2:8. Hab 1:15. Lk 17:15. Jn 3:19. Ac 26:18. Ro 1:19, 28; 11:10; 15:9. Ep 4:17. 2Ti 3:2. 1P 1:18; 2:9. Rv 14:7; 15:4.

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