What does Paul mean by "debtor" in Romans 1:14?

"14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise."

Clarify Share Report Asked July 18 2014 Mini WONDWOSSEN SEIFU SHIFERAW

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
Greek: opheiletes (G3781) is used to refer "debtor meaning one under an obligation or bound to some duty (Mt. 6:12; 18:24; Lk. 13:4; Rom. 1:14; 8:12; 15:27).

Paul was obliged to preach the Gospel to all sorts of men; who are here distinguished into Greeks and Barbarians: sometimes by Greeks are meant the Gentiles in general, in opposition to the Jews.

Paul's efforts were not limited by class. He said, "both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise." In Roman society there were these classifications: "Greeks" and "Barbarians." Also there some considered "wise" and others "unwise." Paul considered himself obligated to all! In our society there are also a variety of classifications according to income, education, race, age and worldly standards. In preaching the gospel we ought to ignore all of this, and consider ourselves obligated to preach to everybody the unsearchable riches of Christ.

"I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (Rom. 1:14-17).

July 30 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Data Doreen Lovell Evangelist and Prayer Intercessor
Romans 1:1, 5, 14
1. "Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle separated unto the Gospel of God. (meaning an apostle by way of God's sovereign call)
5. "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name". (Grace, an unmerited favor--- emphasizes the ministry in relation to Paul; he did not deserve or earn it. Apostleship emphasizes the ministry in relation to others; to teach with authority and to establish churches)

Debtor signifies one who is morally obligated. Because of his call and gift of apostleship (Vs 1, 5), Paul was obligated culturally to the GREEKS. These people were cultured and refined. To the BARBARIANS---these were strangers to the Greek language and culture. Educationally, he was indebted to the WISE, be it in handicraft, affairs of life or sciences. He was also indebted to the UNWISE, or unlearned. This was Paul's way of expressing his desire and urge to get the gospel to everyone.

July 19 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining