Romans 2:8 ESV

"but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury." My emphasis. [obey/peithomenois]

Can one obey unless a command is given?

Does "unrighteousness" issue commands with authority?

How is unrighteousness "obeyed"?

Romans 1:5

"through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations." [obedience/hypakoen]

Why is "obey" from peithomenois in Romans 2:8 when "obedience" comes from "hypakoen" in Romans 1:5?

1 Answer 1


peithomenois comes from

peithó: to persuade, to have confidence Original Word: πείθω Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: peithó Phonetic Spelling: (pi'-tho) Definition: to persuade, to have confidence Usage: I persuade, urge.

Romans 2:8 - Peithó (πείθω): This word carries the meaning of persuasion or urging someone to do something. In the context of Romans 2:8, where "peithomenois" is used, it suggests a persuasion or influence toward unrighteousness. Individuals are being swayed or convinced to follow a path of self-seeking behavior and disobedience to the truth.

Here's the thing, unrighteousness often operates through deception, offering false promises, distorted truths, or misleading ideologies that appeal to selfish desires and/or sinful inclinations. Individuals may be persuaded by the allure of immediate gratification or temporary gain, even if it means compromising on what is moral.

As we see indicated by the text, unrighteousness itself does not issue commands with authority, at least not in the same way that an authority figure might. Instead, it refers to a pattern of behavior displayed by adherence to sinful actions. Those who are self-seeking and do not adhere to the truth but instead follow unrighteousness are described as "obeying" unrighteousness in the sense that their actions align or conform to their sinful desires.

hypakoēn comes from

hupakoé: obedience Original Word: ὑπακοή, ῆς, ἡ Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: hupakoé Phonetic Spelling: (hoop-ak-o-ay') Definition: obedience Usage: obedience, submissiveness, compliance.

Romans 1:5 - Hupakoé (ὑπακοή): This word refers more specifically to obedience, submissiveness, or compliance. In Romans 1:5, where "hypakoen" is used, it shows an obedience of faith. This is about a willing submission to God's will and commands. This stems from trust and confidence in Him.

Conclusion: The use of different Greek words for obedience, is that there is nuances of obedience. Romans 2:8, is on the negative obedience to unrighteousness, which stems from a rejection of the truth. Romans 1:5, is on the positive obedience of faith. This comes from a willing submissiveness to God.

  • 4
    Up-voted +1. Memorable phrase : persuaded by allure.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 7 at 20:13

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