GoedBericht.nl logo
English Blog

Romans 14:1 – The infirm in the faith

04-01-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now the infirm in the faith be taking to yourselves, but not for discrimination of reasonings.

Here Paul is clearly broaching a new theme, addressing especially “the able” (lit. the wealthy; 15:1). He calls on them to take in “the infirm in the faith”. He does not say in so many words who Paul has in mind with “the infirm”. We have to take this out of context. “The infirm” thinks that they have to eat vegetarian (:2, 14) and do not drink wine (:21). Furthermore, they distinguish certain days for the Lord (:5,6). That “the infirm” would have a Jewish-religious background cannot necessarily be deduced from this. In any case, it is a direction that imposes unnecessary restrictions on itself.

The call to “be taking to yourselves” “the infirm in the faith” goes deeper than just “accepting.” The Greek word (proslambano; Str. 4355) is also used for eating food (Acts 27:33,36). I.e. he who takes to themselves the infirm, includes him inwardly. Without reserve. Regardless of any questionable reasoning “the infirm” might have. Because that is not what Paul is about here. Even if there are misconceptions, it is not our business to make a judgment about them. Only with that basic attitude do we give the other person room to draw their own conclusions.