For the wrath of God is revealed (apokaluptetai gar orgh qeou). Note in Romans Paul's use of gar, now argumentative, now explanatory, now both as here. There is a parallel and antecedent revelation (see verse Romans 17 ) of God's wrath corresponding to the revelation of God's righteousness, this an unwritten revelation, but plainly made known. Orgh is from orgaw, to teem, to swell. It is the temper of God towards sin, not rage, but the wrath of reason and law (Shedd). The revelation of God's righteousness in the gospel was necessary because of the failure of men to attain it without it, for God's wrath justly rested upon all both Gentiles ( Romans 1:18-32 ) and Jews ( Romans 2:1-3:20 ). Ungodliness (asebeian). Irreligion, want of reverence toward God, old word (cf. 2 Timothy 2:16 ). Unrighteousness (adikian). Lack (a privative and dikh) of right conduct toward men, injustice ( Romans 9:14 ; Luke 18:6 ). This follows naturally from irreverence. The basis of ethical conduct rests on the nature of God and our attitude toward him, otherwise the law of the jungle (cf. Nietzsche, "might makes right"). Hold down the truth (thn alhqeian katecontwn). Truth (alhqeia, alhqh, from a privative and lhqw or lanqanw, to conceal) is out in the open, but wicked men, so to speak, put it in a box and sit on the lid and "hold it down in unrighteousness." Their evil deeds conceal the open truth of God from men. Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:6 for this use of katecw, to hinder.