New English Translation
1 From Paul,[a] a slave[b] of Christ Jesus,[c] called to be an apostle,[d] set apart for the gospel of God.[e] 2 This gospel[f] he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 concerning his Son who was a descendant[g] of David with reference to the flesh,[h] 4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power[i] according to the Holy Spirit[j] by the resurrection[k] from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him[l] we have received grace and our apostleship[m] to bring about the obedience[n] of faith[o] among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name. 6 You also are among them,[p] called to belong to Jesus Christ.[q] 7 To all those loved by God in Rome, called to be saints:[r] Grace and peace to you[s] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul’s Desire to Visit Rome
8 First of all,[t] I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel[u] of his Son, is my witness that[v] I continually remember you 10 and I always ask[w] in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God.[x] 11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift[y] to strengthen you, 12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith,[z] both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware,[aa] brothers and sisters,[ab] that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles.[ac] 14 I am a debtor[ad] both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 Thus I am eager[ae] also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.
The Power of the Gospel
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.[af] 17 For the righteousness[ag] of God is revealed in the gospel[ah] from faith to faith,[ai] just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”[aj]
The Condemnation of the Unrighteous
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people[ak] who suppress the truth by their[al] unrighteousness,[am] 19 because what can be known about God is plain to them,[an] because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people[ao] are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts[ap] were darkened. 22 Although they claimed[aq] to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings[ar] or birds or four-footed animals[as] or reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over[at] in the desires of their hearts to impurity,[au] to dishonor[av] their bodies among themselves.[aw] 25 They[ax] exchanged the truth of God for a lie[ay] and worshiped and served the creation[az] rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones,[ba] 27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women[bb] and were inflamed in their passions[bc] for one another. Men[bd] committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God,[be] God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.[bf] 29 They are filled[bg] with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with[bh] envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, covenant-breakers,[bi] heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they fully know[bj] God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die,[bk] they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.[bl]
The Condemnation of the Moralist
2 [bm] Therefore[bn] you are without excuse,[bo] whoever you are,[bp] when you judge someone else.[bq] For on whatever grounds[br] you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth[bs] against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think,[bt] whoever you are, when you judge[bu] those who practice such things and yet do them yourself,[bv] that you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know[bw] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness[bx] and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed![by] 6 He[bz] will reward[ca] each one according to his works:[cb] 7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 8 but[cc] wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition[cd] and do not obey the truth but follow[ce] unrighteousness. 9 There will be[cf] affliction and distress on everyone[cg] who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek,[ch] 10 but[ci] glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned apart from the law[cj] will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous.[ck] 14 For whenever the Gentiles,[cl] who do not have the law, do by nature[cm] the things required by the law,[cn] these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 15 They[co] show that the work of the law is written[cp] in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend[cq] them,[cr] 16 on the day when God will judge[cs] the secrets of human hearts,[ct] according to my gospel[cu] through Christ Jesus.
The Condemnation of the Jew
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law[cv] and boast of your relationship to God[cw] 18 and know his will[cx] and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law,[cy] 19 and if you are convinced[cz] that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an educator of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth— 21 therefore[da] you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor[db] idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law! 24 For just as it is written, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”[dc]
25 For circumcision[dd] has its value if you practice the law, but[de] if you break the law,[df] your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcised man obeys[dg] the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 And the physically uncircumcised man,[dh] by keeping the law, will judge you to be the transgressor of the law, even though[di] you have the letter[dj] and circumcision! 28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, 29 but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart[dk] by the Spirit[dl] and not by the letter.[dm] This person’s[dn] praise is not from people but from God.
3 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Actually, there are many advantages.[do] First of all,[dp] the Jews[dq] were entrusted with the oracles of God.[dr] 3 What then? If some were unfaithful, their unfaithfulness will not nullify God’s faithfulness, will it? 4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being[ds] shown up as a liar,[dt] just as it is written: “so that you will be justified[du] in your words and will prevail when you are judged.”[dv]
5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates[dw] the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? (I am speaking in human terms.)[dx] 6 Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? 7 For if by my lie the truth of God enhances[dy] his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”?—as some who slander us allege that we say.[dz] (Their[ea] condemnation is deserved!)
The Condemnation of the World
9 What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, 10 just as it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one,
11 there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
together they have become worthless;
there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.”[eb]
13 “Their throats are open graves,[ec]
they deceive with their tongues,
the poison of asps is under their lips.”[ed]
14 “Their mouths are[ee] full of cursing and bitterness.”[ef]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 ruin and misery are in their paths,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”[eg]
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[eh]
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under[ei] the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For no one is declared righteous before him[ej] by the works of the law,[ek] for through the law comes[el] the knowledge of sin. 21 But now[em] apart from the law the righteousness of God (although it is attested by the law and the prophets)[en] has been disclosed— 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ[eo] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 But they are justified[ep] freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God publicly displayed[eq] him[er] at his death[es] as the mercy seat[et] accessible through faith.[eu] This was to demonstrate[ev] his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed.[ew] 26 This was[ex] also to demonstrate[ey] his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just[ez] and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.[fa]
27 Where, then, is boasting?[fb] It is excluded! By what principle?[fc] Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 28 For we consider that a person[fd] is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law.[fe] 29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! 30 Since God is one,[ff] he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify[fg] the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead[fh] we uphold the law.
The Illustration of Justification
4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh,[fi] has discovered regarding this matter?[fj] 2 For if Abraham was declared righteous[fk] by works, he has something to boast about—but not before God. 3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited[fl] to him as righteousness.”[fm] 4 Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation.[fn] 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous,[fo] his faith is credited as righteousness.
6 So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
9 Is this blessedness[ft] then for[fu] the circumcision[fv] or also for[fw] the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”[fx] 10 How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised,[fy] so that he would become[fz] the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised,[ga] that they too could have righteousness credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised,[gb] who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised.[gc]
13 For the promise[gd] to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified.[ge] 15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression[gf] either. 16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace,[gg] with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants—not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham,[gh] who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”).[gi] He is our father[gj] in the presence of God whom he believed—the God who[gk] makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do.[gl] 18 Against hope Abraham[gm] believed[gn] in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations[go] according to the pronouncement,[gp] “so will your descendants be.”[gq] 19 Without being weak in faith, he considered[gr] his own body as dead[gs] (because he was about 100 years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He[gt] did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21 He was[gu] fully convinced that what God[gv] promised he was also able to do. 22 So indeed it was credited to Abraham[gw] as righteousness.
23 But the statement it was credited to him[gx] was not written only for Abraham’s[gy] sake, 24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He[gz] was given over[ha] because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of[hb] our justification.[hc]
The Expectation of Justification
5 [hd] Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have[he] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have also obtained access[hf] into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice[hg] in the hope of God’s glory. 3 Not[hh] only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God[hi] has been poured out[hj] in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.)[hk] 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous[hl] by his blood,[hm] we will be saved through him from God’s wrath.[hn] 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 11 Not[ho] only this, but we also rejoice[hp] in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.
The Amplification of Justification
12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people[hq] because[hr] all sinned— 13 for before the law was given,[hs] sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin[ht] when there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type[hu] of the coming one) transgressed.[hv] 15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression.[hw] For if the many died through the transgression of the one man,[hx] how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! 16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned.[hy] For judgment, resulting from the one transgression,[hz] led to condemnation, but[ia] the gracious gift from the many failures[ib] led to justification. 17 For if, by the transgression of the one man,[ic] death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently,[id] just as condemnation[ie] for all people[if] came[ig] through one transgression,[ih] so too through the one righteous act[ii] came righteousness leading to life[ij] for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man[ik] many[il] were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of one man[im] many[in] will be constituted righteous. 20 Now the law came in[io] so that the transgression[ip] may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Believer’s Freedom from Sin’s Domination
6 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.[iq]
5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.[ir] 6 We know that[is] our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us,[it] so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)[iu]
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know[iv] that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die[iw] again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you too consider yourselves[ix] dead to sin, but[iy] alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, 13 and do not present your members to sin as instruments[iz] to be used for unrighteousness,[ja] but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments[jb] to be used for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
The Believer’s Enslavement to God’s Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves[jc] as obedient slaves,[jd] you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness?[je] 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed[jf] from the heart that pattern[jg] of teaching you were entrusted to, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.)[jh] For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.
21 So what benefit[ji] did you then reap[jj] from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, freed[jk] from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit[jl] leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 23 For the payoff[jm] of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Believer’s Relationship to the Law
7 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters[jn] (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person[jo] as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her[jp] husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage.[jq] 3 So then,[jr] if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her[js] husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress. 4 So, my brothers and sisters,[jt] you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God.[ju] 5 For when we were in the flesh,[jv] the sinful desires,[jw] aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body[jx] to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, because we have died[jy] to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.[jz]
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I[ka] would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else[kb] if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”[kc] 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires.[kd] For apart from the law, sin is dead. 9 And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive 10 and I died. So[ke] I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death![kf] 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died.[kg] 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual—but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin.[kh] 15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want—instead, I do what I hate.[ki] 16 But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good.[kj] 17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it.[kk] 19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.
21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be[kl] to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then,[km] I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but[kn] with my flesh I serve[ko] the law of sin.
The Believer’s Relationship to the Holy Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[kp] 2 For the law of the life-giving Spirit[kq] in Christ Jesus has set you[kr] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God achieved what the law could not do because[ks] it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by[kt] the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook[ku] of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in[kv] the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but[kw] the Spirit is your life[kx] because of righteousness. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one[ky] who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ[kz] from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.[la]
12 So then,[lb] brothers and sisters,[lc] we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will[ld] die),[le] but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are[lf] the sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear,[lg] but you received the Spirit of adoption,[lh] by whom[li] we cry, “Abba,[lj] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness to[lk] our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)[ll]—if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.
18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared[lm] to the coming glory that will be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of God[ln] who subjected it—in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,[lo] groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption,[lp] the redemption of our bodies.[lq] 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.[lr]
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray,[ls] but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 27 And he[lt] who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit[lu] intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will. 28 And we know that all things work together[lv] for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son[lw] would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.[lx] 30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Indeed, he who[ly] did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect?[lz] It is God who justifies. 34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ[ma] is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?[mb] 36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[mc] 37 No, in all these things we have complete victory[md] through him[me] who loved us! 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers,[mf] nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 1:1 tn Grk “Paul.” The word “from” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to indicate the sender of the letter.
- Romans 1:1 tn Traditionally, “servant.” Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). One good translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος) in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force. Also, many slaves in the Roman world became slaves through Rome’s subjugation of conquered nations, kidnapping, or by being born into slave households. sn Undoubtedly the background for the concept of being the Lord’s “slave” or “servant” is to be found in the Old Testament scriptures. For someone who was Jewish this concept did not connote drudgery, but honor and privilege. It was used of national Israel at times (Isa 43:10), but was especially associated with famous OT personalities, including such great men as Moses (Josh 14:7), David (Ps 89:3; cf. 2 Sam 7:5, 8) and Elijah (2 Kgs 10:10); all these men were “servants (or slaves) of the Lord.”
- Romans 1:1 tc Many significant mss, as well as several others (P26 א A G Ψ 33 1739 1881 M), have a reversed order of these words and read “Jesus Christ” rather than “Christ Jesus” (P10 B 81 pc). The meaning is not affected in either case, but the reading “Christ Jesus” is preferred as slightly more difficult and thus more likely autographic (a scribe who found it would be prone to change it to the more common expression). At the same time, Paul is fond of the order “Christ Jesus,” especially in certain letters such as Romans, Galatians, and Philippians. As well, the later Pauline letters almost uniformly use this order in the salutations. A decision is difficult, but “Christ Jesus” is slightly preferred.
- Romans 1:1 tn Grk “a called apostle.”
- Romans 1:1 tn The genitive in the phrase εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ (euangelion theou, “the gospel of God”) could be translated as (1) a subjective genitive (“the gospel which God brings”) or (2) an objective genitive (“the gospel about God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, an interplay between the two concepts is intended: The gospel which God brings is in fact the gospel about himself. However, in view of God’s action in v. 2 concerning this gospel, a subjective genitive notion (“the gospel which God brings”) is slightly preferred.
- Romans 1:2 tn Grk “the gospel of God, which he promised.” Because of the length and complexity of this sentence in Greek, it was divided into shorter English sentences in keeping with contemporary English style. To indicate the referent of the relative pronoun (“which”), the word “gospel” was repeated at the beginning of v. 2.
- Romans 1:3 tn Grk “born of the seed” (an idiom).
- Romans 1:3 tn Grk “according to the flesh,” indicating Jesus’ earthly life, a reference to its weakness. This phrase implies that Jesus was more than human; otherwise it would have been sufficient to say that he was a descendant of David, cf. L. Morris, Romans, 44.
- Romans 1:4 sn Appointed the Son-of-God-in-power. Most translations render the Greek participle ὁρισθέντος (horisthentos, from ὁρίζω, horizō) “declared” or “designated” in order to avoid the possible interpretation that Jesus was appointed the Son of God by the resurrection. However, the Greek term ὁρίζω is used eight times in the NT, and it always has the meaning “to determine, appoint.” Paul is not saying that Jesus was appointed the “Son of God by the resurrection” but “Son-of-God-in-power by the resurrection,” as indicated by the hyphenation. He was born in weakness in human flesh (with respect to the flesh, v. 3) and he was raised with power. This is similar to Matt 28:18 where Jesus told his disciples after the resurrection, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
- Romans 1:4 tn Grk “spirit of holiness.” Some interpreters take the phrase to refer to Christ’s own inner spirit, which was characterized by holiness.
- Romans 1:4 tn Or “by his resurrection.” Most interpreters see this as a reference to Jesus’ own resurrection, although some take it to refer to the general resurrection at the end of the age, of which Jesus’ resurrection is the first installment (cf. 1 Cor 15:23).
- Romans 1:5 tn Grk “through whom.”
- Romans 1:5 tn Some interpreters understand the phrase “grace and apostleship” as a hendiadys, translating “grace [i.e., gift] of apostleship.” The pronoun “our” is supplied in the translation to clarify the sense of the statement.
- Romans 1:5 tn Grk “and apostleship for obedience.”
- Romans 1:5 tn The phrase ὑπακοὴν πίστεως has been variously understood as (1) an objective genitive (a reference to the Christian faith, “obedience to [the] faith”); (2) a subjective genitive (“the obedience faith produces [or requires]”); (3) an attributive genitive (“believing obedience”); or (4) as a genitive of apposition (“obedience, [namely] faith”) in which “faith” further defines “obedience.” These options are discussed by C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans (ICC), 1:66. Others take the phrase as deliberately ambiguous; see D. B. Garlington, “The Obedience of Faith in the Letter to the Romans: Part I: The Meaning of ὑπακοὴ πίστεως (Rom 1:5; 16:26),” WTJ 52 (1990): 201-24.
- Romans 1:6 tn Grk “among whom you also are called.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. The NIV, with its translation “And you also are among those who are called,” takes the phrase ἐν οἳς ἐστε to refer to the following clause rather than the preceding, so that the addressees of the letter (“you also”) are not connected with “all the Gentiles” mentioned at the end of v. 5. It is more likely, however, that the relative pronoun οἳς has τοῖς ἔθνεσιν as its antecedent, which would indicate that the church at Rome was predominantly Gentile.
- Romans 1:6 tn Grk “called of Jesus Christ.”
- Romans 1:7 tn Although the first part of v. 7 is not a complete English sentence, it maintains the “From…to” pattern used in all the Pauline letters to indicate the sender and the recipients. Here, however, there are several intervening verses (vv. 2-6), which makes the first half of v. 7 appear as an isolated sentence fragment.
- Romans 1:7 tn Grk “Grace to you and peace.”
- Romans 1:8 tn Grk “First.” Paul never mentions a second point, so J. B. Phillips translated “I must begin by telling you….”
- Romans 1:9 tn Grk “whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel.”
- Romans 1:9 tn Grk “as.”
- Romans 1:10 tn Grk “remember you, always asking.”
- Romans 1:10 tn Grk “succeed in coming to you in the will of God.”
- Romans 1:11 sn Paul does not mean here that he is going to bestow upon the Roman believers what is commonly known as a “spiritual gift,” that is, a special enabling for service given to believers by the Holy Spirit. Instead, this is either a metonymy of cause for effect (Paul will use his own spiritual gifts to edify the Romans), or it simply means something akin to a blessing or benefit in the spiritual realm. It is possible that Paul uses this phrase to connote specifically the broader purpose of his letter, which is for the Romans to understand his gospel, but this seems less likely.
- Romans 1:12 tn Grk “that is, to be comforted together with you through the faith in one another.”
- Romans 1:13 sn The expression “I do not want you to be unaware [Grk ignorant]” also occurs in 1 Cor 10:1; 12:1; 1 Thess 4:13. Paul uses the phrase to signal that he is about to say something very important.
- Romans 1:13 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelphoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited).
- Romans 1:13 tn Grk “in order that I might have some fruit also among you just as also among the rest of the Gentiles.”
- Romans 1:14 tn Or “obligated.”
- Romans 1:15 tn Or “willing, ready”; Grk “so my eagerness [is] to preach…” The word πρόθυμος (prothumos, “eager, willing”) is used only elsewhere in the NT in Matt 26:41 = Mark 14:38: “the spirit indeed is willing (πρόθυμος), but the flesh is weak.”
- Romans 1:16 sn Here the Greek refers to anyone who is not Jewish.
- Romans 1:17 tn The nature of the “righteousness” described here and the force of the genitive θεοῦ (“of God”) which follows have been much debated. (1) Some (e.g. C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:98) understand “righteousness” to refer to the righteous status given to believers as a result of God’s justifying activity, and see the genitive “of God” as a genitive of source (= “from God”). (2) Others see the “righteousness” as God’s act or declaration that makes righteous (i.e., justifies) those who turn to him in faith, taking the genitive “of God” as a subjective genitive (see E. Käsemann, Romans, 25-30). (3) Still others see the “righteousness of God” mentioned here as the attribute of God himself, understanding the genitive “of God” as a possessive genitive (“God’s righteousness”).
- Romans 1:17 tn Grk “in it”; the referent (the gospel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 1:17 tn Or “by faith for faith,” or “by faith to faith.” There are many interpretations of the phrase ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν (ek pisteōs eis pistin). It may have the idea that this righteousness is obtained by faith (ἐκ πίστεως) because it was designed for faith (εἰς πίστιν). For a summary see J. Murray, Romans (NICNT), 1:363-74.
- Romans 1:17 sn A quotation from Hab 2:4.
- Romans 1:18 tn The genitive ἀνθρώπων could be taken as an attributed genitive, in which case the phrase should be translated “against all ungodly and unrighteous people” (cf. “the truth of God” in v. 25 which is also probably an attributed genitive). C. E. B. Cranfield takes the section 1:18-32 to refer to all people (not just Gentiles), while 2:1-3:20 points out that the Jew is no exception (Romans [ICC], 1:104-6; 1:137-38).
- Romans 1:18 tn “Their” is implied in the Greek, but is supplied because of English style.
- Romans 1:18 tn Or “by means of unrighteousness.” Grk “in (by) unrighteousness.”
- Romans 1:19 tn Grk “is manifest to/in them.”
- Romans 1:20 tn Grk “they”; the referent (people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 1:21 tn Grk “heart.”
- Romans 1:22 tn The participle φάσκοντες (phaskontes) is used concessively here.
- Romans 1:23 tn Grk “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God in likeness of an image of corruptible man.” Here there is a wordplay on the Greek terms ἄφθαρτος (aphthartos, “immortal, imperishable, incorruptible”) and φθαρτός (phthartos, “mortal, corruptible, subject to decay”).
- Romans 1:23 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 106:19-20.
- Romans 1:24 sn Possibly an allusion to Ps 81:12.
- Romans 1:24 tn Or “God delivered them up to the desires of their hearts for impurity.” It is possible that a technical, legal idiom is used here; if so, it would describe God delivering sinners up to a custodian for punishment (see R. Jewett, Romans [Hermeneia], 166-67). In this instance, then, sinners would be given over to their own desires for the express purpose of working more impurity.
- Romans 1:24 tn The genitive articular infinitive τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι (tou atimazesthai, “to dishonor”) has been taken as (1) an infinitive of purpose; (2) an infinitive of result; or (3) an epexegetical (i.e., explanatory) infinitive, expanding the previous clause.
- Romans 1:24 tn Grk “among them.”
- Romans 1:25 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 1:25 tn Grk “the lie.”
- Romans 1:25 tn Or “creature, created things.”
- Romans 1:26 tn Grk “for their females exchanged the natural function for that which is contrary to nature.” The term χρῆσις (chrēsis) has the force of “sexual relations” here (L&N 23.65).
- Romans 1:27 tn Grk “likewise so also the males abandoning the natural function of the female.”
- Romans 1:27 tn Grk “burned with intense desire” (L&N 25.16).
- Romans 1:27 tn Grk “another, men committing…and receiving,” continuing the description of their deeds. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 1:28 tn Grk “and just as they did not approve to have God in knowledge.”
- Romans 1:28 tn Grk “the things that are improper.”
- Romans 1:29 tn Grk “being filled” or “having been filled,” referring to those described in v. 28. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 1:29 tn Grk “malice, full of,” continuing the description. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 1:31 tn Or “promise-breakers.”
- Romans 1:32 tn Grk “who, knowing…, not only do them but also approve…” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 1:32 tn Grk “are worthy of death.”
- Romans 1:32 sn “Vice lists” like vv. 28-32 can be found elsewhere in the NT in Matt 15:19; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Tim 1:9-10; and 1 Pet 4:3. An example from the intertestamental period can be found in Wis 14:25-26.
- Romans 2:1 sn Rom 2:1-29 presents unusual difficulties for the interpreter. There have been several major approaches to the chapter and the group(s) it refers to: (1) Rom 2:14 refers to Gentile Christians, not Gentiles who obey the Jewish law. (2) Paul in Rom 2 is presenting a hypothetical viewpoint: If anyone could obey the law, that person would be justified, but no one can. (3) The reference to “the ones who do the law” in 2:13 are those who “do” the law in the right way, on the basis of faith, not according to Jewish legalism. (4) Rom 2:13 only speaks about Christians being judged in the future, along with such texts as Rom 14:10 and 2 Cor 5:10. (5) Paul’s material in Rom 2 is drawn heavily from Diaspora Judaism, so that the treatment of the law presented here cannot be harmonized with other things Paul says about the law elsewhere (E. P. Sanders, Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People, 123); another who sees Rom 2 as an example of Paul’s inconsistency in his treatment of the law is H. Räisänen, Paul and the Law [WUNT], 101-9. (6) The list of blessings and curses in Deut 27-30 provide the background for Rom 2; the Gentiles of 2:14 are Gentile Christians, but the condemnation of Jews in 2:17-24 addresses the failure of Jews as a nation to keep the law as a whole (A. Ito, “Romans 2: A Deuteronomistic Reading,” JSNT 59 : 21-37).
- Romans 2:1 tn Some interpreters (e.g., C. K. Barrett, Romans [HNTC], 43) connect the inferential Διό (dio, “therefore”) with 1:32a, treating 1:32b as a parenthetical comment by Paul.
- Romans 2:1 tn That is, “you have nothing to say in your own defense” (so translated by TCNT).
- Romans 2:1 tn Grk “O man.”
- Romans 2:1 tn Grk “Therefore, you are without excuse, O man, everyone [of you] who judges.”
- Romans 2:1 tn Grk “in/by (that) which.”
- Romans 2:2 tn Or “based on truth.”
- Romans 2:3 tn Grk “do you think this,” referring to the clause in v. 3b.
- Romans 2:3 tn Grk “O man, the one who judges.”
- Romans 2:3 tn Grk “and do them.” The other words are supplied to bring out the contrast implied in this clause.
- Romans 2:4 tn Grk “being unaware.”
- Romans 2:5 tn Grk “hardness.” Concerning this imagery, see Jer 4:4; Ezek 3:7; 1 En. 16:3.
- Romans 2:5 tn Grk “in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
- Romans 2:6 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 2:6 tn Or “will render,” “will recompense.” In this context Paul is setting up a hypothetical situation, not stating that salvation is by works.
- Romans 2:6 sn A quotation from Ps 62:12; Prov 24:12; a close approximation to Matt 16:27.
- Romans 2:8 tn This contrast is clearer and stronger in Greek than can be easily expressed in English.
- Romans 2:8 tn Grk “those who [are] from selfish ambition.”
- Romans 2:8 tn Grk “are persuaded by, obey.”
- Romans 2:9 tn No verb is expressed in this verse, but the verb “to be” is implied by the Greek construction. Literally “suffering and distress on everyone…”
- Romans 2:9 tn Grk “every soul of man.”
- Romans 2:9 sn Paul uses the term Greek here and in v. 10 to refer to non-Jews, i.e., Gentiles.
- Romans 2:10 tn Grk “but even,” to emphasize the contrast. The second word has been omitted since it is somewhat redundant in English idiom.
- Romans 2:12 sn This is the first occurrence of law (nomos) in Romans. Exactly what Paul means by the term has been the subject of much scholarly debate. According to J. A. Fitzmyer (Romans [AB], 131-35; 305-6) there are at least four different senses: (1) figurative, as a “principle”; (2) generic, meaning “a law”; (3) as a reference to the OT or some part of the OT; and (4) as a reference to the Mosaic law. This last usage constitutes the majority of Paul’s references to “law” in Romans.
- Romans 2:13 tn The Greek sentence expresses this contrast more succinctly than is possible in English. Grk “For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.”
- Romans 2:14 sn Gentile is a NT term for a non-Jew.
- Romans 2:14 tn Some (e.g. C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:135-37) take the phrase φύσει (phusei, “by nature”) to go with the preceding “do not have the law,” thus: “the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature,” that is, by virtue of not being born Jewish.
- Romans 2:14 tn Grk “do by nature the things of the law.”
- Romans 2:15 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 2:15 tn Grk “show the work of the law [to be] written,” with the words in brackets implied by the Greek construction.
- Romans 2:15 tn Or “excuse.”
- Romans 2:15 tn Grk “their conscience bearing witness and between the thoughts accusing or also defending one another.”
- Romans 2:16 tn The form of the Greek word is either present or future, but it is best to translate in future because of the context of future judgment.
- Romans 2:16 tn Grk “of people.”
- Romans 2:16 sn On my gospel cf. Rom 16:25; 2 Tim 2:8.
- Romans 2:17 sn The law refers to the Mosaic law, described mainly in the OT books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
- Romans 2:17 tn Grk “boast in God.” This may be an allusion to Jer 9:24.
- Romans 2:18 tn Grk “the will.”
- Romans 2:18 tn Grk “because of being instructed out of the law.”
- Romans 2:19 tn This verb is parallel to the verbs in vv. 17-18a, so it shares the conditional meaning even though the word “if” is not repeated.
- Romans 2:21 tn The structure of vv. 21-24 is difficult. Some take these verses as the apodosis of the conditional clauses (protases) in vv. 17-20; others see vv. 17-20 as an instance of anacoluthon (a broken off or incomplete construction).
- Romans 2:22 tn Or “detest.”
- Romans 2:24 sn A quotation from Isa 52:5.
- Romans 2:25 sn Circumcision refers to male circumcision as prescribed in the OT, which was given as a covenant to Abraham in Gen 17:10-14. Its importance for Judaism can hardly be overstated: According to J. D. G. Dunn (Romans [WBC], 1:120) it was the “single clearest distinguishing feature of the covenant people.” J. Marcus has suggested that the terms used for circumcision (περιτομή, peritomē) and uncircumcision (ἀκροβυστία, akrobustia) were probably derogatory slogans used by Jews and Gentiles to describe their opponents (“The Circumcision and the Uncircumcision in Rome,” NTS 35 : 77-80).
- Romans 2:25 tn This contrast is clearer and stronger in Greek than can be easily expressed in English.
- Romans 2:25 tn Grk “if you should be a transgressor of the law.”
- Romans 2:26 tn The Greek word φυλάσσω (phulassō, traditionally translated “keep”) in this context connotes preservation of and devotion to an object as well as obedience.
- Romans 2:27 tn Grk “the uncircumcision by nature.” The word “man” is supplied here to make clear that male circumcision (or uncircumcision) is in view.
- Romans 2:27 tn Grk “through,” but here the preposition seems to mean “(along) with,” “though provided with,” as BDAG 224 s.v. διά A.3.c indicates.
- Romans 2:27 tn Or “written code.”
- Romans 2:29 sn On circumcision is of the heart see Lev 26:41; Deut 10:16; Jer 4:4; Ezek 44:9.
- Romans 2:29 tn Some have taken the phrase ἐν πνεύματι (en pneumati, “by/in [the] S/spirit”) not as a reference to the Holy Spirit, but referring to circumcision as “spiritual and not literal” (RSV).
- Romans 2:29 tn Or “written code.”
- Romans 2:29 tn Grk “whose.” The relative pronoun has been replaced by the phrase “this person’s” and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started in the translation.
- Romans 3:2 tn Grk “much in every way.”
- Romans 3:2 tc ‡ Most witnesses (א A D2 33 M) have γάρ (gar) after μέν (men), though some significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses lack the conjunction (B D* G Ψ 81 365 1506 2464* latt). A few mss have γάρ, but not μέν (6 1739 1881). γάρ was frequently added by scribes as a clarifying conjunction, making it suspect here. NA28 has the γάρ in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.tn Grk “first indeed that.”
- Romans 3:2 tn Grk “they were.”
- Romans 3:2 tn The referent of λόγια (logia, “oracles”) has been variously understood: (1) BDAG 598 s.v. λόγιον takes the term to refer here to “God’s promises to the Jews”; (2) some have taken this to refer more narrowly to the national promises of messianic salvation given to Israel (so S. L. Johnson, Jr., “Studies in Romans: Part VII: The Jews and the Oracles of God,” BSac 130 : 245); (3) perhaps the most widespread interpretation sees the term as referring to the entire OT generally.
- Romans 3:4 tn Grk “every man,” but ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used in a generic sense here to stress humanity rather than masculinity.
- Romans 3:4 tn Grk “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” The words “proven” and “shown up” are supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning.
- Romans 3:4 tn Grk “might be justified,” a subjunctive verb, but in this type of clause it carries the same sense as the future indicative verb in the latter part. “Will” is more idiomatic in contemporary English.
- Romans 3:4 tn Or “prevail when you judge.” A quotation from Ps 51:4.
- Romans 3:5 tn Or “shows clearly.”
- Romans 3:5 sn The same expression occurs in Gal 3:15, and similar phrases in Rom 6:19 and 1 Cor 9:8.
- Romans 3:7 tn Grk “abounded unto.”
- Romans 3:8 tn Grk “(as we are slandered and some affirm that we say…).”
- Romans 3:8 tn Grk “whose.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, this relative clause was rendered as a new sentence in the translation.
- Romans 3:12 sn Verses 10-12 are a quotation from Ps 14:1-3.
- Romans 3:13 tn Grk “their throat is an opened grave.”
- Romans 3:13 sn A quotation from Pss 5:9; 140:3.
- Romans 3:14 tn Grk “whose mouth is.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 3:14 sn A quotation from Ps 10:7.
- Romans 3:17 sn Rom 3:15-17 is a quotation from Isa 59:7-8.
- Romans 3:18 sn A quotation from Ps 36:1.
- Romans 3:19 tn Grk “in,” “in connection with.”
- Romans 3:20 sn An allusion to Ps 143:2.
- Romans 3:20 tn Grk “because by the works of the law no flesh is justified before him.” Some recent scholars have understood the phrase ἒργα νόμου (erga nomou, “works of the law”) to refer not to obedience to the Mosaic law generally, but specifically to portions of the law that pertain to things like circumcision and dietary laws which set the Jewish people apart from the other nations (e.g., J. D. G. Dunn, Romans [WBC], 1:155). Other interpreters, like C. E. B. Cranfield (“‘The Works of the Law’ in the Epistle to the Romans,” JSNT 43 : 89-101) reject this narrow interpretation for a number of reasons, among which the most important are: (1) The second half of v. 20, “for through the law comes the knowledge of sin,” is hard to explain if the phrase “works of the law” is understood in a restricted sense; (2) the plural phrase “works of the law” would have to be understood in a different sense from the singular phrase “the work of the law” in 2:15; (3) similar phrases involving the law in Romans (2:13, 14; 2:25, 26, 27; 7:25; 8:4; and 13:8) which are naturally related to the phrase “works of the law” cannot be taken to refer to circumcision (in fact, in 2:25 circumcision is explicitly contrasted with keeping the law). Those interpreters who reject the “narrow” interpretation of “works of the law” understand the phrase to refer to obedience to the Mosaic law in general.
- Romans 3:20 tn Grk “is.”
- Romans 3:21 tn Νυνὶ δέ (Nuni de, “But now”) could be understood as either (1) logical or (2) temporal in force, but most recent interpreters take it as temporal, referring to a new phase in salvation history.
- Romans 3:21 tn Or “which is attested by the law and the prophets.”
- Romans 3:22 tn Or “faith in Christ.” A decision is difficult here. Though traditionally translated “faith in Jesus Christ,” an increasing number of NT scholars are arguing that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pistis Christou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in v. 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22; Eph 3:12; Phil 3:9) involve a subjective genitive and mean “Christ’s faith” or “Christ’s faithfulness” (cf., e.g., G. Howard, “The ‘Faith of Christ’,” ExpTim 85 : 212-15; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ,” NTS 35 : 321-42). Noteworthy among the arguments for the subjective genitive view is that when πίστις takes a personal genitive it is almost never an objective genitive (cf. Matt 9:2, 22, 29; Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:25, 48; 17:19; 18:42; 22:32; Rom 1:8; 12; 3:3; 4:5, 12, 16; 1 Cor 2:5; 15:14, 17; 2 Cor 10:15; Phil 2:17; Col 1:4; 2:5; 1 Thess 1:8; 3:2, 5, 10; 2 Thess 1:3; Titus 1:1; Phlm 6; 1 Pet 1:9, 21; 2 Pet 1:5). On the other hand, the objective genitive view has its adherents: A. Hultgren, “The Pistis Christou Formulations in Paul,” NovT 22 (1980): 248-63; J. D. G. Dunn, “Once More, ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” SBL Seminar Papers, 1991, 730-44. Most commentaries on Romans and Galatians usually side with the objective view.sn ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.
- Romans 3:24 tn Or “declared righteous.” Grk “being justified,” as a continuation of the preceding clause. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 3:25 tn Or “purposed, intended.”
- Romans 3:25 tn Grk “whom God publicly displayed.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 3:25 tn Grk “in his blood.” The prepositional phrase ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι (en tō autou haimati) is difficult to interpret. It is traditionally understood to refer to the atoning sacrifice Jesus made when he shed his blood on the cross, and as a modifier of ἱλαστήριον (hilastērion). This interpretation fits if ἱλαστήριον is taken to refer to a sacrifice. But if ἱλαστήριον is taken to refer to the place where atonement is made as this translation has done (see note on the phrase “mercy seat”), this interpretation of ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι creates a violent mixed metaphor. Within a few words Paul would switch from referring to Jesus as the place where atonement was made to referring to Jesus as the atoning sacrifice itself. A viable option which resolves this problem is to see ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι as modifying the verb προέθετο (proetheto). If it modifies the verb, it would explain the time or place in which God publicly displayed Jesus as the mercy seat; the reference to blood would be a metaphorical way of speaking of Jesus’ death. This is supported by the placement of ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι in the Greek text (it follows the noun, separated from it by another prepositional phrase) and by stylistic parallels with Rom 1:4. This is the interpretation the translation has followed, although it is recognized that many interpreters favor different options and translations. The prepositional phrase has been moved forward in the sentence to emphasize its connection with the verb, and the referent of the metaphorical language has been specified in the translation. For a detailed discussion of this interpretation, see D. P. Bailey, “Jesus As the Mercy Seat: The Semantics and Theology of Paul’s Use of Hilasterion in Romans 3:25” (Ph.D. diss., University of Cambridge, 1999).
- Romans 3:25 tn The word ἱλαστήριον (hilastērion) may carry the general sense “place of satisfaction,” referring to the place where God’s wrath toward sin is satisfied. More likely, though, it refers specifically to the “mercy seat,” i.e., the covering of the ark where the blood was sprinkled in the OT ritual on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This term is used only one other time in the NT: Heb 9:5, where it is rendered “mercy seat.” There it describes the altar in the most holy place (holy of holies). Thus Paul is saying that God displayed Jesus as the “mercy seat,” the place where propitiation was accomplished. See N. S. L. Fryer, “The Meaning and Translation of Hilasterion in Romans 3:25, ” EvQ 59 (1987): 99-116, who concludes the term is a neuter accusative substantive best translated “mercy seat” or “propitiatory covering,” and D. P. Bailey, “Jesus As the Mercy Seat: The Semantics and Theology of Paul’s Use of Hilasterion in Romans 3:25” (Ph.D. diss., University of Cambridge, 1999), who argues that this is a direct reference to the mercy seat which covered the ark of the covenant.
- Romans 3:25 tn The prepositional phrase διὰ πίστεως (dia pisteōs) here modifies the noun ἱλαστήριον (hilastērion). As such it forms a complete noun phrase and could be written as “mercy-seat-accessible-through-faith” to emphasize the singular idea. See Rom 1:4 for a similar construction. The word “accessible” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied to clarify the idea expressed by the prepositional phrase (cf. NRSV “effective through faith”).
- Romans 3:25 tn Grk “for a demonstration,” giving the purpose of God’s action in v. 25a. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 3:25 tn Grk “because of the passing over of sins previously committed in the forbearance of God.”
- Romans 3:26 tn The words “This was” have been repeated from the previous verse to clarify that this is a continuation of that thought. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 3:26 tn Grk “toward a demonstration,” repeating and expanding the purpose of God’s action in v. 25a.
- Romans 3:26 tn Or “righteous.”
- Romans 3:26 tn Or “of the one who has faith in Jesus.” See note on “faithfulness of Jesus Christ” in v. 22 for the rationale behind the translation “Jesus’ faithfulness.”
- Romans 3:27 tn Although a number of interpreters understand the “boasting” here to refer to Jewish boasting, others (e.g. C. E. B. Cranfield, “‘The Works of the Law’ in the Epistle to the Romans,” JSNT 43 : 96) take the phrase to refer to all human boasting before God.
- Romans 3:27 tn Grk “By what sort of law?”
- Romans 3:28 tn Here ἄνθρωπον (anthrōpon) is used in an indefinite and general sense (BDAG 81 s.v. ἄνθρωπος 4.a.γ).
- Romans 3:28 tn See the note on the phrase “works of the law” in Rom 3:20.
- Romans 3:30 tn Grk “but if indeed God is one.”
- Romans 3:31 tn Grk “render inoperative.”
- Romans 3:31 tn Grk “but” (Greek ἀλλά, alla).
- Romans 4:1 tn Or “according to natural descent” (BDAG 916 s.v. σάρξ 4).
- Romans 4:1 tn Grk “has found?”
- Romans 4:2 tn Or “was justified.”
- Romans 4:3 tn The term λογίζομαι (logizomai) occurs 11 times in this chapter (vv. 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 22, 23, 24). In secular usage it could (a) refer to deliberations of some sort, or (b) in commercial dealings (as virtually a technical term) to “reckoning” or “charging up a debt.” See H. W. Heidland, TDNT 4:284, 290-92.
- Romans 4:3 sn A quotation from Gen 15:6.
- Romans 4:4 tn Grk “not according to grace but according to obligation.”
- Romans 4:5 tn Or “who justifies the ungodly.”
- Romans 4:7 tn Or “Happy.”
- Romans 4:8 tn The word for “man” or “individual” here is ἀνήρ (anēr), which often means “male” or “man (as opposed to woman).” However, as BDAG 79 s.v. 2 says, here it is “equivalent to τὶς someone, a person.”
- Romans 4:8 tn The verb translated “count” here is λογίζομαι (logizomai). It occurs eight times in Rom 4:1-12, including here, each time with the sense of “place on someone’s account.” By itself the word is neutral, but in particular contexts it can take on a positive or negative connotation. The other occurrences of the verb have been translated using a form of the English verb “credit” because they refer to a positive event: the application of righteousness to the individual believer. The use here in v. 8 is negative: the application of sin. A form of the verb “credit” was not used here because of the positive connotations associated with that English word, but it is important to recognize that the same concept is used here as in the other occurrences.
- Romans 4:8 sn A quotation from Ps 32:1-2.
- Romans 4:9 tn Or “happiness.”
- Romans 4:9 tn Grk “upon.”
- Romans 4:9 sn See the note on “circumcision” in 2:25.
- Romans 4:9 tn Grk “upon.”
- Romans 4:9 sn A quotation from Gen 15:6.
- Romans 4:11 tn Grk “of the faith, the one [existing] in uncircumcision.”
- Romans 4:11 tn Grk “that he might be,” giving the purpose of v. 11a.
- Romans 4:11 tn Grk “through uncircumcision.”
- Romans 4:12 tn Grk “the father of circumcision.”
- Romans 4:12 tn Grk “the ‘in-uncircumcision faith’ of our father Abraham.”
- Romans 4:13 sn Although a singular noun, the promise is collective and does not refer only to Gen 12:7, but as D. Moo (Romans 1-8 [WEC], 279) points out, refers to multiple aspects of the promise to Abraham: multiplied descendants (Gen 12:2), possession of the land (Gen 13:15-17), and his becoming the vehicle of blessing to all people (Gen 12:3).
- Romans 4:14 tn Grk “rendered inoperative.”
- Romans 4:15 tn Or “violation.”
- Romans 4:16 tn Grk “that it might be according to grace.”
- Romans 4:16 tn Grk “those who are of the faith of Abraham.”
- Romans 4:17 tn Verses 16-17 comprise one sentence in Greek, but this has been divided into two sentences due to English requirements.sn A quotation from Gen 17:5. The quotation forms a parenthesis in Paul’s argument.
- Romans 4:17 tn The words “He is our father” are not in the Greek text but are supplied to show that they resume Paul’s argument from 16b. (It is also possible to supply “Abraham had faith” here [so REB], taking the relative clause [“who is the father of us all”] as part of the parenthesis, and making the connection back to “the faith of Abraham,” but such an option is not as likely [C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:243].)
- Romans 4:17 tn “The God” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity.
- Romans 4:17 tn Or “calls into existence the things that do not exist.” The translation of ὡς ὄντα (hōs onta) allows for two different interpretations. If it has the force of result, then creatio ex nihilo (“creation out of nothing,” a technical theological phrase) is in view and the variant rendering is to be accepted (so C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:244). A problem with this view is the scarcity of ὡς plus participle to indicate result (though for the telic idea with ὡς plus participle, cf. Rom 15:15; 1 Thess 2:4). If it has a comparative force, then the translation given in the text is to be accepted: “this interpretation fits the immediate context better than a reference to God’s creative power, for it explains the assurance with which God can speak of the ‘many nations’ that will be descended from Abraham” (D. Moo, Romans [NICNT], 282; so also W. Sanday and A. C. Headlam, Romans [ICC], 113). Further, this view is in line with a Pauline idiom, viz., verb followed by ὡς plus participle (of the same verb or, in certain contexts, its antonym) to compare present reality with what is not a present reality (cf. 1 Cor 4:7; 5:3; 7:29, 30 (three times), 31; Col 2:20 [similarly, 2 Cor 6:9, 10]).
- Romans 4:18 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 4:18 tn Grk “who against hope believed,” referring to Abraham. The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 4:18 sn A quotation from Gen 17:5.
- Romans 4:18 tn Grk “according to that which had been spoken.”
- Romans 4:18 sn A quotation from Gen 15:5.
- Romans 4:19 tc Most mss (D F G Ψ 33 1881 M it) read “he did not consider” by including the negative particle (οὐ, ou), but others (א A B C 6 81 365 1506 1739 co) lack οὐ. The reading which includes the negative particle probably represents a scribal attempt to exalt the faith of Abraham by making it appear that his faith was so strong that he did not even consider the physical facts. But “here Paul does not wish to imply that faith means closing one’s eyes to reality, but that Abraham was so strong in faith as to be undaunted by every consideration” (TCGNT 451). Both on external and internal grounds, the reading without the negative particle is preferred.
- Romans 4:19 tc ‡ Most witnesses (א A C D Ψ 33 M bo) have ἤδη (ēdē, “already”) at this point in v. 19. But B F G 630 1739 1881 lat sa lack it. Since it appears to heighten the style of the narrative and since there is no easy accounting for an accidental omission, it is best to regard the shorter text as autographic. NA28 includes the word in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.
- Romans 4:20 tn Grk “And he.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, δέ (de) has not been translated here.
- Romans 4:21 tn Grk “and being.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 4:21 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 4:22 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 4:23 tn A quotation from Gen 15:6.
- Romans 4:23 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 4:25 tn Grk “who,” referring to Jesus. The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 4:25 tn Or “handed over.” sn The verb translated given over (παραδίδωμι, paradidōmi) is also used in Rom 1:24, 26, 28 to describe God giving people over to sin. But it is also used frequently in the gospels to describe Jesus being handed over (or delivered up, betrayed) by sinful men for crucifixion (cf., e.g., Matt 26:21; 27:4; Mark 9:31; 10:33; 15:15; Luke 20:20; 22:24; 24:7). It is probable that Paul has both ideas in mind: Jesus was handed over by sinners, but even this betrayal was directed by the Father for our sake (because of our transgressions).
- Romans 4:25 tn Grk “because of.” However, in light of the unsatisfactory sense that a causal nuance would here suggest, it has been argued that the second διά (dia) is prospective rather than retrospective (D. Moo, Romans [NICNT], 288-89). The difficulty of this interpretation is the structural balance that both διά phrases provide (“given over because of our transgressions…raised because of our justification”). However the poetic structure of this verse strengthens the likelihood that the clauses each have a different force.
- Romans 4:25 sn Many scholars regard Rom 4:25 to be poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage.
- Romans 5:1 sn Many interpreters see Rom 5:1 as beginning the second major division of the letter.
- Romans 5:1 tc A number of significant witnesses have the subjunctive ἔχωμεν (echōmen, “let us have”) instead of ἔχομεν (echomen, “we have”) in v. 1. Included in the subjunctive’s support are א* A B* C D K L 33 81 630 1175 1739* pm lat bo. But the indicative is not without its supporters: א1 B2 F G P Ψ 0220vid 104 365 1241 1505 1506 1739c 1881 2464 pm. If the problem were to be solved on an external basis only, the subjunctive would be preferred. Because of this, the “A” rating on behalf of the indicative in the UBS5 appears overly confident. Nevertheless, the indicative is probably correct. First, the earliest witness to Rom 5:1 has the indicative (0220vid, third century). Second, the first set of correctors is sometimes, if not often, of equal importance with the original hand. Hence, א1 might be given equal value with א*. Third, there is a good cross-section of witnesses for the indicative: Alexandrian (in 0220vid, probably א1 1241 1506 1881 al), Western (in F G), and Byzantine (noted in NA28 as pm). Thus, although the external evidence is strongly in favor of the subjunctive, the indicative is represented well enough that its ancestry could easily go back to the autograph. Turning to the internal evidence, the indicative gains much ground. (1) The variant may have been produced via an error of hearing (since omicron and omega were pronounced alike in ancient Greek). This, of course, does not indicate which reading was the initial text—just that an error of hearing may have produced one of them. In light of the indecisiveness of the transcriptional evidence, intrinsic evidence could play a much larger role. This is indeed the case here. (2) The indicative fits well with the overall argument of the book to this point. Up until now, Paul has been establishing the “indicatives of the faith.” There is only one imperative (used rhetorically) and only one hortatory subjunctive (and this in a quotation within a diatribe) up till this point, while from ch. 6 on there are sixty-one imperatives and seven hortatory subjunctives. Clearly, an exhortation would be out of place in ch. 5. (3) Paul presupposes that the audience has peace with God (via reconciliation) in 5:10. This seems to assume the indicative in v. 1. (4) As C. E. B. Cranfield notes, “it would surely be strange for Paul, in such a carefully argued writing as this, to exhort his readers to enjoy or to guard a peace which he has not yet explicitly shown to be possessed by them” (Romans [ICC], 1:257). (5) The notion that εἰρήνην ἔχωμεν (eirēnēn echōmen) can even naturally mean “enjoy peace” is problematic (ExSyn 464), yet those who embrace the subjunctive have to give the verb some such force. Thus, although the external evidence is stronger in support of the subjunctive, the internal evidence points to the indicative. Although a decision is difficult, ἔχομεν appears to be the authentic reading.
- Romans 5:2 tc ‡ There is some dispute over whether τῇ πίστει is here or not. Several decent witnesses lack the words (B D F G 0220 sa Ambst) while they are found (with ἐν preceding the article in some) in other witnesses, some of which are very good (א [+ ἐν in א1; lacking in א*, omitted in אc] A [also with ἐν] C Ψ 33 1739 1881 lat). On balance, the shorter reading has stronger external witnesses. As well, (ἐν) τῇ πίστει strikes the reader as mildly redundant and certainly as a clarification. As such, it seems to be a motivated reading. It is thus best to delete the words from the text.
- Romans 5:2 tn Or “exult, boast.”
- Romans 5:3 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
- Romans 5:5 tn The phrase ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ (hē agapē tou theou, “the love of God”) could be interpreted as either an objective genitive (“our love for God”), subjective genitive (“God’s love for us”), or both (M. Zerwick’s “general” genitive [Biblical Greek, §§36-39]; D. B. Wallace’s “plenary” genitive [ExSyn 119-21]). The immediate context, which discusses what God has done for believers, favors a subjective genitive, but the fact that this love is poured out within the hearts of believers implies that it may be the source for believers’ love for God; consequently an objective genitive cannot be ruled out. It is possible that both these ideas are meant in the text and that this is a plenary genitive: “The love that comes from God and that produces our love for God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (ExSyn 121).
- Romans 5:5 sn On the OT background of the Spirit being poured out, see Isa 32:15; Joel 2:28-29.
- Romans 5:7 sn Verse 7 forms something of a parenthetical comment in Paul’s argument.
- Romans 5:9 tn Grk “having now been declared righteous.” The participle δικαιωθέντες (dikaiōthentes) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.
- Romans 5:9 tn Or, according to BDF §219.3, “at the price of his blood.”
- Romans 5:9 tn Grk “the wrath,” referring to God’s wrath as v. 10 shows.
- Romans 5:11 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
- Romans 5:11 tn Or “exult, boast.”
- Romans 5:12 tn Here ἀνθρώπους (anthrōpous) has been translated as a generic (“people”) since both men and women are clearly intended in this context.
- Romans 5:12 tn The translation of the phrase ἐφ᾿ ᾧ (eph hō) has been heavily debated. For a discussion of all the possibilities, see C. E. B. Cranfield, “On Some of the Problems in the Interpretation of Romans 5.12,” SJT 22 (1969): 324-41. Only a few of the major options can be mentioned here: (1) the phrase can be taken as a relative clause in which the pronoun refers to Adam, “death spread to all people in whom [Adam] all sinned.” (2) The phrase can be taken with consecutive (resultative) force, meaning “death spread to all people with the result that all sinned.” (3) Others take the phrase as causal in force: “death spread to all people because all sinned.”
- Romans 5:13 tn Grk “for before the law.”
- Romans 5:13 tn Or “sin is not reckoned.”
- Romans 5:14 tn Or “pattern.”
- Romans 5:14 tn Or “disobeyed”; Grk “in the likeness of Adam’s transgression.”
- Romans 5:15 tn Grk “but not as the transgression, so also [is] the gracious gift.”
- Romans 5:15 sn Here the one man refers to Adam (cf. 5:14).
- Romans 5:16 tn Grk “and not as through the one who sinned [is] the gift.”
- Romans 5:16 tn The word “transgression” is not in the Greek text at this point, but has been supplied for clarity.
- Romans 5:16 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.
- Romans 5:16 tn Or “falls, trespasses,” the same word used in vv. 15, 17, 18, 20.
- Romans 5:17 sn Here the one man refers to Adam (cf. 5:14).
- Romans 5:18 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.
- Romans 5:18 tn Grk “[it is] unto condemnation for all people.”
- Romans 5:18 tn Here ἀνθρώπους (anthrōpous) has been translated as a generic (“people”) since both men and women are clearly intended in this context.
- Romans 5:18 tn There are no verbs in the Greek text of v. 18, forcing translators to supply phrases like “came through one transgression,” “resulted from one transgression,” etc.
- Romans 5:18 sn One transgression refers to the sin of Adam in Gen 3:1-24.
- Romans 5:18 sn The one righteous act refers to Jesus’ death on the cross.
- Romans 5:18 tn Grk “righteousness of life.”
- Romans 5:19 sn Here the one man refers to Adam (cf. 5:14).
- Romans 5:19 tn Grk “the many.”
- Romans 5:19 sn One man refers here to Jesus Christ.
- Romans 5:19 tn Grk “the many.”
- Romans 5:20 tn Grk “slipped in.”
- Romans 5:20 tn Or “trespass.”
- Romans 6:4 tn Grk “may walk in newness of life,” in which ζωῆς (zōēs) functions as an attributed genitive (see ExSyn 89-90, where this verse is given as a prime example).
- Romans 6:5 tn Grk “we will certainly also of his resurrection.”
- Romans 6:6 tn Grk “knowing this, that.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 6:6 tn Grk “may be rendered ineffective, inoperative,” or possibly “may be destroyed.” The term καταργέω (katargeō) has various nuances. In Rom 7:2 the wife whose husband has died is freed from the law (i.e., the law of marriage no longer has any power over her, in spite of what she may feel). A similar point seems to be made here (note v. 7).
- Romans 6:7 sn Verse 7 forms something of a parenthetical comment in Paul’s argument.
- Romans 6:9 tn Grk “knowing.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Romans 6:9 tn The present tense here has been translated as a futuristic present (see ExSyn 536, where this verse is listed as an example).
- Romans 6:11 tc ‡ Some Alexandrian and Byzantine mss (P94vid א* B C 81 365 1506 1739 1881) have the infinitive “to be” (εἶναι, einai) following “yourselves”. The infinitive is lacking from some mss of the Alexandrian and Western textual clusters (P46vid A D*,c F G 33). The infinitive is found elsewhere in the majority of Byzantine mss, suggesting a scribal tendency toward clarification. The lack of infinitive best explains the rise of the other readings. The meaning of the passage is not significantly altered by inclusion or omission, but on internal grounds omission is more likely. NA28 includes the infinitive in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.
- Romans 6:11 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.
- Romans 6:13 tn Or “weapons, tools.”
- Romans 6:13 tn Or “wickedness, injustice.”
- Romans 6:13 tn Or “weapons, tools.”
- Romans 6:16 tn Grk “to whom you present yourselves.”
- Romans 6:16 tn Grk “as slaves for obedience.” See the note on the word “slave” in 1:1.
- Romans 6:16 tn Grk “either of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness.”
- Romans 6:17 tn Grk “you were slaves of sin but you obeyed.”
- Romans 6:17 tn Or “type, form.”
- Romans 6:19 tn Or “because of your natural limitations” (NRSV). sn Verse 19 forms something of a parenthetical comment in Paul’s argument.
- Romans 6:21 tn Grk “fruit.”
- Romans 6:21 tn Grk “have,” in a tense emphasizing their customary condition in the past.
- Romans 6:22 tn The two aorist participles translated “freed” and “enslaved” are causal in force; their full force is something like “But now, since you have become freed from sin and since you have become enslaved to God….”
- Romans 6:22 tn Grk “fruit.”
- Romans 6:23 tn A figurative extension of ὀψώνιον (opsōnion), which refers to a soldier’s pay or wages. Here it refers to the end result of an activity, seen as something one receives back in return. In this case the activity is sin, and the translation “payoff” captures this thought. See also L&N 89.42.
- Romans 7:1 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.
- Romans 7:1 sn Here person refers to a human being.
- Romans 7:2 tn Grk “the,” with the article used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
- Romans 7:2 tn Grk “husband.”sn Paul’s example of the married woman and the law of the marriage illustrates that death frees a person from obligation to the law. Thus, in spiritual terms, a person who has died to what controlled us (v. 6) has been released from the law to serve God in the new life produced by the Spirit.
- Romans 7:3 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.
- Romans 7:3 tn Grk “the,” with the article used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
- Romans 7:4 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.
- Romans 7:4 tn Grk “that we might bear fruit to God.”
- Romans 7:5 tn That is, before we were in Christ.
- Romans 7:5 tn Or “sinful passions.”
- Romans 7:5 tn Grk “our members”; the words “of our body” have been supplied to clarify the meaning.
- Romans 7:6 tn Grk “having died.” The participle ἀποθανόντες (apothanontes) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.
- Romans 7:6 tn Grk “in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”
- Romans 7:7 sn Romans 7:7-25. There has been an enormous debate over the significance of the first person singular pronouns (“I”) in this passage and how to understand their referent. Did Paul intend (1) a reference to himself and other Christians too; (2) a reference to his own pre-Christian experience as a Jew, struggling with the law and sin (and thus addressing his fellow countrymen as Jews); or (3) a reference to himself as a child of Adam, reflecting the experience of Adam that is shared by both Jews and Gentiles alike (i.e., all people everywhere)? Good arguments can be assembled for each of these views, and each has problems dealing with specific statements in the passage. The classic argument against an autobiographical interpretation was made by W. G. Kümmel, Römer 7 und die Bekehrung des Paulus. A good case for seeing at least an autobiographical element in the chapter has been made by G. Theissen, Psychologische Aspekte paulinischer Theologie [FRLANT], 181-268. One major point that seems to favor some sort of an autobiographical reading of these verses is the lack of any mention of the Holy Spirit for empowerment in the struggle described in Rom 7:7-25. The Spirit is mentioned beginning in 8:1 as the solution to the problem of the struggle with sin (8:4-6, 9).
- Romans 7:7 tn Grk “I would not have known covetousness.”
- Romans 7:7 sn A quotation from Exod 20:17 and Deut 5:21.
- Romans 7:8 tn Or “covetousness.”
- Romans 7:10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “So” to indicate the result of the statement in the previous verse. Greek style often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” but English style generally does not.
- Romans 7:10 tn Grk “and there was found in/for me the commandment which was for life—this was for death.”
- Romans 7:11 tn Or “and through it killed me.”
- Romans 7:14 tn Grk “under sin.”
- Romans 7:15 tn Grk “but what I hate, this I do.”
- Romans 7:16 tn Grk “I agree with the law that it is good.”
- Romans 7:18 tn Grk “For to wish is present in/with me, but not to do it.”
- Romans 7:25 tc ‡ Most mss (א* A 1739 1881 M sy) read “I give thanks to God” rather than “Now thanks be to God” (א1 [B] Ψ 33 81 104 365 1506), the reading of NA28. The reading with the verb (εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ, eucharistō tō theō) possibly arose from a transcriptional error in which several letters were doubled (TCGNT 455). The conjunction δέ (de, “now”) is included in some mss as well (א1 Ψ 33 81 104 365 1506), but it should probably not be considered original. The ms support for the omission of δέ is both excellent and widespread (א* A B D 1739 1881 M lat sy), and its addition can be explained as an insertion to smooth out the transition between v. 24 and 25.
- Romans 7:25 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.
- Romans 7:25 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.
- Romans 7:25 tn The words “I serve” have been repeated here for clarity.
- Romans 8:1 tc The earliest and best witnesses of the Alexandrian and Western texts, as well as a few others (א* B D* F G 6 1506 1739 1881 co), have no additional words for v. 1. Later scribes (A D1 Ψ 81 365 629 vg) added the words μὴ κατὰ σάρκα περιπατοῦσιν (mē kata sarka peripatousin, “who do not walk according to the flesh”), while even later ones (א2 D2 33vid M) added ἀλλὰ κατὰ πνεῦμα (alla kata pneuma, “but [who do walk] according to the Spirit”). Both the external evidence and the internal evidence are compelling for the shortest reading. The scribes were evidently motivated to add such qualifications (interpolated from v. 4) to insulate Paul’s gospel from charges that it was characterized too much by grace. The KJV follows the longest reading found in M.
- Romans 8:2 tn Grk “for the law of the Spirit of life.”
- Romans 8:2 tc Most mss read the first person singular pronoun με (me) here (A D 1175 1241 1505 1739c 1881 2464 M lat sa). The second person singular pronoun σε (se) is superior because of external support (א B (F: σαι) G 1506* 1739*) and internal support (it is the harder reading since ch. 7 was narrated in the first person). At the same time, it could have arisen via dittography from the final syllable of the verb preceding it (ἠλευθέρωσεν, ēleutherōsen; “has set free”). But for this to happen in such early and diverse witnesses is unlikely, especially as it depends on various scribes repeatedly overlooking either the nu or the nu-bar at the end of the verb.
- Romans 8:3 tn Grk “in that.”
- Romans 8:5 tn Grk “think on” or “are intent on” (twice in this verse). What is in view here is not primarily preoccupation, however, but worldview. Translations like “set their mind on” could be misunderstood by the typical English reader to refer exclusively to preoccupation.
- Romans 8:6 tn Or “mindset,” “way of thinking” (twice in this verse and once in v. 7). The Greek term φρόνημα does not refer to one’s mind, but to one’s outlook or mindset.
- Romans 8:9 tn Or “are not controlled by the flesh but by the Spirit.”
- Romans 8:10 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.
- Romans 8:10 tn Or “life-giving.” Grk “the Spirit is life.”
- Romans 8:11 sn The one who raised Jesus from the dead refers to God (also in the following clause).
- Romans 8:11 tc Several mss read ᾿Ιησοῦν (Iēsoun, “Jesus”) after Χριστόν (Christon, “Christ”; א* A D* 630 1506 1739 1881 bo); C 81 104 lat have ᾿Ιησοῦν Χριστόν. The shorter reading is more likely to be autographic, though, both because of external evidence (א2 B D2 F G Ψ 33 1175 1241 1505 2464 M sa) and internal evidence (scribes were much more likely to add the name “Jesus” if it were lacking than to remove it if it were already present in the text, especially to harmonize with the earlier mention of Jesus in the verse).
- Romans 8:11 tc Most mss (B D F G Ψ 33 1175 1241 1739 1881 M lat) have διά (dia) followed by the accusative: “because of his Spirit who lives in you.” The genitive “through his Spirit” is supported by א A C 81 104 1505 1506 al, and is slightly preferred.
- Romans 8:12 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.
- Romans 8:12 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.
- Romans 8:13 tn Grk “are about to, are certainly going to.”
- Romans 8:13 sn This remark is parenthetical to Paul’s argument.
- Romans 8:14 tn Grk “For as many as are being led by the Spirit of God, these are.”
- Romans 8:15 tn Grk “slavery again to fear.”
- Romans 8:15 tn The Greek term υἱοθεσία (huiothesia) was originally a legal technical term for adoption as a son with full rights of inheritance. BDAG 1024 s.v. notes, “a legal t.t. of ‘adoption’ of children, in our lit., i.e. in Paul, only in a transferred sense of a transcendent filial relationship between God and humans (with the legal aspect, not gender specificity, as major semantic component).”
- Romans 8:15 tn Or “in that.”
- Romans 8:15 tn The term “Abba” is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic אַבָּא (’abba’), literally meaning “my father” but taken over simply as “father,” used in prayer and in the family circle, and later taken over by the early Greek-speaking Christians (BDAG 1 s.v. ἀββα).sn This Aramaic word is found three times in the New Testament (Mark 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6), and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated “father.” It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. It has no perfect equivalent in English. It has passed into European languages as an ecclesiastical term, “abbot.” Over the past fifty years a lot has been written about this term and Jesus’ use of it. Joachim Jeremias argued that Jesus routinely addressed God using this Aramaic word, and he also noted this was a “child’s word,” leading many to conclude its modern equivalent was “Daddy.” This conclusion Jeremias soon modified (the term on occasion is used of an adult son addressing his father) but the simplistic equation of abba with “Daddy” is still heard in some circles today. Nevertheless, the term does express a high degree of closeness with reverence, and in addition to the family circle could be used by disciples of a much loved and revered teacher.
- Romans 8:16 tn Or possibly “with.” ExSyn 160-61, however, notes the following: “At issue, grammatically, is whether the Spirit testifies alongside of our spirit (dat. of association), or whether he testifies to our spirit (indirect object) that we are God’s children. If the former, the one receiving this testimony is unstated (is it God? or believers?). If the latter, the believer receives the testimony and hence is assured of salvation via the inner witness of the Spirit. The first view has the advantage of a σύν- (sun-) prefixed verb, which might be expected to take an accompanying dat. of association (and is supported by NEB, JB, etc.). But there are three reasons why πνεύματι (pneumati) should not be taken as association: (1) Grammatically, a dat. with a σύν- prefixed verb does not necessarily indicate association. This, of course, does not preclude such here, but this fact at least opens up the alternatives in this text. (2) Lexically, though συμμαρτυρέω (summartureō) originally bore an associative idea, it developed in the direction of merely intensifying μαρτυρέω (martureō). This is surely the case in the only other NT text with a dat. (Rom 9:1). (3) Contextually, a dat. of association does not seem to support Paul’s argument: ‘What standing has our spirit in this matter? Of itself it surely has no right at all to testify to our being sons of God’ [C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:403]. In sum, Rom 8:16 seems to be secure as a text in which the believer’s assurance of salvation is based on the inner witness of the Spirit. The implications of this for one’s soteriology are profound: The objective data, as helpful as they are, cannot by themselves provide assurance of salvation; the believer also needs (and receives) an existential, ongoing encounter with God’s Spirit in order to gain that familial comfort.”
- Romans 8:17 tn Grk “on the one hand, heirs of God; on the other hand, fellow heirs with Christ.” Some prefer to render v. 17 as follows: “And if children, then heirs—that is, heirs of God. Also fellow heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.” Such a translation suggests two distinct inheritances, one coming to all of God’s children, the other coming only to those who suffer with Christ. The difficulty of this view, however, is that it ignores the correlative conjunctions μέν…δέ (men…de, “on the one hand…on the other hand”): The construction strongly suggests that the inheritances cannot be separated since both explain “then heirs.” For this reason, the preferred translation puts this explanation in parentheses.
- Romans 8:18 tn Grk “are not worthy [to be compared].”
- Romans 8:20 tn Grk “because of the one”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 8:23 tn Or “who have the Spirit as firstfruits.” The genitive πνεύματος (pneumatos) can be understood here as possessive (“the firstfruits belonging to the Spirit”) although it is much more likely that this is a genitive of apposition (“the firstfruits, namely, the Spirit”); cf. TEV, NLT.
- Romans 8:23 tn See the note on “adoption” in v. 15.
- Romans 8:23 tn Grk “body.”
- Romans 8:25 tn Or “perseverance.”
- Romans 8:26 tn Or “for we do not know what we ought to pray for.”
- Romans 8:27 sn He refers to God here; Paul has not specifically identified him for the sake of rhetorical power (for by leaving the subject slightly ambiguous, he draws his audience into seeing God’s hand in places where he is not explicitly mentioned).
- Romans 8:27 tn Grk “he,” or “it”; the referent (the Spirit) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 8:28 tc ὁ θεός (ho theos, “God”) is found after the verb συνεργεῖ (sunergei, “work”) in v. 28 in P46 A B 81 sa; the shorter reading is found in א C D F G Ψ 33 1175 1241 1505 1739 1881 2464 M latt sy bo. Although the inclusion is supported by a significant early papyrus, the alliance of significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses favors the shorter reading. As well, the longer reading is evidently motivated by a need for clarification. Since ὁ θεός is textually suspect, it is better to read the text without it. This leaves two good translational options: either “he works all things together for good” or “all things work together for good.” In the first instance the subject is embedded in the verb and “God” is clearly implied (as in v. 29). In the second instance, πάντα (panta) becomes the subject of an intransitive verb. In either case, “What is expressed is a truly biblical confidence in the sovereignty of God” (C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:427).
- Romans 8:29 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God’s Son) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Romans 8:29 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.
- Romans 8:32 tn Grk “[he] who.” The relative clause continues the question of v. 31 in a way that is awkward in English. The force of v. 32 is thus: “who indeed did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—How will he not also with him give us all things?”
- Romans 8:33 sn An allusion to Isa 50:8 where the reference is singular; Paul applies this to all believers (“God’s elect” is plural here).
- Romans 8:34 tc ‡ A number of significant and early witnesses, along with several others (P46vid א A C F G L Ψ 6 33 81 104 365 1505 al lat bo), read ᾿Ιησοῦς (Iēsous, “Jesus”) after Χριστός (Christos, “Christ”) in v. 34. But the shorter reading is not unrepresented (B D 0289 1175 1241 1739 1881 M sa). Once ᾿Ιησοῦς got into the text, what scribe would omit it? Although the external evidence is on the side of the longer reading, internally such an expansion seems suspect. The shorter reading is thus preferred. NA28 has the word in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.tn Grk “who also.”
- Romans 8:35 tn Here “sword” is a metonymy that includes both threats of violence and acts of violence, even including death (although death is not necessarily the only thing in view here).
- Romans 8:36 sn A quotation from Ps 44:22.
- Romans 8:37 tn BDAG 1034 s.v. ὑπερνικάω states, “as a heightened form of νικᾶν prevail completely ὑπερνικῶμεν we are winning a most glorious victory Ro 8:37.”
- Romans 8:37 tn Here the referent could be either God or Christ, but in v. 39 it is God’s love that is mentioned.
- Romans 8:38 tn BDAG 138 s.v. ἀρχή 6 takes this term as a reference to angelic or transcendent powers (as opposed to merely human rulers). To clarify this, the adjective “heavenly” has been supplied in the translation. Some interpreters see this as a reference to fallen angels or demonic powers, and this view is reflected in some recent translations (NIV, NLT).