J.B. Phillips New Testament
How Israel has missed the way
10 1-4 My brothers, from the bottom of my heart I long and pray to God that Israel may be saved! I know from experience what a passion for God they have, but alas, it is not a passion based on knowledge. They do not know God’s righteousness, and all the time they are going about trying to prove their own righteousness they have the wrong attitude to receive his. For Christ means the end of the struggle for righteousness-by-the-Law for everyone who believes in him.
5-8a Moses writes of righteousness-by-the-Law when he says that ‘the man who does those things shall live by them’—which is theoretically right but impossible in practice. But righteousness-by-faith says something like this: ‘Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?’ to bring Christ down to us, or ‘who will descend into the abyss’ to bring him up from the dead? ‘The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart’.
8b-11 It is the secret of faith, which is the burden of our preaching, and it says, in effect, “If you openly admit by your own mouth that Jesus Christ is the Lord, and if you believe in your own heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” For it is believing in the heart that makes a man righteous before God, and it is stating his belief by his own mouth that confirms his salvation. And the scripture says: ‘Whoever believes on him will not be put to shame’.
12-13 And that “whoever” means anyone, without distinction between Jew or Greek. For all have the same Lord, whose boundless resources are available to all who turn to him in faith. For: ‘Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’.
Can we offer the excuse of ignorance on Israel’s behalf?
14-15 Now how can they call on one in whom they have never believed? How can they believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how can they hear unless someone proclaims him? And who will go to tell them unless he is sent? As the scripture puts it: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’
16 Yet all who have heard have not responded to the Gospel. Isaiah asks, you remember, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’
17 (Belief you see, can only come from hearing the message, and the message is the word of Christ.)
18 But when I ask myself: “Did they never hear?” I have to answer that they have heard, for ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their word to the ends of the world’.
19 Then I say to myself: “Did Israel not know?” And my answer must be that they did. For Moses says: ‘I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation. I will anger you by a foolish nation’.
20 And Isaiah, more daring still, puts these words into the mouth of God: ‘I was found by those who did not seek me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for me’.
21 And then, speaking of Israel: ‘All day long I have stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people’.