To The Romans

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Excerpt from my 2004 translation of Paul’s letter to the Romans.

My 2012 translation of John’s first epistle begins at John A.

My 2015 translation of John’s second epistle begins at John B.

My 2015 translation of John’s third epistle begins at John Γ.

My 2015 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, which begins at To The Thessalonians A.

My 2004 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Korinthians begins at And Now For Something Completely Different….

My 2004 translation of Mark’s gospel begins at Mark 1.

My 2004 translation of John’s gospel begins at Start With John, along with a brief explanation of my interpretive approach.

To The Romans

1 1 Paul, servant of Christ Jesus, chosen apostle, marked out for the gospel of god, 2 which was promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures 3 concerning his son, who was begotten of the seed of David by family [κατα σαρκα], 4 defined as the son of god by power, resurrected from death by the holy spirit, Jesus Christ our lord, 5 on account of whom we received mercy and apostleship in obedience of faith, among all the nations in behalf of his name, 6 in which also you are called by Jesus Christ,

7 to all those in Rome, beloved of god, chosen saints, grace to you and peace from god our father and [our] lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my god through Jesus Christ concerning all of you, that your faith is being proclaimed in the whole world. 9 For god is my witness, by whom I am bound in my spirit to the gospel of his son, as unceasingly I make remembrance of you 10 always in my prayers, requesting if somehow, at some point [ηδη ποτε, ‘yet then’] I might be given free passage [or ‘fair voyage’] by the will of god to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, so that I might share with you some gifts of the spirit so that you might be firmly rooted, 12 and this is so that I might be comforted together with you through the faith among us, between you and me.

13 I do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, because for while I often proposed to come to you so that I might have some [spiritual] fruit also with you, just as [there is/I have] among the rest of the nations, but I was prevented up to now. 14 And so, to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, to the wise and to fools I am a debtor, and 15 so far as I am concerned, I am willing to proclaim the gospel also to you [who are] in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of god to save all who believe, the Judean first and [then] the Greek. 17 For in it [the gospel] the justice of god is revealed by faith [εκ] for faith [εις], as it is written, “And the righteous shall live by [εκ] faith.” [Hab 2:4] 18 For the wrath of god is being revealed from heaven against all profanity and injustice of men who are blinded [κατεχω] to the truth by injustice, 19 since the knowledge of god is manifest among them; for god has openly shown [it] to them. 20 For his unseen qualities have been observable by reason [νοούμενα, ‘pure intelligence’] from the things made in the creation of the universe, which qualities [τε] [are] his amazing [awful] power and divinity, to the end that they are without excuse, 21 since knowing god, not as to god did they honour or give thanks, but rather they were foolish in their reasoning and their clueless [ασυνετος] hearts were darkened.

22 Pretending [φασκοντες] to be wise they were made fools 23 and they exchanged the indestructible glory of god for iconic images of destructible men and birds and four-footed beasts and snakes. [cf. Jer 2:11] 24 Therefore god gave them over to impurity by the lusts of their hearts whereby they dishonoured their bodies among themselves; 25 they exchanged the truth of god for a lie and they dreaded and were enslaved by the ‘creature’ before [‘in the presence of’] the creator, who is blessed forever, amen.

26 Because of this god gave them over to suffer dishonour, and these [dishonours, dishonourable practices] by free will exchanged their natural ‘use’ for that which [is] against nature, 27 and likewise the men, forsaking the ‘natural use’ by free will were poured forth in vain, lavish squander in their desire for one another, men with men, performing inappropriate [acts] and receiving in themselves [or ‘among themselves’] what is due recompense for their error [πλανης]. [It seems pretty obvious, in view of vss 22-25, that Paul is speaking here about idolatrous cultic practices in the many different religions that were being practiced in Rome at the time, and not about social mores in general. Further, I believe Paul is most concerned here about truth, not sex, and his argument goes to the point that worshipping God with sex, which is the cultus of fertility underlying these practices, is not true worship of the true God, who is not pleased by idolatry or any of the “offerings” that go along with it. Paul  is teaching that Christianity is not a fertility cult,  and beyond that, he seems to indicate his opinion that some of the fertility cults are absolutely ludicrous because they aren’t even really about fertility.]

28 And just as they did not approve of having god in full knowledge, god gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are not appropriate, 29 being filled with all injustice, perversion, greedy covetousness, cowardly wickedness, full of grudging envy, bloody murderousness, rivalry, cunning deceitful treachery, maliciousness, whispering slander, 30 evil gossip, hating god, hubris [outrageous violence], extravagant arrogance, false pretentiousness, evil lies [‘inventions’], parenting disobedience, 31 stupid, faithless [or ‘untrustworthy’], heartlessly unaffectionate, merciless; 32 such ones, knowing the justice of god, that the things they are doing are worthy of death, not only doing them but also consenting with pleasure in the doing.

@gamiliel on Instagram

This translation was taken from The Greek New Testament, Kurt Aland, et. al. eds., Third Edition (corrected), United Bible Societies, (in cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Münster/Westphalia, Printed in West Germany by Biblia-Druck GmbH Stuttgart),1983.

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