Romans 11


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Excerpt from my 2004 translation of Paul’s letter to The Romans, which begins at 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.

11 1 Therefore, I say, god did not reject his people [p46 ‘chosen,’ κληρονομιαν] did he? Of course not! For I am also an Israelite, of the seed of Abraam, tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know in Elia what the scripture says, who interceded to god against Israel? 3 [He said] “Lord, they killed your prophets, your altars they demolished, and I alone remain and they are seeking my life.” [1K 19:10,14] 4 But what did the divine response say to him? “I left behind for myself seven thousand men who did not bend a knee to Baal.” [1K 19:10, 14]

5 Thus, therefore, also at the present time there has been generated a remnant according to the election of favour [‘grace’]; 6 so if by favour, no longer by works [‘actions’], since favour would no longer be favour. 7 What then [shall I say]? What Israel seeks, this she did not attain, but the election she [did] attain; but the remainder were petrified [‘hardened,’ ‘turned to stone’], 8 exactly as it is written,

God gave them a spirit of deep slumber
eyes [which] did not see
and ears [which] did not hear,
so that the day [might be] today.
[Dt 29:4; Is 29:10]

9 and David says,

Their table [or ‘hospitality’] I will make into [γενηθητω] a trap and into a hunt and into a scandalous [affair] and into a requital for them, 10 their eyes were darkened [or, ‘let their eyes be darkened’] [so as] not to see and their backs [be] bent because of all this. [Ps 69:22-23; 35:8]

11 Therefore I say, they did not stumble in order to fall, did they? Of course not! Rather, their falling [is] salvation for the nations for the provocation of their jealousy [εις το παραζηλωσαι αυτος]. 12 But if their falling [is] wealth for the world [‘universe’] and their defeat [ηττημα fr. ησσαομαι] [is] wealth for the nations, how much more [will be] their fulfillment.

13 So I say to you nations, insofar as indeed [μενουν] I myself am an apostle of nations, I accredit as my duty [that] 14 if somehow I might provoke my ‘family’ [σαρκα, ‘flesh’] and save some of them. 15 For if their loss [is] reconciliation for the world, what [will be] [their] taking hold if not life from death? 16 And if the first part of the sacrifice [is] holy, also the dough [is holy]; and if the root [is] holy, so also the branch.

17 Now, if some of the branches were broken off, and you being a wild olive [branch] were grafted into them and [you became] joint partakers in the richness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against [‘exult over’] the [other] branches; for if [conversely] you should boast [keep in mind that] [it is] not you supporting the root but rather the root [supports] you. 19 You should say therefore, “[those] branches were broken off so that I might be engrafted.

20 To sum up [καλως, ‘in a nutshell, then’], by faithlessness they were broken off, but you by faith have stood. Do not be ‘pride-minded’ but [rather] be ‘fearfully-minded;’ 21 for if god did not spare the natural branches [don’t think] he would ever [μη πως ουδε, p46] spare you. 22 You see, then, the kindness and harshness of god; on the one hand, upon the fallen [he brings] the axe but on the other hand, upon you [is shed] the kindness of god, on the condition that you remain in the kindness, [seeing that] you also could be cut off. 23 And also those ones, if they should not remain unfaithful, they will be engrafted; for god is able again to engraft them.

[Here begins my 2013 continuation of the translation of unfinished Romans:]

24 For if you, against nature were cut out of a wild olive tree and against nature engrafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will they, according to nature, be engrafted into their own olive tree.

25 For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, [οτι, I believe there is a missing particle here, based on Paul’s style] this [is] the mystery, lest you be tripped up [by, παρ’ sic] your own knowledge [εαυτοις φρονιμοι ‘presumptuous,’ ‘opinionated’], that there has been hardness of heart on the part of Israel until the [rest of] the nations should fully enter in 26 and thus, all Israel will be saved, exactly as it has been written,

There will come out of Zion one who delivers,
who will turn ungodliness away from Jacob.
27 And it will be a contract with me for them
when I take away their sins.
[Is 59:20-21]

28 Concerning the gospel, on one hand, [they are] at enmity because of you, but concerning the election, on the other hand, [they are] beloved because of the ancestors; 29 for the unmitigated favour and free invitation [κλησις, ‘calling,’ ‘name’] of god [are] unchanging. 30 For even though you once were unfaithful to god, now you might be shown mercy because of this unbelief, 31 thus also now they are unfaithful because of your [having been shown] mercy, in order that they also [now, sic] might receive mercy. 32 For god enveloped [KJV ‘concluded’] everyone in faithlessness, in order that all might receive mercy.

33 O what depth of wealth and wisdom and knowledge of god; as unsearchable [ανεξερευνητα, ερεω, ‘ask,’ ‘seek’] [are] his decisions and untraceable [ανεξιχνιαστοι, ιχνος, ‘track,’ ‘footstep’] [are] his ways [οδοι].

34 For who knows the mind of the lord?
Or who will be his adviser?
35 Or who will prophesy [προεδωκεν, ‘forecast’] to him,
and [who] will answer him back [ανταποδοθησεται, ‘answer in turn’]?
[Job 41:3]

36 Because all things [are] from him and through him and in him; glory to him forever, amen.


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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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