Romans 15


@gamiliel on Instagram

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.

15 1 Those of us who are capable owe it to those who are impeded by weakness to be supportive and not please only ourselves. 2 Each of us ought to please our neighbour for the sake of building up the good.  3 For Christ also did not please himself, but exactly as it is written, “The insults of your attackers fell upon me.” [Ps 69:9] 4 For whatever was previously written, was written for our teaching, so that because of the endurance and encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.  5 And the god of endurance and encouragement will give you this same mindset among yourselves as Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one unanimous voice you might give glory to the god and father of our lord Jesus Christ.

7 For this reason, you ought to accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, for the glory of god. 8 For I say that Christ became a servant of the circumcision in behalf of [the] truth of god, in order to make absolutely certain of the promises of the fathers, 9 and [to make absolutely certain that] the nations, in behalf of the mercy of god might give him glory, exactly as it is written:

Because of this I will celebrate you among the nations and I will sing of your name. [Ps 18:49]

10 and again, he says:

Celebrate, oh nations, with his people! [Dt 32:43]

11 and again:

Praise the lord, all the nations and praise him even more, all the people! [Ps 117:1]

12 and again, Isaias says:

There will be a root of Jesse and one raised up to rule the nations, upon whom nations will place their hope. [Is 11:10]

13 And may the god of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you might continue in hope in [the] power of [the] holy spirit.

14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you indeed are full of goodness, having been filled with all knowledge, and able to remind each other [of that fact].  15 And I wrote to you boldly for a while just to remind you because of the gift given to me by god 16 that I should be a ‘public servant’ [λειτουργον] of Christ Jesus to the nations, ‘priest’ of the gospel of god, so that the ‘offering’ of the nations might acceptable, sanctified by the holy spirit. 17 Therefore, I have bragging rights in Christ Jesus in the presence of god; 18 for I do not dare to say anything which Christ did not fully realize [κατειργασατο, ‘accomplish’] through my words and actions so as to effect [εις] [the] obedience of [the] nations, 19 with the ability [to perform] signs and wonders, by the power of the spirit [of god, sic]; so that [the abounding need – I would argue that the use of the verb πληροω here implies the abounding need by explicitly stating it’s fulfillment, in the sense of ‘to satiate, satisfy,’ Liddell and Scott (1958), so…’the abounding need for] the good news of the Christ has been fully met by me, from Jerusalem and  surrounding [areas] up to Illurikou, 20 wherefore I aspire to proclaim the good news not where Christ has been identified, lest I should build upon another foundation, 21 but rather, as it has been written,

He will appear to those to whom [the good news] concerning him has not been proclaimed, and those who have not heard will [begin to] understand [συνιημι, connotation of ‘to come to an understanding,’ Liddell and Scott]. [Is 52:15]

22 Therefore also I have been hindered many times [in my efforts] to come to you; 23 and now, no longer having a place [to stay] in these precincts, and having [had] a longing for a considerable [number] of years to come to you, 23 [I will,] should I be going into Spain; for I hope to see you as I pass through and to be sent along [my way] there by you, first having had my fill of your company [υμων πρωτον απο μερους ἐμπλησθῶ] – 25 but now I am going to Jerusalem in service to the saints [there]. 26 For they were pleased in Macedonia and Achaia to make something of a contribution [κοινωνίαν τινὰ ] to the poverty-stricken saints in Jerusalem. 27 They were delighted indeed [και], for they are indebted to them; for if the nations are sharing in their spirituality, they ought also to share in their material needs [σαρκικοῖς λειτουργῆσαι, ‘to serve materially’]. 28 When this is completed and this contribution to them [is] determined, I will go up to Spain via you; 29 and I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

30 I would encourage you, [brothers, sic] because of our lord, Jesus Christ and because of the love of the spirit, to join me in the [spiritual] battle in [your] prayers to god in my behalf, 31 so that I might rescue [from disobedience, απο] those who are disobedient in Judea and my ministry to Jerusalem might become acceptable to the saints, 32 so that I might rest together with you in the joy of coming to you because of the will of god. The peace of god [be] with you all, amen.


@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.

Advertisements

Romans 14


@gamiliel on Instagram

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.

14 1 Help the one who is weak in faith, not arguing over points of disagreement [διακρισεις, ‘differentiation’].  2 While, on the one hand,  someone believes he can eat everything, the one who is weak eats [only] vegetables. 3 The one who eats ought not to scorn the one who does not, and the one who does not eat should not judge the one who eats, for god finds him acceptable.  4 Who are you to be judging the servant of another?  By [the decision of] his own master will he stand or fall; let him remain [as he is, ‘stand’] then, for the lord is able to sustain him.

5 [For, sic] while one [person] compares one day to another, someone else considers every day the same; let each be convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who honours the day honours it for the lord; and the one who eats, eats for the lord, for he gives thanks to god; and the one who does not eat, eats not for the lord but also gives thanks to god. 7 For no one lives for himself alone and no one dies for himself [alone]; 8 for if we live, we live for the lord, and if we should die, we will have died for the lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the lord’s. 9 For because of this Christ died and yet lives on, in order that he might be lord over both the dead and the living.

10 Why then, do you judge your brother? Will you also scorn your brother? For everyone will stand at the judgement seat of god, 11 for it is written,

[As sure as] I am alive, says the lord, every knee will bow to me
and every tongue will agree that [I am] god.
[Is 49:18; 45:23]

12 So [then, sic] each of us will give an account of himself [to god, sic].

13 Let us no longer be judgmental with each other; rather, give more consideration to this, that is, to not place a cause of stumbling or scandal before [your] brother. 14 And I know and have been persuaded by [our] lord Jesus that nothing [is] unclean of itself, unless one considers a thing to be unclean, [then] to him [that thing] [is] unclean. 15 For if your brother is distressed because of meat, you are no longer behaving lovingly; do not destroy with your meat this one for whom Christ died. 16 Let your good [that you do] not be misinterpreted.

17 For the kingdom of god is not meat and drink but justice and peace and joy in the holy spirit; 18 for the one who serves Christ in this way [is] well pleasing to god and an excellent example [a ‘proof,’ δόκιμος] to men.  19 So then, let us pursue peaceful things and ways to build each other up. 20 Do not let the work of god be destroyed for the sake of meat.  On one hand, all things are clean, but because of the stigma of eating [some things are considered] evil to men. 21 Do not eat meat or drink wine or [do any thing] which may cause your brother to stumble, be scandalized or be made weak [inclusive of several mss, esp p46vid and Sinaiticus].

22 What faith you have, have [it] in the presence of god. Blessed is the one who does not judge himself by that [examination] with which he is being tested; 23 but the one who discriminates and doubts [διακρινομενος] whether he should eat has been condemned, because [his eating] is not by faith; and everything that is not of faith is sin.


@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.

Romans 13


@gamiliel on Instagram

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.

13 1 Let every power conscious authoritarian who has power be subjugated [to god].  For there is no authority except under god, and all of those [authorities] have been set in place by god.  2 Therefore, since the one who rises against the authorities [which god has appointed] has opposed the divine order, those who have opposed [the authorities] will bring judgement upon themselves.  3 For rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil. You don’t wish to be afraid of authority, do you? Do good and you will have praise of it. 4 For [authority] is a servant of god to you, to the end that [it may cause you to do] the good. But if you should do evil, be afraid; for [a ruler] does not possess military authority [‘the sword’ την μαχαιραν] in vain.  For [authority] is an avenging servant of god to the end that wrath [might fall] on the one who practises evil. 5 Therefore, [authority] must be subjugated [under god], not only because of [it’s representing] the wrath [of god] but also for the sake of compliance [‘understanding,’ ‘consciousness’ συνειδησιν; συνειδω, sense of ‘accomplice;’]. 6 For this reason also, pay your taxes; for [authorities] are public servants of god, bound to this very task. 7 Fulfill all obligations, pay tribute, pay taxes, show respect [φοβος, ‘outward show’ of fear], give honor [to those who deserve it].

8 Do not ever be indebted except to one another in love; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the [commandments], ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not lust,’ [Ex 20:13-15, 17; Dt 5:17-19] and whatever other commandment, by this word have been encapsulated [which is, sic]: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ [Lv 19:18] 10 Love causes no evil for the neighbour; therefore, love [is] the fulfillment of the law.

11 And we have perceived [ειδοτες, in light of the textual variant, ημας, which i chose from p46vid (III) and corrected Sinaiticus] this zeitgeist [καιρον], that [it is] already [the] hour to be raised from our delusion [υπνου, ‘hypnosis,’ ‘sleep’ or perhaps even ‘dream,’ ενυπνιαζω], for salvation [is] nearer now than [at that moment] when we believed. 12 The night [is] advanced, but day is near. Lay aside, then, the works of darkness, for we ought to be clothed in the armor of light. 13 We ought to go about as is appropriate in daytime, not carousing and intoxicated, not lying around and pernicious, not cantankerous and zealous for strife, 14 but be clothed with the lord, Jesus Christ, and do not make these carnal inclinations a priority.


@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.

Dialogic Exegesis


@gamiliel on Instagram

This August 18, 2006 journal entry is an example of Dialogic Exegesis, a new interpretive method I am developing on the basis of Post Modern and Deconstructionist literary theory:

Mark 3:31 And his mother and his brothers came and standing outside, they sent to him, calling him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers [and your sisters, sic] are outside seeking after you. 33 And answering them, he said, “Who is [sic] my mother and my brothers?” 34 And casting a glance upon those sitting round him in a circle he says, “Look [at] my mother and brothers. 35 [For, sic] whoever would do the will of god, this one is my brother and sister and mother.”

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 2015 translation of Paul’s letter to The Romans begins at To the Romans.

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.

On the question of morality and gay parenthood, Jesus himself renounced all ‘family’ in the sense of blood, or genetic definition, in favour of a definition of family in the spiritual sense; that ‘family’ are those who commune, communicate, associate in spirit. The lesson is that our family is not but a metaphor, a shadow, a foreshadowing of the family to come – the family we will come to when we are born anew [cf Jonn 3] and ultimately, when we are transformed in resurrection [ cf 1 Cor 15:48ff ]. Jesus not only redefines family, he dialogizes it. Jesus, in his great wisdom, opens the concept of family among a tribal people, in a tribal society, albeit a society undergoing a revolution in its consciousness of the individual and her relationship to society and family via the novelism of the Romans.

These people, Jesus’ audience, did not have a relativistic consciousness; they did not easily play with static, traditional, sacred (even political) institutions such as that of ‘family.’ Wars were fought over family issues. Israel was a family. Jesus was seriously confronting the tribal claim of Israel to the exclusive favour of god…to the exclusive alliance of god or any other fundamental, binding or controlling interest in the kingdom of god based on blood relation and/or any of the hierarchical, customary and even scientifically or biologically expedient facts about what is ‘family.’

The reason I am outlining this tenet so emphatically is that it is not generally recognized how unusual and disturbing this teaching would have been among the Israelites and even among the Romans of the time. Jesus was uttering seditious, treasonous, antisocial and really quite frightening notions in his milieu. For instance, under Augustus Caesar, it was one’s publicly decreed patriotic duty to marry and have children, and furthermore, this family-making was considered a literal reflection of god-like behaviour [think ‘Roman pantheon’]. Here is Jesus saying ‘anyone can be my brother or sister or mother…’ this is stunning enough to leave even a Roman speechless, let alone a Judean.

So when we make families, what model do we follow? …Jesus’ ‘loose,’ broadly defined, inclusive, combining, accepting family, or the socio-religio-political definition: closed, narrowly defined, exclusive, divisive, discriminating family?

Some may argue that Jesus was not here [in Mk 3] claiming to make a general or absolute moral statement in a ‘technical’ sense, i.e., that he was not making a commandment or legal statement per se becuase the context lends itself to a more casual or less weighty interpretation. However, this statement (Mk 3:31-35, above) appears in the midst of a set of conflict vignettes and especially, just following perhaps the most serious slander of Jesus’ identity, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, in response to his healing a man on the Sabbath. The entire chapters 2 and 3 of Mark are dedicated to asserting Jesus’ authority, as god, over the Law, and so the statement about family is pertinent and weighty.

Jesus is performing, from the Judean religious leadership’s point of view, nasty, irritating magic tricks on the Sabbath and then he is actually saying he can do what he wants because he knows better than they. So when Jesus redefines family, he is truly, radically and with the voice of god making a new law, a new family, a new model. He completely renounces the old covenant with Israel and demonstrates what he is doing by negating the foundation of Israel’s relationship with god, the father, a strong source of identity for Israel, the promise to Abraham, the family-nation. Jesus’ redefinition of family is his dialogization of the word ‘family’ to be ‘not family’ also, to include anyone allied with him and by implication: alliance with himself is tantamount to alliance with god: “whoever would do the will of god, this one is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus’ legal, political and religious model of family flows from the spiritual, not the other way around. Therefore, it appears that we are not invested, obligated or commanded by Jesus to make only one type of family.

Jesus was not about ‘law,’ Jesus was about intentions, for which there can be no law. Jesus was about acceptance and forgiveness and tolerance and loving kindness and freedom, even now, in this life. Jesus’ irony revealed the impotence of the law and its purpose – to condemn only. Jesus did what he wanted to do, he usurped the law – the family (of Israel) included – just as god, and only god, can do. This is the reason for the anger and disbelief of the synagogue leaders. Only god is able to redefine, or ‘judge’ the law, including that applying to family.

This example of Jesus’ assertion of his authority is equal to him calling himself god. How are we to follow his example? By Mark’s account, Jesus says, “Whoever does the will of god is my brother…” etc., i.e. the brother of god. How are we to know how to do the will of god? Apparently, Jesus taught that god will speak directly to you…you can hear his voice for yourself. Jesus’ example was not to listen to the religious leaders but only to the Father directly. This is infuriating to people, then and now. It’s infuriating because it’s impossible to prove someone hears god’s voice, and it’s impossible to disprove either.

Each one of us has to make up his/her own mind what god is saying to you. You cannot rely on someone else to tell you. There is no magic formula, no scientific experiment, no one, specific thing or sequence of things that will guarantee knowing how to do the will of god. Conversely, there is no one thing specifically, except mistaking the Holy Spirit for the devil [technically, ‘the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit,’ cf Mk 3:22, 29] guaranteeing condemnation. If you know god, you will not commit the deadly sin by definition; you will recognize god’s spirit and not mistake it for anything or anyone else.

How to attain this unprovable thing – which means you cannot prove it, even to yourself?

Well, one condition is that you are never ‘certain’ in a logical, scientific, deductive, ‘in itself’ kind of way, but you can be certain in an experiential, evidential, hermeneutical, inductive ‘for myself’ kind of way. I can be certain enough, I can be very certain, conditionally certain, mostly certain. I can be more certain of something unseen (and unexplained), like gravity, than of something seen, like a picture of a model in a magazine. Anyway, in order to reach a measure, a weight of certainty, we cannot forget the element of uncertainty – it is the honest, scientific, rational approach. We cannot claim certainty but we can look for evidence, either supportive or not, either strong or weak, evidence which demonstrates in physical, predictable, repeatable, specific results that certain propositions are true; i.e., whether god speaks to people, whether he has a ‘voice’ of some kind, whether one can reliably discern such communication, whether one could show why it would be important for god to speak at any given time or why it would be beneficial to listen, as opposed to why god would not speak at some other time…in short, what difference, if any, would god speaking to someone make to anyone?

Well, to finish the argument that Christians have no basis for socio-politico-religious models, dictates, definitions, etc., Jesus himself did not engage in any family-making whatsoever – not marriage, not children, not ‘free love’ … not any engagement in any aspect of physical family duty-doing or heir-amassing. By example, Jesus revealed a humanity divorced from its apparently natural, certainly traditional imperatives. Jesus’ example is a total departure from what many would consider human. However, in this light, one finally realizes that ‘human’ is not what one has done or what one does, but that ‘human’ is what one believes, what one envisions, what one creates.

Jesus not only revealed to us the face of god, his human form, his true identity, he also revealed to us the face of man, his godlike form, his true identity.

Jesus revealed that while sexuality is not a curse, the bondage of sexual bodies is not a moral ground, and neither are sexual drives, instincts, etc., the least bit tempting, the least bit compelling, or the least bit necessary. Jesus did not declare celibacy superior but he, by example, revealed sex, marriage, family to be not a godlike quality, not a human (moral) imperative and by inference, he demonstrates a distinct, very clear and very shocking disdain for the family of Israel, for joining in its extension, for its laws, traditions and social strata. Jesus demonstrates that human is undefined in or of itself, but is only defined in relationship to god, and that something like family is also only defined in relationship to god. What a ‘family’ looks like in this sense is determined by one’s individual relationship with god.

Now, one could argue that the theme of Mark 2-3 is, “Who is it that does the will of god?”:

2:10 Now, in order that you should know that the son of man has power to forgive sins upon the earth,” he said to the paralytic, “to you I say, rise, take up your stretcher and go up into your house.” [Jesus demonstrates by authority that he is doing the will of god.]

2:23 And it befell him on the Sabbath to be going about through the grain fields and his disciples, making [their] way, were plucking the ears of corn. 24 And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing to the Sabbath what is not lawful?” 25 And he says to them, “Have you never read what David did when he had need and he himself was hungry, and those with him? 26 How he went into the house of god while Abiathar [was] high priest and ate the bread of the presence, which was not lawful to eat except [for] the priests, and he gave also to those who were with him.” 27 And he was saying [or ‘used to say’] to them, “The Sabbath because of man was made and not man because of the Sabbath.” [Jesus cites scriptural evidence that his behaviour is in line with the will of god.]

3:4 And he says to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. [Jesus challenges his accusers to show that they know god’s will but they do not.]

3:14 And he made twelve [who also would be sent] sic, in order that they should be with him and in order that he mIght send them to preach 15 and to have authority to cast out demons… [Jesus’ miracles are evidence that he knows and is performing god’s will.]

These two chapters are a huge set-up for the quotation of Isaiah 6:9-10 in Mark 4:12, which throws down the premise that the religious establishment in Jerusalem did not recognize Jesus:

Seeing, they will see [βλεπω] but not see [ειδω, ‘recognize,’ ‘realize,’ ‘know’]
And hearing, they will hear but not perceive,
Lest they should ever turn themselves around
And I might forgive them.
[Isa 6:9-10]

So at the end of chapter 3, no one is asking what Jesus’ family did wrong or what the problem was or why Jesus didn’t go out to them…Jesus is making a point about family, not his particular family…that a family to which one wants to belong is one that does the will of god. So the question here is, what does he mean by ‘the will of god’?

It seems to me that Jesus is making this ‘one who does the will of god’ into the focus, the heart, of the question. One’s first response would be, well…as you said, it is ‘family.’ Jesus is rhetorically begging the question and thus presenting us with an in-your-face challenge of our own assumptions and a compact set of entendres relating to the law, family law, law as the will of god ergo family as the will of god, with the playful and puzzling contradictions about his own definition of family and, by association, it can be argued, his own definition also of ‘the one who does the will of god.’

Let us say his rhetoric lends itself to the argument that Jesus is refuting that simply following the law is the definition of doing god’s will. This is supported by the conflict sequence of this vignette, in which Jesus is accused of breaking the Sabbath (Mk 3:3). So it can be convincingly argued that Jesus is saying that the one who does god’s will is not necessarily the one who follows the written law.

So Jesus implies that there is another way to ascertain god’s will. Moreover, he asserts that he himself has ascertained god’s will by his healing of the man with the withered hand (Mk 3:5), for it is god’s will to save life, not kill, on the Sabbath and that he is doing god’s will. The implication is that the discernment and performance of god’s will is so assuredly and certainly possessed by him, Jesus, that he will raise the question himself to them regarding how he knows. If they knew the answer, they would have answered him back and said how one does god’s will but they do not, and the question hangs there.

Jesus is saying to them, ‘if you knew how to do god’s will, if you knew how to discover what is god’s will, I welcome you…you would be my family…you would understand how it is that I can redefine family…that what is really important is this ministry I’m doing here, these people I’m teaching.’

Jesus rhetorically demonstrates that his opponents, in his opinion, do not know how to do the will of god. He is playfully but definitely asserting that he does and they do not, and that the family is who he says it is…a serious undertone, a serious look at the birthright of Abraham, a serious display of authority…a serious redefinition of family.

Romans 9


@gamiliel on Instagram

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.

9 1 I speak the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing witness [‘testifying’] together with me by the holy spirit, 2 because there is great grief and unceasing pain [distress] in my heart. 3 For I would pray to be accursed, I myself, from Christ in behalf of my brothers who are my ‘fellow get’ according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption and the glory and the promises [‘covenants’] and the legislation [νομοθεοια] and the service [‘worship’] rites, and the pronouncements, 5 of whom [are] the fathers and from whom [is] the Christ according to the flesh [‘by family’], the one who is above all, god, blessed forever, amen.

6 Not in this alone [is it] that the word of god has brought result. For not all those of Israel are Israel; 7 neither is the seed of Abraam all children, but rather, “By Isaac will your seed be called.” [Gen 21:12] 8 That is, not the children of the flesh [are] these children of god but rather, the children considered as ‘seed’ are of the promise [‘pronouncement’]. 9 For this [is] the word of the promise, “According to this time [‘at the appointed time’] I will come and there will be to Sara a son.” [Gen 18:10, 14] 10 And not only this, but also Rebecca, of one [time] having conceived [by] Isaac our father. 11 For while not yet being born, neither purposing anything good or evil, in order that the design of god for election should remain as not [an election] of ‘workers’ but [an election] of the chooser, who told her οτι, “The older [‘greater’] will serve the younger [‘lesser’], [Gen 25:23] 13 as it is written,

Jacob I loved
but Esau I hated.
[Mal 1:2-3]

14 What then shall we say? [There is] not injustice with god, is there? Of course not! 15 For Moses says,

I will show mercy to whomever I would show mercy
and I will pity whomever I would pity.
[Ex 33:19]

16 Therefore, then, [election is] not of the will, neither of the running [as in a race] but rather, of the mercy of god. 17 For the scripture says to Pharao οτι “For this very [reason] I raised you up [that] thus I might display to you my power [‘ability’] and thus my name will be declared in all the earth.” [Ex 9:16] 18 Therefore then, on whom he wishes he has mercy, and whom he wishes he hardens.

19 You will say to me then, “Why [then, sic] will he yet find fault? For who can stand against his will?” Oh man, [think] rather, who are you answering back to god? The figure does not say to the artist, “Why are you making me this way?” does it? 21 Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, to make of his mix on the one hand a vessel for honour but, on the other hand, [a vessel] for dishonour? 22 But if god, wishing to display [his] wrath and make known his power, bears with much longsuffering a vessel of wrath completely for destruction, 23 but [wishing] to make known the riches of his glory upon a vessel of mercy which was prepared for his own use for glory, 24 to which purpose [ους as ινα] also he chose us, not only from [the] Judeans but also of the nations, 25 as also in Hosea he says,

I will call the ‘not my people’ my people and ‘she who is not [my] beloved’ my beloved; 26 and it will be in the place where it was announced, “You are not my people,” there they will be called sons of a living god. [Ho 2:23]

27 And Isaias shouted in behalf of Israel, “Even if the number of the sons of Israel was as the sand of the sea, the smallest [υπο-λειγμα] remnant will be saved; 28 for [the] lord will effect a completed [‘negotiated,’ συντελων] and abbreviated accounting [λογον] upon the earth.” [Is 10:22-23]

29 And exactly as Isaias foretold:

Except [the] lord of armies [Σαβαωθ- Heb. pl. n. (transliteration) ‘armies’] left us a seed, like Sodom would we have become and we would have been made like Gomorrah. [Is 1:9]

30 What then shall we say? [Let us say] that a nation such as does not pursue justice ‘detected’ [‘discovered,’ καταλαμβανω] justice, and the justice [was] from [εκ] faith, 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of justice did not attain [‘receive precedence’] in law. 32 But why? Because [it was] not [a law] of faith but one which is based on [ως εξ] actions; they stumbled over the stone of offence, 33 exactly as it is written:

Behold, I place in Zion a stone of offence [’cause of sin’] and a rock of scandal, and the one who believes in him [or ‘it’] will not be shamed. [Is 28:16]


@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.

Romans 7


@gamiliel on Instagram

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.

7 1 Do you not know, brothers, for I am speaking as those who know the law, that the law rules over the man for the entire time he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law while the husband lives; but if the husband should die, she is released by the law from the husband. 3 Therefore then, while the husband lives, if she becomes married to another, she will be pronounced an adulteress; but if the husband should die, she is released by the law [so that] she might not be [‘it might not be to her’] an adulteress while being married to another.

4 Wherefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law because of the body of the Messiah, so that [εις] it might be otherwise, [that is, your] being raised from death, so that we should bear fruit to god. 6 For while we [were ruled] by the body [σαρκι, ‘material nature’], the pathology of sin [παθηματα των αμαρτων] which [is] because of the law being active [or, ‘which was activated’] in our physicality [μελεσιν, ‘limbs’; also ‘musical score or progression’ which reminds me of the concept of ‘tao’ – so possibly, our ‘ways’] produced fruit [which led] to death; 6 but now we are disengaged from the law, by which we were bound, having died [or ‘which kills’] so that we might serve the spirit in newness and not [serve] the scripture in ‘oldness’ [or ‘as of old’].

7 What then shall we say? The law [is] sin? Of course not! Rather, one would not know sin except for the law; for one would not know [what] lust [is] except the law said, “Do not lust.” 8 Sin got its start because of the commandment which produced in me all kinds of lusts; while [or ‘for’] without the law sin is dead. 9 Now, I lived without the law at one point [ποτε], but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life 10 and I died; so the commandment which [is] for life to me I found [to be] for death; 11 for sin, [which] received its inception by means of the commandment, seduced me and because of it I died.

12 Wherefore, then, [μεν, ‘on the other hand,’ or ‘to the contrary’] the law [is] holy and the commandment also holy and just and good. 13 [What then shall we say?] Therefore the good [i.e., the law] became death for me? Of course not! Rather sin, in order that it be revealed as sin, because the good [i.e., the law] in me was working death, [was incited] so that sin should become exceedingly sinful because of the commandment.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual but I am carnal, having been sold under sin [‘enslaved’]. 15 For what I am producing, I am not aware [of it]; for what I do not wish, this I do, rather, what I hate, this I do. 16 And if what I do not wish this I do, I agree with the law that [it is] fair [καλος, ‘moral virtue;’ or ‘I am in agreement with the law on the basis that it is fair’]. 17 But now I no longer propagate it [i.e., what I do not wish] but rather sin is resident in me [or, ‘sin (propagates it), being resident in me]. 18 For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is [τουτ’ εστιν] in my flesh, because while the will lies ready [within] me, the presentation [to do] the good [is] not. 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do, but rather, the evil [that] I do not wish, this I do.

20 Now, if what I do not wish this I do, [it is] no longer I that am producing it but the sin dwelling in me. 21 Therefore, I discover the law, [which is] the desire in me to do the good, [even though, οτι] [the will to do] evil lurks [παρακειται] in me. 22 For I sympathize [συνηδομαι] with the law of god against that which is in the man, 23 for I see another law in my [body] parts making war on the law of my mind [νοός] and taking me prisoner in to [εν τω] the law of sin which is in my [body] parts.

24 I am a man of suffering [‘misery,’ ‘toil’]; who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks to god for our lord Jesus Christ. Therefore then, I myself with [my] mind, on the one hand, serve the law of god while, on the other hand, with [my] body [I serve] the law of sin.


@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.

John 8: The Adulterous Woman


@gamiliel on Instagram

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

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 and 2017 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians begins at To The Thessalonians A.

My 2015 translation of Paul’s letter to The Romans begins at To the Romans.

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.

[[The earliest manuscripts, p66, 75, and א omit vv 7:53-8:11; a few later mss include this story with asterisks and some even have the story in Luke rather than John. This indicates some possible doubt about its authenticity or perhaps, its relevance. It seems that the story floats, as does the story of the Anointing at Bethany, which Luke has relocated from its Markan position just before the final ministry in Jerusalem to a much earlier position among the stories of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. Perhaps later copyists noticed this in Luke and replaced the Anointing with this other story about Jesus and a woman. Thematically, it is a story in search of a home. The adulterous woman possibly symbolizes, for John, the adulterous, idolatrous generation which does not seem to be able to recognize God, the focus of the controversy in this chapter. The tension is built in the lead-up to John’s quotation of Isa 6:10 in chapter 12.]]

8 1 but Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives. 2 He woke up early and went again into the temple, and all the people came to him, so he sat them down and was teaching them. 3 The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and standing her in their midst, 4 they said to him, “This woman was caught in the very act of adultery; 5 now in our legal tradition Moses would command us to stone her to death. What do you say?” 6 They said this trying to trick him so that they could bring legal charges against him.

But Jesus knelt down and with his finger wrote upon the earth. 7 But they continued asking him, so he stood up and said to them, “The one of you who is without sin let him throw the first stone upon her.” 8 And again he knelt and wrote upon the earth. 9 Then those listening went away one by one, starting from the oldest, and left them alone and the woman remained standing there. 10 And looking up Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Does no one accuse you?” 11 And she said, “No one, Lord.” So Jesus said, “Neither do I accuse you; go, and from now on do not sin.”

12 Again Jesus was speaking to them saying, “I am the light of the universe; he who follows me does not go about in the dark, rather he will have light eternally [literally, ‘light of life,’ φως της ζωης].” 13 The Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying concerning yourself; therefore, your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered and said to them, “If I testify concerning myself, my testimony is true because I know where I came from and where I am going; you on the other hand don’t know where I came from or where I’m going. 15 You judge based on superficial (or ‘circumstantial’) evidence [κατα την σαρκα, ‘according to the flesh’]; I, however, do not judge anyone. 16 But if I do judge, my judgement is appropriate, because it is not only mine but mine and the one who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true. 18 Now I testify concerning myself and the one who sent me testifies concerning me.”

19 Then they said to him, “How is he your father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my father; for if you knew me you would also know my father.”

20 These (little) words he spoke while in the treasury teaching in the temple; and no one apprehended him, for his hour had not yet come.

21 He said again to them, “I am going (up) [‘ascending’] and you will seek me but you will die in your sin; where I am going you will not be able to come.” 22 Then the Judeans said, “He’s not going to kill himself (is he), since he said, ‘Where I’m going you cannot come.'” 23 And he said to them, “You are from ‘below,’ I am from ‘above;’ you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 Therefore, I said that you will die in your sins; for you do not believe who I am [or, ‘that I am he’], and so you will die in your sins.” [As opposed to being ‘reborn anew,’ as he had taught Nicodemos.]

25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Haven’t I told you from the beginning? 26 Many things have I said about you and figured you out; but [‘as opposed to you’ – implied by the stronger αλλα, rather than και] the one who sent me is [a] true [testifier] and what I heard from him I spoke into the world.” [He’s saying they’re angry at him because of the things he said about them but that these things came from the father, so the ‘conviction’ they feel in their hearts which makes them angry is the conviction, or charge, brought against them by the father, for] 27 They did not know that he was speaking to them about the father.

28 So then Jesus said to them,

“When you see the son of man lifted up
then you will know who I am [or, ‘that I am he’]
and that of myself I do nothing, rather,
just as the father gifted me I spoke.
29 The one who sent me is with me,
he has not left me alone
because I only do what pleases him.”

[He foretells that his crucifixion, ‘lifting up,’ is evidence of his obedience to the father, not of his disobedience to the law.]

30 When he said these things many believed in him. 31 Then Jesus said to the Judeans who had believed him, “If you live by my words you are truly my disciples 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will release you from bondage.” 33 They answered him, “We are the children [‘seed’] of Abraam and no one has ever enslaved us; why do you say to us, ‘You will be released from bondage?'”

34 Jesus answered them, “Listen carefully, everyone who does (or ‘makes’) sin is a slave to sin. 35 Now the slave does not live in the house forever, but the son stays forever. 36 Therefore, if the son releases you, you are thus, indeed, released from bondage. 37 I know that you are the children of Abraam; however, since you are seeking to kill me [it is obvious that] my word has not settled in you [χωρω, ‘to settle’- he is making a word play on Abraam being a ‘settler’ in the land]. 38 What I have seen concerning my father I have spoken about; but you, on the other hand, what you heard from your father you are doing.” 39 They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraam.” Jesus says to them, “If you were children of Abraam, you would perform great miracles [‘works,’ εργα] like Abraam did; 40 but you are seeking to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which he heard from God; Abraam would not do this. 41 You will do the deeds of your father.” [Implying they have a different father – who?]

They said to him, “We were not born of wickedness; we have one father – God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God was your father you would love me [unconditionally], for I came out of God and I am here; for I have not spoken of myself but rather of that one, who sent me. 43 Why do you not know my word [or ‘what I’m talking about’]? Because you are not able to hear my word. 44 You are ‘of’ the father of the diabolou [‘false accuser,’ or ‘liar’] and it is your burning desire to do the will of your father. That one was a murderer from the beginning and in the truth he did not stand [ref. to Eden, the snake] because the truth was not in him. Whatever he says [is] a lie [for] of his own account [‘of himselves’] he speaks, because he is a liar and his father [is a liar].

45 But when I, on the other hand, speak the truth, you will not believe me. 46 Who among you will reproach me as sinful? If I speak truthfully, why will you not believe me? 47 [I’ll tell you why, because] one who is of God hears the (little) words of God; this is why you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

48 The Judeans answered and said to him, “Is it not just as we said that you are a ‘Samaritan’ and you are possessed by a demon? 49 Jesus answered back, “I am not possessed by a demon, rather, I respect my father, but you disrespect me. 50 I do not seek my own glory; the one who seeks [this] is also judged. 51 Listen carefully, if someone should preserve my word he will never ever see death forever.”

52 Then the Judeans said to him, “Now we know that you are possessed by a demon. Abraam died and the prophets [died], but you say ‘If someone should preserve my teaching [‘word’] he will not taste death forever.’ 53 You are not greater than our father Abraam, who died, are you? And the prophets [who] died? Who do you think you are? [literally, ‘Who do you make yourself?”]”

54 Jesus answered back, “If I glorify myself it is no credit to me; it is the father who glorifies [‘ascribes credit to’] me, the one whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you do not know him, but I know him. And if I said, “I do not know him, I would be like you, a liar; however, I do know him and I preserve his teaching. 56 Abraam your father bore a message which would be revealed in my day, and he knew it and he rejoiced.”

57 Then the Judeans said to him, “You are not yet fifty years [old] and Abraam saw you? [p75, א* have ‘you,’ σε]” 58 Jesus said to them, “Listen carefully, before Abraam was born, I am.”

59 Then they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.


@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.