Romans 15


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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.

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.


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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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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.


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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.

Romans 13


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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.

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


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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 12


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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.

12 1 Therefore, I invite you, brothers, because of the mercy of god, persuade your body [to be] a living, holy sacrifice, well proving [your intention, (ευαρεστον, ‘approved’)] to god, [as this should be] your logical response [λογικην λατρειαν ‘reasonable service’]; and do not be conformed to [the conventions of] the times [τω αιωνι τουτω, ‘this age’], but rather, be transformed by the renewing of [your] mind to the end that you prove what [is] the will of god, [that is, what is] good and acceptable and perfect.

3 For, because of the unmerited favour given to me, I am saying to all those who are among you [that] you should not be more high-minded than necessary but rather, [you should] think rational, sane thoughts, as god allocated to each of you a reasonable [or ‘moderate’ kind of] faith. 4 For just as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 thus, we the many in the one body of Christ are, similarly [το δε καθ’], parts of each other.

6 And having unique gifts according to the talent [χαριν] given to us, you might be allocated the faith of a prophet [‘a prophet, according to the proportion (‘analogy’ αναλογιαν) of faith’], 7 [or] you might be a leader in ministry [‘a minister of ministry’], [or] you might be a teacher of fine arts [‘teacher of poetry, drama, art’], 8 [or] you might be a motivational speaker [public figure or ambassador of some kind: παρακαλων εν τη παρακλησει, from παρακαλεω not sure what Paul has in mind here…from the connotations involving exhortation, summoning and responding to cries for help, one could find a meaning in line with leadership in public service, especially a charitable organization or even disaster relief; possibly, a human rights or good will ambassador]; the one who shares [let him share] in simplicity, one who is sent forth [let her go] in earnest, one who shows mercy [let it be shown] joyfully.

9 [Let your] love [be] unhypocritical; [let us] abhor evil, while sticking to the good, 10 as in kinship with one another showing natural affection, holding one another in esteem, 11 not holding back enthusiasm [for one another], welling over in spirit, serving the lord, 12 rejoicing in hope, abiding under oppression, persevering in prayer, 13 sharing the needs of the saints, pursuing the love of strangers [‘hospitality’]. 14 Speak well of your persecutors, speak well and do not pray evil [upon them]. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another, not haughty-minded but led by humility. Do not become wise in your own mind. 17 Do not return evil for evil, [but let us] discern things fairly in the sight of all our peers [προνοουμενοι καλα ενωπιον παντων ανθρωπων, ‘prescient (what is) fair before all men’]; 18 if possible as far as you’re concerned, be at peace with everyone; 19 do not take revenge for yourself, beloved, but rather give free reign to the wrath [of god], for it has been written,

Justice is mine, I myself will deliver payback, says the lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will heap fiery coals upon his head. [Dt 32:35; Pr 25:21-22]

21 Do not conquer with evil but conquer evil with the good.


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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.

Romans 10


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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.

10 1 Brothers, I give thanks, nevertheless, in my heart and [make] entreaty to god in behalf of them for [εις] salvation. 2 For I testify to them that they have an emulous desire [a ‘zeal’] for god but not an enlightened one [or ‘not according to full knowledge’]; 3 for they are ignorant of god’s justice and by their own [justice, sic] they seek to stand, the justice which is not subject to god. 4 For the end [or ‘completion’] of the law [is] Christ leading to [εις] justice for all who believe.

5 For Moses writes of the [legal form of] justice [which is] from the law that, “the man who puts these things [i.e. laws] into effect [or ‘does them’] will be made alive [’empowered,’ ‘have vigour’] by them.” [Lv 18:15] 6 But of the justice [which is] by faith, thus he says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend to heaven?'” this is to bring Christ down; 7 or “‘Who will descend into the abyss [αβυσσον]?” [Dt 9:4] this is to bring Christ up from death [i.e., these are actions that only god can do]. 8 Rather, what does he say?

The word [ρημα] is near you
in your mouth and in your heart,”
[Dt 30:14]

this is the word [ρημα] of faith which we publicize. 9 Because if you confess with your mouth Jesus is lord and believe in your heart that god raised him from death, you will be saved; 10 for with [the] heart one believes for justice, and with [the] mouth one confesses for salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Every one who believes in him will not be shamed.” [Is 28:16]

12 For there is no distinction between Judean and Greek, for he is lord of all, being generous to all who call upon him; 13 for “Everyone who calls upon the name of the lord will be saved.” [Jl 2:32]

14 How then will they call upon one in whom they do not believe? But how will they believe who did not hear? But how will they hear without preaching? 15 But how will they preach except they are sent? Exactly as it is written, “As à propos [are] the feet of those who bring good news.” [Is 52:7]

16 But not everyone listened to [or ‘heeded’] the gospel. For Isaias says, “Lord, who believed our report?” [Is 53:1] 17 Therefore, faith [is] from hearing and hearing [is] through the word [ρηματος] of Christ. 18 So am I saying, “They have not heard?” [Not at all!] Rather [I am saying],

To all the earth [or ‘land’] their sound went out and to the borders of the civilized world their word [went out]. [Ps 19:4]

19 But [am] I say[ing], “Israel did not know?” [Not at all!] First Moses says,

I will provoke you to jealousy against [what is] not a nation,
against an insipid nation will I provoke
you to anger. [Dt 32:21]

20 And Isaias boldly also says,

I was found by them who did not seek me,
I became real [‘manifest’] to those who did not ask for me.
[Is 65:1]

21 but to Israel he says, “The whole day I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people.” [Is 65:2 LXX]


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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.

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.