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Romans 14

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Exhortation to Mutual Forbearance

14:1 Now receive the one who is weak in the faith, and do not have disputes over differing opinions. 1  14:2 One person believes in eating everything, but the weak person eats only vegetables. 14:3 The one who eats everything must not despise the one who does not, and the one who abstains must not judge the one who eats everything, for God has accepted him. 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord 2  is able to make him stand.

14:5 One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. 3  Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. 14:6 The one who observes the day does it for the Lord. The 4  one who eats, eats for the Lord because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 14:7 For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 14:9 For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

14:10 But you who eat vegetables only – why do you judge your brother or sister? 5  And you who eat everything – why do you despise your brother or sister? 6  For we will all stand before the judgment seat 7  of God. 14:11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” 8  14:12 Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 9 

Exhortation for the Strong not to Destroy the Weak

14:13 Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister. 10  14:14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; still, it is unclean to the one who considers it unclean. 14:15 For if your brother or sister 11  is distressed because of what you eat, 12  you are no longer walking in love. 13  Do not destroy by your food someone for whom Christ died. 14:16 Therefore do not let what you consider good 14  be spoken of as evil. 14:17 For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 14:18 For the one who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by people. 15 

14:19 So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another. 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. For although all things are clean, 16  it is wrong to cause anyone to stumble by what you eat. 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 17  14:22 The faith 18  you have, keep to yourself before God. Blessed is the one who does not judge himself by what he approves. 14:23 But the man who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not do so from faith, and whatever is not from faith is sin. 19 

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1 tn Grk “over opinions.” The qualifier “differing” has been supplied to clarify the meaning.

2 tc Most mss, especially Western and Byzantine (D F G 048 33 1739 1881 Ï latt), read θεός (qeos, “God”) in place of κύριος (kurios, “Lord”) here. However, κύριος is found in many of the most important mss (Ì46 א A B C P Ψ pc co), and θεός looks to be an assimilation to θεός in v. 3.

3 tn Grk “For one judges day from day, and one judges all days.”

4 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

5 tn Grk “But why do you judge your brother?” The introductory phrase has been supplied in the translation to clarify whom Paul is addressing, i.e., the “weak” Christian who eats only vegetables (see vv. 2-3). The author uses the singular pronoun here to rhetorically address one person, but the plural has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Grk “Or again, why do you despise your brother?” The introductory phrase has been supplied in the translation to clarify whom Paul is addressing, i.e., the “strong” Christian who eats everything (see vv. 2-3). The author uses the singular pronoun here to rhetorically address one person, but the plural has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

7 sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bhma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and sometimes furnished with a seat, used by officials in addressing an assembly or making pronouncements, often on judicial matters. The judgment seat was a familiar item in Greco-Roman culture, often located in the agora, the public square or marketplace in the center of a city.

8 sn A quotation from Isa 45:23.

9 tc ‡ The words “to God” are absent from some mss (B F G 6 630 1739 1881 pc) but are found in א A C D Ψ 0209 33 Ï lat sy co. External evidence somewhat favors their inclusion since Alexandrian, Western, and Byzantine mss are well represented. From an internal standpoint, however, it is easy to see the words as a scribal gloss intended to clarify the referent, especially as a reinforcement to the quotation of Isa 45:23 in v. 11. Not only that, but the abrupt ending of the verse without “to God” is harsh, both in Greek and in English. In this instance, the internal considerations seem overwhelming on the side of the omission. At the same time, English stylistic needs require the words and they have been put into the translation, even though they are most likely not original. NA27 places the words in brackets, indicating doubt as to their authenticity.

tn Or “each of us is accountable to God.”

10 tn Grk “brother.”

11 tn Grk “brother.”

12 tn Grk “on account of food.”

13 tn Grk “according to love.”

14 tn Grk “do not let your good.”

15 tn Grk “by men”; but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is generic here (“people”) since the contrast in context is between God and humanity.

16 sn Here clean refers to food being ceremonially clean.

17 tc A large number of mss, some of them quite important (Ì46vid א2 B D F G Ψ 0209 33 1881 Ï lat sa), read “or to be offended or to be made weak” after “to stumble.” The shorter reading “to stumble” is found only in Alexandrian mss (א* A C 048 81 945 1506 1739 pc bo). Although external evidence favors inclusion, internal evidence points to a scribal expansion, perhaps reminiscent of 1 Cor 8:11-13. The shorter reading is therefore preferred.

18 tc ‡ Several important Alexandrian witnesses (א A B C 048) have the relative pronoun ἥν ({hn, “the faith that you have”) at this juncture, but D F G Ψ 1739 1881 Ï lat co lack it. Without the pronoun, the clause is more ambiguous (either “Keep the faith [that] you have between yourself and God” or “Do you have faith? Keep it between yourself and God”). The pronoun thus looks to be a motivated reading, created to clarify the meaning of the text. Even though it is found in the better witnesses, in this instance internal evidence should be given preference. NA27 places the word in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.

19 tc Some mss insert 16:25-27 at this point. See the tc note at 16:25 for more information.



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