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Romans 10:17-18

10:17 Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word 1  of Christ. 2 

10:18 But I ask, have they 3  not heard? 4  Yes, they have: 5  Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. 6 

1 tn The Greek term here is ῥῆμα (rJhma), which often (but not exclusively) focuses on the spoken word.

2 tc Most mss (א1 A D1 Ψ 33 1881 Ï sy) have θεοῦ (qeou) here rather than Χριστοῦ (Cristou; found in Ì46vid א* B C D* 6 81 629 1506 1739 pc lat co). External evidence strongly favors the reading “Christ” here. Internal evidence is also on its side, for the expression ῥῆμα Χριστοῦ (rJhma Cristou) occurs nowhere else in the NT; thus scribes would be prone to change it to a known expression.

tn The genitive could be understood as either subjective (“Christ does the speaking”) or objective (“Christ is spoken about”), but the latter is more likely here.

3 tn That is, Israel (see the following verse).

4 tn Grk “they have not ‘not heard,’ have they?” This question is difficult to render in English. The basic question is a negative sentence (“Have they not heard?”), but it is preceded by the particle μή (mh) which expects a negative response. The end result in English is a double negative (“They have not ‘not heard,’ have they?”). This has been changed to a positive question in the translation for clarity. See BDAG 646 s.v. μή 3.a.; D. Moo, Romans (NICNT), 666, fn. 32; and C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans (ICC), 537, for discussion.

5 tn Here the particle μενοῦνγε (menounge) is correcting the negative response expected by the particle μή (mh) in the preceding question. Since the question has been translated positively, the translation was changed here to reflect that rendering.

6 sn A quotation from Ps 19:4.

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