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Romans 14:1-12

Context
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 

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.”



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