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Romans 14:13-23

Context
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. 1  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 2  is distressed because of what you eat, 3  you are no longer walking in love. 4  Do not destroy by your food someone for whom Christ died. 14:16 Therefore do not let what you consider good 5  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. 6 

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, 7  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. 8  14:22 The faith 9  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. 10 

1 tn Grk “brother.”

2 tn Grk “brother.”

3 tn Grk “on account of food.”

4 tn Grk “according to love.”

5 tn Grk “do not let your good.”

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

7 sn Here clean refers to food being ceremonially clean.

8 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.

9 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.

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



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