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Romans 8:28-39

Context
8:28 And we know that all things work together 1  for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 8:29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son 2  would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 3  8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.

8:31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 Indeed, he who 4  did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 8:33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? 5  It is God who justifies. 8:34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ 6  is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 7  8:36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 8  8:37 No, in all these things we have complete victory 9  through him 10  who loved us! 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, 11  nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 tc ὁ θεός (Jo qeos, “God”) is found after the verb συνεργεῖ (sunergei, “work”) in v. 28 by Ì46 A B 81 sa; the shorter reading is found in א C D F G Ψ 33 1739 1881 Ï latt sy bo. Although the inclusion is supported by a significant early papyrus, the alliance of significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses favors the shorter reading. As well, the longer reading is evidently motivated by a need for clarification. Since ὁ θεός is textually suspect, it is better to read the text without it. This leaves two good translational options: either “he works all things together for good” or “all things work together for good.” In the first instance the subject is embedded in the verb and “God” is clearly implied (as in v. 29). In the second instance, πάντα (panta) becomes the subject of an intransitive verb. In either case, “What is expressed is a truly biblical confidence in the sovereignty of God” (C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:427).

2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God’s Son) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.

4 tn Grk “[he] who.” The relative clause continues the question of v. 31 in a way that is awkward in English. The force of v. 32 is thus: “who indeed did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – How will he not also with him give us all things?”

5 sn An allusion to Isa 50:8 where the reference is singular; Paul applies this to all believers (“God’s elect” is plural here).

6 tc ‡ A number of significant and early witnesses, along with several others (Ì46vid א A C F G L Ψ 6 33 81 104 365 1505 al lat bo), read ᾿Ιησοῦς (Ihsous, “Jesus”) after Χριστός (Cristos, “Christ”) in v. 34. But the shorter reading is not unrepresented (B D 0289 1739 1881 Ï sa). Once ᾿Ιησοῦς got into the text, what scribe would omit it? Although the external evidence is on the side of the longer reading, internally such an expansion seems suspect. The shorter reading is thus preferred. NA27 has the word in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.

tn Grk “who also.”

7 tn Here “sword” is a metonymy that includes both threats of violence and acts of violence, even including death (although death is not necessarily the only thing in view here).

8 sn A quotation from Ps 44:22.

9 tn BDAG 1034 s.v. ὑπερνικάω states, “as a heightened form of νικᾶν prevail completely ὑπερνικῶμεν we are winning a most glorious victory Ro 8:37.”

10 tn Here the referent could be either God or Christ, but in v. 39 it is God’s love that is mentioned.

11 tn BDAG 138 s.v. ἀρχή 6 takes this term as a reference to angelic or transcendent powers (as opposed to merely human rulers). To clarify this, the adjective “heavenly” has been supplied in the translation. Some interpreters see this as a reference to fallen angels or demonic powers, and this view is reflected in some recent translations (NIV, NLT).



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