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Romans 3:1-8

Context

3:1 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 3:2 Actually, there are many advantages. 1  First of all, 2  the Jews 3  were entrusted with the oracles of God. 4  3:3 What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being 5  shown up as a liar, 6  just as it is written: “so that you will be justified 7  in your words and will prevail when you are judged.” 8 

3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates 9  the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? 10  (I am speaking in human terms.) 11  3:6 Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? 3:7 For if by my lie the truth of God enhances 12  his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? – as some who slander us allege that we say. 13  (Their 14  condemnation is deserved!)

1 tn Grk “much in every way.”

2 tc ‡ Most witnesses (א A D2 33 Ï) have γάρ (gar) after μέν (men), though some significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses lack the conjunction (B D* G Ψ 81 365 1506 2464* pc latt). A few mss have γάρ, but not μέν (6 1739 1881). γάρ was frequently added by scribes as a clarifying conjunction, making it suspect here. NA27 has the γάρ in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.

tn Grk “first indeed that.”

3 tn Grk “they were.”

4 tn The referent of λόγια (logia, “oracles”) has been variously understood: (1) BDAG 598 s.v. λόγιον takes the term to refer here to “God’s promises to the Jews”; (2) some have taken this to refer more narrowly to the national promises of messianic salvation given to Israel (so S. L. Johnson, Jr., “Studies in Romans: Part VII: The Jews and the Oracles of God,” BSac 130 [1973]: 245); (3) perhaps the most widespread interpretation sees the term as referring to the entire OT generally.

5 tn Grk “every man”; but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense here to stress humanity rather than masculinity.

6 tn Grk “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” The words “proven” and “shown up” are supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning.

7 tn Grk “might be justified,” a subjunctive verb, but in this type of clause it carries the same sense as the future indicative verb in the latter part. “Will” is more idiomatic in contemporary English.

8 tn Or “prevail when you judge.” A quotation from Ps 51:4.

9 tn Or “shows clearly.”

10 tn Grk “That God is not unjust to inflict wrath, is he?”

11 sn The same expression occurs in Gal 3:15, and similar phrases in Rom 6:19 and 1 Cor 9:8.

12 tn Grk “abounded unto.”

13 tn Grk “(as we are slandered and some affirm that we say…).”

14 tn Grk “whose.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, this relative clause was rendered as a new sentence in the translation.



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