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Romans 5:1-11

Context
The Expectation of Justification

5:1 1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have 2  peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice 3  in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not 4  only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 5:4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God 5  has been poured out 6  in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 7  5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous 8  by his blood, 9  we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 10  5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 5:11 Not 11  only this, but we also rejoice 12  in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.

1 sn Many interpreters see Rom 5:1 as beginning the second major division of the letter.

2 tc A number of important witnesses have the subjunctive ἔχωμεν (ecwmen, “let us have”) instead of ἔχομεν (ecomen, “we have”) in v. 1. Included in the subjunctive’s support are א* A B* C D K L 33 81 630 1175 1739* pm lat bo. But the indicative is not without its supporters: א1 B2 F G P Ψ 0220vid 104 365 1241 1505 1506 1739c 1881 2464 pm. If the problem were to be solved on an external basis only, the subjunctive would be preferred. Because of this, the “A” rating on behalf of the indicative in the UBS4 appears overly confident. Nevertheless, the indicative is probably correct. First, the earliest witness to Rom 5:1 has the indicative (0220vid, third century). Second, the first set of correctors is sometimes, if not often, of equal importance with the original hand. Hence, א1 might be given equal value with א*. Third, there is a good cross-section of witnesses for the indicative: Alexandrian (in 0220vid, probably א1 1241 1506 1881 al), Western (in F G), and Byzantine (noted in NA27 as pm). Thus, although the external evidence is strongly in favor of the subjunctive, the indicative is represented well enough that its ancestry could easily go back to the original. Turning to the internal evidence, the indicative gains much ground. (1) The variant may have been produced via an error of hearing (since omicron and omega were pronounced alike in ancient Greek). This, of course, does not indicate which reading was original – just that an error of hearing may have produced one of them. In light of the indecisiveness of the transcriptional evidence, intrinsic evidence could play a much larger role. This is indeed the case here. (2) The indicative fits well with the overall argument of the book to this point. Up until now, Paul has been establishing the “indicatives of the faith.” There is only one imperative (used rhetorically) and only one hortatory subjunctive (and this in a quotation within a diatribe) up till this point, while from ch. 6 on there are sixty-one imperatives and seven hortatory subjunctives. Clearly, an exhortation would be out of place in ch. 5. (3) Paul presupposes that the audience has peace with God (via reconciliation) in 5:10. This seems to assume the indicative in v. 1. (4) As C. E. B. Cranfield notes, “it would surely be strange for Paul, in such a carefully argued writing as this, to exhort his readers to enjoy or to guard a peace which he has not yet explicitly shown to be possessed by them” (Romans [ICC], 1:257). (5) The notion that εἰρήνην ἔχωμεν (eirhnhn ecwmen) can even naturally mean “enjoy peace” is problematic (ExSyn 464), yet those who embrace the subjunctive have to give the verb some such force. Thus, although the external evidence is stronger in support of the subjunctive, the internal evidence points to the indicative. Although a decision is difficult, ἔχομεν appears to be the authentic reading.

3 tn Or “exult, boast.”

4 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

5 tn The phrase ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ (Jh agaph tou qeou, “the love of God”) could be interpreted as either an objective genitive (“our love for God”), subjective genitive (“God’s love for us”), or both (M. Zerwick’s “general” genitive [Biblical Greek, §§36-39]; D. B. Wallace’s “plenary” genitive [ExSyn 119-21]). The immediate context, which discusses what God has done for believers, favors a subjective genitive, but the fact that this love is poured out within the hearts of believers implies that it may be the source for believers’ love for God; consequently an objective genitive cannot be ruled out. It is possible that both these ideas are meant in the text and that this is a plenary genitive: “The love that comes from God and that produces our love for God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (ExSyn 121).

6 sn On the OT background of the Spirit being poured out, see Isa 32:15; Joel 2:28-29.

7 sn Verse 7 forms something of a parenthetical comment in Paul’s argument.

8 tn Grk “having now been declared righteous.” The participle δικαιωθέντες (dikaiwqente") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.

9 tn Or, according to BDF §219.3, “at the price of his blood.”

10 tn Grk “the wrath,” referring to God’s wrath as v. 10 shows.

11 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

12 tn Or “exult, boast.”



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