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Romans 8:28

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,

Romans 8:35-39

Context
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? 2  8:36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 3  8:37 No, in all these things we have complete victory 4  through him 5  who loved us! 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, 6  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 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).

3 sn A quotation from Ps 44:22.

4 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.”

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

6 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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