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Chapter II – A Comparison of Translation of Problem Passages in Romans

CHAPTER II

A COMPARISON OF TRANSLATIONS OF PROBLEM PASSAGES IN ROMANS

Romans 1:4 —

The ambiguity of this phrase is generally recognized. The participle   may be interpreted to mean ”proved to be,” “marked out as being,” or “installed,” “appointed,” “constituted.” Is Paul referring here to the declaration or announcement of Christ’s already existing status or relationship, or to the exaltation of Christ to a new status or relationship? The decision is somewhat dependent upon the interpretation of the equally ambiguous following phrase,  ,  as discussed later.

Sanday and Headlam1 admit that “itself does not determine the meaning either way: it must be determined by the context. But here the particular context is also neutral.” They observe that “most modern commentators” have adopted the interpretation “appointed,” “instituted,” “installed.” Sanday and Headlam explain, however, that since Paul did not believe that Christ became Son of God at or by the resurrection, yet at the same time he did seem to regard the resurrection as making a difference–“if not in the transcendental relations of the Father to the Son . . . yet in the visible manifestation of Sonship as addressed to the understanding of men” — therefore,  the meaning of is “sufficiently


1Unless otherwise indicated, all references in this chapter are to the appropriate pages in the commentaries, grammars, lexicons, or word studies prepared by the scholars named, as listed in the bibliography.

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expressed by our word ‘designated.'” John Knox also regards the translation “designated” as “well chosen,” since it is “equally ambiguous with the original.” He adds that the solution to the problem of the passage depends upon the decision as to whether Paul followed the earlier adoptionist Christology or the later Johannine full incarnationism–“or an intermediate stage.”

Schaff claims that here can only mean “to f’ix,” “to appoint,” “to constitute.” He lists Chrysostom, Luther, Fritzsche, Olshausen, Philippi, Alford, Hodge, and Meyer as interpreting the participle as “a mere declaration, or a subjective manifestation and recognition   Christ as the Son of God in the hearts of men” but concludes definitely that “Christ was divinely decreed and objectively fixed, constituted, and inaugurated as the Son of God in power or majesty at His resurrection.” Lange interprets that Christ is “absolutely destined to be the Son of God in majesty.” Gifford admits the ambiguity of but states that “designated,” in the sense of “instituted,” “appointed,” “ordained,” is the “only sense which the word has in the New Testament.”

Barrett observes that the translation “defined,” or “declared to be,” has the “evident advantage that it avoids the charge of adoptionism which can be brought against ‘appointed,’ but there is little else to be said for it. Hellenistic evidence and New Testament usage both favour ‘appointed.” Lagrange takes the same view. Kittel and Bauer translate, “eingesetzt.” Lietzmann explains that “jemanden zu etwas bestellen” is “the only meaning of that makes sense here.”

Thayer translates “appointed,” meaning that the pre-existent Son of God was “openly appointed . . . such among men” by the resurrection.

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Garvie prefers  “installed”  “ordained,”  explaining that by this Paul does not mean that Christ became Son of God at his resurrection but rather that at his resurrection he has exalted “into the full possession and free exercise of the dignity and authority . . . conferred on him as Son of God as the reward of his obedience and death.” He claims that “we empty Paul’s argument in the Epistle to the Philippians of its distinctive significance, as well as the passage here of its more probable meaning, if we assume that Christ’s exaltation at his resurrection was merely a return to his pre-existent state.”

Denney, on the other hand, while recognizing the ambiguity of  states that “the resurrection only declared Him to be what He truly was.” Cremer explains that this does not mean “declared that He was to be” but “declared that He is.” Boylan translates “marked out,” “declared,” and refers to the resurrection as “proof or declaration of Christ’s divinity.” Parry recommends “distinguished”; Arndt and Gingrich, “declared to be.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “predestynat, or bifore ordeyed bi grace, the sone of God” (Vulgate: “praedestinatus,” evidently based on an early corruption of the Greek text to );

Tyndale (1525), “declared to be the sonne of God” (Luther; 1524: ”erweiset”);1

Coverable (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;


1It is being assumed that Luther’s third Wittenberg edition of 1524 was the one used Tyndale.  See L. F. Gruber, The First English New Testament and Luther (Burlington: The Lutheran Literary Board 1928), p. 104

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Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva, (1560) same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), “predestinate the sonne of God” (cf. Latin);

King James (1611). same as Tyndale (margin: ”Gr. determined”);

English Revised (1881), same as Tyndale (margin: “Gr. determined”);

Twentieth century (1900), “proved to be the Son of God” (changed to “designated Son of God” in the 1904 final edition);

American standard (1901), same as Tyndale (margin: “Gr. determined”);

Weymouth (1903), same as Twentieth Ventury (1900) (changed to “marked out as Son of God” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “installed as Son of God”;

Westminster (1920), “marked out Son of God” (margin: “not, of course, that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity was not always God . . . but probably with emphasis on the full and final glorification of the Sacred Humanity.”);

Goodspeed (1923), “declared Son of God”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Twentieth Century (1900);

Montgomery (1924), ”instated as Son of God'”;

Williams (1937), “proved to be God’s Son”;

Spencer (1937), “marked out to be Son of God” (margin: “Vulg. predestined”);

Confraternity (1941). “foreordained son of God” (the marginal note giving the Greek and translating it as “constituted,”   “manifested”);

Basic English (1941), “marked out as Son of God”;

Knox (1944) “marked out . . . as the son of God”;

Verkuyl (1945) “openly designated as the Son of God”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Twentieth century (1904);

Phillips (1947), “patently marked out as the Son of God”;

Schonfield (1955), “demonstrated to be God’s Son”;

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Lilly (1956), “constituted the . . . Son of God.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Twentieth Century (1904), Verkuyl, and Revised Standard. As observed by J. Knox, “designated” may by definition mean either “declared as being” or “appointed to be.” This translation, adopted by these three versions, may represent a deliberate attempt to preserve the ambiguity of the Greek.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe and Rheims, following the Vulgate “praedestinatus.”

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: King James, English Revised, American Standard, Spencer and Confraternity.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative : Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishop’, Twentieth Century (1900) Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Basic English Knox, Phillips, Sconfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations,

has been understood as expressing the declaration or proof of an already existing position by Tyndale, Coverdale. Rogers,

Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, English Revised, Twentieth

Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine,

Williams, Spencer, Basic English Knox, Phillips, and Schonfield. It is

interpreted as expressing “appointment,” “installatlon,” or “ordination” to a new or changed position by Wycliffe, Rheims, King James (margin), English Revised (margin), American Standard (margin), Moffat, Montgomery, Spencer (margin), and Lilly.

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Romans 1:4.–

The prepositional phrase may be connected adverbially with or adjectivally with .  Taken adverbially the passage would mean that Jesus was “decisively” or “miraculously” designated Son of God by or since the resurrection. Taken adjectivally the passage would refer rather to the exalted state of Christ at or since the resurrection. The context does not clearly indicate the choice to be made.

Denney admits that the connection is “doubtful” and ventures no opinion. Lietzmann expresses the same uncertainty. Garvie suggests that the adverbial connection is “the more probable.” But Sanday and Headlam argue definitely for the adverbial construction: “Not with . . . ‘Son of God in power,’ opposed to the present state of humiliation, but rather adverbially . . . ‘declared with might to be Son of God.” Stephens paraphrases, “by a glorious act of power.'”1Abel translates, “efficacement,” “puissament.” Robertson explains that the resurrection of Christ as the “miracle of miracles” “gave God’s seal ‘with power.'” Meyer, Gifford, Thayer, Vincent, Dummelow, Parry and Boylan also interpret adverbially.

On the other hand, Kittel states that is not to be connected adverbially with but rather attributively with Dodd also prefers the adjectival construction and explains that “by His resurrection He was invested with the full power and glory of His divine status as Lord of’ all.” Nygren interprets, “from that hour He is


1George B. Stevens, “A Paraphraseof the Epistle to the Romans,” The Biblical World, Vol. VIII (July-Dec., 1896), pp. 299-309. All subsequent references to Stephens are to the appropriate pages in this same work.

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the Son of God in a new sense. He is the Son of God ‘in power.'” J. Knox agrees that “the words in power emphasize the contrast of Christ’s present postresurrection status with the weakness and humiliation of the earthly life.”

Barrett admits that ”it seems impossible” to decide between the two alternatives but is inclined toward the adjectival connection. “Christ was, after the resurrections appointed Son of God in power.” Bauer translates, “the powerful son of God.” Cremer interprets, “the resurrection accomplished the exaltation of the man Christ Jesus.” Essentially the same view is taken by Lange, Schaff, Weiss, Bosworth, Lagrange, and Theissen.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382) “predestynat . . . the sone of God in uertu” (Vulgate:   “in virtue”);

Tynldale (1525), “declared to be the sonne of God with power [of the Holy goost] ”;

Coverdale (1535), “mightely declared to be the sonne of God” (Luther, 1524: “krefftiglich”);

Rogers (1537), “declared to be the sonne of God, wyth power [of the holy goost]”;

Taverner (1539) , same as Rogers ;

Great   (1539) , “declared to be the sonne of God wyth power [after the sprete]”;

Geneva (1560),   “declared mightely to be the Sonne of God”;

Bishops’   (1568), “declared to be the sonne of God, with power [after the sprete]”   (The marginal note shows that the translators understood this adverbially.);

Rheims (1582), “predestinate the sonne of God in power” (The 1914 printing of Challoner’s 1749 revision has a marginal note explaining that this is to be understood adverbially.);

King James (1611), “declared to be the Sonne of God, with power,” (Blayney’s edition of 1769 omits the first comma.);

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English Revised (1881) “declared to be the Son of God with power” (margin: “Or, in”);

Twentieth century (1990),   “miraculously proved to be the Son of God”;

American standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin: “Or, in”);

Weymouth (1903), “decisively proved . . . to be the Son of God” (changed to ”miraculously marked out a Son of God” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffat: (1913), “installed as Son of God with power”;

Westminster (1920), “by an act of power . . . was marked out Son of God”;

Goodspeed (1923), “decisively declares Son of God”;

Ballantine (1923), “with power proved to be the Son of God”;

Montgomery (1924), “instated as Son of God, with power,”;

Williams (1937), “proved to be God’s son in power”;

Spencer (1937), “in power was marked out to be son of God”;

Confraternity (1941) “foreordained Son of God by an act of power”;

Basic English (1941). “marked out as son of God in power”;

Knox (1944) “marked out miraculously as the Son of God”;

Verkuyl (1945), “openly designated as the Son of God with power”;

Revised Standard (1946), “designated Son of God in power”;

Phillips (1947) “potently marked out as the Son of God by the power (of the Holy Spirit]”;

Schonfield (1955), “potently demonstrated to be God’s Son”;

Lilly (1956), “constituted the mighty Son of God” (the marginal note explaining in what way Christ was so constituted and recognizing his eternal sonship).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Rogers,

Taverner, Great, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American

Standard, Moffatt, Montgomery, William, Basic English, Verkuyl, and

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Revised Standard. It is possible that a number of these versions intended the literal “in power,” or “with power,” to be interpreted adjectivally. However, the wording is none the less ambiguous.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None. Even though the English Revised and American Standard have offered “with” in the text and “in” the margin, their translations are classified nevertheless as literal, obscure, and ambiguous, for “in power” or “with power” can both be understood adverbially or adjectivally, as shown by the marginal notes of the Bishops’ and Rheims.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Coverdale, Geneva, Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Spencer, Confraternity, Knox, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

All but one on the versions offering an interpretative translation have preferred the adverbial construction. Lilly alone has clearly interpreted adjectivally, with his translation “the mighty Son of God.”

Romans 1:4.–

The literal English translation of this phrase is as obscure and ambiguous as the Greek. It has been interpreted as referring to the Holy Spirit (),  or to the divine nature in Christ, or to the holiness of  Christ’s human spirit.

J. Knox considers these words “the most difficult phrase in this whole section.” However, he regards it as “on the whole more probable” that Paul is speaking here of “the divine nature, conferred through perhaps identical with, the Holy Spirit.”

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Boylan argues for the interpretation “Holy Spirit,” a view held generally by the patristic writers. He denies that this may refer to Christ’s divinity as if balanced against . Lietzmann explains that there is no distinction in meaning between and . Bauer lists the same interpretation, describing the phrase “ein verstarktes . Barrett translates, “in the sphere of as the Holy Spirit.”

On the contrary, Kittel asserts that is not “ein verstarktes,”evidently alluding to Bauer’s interpretation.He emphasizes that the expression refers to Christ’s deity. Garvie agrees that this cannot refer to the Holy Spirit, nor to the holiness of’ Christ’s human spirit, but rather to his divinity. Schaff also prefers to interpret as Christ’s divinity, “which is all Spirit, and intrinsically holy.” Parry explains that the phrase refers to “the divine nature of Jesus, in contrast with .” Grimm takes the same view, but his explanation is later marked questionable by Thayer, who seems to agree rather with Gifford that this refers to the holiness of Christ’s human spirit, “at once Divine and human.” Vincent and Dummelow also interpret as Christ’s human spirit, which is “the seat of his divine nature.”

Sanday and Headlam oppose the idea that this may refer to the divine nature in Christ, “as if the Human Nature were coextensive with the and the Divine Nature coextensive with the .” They state that this is “the human , like the human ,   distinguished however from that of ordinary humanity by an exceptional and transcendent Holiness.” Robertson accepts Denny’s explanation, “not the Holy Spirit, but a description of Christ ethically as him physically.” Cremer

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agrees that Paul is not speaking of the Holy Spirit but adds that, since the subject of this passage is not “the contrast of natural and moral qualities, but of human and divine relationship,” this must refer to “the holiness of God . . . manifested in and by Christ.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “aftir the spirit of halewyng” (Vulgate: “secundum spiritum sanctificationis”);

Tyndale (1525), “of the holy goost that sanctifieth” (Luther, 1524: “nach dem Geist, der da heiliget”);

Coverdale (1535), “after the sprete which sanctifieth”;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539) “after the sprite that sanctyfyeth”;

Geneva (1560) “touching the Spirit of sanctification (margin: “By the    Spirit he declareth that Christ is “God.” Changed from “touching the Spirite that sanctifieth” in Whittingham, 1557, a more interpretative rendering);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Great (A marginal note shows that the translators understood this to be the Holy Spirit.);

Rheims (1582), “according to the spirit of sanctification” (The 1914 printing of Challoner’s 1749 revision explains that this is to be understood as Christ’s “infinite sanctity.”);

King James (1611) “according to the Spirit of holiness” (Blayney, “Holy Spirit.”);

English Revised (1881), same as Blayney (although the English Revised also consistently capitalizes “Holy Spirit”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “as regards the Spirit of holiness which was in him” (changed to “as to the spirit of holiness within him” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as Blayney (although the American Standard also consistently capitalizes “Holy Spirit”);

Weymouth (1903), “as regards the holiness of His Spirit” (changed to “by His Spirit of Holiness” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “[installed . . .] by the Spirit of holiness” (the context

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indicating that Moffatt understood this as referring to the Holy Spirit);

Westminster (1920),   “in accordance with the holiness of his spirit”;

Goodspeed (1923),     “in his holiness of spirit”;

Ballantine (1923), same as King James (1611);

Montgomery (1924), “in respect of his spirit of holiness”;

Williams (1937), “on the holy spiritual side” (margin: “Grk.,   according to the spirit holiness”);

Spencer (1937), “by the Spirit of sanctification”;

Confraternity (1941), “in keeping both the holiness or his spirit”;

Basic English (1941), “by the Holy Spirit”;

Knox (1944), “in respect of the sanctified spirit that was his”;

Verkuyl (1945), “according to the Spirit of Holiness”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as King James (1611);

Phillips (1947), “by [the power of’] that Spirit of holiness [which raised Him to life again from the dead]”;

Schonfield (1955) “in the sanctified spiritual sense”;

Lilly (1956) same as Blayney.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Geneva, Rheims, King James, Ballantine, Spencer, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Phillips. Spencer’s reading is similar to that of Moffatt, but the context leaves it ambiguous. Verkuyl’s capitalized rendering is perhaps intended to be understood as referring to the Holy Spirit, but this meaning is not certain. In versions that consistently capitalize ” “Holy Spirit,” the literal translation “the spirit of holiness,” with “spirit” not capitalized, is evidently to be regarded as an interpretation. It is clear that these

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versions to not interpret the phrase as a reference to the Holy Spirit.

2. Literals but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale,

Rogers, Taverner, Great: Whittingham, Bishops’, Blayney, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt; Westminster, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Wllllams, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions which have offered interpretative translations, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Whittingham, Bishops’, Moffatt, and Basic English interpret as the Holy Spirit. It is difficult to tell whether the Blayney, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standards Weymouth, Westminster, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Confraternity, Knox, Schonfield, and Lilly translations refer to Christ’s divine nature or to the holiness of his human nature, or both. However, they evidently do not mean the Holy Spirit but rather the holiness of Christ’s own spirit.

Romans 1:4.–

There are two ambiguities in this phrase. Some choose to regard the genitive case of as ablatival in force and thus translate “the resurrection from the dead.” In this case the passage is referred to Christ’s own resurrection. Others prefer to take the case of as “genitive of description” and translate the “resurrection of the dead.” The passage is thus understood more broadly as a reference to the resurrection of the dead in a generic or absolute sense. Is Paul emphasizing that the proof of Christ’ sonship (or his appointment to sonship

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in majesty) is provided by his own resurrection or by the general resurrection, of which his own was the first example?

Most of the versions included in this study seem to refer the passage more or less exclusively to Christ’s own resurrection and translate, “the resurrection from the dead” or, more specifically, “his resurrection from the dead.” Parry translates “resurrection from death” and states that “the raising of Christ is the testimony of God to his nature.” Sanday and Headlam also refer the passage only to Christ’s resurrection. They explain that this “remarkable phrase” may have much the force of a compound word, “a dead-rising,” the equivalent or ”Todtenauferstehung”–“a resurrection such as that when dead persons rise.” Lietzmann also interprets as Christ’s own resurrection.

Vincent, however, states that the phrase signifies “the resurrection of the dead absolutely and generically–of all the dead.” Lightfoot agrees that “the general resurrection of the dead is meant,” implied in that of Christ. Nygren urges the importance of translating “the resurrection of the dead,” since “for Paul the resurrection of Christ is the beginning of the resurrection of the dead.” Garvie claims that Paul “never uses the expression ‘resurrection from the dead,’ but ‘of the dead.” “Christ’s rising was a ‘resurrection of the dead’ (plural) because in Him the general hope of mankind received a first fulfillment.” Denney explains that Christ’s resurrection was not from but of the dead, since it has “exemplifying, and so guaranteeing, that of others.” Robertson takes the same view.

The second problem in this phrase involves the interpretation of the ambiguous preposition It can be understood as causal or temporal.

 

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Is Paul emphasizing that Christ was “designated Son of God” by or since the time of the resurrection?

C. F. D. Moule recognizes the ambiguity by just citing the two choices: “Is ‘temporal,’ meaning ‘from the time of,’ or ‘causal,’ meaning, ‘on the ground of?'” Lightfoot prefers “owing to, by reason of.” Thayer and Dummelow suggest simply “by.” Parry explains that “the raising of Christ is the testimony of God to His nature.” Robertson agrees that “it was the Resurrection . . . that definitely marked Jesus off as God’s Son because of his claims about himself as God’s Son and his prophecy that he would rise on the third day.”

On the other hands Boylan claims that “Paul is not thinking here of the Resurrection as a proof of Christ’s divinity. Neither can he mean that Christ was ‘set up’ or ‘established’ by the Resurrection as Son of God. He is thinking rather . . . of the striking declaration of the divine Sonship of Christ contained in the works wrought by the Holy Spirit since the Resurrection.” Dodd seems to stress the temporal significance of the preposition in his explanation, “The statement . . . attests the facts that . . . after His resurrection, though not before, He was worshipped as Son of God.” Barrett translates, “after his resurrection from the dead,” explaining that “the resurrection of Christ must . . . have preceded his appointment” as the Son of God. Lietzmann also prefers the temporal “since his resurrection” and argues that the causal “by his resurrection” introduces “eine fremden und falchen Gedanken” into this context.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382) “of the azenrisynge of deed men” (Vulgate: “ex resur rectione mortuorum,” of as ambiguous as the Greek) ;

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Tyndale (1525), “sence the tyme that [Jesus Christ our lorde] rose agayne from deeth” (Luther, 1524: “syt der zeit er aufferstanden ist von den todten”);

Coverdale (1535), “sense the tyme that he rose agayne from the deed” (cf. Luther, cited above);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), sameas Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “by the resurrection from the dead” (changed from “sence that he rose agayne from the dead” in Whittingham. 1557);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Geneva;

Rheims (1582), “by the resurrection [of our Lord Jesus Christ] from the dead (cf. Tyndale);

King James (1611), same as Geneva;

English Revised (1881), “by the resurrection from the dead”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “by his resurrection from the dead”;

American Standard (1901), same as Geneva (margin: “Or, of the dead”);

Weymouth (1903), “by the Resurrection” (changed to “by resurrection of the dead” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “when he was raised from the dead”;

Westminster (1920), “by resurrection from death”;

Goodspeed (1923), “by being raised from the dead”;

Ballantine (1923). same as Twentieth Century;

Montgomery (1924), same as Twentieth Century;

Williams (1937), same as Geneva;

Spencer (1937), “through His resurrection from the dead”;

Confraternity (1941), “by resurrection from the dead”;

Basic English (1941), “through the coming to life again of the dead”;

Knox (1944), same as Twentieth Century;

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Verkuyl (1945), “when He was raised from the dead” (cf. Moffatt);

Revised Standard (1946), same as Twentieth Century;

Phillips (1947) “[by the power of that Spirit of holiness] which raised Him to life again from the dead”;

Schonfield (1955) same as Confraternity;

Lilly (1956), same as Twentieth Century.

The translations of seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, English Revised, Weymouth (1929), and Basic English. The translators of at least the last three versions were undoubtedly aware of the significance of their literal translation.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: American Standard.

4. Interpretative without an alternative: All versions except Wycliffe, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), and Basic English.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, is interpreted as referring more or less exclusively to Christ’s own resurrection by all except the American Standard (margin), which interprets as the general resurrection of the dead. The latter interpretation, however, is also represented by the literal translations of Wycliffe, English Revised, Weymouth (1929), and Basic English, and they were probably intended to be so understood. It is being assumed that the capitalized Weymouth (1903) rendering “Resurrection” is intended to be

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taken as a reference to Christ’s own resurrection.

The translations of seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4. Interpretative, without an alternative: All versions except Wycliffe.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, is interpreted as temporal by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Whittingham, Moffatt, and Verkuyl. The preposition is interpreted as causal by Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencers, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Romans 1:5. – –

The genitive case of  may be taken as either subjective or objective, or as genitive of apposition, or epexegetic genitive, or genitive of description or quality (attributive). The phrase  has been interpreted to mean “obedience that springs from faith,” “obedience that consists in faith,” “faithful obedience,” or “obedience to faith” (as a principle), or “obedience to the faith” (as the gospel or a body of doctrine). As Blass observes with Robertson’s approval (in his Grammar), the exact shade of the genitive idea is often a matter of theological rather than grammatical interpretation.

Sanday and Headlam favor the objective genitive, provided that

 

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“is not hardened too much into the sense which it afterwards acquired of a body of doctrine.” Kirk prefers “obedience to the faith”– “‘the faith”being regarded as a synonym for ”the Christian gospel.'” Dodd and theissen take the same view in their comments on the identical phrase in Rom. 16:26. But Gifford explains, “Not ‘to the f aith’– as the doctrine of the faith.” “‘obedience to faith,’ is man’s surrender of himself . . . to faith as the principle and power . . . on the new life in Christ.” Garvie agrees that faith does not mean here “a creed claiming acceptance.” Thayer translates, “obedience rendered to faith.” Abel also interprets as the objective genitive. Lietzmann explains that the genitive of is neither subjective nor epexegetic but rather objective. He understands here as meaning ”die neue Religion.”

Abbott-Smith lists this phrase as an example of the use of with the objective genitive in the New Testament. But Parry observes on the contrary that “with the genitive seems never to be objective” in the New Testament. Stephens, Lightfoot, and Robertson take this as subjective genitive and interpret, “the obedience which springs from faith.” Vincent translators “obedience which characterizes and proceeds from faith”; Denney “the obedience which consists in faith”; Dummelow “that obedience which is connected with faith”; Barrett “believing obedience.”

J. Knox admits that the meaning of this phrase is somewhat obscure but favors “obedience which comes from faith.” He objects to the Revised standard translation “the faith” in that “it involves an objective, almost external, meaning for the word ‘faith’ which is certainly not characteristic of Paul.” Bowman sees the possibility of the phrase meaning either

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“obedience to the truths of Faith” or “obedience consisting in faith” but prefers the latter in view of the absence of the article.

Bauer, in his comments on , cites Rom. 1:5 as an example of the early objectivizing of the faith-concept. But in his comments on as used in Rom. 1:5 and 16:26, he admits uncertainty as to whether Paul is speaking of “obedience to the message of faith” or “obedience which springs from faith.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382) “to obeische to the feith in alle folkis” (Vulgate : “ad oboediendum fidei,” which is equally ambiguous with the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “thatt all gentiles shulde obeye to the faith” (changed in the 1534 edition to “to bring all maner bethen people unto obedience or the faythe”; Luther, 1524: “under alle heiden den gehorsam dess glaubens auffzurichten”);

Coverable (1535), “amonge all Haythen, to set up the obedience of’ faith” (cf. Luther);

Rogers (1537) “to bring all manner hethen people unto the obedyence of the fayth”;

Taverner (1539), same as Rogers;

Great (1539), “that obedience might be given unto the faith . . . monge all the Heathen”;

Geneva (1560), “that obedience might be given unto the faith . . . among all heathen”;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Great;

Rheims (1582) “for obedience to the faith in all Nation”;

King James (1611) “for obedience to the faith among all nation” (margin: “Or the obedience of faith”);

English Revised (1881), “unto obedience of faith among all the nations” (margin: “Or, to the faith”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “to secure . . . submission to the Faith among all nations”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin: “Or, to the faith”);

– 39 –

Weymouth (1903), “to win men to obedience to the faith, among all Gentile peoples” (margin: “Lit. simply ‘to obedience of faith.'” This was changed in the 1929 fifth edition to “to win men to the obedience that springs from faith among all the Gentiles,” with the marginal note, “Or perhaps ‘obedience to the faith’; lit. ‘unto obedience of faith.'”);

Moffatt (1913), “to promote obedience to the faith . . . among all the

Gentiles”;

Westminster (1920) “we should win all nations unto obedience of faith”;

Goodspeed (1923), “to urge obedience and faith upon all the heathen”;

Ballantine (1923), “to promote obedience of faith . . . among all the

Gentiles”;

Montgomery (1924), “to promote obedience to the faith among all the Gentiles”;

Williams (1937), “to urge upon all the heathen obedience inspired by faith”;

Spencer (1937), “in all the nations to subdue them to faith”;

Confraternity (1941), “to bring about obedience to faith among all the nations”;

Basic English (1941), “to make disciples to the faith among all nations”;

Knox (1944), “all over the world men must be taught [to honor his name] by paying him the homage of their faith”;

Verkuyl (1945), “to promote among all the gentiles a yielding in faith to His name”;

Revised Standard (1946), “to bring about obedience to the faith among all the Gentiles”;

Phillips (1947), “to forward obedience to the Faith in all nations”;

Schonfield (1955), “to procure loyal submission”;

Lilly (1956), “to bring men of all nations [to honor his name] by the submission of faith.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Tyndale (1534) Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Westminster, and Ballastine. It is possible that the

– 40 –

translations offered in each of these versions, and especially in Coverdale, Westminster, and Ballantine, were intended to be understood as interpreting in the subjective sense, or as epexegetic or attributive. Evidence for this may be the reappearance of the Coverdale rendering in the margin of the King James and in the text of the English Revised and American Standard as an alternative to the objective interpretation, “obedience to the faith.” However, the translations could also be understood in the objective sense, and consequently they seem to belong in this classification as literal, obscure, and ambiguous.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: King James, English Revised, American Standard, and Weymouth. The translation offered in the margin of the King James and Weymouth (1903) and in the text of the English Revised and American standard is literal, obscure, and ambiguous. However, these versions are included in this classification since they have not only offered one clear translation in text or margin but have also at least suggested the possibility of a different interpretation. Only the 1929 fifth edition of Weymouth offers two clear alternative interpretations.

4. Interpretative, without an alternative: Wycliffe, Tyndale (1525), Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillip, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, Weymouth (1929) and Williams have preferred to take the genitive of as subjective; Knox and, apparently, Lilly have interpreted as genitive of

– 41 –

apposition; Verkuyl and Schonfield have interpreted as genitive of description or quality. Goodspeed’s translation “obedience and faith” is difficult to place grammatically, but he clearly rejects the objective interpretation.

The genitive is interpreted as objective by Wycliffe, Tyndale (1525) Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised (margin), Weymouth (1903), American Standard (margin), Moffatt, Montgomery, Spencers Confraternity, Basic English, Revised Standard, and Phillips. Of this latter group, all but Spencer and the Confraternity have interpreted as “the faith” with the definite article.

Romans 1:6. – –

The genitive case is ambiguous. It has been interpreted as genitive of possession, or “predicate genitive” (Robertson) making the passage mean, “Jesus Christ’s by calling”; or “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Robertson regards this as predicate genitive); or “called by Jesus Christ” (a use of the genitive explained by Smyth as a form of the genitive of possession used with verbal adjectives “to denote the personal origin of an action”).1 It has also been taken as ablatival genitive, meaning “called from Jesus Christ,” or “having received a call from Jesus Christ.” The solution rests largely upon the translator’s decision as to whether Paul customarily ascribes the act of calling to God the Father or to Christ.

Robertson seems to prefer to interpret as ”predicate genitive, meaning “called to be Jesus Christ’s,” though he also admits

1H. W. Smyth, A Greek Grammar (New York: American Book Co., 1920), p. 328, par. 1390.

– 42 –

it “possible to consider it the ablative case, ‘called of (or from) Jesus Christ.'” In his Grammar he advises that “it is probably best” to take as ablatival here in Rom. 1:6. Gifford translates, “Jesus Christ’s called ones” and explains that they are “called by God the Father, to whom the act of calling is always ascribed.” Barrett takes the same view. Lange claims that the phrase may not mean “whom Christ has called,” for “Paul refers the call to God.” Schaff agrees that the call of believers is “uniformly referred to the Father.” Lightfoot translates “called to be Jesus Christ’s,” on the basis that “the call is always ascribed to God the Father.” Sanday and Headlam likewise interprets “called ones of Jesus Christ”; Thayer, “devoted to Christ and united to him”; Bosworth, “called by God to be Jesus Christ’s; Boylan, “as called by God they belong to Jesus Christ”; Denney, “Jesus Christ’s called.” Lagrange and J. Knox take the same position. Parry translates “called to belong to Jesus Christ” and explains that the genitive “stands for an adjective,” the equivalent or .”

On the other hand, Abel states that “called by Jesus Christ” is the “proper meaning.” Alford, Kittel, and Lietzmann support the same translation. “Called by Jesus Christ” is the interpretation offered in a number of the versions–Luther (1524), Twentieth Century (1900) Fenton (1905), Ballantine (1923), Verkuyl (1945), Ford (1948), and Schonfield (1955).

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “clepid of Ibesu Crist” (Some manuscripts have “the called.” Vulgate: “uocati Jesu Christi,” which is as ambiguous as

the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “Jesus Christes by vocacion”;

– 43 –

Coverdale (1535) “called of Jesu Christ” (Luther, 1524: “berüffen seind von Jesu Christo”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), “Jesus Chrystes by callynge”;

Great (1539), same as Coverdale;

Geneva (1560), “the called of Jesus Christ” (changed from “Jesus Christes by vocacion” in the 1557 Whittingham edition);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Geneva;

Rheims (1582), same as Geneva;

King James (1611), same as Geneva;

English Revised (1881), “called to be Jesus Christ’s”;

Twentieth century (1900), “having received a Call from Jesus Christ” (changed to “called to belong to Jesus Christ” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “Called, as you have been, to belong to Jesus Christ” (changed to the same as Twentieth Century, 1904, in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), same as Twentieth Century (1904);

Westminster (1920), “being the called of Jesus Christ”;

Goodspeed (1923), same as Twentieth century (1904);

Ballantine (1923), “called by Jesus Christ”;

Montgomery (1924), “called to be Jesus Christ’s”;

Williams (1937), “as called ones belong to Jesus Christ”;

Spencer (1937), “called to be Jesus Christ’s own”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Montgomery;

Basic English (1941), “marked out to be disciples of Jesus Christ”;

Knox (1944), same as Twentieth Century (1904);

Verkuyl (1945), “invited as you are of Jesus Christ”;

– 44 –

Revised Standard (1946), same as Twentieth Century (1904);

Phillips (1947), “called to belong to Him”;

Schonfield (1955), “summoned by Jesus Christ”;

Lilly (1956), same as Twentieth Century (1904).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, and Westminster. It seems likely that the translation offered in these versions, “the called of’ Jesus Christ,” may represent an attempt to preserve the ambiguity of the original, inasmuch as both possible interpretations had already appeared in previous versions.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Coverdale, and Great. It is being assumed that the literal “called of’ Jesus Christ” was readily understood in the idiom of’ the day to mean, “called by Jesus Christ.”

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, the call is ascribed to Christ himself by the Twentieth Century (1900), Ballantine, Verkuyl, and Schonfield. Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Whittingham, English Revised, Twentieth Century (1904), American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencers, Confraternity,

– 45 –

Basic English, Knox, Revised Standard, Phillips, and Lilly all take the genitive as possessive (or predicate genitive), resulting in such translations as “Jesus Christ’s by calling,” “called to be Jesus Christ’s,” “called to belong to Jesus Christ.” These translations do not indicate specifically that the act of’ calling is not to be referred to Christ, but the implication is there.

Romans 1:17.- –

The genitive case of may be interpreted as genitive of possession (God’s righteousness), of description (a God-kind of righteousness), or of source (the righteousness which comes from God). The omission of the article makes possible another alternative, “a righteousness of God,” as a particular phase of God’s righteousness though the literal translation “a righteousness of God” is still obscure.

The word is also ambiguous in this context and may be taken as a description of intrinsic character or of an outgoing activity. Compare the use of in Rom. 3:22. If the case of is assumed to be genitive of possession, the whole phrase may be interpreted either as referring to the righteousness of God’s own character or to God’s way of’ making men righteous.

The problem has been discussed at considerable length by the commentators. Some recommend that the translation be left sufficiently ambiguous to include two or more of the possible meanings. Sanday and Headlam interpret the phrase as meaning both “righteousness of which God is the author and man the recipient” and “God’s own righteousness.” “The very cogency of the arguments on both sides is enough to show that the two views . . . are not mutually exclusive but rather inclusive.”

– 46 –

Abbott-Smith defines similarly as “a righteousness divine in its character and origin” that “includes the idea of God’s personal righteousness.” Barrett explains that “God’s righteousness” here is not only his property or attribute of being right, or righteous, but also his activity in doing right, and (as we say) seeing right done; thus his righteousness issues in his vindicating–those whom it is proper that he should vindicate.”

Denney also regards the expression as of the “utmost generality.”

But he denies that it may refer to God’s own righteousness as an attribute of character and sees rather three other meanings: “the justification of man,” “a righteousness which proceeds from God,” and the righteousness “that is valid before God.” He prefers “a Divine righteousness” to cover broadly all three. Dodd interprets as an attribute both of God and of men “as saved of God.” Robertson recommends “a God kind of righteousness.” In his Grammar he had earlier described this as “the righteousness which God has and wishes to bestow on us.” Thayer translates, “what God declares to be righteousness..” Lietzmann states noncommittally that this may mean either God’s own righteousness or that which he imputes.

Kittel claims that “there can be no doubt that is to be understood as a subjective genitive. God’s righteousness is exclusively his own, and man is brought into it and given a place within it.” Parry states that the phrase should not be translated “a righteousness of God,” but “God’s righteousness,” that is, “righteousness as belonging to the character of God.” Barmby agrees that in all cases this means “God’s own eternal righteousness.”

Vincent takes the view that “this does not mean righteousness as

<p>-  47 -<br />

an  attribute of God . . . but righteousness as bestowed on man by God.&quot; Bauer  translates, &quot;the righteousness bestowed by God.&quot; J. Knox agrees with  Lightfoot, Dummelow, Boylan, Lagrange, Nygren, and Theissen that this is  righteousness which comes from God, &quot;not so much God’s own righteousness  as an act or God on behalf of men.&quot; Abel states that this is genitive of  source and translates, righteousness given by God to man.&quot;</p>

<p>Stephens  understands the words to mean &quot;a way . . . in which sinful man may be  accepted before God and may stand  in his  presence approved and forgiven.&quot; In apparent agreement Phillips  translates, &quot;God’s plan for imparting righteousness to men,&quot; and Goodspeed,  &quot;God’s way of up- rightness.” By this Goodspeed evidently does not mean  God’s own righteousness, for where this is clearly the meaning of __   in Rom. 3:5 he translates, &quot;the  uprightness of God.&quot;</p>

<p>The  versions have translated as follows:</p>

<p>Wycliffe  (1382), &quot;the riztwysnesse of God&quot; (Vulgate: &quot;Iustitia enim Dei&quot;;  </p>

<p>Tyndale  (1525), &quot;the rightfulness which commeth of god&quot;;</p>

<p>Coverdale  (1535), &quot;the righteousness that is of value before God&quot; (Luther,  1524: &quot;die gerechtigkeit die vor gott gilt&quot;);</p>

<p>Rogers  (1537), same as Tyndale (The marginal note shows that Rogers understood this to  mean “’imputed” righteousness.);</p>

<p>Taverner  (1539), same as Wycliffe;</p>

<p>Great  (1539), same as Wycliffe;</p>

<p>Geneva  (1560), same as Wycliffe (The marginal note shows that the translators understood  this to mean the righteousness ”which God approveth&quot; and  is to be &quot;apprehended by faith.&quot;);</p>

<p>Bishops’  (1568), same as Wycliffe;</p>

<p>Rheims  (1582), &quot;the justice of God&quot; (Latin:    &quot;iustitia.&quot; The marginal note explains that this is &quot;not  Gods owne iustice in him self, but</p>

<p>- 48 -<br />

that  iustice wherwith God endueth man.&quot;);</p>

<p>King  James (1611), same as Wycliffe; </p>

<p>English  Revised (1881), &quot;a righteousness of God&quot;; </p>

<p>Twentieth  century (1900), &quot;a righteousness which comes from God&quot; (changed in  the 1904 final edition to ”the Divine Righteousness);</p>

<p>American  standard (1901), same as English Revised;</p>

<p>Weymouth  (1903), &quot;a righteousness which comes from God&quot; (margin: ”Or tthe  righteousness’”);</p>

<p>Moffatt  (1913), &quot;God’s righteousness&quot;;</p>

<p>Westminster  (1920), &quot;the justness of God&quot;; </p>

<p>Goodspeed  (1923), &quot;God’s way of uprightness&quot;;</p>

<p>Ballantine  (1923), &quot;a righteousness of God&quot;;</p>

<p>Montgomery  (1924), &quot;a righteousness which proceeds from God&quot;;</p>

<p>Williams  (1937), &quot;God’s Way of  man’s right  standing with Him&quot; (A marginal note gives the literal Greek and explains  that this means in Paul  “right standing  with God, or God’s way for men to be in right standing with Him.”);</p>

<p>Spencer  (1937), &quot;justification from God” (A marginal note cites the  interpretation of Augustine: &quot;The Justice of God here is not that by which  He is just, but that wherewith He clothes man when He justifies the  impious.&quot;);</p>

<p>Confraternity  (1941), same as Rheims (A marginal note explains that this is the &quot;justice  that got imparts to man.&quot;);</p>

<p>Basic  English (1941),  same as Wycliffe;</p>

<p>Knox  (1944) &quot;God’s way of justifying us&quot;;</p>

<p>Verkuyl  (1945), same as Moffatt;</p>

<p>Revised  Standard (1946), same as Wycliffe; </p>

<p>Phillips  (1947), &quot;God’s plan for imparting righteousness to men&quot;; </p>

<p>Schonfield  (1955), &quot;God’s justice&quot;; </p>

<p>Lilly  (1956), “God’s way of sanctifying” (margin: &quot;literally, of justifying’”’)<br />

.<br />

– 49 -</p>

<p>The  translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:</p>

<p>1.  Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishop’,  Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Westminster,  Ballantine, Confraternity, Basic English, and Revised Standard. It might seem  that the translation &quot;the righteousness of God,&quot; or &quot;the justice  of God,&quot; would be most readily understood to mean &quot;God’s own  righteousness,&quot; the literal translation therefore being equivalent to an  interpretation. However, the marginal notes in Geneva, Rheims, and Confraternity  illustrate the ambiguity of the literal rendering.</p>

<p>2.  Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:  None.</p>

<p>3.  Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.</p>

<p>4.  Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale, Roger, Twentieth Century,  Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Knox, Verkuyl,  Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.</p>

<p>Of  the versions which have offered interpretative translations,  Moffatt,,  Goodspeed, Williams, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips,  Schonfield, and Lilly have taken the case of __ as genitive of possession;  Covedale and the 1904 final edition of the Twentieth Century have interpreted as  genitive of description; Tyndale, Rogers, Twentieth Century (1900), Weymouth,  Montgomery, and Spencer as genitive of source.</p>

<p>Of  this same group of versions, Goodspeed, Williams, Spencer, Knox, Phillips and  Lilly have interpreted ____ as an outgoing act of God in man’s behalf. The rest  have translated simply as ”righteousness.&quot; The English Revised, Twentieth  Century (1900) American Standard, Ballantine, and Montgomery translate, &quot;a  righteousness&quot; with the indefinite  article.</p>

<p>- 50  -</p>

<p>Romans  1:17</p>

<p>The  prepositional phrase __  may be connected  adverbially with ___ or  adverbially with  __. In the former case the passage  would  mean that the righteous person will live by faith, or will have life as a  result of his faith, his faith being a manifestation of his righteousness. In  the latter ease it would mean that the person who by faith is righteous will  live, or will have life, the equivalent of __.</p>

<p>Lightfoot  states that he “cannot doubt&quot; that __ is to be taken both __. Sanday and  Headlam argue that the meaning of Habakkuk 2:4 determines this connection, for  if Paul had intended otherwise &quot;it lay very near at hand to write __ and  so remove all ambiguity.&quot; Denney explains that to connect __ with __ would  imply a contrast to another mode of being righteous, that is by works,  &quot;which there is nothing in the text to suggest.&quot; The traditional  interpretation is preferred also by Cremer, Zehn, and Kittel and is the one  followed by most modern versions.</p>

<p>On  the contrary, however, regarding Paul’s quotation of Habakkuk, Garvie explains  that &quot;the thought of the prophet and the apostle are not the same&quot;  and that in this case __ should &quot;probably&quot; be quite connected with  __.   Boylan concludes more definitely  that __ is obviously to be joined here immediately with __.&quot; F. C. Grant  states his judgment that &quot;the older theological interpretation&quot; of  this passage is &quot;not quite adequate. Paul is thinking of one who through</p>

<p>- 51 -<br />

faith  is righteous.”1 Nygren is strongly for this position:</p>

<p>What  reason have we for coupling __? We reply that the reason is not merely good  enough to be persuasive; it is decisive. First and foremost, the context  demands that the words be thus coupled . . . .</p>

<p>The  very structure of Romans and the letter as a whole are proof that in its theme  __ is connected with __ and not with __.</p>

<p>Thayers  Kuhl, Bosworth, Abel. and Lietzmann also prefer this interpretation.</p>

<p>Barrett  argues that the translation of this passage should be left ambiguous, since the  &quot;position&quot; of __  is  &quot;indecisive.&quot; He recommends &quot;he that is righteous by faith shall  live,&quot; meaning that &quot;man (if righteous at all) is righteous by faith;  he also lives by faith.&quot; Bauer also translates somewhat ambiguously,  &quot;he that is just through faith will have life.&quot;</p>

<p>The  versions have translated as follows: </p>

<p>Wycliffe  (1382), &quot;for a just man lyueth of feith&quot; (Vulgate: &quot;Iustus autem  ex fide uiuit,&quot; a literal and ambiguous translation of the ambiguous  Greek);</p>

<p>Tyndale  (1525), &quot;The just shall live by fayth&quot;; </p>

<p>Coverdale  (1535) &quot;the iust shal  lyve by his  faith&quot; (Luther, 1524: &quot;Der gerecht wirt leben auss seinem  glauben&quot;); </p>

<p>Rogers  (1537), same as Tyndale; </p>

<p>Taverner  (1539), same as Tyndale;</p>

<p>Great  (1539), same as Tyndale; </p>

<p>Geneva  (1560), same as Tyndale; </p>

<p>Bishops’  (1568), same as Tyndale; </p>

<p>1F.  C. Grant &quot;Notes on Translating the New Testament,&quot; The Bible         Translator, Vol. I (Oct., 1950), p.  149.</p>

<p>- 52  -<br />

Rheims  (1582), &quot;And the iust liveth by faith&quot;; </p>

<p>King  James (1611), same as Tyndale;</p>

<p>English  Revised (1881), &quot;But the righteous shall live by faith&quot; (margin:  &quot;Gr. from&quot;);</p>

<p>Twentieth  Century (1900), &quot;Those who stand right with God will find Life as the  result of faith&quot; (changed in the 1904 final edition to &quot;Through faith  the righteous man shall find Life.&quot;);<br />

American  Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin: &quot;Gr. from&quot;); </p>

<p>Weymouth  (1903), &quot;The righteous man shall live by faith&quot; (margin: &quot;Or  ‘The man who is righteous by faith shall live.”’);</p>

<p>Moffatt  (1913), &quot;By faith shall the righteous live&quot;; </p>

<p>Westminster  (1920), &quot;The just man shall live by faith&quot;;</p>

<p>Goodspeed  (1923), &quot;The upright will have life because of his faith&quot;; </p>

<p>Ballantine  (1923), &quot;He who is righteous by faith shall live&quot; (cf. Veymouth  margin); </p>

<p>Montgomery  (1924), &quot;Now by faith shall the righteous live&quot;;</p>

<p>Williams  (1937), &quot;The upright man must live by faith&quot;; </p>

<p>Spencer  (l937), same as Westminster; </p>

<p>Confraternity  (1941), &quot;He who is just lives by faiths&quot;; </p>

<p>Basic  English (1941), &quot;The man who does righteousness will be living by his  faith&quot;;</p>

<p>Knox  (1944), &quot;It is faith that brings life to the just man&quot;; </p>

<p>Verkuyl  (1945), &quot;But the just shall live by faith&quot;;</p>

<p>Revised  Standard (1946), &quot;He who through faith is righteous shall live&quot;  (margin: &quot;Or The righteous shall live by faith.&quot;);</p>

<p>Phillips  (1947), &quot;The righteous shall live by faith&quot;;</p>

<p>Schonfield  (1955), &quot;By faith the Just shall live&quot;;</p>

<p>Lilly  (1956), &quot;The holy man lives by faith.&quot;</p>

<p>The  translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:</p>

<p>- 53 -</p>

<p>1.  Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Ballantine. The translation &quot;he who is  righteous by faith shall live&quot; may represent a deliberate attempt to  preserve the ambiguity of the Greek</p>

<p>2.  Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.</p>

<p>3.  Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Weymouth and the Revised  Standard.</p>

<p>4.  Interpretative, with no alternative: All other versions besides Ballantine,  Weymouth, and the Revised Standard.</p>

<p>Of  the versions offering interpretative translations, only the Revised standard  and perhaps Weymouth (margin) connect __  with __.      All others make the traditional connection with __.  </p>

<p>Romans  1:18. — __<br />

<br />

The  verb __ may mean either “hold fast,&quot; &quot;possess,&quot; or  &quot;restrain,&quot; &quot;suppress,&quot; &quot;withhold.” The particular  meaning intended in this phrase is not immediately apparent. Is Paul saying  that the wicked are in possession of the truths yet are living unrighteous  lives? Or does he mean that they are hindering or suppressing the truth by their  unrighteousness?</p>

<p>Parry  recognizes the two possibilities but insists that here &quot;the sequence of  thought is &quot;decisive&quot; in favor of the meaning  &quot;possess.&quot;  &quot;It is  essential to the argument that the primary condition which makes an act or  state sinful should be set down here;  namely,  that the sinner knows what he is doing.&quot; Lightfoot also opposes the  meaning &quot;restrain&quot; or &quot;keep down&quot; and favors   &quot;possess,&quot;  &quot;grasp.&quot;     Abbott-Smith lists the meaning of __ in  this verse as &quot;possess,&quot; &quot;hold fast.&quot;</p>

<p>On  the other hand, Lange considers the interpretation &quot;who sin</p>

– 47 –

an attribute of God . . . but righteousness as bestowed on man by God.” Bauer translates, “the righteousness bestowed by God.” J. Knox agrees with Lightfoot, Dummelow, Boylan, Lagrange, Nygren, and Theissen that this is righteousness which comes from God, “not so much God’s own righteousness as an act or God on behalf of men.” Abel states that this is genitive of source and translates, righteousness given by God to man.”

Stephens understands the words to mean “a way . . . in which sinful man may be accepted before God and may stand  in his presence approved and forgiven.” In apparent agreement Phillips translates, “God’s plan for imparting righteousness to men,” and Goodspeed, “God’s way of uprightness.” By this Goodspeed evidently does not mean God’s own righteousness, for where this is clearly the meaning of in Rom. 3:5 he translates, “the uprightness of God.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the riztwysnesse of God” (Vulgate: “Iustitia enim Dei”;

Tyndale (1525), “the rightfulness which commeth of god”;

Coverdale (1535), “the righteousness that is of value before God” (Luther, 1524: “die gerechtigkeit die vor gott gilt”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale (The marginal note shows that Rogers understood this to mean “’imputed” righteousness.);

Taverner (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Great (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Geneva (1560), same as Wycliffe (The marginal note shows that the translators understood this to mean the righteousness ”which God approveth” and  is to be “apprehended by faith.”);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Wycliffe;

Rheims (1582), “the justice of God” (Latin:   “iustitia.” The marginal note explains that this is “not Gods owne iustice in him self, but

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  • that iustice wherwith God endueth man.”);
  • King James (1611), same as Wycliffe;
  • English Revised (1881), “a righteousness of God”;
  • Twentieth century (1900), “a righteousness which comes from God” (changed in the 1904 final edition to ”the Divine Righteousness);
  • American standard (1901), same as English Revised;
  • Weymouth (1903), “a righteousness which comes from God” (margin: ”Or tthe righteousness’”);
  • Moffatt (1913), “God’s righteousness”;
  • Westminster (1920), “the justness of God”;
  • Goodspeed (1923), “God’s way of uprightness”;
  • Ballantine (1923), “a righteousness of God”;
  • Montgomery (1924), “a righteousness which proceeds from God”;
  • Williams (1937), “God’s Way of  man’s right standing with Him” (A marginal note gives the literal Greek and explains that this means in Paul  “right standing with God, or God’s way for men to be in right standing with Him.”);
  • Spencer (1937), “justification from God” (A marginal note cites the interpretation of Augustine: “The Justice of God here is not that by which He is just, but that wherewith He clothes man when He justifies the impious.”);
  • Confraternity (1941), same as Rheims (A marginal note explains that this is the “justice that got imparts to man.”);
  • Basic English (1941),  same as Wycliffe;
  • Knox (1944) “God’s way of justifying us”;
  • Verkuyl (1945), same as Moffatt;
  • Revised Standard (1946), same as Wycliffe;
  • Phillips (1947), “God’s plan for imparting righteousness to men”;
  • Schonfield (1955), “God’s justice”;
  • Lilly (1956), “God’s way of sanctifying” (margin: “literally, of justifying’”’)

– 49 –

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishop’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Westminster, Ballantine, Confraternity, Basic English, and Revised Standard. It might seem that the translation “the righteousness of God,” or “the justice of God,” would be most readily understood to mean “God’s own righteousness,” the literal translation therefore being equivalent to an interpretation. However, the marginal notes in Geneva, Rheims, and Confraternity illustrate the ambiguity of the literal rendering.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:  None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale, Roger, Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions which have offered interpretative translations,  Moffatt,,  Goodspeed, Williams, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly have taken the case of as genitive of possession; Covedale and the 1904 final edition of the Twentieth Century have interpreted as genitive of description; Tyndale, Rogers, Twentieth Century (1900), Weymouth, Montgomery, and Spencer as genitive of source.

Of this same group of versions, Goodspeed, Williams, Spencer, Knox, Phillips and Lilly have interpreted as an outgoing act of God in man’s behalf. The rest have translated simply as ”righteousness.” The English Revised, Twentieth Century (1900) American Standard, Ballantine, and Montgomery translate, “a  righteousness” with the indefinite article.

 

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Romans 1:17. —

The prepositional phrase may be connected adverbially with or  adverbially with . In the former case the passage  would mean that the righteous person will live by faith, or will have life as a result of his faith, his faith being a manifestation of his righteousness. In the latter ease it would mean that the person who by faith is righteous will live, or will have life, the equivalent of .

Lightfoot states that he “cannot doubt” that is to be taken both . Sanday and Headlam argue that the meaning of Habakkuk 2:4 determines this connection, for if Paul had intended otherwise “it lay very near at hand to write and so remove all ambiguity.” Denney explains that to connect with  would imply a contrast to another mode of being righteous, that is by works, “which there is nothing in the text to suggest.” The traditional interpretation is preferred also by Cremer, Zehn, and Kittel and is the one followed by most modern versions.

On the contrary, however, regarding Paul’s quotation of Habakkuk, Garvie explains that “the thought of the prophet and the apostle are not the same” and that in this case should “probably” be quite connected with .   Boylan concludes more definitely that is obviously to be joined here immediately with  .” F. C. Grant states his judgment that “the older theological interpretation” of this passage is “not quite adequate. Paul is thinking of one who through

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faith is righteous.”1 Nygren is strongly for this position:

What reason have we for coupling ? We reply that the reason is not merely good enough to be persuasive; it is decisive. First and foremost, the context demands that the words be thus coupled . . . .

The very structure of Romans and the letter as a whole are proof that in its theme is connected with and not with .

Thayers Kuhl, Bosworth, Abel. and Lietzmann also prefer this interpretation.

Barrett argues that the translation of this passage should be left ambiguous, since the “position” of is “indecisive.” He recommends “he that is righteous by faith shall live,” meaning that “man (if righteous at all) is righteous by faith; he also lives by faith.” Bauer also translates somewhat ambiguously, “he that is just through faith will have life.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “for a just man lyueth of feith” (Vulgate: “Iustus autem ex fide uiuit,” a literal and ambiguous translation of the ambiguous Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “The just shall live by fayth”;

Coverdale (1535) “the iust shal  lyve by his faith” (Luther, 1524: “Der gerecht wirt leben auss seinem glauben”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

1F. C. Grant “Notes on Translating the New Testament,” The Bible  Translator, Vol. I (Oct., 1950), p. 149.

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Rheims (1582), “And the iust liveth by faith”;

King James (1611), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (1881), “But the righteous shall live by faith” (margin:  “Gr. from”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “Those who stand right with God will find Life as the result of faith” (changed in the 1904 final edition to “Through faith the righteous man shall find Life.”);

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin: “Gr. from”);

Weymouth (1903), “The righteous man shall live by faith” (margin: “Or ‘The man who is righteous by faith shall live.”’);

Moffatt (1913), “By faith shall the righteous live”;

Westminster (1920), “The just man shall live by faith”;

Goodspeed (1923), “The upright will have life because of his faith”;

Ballantine (1923), “He who is righteous by faith shall live” (cf. Veymouth margin);

Montgomery (1924), “Now by faith shall the righteous live”;

Williams (1937), “The upright man must live by faith”;

Spencer (l937), same as Westminster;

Confraternity (1941), “He who is just lives by faiths”;

Basic English (1941), “The man who does righteousness will be living by his faith”;

Knox (1944), “It is faith that brings life to the just man”;

Verkuyl (1945), “But the just shall live by faith”;

Revised Standard (1946), “He who through faith is righteous shall live” (margin: “Or The righteous shall live by faith.”);

Phillips (1947), “The righteous shall live by faith”;

Schonfield (1955), “By faith the Just shall live”;

Lilly (1956), “The holy man lives by faith.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

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1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Ballantine. The translation “he who is righteous by faith shall live” may represent a deliberate attempt to preserve the ambiguity of the Greek

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Weymouth and the Revised Standard.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: All other versions besides Ballantine, Weymouth, and the Revised Standard.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, only the Revised standard and perhaps Weymouth (margin) connect with .     All others make the traditional connection with .

Romans 1:18. —

The verb may mean either “hold fast,” “possess,” or “restrain,” “suppress,” “withhold.” The particular meaning intended in this phrase is not immediately apparent. Is Paul saying that the wicked are in possession of the truths yet are living unrighteous lives? Or does he mean that they are hindering or suppressing the truth by their unrighteousness?

Parry recognizes the two possibilities but insists that here “the sequence of thought is “decisive” in favor of the meaning “possess.”  “It is essential to the argument that the primary condition which makes an act or state sinful should be set down here;  namely, that the sinner knows what he is doing.” Lightfoot also opposes the meaning “restrain” or “keep down” and favors   “possess,”  “grasp.”     Abbott-Smith lists the meaning of in this verse as “possess,” “hold fast.”

On the other hand, Lange considers the interpretation “who sin

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against better knowledge” as “odd.” Vincent states that here may not mean “hold.” “possess,’ hut “hinder,” “suppress.” Denney cites both interpretations as possible but prefers “suppress.” Garvie also recognizes the two possibilities but favors “hinder,” “keep back.” Robertson interprets, “conceal”; Sanday and Headlam, “stifle and suppress”; Bauer, “hold down,” “suppress”; Thayer, “restrain,” “hinder”; Stephens, “pre-vent.” The same view is held by Gifford, Dummelow, Dodd, Nygren, Cragg, Barrett, and Lietzmann.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “withholden, or holden a bac, the treuthe of God in unriztwysnesse” (Vulgate: “ueritatem Dei in iniustitia detinent”);

Tyndale (1525), “withhole the trueth in unrightwesness” (Luther, 1524: “die warheit gottes uffhalten im unrechten,” changed in the 1534 edition to “die warheit inn untugent auffhalten”);

Coverdale (1535), “witholde the trueth of God in unrighteousnes” (cf. the Vulgate and Luther, 1524);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539); same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale (margin: “They hold the trueth in unryghteousness, ye whiche understande the trueth, and do not expresse the same in their deedes and lyfe”);

Rheims (1582), “deteine the veritie of God in iniustice” (Vulgate: “ueri tatem Dei in iniustitia detinent”);

King James (1611), “hold the truth in unrighteousness” (following the interpretation given in the Bishops’ marginal note);

English Revised (1881), “hold down the truth in unrighteousness (margin: “Or, hold the truth”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “by wrong-doing, suppressing the Truth”;

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American Standard (1901), “hinder the truth in unrighteousness” (margin: “Or, hold the truth”);

Weymouth (1903), “through iniquity suppress the truth”;

Moffatt (1913), “hinder the Truth by their wickedness”;

Westminster (1920), “in wickedness are repressing the truth”;

Goodspeed (1923), “in their wickedness are suppressing the truth”;

Ballantine (1923), “hold the truth but practice unrighteousness”;

Montgomery (1924), “smother the truth by their unrighteousness”;

Williams (1937), same as Goodspeed;

Spencer (1937), “impede the truth by their unrighteous conduct (margin: “Or, hold”);

Confraternity (1941), “in wickedness hold back the truth of God”;

Basic English (1941), “keep down what is true by wrongdoing”;

Knox (1944), “wrong-doing denies his truth its full scope”;

Verkuyl (1945), “through their wicked ways suppress the truth”;

Revised Standard (1946), “by their wickedness suppress the truth”;

Phillips (1947), “render Truth dumb and inoperative by their wickedness”;

Schonfield (1955), “wilfully suppress the truth”;

Lilly (1956), “in wickedness stifle the truth of God.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as

follows:

Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.

Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and Knox, all following the Vulgate interpretation, “detinent.”

Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised, American Standard, and Spencer. The marginal note in the Bishops’

– 56 –

presents the alternative interpretation but seems to be offering it, not as an alternative, but as an explanation of the translation “withholde” given in the text.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative. All other versions besides Wycliffe, Rheims, English Revised. American Standard, Confraternity, Spencer, and Knox.

Among the versions offering interpretative translations, the participle is interpreted as “holding,” “possessing,” by the Bishops’ (margin), King James, English Revised (margin), American Standard (margin), Ballantine, and Spencer (margin). All remaining versions interpret as “suppressing,” “hindering,” “holding back.”

Romans 1:30–

The force of the adjective may be either active, the equivalent of , or passive, the equivalent of .  Some have ventured as a third possibility that the word may mean “exceptionally impious and wicked” (Thayer) or may be a “strong and pregnant synonym for (Cremer).

Lightfoot prefers “hateful to God” and states that there is “no authority for the active meaning.” Robertson explains that “all the an-cient examples take it in the passive sense and so probably here.” Denney, Vincent, Bosworth, Lietzmann, Abbott-Smith, and Liddell and Scott all prefer the passive for Rom. 1:30.

On the contrary, Cremer argues that “this passive meaning cannot be given to the word here in Rom. 1:30, where heinous crimes and vices are enumerated.” Gifford agrees that “this active sense is undoubtedly better suited to a catalogue of sins, and the position of the word is

– 57 –

most striking at the head of a descending series of the forms of arrogance, first towards God and then towards men.” Sanday and Headlam prefer the active as giving the “more pointed sense” in this context–” unless we might suppose that had come to have a meaning like our “desperadoes.”

Bauer admits that in ancient Greek occurred only in the passive sense, “hated by a god,” then “godforsaken.” However, he is of the opinion that in this particular list of vices the active meaning, “hating God,” seems to be more appropriate. Boylan also considers “Godhating” more in place here.

Barrett suggests that should he regarded as an adjective qualifying the preceding and translates, “God-hated slanderers.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “hateful to God” (Vulgate: “Deo odibiles”);

Tyndale (1525), “haters off God” (Luther, 1524: “den gott feynd ist”; changed in the 1534 edition to “Gottes verachter”);

Coverdale (1535), “despysers of God” (cf. Luther, 1534);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), “odible to God” (Latin: “Deo odibiles”);

King James (1611), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (1881), same as Wycliffe (margin: “Or, haters of God”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “impious”;

– 58 –

American Standard (1901), same as Wycliffe (margin: “Or, haters of God”);

Weymouth (1903), same as Wycliffe (margin: “Or perhaps ‘haters of God.'”

Moffatt (1913), “loathed by God”;

Westminster (1920), “God-haters”;

Goodspeed (1923), “abhorrent to God”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Wycliffe;

Montgomery (1924), “hated of God”;

Williams (1937), same as Wycliffe;

Spencer (1937), same as Tyndale;

Confraternity (1941), same as Wycliffe (margin: “In the Greek, rather ‘hating God.'”);

Basic English (1941), “hated by God”;

Knox (1944), “God’s enemies”;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Westminster;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Tyndale;

Phillips (1947), same as Westminster;

Schonfield (1955), “anti-theistic”;

Lilly (1956), “they hate God.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Knox. The rendering “God’s enemies” perhaps qualifies as a deliberate attempt to represent in the translation English the ambiguity of the original.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe and Rheims. These two versions have given literal translations of the Latin, but in each case this has resulted in a rendering which is in effect an

– 59 –

interpretation of the ambiguous Greek.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, and Confraternity.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, the passive sense of is preferred by the English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Confraternity, and Basic English. The active sense is preferred by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, English Revised (margin), Twentieth Century, American Standard (margin), Weymouth (margin), Westminster, Spencer, Confraternity (margin), Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly. Among this second group, the Twentieth Century and perhaps Schon-field seem to take as the equivalent of .

Romans 2:13. —

The correct interpretation of this important term has been the subject of lengthy debate, and the decision seems to depend largely upon theological as well as philological considerations. The basic question is whether or not in the New Testament, and especially for Paul, means a mere forensic justification or an actual making righteous of the believer. Should it be translated accordingly as “declare righteous,” “count as righteous,” “prove to be righteous,” “acquit,” or “make righteous”?

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The forensic interpretation involves a further decision as to whether it denotes the acknowledging as righteous of a person who actually is righteous, or the pronouncing as righteous of a person who actually is not so.

Thayer admits that the “proper” meaning of __ is “to make __ but prefers “judge, declare, pronounce righteous” in this con-text. Lange similarly concedes that __ “means properly, it is true, according to the etymology . . . to make just.” But he argues that, “as the Septuagint and the New Testament usage shows, we must supply, by de-claration.” Schaff agrees that this is “the true evangelical or Pauline view of justification, in opposition to the interpretation of Roman Catholics and Rationalists, who, from opposite standpoints, agree in taking __ in the sense of making just, or sanctifying.”

Hastings states unequivocally:

There are two, and only two, possible meanings to be attached to the word which we translate “justify” in Paul’s writings. It may mean either make righteous or count righteous …. It is the latter sense only which he uses. With him the term is a purely forensic one, and means to count or reckon as righteous. In spite of much opposition this meaning has gradually vindicated itself against the other, and is now almost unanimously held by all scholars who have a right to speak on the subject.

Sanday and Headlam explain carefully that __ “cannot mean ‘to make righteous,'” adding with finality that “we content ourselves for the present with stating this result as a philological fact.” J. Knox is equally convinced of the forensic sense of __ and goes so far as to claim that the interpretation “make righteous” can be sustained “only by a rather violent exegesis.” The forensic interpretation is supported also by Cremer, Denney, Garvie, Parry, Barth, Robertson, Kittel, Abbott-Smith, Kygren, and Bauer.

– 61 –

On the contrary, however, no less a scholar than Goodspeed continues to maintain against much criticism that __ does indeed mean to “make upright.” On philological grounds he argues that the analogy of verbs ending in __ shows that the meaning of __ cannot be merely forensic. On theological grounds he urges that __ means much more than to forgive. It involves also the experience of rebirth, the crea¬tion of a new heart in the believer, so that he actually becomes __ and __. He pictures theologians as “clinging grimly” to the old forensic interpretation in spite of the evidence to the contrary. He blames them, not the lexicographers, for establishing the commonly held view that “the plain Greek word ‘You have been made upright’ is subtly transformed into meaning ‘You have been declared upright, though you are not.'” And he looks forward to the day when the Bible will be fully “rescued” from “clerics and theologians” who resort to such “antique” and “equivocal Vulgate evasions” as “justify” and “justification.”1

One of Goodspeed’s most outspoken critics has been Bruce M, Metzger, who took up the cudgels soon after the appearance of Goodspeed’s Problems of New Testament Translation, containing a defence of his interpretation of __. Metzger observes:

It may be that Goodspeed prefers the merit-religion of the Middle Ages to the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith, but it is past comprehension how he can go against the unmistakable evidence of the meaning of this verb in the Pauline epistles. The fact …. is that Paul simply does not use this verb to mean “to be made up-right or righteous.” Indeed it is extremely doubtful whether it ever bore this meaning in the Greek of any period or author. On the contrary


1E. J. Goodspeed, “Some Greek Notes,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. LXXIII (June, 1954), pp. 86-91. See also, by the same author, Problems of New Testament Translation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945), pp. 143-146.

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in the Pauline epistles it means “to be pronounced or declared or treated as righteous or upright.” Goodspeed’s translation . . . is far from being faithful to the original and introduces aberrant and contradictory ideas into the Pauline theology.1

To this Goodspeed retorts in kind that “if there is aberrancy among us, it is on his [Metzger’s] part, for to sustain a dogma, he is shown to oppose the greatest affirmations in Paul and also in Paul’s great interpreter and disciple John.”2

Gifford also believes that __ may be interpreted “make righteous” where the context so indicates. He translates “acknowledged and declared just” here in Rom. 2:13, on the basis that the ones referred to are already actually just. But he explains that in chapter three the believer is “both declared and made righteous.” He states further, on Rom. 5:19, that believers are “not merely declared righteous, or put into the position of righteous men, and treated as such, but constituted righteous …. Union with Christ . . . constitutes us essentially and formally righteous.” Dodd also, as J. Knox puts it, has sought to “relieve” Paul’s theology of the forensic idea of justification by explaining that “the vindication of right involves a real righteousness of the people on whose behalf it is wrought.”

Recently Barrett has come out in support of the translation “make righteous,” though in a sense different from that of Goodspeed. He agrees first that verbs in __ normally have a factitive, or causative, meaning and points out that this meaning of __ is confirmed by the fact that behind Paul’s use of the term is the Hebrew __. Since this is


1Bruce M. Metzger, a review of Goodspeed’s Problems of New Testa-ment Translation in Theology Today, Vol. II (Jan., 1946), p. 562.

22Goodspeed, “Some Greek Notes,” loc. cit., p. 89.

– 63 –

in the Hiph’il, it is clearly causative and “cannot possibly be weakened so far as to mean ‘to treat as righteous.'” He also objects to the forensic interpretation on the doctrinal ground that “not even God may pretend that black is white.” He concludes:

It is far better, and more in harmony with Paul’s teaching as a whole, to suppose that “to justify” __ does mean “to make righteous,” but at the same time to recognize that “righteous” does not mean “virtuous,” but “right,” “clear,” “acquitted” in God’s court. Justification then means no legal fiction but an act of forgiveness on God’s part, described in terms of the proceedings of a law court. Far from being a legal fiction, this is a creative act in the field of divine-human relations.

Boylan and Theissen both maintain the Roman Catholic position that __ means “no mere forensic thing.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “maad iust” (Vulgate: “iustificabuntur,” an ambiguous term. Wycliffe uses the translation “iustifyed” in Rom. 3:li- and 28);

Tyndale (1525), “iustified” (Luther, 1524: “werden rechtfertige sein”; changed in the 1534 edition to “werden gerecht sein”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale; Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale; Taverner (1539)> same as Tyndale; Great (1539), same as Tyndale; Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), same as Tyndale (margin: “Of al other Articles deceit-fully handled by Heretikes, they use most guile in this of iustifica-tion: and specially by the equivocation of certaine wordes, which is proper to all contentious wranglers, and namely in this word, justi-fie, which because they find sometime to signifie the acquitting of a guilty man of some crime whereof he is in deede guilty, and for which he ought to be condemned . . . they falsly make it so signifie in this place and the like, wheresoever man is said to be iustified of God for his workes or otherwise: as though it were said, that God iustifieth man, that is to say, imputeth to him the iustice of Christ.

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though he be not in deede iust: or of favour reputeth him as iust, when in deede he is wicked, impious, and uniust. Which is a most blasphemous doctrine against God …. The word doth here signifie, to esteeme and approve for iust in deede, him that by his grace keepeth his law and commandments.”);

King James (1611), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (l88l), same as Tyndale (margin: “Or, accounted righteous” );

Twentieth Century (19OO), “stand right with God” (changed to “pronounced righteous” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as Tyndale (margin: “Or, accounted righteous”);

Weymouth (1903), “pronounced righteous”;

Moffatt (1913), “acquitted”;

Westminster (1920), same as Tyndale;

Goodspeed (1923), “make upright”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Weymouth;

Montgomery (1924), same as English Revised (margin);

Williams (1937); “recognized as upright”;

Spencer (1937); same as Tyndale;

Confraternity (1941), same as Tyndale;

Basic English (1941), “judged as having righteousness”;

Knox (1944), same as Tyndale;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Weymouth;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Tyndale;

Phillips (1947), “justifies”;

Schonfield (1955); “exonerated”;

Lilly (1956), “sanctified.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

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1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Westminster, Spencer, Confraternity, Knox, Revised Standard, and Phillips.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None. The English Revised and American Standard offer “justified” in the text and “accounted righteous” in the margin, but in this case the margin would probably be taken as an explanation of the obscure term “justified,” thus in effect only one interpretation being represented.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Wycliffe, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Good-speed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Basic English, Verkuyl, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __ is interpreted in the sense of “make righteous” by Wycliffe, Goodspeed, and Lilly. The remaining versions interpret __ in the forensic sense.

Romans 2:15.–

In this phrase, the case of __ may be interpreted as genitive of possession (or origin), or as subjective genitive. Thus __ may be understood as the work required by the law, or as the work, function, effect, of the law itself.

Denney takes this to mean “the work which the law prescribes.” Sanday and Headlam explain it as the work, or course of conduct, “required by” or “in accordance with” the law. Lietzmann, Thayer, Boylan, Kirk, and Nygren present similar interpretations. Cremer translates, “all that the law demands” and explains that since the more active meaning “efficiency,

– 66-

activity” is “against the N. T. usage, and especially the Pauline,” this meaning is “inadmissible.”

On the contrary, however, Parry interprets the phrase to mean not “the course of conduct prescribed by the law” but rather “that effect which is produced by the law in those who have it.” Garvie agrees that Paul is speaking here of the “practical effect of the law.” Dummelow takes the same view. Barrett explains that the genitive is “probably subjective” and also translates “the effect of the law.” Bauer trans-lates as the “manifestation, practical proof” of the law.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the work of lawe” (changed by Purvey, in 1388, to “the work of the lawe”; Vulgate: “opus legis,” as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “the dede off the lawe” (Luther, 1524: “dess gesetzs werck”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Purvey;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539); same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “the effect of the Lawe”;

Bishops’ (1568), “the workes of the lawe”;

Rheims (1582), same as Purvey;

King James (1611), same as Purvey;

English Revised (1881), same as Purvey;

Twentieth Century (1900), “what the Law demands” (changed in the 1904 final edition to “the demands of the law”);.

American Standard (1901), same as Purvey;

Weymouth (1903), “a knowledge of the conduct which the Law requires” (margin:

– 67 –

“Lit. ‘the work of the Law.'” This was changed in the 1929 fifth edition to “the action of the Law.”);

Moffatt (1913), same as Geneva:

Westminster (1920), “the demands of the Law”;

Goodspeed (1923),” “what the law demands”;

Ballantine (1923), “the requirements of the Law”;

Montgomery (l924), “the work of the Law”;

Williams (1937), “the deeds the law demands”;

Spencer (1937), same as Montgomery;

Confraternity (1941), same as Purvey;

Basic English (1941), same as Purvey;

Knox (1944), “the obligation of the law”;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Geneva:

Revised Standard (1946), “what the law requires”;

Phillips (1947), “the effect of a law”;

Schonfield (1955), “the operation of that law”;

Lilly (1956), same as Ballantine.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Montgomery, Spencer, Confraternity, and Basic English. Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, and the Great Bible may have intended that their translation, “the dede off the lawe,” should be understood as equivalent to the interpretation “the effect of the law.” Likewise, the Bishops’ translators, by their plural rendering of __ in “the workes of the lawe,” may have intended that their translation should be

– 68 –

taken to mean “the works required by the law.” However, “both translations remain sufficiently obscure and ambiguous to warrant their inclusion in this first classification.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Weymouth (1903). The margin does not offer a clear alternative interpretation, but the possibility of different interpretations is at least suggested.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Geneva, Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Williams, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions which have offered interpretative translations, the Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1903), Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Williams, Knox, Revised Standard, and Lilly have preferred to interpret __ as meaning “the work required by the law.” Geneva, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schonfield have preferred to interpret as “the effect of the law.”

Romans 3:3.–

This verb may be translated “did not believe” or “were unfaithful.” Is Paul referring to the unwillingness of the Jews to believe in the Old Testament promises, especially as fulfilled in the gospel? Or is he speaking rather of their general unfaithfulness to God in the covenant relationship?

Sanday and Headlam list a number of commentators on either side of the question and then cautiously state that “probably, on the whole” __ refers to “unbelief.” They base this decision on the argument

– 69 –

that “unbelief is the constant sense of the word” and that “the main point in the context is the disbelief in the promises of the O. T. and the refusal to accept them as fulfilled in Christ.” Parry affirms more definitely that __ “always” means “disbelieve” and explains that the aorist tense of __ “refers to the definite act of the rejection of the Gospel.” Stephens likewise interprets the passage to mean that “many of the Jews have not accepted the Messiah.” Vincent also prefers “were without faith” and claims that “were unfaithful” is “contrary to New Testament usage.” Denney similarly favors “did disbelieve” and rejects the alternative “proved faithless to their trust.” The same position is taken by Meyer, Gifford, Garvie, Dummelow, and Barrett.

On the contrary, however, Hodge maintains that “to understand the passage as referring to want of faith in Christ, seems inconsistent with the whole context.” Lightfoot translates “were untrue to their trust,” adding that this means “unfaithful, not just unbelieving.” J. Knox ex-plains that Paul is speaking of the “faithlessness” of the Jews, “their failure to keep their obligations under the covenant.” Boylan likewise prefers “were disloyal” to “were unbelieving.” The same view is held by Thayer, Lietzmann. Bauer, and Theissen.

Robertson cites both alternatives and suggests that “either makes sense here and both ideas are true of some of the Jews.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “bileueden not” (Vulgate: “non crediderunt”);

Tyndale (1525), “did not beleve” (Luther, 1524: “Nit glauben”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

– 70 –

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), “have not beleeved”;

King James (l6ll), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (l88l), “were without faith”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “showed a want of faith”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “have proved unfaithful” (margin: “Or ‘unbelieving.'” Changed to “were unfaithful”; margin: “Or ‘unbelieving'” in the 1929 fifth edition (1941), “have no faith”;

Knox (1944), “shewed unfaithfulness”;

Verkuyl (1945), “failed to believe”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Weymouth (1929);

Phillips (1947), “were undoubtedly faithless”;

Schonfield (1955), “untrustworthiness”;

Lilly (1956), “have not been faithful.”

– 71 –

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Ballantine, Montgomery, and Phillips. The translation “faithless,” offered in these versions, may by definition mean either “unbelieving” or “disloyal,” “unfaithful.” It is impossible to tell if the translators intended this to be understood in its somewhat more common sense of “unwilling to believe” or were perhaps making a deliberate attempt to preserve the ambiguity of the Greek.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, and Confraternity, following the Vulgate interpretation, “non crediderunt.”

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Weymouth.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, __ is interpreted to mean “they did not believe” by Tyndale, Cover-dale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, English Re-vised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth (margin), Westminster, Goodspeed, Basic English, and Verkuyl. The interpretation “they were unfaithful” is preferred by Weymouth, Moffatt, Williams, Knox (in spite of the Latin “non crediderunt”), Revised Standard, Schonfield, and Lilly.

– 72 –

Romans 3:4.–

The infinitive __ may be interpreted as middle voice, meaning “to go to law,” “to enter a suit,” or passive, meaning “to “be judged.” In Psalm 51:4, from which this passage is quoted, the Hebrew __ is active, but Paul adopts the Septuagint __, thus giving rise to this problem of ambiguity. Is the passage to be understood as a wish that God may be victorious when he “takes his case to court” or when “he himself is put on trial to be judged?”

Robertson cites both alternatives but ventures no conclusion. Barmby is equally non-committal. Sanday and Headlam suggest that __ is “probably” not middle but passive. Denney states similarly that “probably the infinitive is passive.” J. Khox also interprets as passive and explains that “God is being judged as to his fidelity to his promises.” Thayer gives the meaning of __ in this verse as “summoned to trial that one’s case may be examined and judgment passed upon it.” The passive is also preferred by Hodge, Lange, Weiss, Parry, Boylan, and Bauer.

Lightfoot, on the other hand, claims definitely that “__ is middle” and means “when thou pleadest”—”certainly not, ‘when Thou are judged,’ as in A. V.” Schaff, disagreeing with Lange, states more cautiously that the infinitive is “more probably” in the middle voice. Meyer also prefers to interpret as middle voice. This is the interpreta-tion adopted by Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, and Williams.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “overcome whanne thou art demed” (Vulgate: “uincas cum iudicaris”);

– 73 –

Tyndale (1525), “overcome when thou arte judged” (Luther, 1524: “uberwindest, wenn du gerichtet wirdest”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale    (margin: “That thou maist be declared iuste, and thy goodnes and    trueth in performing thy promises may appeare, when man ether of    curiositie or arrogancie wolde iudge thy workes”);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), same as Tyndale;

King James (1611), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (1881), “prevail when thou comest into judgment”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “gain the day when men would judge thee” (changed to “gain thy cause when men would judge thee” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “gain thy cause when Thou contendest” (changed to “suc-ceed in Thy cause” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “triumph in thy trial”;

Westminster (1920), “prevail when thou art judged”;

Goodspeed (1923), “win your case when you go into court”;

Ballantine (1923), “triumph when thou art judged”;

Montgomery (1924), “gain thy cause when thou contendest”;

Williams (1937), same as Goodspeed;

Spencer (1937), “triumphant when Thou art judged”;

Confraternity (1941), “he victorious when thou art judged”;

Basic English (1941), “be seen to be right when you are judged”;

– 74 –

Knox (1944 ), “if thou art called in question, thou hast right on thy side”;

Verkuyl (1945), “mightest triumph when Thou art tried”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Westminster;

Phillips (1947), same as English Revised;

Schonfield (1955); “prevail when you are arraigned”; Lilly (1956), “win your case when you are judged.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

  1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
  2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and Knox, following the passive interpretation of the Latin.
  3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.
  4. Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions other than Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and Knox.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, Weymouth, Goodspeed, Montgomery, and Williams interpret __ as middle voice. All others interpret the infinitive as passive.

Romans 3:8

There are at least four possible interpretations of this ambiguous passage, each of which depends on the interpretation placed on the relative pronoun __.  In this context, the gender of __ be masculine or neuter, and the genitive case of __ may be subjective or objective.  If the pronoun is taken as masculine and the genitive as subjective, __ would refer to the slanderous critics, and the passage would mean that

– 75 –

their active condemnation of such specious arguments as have just been mentioned is just. If the pronoun is taken as masculine and the genitive as objective, __ could refer either to the slanderous critics or to those who are being slanderously criticized.  The passage would then mean either that the passive condemnation of the slanderous critics is just or that the passive condemnation of the slanderously criticized is just.  If the  pronoun is taken as neuter and the genitive as objective, __ would then refer to the specious arguments, and the passage would mean that the passive condemnation of such arguments is just.  This last interpretation comes close in meaning to the first one listed above, and with such interpretative translations as “such arguments are rightly condemned” it is difficult to tell whether the translators regarded __ as neuter and objective or masculine and subjective.

Gifford takes __ as masculine and objective and explains that the passage “is not directed against the slanderers just mentioned, but against those who object to being judged as sinners.”  Schaff also refers __ “to the subjects of __,   to those who speak and act according to this pernicious and blasphemous maxim.” Barth makes the same connection and translates, “those who speak thus do but confirm their own condemnation.” Denney interprets likewise, “the judgment that comes on those who by such perversions of reason and conscience seek to evade all judgment is just.”  Stephens interprets clearly, “those who do maintain such principles are under a just condemnation.”  The same view is held by Sanday and Headlam and Lightfoot.  Thayer and Bauer agree that __ is objective genitive, but they do not specify upon whom or what the condemnation is falling. Barrett interprets __ as masculine and refers it to the slanderers,

– 76 –

translating, “they will get what they deserve.”

Lange prefers to regard the gender of __ as neuter and explains that it does not refer to the slanderers but to the principle, “let us do evil that good may come.” Parry interprets similarly that “the clear statement of the position furnishes its own condemnation.” Dodd also seems to take __ as neuter in his use of Moffatt’s translation, “such arguments are rightly condemned.” Dummelow explains in his comments that __ is masculine, “but in his paraphrase he translates, “such a principle is to be condemned.”

W. O. Fitch prefers to take __ as masculine and subjective and claims that “no commentators, ancient or modern, seems to have considered the possibility that the genitive __ may be subjective, ‘whose verdict is just’; yet, if these words were found in a secular writer, I venture to think that they would naturally convey that meaning and no other. Moreover, this interpretation seems to me to suit the context, and to be in line with the general use of the words __   and __.”1

It is interesting to note that R. A. Khox (1944)  had already offered this subjective interpretation in his New Testament three years before Fitch made this claim to originality.  W. K. Grobel also recognized the same possibility in an article published in America three months later.2

In view of the problems involved in the interpretation of this passage, Grobel commends the ambiguous Revised Standard translation,


1W. 0. Fitch, “Notes on Romans 3:8b.” The Expository Times. Vol. LIX (Oct., 1947), p. 26.

2W. K. Grobel, “The Revision of the English New Testament,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. LXVI (Dec, 1947), p. 363.

– 77 –

“their condemnation is just” as “ingenious and beyond reproach,” adding that “it is not often possible to retain a Greek ambiguity in English.” He suggests that since Moffatt and Goodspeed, who had reached opposite decisions as to whether __ is subjective or objective genitive, were both among the RSV translators, “perhaps this balance of opinion within the committee led to the retention of the ambiguous translation, from RV.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “Whos dampnacioun is iust” (Vulgate:  “quorum damnatio iusta est”);

Tyndale (1525), same as Wycliffe;

Coverdale (1535), same as Wycliffe;

Rogers (1537), same as Wycliffe;

Taverner (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Great (1539),   same as Wycliffe;

Geneva (1560), same as Wycliffe;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Wycliffe;

Rheims (1582), same as Wycliffe;

King James (l6ll), same as Wycliffe;

English Revised (1881), “Whose condemnation is just”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “The condemnation of such people is indeed

just ‘”  (The context indicates that “such people” are the slanderous critics, but it is not clear whether the condemnation is active or passive.);

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “The condemnation of those who would so argue is just” (The context shows that this refers to the passive condemnation of those who say, “Let us do evil that good may come.” This is changed in the 1929 fifth edition to “The condemnation of such people is just,” the context indicating that this refers to the passive condemnation of the slanderers.);

Moffatt (1913),   “Such arguments are rightly condemned”;

– 78 –

Westminster (1920), “The condemnation of such disputants is just!” (referring to those who argue, “Let us do evil that good may come”);

Goodspeed (1923), “Such people will be condemned as they deserve” (the context indicating that “such people” are the slanderers);

Ballantine (1923), same as Weymouth (1929) (the context indicating that this refers to the passive condemnation of the slanderers);

Montgomery (1924), same as Moffatt;

Williams (1937), “Their condemnation is just” (“Their” refers to the critics, but there is no indication as to whether the condemnation is active or passive.);

Spencer (1937), “–whose condemnation is justi”;

Confraternity (1941), “The condemnation of such is just”;

Basic English (1964), “such behaviour will have its right punishment” (the context showing that this refers to the argument, “Let us do evil that good may come”);

Knox (1944), “and their condemnation of it is just”;

Verkuyl (1945), “Deservedly are such talkers condemned” (referring to those who argue, “Let us do evil that good may come”);

Revised Standard (1946), same as Williams (“Their” refers to the critics, but there is no indication as to whether the condemnation is active or passive.);

Phillips (1947), “But, of course, such an argument is quite properly condemned”;

Schonfield (1955), “whose condemnation is richly merited” (referring clearly to the passive condemnation of the slanderers);

Lilly (1956), “The condemnation of such is well deserved.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.  Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Revised Standard, and Lilly.  Of these, __ has clearly

– 79 –

been interpreted as masculine by the Twentieth Century, Williams, Revised Standard, and Lilly.  But there is no indication as to whether the ambiguous “condemnation” is active or passive.

2.  Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:  None.

3.  Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schonfield.

The passage has been interpreted as referring to the passive condemnation of the slanderous critics by Weymouth (1929), Goodspeed, Ballantine, and Schonfield; as the passive condemnation of those who argue, “Let us do evil that good may come,” by Weymouth (1903), Westminster, and Verkuyl; as the active condemnation of the slanderous critics by Knox; and as the passive condemnation of such specious arguments as “Let us do evil that good may come” by Moffatt, Montgomery, Basic English, and Phillips.

Romans 3.9.–

The voice of this ambiguous verb may be interpreted as middle or passive.  Taken as middle, in the intransitive sense, the question would be, “Are we better off?”  Taken again as middle, but in the ordinary middle sense, the question would be, “Do we put something forward as an excuse?” “Do we excuse ourselves?”  Taken as passive, the question would be, “Are we excelled?” Again taken as passive, some have suggested the possible translation, “Are we preferred?” meaning, “Are we Jews preferred to the Gentiles in the sight of God?”  The problem has been discussed at considerable length in the commentaries.

– 80 –

Dodd admits that “neither the reading nor the meaning of the Greek is certain here.  The text and the interpretation of the question are doubtful.” He regards Moffatt’s translation, “Are we Jews in a better position?” as the one “probably to be accepted.” J. Knox advises that “everything depends on the context in such cases; and this time the context is not clear.” He considers the translation “Are we Jews any better off?” as “more natural” but concedes that “Are we Jews at a disadvantage?” is also suitable in this context.

Thayer also prefers the middle voice, in the sense of “to excel, to surpass,” and argues that “it does not make against this force of the middle in the present passage that the use is nowhere else met with, nor is there any objection to an interpretation which has commended itself to a great many and which the context plainly demands.” Barrett analyses the problem in some detail and concludes that “Do we excell?” is the interpretation which “harmonizes best with Paul’s thought.”  Gifford regards the translation “Are we better than they?” as “the simplest and best.” Essentially the same view is taken by Lange, Schaff, Dummelow, Lietzmann, Lagrange, and Boylan.

Garvie acknowledges that the meaning is “very difficult to fix” but decides that the interpretation “adopted by many of the best scholars,” the passive “Are we in worse case than they?” is to be preferred. Denney also recognizes the difficulties but concludes that the passive “Are we excelled?” is “the only alternative.”  Field presents a careful analysis of all three main possibilities and likewise concludes that the passive interpretation, “Are we in worse case than they?” is “the best, if not the only solution of the difficulty.”

– 81 –

Sanday and Headlam also list the various alternatives.  They dismiss the middle “Are we “better off?” on the basis that “no examples of this use are to be found.”  They reject the middle “Do we put forward as an excuse?” as “impossible” on the ground that no object is expressed. They admit that the passive “Are we excelled?” is “a rare use” of the verb but prefer it as “still one which is sufficiently substantiated.” They also mention the fourth possibility, the passive “Are we preferred?”

Lightfoot concedes that this passive “Are we preferred?” gives “excellent sense,” but, though he admits that “the exact meaning of the word here is uncertain,” he states his conviction that, pending further information, he “must adhere” to the rendering “Are we excelled?” With similar conviction, Parry claims that the passive “Are we surpassed?” is the “settled” meaning. Kirk states more cautiously that the passive “Are we in worse case than they?” is “probably the best translation.”

Barth prefers to interpret __  in the ordinary middle sense of “Do we excuse ourselves?”

Bauer offers non-committally the two possible meanings of the middle voice. Arndt and Gingrich add the passive “Are we excelled?” as a third possibility but venture to express no preference.  Bosworth notes that the problem of __  has been the subject of much discussion but likewise takes no position.  Robertson observes that “there is still no fresh light on this difficult and common word.” He cites the passive “Are we preferred?” as a translation that “suits the context, but no other example has been found.” His conclusion is, “So the point remains unsettled.”

The versions have translated as follows:

– 82 –

Wycliffe (1382), “Passen we hem?” (Vulgate:  “praecellimus eos?”);

Tyndale (1525), “Are we better then they?” (Luther, 1524:  “haben wir ein vorteyl”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539),   same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “are we more excellent?” (changed from “Are we better then they?” the same as Tyndale, in the 1557 Whittingham edition);

Bishops’ (1568), “Are we better [then they?]” (The brackets are in the text. );

Rheims (1582), “do we excel them?”;

King James (1611), “are we better than they?” (cf. Bishops’);

English Revised (1881), “are we in worse case than they?” (margin:  “Or do we excuse ourselves?”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “Are we Jews in any way superior to them?”;

American Standard (1901), “are we better than they?”;

Weymouth (1903), “are we Jews more highly estimated than they?” (changed to “Have we Jews any advantage?” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “are we Jews in a better position?”;

Westminster (1920), “are we in worse case?” (cf. English Revised. Margin:  “Lit. ‘are we excelled?’  This seems the best rendering: the Vulgate praecellimus eos [‘do we excel them’] gives a sense . . . not found elsewhere, and is difficult to fit into the context.” This note is changed in the 1948 edition to, “translation and explanation are rather uncertain”);

Goodspeed (1923), “Are we Jews at a disadvantage?”;

Ballantine (1923), “Have we an advantage?”;

Montgomery (1924), same as Moffatt;

Williams (1937), “Is it that we Jews are better than they?”;

Spencer (1937), “Do we hold the pre-eminence?”;

– 83 –

Confraternity (1941), “Are we better off than they?”;

Basic English (1941), “are we worse off than they?”;

Knox (1944),   “has either side the advantage?” (margin:  “the Greek word here may mean ‘Do we excel them?’ Or ‘Are we excelled by them?'”);

Verkuyl (1945), “Do we come out ahead?”;

Revised Standard (1946), “Are we Jews any better off?” (margin:  “Or at any disadvantage?”);

Phillips (1947), “Are we Jews then a march ahead of other men?”;

Schonfield (1955), “Do we Jews come off any better?”;

Lilly (1956), “Are we better off than the Gentiles?”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

  1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
  2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, and Confraternity, all following the Latin interpretation, “praecellimus eos?”
  3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised, Westminster, Knox, and Revised Standard.  The Knox translation, “Has either side the advantage?” is a striking example of a deliberate attempt to preserve in the translation English the ambiguity of the original Greek.
  4. Interpretative, with no alternative:  Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations,

– 84 –

__ interpreted as middle voice in the intransitive sense of “Are we better than they?” by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taver-ner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Westminster (margin), Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.  It is interpreted in the more ordinary, middle sense, “Do we excuse ourselves?” by the English Revised (margin).  It is interpreted as passive to mean “Are we excelled?” or “Are we worse off?” by the English Revised, Westminster, Goodspeed, Basic English, and Revised Standard (margin).  It is interpreted as passive to mean “Are we preferred?” by Weymouth (1903).

Romans 3:22.–

The problems involved in the interpretation of this phrase are the same as in the translation of __ in  Rom. 1:17. The commentaries and versions show similar disagreement as to the precise meaning intended.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the riztwysnesse of God” (Vulgate:  “Iustitia autem Dei”);

Tyndale (1525), “The rightewesnes no dout which ys goode before God”;

Coverdale (1535); “ye righteousnes before God” (Luther, 1524:  “gerechtig keyt vor Gott”);

Rogers (1537); same as Tyndale;

Tavemer (1539); same as Tyndale;

Great (1539); same as Wycliffe;

Geneva (1560), same as Wycliffe;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Wycliffe;

– 85 –

Rheims (1582), “the justice of God”;

King James (1611), same as Wycliffe;

English Revised (l88l), same as Wycliffe;

Twentieth Century (1900), “a righteousness which comes from God” (changed to “the Divine Righteousness which is bestowed” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as Wycliffe;

Weymouth (1903), “a righteousness coming from God” (changed in the I929 fifth edition to “a righteousness of God,” the same as Moffatt);

Moffatt (1913), “a righteousness of God”;

Westminster (1920), “the justness of God”;

Goodspeed (1923), “God’s way of uprightness”;

Ballantine (1923), “a righteousness from God”;

Montgomery (1924), same as Weymouth (1903);

Williams (1937), “God’s own way of giving men right standing with Himself (margin:  “Lit. God’s righteousness”);

Spencer (1937),”justification from God”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Rheims;

Basic English (1941), same as Wycliffe;

Knox (1944), “God’s way of justification”;

Verkuyl (1945), “God’s righteousness”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Wycliffe;

Phillips (1947),”a righteousness” (identified earlier in the verse as “the righteousness of God”;

Schonfield (1955), same as Wycliffe;

Lilly (1956), “the sanctification brought about by God.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

  1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Great, Geneva,

– 86 –

Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Westminster, Confraternity, Basic English, Revised Standard, Phillips, and Schonfield. As in Rom. 1:17, the translation “the righteousness of God” would seem to be most readily understood as referring to God’s own righteousness.  However, the marginal notes on Rom. 1:17 in the Geneva, Rheirns, and Confraternity illustrate the ambiguity of the literal rendering.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative:  Williams.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative:  Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1903), Goodspeed, Ballan-tine, Montgomery, Spencer, Knox, Verkuyl, and Lilly.

Of the versions which offer interpretative translations, Goodspeed, Williams, Knox, and Verkuyl have taken the case of __   as genitive of possession.  Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, and Twentieth Century (1904) interpret as genitive of description; Twentieth Century (1900), Weymouth (1903), Ballantine, Montgomery, and Spencer as the genitive of source.  Lilly seems to take it as a subjective genitive.

Of this same group of versions, Goodspeed, Williams, Spencer, Knox, and Lilly interpret __  as an outgoing act of God in man’s behalf.  The rest translate simply as “righteousness.” The Twentieth Century (1900), Weymouth, Moffatt, Ballantine, Spencer, and Phillips. translate “a righteousness” with the indefinite article.

A number of the versions have offered significantly different translations in Rom. 1:17 and Rom. 3:22. Of these, Tyndale and Rogers have changed their interpretation of the case of __  from the genitive

– 87 –

of source to the genitive of description.  Taverner has changed from a literal “the righteousness of God” to the genitive of description, this time following Tyndale and Rogers.  Ballantine has changed from a literal “a righteousness of God” to the genitive of source.

Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, and Phillips have changed from inter-pretative translations in Rom. 1:17 to literal, obscure, and ambiguous renderings in Rom. 3:22.

Romans 3:22.–

The genitive case of __ may be either subjective or objective.  If taken as subjective, the passage could mean that __ __   __ has been revealed or made available through Christ’s own faith or faithfulness.  If taken as objective, the passage could mean that __   is revealed by, or is conditional upon, the believer’s exer-cising faith in Jesus Christ.

Lange definitely prefers to interpret the genitive as subjective and understands the passage to mean “Christ’s faithfulness to us.”  “The revelation of God’s righteousness in the faithfulness of Christ is the ground of justifying faith, but faith is not the ground of this revela¬tion.” Barth explains that the phrase refers to “God’s own faithfulness manifested in Christ” and translates, “his faithfulness in Jesus Christ.” In Rom. 3:26 he translates __  as “him that is grounded upon the faithfulness which abides in Jesus.”

In 1891, J. Haussleiter presented an extended argument in support of his contention that the genitive here is subjective. He claims that this passage refers to the faith in God which Christ Himself maintained

– 88 –

even through the ordeal of the crucifixion.”1

Most commentators, however, interpret the genitive case of __ __    as objective.  Sanday and Headlam refer to the “very carefully worked out argument” of Haussleiter but reject it in favor of the ob¬jective “faith in Jesus.” They observe that before Haussleiter’s work, the latter interpretation was the “hitherto almost universally accepted view.” J. Knox acknowledges that some scholars see the genitive here as subjective but concludes that “almost certainly, however, the RSV translators are correct in understanding the genitive to be objective.”

Lietzmann refers to both Haussleiter and Gottfried Kittel2 as taking the genitive here as subjective, but he denies the plausibility of their view.  Robertson also refers to Haussleiter’s argument but still prefers to interpret objectively, “in Jesus Christ.” Garvie cites both alternatives but regards the subjective genitive as “improbable” here. Denney claims that “there is no difficulty whatever in regarding __ as objective genitive, as the use of __   throughout the N. T. . . requires us to do.”  Schaff considers the argument in favor of the objective genitive as “conclusive.” The genitive is interpreted as objective also by Gifford, Thayer, Stephens, Vincent, Parry, Dummelow, Bosworth, Abel, Lagrange, Nygren, Bauer, and Theissen.

Deissmann describes the case of __   here as the “mystic genitive,”


1J. Haussleiter, Per Glaube Jesu Christi und der christliche Glaube

(Erlangen: Diechert Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1891).

2Gottfried Kittel,   bei Paulus.” Theologische Studien und Kritiken, Vol. LXXIX, Pt. III (1906), pp.419ff

– 89 –

interpreting the phrase to mean “faith in-Christ.”1

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the faith of Jhesu Crist” (Vulgate:  “fidem Iesu Christi”);

Tyndale (1525), same as Wycliffe;

Coverdale (1535), “the faith on Jesus Christ” (Luther, 1524:  “den glauhen an Iesum Christ”);

Rogers (1537), same as Wycliffe;

Taverner (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Great (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Geneva (1560), same as Wycliffe;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Wycliffe;

Rheims (1582), “faith of Jesus Christ”;

King James (1611), same as Wycliffe;

English Revised (1881), “faith in Jesus Christ” (margin:  “Or, of”);

Twentieth Century (1900), same as English Revised;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin:  “Or, of”);

Weymouth (1903), same as English Revised;

Moffatt (1913), “believing in Jesus Christ”;

Westminster (1920), same as English Revised;

Goodspeed (1923), same as English Revised;

Ballantine (1923), same as English Revised;

Montgomery (1924), same as English Revised;

Williams (1937), same as English Revised;


1G. A. Deissmann, Paul, trans. W. E. Wilson (2d ed.; New York: Doran and Co., 1926), p. 141.

– 90 –

Spencer (1937), same as Wycliffe;

Confraternity (1941), same as English Revised;

Basic English (1941), same as English Revised;

Knox (1944), same as English Revised;

Verkuyl (1945), same as English Revised;

Revised Standard (1946), same as English Revised;

Phillips (1947), same as English Revised;

Schonfield (1955), same as English Revised;

Lilly (1956), same as English Revised.

The  translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.  Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, and Spencer.  It would seem that the literal “the faith of Jesus Christ” would he most readily understood to mean “Jesus’ own faith” and that consequently these versions should he listed as literal, but equivalent to an interpretation. Evidence for this is the marginal “faith of Jesus Christ” given as the alternative for “faith in Jesus Christ” in the English Revised and American Standard.  John Knox, however, maintains that the translators of the King James version “undoubtedly” understood the genitive in this passage to be objective, “even though they adhere more rigidly to the Creek idiom.”  If this is so, it is hard to understand why the King James, and other of the older versions, should choose to translate literally here when they clearly interpret __  in Rom. 3:26 as “him which believeth in Jesus” and __  in Mark 11:22 as “have faith in God.” But it is evident that the translation “the faith of Jesus

– 91 –

Christ” is correctly classified as literal, obscure, and ambiguous.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3.  Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised and American Standard.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative:  Coverdale, Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

All the versions offering clearly interpretative translations have taken the genitive case of __  as objective.  It seems probable that the English Revised and American Standard intended their marginal alternative “of Jesus” to be understood as the subjective inter-pretation “Jesus’ own faith,” since they list it as an alternative rather than as merely the literal rendering.

Romans 3:23.–

The ambiguous phrase __  has been variously under-stood. As used in the New Testament, __ seems to have two somewhat distinct meanings–“reputation,” “honor,” “praise,” or “brightness,” “splendor,” “radiance.”  In the latter sense, it is used to describe God’s power and perfection, or the reflection of the divine perfection, as may be produced in man, or the future state of glory into which man may enter.

Vincent observes that interpretations of this passage “vary greatly.” He lists six different possibilities, concluding with his own preference, “they are coming short of the honor or approbation which God bestows.” He lists Meyer, Shedd, Beet, De Wette, and Alford as taking the same view.  Denney claims that the meaning of __

– 92 –

“must be the approbation or praise of God.” Cremer interprets similarly, “they lack recognition on the part of God,” and warns that to translate as “the glory of God” or “His image” is to “lose the true relation” be-tween verses 23 and 24.  Bauer translates “honor or glory with God”; Thayer, “God’s praise, honor.”

Lightfoot, however, argues that “Meyer is wholly wrong in taking the expression to mean ‘the honor which God gives ….  Still less can it be explained to mean ‘glory in the sight of God,’ as others render it.” He understands it to mean “the manifestation of God’s Person and attributes, … the transformation of the faithful into the same image.” Parry likewise interprets, “that exhibition of God in their own character, which is man’s proper work.”

Sanday and Headlam understand __  here as denoting “the bright effulgence of God’s presence.”  They explain that this represents the “Divine perfections” which in turn may be communicated to man as he is morally and physically “transfigured”–“partially here, completely here-after.” Gifford notes that the meaning of this passage is “much disputed” and speaks of the “many meanings which have been invented for it.” He also seems to regard __ here as including all “Divine perfection,” which is received by man as he is transformed. Dummelow likewise inter¬prets, “the divine perfection.”

J. Knox explains the passage as a reference to the glory of man’s original state as created in the likeness of God, his “true character and “the destiny that belongs with it.” Lange and Barrett seem to take a similar view.

Garvie cites the two basic interpretations of __, “honor,”

– 93-

or “brightness,” and concludes noncommittally that the context here would make the former sense “more appropriate,” while the common usage of the term in the New Testament “rather supports the latter.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “han nede to the glorie of god” (Vulgate:  “egent gloriam Dei.” Purvey adds a note explaining that this means, “the grace of God, bi which he apperith gloriouse”);

Tyndale (1525), “lacke the prayse that is off valoure before God”;

Coverdale (1535), “wante the prayse that God shulde have of them” (Luther, 1524:  “mangeln dess preyses den gott an in haben solt”; changed in the 1534 edition to “mangeln des rhumes, den sie an Gott haben solten”);

Rogers (1537); same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539),   “lacke the glorye of God”;

Great (1539), “are destitute of the glorye of God”;

Geneva (1560), “are deprived of the glorie of God (changed from “are destitute of the glorye of God,” in Whittingham, 1557.  The 1560 edition has a marginal note explaining that “the glorie of God” means “ever-lasting life.”);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Great (changed to “have need of the glory of God” in the 1572 edition);

Rheims (1582), “doe neede the glorie of God”;

King James (1611), “come short of the glorie of God”;

English Revised (1881), “fall short of the glory of God”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “all fall short of God’s glorious ideal”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “all consciously come short of the glory of God”;

Moffatt (1913), same as King James;

Westminster (1920), “need the glory of God” (the marginal note explaining that the glory of God means “His grace”);

Goodspeed (1923), same as King James;

– 94 –

Ballantine (1923), “have come short of the glory of God”;

Montgomery (1924), “lack the glory which comes from God”;

Williams (1937), “continues to come short of God’s glory”;

Spencer (1937), same as English Revised;

Confraternity (1941), same as Bishops’ (1572);

Basic English (1941), “are far from the glory of God”;

Knox (1944), “all alike are unworthy of God’s praise” (margin:  “‘God’s praise’; some translate ‘the glory of God,’ but it seems simplest to understand the words … as referring to the praise which God bestows.” );

Verkuyl (1945), “fall behind in being any glory to God” (cf. Coverdale and Luther);

Revised Standard (1946), same as English Revised;

Phillips (1947); “has fallen short of the beauty of God’s plan”;

Schonfield (1955),   “failed to reach God’s standard”;

Lilly (1956), “lack the approval of God” (margin:  “Others understand of the goodness of God manifested in man when he is in the state of grace.  Perhaps there is reference to the glorious adornment of grace which Adam and his posterity lost by original sin.”).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.  Literal, ambiguous, and obscure: Wycliffe, Tavemer, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, and Revised Standard. It seems probable that many of these versions intended the literal “glory of God” to be understood in the basic sense of “brightness,” “splendor,” hence “perfection.”  It is significant, however, to compare the treatment given to the same phrase, __,  in Rom. 5:2.  Since there seems to be almost unanimous agreement as to the meaning of the passage

– 95 –

in this later context, Weymouth and Williams venture to offer interpretative renderings. Weymouth translates, “of some day sharing in God’s glory” (changed to “of seeing God’s glory” in the 1929 fifth edition). Williams interprets clearly, “of enjoying the glorious presence of God.” Tavemer also interprets this time, but goes against the interpretation of Luther, adopted “by Coverdale, and follows Tyndale and Rogers with “of the prayse that shelbe geven of God.” Schonfield changes from “God’s standard” in Rom. 3:23 to “God’s esteem” in Rom. 5:2.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Knox and Lilly. The alternative which appears in the margin of Knox is literal, obscure, and ambiguous, but it at least suggests the possibility of other interpretations.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative:  Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Twentieth Century, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schonfield.  It is being assumed that in Verkuyl’s translation, “fall behind in being any glory to God,” “glory” means “honor” or “praise,” following the interpretation of Luther, adopted by Coverdale.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __  is interpreted in the basic sense of “honor,” “praise” by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Knox. Verkuyl, and Lilly.  It is interpreted as “brightness,” “splendor,” representing God’s perfection, which may be communicated to man, by the Twentieth Century, Phillips, Lilly (margin), and, presumably, Schonfield.

Romans 3:25.–

This verb is capable of two or more meanings in the New Testament,

– 96 –

and there has been considerable uncertainty as to its precise usage in this verse.  It may mean, “set before himself,” hence “purposed,” “ordained.” Or it may mean, “set forth publicly.”  Is Paul saying that God “ordained” or “purposed” that Jesus Christ should be the __,  or that God “publicly set him forth” as the __? A third possibility is proposed by J. E. Moulton, who suggests on the strength of an inscription that the meaning may rather be “offered,” or “provided.”

Lightfoot states that __  here means “set before himself,” and so “purposed.” Barmby admits that either interpretation might be cor-rect.  Gifford agrees that both interpretations are “admissible.” He recognizes “designed,” “proposed,” “ordained,” as the “more ancient interpretation” but prefers “set forth,” the view supported by “the majority of modern interpreters.” He claims that the latter interpretation is “best suited” to the context but hesitates to reject the possibility of the other meaning being correct.

Sanday and Headlam concede that both possible interpretations, “would be in full accordance with the teaching of St. Paul” but argue that the immediate context favors the translation “set forth publicly.” In their paraphrase they translate, “set Him there as a public spectacle.” Many other commentators recognize the two possibilities but conclude that the meaning “set forth” is the one to be preferred in this context. Deissmann translates, “has publicly set forth”;1 Bauer, “display public-ly”; Boylan, “set forth before the eyes of all”; Parry, “published.” Vincent Taylor, in his special study on Rom. 3:25 likewise prefers “set

1G. A. Deissmann, Bible Studies, trans. A. Grieve (2d ed.; Edin-burgh: T. and T. Clark, 1909), p. 133.

– 97 –

forth publicly.”1 The same interpretation is preferred by Lange, Schaff, Thayer, Vincent, Garvie, Abbott-Smith, J. Knox, and Barrett.

Robertson seems to include both possible meanings in his explanation that “God set before himself (purposed) and did it publicly before . … the whole world.”       The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “purposide” (variant reading:  “ordeyned.” Purvey, 1388, has the latter. Vulgate:  “proposuit,” as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “hath made”;

Coverdale (1535), “hath set forth” (Luther, 1524:  “hatt furgestellet”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Coverdale;

Geneva (1560), same as Coverdale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Coverdale;

Rheims (1582), “hath proposed” (Vulgate:  “proposuit”);

King James (1611), same as Coverdale (margin:  “Or, foreordained”);

English Revised (1881), “set forth” (margin:  “Or, purposed”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “placed him before the world”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “put forward”;

Moffatt (1913), same as Weymouth;

Westminster (1920), same as Coverdale;

Goodspeed (1923), “showed him publicly”;

1V. Taylor, “Great Texts Reconsidered:  Romans 3:25-26,” The Expository Times, Vol. L (Oct. 1933-Sept. 1939), pp. 295-300.

– 98 –

Ballantine (1923), “has set forth”;

Montgomery (1924), “openly set him forth”;

Williams (1937),   “once publicly offered”;

Spencer (1937), “has put forward”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Coverdale;

Basic English (1941), same as Spencer;

Knox (1944), “has offered him to us”;

Verkuyl (1945),   same as Weymouth;

Revised Standard (1946),   same as Weymouth;

Phillips (1947), “has appointed”;

Schonfield (1955), same as Phillips;

Lilly (1956), “has publicly exhibited,”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Rheims.  The literal translation “proposed,” from the Latin “proposuit,” may mean either “set forth” (now obsolete) or “purposed.”

2.  Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: King James and English Revised.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions except Rheims, King James, and English Revised.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __ has been interpreted to mean “set forth publicly” by Coverdale, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, Ameri-can Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine,

– 99 –

Montgomery, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Verkuyl, Revised Stan-dard, and Lilly.  The verb has been interpreted to mean “appointed,” “purposed,” “ordained,” by Wycliffe, Purvey, Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, King James (margin), English Revised (margin), Phillips, and Schonfield. It is being assumed that Tyndale’s “made” is to be understood in this sense.  Williams and Knox seem to have adopted Moulton’s suggestion by translating “offered.”

Romans 3:25. —

The precise meaning of __  in this context has been the subject of a great deal of discussion.  There is disagreement, first, as to whether __   is a noun or an adjective.  Bauer, for example, lists it as a noun. Moulton and Milligan claim that the adjectival use of __   is now “definitely established.” If the word is taken as an adjective, there is further disagreement as to whether it is masculine or neuter in gender.

The grammatical possibilities have given rise to a variety of interpretations. __ has been understood to mean “propitiatory covering,” “mercy seat,” “propitiatory,” “propitiator,” “propitiatory sacrifice,” “means of propitiation,” “propitiation,” “place of propitiation,” “expiation,” “an offering of atonement,” “a means of reconciliation,” “a sacrifice of reconciliation,” etc. Sanday and Headlam observe that the Greek commentators are “unanimous” in taking __ to be the “mercy seat.” They themselves, however, prefer “propitiation,” or “the propitiatory.” Nygren rejects “means of atonement” as too general and claims that “convincing reasons

– 100 –

support ‘mercy seat.'” Vincent, Cremer, and T. W. Manson1 also prefer “mercy seat,” Cremer explaining further that this implies a “place of expiation or conciliation.” Barth interprets, “a covering of propitiation,” meaning “the place of propitiation.”

Bosworth is opposed to the interpretation “mercy seat” and prefers to regard __ as a neuter adjective, translating it “propitiatory thing.” Abbott-Smith makes the same grammatical decision and translates “propitiatory.” Dummelow interprets as “that which makes it possible for God to be propitious or favourable to man.” Deissmann also rejects “mercy seat” or “propitiatory covering” as “impossible,”2 claiming that “the metaphor were as unlike Paul as possible.”3 He explains further that “propitiatory sacrifice” is “opposed by the context.” His own preference is for “means of propitiation,” or “of use for propitiation.”4 Weiss and J. Knox take the same view. Kirk translates “means of cleansing,” or “means of forgiveness,” regarding __  as “probably adjectival.”

Lightfoot is opposed to “mercy seat” and prefers “propitiatory offering.”  Sanday and Headlam translate in their paraphrase, “a sacrifice which had the effect of making propitiation or atonement for sin.” Theissen argues that the context supports the interpretation “a propitiatory sacrifice,” but he translates simply “propitiation.”  Robertson


1T. W. Manson, “__,” The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. XLVI (1945), pp. 1-10.

2G. A. Deissmann, “Mercy Seat,” Encyclopaedia Biblica, eds. T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black, Vol. III (1903), col. 3033.

3Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 129

4Ibid., p. 130.

– 101 –

offers the same translation and claims that there is “no longer room for doubting” the meaning of __ in this verse.

Denney regards __ as a masculine adjective and translates the phrase, “whom God set forth in propitiatory power.” Parry makes the same grammatical choice and translates, “agent of propitiation.”

Dodd states that “most translators and commentators are wrong” in translating __ as conveying the idea of “propitiation.” He points out that this suggests the placating of an angry God, whereas the meaning of __ is rather that of “expiation.”1 Barrett claims that “we can hardly doubt” that “expiation rather than propitiation” was in Paul’s mind. Thayer translates, “an expiatory sacrifice,” “a piacular victim.” Lagrange explains that __cannot mean “an expiatory sacrifice” and translates rather “un instrument de propitiation expiatoire.”

Lietzmann recommends that it is best to use a general word such as “Sühnemittel” or “Versöhner” and let the context supply the precise meaning. Bauer translates “Verstöhnende,” “Sühnende,” hence concretely, “Sühnemittel,” “Sühnegabe,” “Sühnegeschenk.” Boylan commends the indefinite Vulgate “propitiatio” as “prudent, for it is quite possible that Paul has several nuances of the word __before his mind in this passage.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “an helpere” (changed to “forzyuer” in the 1388 Purvey revision.” Vulgate: “propitiationem”);


1See also C. H. Dodd, __, its Cognates, Derivatives, and Synonyms, in the Septuagint,” The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol.

xxxii (1931), pp. 352-360.

– 102 –

Tyndale (1525), “a seate of mercy” (Luther, 1524:  “gnad stul”);

Coverdale (1535), “a Mercy seate”;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), “the obtayner of mercy”;

Geneva (1560), “a reconciliation” (changed from “a pacification” in Whittingham, 1557);

Bishops’  (1568), “a propitiation” (margin:  “which is a pacifiying of God’s displeasure.  That whereas we were sometime bondslaves to synne, God made his only sonne Christe Jesus a sacrifice for our sin, to reconcile us agayne by fayth into gods favour.”);

Rheims (1582), same as Bishops’ (Vulgate:  “propitiationem”);

King James (1611), same as Bishops’;

English Revised (1881), same as Bishops’ (margin:  “Or, propitiatory”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “a means of reconciliation”;

American Standard (1901), same as Bishops’ (margin:  “Or, propitiator”);

Weymouth (1903), “a Mercy-Seat” (margin:  “Or, ‘a propitiation.’  But ‘mercy-seat’ is the meaning of the word in the only other passage Heb. 9:5, where it is found in the N. T., and almost everywhere in LXX., and is favoured by the Greek Commentators.”  Changed in the 1929 fifth edition to “a propitiation,” same as Bishops’, with margin:  Or perhaps ‘propitiatory.’  The Greek word has the meaning ‘mercy-seat’ in the LXX translation of the Pentateuch, and also in Heb. 1:5; but this meaning is improbable here.”);

Moffatt (1913), “the means of propitiation”;

Westminster (l920), same as Bishops’ (margin:  “Lit. a means or instrument of propitiation”);

Goodspeed (1923), “a sacrifice of reconciliation”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Bishops’;

Montgomery (1924), “an offering of atonement” (margin:  “God thus makes Christ his votive gift for the world.”);

Williams (1937), same as Goodspeed;

Spencer (1937), same as Bishops’;

– 103 –

Confraternity (1941), same as Bishops’ (cf. Latin);

Basic English (1941),   “the sign of his mercy”;

Knox (1944),   same as Twentieth Century;

Verkuyl (1945), “a reconciling sacrifice”;

Revised Standard (1946),  “an expiation”;

Phillips (1947), same as Bishops’;

Schonfield (1955), “an expiatory sacrifice”;

Lilly (1956), “a means of expiation.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:  Rheims and Confraternity, following the Vulgate “propitiationem.”

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, and Westminster. Only the 1929 fifth edition of Weymouth seems to approach a fair representation of the possible alternatives.

4. Interpretative, with no alternatives: All versions except the Rheims, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, and Confraternity.

The most common interpretation of __  offered in the versions is the somewhat general “a propitiation,” appearing first in the Bishops’ and adopted by the King James, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), Westminster, Ballantine, Spencer, and Phillips. This is also the translation in the Rheims and Confraternity, following the Latin “propitiationem.” “Mercy seat,” following Luther’s “gnad stul,”

– 104 –

is adopted by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, and Weymouth (1903).  The idea of “sacrifice” is presented by Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Verkuyl, and Schonfield.  The interpretation “means or instrument of propitiation,” “means of reconciliation,” is offered by Moffatt, Twentieth Century, and Westminster (margin).  The concept of “expiation” is found in the Revised Standard, Schonfield, and Lilly. Virtually all of the possible interpretations discussed by the commentators are represented by the versions included in this study.

Romans 3:25. —

Grammatically, the phrase __  may be connected directly with __, meaning that the __ is made effective “through faith in his blood.” Or, the two prepositional phrases may be regarded as parallel, both modifying the preceding __   and meaning that the __ is made possible “by his blood” and is to be taken advantage of “by faith.”  Some have recommended that __   be connected with __, and __ __   with __,  meaning that Christ was “set forth in his blood as a __  to have effect through faith.”

Thayer prefers “faith in his blood,” the translation found in almost all the sixteenth century versions.  Lange and Schaff list Luther, Calvin, Beza, Olshausen, Tholuck, Hodge, and others, as favoring this interpretation.

Denney admits that “the precise connection and purpose” of __ __ __   is “not at once clear.” He concedes that grammatically the phrase might be construed with __  but concludes that the two phrases should be taken as parallel.  Sanday and Headlam also grant

– 105 –

that connecting __  with __  would be a “quite legitimate conbination” but state definitely that it should be taken rather with __.   Kirk claims that the latter connection is “certainly right.” J. Knox urges that the phrase “must be taken” with __.    Essentially the same interpretation is favored by Gifford, Dummelow, Parry, Bosworth, Parry, Lagrange, Lietzmann, Taylor,1 Manson,2 C. F. D. Moule, Blass-Debrunner, Kittel, Bauer, and Barrett.

Vincent and Robertson prefer to connect __ with __ __. Barth translates “through his faithfulness, by his blood,” “his faithfulness” meaning “God’s.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “bi feith in his blood” (Vulgate:  “per fidera in sanguine ipsius,” the word order being as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “thorow faith in his bloud” (Luther, 1524:  “durch den glauben in seinem blut”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), “thorow fayth, by the meanes of hys bloude”;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), same as Wycliffe;

King James (1611), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (1881), “through faith, by his blood” (margin:  “Or faith in his blood”);


1Taylor, loc. cit.

2Manson, loc. cit.

– 106 –

Twentieth Century (1900), “by his sacrifice of himself . . . through faith in him” (changed to “by the shedding of his blood, . . . through faith” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), “through faith, in his blood”;

Weymouth (1903), “rendered efficacious through faith in His blood” (changed to “available to faith in virtue of His blood” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “by his blood, to be received by faith”;

Westminster (1920), “by his blood, to have effect through faith”;

Goodspeed (1923), “dying . . . to be taken advantage of through faith”;

Ballantine (1923), “by his blood through faith”;

Montgomery (1924), “through faith, by means of his blood”;

Williams (1937), “in his death . . . through faith”;

Spencer (1937), “in his Blood through faith”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Ballantine;

Basic English (1941), same as English Revised;

Knox (1944),   “in virtue of faith, ransoming us with his blood”;

Verkuyl (1945), “in His blood through faith”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Moffatt;

Phillips (1947), “accomplished by the shedding of His blood, to be received and made effective in ourselves by faith”;

Schonfield (1955), “by their reliance on his blood”;

Lilly (1956), “available to all through the shedding of his blood.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

  1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
  2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, and Weymouth (1903).  It is possible that some, if not all, of these

– 107 –

versions–and especially Weymouth (1903)–intended that the literal “through faith in his blood” should be understood to mean that believers must exercise “faith in his blood.” In view of the appearance of the alternative interpretation in the Great Bible of 1539, all subsequent translators must have been aware that the literal “through faith in his blood” was equivalent to an interpretation.

3.   Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative:  Great, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Westminster, Good-speed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

All but one of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations have preferred to regard __    and __ __  as parallel phrases modifying __.     Goodspeed and Williams have clearly connected __  with __.     Schonfield alone has connected __  with __.

Romans 3:25. — __

The main problem in this passage is the interpretation of the noun __.     Some understand it to mean “forgiveness,” as if more or less synonymous with __.  In this case, Paul may be saying that Christ died to show God’s righteousness “in view of His forgiveness of former sins in His divine forbearance.”  Or, if __ should be given the somewhat unusual sense “with a view to,” Paul could be saying that Christ

– 108 –

died to reveal God’s righteousness “for the forgiveness of former sins through the forbearance of God.”  Others, however, prefer to make a distinction between __   and __,  interpreting the former to mean “overlooking,” “passing by,” and the latter “forgiveness,” “remission.” In this case, the passage would mean that Christ died to reveal God’s righteousness, “because of the fact that in His divine forbearance He had overlooked men’s former sins.”

For conservative commentators and translators, the solution to this problem has an important bearing on the question as to whether God actually forgave, or merely overlooked, the sins committed during the pre-Christian era.  Consequently, the problem has been the subject of considerable theological debate, especially during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century Cocceian controversy in Holland.1

Gifford reminds that in distinguishing between “praetermission” and “remission” “we are treading on the ashes of a fierce but extinct controversy concerning the remission of sins under the Mosaic dispensa-tion.”  Lightfoot prefers “praetermission” and claims that “to substitute __  for __  here would utterly destroy the sense.” He considers the marginal alternative “passing over” in the King James version as “doubtless due to the Cocceian controversy” and criticizes this alterna¬tive as inadequate, “for the preposition itself must be altered from ‘for’ into ‘owing to, by reason of.'” Barmby observes that the King James translators, “in a way very unusual with them, seem to have missed the drift of the passage, and so been led to give the . . . untenable rendering

1See R. C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament (7th ed.; London: Macmillan Co., 1871), pp. 108-109.

– 109 –

[“for the remission of sins”] in order to suit their view of it.”

Bosworth prefers to interpret __ here as “passing over” but admits that it could also mean “forgiveness.” Barrett favors “because of the passing over” but recognizes the possibility of the translation “with a view to the forgiveness.” He insists that there is a real dif-ference between __  and __.    Trench translates, “because of the praetermission” and agrees that __   is not synonymous with __. J. Knox explains that the idea here is that of God’s “apparently ignoring” men’s previous sins.  Garvie explains that “the sins of the race before Christ had not been forgiven in the full sense . . . they had been passed over.” Essentially the same view is taken by Lange, Schaff, Sanday and Headlam, Denney, Parry, Kittel, Bauer, and Theissen.  Thayer explains that God had “tolerated” sins committed previously and “had not punished.” Lagrange interprets likewise, “having borne without punishing.”

On the other hand, however, Cremer explains that __   denotes “not a temporary and conditional, but actual and full, remission of pun-ishment.” Field agrees that __   and __  both imply remission, but the former is “more commonly used of the remission or forgiveness of a sin, the latter of a debt.” Moulton and Milligan seem to incline toward the same view. Hodge admits that __   means strictly “passing by,” “overlooking.” However, he argues that Paul uses the word here to ex-press essentially the same meaning as __  and claims that the “major-ity of commentators” agree with this position. He refers to the “modern transcendental theologians in Germany” who deny actual forgiveness before the coming of Christ as agreeing with “the Papists” here–as they do “in

– 110 –

so many other points.” Deissmarm states that he does not “believe that there is “any great difference” between __ and __.1 Lietzmann translates “forgiveness” and seems to emphasize no distinction “between the two words.  Barth interprets the passage on the basis of the idea of forgiveness.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “for remiscioun of bifore goynge synnes., in the sus-tentacioun, or_ beringe up, of God” (Vulgate:  “propter remissionem praecedentium delictorum, in sustentatione Dei”);

Tyndale (1525), “in that he forgeveth the synnes thatt are passhed which God did suffre” (Luther, 1524):  “in dem, dasz er vergibt die sünd, die zuuor sind geschehen under götlicher gedult”);

Coverdale (1535),  “in that he forgeveth the synnes, which were done before under the sufferaunce of God, which he suffred”;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539),   same as Tyndale;

Great (1539),   same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “by the forgiveness of the sinnes that are passed through the pacience of God” (changed from the same as Tyndale in the 1557 Whittingham edition);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), “for the remission of former sinnes, in the toleration of God” (changed to “for the remission of former sins, through the forbearance of God” in the 1749 Challoner edition);

King James (1611), “for the remission of sinnes, that are past, through the forbearance of God” (margin:  “Or, passing over”);

English Revised (1881), “because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “because in his forbearance he had passed over the sins men had previously committed”;

1Deissmann, Paul, p. 149.

– 111 –

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “because of the passing over, in God’s forbearance, of the sins previously committed” (changed in the 1929 fifth edition to “in view of the condoning by His forbearance of sins previously committed”; margin:  “i.e. in O. T. times”);

Moffatt (1913), “in view of the fact that sins previously committed during the time of God’s forbearance had been passed over”;

Westminster (1920), “For through the patience of God the sins of times gone by are to be passed over” (margin:  “probably not implying that they are forgiven, [__,  not __,  being used], but that the sins of the fathers are not to be visited on the sons”);

Goodspeed (1923), “(for in his forbearance, God passed over man’s former sins’);

Ballantine (1923), “because of the passing over of previous sins in the forbearance of God”;

Montgomery (1924), “he had passed over the sins previously committed”;

Williams (1937), “(for in His forbearance God had passed over men’s former sins)” (cf. Goodspeed);

Spencer (1937)  “owing to the passing over of former sins by the divine forbearance;

Confraternity (1941), “God in his patience remitting former sins”;

Basic English (1941), “when, in his pity, God let the sins of earlier times go without punishment”;

Knox (1944), “shewing us why he overlooked our former sins in the days of
his forbearance”;

Verkuyl (1945), “in forgiving the sins that previously were committed under God’s forbearance”;

Revised Standard (1946), “because in his divine forbearance he had passed
over former sins”;

Phillips (1947), “by the wiping out of the sins of the past (the time when He withheld His Hand)”;

Schonfield (1955), “In God’s forbearance he overlooked the sins of past
generations ;

Lilly (1956), “since, during the period of tolerance, he had passed over former sins without punishing them.”

– 112 –

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal; obscure, and ambiguous: None.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, and Confraternity, all following the Vulgate interpretation, “remissionem.”

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative:  King James. As Lightfoot observes, the marginal alternative “passing over” in the King James is somewhat inadequate, inasmuch as the preposition should also be changed from “for” to “because of.”  However, the version does represent the two alternative interpretations of __,   “forgiveness” and “passing over.”

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions other than Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and King James.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, __   is interpreted here as “forgiveness,” “remission,” by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, Verkuyl, and Phillips, the latter translating, “wiping out.” __   is interpre-ted as “passing over,” “overlooking,” “condoning,” “letting go without punishment,” by King James (margin), English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Knox, Revised Standard, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Romans 3-26.–__

As in Rom. 3:22, the genitive case of  __  may be taken as subjective

– 113 –

or objective.  Interpreted as subjective genitive, the passage would mean that God justifies those who have a faith such as Jesus had. Interpreted as objective genitive, the passage would mean that God justifies those who place their faith in Jesus.  Commentators have expressed the same differences of opinion as in the discussion of the similar problem in Rom. 3:22. However, a number of the versions have offered different translations.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “him that is of the faith of Iesu Crist” (Vulgate:  “eum, qui est ex fide Jesu Christ,” which presents the same problem of ambiguity as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “hym which belevith on Jesus”;

Coverdale (1535),”him which is of the faith on Jesus” (Luther, 1524: “der da ist des glaubens an Iesu”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539); same as Tyndale;

Great (1539); same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “him which is of the faith of Jesus” (changed from “him which beleveth on Iesus,” the same as Tyndale, in the Whittingham 1557 edition);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), same as Wycliffe;

King James (1611), “him which beleeveth in Iesus”;

English Revised (1881), “him that hath faith in Jesus” (margin no. 1: “Gr. is of faith”; margin no. 2:  “Or, of”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “those who have faith in Jesus” (changed to “the man who takes his stand on faith in Jesus” in the 1904 final edition);
American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin no. 1:  “Gr. is of faith”; margin no. 2: “Or, of”);

Weymouth (1903), “those who believe in Jesus” (changed to “the man who

– 114 –

“believes in Jesus” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “man on the score of faith in Jesus”;

Westminster (1920), “him that is of faith in Jesus”;

Goodspeed (1923), same as Twentieth Century (1900);

Ballantine (1923), “him who has faith in Jesus”;

Montgomery (1924), same as Ballantine;

Williams (1937), “the man who has faith in Jesus”;

Spencer (1937), “him who is of the faith of Jesus”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Ballantine;

Basic English (1941), same as Ballantine;

Knox (1944), “those who take their stand upon faith in him” (cf. Twentieth Century 1904 final edition);

Verkuyl (1945), “one who has faith in Jesus”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Ballantine;

Phillips (1947), “every man who has faith in Jesus Christ”;

Schonfield (1955), “whoever places his faith in Jesus”;

Lilly (1956), same as Ballantine.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as
follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Geneva (1560), Rheims, and Spencer. As in Rom. 3:22, it would seem that the literal “the faith of Jesus,” especially in Spencer, would he most readily under-stood to mean “Jesus’ own faith” and that consequently these versions should he listed as literal, hut equivalent to an interpretation. However, see the discussion of the literal, obscure, and ambiguous transla-tions of this phrase in Rom. 3:22.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

– 115 –

3.  Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised and American Standard.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions except Wycliffe, Geneva (1560), Rheims, English Revised, American Standard, and Spencer.

All versions offering interpretative translations have interpreted __  as objective genitive. Of these, Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Whittingham, Bishops’, and King James have changed from a literal, obscure, and ambiguous “faith of Jesus” to a clearly interpretative “believeth on (or in) Jesus.”

Romans 3:28.–

The problem here is substantially the same as in Rom. 2:13.  Is forensic, or does it mean actually to “make righteous”? A number of the versions offer different translations here than in Rom. 2:13, few of which seem to be due to the change in context.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “iustifyed” (Vulgate:  “iustificari.” Rom. 2:13, “maad iust”);

Tyndale (1525), same as Wycliffe (Luther, 1524:  “gerechtfertiget werde”; changed in the 1534 edition to “gerecht werde”);

Coverdale (l535), same as Wycliffe (although he translates __ as “righteous maker” in Rom. 3:26, following Luther’s “gerecht mache”);

Rogers (1537),   same as Wycliffe;

Taverner (1539),   same as Wycliffe;

Great (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Geneva (1560), same as Wycliffe;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Wycliffe;

– 116 –

Rheims (1582), same as Wycliffe;

King James (1611), same as Wycliffe;

English Revised (1881), same as Wycliffe (margin:  “Or, accounted righteous”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “stands right with God” (changed to “pronounced righteous” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as Wycliffe (margin:  “Or, accounted righteous”);

Weymouth (1903), “held to be righteous (changed to “accounted righteous” in the 1929 fifth edition.  Rom. 2:13, “pronounced righteous”);

Moffatt (1913), same as Wycliffe (Rom. 2:13, “acquitted”);

Westminster (1920), same as Wycliffe;

Goodspeed (1923), “made upright”;

Ballantine (1923), “pronounced righteous”;

Montgomery (1924), same as Tyndale (Rom. 2:13, “accounted righteous”);

Williams (1937), “brought into right standing with God” (Rom. 2:13, “recognized as upright”);

Spencer (1937), same as Wycliffe;

Confraternity (1941), same as Wycliffe;

Basic English (1941), “get righteousness” (Rom. 2:13, “judged as having righteousness”);

Knox (1944),   same as Wycliffe;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Wycliffe (Rom. 2:13, “pronounced righteous”);
Revised Standard (1946), same as Wycliffe;

Phillips (1947), same as Wycliffe;

Schonfield (1955), “exonerated”;

Lilly (1956), “sanctified.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

– 117 –

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Cover-dale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Moffatt, Westminster, Montgomery, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Phillips.  The Basic English “get righteousness” may be a deliberate attempt to preserve the ambiguity of the Greek.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3.  Interpretative, with at least one alternative:  None. As in Rom. 2:13, the English Revised and American Standard offer “justified” in the text and “accounted righteous” in the margin, but the margin would probably be taken as an explanation of the obscure term “justified,” thus in effect only one interpretation being represented.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative: English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Williams, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Goodspeed and Lilly have interpreted __ to mean “make righteous.” English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Ballantine, Williams, and Schonfield interpret in the forensic sense.

A number of the versions have changed from an interpretative rendering in Rom. 2:13 to the obscure “justified” here in Rom. 3:28–Wycliffe, Moffatt, Montgomery, and Verkuyl.  The Basic English has changed from an interpretative “judged as having righteousness” to an ambiguous “get righteousness.” Weymouth and Williams also offer different translations, but they both still represent the forensic interpretation.

Romans 4:17.–

This ambiguous phrase is capable of at least three somewhat different

– 118 –

interpretations.  It may be understood to mean “calling into existence things which do not exist,” or “naming, speaking of things which do not exist as though they did,” or “calling, summoning the non-existent as if they existed.” The  first of these would refer to God’s creative power, the second and third to his foreknowledge.

Sanday and Headlam note that “most commentators” interpret __  as “calling into being.”  They reject this, however, as being “too remote from the context” and state that the choice must be made be-tween “naming,” “speaking of,” “describing,” and “calling,” “summoning,” “issuing His commands to.”  They conclude that “if the former seems the simplest, the latter is the more forcible rendering, and as such more in keeping with the imaginative grasp of the situation displayed by St. Paul.”  In their paraphrase they translate, “issues His summons to generations yet unborn.” Parry also opposes “calling into being things that are not,” and of the other two choices he prefers “summoning to His service things that are not as though they were.” He claims that “the context points” to this “fuller meaning.”  Gifford, Garvie, and Robertson take the same view.

Bauer, however, gives the meaning of this passage as “calls into being what does not exist.” Lightfoot explains that __   here means “evoking something out of nothing.” Kirk states more cautiously that the participle “probably” means “calls into existence.”  Barrett claims that “calls into being things which do not exist” is the “only translation of Paul’s words that makes sense.”

Vincent recognizes the various interpretations possible and suggests that “the simplest explanation appears to be to give __ the

– 119 –

sense of nameth, speaketh of.”  He dismisses the interpretation “calls into being,” on the basis that “it can scarcely be said that God creates things that are not as actually existing.”  Denney interprets similarly, “God speaks of them (hardly, issues his summons to them) as if they had a being.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “clepith tho thingis that ben not, as tho that ben” (Vulgate:  “uocat ea quae non sunt, tamquam es quae sunt”);

Tyndale (1525), “calleth those thynges which be not as though they were”);

Coverdale (1535); “calleth it which is not, that it maye be” (Luther, 1524:  “rüffet dem, das nicht ist, das es sey”);

Rogers (1537) , same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale (margin: “In the creation of the world this appeared. For when he commanded any thyng to be, foorthwith it was.”); Rheims (1582), “calleth those things that are not, as those things that are”; King James (1611), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (1881), “calleth the things that are not, as though they were”; Twentieth Century (1900), “speaks of what does not yet exist as if it did”; American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “makes reference to things that do not exist, as though they did”;

Moffatt (1913), “calls into being what does not exist”;

Westminster (1920), “nameth things that are not as though they were” (margin:  “‘nameth,’ with sure foreknowledge”);

– 120 –

Goodspeed (1923), same as Moffatt;

Ballantine (1923), “calls things that are not as if they were”;

Montgomery (1924), “calls into being that which is not”;

Williams (1937), “can call to Himself the things that do not exist as though they did”;

Spencer (1937), “calls the nonexistent as though existent” (margin:  “God in His eternity calls men to faith before they exist”);

Confraternity (1941), “calls things that are not as though they were”;

Basic English (1941), “to whom the things which are not are as if they were”;

Knox (1944), “send his call to that which has no  being, as if it already were”;

Verkuyl (1945), “calls into existence what has no being”;

Revised Standard (1946), “calls into existence the things that do not exist”;

Phillips (1947), “can speak His Word to those who are yet unborn”;

Schonfield (1955), “the Warner of things as existing which as yet are non-existent”;

Lilly (1956), “calls into existence what was not before.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.  Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:  Wycliffe, Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Ballantine, Spencer, and Confraternity.  The translation “calls those things which are not as if they were,” which is adopted substantially by each of these versions, would seem to incline toward the interpretation of __  as “calling to himself,” “summoning to service,” or perhaps “naming,” “speaking of,” “describing.” But the ambiguity of the translation’ adopted in these versions is illustrated by the

– 121 –

Bishops’ marginal note, which explains that the passage refers rather to God’s creative power.

2.    Literal, hut equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative:  None.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative:  Coverdale, Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

The participle __  is interpreted as “calling into existence” by Coverdale (following Luther), Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Lilly.  It is interpreted as “naming,” “speaking of,” “describing,” by the Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Westminster, and Schonfield.  The interpretation “summoning,” “calling to Himself,” is offered by Williams, Knox, and Phillips.  The Basic English translation “to whom the things which are not are as if they were” clear-ly implies God’s foreknowledge rather than his creative power.

Romans 4:20.–

The dative case of __   may be interpreted as instrumental, the passage thus meaning that Abraham “was strengthened by his faith.” Or it may be interpreted as dative of respect, making the passage mean that Abraham “grew strong in faith,” “his faith was confirmed.”

Sanday and Headlam cite both possibilities somewhat non-committally, but in their paraphrase they show a preference for the instrumental dative by translating, “his faith endowed him with the power which he seemed to lack.”  Parry explains that Abraham “was empowered, by his faith, to beget a son.”  Garvie claims that the instrumental “by faith”

– 122 –

is “undoubtedly to be preferred.” Lightfoot states more cautiously that it is “perhaps best” to consider the dative case of __  as instrumental. Barmby interprets, “faith made him strong.”  Robertson endorses the English Revised and American Standard “waxed strong through faith.” Dummelow and Dodd also prefer to interpret as instrumental.

On the other hand, J. Knox, while recognizing the possibility of more than one interpretation, regards the translation “grew strong in his faith” as the “more obvious meaning.” Denney also acknowledges the possibility that the phrase may mean “became strong by faith” but expresses his preference for the dative of respect.  The same view is taken by Thayer, Lange, Lietzmann, Lagrange, Bauer, and Barrett.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “is comfortid in bileue” (Vulgate:  “confortatus est fide,” which presents the same ambiguity as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “was made strong in the fayth”;

Coverdale (1535), “was stronge in faith” (Luther, 1524:  “ward starck in glauben”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539),   “became strong in fayth”;

Geneva (1560), “was strengthened in ye faith” (changed from “was made stronge in the fayth,” the same as Tyndale, in the 1557 Whittingham edition);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Coverdale;

Rheims (1582), “was strengthened in faith”;

King James (1611), same as Coverdale;

English Revised (1881), “waxed strong through faith”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “his faith gave him strength”;

– 123 –

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “became mighty in faith” (changed to “had intense faith” in the 1929 fifth edition”;

Moffatt (1913), “his faith won strength”;

Westminster (1920), same as Coverdale;

Goodspeed (1923), “his faith gave him power”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Coverdale;

Montgomery (1924), “he waxed strong in faith”;

Williams (1937), “grew powerful in faith”;

Spencer (1937), “grew strong in his faith”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Rheims;

Basic English (1941), “was made strong by faith”;

Knox (1944), “drew strength from his faith”;

Verkuyl (1945), “empowered by faith”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Spencer;

Phillips (1947), same as Knox;

Schonfield (1955), “fortified by faith”;

Lilly (1956), same as Rheims.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:  None.
2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.
3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative:  None.
4.     Interpretative, with no alternative: All the versions included in this study.

The case of __   has been interpreted as instrumental dative by the English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Moffatt,

– 124 –

Goodspeed, Montgomery, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schon-field. It has been interpreted as dative of respect by Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Weymouth, Westminster, Ballantine, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Revised Standard, and Lilly.

Romans 5:1. —

Although this is a problem of textual criticism, the choice is largely one of interpretation.

There has been much difference of opinion as to whether the context requires the indicative __, as a statement that peace is possessed as a result of justification, or the subjunctive __,   as an exhortation to have peace now that justification has been experienced. Among versions which have chosen the subjunctive reading, some have translated __ somewhat ambiguously as “let us have,” which may be taken to mean either “let us begin to have,” or “let us go on having.” Others have sought to avoid this ambiguity in the English by such interpretative translations as “let us enjoy peace,” or more clearly, “let us enjoy the peace we have.” J. H. Moulton, in his Prolegomena, translates, “let us enjoy the posses-sion of peace,” a rendering subsequently adopted by C. F. D. Moule.  Such emphasis on the continuous action implied by the present tense of __ actually results in a combination of the hortatory subjunctive with the meaning of the indicative.

Evidence supporting the indicative includes the correctors of uncials __ and B; 0220, G, P, most cursives, the Didache, Epiphanius, and Cyril of Alexandria (usually). Evidence supporting the subjunctive includes uncials __, A, B, C, D, E, K, L, some cursives, the Vulgate,

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Syriac, Bohairic, Armenian, and Ethiopia versions, Origen (Latin), Chrysostom (usually), Ambrosiaster, and others.

Nestle, in his twenty-first edition, decides against Westcott and Hort and Tischendorf in favor of the indicative.  Garvie observes that while the external evidence is “overwhelmingly” for the subjunctive, the internal evidence seems to be “as strongly” for the indicative. Denney decidedly favors the indicative and urges that “in a variation of this kind no degree of MS. authority could support a reading against a solid exegetical reason for changing __  to __.     That such solid reason can be given here I agree with the expositors named below.” He lists Meyer, Weiss, Lipsius, Godet, and others.  Barrett also prefers the indicative, on the basis that “the context is not hortatory, but indicative.” Never-theless, he admits that the textual support for the subjunctive is “so strong that a measure of doubt will always remain.”

Field points rather to the continual confusion of __  and __,   “even in the best manuscripts,” to support his contention that it is “hardly within the competence of manuscripts to decide (especially against the strongest internal evidence) between such variants.” Thayer, Vincent, Stephens, Bosworth, and Boylan also prefer the indicative. Nygren cites with approval Lietzmann’s judgment that “only __ Paul’s real meaning.”  J. Knox admits that the textual evidence is “strongly” on the side of the subjunctive yet favors “we have peace” on exegetical grounds. Theissen goes so far as to claim that the “indicative can be defended on external and internal evidence.” McClellan, in a criticism of the English Revised Version, condemns the 1881 decision in favor of the subjunctive as “one of the very worst of the Revisers’ alterations.” He claims that “the

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context is decisive against this change, which vitiates S. Paul’s argument, and introduces a serious error of doctrine.”1

On the contrary, Robertson asserts that __ “is the correct text “beyond a doubt ….  It is curious how perverse many real scholars have been on this word and phrase here.” Lightfoot states summarily that “if external authority is to be regarded,” the subjunctive is “unquestion-ably the right reading.”  Sanday and Headlam, Lagrange, and Hastings also prefer __  on purely textual grounds.

J. H. Moulton, in his Prolegomena, refers to the “overwhelming manuscript authority” but adds that, inasmuch as __  and __  were no longer distinct in pronunciation by the time the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts were copied, the modern expositor of this verse “feels himself entirely at liberty to decide according to his view of the context.” Moulton’s own view of the context led him to choose the subjunctive. Subsequent study, however, of evidence presented by Thackeray,1  demon-strating the rarity of confusion of __   and __ in the principal Septuagint uncials convinced him that the interpretation of Rom. 5:1 cannot rest upon the assumption of itacism.  Consequently, in the second volume of his Grammar he modifies the freedom he earlier ‘ claimed for the modern editor, and, even against the respectfully acknowledged opposition of Kennedy, Harris, and Deissmann, reaffirms his preference for the subjunctive–now on textual as well as contextual grounds.

Kennedy speaks of the fact that “some modern commentators have


1J. B. McClellan, “The Revised Version of the New Testament, a Plea for Hesitation as to its Adoption,” The Expositor, Vol. X (1904), p. 190.

2H. St. John Thackeray, A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1909), pp. 89-91.

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strained the sense of the passage to suit __  and adds, “We regret to find that Dr. Moulton joins them.”1 Harris claims that the problem here is “a mere itacism (__ for __)” and that the hortatory sense is “impossible.”2

Gifford lists many scholars on either side of the question and concludes:  “Without presuming to decide between such accomplished critics, we are bound to express our opinion that the internal grounds of objection to __  are not sufficient to outweigh the great preponderence of external testimony in its favour.” But he recommends that “in a case where scholars of the greatest authority differ so widely., we think it better to retain in our footnotes and revised version the reading of the received text.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “we . . . haue pees” (Vulgate:  “pacem habeamus”);

Tyndale (1525), “we are at peace”;

Coverdale (1535 ),   same as Wycliffe (Luther, 1524:  “haben wir frid”);

Rogers (1537),   same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Wycliffe;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), “let us have peace” (There is a long marginal note explaining, among other considerations of doctrinal interest, that “diverse


1H. A. A. Kennedy, a note on Romans 5:1 in The Expository Times, Vol. XVII (July, 1906), p. 451.

2Rendel Harris, a note on Romans 5:1 in The Expositor, Vol. VIII, No. 8 (1914), p. 527.

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also of the Greeke Doctors” read “Let us have peace.” Recognition is also given to the alternative, “We have peace.”);

King James (1611), same as Wycliffe;

English Revised (1881), same as Rheims (margin:  “Some authorities read we have.”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “let us enjoy peace”;

American Standard (1901), same as Wycliffe (margin:  “Many ancient authorities read let us have.”);

Weymouth (1903), same as Twentieth Century (margin:  “v.1. ‘we have peace.'”);

Moffatt (1913), “let us enjoy the peace we have”;

Westminster (1920), same as Rheims;

Goodspeed (1923), “let us live in peace”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Rheims;

Montgomery (1924), “let us continue to enjoy the peace we have”;

Williams (1937), “let us continue enjoying peace” (margin:  “Lit., holding or having, so enjoying.”);

Spencer (1937), same as Wycliffe;

Confraternity (1941),   same as Rheims;

Basic English (1941), “let us be at peace with God”;

Knox (1944), same as Twentieth Century (margin:  “Some Greek manuscripts have ‘we enjoy’ for ‘let us enjoy.'”);

Verkuyl (1945), same as Twentieth Century;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Wycliffe (margin:  “Or let us”);

Phillips (1947), “let us grasp the fact that we have peace”;

Schonfield (1955), “we enjoy peace”;

Lilly (1956), same as Rheims.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

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1.    Literal; obscure, and ambiguous:  None.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None. In view of the Rheims note, it may be assumed that the translators of the Protestant versions were not unaware that “diverse also of the Greeke Doctors” read “Let us have peace” and that consequently they must have made a decision against the subjunctive.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Rheims, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, Knox, and Revised Standard.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Westminster. Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

The indicative mode has been preferred by Wycliffe (apparently departing from the subjunctive mode of the Latin “habeamus”), Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, American Revised, Spencer, Revised Standard, and Schonfield. The subjunctive has been preferred by the Rheims, English Revised, Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Lilly.  Of the latter, Moffatt, Montgomery, Williams, and Phillips have clearly emphasized the continuous action implied by the present tense of

Romans 5:18.–

The gender of __   may be either masculine,  referring to Adam,  or neuter,  modifying __.     Taken as masculine, both here with __-

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__  and in the following clause with __   the contrast in this verse would be between Adam and Christ as two agents, Adam of condemnation, Christ of justification.  Taken as neuter in each case, the contrast would be between two acts, from which condemnation and justifi-cation have resulted.

J. Knox recognizes the problem but ventures no opinion. Kirk maintains that “the problem of interpretation is not unimportant” and claims that the argument in favor of the rendering “the trespass of one . . . the act of one” is “overwhelming.”  Hodge, Parry, Bosworth, Boylan, Zahn, and Kittel also prefer to interpret __   as masculine.

On the other hand, Schaff prefers to interpret __   as neuter, arguing that the absence of the article before __   is “almost conclusive” against regarding it as masculine.  He adds that “the objection that the comparison is between Adam and Christ, rather than between the fall of one and the righteousness of another, does not hold, for it is clearly a comparison of both persons and effects.”

Sanday and Headlam recommend that “it is best to follow the natural construction of the Greek and make __   neuter in agreement with __  rather than masculine.” They translate, “a single Fall.” Denney regards this interpretation as “the simplest.”  Gifford, Vincent, Lightfoot, Robertson, and Barrett also prefer the neuter.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the gilt of oon” (Vulgate:  “unius delictum”);

Tyndale (1525), “the synne of one” (Luther, 1524:  “eins sünd”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

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Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “the offence of one”;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), same as Geneva;

King James (1611), same as Geneva (margin:  “Or, one offence”);

English Revised (1881), “one trespass”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “a single offence”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “a single transgression”;

Moffatt (1913), “one man’s trespass”;

Westminster (1920), same as King James (margin);

Goodspeed (1923), same as King James (margin); Ballantine (1923), “one fall”;

Montgomery (1924), “the transgression of one man”; Williams (1937), same as King James (margin);

Spencer (1937), “the transgression of one”;

Confraternity (1941), “the offense of the one man”;

Basic English (19411), “one act of wrongdoing”;

Knox (1944), “one man’s fault”;

Verkuyl (1945), “the one fall”;

Revised Standard (1916), same as Moffatt;

Phillips (1947), “one act of sin”;

Schonfield (1955), same as Weymouth;

Lilly (1956), same as Confraternity.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

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1.     Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:  None.
2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and Knox, following the Vulgate interpretation, “unius delictum.”
3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: King James.
4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions other than Wycliffe, Rheims, King James, Confraternity, and Knox.

The gender of __   is interpreted as masculine by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, Moffatt, Montgomery, Spencer, Revised Standard, and Lilly.  The masculine also appears in Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and Knox, following the Latin.  The gender of __   is taken as neuter by the King James (margin), English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Williams, Basic English, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schonfield.

Romans 5:18.–

In this context, the noun __ may “be interpreted to mean “act of righteousness” or “sentence of acquittal.”  It is generally agreed that the same word, as used in Rom. 5:16, means “justification,” “justifying decree.” But there has been considerable difference of opinion as to whether or not __  should be given the same meaning here in Rom. 5:18.  Is Paul saying that “justification and life” are the result of “one man’s act of righteousness” or of “one sentence of acquittal”?  Some who prefer to interpret __  as “righteous act” see in this a special sense of “the making right of what is wrong,” “an act of redress.” This raises the further question as to whether Paul is referring

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to Christ’s “act of redress” or God’s “justifying decree.”

Kirk states that “act of righteousness . . . seems to be the true meaning.” He concedes that __ here could mean “act of acquittal,” “justifying act,” but he describes the interpretation “an act of redress” as the “intrusion of an exact Greek ethico-legal idea” and therefore “unlikely.” Parry admits that the phrase may “possibly” mean “one man’s acquittal” but argues that “the antithesis to __, and the parallel with __ suggest the rendering ‘righteous act’ or ‘enacted righteousness.'”

J. Knox discusses the problem in some detail and favors “act of righteousness,” meaning “Christ’s act of perfect obedience.”, Denney claims that the translation “a righteous act” “seems to be required by the contrast with __.” Barrett also argues for “one act of righteousness” and explains that as used here in contrast to __  it cannot mean “justification.” Kittel likewise favors “righteous act,” the “perfect realization of the will of God.”  He states that it cannot mean “sentence of justification.”  The same view is held by Lange, Schaff, Thayer, Vincent, Lightfoot, Bosworth, Lietzmann, Lagrange, Robertson, Abbott-Smith, and Bauer.

On the other hand, Sanday and Headlam argue that “it seems better” to give the same sense to __  here in Rom. 5:18 as in Rom. 5:16. They interpret, “a single absolving act,” “the decision or sentence by which persons are declared __,”  adding that this may he used in the antithesis with __” as naturally” as the alternative “one right-eous act.”  Dummelow interprets “sentence of acquittal”; Gifford, “justificatory sentence”; Garvie, “the Divine sentence of justification pronounced

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on the race.” Meyer takes a similar view.

Dodd prefers “one man’s act of redress,” supporting Moffatt’s translation.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the riztwysnesse of oon” (Vulgate:  “unius iustitiam”);

Tyndale (1525), “the iustifyinge of one”;

Coverdale (1535), same as Wycliffe (Luther, 1524:  “eines rechtfertigkeit”; changed in the 1534 edition to “eines gerechtigkeit”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Wycliffe;

Rheims (1582), “the iustice of one”;

King James (1611), same as Wycliffe (margin:  “Or, by one righteousnesse”);

English Revised (1881), “one act of righteousness”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “a single decree setting men right with God” (changed to “a single decree of righteousness.” the same as Weymouth, 1903, in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “a single decree of righteousness” (changed to “a single deed of righteousness” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “one man’s act of redress”;

Westminster (1920), “a single justifying act”;

Goodspeed (1923), “one righteous act”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Goodspeed;

Montgomery (1924),   “the act of righteousness of One”;

Williams (1937), “one act of uprightness”;

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Spencer (1937), “the righteousness of One”;

Confraternity (1941), “the justice of the one”;

Basic English (1941), same as English Revised;

Knox (1944),   “one man makes amends”;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Goodspeed (a marginal note explaining that this means “Christ’s self-sacrifice”);

Revised Standard (1946),   “one man’s act of righteousness”;

Phillips (1947), “one Man’s obedience”;

Schonfield (1955), “a single worthy action”;

Lilly (1956), “the one’s fulfilment of a mandate.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, and Confraternity, all following the Vulgate interpretation “unius iustitiam.”
3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.
4.  Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions except Wycliffe, Rheims, and Confraternity.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, __  is interpreted to mean “act of righteousness,” “righteousness,” by Coverdale, Great, Bishops’, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.  It is interpreted to mean “justifying act,” “decree of righteousness,” by Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Geneva, Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1903), and Westminster. It is interpreted as Christ’s

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“act of redress” by Moffatt, and evidently this is also the meaning of Knox in his translation “one man makes amends.”

Romans  7:21.–

The precise meaning of __ in this context is not readily apparent.  It has been interpreted as the Mosaic law. as a rule or general principle, or as “a constant pattern of experience.”

Gifford describes this as an “obscure and much disputed passage …. regarded by Chrysostom and the Greek Fathers as ‘a dark saying.'” He notes that the verse is “given up” by some modern commentators as “hopelessly unintelligible.” Meyer, however, argues that the article requires that __  be interpreted as the law of Moses. Lange and Riddle prefer “a general rule,” “a law of moral contradiction,” and re¬gard Meyer’s exposition as “forced” and “thoroughly untenable.” Garvie sees two possibilities for the passage:  “I find in regard to the Mosaic law,” or “I find a constraining principle.” He states his preference for the latter as doing “less violence to the grammatical structure of the sentence.”

Denney considers the modern sense of “a law of experience” as “roost unlikely for Paul” and expresses his agreement with those who take __  as the Mosaic law.  Parry favors “this law of my condition” but admits that this “new sense of the word” involves “some confusion of language.” Consequently, he concedes the possibility that Paul may be speaking here of the law of God.  “This is strained, but diminishes the confusion.”  Thayer lists __  in this verse as meaning the law of Moses.

On the contrary, Lightfoot states definitely that __  “has nothing to do with the Mosaic Law …  It is ‘the law of my being.'”

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J. Knox interprets, “a rule, a constant pattern”; Vincent, “the constant rule of experience imposing itself on the will”; Kirk, “the general principle”; Bauer, “a norm,” “a rule,” “a principle”; Boylan, “a norm,” “a sort of fixed law”; Bosworth, “an established order”; Robertson, “a prin-ciple at work”; Barrett, “a law-like rule”; Lietzmann, “eine ‘gesetz-mäszig Regel.'”

Sanday and Headlam prefer “this rule,” “this constraining prinple” but reject “this constantly recurring experience” as “too modern.” In their paraphrase they interpret, “I find therefore this law–if so i may be called.”  They claim that the “many commentators, from Chrysostom onwards” who have tried to make __ mean the Mosaic law have either “read into the passage more than the context will allow” or have given to the sentence “a construction which is linguistically intolerable.”  They regard the “best attempt in this direction” as “probably” that of Vaughan, who translates, “I find then with regard to the Law.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “Therfore I fynde a lawe to me” (One manuscript of Wycliffe has “the lawe,” and this is the reading adopted in the 1338 Purvey revision.  The translation of the rest of the verse in both these versions is so obscure that it seems impossible to tell what is meant by “a lawe” or “the lawe.” Vulgate: “Inuenio igitur legem,” which is as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “I fynde then by the lawe” (Luther, 1524:  “So finde ich nun ein gesetze mir”; cf. Vulgate);

Coverdale (1535), “Thus fynde I now by the lawe”;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539)., same as Tyndale;

Great (1539),   same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “I finde then by the Law” (“The lawe of my mynde” is not capitalized in verse 23.);

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Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale (The law of God is not capitalized anywhere in this chapter.);

Rheims (1582), “I find therefore, the Law” (changed in the 1749 Challoner edition to the same as King James, but with “law” not capitalized. The translation of the whole verse in the 1582 Rheims is quite obscure, but inasmuch as “law” is not capitalized in verse 23, it may he assumed that the capitalized “the Law” here in verse 21 means that “legem” is being interpreted as the Mosaic law.);

King James (1611), “I find then a Law” (The capitalized “law” evidently does not mean the Mosaic law, for “law” is also capitalized throughout verse 23.  “Law” is not capitalized in verse 21 in the 1769 Blay-ney edition, the same as Challoner.);

English Revised (1881), “I find then the law” (margin:  “Or, in regard of the law”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “This, then, is the law I find”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin:  “Or, in regard of the law.  Cf. ver. 12, 14”);

Weymouth (1903), “I find therefore the law of my nature to be” (margin: “Or ‘rule.'” Changed to “I find therefore this rule” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913); “So this is my experience of the Law”;

Westminster (1920), “I find, then, this law”;

Goodspeed (1923), “I find the law to be” (clearly not meaning the Mosaic law, as shown by the translation of the rest of the sentence);

Ballantine (1923), “I find then this rule”;

Montgomery (1924), same as Westminster;

Williams (1937); “So I find this law”;

Spencer (1937),   “I discover then this law”;

Confraternity (1941), “I discover this law”;

Basic English (1941), “So I see a law”;

Knox (1944), “This, then, is what I find about the law”;

Verkuyl (1945), “Consequently I discover the Law” (evidently meaning the Mosaic law, as shown by the translation of the rest of the verse);

Revised Standard (1946),  “So I find it to be a law”;

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Phillips (1947), “When I come up against the Law”;

Schonfield (1955), “I discover therefore the law” (the translation of the rest of the verse making it clear that this does not refer to the Mosaic law);

Lilly (1956), “I discover this to be the rule.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe and Purvey.  It may be that there was some attempt at interpretation in these versions, as suggested by the change from “a law” in Wycliffe to “the law” in Purvey.  But both readings seem to be none the less obscure.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:  None.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised and American Standard.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __ is understood as the Mosaic law by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, English Revised (margin), American Standard (margin), Moffatt, Knox, Verkuyl, and Phillips. The interpretation “law” or “rule” in the sense of “principle” is offered in the King James, Challoner, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Revised Standard, Schonfield, and Lilly.

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Romans 7:25.–

The meaning of this passage, and particularly its connection with the rest of the chapter, has been one of the most discussed problems in the whole epistle and the subject of prolonged theological controversy. The solution depends largely upon the decision as to whether Paul’s description of inner conflict refers to the experience of an unregenerate but enlightened sinner, an enlightened sinner in process of being regenerated, or a regenerate believer in process of being sanctified.

Some commentators and translators understand the second half of Rom. 7:25 as referring back to the previously described conflict of an unregenerate person.  This has led some to regard this part of verse 25 as having been misplaced by some early corruption of the text, and they recommend that it be restored to its original position after verse 23 and before Paul’s exclamation of thankfulness for deliverance. Others indicate the same connection between the last part of verse 25 and verse 23 by placing verse 24  and the first part of verse 25 in parentheses.

Others, who similarly interpret the conflict as that of an unregenerate person, prefer to leave these words in their traditional position and lay stress rather on the emphatic __,  translating “I of myself,” meaning “left to my own resources, without Christ in the pic-ture.” Still others, who place the same interpretation on the descrip-tion of conflict in Rom. 7:14-24, regard the last part of verse 25 as definitely in its original and logical position and understand it as an honest recognition of the continuing struggle common to every believer after conversion.

Yet others, however, regard the conflict of Rom. 7 as being that

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of a regenerate Christian. This has led to two other recommended interpretations. One is to translate __ as “I of myself,” “I left to myself,” and interpret the passage as describing the experience of a believer who, although enjoying the deliverance expressed in verse 2k,  at times attempts to live apart from Christ.  The other is to take the last part of verse 25 as a concluding summary of the believer’s conflict and to translate __  as “I myself,” thus identifying emphatically the regenerate struggler described in verses 14-24 with the still struggling saint of verse 25.

Dodd believes that these verses describe Paul’s experience “before Damascus” and agrees with Moffatt that the second half of verse 25 should be put back in “its proper place” after verse 23 and before the expression of thanksgiving. Parry commends the suggestion of Weiss that “there has been a primitive transposition of text.” He argues that verse 24  would come “most properly” after the summary of the “all but desperate situation” expressed in verse 25. Lightfoot agrees that the thanksgiving seems to be “out of place.” Bosworth regards the first part of verse 25 as parenthetical.

Sanday and Headlam leave the last part of verse 25 in its traditional position and interpret it as “a terse compressed summary of the previous paragraph . . . .  . describing in two strokes the state of things prior to the intervention of Christ.” The same view is taken by Barmby, Denney, Dummelow, Robertson, and Boylan, Denney explaining that “I myself” means “I, leaving Jesus Christ our Lord out of the question.” Clarke also regards these words as describing Paul’s unregenerate state and warns that to say that the apostle is speaking of his experience

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after conversion “would be monstrous and absurd,  if not blasphemous.”

Gifford urges that “it is better to keep the order of the original, which puts the emphasis on __.” He regards the passage as a description of the conflict of a person “in the process of regeneration.” Garvie interprets it as “an admission by Paul that the deliverance in Christ has not yet been completed, and that the inward conflict, though in modified form, still continues.” Lange takes a similar view. J. Knox understands the second half of verse 25 as representing a hope “already beginning to be fulfilled” but with the ultimate fulfilment” still largely in the future.” He regards the interpretation “I of myself,” or “I left to myself,” as “probably correct” but concedes that Paul “may again be identifying his essential self (I myself) with the mind, or ‘inner man.'”

Nygren and Barrett both regard verses 14 – 25 as describing the experience of a Christian, a view held by a number of the older conservative commentators.  (Note, however, Clarke’s view to the contrary, cited above.) Sadler claims that in the light of the context “this place has a very simple meaning.” “It means that the mind or spirit is renewed, and that the body, even of the apostle, continues unrenewed.” Jacobs interprets similarly, “so far as the ‘flesh’ still remains, viz. so far as his nature has not been entirely pervaded by the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit–but only so far–the regenerate man serves sin.” Barnes explains that this condition described in the last half of verse 25 is “a characteristic of the renewed nature. Of no impenitent sinner could it be ever affirmed that with his mind he served the law of God.” He translates __ literally as “I myself,” meaning “still the same person, though

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acting in this apparently contradictory manner.” Jamieson, Fausset and
Brown interpret, “God’s holy law is dear to my renewed mind.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “therfore I my silf by resoun of the soule serue to the lawe of God” (changed to “therfor I my silf by the soule serue to the lawe of God” in the 1388 Purvey revision. Vulgate:  “Igitur ego ipse mente seruio legi Dei”);

Tyndale (1525), “So then I my silfe in my mynde serve the lawe off God”;

Coverdale (1535), “So then with the mynde I serve ye lawe of God” (Luther, 1524:  “So diene ich nun mit dem gemüt dem gesetz gottes );

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), “So then the selfe same I in my mynde serve the lawe of God” ;

Great (1539), “So then, with the mynde I serve the lawe of God”;

Geneva (1560), “Then I my self in ray minde serve the Law of God” (A note explains that the mind is “that part which is regenerate,” while the flesh is “the part corrupted.” A 1562 printing has “degenerate” instead of “regenerate”!);

Bishops’ (1568), “So then, with the mynde I my selfe serve the lawe of God”;

Rheims (1582), “Therefore I my self with the minde serve the law of God”;

King James (1611), same as Bishops’;

English Revised (1881), “So then, I myself with the mind serve the law of  God”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “So then, with my reason I myself submit to the Law of God” (changed to “Well then, for myself, with my reason I serve the law of God” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), “So then I of myself with the mind, indeed, serve the law of God”;

Weymouth (1903), “To sum up then, with my understanding, I–my true self –am in servitude to the law of God” (changed to “So then I myself serve with my understanding the law of God” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “(Thus, left to myself, I serve the law of God with my mind)”

– 144 –

(margin: “Restoring the second part of ver. 25 to what seems its original and logical position before the climax of ver. 24.” Evidently Dr. Moffatt subsequently became more strongly convinced of the correctness of this interpretation, for the qualifying “what seems” is dropped in the 1935 final edition.);

Westminster (1920), “So then, one and the same self, with my mind I serve the law of God”;

Goodspeed (1923), “So mentally I am a slave to God’s law”;

Ballantine (1923), “So then I myself with my mind serve the Law of God”;

Montgomery (1924), “So then I myself in my will am in thralldom to the law of God”;

Williams (1937), “So in my higher nature I am a slave to the law of God”;

Spencer (1937), “So then I myself, while I serve with my mind the law of God”;

Confraternity (1941), “Therefore I myself with my mind serve the law of God”;

Basic English (1941), “So with my mind I am a servant to the law of God”;

Knox (1944),  “If I am left to myself, my conscience is at God’s disposition”;

Verkuyl (1945), “So then, with my heart I serve God’s law” (margin: “In the normal person one ego is usually dominant, the innermost self. In the Christian this is the Christ-controlled self.”);

Revised Standard (1946), “So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind”;

Phillips (1947), “In my mind I am God’s willing servant” (with the second half of verse 25 placed between verses 23 and 24″);

Schonfield (1955), “So there it is, I myself intellectually am bound to God’s law” (with the second half of verse 25 placed between verses 23 and 24);

Lilly (1956), “So then, I by myself with my mind serve the Law of God” (The marginal note explains that Paul is here describing the “inner struggle which goes on in all human beings between the lower, sensual nature and the higher aspirations of the soul.”).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

– 145 –

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1929), Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, and Verkuyl.  Taverner and Westminster have interpreted to the extent of translating “the selfe same I” and “one and the same self” respectively, but the resulting translations still seem to be too ambiguous to be classified as interpretative renderings.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative: American Standard, Weymouth (1903), Moffatt, Knox, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, Moffatt, Phillips, and Schonfield place the second half of verse 25 between verses 23 and 24.    In addition Moffatt encloses the transferred phrase in parentheses and translates __, “left to myself.” Thus these three versions seem to represent the struggle of Rom. 7 as a pre-conversion experience.

The American Standard, Revised Standard, Knox, and Lilly (besides Moffatt) translate __ “I of myself,” “I by myself,” “I left to myself,” indicating that this is the struggle of a person who attempts to achieve righteousness apart from Christ. Weymouth (1903) translates __ __ “I–my true self,” and his use of the introductory words “To sum up then” shows that he regards the last half of verse 25 as a summary of the struggle described in verses 14-24. None of these versions, however,

– 146 –

clearly indicates whether the struggle is that of a regenerate or unregenerate person.

Romans 8:3.–

This phrase is capable of two main interpretations. __ may be understood in a very general sense as “for sin,” “concerning sin,” “on account of sin.” This in turn has been interpreted broadly to include every sense in which the life and death of Christ were related to sin, or more specifically to mean “to deal with sin,” or even more specifically “to atone for sin.” Or Paul may have intended the words to be understood in their technical Septuagint sense of “sin offering.”

A third interpretation was found by some of the older commentators and translators by coupling __   with the remaining words of the sentence and translating the passage “and by sin he condemned sin in the flesh.” The meaning of this rendering seems quite obscure, and modern scholarship has eliminated the construction as linguistically impossible.  It appears, however, in the Latin Vulgate, and is adopted by Luther and Tyndale, thus influencing a number of subsequent versions.

C. F. D. Moule admits that “it is not certain” whether __ __ should be translated “sin offering” or “to deal with sin, in connection with sin.” J. Knox expresses the same uncertainty. Parry, however, thinks it “probable” that there is a “direct allusion” here to the sin offering. Kirk agrees that this is a “very probable meaning.” Dum-melow likewise prefers “as an offering for sin.” Denney regards this translation as “legitimate, but not formally necessary.”

On the contrary, Bosworth considers “as a sacrifice for sin” “justified in this context”

– 147 –

and recommends “to do something about sin.” Gifford also claims that “an exclusive reference to sacrifice is not permitted by the context.” He prefers “the more comprehensive meaning ‘for sin.'” Weiss urges that “it is impossible to think here of expiating sin [die Sünde zu sühnen], because only the removal of the power of sin [Sündenmacht] belongs to the context.”

Garvie admits the possibility of the interpretation “as a sin offering” but explains that “the context seems to require a wider reference.” Barrett likewise recognizes the possible allusion to the sin offering but thinks it on the whole more probable that Paul means nothing more precise than “concerning sin.” Robertson understands these words to be a “condensed phrase” implying that “God sent his Son also concerning sin (our sin).” Boylan translates, “to deal with Sin, to overcome Sin.” Vincent explains that “the preposition expresses the whole relation of the mission of Christ to sin.”  Sanday and Headlam state that the phrase should not be “specially limited” to the sense of “sin offering.” “It includes every sense in which the Incarnation and Death of Christ had relation to, and had it for their object to remove, human sin.”

Bauer explains that when used with __, __   has the sense of “zur Fort-schaffung, zur Sü.” Abel translates, “au sujet du pé,” ” cause du péché”; Lietzmann, “um der S/u/nde Willen.”

The  versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “of the synne” (changed to “and of synne” in the 1388 Purvey revision. Vulgate:  “de peccato”);

Tyndale (1525), “and by synne” (Luther, 1524:  “durch sünd”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

– 148 –

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale (in all the versions cited so far, including Luther, these words are connected with the succeeding phrase, “he condemned sin.”);

Geneva (1560), “and for sinne,” (The punctuation indicates connection with the preceding phrase. Margin:  “Or, by sinne.”);

Bishops’ (1568), “even by sinne,” (margin:  “God, thorow the sacrifice of synne, which Christ . . . offered upon ye crosse . . . hath condempned and abolished sin.” Although the words “even by sinne” are enclosed within commas, the sense still seems to be that “by sin he condemned sin.”);

Rheims (1582), “even of sinne” (The connection is with “he condemned.” This is changed to “and of sin,” in the 1749 Challoner edition, the punctuation indicating connection with the preceding phrase.);

King James (1611), “and for sinne” (margin:  “Or, by a sacrifice for sin,” as explained in the Bishops’ margin. There is a comma before “and for sinne.” In the 1769 Blayney edition the comma has been moved to the end of the phrase, thus changing the connection to the preceding part of the sentence.);
English Revised (1881), “and as an offering for sin” (margin: “Or, and for sin”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “to stone for sin”;

American Standard (1901), “and for sin” (margin: “Or, and as an offering for sin”);

Weymouth (1903), “as a sacrifice for sin” (changed to “to deal with sin” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “to deal with sin”;

Westminster (1920), “as a sin-offering” (margin:  “so the words are used constantly in the Greek Old Testament”);

Goodspeed (1923), same as Westminster;

Ballantine (1923), “for sin”;

Montgomery (1924), “on account of sin”;

Williams (1937), same as Weymouth (1903);
Spencer (1937). “in reparation for sin”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Westminster;

– 149 –

Basic English (1941), “as an offering for sin”;

 

Knox (1944), “to make amends for our guilt”;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Montgomery;

Revised Standard (1946), same as American Standard (margin:  “Or and as a sin-offering”);

Phillips (1947), “taking upon Himself the sins of men” (This translation includes part of the preceding Greek phrase.);

Schonfield (1955), “as regards sin” (the punctuation connecting these words with the remaining part of the sentence);

Lilly (1956), “in order to remove sin.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:  Challoner. By connecting “and of sin” with the preceding phrase, Challoner departs from the traditional punctuation of the Latin. But the resulting translation seems too obscure in meaning to be classified as interpretative.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Purvery, and Rheims. The translations “of the synne,” “and of synne,” and “even of sinne” are literal, but since the punctuation in each case connects these words with “he condemned,” following the Latin, these renderings are equivalent to an interpretation, somewhat obscure as they are. It is being assumed that at the time of the publication of these versions “of sin” in this context was readily understood as meaning “by sin.”

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: King James, English Revised, American Standard, and Revised Standard. The translation offered in the King James text, with “and for sinne” connected with “he condemned,” is somewhat obscure. But a clear interpretation is offered in the margin. The obscurity in the text is later eliminated by

– 150 –

Blayney’s change of punctuation.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative:  Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballartine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, __    has been understood as referring to the sin offering by the King James (margin), English Revised, American Standard (margin), Weymouth (1903), Westminster, Goodspeed, Williams, Confraternity, Basic English, and Revised Standard (margin).

The phrase has “been interpreted somewhat more generally as “to atone for sin,” “in reparation for sin,” “to make amends for our guilt,” “taking upon Himself the sins of men,” and “in order to remove sin” by the Twentieth Century, Spencer, Knox, Phillips, and Lilly respectively. It is interpreted still more generally as “to deal with sin” by Weymouth (1929) and Moffatt, and even more generally as simply “for sin,” “on account of sin,” “as regards sin” “by the Geneva, King James, English Revised (margin), American Standard, Ballantine, Montgomery, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Schonfield.

Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, and Bishops’ connect __   with the following phrase, thus departing from the traditional punctuation of the Greek, and translate, “by sin he condemned sin.” Schonfield makes the same connection but translates “as regards sin.”

Romans 8:10.–

This phrase is ambiguous in that it is uncertain whether __

– 151 –

here refers to the human or divine spirit. Does Paul mean that the human spirit has life because of righteousness, or that the Spirit of God gives life because of righteousness?

Sanday and Headlam claim that “clearly the __ here meant is the human __.” Gifford argues that this reference to the human spirit is “proved” by the direct contrast between the body and the spirit. Denney agrees that this meaning “is shown by the contrast with __.” Rid-dle asserts that “the subjective meaning is undoubtedly the correct one.” Robertson interprets __  as “the redeemed human spirit.”  The same view is taken by Meyer, Lange, Thayer, Garvie, Dummelow, Parry, Bosworth, Dodd, and Kirk.

On the contrary, however, J. Knox translates, “that Spirit means life to us because of righteousness.” While admitting that the phrase is ambiguous, he argues that the human spirit is not referred to in this context until the end of Rom. 8:16. Thus he concludes that “it seems best (with Lietzmann) to take Spirit here (as in the KJV) to mean the divine Spirit.” Barrett likewise interprets, “the Spirit is at work giving life.” He denies that Paul may have intended this to mean “the (human) spirit is alive … If he had meant this he would have said, ‘The spirit is alive,’ not ‘the spirit is life.'” Bauer also interprets __ here as the divine Spirit.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the spirit lyueth” (Vulgate:  “spiritus uero uiuit.” Wordsworth and White have the literal “spiritus uero uita” in the text, but evidently Wycliffe was using a text containing the interpretative “uiuit,” which is adopted in the Sistine and Clementine editions of the Vulgate.);

Tyndale (1525), “the sprete is lyfe” (Luther, 1524: “der geist aber ist das leben”);

– 152 –

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale (None of the versions cited so far capitalizes the divine Spirit in this chapter.);

Geneva (1560), “the Spirit (is) life” (a marginal note explaining that the Spirit here is “the Spirit of regeneration which abolisheth sinne.” “Spirit” is capitalized in every occurrence in this chapter. However, where the human spirit is unquestionably referred to in Rom. 1:9 and 2 Cor. 2:13 and 7:13, “spirit” is not capitalized. Whittingham, 1557, has “the Spirite is life.”);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), same as Wycliffe (the Holy Spirit being usually capitalized in this chapter);

King James (1611), same as Tyndale (changed to “the Spirit is life” in the 1769 Blayney edition. The divine Spirit is not capitalized in this chapter in the 1611 edition.);

English Revised (1881), same as Tyndale (the Holy Spirit being regularly capitalized in this chapter, as also in all the remaining versions cited below);
Twentieth Century (1900), “the spirit is full of Life”;

American Standard (1901), same as Tyndale;

Weymouth (1903), “your spirit has Life”;

Moffatt (1913), “the spirit is living”;

Westminster (1920), “your spirit is life”;

Goodspeed (1923), “your spirits have life”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Tyndale;

Montgomery (1924, “your spirit is full of life”;

Williams (1937), “your spirits are now enjoying life”;

Spencer (1937), “the spirit lives”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Tyndale;

Basic English (1941), same as Tyndale;

– 153 –

Knox (1944), “the spirit is a living thing”;

Verkuyl (1945), “the spirit is alive”;

Revised Standard (1946), “your spirits are alive”;

Phillips (1947), “your spirit, becomes alive”;

Schonfield (1955), same as Verkuyl;

Lilly (1956), “the spirit has life.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:  Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Bishops’, and King James (1611).  Inasmuch as these versions do not capitalize the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to tell from the uncapitalized “spirit” in the literal translation “the spirit is life” whether the divine or human spirit is intended. It seems likely, however, that the translators understood “spirit” here as the divine, as indicated by the later capitalization of “Spirit” in the same literal translation by Geneva and King James (Blayney, 1769).

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:  Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and Knox, all following the Latin interpretation that the spirit here is human.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative:  Geneva, King James (Blayney, 1769), English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations,

– 154 –

__ has been interpreted as the divine Spirit by the Geneva and King James (Blayney, 1769). All others have interpreted as the human spirit. Among the latter, the literal translation “the spirit is life” is somewhat obscure.  Nevertheless, the uncapitalized “spirit” clearly refers to the human spirit rather than the divine.

Romans 8:11.–

or

Although this is a problem of textual criticism, the choice, as in Rom. 5:1, is largely one of interpretation. Adoption of the genitive __ would mean that believers are resurrected by the power of the indwelling Spirit.  The accusative __ would mean that believers are resurrected because of the presence of the indwelling Spirit.

Evidence supporting the genitive includes __, A, C, p2, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus (Armenian), and the Bohairic, Sahidic, Harklean Syriac, Armenian, and Ethiopic versions. Evidence supporting the accusative includes B, D, E, F, G, K, L, P, the Byzantine text, the Old Latin, Vulgate, and Peshito Syriac versions, Irenaeus (Latin), and Origen.

Denney observes that the reading “is very doubtful” and takes no definite position. He does point out, however, that the idea implied by the genitive that the Spirit is the agent in the resurrection is a conception “not found elsewhere in Scripture.” Sanday and Headlam concede that the authorities for the two readings “seem at first sight very evenly divided” but conclude that, while “neither reading can be ignored,” yet “on the whole the preponderance seems to be slightly on the side of the genitive.” Robertson ventures with much caution that “the genitive

– 155 –

is slightly more probably correct,” though “both ideas are true.” But J. Knox states definitely that “there can be little doubt” that the genitive here is correct. “It -will be by the agency of the Spirit, not because of the Spirit, that God will give life to our mortal bodies.” The genitive is preferred also by Westcott and Hort, Stephens, Lietzmann, Lagrange, Dodd, and Barrett.

On the contrary, Gifford argues that the accusative “because of his Spirit that dwells in you” is “most in accordance with the language of the New Testament, which nowhere represents the Holy Ghost as the special agent or instrument by whom the dead are raised.” Nygren also prefers the accusative and explains that”the resurrection is the result of the indwelling of the Spirit.” Lange claims that in this verse “the raising act of God is distinguished . . . from the working of the Spirit.” In supporting Lange’s choice of the accusative reading, Riddle admits that the textual authorities are “of equal weight” but suggests the possibility that the accusative may have been altered to the genitive for polemical purposes during the fourth century Macedonian controversy regarding the divinity of the Holy Spirit. He lists Griesbach, Scholz, Mill, Bengel, Tischendorf (in later editions), Meyer, Tholuck, Alford, Tregelles, and others as preferring the accusative reading and concludes that “it is better to follow the current of criticism, and adopt the accusative.” Dummelow likewise interprets, “the Spirit within you is a pledge that God will cause your bodies also to participate in Christ’s Resurrection.”

The versions have translated as follows: Wycliffe (1382), “for the spirit of him dwellinge in zou” (Vulgate:

– 156 –

Spiritum eius in uobis”);

Tyndale (1525), “because that his sprete dwelleth in you” (Luther, 1524: “umb des willen das sein geist in euch wonet”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), “because of hys sprete that dwelleth in you”;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), “because of his Spirit dwelling in you”;

King James (1611), “by his spirit that dwelleth in you” (margin:  “Or, because of his spirit”);

English Revised (1881), “through his Spirit that dwelleth in you (margin: Many ancient authorities read because of”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “through his Spirit living within you”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin:  “Many ancient authorities read because of”);

Weymouth (1903), “because of His Spirit who dwells in you (margin: “v.1. ‘by means of.'” This is changed to “through His Spirit dwelling in you” in the 1929 fifth edition.);

Moffatt (1913), “by his indwelling Spirit in your lives”;

Westminster (1920), “through his Spirit who dwelleth within you” (margin: “The  present indwelling of the Holy Ghost is an earnest of a fuller indwelling to come … An alternative reading, ‘because of his Spirit’ … is strongly attested.”);

Goodspeed (1923), “through his Spirit that has taken possession of you”;

Ballantine (1923), “through his indwelling Spirit in you”;

Montgomery (1924), same as Moffatt;

Williams (1937), “through His Spirit that has His home within you”;

Spencer (1937), “by means of His Spirit dwelling in you”;

Confraternity (1941), same as Weymouth (1903);

– 157 –

Basic English (1941), “through his spirit which is in you”;

Knox (1944), “for the sake of his Spirit who dwells in you”;

Verkuyl (1945), “through the Spirit that dwells in you”;

Revised Standard (1946), “through his Spirit which dwells in you”;

Phillips (1947), “”by that same Spirit”;

Schonfield (1955), “by very reason of his Spirit indwelling in you”;

Lilly (1956), same as Weymouth (1903).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.     Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:  None.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, Confraternity, and Knox, all following the Vulgate “propter.”

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: King James, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth (1903), and Westminster.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’ (all of whom follow the Latin “propter” and Luther’s “umb des willen das” rather than the genitive case in the standard sixteenth century Greek text), Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, the passage is interpreted to mean “because of his Spirit dwelling in you” by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James (margin), English Revised (margin), American Standard (margin), Weymouth (1903), Westminster (margin), Schonfield, and Lilly. It is

– 158 –

interpreted to mean “by (or through) his Spirit dwelling in you” by the King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth (1903, margin), Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Phillips.

Romans 8:13.–

As in Rom. 8:10, it is uncertain whether Paul is speaking here of the Holy Spirit or the human spirit.  Is Paul emphasizing that Christians are to put to death the deeds of the body by the power of the Spirit of God or by the exercise of their own spiritual natures–as led by the Holy Spirit, of course, as is implied elsewhere in this chapter?

Riddle affirms that __ here is “undoubtedly not subjective, but the Holy Spirit.” The same view is held by Meyer, Gifford, Thayer, Denney, Robertson, Bauer, J. Knox, and Barrett.

On the contrary, Sanday and Headlam argue that “the antithesis to __  seems to show that this is still . . . the human __,  but it is the human __  in direct contact with the Divine.” Presumably this last observation is responsible for the capitalization of “Spirit” in their paraphrase, even though they intend this to be understood of the human spirit. In Rom. 8:10, where they clearly interpret __  as the human spirit, “spirit” is not capitalized.  Parry also regards __ here as the human spirit. Boylan agrees that this is not the Holy Spirit but explains that Paul is speaking of the “help of grace, the Spirit which we have received as a principle of eternal life. It is the effect produced in us by the Holy Spirit–not the Holy Spirit himself.” Like Sanday and Headlam he also capitalizes this human “Spirit.”

– 159 –

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “by spirit” (changed to “bi the spirit” in the 1388 Purvey revision. Vulgate:  “spiritu”);

Tyndale (1525), “by the help of the sprite”}

Coverdale (1535), “thorow the sprete” (Luther, 1524: “durch den geist”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Coverdale (None of the versions cited so far capitalizes “spirit” elsewhere in this chapter.);

Geneva (1560), “by the Sprite” (“Spirit” is capitalized in every occurrence in this chapter. However, where the human spirit is unquestionably referred to in Rom. 1:9 and 2 Cor. 2:13 and 7:13, “spirit” is not capitalized.);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Coverdale (“Spirit” is nowhere capitalized in this chapter.);

Rheims (1582), “by the spirit” (changed to “by the Spirit” in the 1749 Challoner edition.  “Spirit” is frequently capitalized in this chapter in the 1582 edition. Where __ may refer to the human spirit, the word is not capitalized. However, in Rom. 8:14, the “spirit of God” seems to have been inconsistently spelled without capitalization.);

King James (1611), same as Coverdale (changed to “through the Spirit” in the 1769 Blayney edition.  “Spirit” is nowhere capitalized in this chapter in the 1611 edition.);

English Revised (1881), same as Rheims (The Holy Spirit is consistently capitalized.);

Twentieth Century (1900), “by the power of the Spirit”;

American Standard (1901), same as Geneva;

Weymouth (1903), “through being under the sway of the spirit” (The mar-ginal note explains that this is man’s higher spiritual nature, in distinction from the Spirit of God.);

Moffatt (1913), same as Geneva;

Westminster (1920), same as Rheims (The Holy Spirit is consistently capitalized.);

Goodspeed (1923), “by means of the Spirit”;

– 160 –

Ballantine (1923), same as Geneva;

Montgomery (1924), same as Geneva;

Williams (1937), same as Geneva;

Spencer (1937), same as Geneva;

Confraternity (1941), same as Rheims (The Holy Spirit is consistently capitalized.);

Basic English (1941), same as Rheims (The Holy Spirit is consistently capitalized.);

Knox (1944),   “through the power of the Spirit”;

Verkuyl (1945), “through the Spirit”;

Revised Standard (1946),   same as Geneva;

Phillips (1947), “by obeying the Spirit”;

Schonfield (1955), ‘”by the spiritual”;

Lilly (1956), same as Rheims (The Holy Spirit is consistently capitalized. ).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Wycliffe, Coverdale, Great, Bishops’, and King James (1611). Inasmuch as these versions do not capi-talize the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to tell from the uncapitalized “spirit” whether the divine or human spirit is intended. However, it seems probable that the translators understood “spirit” here as the divine.

2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Geneva, Rheims, Challoner, Blayney, English Revised, Twentieth Cen-tury, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed,

– 161 –

Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly. Even though Tyndale, Rogers, and Taverner consistently do not capitalize “spirit,” whether human or divine, nevertheless their interpretative translation “by the help of the sprite” is most readily understood as referring to the Spirit of God.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __ is interpreted as the divine Spirit by Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Geneva, Challoner, Blayney, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Mbffatt, Good-speed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Knox, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Phillips. It is conceivable that some of the translators capitalizing “Spirit” may have understood the term in the sense proposed by Sanday and Headlam and Boylan. But this interpretation has not been made apparent in any of the versions cited. __  is interpreted as the human spirit by the Rheims, English Revised, Weymouth, Westminster, Con-fraternity, Basic English, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Romans 8:16.–

Since __  is neuter, to agree with __,  the literal translation of this phrase would be “the spirit itself.” However, many have urged that in view of the fact that other passages of Scripture teach the personality of the Holy Spirit, the phrase should be translated “the Spirit Himself.”

Robertson, for example, regards it as “a grave mistake to use the neuter ‘it’ or ‘itself’ when referring to the Holy Spirit.” Dummelow also  prefers the masculine “himself,” in order to designate the Spirit “as a Person and distinct from the Father.”

– 162 –

On the contrary, however, when the English Revised Version in 1881 changed the King James “itself” to “himself,” vigorous opposition was aroused.  J. A. Beet criticized the change as one of the few examples of theological bias in the new revision.1 J. Knox seems to see room for either translation, since “there is not a clear, consistent doctrine of the ‘personality’ of the Spirit in Paul’s letters.” Barrett uses “himself” in his translation.

Most writers seem to have ignored this question in their specific comments on Rom. 8:16. However, in their general discussion of Paul’s doctrine of the Spirit in this chapter, there is evident disagreement as to whether the Holy Spirit should be referred to by the masculine or neuter pronoun.

The versions have translated as follows: Wycliffe (1382), “the ilke spirit” (Vulgate:  “Ipse Spiritus”);

Tyndale (1525), “the same sprete” (Luther, 1524: “der selbig geyst”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale (changed in the 1572 edition to “the spirit it selfe”);

Rheims (1582), “the Spirit him self”;

King James (1611), same as Bishops’ (1572);


1J. A. Beet, “The Revised Version of the New Testament,” The Expositor, Vol. III (1882), p. 131.

– 163 –

English Revised (1881), same as Rheims;

Twentieth Century (1900), same as Rheims;

American Standard (1901), same as Rheims;

Weymouth (1903), same as Rheims;

Moffatt (1913), “this Spirit”;

Westminster (1920), same as Rheims;

Goodspeed (1923), same as Bishops’ (1572);

Ballantine (1923), same as Bishops’ (1572);

Montgomery (1924), “his Spirit himself”;

Williams (1937), same as Rheims;

Spencer (1937), same as Rheims;

Confraternity (1941), same as Rheims;

Basic English (1941), “The Spirit”;

Knox (1944), same as Rheims;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Moffatt;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Rheims;

Phillips (1947), same as Rheims;

Schonfield (1955), “the Spirit [joins] its [witness]”;

Lilly (1956), same as Rheims.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
2. Literal, hut equivalent to an interpretation: Bishops’ (1572), Rheims, King James, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Confraternity, Knox, and Schonfield, the three Catholic versions following the masculine “Spiritus” of the Vulgate.

– 164 –

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative: English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Revised Standard, Phillips, and Lilly.

5. Avoiding the problem of interpretation: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’ (1568), Moffatt, Basic English, and Verkuyl.

The Bishops’ (1572), King James, Goodspeed, Ballantine, and Schonfield have translated the neuter __ “itself.”  The Rheims, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Knox, Revised Standard, Phillips, and Lilly have translated “himself.”

The remaining versions have avoided the problem of gender by translating in some other way. Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, and Bishops’ (1568) have translated the phrase, “the same spirit,” as if __  were in the attributive position. Moffatt and Verkuyl have translated, “this Spirit,” preferring to regard __  as somewhat demonstrative in this context. The Basic English has translated simply “the Spirit.”

Romans 8:23.–

The genitive case of __   may be interpreted as parti-tive or as genitive of apposition.  Thus the phrase may mean that Christians had received the early outpouring of the Spirit as a foretaste, or first instalment, as it were, of the full gift of the Spirit yet to come. Or it may mean that the Spirit itself was the first fruits of future glory and blessedness.

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Riddle argues against Lange’s preference for the genitive of apposition and concludes that “it is difficult to sustain any other view here” than that this is the partitive genitive. He cites many scholars in his support.  J. Knox and Sanday and Headlam take the same view, translating the phrase, “the first installment of the Spirit.” Bauer explains the phrase to mean, “as much of the Spirit as has “been poured out so far.” Gifford translates, “the first outpouring of the Spirit.”

On the contrary, Kirk interprets, “we have the Spirit, which is the first fruit, or foretaste, of our future glory.” Denney explains that “the spirit which Christians have received is itself the first fruits.”  Dummelow translates, “we have the Spirit as a foretaste of blessedness.” Barrett interprets, “the Holy Spirit is thus regarded as an anticipation of final salvation.” Winer, Thayer, and Boylan also re-gard the case of __  as genitive of apposition.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the firste fruytis of the spirit” (Vulgate: “primitias Spiritus habentes,” which is equally ambiguous with the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), same as Wycliffe (Luther, 1524: “des geysts erstling”);

Coverdale (1535),  same as Wycliffe;

Rogers (1537), same as Wycliffe (margin: “Fyrst frutes, a tast, and a certain porcion and not the ful gyfte of the spirite”);

Taverner (1539); same as Wycliffe;

Great (1539), same as Wycliffe;

Geneva (1560), same as Wycliffe (margin:  “And yet are farre from the perfection”);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Wycliffe;

Rheims (1582), same as Wycliffe;

King James (1611), same as Wycliffe;

– 166 –

English Revised (1881), same as Wycliffe;

Twentieth Century (1900), “in the Spirit an earnest of the future” (changed to “a first gift of the Spirit” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as Wycliffe;

Weymouth (1903), “the Spirit as a foretaste and pledge of the glorious future (margin: “Lit. ‘the first-fruits of the Spirit.'”);

Moffatt (1913), “the Spirit as a foretaste of the future”;

Westminster (1920), same as Wycliffe (margin:  “that is, a first instalment of the Spirit”);

Goodspeed (1923), “in the Spirit a foretaste of the future”;

Ballantine (1923), same as Wycliffe;

Montgomery (1924), same as Wycliffe;

Williams (1937), same as Moffatt;

Spencer (1937), same as Wycliffe;

Confraternity (1941), same as Wycliffe;

Basic English (1941), same as Wycliffe;

Knox (1944), “already “begun to reap our spiritual harvest”;

Verkuyl (1945), “the Spirit’s fruitions that promise yet greater “blessings” ;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Wycliffe;

Phillips (1947),   “a foretaste of the Spirit”;

Schonfield (1955), “the spiritual firstfruits”;

Lilly (1956), “the Holy Spirit as first fruits.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.  Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Tyn-dale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King

– 167 –

James, English Revised, Twentieth Century (1904), American Standard, Westminster, Ballantine, Montgomery, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic Eng-lish, and Revised Standard. The translation, “the first fruits of the Spirit,” though literal, is most naturally understood to mean “the first instalment of the full gift of the Spirit” and is thus equivalent to an interpretation. Evidence for this are the explanatory notes in Rogers and Westminster.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Weymouth.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative:  Twentieth Century (1900), Moffatt, Goodspeed, Williams, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, Knox, Phillips, and Schonfield have chosen to regard the case of __ as partitive genitive. It has “been interpreted as genitive of apposition by the Twentieth Century (1900), Weymouth, Moffatt, Good-speed, Williams, Verkuyl, and Lilly.

Romans 8:24.–

The case of __  may be taken as either dative of means or dative of manner or “accompaniment” (C. F. D. Moule). The passage may mean that we were saved by hope or that we were saved in hope, meaning “in a state of hope,” or proleptically, “in hope though not in actuality.” As a third possibility, it has been suggested that the dative may be translated “for hope,” as if we were saved in order to enjoy the hope of future blessedness.

Robertson concedes that the case of __  is not certain but adds that  “curiously enough either makes good sense in this context.”

– 168 –

In his Grammar he expresses a preference for “by hope.” Kirk also argues for the instrumental dative, on the ground that Paul’s point is that we are saved “by the faith-hope state of mind,” and not by works.  Chamberlain agrees that the instrumental “by hope” is “undoubtedly more consis-tent” with the Pauline viewpoint. Richardson also prefers “by hope” but explains that this must not be taken to mean that we are saved simply “by hoping.”

On the contrary, Gifford maintains that the traditional interpretation, “by hope,” “disregards St. Paul’s distinction between faith and hope.” He and many others, including Sanday and Headlam, Vincent, Garvie, Denney, Dummelow, Hastings, Parry, Nygren, and Barrett prefer “in hope.” Bauer translates, “we are saved only in expectation.” Theissen translates, “with hope,” because it is by faith that we are saved and not by hope.”

Weiss has recommended “for hope.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “Sothli by hope we ben mad saaf” (Vulgate: “Spe enim salui facti sumus,” as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “For we are saved by hope”;

Coverdale (1535),   “For we are saved in dede, howbeit in hope” (Luther, 1524: “denn wir sind wol selig wordenn, doch in der hoffnung.” Evidently Luther was anxious that this verse should not seem to contradict Rom. 3:28, __ where he boldly adds “allein.”);    ‘

Rogers (1537),  same as Tyndale; Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale; Great (1539), same as Tyndale; Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale; Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

– 169 –

Rheims (1582), “For by hope we are saved” (the marginal note making much of this additional cause of salvation and blaming “adversaries” for “captiously and ignorantly” maintaining that faith is the exclusive means);

King James (1611), same as Tyndale;

English Revised (1881), “For by hope were we saved”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “In this hope we were saved” (changed in the 1904 final edition to “By our hope we were saved”);

American Standard (1901), “For in hope were we saved” (margin: “Or, by”);

Weymouth (1903), “It is in hope that we have been saved” (changed in the 1929 fifth edition to “It is by hope that we have been saved”);

Moffatt (1913), “we were saved with this hope in view”;

Westminster (1920), same as American Standard;

Goodspeed (1923), “It was in this hope that we were saved”;

Ballantine (1923), “For we are saved by hope”;

Montgomery (1924), “For by hope we are saved”;

Williams (1937), “For we were saved in such a hope (margin: “Implied from context.”);

Spencer (1937), “For our salvation is in hope”;

Confraternity (1941), same as American Standard;

Basic English (1941),  “For our salvation is by hope”;

Knox (1944), “It must be so, since your salvation is founded upon the hope of something”;

Verkuyl (1945), “In this hope are we saved”;

Revised Standard (1946),  “For in this hope we were saved”;

Phillips (1947), “We were saved by this hope”;

Schonfield (1955), “For we are kept alive on hope”;

Lilly (1956), “our salvation is only a matter of hope.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows.

– 170 –

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.
3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: American Standard.
4. Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions other than the American Standard.

The case of __  has been taken as dative of means by Wycliffe, Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century (1904) Weymouth (1929), Ballantine, Montgomery, Basic English, Knox, Phillips, and Schonfield.  The remaining versions, Coverdale, Twentieth Century (1900), American Standard, Weymouth (1903), Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Lilly have preferred the dative of manner.

Romans 8:2o.–

The problem of gender is the same as in Rom. 8:16. However, some of the versions have presented different translations.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “the ilke spirit” (Vulgate:  “ipse Spiritus”);

Tyndale (1525), “the sprete”;

Coverdale (1535), “the sprete itself” (Luther, 1524: “der geist . . . selbs”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539),  same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

– 171 –

Geneva (1560), same as Coverdale (changed from “the Spirite,” the same as Tyndale, in Whittingham, 1557);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale (changed in the 1572 edition to the same as Coverdale);

Rheims (1582), “the Spirit him self”; King James (1611), same as Coverdale;

English Revised (1881), same as Rheims;

Twentieth Century (1900), same as Rheims;

American Standard (1901), same as Rheims;

Weymouth (1903), same as Rheims;

Moffatt (1913), same as Tyndale;

Westminster (1920), same as Rheims;

Goodspeed (1923), same as Coverdale;

Ballantine (1923), same as Coverdale;

Montgomery (1924), same as Rheims;

Williams (1937), same as Rheims;

Spencer (1937), same as Rheims;

Confraternity(1941), same as Rheims;

Basic English (1941), same as Tyndale;

Knox (1944), same as Rheims;

Verkuyl (1945), same as Rheims;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Rheims;

Phillips (1947), “His Spirit”; Schonfield (1955), same as Coverdale; Lilly (1956), same as Rheims.

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

– 172 –

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Coverdale, Geneva, Bishops’ (1572), Rheims, King James, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Confraternity, Knox, and Schonfield.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: None.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Lilly.

5. Avoiding the problem of interpretation: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Whittingham, Bishops’ (1568), Moffatt, Basic English, and Phillips.

Coverdale, Geneva, Bishops’ (1572), King James, Goodspeed, Ballantine, and Schonfield have translated the neuter __  “itself.” The English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Westminster, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, and Lilly have translated “himself.”

The remaining versions have avoided the problem of gender by translating in some other way, Wycliffe as “the ilke spirit,” Phillips as “His Spirit,” and Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Bishops’ (1568), Moffatt, and Basic English as simply “the spirit.”

Although the Greek phrase is identically the same here in Rom. 8:26 as in Rom. 8:16, eleven of the versions have offered different translations. Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, and Bishops’ have changed from “the same spirit” to “the spirit”; Coverdale and Geneva have changed from “the same spirit” to “the spirit itself”; Moffatt from “this spirit” to “the spirit”; Montgomery from “his Spirit himself” to “the Spirit himself”;

– 173 –

Verkuyl from “this Spirit” to “the Spirit Himself”; and Phillips from “the Spirit Himself” to “His Spirit.”

In connection with Coverdale’s change from “the same Spirit” to “the spirit itself,” it is interesting to note that Luther had made a similar shift, from “der selbig geyst” to “der geist selbs.”

Romans 8:27.–

The conjunction __   may be translated “”because” or “that.”  Some have taken the passage to mean that God knows what is the mind of the Spirit, “because he intercedes according to the will of God.” Others interpret it to mean that God knows the mind of the Spirit, “that he intercedes according to the will of God.”

Lange claims that the interpretation “because” is supported by “most expositors” and expresses his opinion that the interpretation “God knows the mind of the Holy Spirit, that He intercedes … in a way well-pleasing to God” is “a very idle thought.” Riddle approves of this judgment as “very just” and commends the English Revised translation “because he maketh intercession according to the will of God” as an “exceedingly happy” rendering. Barrett offers both possibilities in his translation, using “for” in his text and giving “namely that” as an alternative. The causal interpretation of __   is also preferred by Gifford, Weiss, and Dodd.

J. Knox cites the two possible interpretations, “because” or “that,” and explains that if the former is chosen, then the clause following gives “the ground of God’s knowing.” If the latter is preferred, then the clause indicates “the content of the mind of the Spirit.” Knox considers the latter “on the whole the more likely.” Sanday and Headlam

– 174 –

list scholars on either side of the question and state their preference for “that” as “probably” correct. They argue that if __  is taken as assigning a reason why God knoweth the mind of the Spirit, “the reason would not be adequate.” For God would know the mind of the Spirit, even if it were not according to his will. Therefore, they conclude that “it seems best to make __  describe the nature of the Spirit’s intercession.” Garvie agrees that “we need no reason given for God’s knowledge of the mind of the Spirit, but a definition of that mind may be fitly added.”

The same view is held by Denney, Lietzmann, and Lagrange.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “for aftir God, that is, at Goddis wille, he axith” (Vulgate: “quia secundum Deum postulat”);

Tyndale (1525), “for he maketh intercession . . . according to the pleasure of God” (Luther, 1524: “denn er vertrit . . . nach dem das gott gefelt”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Sogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “for he maketh request . . . according to (the wil of) God” (changed from the same as Tyndale in the 1557 Whittingham edition);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale;

Rheims (1582), “because according to God he requesteth”;

King James (1611), “because he maketh intercession . . . according to the will of God” (margin:  “Or, that”);

English Revised (1881), same as King James (margin: “Or, that”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “because the pleadings of the Spirit . . . are in accordance with God’s will”;

American Standard (1901), same as King James (margin: “Or, that”);

– 175 –

Weymouth (1903), “because His intercessions . . . are in harmony with God’s vill” (margin: “Or ‘that.'” The 1929 fifth edition omits the marginal alternative.);
Moffatt (1913), “since the Spirit pleads before God”;

Westminster (1920), “how he pleadeth before God”;

Goodspeed (1923), “for it pleads … in accordance with his will”;

Ballantine (1923), “because he intercedes . . . according to the will of God”;

Montgomery (1924), “because his intercessions . . . are according to the will of God”;

Williams (1937), “for He pleads … in accordance with God’s will”;

Spencer (1937), “for he intercedes . . . according to God”;

Confraternity (1941), “that he pleads . . . according to God” (in spite of the Latin “quia”);

Basic English (l94l), “because he is making prayers … in agreement with the mind of God”;

Knox (1944), “for indeed it is according to the mind of God that he makes intercession”;

Verkuyl (1945), “for He pleads with God”;

Revised Standard (1946), “because the Spirit intercedes . . . according to the will of God” (margin: “Or that”);

Phillips (1947), “as He prays”;

Schonfield (1955), “that in God’s way it is interceding”;

Lilly (1956), “that he in accord with God’s designs pleads.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: Wycliffe, Rheims, and Knox, all following the Vulgate interpretation “quia.”
3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: King James,

– 176 –

English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth (1903),  and Revised Standard.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Verkuyl, Schonfield, and Lilly.

5. Avoiding the problem of interpretation: Phillips.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative renderings, __   is interpreted as “because,” “for,” by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Verkuyl, and Revised Standard. It is interpreted as “that” by King James (margin), English Revised (margin), American Standard (margin), Weymouth (1903, margin), Westminster (“how”), Confraternity, Schonfield, and Lilly. Phillips disposes of the problem by translating freely, “as He prays.”

Romans   9:5. —

There appear to be at least four main interpretations of this passage:  (1) to place a comma after __  and refer the whole passage to Christ as an assertion of his deity (the traditional view); (2) to place a comma after __ and a period after __  the passage then meaning that Christ is over all, but not necessarily __;   (3) to place a period after __ and translate, “He who is God over all be blessed for ever” (or, “is blessed”); (4)  to use the same punctuation and trans-late, “He who is over all is God blessed for ever.”

The interpretation of this passage has been debated at great

– 177 –

length through the centuries, perhaps more than that of any other verse in the New Testament.  The discussions reached, a climax after the appearance of the English Revised New Testament in 1881, considerable space being devoted to the problem in the religious journals of the day.

In the Journal of Biblical Literature of 1881 and 1883, Ezra Abbott surveys the history of the interpretation of Rom. 9:5 up to his time, listing many scholars on either side of the question. He expresses himself as strongly opposed to the traditional interpretation but concedes that the verse “grammatically admits of being punctuated and construed in at least seven different ways.”1

Some scholars, however, will not admit that there is any such ambiguity in the passage, but insist that the traditional view is the only one permissible.  Robertson regards the verse as “a clear statement of the deity of Christ.”  Riddle claims that “on no exegetical point, where there is room for discussion, has the unanimity of commentators, of all ages and confessions, been so entire, as in referring this to Christ.” A few have charged that only theological bias could lead one to decide otherwise. Boylan maintains that “this passage is a clear and definite assertion of the divinity of Christ, and, for that reason, has been variously twisted by modern critics.” Gifford shared a similar opinion fifty years before:  “When we review the history of the interpretation, it cannot but be regarded as a remarkable fact that every objection urged against the ancient interpretation rests ultimately on dogmatic presuppositions.”

1Ezra Abbott, “Recent Discussions of Rom. 9:5,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. III (June and Dec, 1883), pp. 90-112. See also, by the same author, “On the Construction of Romans 9:5,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. I (June and Dec, 1881), pp. 87-154.

– 178 –

Referring to the detailed analysis of the verse presented by Gifford in the Speaker’s Commentary, Canon Cook expressed this conclusion in 1882: “I should scarcely have thought it credible, in face of the unanswered and unanswerable arguments there urged, that English divines would venture to have given their sanction to one of the most pernicious and indefensible innovations of rationalistic criticism.”1

On the contrary, however, such scholars as Tischendorf, Meyer, Vincent, Denney, Jülicher, Burkitt,2 Bosworth, Parry, Dodd, Kirk, and Barrett have expressed their preference for interpreting the latter half of the verse as a doxology or benediction to God the Father, rather than as a statement of the divinity of Christ. Lietzmann also interprets as a doxology to the Father, not for linguistic or theological reasons, but in view of the fact that parallel doxologies in the New Testament seem to preclude the reference of this doxology to Christ. J. Knox agrees that Lietzmann’s argument “seems rather conclusive.” Theissen, however, claims that the “main weakness” of this interpretation is its “artificiality which betrays itself in the far-fetched arguments necessary to make it appear plausible.”

Many scholars have spoken of the difficulty of making any decision at all. Sanday and Headlam are somewhat inclined to refer the passage to Christ but admit that “throughout there has been no argument which we have felt to be quite conclusive.” Kirk favors the interpretation as a doxology to the Father, but adds that “it is difficult” to

1F. C. Cook, The Revised Version of the First Three Gospels (London: John Murray, 1882), footnote, p. 167.

2F. C. Burkitt, “On Romans 9:5 and Mark 14:61,” The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. V (1904), pp. 451-455.

– 179 –

choose “between the “four main possible renderings.” Garvie advises that the verse is “too ambiguous” to use dogmatically. In the midst of the heated controversy in 1881, Timothy Dwight pointed out in the Journal of Biblical Literature that, although he preferred to take the passage as a statement of the divinity of Christ, “the question ceases to be one of certainties, and becomes one of probabilities.”1 He commends the English Revised Version translators for offering alternatives in the margin.

J. H. Moulton, in his Prolegomena, observes that “it is exegesis rather than grammar which makes the reference to Christ probable.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “of whom Christ aftir the fleisch, that is God above all thingis, blessid in to worldis” (Vulgate: “ex quibus Christus secundum camera, qui est super omnia Deus benedictur in saecula.” Wordsworth and White have a colon before “qui.”);

Tyndale (1525), “they of whome (as concernynge the flesshe) Christ cam: which is God over all thynges blessed for ever” (Luther, 1524: “aus welchen Christus herkompt nach dem fleische, der da ist gott über alles gebenedeyet in ewigkeit.” The last three words are changed in Luther’s 1534 edition to “gelobt inn ewigkeit.”);

Coverdale (1535), “off whom (after the flesh) commeth Christ, which is God over all, blessed for ever”;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), “of whome (as concernynge the flesshe) Chryste came, whiche is God over all, blessed for ever”;

Great (1539), “they of whom (as concernynge the flesshe) Christ came, whych is God in all thynges to be praysed for ever”;

Geneva (1560), “of whome concerning the flesh Christ came, who is God over all blessed for ever” (margin:  “Christ is verie God.”);

Bishops’ (1568), “of whom as concernyng the flesche, Christe (came,) which is God, in all thynges to be praysed for ever”;

1Timothy Dwight, “On Romans 9:5,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. I (June and Dec, 1881), pp. 22-55.

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Rheims (1582), “of whom Christ is according to the flesh, who is above al things God blessed for ever”;

King James (1611), “of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever”;

English Revised (1881), “of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever” (margin: “Some modern interpreters place a full stop after flesh, and translate, He who is God over all be (is) blessed for ever: or, He who is over all is_ God, blessed for ever.  Others punctuate, flesh, who is over all.  God be (is) blessed for ever.”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “and so far as his earthly parentage was concerned, from their nation came the Christ–he who is supreme over all things, God for ever blessed”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin:  “Or flesh; he who is over all, God, be blessed for ever.” );

Weymouth (1903), “from them in respect of His human lineage came the Christ, who is exalted above all, God blessed throughout the ages” (margin: “or ‘the Christ. He who is God over all be blessed for ever.'”);

Moffatt (1913), “theirs too (so far as natural descent goes) is the Christ.  (Blessed for evermore be the God who is over all!)”;

Westminster (1920), “from whom was Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever” (the marginal note explaining that this is a reference to God in the flesh, “the sense urgently demanded by the context, and confirmed by considerations of grammar, as by the voice of tradition”);

Goodspeed (1923), “from them physically Christ came–God who is over all be blessed forever!”;

Ballantine (1923), “from whom by physical descent the Christ came. God who is over all be blessed through the ages!”;

Montgomery (1924), “and of them, as concerning the flesh, is Christ, who is over all, God, blessed forever”;

Williams (1937), “and from them by natural descent the Christ has come who is exalted over all, God blessed forever”;

Spencer (1937), “from whom, as regards the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed for all eternity”;

Confraternity (1941), “from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is, over all things, God blessed forever”;

– 181 –

Basic English (1941), “and of whom came Christ in the flesh, who is over all, God, to whom be blessing for ever”;

Knox (1944), “theirs is the human stock from which Christ came; Christ who rules as God over all things, blessed for ever”;

Verkuyl (1945), “and from them in human lineage sprang Christ, He who is God over all, blessed forever”;

Revised Standard (1946), “of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed forever” (margin:  “Or Christ, who is God over all blessed forever.”);

Phillips (1947), “so too, as far as human descent goes, is Christ Himself, Christ, blessed be God for ever”;

Lilly (1956), “and from them has been derived the human nature of Christ, who exalted above all beings, is God blessed forever.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1.    Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
2.    Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None. A literal translation of the Greek or Latin with the traditional punctuation would result in an interpretation, but in view of the antiquity of the controversy over this verse it is more likely that even the older English translators were not unaware of the choice they were making. According to Sanday and Headlam, Erasmus had already expressed his doubts in the matter and suggested three alternative interpretations.
3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, and Revised Standard.
4.    Interpretative, with no alternative: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

– 182 –

The passage is interpreted as a doxology to the Father by the English Revised (margin), American Standard (margin), Weymouth (margin), Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Revised Standard, and Schonfield. All the remaining versions interpret as a statement of the deity of Christ.

Romans   9:22.–

The participle __ is ambiguous.  It may be interpreted as concessive, meaning “though willing,” or causal, meaning “because willing.” The two possible interpretations have been much discussed. Does Paul mean that because God desired to show the dreadful nature of his wrath, he bore long and patiently with sinners so that, as with Pharoah, the final display of his anger might be even more terrible? Or is it that although God wished to show his wrath, nevertheless in his longsuffering he withheld the retribution deserved by those who were fit only for destruction?

J. Knox concedes that “only a few passages in Paul are more obscure than this one, and no certainty is possible as tof how it ought to be translated.” He favors “because willing” as harmonizing better with the context but sees the alternative “although willing” as having “the religiously valuable effect of softening the harsh doctrine Paul has been engaged in stating.” Gifford states definitely that the context makes it “certain” that Paul means “because He willed” and not “although He willed.” Lietzmann and Boylan also interpret __ as causal. Parry argues that the participle describes neither the reason (because) nor a contrast (although), but rather “the general condition under which the action of the main verb takes place.” He translates “in willing” or “while willing.” Wygren also apparently interprets __ causally in his translation, “If

– 183 –

God, to show his wrath.” Barrett regards “because he wished” as “preferable on every ground.”

Sanday and Headlam acknowledge the two possible interpretations and admit that “most commentators” translate “because willing.” But they then explain how the context makes it plain that the concessive “although willing” is the “correct” rendering. Denney also argues that only “although willing” is consistent with the context.  The same view is held by Lange, Meyer, Riddle, Stephens, Garvie, Dummelow, and Robertson.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “That if God willinge for to shewe wraththe . . . susteynede” (changed to “that if god willinge to shewe his wraththe . . . hath suffrid” in the Purvey 1388 revision. Vulgate: “Quod si Deus uolens ostendere iram . . . sustinuit,” which is as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “Even so, God willynge to shewe his wrath . . . suffered”;

Coverdale (1535),  “Therefore when God wolde shewe wrath … he broughte forth” (Luther, 1524: “Der halben da gott wolt zorn erzeygen . . . hatt . . . erfü r bracht”; the last two words being changed in the 1534 edition to “getragen”);
Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), “That if God willynge to shew his wrath . . . suffered”;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “(What) and if GOD wolde, to shewe hys wrathe . . . suf-fre”;

Bishops’ (1568), “If then, God wyllyng to shewe his wrath . . . suffred” (changed to “What if God wyllyng to shewe his wrath . . . suffered” in the 1572 edition);

Rheims (1582), “And if God willing to shew wrath . . . susteined”;

King James (1611), “What if God, willing to shew his wrath . . . indured”;

English Revised (1881), same as King James;

Twentieth Century (1900), “And what if God, although he intended to reveal

– 184 –

his displeasure . . . bore” (changed to “And what if God, intending to reveal his displeasure . . . bore” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as King James (margin: “Or, although willing”);

Weymouth (1903), “And what if God, while choosing to make manifest the terrors of His anger . . . has yet borne” (changed to “And what if God, while having the will to make manifest His anger . . . has yet borne” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “What if God, though desirous to display his anger . . . has tolerated”;

Westminster (1920), “And what if God, wishing to show his wrath . . . ‘hath borne”‘;

Goodspeed (1923), “Then what if God, though he wanted to display his anger . . . has shown great patience”;

Ballantine (1923), “What if God, choosing to exhibit his wrath . . . bore”;

Montgomery (1924), “But what if God, while yet intending to show forth his wrath . . . yet endured”;

Williams (1937), “And what if God, though wishing to display His anger . . . yet has. . . borne”;

Spencer (1937), “But what if God, though willing to display His wrath . . . ENDURES”;

Confraternity (1941), “But what if God, wishing to show his wrath . . . endured”;

Basic English (1941), “What if God, desiring to let his wrath … be seen . . . put up with”;

Knox (1944), “It may be that God has borne . . . meaning to give proof of that vengeance” (margin: “these words have sometimes been interpreted ‘although he would have liked to give proof . . . there and then,’ but the Greek does not favour this rendering.”);

Verkuyl (1945), “God, minded to show His indignation . . . and yet enduring” ;
Revised Standard (1946), “What if God, desiring to show his wrath . . . has endured”;

Phillips (1947), “May it not be that God, though He must sooner or later

– 185 –

expose His wrath against sin . . . has yet . . . endured”;

Schonfield (1955); “Supposing that God, wishing to display his genius . . . produced” (the context showing that “wishing” is to “be understood as causal);

Lilly (1956), “If God who intends to show his wrath . . . endured.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:  None.
2.  Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:  Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale. Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, Westminster, Ballantine, Confraternity, Basic English, Revised Standard, and Lilly.  The literal translation is most readily understood causally to mean “because he wished.” Evidence for this is the placing of the alternative concessive interpretation “although willing” in the margin of the American Standard.

3.    Interpretative, with at least one alternative: American Standard and Knox.

4.     Interpretative, with no alternative:  Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schonfield.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, __  has been interpreted as causal, “because willing,” by Twentieth Century (1904),  Knox, and Schonfield.  It has been interpreted as concessive, “although willing,” by Twentieth Century (1900), American Standard (margin), Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Verkuyl, and Phillips.

– 186 –

Romans 9:22.–

The precise meaning of the participle __ is “uncertain. If it is interpreted in the middle voice, the phrase means that the vessels of wrath have prepared themselves for destruction. If the voice is passive, the meaning is that the vessels have been prepared for destruction by someone else, presumably God. A third possibility is to translate __ in an adjectival sense, meaning “fit,” “ripe,” “ready,” thus not indicating who is responsible.

Arndt and Gingrich acknowledge without further comment the three possible translations, “created for destruction,” “ready (ripe) for destruction,” or “having prepared themselves for destruction.”  Sanday and Headlam admit that all three meanings are grammatically possible but explain that the context makes it apparent that Paul did not state who was responsible.  “He says just what is necessary for his immediate purpose–they were fitted for eternal destruction.” Robertson takes the same position but adds, “that they are responsible may be seen from 1 Thess. 2:15-16.” Boylan also lists all three interpretations as “possible,” concluding that “probably” it is best to understand the participle as meaning “fully disposed.”  The adjectival sense of __is also preferred by Vincent, Lagrange, Parry, and Kirk. Parry adds that the present condition of the vessels of wrath is due to “their own conduct.”

Thayer explains on the contrary that the vessels represent “men whose souls God has so constituted that they cannot escape destruction.” Bosworth explains that the vessels were “apparently fitted by God for destruction.” Meyer supports the same view.  Denney points out that Paul does not say who has done the fitting, but he still translates in the passive, “perfected, made quite fit or ripe.” Abbott-Smith also lists

– 187 –

the participle here as passive voice. Bauer translates, “created [geschaffen] for destruction.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “able in to perdicioun, or dampnacioun” (Vulgate: “apta in interitum,” as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “ordeyned to damnacion” (Luther, 1524: “Zugericht seind zur verdamnis”);

Coverdale (1535), “which are ordeyned to damnacion”;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “prepared to destruction” (changed from “made ready to damnation” in Whittingham, 1557);

Bishops’ (1568), “ordayned to destruction”;

Rheims (1582), “apte to destruction” (changed to “fitted for destruction” in Challoner, 1749);

King James (1611), “fitted to destruction” (margin: “Or, made up”);

English Revised (1881), “fitted unto destruction”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “fit only for destruction”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “who stand ready for destruction”;

Moffatt (1913), “ripe and ready to he destroyed”;

Westminster (1920), “fashioned unto “destruction'”;

Goodspeed (1923), “already ripe for destruction”;

Ballantine (1923), “made for destruction”;

Montgomery (1924), same as King James;

Williams (1937), same as Goodspeed (margin: “Lit., vessels made ready for destruction”);

Spencer (1937), “fitted for DESTRUCTION”;

– 188 –

Confraternity (1941), “ready for destruction”;

Basic English (1941), “were ready for destruction”;

Knox (1944), same as Twentieth Century;

Verkuyl (1945), “are maturing for destruction”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Ballantine;

Phillips (1947), “things that cry out to be destroyed”;

Schonfield (1955),  “[produced . . . crude articles] prepared for destruction”;

Lilly (1956), “were ripe for destruction.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: None.
2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation: None.
3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: Williams.
4. Interpretative, with no alternative: All versions except Williams.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, the participle __ has been interpreted as passive voice by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, Challoner, English Revised, American Standard, Westminster, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams (margin), Spencer, Revised Standard, and Schonfield. In the context of Rom. 9:22, the Westminster, Ballantine, and Revised Standard translations “made,” “fashioned,” seem to suggest quite clearly that it was God who formed the vessels for destruction. Schonfield represents this idea very clearly with his translation “produced with immense pains crude articles prepared for destruction.” The same idea seems also to he implicit in the translation “ordained” offered by Tyndale,

– 189 –

Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Grea, and Bishops’, though it seems probable that the word “ordained” is being used in these versions in the now obsolete sense of “made ready,” “prepared.” The translations “fitted,” “prepared,” should perhaps be classified as ambiguous, since they may be taken either as passive participles, or as adjectives, synonymous with “fit,” “ready.” However, in the context of Rom. 9:22 it seems that they would be most readily understood as passive participles, attributing the fitting and preparing to God.

The participle has been interpreted in the more strictly adjectival sense by Wycliffe, Rheims (1582), Twentieth Century, Weymouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Williams, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Lilly.

Romans 10:4

There are two problems of translation in this passage. The first is regarding the interpretation of __.    It may be understood as “termination,” “conclusion,” or “goal,” or “fulfilment.” The literal translation “Christ is the end of the law” is as ambiguous as the Greek. Did Christ bring the law to an “end,” or was he the “end” the law had in view? Or does __ include both of these ideas?

Sanday and Headlam observe that the interpretation of this verse has been “much confused” owing to such “incorrect translations” as “aim,” “fulfilment.” They urge that __  never means “fulfilment” __ and that syntax and context eliminate the possibility of its meaning “aim,” or “goal.” “The normal meaning of the word, and the correct one here, is that of ‘termination.'” J. Knox argues more cautiously that Paul’s meaning here is “probably that in Christ the law is superseded

– 190-

. . . rather than that the goal of the law is reached, although that too is a perfectly congenial Pauline idea.”   With similar caution, Bauer, in defining __ as meaning hoth “termination” and “goal,” ventures that “perhaps this is the place for Rom. 10:4, in the sense that Christ is the goal and the termination of the law at the same time.”   Barrett also understands __ here as meaning both “termination” and “purpose,” “intention.”

Boylan argues for the interpretation “goal” or “terminus” on the basis that Paul is “not here thinking primarily of Christ as the ‘end’ (ahrogation) of the Law.”   He admits, however, that the latter implication “can scarcely he excluded from the present context.”   Lange and Riddle also hold the view that Paul is emphasizing here that Christ is the “aim” or “goal” of the law, and Riddle lists Chrysostom, Calvin, Alford, and others as taking the same position.

Kirk understands __ to mean both the termination of the law and the fulfilment to which it pointed.   Parry sees the same two meanings in __ but adds that “the special point here” is that Christ “ends the dispensation of law.”   Vincent allows that __ may mean “aim,” “fulfilment,” or “termination,” but regards the last as preferable.

Robertson accepts Denney’s interpretation that while it is both true and Pauline that Christ is the goal or aim of the law, as he is also the consummation or fulfilment of the law, nevertheless these ideas “are irrelevant here.”   “Paul’s main idea is that Christ ended the law as a method of salvation.”   Stephens paraphrases, “There can be no thought of the Law as the means of salvation now that Christ has come.”   Cremer states definitely that __ denotes “the final end, the conclusion which

– 191 –

the dominion of the law has found in Christ.”   The same interpretation is preferred by Gifford, Thayer, Dummelow, Bosworth, Lietzmann, Dodd, Abbott-Smith, Nygren, and C. F. D. Moule.

The second problem in this passage involves the translation of __.    The traditional interpretation has been to understand __ here as referring to the law of Moses, the Old Testament dispensation.   But many modern commentators and translators have preferred to take __ in this context as representing law in its most general sense, understanding the passage to mean that Christ brought to an end the principle that law or legalism is a means of attaining to righteousness.   Inasmuch as __ and __ are both anarthrous, no stress may be laid on the absence of the article with __, and the correct interpretation must be determined from the context.

Sanday and Headlam argue that the context “proves” that Paul is speaking of law as a principle.    They claim that __ has been “incorrectly interpreted” to mean the Jewish Law by “almost all commentators.” They list “all the Fathers,” Calvin, De Wette, Meyer, Vaughan, and others. Thayer also interprets, “the law of Moses.”   But Denney explains that __ here must be understood as law “in its widest sense,” of which the Mosaic law is “only one of the most important instances.”   C. F. D. Moule interprets clearly, “Christ is an end of legalism.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “Forsothe the ende of the lawe Crist” (Vulgate:   “Finis enim legis Christus,” as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “For Christ is the ende of the lawe” (Luther, 1524: “Christus ist des gesetz end”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

– 192 –

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale (margin:   “Christ is the ende of the lawe, that is, Christ is the fulfyllinge of the lawe”);

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), “For Christ is the fulfyllynge of the lawe”;

Geneva (1560), “For Christ is the end of the Law” (margin:   “The end of the Lawe is to iustifie them which observe it:   therefore Christ having fulfilled it for us, is made our iustice, sanctification, etc.” Whittingham, 1557, did not capitalize “lawe.”);

Bishops’ (1568), same as Tyndale (margin:    “That is, Christ hath fulfilled the whole lawe.”   The marginal note to Rom. 7:1 adds that the law was “abolisshed for her imperfection.”);

Rheims (1582), “For the end of the Law is Christ” (margin:   “The Law was not given to make a man iust or perfect by it self, hut to bring us to Christ”);

King James (1611), “For Christ is the end of the Law” (Blayney, 1769, italicizes “is,” the same as Geneva, 1560);

English Revised (1881), same as King James;

Twentieth Century (1900), “For Christ has brought Law to an end”;

American Standard (1901), same as King James;

Weymouth (1903), “Christ is the termination of Law” (margin:   “Or ‘the end the Law had in view.'”   Changed in the 1929 fifth edition to “For the consummation of Law is Christ,” with margin:   “Or ‘the end that the Law had in view.'”);

Moffatt (1913), “Now Christ is an end to law”;

Westminster (1920), “For Christ is the consummation of the Law” (with a marginal note explaining that “consummation” implies “at once fulfilment and–which in this passage is primarily in question—cessation” );

Goodspeed (1923), “For Christ marks the termination of law”;

Ballantine (1923), same as King James;

Montgomery (1924), “For . . . Christ is an end of law”;

Williams (1937), “For Christ has put an end to law” (margin:   “Grk., is the end of the law”);

Spencer (1937), “for the goal of the Law is Christ”;

– 193 –

Confraternity (1941), same as Westminster;

Basic English (1941), same as King James;

Knox (1944), “Christ has superseded the law”;

Verkuyl (1945), “For Christ is . . . the completion of the Law”;

Revised Standard (1946), same as Tyndale;

Phillips (1947), “For Christ means the end of [the struggle for right-eousness-by-] the-Law”;

Schonfield (1955), “Christ is the end of law” (the context indicating that “end” here means “termination”);

Lilly (1956), “Christ has put an end to the Law” (margin:    “literally, ‘is the end,’ which some understand as ‘purpose'”).

The translations of __ seem to come under the four classifi-cations as follows:

1.   Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:   Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Ballantine, Basic English, and Revised Standard.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:   None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative:   Weymouth, Williams, and Lilly.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative:   Great, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Spencer, Confraternity, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schonfield.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __ has been interpreted to mean “end,” “termination,” by the Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1903), Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Knox, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.   It has been interpreted as “consummation,” “fulfilment,” “completion,” by the Great, Weymouth (1929), Westminster, Confraternity, and Verkuyl.   Spencer alone translates as “goal,” although

– 194 –

this is also quite evidently the meaning of “end” in Weymouth’s marginal alternative “the end the Law had in view.”

The translations of __ seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:   None.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:   Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Whittingham, Bishops’, Knox, and Revised Standard.   All of these versions translate __ literally as “the law.”   However, even though “law” is not capitalized, this translation is most naturally understood to mean the Old Testament law, and it obscures the alternative interpretation of “law” as a general principle.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative:   Weymouth and Williams.

4.   Interpretative, with no alternative:    Geneva, Rheims, King James, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Moffatt, Westminster, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering deliberately interpretative translations, __ has been translated “the Law” by the Geneva, Rheims, King James, English Revised, American Standard, Westminster, Ballantine, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Lilly.   It is interpreted as “law” in the general sense by the Twentieth Century, Wey-mouth, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, and Schonfield.

Romans 11:13.–

In this ambiguous phrase the pronoun __ may be taken as referring to the Roman church as a whole or to only a part of the membership.

– 195 –

Thus the passage may he translated “I say to you, Gentiles,” indicating that the Roman church was predominantly of Gentile origin.   Or it may be translated, “I speak now to those of you who are Gentiles,” meaning that Paul has turned his attention from the Jews to address some remarks to those members of the Roman congregation who had been Gentiles.   The argument as to whether or not the church at Rome was largely made up of Jewish or Gentile converts hinges partly on the interpretation of this passage.

Sanday and Headlam claim that “this verse and the references to the Gentiles that follow seem to show conclusively that St. Paul expected the majority of his readers to be Gentiles.”   Hort admits that the Greek is ambiguous but concludes that the context appears “decisive” for taking ____ as “the Church itself, and not as a part of it.”   Gifford states that “it is rightly inferred from this passage that the Roman Christians were for the most part Gentiles.”   Garvie agrees that “this address suggests that … Paul was conscious that for the most part he was addressing Gentiles.”   Denney explains that “Paul does not here address a new class of readers.    He has been speaking all along to a Gentile church.” Dummelow infers from the passage that “the Roman Christians were chiefly Gentiles.”   Bosworth interprets, “I realize that I am writing to Gentiles.” Stephens translates likewise, “I am writing to a Gentile church.”   Barrett takes the same view.

On the other hand, Lagrange explains that Paul now addresses himself especially to the Gentiles.   He claims that the majority of the community was composed of Jewish converts and that after having spoken to them all the rest of the epistle, Paul addresses himself here to the minority,

– 196 –

of pagan origin.   Zahn takes a similar view.   Boylan agrees that “Paul here speaks especially to the Gentile members of the Roman Church.” Parry cautions that this passage must of course not he understood as implying that those to whom Paul was writing were all Gentiles.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “Sothli I seye to zou, hethen men” (Vulgate:   “Uobis enim dico gentibus,” as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “I speake to you gentyls”;

Coverdale (1539), “I speake unto you Heythen” (Luther, 1524:   “Mit euch heyden rede ich”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “For (in that) I speak to you Gentiles”;

Bishops’ (1568), “For I speake to you Gentiles”;

Rheims (1582), “For to you Gentiles I say”;

King James (1611), same as Bishops’;

English Revised (1881), “But I speak to you that are Gentiles”;

Twentieth Century (1900), “I am speaking to you who belong to a heathen nation” (changed to “But I am speaking to you who were Gentiles” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised;

Weymouth (1903), “But to you Gentiles I say” (changed to “But I speak to you who are Gentiles” in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “I tell you this, you Gentiles”;

Westminster (1920), “I speak now to you gentiles” (the context showing that “now” is being used in the temporal sense);

Goodspeed (1923), “But it is to you who are of the heathen that I am speaking”;

Ballantine (1923), “But I say to you Gentiles”;

– 197 –

Montgomery (1924), “For to you who are Gentiles I say”;

Williams (1937), “Yes, I now am speaking to you who are a part of the heathen peoples”;

Spencer (1937), “Now I am talking to you Gentiles” (the context showing that the “now” is temporal);

Confraternity (1941), “For I say to you Gentiles”;

Basic English (1941), “But I say to you, Gentiles”;

Knox (1944), “(I am speaking now to you Gentiles)” (the marginal note ex-plaining that the following words are addressed to the Gentile readers.    The “now” is temporal, as shown by the context.);

Verkuyl (1945), “But I tell you, gentiles”;

Revised Standard (1946), “now I am speaking to you Gentiles” (the context indicating that “now” is probably not temporal but merely a connective.   Compare the use of “now” in the preceding verse.);

Phillips (1947), “now a word to you who are Gentiles”;

Schonfield (1955), same as Knox (the context suggesting that the “now” is probably temporal);

Lilly (1956), “Now I say to you Gentiles” (the context indicating that “now” is probably not temporal but merely a connective).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous: Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Weymouth (1903), Ballantine, Confraternity, Revised Standard, and Lilly.   The literal “I speak to you Gentiles” does not indicate whether Paul is addressing the church as a whole or a part of the membership.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:   None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative:   None.

4. Interpretative, with no alternative:   Wycliffe, English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt,

– 198 –

Westminster, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Schonfield.   It is being assumed that the translation “I speak to you who are Gentiles” means “I speak to those of you who are Gentiles,” since there is no comma before the relative clause.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, Wycliffe, Moffatt, Basic English, and Verkuyl interpret __ as referring to a pre-dominantly, if not entirely, Gentile congregation,   __ is taken to represent the Gentiles as but a part of the congregation, implying that a significant segment, if not the majority, of the Roman membership was Jewish, by the English Revised, Twentieth Century, American Standard, Weymouth (1929), Westminster, Goodspeed, Montgomery, Williams, Spencer, Knox, Phillips, and Schonfield.

Romans 12:16.–

The gender of the adjective __ may be taken as either masculine or neuter.   Interpreted as masculine, the passage would mean that Christians should be willing to associate with humble people.   Interpreted as neuter, the passage would mean that believers should be willing to condescend to lowly ways, humble tasks.   Either meaning would seem to suit the context equally well.

Bauer discusses the problem at some length, listing a number of scholars in favor of each view but venturing no opinion himself.   Denney also cites evidence supporting each of the two possibilities and concludes that “certainty on such points must always be personal rather than scientific.” His own personal preference is for the masculine, since this alternative “impresses” him as “much more in harmony with the nature of the

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words used than the other.”   Parry acknowledges that the antithesis to __ has led some commentators to take __ as neuter here, but he urges that this view is opposed both by the context and by “biblical use.”    Garvie, Zahn, Lagrange, and Nygren also favor the masculine.

On the contrary, Sanday and Headlam interpret __ as “probably” neuter,  since “the neuter seems best to suit the contrast with __ and the meaning of the verb.”   Vincent lists numerous scholars on either side of the question and expresses his own preference for the neuter.    Robertson concedes that the adjective may be masculine but favors the translation “condescend to things that are lowly.”   Barth uses the same translation.    Thayer interprets, “yield or submit one’s self to lowly things, conditions, employments.”   Weiss, Dummelow, Kühl, and Lietzmann also prefer the neuter.

Barrett admits that “it is impossible to feel that either translation is correct to the exclusion of the other.”   He adds that “it is well to remember that Greek occasionally allows an ambiguity impossible in English; Paul may have been aware, and may have approved, of both ways of taking his words.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “consentynge to meke thingis” (Vulgate:   “humilibus con-sentientes,” as ambiguous as the Greek);

Tyndale (1525), “make yourselves equall to them of the lower sorte”

(Luther, 1524:   “macht euch öben dem nydringen,” changed in the 1534 edition to “haltet euch herunter zu den nidrigen”);

Coverdale (1535), “make youre selves equall to them of ye lowe [sic] sorte”;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale;

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Great (1539), same as Tyndale; Geneva (1560), same as Tyndale;

Bishops’ (1568), “makying your selves equal to them of the lower sort”;

Rheims (1582), “consenting to the humble”;

King James (1611), “condescend to men of lowe estate” (margin:   “Or, be contented with mean things”);

English Revised (1881), “condescend to things that are lowly” (margin: “Or, them”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “be glad to associate with the lowly”;

American Standard (1901), same as English Revised (margin:    “Or, them”);

Weymouth (1903), “let humble ways content you” (margin:    “Or ‘associate freely with humble brethren'”);

Moffatt (1913), “associate with humble folk”;

Westminster (1920), “give yourselves over to humility”;

Goodspeed (1923), “accept humble tasks”;

Ballantine (1923), “be content with humble things”;

Montgomery (1924), “associate with lowly folk”;

Williams (1937), “keep on associating with lowly people”;

Spencer (1937), “accommodate yourselves to the lowly”;

Confraternity (1941), “condescend to the lowly”;

Basic English (1941), “keep company with those of low position”;

Knox (1944), “falling in with the opinions of common folk”;

Verkuyl (1945), “willingly adjust yourselves to humble situations”;

Revised Standard (1946), “associate with the lowly” (margin:   “Or give yourselves to humble tasks”);

Phillips (1947), “take a real interest in ordinary people”;

Schonfield (1955), “consort with the humble”;

Lilly (1956), “agreeing in thought with lowly people.”

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The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:   Rheims, Westminster, Spencer, and Confraternity.   It seems probable that these versions have made a deliberate attempt to represent the ambiguity of the original. It is interesting to note that all of these versions are Roman Catholic, two from the Latin, two from the Greek.   However, Knox and Lilly interpret as masculine.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:   None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative:   King James, English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, and Revised Standard.

4.   Interpretative, with no alternative:   Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Williams, Basic English, Knox, Verkuyl, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __ has been interpreted as masculine by Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, King James, English Revised (margin), Twentieth Century, American Standard (margin), Weymouth (margin), Moffatt, Mont-gomery, Williams, Basic English, Knox, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.   The adjective is interpreted as neuter by the King James (margin), English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Verkuyl, and Revised Standard (margin).

Romans 12:19–

There seems to be decreasing disagreement among translators and commentators as to the correct meaning of this phrase.   The literal and

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traditional “give place unto wrath” is very obscure and ambiguous.   The main question is concerning the interpretation of __.   Does it refer to the wrath of man or the wrath of God?   The decision largely determines the translation of the expression __.

Taking __ as human wrath, some have understood the injunction to mean, “give way before the wrath of your enemy.”   Others have interpreted, “leave room for your own wrath to cool.”   Most, however, take __ as referring to God’s wrath and interpret, “leave room for the wrath of God to have its way.”

All three of these interpretations are repre-sented in the versions.

Sanday and Headlam translate “give room or place to the wrath of God,” meaning “let God’s wrath punish.”   They claim that the quotation in the next verse shows that this is the right interpretation of __.   They cite the two main alternative interpretations, “allow space, interpose delay,” meaning “check and restrain your wrath,” and “yield to the anger of your opponent,” but conclude that “neither of these interpretations suits the context or the Greek.”   Barrett states that “were it not for the quotation that follows … it would be possible to translate ‘Avoid wrath.

Goodspeed claims that “in almost every place in which Paul uses __ is God’s wrath that is plainly intended.”1 Bauer interprets, “give the wrath (of God) an opportunity to work out its purpose.”   Thayer, Abbott-Smith, and Liddell and Scott offer similar translations.   Boylan explains that the passage does not mean “give way before the wrath of

1E. J. Goodspeed, Problems of New Testament Translation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945), pp. 152-154.

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your enemy” but rather that the Christian must “leave the avenging to God’s ‘anger.'”   The same view is taken by Lange, Gifford, Denney, Garvie, Parry, Findlay, Lietzmann, Lagrange, Robertson, Boylan, and most others.

On the other hand, Eadie regards Tyndale’s interpretative tranlation, “geve roume unto the wrath of God” as an “incorrect rendering” such as one might expect to find in “such an adventurous and untried attempt” at Bible translation.1 Weymouth (1903) interprets the passage to mean “give way before the anger of your opponent.”   Fenton (1905) translates, “receding from fury.”    Schonfield (1955) interprets, “give anger a wide berth.”   Spencer (1937) explains in his margin that the passage may mean, “do not resist an angry person.”   Knox (1944) gives both alternatives in the margin, “make way before the anger (of your opponent),” and “give place for your anger (to simmer down).”   Riddle lists Ewald, Jowett, and Wordsworth as supporting the interpretation, “give place to the wrath of your enemy,” meaning, “let your enemy have his way.”   He cites Bishop Wordsworth’s argument that “it would hardly be presented as a Christian duty–to make room for the Divine wrath to work against an enemy.”

Riddle also alludes to Wordsworth’s defence of the ambiguous traditional rendering “give place unto wrath” as “excellent from its ambiguity, from not saying too much, and thus inviting study.”   He further notes Wordsworth’s approval of Bishop Sanderson’s rule for the exposition of such difficult passages:   “I ever held it a kind of honest spiritual

1John Eadie, The English Bible, Vol. I (London:   Macmillan Co., 1876), p. 152.

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thrift, when there are two senses given of one place, both agreeable to the analogy of faith and manners, to make use of both.”   This rule seems to be followed by other expositors than the two bishops, and Riddle observes correctly, if somewhat facetiously, that Wordsworth’s “own practice of this ‘spiritual thrift’ may lead to spiritual wealth, but certainly seems to tend to exegetical poverty.”

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “zyue ze place to ire, or wraththe” (changed to “zeue ze place to wraththe” in the Purvey 1388 revision.   Vulgate:    “date locum irae”);

Tyndale (1525), “Geve roume unto the wrath of God” (Luther, 1524:   “gebt raum dem zorn gottes”);

Coverdale (1535), same as Tyndale;

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale;

Taverner (1539), “gyve place to wrathe”;

Great (1539), “geve place unto wrath”;

Geneva (1560), same as Great (changed from “geve roume unto wrath” in the 1557 Whittingham edition”;

Bishops’ (1568), same as Great;

Rheims (1582), same as Great;

King James (1611), same as Great;

English Revised (1881), same as Great (margin:    “Or, the wrath of God”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “leave room for God’s judgment” (changed to  “make way for the Wrath of God” in the 1904 final edition);

American Standard (1901), “give place unto the wrath of God” (margin: “Or, wrath”);

Weymouth (1903), “give way before anger” (margin: “Lit. ‘the anger,’ of your opponent. Or ‘leave room for the anger’ of God, so that He may punish.” This is changed to “leave it to God’s wrath,” with no marginal alternative, in the 1929 fifth edition);

Moffatt (1913), “let the Wrath of God have its way”;

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Westminster (1920), “give room to the wrath of God” (margin:   “‘Of God’ is not in the Greek, but gives the sense, as the quotation shows.”);

Goodspeed (1923), “leave room for God’s anger”;

Ballantine (1923), “give place to God’s wrath”;

Montgomery (1924), “leave the field clear for God’s wrath”;

Williams (1937), “leave a place for God’s anger” (margin:   “Implied,” referring to the word “God’s”);

Spencer (1937), “give place to the divine wrath” (margin: “Or, according to some, omitting the word divine, the sense is, Do not resist an angry person.”);

Confraternity (1941), “give place to the wrath”;

Basic English (1941), “give way to the wrath of God”;

Knox (1944), “allow retribution to run its course”    (margin:   “others would prefer to translate ‘make way before the anger’ [of your opponent], or ‘give space for your anger’ [to simmer down]”);

Verkuyl (1945), “leave room for divine retribution”;

Revised Standard (1946), “leave it to the wrath of God” (margin:   “Greek give place”);

Phillips (1947), “stand back and let God punish if He will”;

Schonfield (1955), “give anger a wide berth”;

Lilly (1956), “give place to the wrath of God.”

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:   Wycliffe, Taverner, Great, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, and Confraternity.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:   None.

3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative: English Revised, American Standard, Weymouth (1903),Westminster, Williams, Spencer, and Knox.   Only Weymouth, Spencer, and Knox give two clear alternatives

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but the others have at least suggested the possibility of other interpretations.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative:   Tyndale, Coverdale, Rogers, Twentieth Century, Weymouth (1929), Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Montgomery, Basic English, Verkuyl, Revised Standard, Phillips, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, __ has been interpreted as human wrath by Weymouth (1903), Spencer (margin), Knox (margin), and Schonfield.   All others interpret as the wrath of God, assuming that the Knox translation “retribution” implies the working of divine wrath.

Romans 16:26.–

As in Rom. 1:5, the genitive case of __ may be taken as either subjective or objective, or as genitive of apposition, or epexegetic genitive, or genitive of description or quality (attributive).   But it is surprising to note the amount of inconsistency in the interpretation of these two identical passages.

The versions have translated as follows:

Wycliffe (1382), “to the obedyence of faith” (Vulgate:   “ad oboeditionem fidei,” as ambiguous as the Greek.   Rom. 1:5, “to obeische to the faith”);

Tyndale (1525), “to stere uppe obedience to the faythe” (Rom. 1:5, “that . . . shulde obeye to the faith,” changed in 1534 to “to bring . . . unto obedience of the fayth”);

Coverdale (1535), “to set up the obedience of the faith” (Luther, 1524: “den gehorsam des glaubens auffzurichten.”   Rom. 1:5, “to set up the obedience of faith”);

Rogers (1537), same as Tyndale (Rom. 1:5, “to bring . . . unto the obedyence of the fayth”);

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Taverner (1539), same as Tyndale (Rom. 1:5, “to bring . . . unto the obedyence of the fayth,” the same as Rogers);

Great (1539), same as Tyndale;

Geneva (1560), “for the obedience of faith” (changed from Whittingham, 1557, “to stere up obedience to the fayth,” the same as Tyndale.   In Rom. 1:5, the Geneva, 1560, has “that obedience might he given unto the faith.”);

Bishops’  (1568), same as Wycliffe (Rom. 1:5, “that obedience might be geven unto the faith”);

Rheims (1582), same as Wycliffe (Rom. 1:5, “for obedience to the faith”);

King James (1611), same as Geneva (Rom. 1:5, “for obedience to the faith”; margin:    “Or to the obedience of faith”);

English Revised (1881), “unto obedience of faith” (margin:    “Or, to the faith”);

Twentieth Century (1900), “to secure submission to the Faith”;

American Revised (1901), same as English Revised (margin:   “Or, to the faith”);

Weymouth (1903), “to win them to obedience to the faith” (with a note, as in Rom. 1:5, giving the literal “to obedience of faith.”   This time no change was made in the 1929 fifth edition, even though Rom. 1:5 was revised to “the obedience that springs from faith”);

Moffatt (1913), “for . . . obedience to the faith”;

Westminster (1920), same as English Revised;

Goodspeed (1923), “to lead … to obedience and faith”;

Ballantine (1923), “to promote obedience to the faith” (Rom. 1:5, “to promote obedience of faith”);

Montgomery (1924), “so that . . . might hold obedience of the faith” (Rom. 1:5, “to promote obedience to the faith”);

Williams (1937), “to win … to obedience inspired by faith”;

Spencer (1937), “to bring about obedience to the faith” (Rom. 1:5, “to subdue … to faith”);

Confraternity (1941), “to bring about obedience to faith”;

Basic English (1941), “so that they may come under the rule of the faith”

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(Rom. 1:5, “to make disciples to the faith”);

Knox (1944), “so as to win the homage of their faith”;

Verkuyl (1945), “so that . .  . shall be led to obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5, “to promote a yielding in faith”);

Revised Standard (1946), same as Spencer;

Phillips (1947), “that they may turn to Him in the obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5, “to forward obedience to the Faith”);

Schonfield (1955), “to procure their loyal submission”;

Lilly (1956), “so as to bring about their submission to the faith” (Rom. 1:5, “to bring men . . . [to honor his name] by the submission of faith”).

The translations seem to come under the four classifications as follows:

1. Literal, obscure, and ambiguous:   Wycliffe, Coverdale,Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Westminster, Montgomery, Verkuyl,and Phillips.   It is again possible, as in the translation of the same phrase in Rom. 1:5, that the rendering offered in these versions, and particularly Wycliffe, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Westminster, Verkuyl, and Phillips, was intended to be understood as interpreting __ in the subjective sense, or as epexegetic or attributive.   Evidence for this may be the appearance of the objective interpretation “obedience to the faith” as an alternative to “obedience of faith” in the English Revised and American Standard, both for Rom. 16:26 and 1:5.   The same alternatives are offered in text and margin of the King James for

Rom. 1:5.   However, the translations “obedience of faith” and “the obedience of the faith” could also be taken in the objective sense, and thus they deserve to be classified as literal, obscure, and ambiguous.

2. Literal, but equivalent to an interpretation:   None.

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3. Interpretative, with at least one alternative:   English Revised, American Standard, and Weymouth.   As in Rom. 1:5, the translation offered in the text of the English Revised and American Standard and in the margin of Weymouth is literal, obscure, and ambiguous.   However, these versions are included in this classification since they have not only offered one clear translation in text or margin but have also at least suggested the possibility of a different interpretation.

4.    Interpretative, with no alternative:    Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Whittingham, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Ballantine, Williams, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Knox, Revised Standard, Schonfield, and Lilly.

Of the versions offering interpretative translations, Williams (parting company this time with Weymouth, 1929) has taken the genitive of __ as subjective; Knox (differing this time from Lilly) has interpreted as genitive of apposition; Schonfield (differing this time from Verkuyl) has interpreted as genitive of description.   Goodspeed’s translation “obedience and faith” is again hard to classify grammatically, but he clearly rejects the objective interpretation.   The genitive of __ has been interpreted as objective by Tyndale, Rogers, Taverner, Great, Whittingham, Twentieth Century, Moffatt, Ballantine, Spencer, Confraternity, Basic English, Revised Standard, and Lilly.   Of the latter, all but the Confraternity have interpreted __ as “the faith” with the definite article.

A majority of the versions have offered significantly different translations in Rom. 1:5 and Rom. 16:26–Wycliffe, Tyndale (1534), Coverdale, Rogers, Taverner, Geneva, Bishops’, Rheims, King James, Weymouth

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(1929), Ballantine, Montgomery, Spencer, Verkuyl, Phillips, and Lilly. Of these, Weymouth (1929) has clearly switched from the subjective interpretation to the objective.   Lilly has changed from the genitive of apposition to the objective genitive.   Phillips has probably shifted from the objective to the subjective, though his translation “the obedience of faith” in Rom. 16:26 is classified as literal, obscure, and ambiguous.

The Basic English has retained the objective interpretation in both passages but has changed the wording to an extent that seems somewhat inconsistent with the version’s principle of simplicity.   Spencer has changed from “faith,” without the article, to “the faith,” this time implying obedience to a body of doctrine rather than to the principle of faith.

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