Romans 13

This is a literal translation of an ancient Greek text. It has also been cross-posted on For more information on how to read this post and what everything means, see the relevant page on that site.

1Let every life be placed underassigned to the powershere and throughout, authorities being overlit. rising above [it].some manuscripts: Be placed under every power being over [you].a For [there] is no powerlit. power is not if not from God, but the [powers] being(existing) have been marshaled(arrayed / drawn up [for battle]) by God;b 2inasmuch as the [one] setting [oneself] in battle against(opposition to) the power, the [one] having been appointed [on a particular occasion] by God, [he] has set [himself] against [iti.e., the power/authority in battle], but the [ones] having set [themselves] against [it] will receive a judgment(condemnation) for themselves. 3For the [ones] ruling are not a fear to the good work(deed) but to the bad.c But do [thou] wish not to dread(be frightened by) the power? Do the good [thing], and [thou] will have approval(praise) from it; 4for [it] is a servantHere and throughout, an English cognate term with this word is deacon. of God for thee unto the good [thing]. But if [thou] do the bad [thing], be afraid; for [it] does not carry the daggerThough not technically accurate, it was common to use this Greek word to refer to the gladius, the primary sword of the Roman soldier. in vain;(at random / without a plan) for [it] is a servant of God, a prosecutor(avenger) unto wrath to the [one] practicing the bad [thing].d 5Wherefore [there is] a compulsion to be placed under [it], not only on account of wrath, but also on account of knowledge.(conscience) 6For an account of this [thing you] perform(perfect) tributes,lit. payments for public servants of God are persisting obstinatelyThis is a circumlocution, using a participle instead of the normal form of the verb. This focuses especially on the state of behavior rather than the particular action. unto this same thing. 7Give back debts to all [people], the tribute to the [one to whom] tribute [is due],e the dutylit. outcome, end to the [one to whom] the duty [is due], fear to the [one to whom] fear [is due], honor to the [one to whom] honor [is due].

8Oweὀφείλετε can take a direct object, meaning to owe something, or an infinitive, meaning that you ought to do something. Both are used here, but English loses some of the commandment of the latter (i.e., we ought to love each other). nothing to anyone, except to love each other; for the [one] loving another has fulfilled [the] law.f 9For the [thing], [thou] will notThe verb forms here could almost be imperatives, but the word for negation is οὐ, not μή, which means it must be a future indicative, not an imperative. commit adultery, [thou] will not murder, [thou] will not covet,(desire); lit. set one’s heart uponsome manuscripts end after murder, others add [thou] will not give false witness there; some do bothg and if [there is] any other commandment, in this word [it] is summed up, {in this:} [thou] will love thy nearby [person(neighbor) as] thyself.h 10Love does not work [at] a bad [thing] for the [one] nearby;This is the adverbial form, not an adjective. love, therefore, [is the] fulfilmentlit. complement of [the] law.i

11And knowing this [is] the time, that the hour already [has come] to wake(rouse) yousome manuscripts: us; others omit out of sleepj for now our salvation [is] nearer than when [we] believed [on a particular occasion]. 12The night advanced(made progress / progressed) [on a particular occasion], but the day has approached.k Let [us] therefore put awaysome manuscripts: throw off [on a particular occasion] the works of darkness,l {and} let [us] put onhere and in verse 14, (don) the armor of light. 13Let [us] walk gracefully as in [the] day, not with revelries and strong drinks,m not with beds and licentiousness, not with strife and jealousy; 14but put on the lord Jesus Christ,n and do not make providencelit. foreknowledge, foresight forlit. of the flesh unto [its] desires.(covets); the same root as the command in verse 9

a Let every life…rising above [it]: cf. Titus 3:1
b For [there] is…marshaled by God: cf. Proverbs 8:15; John 19:11
c For the [ones]…to the bad: cf. 1 Peter 2:13-14; 3:13
d a prosecutor unto…the bad [thing]: cf. Romans 12:19
e Give back debts…tribute [is due]: cf. Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25
f for the [one]…fulfilled [the] law: cf. Galatians 5:14; 1 Timothy 1:5
g [thou] will not…one’s heart upon: cf. Exodus 20:13-15, 17; Deuteronomy 5:17-19, 21; Matthew 19:18
h [thou] will love…[person as] thyself: cf. Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8
i love, therefore, [is…of [the] law: cf. Matthew 22:40
j knowing this [is]…out of sleep: cf. Ephesians 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7
k The night advanced…day has approached: cf. 1 John 2:8
l Let [us] therefore…works of darkness: cf. Ephesians 5:11
m Let [us] walk…and strong drinks: cf. Luke 21:34; Ephesians 5:18
n put on the…lord Jesus Christ: cf. Galatians 3:27

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