Romans 3

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.

1What therefore is the more [thing]i.e., the benefit of [being] Jewish, or what is the advantage of circumcision? 2Much according to every way. {For}The presence or position of this word is disputed. first, on the one hand, that they were entrustedlit. they were believed in [on a particular occasion] with the oracles of God.a 3For what [then]? If some [men] disbelieved,(had no faith) will their disbelief(lack of faith) nullify the belief(faith); as above and throughout below, “belief” and “faith” are interchangeable, though they have different connotations in English; literally (in terms of structure), the text is closer to “belief,” but has the implications of theological “faith” in God?b 4Would that it not come to behere and throughout, lit. become; but on the other hand let God come to be true, and on the other hand [let] every person [come to be] a liar,c just as it has been written,d “In order that you may be justifiedpurpose clause of ὅπως + subjunctive mood + ἄν in your words and [in order that] you may prevail(be victorious)purpose clause of ὅπως + future indicative in [the time] that you are judgedverbal noun of accusative + infinitive indirect statement construction.” 5But if on the other hand our injustice(unrighteousness) combines with [the] justicehere and throughout, (righteousness); in general, where I have rendered “just” or “justice” (or their converses), you may infer the Christian concept of “righteous” or “righteousness” (or their converses) of God, what shall [we] say? God, the [one] inflictinglit. bringing upon wrath [is] not unjust, [is he]?construction expects negative response I am speaking(I speak) according to man. 6Would that it not come to be; otherwise, how will God judge the cosmos? 7But on the other hand,some manuscripts: for; others omit if the truth of God aboundedlit. outnumbered in falsehood unto his glory, whylit. what still am I also judged as an erroneous [man](a sinner)? 8[Why] not both just as [we] are blasphemed and just as some [men] assert that we say,accusative + infinitive indirect statement “We did the bad [things] in order that the good [things] may come”?singular verb with neuter plural subject; common constructione Of whomi.e., the slanderers and blasphemers the judgmentlit. decision; (condemnation) is legitimate.

9What therefore? Are [we] in the lead?lit. Do we jut out? Not by any means; for [we] accused beforehand(charged already) [on a particular occasion] both Jews and Greeks all to be under error,here and throughout, (sin)f 10just as it has been writteng that “There is not a just [man], not even one, 11there is not [one] understandingThis word is not unambiguous. When it appears without diacritics, as it might have in the oldest texts, it could be from σύνειμι, meaning “to be with, to be acquainted with, to live with, to associate with”; or from σύνειμι, meaning “to go with, to assemble, to gather”; or from συνίζω, meaning “to sit together, to fall together”; or from συνίημι, meaning “to bring together, to perceive, to understand”. With the diacritics used by most editors, it can only mean this last option; this is also the most sensible translation, and it is the one we take. [God], there is not [one] seeking out God. 12All [men] pervertedlit. bended outward [on a particular occasion] [and] at the same time [they] were rendered useless(damaged) [on a particular occasion]; there is not [one] doing goodnesses,(kindnesses) {there is not}some manuscripts include this, others omit; which is correct remains disputed up toin a sense, less than or equal to one. 13Their larynx(throat) [is] a laid-open tomb,lit. funeral-rite they were dealing treacherouslyThis verb is from δολιόω, which is an omicron-contract verb using δόλιος as a stem. Omicron-contracts in general are “factitive,” meaning that doing an omicron-contract verb “makes” the noun or adjective root. Thus, this means, “they were making treacherous [things],” or “they were making treachery.” — The verb is also in the imperfect tense, giving it imperfective aspect, which means that it occurred frequently, habitually, or over time. with their tongues,h venom of aspslit. shields; here, this is only the etymological meaning; asps were likely named thus for their appearance [is] under their lips;ὑπό + accusative suggests place to which; thus, this implies a deliberate state, such that venom has been put under their lips, rather than occurring naturally or by accidenti 14whose mouth is full of ruin(curse); lit. prayer and of bitterness,j 15their feet are quicklit. sharp to pour out blood [on a particular occasion],k 16[there is] fracture and hardship in their ways,lit. roads 17and a way of peace they do not know.lit. they did not perceive/come to know [on a particular occasion] 18There is not a fear of God opposite(before/in front of) their eyes.”l 19But [on the other hand] [we] know that as many [things] as the law says, [it] prattles [them] to the [ones] under the law, in order that every mouth may be fenced in(closed) [on a particular occasion] and the whole cosmos may [on a particular occasion] become liable for trial to God;i.e., the injured party, who may take them to trial 20becauselit. through [the following points], that out of works of [the] law, no flesh will belit. every flesh will not be justified face-to-face with him,m for through [the] law [there is] recognition(knowledge) of error.n

21But now [on the other hand], separate from the law, [the] justice of God has been made manifest, having been given as testimony by the law and the prophets,o 22but [on the other hand] [it is the] justice of God through faith in Jesus Christ into allsome manuscripts: upon all; others: into all and upon all the [ones] believing.p For [there] is not a distinction, 23for all [men] erred [on a particular occasion] and are behindq the glory of God, 24being justified as a giftadverbial accusative by his graceinstrumental dativer through the ransoming, the [ransoming] in Christ Jesus;s 25which God set out as propitiatory through [the] faithsome manuscripts: through faith; others: through the faith; others: of faith; others omit in his bloodt unto a demonstration of his justice on account of the dismissal of the failures(faults); like what is rendered “erroneous” in v7, shares a root with ἁμαρτάνω, lit. “to miss the mark,” as with a spear (which very word is rendered “erred” in v23); it was the only Greek word that Jews and Christians could come up with to mean “sin” having come before 26in the forbearancelit. holding-back of God, towards the demonstration of his justice in the now-time, in order that he may be justεἰς + accusative + infinitive purpose clause and [in order that he may be the one] justifying the [one] [who lives] out of faith in Jesus.

27Where therefore [is] the boasting? It was shut out [on a particular occasion]. Through what kind of law? [The law] of works? Not at all,The form οὐχί adds some emphasis, but the sense is basically no; in colloquial vulgarity, we might say, “Hell no!” but through a law of faith. 28Forsome manuscripts: therefore [we] calculate that man is justifiedaccusative + infinitive indirect statement by faith separate from works of [the] law.u 29Or [is] the God of the Jews only [of the Jews]? [Is he] not also [the God] of nations?here and immediately following, (peoples) Yes, also of nations,v 30if indeed God [is] one [God],w who will justify circumcision out of faith and uncircumcision through faith.x 31Therefore do [we] leave idle [the] law through faith? Not by any means; but we make [the] law stand(establish/set up [the] law).y

a they were entrusted…oracles of God: cf. Deuteronomy 4:7-8; Psalm 103:7; 147:19-20; Romans 9:4
b will their disbelief…belief in God: cf. Romans 9:6; 11:29; II Timothy 2:13
c and on the…be] a liar: cf. Psalm 116:11
d written,: Psalm 51:4
e “We did the…[things] may come: cf. Romans 6:1
f for [we] accused…be under error: cf. Romans 1:18-2:24; 3:23
g written: through v12, cf. Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20
h Their larynx [is…with their tongues: cf. Psalm 5:9
i venom of asps…under their lips: cf. Psalm 140:3
j verse 14: cf. Psalm 10:7
k verse 15: through v17, cf. Isaiah 59:7-8; Proverbs 1:16
l verse 18: cf. Psalm 36:1
m no flesh will…face-to-face with him: cf. Psalm 143:2; Galatians 2:16
n for through [the…recognition of error: cf. Romans 7:7
o having been given…and the prophets: cf. Acts 10:43
p but [on the…the [ones] believing: cf. Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:16
q are behind: cf. Romans 3:9
r being justified as…by his grace: cf. Ephesians 2:8
s through the ransoming…in Christ Jesus: cf. Romans 5:1
t God set out…in his blood: cf. Ephesians 1:7
u verse 28: cf. Galatians 2:16
v verse 29: cf. Romans 10:12
w God [is] one [God],: cf. Deuteronomy 6:4; Galatians 3:20
x who will justify…uncircumcision through faith: cf. Romans 4:11-12
y verse 31: cf. Matthew 5:17; Romans 4:3; 8:4