Epistle to the Romans

Approximate date: 56-58 C.E.
Time period: transition of Paul’s ministry work from the Eastern to Western Mediterranean
Author: the Apostle Paul with Tertius (secretary)
Location of author: Corinth/Achaia or Cenchrea
Target audience and their location: Jewish and non-Jewish Believers in Rome

All ancient authorities are agreed that the Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans, as there were no disputes in early Christian history made about the authorship of this letter. The affirmation of genuine Pauline authorship continues until today, even among liberal scholars, where Romans is upheld as the main authentic letter from the Apostle, by which all other claimed Pauline writings must be compared. A liberal resource like IDB describes how, “The authenticity of the letter is not seriously questioned and is not, in fact, open to question. The rejection of Romans involves the rejection of all the Pauline letters, for there is no other letter with any greater claim to authenticity which could serve as a standard of comparison.”[1] Second and Third Century Christianity used Romans, along with 1&2 Corinthians, and Galatians, to establish much of its early theology. Romans stands as the longest of all the individual Pauline letters, and is often viewed as being the most significant. Without a doubt, the Epistle to the Romans lays out how Paul elaborated upon the significance of the good news to a broad audience of Jews, Greeks, and Romans. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (NASU). Paul makes the salvation message one that is readily available to all members of the human race, because all have been subject to the common curse of sin.

The purpose for Paul’s writing this letter was to prepare the Roman Believers for a personal visit from him. Paul’s work in the East had largely been accomplished, and now he was planning to expand it to the West. Just as cities like Antioch and Ephesus had served as a staging area for Paul and his associates to use for evangelizing the East, Paul was planning to use Rome as a hub for evangelizing the West, as he indicated a desire to travel to Spain (1:10-15; 15:24, 28).[2]

Romans demonstrates all of the main characteristics of being a well thought out epistle. Paul’s friends were with him when he wrote this letter (16:21-23). The letter was specifically written down by Tertius, a scribe who issued his own greeting (16:22). Much of what Paul writes to the Romans is in the form of sermon-like vignettes, as Romans was an epistle composed to a group of Believers whom Paul had never met before in person (even though he did know of various individuals in the Roman assembly, and they knew of him), and he needed to explain himself rather fully. Because of this, what he writes in this letter basically presents what his ministry service is all about, and some of the major things that he teaches. Phoebe was given the responsibility of taking the letter to the Roman Believers, and was commended for her great service (16:1-2). With this, she was also probably given the authority to explain difficult-to-understand concepts witnessed in the letter.

While there is not total agreement among interpreters, Paul’s Roman audience was likely a mixed group of both Jewish and non-Jewish Believers.[3] The group of Messiah followers in Rome was not founded by Paul (cf. 15:20-22), but likely by Jews from Rome who had seen the Holy Spirit poured out at Shavuot/Pentecost. Paul would have known about the Roman community of faith from Jewish Believers such as Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:2), who had been among those expelled from Rome by the Emperor Claudius.[4] One of the distinct reasons for Paul writing his letter was likely because there were fellowship issues among the Roman Believers after Claudius’ death. Jewish Believers were returning to Rome, and the non-Jewish leaders in the congregation who did not have to leave Rome, had difficulty sharing leadership with them, with a power struggle ensuing. Paul warns these non-Jewish Believers not to have an attitude of superiority to their fellow Jewish brethren (11:17-32).[5] There have been discussions among interpreters as to whether or not the Roman group of Messiah followers was actually factionalized and split up into various sub-sectors, different home gatherings that would assemble together as a larger group on occasion.[6] Much of this can depend on how a reader approaches the material in ch. 16.[7]

Examiners of Romans tend to place the date of the epistle being composed sometime between 56-58 C.E., during Paul’s Third Missionary Journey,[8] and possibly concurrent with some tax issues that had arisen in Rome during the reign of Nero.[9] Romans was written by Paul prior to his going back to Jerusalem with offerings (15:25-28), and it follows his composition of 1&2 Corinthians. A most likely place for the composition of Romans is either in Corinth (adjacent to Achaia) or Cenchrea (16:1).[10] A Corinthian location, for the letter being written, might account for some of the strong remarks made about idolatry and homosexuality encountered in ch. 1.

While there have been those in the Messianic community who would like to think that Paul’s letter to the Romans was written in Hebrew or Aramaic, the history surrounding the letter’s composition reveals otherwise, when we consider the audience. IDB explains, “When Paul wrote his letter, this church was well established and already known and esteemed throughout the Christian world (1:8; 15:23-29). It was composed mainly of Gentiles, with a certain number of Jewish members, and was certainly a Greek-speaking community, which means that its membership was drawn chiefly from the Levantine population of the city. This Greek character continued until the later years of the second century, for it is not until then that we find the earliest Latin documents of the Roman church.”[11] Yet, simply because Paul’s audience was largely Greek speaking, does not by any means diminish the fact that Paul’s letter is very Hebraic in character. All readers of Romans must acknowledge the strong reliance that the epistle has on the Tanach Scriptures, especially given the many intertextual quotes and allusions that are witnessed. The concept of justification by faith (1:17), for example, is based on Habakkuk 2:4.

There can be various levels of tension detected among those examining Romans, as Romans scholarship today is split among those who prefer to read the text as a theological treatise, versus those who prefer to first treat it as a letter for a specific ancient audience.[12] In the history of Romans scholarship since the Reformation, there has tended to be a huge amount of time examining the themes of chs. 1-8, and not a huge amount of effort similarly considering chs. 9-16, with the second half sometimes approached via themes that may not really be present.[13] As obvious as the question may be: What does Paul say to the ancient Roman Believers? “[T]he current scholarly consensus is that Romans is like the Pauline epistles in that it is an actual letter. Although Romans is Paul’s longest and most systematic work, it is still an epistle, not a manifesto, or a treatise, or a position paper” (ABD).[14]

Romans has been labeled as “arguably the single most important work of Christian theology ever written” (Dunn).[15] Paul’s letter to the Romans includes instruction issued on a variety of topics, which theologians in history have generally classified along the lines of: justification, the righteousness of God (1:17; 3:5, 21, 22, 25; cf. 26; 10:3), predestination (chs. 9-11), life in the Spirit (chs. 5-8), ethics (12:1-15:13), and even tolerance (14:1-15:13). The Torah or Law also features prominently (2:12-27; 3:19-31; ch. 7), and there is discussion about the previous evil age to be followed by the age to come.[16]

The general plight of fallen humanity, and how people at large have rejected the One True God, suffering from the consequences of sin—does guide much of Paul’s teaching in the Epistle to the Romans (chs. 1-5). Paul writes about the need for all human beings to receive God’s salvation, and how this is an important act of faith. Later on, Paul goes into extreme detail describing the relationship of Jews and non-Jews as a part of the community of faith and the olive tree of Israel (chs. 9-11). Paul urges the Romans to obey the government, possibly in relation to some sort of ancient tax issue (13:6-7).[17] Also seen in Romans is how disputes had arisen among the Believers regarding food issues and religious days observed (ch. 14).

Romans has been used by many of the influential Christian theologians of Protestantism, and has various theological debates associated with it. “Augustine acquired his idea of original sin from Romans 5, Luther gained his understanding of justification by faith alone from Romans 3-4, John Calvin obtained his doctrine of double predestination from Romans 9-11, John Wesley got his distinctive teaching on sanctification from Romans 6 and 8, and Karl Barth learned of the importance of the righteousness of God from Romans 1 and 2” (ABD).[18] In contemporary Romans examination, Romans 1:26-27 and Paul’s statements about homosexuality have received great dissection and debate.[19] The listing of people within the Roman assembly in ch. 16, and particularly the identification of whether or not there is a female apostle, Junia (16:7), has also garnered a great deal of attention.[20]

When reading Romans, it is important to be aware that there are sections of the text specifically directed to the Jewish Believers in Rome, and others which are specifically directed to the non-Jewish Believers in Rome. Statements like “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly…” (2:29, NASU), or “For to you I speak—to the nations” (11:13, YLT), need to be recognized as largely vignettes issued to a specific sub-group among the Roman Believers. This can admittedly make some Romans examination a bit complicated.

What does Paul say about the Torah or Law of Moses within the Epistle to the Romans? There are some longstanding debates present among various Protestant traditions in their approach to Romans, and Paul’s handling of the Law. The Calvinist-Reformed perspective has largely viewed the “moral law” of the Old Testament as forever valid and applicable to God’s people, with supports for this position frequently offered from Romans (i.e., 8:4).[21] The debate that continues to rage over Romans 10:4, and what the term telos really means as either “end/termination” or “aim/purpose/goal,” is only a small part of whether one thinks that Paul approaches the Law from a pessimistic or positive vantage point in the epistle. (The 2005 Today’s New International Version notably rendered telos in Romans 10:4 as “culmination.”)

In the past few decades, approaches to Romans have shifted with the emergence of the New Perspective of Paul (NPP) in theological studies (even though Galatians is arguably affected more by it).[22] The NPP specifically directs readers of Romans to consider “the Law as [an] expression of Jewish privilege” (Dunn),[23] in that by the First Century C.E. the Torah had become significantly nationalized within much of the Jewish community, that possession of the Torah somehow merited Jews special favors before God. The discussion of Romans chs. 2-3 would understandably address, then, the issue that Jewish people are every bit as much sinners in need of redemption as the rest of fallen humanity. Possession of the Torah does not merit a Jewish person some kind of an “out” from God’s judgment.

The Epistle to the Romans has a wide amount of significance for today’s Messianic movement, the same as it has had for religious movements in previous history. There are some distinct sections of Romans that are quite important for today’s broad community of Messianic Believers. The salvation history message of Romans chs. 9-11, and Paul’s word that the nations are grafted-in to Israel’s olive tree, bear great importance for mixed Messianic assemblies of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers. There are also, though, areas of difficulty in Romans for today’s Messianic community. Most notable among these would be Romans ch. 7 and what being “made dead” to the Torah actually means, the different nuances present regarding “Israel” in Romans chs. 9-11, and the Romans 14 issues of the strong and the weak, and special days and eating. Each one of these sections of Romans requires some more careful reading on the part of Messianic Believers, with attention given to the Greek source text, as well as some consideration for the ancient setting and context of what Paul instructed his original audience. Also to surely be considered is the specific identity of the “I” sinner in Romans ch. 7, and entering into discussions about to whether or not Paul is speaking of himself, or a hypothetical person via the employment of an ancient rhetorical device known as prosopopeia.[24]

Much of the difficulty present in examining Romans, as seen among today’s Messianics, has far less to do with what the Apostle Paul says, and much more to do with various modern interpreters of Paul. Fortunately, today’s Messianic Believers tend to have fewer challenges in approaching a lengthy and more fully explained letter like Romans, when compared to a shorter and more emotionally-laden letter like Galatians. There is definitely room for an improved level of engagement with the Epistle to the Romans, or at the very least with some more targeted examination needed with various sections of the letter. In the future, Messianic understanding and application of Paul’s letter to the Romans will surely blossom, and bring with it some much needed clarity and insight to our emerging faith community.[25]

Consult the commentary Romans for the Practical Messianic by J.K. McKee for a more detailed examination of Romans.

Beare, F.W. “Romans, Letter to the,” in IDB, 4:112-122.
Buswell, Jr., James Oliver. “Romans, Letter to the,” in NIDB, pp 869-871.
Carson, D.A., and Douglas J. Moo. “Romans,” in An Introduction to the New Testament, pp 391-414.
Davidson, F., and Ralph P. Martin. “Romans,” in NBCR, pp 1012-1048.
Dunn, J.D.G. “Romans, Letter to the,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, pp 838-850.
Gundry, Robert H. “The Major Epistles of Paul,” in A Survey of the New Testament, pp 359-389.
Guthrie, Donald. “Epistle to the Romans,” in New Testament Introduction, pp 403-431.
Harrison, Everett F. “Romans,” in EXP, 10:3-171.
Klein, G. “Romans, Letter to the,” in IDBSup, pp 752-754.
Miller, D.G. “Romans, Epistle to,” in ISBE, 4:222-228.
Myers, Jr., Charles D. “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:816-830.
Reumann, John. “Romans, Letter to the,” in EDB, pp 1135-1138.
_____________. “Romans,” in ECB, pp 1277-1313.
Tree of Life—The New Covenant, pp 243-265.

NOTES for Introduction

[1] F.W. Beare, “Romans, Letter to the,” in IDB, 4:112; cf. Charles D. Myers, Jr., “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:816.

[2] Cf. Beare, “Romans, Letter to the,” in IDB, 4:114-115; D.G. Miller, “Romans, Epistle to,” in ISBE, 4:223; J.D.G. Dunn, “Romans, Letter to the,” in Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid, eds., Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993), pp 839-840; Carson and Moo, pp 393-394.

[3] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 405-406; Dunn, “Romans, Letter to the,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, pp 838-839; Carson and Moo, pp 394-398.

[4] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 403-404.

[5] Cf. Myers, “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:820; John Reumann, “Romans, Letter to the,” in EDB, 1136; John Reumann, “Romans,” in ECB, 1278.

[6] Dunn, “Romans, Letter to the,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 839.

[7] Cf. Reumann, “Romans, Letter to the,” in EDB, 1136; Reumann, in ECB, pp 1278-1279.

[8] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 407-408.

[9] Dunn, “Romans, Letter to the,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 838.

[10] Miller, “Romans, Epistle to,” in ISBE, 4:224; Myers, “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:818; Reumann, in ECB, 1277.

[11] Beare, “Romans, Letter to the,” in IDB, 4:114.

[12] Cf. Miller, “Romans, Epistle to,” in ISBE, 4:223; Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 408-412.

[13] Reumann, “Romans, Letter to the,” in EDB, 1137.

[14] Myers, “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:819.

[15] Dunn, “Romans, Letter to the,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 838.

[16] Cf. Reumann, in ECB, pp 1281-1282; Carson and Moo, pp 391-393.

[17] Reumann, in ECB, 1278.

[18] Myers, “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:817; cf. Reumann, “Romans, Letter to the,” in EDB, 1135.

[19] Myers, “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:827-828.

Also consult the FAQ on the Messianic Apologetics website, Romans 1:26-27.”

[20] Myers, “Romans, Epistle to the,” in ABD, 5:829.

[21] Of particular interest here should be C.E.B. Cranfield, International Critical Commentary: Romans 1-8 (London: T&T Clark, 1975); International Critical Commentary: Romans 9-16 (London: T&T Clark, 1979).

[22] Cf. Dunn, “Romans, Letter to the,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, pp 842-844.

[23] Ibid., 844.

[24] Significant discussions have taken place in contemporary Pauline studies over the specific identity of the “I” sinner of vs. 7-25. Frequently, your average Bible reader will just assume that the “I” sinner of Romans ch. 7 is Paul speaking autobiographically of himself. While there are many Romans commentators and examiners who do indeed believe that Paul is speaking of himself in ch. 7, there are others who are not convinced (cf. James R. Edwards, “The Letter of Paul to the Romans,” in New Interpreter’s Study Bible, 2020; John Reumann, “Romans,” in ECB, 1295; T.R. Schreiner, “The Letter of Paul to the Romans,” in ESV Study Bible, 2169; Kruse, Romans, pp 314-322). Among the various options of who the “I” sinner of vs. 7-25 may be, include the following:

  1. a pre-salvation Paul
  2. a post-salvation Paul
  3. Adam
  4. a Jewish person, or Israel corporate, wrestling with the Torah
  5. a hypothetical pre-salvation person
  6. a hypothetical, immediate post-salvation person

The idea that the “I” sinner of Romans 7 is not Paul, is one which has gained significant adherence over the past two to three decades. While there are diverse views about who the “I” sinner may be, should it not be the Apostle Paul, there is growing agreement that ch. 7 employs a form of classical rhetoric known as prosopopoeia or impersonisation. Witherington, Romans, 179 summarizes,

“Impersonisation, or prosopopoeia, is a rhetorical technique which falls under the heading of figures of speech and is often used to illustrate or make vivid a piece of deliberative rhetoric…This rhetorical technique involves the assumption of a role, and sometimes the role is marked off from the surrounding discourse by a change in tone, inflection, or accept, by form of delivery, or by an introductory formula signaling a change in voice.”

Quintilian described how important prosopopoeia would be for ancient times:

“Consequently, I regard impersonation as the most difficult of tasks, imposed as it is in addition to the other work involved by a deliberative theme. For the same speaker has on one occasion to impersonate Caesar, on another Cicero or Cato. But it is a most useful exercise because it demands a double effort and is also of the greatest use to future poets and historians, while for orators of course it is absolutely necessary” (Quintilian: Institutio Oratoria, trans. H.E. Butler. Accessible online at <>).

Whether or not the “I” sinner of vs. 7-25 is Paul talking about himself, or is talking about something or someone else, ultimately affects the reading and application of vs. 13ff. If Paul as a regenerated Believer is really speaking about himself—i.e., “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (v. 15, NASU)—then Paul is confessing to his readers that he still lives a life where he struggles with many sins. This can be taken as the Apostle Paul not being too spiritually mature, and applied in contemporary terms to perhaps validate Believers remaining in certain sinful behaviors. Yet, the sin that is targeted in vs. 7-25 is covetousness (v. 7; Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21), and the sin which defined Paul’s testimony of faith was actually murder (Acts 9:4; Galatians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 15:9; cf. 1 Timothy 1:15).

[25] A useful Messianic commentary on Romans is Tim Hegg, Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: Chapters 1-8 (Tacoma, WA: TorahResource, 2005); Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: Chapters 9-16 (Tacoma, WA: TorahResource, 2007).



 1 Paul, a servant of Yeshua the Messiah, called to be an apostle, set apart for the good news of God,
 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
 3 concerning His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
 4 who was demonstrated the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord,
 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith[1] among all the nations, for His name’s sake,
 6 among whom you also are called of Yeshua the Messiah;
 7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be holy ones: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Paul’s Desire to Visit Rome

 8 First, I thank my God through Yeshua the Messiah for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the good news of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers
 10 making request, if perhaps now at last I may by the will of God succeed to come to you.
 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, that you may be established;
 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.
 13 And I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented thus far) in order that I might obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the nations.
 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
 15 So, for my part, I am ready to proclaim the good news to you also who are in Rome.

The Power of the Good News

 16 For I am not ashamed of the good news, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek[2].
 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH” [Habakkuk 2:4][3].

The Guilt of Humankind

 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of human beings, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
 19 because that which is known about God is manifest within them; for God manifested it to them.
 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, His eternal power and Divine nature, so that they are without excuse:
 21 For even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, or give thanks, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless heart was darkened.
 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible humanity and of birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.
 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is against nature,
 27 and likewise also the men, abandoning the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.
 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
 30 slanderers, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
 31 without understanding, agreement-breakers[4], heartless, unmerciful;
 32 who, though they know the ordinance of God, those who practice such things are worthy of death. They not only do the same, but they give approval to those who practice them.

NOTES for Romans 1

[1] Grk. eis hupakoēn pisteōs; “for obedience of faith” (Brown and Comfort, 531).

[2] Grk. Ioudaiō te prōton kai Hellēni; incorrectly rendered as “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (NIV) or “to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile” (CJB); the TLV more correctly has “to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

[3] Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4, PME).

[4] Grk. asunthetos; “bound by no covenant, faithless” (LS, 127); “pert. to such as renege on their word, faithless. The noun [sunthēkē] refers to a formal agreement or compact; an [asunthetos] pers. does not keep an agreement” (BDAG, 146); “covenant-breakers” (ASV); more often rendered as something like “untrustworthy” (NASU).


The Righteous Judgment of God

 1 Therefore you are without excuse, O mortal, every one of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
 2 And we know that the judgment of God is according to truth upon those who practice such things.
 3 And do you suppose this, O mortal, who passes judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
 4 Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
 5 But according to your hard and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
 6 WHO WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS [Psalm 62:12[1]; Proverbs 24:12[2]]:
 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
 9 There will be tribulation and anguish, upon every human soul who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
 11 For there is no partiality with God.
 12 For as many as have sinned without the Torah will also perish without the Torah, and as many as have sinned in the Torah[3] will be judged by the Torah;
 13 for not the hearers of the Torah are just before God, but the doers of the Torah will be justified.
 14 For when nations who do not have the Torah do by nature the things of the Torah, these, not having the Torah, are a law to themselves[4],
 15 in that they show the work of the Torah written in their hearts,[5] their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
 16 on the day when, God judges the secrets of people, according to my good news, through Messiah Yeshua.

The Jews and the Torah

 17 But if you bear the name “Jew,” and rely upon the Torah, and boast in God,
 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the Torah,
 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of infants, having in the Torah the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,
 21 you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who proclaim that one shall not steal, do you steal?
 22 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
 23 You who boast in the Torah, through your breaking the Torah, do you dishonor God?
 24 For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE NATIONS BECAUSE OF YOU” [Isaiah 52:5[6]; Ezekiel 36:20[7]], just as it is written.
 25 For circumcision indeed has benefit, if you practice the Torah; but if you are a transgressor of the Torah, your circumcision has become foreskin[8].
 26 If therefore the foreskinned one keeps the requirements of the Torah, will not his foreskin be regarded as circumcision?
 27 And will not he who is physically foreskinned, if he keeps[9] the Torah, judge you, who through having the letter of the Torah and circumcision are a transgressor of the Torah?
 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from mortals, but from God.

NOTES for Romans 2

[1] And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work” (Psalm 62:12, PME).

[2] If you say, ‘See, we did not know this,’ does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:12, PME).

[3] Grk. en nomō; too often incorrectly rendered as “under the law” (ASV, et. al.); more literally “in [the] law” (KJV/YLT) or “within Law” (LITV). The TLV has “according to Torah.”

[4] Grk. outoi nomon mē echontes heautois eisin nomos; eisin nomos is rendered as “a law” and not “a Torah,” as this is a likely reflection on the natural law impressed upon the human conscience via the image of God; “they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the Torah” (TLV).

[5] The CJB has bolded “written in their hearts” for 2:15, noting a possible allusion to Jeremiah 31:33; Deuteronomy 5:18:

“‘For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,’ says ADONAI: ‘I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people’” (Jeremiah 31:32, CJB).

“Do not covet your neighbor’s wife; do not covet your neighbor’s house, his field, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Deuteronomy 5:18, CJB).

[6] “‘Now therefore, what do I have here,’ declares YHWH, ‘seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?’ Again YHWH declares, ‘Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long’” (Isaiah 52:5, PME).

[7] When they came to the nations where they went, they profaned My holy name, because it was said of them, ‘These are the people of YHWH; yet they have come out of His land’” (Ezekiel 36:20, PME).

[8] Grk. akrobustia; akrosbustia is more commonly rendered in English Bibles as “uncircumcision.”

[9] Grk. verb teleō; “fulfil” (ASV).


 1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit[1] of circumcision?
 2 Much in every way. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.
 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God?
 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, and every human being a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED” [Psalm 51:4][2].
 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? (I am speaking in human terms.)
 6 May it never be! For then how will God judge the world?
 7 But if through my falsehood the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?
 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say), “Let us do evil, that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.

There is None Righteous

 9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
 10 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE;
 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN” [Isaiah 59:7-8[9]; Proverbs 1:16[10]].
 19 Now we know that whatever the Torah says, it speaks to those who are in the Torah[12], that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God;
 20 because by works of law[13] no flesh will be justified in His sight;[14] for through the Torah comes the knowledge of sin.

Righteousness through Faith

 21 But now apart from the Torah the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Torah and the Prophets,
 22 even the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah[15] for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Messiah Yeshua;
 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation, through faith in His blood. This was to show His righteousness, because of the passing over of the sins previously committed, in the forbearance of God;
 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who is of the faithfulness of Yeshua[16].
 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.[17]
 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from works of law[18].
 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of the nations also? Yes, of the nations also,
 30 since God is one;[19] and He will justify the circumcision by faith, and the foreskinned[20] through that same faith.
 31 Do we then abolish the Torah through faith? May it ever be! On the contrary, we uphold[21] the Torah.

NOTES for Romans 3

[1] Grk. noun ōpheleia; “value” (RSV); “profit” (ASV).

[2] Against You, You only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak, and blameless when You judge” (Psalm 51:4, PME).

[3] For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good. YHWH has looked down from Heaven upon the children of humanity, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:1-3, PME).

[4] For the choir director; according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’ they are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; there is no one who does good. God has looked down from Heaven upon the children of humanity, to see if there is anyone who understands, who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 53:1-3, PME).

[5] Indeed, there is not a righteous person on Earth who continually does good and who never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20, PME).

[6] There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue” (Psalm 5:9, PME).

[7] They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; poison of a viper is under their lips. Selah” (Psalm 140:3, PME).

[8] His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is mischief and wickedness” (Psalm 10:7, PME).

[9] Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; devastation and destruction are in their highways. They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked; whoever treads on them does not know peace” (Isaiah 59:7-8, PME).

[10] for their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed blood” (Proverbs 1:16, PME).

[11] For the choir director. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord. Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes” (Psalm 36:1, PME).

[12] Grk. en tō nomō; incorrectly rendered as “under the law” (ASV, et. al.); more literally “in the law” (YLT), “within the Law” (LITV), or “inside the Law” (Moffat New Testament). The TLV has “within the Torah.”

[13] Grk. ergōn nomou; left with the improper form “works of law,” given the likely influence of the ma’asei haTorah of 4QMMT from the Dead Sea Scrolls, where the halachah or orthopraxy of the Qumran Community is in view: ““Now we have written to you some of the works of the Law [Heb. miqsat ma’asei ha-Torah], those which we determined would be beneficial for you and your people, because we have seen [that] you possess insight and knowledge of the Law” (4Q399; Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook, trans., The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation [San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1996], 364).

[14] The CJB has bolded “For in his sight no one alive will be considered righteous” for 3:20, noting a possible allusion to Psalm 143:2: “Don’t bring your servant to trial, since in your sight no one alive would be considered righteous” (CJB).

[15] Grk. dia pisteōs Iēsou Christou; the rendering “through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah” treats the genitive clause as subjective (cf. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 115); it has been more traditionally approached as an objective genitive: “through faith in Jesus Christ” (NASU).

The subjective “faithfulness” is employed to represent the Son’s willful obedience to the Father, to be submissive to die for the sins of humanity.

[16] Grk. ek pisteōs Iēsou; the rendering “is of the faithfulness of Yeshua” treats the genitive clause as subjective (cf. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 115); it has been more traditionally approached as an objective genitive: “has faith in Jesus” (NASU).

[17] There is some debate over whether nomos in 3:27 represents the Torah proper, or some sort of spiritual “principle” (TLV). And so, because of this potential theological ambiguity, nomos has simply been rendered by the traditional “law.”

[18] Grk. ergōn nomou; left with the improper form “works of law,” given the likely influence of the ma’asei haTorah of 4QMMT from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

[19] The CJB has bolded “God is one” for 3:30, noting a possible allusion to Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, Isra’el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one” (CJB).

[20] Grk. akrobustia; akrosbustia is more commonly rendered in English Bibles as “uncircumcision.”

[21] Grk. verb histēmi; commonly rendered as “establish” (NASU), but also as “uphold” (RSV/NRSV/ESV, NIV); the verb histēmi can mean “to validate someth. that is in force or in practice, reinforce validity of, uphold, maintain, validate” (BDAG, 482).


The Example of Abraham

 1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, has found?
 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God.
 3 For what does the Scripture say? “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS” [Genesis 15:6][1].
 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a gift, but as what is due.
 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,
 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the person to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:
 9 Is this blessing then upon the circumcision, or upon the foreskinned also? For we say, “FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS” [Genesis 15:6].
 10 How then was it reckoned? When he was circumcised, or in foreskin[3]? Not in circumcision, but in foreskin;
 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in foreskin, that he might be the ancestor of all those who believe, through foreskin[4], that righteousness might be reckoned to them,
 12 and the ancestor of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith of our ancestor Abraham which he had in foreskin.

The Promise Realized through Faith

 13 For the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he would be heir of the world was not through the Torah, but through the righteousness of faith.
 14 For if those who are of the Torah are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
 15 for the Torah brings about wrath, but where there is no Torah, neither is there violation.
 16 For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, so that the promise may be certain to all the seed, not only to those who are of the Torah, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the ancestor of us all,
 17 (as it is written, “AN ANCESTOR OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU” [Genesis 17:5][5]) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS [Genesis 15:5][6], according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR SEED BE” [Genesis 17:17][7].
 19 And without becoming weak in faith he considered his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
 20 yet, looking to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
 21 and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
 22 Therefore, also, IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS [Genesis 15:6].
 23 Now not for his sake only was it written, that it was reckoned to him,[8]
 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, who believe in Him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead,
 25 He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

NOTES for Romans 4

[1] Then he believed in YHWH; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6, PME).

[2] A Psalm of David. A Maskil. How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the person to whom YHWH does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (Psalm 32:1-2, PME).

[3] Grk. akrobustia; akrosbustia is more commonly rendered in English Bibles as “uncircumcision.”

[4] Grk. di’ akrobustias; “through uncircumcision” (LITV, Marshall, 453).

[5] No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:5, NASU).

[6] And He took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the Heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be’” (Genesis 15:5, PME).

[7] And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:17, PME).

[8] The CJB has bolded “it was credited to his account…” for 4:23, noting a possible allusion to Genesis 15:6: “He believed in ADONAI, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (CJB).


Results of Justification

 1 Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah,
 2 through whom also we have obtained our access by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 3 And not only this, but we also rejoice in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly.
 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous person; though perhaps for a good person someone would dare even to die.
 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us.
 9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.
 11 And not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Adam and Messiah

 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all human beings, because all sinned—
 13 for until the Torah sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no Torah.
 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a type of the Coming One.
 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Yeshua the Messiah, abound to the many.
 16 And the gift is not like that which came through one who sinned; for the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Yeshua the Messiah.
 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all people, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all people.
 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
 20 And the Torah came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life through Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.


Dead to Sin but Alive in Messiah

 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin, that grace may abound?
 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been immersed[1] into Messiah Yeshua have been immersed into His death?
 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through immersion into death, in order that as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,
 6 knowing this, that our old self was executed on a wooden scaffold with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
 7 for he who has died is justified from sin[2].
 8 But if we died with Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
 9 knowing that Messiah, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer has lordship over Him.
 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Messiah Yeshua.
 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you obey its lusts,
 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God, as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
 14 For sin shall not have lordship over you, for you are not under the Torah[3], but under grace.

Slaves of Righteousness

 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the Torah, but under grace? May it never be!
 16 Do you not know that to whomever you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which were committed,
 18 and being made free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to uncleanness and lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
 21 Therefore what fruit did you have at that time, from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
 22 But now being made free from sin and enslaved to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

NOTES for Romans 6

[1] Grk. noun baptisma; verb equiv. baptizō, more neutrally meaning, “wash ceremonially for purpose of purification, wash, purify, of a broad range of repeated ritual washing rooted in Israelite tradition,” but more theologically meaning “to use water in a rite for purpose of renewing or establishing a relationship w. God, plunge, dip, wash, baptize. The transliteration ‘baptize’ signifies the ceremonial character that NT narratives accord such cleansing” (BDAG, 164).

Perhaps due to some of the varied and diverse Christian traditions—across the spectrum—regarding “baptism,” Messianic people prefer to speak in terms of “immersion.” This is not because the term “baptism” is at all wrong, but more because of the intense amount of Christian-cultural associations or baggage that can come with it. A common term that you will hear across the Messianic community is mikveh, which is a “gathering of water, esp. the ritual bath of purification” (Jastrow, 829).

[2] Grk. dedikaiōtai apo tēs hamartias; “freed from sin” (RSV/NASU); “declared free from all charges of sin” (Kingdom New Testament).

[3] Grk. hupo nomon; “under law” (NASU/TLV).

The Greek clause hupo nomon, commonly rendered as “under [the] law” appears in: Galatians 3:23; 4:4-5, 21; 5:18; 1 Corinthians 9:20 [4x]; Romans 6:14-15. As detailed by Douglas J. Moo, “ We do not presume that ‘under the law’ must connote the same idea in each of its occurrences, although the stereotypical flavor of the phrase may point in this direction. Three general meanings of the phrase are popular: (1) under the condemnation pronounced by the law; (2) under a legalistic perversion of the law; and (3) under the law as a regime or power in a general sense” (“The Law of Christ as the Fulfillment of the Law of Moses: A Modified Lutheran View,” in Wayne G. Strickland, ed., Five Views on Law and Gospel [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996], 361). The perspective argued in the mini-book What Does “Under the Law” Really Mean? by J.K. McKee, is that “under the Law” means being subject to the Torah’s condemnation upon sinners, which redeemed Believers in Israel’s Messiah have obviously been freed from.


An Analogy from Marriage

 1 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the Torah), that the Torah has lordship of a person as long as he lives?
 2 For the married woman[1] is bound by the Torah to her husband while he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband[2].
 3 So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the Torah, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.
 4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were made dead to the Torah through the body of Messiah, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.
 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Torah, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
 6 But now we have been discharged from the Torah, having died to that by which we were held, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

The Problem of Indwelling Sin

 7 What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Torah; for I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET” [Exodus 20:17[3]; Deuteronomy 5:21[4]].
 8 But sin, taking opportunity, worked in me through the commandment all kinds of coveting; for apart from the Torah sin is dead.
 9 And I was once alive apart from the Torah; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died;
 10 and the commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;
 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
 12 So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
 13 Therefore did that which is good become death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
 14 For we know that the Torah is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold under sin.
 15 For that which I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Torah, confessing that it is good.
 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.
 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
 21 I find then the law that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.
 22 For I delight in the Torah of God in my inner being,
 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner by the law of sin which is in my members.[5]
 24 Wretched mortal that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?
 25 Thanks be to God through Yeshua the Messiah our Lord! So then, I of myself with the mind, indeed, serve the Torah of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

NOTES for Romans 7

[1] Making note of the terminology for “married woman” in Romans 7:2, hupandros gunē, Douglas J. Moo, New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 412 fn#17 is right to assert that it means “under a husband,” further indicating this as “Paul’s use of the preposition u`po, [hupo] to indicate a relationship of bondage.” His inference is that being hupandros gunē is like being hupo nomon or “under law” (6:14, 15), or perhaps even hupo tēn hamartian or “under sin” (7:14). He thinks that being dead to the Law, though, means that the Mosaic Torah is now basically dead instruction for Christians.

What Moo has failed to do is indicate how hupandros, “under a man, subject to him, married” (LS, 830), is a rare term witnessed in the Bible for marriage, being associated in both the Septuagint and Apocrypha in instances where the loyalty of the wife to her husband is suspect on some level, or where there may be a degree of marital discord (Proverbs 6:24; Sirach 9:9; 41:21; cf. Numbers 5:20, 29; Polybius The Histories 10.26.3). The normal Greek terms one encounters for marriage (cf. LS, 159; Vine, pp 394-395; E. Stauffer, “to marry,” in TDNT, pp 111-113) include the noun gamos, and verbs gameō and gamizō.

Paul using the term hupandros for “married,” within the overall situation in Romans ch. 7 where guilt for violation of God’s Torah is in view, was quite appropriate, as it would detail a condemning husband. It can only help to support the idea that being “made to die to the Law through the body of Messiah” (7:4, NASU) means dying to the Torah’s condemnation upon sinners (cf. 8:2).

[2] Grk. tou nomou tou andros; more lit. “law of the husband” (ASV); “the law of marriage” (NIV, ESV); “the part of the Torah that deals with husbands” (CJB).

[3] You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17, PME).

[4] You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Deuteronomy 5:21, PME).

[5] Because of the ambiguity present regarding nomos as either a spiritual principle, or the Torah in a pre-salvation or post-salvation state, the traditional rendering of nomos as “law” has been followed, per a Messianic version like the TLV.


Life in the Spirit

 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua.
 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua has set you free[1] from the law of sin and of death.[2]
 3 For what the Torah could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
 4 that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the Torah of God, for it is not even able to do so;
8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, he does not belong to Him.
 10 And if Messiah is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
 12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—
 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live.
 14 For as many as are being led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God.
 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God,
 17 and if children, also heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

The Glory That is to be

 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the children of God.
 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption, the redemption of our body.
 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
 26 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings[3];
 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the holy ones according to the will of God.
 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren[4];
 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Love

 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies;
 34 who is the one who condemns? It is Messiah Yeshua who died, yes, who was rather raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
 35 Who will separate us from the love of Messiah? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 37 But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

NOTES for Romans 8

[1] Grk. ēleutherōsen se; some textual witnesses notably have ēleutherōsen me (cf. Metzger, Textual Commentary, 516), reading as “has set me free” (RSV). This variant is important if one considers the dialogue of 8:1-4 to be continuing the preceding dialogue of the “I” sinner in 7:7-25.

[2] Because of the ambiguity present regarding nomos as either a spiritual principle, or the Torah in a pre-salvation or post-salvation state, the traditional rendering of nomos as “law” has been followed, per a Messianic version like the TLV.

[3] Grk. stenagmois alalētois; “groanings too deep for words” (NASU); “groanings that cannot be uttered” (LITV).

[4] Grk. en pollois adelphois; “among many brothers and sisters” (TNIV); “within a large family” (NRSV).

[5] But for Your sake we are killed all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered” (Psalm 44:22, PME).


God’s Election of Israel

 1 I am speaking the truth in Messiah, I am not lying, my conscience bears witness with me in the Holy Spirit,
 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Messiah for the sake of my brothers and sisters, my kindred according to the flesh,
 4 who are Israelites, to whom belong the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Torah and the temple service and the promises,
 5 whose are the patriarchs, and from whom is Messiah according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
 7 neither, because they are Abraham’s seed, are they all children, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR SEED SHALL BE NAMED” [Genesis 21:12][1].
 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as seed.
 9 For this is the word of promise: “AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON” [Genesis 18:10, 14][2].
 10 And not only this, but Rebecca also, having conceived twins by one husband, our ancestor Isaac;
 11 for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that the purpose of God according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but of Him who calls,
 12 it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER” [Genesis 25:23][3].
 13 Just as it is written, “JACOB I HAVE LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED” [Malachi 1:2-3][4].
 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice[5] with God? May it never be!
 16 So then it does not depend on the one who wills or the one who runs, but on God who has mercy.
 18 So then He has mercy on whom He wishes, and He hardens whom He wishes.

God’s Wrath and Mercy

 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”
 20 On the contrary, who are you, O mortal, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this?”
 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
 22 What if God, although wishing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
 23 And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among the Jews only, but also from the nations.

Israel and the Good News

 30 What shall we say then? That the nations, who did not pursue righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
 31 but Israel, pursuing a Torah of righteousness, did not arrive at that Torah.
 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,[13]

NOTES for Romans 9

[1] But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be distressed because of the lad and your slave woman; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named’” (Genesis 21:12, PME).

[2] And He said, ‘I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him… Is anything too difficult for YHWH? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son’” (Genesis 18:10, 14, PME).

[3] And YHWH said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples shall be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger’” (Genesis 25:23, PME).

[4] ‘I have loved you,’ says YHWH. But you say, ‘How have You loved us?’ ‘Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ declares YHWH. ‘Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness’” (Malachi 1:2-3, PME).

[5] Grk. adikia; or “unrighteousness” (ASV).

[6] And He said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of YHWH before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion’” (Exodus 33:19, PME).

[7] But, indeed, for this cause I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power, and in order to proclaim My name through all the Earth” (Exodus 9:16, PME).

[8] I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, and I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’” (Hosea 2:23, PME).

[9] Yet the number of the children of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and in the place where it is said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are the children of the living God’” (Hosea 1:10, PME).

[10] For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, only a remnant within them will return; a destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord YHWH of Hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land” (Isaiah 10:22-23, PME).

[11] Grk. Kurios sabaōth; Heb. equiv. Adonai Tzavaot (Delitzsch); meaning “the Lord of Hosts”; “ADONAITzva’ot” (CJB/TLV).

The inclusion of the Tetragrammaton (YHWH/YHVH), in various modern Hebrew versions, is most perplexing, considering the fact that Second Temple Judaism would not readily pronounce the Divine Name of God.

[12] Unless YHWH of Hosts had left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:9, PME).

[13] The CJB has bolded “stone that makes people stumble” for 9:32, noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 8:14: “He is there to be a sanctuary. But for both the houses of Isra’el he will be a stone to stumble over, a rock obstructing their way; a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Yerushalayim” (CJB).

[14] Therefore thus says the Lord YHWH, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed (Isaiah 28:16, PME).


 1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
 3 For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
 4 For Messiah is the goal[1] of the Torah for righteousness to everyone who believes.
 5 For Moses writes that THE PERSON WHO PRACTICES these things, the righteousness from the Torah, WILL LIVE IN THEM[2] [Leviticus 18:5][3].

Salvation for All

 6 But the righteousness from faith says thus, “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN’? (that is, to bring Messiah down),
 7 or, ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).”
 8 But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”: that is, the word of faith, which we proclaim [Deuteronomy 9:4[4]; 30:12-14[5]],
 9 because, if you confess with your mouth Yeshua as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
 10 for with the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME” [Isaiah 28:16][6].
 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches to all who call upon Him;
 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without someone proclaiming?
 15 And how will they proclaim unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GLAD TIDING OF GOOD THINGS! [Isaiah 52:7[8]; Nahum 1:15[9]]”
 16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? [Isaiah 53:1][10]
 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah.
 18 But I say, have they not heard? Indeed they have; “THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD” [Psalm 19:4][11].
 19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says, “I WILL MAKE YOU JEALOUS BY THAT WHICH IS NOT A NATION, BY A NATION WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WILL I ANGER YOU [Deuteronomy 32:21][12].”
 20 And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME, I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME [Isaiah 65:1][13].”

NOTES for Romans 10

[1] Grk. telos; commonly rendered as “end,” likely akin to some kind of “termination” (Goodspeed New Testament, New Testament: An Expanded Translation-Wuest).

There has been a significant amount of debate over the correct meaning of telos, as it can certainly mean “the goal toward which a movement is being directed, end, goal, outcome” (BDAG, 998); “the fulfilment or completion of anything…its consummation, issue, result, end” (LS, 799). “In Rom. 10:4 it means either termination or goal” (Zodhiates, Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, 1376).

Messianic versions typically render telos in 10:4 as “goal” (CJB, TLV, The Messianic Writings), with the Common English Bible and Kingdom New Testament also having “goal.” The TNIV and 2011 NIV have the vastly improved, “culmination,” when compared to the 1984 NIV with “end.” The Voice actually has “climax.”

[2] Grk. tēn dikaiosunēn tēn ek [tou] nomou hoti ho poiēsas auta anthrōpos zēsetai en autois; “the righteousness – of the law that the having done these things man will live in(by) them” (Brown and Comfort, 559).

[3] So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a person may live if he does them; I am YHWH” (Leviticus 18:5, PME).

[4] Do not say in your heart when YHWH your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness YHWH has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that YHWH is dispossessing them before you” (Deuteronomy 9:4, PME).

[5] It is not in Heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to Heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it” (Deuteronomy 30:12-14, PME).

[6] Therefore thus says the Lord YHWH, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed’” (Isaiah 28:16, PME).

[7] And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of YHWH will be delivered; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as YHWH has said, even among the survivors whom YHWH calls” (Joel 2:32, PME).

[8] How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7, PME).

[9] Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah; pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; he is cut off completely” (Nahum 1:15, PME).

[10] Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of YHWH been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1, PME).

[11] Their line has gone out through all the Earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the Sun” (Psalm 19:4, PME).

[12] They have made Me jealous with what is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation” (Deuteronomy 32:21, PME).

[13] I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ to a nation which did not call on My name” (Isaiah 65:1, PME).

[14] “I stretched out my hands all day long to a disobedient and contrary people, who did not walk in a true way but after their own sins” (Isaiah 65:2, NETS).


The Remnant of Israel

 1 I say then, has God rejected His people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham,[1] of the tribe of Benjamin.
 2 God has not rejected His people[2] whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
 4 But what is the Divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN, WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL” [1 Kings 19:18][4].
 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.
 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
 7 What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were elect obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
 8 just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES NOT TO SEE AND EAR NOT TO EAR, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY” [Deuteronomy 29:4[5]; Isaiah 29:10[6]].

The Salvation of the Nations

 11 I say then, did they stumble so as to fall? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the nations, to make them jealous.[9]
 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world, and their failure is riches for the nations, how much more will their fullness be!
 13 But I am speaking to you, the nations. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of nations, I magnify my ministry,
 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy those who are my own flesh and save some of them.
 15 For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be, but life from the dead?
 16 And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are also.
 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,
 18 do not boast against the branches; but if you boast, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;
 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.
 22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.
 24 For if you were cut off from that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

The Restoration of Israel

 25 For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the nations[10] has come in;
 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.”
 27 “AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM [Isaiah 59:20-21][11], WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS” [Isaiah 27:9[12]; Jeremiah 31:33-34[13]].
 28 As regards the good news they are enemies for your sake, but as regards God’s choice, they are beloved for the sake of the patriarchs;
 29 for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.
 30 For just as you were once disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy by their disobedience,
 31 so these also now have been disobedient, so that by your mercy they also may now be shown mercy.
 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.
 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
 34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR [Isaiah 40:13, LXX[14]; Job 15:8[15]; Jeremiah 23:18[16]]?
 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

NOTES for Romans 11

[1] The CJB has bolded “seed of Avraham” for 11:1, noting a possible allusion to 2 Chronicles 20:7; Psalm 105:6:

“You, our God, drove out those living in the land ahead of your people Isra’el and gave it forever to the descendants of Avraham your friend” (2 Chronicles 20:7, CJB).

“You descendants of Avraham his servant, you offspring of Ya’akov, his chosen ones” (Psalm 105:6, CJB).

[2] The CJB has bolded “God has not repudiated his people” for 11:2, noting a possible allusion to 1 Samuel 12:22; Psalm 94:14:

“For the sake of his great reputation, ADONAI will not abandon his people; because it has pleased ADONAI to make you a people for himself” (1 Samuel 12:22, CJB).

“For ADONAI will not desert his people, he will not abandon his heritage” (Psalm 94:14, CJB).

[3] And he said, ‘I have been very zealous for YHWH, the God of Hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away’….Then he said, ‘I have been very zealous for YHWH, the God of Hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away’” (1 Kings 19:10, 14, PME).

[4] Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18, PME).

[5] Yet to this day YHWH has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear” (Deuteronomy 29:4, PME).

[6] For YHWH has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, the seers” (Isaiah 29:10, PME).

[7] They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. May their table before them become a snare; and when they are in peace, may it become a trap” (Psalm 69:21-22, PME).

[8] Let destruction come upon him unawares; and let the net which he hid catch himself; into that very destruction let him fall” (Psalm 35:8, PME).

[9] The CJB has bolded “provoke them to jealousy” for 11:11, noting a possible allusion to Deuteronomy 32:21: “They aroused my jealousy with a non-god and provoked me with their vanities; I will arouse their jealousy with a non-people and provoke them with a vile nation” (CJB).

[10] Grk. to plērōma tōn ethōn; “the fullness of the nations” (Kingdom New Testament); achri ou to plērōma tōn ethnōn eiselthē is paraphrased in the CJB with, “until the Gentile world enters in its fullness.”

It goes too far to render to plērōma tōn ethōn as “the full number of the Gentiles” (RSV/NRSV, TNIV/2011 NIV, Common English Bible), implying “until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ” (NLT) or the “full quota” (Williams New Testament), via some kind of predestination of individuals to salvation.

Many within the Two-House sub-movement compare the mention of “the fullness of the nations” in 11:25 with the reference to melo-ha’goyim in Genesis 48:19 (cf. ISR Scriptures 1998 p 1096; ISR Scriptures 2009 p 1101). The Septuagint, however, rendered melo-ha’goyim as plēthos ethnōn, “a multitude of nations” (LXE, NETS).

It would be far more advised, as many Romans examiners are rightly agreed, to consider the usage of plērōma or “fullness” in 11:25, in view of its immediate previous usage in 11:12, for a proper understanding of what is intended. This would imply not a quantitative, but instead a qualitative, application of plērōma or “fullness,” most probably having to do with the thrust of 11:31b: “that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy” (KJV). This would mean that the entire completion of “all Israel will be saved” (11:26) will not be realized in history, until a sector of Messiah followers from the nations emerges on the scene which can be classified as the quintessential “fullness,” involving, as the term plērōma implies, a “moral or spiritual consummation” (D.S. Lim, “Fullness,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 319), which it surely involves for 11:12. This is not just a “fullness” of spiritual maturity, but one which can surely fulfill the Apostle Paul’s mandate of Believers from the nations genuinely provoking his fellow Jewish people to jealousy for Messiah faith (10:9; 11:11).

[11] “‘And a Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,’ declares YHWH. ‘And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says YHWH: ‘My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,’ says YHWH, ‘from now and forever’” (Isaiah 59:20-21, PME).

[12] Therefore through this Jacob’s iniquity will be forgiven; and this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin: when he makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stones; when Asherim and incense altars will not stand” (Isaiah 27:9, PME).

[13] “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares YHWH, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their ancestors in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares YHWH. ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares YHWH, ‘I will put My Torah within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, “Know YHWH,” for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares YHWH, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more’” (Jeremiah 31:31-34, PME).

[14] “Who has known the mind of the Lord, and who has been his counselor to instruct him?” (Isaiah 40:13, NETS).

[15] Do you hear the secret counsel of God, and limit wisdom to yourself?” (Job 15:8, PME).

[16] But who has stood in the council of YHWH, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?” (Jeremiah 23:18, PME).

[17] Will he make many supplications to you? Or will he speak to you soft words?” (Job 41:3, PME).


The New Life in Messiah

 1 I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
 2 And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,
 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Messiah, and individually members one of another.
 6 And having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, according to the proportion of our faith;
 7 if service, in our serving; or the one who teaches, in his teaching;
 8 or the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who gives, with liberality; the one who leads, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Rules of the Believer’s Life

 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
 10 Be devoted to one another in mutual love; give preference to one another in honor;
 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
 13 contributing to the needs of the holy ones, practicing hospitality.
 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.
 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone; take thought for what is good in the sight of all people.
 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people.
 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but give a place for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY” [Leviticus 19:18][1], says the Lord.
 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

NOTES for Romans 12

[1] You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am YHWH” (Leviticus 19:18, PME).

[2] If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head, and YHWH will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21-22, PME).


Obedience to Rulers

 1 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God; and those which exist are established by God.
 2 Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive judgment upon themselves.
 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;
 4 for it is a minister of God for your good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to the one who does evil.
 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.
 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, attending to this very thing.
 7 Render to all what is owed them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Brotherly Love

 8 Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Torah.
 9 For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET” [Exodus 20:13-15, 17[1]; Deuteronomy 5:17-19[2]], and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF” [Leviticus 19:18][3].
 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the Torah.

The Approach of the Day of Messiah

 11 And do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.
 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore put aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
 14 But put on the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and make no provision for the flesh, in regard to its lusts.

NOTES for Romans 13

[1] You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:13-15, 17, PME).

[2] You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal” (Deuteronomy 5:17-19, PME).

[3] You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am YHWH” (Leviticus 19:18, PME).


Do Not Judge Your Brother or Sister

 1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on opinions.
 2 One person has faith to eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.
 3 Do not let him who eats despise him who does not eat, and do not let him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him.
 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own lord he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
 5 One person esteems one day above another, another esteems every day alike. Let each person be fully convinced in his own mind.
 6 He who regards the day, regards it to the Lord, and he who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who does not eat, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
 7 For none of us lives for himself, and none of us dies for himself;
 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
 9 For this reason Messiah died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living.
 10 But you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you again, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
 11 For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD” [Isaiah 49:18[1]; 45:23[2]].
 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Do Not Make Your Brother or Sister Stumble

 13 Therefore let us not judge one another any more, but rather decide this—not to put a stumblingblock or an obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Yeshua, that nothing is common[3] in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be common, to him it is common.
 15 For if because of food your brother or sister is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Messiah died.
 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
 17 for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
 18 For he who in this way serves Messiah is acceptable to God and has human approval.
 19 So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
 20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but it is wrong for a person who eats to cause stumbling.
 21 It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine or to do anything by which your brother or sister stumbles.
 22 The faith which you have, you have by yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

NOTES for Romans 14

[1] “‘Lift up your eyes and look around; all of them gather together, they come to you. As I live,’ declares YHWH, ‘You shall surely put on all of them as jewels, and bind them on as a bride’” (Isaiah 49:18, PME).

[2] I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance (Isaiah 45:23, PME).

[3] Grk. koinos; most often rendered as “unclean” in major English Bibles.

The Hebrew term associated with unclean meats in the Torah (i.e., Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14), is tamei, and is normally rendered as akathartos in the Greek Septuagint. Romans 14:14 uses a different term, koinos, which may “pert. to being of little value because of being common, common, ordinary, profane,” notably in terms “of that which ordinary people eat, in contrast to those of more refined tastes” (BDAG, 552).

Koinos is rendered as “common” in LITV and Brown and Comfort, 570. Koinos is rendered as “unholy” in the TLV; “impure” in The Messianic Writings; and “intrinsically unholy” in the Phillips New Testament; “defiled” would also be valid.


Please Your Fellows, Not Yourself

 1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the powerless, and not just to please ourselves.
 2 Let each one of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.
 3 For even Messiah did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL UPON ME” [Psalm 69:9][1].
 4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
 5 Now may the God of perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Messiah Yeshua;
 6 that with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

The Good News for the Jews and the Nations Alike

 7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Messiah also accepted you to the glory of God.
 8 For I say that Messiah has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,
 9 and for the nations to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, “THEREFORE I WILL GIVE PRAISE TO YOU AMONG THE NATIONS, AND I WILL SING TO YOUR NAME” [Psalm 18:49][2].
 10 And again he says, “REJOICE, O NATIONS, WITH HIS PEOPLE” [Deuteronomy 32:43][3].
 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s Missionary Commission

 14 And I myself have been persuaded about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.
 15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace that was given me from God,
 16 to be a minister of Messiah Yeshua to the nations, ministering as a priest the good news of God, that the offering of the nations may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
 17 Therefore in Messiah Yeshua I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God.
 18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Messiah has accomplished through me, for the obedience of the nations, by word and work,
 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news of Messiah.
 20 And so I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Messiah was already named, that I might not build upon someone else’s foundation;

Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

 22 For this reason I have often been hindered from coming to you;
 23 but now, having no further place in these regions, and having for many years a longing to come to you
 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you while traveling through, and to be sent onward to there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company in some part—
 25 but now I am going to Jerusalem serving the holy ones.
 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the holy ones in Jerusalem.
 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are debtors to them. For if the nations have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.
 28 When therefore I have finished this, and having sealed to them this fruit, I will go on by way of you to Spain.
 29 And I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Messiah.
 30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Yeshua the Messiah and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,
 31 that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the holy ones;
 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find rest in your company.
 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

NOTES for Romans 15

[1] For zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me” (Psalm 69:9, PME).

[2] Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O YHWH, and I will sing praises to Your name” (Psalm 18:49, PME).

[3] Rejoice, O nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people” (Deuteronomy 32:43, PME).

[4] Praise YHWH, all nations; laud Him, all peoples!” (Psalm 117:1, PME).

[5] Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10, PME).

[6] Thus He will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand” (Isaiah 52:15, PME).


Personal Greetings

 1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon of the assembly that is at Cenchrea;
 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.
 3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Messiah Yeshua,
 4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the assemblies among the nations[1];
 5 also greet the assembly that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first fruit to Messiah from Asia.
 6 Greet Mary, who has greatly labored for you.
 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia[2], my kindred, and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Messiah before me.
 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Messiah, and Stachys my beloved.
 10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Messiah. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.
 11 Greet Herodion my kindred. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.
 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, laborers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has greatly labored in the Lord.
 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, also his mother and mine.
 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them.
 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the holy ones who are with them.
 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the assemblies of Messiah greet you.
 17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, keep your eye on those who are causing divisions and stumbling blocks, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.
 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Messiah, but their own belly; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
 19 For news of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.
 20 And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Yeshua be with you.
 21 Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kindred.
 22 I Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.
 23 Gaius, host to me and to the whole assembly, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus the brother.
 24 [The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you all. Amen.]


 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my good news and the proclamation of Yeshua the Messiah, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages,
 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations leading to obedience of faith;
 27 to the only wise God, through Yeshua the Messiah, be the glory forever. Amen.

NOTES for Romans 16

[1] Grk. hai ekklēsiai tōn ethnōn; “the churches of the Gentiles” (NASU); the genitive clause is seemingly taken to be a genitive of association (cf. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 128), with a locational quality, as the CJB has “the Messianic communities among the Gentiles,” and the TLV similarly has “Messiah’s communities among the Gentiles.”

[2] Grk. name Iounias; there is significant dispute in contemporary Biblical Studies over the identity of this person, now with “the strong probability that a woman named Junia is meant” (BDAG, 480). It was once strongly asserted that this individual could not have been a female (i.e, F.W. Gingrich, “Junias,” in IDB, 2:1026-1027; S.F. Hunter, “Junias,” in ISBE, 2:1165), but now it widely is agreed that this individual is a genuine, female apostle named Junia (Peter Lampe, “Junias,” in ABD, 3:1127; Bonnie Thurston, “Junia,” in EDB, pp 756-757).

Messianic versions like the CJB and TLV rightly recognize this person as the female “Junia,” whereas The Messianic Writings has the male “Junias.”