Lectionary Year A
June 16, 2002
Romans 5:1-8

Initial Acquaintance


The New Revised Standard Version footnotes the first pronoun in this pericope, "Other ancient authorities read "let us." And for "pros ton theon", NRSV has, "with God". The sense of the message can be expressed either way. NRSV also footnotes "te pistei", "Other ancient authorities add "by faith"." Wouldn't hurt to add it, but it seems understood even if unstated. In verse 3, NRSV reads "we also boast" with a footnote, "Or let us". And, at the end of verse 7, NRSV translates "kai tolma apothanein" as "might actually dare to die". That suggested translation tells the story well.

The New American Standard Bible footnotes, in verse 1, for "eirenen echomen", "Two mss read 'let us have'." Then, in verse 2, reads, "we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace" and "we exult in hope of the glory of God". That latter phrase gets another footnote. It reads, "Or let us exult". In verse 3, they translate "thlipsesin" and "tribulations" and "hupomonen" as "perseverance". In the next verse (4) they translate "dokime" as "proven character". In verse 6, they translate "hemon asthenon", "while we were still helpless".


In verse 1, many Manuscripts would replace the indicative "echomen" with the subjunctive "ecHomen". Metzger cites "far better external support" for the replacement, a majority of the Committee agreed to follow internal evidence in this case & retain the indicative. Metzger further justifies, "Since in this passage it appears that Paul is not exhorting but stating facts ("peace" is the possession of those who have been justified), only the indicative is consonate with the apostle's argument." Furthermore, for this change, Metzger refers to the almost non-existent difference in first century pronunciation between o and w. Finally, Romans 8:30, 5:9 & Philippians 3:9 support as they expand and/or at least allude to such indicative descriptions.
In verse 2, the [te pistei] could be omitted entirely by several witnesses and introduced by "en" by others. Still others prefer to retain it as if originally intended. Metzger notices that "the sense is not materially changed" by the presence of these words in this text. Since the word "pisteos" occurs in verse 1, that suffices for the readers' and hearers' comprehension. Into verse 2, a few Latin Manuscripts would insert "filiorum". Is that word the source of the NASB's footnote, "Or let us exult"?

Then in verse 3, a very few witnesses would add the word, "touto", presumably to add emphasis to "this (matter) just mentioned", i. e., God's glory in which we exult/rejoice/boast. Furthermore, in that same verse, some witnesses would read "kauchomenoi" for "kauchometha".

Verse 6 begins with some revisions to the rather weak words in the textus receptus. Metzger believes it is the "earliest attainable reading preserved in the manuscripts".


1 Now that we are justified by faith, peace we do have according to the God the Lord of ours Jesus Christ 2 through whom also the right of access we have in order to have stood firm [in this promise] and have boasted in the glory of God. 3 Not only that but also do we boast in the suffering, knowing that suffering endurance produces, 4 and the endurance character, and the character, hope. 5 And this hope does not put us to shame, for the love of the God has plunged into the hearts of ours through the Spirit Holy of the One having been given to us. 6 For even Christ we exist for our weakness even according to a season beyond the godless face of death. 7 For hardly in favor of a righteous one will one be mortal: yet on behalf of the good, possibly, will one be brave enough to face death; 8 yet demonstrates for us the love of the God, since for even the sinful there exists Christ beyond us being mortal.

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