Lectionary Year A
September 8, 2002
Romans 13:8-14

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation

A. Comparing Translations

(JFC) The New Revised Standard Version and the Revised Standard Version differ slightly, as noted here:

8b for the one who loves another - NRSV
for he who loves his neighbor - RSV

9d are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself." - NRSV
are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." - RSV

11 what time it is, how it is the moment now for you to wake from sleep. - NRSV
what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. - RSV

nearer to us now than when we became believers; - NRSV
nearer to us now than when we first believed; - RSV

13 let us live honorably - NRSV
let us conduct ourselves becomingly - RSV

B. Textual Criticism

(JFC) 8 For the imperative, ovfei,lete, some witnesses read, ofeilhte, which would sound to the ear in dictation like the printed text, while others have, ovfei,lontej, a participle, which would certainly soften the intensity that Paul would almost certainly intend and be original, especially considering the few alternative manuscripts.
9 Where the received text has no verb beginning the quote from the Decalogue in Deuteronomy 5 and Exodus 20, two significant Western Witnesses add, gegraptai, a perfect, passive, indicative of "to write", which fits the context, but seems unnecessary. The source of these words from the Ten Commandments would have been well enough known not to require such a verb be added here. Then, between the third and fourth commandments listed in this verse, a few redactors add, ou yeudomarturhseij, future, active, indicative prohibiting "bearing false witness", while far more reliable witnesses retain the received text. If the original had had all or more of the Ten Commandments, various versions would have others as well. Probably, the original mentioned just these few as examples; the readers/hearers of these few would get Paul's intention here. Also, others change the orders of some of the Commandments mentioned, which Metzger (TCGNT) points out all of which changes are similar to the differences in other versions including the Septuagint. Then, for the second person singular accusative seauto,n, several significant witnesses have eauton, a reflexive pronoun of the third person, which makes it entirely too impersonal for what Paul seems to be intending. Then, too, ICC explains, "In late Greek `eauto,n became habitually used for all persons in the reflexive, and scribes substituted the form most usual for them."
11 For the accusative, second person, plural pronoun u`ma/j, several key witnesses have hmaj, a first person, while just as many reliable manuscripts retain the Textus Receptus, which certainly seems more appropriate for the construction of this part of this passage. Metzger's (TCGNT) explanation seems confusing, at least, the final clause does. He writes, "a majority of the Committee thought it somewhat more probable that u`ma/j was altered to hmaj in order to conform the person to u`mw/n in the next clause, than that h`ma/j was changed to u`ma/j. Several versional and patristic witnesses . . . omit the pronoun altogether, as does also the AV (although the Textus Receptus reads h`ma/j)." It does?
12 Metzger's (TCGNT) conclusions seem quite conclusive here; he writes, "For avpoqw,meqa several Western witnesses read avpobalw,meqa . . . Since the use of avpoqe,sqai is normal in formulas of renunciation (see E. G. Selwyn, I Peter, pp. 304ff.), and since the verb avpoba,llein recurs nowhere else in the Pauline literature and its middle voice is entirely absent from the New Testament, a majority of the Committee preferred the reading avpoqw,meqa." Then for evndusw,meqa Īde.Š, several witnesses, including a few Papyri and others, read kai. evndusw,meqa, and/or evndusw,meqa nun, whereas more important ones stay with the printed text. The alternatives seem too weakly supported by the variants for Metzger (TCGNT). Then, a couple of the identified uncials and a few others substitute erga, "works, deeds, actions, accomplishments" for o[pla, "weapons, tools, instruments". Such an alternative might make sense. We'll have to wait and see as the study goes on.

C. Rough Translation

(JFC) 8 To no one [dative] nothing [accusative] owe [imperative] if not one another to love [infinitive]; for loving the other law is fulfilling [participle]. 9 For the Not shall you commit adultery, Not shall you murder, Not shall you steal, Not shall you covet, and if any different commandment, in the word this is summed up [present, passive, indicative, 3rd person, singular] in the You shall love the neighbor of yours as yourself. 10 The love of the neighbor bad/evil/wrong does is it done/made [present, middle or passive, indicative]; fulfilling/fulfillment then of law (is) the love. 11 And this you know [present, active, participle (participle)] the time/season/age, that/what hour already to you [accusative] from sleep to be awakened/be gotten up [passive], for now the salvation/deliverance which we believed [aorist]. 12 The night is far gone, but the day is approaching/coming/drawing near [perfect, active, indicative]. Let us throw off/be done with [aorist, middle, subjunctive] then the works of the darkness, but let us put on/wear the weapons/tools/instruments of the light. 13 As in day properly/respectably let us live/walk/conduct ourselves, not in carousing/orgy/revelry and drunkenness, not in sexual impurity and sensuality/vice/indecency, not in strife/quarrelling/fighting and jealousy, 14 rather put on/wear [imperative] the Lord Jesus Christ and the flesh/physical body provision [accusative] not make/do bring [imperative] into desires.

| Return to Gospel text listings | Return to Epistle text listings |
| Return to Old Testament listings | Return to Psalm listings |
| User response form |