Article: Romans 3:25-26; 5:11; 7:15 Atonement; remission of sins; him that believeth; I allow not by Will Kinney

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Romans 5:11 Atonement or Reconciliation?


"And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the ATONEMENT."


There are many "scholars" who criticize the King James Bible rendering of the word "atonement" in this verse. Typical of those tell us it is an error is Adam Clarke. He comments: "It was certainly improper to translate katallage here by atonement, instead of reconciliation; as katallassw signifies to reconcile, and is so rendered by our translators in all the places where it occurs."


Most modern versions like the NKJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, and Holman Standard have translated this word as "reconciliation" - "by whom we have now received the reconciliation."


However it is my contention and that of many other Bible translators that the word, especially in this particular context, is correctly translated as "atonement."


Dr. Lackey gave a good answer to those who claim there is error in the King James Bible. He makes a clear distinction between translational error and translational preference.


Dr. Lackey says: "Atonement, in Romans 5:11, is said to be another error, since it comes from the Greek word (KATALLAGE) which is always translated "reconciliation" in other places. It is also supposed to show doctrinal error, since "atonement" describes a temporary condition which the Old Testament saint had, whereas "reconciliation" describes the permanent condition of the New Testament believer.


If all this is so, why did the KJV translators choose a different word in this place, from all others in the New Testament? The word "now" indicates that they evidently believed the Old Testament doctrine of atonement to be fulfilled in the one great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. We have "now" received that which was only foreshadowed and promised in every bloody sacrifice that was made before the cross. There is no error here; if the KJV translators were intelligent enough to use "reconciliation" every other instance in the New Testament, they surely must have had a good reason for choosing "atonement" in Romans 5:11.


Every translator knows that in all translation there will be some interpretation. Such is unavoidable. This instance is obviously a matter of their interpretation, which, by the way, is clearly a correct one. Every Bible-believer knows that the sacrifice of Christ fulfilled all that was foreshadowed in the many sacrifices of the Old Testament. Again we see that, before one charges error, it is a good idea to stop and think about what is actually being said and try to find a reason why a different word was chosen. When such is done, there will always be a great and precious truth learned." (end of Dr. Lackey's comments)


Let's examine the Hebrew word Kah-phar # 3722, to see how it is used and variously translated, not only in the King James Bible but in many other Bibles as well. This particular Hebrew word has several meanings. It is variously translated as:


  1. 1. "to make an atonement", as in Exodus 30:10 "And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements." See also Leviticus 4:20; Numbers 15:28, and First Chronicles 6:49 for other examples.


  1. 2. "to purge" - Ezekiel 43:20 "And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it...thus shalt thou cleanse and PURGE it." Psalm 79:9 "Deliver us, and PURGE AWAY our sins." Psalm 65:3 "as for our transgressions, thou shalt PURGE them AWAY."


  1. 3. "to forgive" - Psalm 78:38 "But he, being full of compassion, FORGAVE their iniquity." See also Jeremiah 18:23.


  1. 4. "to be merciful" - Deuteronomy 21:8 "BE MERCIFUL, O Lord, unto thy people"; Deuteronomy 32:43 "and will BE MERCIFUL unto his land, and to his people."


  1. 5 "to appease" - Genesis 32:20 "I will APPEASE him with the present that goeth before me"


  1. 6 "to make reconciliation" - Leviticus 8:15 "And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, TO MAKE RECONCILIATION upon it."


This same Hebrew word is translated as "reconciliation" or "to reconcile" in Leviticus 6:30; 16:20; Ezekiel 45:15 and 17.


In the highly significant prophetic passage in the book of Daniel we see that the same Hebrew word can be correctly translated as both "atonement" and "reconciliation" - they are synonyms. In Daniel 9:24 we read: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and TO MAKE RECONCILIATION for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness..."


Here the same Hebrew word, Kah-phar, which normally means "to make an atonement" is translated as "to make reconciliation", not only in the King James Bible but also in the NKJV, Revised Version, American Standard Version, Coverdale, Bishops' Bible, Geneva Bible, Webster's translation, and the Third Millenium Bible.


  1. 7 "to pitch" In Genesis 6:14 God told Noah: "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and SHALT PITCH IT within and without with pitch."


The same verb that means "to make an atonement" and "to reconcile" is also used here as "to pitch", which means to smear or cover with pitch. The word Pitch can mean a kind of tar, soft asphalt, or resin, which would both unite and waterproof the ark.


I remember that I too once laughed at the idea that "atonement" meant "at-one-ment", but then I started seeing how the Hebrew word is used, and that is exactly what it means. To make reconciliation is to bring two parties who were at enmity with each other, into a state of peace and harmony.


Even when we look at the example in Genesis of where Noah was to "pitch" the ark within and without with Pitch, the idea is that the pitch seals and unites all the different boards of the boat into a single mass and acts as a unifier - thus, atonement.


It is from this one example in Genesis that many people have wrongly concluded that atonement means a "covering". I think they have failed to consider all the other uses of this word, where it means to reconcile, to pacify, or to make an at-one-ment.


Let's look at some modern English dictionaries to see if the words "atonement" and "reconciliation" can be synonymous.


The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition 2000.


Atonement - 1. Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation. 2a. Reconciliation or an instance of reconciliation between God and humans. b. Atonement Christianity The reconciliation of God and humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus.


All Words.Com


1. An act of making amends for, making up for, or paying for a wrongdoing, crime, sin, etc.


2. Christianity. The reconciliation of God and man through the sufferings and death of Christ.


The Oxford English Dictionary - (the Atonement) Christian Theology the reconciliation of God and mankind through the death of Jesus Christ.


Webster’s Dictionary 1913 - Atonement n. 1. (Literally, a setting at one.) Reconciliation; restoration of friendly relations; agreement; concord.


By whom we have now received the atonement. Rom. v. 11.


He desires to make atonement Betwixt the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers. Shak.


Merriam- Webster’s English Dictionary - Atonement - the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.


Funk and Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary - Atonement: Satisfaction, reparation, or expiation made for wrong or injury; amends. The reconciliation between God and man effected by Christ.


Other Christian commentators have come to the passage in Romans 5:11 and have made no attempt at all to try to "correct" the alleged translational error as found in the King James Bible.


John Gill comments on the Atonement in Romans 5:11 - "by whom we have now received the atonement" - atonement is not made, but received by us; which denotes the application of the atoning blood and sacrifice of Christ to the conscience, the Spirit's witness of interest in it, and the office of faith, as a recipient of it: it is not faith, nor anything else of the creature's, that makes the atonement, only Christ; but faith receives it from him, and by him; which, as it is the ground of present joying in God, so it is the foundation of hope of future glory: the word "now" refers to the Gospel dispensation... Blessed be God for the atoning sacrifice of Christ!"


Matthew Henry says: " We joy in God, not only saved from his wrath, but solacing ourselves in his love, and this through Jesus Christ...and all this by virtue of the atonement. For by him we Christians, we believers, have now, now in gospel times, received the atonement, which was typified by the sacrifices under thee law, and is an earnest of our happiness in heaven. True believers do by Jesus Christ receive the atonement. Receiving the atonement is our actual reconciliation to God in justification, grounded upon Christ's satisfaction."


Notice that Matthew Henry uses both the words "atonement" and "reconciliation" as synonyms, and the word atonement ties into the types of the Old Testament sacrifices and their fulfillment in that of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Not only has the King James Bible translated this passage as "by whom we have now received the ATONEMENT" but so also do the following Bible versions: Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Cranmer 1539, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1557 to 1602, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, and the 1998 Third Millenium Bible. The King James reading of ATONEMENT is totally accurate and it, unlike the modern versions that render this as "reconciliation", shows the final sacrifice of the Lamb of God as the fulfillment of all the Old Testament sacrifices which atoned for the sins of God's people.


Will Kinney


Romans 3:25 "remission"; and Romans 7:15 "I allow not"


"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25


What is your Final Authority? Do you believe the promises of God to give us a Book containing all His inspired and inerrant words, or do you believe, as most Christians today, that there is no inerrant Bible in any language? Is your Final Authority the King James Holy Bible, or is it A Lexicon, another commentator or your own understanding?


There are many today who heap fulsome praise on that old Book telling us how wonderful it is, but then they add that its "archaic" language needs to be updated, and various "errors" and "mistranslations" corrected. Most Updaters and Bible Correctors will start out with a list that includes such words as "letteth", "conversation", and "prevent", but soon reveal their desire to be their own Final Authority (and your's as well) when they come right out and tell us the King James translators dropped the ball when translating several Greek or Hebrew words like "brass", "unicorns", "Easter", "damnation", or the two examples we will look at in this little study, "for the REMISSION of sins" (Romans 3:25) and "I ALLOW not" in Romans 7:15.


One such Christian brother who "prefers" the King James Bible over the modern versions, yet apparently does not consider it to be the inerrant words of God, wrote to me with these two examples of "error" and difficulty in the old Book.


He writes: Hello Will, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for THE REMISSION of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:23-26 (King James Bible)


He then includes a reference to a certain Greek Lexicon by Thayer - "paresis, Thayer Definition:1) passing over, letting pass, neglecting, disregarding." Then he asks: "How would you have translated the word remission in the Romans passage? This is the only time the word paresis is translated into the English word remission. I am not a Greek scholar or anything like that, but it seems to me that remission is a different word than what Paul actually used. "Passing over" and "release from bondage" are two different things. There is remission of sins for the child of God. But is this what Paul meant here in this sentence? It's translational "errors" like this one that those who do not trust the KJV point out to us who do. Is it not to our advantage to be aware and ready with a solid and TRUE answer?" - Chris


Notice first that brother Chris got the idea that the King James Bible is in error because he saw another definition of the word in a lexicon. Aren't people funny? Lexicons, commentaries and scholars are not inspired and they frequently disagree with one another, yet instead of believing The Bible, this brother has lost his faith in an inerrant Book by believing what some guy wrote in a lexicon.


Brother Chris did not provide us with all that is found in Thayer's lexicon, and why Thayer, (who himself denied the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ), thought that "HAD PASSED OVER the sins that were previously committed" was the correct way to translate this passage. Thayer actually goes on to say: "passing over, neglecting, disregarding - because God had patiently let pass the sins committed previously to the expiatory death of Christ, i.e. HAD TOLERATED, HAD NOT PUNISHED, and so man's conception of his holiness was in danger of becoming dim, if not extinct." (Caps are mine)


Is what Thayer thought about God having neglected, tolerated, and not punished sins Biblically correct? Definitely not, as we shall soon see.


Lexicons and commentaries are not the inspired words of God. Only the King James Bible is the inerrant word of God. Most lexicons are written by men who do not believe any Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God, and they often employ pagan and secular usages in defining Biblical words. They also happen to frequently disagree with each other.


Chris mentioned Thayer's lexicon, but according to other lexicons, a legitimate meaning of the word paresis is "remission" of sins. Liddell and Scott's huge Greek-English lexicon, on page 1337 says of the word paresis - " 1. a letting go, a dismissal, a release; 2. a slackening of strength; 3. "REMISSION of debts", and then it specifically lists Romans 3:35 as a reference.


In Moulton and Milligan's The Vocabularly of the Greek New Testament, under the word paresis listed on page 493, they give three citations from early Greek writers where the meaning of this word is "the remission, or forgiving of a debt".


Barnes' Notes on the New Testament - "For the remission of sins. Margin, Passing over. The word here used (paresin) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means passing by, as not noticing; and hence FORGIVING. A similar idea occurs in Micah 7:18: "Who is a God like unto thee, that passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?" IN ROMANS IT MEANS FOR THE PARDONING, OR IN ORDER TO PARDON PAST TRANSGRESSION." (Caps are mine)


Not only does the King James Bible translate this word in Romans 3:25 as the "remission" of sins, but so also do Wycliffe 1395, the Italian Diodati (per la remission de' peccati),the Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 (para la remisión de los pecados pasados) ,the Douay-Rheims, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, Wesley's 1755 translation, Webster's 1833, and the Third Millenium Bible. Versions such as Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops's Bible 1568 and the Geneva Bible of 1599 give the same sense to the passage as does the King James Bible by translating this as "for the FORGIVENESS of sins that are past".


The Modern Greek version agrees with the meaning of the King James Bible and reads "for the FORGIVENESS of sins that are past" - "dia TEN AFESIN twn rogenomenwn amarthmatwn".


Many Bible commentators tell us that Romans 3:25 refers to THE REMISSION OF SINS that are past, including John Gill, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, John Wesley, Barnes, and Matthew Henry.


John Gill states: "for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God - by "sins that are past", are meant, not sins before baptism, nor the sins of a man's life only, but the sins of Old Testament saints, who lived before the incarnation of Christ, and the oblation of his sacrifice; and though this is not to be restrained to them only, for Christ's blood was shed for THE REMISSION OF ALL HIS PEOPLE'S SINS, past, present, and to come; yet the sins of the saints before the coming of Christ, seem to be particularly designed."


The Bible itself is its own best commentary. Hebrews 9:15 reaffirms the truth that the death of Christ was the legal basis for God having forgiven the sins of the Old Testament saints - "And for this cause he (Jesus Christ) is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redepmtion of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."


Some modern versions like the NKJV say: "whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God HAD PASSED OVER the sins that were previously committed."


I believe the NKJV translation, and others of a similar nature - "had passed over" (NKJV, NASB, ESV, Holman), "overlooked" (NEB), "left unpunished" (NIV) miss the meaning of the passage, and create a direct contradiction to the rest of Scripture.


God very definitely FORGAVE sins many times in the Old Testament, and He certainly PUNISHED His people for their sins; but the legal basis for His having forgiven or remitted the sins of His people in the Old Testament times was the future and predicted death of Christ on the cross of Calvary; He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). The death of Christ satisfies the legal requirements of His having remitted and forgiven the sins of the O.T. saints. The blood of Christ declares the righteousness of God in forgiving sins, both in Old Testament times and now in the New.


Punishment - "You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therfore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Amos 3:2. "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins...if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity, Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob" Leviticus 26:18,41. "And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity" Ezekiel 14:10. "And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this" Ezra 9:13. See also Jeremiah 11:22; 13:21; 21:14, Hosea 4:9; 12:2; Amos 2:4,6; and Zechariah 9:14.


Forgiveness of sins - "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" Exodus 34:7; "Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word." Numbers 14:19-20; "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" Psalm 32:1; "But he being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity" Psalm 78:38; "Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin." Psalm 85:2. See numerous other verses also, such as 1 Kings 8:30, 34; and Psalm 103:3.


Those versions that tell us God "passed over" the sins of the Old Testament saints and did not punish them create a very definite contradiction with the rest of the Scripture. God often PUNISHED His people for their sins, and He also certainly FORGAVE them as well. The King James Bible is right and many modern versions are wrong.


Romans 7:15 "For that which I do I allow not"


Another word in the King James Bible that is frequently criticized as being an erroneous translation is found in Romans 7:15 where we read: "For that which I do I ALLOW NOT: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I."


The Bible critics tell us the Greek words "ou ginosko" should be translated as "I KNOW not" or "I do not UNDERSTAND". The NKJV, NASB, NIV say: "For what I am doing, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do." Several other versions say: "For what I do, I KNOW not."


First of all, it is readily admitted that the verb "ginosko" usually means "to know", but as with most words in English and in Greek or Hebrew, single words can have a multiplicity of meanings depending on the varying contexts. Not only is the King James Bible reading of "that which I do I allow not" not an error, but it is far more accurate and does not create a contradiction.


Other Bible translations both foreign and English, as well as some commentators and lexicons agree with the meaning found in the King James Bible of Romans 7:15. Liddell and Scott's unabridged Greek- English lexicon, and the abridged edition of 1887 both tell us that the Greek verb ginosko can have the meaning of "to determine, to decree that, or to decide upon".


Barnes' Notes on the New Testament comments on Romans 7:15: "I allow not. I do not approve; I do not wish it; the prevailing bent of my inclinations and purposes is against it. Greek, "I know not." See the margin. The word know, however, is sometimes used in the sense of approving. Revelation 2:24, "Which have not known [approved] the depths of Satan." Compare Psalms 101:4, "I will not know a wicked person." Jeremiah 1:5. "


John Gill comments: For that which I do, I allow not…"The apostle having cleared the law from the charge of being the cause either of sin or death, and taken the blame to himself, proceeds to give an account of the struggle and combat he found in himself between the flesh and spirit; "that which I do, I allow not". That which he did was evil, since he allowed not of it; but this is to be understood not of any notorious crime committed by him, nor of a sinful course of life... but of internal lusts, the workings of corruptions in his heart, and which are real actions of the mind, together with the various frailties and infirmities of life: when that apostle says that what he did, (ginwskw) , "I know not": his meaning is, not that he was utterly ignorant of them, of their nature and operations; that he was insensible of their motions, and unconcerned about them; for his sense of them, and concern for them, are expressed by him in the strongest terms, "I know", "I find", "I see", "O wretched man"… (Romans 7:18,21,23,24) ... rather, "I do not approve" of them, I dislike, abhor, and detest them; I cannot excuse or palliate them, but must condemn them; so words of knowledge in the Hebrew language are expressive of love, liking, and approbation; see (Psalms 1:6) (Hosea 8:4) (Genesis 18:19) ; on which last text, "I know him", says Jarchi, "it is the language of love", or a phrase expressive of strong affection; and so here, I know not, I do not like, love, and approve of these things, or I do not "allow" of them, and indulge myself in them, I loathe them and myself for them."


Adam Clarke comments: " What I am continually labouring at I allow not, ou ginwskw, I do not acknowledge to be right, just, holy, or profitable."


Agreeing with the King James Bible reading of "For that which I do I ALLOW NOT" are the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible of 1599, Daniel Mace's 1729 translation, Webster's 1833 translation, the Italian Riveduta 1927 (Perché io NON APPROVO quello che faccio).


Rotherham's 1902 Emphasized Bible, based on the Alexandrian texts like the NASB, NIV, agrees with the meaning found in the King James Bible saying: "For, that which I am working out, I DO NOT APPROVE, - for not, what I wish, the same I practise, but, what I hate, the same I do."


John Wesley's 1755 translation agrees with the KJB meaning: "For that which I do I APPROVE NOT; for what I would, I do not, but what I hate, that I do.


Darby's 1870 translation is similar to the KJB with: "For that which I do, I DO NOT OWN; for not what I will, this I do; but what I hate, this I practise."


Young's 'literal" translation has: "for that which I work, I DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE; for not what I will, this I practise, but what I hate, this I do." To "acknowledge" here means to admit or approve of something.


The translations like the NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV and others that translate this phrase as "that which I do I DO NOT UNDERSTAND" (or KNOW) again miss the point and create a contradiction in the context of Romans chapter Seven. Paul clearly 'KNEW" and "understood" what was happening to him and why. He explains it in great detail saying such things as: "For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin"; "now it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not...it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Romans 7:14-23.


Again, the King James Bible is right and many modern versions are wrong. If those who profess to believe in the promises of God to preserve His inspired and inerrant words in a Book here on this earth, and believe that God has providentially given us the best Hebrew and Greek texts in the King James Bible, then they should be consistent in their faith. God not only directed the King James Bible translators in their selection of the correct underlying Greek and Hebrew texts, but also in the ENGLISH TRANSLATION of those texts.


It is the King James Bible that is the Final Written Authority, not the lexicons, the commentators, and certainly not your own personal opinions and preferences, or mine.


Will Kinney


Romans 3:26 "the justifier of HIM WHICH BELIEVETH IN JESUS."


There are a few Bible critics who complain that the King James Bible rendering of the Greek phrase found in Romans 3:26 is inferior or wrong. Without exception, I have found that upon further inquiry none of these Bible critics actually believes that any Bible in any language is now the complete, inspired and inerrant words of God. What each of them has done is to place their own minds and understanding as their final written authority, and not one of them agrees 100% with anybody else. "In those days there was no king in Israel. Every man did that which was right in his own eyes." - Judges 21:25.


The King James Bible, (and many others, as we shall soon see) reads: "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of HIM WHICH BELIEVETH IN JESUS. Where is BOASTING then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."


One such KJB critic writes: "I know you want so much believe the King James Bible was crafted by God, each word every phrase. Please compare Rom 3 :26 with how it's phrased in The Geneva Bible. Tell me honestly, which translation is more faithful?" Geneva - 3:26 "Through the patience of God, to shewe at this time his righteousnesse, that hee might be iust, and a iustifier of HIM WHICH IS OF THE FAITH OF JESUS." This Bible critic should have included the next verse as it stands in the Geneva bible. It completely misses the meaning when it says: " Where is then the REJOICING? It is excluded. By what Lawe? of woorkes? Nay: but by the Lawe of faith."


We cannot "boast" of having obtained the righteousness of God by our own works, but we certainly can "rejoice" in what God has done for us in Christ, and rejoicing is not excluded, but boasting surely is. The Geneva bible gives us a very poor and misleading rendering here in Romans 3:27.


Let us now take a closer look at how the KJB translators and many others have rendered the awkward Greek phrase (ton ek pisteoos insou).


Not even the Geneva bible gives a strictly literal rendering of this phrase, since it too has "added" a verb and other words which are not found in any Greek text. Literally speaking, there are no words for the Geneva rendering of "IS" nor "which" nor "the" in their translation of "him WHICH IS of THE faith of Jesus."


The deciding factor on how to render this phrase comes down to the question of 'What does the phrase mean?'. The apostle is contrasting the works of the law as a means of justification versus a person having faith in the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ.


There are a variety of English translations of this verse and some of them give us very different meanings by how they have rendered this verse. Some examples of wildly different meanings are found in such versions as the ISV and Daniel Wallace's NET version.


ISV - He wanted to demonstrate at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies THE PERSON WHO HAS THE FAITHFULNESS OF JESUS."


If we need to be as faithful as was Jesus in order to be justified, then we are all in a world of trouble. Nobody who ever lived "has the faithfulness of Jesus", except Jesus Himself.


Daniel Wallace's NET version puts a different twist on things by reading: "This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of THE ONE WHO LIVES BECAUSE OF JESUS' FAITHFULNESS."


We do not live because Jesus was faithful. This is not the inspired apostle's argument in the context of Romans Three. Instead we are justified by the faith which God Himself gives us to believe in the propitiation in His blood for the remission of our sins. It is not Jesus' "faithfulness" that makes us live, but His atoning death.


Not only has the King James Bible correctly rendered this phrase as: "that he might be just, and the justifier of HIM THAT BELIEVETH IN JESUS" but so have the following Bible translations: Tyndale 1525, Bishops' Bible 1568, Mace's N.T. 1729, Wesley's N.T. 1755, Webster's 1833, Weymouth 1913, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.


Many other modern versions have likewise translated the phrase in much the same way as the King James Bible by saying: "him that HAS FAITH IN Jesus." These include such versions as the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV, and the Holman Standard version.


It is abundantly obvious that many other Bible translators are not in agreement with the man who insists the KJB reading is wrong here in Romans 3:26. It is also abundantly clear that the KJB critic himself does not believe that any bible in any language on this earth today is now the inerrant words of God. Instead, he has only an imaginary, mystical, and not yet in print "bible", based on his own understanding, to recommend to anyone.


I and many others will stick with the Book God has honored far above all others - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.


Will Kinney


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