Jews Still Have an Advantage
1 Therefore, what is the advantage of the Jew, or what is the use of circumcision? 2Much in every way. For first, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3What is the result#Literally “for what” if some refused to believe? Their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4May it never be! But let God be true but every human being a liar, just as it is written,
“In order that you may be justified in your words,
and may prevail when you are#*Or, if the form is understood as middle voice, “when you yourself judge” judged.”#A quotation from Ps 51:4
5But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? God, who inflicts wrath, is not unjust, is he? (I am speaking according to a human perspective.) 6May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7But if by my lying, the truth of God abounded to his glory, why am I also still condemned as a sinner? 8And why not (as we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say), “Let us do evil, in order that good may come of it? Their#Literally “whose” condemnation is just!
The Entire World Guilty of Sin
9What then? Do we have an advantage? Not at all. For we have already charged both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, 10just as it is written,
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12All have turned aside together; they have become worthless;
There is no one who practices kindness;
there is not even one.#Verses 10–12 are a quotation from Ps 14:1–3
13Their throat is an opened grave;
they deceive with their tongues;
the venom of asps is under their lips,#A quotation from Ps 5:9 and Ps 140:3
14whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.#A quotation from Ps 10:7
15Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16destruction and distress are in their paths,
17and they have not known the way of peace.#Verses 15–17 are a quotation from Isa 59:7–8
18The fear of God is not before their eyes.”#A quotation from Ps 36:1
19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those under the law, in order that every mouth may be closed and the whole world may become accountable to God. 20For by the works of the law no person will be declared righteous#Literally “all flesh will not be declared righteous” before him, for through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Righteousness through Faith Revealed
21But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified about by the law and the prophets—22that is, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ#Or “through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ” to all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God made publicly available as the mercy seat#Or “as the place of propitiation” through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness, because of the passing over of previously committed sins, 26in the forbearance of God, for the demonstration of his righteousness in the present time, so that he should be just and the one who justifies the person by faith#Or “by Jesus’ faithfulness” in Jesus.
27Therefore, where is boasting? It has been excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law#Or “a principle” of faith. 28For we consider a person to be justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, also of the Gentiles, 30since God is one, who will justify those who are circumcised#Literally “circumcision” by faith and those who are uncircumcised#Literally “uncircumcision” through faith. 31Therefore, do we nullify the law through faith? May it never be! But we uphold the law.