Puneet Varma (Editor)

Romans 8

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Book  Epistle to the Romans
Order in the Bible part  6
Bible part  New Testament
Category  Pauline epistles

Romans 8 is the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle, but written by an amanuensis, Tertius of Iconium, while Paul was in Corinth in the winter of AD 57-58. Paul wrote to the Roman Christians in order to give them a thorough of overview of his theology. Chapter 8 concerns "the Christian's spiritual life," according to Jerusalem Bible's sub-heading for Romans 8.

Contents

The reformer Martin Luther stated that this chapter is where Paul "comforts fighters" involved in an inner struggle between spirit and flesh:

The Holy Spirit assures us that we are God's children no matter how furiously sin may rage within us, so long as we follow the Spirit and struggle against sin in order to kill it.

Text

  • The original text is written in Koine Greek.
  • Some most ancient manuscripts containing this chapter are:
  • Papyrus 27 (3rd century; extant: verses 12-22, 24-27)
  • Codex Vaticanus (AD 325-350)
  • Codex Sinaiticus (AD 330-360)
  • Codex Alexandrinus (ca. AD 400-440)
  • Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (ca. AD 450; complete)
  • This chapter is divided into 39 verses.
  • Structure

    The New King James Version organises this chapter as follows:

  • Romans 8:1-11 = Free from Indwelling Sin
  • Romans 8:12-17 = Sonship Through the Spirit
  • Romans 8:18-30 = From Suffering to Glory (or "Present Suffering and Future Glory" in the New International Version)
  • Romans 8:31-39 = God's Everlasting Love (or "More Than Conquerors" in the New International Version)
  • Introduction

    New King James Version

    There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

    The discourse continues in Romans 8:1 from the preceding text with the illative word Greek: ἄρα (ara), generally translated as so or therefore, or consequently in Thayer's Greek Lexicon.

    Methodist founder John Wesley suggested that Paul "resumes the thread of his discourse" from Romans 7:1-7, following a digression (in Romans 7:8-25) regarding sin and the Mosaic Law:

    By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit (Romans 7:7)

    whereas theologians Heinrich Meyer and Harold Buls are content to link the inference with the immediately preceding text:

    Greek: αυτος εγω τω μεν νοι δουλευω νομω θεου τη δε σαρκι νομω αμαρτιας": I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:25).

    Buls explains that Paul's "real self" serving God is his mind and not his flesh.

    Meyer goes on to distinguish between two alternative readings of There is ... now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus:

  • now, after Christ (as deliverer from the law of sin, Romans 8:2), has interposed, there is no condemnation ...
  • or

  • one must be in Christ, in order to get rid of every condemnation.
  • He prefers the former reading "as a matter of fact that has become historical" rather than the latter reading, attributed to Lutheran theologian Johann Hofmann.

    God's everlasting love

    Anglican Bishop Charles Ellicott describes the final section of this chapter (Romans 8:31-39) as "a sublime and triumphant conclusion" and Erasmus of Rotterdam remarks that "Cicero never said anything grander".

    Greek: τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν πρὸς ταῦτα (Ti oun eroumen pros tauta ) - What then shall we say to (or about) these things? (Romans 8:31)

    The Living Bible translates as "these wonderful things".

    By "these things", according to William Reed Newell, "Paul evidently indicates not only the whole process of our salvation by Christ, from chapter three onward, with that great deliverance by the help of the Holy Spirit set forth in this eighth chapter ... but also ... what he has been telling us of the purpose of God: "Whom He foreknew, foreordained, called, justified, glorified!"

    More than conquerors

    New King James Version

    Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

    A hymn to God's love

    New King James Version

    For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    The Jerusalem Bible suggests that the "powers", "heights" and "depths" were "probably the mysterious cosmic forces which to the mind of antiquity were in general hostile to mankind".

    References

    Romans 8 Wikipedia


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