Free-Flowing English: Romans 5.1-11

Many sections of the bible (pericopes) lend themselves to memorization. For myself, hortatory, practical extracts are chosen. This does not mean these sections are without catechesis. Often, greater biblical insight and clarity of thought can be achieved by memorizing and meditating on a section of text (see Ps. 1 on the blessed person).

I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar or seek to be one. I will never again achieve the proficiency in the Koine Greek which I once enjoyed. Neither can I cogently describe the differences between Biblical Aramaic and Hebrew as at one time. I am too old for greater aspirations. These translations are for practical usage. I have also employed ‘helps’ to aid in my translation.

Many biblical passages are somewhat clunky in their rendering from the original language. I want to attempt a better translation that is primarily true to the text without a woodenness in style. Instead of cluttering my version with notes, I’ll give a brief foreword to my choices and explain variants and structure where relevant.

Most bible translators strive to accurately render the host language to a somewhat readable style in the targeted language. I’ve followed the basic logic of the English versions of the past 400 years. Many minor concerns also govern choices determining the outcome of a version. My choices were to achieve a flowing style for reading and memorization without being pedantically literal. However, I’ve tried to maintain the writer’s thought accurately more than sticking to current patterns of expression. This sometimes results in long and complex sentences; but, that is how people thought and wrote in the Greco-Roman Era. I believe it more important to follow the text than pander to modern modes of speech. Most of my blog posts are simplified speech for clarity but translating a text requires a different set of concerns such as interpretation and textual criticism.

In this pericope, textual variants needed to be considered in 1.1, 1.2, and 1.6. Since I am very familiar with this passage, and have previously considered the variants, I am confident in my rendering. My greatest question is the variant in 1.2 (“by faith” added), but it is theologically consistent and true to Paul’s style in his careful and extensive explanation to his sophisticated audience in Rome. I have also dropped “of God” in verse 9 since it is not in the text (though understood).

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access, by faith, into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope, and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will one die for a righteous person, though perhaps, for a good person, will one dare to die. However, God demonstrates his own love to us, while yet sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, how much more, having been now justified by his blood, will we be saved from wrath through him. If being enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, how much more having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

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