Romans 9:5

Mike, This verse, Romans 9:5, is debated a lot by theologians. The problem is in English punctuation and the translator's bias. Even trinitarian theologians do not generally accept that this verse calls Jesus God or affirms his deity.  All the words used in translations are in the Greek text but text does not answer the question via syntax rather it is answered via the sense of the words, by which punctuation is used to make one point or another or agree or disagree with remote contexts. Here is where the translator's bias comes in. In an article I found called, "Trinity on Trial," the author considered three punctuation variations:

1. Christ according to the flesh who is God over all be blessed to the ages. Amen. (trinitarian punctuation)

2. Christ according to the flesh who is over all. God be blessed to the ages. Amen. (another possibility but not likely)

3. Christ according to the flesh. God who is over all be blessed to the ages. Amen. (most likely the correct sense)

The author's notes: The actual Greek text reads, <Greek Text quoted>, and comes out word for word in English as, and out of whom the Christ according to flesh the one being over all God be blessed to the ages amen. No commas, no periods. The verse can be, and should be, translated as from whom the Christ according to the flesh. God who is over all be blessed to the ages. Amen., or possibly but not likely, from whom the Christ according to the flesh who is over all. God be blessed to the ages. Amen. The phrase God be blessed to the ages is a Pauline doxology.


His last comment is the most telling, The phrase "God be blessed to the ages" is a Pauline doxology.  To translate Rom. 9:5 as trinity would contradict many other passages with the same or similar doxology wording. Putting this in parallel with others would keeping this statement parallel with the remote context. Translating it to prove trinity is to break this passage from remote contexts in which is should be placed. Punctuating to force a doctrine but break scripture is not an honest hermeneutical practice but it is commonly done in Christianity today. Remote Contexts: Mark 14:61, Luke 1:68, Romans 1:25, 2 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 11:31, Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 4:6, 1 Peter 1:3. The article?s closing statement is a very good apologetic assembly:

"We find all kinds of evidence in Paul's terminology for what he intended at Romans 9:5 from his own writings. Paul uses the Greek word theos (God) over 500 times in his 13 letters and never once uses this word to refer to Jesus. And we should believe he makes a passing and incidental reference to Jesus as God in this passage when he is referring to Jesus Christ according to the flesh? It is absurd. We don't have any reason whatsoever to believe that Paul intended to say what Trinitarians claim he intended to say but we do have numerous reasons which strongly indicate he intended to refer to God the Father and not Christ in the doxology. The Trinitarians only real motive for their translation is that they wish to promote the Trinity by distorting the facts. The Trinitarian can offer nothing else but his desire to have it the way he wants it. But as we have shown here there is every reason to translate it similar to the way the NASB and RSV translates this passage and absolutely no reason to translate it as Trinitarians are tendentiously wont to do."


This is what I could do for you on the fly … John Brown – Straight Bible Moderator

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1 Response to Romans 9:5

  1. John admin says:

    Just bookmark this blog address. I have many other posts in the works. Some are email discussions, some are biblical essays and some are just observations. Revisit this site about once a month or so to keep track of the postings. Print them if you wish. It would help to keep topics together.

    Bless — John Brown

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