Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Preliminary Attempt to Excavate the Original Epistle to the Romans (Using Clement of Alexandria's Citations and Neo-Marcionite Sources) Italics Represent Material Not Witnessed in these Sources

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: to the Jew, and to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for corruptible man and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth. As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law. For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things of the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness when God judges through Christ, as my gospel declares.

Behold, you who are called a Jew and rest in the law, and make your boast in God if you know God's will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.

Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you are a breaker the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. He is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Not at all! But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance? God forbid! We are slanderously charged by some people with saying that we are to do evil things so that good consequences may follow. No! Such a view is justly condemned.

There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”“The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Professing themselves wise, they became fools.

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, and brought the whole world under accusation, and stopped every mouth, so that no man might glory because of it, but that grace might be reserved for the glory of Christ. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; For by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, even the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ upon all that believe; for there is no difference. Is He the God of the Jews only, and not also of the Gentiles? Yes, also of the Gentiles: if indeed He is one God. Abraham was not justified by works, but by faith. If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. And to Abraham, on believing, righteousness was reckoned. For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that is given to us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Therefore as sin entered the world through one human being, and death penetrated to all human beings through sin in that all sinned, till the law sin was in the world, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. For death held dominion from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression. The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, that, as sin has reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness unto life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are dead to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Don't you know that all who were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know but now Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him for, in regards to his death, he died to sin, once for all, but in regards to life, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Sin shall have no authority over you; for you are not subject to sin but to grace. Well then! Shall we sin because we are no longer under Law but under grace? God forbid!

Everyone who sins is a slave. But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. As you have yielded your members as slaves to wickedness and impurity for lawlessness, so now yield your members to God as slaves to righteousness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from righteousness, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things in which ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now, being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Don't you know brothers, that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? But the woman who is under an husband, is bound to her living husband; but if he shall have died, she has been emancipated from the law of the husband. Doubtless, then, the husband living, she will be thought to commit adultery if she shall have been joined to a second husband. If, however, the husband shall have died, she has been freed from (his) law, (so) that she is not an adulteress if made (wife) to another husband. And so, my brethren, you too be made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that ye may be made (subject) to another, the one who was raised from the dead, that we may bear fruit to God. For when you were in the flesh, the passions of sin did work in you which used to be efficiently caused through the law, bearing fruit to death; but now you have been emancipated from the law, being dead to that in which you used to be held, unto the serving of God in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter

What shall we say? Is the Law sin? Of course not. But I did not know sin except through the Law. I did not know lust, except that the Law said, ‘You shall not lust.’ But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of lust. Without the law sin was death. So then, the law is holy, and its commandment just and good. Sin that it appear sin working death in me, through that which is good. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh sold under sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin lodges in me.

I know that nothing good lodges in me, in my flesh, that is to say. Now if I act contrary to my will, the effect is not mine but the effect of sin lodging in me. at war with God's Law and my own reason and takes me prisoner under the Law of sin which is in my very bones. What a wretched man I am. Who will rescue me from this body which is doomed to death? I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my flesh a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, the Law of the Spirit has freed me from the Law of sin and death through Christ Jesus. God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering and so he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the Law’s ordinance might find fulfillment in us, whose lives are governed by the Spirit not by the flesh. And if the Spirit of the one who raised Christ from the dead lodges in you, and he will give life even to your mortal bodies through his indwelling Spirit.

The mind of the flesh is death, since those whose lives are governed by the flesh follow the flesh in their objectives; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace and the mind of the flesh is hostility to God, for it is not subject to God’s Law, nor can it do so. And they that are in the flesh cannot please God but you are not living by the flesh but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is dwelling in you. Anyone without Christ’s Spirit is not of him. But if Christ is in you, then your body is a dead thing because of sin, but the Spirit is life through righteousness.

So, brothers, we are in debt. Not to the flesh, to follow it in our lives; for if you follow the flesh in the way you live, you are on the way to death. But if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live. For all who are guided by God’s Spirit are sons of God. You have not received a spirit of slavery to drive you once again towards fear. You have received a Spirit that makes us sons and enables us to cry out, ‘Abba,’ ‘Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, If we suffer with Him, that we also may be glorified together as fellow-heirs of Christ.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it with wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to the purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.

And whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord

I speak the truth in Christ—my conscience also bearing witness with me through the Holy Spirit— For there is no injustice with God. the people of Israel, who pursued the law of righteousness, have not attained that law. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For I can testify about them that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of God’s righteousness (τοῦ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην), and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.

For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness for everyone who believes. With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Wherefore the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed; that is, the word of faith which we preach: for if thou confess the word with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.“Lord, who hath believed our report?” Isaiah says. For “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” saith the apostle. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?

And how shall they believe on Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those that publish glad tidings of good things.” Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Did God reject his people? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. As it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Through their transgression salvation is come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. But behold the goodness and severity of God: on them that fell, severity; but upon thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out of whom are all things, and by whom are all things, and for whom are all things.

Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed in the renewal of the mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let your love be without dissimulation. and abhorring what is evil, let us become attached to what is good, Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. . Given to hospitality; communicating to the necessities of the saints. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. Do not take revenge. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, living peaceably with all men.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.for whoever loves another has fulfilled the law. This,“Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal; and if there be any other commandment, it is comprehended in the word, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. For blessed are those that have seen the Lord for it is high time to awake out of sleep. For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Now the weak eateth herbs. if anyone refrains from eating, he is not to denigrate one who eats. If anyone eats, he is not to judge one who abstains, since God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, and giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. If for the sake of meat our brother be made sad, or shocked, or made weak, or caused to stumble, we are not walking in the love of God. For the sake of meat thou causest him to perish for whose sake Christ died.

Let not, then, your good be evil spoken of for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Destroy not the work of God for the sake of meat. It is good to refrain from eating meat and drinking wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall. For what things the Scripture speaks was written for our instruction, that we, through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, might have the hope of comfort. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, saturated with goodness, filled with all knowledge and competent to instruct one another, because of the grace God gave me.

For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not wrought by me by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. For I know, that when I come to you,, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of Christ. I shall come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed with a holy kiss. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. who by good words and fair speeches lead astray the hearts of the simple, and, while offering them blessings, lead them astray. I rejoice because of you and I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you, for the obedience of the faith among all nations - being made known to the only wise God through Jesus Christ! Amen.

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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