Romans 3:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?

New Living Translation
Then what's the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision?

English Standard Version
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?

Berean Study Bible
What, then, is the advantage of being a Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?

Berean Literal Bible
What then is the superiority of the Jew? Or what is the benefit of the circumcision?

New American Standard Bible
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

King James Bible
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

International Standard Version
What advantage, then, does the Jew have, or what value is there in circumcision?

NET Bible
Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision?

New Heart English Bible
Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
What therefore is the excellence of the Jews, or what is the advantage of circumcision?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Is there any advantage, then, in being a Jew? Or is there any value in being circumcised?

New American Standard 1977
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

Jubilee Bible 2000
What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

King James 2000 Bible
What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

American King James Version
What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

American Standard Version
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision?

Douay-Rheims Bible
WHAT advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?

Darby Bible Translation
What then [is] the superiority of the Jew? or what the profit of circumcision?

English Revised Version
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision?

Webster's Bible Translation
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

Weymouth New Testament
What special privilege, then, has a Jew? Or what benefit is to be derived from circumcision?

World English Bible
Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision?

Young's Literal Translation
What, then, is the superiority of the Jew? or what the profit of the circumcision?
Study Bible
God Remains Faithful
1What, then, is the advantage of being a Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2Much in every way. First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.…
Cross References
Psalm 147:20
He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!

John 4:22
You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Romans 2:29
No, a man is a Jew because he is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise does not come from men, but from God.

Romans 3:2
Much in every way. First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.

Romans 3:9
What then? Are we any better? Not at all. For we have already made the charge that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin.
Treasury of Scripture

What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

advantage.

Romans 2:25-29 For circumcision truly profits, if you keep the law: but if you be …

Genesis 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit …

Ecclesiastes 6:8,11 For what has the wise more than the fool? what has the poor, that …

Isaiah 1:11-15 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? said the …

Malachi 3:14 You have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that …

1 Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, …

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is …

III.

(1-8) Continuing the subject, but with a long digression in Romans 3:3 et seq. The Apostle asks, What is the real value of these apparent advantages? He is about to answer the question fully, as he does later in Romans 9:4-5; but after stating the first point, he goes off upon a difficulty raised by this, and does not return to complete what he had begun. This, again, is characteristic of his ardent and keenly speculative mind. Problems such as those which he discusses evidently have a fascination for him, and lead him, here as elsewhere, at once to leave the immediate subject before him, and to enter eagerly into the discussion of them. A more lethargic or timid brain would be under no such temptation.

One real and solid advantage on the part of the Jew was that he was made the direct recipient of the divine revelation. This privilege of his is not annulled by the defection of a part of the people. It rests not upon the precarious fidelity of men, but upon the infallible promise of God. Yet is not the ultimate triumph of that promise any excuse for those who have set it at nought. They will be punished just the same, and rightly. Otherwise there could be no judgment at all. The casuistical objection that sin loses its guilt if it redounds to God's glory, or, in other words, that the end justifies the means, carries with it its own condemnation.

Verses 1-8. - (2) Certain objections with regard to the Jews suggested and met. In this passage, before proceeding with his argument, the apostle meets certain objections that might be made to what has been so far said. Some difficulty in determining his exact meaning arises from the concise and pregnant form in which the objections are put and answered, and from fresh ones arising out of the answers, which have also to be met. The objections are from the Jewish standpoint, though not put into the mouth of an objecting Jew, but rather suggested as likely ones by St. Paul himself. To the original readers of the Epistle, who were familiar with the tone of Jewish thought, the sequence of the ideas would probably be more obvious than to us. Reserving special consideration of successive clauses for our exposition of each verse, we may, in the first place, exhibit thus the general drift. Objection 1 (ver. 1). If being a Jew, if circumcision itself, gives one no advantage over the Gentile, what was the use of the old covenant at all? It is thus shown to have been illusory; and God's own truth and faithfulness are impugned, if he is supposed to have given, as conveying advantages, what really conveyed none. (This last thought, though not expressed, must be supposed to be implied in the objection, since it is replied to in the answer.) Answer (vers. 2-4).

(1) It was not illusory; it did convey great advantages in the way of privilege and opportunity; this advantage first, not to mention other. that "the oracles of God" were entrusted to the Jew. And

(2) if some (more or fewer, it matters not) have failed to realize these advantages, it has been their fault, not God's. It is man's unfaithfulness, not his, that has been the cause of the failure. Nay, though, according to the hasty saying of the psalmist, all men were false, God's truth remains; nay, further, as is expressed in another psalm (Psalm 51.), man's very unfaithfulness is found to commend his faithfulness the more, and redound to his greater glory. Objection 2 (ver. 5). Based on the last assertion. But if man's unfaithfulness has this result, how can God, consistently with his justice, be wrath with us and punish us for it? Surely the Jew (whose case we are now considering) may claim exemption from "the wrath" of God spoken of above, his unfaithfulness being allowed to have served only to establish God's truth and to enhance his glory. Answer (ver. 6-8). I have suggested this objection as though the matter could be regarded from a mere human point of view, as though it were one between man and man; for it is true that a man cannot justly take vengeance on another who has not really harmed him. But such a view is inapplicable to God in his dealings with man; it does not touch our doctrine of his righteous wrath against sin as such. I can only meet it with a μὴ γένοιτο. For

(1) it would preclude God from judging the world at all, as we all believe he will do. Any heathen sinner might put in the same plea, saying, Why am I too (κἀγὼ) judged as a sinner? Nay,

(2) since it involves the principle of sin being evil, not in itself, but only with regard to its consequences, it would, if carried out, justify the odious view (which we Christians are by some falsely accused of holding) that we may do evil that good may come. Verses 1, 2. - What advantage then hath the Jew! or what is the profit of circumcision! Much (πολὺ, a neuter adjective, agreeing with τὸ περισσὸν) every way (not by all means; the meaning is that in all respects the position of the Jew is an advantageous one): first (rather than chiefly, as in the Authorized Version. One point of advantage is specified, which might have been followed by a secondly and a thirdly, etc. But the writer stops here, the mention of this first being sufficient for his purpose. Others are enumerated, so as to elucidate the purport of κατὰ πάντα τρύπον, in ch. 9:4, 5) for that they (the Jews) were entrusted with the oracles of God. The word λόγια (always used in the plural in the New Testament) occurs also in Acts 7:38; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11. Of these passages the most apposite is Acts 7:38, where the Divine communications to Moses on Mount Sinai are spoken of as λόγια ζῶντα (cf. Numbers 24:4, 16, where Balaam speaks of himself as ἀκούων λόγια Θεοῦ). Some (as Meyer), in view of the supposed, reference in the following verse to the Jews rejection of the gospel, take the word λόγια here to mean especially the revealed promises of the Redeemer. But neither the word itself nor its use elsewhere suggests any such limited meaning; nor does the context really require it. It may denote generally the Divine revelations of the Old Testament, which, for the eventual benefit of mankind, had been entrusted exclusively to the Jews. What advantage then hath the Jew?.... If he is not properly a Jew, who is born of Jewish parents, and brought up in the customs, rites, and religion of the Jewish nation, but anyone of whatsoever nation, that is born again of water, and of the Spirit; where is the superior excellency of the Jew to the Gentile? A man may as well be born and brought up a Heathen as a Jew; the one has no more advantages than the other by his birth and education: it may be rendered, "what hath the Jew more?" or "what has he superfluous" or "abundant?" the phrase answers to the Hebrew in Ecclesiastes 1:3, which is rendered, "what profit hath a man?" and in Ecclesiastes 6:8, , "what hath a wise man more", &c. and in Romans 3:11, , "what is a man better?" the first of these passages the Septuagint render by , "what abundance?" and the last by "what more", or "superfluous", or "abundant?" the phrase used by the apostle here:

or what profit is there of circumcision? since that which is outward in the flesh profits not unless the law is kept, otherwise circumcision is no circumcision; and if an uncircumcised Gentile keeps the law, he is a better man than a circumcised Jew; yea, he judges and condemns him; for the only true circumcision is internal, spiritual, and in the heart. To this the apostle answers in the Romans 3:2. CHAPTER 3

Ro 3:1-8. Jewish Objections Answered.

1, 2. What advantage then hath the Jew?—that is, "If the final judgment will turn solely on the state of the heart, and this may be as good in the Gentile without, as in the Jew within, the sacred enclosure of God's covenant, what better are we Jews for all our advantages?"

Answer:3:1-8 The law could not save in or from sins, yet it gave the Jews advantages for obtaining salvation. Their stated ordinances, education in the knowledge of the true God and his service, and many favours shown to the children of Abraham, all were means of grace, and doubtless were made useful to the conversion of many. But especially the Scriptures were committed to them. Enjoyment of God's word and ordinances, is the chief happiness of a people. But God's promises are made only to believers; therefore the unbelief of some, or of many professors, cannot make this faithfulness of no effect. He will fulfil his promises to his people, and bring his threatened vengeance upon unbelievers. God's judging the world, should for ever silence all doubtings and reflections upon his justice. The wickedness and obstinate unbelief of the Jews, proved man's need of the righteousness of God by faith, and also his justice in punishing for sin. Let us do evil, that good may come, is oftener in the heart than in the mouth of sinners; for few thus justify themselves in their wicked ways. The believer knows that duty belongs to him, and events to God; and that he must not commit any sin, or speak one falsehood, upon the hope, or even assurance, that God may thereby glorify himself. If any speak and act thus, their condemnation is just.
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