New International Version
Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."
New Living Translation
Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, "You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court."
English Standard Version
By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”
Berean Study Bible
Absolutely not! Let God be true and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that You may be justified in Your words, and prevail in Your judgments."
Berean Literal Bible
Never may it be! But let God be true, and every man a liar, as it has been written: "That You may be justified in Your words, and will prevail in Your being judged."
New American Standard Bible
May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED."
King James Bible
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Absolutely not! God must be true, even if everyone is a liar, as it is written: That You may be justified in Your words and triumph when You judge.
International Standard Version
Of course not! God is true, even if everyone else is a liar. As it is written, "You are right when you speak, and win your case when you go into court."
Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: "so that you will be justified in your words and will prevail when you are judged."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
God forbid! For God is true, and every person lies, just as that which is written: “You will be upright in your words and you will be victorious when they judge you.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation
That would be unthinkable! God is honest, and everyone else is a liar, as Scripture says, "So you hand down justice when you speak, and you win your case in court."
New American Standard 1977
May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
“THAT THOU MIGHTEST BE JUSTIFIED IN THY WORDS,
AND MIGHTEST PREVAIL WHEN THOU ART JUDGED.”
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
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.
Verse 4. - God forbid (there is no better English phrase for expressing the indignant repudiation of μὴ γένοιτο): yea, let God be true (γινέσθω ἀληθὴς; i.e. "let his truth be established;" "Fiat, in judicio," Bengel), but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged, We can hardly avoid recognizing a reference to Psalm 116:11 in "every man a liar, the words of the LXX. being exactly given, though the general purport of that psalm does not bear upon the present argument. The apostle takes this phrase from it as expressing well what he wants to say, viz. that though all men were false (in the sense expressed and implied by the previous ἠπίστησαν), yet God's truth stands. But it only leads up to the second quotation from Psalm 51, which is the important one, introduced by καθὼς γέραπται. In its final words, νικήσης ἐν τῶ κρίνεσθαί σε, the LXX. is followed (so also Vulgate, cum judicaris), though the Hebrew may be more correctly rendered, as in the Authorized Version, "be clear when thou judgest." The κρίνεσθαι of the LXX. may be understood passively in the sense of God being called to account, as men might be, for the justice of his dealings; or, perhaps, in a middle sense for entering into a suit or controversy with his people. Κρίνεσθαι means "going to law" in 1 Corinthians 6:1, 6 (cf. also Matthew 5:40), and in the LXX., with especial reference to a supposed controversy or pleading of God with men, Jeremiah 25:31; Job 9:2; Job 13:19. (See also Hosea 2:2, Κρίθητε πρὸς τὴν μητέρα ὑῶν.) The meaning of this concluding expression does not, however, affect the main purport of the verse, or its relevancy as here quoted. Occurring in what is believed to be David's penitential psalm after his sin. in the matter of Uriah, it declares, in conjunction with the preceding verse, that, sin having been committed, man alone is guilty, and that God's truth and righteousness can never be impugned. But it seems to imply still more than this, viz. that man's sin has the establishment of God's righteousness as its consequence, or even, it may be, as its purpose; for the conclusion of ver. 4 in the psalm, naturally connected with "against thee only have I sinned" preceding, is so connected by ὄπως α}ν (in Hebrew, לְמַעַן); and it is not out of keeping with scriptural doctrine that David should have intended to express even Divine purpose in that he had been permitted, for his sins, to fall into that deeper sin with the view of establishing God's righteousness all the more. It does not, however, seem certain (whatever some grammarians may say) that the conjunction need of necessity be understood as relic; it may be embatic only. However this be, it is the inference from ὄπως ἀν that suggests the new objection of the following verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
God forbid, yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,.... Let no such thing ever enter into the minds of any, that the truth of God can be, or will be made of none effect by the want of faith in man; let it be always asserted and abode by; that God is true, faithful to his word, constant in his promises, and will always fulfil his purposes; though "every man is a liar", vain, fallacious, and inconstant: referring to Psalm 116:11;
as it is written, Psalm 51:4;
that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. This is a proof that God is true, and stands to his word, though men are fallacious, inconstant, and wicked. God made a promise to David, that of the fruit of his body he would set upon his throne; that the Messiah should spring from him; that he would of his seed raise up unto Israel a Saviour. Now David sinned greatly in the case of Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 11:3 (title), but his sin did not make of no effect the truth and faithfulness of God: though David showed himself to be a weak sinful man, yet God appeared true and faithful to every word of promise which he had sworn in truth to him; and therefore when he was brought to a sense of his evil, and at the same time to observe the invariable truth and faithfulness of God, said, "I acknowledge my transgression, &c. against thee, thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight", Psalm 51:3, which confession of sin I make, "that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings"; or "when thou speakest", Psalm 51:4, which is all one; that is, that thou mightest appear to be just, and faithful, and true in all thy promises, in every word that is gone out of thy mouth, which shall not be recalled and made void, on account of my sins; for though I have sinned, thou abidest faithful; and this also I declare with shame to myself, and with adoring views of thine unchangeable truth and goodness: "that thou mightest overcome"; that is, put to silence all such cavils and charges, as if the faith of God could be made void by the unfaithfulness of men: "when thou art judged"; when men will be so bold and daring to arraign thy truth and faithfulness, and contend with thee about them. This now is brought as a full proof, and is a full proof of this truth, that God is always true to his word, though men fail in theirs, and fall into sin. God kept his word with David concerning the stability of his kingdom, his successor, and the Messiah that should spring from him, though he acted a bad part against God. There is some little difference between these words as they stand in the Hebrew text of Psalm 51:4; and as they are cited and rendered by the apostle, in the last clause of them; in the former it is, "that thou mightest be clear"; in the latter, "that thou mightest overcome". Now to vindicate the apostle's version, let it be observed, that the Hebrew word signifies to "overcome", as well as to "be clear"; of which instances may be given out of the Jewish writings. Says (l) Rabba; concerning an argument used by R. Chanina, in a controversy with other Rabbins, by this R. Chanina ben Antigonus, "hath overcome" them: and in another place (m), whosoever "overcomes" a king, they cast him into an empty ditch; where the gloss upon it is, he that overcomes a king by words, that is, by disputing with him, which is a disgrace to a king. So the word is used in the Syriac language in John 16:33. Moreover, the sense is the same, be it rendered either way; for as a man, when he overcomes his adversary, and carries his point against him, is clear of his charges and cavils, so God, when he overcomes in judgment, is clear of the imputations of wicked men. Another difference in the citation is, that what in the psalm is rendered "when thou judgest", is by the apostle, "when thou art judged", Psalm 51:4, the word, which is used by the Psalmist, may be rendered either way; either "when thou judgest", as a word of the same form is rendered, when "thou speakest", in Psalm 51:4; or "when anyone judges of thee", or "when thou art judged": a like instance is in Psalm 46:2; and so it is rendered by the Septuagint, and followed by the apostle, though the word he uses may be considered in the middle voice, and may have an active signification in it; and the phrase, , may be rendered, "when thou judgest", and then both agree.
(l) T. Bab. Niddah, fol. 52. 2.((m) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 10. 2. Sanhedrim, fol. 39. 1. & Becorot, fol. 8. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. God forbid—literally, "Let it not be," that is, "Away with such a thought"—a favorite expression of our apostle, when he would not only repudiate a supposed consequence of his doctrine, but express his abhorrence of it. "The Scriptures do not authorize such a use of God's name as must have been common among the English translators of the Bible" [Hodge].
yea, let God be—held
true, and every man a liar—that is, even though it should follow from this that every man is a liar.
when thou art judged—so in Ps 51:4, according to the Septuagint; but in the Hebrew and in our version, "when thou judgest." The general sentiment, however, is the same in both—that we are to vindicate the righteousness of God, at whatever expense to ourselves.
Romans 3:4 Additional Commentaries
God Remains Faithful
…3What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED." 5But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)…
"Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
in my alarm I said, "Everyone is a liar."
He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "God forbid!"
Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?
Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?"
Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
1 Timothy 3:16
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
Treasury of Scripture
God forbid: yes, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you might be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged.
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