Romans 3:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)

New Living Translation
"But," some might say, "our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn't it unfair, then, for him to punish us?" (This is merely a human point of view.)

English Standard Version
But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)

Berean Study Bible
But if our unrighteousness highlights the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust to inflict His wrath on us? I am speaking in human terms.

Berean Literal Bible
But if our unrighteousness shows God's righteousness, what shall we say? God, inflicting the wrath, is unrighteous? I speak according to man.

New American Standard Bible
But 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.)

King James Bible
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if our unrighteousness highlights God's righteousness, what are we to say? I use a human argument: Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath?

International Standard Version
But if our unrighteousness serves to confirm God's righteousness, what can we say? God is not unrighteous when he vents his wrath on us, is he? (I am talking in human terms.)

NET Bible
But 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.)

New Heart English Bible
But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if our evil establishes the justice of God, what shall we say? Is God doing evil by bringing forth his wrath? I am speaking as a man.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But if what we do wrong shows that God is fair, what should we say? Is God unfair when he vents his anger on us? (I'm arguing the way humans would.)

New American Standard 1977
But 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.)

Jubilee Bible 2000
And if our iniquity commends the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Shall for this reason God be unjust who sends punishment? (I speak as a man.)

King James 2000 Bible
But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man)

American King James Version
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man)

American Standard Version
But if our righteousness commendeth the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who visiteth with wrath? (I speak after the manner of men.)

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if our injustice commend the justice of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust, who executeth wrath?

Darby Bible Translation
But if our unrighteousness commend God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak according to man.

English Revised Version
But if our unrighteousness commendeth the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who visiteth with wrath? (I speak after the manner of men.)

Webster's Bible Translation
But if our unrighteousness commendeth the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man.)

Weymouth New Testament
But if our unrighteousness sets God's righteousness in a clearer light, what shall we say? (Is God unrighteous--I speak in our everyday language-- when He inflicts punishment?

World English Bible
But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do.

Young's Literal Translation
And, if our unrighteousness God's righteousness doth establish, what shall we say? is God unrighteous who is inflicting the wrath? (after the manner of a man I speak)
Study Bible
God Remains Faithful
4Absolutely 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.” 5But if our unrighteousness highlights the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust to inflict His wrath on us? I am speaking in human terms. 6By no means! In that case, how could God judge the world?…
Cross References
Genesis 18:25
"Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"

Job 8:3
"Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?

Romans 4:1
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, has discovered?

Romans 5:8
But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6:1
What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase?

Romans 6:19
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to escalating wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

Romans 7:7
What then shall we say? Is the Law sin? By no means! Indeed, I would not have been mindful of sin if not for the Law. For I would not have been aware of coveting if the Law had not said, "Do not covet."

Romans 8:31
What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 9:14
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Absolutely not!

Romans 9:30
What then will we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
Treasury of Scripture

But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man)

But if.

Romans 3:7,25,26 For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lie to his glory; …

Romans 8:20,21 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by …

what shall.

Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to …

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not …

Romans 9:13,14 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated…

Is God.

Romans 2:5 But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up to yourself …

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them …

Romans 9:18-20 Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will …

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: …

Deuteronomy 32:39-43 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, …

Psalm 58:10,11 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance: he shall …

Psalm 94:1,2 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs; O God, to whom vengeance belongs, …

Nahum 1:2,6-8 God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is …

2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation …

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song …

Revelation 16:5-7 And I heard the angel of the waters say, You are righteous, O Lord, …

Revelation 18:20 Rejoice over her, you heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets; …

I speak.

Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh…

1 Corinthians 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or said not the law the same also?

Galatians 3:15 Brothers, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's …

(5) But if our unrighteousness.--A new and profound question suggests itself to the mind of the Apostle, and his keen intellect will not let it go: "If the sin (here the unbelief) of man only tends to vindicate (commends or establishes) the righteousness of God, why should that sin be punished?" The mere raising of such a question requires an apology; it is only as a man might speak about man that he dares to utter such a thought. That, too, is an impossible objection, for if it held good there could not be any judgment. No sin would be punishable, for all sin would serve to emphasise the strict veracity of God in His denunciations of it, and therefore would ultimately conduce to His glory. It would thus cease to be sinful, and there would be nothing to hinder us from adopting the principle that is so calumniously attributed to us--that it is lawful to do evil that good may come. A calumny it is, and any such principle with all that appertains to it--i.e., with the whole of the preceding argument,--is justly condemned.

Verses 5, 6. - But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall We say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (so the Authorized Version; rather, brings the wrath upon us (ὁ ἐπιφέρων τὴν ὀργήν), with reference to the Divine wrath against sin, spoken of above). I speak after the manner of men. God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world! The purport of this reply appears sufficiently in the paraphrase given above. But the intended Bearing on the argument of ver. 7 is not at once apparent. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God,.... Hence it appears, that the unrighteousness of men commends the righteousness, or faithfulness of God; and yet all unrighteousness is sin; the wrath of God is revealed against it; and would exclude from heaven, were it not for pardon through the blood of Christ; and besides, the one is contrary to the other, and of itself, of its own nature, cannot influence and affect the other: wherefore this can only be understood of the manifestation and illustration of, the righteousness of God by it; which is covered and commended, in punishing the unrighteousness of men; in setting forth Christ to be a propitiation for sin; and in fulfilling his promises, notwithstanding the failings of his people, of which the case of David is a pregnant proof; just as the love of God is illustrated and commended, by the consideration of the sins of men, for whom Christ died, and his grace and mercy in the conversion of them: but if this be true,

what shall we say? shall we allow the following question to be put? this answers to , "what is there to say", or "to be said?" a way of speaking, often used by the Talmudists (n):

is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance? if the premises are true, this is a just consequence of them; whereas God does take vengeance on men for their unrighteousness, both here and hereafter, it must be a piece of unrighteousness in him so to do; since that for which he takes vengeance on them commends his own righteousness; but that you may know as well by what follows, that this is not an inference of his own, but another's, he adds,

I speak as a man; , "according to the language of the children of men", a phrase often used by the Jewish doctors (o). The apostle did not speak the sentiments of his own mind, he represented another man, and spoke in the language of an adversary.

(n) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 4. 1. & passim. (o) T. Bab. Ceritot, fol. 11. 1. & passim. 5, 6. But if, etc.—Another objection: "It would appear, then, that the more faithless we are, so much the more illustrious will the fidelity of God appear; and in that case, for Him to take vengeance on us for our unfaithfulness would be (to speak as men profanely do) unrighteousness in God."

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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