Romans 3:5
Parallel Verses
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.)

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.)

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.)

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)
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew 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.

Pulpit Commentary

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.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

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.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5, 6. But if, &c.—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:

Romans 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
God Remains Faithful
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.) 6May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?…
Cross References
Genesis 18:25
Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

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

Romans 4:1
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?

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

Romans 6:1
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

Romans 6:19
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

Romans 7:7
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "You shall 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? Not at all!

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

1 Corinthians 9:8
Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn't the Law say the same thing?

1 Corinthians 15:32
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

2 Corinthians 6:4
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;

2 Corinthians 7:11
See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

Galatians 2:18
If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

Galatians 3:15
Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.
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 …

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