Romans 4:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
What does Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

New Living Translation
For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith."

English Standard Version
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

New American Standard Bible
For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

King James Bible
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.

International Standard Version
For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

NET Bible
For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For what do the Scriptures say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
What does Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded by God to be his approval of Abraham."

Jubilee Bible 2000
For what does the scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

King James 2000 Bible
For what says the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

American King James Version
For what said the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

American Standard Version
For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice.

Darby Bible Translation
for what does the scripture say? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.

English Revised Version
For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.

Webster's Bible Translation
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

Weymouth New Testament
For what says the Scripture? "And Abraham believed God, and this was placed to his credit as righteousness."

World English Bible
For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."

Young's Literal Translation
for what doth the writing say? 'And Abraham did believe God, and it was reckoned to him -- to righteousness;'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-12 To meet the views of the Jews, the apostle first refers to the example of Abraham, in whom the Jews gloried as their most renowned forefather. However exalted in various respects, he had nothing to boast in the presence of God, being saved by grace, through faith, even as others. Without noticing the years which passed before his call, and the failures at times in his obedience, and even in his faith, it was expressly stated in Scripture that he believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness, Ge 15:6. From this example it is observed, that if any man could work the full measure required by the law, the reward must be reckoned as a debt, which evidently was not the case even of Abraham, seeing faith was reckoned to him for righteousness. When believers are justified by faith, their faith being counted for righteousness, their faith does not justify them as a part, small or great, of their righteousness; but as the appointed means of uniting them to Him who has chosen as the name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness. Pardoned people are the only blessed people. It clearly appears from the Scripture, that Abraham was justified several years before his circumcision. It is, therefore, plain that this rite was not necessary in order to justification. It was a sign of the original corruption of human nature. And it was such a sign as was also an outward seal, appointed not only to confirm God's promises to him and to his seed, and their obligation to be the Lord's, but likewise to assure him of his being already a real partaker of the righteousness of faith. Thus Abraham was the spiritual forefather of all believers, who walked after the example of his obedient faith. The seal of the Holy Spirit in our sanctification, making us new creatures, is the inward evidence of the righteousness of faith.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned Unto him for righteousness. This notable text (Genesis 15:6), declaring the ground of Abraham's acceptance, is similarly quoted in the cognate passage, Galatians 3:6. It has a peculiar cogency in the general argument from being in connection with, and with reference to, one of the Divine promises to Abraham of an unnumbered seed; so that it may be understood with an extended application to those who were to inherit the blessing, as well as to the "father of the faithful," and so declaring the principle of justification for all the "children of the promise." Further, it would be peculiarly telling as addressed to the Jews, who made such a point of their descent from Abraham as the root of all their position of privilege (cf. Psalm 105:6; Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 51:2; Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8; John 8:39). The two significant expressions in it are ἐπίστευσε (denoting faith, not works) and ἐλογίσθη εἰς The whole phrase, the apostle proceeds to say, implies that the reward spoken of was not earned, but granted.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For what saith the Scripture?.... This answers to "what is that which is written" (c)? or what does the Scripture say? which is a way of speaking used by the Jews, when anything is proposed, which seems contrary to Scripture, as here justification by works does. A testimony from Scripture is here produced, proving that Abraham was justified by faith, and not by works: the place referred to is Genesis 15:6;

Abraham believed God; the object of his faith and trust were not his riches, nor his righteousness, but Jehovah, the Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, styled in Genesis 15:1, "the Word of the Lord", the essential Word of God, and called his "shield", and "exceeding great reward"; characters which are very applicable to Christ: and this faith of his in the Lord was not a mere assent to the promise of God, but a fiducial act of faith in him; and was not merely concerned with temporal, but with spiritual things, and particularly about Christ the promised seed:

and it was counted to him for righteousness, the meaning of which is not, that Abraham imputed righteousness to God, or celebrated his righteousness and faithfulness, as some; or that the world reckoned Abraham a righteous person, as others; but that God reckoned him righteous, or imputed it to him for righteousness: and the question is, what the it is which was counted to him for righteousness? and that this is to be understood, , "concerning faith", as R. Solomon Jarchi says, is out of question; for this is expressly said by the apostle, Romans 4:9. The only one is, whether it means the grace of faith by which he believed; or the object of faith on which he believed, and with which his faith was conversant: not the former, for that is not righteousness, nor accounted so; but is distinguished from it, and is that by which a person receives and lays hold on righteousness; besides, whatever may be alleged in favour of the imputation of Abraham's faith to himself for righteousness, it can never be thought to be imputed to others on that account; whereas the very selfsame it is imputed to others also; see Romans 4:24; it remains then that it was the promised seed, the Messiah, and his righteousness, which Abraham, by faith, looked unto, and believed in, that was made unto him righteousness by imputation. Now since so great and good a man as Abraham was not justified by works, but by faith in the righteousness of the Messiah, it follows, that none of his sons, nor any other person whatever, ought to seek for, or expect to be justified in any other way.

(c) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 5. 1. & 15. 2. & passim.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. For what saith the, Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it—his faith.

was counted to him for righteousness—(Ge 15:6). Romish expositors and Arminian Protestants make this to mean that God accepted Abraham's act of believing as a substitute for complete obedience. But this is at variance with the whole spirit and letter of the apostle's teaching. Throughout this whole argument, faith is set in direct opposition to works, in the matter of justification—and even in Ro 4:4, 5. The meaning, therefore, cannot possibly be that the mere act of believing—which is as much a work as any other piece of commanded duty (Joh 6:29; 1Jo 3:23)—was counted to Abraham for all obedience. The meaning plainly is that Abraham believed in the promises which embraced Christ (Ge 12:3; 15:5, &c.), as we believe in Christ Himself; and in both cases, faith is merely the instrument that puts us in possession of the blessing gratuitously bestowed.

Romans 4:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Abraham's Justification by Faith
2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." 4Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.…
Cross References
Genesis 15:6
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Romans 4:9
Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness.

Romans 4:22
This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."

Galatians 3:6
So also Abraham "believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

James 2:23
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.
Treasury of Scripture

For what said the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

what.

Romans 9:17 For the scripture said to Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have …

Romans 10:11 For the scripture said, Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 11:2 God has not cast away his people which he foreknew. Know you not …

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this …

Mark 12:10 And have you not read this scripture; The stone which the builders …

James 4:5 Do you think that the scripture said in vain, The spirit that dwells …

2 Peter 1:20,21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private …

Abraham.

Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6-8 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness…

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, …

counted.

Romans 4:5,9,11,22-25 But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the …

Psalm 106:31 And that was counted to him for righteousness to all generations for ever more.

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