Romans 8.1b : Overwriting the NT Codex ( Part 5) - Why Romans 8.1b should be discredited and discarded.
WHY ROMANS 8.1 IN THE KJV SHOULD BE DISCREDITED & DISCARDED – PRONTO!
Copyright © BRI 2014 All Rights Reserved Worldwide by Les Aron Gosling,
Messianic Lecturer (BRI/IMCF)
In this series of lectures we have are attempting to set the record straight as to just what is authentic Scripture as opposed to what is not. All believers have the right and the authority to jettison from holy writ that which offends God by its present inclusion in the sacred biblical revelation.
We have seen the lengths to which the KJV revisionists went in their attempt to foist the Trinitarian doctrine onto the English-speaking peoples by allowing a false text in to the holy Scripture – 1 Jn 5.7 coupled with Mt 28.19. Indeed, not content therewith they added uninspired punctuation to Paul's letter to the Christians of Asia Minor living in Ephesus (Eph 4.11-13). That punctuation would then be utilised widely to control the population of the world under the political and religious dictatorship of those who think they possess a divine right to reign over others. The “adoption” lie – the idea that God the Father does not beget children but has to opt for a legal adoption and which notion is closely associated with the already-mentioned texts – was next considered (Rom 8.15,23 cf Gal 4.5 etc). In Psalm 46 we saw patent evidence of Rosicrucian manipulation of a passage of inspired textual material. Further, in the Gospel of Luke an angel gives supernatural aid to Yeshua in the garden of Gethsemane (Lk 22.43) and later we thought seriously about local Jerusalem cemeteries emptying some of their cadavers out of their graves alive during the crucifixion of the Mashiach (Mt 27.52,53). In our last lecture we showed a welcome desire to include the story of the woman taken into adultery (Jn 7.53-8.11) along with other second century documents into an appendage to the Word of God, having deleted this Pericope Adulterae from John's Gospel (it also sometimes appears in the Gospel of Luke).
Today we shall examine one of the most contentious verses Paul ever (or never) wrote.
In some versions of the letter to the Romans we read this: “There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rom 8.1).
All of my students, both local and international, know well the depth of personal conviction that I carry in my heart and intellect on the subject of eternal salvation in relation to believers who authentically acknowledge and accept Yeshua as Lord and Saviour. Now they may not have the same identical convictions that I do, and they may appear to some as outright heretics. But no matter to me. It's not doctrine that unites fellow believers. It's faith. And more than faith, it's the shed blood of Christ the Son of God that binds us together by His Spirit. And that Spirit is the Spirit of Grace. Grace is and remains the character of the creative process.
Every so often we receive emails from concerned Christian folk who disagree with our belief in an ultimate universal salvation and they quote Romans 8.1 as teaching a dependency of good works relative to the constancy of our salvation. Certainly, I have used this text myself quite often but with the diametric opposite intention of encouraging faith, granting peace of mind, and lifting our sometimes fledgling spirits. Romans 8.1 as it appears in the original Greek certainly DOES witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.
And that is precisely WHY the Dark Lord has tampered with it over the years.
As it appears in the KJV (or, AV) it reads: “Now therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
However, the vast overwhelming majority of modern versions and transliterations from the Greek now translate, “Now therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [Messiah Yeshua].” PERIOD!
Consider this: if we accept the additional part relative to works (“who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit”) we have, in effect, made Paul completely turn around his ENTIRE argument in his letter to the Romans – which until this point has been revolving ENTIRELY around what Messiah has accomplished FOR us on OUR behalf – to what is contingent upon man to add to Messiah's salvation (deliverance).
Notice Paul starts his statement in Rom 8.1 with the word “THEREFORE” (in the Greek text). I personally think Christians should read what has gone before to see the reason “therefore” is “there for.” “Therefore” is the summing up of an argument.
Paul's argument in his letter to the Romans is all about the ineptitude of men and women to attain to righteousness. In fact, Paul argues that as Yeshua died for all humankind the entire world was justified (Rom 5.8-10). That is the entirety of the world – not merely the church. Paul's argument is centred in God's Grace, not man's works (not even works by the holy Spirit in us).
Modern scholarship (last 50 years) is such that the majority of versions and translations now available (which I possess) drop the latter phrase altogether and assert majority mss as the reason. You see, the latter qualification in Rom8.1 comes from later mss. It was originally included as a margin addition. If any modern versions include it, its usually in italics (see for example the Amplified, which admits Romans 8.1 latter section of the verse is “omitted now  because... not adequately supported by more recent scholarship”). J.N. Darby is emphatic: “it cannot be translated as in the Auth[orised] Ver[sion]” (The Holy Bible Translated From the Original Texts, n. Romans 8.1).
Comments Professor Wuest: “The words 'who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit' are rejected by both Nestle [Greek text] and Wescott and Hort. Paul does not base his assertion of no condemnation to the saint upon the saint's conduct, but upon his position in Christ. His position in Christ has liberated him from the compelling power of the evil nature and made him a partaker of the divine nature, a new inner condition which produces in every saint a life which has for its motive, obedience to His commandments. In other words, it is what God has made the believing sinner that insures the fact that there is no cause for condemnation in him” (Kenneth Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 127).
Marvin Vincent: “who walk not' etc., The best texts omit to the end of the verse” (Word Studies in the New Testament, The Epistle to the Romans, Vol.lll, 85).
One becomes suspicious of Romans 8.1b when we note the exact same phrase a little later in Rom 8.4. This is because Gentile scribes (not trained Jewish scribes who were noted for their astonishing accuracy) copied the Scriptures by hand. Scribes, of course, were subject to error. In the case of Jewish scribes who made a mistake, they did not eliminate it, but simply noted the mistake in the margin and continued. Gentile scribes copied this practice too, but sometimes added their own thoughts as they went on, some of them without doubt arguing for “holy Spirit” inspiration (the 1 Jn 5.7 fiasco springs immediately to mind).
In the Lectures of Alva McClain I found this notation on Romans 8.1 which might prove enlightening....
“Perhaps a scribe read the verse as it was in the original and thought to himself, 'If I leave it that way, folks are apt to take it that way and live in sin. I must protect God a little bit.' And so he may have added that phrase in the margin; and then another scribe concluded that it had been accidentally omitted and placed it in the text. On the other hand, the scribe may have had a wandering eye, and accidentally picked up and repeated the clause in verse 4. Nevertheless, since that time [modern scholars] have found many older manuscripts and not one has that clause in it.... What God has intended to do [in Romans] is to give us assurance, and He points us to Christ Jesus” (Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace, 1973, 164).
In my view, McClain is absolutely correct when he focuses on Paul's intention of arguing for God's salvific assurance toward believers. For, the fact is, the moment we look at that last phrase we look inward to our feelings for confirmation, and the moment we look inward to our feelings for confirmation we lose assurance. This observation was not lost on Alva McClain, though it appears to be on some “believers” who desperately want assurance of their “being in” Messiah. McClain and others, however, wanting to think well of others (kings, scribes etc) are not really doing justice to truth when it comes to the real reason why King James wanted the additional constraints added to the text of Rom 8.1.
We have been analysing the crass intimidation of King James toward those scholars who put the Authorised Version together. I find it difficult to accept the notion that he had nothing to do with this gross maligning and distortion of God's Word. I believe that there is something really sinister at work here because as soon as we add “who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” to Romans 8.1 we completely negate Paul's entire theme, text and topic, and his progressive ARGUMENT concerning both our PERSONAL liberty and LEGAL standing in Messiah which the Rabbi has been building in his formidable intellectual exercise of the previous chapter 7.
Romans 7 sums up Romans 1-6. Paul increasingly negates any human work as acceptable to God in matters pertaining to justification and salvation. He underscores the utter unworthiness of humankind to please God. Paul goes to enormous lengths to even discredit himself in relation to ANY salvific achievements, denigrating his NATURE and WILL to properly respond to God the Father. Then, suddenly and topsy-turvy, he speaks of the human will attaining to salvation by a concerted cooperative effort made with the holy Spirit to achieve (and sustain) that salvific end. It's a nonsense when KJV supporters try to argue for the retention of these disgusting additional words to the text. The bottom line is that they are stating by inference, if not openly, that Yeshua died for nothing. They wouldn't care to put it in those words as I just did but it's the bottom line. Period.
By insisting on these additional qualifications in Romans 8.1, King James tears away the fabric and foundation of Romans 7, and Rav Shaul's case falls apart in its blatant contradiction. Assurance of salvation has given way to a predilection toward uncertainty, apprehension, negative anticipation (as we look to the flesh) and to outright fear.
By intransigently upholding this false apex, scholars fly in the face of the sacred words of Our Lord himself who said “Emphatically, absolutely, I say unto you, He that hears my word and believes on him that sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation but is passed out of death unto THE life” (Jn 5.24 Gk).
Some scholars fail to grasp that NOTHING can separate us from God's love. NOTHING. If we possess the Ruach HaKodesh – and He possesses us – we are accepted in the Beloved Mashiach. But NOT BECAUSE of our possession of the Spirit. Rather, the Spirit indwells us SOLELY BECAUSE of what Yeshua has accomplished on our behalf which reached an apex on the bloodied tree of Golgoleth. The empty tomb is the validation of our salvation. Yeshua's life, death, and resurrection has been imputed to each of us. He was crucified for us (in our place), and he bled and died for us (in our place). All Our Lord Yeshua has EXTRINSICALLY imputed to us of the TOTALITY of his human life experience, and death experience, and now his NEW RESURRECTED LIFE experience, GUARANTEES our right standing in God the Father's eyes. God does not see us, He sees Yeshua.
The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, enters our being at conversion – an INTRINSIC act. The Holy Spirit SANCTIFIES us. This is an intrinsic act also. But sanctification (the indwelling of the holy Spirit) cannot save anyone. We are saved, not by an INTRINSIC ACT, even an act of the very Holy Spirit of God, but by a LEGAL EXTRINSIC DECLARATION of Yeshua's imputed Righteousness.
Our assurance is in no way based upon ANY works we can do, works of righteousness or works of human error. None of us are even capable of “working up” salvation-faith, and none of us are capable of maintaining (or even possessing) a right attitude of mind toward all things pertaining to God. Not even works by the precious holy Spirit indwelling us can save us. Our assurance is IN Messiah Yeshua, and in Him alone.
Rav Shaul perfectly summed it all up in one phrase: “Mashiach, our righteousness” (1 Cor 1.30; “YHWH Tsidkenu” in Jer 23.6).
Any other "righteousness" is as a "soiled menstrual cloth" (Isaiah 64.6 Hebrew). Romans 8.1b (AV) must be discredited and the unfruitful works of darkness exposed () to the spiritual mind. Anything less than Christ's righteousnessbecomes, as far as God the Father is concerned, something urgently to be discarded -- forever.