|Book||Epistle to the Romans|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||6|
Romans 3 is the third chapter of the Epistle to the Romans in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It was composed by Paul the Apostle, while he was in Corinth in the mid 50s CE, with the help of an amanuensis (secretary), Tertius, who added his own greeting in Romans 16:22.
In this chapter, Paul asks a series of rhetorical questions in order to develop his theological message, and quotes extensively from the Hebrew Bible. Theologian Albert Barnes suggests that "the design of the first part of this chapter is to answer some of the objections which might be offered by a Jew to the statements in the previous chapter".
Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:
- Papyrus 40 (~AD 250; extant verses 21–31)
- Codex Vaticanus (325–350)
- Codex Sinaiticus (330–360)
- Codex Alexandrinus (400–440)
- Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (~450; extant verses 22–31)
Old Testament references
- Romans 3:4 = Psalm 51:4
- Romans 3:10-12 = Psalm 14:1–3; Psalm 53:1–3; Ecclesiastes 7:20
- Romans 3:13 = Psalm 5:9; Psalm 140:3
- Romans 3:14 = Psalm 10:7
- Romans 3:17 = Isaiah 59:7–8
- Romans 3:18 = Psalm 36:1
- Romans 3:20 = Psalm 143:2b
The Oracles of God
The chief advantage, or benefit, or responsibility, or superiority  of the Jewish people is their possession of the Hebrew Bible(Greek: τα λογια του θεου, ta logia tou theou, "the very words of God" in verse 2 New International Version). Traditional translations (the Geneva Bible, King James Version and American Standard Version) refer to the "oracles of God". The Jewish "advantage" (Greek: το περισσον, to perissov) is really an act of entrustment (Romans 3:2).
- Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.
Nonconformist theologian Matthew Poole stated that "to the Jews were credited, or given in custody, the Holy Scriptures". Stephen, whose martyrdom Paul had witnessed before his conversion, called the scriptures the "living oracles" (Greek: λογια ζωντα, logia zonta).
Bishop Charles Ellicott suggests that these accusers might have been the Jews or "the Judaizing party"; Barnes says it is "doubtless" that they were Jews; the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges argues that they were Paul's "inveterate adversaries in the Church".
The Revelation of God's Righteousness (3:21–26)
This section (extending to verse 31) revisits 'the grand theme', "the righteousness of God", which is introduced in the Thanksgiving part of chapter 1. Comprising one paragraph, verses 21–26 is called by Stuhlmacher as 'the heart of the letter to the Romans', stating that 'the divine character—faithful, gracious, forgiving, and merciful—has been revealed in Jesus Christ, specifically in his death as "a sacrifice for sin effective through faith". With that actions, 'altogether apart from human initiative', God has fulfilled 'what God always intended to do' ('attested by the law and the prophets') 'and so is proved righteous'.
- For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
- "Come short" (NKJV: "fall short): translated from Ancient Greek: ὑστεροῦνται, , also rendered as "to be in want/impoverished" (Luke 15:14); "to suffer need" (Philippians 4:12); "to be destitute" (Hebrews 11:37), and here in the sense of: "to suffer from defect, to fail to attain".
- whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed
"Propitiation" is translated from the Greek word hilasterion, which specifically means the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. The only other occurrence of hilasterion in the New Testament is in Hebrews 9:5, where the KJV & NASB both translate it as "mercy seat".
Justification by faith – a conclusion
- "We conclude": is translated from Greek: λογιζόμεθα, logizometha. The verb logizometha is plural: "we conclude" in the King James Version and New King James Version, "as we see it" in the Jerusalem Bible", "we maintain" in the New American Standard Version, "we reason" or "we maintain" in the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, arbitramur in the Vulgate. Bishop Charles Ellicott considers that we conclude "conveys too much the idea of an inference; the statement is rather made in the form of an assertion, we consider or we hold"  whereas theologian John Gill does treat the phrase as a "conclusion from the premises".
- Related Bible parts: Psalm 5, Psalm 10, Psalm 14, Psalm 36, Psalm 51, Psalm 53, Psalm 140, Ecclesiastes 7, Isaiah 59
- Hill 2007, p. 1084.
- Donaldson, Terence L. (2007). "63. Introduction to the Pauline Corpus". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 1077. ISBN 978-0199277186.
- There are 15 rhetorical questions according to the New International Version translation
- There are 9 biblical references: see Cross references
- Barnes' Notes on Romans 3, accessed 7 September 2016
- Kirkpatrick 1901, p. 839.
- Kirkpatrick 1901, p. 838.
- Kirkpatrick 1901, p. 840.
- Interlinear Bible
- Romans 3:2 NIV
- Acts 7:38
- Romans 3:8 in International Standard Version
- Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers on Romans 3, accessed 17 September 2016
- Barnes' Notes on Romans 3, accessed 7 September 2016
- Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Romans 3, accessed 17 September 2016
- Hill 2007, p. 1092.
- Stuhlmacher, P. (1994), Paul's Letter to the Romans: A Commentary, trans. S. J. Hafemann. Louisville, Ky: Westminster/John Knox. p. 57; apud Hill 2007, p. 1092
- Romans 3:23 KJV
- Greek Text Analysis: Romans 3:23. Biblehub
- Exell, Joseph S.; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice (Editors). On "Romans 3". In: The Pulpit Commentary. 23 volumes. First publication: 1890. Accessed 24 April 2019.
- Romans 3:25 NKJV
- Strong's Greek Dictionary G2435
- Romans 3:28 NKJV
- Englishman's Concordance - λογιζόμεθα
- Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers on Romans 3, accessed 8 September 2016
- Gill's Exposition on Romans 3, accessed 8 September 2016
- Coogan, Michael David (2007). Coogan, Michael David; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Newsom, Carol Ann; Perkins, Pheme (eds.). The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version, Issue 48 (Augmented 3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195288810.
- Hill, Craig C. (2007). "64. Romans". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 1083–1108. ISBN 978-0199277186. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. Retrieved February 28, 2019.