20 October 2015

The Apostolikon (according to Chuck)

The first appearance on record of any Pauline epistles was at Rome in 138 CE, brought as a collection by Marcion of Sinope to the imperial city in a single volume, named by him the Apostolikon.  It and the gospel he brought, the Evangelikon, an early version of the Gospel of Luke, were written in Greek.  Their existence was reported by the late second century-early third century Latin Father Tertullian of Carthage, who reported that the protagonist of Marcion’s works was denominated “Isu Chrestos” rather than “Iesus Christus”.  Marcion’s Apostolikon contained the following works attributed to Paul in this order: Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans (minus chapters 15 and 16), 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians, as well as the Epistle of Paul to the Alexandrians and the Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans.

Until the nineteenth century, authorship of all the letters attributed to Paul of Tarsus, save one, remained virtually undisputed.  That one letter was the Epistle to the Hebrews, its connection to Paul having been questioned since the third century.  German theologians first questioned the authenticity of all but four—Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, and Galatians—in the nineteenth century.  Later scholarly research added 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon, deeming the remainder are pseudepigraphic forgeries.  The three “Pastorals” in particular date no earlier than the mid-second century.  Subsequent scholarship added Philemon to the list of probable forgeries.

Scholars have for sometime also realized that the genuine epistles of Paul as we have them today, and even some of the pseudepigraphs, contain varying amounts of interpolation and perhaps redaction, though no concensus across the field in general has yet been reached on what these are.  Among those proponents of the idea of the interpolations, however, there is mostly agreement despite what the rest of Pauline scholars think.

This “Apostolikon” contains the letters of Paul recognized as genuine by most scholars, minus the passages generally agreed to be interpolations by those focusing on that area.  Here they are presented in the order they were most likely written.  I have used “Chrestos” rather than “Christ” because the best sources demonstrate that to be the epithet by which Jesus the Nozorean was earlier known.

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The (First) Epistle to the Thessalonians, circa 50 CE

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Chrestos: Grace to you and peace.

For you yourselves know, brethren, that our visit to you was not in vain; but though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition.  For our appeal does not spring from error or uncleanness, nor is it made with guile; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts.  For we never used either words of flattery, as you know, or a cloak for greed, as God is witness; nor did we seek glory from men, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Chrestos.  But we were gentle among you, like a nurse taking care of her children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.  For you remember our labor and toil, brethren; we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you, while we preached to you the gospel of God.

You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our behavior to you believers; for you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.  And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

But since we were bereft of you, brethren, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face; because we wanted to come to you -- I, Paul, again and again -- but Satan hindered us.  For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming?  Is it not you?  For you are our glory and joy. 

Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's servant in the gospel of Chrestos, to establish you in your faith and to exhort you, that no one be moved by these afflictions. You yourselves know that this is to be our lot.  For when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction; just as it has come to pass, and as you know.  For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent that I might know your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor would be in vain.

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you -- for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith; for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.  For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God, praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you; and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you, so that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.  May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Chrestos.  He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 

Brethren, pray for us.  Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Chrestos be with you.

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The Epistle to the Galatians, circa 53 CE

Paul an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Chrestos and God the Father, who raised him from the dead – and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Chrestos.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Chrestos and turning to a different gospel – not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Chrestos.  As we have said before, so now I say again, If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.  Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Chrestos.

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel.  For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Chrestos.  But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus.

In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!

Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.  Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.  I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain.  But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek, and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised; only they would have us remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do.

We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Chrestos, even we have believed in Chrestos Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Chrestos, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.  But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Chrestos, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Chrestos then an agent of sin?  Certainly not!  But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor.  For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Chrestos; it is no longer I who live, but Chrestos who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Chrestos died to no purpose. 

O foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Chrestos was publicly portrayed as crucified?  Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?  Are you so foolish?  Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?  Did you experience so many things in vain? – if it really is in vain.  Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?  Thus Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”  So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them.”  Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for “He who through faith is righteous shall live”; but the law does not rest on faith, for “He who does them shall live by them.”  Chrestos redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree” – that in Chrestos Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.  To give a human example, brethren: no one annuls even a man’s will, or adds to it, once it has been ratified.

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many; but, referring to one, “And to your offspring,” which is Chrestos.  This is what I mean: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.  For if the inheritance is by the law, it is no longer by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.  Why then the law?  It was added because of transgressions, till the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained by angels through an intermediary.

Now an intermediary implies more than one; but God is one.  Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not; for if a law had been given which could make alive, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.  But the scripture consigned all things to sin, that what was promised to faith in Jesus Chrestos might be given to those who believe.  Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.  So that the law was our custodian until Chrestos came, that we might be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Chrestos Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.  For as many of you as were baptized into Chrestos have put on Chrestos.  And if you are Chrestos’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. 

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods; but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more?  You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years!  I am afraid I have labored over you in vain.  Brethren, I beseech you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are.  You did me no wrong; you know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first;
and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Chrestos Jesus. 

What has become of the satisfaction you felt?  For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.  Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?  They make much of you, but for no good purpose; they want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.  For a good purpose it is always good to be made much of, and not only when I am present with you.  My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Chrestos be formed in you!  I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Tell me, you who desire to be under law, do you not hear the law?  For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman.  But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise.  Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants.  One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.  But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.  For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married.”

Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.  But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now.  But what does the scripture say?  “Cast out the slave and her son; for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.”  So, brethren, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.  For freedom Chrestos has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Chrestos will be of no advantage to you.  I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law.  You are severed from Chrestos, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.  For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness.  For in Chrestos Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.  You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?   This persuasion is not from him who calls you.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump.  I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine; and he who is troubling you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.  But if I, brethren, still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been removed.  I wish those who unsettle you would mutilate themselves!

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.  It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Chrestos.  For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.  But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Chrestos, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.  Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.  Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Chrestos be with your spirit, brethren.  Amen.

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The First Epistle to the Corinthians, circa 54 CE

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Chrestos Jesus, and our brother Sos'thenes, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Chrestos Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Chrestos, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Chrestos.

I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Chrestos Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge -- even as the testimony to Chrestos was confirmed among you -- so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Chrestos; who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Chrestos.  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Chrestos our Lord.  I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Chrestos, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren.  What I mean is that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Chrestos."  Is Chrestos divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?  I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Ga'ius; lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name.  (I did baptize also the household of Steph'anas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)  For Chrestos did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Chrestos be emptied of its power.  For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart."  Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Chrestos crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Chrestos the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 

For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.  He is the source of your life in Chrestos Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord." 

When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom.  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Chrestos and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Chrestos.  I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?  For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?  What then is Apollos?  What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.  He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor.  For we are God's fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it.

Let each man take care how he builds upon it.  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Chrestos.  Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw -- each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.  Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?  If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are.

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."  So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Chrestos's; and Chrestos is God's. 

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Chrestos and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.  I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God.  For who sees anything different in you? What have you that you did not receive?  If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?  Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!

For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men.  We are fools for Chrestos's sake, but you are wise in Chrestos.  We are weak, but you are strong.  You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.  To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless,  and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;  when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things.  I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

For though you have countless guides in Chrestos, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Chrestos Jesus through the gospel.  I urge you, then, be imitators of me.  Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.  But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.  For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.  What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness? 

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father's wife.  And you are arrogant!  Ought you not rather to mourn?  Let him who has done this be removed from among you.  For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?  Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Chrestos, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.  Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But rather I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber -- not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?  God judges those outside.  "Drive out the wicked person from among you." 

When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?  Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!  If then you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who are least esteemed by the church?  I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?  To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you.  Why not rather suffer wrong?  Why not rather be defrauded?

But you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren.  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Chrestos and in the Spirit of our God.

"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food" -- and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 

But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.  The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.  For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does.  Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control.  I say this by way of concession, not of command.  I wish that all were as I myself am.  But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.  To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do.  But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry.  For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband) -- and that the husband should not divorce his wife.  To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.  If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy.  But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace.  Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.  I think that in view of the present distress it is well for a person to remain as he is.  Are you bound to a wife?  Do not seek to be free.  Are you free from a wife?  Do not seek marriage.  But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not sin.  Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.  I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.  And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.  I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry -- it is no sin.  But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well.  So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives.  If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.  But in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I have the Spirit of God. 

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that all of us possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.  But if one loves God, one is known by him.  Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence, and that there is no God but one.  For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth -- as indeed there are many gods and many lords -- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Chrestos, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.  However, not all possess this knowledge.  

But some, through being hitherto accustomed to idols, eat food as really offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.  Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.  Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.  For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol's temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?  And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Chrestos died.  Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Chrestos. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall. 

Am I not free?  Am I not an apostle?  Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?  Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?  If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.  This is my defense to those who would examine me.  Do we not have the right to our food and drink?  Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?  Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?  Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit?  Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?  Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same?

For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain."  Is it for oxen that God is concerned?  Does he not speak entirely for our sake?  It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop.  If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits?  If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more?  Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Chrestos.

Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings?  In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.  But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have any one deprive me of my ground for boasting.

For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!  For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.  What then is my reward? Just this: that in my preaching I may make the gospel free of charge, not making full use of my right in the gospel.  For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.

To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law -- though not being myself under the law -- that I might win those under the law.  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law -- not being without law toward God but under the law of Chrestos -- that I might win those outside the law.  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink.  For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Chrestos.  Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did.  Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance."  We must not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.  We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents;  nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.   Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come.  Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.  But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.  For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.  When you meet together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat.  For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk.  What!  Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?  Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?  What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.  So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another -- if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home -- lest you come together to be condemned.  About the other things I will give directions when I come. 

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed.  You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved.  Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Chrestos.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and all were made to drink of one Spirit.  For the body does not consist of one member but of many.  If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?  But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single organ, where would the body be?

As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."  On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.  On the other hand, he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.  He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.  Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.  Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how shall I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?

If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played?  And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?  So with yourselves; if you in a tongue utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.  There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning; but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.  So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.  Therefore, he who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. 

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.  What am I to do?  I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.  Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the "Amen" to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?  For you may give thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; be babes in evil, but in thinking be mature.  In the law it is written, "By men of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord."  Thus, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers.  If, therefore, the whole church assembles and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad?  But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.  What then, brethren?  

When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.  Let all things be done for edification.  If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret.  But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God.  Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.  If a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent.  For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.

What!  Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached?  If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord.  If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized.  So, my brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order. 

Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast -- unless you believed in vain.  Now if Chrestos is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Chrestos has not been raised; if Chrestos has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.  For if the dead are not raised, then Chrestos has not been raised.  If Chrestos has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Chrestos have perished.  If for this life only we have hoped in Chrestos, we are of all men most to be pitied.  But in fact Chrestos has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

But each in his own order: Chrestos the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Chrestos.  Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  "For God has put all things in subjection under his feet."  But when it says, "All things are put in subjection under him," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him.  When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to everyone. 

But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?"  You foolish man!  What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.  But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 

For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.  There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.   There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.  So is it with the resurrection of the dead.  

What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.   It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.  Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.  I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?"  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Chrestos.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Now concerning the contribution for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.  On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come.  And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem.  If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.  I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may speed me on my journey, wherever I go.  For I do not want to see you now just in passing; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.  But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 

When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am.  So let no one despise him.  Speed him on his way in peace, that he may return to me; for I am expecting him with the brethren.  As for our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brethren, but it was not at all his will to come now.  He will come when he has opportunity.

Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.  Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to be subject to such men and to every fellow worker and laborer.  I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortuntus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men.

The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.

All the brethren send greetings.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.

I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.  My love be with you all in Chrestos Jesus.  Amen. 

* * * * *

The Epistle to the Philippians, circa 55 CE

Paul and Timothy, servants of Chrestos Jesus, to all the saints in Chrestos Jesus who are at Philippi:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Chrestos.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Chrestos.  It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.  For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Chrestos Jesus.  And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Chrestos, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Chrestos, to the glory and praise of God.

I want you to know, brethren, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Chrestos; and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.

Some indeed preach Chrestos from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.  The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Chrestos out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.  What then?  Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Chrestos is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.  Yes, and I shall rejoice.  For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Chrestos this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I shall not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Chrestos will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  

For to me to live is Chrestos, and to die is gain.  If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Chrestos, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Chrestos Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Chrestos, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents.  This is a clear omen to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.  For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Chrestos you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict which you saw and now hear to be mine. 

So if there is any encouragement in Chrestos, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Chrestos I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.  Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you.  I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.  Indeed he was ill, near to death.  But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.  I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.  So receive him in the Lord with all joy; and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Chrestos, risking his life to complete your service to me. 

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.  To write the same things to you is not irksome to me, and is safe for you.  Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

I entreat Eu-odia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.  And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Let all men know your forbearance.  Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.   And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Chrestos Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.  I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.  I can do all things in him who strengthens me.  Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only; for even in Thessalonica you sent me help once and again.  Not that I seek the gift; but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit.  I have received full payment, and more; I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Chrestos Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Greet every saint in Chrestos Jesus.  The brethren who are with me greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Chrestos be with your spirit.

* * * * *

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, circa 56 CE

Several scholars note a significant shift in tone beginning with Chapter 10 which many of them have opined that the break marks the beginning of a separate letter amalgamated with that which opened it.  It could, however, represented a break in writing the single letter.  The text is marked here by a line of hyphens.

Paul, an apostle of Chrestos Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Chrestos.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chrestos, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Chrestos's sufferings, so through Chrestos we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.  Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.  For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself.

Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead; he delivered us from so deadly a peril, and he will deliver us; on him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to many prayers.  For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have behaved in the world, and still more toward you, with holiness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God.

For we write you nothing but what you can read and understand; I hope you will understand fully, as you have understood in part, that you can be proud of us as we can be of you, on the day of the Lord Jesus.  Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a double pleasure; I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea.  Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this?  Do I make my plans like a worldly man, ready to say Yes and No at once?  As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No.  For the Son of God, Jesus Chrestos, whom we preached among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No; but in him it is always Yes.  For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God.  But it is God who establishes us with you in Chrestos, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

But I call God to witness against me -- it was to spare you that I refrained from coming to Corinth.  Not that we lord it over your faith; we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.  For I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit.  For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?  And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.  For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you. 

But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure -- not to put it too severely -- to you all.  For such a one this punishment by the majority is enough; so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.  For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.  Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive.  What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Chrestos, to keep Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs.  When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Chrestos, a door was opened for me in the Lord; but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.  But thanks be to God, who in Chrestos always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

For we are the aroma of Chrestos to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.  Who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Chrestos. 

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you?  You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts, to be known and read by all men; and you show that you are a letter from Chrestos delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  Such is the confidence that we have through Chrestos toward God.  Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.  We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Chrestos, who is the likeness of God.  For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Chrestos as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Chrestos.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So death is at work in us, but life in you.  Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.  For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked.  For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.  We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Chrestos, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.  Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men; but what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.

We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who pride themselves on a man's position and not on his heart.  For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.  For the love of Chrestos controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.  And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.  From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Chrestos from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer.

Therefore, if anyone is in Chrestos, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Chrestos reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Chrestos God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  So we are ambassadors for Chrestos, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Chrestos, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 

Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.  For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation."
Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,
beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute.  We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide.  You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.  In return -- I speak as to children -- widen your hearts also.  Do not be mismated with unbelievers.  For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity?  Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  What accord has Chrestos with Beliar?  Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.  Open your hearts to us; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.  I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.  I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort.  With all our affliction, I am overjoyed.  For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest but we were afflicted at every turn -- fighting without and fear within.

But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.  For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it), for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.  As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting; for you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.  For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death.  For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.  So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your zeal for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.  Therefore we are comforted.  And besides our own comfort we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by you all.

For if I have expressed to him some pride in you, I was not put to shame; but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting before Titus has proved true.  And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, and the fear and trembling with which you received him.  I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you. 

We want you to know, brethren, about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part.  For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints -- and this, not as we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.   Accordingly we have urged Titus that as he had already made a beginning, he should also complete among you this gracious work.  Now as you excel in everything -- in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us -- see that you excel in this gracious work also.

I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Chrestos, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.  And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.  For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not.  I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality.  As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack."  But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.

For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.  With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel; and not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work which we are carrying on, for the glory of the Lord and to show our good will.  We intend that no one should blame us about this liberal gift which we are administering, for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of men.  And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you.   As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker in your service; and as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Chrestos.  So give proof, before the churches, of your love and of our boasting about you to these men. 

Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the offering for the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them.  But I am sending the brethren so that our boasting about you may not prove vain in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; lest if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we be humiliated -- to say nothing of you -- for being so confident.  So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren to go on to you before me, and arrange in advance for this gift you have promised, so that it may be ready not as an exaction but as a willing gift.   The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.  As it is written, "He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."  He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.  Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Chrestos, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others; while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you.  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 


I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Chrestos -- I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold to you when I am away! -- I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of acting in worldly fashion.  For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Chrestos, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Look at what is before your eyes.  If anyone is confident that he is Chrestos's, let him remind himself that as he is Chrestos's, so are we.  For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame.
[9] I would not seem to be frightening you with letters.  For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account."  Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.  Not that we venture to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves.  But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.  But we will not boast beyond limit, but will keep to the limits God has apportioned us, to reach even to you.

For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you; we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Chrestos.  We do not boast beyond limit, in other men's labors; but our hope is that as your faith increases, our field among you may be greatly enlarged,
so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's field.  "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord."  For it is not the man who commends himself that is accepted, but the man whom the Lord commends. 

I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness.  Do bear with me!  I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Chrestos to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.  But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Chrestos.  For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough.  I think that I am not in the least inferior to these superlative apostles.  Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I commit a sin in abasing myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel without cost to you?  I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you.  And when I was with you and was in want, I did not burden any one, for my needs were supplied by the brethren who came from Macedonia. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.  As the truth of Chrestos is in me, this boast of mine shall not be silenced in the regions of Achaia.  And why?  Because I do not love you? God knows I do!   And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Chrestos.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.  Their end will correspond to their deeds.  I repeat, let no one think me foolish; but even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little.

What I am saying I say not with the Lord's authority but as a fool, in this boastful confidence;  since many boast of worldly things, I too will boast.  For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!  For you bear it if a man makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.  To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!  But whatever any one dares to boast of -- I am speaking as a fool -- I also dare to boast of that.

Are they Hebrews?  So am I.  Are they Israelites?  So am I.  Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.  Are they servants of Chrestos?  I am a better one -- I am talking like a madman -- with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.  Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.  Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned.  Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?  If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I do not lie.  At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands. 

I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.  I know a man in Chrestos who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.  And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows -- and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.  On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.  Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth.  But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 

And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.  Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Chrestos may rest upon me.  For the sake of Chrestos, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  I have been a fool!  You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these superlative apostles, even though I am nothing.

The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.  For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!  Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children.

I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.  If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less?  But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by guile.  Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you?  I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him.  Did Titus take advantage of you?  Did we not act in the same spirit?  Did we not take the same steps?  Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Chrestos, and all for your upbuilding, beloved.

For I fear that perhaps I may come and find you not what I wish, and that you may find me not what you wish; that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.  I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned before and have not repented of the impurity, immorality, and licentiousness which they have practiced. 

This is the third time I am coming to you.  Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them -- since you desire proof that Chrestos is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you.  For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God.  For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we shall live with him by the power of God.  Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Jesus Chrestos is in you? -- unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

I hope you will find out that we have not failed.  But we pray God that you may not do wrong.  For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong.  What we pray for is your improvement.  I write this while I am away from you, in order that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority which the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

Finally, brethren, farewell.  Mend your ways, heed my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Chrestos be with you all. 

* * * * *

The Epistle to the Romans, circa 57 CE

Paul, a servant of Jesus Chrestos, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, to all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Chrestos.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Chrestos for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.  For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.  I want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 

I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish: so I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "He who through faith is righteous shall live."

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?  Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God.  What if some were unfaithful?  Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?  By no means! Let God be true though every man be false, as it is written, "That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and prevail when thou art judged."  But if our wickedness serves to show the justice of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)  By no means! For then how could God judge the world?  But if through my falsehood God's truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?  And why not do evil that good may come? -- as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God.  Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.  For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Chrestos for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, then what becomes of our boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On the principle of works?  No, but on the principle of faith.

For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law.  Or is God the God of Jews only?  Is he not the God of Gentiles also?  Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is One; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith.  Do we then overthrow the law by this faith?  By no means!  On the contrary, we uphold the law. 
What then shall we say about Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?  For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.  For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."

Now to one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift but as his due.  And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.  So also David pronounces a blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin."  Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised?  We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.

How then was it reckoned to him?  Was it before or after he had been circumcised?  It was not after, but before he was circumcised.  He received circumcision as a sign or seal of the righteousness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but also follow the example of the faith which our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.  The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.  For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants -- not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations" -- in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.  In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, "So shall your descendants be."  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb.  No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.  That is why his faith was "reckoned to him as righteousness."  But the words, "it was reckoned to him," were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification. 

Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Chrestos died for us.  Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Chrestos, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!  How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Chrestos Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Chrestos was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.  For he who has died is freed from sin.  But if we have died with Chrestos, we believe that we shall also live with him.  For we know that Chrestos being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Chrestos Jesus. 

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.  What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.  When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death.  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Chrestos Jesus our Lord. 

Do you not know, brethren -- for I am speaking to those who know the law -- that the law is binding on a person only during his life?  Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.  Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Likewise, my brethren, you have died to the law through the body of Chrestos, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.  While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.  But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. 
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin. I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, wrought in me all kinds of covetousness.  Apart from the law sin lies dead.  I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died; the very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me.  For sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and by it killed me.  So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.  We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.  I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 

So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Chrestos our Lord!  So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Chrestos Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Chrestos Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh -- for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship.  When we cry, "Abba! Father!"  it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Chrestos, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.  I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.  And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.  What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?  Who is to condemn?  Is it Chrestos Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?  Who shall separate us from the love of Chrestos?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, "For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Chrestos Jesus our Lord. 

I am speaking the truth in Chrestos, I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit,that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Chrestos for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race.  They are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; but it is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but "Through Isaac shall your descendants be named."  This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.  For this is what the promise said, "About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son."  And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call, she was told, "The elder will serve the younger."  As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part?  By no means!  For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."  So it depends not upon man's will or exertion, but upon God's mercy.  For the scripture says to Pharaoh, "I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth."  So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills.  You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"

But who are you, a man, to answer back to God?  Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?"  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use?  What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?  As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call `my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call `my beloved.'"

"And in the very place where it was said to them, `You are not my people, they will be called `children of the living God.'"  And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence upon the earth with rigor and dispatch."  And as Isaiah predicted, "If the Lord of hosts had not left us children, we would have fared like Sodom and been made like Gomorrah."  What shall we say, then?  That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law.  Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame."

Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.  I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened.  For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.  For Chrestos is the end of the law, that everyone who has faith may be justified.  Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it.  But the righteousness based on faith says, Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (that is, to bring Chrestos down) or "Who will descend into the abyss?" (that is, to bring Chrestos up from the dead).   But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); for man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.  The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame."  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him.  For, "everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without a preacher?  And how can men preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!"  But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"

But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for "Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world."  Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, "I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry."  Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, "I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me."  But of Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people."

I ask, then, has God rejected his people?  By no means!  I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.  God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.  Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?  "Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have demolished thy altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life."  But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."  So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.  What then? Israel failed to obtain what it sought.  The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, down to this very day."  And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever." 

So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall?  By no means!  But through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.  Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!  Now I am speaking to you Gentiles.  Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.  For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?   If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you. 

You will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."  That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.   Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.  And even the others, if they do not persist in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.  For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree. 

Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob"; "and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins."  As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.  For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy.  For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.  O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"  For from him and through him and to him are all things.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him. 

For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Chrestos, and individually members one of another.  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.  Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.  Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."  No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Chrestos, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. 

As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions.  One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables.  Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him.  Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls.  And he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand.  One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let everyone be fully convinced in his own mind.

None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.  For to this end Chrestos died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.  Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God."  So each of us shall give account of himself to God.  Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.  If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love.  Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Chrestos died.  So do not let your good be spoken of as evil.  For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; he who thus serves Chrestos is acceptable to God and approved by men.  Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.  Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make others fall by what he eats; it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble.  The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves.  But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. 

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him.  For Chrestos did not please himself; but, as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me."  May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Chrestos Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chrestos.  Welcome one another, therefore, as Chrestos has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

For I tell you that Chrestos became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.  As it is written, "Therefore I will praise thee among the Gentiles, and sing to thy name"; and again it is said, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people"; and again, "Praise the Lord, all Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him"; and further Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come, he who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles hope."  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 

I myself am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.  But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Chrestos Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  In Chrestos Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.  For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Chrestos has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that from Jerusalem and as far round as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Chrestos, thus making it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Chrestos has already been named, lest I build on another man's foundation, but as it is written, "They shall see who have never been told of him, and they shall understand who have never heard of him." 

This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you.  But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be sped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little.  At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem with aid for the saints.  For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem; they were pleased to do it, and indeed they are in debt to them, for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.  When therefore I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been raised, I shall go on by way of you to Hispania; and I know that when I come to you I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of Chrestos.

I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Chrestos and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.  The God of peace be with you all. Amen. 

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchre-ae, that you may receive her in the Lord as befits the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a helper of many and of myself as well.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Chrestos Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I but also all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks; greet also the church in their house.

Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert in Asia for Chrestos.

Greet Mary, who has worked hard among you.

Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles, and they were in Chrestos before me.

Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.

Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Chrestos, and my beloved Stachys. 

Greet Apelles, who is approved in Chrestos. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobu'lus.

Greet my kinsman Herodion.

Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. 

Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphae'na and Trypho'sa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord.

Greet Rufus, eminent in the Lord, also his mother and mine.

Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brethren who are with them.

Greet Philol'ogus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the churches of Chrestos greet you.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Chrestos be with you.

Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.

I Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord.

Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.

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The interpolations mentioned above which have been removed from the current text follow here, with the chapters and the verses of their position in the canonical rendition.  The majority of these were identified by William O. Walker, J. C. O’Neill, and Winsome Munro.

Interpolations in Romans: 1:2-6; 1:18-2:29; 3:12-18; 3:24-26; 4:14; 5:1; 5:6-7; 5:12-21; 6:13; 6:19; 8:9-11; 8:28c-30,33; 9:5; 10:9; 10:17; 11:6; 11:36; 12:11; 13:1-7; 14:6; 15:4; 16:17-20a; 16:25-27.  Some scholars believe all of Chapter 16 has been interpolated.

Interpolations in 1 Corinthians: 1:2b; 2:6-16; 4:6; 4:17; 6:14-7:1; 7:17-24; 7:29-31; 10:14-22; 10:23-11:1; 11:3-16; 11:23-26; 11:27-32; 12:27-14:1a; 14:33-35; 15:3-11; 15:15; 15:21-22; 15:29-34; 15:44b-48; 15:56

Interpolations in 2 Corinthians: 3:7-18; 13:7b-8

Interpolations in Galatians: 1:4-5; 1:13-14; 1:18-19; 1:22-24; 2:4-8; 2:11-14; 3:28; 4:1-4; 4:25; 5:13-6:10

Interpolations in Philippians: 1:1c; 2:5-11; 2:20-24; 3:2-21; 4:20; 4:22-23

Interpolations in 1 Thessalonians: 2:(1)14-16; 4:1-12; 4:13-18; 5:1-11; 5:12-22; 5:27

Interpolations in Philemon: 1:2; 1:24

In addition to these, I redacted passage that to me seemed glaringly obvious interpolations, such as the quasi-liturgical language in the opening greeting of Galatians and a few passages that are virtually identical to the doxologies in the Eucharistic prayers of the Didache, which dates to the late first or early second century.

The following letters attributed to Paul of Tarsus have been excluded as peudepigraphal and spurious: 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus, as well as, of course, Hebrews.  The so-called First Epistle to Timothy, in fact, bears more resemblance in content and language to the genre known as “church orders”, and is clearly from the mid-to-late second century.

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