Romans chapter 1 in simple, modern English

This is the first installment of what I hope to be a complete “translation” of Romans. Please note that this is not scripture; it is my understanding of scripture. Any with questions or concerns should check the original.

In Romans chapter 1, Paul introduces himself and then lays out the spiritual condition of all mankind. He says that all people have broken God’s laws, and need forgiveness.

First chapter of Romans, first section:

From Paul, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, to all in Rome who are loved by God – and to all who are called to be God’s holy people.

I have been called to be a messenger from God. I was set apart to tell the good news – the good news that God has been promising through His prophets for hundreds and thousands of years. This good news is about His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born to the descendents of King David and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was shown to also be true God when He rose from the grave.

Through Jesus and for His Name’s sake, we have been sent and empowered to call people from the entire world to believe in God and be obedient to His will for our lives. And you should know that you also are among those who are called to believe in Jesus.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, in Jesus’ name I am thankful to God for all of you, because your faith in God is known throughout the whole world. God, who I serve with my whole heart in telling people the good news, is my witness that I pray for you constantly. And I pray that now, if it is God’s will, I may be able to come visit you at last.

Because I long to see you, and bless you with gifts that will strengthen your souls … in other words, that we might encourage each other in the faith.

You should know, friends, that I have often wished to visit you, so that I could plant and harvest the truth among you just as I have done among others. But it has not been God’s will to allow me to travel to Rome until now.

It is my duty to preach the good news to all: Jews, non-Jews, to wise and to foolish. That is why I am so eager and ready to talk about Jesus to you too.

I am not ashamed of this good news of Jesus Christ: it is the very power of God that will save everyone who believes … Jews first, and then to the whole world. In this good news God’s perfection is seen – a perfection that He offers to us if we accept it in faith. As it is written in Habbakuk 2 verse 4, “the righteous man will be saved by faith.”

But God is angry with all those who refuse to acknowledge Him – those who try to convince themselves that there is no God. God is angry with these people because He has made it obvious to all that He exists – He has shown us His power, and His character, since the beginning of the world. The earth itself, and all creation, is evidence of God – so atheists do not have any excuse.

For although in their heart they cannot deny that God is, they do not worship Him as God, and they do not thank him. Instead, they create empty, useless, false beliefs, and darkness comes into their hearts. Thinking that they are wise, they become fools. They have traded the glory of the eternal God for silly, petty, temporary things in this world.

So God gives them over to their wrong desires, and they cheapen their bodies in sexual lust with each other. They trade God’s truth for man’s lie. They serve creation instead of Creator, who is to be blessed for ever.

Because they do this, God releases them to their own lust. Women switch natural sexuality for unnatural, and men also, committing indecent acts with other men, and forsaking sex with women. Sowing evil, they reap a bitter harvest.

Also, since they hate to remember and think about God, God frees them to pursue their evil desires.

Then theyy become filled with every kind of evil: greed, jealousy, hatred, envy, murder, fighting, and lies. They become gossips who say hateful things; they are full of pride and boasting. They constantly invent new ways to do bad things. They hate God.

They disobey lawful authority and parents; they are without sense and without faith. They have no pity – they are ruthless.

Although they know God’s laws, and know that these evil things can only lead to death, they keep doing them. And what’s worse, they encourage others to do them also.

. . .
. . .

continue on to chapter 2

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Dear John,

    Have you had many comments? What kind have they been. I’m enjoying the read. Hope my comments are of value. I just wish I had more time to respond. I will try to get chap 2,3 finished by mid-week (April 5) Lord willing.

    Warmly, Pastor JG

    1. John – re: vs 5, I think it would be good to add the word grace and apostleship, as grace is referring to his being born again and apostleship to his calling to the ministry. See KJV-Rom1:5 the Lord in His wisdom inspired Paul to put grace before apostleship to emphasize the need for grace before anyone can be a minister of the gospel. Your words, We have been sent and empowered doesn’t reference to Paul’s first receiving grace before his calling to the ministry.

    2. Vs 8 – You may want to use the word “spoken of” throughout the world. This is written this way because people were witnessing that the new converts in Rome were living out their Christianity so much so that others were speaking about the conversion of the people with amazement.

    3. Vs 11 I believe it would be more accurate to say that Paul longed to come to Rome to confirm and establish them more in the grace of God. Paul desire to edify the people of God at Rome. He wasn’t actually aiming to share the faith. But wanted to see them grow and be more established.

    4. Vs 12 really has the meaning that Paul wanted to comfort them re: the grace of God, but that he too was looking to be comforted by them in their sharing the work of God’s grace, in sharing their faith in Jesus Christ

    5. Vs 17 – Your use of the words “God’s perfection” I believe needs further clarification KJV says, “the righteousness of God” and has direct correlation to one’s pardon and acceptance with God the Father because of Christ’s righteousness. There’s a theological aspect here, namely justification by faith which I do not believe comes clear with using the word’s “God’s perfection” Why? because God’s perfection can refer to all His attributes that describe HIm.

    6. Vs 18 – God is teaching about sin and the punishment on all those who live in ungodliness – “Ungodliness” (KJV) = sins against the 1st table of the law and “unrighteousness (KJV) = soins against the 2nd table of the law. I believe the punishment of God against sin is not as pronouced in the way you paraphrase vs 18.
    sn’t God really angry with those who transgress and break His law? Saying God is angry with those who do not acknowledge Him is not true to the Greek translation.

    7. Vs 23 (KJV) you may want to add in addition to what you’ve said, that the heaten also have their false god’s.

    8. Vss.26-32, Where you mention God releases them to their own lust, I think the word “releases” is not strong enough, since it does present God as a hater of sin and one who will punish us if we repent not. I believe “gives them over” would be more in keeping with the mind of God towards sin and gross wickedness

    You listed the sins of different kinds, however you are way to soft when it come to God’s punishment, namely that such who commit what they do are “worthy of death.” (KJV) No mention is made of God’s judgemnt on those who commit such things.