To the Romans 14:1-23

14  Welcome the man having weaknesses in his faith,+ but do not pass judgment on differing opinions.  One man has faith to eat everything, but the man who is weak eats only vegetables.  Let the one eating not look down on the one not eating, and let the one not eating not judge the one eating,+ for God has welcomed him.  Who are you to judge the servant of another?+ To his own master he stands or falls.+ Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand.  One man judges one day as above another;+ another judges one day the same as all others;+ let each one be fully convinced in his own mind.  The one who observes the day observes it to Jehovah. Also, the one who eats, eats to Jehovah, for he gives thanks to God;+ and the one who does not eat does not eat to Jehovah, and yet gives thanks to God.+  Not one of us, in fact, lives with regard to himself only,+ and no one dies with regard to himself only.  For if we live, we live to Jehovah,+ and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah.+  For to this end Christ died and came to life again, so that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living.+ 10  But why do you judge your brother?+ Or why do you also look down on your brother?+ For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.+ 11  For it is written: “‘As surely as I live,’+ says Jehovah, ‘to me every knee will bend, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.’”+ 12  So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.+ 13  Therefore, let us not judge one another any longer+ but, rather, be determined not to put a stumbling block or an obstacle before a brother.+ 14  I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself;+ only where a man considers something to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15  For if your brother is being offended because of food, you are no longer walking according to love.+ Do not by your food ruin* that one for whom Christ died.+ 16  Therefore, do not let the good you do be spoken of as bad. 17  For the Kingdom of God does not mean* eating and drinking,+ but means* righteousness and peace and joy with holy spirit. 18  For whoever slaves for Christ in this way is acceptable to God and has approval with men. 19  So, then, let us pursue the things making for peace+ and the things that build one another up.+ 20  Stop tearing down the work of God just for the sake of food.+ True, all things are clean, but it is detrimental for* a man to eat when it will cause stumbling.+ 21  It is best not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything over which your brother stumbles.+ 22  The faith that you have, keep it to yourself before God. Happy is the man who does not judge himself by what he approves. 23  But if he has doubts, he is already condemned if he eats, because he does not eat based on faith. Indeed, everything that is not based on faith is sin.

Footnotes

Or “destroy.”
Or “is not about.” Lit., “is not.”
Or “is about.” Lit., “is.”
Or “it is wrong for.”

Study Notes

says Jehovah: Paul is quoting from Isa 45:23, where the context makes clear that Jehovah is the one speaking. (Isa 45:18-22) However, Isa 45:23 does not use the phrase “says Jehovah.” Scholars have suggested that Paul also quoted from Isa 49:18, where the phrase “‘As surely as I am living,’ declares Jehovah,” appears. Another possibility is that Paul included the phrase “says Jehovah” to make clear who is speaking, having in mind any of the numerous verses in the Hebrew Scriptures where it and similar phrases appear.​—Nu 14:28; Jer 22:24; 46:18 (26:18, LXX); Eze 5:11; 14:16; 16:48; 17:16; 18:3; 20:31, 33; Zep 2:9.

Who are you to judge the servant of another?: In this passage (Ro 14:1-12), Paul makes it clear that Christians are not to judge one another in matters of conscience. Christians in the Rome congregation came from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and some were judging their fellow believers for decisions and actions that did not violate Bible principles. The preceding verse (Ro 14:3) states that “God has welcomed” both “the one eating” and “the one not eating.” Paul’s question here in verse 4 reminded his fellow believers to recognize that Jehovah was supporting the person they were judging. Paul uses an illustration of a household servant and his master. The master had the exclusive right to establish rules for and restrictions on his servant, to assign him duties, to retain or discharge him. Anyone else assuming this responsibility on his own would be considered presumptuous, and the master could rightfully say to him: ‘Who do you think you are?’ In a similar way, each Christian is responsible before God, his Master, in matters of conscience. No Christian has the right to judge his brother because that brother belongs exclusively to God.

Jehovah: Available Greek manuscripts use the term “the Lord” (Greek, ho Kyʹri·os) here. However, as explained in App. C, there are good reasons to believe that the divine name was originally used in this verse and later replaced by the title Lord. The context shows that reference is made to Jehovah God. In this account at Ro 14:1-12, Paul discusses the importance of not judging one another in matters of conscience. At Ro 14:10, he mentions that each one will “stand before the judgment seat of God.” To support his argument, Paul at Ro 14:11 quotes from Isa 45:23, where the context shows that Jehovah God is the one speaking (Isa 45:18-22), and from Isa 49:18, where the divine name appears. (See study note on Ro 14:11.) At Ro 14:12, Paul concludes by saying: “So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.” Therefore, both the context and the Hebrew Scripture background support the use of the name Jehovah in the main text.​—See App. C3 introduction; Ro 14:4.

make him stand: That is, make him succeed and retain the approval of his master. The term “stand” is used in a similar sense at Lu 21:36.

Jehovah: Available Greek manuscripts use the term “Lord” (Kyʹri·os, without the definite article in Greek) three times in this verse. However, as explained in App. C, there are reasons to believe that the divine name was originally used in this verse and later replaced by the title Lord. Therefore, the name Jehovah is used in the main text.

Jehovah: Available Greek manuscripts use the term Kyʹri·os (“Lord,” with the definite article in Greek) three times in this verse. However, as explained in App. C, there are reasons to believe that the divine name was originally used in this verse and later replaced by the title Lord. Therefore, the name Jehovah is used here in the main text.​—See App. C3 introduction; Ro 14:8.

says Jehovah: Paul is quoting from Isa 45:23, where the context makes clear that Jehovah is the one speaking. (Isa 45:18-22) However, Isa 45:23 does not use the phrase “says Jehovah.” Scholars have suggested that Paul also quoted from Isa 49:18, where the phrase “‘As surely as I am living,’ declares Jehovah,” appears. Another possibility is that Paul included the phrase “says Jehovah” to make clear who is speaking, having in mind any of the numerous verses in the Hebrew Scriptures where it and similar phrases appear.​—Nu 14:28; Jer 22:24; 46:18 (26:18, LXX); Eze 5:11; 14:16; 16:48; 17:16; 18:3; 20:31, 33; Zep 2:9.

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