Monday, July 17, 2006

Better Translation of Romans Thirteen (43)

Here is a better paraphrase of Romans 12:21-13:7.

Do not repay evil with evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God to deal with evil…

Do not be overcome by evil, but conquer evil with good. Every person should submit to the more excellent judges, because there is no legitimate judicial authority except under God. The judges that have emerged in a free society are arranged by God. Anyone resisting the decision of a good judge is rebelling against what God has put in place and will receive a sentence from God.

Good judges hold no fear for those doing good, but only for those doing evil. Do you want to have no fear of judges? Do what is good,and you will be vindicated by them. A judge is God’s servant for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for a judge does have the power to punish for nothing; for he is God’s servant, to avenge those who practice evil by decreeing sentence against them. Consequently you must submit, not only because of abhorrence of crime, but also for conscience sake.

This is why we pay a contribution to good judges. They are God's servants devoting all their time to administering justice. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe a contribution, pay a contribution; if a toll is owned, then pay a toll. Respect those judges worthy of respect. Only, honour those worthy of honour.

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