5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law:1 “The person who does these things will live in them.”a 2 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this manner: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (That is, to bring Christ down.) 7 Or “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead.) 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”:b that is, the word of faith that we are preaching. 9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes for righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses for salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “No one who believes on him will be put to shame.”c 12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call upon him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”d
Central to the Reformers’ teaching about salvation was their distinction between “law” and “gospel.” “Law” is whatever God commands us to do; “gospel” is what God in his grace gives to us. The Reformers uniformly insisted that human depravity made it impossible for a person to be saved by doing what God commands; only by humbly accepting, in faith, the “good news” of God’s work on our behalf could a person be saved. This theological “law”/“gospel” antithesis is at the heart of this paragraph, as Paul contrasts the righteousness that is based on “doing” the law (v. 5) with the righteousness that is based on faith (vv. 6–13). Significantly, Paul finds this distinction in the OT itself, manifesting his concern to prove that the gospel that has proved a stumbling block for so many Jews and a foundation stone for so many Gentiles is in continuity with the OT. In the earlier two paragraphs (9:30–33; 10:1–4) where Paul contrasted two kinds of righteousness, he was especially interested in explaining the plight of unbelieving Jews. The Gentiles’ involvement was mentioned only briefly (9:30) or allusively (10:4b: “for all who believe”). In 10:5–13, however, Paul’s focus shifts and he now gives special attention to the way in which the revelation of God’s righteousness, the righteousness that is based on faith, opens the door wide to the inclusion of Gentiles. This focus becomes especially evident at the end of this paragraph (vv. 11–13). Paul thereby creates an inclusio, with concern for the Gentiles’ acceptance both beginning (9:30) and ending this section.
Verses 5–13 exposit the final words of v. 4: “so that there might be righteousness for everyone who believes.”3 Paul begins by anchoring the connection between righteousness and faith in Scripture (vv. 5–8). His appeal to Scripture here suggests that, for all his interest in the Gentiles, he still has Israel very much in mind. For it is particularly the Jews who need to understand that the righteousness of the law that they are seeking is a righteousness based on “doing” (v. 5, quoting Lev. 18:5). Such a righteousness, as Paul has already shown (9:31–32a; 10:3), is a phantom righteousness, for it cannot bring a person into relationship with a holy God. If the Jews would only see the message of the OT as Paul sees it, they would recognize that the OT itself proclaims the indispensability of faith—the very message that Paul and the other apostles are preaching (vv. 6–8, quoting Deut. 9:4 and 30:12–14). Verses 9–10 are transitional. They highlight the point that Paul has discovered in Deut. 30: a person experiences righteousness and salvation simply by believing the message. Since salvation is therefore not bound to the law but to faith, “anyone” can believe and be saved (vv. 11–13, quoting Isa. 28:16 and Joel 2:32). Thus the way is opened for Gentiles. At the same time, we should not diminish the genuine “universalism” Paul teaches here: if the way is opened for Gentiles, it is certainly not closed to Jews. They, especially, should recognize from their own Scriptures the importance of submitting to God’s new work in Christ in humble faith.
5 The “for”4 at the beginning of this verse connects v. 5, or vv. 5ff., to v. 4. But what is the nature of this connection? We can only answer this question once we have established the meaning of the phrase “the righteousness based on the law,” which, Paul claims, “Moses writes about.”5 There are three main possibilities.
(1) “The righteousness based on the law” might be the same as the righteousness made available in Christ through faith (vv. 4b and 6a). Verse 5 is then in positive relationship to v. 4, and vv. 5 and 6 are not antithetical but complementary. The “righteousness of the law” is nothing but the righteousness of faith, for, rightly understood, the law itself calls for faith: “the person who does the law,” mentioned in the quotation from Lev. 18:5, is the person who submits to the law’s deepest demand, “circumcises his heart,” and trusts in the Lord.6 Advocates of this view generally think that telos in v. 4a means “inner meaning” or “goal” and that vv. 5–8 provide a practical demonstration of that truth. For it is faith in Christ (v. 6) that is the true meaning of the law’s requirement.
But such a complementary relationship between vv. 5 and 6 is not likely. Twice already in this passage Paul has contrasted two kinds of righteousness: “the righteousness based on faith” with “the law of righteousness” (9:30–31); “the righteousness of God” with “their own righteousness” (10:3). We are led to expect that the two righteousnesses of vv. 5 and 6 will likewise be contrasted. Confirming this expectation is the fact that v. 5 highlights “doing” and v. 6 faith. Faith and believing on the one hand and works and doing on the other are one of the most pervasive contrasts in the Pauline letters. For him to place them in a complementary relationship here would be for him to discard one of the most important building blocks in his theology.7 A final indicator that vv. 5 and 6 are in contrast rather than in continuity is Phil. 3:6–9. This is the only other passage in Paul in which “righteousness based on the law” and “righteousness based on faith” are both found; and they are set in direct contrast to one another.
(2) A second interpretation of “righteousness based on the law” posits a mild contrast between it and “the righteousness based on faith.” Advocates of this approach identify “the one who does these things” as Christ. By doing the law perfectly, he activates the promise of life found in Lev. 18:5 and makes that life available for all who believe (vv. 6–13).8 Again, therefore, Paul provides evidence that Christ is indeed the “aim” of the law.
Christ’s satisfaction of the law’s requirements as a basis for securing righteousness for those who are his is a Pauline concept (see 3:31 and 8:4); but there is no good basis in the text to introduce it here. Moreover, accepting this interpretation would put Paul’s application of Lev. 18:5 here in conflict with his application of the same text in Gal. 3:12. And, while not impossible, a difference between the two would be unlikely because the texts have a great deal in common.9
(3) “The righteousness based on the law,” then, is a negative conception, in direct contrast to “the righteousness based on faith” (v. 6).10 It is that “right standing with God,”11 bound up with the law and one’s own works, that Israel had pursued but not attained (cf. 9:31–32a; 10:3) and which Paul discarded in favor of the “righteousness from God” (Phil. 3:9). Such an antithetical understanding of vv. 5–6 could be intended to illustrate the way in which Christ “brings to an end” the law (v. 4a). But the focus on righteousness and faith in vv. 6ff. suggests rather that for Paul the connection is with v. 4b: “so that there might be righteousness for all who believe.”12 The “for” in v. 5 therefore introduces all of vv. 5–8 (or 5–13) as an elaboration of the connection between righteousness and faith and its significance. Verses 6 and following give a positive argument for this connection; v. 5 a negative one.
Before we can understand what this negative point is, we need to know how Paul’s quotation of Lev. 18:5 contributes to the argument. In its context, Lev. 18:5 summons Israel to obedience to the commandments of the Lord as a means of prolonging her enjoyment of the blessings of God in the promised land.13 The verse is not speaking about the attainment of eternal life; and Paul clearly does not believe that the OT teaches that righteousness is based on the law (see Rom. 4). Paul is not, therefore, claiming that Christ has replaced the old way of salvation—by obedience to the law—with a new one—by faith in Christ.14 But Paul does think that the law embodies, in its very nature, the principle that perfect obedience to it would confer eternal life (see 2:13 and 7:10). It may be this principle that Paul intends to enunciate here via the words of Lev. 18:5.15
However, we think that Paul’s point is a more nuanced one. His purpose in quoting Lev. 18:5 is succinctly to summarize what for him is the essence of the law: blessing is contingent on obedience.16 It is the one who does the works required by the law17 who must find life through18 them. The emphasis lies on the word “doing” and not on the promise of “life.”19 Paul states this principle here as a warning. The Jew who refuses to submit to the righteousness of God in Christ, ignoring the fact that the law has come to its culmination in Christ and seeking to establish a relationship with God through the law, must be content in seeking that relationship through “doing.”20 Yet human doing, imperfect as even the most sincere striving must be, is always inadequate to bring a person into relationship with God—as Paul has shown in Rom. 1:18–3:20.21 Throughout salvation history, faith and doing, “gospel” and “law” have run along side-by-side. Each is important in our relationship with God. But, as it is fatal to ignore one or the other, it is equally fatal to mix them or to use them for the wrong ends. The OT Israelite who sought to base his or her relationship with God on the law rather than on God’s gracious election in and through the Abrahamic promise arrangement made this mistake. Similarly, Paul suggests, many Jews in his day are making the same mistake: concentrating on the law to the exclusion of God’s gracious provision in Christ, the “climax” of the law, for their relationship with the Lord.22
6 Verse 6 is connected to v. 5 with the Greek word de. Our interpretation of v. 5 requires that we give the word an adversative meaning: “Moses writes about the righteousness based on the law (v. 5) … but the righteousness based on faith speaks in this manner.…”23 By attributing to the righteousness based on faith the ability to “speak,” Paul follows the biblical pattern of personifying activities and concepts that are closely related to God.24 The “righteousness based on faith” is active and powerful because it is also “the righteousness of God” (see v. 3)—in contrast to the righteousness based on the law that Moses wrote about.25 Paul relates what this righteousness based on faith “says” in vv. 6b–8, using language drawn from Deuteronomy. The introductory warning, “Do not say in your heart,” is taken from Deut. 9:4. Paul’s quotation of this clause is not haphazard; he wants his readers to associate these words with the context from which they are drawn.26 For in Deut. 9:4–6 Moses warns the people of Israel that when they have taken possession of the land God is bringing them to, they must not think that they have earned it because of “their own righteousness.” Paul therefore adds implicit biblical support to his criticism of the Israel of his day for its pursuit of their own righteousness (see v. 5).
After this fragment of Deut. 9:4, Paul then adds directly to it a clause from Deut. 30:12: “Who will ascend into heaven?”27 He then adds an explanatory phrase, claiming that the object of this ascent into heaven is “to bring Christ down.” If Paul’s attribution of Deut. 9:4 to the righteousness based on faith is particularly apropos, the same cannot be said about his use of this clause from Deut. 30:11–14. For Deut. 30:11–14 is about God’s law:
Surely, this commandment28 that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe. (NRSV; the fragments Paul quotes are in italics)
Moses’ purpose is to prevent the Israelites from evading responsibility for doing the will of God by pleading that they do not know it. In God’s laws, mediated through Moses and set forth in Deuteronomy, God has made his will for his people known to them. How, then, can Paul take a passage that is about the law of God and find in it the voice of righteousness by faith? And how, in his explanatory comments, can he claim that what the text is talking about is not the commandment but Christ?
Some scholars are content simply to accuse Paul of arbitrary exegesis: he has no warrant for the application of Deut. 30 other than his general conviction that the OT everywhere testifies of Christ.29 Other scholars have overcome this apparent hermeneutical problem by arguing that Paul is not quoting Deut. 30; he is only using biblical language to express his meaning.30 But this solution will not work: v. 6a looks like the introduction to a quotation; the number of verbal similarities between Deut. 30:12–14 and vv. 6b–8 suggests that Paul intends us to recognize and make use of the context; and the three “that is” explanations imply that Paul is here applying a text he is quoting. Can we, then, find a hermeneutical rationale for Paul’s application of this text?
One possibility would be to find in Deut. 30:11–14 a continuation of the prophecy in Deut. 30:1–10 about God’s restoration of Israel after the Exile. It is at this time, when God himself circumcises the hearts of his people (v. 6), that he will bring his word near to Israel (v. 14). Paul would therefore legitimately be applying Lev. 18:5 to the Old Covenant and Deut. 30:11–14 to the New, when God writes his law on the hearts of his people (Jer. 31:31–34).31 While an attractive alternative, this way of explaining Paul’s use of Deut. 30:12–14 cannot be accepted: at v. 11 in this chapter, there is a clear transition from the prophecy of future restoration in vv. 1–10 to the situation of Israel as she prepares to enter the promised land.32 Another possibility, then, is to find in intertestamental traditions a bridge between the text of Deut. 30 and Paul’s application of it. Specifically, scholars posit an identification of Christ with the figure of wisdom. They reconstruct the process in three steps: (1) law and wisdom were frequently associated in intertestamental Judaism; (2) one intertestamental text, Bar. 3:29–30, describes wisdom with some of the same language from Deut. 30 that Paul uses here; (3) Paul often associates Christ with the figure of wisdom.33 But Paul’s reliance on the Baruch text is not clear;34 and the association of Christ with wisdom is perhaps not as widespread nor as important to Paul’s Christology as some have made it.
The best explanation for Paul’s use of the Deut. 30 text is to think that he finds in this passage an expression of the grace of God in establishing a relationship with his people.35 As God brought his word near to Israel so they might know and obey him, so God now brings his word “near” to both Jews and Gentiles that they might know him through his Son Jesus Christ and respond in faith and obedience. Because Christ, rather than the law, is now the focus of God’s revelatory word (see 10:4), Paul can “replace” the commandment of Deut. 30:11–14 with Christ. Paul’s application of Deut. 30:12–14, then, is of course not a straightforward exegesis of the passage. But it is a valid application of the principle of that passage in the context of the development of salvation history. The grace of God that underlies the Mosaic covenant is operative now in the New Covenant; and, just as Israel could not plead the excuse that she did not know God’s will, so now, Paul says, neither Jew nor Gentile can plead ignorance of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ.
As Paul therefore uses Lev. 18:5 to summarize the essence of “the law,” so he quotes Deut. 30:12–14 to encapsulate “the gospel.” Throughout salvation history, these two “words” from the Lord have operated side-by-side: God making his demand of his people on the one hand and providing in his grace for their deliverance on the other.36 Viewed against this larger scriptural background, Paul’s contrast of Lev. 18:5 and Deut. 30:12–14 does not violate their root theological significance; nor does it call into question the unity of Scripture. Rather, he is reminding the Jews of his day that righteousness before the Lord can never come from the law, involving as it does human effort, but from the gospel of God’s grace.
In the OT, the language of “ascending into heaven” becomes almost proverbial for a task impossible for human beings to perform.37 In Deut. 30, this impossible task is the bringing of God’s commandment to his people. Paul, however, eliminates any reference to the commandment and applies the language to Christ. Paul’s use of the phrase “that is”38 to introduce his application may signal his intention to provide a “pesher” interpretation.39 This method of exegesis, characteristic of the Qumran community, applies details of the biblical text to contemporary events and persons in a “this [the contemporary event or person] is that [what the OT author wrote about]” format. But the phrase “that is” does not clearly signal the Qumran “pesher” technique;40 nor is it evident that Paul views his explanations of Deuteronomy as an exegesis of the “real” meaning of the text.41 More likely, Paul uses these explanatory comments to suggest a contemporary application of the significance of the Deuteronomy text in the light of the movement of salvation history. Viewed in the light of what God has done in and through his Son, “going into heaven” takes on a new and more literal significance. As the Israelite did not need to “ascend into heaven” to find God’s commandment, so, Paul suggests, there is no need to ascend into heaven to “bring down Christ.” For in the incarnation, the Messiah, God’s Son, has been truly “brought down” already.42 God, from his side, has acted to make himself and his will for his people known; his people now have no excuse for not responding.
7 The particle “or”43 connects the following quotation from Deut. 30 with the previous one, both being dependent on the introductory “Do not say in your heart.” In this second quotation of language from Deut. 30 we find a significant difference between Paul’s wording and the original: for Deuteronomy’s “Who will go across the sea?” Paul has “Who will descend into the abyss?” This difference has led some scholars to think that Paul may here be quoting Ps. 107:26 rather than Deut. 30:13.44 But this is unlikely since Paul’s language is generally parallel to that of Deuteronomy and since it is sandwiched between two other references to Deut. 30. In fact, the “sea” and the “abyss” were somewhat interchangeable concepts in the OT and in Judaism;45 and some Aramaic paraphrases of the Deut. 30:13 used the language of the abyss.46 Therefore, Paul could very easily change the horizontal imagery of the crossing of the sea in Deut. 30:13 to the conceptually similar vertical imagery of descent into the underworld. His purpose for making such a change was to facilitate his christological application. As he could use the fact of the incarnation to suggest the foolishness of “going into heaven” to bring Christ down, so now he can use the fact of the resurrection to deny any need to “go down to the abyss” to bring Christ up from “the realm of the dead.”47
8 The introductory formula “But what does it say?” reiterates the initial introduction to the series of quotations from Deut. 30 in v. 6a—the subject of the verb being, then, “the righteousness based on faith.” Paul uses the adversative “but” because he now tells us what the righteousness based on faith does say, in contrast to what it warns us not to say (vv. 6–7). This positive assertion about the nature of the righteousness based on faith is therefore the key point that Paul wants to get across through his use of Deut. 30.48 What is this point? That the message about the righteousness of faith, preached by Paul and the other apostles, is, like the law of God, accessible and understandable: “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.”49 The word in Deuteronomy takes the form of a word of command; here in Romans, that word of God is “the word of faith that we are preaching.” But both words have in common that God has brought them “near.” Yet there is in the gospel that Paul and the other apostles are preaching an added sense in which the word is “near.” For not only does the gospel proclaim and embody the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring his righteousness “near” to his people; it also provides for the writing of God’s law on the heart, in fulfillment of the New Covenant prophecy.50 In Christ, the culmination of the law, God’s word is near in a way that it has never been before. And all that is now required of human beings is the response of faith. For the gospel is “the word of faith”: a message51 that calls for faith.52
9 The word that connects v. 9 to v. 8 (hoti) could be translated either “that” or “because.” If we translate it with “that,” v. 9 would specify the content of “the word of faith” that Paul and the other apostles are preaching.53 If, however, we translate it “because,” v. 9 would explain how it is that “the word is near you.”54 The latter alternative should probably be adopted because it would be awkward to have two “content” clauses in a row (e.g., “that is the word of faith … ,” “that if you confess …”). Paul is therefore explaining the “nearness” of the word of faith, the gospel, by emphasizing that it demands only a simple response and that, when responded to, it mediates God’s salvation. This simple response, surprisingly in light of Paul’s stress on faith in this context, is a twofold one: “if you confess with55 your mouth” and “if you believe in your heart.” Both the presence of these two conditions and the order in which they occur are due to Paul’s desire to show how his “word of faith” precisely matches the description of the word in Deut. 30:14, as being “in your mouth” and “in your heart.”56 Paul’s rhetorical purpose at this point should make us cautious about finding great significance in the reference to confession here, as if Paul were making oral confession a second requirement for salvation. Belief in the heart is clearly the crucial requirement, as Paul makes clear even in this context (9:30; 10:4, 11). Confession is the outward manifestation of this critical inner response.57
The content of what we are to confess and to believe reflects basic early Christian proclamation. The acclamation of Jesus as Lord is a very early and very central element of Christian confession;58 as is the conviction that God raised Jesus from the dead.59 Paul’s focus here on Christ’s resurrection is not, of course, intended to detract from his death or from other aspects of his work; as Calvin explains, the resurrection alone is “often set before us as the assurance of our salvation, not to draw away our attention from his death, but because it bears witness to the efficacy and fruit of his death.”60 Paul may also focus on our belief in the resurrection as a final answer to the question “Who will descend into the abyss? (That is, to bring Christ up)” in v. 7. The gospel, then, is “near” to us because it requires only what our own hearts and mouths can do; and when we respond, it brings near to us God’s salvation.61
10 Verse 10 provides corroboration of the connection between confession and faith on the one hand and salvation on the other: “For with the heart one believes for righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses for salvation.”62 This general way of stating the matter prepares the way for Paul’s universalizing application in vv. 11–13. Verse 10 is, then, transitional. Paul again writes rhetorically: the wording of the two parallel clauses follows the same order; and each clause reiterates one of the conditions of v. 9, but in reverse order (thus forming a chiasm). This evident rhetorical interest suggests that Paul would not want us to find any difference in the meanings of “righteousness” and “salvation” here.63 Each expresses in a general way the new relationship with God that is the result of believing “with the heart” and confessing “with the mouth.”64
11 Paul’s quotation of Isa. 28:16 in this verse has two purposes. First, it provides further scriptural support for his critical connection of faith and salvation. For “not being put to shame” refers to deliverance at the time of judgment.65 Second, by adding the word “no one”66 at the beginning of the quotation, Paul is able to cite the text to support his contention that the salvation now made available in Christ is for anyone who believes. This verse therefore finally picks up the element of universality in 10:4b: “for everyone who believes.”
12 Paul unpacks the universality inherent in “everyone” in this verse. As so often in Romans, Paul is particularly concerned with the equal footing given to both Jews and Gentiles by the gospel. As there is “no distinction” between the two groups of people in sin and judgment (3:23), so there is “no distinction” between them as far as the Lord who rules over them or in the grace that the Lord offers to them. Paul has earlier in the letter shown that the confession that there is only one God leads naturally to the conclusion that God must rule both Jews and Gentiles (3:29–30). His insistence here that “the same Lord is Lord of all,”67 might be making the same point, in which case we would understand “Lord” to refer to God the Father.68 But “Lord” (kyrios) in v. 9 refers to Jesus, and Christ is also the implicit antecedent of “him” in whom people believe in v. 11. Moreover, Paul’s language here probably echoes again an early Christian acclamation of Jesus as “Lord of all.”69 The “Lord” here will then be Jesus.70 As Lord, Jesus not only demands allegiance from all; he graciously showers his “riches” on all who “call upon him.” Paul frequently uses the language of “wealth” to connote the unlimited resources of God71 that he makes available to his people in and through his Son.72 Often, these riches are defined in terms of God’s grace or mercy (2:4; Eph. 1:7; 2:7), and this is certainly Paul’s intention here as well. “Call upon” with a personal object is used in secular Greek for asking someone for assistance, and especially of asking God, or the gods, for help or intervention.73 But “calling on the Lord” is also quite common in the LXX and Jewish literature,74 and was taken over by the early Christians with reference both to God the Father and to Christ.75
13 Paul brings to a close this paragraph with an implicit quotation from Joel 2:32 (LXX 3:5). The catchword “call upon” is clearly the link between the context and the quotation, which was important in early Christian preaching.76 But perhaps even more important for Paul was its emphasis on the universal availability of salvation. The quotation brings together two crucial terms from this context: “everyone” (cf. vv. 4, 11, 12) and “salvation” (cf. vv. 1, 9, 10). In the OT, of course, the one on whom people called for salvation was Yahweh; Paul reflects the high view of Christ common among the early church by identifying this one with Jesus Christ, the Lord.77
ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí ôç̀í å̓ê [ôïõ͂] íḯìïõ. The effect of this is to make ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí … the object of the substantival participle ï̔ ðïéḉóáò in the quotation of Lev. 18:5 (most of the same MSS therefore also omit the word áõ̓ôá́; see the next note). See NASB: “For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness” (cf. also RSV). This reading is found in the primary Alexandrian uncial א, the secondary Alexandrian uncial A, the original text of the western D, and a number of important minuscules (e.g., 33, 81, 1739). It is adopted in the text of NA25 and defended by a significant number of scholars (S-H, 286; Murray, 2.46; Käsemann, 285; Schlatter, 312; Cranfield, 2.520–21; Wilckens, 2.224; Bandstra, The Law and the Elements of the World, 103; Rhyne, Faith Establishes the Law, pp. 104–5; Badenas, Christ the End of the Law, pp. 118–19). (2) ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí å̓ê [ôïõ͂] íḯìïõ
. With the ï̔́ôé following the phrase, ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí å̓ê [ôïõ͂] íḯìïõ will be an accusative of respect: “For Moses writes with respect to the righteousness of the law, that …” (see most English versions). This reading is to be preferred (it is adopted in NA27 and UBS4). It has strong and diverse external support, with the early papyrus P46, the important Alexandrian uncial B, part of the western tradition (the second corrector of D and G), Ø, and the majority text. And it is easy to understand why a scribe might have moved ï̔́ôé to a position before ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí in order to ease the syntactical abruptness of the accusative. It has against it, however, the suspicion of being a secondary assimilation to Gal. 3:12b, where Paul also quotes Lev. 18:5. But this consideration is not strong enough to overcome the evidence in the other direction. For a defense of the reading adopted here, see esp. A. Lindemann, “Die Gerechtigkeit aus dem Gesetz: Erwägungen zur Auslegung und zur Textgeschichte von Römer 105,” ZNW 73 (1982), 234–37; Metzger, 524–25; also Koch, 293–94; Meyer, 2.170; Godet, 376–77; Zahn, 477; Kuss, 3.754–55; Black, 143; Dunn, 2.599; Morris, 381; Fitzmyer, 589.
2 Most of those MSS that make ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí … the object of ï̔ ðïéḉóáò … á̓́íèñùðïò (see the previous note) naturally omit áõ̓ôá́; but if we adopt the reading I have argued for, then the áõ̓ôá́ should probably be retained (though cf. Godet, 377). There is also a variant at the end of the verse, with some MSS (e.g., the two primary Alexandrian uncials, א [original hand] and B, the secondary Alexandrian uncial A, and several important minuscules) reading áõ̓ôç͂ͅ (“in it,” that is, righteousness), while others (e.g., the papyrus P46, the second corrector of א, and D) have áõ̓ôïé͂ò (“in them,” that is, the commandments, the implied antecedent of áõ̓ôá́). Making ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí the object of ï̔ ðïéḉóáò … á̓́íèñùðïò naturally favors the former reading, and it is therefore presumed by NASB and RSV. While this reading is possible even if ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí is placed before the ï̔́ôé (see, again, Godet), it is somewhat awkward and should probably be regarded as an assimilation that arose to accommodate the secondary variant.
Deut. 9:4; 30:12–14
3 See particularly the fine analysis of Rhyne, Faith Establishes the Law, pp. 110–11; cf. also Maier, Israel in der Heilsgeschichte, p. 467; Godet, 376; Käsemann, 284; Aletti, Comment Dieu est-il juste? 122–24.
5 With the text we have adopted (see the translation and the relevant notes), ôç̀í äéêáéïóṍíçí ôç̀í å̓ê íḯìïõ is an accusative of respect dependent on ãñá́öåé (Z-G, 482; see also NRSV; NIV; REB; TEV). This is the only place where Paul uses the present tense of ãñá́öù to introduce an OT quotation; the emphasis is on the current applicability of the quotation.
6 G. E. Howard, “Christ the End of the Law: The Meaning of Romans 10:4ff.,” JBL 88 (1969), 333–36; Fuller, Gospel and Law, pp. 66–68; Flückiger, “Christus, des Gesetzes ôǻëïò,” pp. 153–57; R. Bring, Christus und das Gesetz (Leiden: Brill, 1969), p. 54; Toews, “The Law,” pp. 252–62, 282–83; Badenas, Christ the End of the Law, pp. 120–25; Wright, Climax of the Covenant, p. 245; Kaiser, “The Law as God’s Gracious Guidance,” p. 184. The text that places ï̔́ôé after ãñá́öåé, omits áõ̓ôá́, and reads áõ̓ôç͂ͅ in place of áõ̓ôïé͂ò is more congenial to this interpretation; e.g., “Moses writes that the one who does the righteousness of the law will live by it.” It is therefore adopted by many (though not all) of the scholars who hold this view.
7 See Dahl (p. 106): “Paul’s entire exegesis depends on the presupposition that faith and works of the Law exclude each other, that the Mosaic Law and faith in Christ cannot simultaneously express the proper way for man to relate to God.” See, further, our notes on 2:25 and 3:27.
8 Bandstra, The Law and the Elements of the World, pp. 103–5; Cranfield; Campbell, “Christ the End of the Law,” pp. 77–78; Barth, People of God, p. 39; Dinter, “The Remnant of Israel,” pp. 139–41; cf. also Hendriksen, although he sees a contrast between vv. 5 and 6.
9 As Strobel points out, the similarities between Rom. 10:1–8 and Rom. 1:16–17 on the one hand, and Gal. 3:11–12 and Rom. 1:16–17 on the other (both quoting Hab. 2:4) suggest that all three texts move in the same orbit of thinking (Untersuchungen zum eschatologischen Verzögerungproblem, pp. 190–92).
10 This is the view of the majority of scholars. See esp. J. S. Vos, “Die hermeneutische Antinomie bei Paulus (Galater 3.11–12; Römer 10.5–10),” NTS 38 (1992), 258–60; Dunn, “Romans 10,” pp. 218–19; Rhyne, Faith Establishes the Law, p. 105. Sanders (Paul, the Law and the Jewish People, p. 63 n. 132) entertains the idea, which Lindemann adopts (“Gesetz aus dem Gesetzes,” pp. 239–42), that “righteousness out of the law” is a neutral concept: a genuine and, as far as it goes, valuable possession, but one that does not save (and these modern scholars were anticipated by several ancient ones, among them Origen, Diodorus, and Ambrosiaster [see Schelkle]). This is an attractive hypothesis but does not fit well with the obviously negative connotation that the parallel expressions “law for righteousness” (9:31) and “their own righteousness” (10:3) have.
13 Lev. 18:1–30 is a unit. It begins with a general exhortation to the Israelites to follow the statutes and ordinances of the law of God rather than the customs and practices of Egypt from which they came or of Canaan to which they are going (vv. 1–5). There follows a series of specific aspects of that law of God (vv. 6–23), and the section concludes with a further exhortation to obedience and a warning of judgment should they fail (vv. 24–30). In this context, Lev. 18:5 must be saying more than that a man who does the commandments will live “in” them; e.g., live out his life in the sphere of the law (taking the בְ of the Hebrew text and the å̓í of the LXX as a locative of sphere; this view is argued by W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Leviticus and Paul: ‘Do this and you shall live’ (eternally?),” JETS 14 , 19–28; cf. also B. A. Levine, Leviticus [The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989], p. 119). The context points rather to “life” being the reward for obedience: it is the opposite of the expulsion from the land on the part of the nation and the expulsion from Israel on the part of the individual that the end of the chapter warns will be the judgment for disobedience (see vv. 28, 29; cf., e.g., G. Wenham, A Commentary on Leviticus [NICOT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], p. 253; R. K. Harrison, Leviticus [TOTC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980], p. 185). Elsewhere in the Pentateuch also, “life” denotes the reward God gives to his people for obedience of the law (e.g., Deut. 30:15, 19). This life consists in material prosperity, deliverance from enemies, and peace and longevity in the land that the Lord is giving the people (Lev. 26:3–13; Deut. 28:1–14). Lev. 18:5 is warning that the continuance of this “life” that God has already initiated for the people depends on their faithful observance of the law (this is a repeated refrain in Deuteronomy; cf. 4:1–2, 40; 5:33; 6:1–3; 7:12–16; 8:1).
15 Leviticus 18:5 was interpreted as a promise of eternal life by some Jewish authors (see Targums Onkelos and Pseudo-Jonathan; b. Sanh. 58b; Sipra Lev. 337a; cf. Str-B, 3.278). The idea that Paul sees in Lev. 18:5 a (hypothetical) promise of life to the doer becomes almost standard in the Reformed and Lutheran traditions. See, e.g., Calvin; Hodge; Haldane; Alford; Wilckens and idem, “Gesetzesverständnis,” pp. 165–72; Westerholm, 134–35; Gundry, “Grace, Works and Staying Saved,” pp. 24–25; Hübner, 19–20 (on Gal. 3:12); Ridderbos, Paul, p. 134; Hofius, “ ‘All Israel Will Be Saved,’ ” pp. 22–23. Cf. also Refoulé, “Romains X,4,” pp. 346–50, who, however, thinks that Paul views the promise as still applicable to the Jewish remnant.
16 This appears to be Paul’s point in quoting Lev. 18:5 in Gal. 3:12 also (cf. Longenecker, Galatians, p. 120). Paul has predecessors in using Lev. 18:5 as a “slogan,” for the text appears to be quoted frequently in Jewish literature. See Neh. 9:29: “… Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a person shall live”; Ezek. 20:13 (cf. also v. 21): “… they did not observe my statutes but rejected my ordinances, by whose observance everyone shall live …” (both NRSV); CD 3:14–16: “… He unfolded before them His holy Sabbaths and his glorious feasts, the testimonies of His righteousness and the ways of His truth, and the desires of His will which a man must do in order to live”; cf. also b. Sanh. 59b.
17 The áõ̓ôá́ and áõ̓ôïé͂ò in Paul’s quotation are without an antecedent. The LXX, which Paul is following (LXX turns the relative clause of the Hebrew [הָאָדָם יָחַי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם, “which, by doing them, a man shall live”] into an independent statement), has the áõ̓ôïé͂ò, but not the áõ̓ôá́. Its antecedent is ôá̀ ðñïóôá́ãìáôá and ôá̀ êñé́ìáôá, “the decrees” and “the ordinances.” Paul therefore probably intends the reader to identify the antecedent from the OT context, or to infer that the plural pronouns refer generally to those things that the law commands.
20 For a view similar to this one, see Melanchthon; Fairbairn, Revelation of Law, p. 446; W. Gutbrod, TDNT IV, 1072; Lindemann, “Gerechtigkeit aus dem Gesetzes,” pp. 242–46; Eckstein, “ ‘Nahe ist dir das Wort,’ ” pp. 204–6; Martin, Christ and the Law, pp. 139–40; Godet; Murray 2.249–51; Harrison; Dahl, 148; Aletti, Comment Dieu est-il juste? 124–27. Dunn again sees in Paul’s quotation of Lev. 18:5 an expression of Jewish covenantal zeal that restricts God’s righteousness to Israel (“Romans 10,” p. 223; cf. also Longenecker, Eschatology and the Covenant, pp. 220–21).
21 That Paul here disparages “doing” because of its inability, due to the power of sin, to confer righteousness is the natural conclusion from his argument in Rom. 1:18–3:20 (cf., e.g., Chrysostom; Kuss). Others, however, think that Paul simply opposes doing in principle, as antithetical to faith (e.g., Koch, 291–95).
23 An adversative meaning for äǻ is, of course, quite normal. Some advocates of a complementary relationship between vv. 5 and 6 have, however, argued that the combination ãá́ñ … äǻ (vv. 5 and 6) makes it more likely that äǻ here means “and” (Howard, “Christ the End of the Law,” pp. 331–32; Badenas, Christ the End of the Law, p. 123; Kaiser, “The Law as God’s Guidance,” p. 184). But there are two fatal weaknesses in this argument. First, ãá́ñ … äǻ is not a correlative pair in Greek, and it is artificial therefore to isolate places where they occur together as if they have a standard meaning. Second, however, even if the words are examined in this artificial combination, the results are just the reverse of what Howard and the others claim. In Rom. 1–8, e.g., this sequence occurs 22 times: in three äǻ is continuative (4:15; 7:8–9; 8:24); in four explanatory (“that is,” “now”; 1:11–12; 2:1b–2; 6:7–8; 5:13); and in 15 contrastive (2:25; 5:7–8, 10–11, 16; 6:10, 23; 7:2, 14, 18b, 22–23; 8:5, 6, 13, 22–23, 24–25).
24 Wisdom (Prov. 8:21ff., etc.); the Word (Isa. 55:10–11). For similar personifications of “righteousness,” see Ps. 85:10–13; Isa. 45:8 (as Dunn notes, this last verse might be significant for Paul since he has perhaps alluded to Isa. 45:9 in 9:20–21).
25 It is argued that two further points of contrast are to be found in the introductory formulas in vv. 5a and 6a: that ãñá́öåé in v. 5 carries a negative nuance in comparison with ëǻãù in v. 6 (Käsemann relates the contrast to Paul’s ãñá́ììá/ðíåõ͂ìá antithesis [p. 284]; cf. also Schlatter; Michel; Dunn; Schlier; Fitzmyer); and that the reference to Moses in v. 5a implies that the principle being cited applies only to the old era, now superseded in Christ (Dunn, “Romans 10,” pp. 218–19; Longenecker, Eschatology and the Covenant, pp. 222–23). Neither contrast, however, is clear (see Eckstein, “ ‘Nahe ist dir das Wort,’ ” pp. 207–8). Paul uses both ãñá́öù and ëǻãù frequently in introductions to OT quotations (for ëǻãù, see, in Romans alone: 4:3, 6; 9:15, 17, 25; 10:11, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21; 11:2, 4, 9; 15:10, 12; ãñá́öù is also, of course, common, although this is the only place that Paul uses the present tense of the verb in an introductory formula), and it is unlikely that we should see any contrast in the shift of verbs here (cf. Wilckens, 2.226). And, while Paul can associate Moses with the old era (cf. 5:14; 2 Cor. 3:7–15 esp.), he can also simply view him as an author of inspired Scripture (as in 10:19).
26 The association would be an easy one because only here and in the closely related 8:17 do the words Paul uses—ìç̀ åé̓́ðçͅò å̓í ôç͂ͅ êáñäé́áͅ óïõ—occur in the LXX (see also Deut. 18:17; Jer. 13:22). See, e.g., Hays, 78–79; Leenhardt; Cranfield; Michel; Dunn.
27 Gk. ôé́ò á̓íáâḉóåôáé åé̓ò ôï̀í ïõ̓ñáíḯí. Paul follows the LXX (which accurately translates the MT) closely, only omitting the first person plural dative (of advantage) pronoun, õ̔ìé͂í, which comes between á̓íáâḉóåôáé and åé̓ò.
31 Thielman, From Plight to Solution, pp. 113–14; W. Strickland, “The Inauguration of the Law of Christ with the Gospel,” in The Law, the Gospel, and the Modern Christian, p. 250; cf. J. H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), pp. 473–74.
32 Deuteronomy 30:11–14 returns to the theme of 29:29, as Moses lays the basis for his appeal to the Israelites to obey the law that God gave the people (vv. 11–15). The future time orientation of vv. 1–10, with its waw + perfect verbs, is dropped in v. 11. See S. R. Driver, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Deuteronomy (ICC; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916), pp. 330–31.
33 This position is most fully worked out by M. J. Suggs, “ ‘The Word is Near You’: Romans 10:6–10 within the Purpose of the Letter,” in Christian History and Interpretation, pp. 289–312. Many scholars find this background to be at least part of the explanation for Paul’s application; see Kim, Origin of Paul’s Gospel, pp. 130–31; Schnabel, Law and Wisdom, pp. 248–49; Hays, 78–81; Koch, 153–60. Johnson (Function, pp. 133–37) thinks that there is contact with Baruch but that Paul simply identifies wisdom with the gospel. Bar. 3:29–30 reads: ôé́ò á̓íǻâç åé̓ò ôï̀í ïõ̓ñáíï̀í êáé̀ å̓́ëáâåí áõ̓ôç̀í êáé̀ êáôåâé́âáóåí áõ̓ôç̀í å̓ê ôù͂í íåöåëù͂í; ôé́ò äéǻâç ðǻñáí ôç͂ò èáëá́óóçò êáé̀ åõ̔͂ñåí áõ̓ôç̀í êáé̀ ïé̓́óåé áõ̓ôç̀í ÷ñõóé́ïõ å̓êëåêôïõ͂;: “Who went up into heaven and received her [wisdom] and brought her down from the clouds? Who travelled beyond the sea and found her and will buy her for precious gold?” Note the association of wisdom with “the commandment of life” in 3:9.
34 As Seifrid points out, Paul’s text is closer to Deuteronomy than to Baruch (“Paul’s Approach,” pp. 20–23). Moreover, the language of ascending to heaven and crossing the sea (or going down into the abyss) became somewhat proverbial (see Jub. 24:31; 4 Ezra 4:8; b. B. Meṣ. 59b).
35 For similar approaches, see Calvin; Godet; Murray; Cranfield; Seifrid, “Paul’s Approach,” pp. 35–37; D. O. Via, “A Structuralist Approach to Paul’s Old Testament Hermeneutic,” Int 28 (1974), 215–18. Paul’s application of the text to “righteousness by faith” would be aided by the similarity in language between Deut. 30:14 (the “near” word) and texts in Isaiah that speak of God bringing “near” his righteousness and that were probably basic for Paul’s understanding of the righteousness of God (46:13; 51:5; see Eckstein, “ ‘Nahe ist dir das Wort,’ ” pp. 217–19). Paul stands in an interpretive tradition in his innovative application of Deut. 30:12–14; Philo, e.g., applied the text to the search for “the good” (Posterity and Exile of Cain 84–85; Change of Names 236–37; Rewards and Punishments 80; Virtues 183; cf. Dunn, 2.604). Another influence on Paul in choosing this text to describe the righteousness by faith may have been his knowledge of the larger context of Deuteronomy, with its call for a heartfelt obedience, including love for the Lord and the circumcision of the heart (see, in the immediate context of the text Paul quotes, 30:6 and 20; cf. S. Lyonnet, “Saint Paul et l’exégèse juive de son temps: a propos de Romains 10:6–8,” in Mélanges bibliques rédigés en l’honneur de André Robert [Paris: Bloud & Gay, 1957], pp. 496–501). But, granted Paul’s fundamental antithesis (reiterated in this text) between “faith” and “doing,” it is unlikely that Paul wants us to identify true doing of the law with faith (contra, e.g., Flückiger, “Christus, des Gesetzes ôǻëïò,” p. 154; Fuller, Gospel and Law, pp. 85–87; Wright, Climax of the Covenant, pp. 122–24; Badenas, Christ the End of the Law, pp. 129–30). Nor does Paul identify the commandment with Christ; for he explicitly identifies the “word” of Deuteronomy with the apostolic message (v. 8; cf. Dunn).
36 The contrast between Lev. 18:5 and Deut. 30:12–14 is not simply, then, a salvation-historical one, as if the latter text was valid only for the old Mosaic era and the former for the new (contra, e.g., Dunn, “Romans 10,” p. 225; Longenecker, Eschatology and the Covenant, pp. 222–23; M. A. Getty, “An Apocalyptic Perspective on Rom 10:4,” HBT 4–5 [1982–83], 108–16).
39 See, e.g., Michel; Cranfield; Wilckens. In the DSS (particularly in 1QpHab and 1QpNah), a portion of the OT text is quoted and its interpretation is then introduced with the word פִּשְׁרוֹ, “its interpretation [is].” For “pesher” exegesis, see, e.g., L. H. Silbermann, “Unriddling the Riddle: A Study in the Structure and Language of Habakkuk Pesher (1QpHab),” RevQ 3 (1961–62), 323–64; Moo, Old Testament, pp. 69–75.
40 The Greek phrase ôïõ͂ôʼ å̓́óôéí is widely used in the LXX, Philo, and the NT to introduce an explanation; there is little reason to think that it deliberately echoes the DSS piśrô (see esp. Seifrid, “Paul’s Approach,” pp. 29–34; Dunn suggests that Paul’s formula combines Jewish and Greek styles). The phrase then introduces the epexegetic infinitival clause ×ñéóôï̀í êáôáãáãåé͂í as Paul’s explanation (or application) of the word á̓íáâḉóåôáé in the quotation (see S-H; Meyer and Godet offer different and less natural explanations of the syntax).
42 Most church fathers (see Schelkle) and many modern commentators (e.g., S-H; Murray; Barrett; Nygren; Fitzmyer) rightly see in Paul’s language here an allusion to the incarnation. The sequence “come down” (v. 6) and “go up” (v. 7) reflects the common early Christian kerymatic sequence of Christ’s incarnation and resurrection (see Phil. 2:6–11; 1 Tim. 3:16; and cf. E. Schweizer, “Zur Herkunft der Präexistenzvorstellung bei Paulus,” EvT 19 , 67–68). Some commentators, however, think that “bringing Christ down” alludes to Christ’s ascension (e.g., Godet; Michel; Käsemann; Dunn).
44 See, e.g., Kuss; Fitzmyer. Ps. 107:26 refers to those whom God has redeemed from trouble (cf. v. 2): “They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths (LXX: êáôáâáé́íïõóéí å̔́ùò ôù͂í á̓âṍóóùí); their courage melted away in their calamity.”
45 In the LXX, á̓́âõóóïò almost always translates תְּהוֹם, which usually refers to the deep places of the sea (BDB), but which in later Judaism was also used of the depths of the earth and the place where evil spirits are confined (J. Jeremias, TDNT I, 9). On the equivalence of the terms, see esp. Heller, “Himmel- und Höllenfarht,” p. 482; Michel, Paulus, p. 60; on similar rabbinic traditions, see A. M. Goldberg, “Torah aus der Unterwelt? Eine Bemerkung zu Röm 10,6–7,” BZ 14 (1970), 127–31. In the NT, “abyss” refers to the place where (evil) spirits dwell and are confined (Luke 8:31; Rev. 9:1–2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3).
46 Targum Neofiti reads: “Neither is the Law beyond the Great Sea that one may say: Would that we had one like the prophet Jonah who would descend into the depths of the Great Sea and bring it up for us … (the translation is from M. McNamara, The New Testament and the Palestinian Targum to the Pentateuch [AnBib 27; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1966], pp. 370–78). The “Fragment” targum is similar (see Lyonnet, “Saint Paul et le exégèse juive,” pp. 501–5). It may also be significant for Paul’s application of the language to the resurrection of Christ that Jonah 2:3–10 uses both מַיִם, “sea,” and תְּהוֹם, “abyss,” in parallel of the prophet’s experience in the belly of the great fish (see Matt. 12:40).
47 Gk. å̓ê íåêñù͂í; see the comments on 1:4. It may be that Paul is in this verse assuming the tradition of Christ’s “descent into Hades” between the time of his death and his resurrection (so, e.g., Käsemann and many other commentators). On the other hand, this may read too much into the appearance of the word “abyss” in the quotation, since that word was, to some degree, “forced” on Paul by the OT tradition he is using.
49 Paul’s wording is very close to the LXX, which reads óïõ å̓ããὺò ôï̀ ñ̔ç͂ìá óöḯäñá å̓í ôù͂ͅ óôḯìáôé óïõ êáé̀ å̓í ôç͂ͅ êáñäé́áͅ óïõ (and the LXX faithfully renders the MT). Paul again quotes selectively, omitting the words “and in your hands, to do it” that complete the sentence in Deut. 30:14. He is thereby able to cite this language from Deuteronomy as a generalized reference to God’s word.
52 The genitive ôç͂ò ðé́óôåùò is objective—“the word that calls for faith” (cf. Meyer; S-H; Murray; Cranfield). Some commentators think that “faith” here might have the concrete sense of “the faith which is believed” (fides quae creditur; cf. Käsemann; Fitzmyer), but this is unlikely. Both ðé́óôéò and ðéóôåṍù refer throughout this context to the act of believing rather than to the message that one is to believe.
56 Cf. Cranfield. Other scholars think that the order of the clauses, at least, might reflect Paul’s use here of an early Christian confession, perhaps associated with baptism (e.g., P.-E. Langevin, “Sur le christologie de Romains 10,1–13,” Théologique et Philosophique 35 , 39–42; Käsemann; Wilckens).
57 Paul uses the “confession” word-group (ï̔ìïëïãǻù and ï̔ìïëïãé́á) rarely. In 1 Tim. 6:12–13, confession is a public attestation of one’s faith (cf. also Tit. 1:16, where the confession is verbal only); in 2 Cor. 9:13, the confession is one’s Christian profession, to which the Corinthians are called to be obedient. On “confession” in the NT, see, further, V. H. Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (NTTS 5; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963). A double accusative (êṍñéïí É̓çóïõ͂í) after ï̔ìïëïãǻù is not unusual (BDF 157).
58 See Phil. 2:11; 1 Cor. 12:3; cf. Neufeld, Confessions, pp. 43–47. The ìáñá́íá èá́—“our Lord, come!”—of 1 Cor. 16:22, in particular, points to an early date for this confession since it preserves the Aramaic that was spoken by the first Jewish Christians. This confession in Jesus as Lord carried with it significant overtones, for it would inevitably associate Jesus closely with God, the “Lord.” See, e.g., Langevin, “Romains 10,1–13,” pp. 51–53; and, further, the note on v. 13; contra, e.g., Dunn, who unduly minimizes its significance.
59 See 4:24; 8:11; Gal. 1:1; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:4, 12, 20; 2 Cor. 4:14; 1 Thess. 1:10; Col. 2:12; Eph. 1:20; Acts 3:15; 4:10; 10:40; 1 Pet. 1:21. On both these early Christian “words,” see W. Führer, “ ‘Herr ist Jesus.’ Die Rezeption der urchristlichen Kyrios-Akklamation durch Paulus; Römer 10:9,” KD 33 (1987), 139–42.
61 óùèḉóçͅ, “you will be saved,” might be a genuine temporal future, denoting final rescue from sin and death at the last day (see Barrett; Dunn). But it makes better sense in this context to view it simply as a relative or “logical” future—salvation being the result of, and therefore future to, confessing and believing—with its absolute time undetermined (see the notes on 6:5 and Porter, Verbal Aspect, pp. 421–23).
62 The two verbs in the verse (ðéóôåṍåôáé and ï̔ìïëïãåé͂ôáé) are third person singular passive. It is possible to supply as the subjects of these verbs the objects of the comparable verbs in v. 9: “that Jesus is Lord is believed,” “that God raised him from the dead is confessed.” But this is awkward; it is better to think that Paul uses the passive to connote an impersonal nuance: “one believes,” “one confesses.” He thereby gives to the verse a summary and principial character (see Barrett).
63 Dunn; Cranfield. Both scholars, however, think the words refer to deliverance at the last day; this, however, is not clear (see the note on v. 9). Murray, on the other hand, sees some distinction between righteousness and salvation here; Godet thinks that righteousness is a benefit conferred in this life, with salvation referring to eschatological deliverance. As Dunn notes, the collocation of “faith,” “righteousness,” and “salvation” reminds us again of the theme of the letter (1:16–17).
67 Gk. ï̔ ãá̀ñ áõ̓ôï̀ò êṍñéïò ðá́íôùí. We are required to supply the verb “to be” and to repeat êṍñéïò after the verb as predicate. ðá́íôùí in this context will refer to persons (Langevin, “Romains 10,1–13,” pp. 50–51).
69 See Acts 10:36; cf. 1 Cor. 12:5; Eph. 4:5. J. Dupont argues that the tradition of Jesus as “Lord of all” might have arisen on the basis of Joel 2:28 (LXX 3:5) (“ ‘Le Seigneur de tous’ [Ac 10:36; Rm 10:12]: Arrière-fond scripturaire d’une formule christologique,” in Tradition and Interpretation, pp. 229–36).
75 See, respectively, Acts 9:14; 2 Tim. 2:22[?]; 1 Pet. 1:17 and Acts 9:21; 22:16; 1 Cor. 1:2. Some commentators (e.g., Cranfield) think that Paul might be referring to calling on Christ in prayer here, but that is unlikely; NT usage (see above) suggests rather an appeal to Christ for mercy and favor.
76 Acts 2:17–21, 39; cf. Mark 13:24 and parallels; Rev. 6:12. Paul might also have been influenced in the choice of this text by the verses immediately preceding it (vv. 26–27), which speak of the day when God’s people would not be “put to shame”; see the quotation of Isa. 28:16 in v. 11 (Lindars, “Old Testament and Universalism,” 520–21).
77 The significance of NT quotations that use the title êṍñéïò of Christ are debated because it is apparently the case that pre-Christian MSS of the LXX did not use this Greek word to translate the tetragram (reproductions of the Hebrew script were used). But there is good evidence that Greek-speaking Jews before the time of Christ were already at least orally substituting the Greek word êṍñéïò for the tetragram. The NT application of texts that identify Christ with “the Lord” therefore suggest that the early Christians viewed Christ as in some sense equivalent to Yahweh. On this issue, see esp. J. A. Fitzmyer, “The Semitic Background of the New Testament kyrios Title,” in A Wandering Aramean: Collected Aramaic Essays (SBLDS 25; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1979), 115–42; also Koch, 84–88. A few scholars argue that Paul intends the êṍñéïò in the quotation to refer to God the Father rather than to Christ (G. Howard, “The Tetragram and the New Testament,” JBL 96 , 63–83; Gaston, Paul and the Torah, p. 131), but the flow of the context makes this almost impossible.