The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Romans
Find room among you for a man of over-delicate conscience, without arguing about his scruples.✻
Another man can, in conscience, eat what he will; one who is scrupulous must be content with vegetable fare.✻
Let not the first, over his meat, mock at him who does not eat it, or the second, while he abstains, pass judgement on him who eats it. God, after all, has found room for him.
Who art thou, to pass judgement on the servant of another? Whether he keeps his feet or falls,✻ concerns none but his master. And keep his feet he will; God is well able to give him a sure footing.
One man makes a distinction between this day and that; another regards all days alike; let either rest fully content in his own opinion.✻
He who observes the day, observes it in the Lord’s honour. Just so, he who eats does so in the Lord’s honour; he gives thanks to God for it; and he who abstains from eating abstains in the Lord’s honour, and he too thanks God.
None of us lives as his own master, and none of us dies as his own master.
While we live, we live as the Lord’s servants, when we die, we die as the Lord’s servants; in life and in death, we belong to the Lord.
That was why Christ died and lived again; he would be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
And who art thou, to pass judgement on thy brother? Who art thou, to mock at thy brother? We shall all stand, one day, before the judgement-seat of Christ;
(so we read in scripture, As I live, says the Lord, there is no knee but shall bend before me, no tongue but shall pay homage to God);✻
and so each of us will have to give an account of himself before God.
Let us cease, then, to lay down rules for one another, and make this rule for ourselves instead, not to trip up or entangle a brother’s conscience.
This is my assurance, this is what my conscience tells me in the name of our Lord Jesus, that there is nothing which is unclean in itself; it is only when a man believes a thing to be unclean that it becomes unclean for him.✻
And if thy brother’s peace of mind is disturbed over food, it is because thou art neglecting to follow the rule of charity. Here is a soul for which Christ died; it is not for thee to bring it to perdition with the food thou eatest.
We must not allow that which is a good thing for us to be brought into disrepute.✻
The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking this or that; it means rightness of heart, finding our peace and our joy in the Holy Spirit.
Such is the badge of Christ’s service which wins acceptance with God, and the good opinion of our fellow men.
Let our aim, then, be peace, and strengthening one another’s faith.
It is not for thee to destroy God’s work for the sake of a mouthful of food. Nothing is unclean; yet it goes ill with the man who eats to the hurt of his own conscience.
Thou dost well if thou refusest to eat meat, or to drink wine, or to do anything in which thy brother can find an occasion of sin, a cause for scandal or scruple.✻
Thou hast a good conscience? Keep it a matter between thyself and God; he is fortunate, who can make his own choice without self-questioning.
He who hesitates, and eats none the less, is self-condemned; he acts in bad conscience, and wherever there is bad conscience, there is sin.✻
The Holy Bible