The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Romans
Tell me, then, has God disowned his people? That is not to be thought of. Why, I am an Israelite myself, descended from Abraham; Benjamin is my tribe.
No, God has not disowned the people which, from the first, he recognized as his. Do you not remember what scripture tells us about Elias? The complaint, I mean, which he made before God about Israel:
Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and overthrown thy altars; I am the only one left, and my life, too, is threatened.
And what does the divine revelation tell him? There are seven thousand men I have kept true to myself, with knees that never bowed to Baal.✻
So it is in our time; a remnant has remained true; grace has chosen it.
And if it is due to grace, then it is not due to observance of the law; if it were, grace would be no grace at all.
What does it mean, then? Why, that Israel has missed its mark; only this chosen remnant has attained it, while the rest were blinded;✻
so we read in scripture, God has numbed their senses, given them unseeing eyes and deaf ears, to this day.✻
David, too, says, Let their feasting be turned into a trap, a snare, a spring to recoil upon them;
let their eyes be dim, so that they cannot see, keep their backs bowed down continually.✻
Tell me, then, have they stumbled so as to fall altogether? God forbid; the result of their false step has been to bring the Gentiles salvation, and the result of that must be to rouse the Jews to emulate them.
Why then, if their false step has enriched the world, if the Gentiles have been enriched by their default, what must we expect, when it is made good?
(I am speaking now to you Gentiles.)✻ As long as my apostolate is to the Gentiles, I mean to make much of my office,
in the hope of stirring up my own flesh and blood to emulation, and saving some of them.
If the losing of them has meant a world reconciled to God, what can the winning of them mean, but life risen from the dead?✻
When the first loaf is consecrated, the whole batch is consecrated with it; so, when the root is consecrated, the branches are consecrated too.✻
The branches have been thinned out, and thou, a wild olive, hast been grafted in among them; sharest, with them, the root and the richness of the true olive.
That is no reason why thou shouldst boast thyself better than the branches; remember, in thy mood of boastfulness, that thou owest life to the root, not the root to thee.
Branches were cut away, thou wilt tell me, so that I might be grafted in.
True enough, but it was for want of faith that they were cut away, and it is only faith that keeps thee where thou art; thou hast no reason for pride, rather for fear;
God was unforgiving with the branches that were native to the tree, what if he should find occasion to be unforgiving with thee too?
There is graciousness, then, in God, and there is also severity. His severity is for those who have fallen away, his graciousness is for thee, only so long as thou dost continue in his grace; if not, thou too shalt be pruned away.
Just so they too will be grafted in, if they do not continue in their unbelief; to graft them in afresh is not beyond God’s power.
Indeed, it was against nature when thou wast grafted on to the true olive’s stock, thou, who wert native to the wild olive; it will be all the easier for him to graft these natural branches on to their own parent stock.
I must not fail, brethren, to make this revelation known to you; or else you might have too good a conceit of yourselves. Blindness has fallen upon a part of Israel, but only until the tale of the Gentile nations is complete;
then the whole of Israel will find salvation, as we read in scripture, A deliverer shall come from Sion, to rid Jacob of his unfaithfulness;
and this shall be the fulfilment of my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.✻
In the preaching of the gospel, God rejects them, to make room for you; but in his elective purpose he still welcomes them, for the sake of their fathers;
God does not repent of the gifts he makes, or of the calls he issues.
You were once rebels, until through their rebellion you obtained pardon;
they are rebels now, obtaining pardon for you, only to be pardoned in their turn.
Thus God has abandoned all men to their rebellion, only to include them all in his pardon.
How deep is the mine of God’s wisdom, of his knowledge; how inscrutable are his judgements, how undiscoverable his ways!
Who has ever understood the Lord’s thoughts, or been his counsellor?✻
Who ever was the first to give, and so earned his favours?✻
All things find in him their origin, their impulse, the centre of their being; to him be glory throughout all ages, Amen.✻
The Holy Bible