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Romans 9:3 – I myself wished…

24-06-2021 - Posted by Hans

For I myself wished to be anathema form Christ for my brethren, my relatives according to the flesh…

The usual translations render this sentence as “I wish…”. That is not correct, because Paul writes in the past tense: I wished… With these words he refers to the time he was still persecuting the Christ. Then he did not mind being a curse (> anathema) to Christ and to all who belong to him. In fact, he wished that. Like no other, Saul of Tarsus was a persecutor of the (in his eyes) cursed “sect of the Nazarenes”. The fierce Jewish resistance that Paul now encountered against his message immediately confined him to his own past. He was once the exponent of this resistance.

When Paul exposes the unbelief of his people in the remainder of these chapters, he makes it clear in advance with the above statement that he does not exalt himself above his fellow citizens. He’s no better than them. For it was grace that the Lord revealed Himself to him on the road to Damascus. And thereby also proved, to be able to both blind and open eyes. That offers perspective!