What I’m doing in this little demonstration is showing you (more or less) how I go about studying a passage of scripture if I really want to know what it means. I like to do in-depth study by writing an interpretive paraphrase. To see the general procedures I’m using to do the interpretive paraphase of this passage, go here.
Step 1 is to place the passage in the context of the book of Romans. Here’s a really rough summary of the book of Romans up through chapter 8:
- Everyone is sinful and as a consequence everyone is under the wrath of God (1:18-3:20).
- But there is a solution to the predicament we are all in: Christ saves people from the wrath of God by justifying them through faith (3:21-5:21),
- And saves them from the power of sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. (6-8)
Step 2 is to paragraph the passage. I looked at many translations and several of them paragraph it in the same way. I’ll just copy them.
Steps 3 and 4 are to copy one verse in the chosen translations and underline the key words and phrases. Here are these steps done for verse 18.
- ESV: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time(A) are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
- NASB: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (A)are not worthy to be compared with the (B)glory that is to be revealed to us.
- NET: For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared23 to the glory that will be revealed to us.
- NLT: Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
You can probably see why I’ve identified these particular words and phrases as key ones, except perhaps in the case of “to us.” I underlined that because while I was copying and pasting the verse from various translations I noticed that the NIV and NKJV both say “in us” instead of “to us,” so I thought I’d like to look into that difference a little more.
Next up I’ll move on to step 5, examining the key words in verse 18 one by one.
Any questions or comments on what I’ve done so far?