Sounds Like

Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

A few years ago an associate of mine would take the sounds of words to form unsound doctrine. We tried to correct his thinking unsuccessfully. We must understand that there are translations of Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew that are very difficult and there is more than one way to say things.

When it comes to speaking to the character and quality of personality of our God, we must balance what these translation sound like against what we know about our God.

Here in Romans 8:20 it sounds like God had a hope for mankind that did not work out as planned. Since God is omniscient, knowing all things from the beginning, then it was not God that was hoping here. The key phrasing is “of him who hath subjected the same in hope”

I went back to the Greek to decipher the original intent of the phrasing. This is what I discovered.

Strong’s G1909 “the same is” is a prepositional phrase, ep-ee’; a primary preposition; properly, meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution (source BLB.ORG)

It is not God’s hope but rather God instilling hope in us, “a relation of distribution”. We were subjected to this hope unwittingly, unwillingly, to create in us a yearning to come to know God without understanding how and why it happened until we came to know Him.

The Phillips translation comes the closest to rendering an interpretation that is in line with that thinking.

“The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope.”  (it, creation, we have been given that hope) 

If your thinking doesn’t sound like the God you know, check your thinking.

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