We Have vs. Let Us Have

Bible: Romans 5:1-5, on a cool angle

I finally got myself to open up and translate from the Greek Bible today. It was marked at Romans 5, so I thought I’d begin translating from there. The reason I’m typing is because I want to talk to someone about what I think it is that it really says…ἔχομεν vs. ἔχωμεν, and the only person I have so much fun talking to about such with, is you (my readers), for only you can appreciate and relate to the excitement I get from Greek, not to mention the only ones I can think of who even have a remote idea of what I’m talking about.

ἔχομεν = “We have”
ἔχωμεν = “Let us have”

(Notice, the only difference in the spelling of the two words is the 3rd letter. Everything else, even the breathing marks, are the same).
When I went over Romans 5:1, I thought I would check into some of the chapters before it, checking the context and segue into such a verse. Now, to cut time, I’m reading from the TNIV (or updated version of the NIV, if reading online).
Romans 1 seems to be a worse-case scenario, only it’s about real events that actually happened…I believe Paul may be mentioning it as an introduction to talk about how bad people were and naturally are without God.
Romans 2 talks about judging others, how judgment ties in with those who wish to follow the Law, and the hypocrisy of those who teach others, but not themselves. Most of all, Paul seems to be talking to those who are doing such.
Romans 3 mentions that nobody is righteous through the law, but through faith in Jesus.
Romans 4 appears to be an example for what Paul is talking about in chapter 3.

Some key verses I find worth mentioning to segue into 5:1 are:

  • 3:19,20 = “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law…”
  • 3:22-24 = “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (brought into a good relationship with God) freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
  • (Then into 5:1) = “Therefore, since we were justified (put into a right relationship with God) from our faith (as previously mentioned), “Let us have peace with God” through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I see it more like this in terms of saying, look how bad humans were in the past…and we still are! The only way to be set right with God is through faith in Jesus. And since we have been, let us now have peace, because we were once bad in God’s sight, but now, through faith in Jesus, good. So let us now rejoice! (It’s a call to peace…obedience…comfort of justification)

But then again, I can also see it the other way…”Therefore, since we were justified from our faith, ‘we have peace’ with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” To me, this sounds more of a reminder that we do have peace. I can also see that since it’s one of Paul’s last letters, it could be a review for everything he’s talked about up to this point…a reminder.

Now, after translating verses 5 and 11, I have to point more towards ἔχομεν.
:5 = “And Hope does not disappoint us, since God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which He has given us.”
:11 = “Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom now we chose/received a friendship w/God.”

I chose verse 5 because it’s the end of the paragraph. I chose verse 11 because it’s the end of that section. Either way, I was looking for a closing sentence to the first verse. If I do this, then it seems more like Paul is basically reminding his reader(s) of such peace, and not so much informing for the first time. I believe this would also explain why Paul included such background in his introduction (Chapters 1-4) to chapter 5.

Also, when I look at the end of Romans, I see that Paul is writing to brethren who, “everyone has heard about (their) obedience”, and that Paul just wants them “to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” This once again pulls me to believe that Paul is writing to people who already know the gospel of Jesus Christ, and who he wants to strengthen in their faith and knowledge of it.

So my conclusion is that, upon previous research, I thought “ἔχωμεν” would be the best translation in Romans 5:1, but now, after this continual brief research, I believe that “ἔχομεν” best fits theologically.

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