Translation Bias: Romans 9:5

11 Translations Compared


It is my contention that all translations have some degree of interpretation (theological bias) inherent in the text. Most are biased toward conservative/evangelical theology or towards a more liberal interpretation.. It is important for the Bible student to recognize this because there are many important passages that translators disagree on how the interpretation should read, and that crucial doctrines of the Christian faith are dependent on the exact translation.


Whenever a new translation is published one of the verses I check to determine the theological bias of the author(s) is Ro. 9:5 which is a verse that evangelical theologians use in making the case for the Deity of Christ, i.e. the incarnate God. 


1. From a grammatical standpoint, the Greek could legitimately be translated differently (see the Greek text below). When a passage has more than way of translation (depending on the word order and choices made converting the Greek to English), the translation ultimately depends on the translators interpretation of the authors original meaning.

2. Both the KJV and LB do not translate the verse to clearly indicate that Paul’s words show Christ to be equated with God. This is surprising since both are considered to be ‘conservative’. The other versions in this category, CEV, NRSV, TEV translate this verse from a liberal bias, as they do many other important doctrinal verses.

3. The most unique translation is the Catholic NAB use of ‘Messiah (Χριστός) God’.


Following is a chart showing 10 popular translations. I always use the ESV as the standard for comparision because it is the most accurate of all modern translations.

Romans 9:5 Translation Comparision

Most accurate translations (showing Christ ~ God)

Less accurate translations











To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.


To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.


The forefathers are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.


Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.


Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.


Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

They have those famous ancestors, who were also the ancestors of Jesus Christ. I pray that God, who rules over all, will be praised forever! Amen.


Great men of God were your fathers, and Christ himself was one of you, a Jew so far as his human nature is concerned, he who now rules over all things. Praise God forever!


to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.


they are descended from the famous Hebrew ancestors; and Christ, as a human being, belongs to their race. May God, who rules over all, be praised forever! Amen.




Romans 9:5 in interlinear Greek-English format*


of whom the fathers and

out of whom the Christ

according to flesh the one

being over all

god blessed into the

ages amen.

ὅς πατήρ καί

ἐκ ὅς Χριστός

κατά σάρξ

εἰμί ἐπί πᾶς

θεός εὐλογητός εἰς

αἰών ἀμήν

 Note the Greek word order

* Greek Text from The Greek New Testament edited by Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, and Bruce M Metzger. © 1993, United Bible Societies.
Electronic edition Database © 2004 WORDsearch Corp.


updated 10-3-2007