Home‎ > ‎

"Declared" or "Appointed" in Romans 1:4?

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (Romans 1:3-4, KJV)

The KJV, as with the NKJV, ESV, NASB and NIV 1984, says our Lord Jesus Christ was "declared" to be the Son of God by virtue of resurrecting from the death.  This simply means that dying and coming back to life demonstrated his divinity.  Resurrection did not make Jesus Christ divine, but rather demonstrated that he was divine to begin with.  However, the current NIV 2011 now says:

"regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 1:3-4, NIV 2011)

The NLT footnote ("designated") agrees with the change to "appointed" in the NIV 2011.  To say that Jesus Christ was "appointed" the Son of God by virtue of his resurrection is heretical because he was the Son of God always from eternity past, not just after the resurrection.  While the translation as "appointed" may be within the lexical scope of the underlying Greek word, there is no reason to adopt that meaning in the context.  Raising one's self from the dead (as opposed to being resurrected by another miracle worker) is a feat that is not possible to man; hence it is logical to state that such an act "declared" the Lord's divinity.  On the other hand, there is no logic behind the statement that raising one's self from the dead caused one to be "appointed" to become divine.  Divinity enables resurrection, not the other way around.