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Romans 10:17
March 31, 2004

Romans 10:17 refers to "the word of Christ" in the Greek. Lamsa translates it as "the word of God", which makes more sense to me in the context. Will someone please explicate the Aramaic and Greek versions of this phrase?

Thank you very much.

Brother Otto,

Most Greek mss. have "the word of God" in Romans 10:17.
The Alexandrian mss. (a very few) have "dia rhmatos tou Xristou" - "by the word of Christ".Here are the various texts, including The Peshitta:

Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Ro 10:17 (BYZ) ara h pistiv ex akohv h de akoh dia rhmatov yeou
Ro 10:17 (TR) ara h pistiv ex akohv h de akoh dia rhmatov yeou
Ro 10:17 (WH) ara h pistiv ex akohv h de akoh dia rhmatov cristou
ahlad atlm Nm anda emsmw yh anda emsm Nm atwnmyh lykm Ro 10:17 (PESHITTA)

The Byzantine and Textus Receptus represent the vast majority of Greek mss.(about 95% of 5000 mss.)The Peshitta agrees with this text about 75% of the time the Alexandrian differs from it.

It makes sense that the Peshitta is the original behind both types of Greek texts(generally), especially the Byzantine text. Either way one looks at it, according to the evidence,the Peshitta was around at a very early time. If it was translated from the Greek, then the Byzantine text would have had to exist in the late first century, which goes against the tenets of modern textual criticism.
If it is the original, as I believe, then still the Byzantine Greek majority text existed in the first century, as the Greek translations would have originated then and most Greek mss. would represent the earliest Greek translations.

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Dave B
March 31, 2004

Brother Dave:

I am so appreciative of your scholarly excellent response to my inquiry. It is very helpful to me to be able to understand how these texts relate. Your summary is very enlightening.

Someone I know who uses the New International Version argued that the Peshitta must be wrong since it says "God" rather than "Christ" in Romans 10:17. The context is Old Testament prophesy, so I think "word of God" fits best. Personally, I think it is bizarre that so many people believe the myth that the Aramaic-speaking apostles recorded their Semitic thoughts using the Greek language.

Thank you for your help.



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