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Romans 4:16–18

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be paccording to grace, qso that the promise might be 4sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, rwho is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, s“I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, twho gives life to the dead and calls those uthings which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, v“So shall your descendants be.”

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Romans 4:16–18 — The New International Version (NIV)

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Romans 4:16–18 — English Standard Version (ESV)

16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”

Romans 4:16–18 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 4:16–18 — New Living Translation (NLT)

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”

Romans 4:16–18 — New Century Version (NCV)

16 So people receive God’s promise by having faith. This happens so the promise can be a free gift. Then all of Abraham’s children can have that promise. It is not only for those who live under the law of Moses but for anyone who lives with faith like that of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 17 As it is written in the Scriptures: “I am making you a father of many nations.” This is true before God, the God Abraham believed, the God who gives life to the dead and who creates something out of nothing.

18 There was no hope that Abraham would have children. But Abraham believed God and continued hoping, and so he became the father of many nations. As God told him, “Your descendants also will be too many to count.”

Romans 4:16–18 — American Standard Version (ASV)

16 For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace; to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, A father of many nations have I made thee) before him whom he believed, even God, who giveth life to the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were. 18 Who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 4:16–18 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

16 Therefore it is on the principle of faith, that it might be according to grace, in order to the promise being sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of Abraham’s faith, who is father of us all,

17 (according as it is written, I have made thee father of many nations,) before the God whom he believed, who quickens the dead, and calls the things which be not as being; 18 who against hope believed in hope to his becoming father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be:

Romans 4:16–18 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

16 Therefore, the promise is based on faith so that it can be a gift.Consequently, the promise is guaranteed for every descendant, not only for those who are descendants by obeying Moses’ Teachings but also for those who are descendants by believing as Abraham did. He is the father of all of us, 17 as Scripture says: “I have made you a father of many nations.” 

Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to dead people and calls into existence things that don’t even exist. 18 When there was nothing left to hope for, Abraham still hoped and believed. As a result, he became a father of many nations, as he had been told: “That is how many descendants you will have.”

Romans 4:16–18 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

16 This is why the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace, to guarantee it to all the descendants —not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of Abraham’s faith. He is the father of us all 17 in God’s sight. As it is written: I have made you the father of many nations. He believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist. 18 He believed, hoping against hope, so that he became the father of many nations according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be.

Romans 4:16–18 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”

Romans 4:16–18 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

16 Because of this, it is by faith, in order that it may be according to grace, so that the promise may be secure to all the descendants, not only to those of the law, but also to those of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (just as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”) before God, in whom he believed, the one who makes the dead alive and who calls the things that are not as though they are, 18 who against hope believed in hope, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was said, “so will your descendants be.”

Romans 4:16–18 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

16 The promise is based on God’s grace. The promise comes by faith. All of Abraham’s children will certainly receive the promise. And it is not only for those who are ruled by the law. Those who have the same faith that Abraham had are also included. He is the father of us all.

17 It is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” God considers Abraham to be our father. The God that Abraham believed in gives life to the dead. Abraham’s God also speaks of things that do not exist as if they do exist.

18 When there was no reason for hope, Abraham believed because he had hope. He became the father of many nations, exactly as God had promised. God said, “That is how many children you will have.”

Romans 4:16–18 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”


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Jon Courson's Application Commentary: New TestamentJon Courson's Application Commentary combines a verse-by-verse teaching of every paragraph of Scripture with practical topical studies throughout.