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Romans 4:2–5

For if Abraham was cjustified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? dAbraham believed God, and it was 2accounted to him for righteousness.” Now eto him who works, the wages are not counted 3as grace but 3as debt.

David Celebrates the Same Truth

But to him who fdoes not work but believes on Him who justifies gthe ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

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Romans 4:2–5 — The New International Version (NIV)

If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

Romans 4:2–5 — English Standard Version (ESV)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

Romans 4:2–5 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 4:2–5 — New Living Translation (NLT)

If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

Romans 4:2–5 — New Century Version (NCV)

If Abraham was made right by the things he did, he had a reason to brag. But this is not God’s view, because the Scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.”

When people work, their pay is not given as a gift, but as something earned. But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him, who makes even evil people right in his sight. Then God accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him.

Romans 4:2–5 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not toward God. For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.

Romans 4:2–5 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

For if Abraham has been justified on the principle of works, he has whereof to boast: but not before God; for what does the scripture say? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Now to him that works the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but of debt: but to him who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.

Romans 4:2–5 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

If Abraham had God’s approval because of something he did, he would have had a reason to brag. But he could not brag to God about it. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God.” 

When people work, their pay is not regarded as a gift but something they have earned. However, when people don’t work but believe God, the one who approves ungodly people, their faith is regarded as the basis of God’s approval.

Romans 4:2–5 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to brag about—but not before God. For what does the Scripture say?

Abraham believed God,

and it was credited to him for righteousness.

Now to the one who works, pay is not considered as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness.

Romans 4:2–5 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.

Romans 4:2–5 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited according to grace, but according to his due. But to the one who does not work, but who believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness,

Romans 4:2–5 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

Did he become right with God because of something he did? If so, he could brag about it. But he couldn’t brag to God. What do we find in Scripture? It says, “Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham’s faith, and so his faith made him right with God.”

When a man works, his pay is not considered a gift. It is owed to him. But things are different with God. He makes evil people right with himself. If people trust in him, their faith is accepted even though they do not work. Their faith makes them right with God.

Romans 4:2–5 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.

But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,


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