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Romans 8:35

    Romans 8:35 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Who will come between us and the love of Christ? Will trouble, or pain, or cruel acts, or the need of food or of clothing, or danger, or the sword?

    Webster's Revision

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    World English Bible

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 8:35

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? - I do think that this question has been generally misunderstood. The apostle is referring to the persecutions and tribulations to which genuine Christians were exposed through their attachment to Christ, and the gracious provision God had made for their support and final salvation. As in this provision God had shown his infinite love to them in providing Jesus Christ as their sin-offering, and Jesus Christ had shown his love in suffering death upon the cross for them; so, here, he speaks of the love of the followers of God to that Christ who had first loved them. Therefore the question is not, Who shall separate the love of Christ from us? or prevent Christ from loving us? but, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Who or what shall be able to remove our affection from him? And the questions that immediately follow show that this is the sense of the passage; for the tribulation, distress, etc., which he enumerates, are things by which they might be affected, but by which Christ could not be affected; and, consequently, the question most evidently refers to their love to him who had first loved them, and, while it affords a strong presumption of their perseverance, furnishes a most powerful argument against apostasy.

    Shall tribulation? - Θλιψις, grievous affliction, or distress of any kind; from θλιβω, to compress, oppress, straiten, etc.; any thing by which a man is rendered miserable.

    Or distress? - Στενοχωρια, a word of nearly the same import with the former, but more intense in its signification. It signifies straitness, being hemmed in on every side, without the possibility of getting out or escaping; from στενος, strait or narrow, and χωρος, a place.

    Or persecution? - Διωγμος, from διωκω, to pursue, press upon, prosecute, signifies such pursuing as an enemy uses in order to overtake the object of his malice, that he may destroy him.

    Or famine? - Λιμος, from λειπω, to fail; the total want of bread, and all the necessaries of life.

    Or nakedness? - Γυμνοτης, being absolutely without clothing; forcibly expressed by the derivation of the word γυια μονα εχων, having one's limbs only, being totally unclothed.

    Or peril? - Κινδυνος, a state of extreme and continued danger, perplexing and distressing with grievous forebodings and alarms; derived from κινει τας οδυνας, it excites anguish; because much evil is felt, and much more feared.

    Or sword? - Μαχαιρα, slaughter; the total destruction of life, and especially beheading, and such like, done by the order of the civil magistrate; for the word is used in this epistle, Romans 13:4, to signify the authority and power which he has of judicially terminating life; i.e. of inflicting capital punishment.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 8:35

    Who shall separate us - That is, finally or entirely separate us. This is a new argument of the apostle, showing his strong confidence in the safety of the Christian.

    From the love of Christ - This expression is ambiguous; and may mean either our love to Christ or his love to us. I understand it in the former sense, and suppose it means, "Who shall cause us to cease to love the Saviour?" In other words, the love which Christians have for their Redeemer is so strong, that it will surmount and survive all opposition and all trials. The reason for so understanding the expression is, that it is not conceivable how afflictions, etc. should have any tendency to alienate Christ's love "from us;" but their supposed tendency to alienate "our love" from him might be very strong. They are endured in his cause. They are caused, in a good degree, by professed attachment to him. The persecutions and trials to which Christians are exposed on account of their professed attachment to him, might be supposed to make them weary of a service that involved so many trials. But no, says the apostle. Our love for him is so strong that we are willing to bear all; and nothing that these foes of our peace can do, can alienate us from him and from his cause. The argument, therefore, is drawn from the strong love of a Christian to his Saviour; and from the assurance that nothing would be able to separate him from that love.

    On the other hand, it is alleged that "the object of the apostle is to assure us, not so immediately of our love to God, as of his love to us, by directing our attention to his predestinating, calling, justifying, and glorifying us, and not sparing his own Son, but delivering him up for us; that in addition to this it contributes more to our consolation, to have our minds fixed upon God's love to us, than upon our love to him, which is subject to so many failings and infirmities." Haldane.

    Indeed the whole of this passage proceeds, in its triumphing strain, on the ground of what God and Christ have done "for us," and not on the ground of anything belonging to us. It is therefore improbable, that the apostle, in the midst of such a strain, should introduce the love of the creature to God, as a just reason for such unparalleled confidence. It is more natural to the Christian to triumph in the love of Christ to him, than in any return he can make. He can glory in the strength of the former, while he mourns over the weakness of the latter. As to the objection that afflictions can have no tendency to alienate Christ's love, these are the "very things" that alienate people from us. There are persons who are called "summer friends" because they desert us in the winter of adversity. But the love of Christ is greatly exalted by the fact, that none of all possible adverse circumstances, of which the apostle enumerates not a few, shall ever change his love.

    Shall tribulation - θλίψις thlipsis. Note, Romans 2:9. The word properly refers to pressure from without; affliction arising from external causes. It means, however, not infrequently, trial of any kind.

    Or distress - στενοχωρία stenochōria. This word properly means "narrowness of place;" and then, great anxiety and distress of mind, such as arises when a man does not know where to turn himself or what to do for relief. It refers, therefore, to distress or anxiety "of mind," such as the early Christians were often subject to from their trials and persecutions; 2 Corinthians 7:5," Without were fightings, "within were fears;" see the note at Romans 2:9.

    Or persecutions - Note, Matthew 5:11. To these the early Christians were constantly exposed.

    Or famine - To this they were also exposed as the natural result of being driven from home, and of being often compelled to wander amidst strangers, and in deserts and desolate places.

    Or peril - Danger of any kind.

    Or sword - The sword of persecution; the danger of their lives to which they were constantly exposed. As all these things happened to them in consequence of their professed attachment to Christ, it might be supposed that they would tend to alienate their minds from him. But the apostle was assured that they had not this power, but that their love to the Saviour was so strong as to overcome all, and to bind them unalterably to his cause in the midst of the deepest trials. The fact is, that the more painful the trials to which they are exposed on his account, the more strong and unwavering is their love to him, and their confidence in his ability to save.

    Wesley's Notes on Romans 8:35

    8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ - Toward us? Shall affliction or distress - He proceeds in order, from less troubles to greater: can any of these separate us from his protection in it ; and, if he sees good, deliverance from it?

    Verses Related to Romans 8:35

    Jeremiah 20:11 - But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
    Hebrews 10:33 - Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
    1 Peter 4:16 - Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.