The following article is taken from the book, Top Ten Bible Verses in High Definition. To buy click here.
Key: [CAP] = Should be Capitalized, [ML] = Misleading, [OD] = Outdated, [T] = Wrong Tense, [WT] = Wrong Translation, [X] = Not in Greek, [-] = Greek Word not Translated
For[OD] all have[T] sinned, and come short of the glory[OD] of God;
Being justified[OD] freely[WT] by his[CAP] grace[OD] through the redemption[OD] [-] that[X] is[X] in Christ[WT] Jesus:
for all have[T] sinned and fall short of the glory[OD] of God,
and[X] are[T] justified[OD] by his[CAP] grace[OD] as a gift[WT], through the redemption[OD] that[X] is[X] in Christ[WT] Jesus,
for all who trust sinned and are lacking of the magnificence of God,
being made right for free by His generosity through the paid release, the paid release in the Anointed King Jesus,
For -> for
Using "for" at the beginning of a sentence is outdated. People do not speak like that today.
The Greek word for "for" is gar. The previous clause (at the end of verse 22) also starts with gar. In consecutive clauses that start with gar, the first gar should be translated as "you see", the first clause should be ended with a semicolon, and the second gar should be translated as "for".
all -> all who trust
This verse is usually taken out of context and used to prove that all people sin, but this verse is referring to Christians (those who trust). This is laid out in verse 22 ("all the people trusting"). Also if verse 23 is referring to all people (that they have sinned) then the next verse (a part of the same sentence) must also be referring to all people when it says that they are made right (justified). That would cause it to say that everyone is saved (justified). That is bad doctrine.
Because this verse is taken out of context and used to say something that it does not say, the words "who trust" should be added in italics after "all" so that the reader will know whom "all" is.
have sinned -> sinned
In the KJV and ESV "have sinned" is a perfect verb, but in the Greek text it is not perfect ("have sinned"); it is aorist ("sinned").
come short|fall short -> are lacking
Many Bible versions artificially add words to the Bible's vocabulary by translating a Greek word many different ways. This is one of those words. It is translated nine different ways in the KJV (come behind, come short, be destitute, fall, lack, suffer need, be in want, want, be the worse). But it is one and the same Greek word. It should be translated the same way every time when possible. This Greek word can be translated as "lack" every time.
glory -> magnificence
Glory is either outdated or misleading. It is outdated because it is not used in everyday conversations today (we don't say, "Look at the glory of that building"). It is misleading because dictionaries have a variety of meanings for glory and many do not have the meaning that glory has in the Bible. "Glory" in the Bible is "magnificence".
and -> [nothing]
The ESV adds the word "and" at the beginning of verse 24. It is not in the Greek text.
being justified|are justified -> being made right
In the Greek text this is a participle. The ESV ignores this and translates it instead as a regular verb.
The English word "justify" is made up of two parts: "just" (an outdated word for right) and "-ify" (an ending that means "to make", as in beautify which means to make beautiful). So "justify" means to make right. This is also true of the Greek word for justify (dikaioo).
Because justify is rarely used with the meaning "to make right" today and theology has defined justification as something that it is not in the Bible, the word "justify" in the Bible needs to be replaced with "make right".
In the Bible, justify is when a supervisor looks at several actions, decides which one is the right action, and makes the people who do that action right. God decided that trusting Jesus is the right action. He takes the people who trust Jesus and puts them in a category titled "Right". He makes them right and gives them the benefits of being right.
freely|as a gift -> for free
The Greek word is dorean. It is an adverb. "As a gift" (ESV) is wrong because it is not an adverb and there is a different Greek word for gift (charisma as in Romans 6:23). "Freely" is an adverb and would be correct except that it has a different meaning today than what it means in the Bible. For example, "He was giving out food freely" means something different than "He was giving out food for free." The correct translation is "for free".
his -> His
This pronoun refers to God and so it should be capitalized.
grace -> generosity
Even though grace is used frequently by Christians, it is outdated, misused, and misunderstood.
The Greek word for grace is charis. "Grace" is not the only way that the KJV translates charis. The KJV translates charis 11 different ways: acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace, gracious, joy, liberality, pleasure, thank, and thankworthy. Two of these point to a better translation for charis: liberality and gracious. Liberality is an outdated word for generosity. Graciousness (the noun form of gracious) is the same thing as generosity. Charis can be translated as generosity every time. It fits and it shows what grace is.
When people hear the phrase "grace of God", they do not know what it means. But when they hear the phrase "generosity of God", there is no confusion. The Bible should be written with these types of words, words everyone knows and understands.
redemption -> paid release, the
"Redemption" is outdated. It is a paid release: a release from prison, slavery, or some other type of confinement that is secured with the paying of a price. In this case, the release is from sin (verse 23) paid by the blood of the Anointed King.
In the Greek text, there are two definite articles ("the") in this phrase: "the paid release, the". The second definite article points back to the first and in English requires the restatement of the noun ("paid release") in italics ("the paid release, the paid release that is in..."). It puts an emphasis on what kind of paid release it is.
that is -> [nothing]
"That is" is not in the Greek text. It is added in the KJV and ESV. Because it is added, it should be in italics.
Christ -> Anointed King
Many think "Christ" is the second name of Jesus. It is not. It is what He is.
"Christ" is a transliteration of the Greek word "christos"; just as "messiah" is a transliteration of the Greek word "messias" which is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew word "mashiyach". They both mean the same thing and should have the same translation into English: anointed king.
The coming of the Anointed King was predicted hundreds of years before Jesus throughout the Old Testament. The Jews anticipated this Anointed King to deliver Israel from its enemies. Jesus is that Anointed King. He is the rescuer of the world who will someday rule the world.
Even though the law tells the things that God has decided are wrong, the law and the doing of the law does not make a person right (verse 20). Disobeying just one part of it makes a person guilty and prevents him from saying that he is right (verse 19). Everyone has broken the law and worse (see the beginning of Romans 3).
Even though everyone has broken the law, they can still do what is right. The right way of God is separate from the law and yet it was seen by the law and the rest of the Old Testament (verse 21). The Old Testament saw the Anointed King and trust in that Anointed King. God's right way is in trusting the Anointed King (Jesus).
Do you want to do the right thing? Trust Jesus. Trust Him to rule (as the Anointed King) and correct everything. Trust Him to do what is needed. Trust Him to guide you and change you. Trust is God's right way (verse 22).
All who trust Jesus are doing God's right way (verse 22), not just the Jews, all.
All of the people who trust sinned and lack God's magnificence (verse 23). It is not their actions or greatness that make them right. Yet they are made right for free through a release from their sin and inadequacy paid by the blood of the Anointed King. Why? Because of God's generosity.
Do the right thing. Trust Jesus. He has done the work and He is generous.