Romans 14:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 14:13, NIV: Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

Romans 14:13, ESV: Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14:13, KJV: Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

Romans 14:13, NASB: Therefore let’s not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this: not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s or sister’s way.

Romans 14:13, NLT: So let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

Romans 14:13, CSB: Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister.

What does Romans 14:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul sums up the previous section and moves on to a new idea. He begins by repeating that no Christian should be passing judgment on other Christians, especially over these disputable matters of opinion like eating meat and observing special days. It will become clear that Paul is writing this new section to those he would describe as having stronger faith. Paul previously referred to Christians who don't eat meat for religious reasons as being weak in faith (Romans 14:1–2). They are not convinced that God in His grace has freed them from legalism and certain prohibitions on food. Paul did not condemn these "weak in faith" believers, however. Instead, he told the stronger Christians to fully accept those weak in faith and not to try to argue them out of their opinion.

Now Paul calls for a new action: deciding not to put anything in the way of other Christians, causing them to trip, spiritually. In the following verses, Paul will tell those who are stronger in faith—in the sense that they are exercising their freedom in Christ to eat meat or not observe special days—to be willing to abstain, if need be, for the sake of the others. This does not mean their actions are, in fact, sinful. However, it does mean they ought to consider the weakness of others when deciding when and if to partake.

Context is crucial in applying this passage. Too often, the term "stumbling block" is used as an accusation by those Paul has described as the "weak in faith." As other verses have made clear (Romans 14:3), believers cannot wield their own convictions like a club, browbeating others into conforming with their preferences (Colossians 2:16–23; 1 Corinthians 10:29–30).