Romans 3:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 3:1, NIV: What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?

Romans 3:1, ESV: Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?

Romans 3:1, KJV: What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

Romans 3:1, NASB: Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

Romans 3:1, NLT: Then what's the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision?

Romans 3:1, CSB: So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

What does Romans 3:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul anticipates that some readers may take his words in the previous verses to suggest there is no advantage to being a member of God's chosen people, Israel. After all, Paul wrote that all people, both the Jews and Gentiles, have earned God's judgment with our sinfulness. Those under the law of Moses, the Jews, have all broken the law. The fact that they have the law and even that they are circumcised, as all male Jews were, will not keep them from answering to God for their own personal sin.

In that sense, Paul has said, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. So is there any advantage to being included in the Jewish people and being circumcised, as God has commanded? Paul answers this question using a sort of back-and-forth approach in the following verses. By posing these questions, and providing answers, Paul gives a very direct counter to anyone who might raise those points in objection to his teachings.