Romans 4:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 4:13, NIV: "It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith."

Romans 4:13, ESV: "For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith."

Romans 4:13, KJV: "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith."

Romans 4:13, NASB: "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith."

Romans 4:13, NLT: "Clearly, God's promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God's law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith."

Romans 4:13, CSB: "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith."

What does Romans 4:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham's relationship with God began with a command and a set of promises. First, God told Abraham to "go" from his country into another land. God promised to make Abraham a great nation, to bless him, to make his name great, to bless those who blessed him and curse those who dishonored him, and to bless all of the families of the earth through Abraham (Genesis 12:1–3). Did Abraham believe all these promises from God? He clearly did, because the verse after this list of promises says, "So Abram went" (Genesis 12:4).

Paul seems to be referring to these promises when he mentions that God told Abraham that he and his descendants would be heirs of the world. Paul's point is that the promises had nothing to do with the giving of or Israel's keeping of the law. God made the promises centuries before giving the law to Moses. Instead, these promises were given through the righteousness of Abraham's faith.