Romans 4:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 4:9, NIV: "Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness."

Romans 4:9, ESV: "Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness."

Romans 4:9, KJV: "Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness."

Romans 4:9, NASB: "Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, 'FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.'"

Romans 4:9, NLT: "Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith."

Romans 4:9, CSB: "Is this blessing only for the circumcised, then? Or is it also for the uncircumcised? For we say, Faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness."

What does Romans 4:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Quoting from Psalm 32:1-2 in the previous verses, Paul has described the great blessing of being forgiven for our sin. This is the joy of not having our sin counted against us by God, available only to those who believe in God. Paul's main point thus far has been that this gift can only come by faith, not by actions. "Works," meaning good deeds and obedience, will never be enough to make us righteous in the eyes of God. Both David's words, and Abraham's example (Romans 4:1–3), have been used to further this point.

Now Paul asks if that great blessing is only for the circumcised, meaning God's chosen people Israel. Or, is the blessing of the forgiveness of sin available for all people, even the uncircumcised Gentiles? The implied answer is that this blessing is available to both Jews and Gentiles.

To show this, Paul again refers to what is said of Abraham in Genesis 15:6. God "declared" Abraham righteous because Abraham believed God. In the following verse, Paul will remind his readers that this belief occurred long before Abraham was circumcised. Thus, circumcision must not be required for the blessing of being forgiven for our sin through faith in Christ.