Romans 8:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 8:20, NIV: "For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope"

Romans 8:20, ESV: "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope"

Romans 8:20, KJV: "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,"

Romans 8:20, NASB: "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope"

Romans 8:20, NLT: "Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope,"

Romans 8:20, CSB: "For the creation was subjected to futility--not willingly, but because of him who subjected it--in the hope"

What does Romans 8:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

All of creation is waiting with eager longing for the day when the children of God—those who are in Christ (Romans 3:26)—will be revealed as who we truly are (1 John 3:2). That's what Paul wrote in the previous verse. Now he explains why the creation longs for that day when God will reveal His children, and Himself, in glory.

The creation, meaning all God has made, is suffering. It is subject to something described using the Greek word mataiotēti. This term implies something warped, perverse, sickly, weak, or false. This futility—or "frustration"—came long ago, when sin entered into the world. God did not create the world this way, and creation itself did not choose this. The trees and streams and animals and sky did not choose an existence of frustration. Rather, God subjected creation to frustration in response to Adam's sin in the garden of Eden. God did not design creation to suffer. That hardship came after all was meaningful and "very good." This warped, struggling existence came about when God cursed all of creation in response to human sin (Genesis 3:14, 17–19).

The words "in hope" that end the verse belong to a phrase in the following verse.