Question on Romans 15:27

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Sometimes you come across passages in the Bible that you struggle to understand. Other times you may have difficulty accepting what is being said. And other times you find variations between translations. I’ve been reading up on sharing and fellowship relating to koinonia (κοινωνία) and have found something which I’m struggling to get clarity over.

The verse in question is Romans 15:27 and I’ve given two example translations.

The New Living Translation gives

27 They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially.

And the Common English Bible gives

27 They were happy to do this, and they are actually in debt to God’s people in Jerusalem. If the Gentiles got a share of the Jewish people’s spiritual resources, they ought to minister to them with material resources.

Other translations tend to fall in one camp or the other. The problem I have is understanding who Paul is referring to – the Christian believers in Jerusalem or the Jewish people in Jerusalem? Quite an important point really and would value anyone else’s take on this.

Anyone suggest how this is best resolved?

Authored by Chris Hall

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