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Romans 8:37 (NIV) says, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

All these things refers to trials, whether persecutions, or famine, or death. Against these things, Paul says, "we are more than conquerors." A conqueror is one who has victory over some city or nation, and I could understand Paul saying that there is victory over hardships and death, but what does it mean to be "more than conquerors?" Is this simply a rhetorical flourish?

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+1 Good question. But no, definitely not rhetorical flourish—read the rest of Romans! –  Kazark Apr 12 '12 at 20:53
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@Kazark I've been wondering lately whether there is a connection to the whole of Psalm 44 (from 8:36). They had victory of the sword, now they're plundered; but they're righteous, so how can Psalm 1 be true (i.e. the righteous prosper)? Romans 8 answers that question promising to the righteous glory in suffering incomparably greater than victory of the sword. –  Soldarnal Apr 12 '12 at 21:10
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Greek used for "we are more than conquerors" here is a single word, ὑπερνικῶμεν (hypernicōmen), an inflected form of ὑπερνικάω (hypernicaō). Liddell and Scott gloss it as "prevail completely over"; the verb is composed of the basic verb νικάω (nicaō, "conquer") with the prefix ὑπέρ- (hyper-, "over, beyond") added to it.

The idea appears to be that this is an absolute conquest. We are not just defeating tribulation as we might defeat a boxer, only to have to go another round with them later; we are not just defeating tribulation as we might defeat a nation, only to have the citizens turn and rebel against us again - this defeat will be overwhelming and final, so that "neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39, ESV quoted)

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N. T. Wright makes a strong case that Romans 8:31-39 contrasts God's reign over the word with Caesar's. God doesn't send down His legions to enforce His rule. Rather He sent His own Son to illustrate conquering love. –  Jon Ericson Dec 1 '11 at 18:47
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