The Greek text of Rom. 9:6 states,

Οὐχ οἷον δὲ ὅτι ἐκπέπτωκεν ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ. οὐ γὰρ πάντες οἱ ἐξ Ἰσραὴλ οὗτοι Ἰσραήλ· NA28

I am concerned with the latter clause: «οὐ γὰρ πάντες οἱ ἐξ Ἰσραὴλ οὗτοι Ἰσραήλ»·

Which English translation is more accurate according to the Greek text?

  1. For not all these who are of Israel1 are Israel.2

  2. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (KJV)

Or are they essentially stating the same thought?


1 physically descended from the patriarch Israel (Jacob)

2 the Israel of God, i.e. the Church (Gal. 6:16)

  • Israel of God in Gal 6:16 is not "the Church" but Israeli Church. It is another translation issue regarding "and" or "even".
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 5:03

2 Answers 2


Both English translations (proposed by the OP) appear appropriate.

For example, according to the syntax graph from Wu, A., & Tan, R. (2010) in addition to the syntax graph from Lukaszewski, A. L., Dubis, M., & Blakley, T. (2011), "all Israel" (the sons of Abraham through blood relation) are not "from Israel" (the sons of Abraham through promise). That is, the "sons of Abraham by promise" are a subset of the "sons of Abraham through blood relation."

In this respect, both English translations (proposed by the OP) would appear appropriate.


Wu, A., & Tan, R. (2010). Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament: SBL Edition. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, s.n. Rom 9:6.

Lukaszewski, A. L., Dubis, M., & Blakley, T. (2011). The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, SBL Edition: Sentence Analysis. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, s.n. Rom 9:6.


My answer may be a bit broader than the question.

Both may be be accurate or may intend to convey same thing but I can understand why KJV seems to be ambiguous and confusing as it ends with "of Israel". This preposition "of" might lead to the understanding as from Israel or descended from Israel implying- Not all Israel are from Israel. That means

not all Israel are [just] the descendants of Israel


all Israel are not just from Israel

thus Gentiles could be Israel as well. It is also crucial where we put "not" in the sentence. Phrase Not all must be maintained for whole-Israel or Israel1, otherwise it may change the meaning significantly.

For all are not Israelites that are of Israel (DRA)

for all they are not Israel, which are of Israel (GNV)

Not all who are descended from Israel are part of Israel (CEB)

This interpretation or rendering reverse the order of first and second Israel. If the order remains correct where Israel 1 is whole, and Israel 2 (saved Israel) is the subset then it leaves no room for confusion.

There are many translation that may prove to be confusing or misleading on this verse that ends with "of Israel" and the usage of "not". This is an interesting topic for translation issues but I doubt it has been discussed thoroughly by scholars.

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