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Romans 5:9 ends with the phrase σωθησόμεθα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς -- "we will be saved by him from the wrath".

Most, though not all, English translations add "of God" to qualify "wrath".

What grammatical principles require or suggest that addition?

Please note that I am not asking for theological or Biblical justifications for inferring that it is God's wrath. I am asking for the internal grammatical justification for it within this verse.

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The only grammatical clue that I see is the presence of the definite article. The definite article in Greek is essentially the word "the". They are not saved from just any wrath but from "the" wrath which would naturally be presumed, by context, to be the wrath of God.

σωθησόμεθα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς

  • Thanks. I imagine you are right that it is presumed, by context, to be the wrath of God, though I am not sure if that is the "natural" presumption or one imposed by prior theology. Can anyone suggest other owners of "the wrath"? Might "the wrath" be the human anger or aggression that is inherent in living at odds with God? – MattClarke Apr 19 '18 at 0:18
  • It is interesting that a similar presumption sometimes happens in the following verse too. The γὰρ clause says that we were enemies but have been reconciled to God. The Greek does not say explicitly that we were God's enemies, does it? And yet some English translations (including NIV) add that in. But in these verses did Paul really mean to imply that God is our enemy and that God is angry towards us? When at the same time he wrote a couple of verses earlier that "God’s love has been poured out" for us? – MattClarke Apr 19 '18 at 0:19
  • I think it is the wrath of God because of the definite article and the context. I've taken this about as far as I can. – Ruminator Apr 19 '18 at 0:19
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The KJV, Young's Literal, J N Darby and the Englishman's Greek New Testament Interlinear all translate αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς as 'from wrath'.

It seems to me that 'the wrath' (as it, strictly speaking, ought to be rendered) is being de-personified, if I might use that expression.

To those who are the recipients of grace, and are truly justified, 'the wrath' will be only observed at a distance. They will never know the unleashing of the awful, the unimaginable, the indescribable fury of the Almighty poured, personally, upon them.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Psalm 91:8.

The text of verses 8 and 9 contrasts (literally) 'his own love to us - the Deity' and 'having been justified, now, by his blood' 'shall be saved by him from the wrath'.

I would see the contrast as between ο θεος (the Deity in verse 8) and της οργης (the wrath in verse 9).

The Deity, the wrath removed by its having poured upon Christ at Golgotha, is contrasted with the wrath, being of such a nature that the recipients will know nothing of Deity, only the effects of wrath.

The Deity, without wrath, or the wrath, without Deity, is the contrast I see in these two verses.


I am grateful for this question which draws attention to the article in Romans 5:9 in front of wrath, which is exactly what demonstrates the contrast which I have expressed.

  • That contrast is an interesting idea. Thanks. – MattClarke Apr 19 '18 at 22:32

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