NA 28

Romans 4:19

19καὶ μὴ ἀσθενήσας τῇ πίστει κατενόησεν τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σῶμα [ἤδη] νενεκρωμένον, ἑκατονταετής που ὑπάρχων, καὶ τὴν νέκρωσιν τῆς μήτρας Σάρρας·

American Standard Version

Romans 4:19 (ASV)

And without being weakened in faith he considered his own body now as good as dead (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb;

Romans 4:19 KJV

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

In the above text the ASV seems to allude to Abraham as having considered his body whilst the KJV seems to be saying otherwise.

In the light of these different translations how can we understand the above text?


The KJV is translated from the Received Text. The ASV Greek text omits ου and ηδη (as catalogued by Scrivener).

This is the TR - Stephens, Beza, Elzevir and Scrivener are all identical -

και μη ασθενησας τη πιστει ου κατενοησεν το εαυτου σωμα ηδη νενεκρωμενον

The ASV is expressing that Abraham considered the deadness of his body and proceeded. The ASV states that this activity was without being weakened in faith.

The KJV is expressing that Abraham gave no consideration to the deadness of his body and proceeded. The KJV states that Abraham was not weak in faith.


The ASV attributes faith to someone who gives consideration to a negative factor, and proceeds, having considered it.

The KJV attributes faith to someone who does not give any consideration to a negative factor and proceeds without considering it.


The Outline of Biblical Usage provides the following usages of κατανοέω:

  1. to perceive, remark, observe, understand
  2. to consider attentively, fix one's eyes or mind upon

LSJ, of course gives a lot more detail and additional usages. I was inclined to think it meant "wasn't influenced by" but after consulting the helps it is clearly a word concerned with "considering attentively" so I would offer:

"Abraham did not fixate on the obstacles" or probably the more simple "Abraham did not pay any attention to the obstacles".


ASV: his body was as good as dead; and Abraham did not consider that fact...

KJV: His body is now dead: Abraham did not consider that...

They seem the same to me.. I may not understand your question..

I think you know that the deadness in each of these is referring to the ability to have children..

And the fact that Abraham gave no thought to that is showing Abraham's faith in God.


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