In Rom 1:7 we have a classic Greek construction using the dative declension. The dative is a kind of secondary object and this verse contains a short parade of them. The only way to convey the sense in English is to insert a "helper" word such a "by", "for", "to" before the dative noun or adjective. [Compare the genitive which usually requires the addition of "of" before the noun.] Thus we have:
- Πᾶσιν (Pasin) [Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural] = "to all"
- Ῥώμῃ (Rhōmē) [Noun - Dative Feminine Singular] = "in Rome" (in this case the "in" is explicit)
- ἀγαπητοῖς (agapētois) [Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural] = "to the beloved"
- κλητοῖς (klētois) [Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural] = "to the called"
- ἁγίοις (hagiois) [Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural] = "to the saints"
How does one translate all this parade of datives? There have been numerous correct attempts:
- ESV: To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints
- NASB: to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints
- CSB: To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints
- HCSB: To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints
- ASV: To all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints
This is consistent with the use of the word κλητός (klétos) as elsewhere it refers to those called to the Christian community as saints: Matt 20:16, 22:14, Rom 1:1, 6, 8:28, 1 Cor 1:24, Jude 1, Rev 17:14. It is also consistent with the Greek word, ἐκκλησίαν (ekklēsian), usually translated "church" but actually means "called out ones" and would be better translated as "community" or "congregation".