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Between the variants of the Psalms & Romans it would appear that Paul added the words “there is none who seeks after God” when it would also appear he is quoting the psalms:

“God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭53:2-3‬

It says: “everyone one of them has turned aside”

Q: Yet, is there any reason Paul writes it slightly different in Romans?

“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:10-11‬

Q2: Is Paul being authorized by the Spirit to write the Psalms slightly differently in Romans?

After all, Paul says “it is written

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Let me quote the following texts:

Rom 3:11, 12 - “There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Ps 14:1-3 - The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their acts are vile. There is no one who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if any understand, if any seek God. All have turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Ps 53:1-3 - The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their ways are vile. There is no one who does good. God looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if any understand, if any seek God. All have turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

It is immediately apparent that Paul quotes these Psalms quite well.

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  • I would agree that he writes them well, accurate and altogether true. Yet, it is apparent that the Spirit of God allowed Paul to change minor words, example: the words “if any seek God, they have all turned aside” & “no one who seeks God” have identical meaning in the text, but slightly different wording. I still give your answer +1 because I agree with you in part. It would appear that Paul was (as an apostle) trying to be more straightforward in his writing style.
    – Cork88
    Feb 2, 2022 at 7:03
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    @Cork88 - there is no NT quote of an OT passage that is perfectly verbatim. They all change the text - some only very slightly but some change them much more. Sometimes this is due to the differences between the MT and LXX - the NT writers almost always quote the LXX more closely.
    – Dottard
    Feb 2, 2022 at 9:28
  • Appreciate the insight Dottard, thx.
    – Cork88
    Feb 2, 2022 at 16:12

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