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Romans 10 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Romans 10 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

"Christ is the end of the law." Yet Jesus said (Mt.5:17-19) that the law will be binding "till heaven and earth pass."
Must Christians obey Old Testament laws?
The words “end of the law” does not mean the law has ended. The law being, in this case, the moral law, the Ten Commandments. What the apostle Paul means here is that for those that seek their righteousness in Christ and no longer through works, the demands of the law have been fulfilled. Christ is the fulfillment of the law and ends its demands of perfect obedience.
See elsewhere if Christians must obey Old Testament laws.

5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

(10:8) Paul misquotes Dt.30:14, leaving off the words "that thou mayest do it" and adding "that is, the word of faith which we preach." By doing so he completely changed the meaning of quoted verse (that it is necessary to follow the Law) to support his doctrine of salvation by faith alone.
(10:9) "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Is Salvation by faith alone?
What must you do to be saved?
Yes, the apostle Paul, grown up at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) does not know how to quote the scriptures.
The charge of the author of the SAB seems to be that the apostle Paul changes the meaning of Deut. 30:14, which supposedly says that one should follow the law and thereby obtain salvation. But Moses is not only speaking of the law, nor even mostly. He is mostly speaking of the gospel, as the law cannot have blessings, Gal. 3:21, but Moses promises blessings, Deut. 30:16. If the law commands something, it must be done. And there is no praise if you do it, as it is simply expected you do it, see Luke 17:10. Our civil law demands we pay our taxes and don't run red lights. It doesn't give anything if you do that, because even our laws simply expect to be upheld.
We see this also clearly in the context where Moses speaks of God's circumcision of the heart, Deut. 30:6, pardon and promises of future grace, Deut. 30:8. So Moses was also speaking of faith and salvation by faith alone.
On what one must do to be saved, see John 5:24.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Paul says that whoever calls on the name of Jesus will be saved. But Jesus said: "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Mt.7:21)
Will those who call on the Lord be delivered?

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

"Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."
Paul says that everyone, even in his day, had the gospel preached to them. Even the Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders? In any case, if Paul is right about that, then Jesus is a false prophet, since he said he would return before the gospel was preached to everyone. (Mt.10:23)
Augustine reasoned from this verse that there could be no antipodes (humans that lived in the southern hemisphere) since they could not have had the gospel preached to them. (Andrew Dickson White, History of the Warfare of Science with Theology, Chapter 2: Geography )
I think it is stretching the words of Paul too far to say he meant that the gospel had reached every single tribe and every valley. He certainly never announced he could retire, because everyone knew the gospel. What he means is that the gospel had gone out from Jerusalem further and further away, even to the ends of the then known world. But certainly not everyone had been reached, nor had the gospel been planted in every nation.
The author of the SAB claims that Jesus said he would return before the gospel would have reached everyone. But see Matthew 10:23 where the context indicates that Jesus did not speak about his second coming. Jesus Christ will not return before the gospel is preached to everyone, but after.

19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.