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Romans 3 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Romans 3 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

"I speak as a man."
Paul asks the very good question: "Is there unrighteousness who taketh vengeance [upon innocent people]?" The obvious answer to this is, yes. Paul then quickly adds, "I speak as a man." What else could he speak as? A donkey or a god, perhaps?
First of all, the author of the SAB twists the word of Paul. The vengeance of God isn't upon innocent people, but upon unrighteous people. People who have not obeyed the law. So the sentence is: “Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance upon unrighteous people?” To that the answer is clearly no.
The author of the SAB also questions why Paul says “I speak as a man.” This is a common phrase, meaning that Paul did not think or say that God was unrighteous, but some men did. Paul was playing the devil's advocate: “I speak as such a man, who would think or say that.”.

6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

"Whose damnation is just."
Those who criticize Paul are damned by God.
This verse is not about criticism of Paul. The ones who are damned are the ones who say: “Let us do evil, that good may come.” And the people who said that, were not criticizing Paul, but actually claiming Paul said that! They were affirming their own word's by Paul's authority, exactly the opposite of what the author of the SAB asserts.

9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

(3:10, 12, 23) "There is none righteous, no, not one."
Paul claims that there never has been a righteous or good person. But according to Gen.6:9, 7:1; Job 1:1, 2:3, and Lk.1:5-6, Noah, Job, Zechariah, and Elizabeth were all good and righteous people.
Has there ever been a righteous person?
(3:12) "There is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Does anyone ever do anything good?
It helps if we compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges. No one is righteous according to the law. No one is without sin. The Bible clearly affirms that. That some are called righteous is because they walked according to the law as far as could be observed. They had an outer righteousness, but that righteousness would not have been enough as God's law requires perfection. But these persons were also called righteous because they had the righteousness of Christ. See also Luke 1:5 for example.
On the topic of doing good, see John 5:29.

11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

17 And the way of peace have they not known:

18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

(3:10-18) "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Should we fear God?

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

(3:20, 28) "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified."
Is Salvation by faith alone?

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

"All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Do Christians sin?
Yes, they do. See Prov. 20:9.

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

"A man is justified by faith."
What must you do to be saved?
On what one should do, see Acts 16:30-31. By faith we obtain the salvation of Christ, which is freely available to all sinners and will be given to those who come to him.

29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.