What difference does a translation make? As Complete Gospels editor Bob Miller explains in his introduction to the 4th edition, the Scholars Version “represents the efforts of a group of independent scholars to capture the meaning of the original documents in living American English and in a text that is entirely free of ecclesiastical control.” In keeping with this mission, the translators of The Authentic Letters of Paul set out in search of Paul’s voiceprint “among the cacophany of later voices that have attempted to speak in his name.”  The sample below, taken from Romans 3:21-26, provides the SV translation alongside the NRSV.

New Revised Standard Version

But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.

He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.

Authentic Letters of Paul

Only now has God’s reliability been made clear, independent of the tradition from the law, although the whole of scripture offers evidence of it.

God’s reliability has now been made clear through the unconditional confidence in God of Jesus, God’s anointed, for the benefit of all who come to have such confidence – no exceptions!

After all, everyone has messed up and failed to reflect the image of God.

At the same time, we are all accepted by God freely as a gift through the liberation that comes when we identify with the Anointed Jesus, whom God presented publicly as the one who conciliates through his unconditional confidence in God at the cost of his life, in order to show God’s reliability by overlooking, by divine restraint, how we messed up.

This shows God’s reliability at this decisive time, namely that God is reliable and approves the one who lives on the basis of Jesus’ unconditional confidence in God.