Romans 1:9


Do the following verses from two different Bible versions have the same meaning?

Romans 1:9 (KJV) For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son…

Romans 1:9 (NIV)
God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son…

Thank you

I would certainly affirm they have the same meaning. While the KJV is largely a formal/word-for-word translation and the NIV represents a middle-ground in the formal/dynamic equivalence spectrum, I do not see any noteworthy differences in meaning between the two translations for this particular verse.

Was there a particular section or idea conveyed in the verse that you believe the two disagreed on?


Well, for the most part, yes. The second one does not call upon God as his witness to the truth of his statement - but other than that, yes - they’re essentially the same.

Just to clarify for anyone else who might be viewing this topic, the quote from the original poster is not the full verse from either version. God is referenced as a witness in the NIV as well.

God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you - Romans 1:9 (NIV)

Ah - thank you - very helpful. Apparently that was not the part of the verse that the original poster was concerned about. So then, yes - they appear the same.

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When seeking to understand the meaning (or its differences) of the Bible or in fact any given text, it is best to read the whole context and see how the particular text you are struggling with to understand fit in to the whole context.

If it doesn’t change the context it is conveying, then I wouldn’t be too concerned with minor variations.

For example, when I have someone ask me whether he should translate a certain word as A or B in another language, to accurately answer the person, I would usually request for the context of how he plan to use the word first. Once he told me the context, then sometimes I find that both words, though different, could be synonymously used, without altering the meaning.

In the above context, Paul was simply commending his Roman readers of their well-known faith around the world in v.8 (back then commendable faith means they faced intense persecutions) and that in v.9 he was comforting them by letting them know that he was unceasingly praying for them, and the God, that Paul preached, was his witness (in other words, he was not lying about it).

I hope that helps you in your earnest desire to properly understand the integrity of the text you are studying.

Thanks @KLM for laying out the full text for us. so as to represent it accurately. I also love @jlyons ‘s humility in discussing this text.