Question:

Is being implacable condemned in Romans 1:31?

  • "Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful" (Romans 1:31, KJV)
  • "Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful" (Romans 1:31, ASV)

Thanks for your time.


Answer:

The Greek word aspondous (irreconcilable) doesn't appear in all the manuscripts. Because it also appears in a similar list in II Timothy 3:3, it is felt that someone copied it over to make the two lists more alike. Therefore, whether is should appear in Romans 1:31 is more of a scholarly debate because the fact that it is a sin is confirmed by II Timothy 3:3.

The word aspondous refers to someone who is unwilling to make peace with another person or to come to an understanding. It would be opposite of what James describes, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" (James 3:17-18).