4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
1901 ASV Translation:
4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,
There are no textual differences between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26. There are some differences between the translations of the ASV and the KJV. The "and" of the KJV is unsubstantiated by the underlying Greek text; the "who was" of the ASV is the better translation. The phrase "Jesus Christ our Lord" in the ASV, which is in verse 3 in the KJV, does not come from the Greek Text of that verse, but, rather, from the end of this one. It is a translators choice and the ASV is the better word-for-word translation in this case.
- 1. There is a deliberate organization of the phrases of verses 3-4 that looks like this: Concerning...
- A. His Son
- B. Who came into history
- C. by means of the seed of David
- D. according to the standard of "flesh"
- B. Who was ordained "Son of God with Power"
- D. according to the standard of "Spirit of Holiness"
- C. by means of resurrection from the dead
- A. Jesus Christ our Lord
- 2. The word translated "declared" is not normally so translated in the New Testament. Normally it is translated by words that communicate a deliberate decision to establish a certain boundary ("ordain", or "determine"). That makes one wonder why the translators veered off course here. The word means to "decree", or "decide" (within the imagery of 'marking off boundaries'). It is possible that the translators were trying to show that the "decision/decree" of God was made manifest to men: thus, "declared". The question, then, is this: if Paul had the idea in mind that God was making it clear that Jesus is His Son by raising Him from the dead, why didn't he simply use the normal word for "to make manifest"? The word in this text ought to be translated "who was ordained 'Son of God with power'..." The issue is that Jesus was "appointed/ordained" by God to be the One who, as His Son, would wield His power.
- 3. The "according to the spirit of holiness" phrase seems (as The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament points out) to be deliberately in relation to the previous verse's "according to flesh" [Note the structure of the phrases above]. The Son of God, Who is "according to flesh" the historical realization of David's "Seed", is also "according to the Spirit of holiness" the One ordained by God to wield the power of His holiness.
- 4. Then we come to the problematical phrase "ek" resurrection of the dead. The translators seemed to take the "ek" to refer to "instrumentality" in reference to God's means of making His Son known as His Son; hence, their choice of "declared". But, Paul is not here addressing the issue of man's ability to make decisions about the specific identity of God's Son. Rather, he is addressing the central core of the Gospel of God which is fundamentally related to God's determinations rather than those of men. Resurrection from the dead is the "ordination event" in that it was "at" the point of resurrection that God said to His Son: "Thou art My Son. This day I have begotten Thee" (Psalm 2 as quoted in Acts 13:33). Thus I conclude that the text means that the Son was "appointed" as "Son" by resurrection in the sense that it was resurrection that was the divine means of appointment. By this conclusion, "resurrection" becomes the necessary methodology of bringing God's Son to His appointment to wield the power of God. He entered history by means of David's seed and He was granted power over history by means of resurrection from the dead. Thus the "ek" of verse three [which explains the means by which He entered human history] has its echo in the "ek" of verse four [which explains the means by which He entered into sovereignty over history by divine appointment]. With this conclusion, both Peter (Acts 10:42) and Paul (Acts 17:31) agree by using "ordained" in its normal sense. At least in Acts, the translators seem to have made better choices.