Romans 10:17 – A Translation by Substitution

by Rex Rouis

I am going to reword Romans 10:17 by substituting the words with expanded meanings, and/or loose definition wordings taken from other verses.  Now, I know this is not authoritative, so don’t go Greek or Postal on me.

Original Verse

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.  Romans 10:17 NASB


Faith – Hebrews 11:1 states that “…faith is the substance of things hoped for…”  One possible alternate for the word ‘substance is the word reality, so it could be restated as ‘the reality of things hoped for.’ The Holman Christian Standard Bible actually translates it this way.

From – The Greek word means ‘out of’

Hearing & Hearing – This word is not the common word for ‘hearing’ used in the New Testament and can be translated ‘a message that is heard.’  It is translated exactly that way in Hebrews 4:2 NASB.

By – The Greek word means ‘through’

Word – The Greek word is Rhema and can be translated loosely as a ‘spoken word.’

Christ – Here I am not going to provide a translation here but a substitution using an analogy used in John 1:1.  John calls Jesus by the Greek word ‘logos.’  One possible rendering is the ‘total concept of God,’ or the ‘total message of God.’

The New Verse Translation – with all substitutions

So (the reality of things hoped for) comes (out of ) (a message that is heard), and (a message that is heard) (through) the (spoken word) out of the (total message of God).  Romans 10:17

Cleaned up a little we get

So the reality of things hoped for comes out of a message that is heard, and this message is heard as a spoken word coming through and from the total message of God. Romans 10:17

This ‘hearing’ is the written word coming alive in our heart.  It is a personal living word to us that speaks out from the total written general message (Bible) of God. It happens when the written word becomes real to us in our heart.  That is the moment faith comes.

Other ‘Real’ Translations of Romans 10:17

KJV – So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

NASB – So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

God’s Word – So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.

Wuest Expanded – So then, faith is out of the source of that which is heard, and that which is heard [the message] is through the agency of the Word concerning Christ.

Darby – So faith then [is] by a report, but the report by God’s word.

Complete Jewish – So trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed about the Messiah.

Young’s Literal – so then the faith [is] by a report, and the report through a saying of God,

Amplified – So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

Green – Then faith is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God.

Weymouth – And this proves that faith comes from a Message heard, and that the Message comes through its having been spoken by Christ.

The End of This Foolishness


  1. To THE point AEM! Right on! I hear so often the term, “Word of God” overused. There are words that God spoke that are recorded, and there are Words of Christ that were spoken by him and recorded. To lump the whole canonized collection of works that tell about the story of Christ (ie: The Bible), as “THE word of God”, is a misrepresentation. The words of inspired man, Prophets, or even apostles, are not equal to the actual Words of Christ or God. When we generalize the term, “The Word”, we make no distinction between sinful man and the perfect God. Your delineation between Christos and Logos seem to make that distinction and I appreciate your willingness to take the time to point that out. Our faith is in the acts of Jesus Christ, our faith is based on him alone, not the Bible which came nearly three hundred years after. I love to read, learn and be transformed by this wonderful collection of writings but to represent it as perfect is a disservice because of our modern misrepresentation. We are setting people up to lose faith because information is so easily obtained now to question it’s perfection with all integrity and intellectt. To be accurate, it contains the recorded words of Jesus Christ, interactions and words of God and inspired writings by those who interacted with them as well as history that led up to Jesus Christ.

  2. John 5:39.
    We can have the written word memorized. But if we have not the Spirit, we are not His.
    We have those who make “laws” from the written(logos)and miss the rhema, walking by tradition rather than faith.

  3. Thanks! I was wondering if you’re seeing manifestations of the Holy Spirit flowing through your life as a result of obeying the principles you are teaching here.

  4. Thanks for explaining it so clear. I took notes and now I truly have a better understanding.

  5. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice if you are a believer then you hear him.He speaks through his spirit .When the spirit enlightens his written word for a ministry situations or just for your spiritual growth you have to take action on it .He can also speak through your ear or mind to give you direction.WhenHe speaks we can have the faith that causes us to take action. That is how ,” faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (rehema) word of God”. There is more to be said faith and obedience go together.They are not separate.You see when you obey you believe what He said and take action .That is the living faith that can move mountains.The reverse of this is not obeying and taking action so ,”faith without works is dead”.

  6. I must confess this is the first teaching on Romans 10:17 that actually makes sense to me. And trust me…I have been searching for a simple explanation for awhile. Some teach that it is only referring to saving faith that we receive when he hear the gospel preached. They argue that this verse is often taken out of context and while they agree that as Christians we must live by faith in God’s Word they don’t necessarily agree that verse supports that principle. For me, I don’t think we should apply such a narrow interpretation of this verse because faith really does come from the written word coming alive in our heart. Not just saving faith…but throughout our walk with God, the totality of God’s Word becomes real in our lives as we appropriate it.

  7. You wrote at the bottom of your paper, which was awesome, “The End of This Foolishness.”

    What did you mean by This?

    Thank you.

    1. Author

      Buddy – In case I would get attacked by self-proclaimed Greek experts I started the article with, “Now, I know this is not authoritative, so don’t go Greek or Postal on me,” and ended it with, “The End of This Foolishness.” Just a little (very little) humor. Rex

      1. Thank you for your quick reply. You have a first rate blog!
        NO worries….I understand about people going postal…..or getting all Greeking.
        Just always find it is better to do a check up from the neck up….always believe the best.

          1. Honored my Brother!
            Keep doing what you are doing…..I appreciate it 🙂

  8. I am not saying that you should not read the Bible. In fact you should read the entire Bible because it is the Word of God. However, Seeing Jesus in the New testament aswell as seeing Jesus in the old Testament (shadows and types) will cause you to gain faith. For example, Genesis 22:6. Issac carrying wood on his back up a hill to be sacrificed is a shadow/type of Jesus on the cross. The whole Bible is full of shadows and typs of Jesus from Genesis to revelations. Make sure when you post blogs about the Bible to post accurate. God “Logos” in John 1:1 is diffrent than Christ “Christos” in Romans 10:17. Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ(Jesus. NOT the total written general message (Bible)of God in which you say. Know the diffrence! It is important to know this to understand the true meaning so you can have a relaitionship with Jesus. It’s all about Jesus and His finished work on the cross.

  9. Commenting on, “Christ – Here I am not going to give a translation but a substitution using an analogy used in John 1:1. John calls Jesus by the Greek word ‘logos.’ One possible rendering is the ‘total concept of God,’ or the ‘total message of God.’”
    You should actuallty give a translation here. Why? Because the analigy that you are using from John 1:1 to define “Christ,” IS NOT “Logos” in Romans 10:17. IT IS “Christo.” This word means “Christ.” Which means that we study the word of Christ for faith, not the word of God for faith. Studying christ for faith means studing anything about Christ filtered through Jesus’ finished work. Shadows and tyos are included from the old testament. The word of God is the entire Bible. Ypu will not gaing faith by studying the ten commandments. Only the study of Christ. This is important for you to understand.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.