Bible Study Online: Groanings Too Deep for Words

Romans 8:26 has long been debated as to its correct interpretation. You probably have already made up your mind as to how you hear it. When it comes to interpreting the Bible, the important thing is not our personal opinion, but rather what the Bible says.

If you study inductively, you will find that God frequently explains what He means by a passage. Oftentimes, the answers we need lie in other passages in the Bible. Let’s take a look at Romans 8:26 and see what we can determine about its correct interpretation.

□ Read Romans 8:26. We learn here that when we do not know what to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. In other words He tells the Father what we cannot ourselves manage to say. According to Romans 8:26 what is the medium that the Spirit uses for doing this for us?
The verse begins, “In the same way.” In what way? [Proceed to the next check box.]

□ Read Romans 8:22-25. Who or what is doing the groaning in this passage? Do you hear this as a completely silent groan or something that is heard with human ears.

□ Now read Acts 7:8. The same Greek word that is translated “groanings” in Romans 8:26 is used in Acts 7:8. Is the sound of groaning audible or inaudible in Acts 7:8?

□ Read Exodus 2:23-24. The Old Testament was translated into Greek for the Jews who lived in Alexandria and did not speak Hebrew and is referred to as the Septuagint. The word used for groaning in the Septuagint version of Ex 2:24 is the same Greek word that is translated groaning in Romans 8:26. Can you tell if the sound the Israelites make in the Exodus passage is audible or inaudible?

If it means something audible in the Greek translation of Exodus, what do you suppose it means in the Greek used in Romans 8:26?

□ Look up the following references and indicate after each if the “groaning” is audible or inaudible.
Exodus 6:5—
Judge’s 2:18—

□ Read Romans 8:26 one more time. Based on how the Greek word for “groanings” is translated in all the passaged you referenced, now would you say that it is something audible or inaudible in Romans 8:26?

Could the groanings in Romans 8:26 be a “prayer language” (not to be confused with speaking in tongues) that God has provided through the Holy Spirit to handle our most difficult prayer requests where we do not know what to say? Give you reasons for or against this position.

God has given us many gifts. Let us be grateful and give Him all the praise and all the glory.

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5 Responses to Bible Study Online: Groanings Too Deep for Words

  1. cramming says:

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  2. Angela Smalligan says:

    Acts 7:8 Says nothing about groanings. I believe you mean 7:34 , ” I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, and have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them ; come now , and I will send you to Egypt.”

  3. Dennis C Voltz says:

    why can’t you educated theologians admit that that the groanings is an unknown language that’s origin is from the Holy Spirit. I’m sorry if I sound a little disrespectful, but I’ve listen and read more of interpretations which should’ve been direct translations from the original languages into English just to fit some docterinal stands. I’m not nearly educated as all of you supposively translators but I’ve experienced some Biblical truths that you the theological academia say doesn’t exist anymore or whatever just to support your docterinal persuasion, so yeah maybe I do have a chip on my shoulders but I’m annoyed with the “bullshit”!

    • Dennis, thank you for your insightful comments. I absolutely agree with you that the groanings in Romans 8 are an unknown language whose origin is from the Holy Spirit. That was the whole gist of the article. We are making the point that the groanings in the Romans 8 passage are an audible, inarticulate language (spoken by the Holy Spirit as He prays on your behalf when you do not have the words). However, it is our opinion that this (groanings) language differs from the language referred to at Pentecost (Acts 2). At Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was received, those in the Upper Room began speaking in utterances given to them by the Holy Spirit. The difference in the two events? In Romans 8 the utterances were too deep for actual words; in Acts 2, the people from various nations all heard the utterances in their own language. What a gift God gave to both the speakers and the recipients!

      Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your thoughts. That’s what this blog is all about. We do not wish to argue with anyone’s position but to stimulate thought on the subject. Any time we are discussing God’s word, it is time well spent. Would you not agree?

      God bless you and yours.

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