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.
□ 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.