“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Which translation fits better with the context? It seems that for the groans to stop the inner groans of the Christian should also stop too as in verse 23:

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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    The apostle Paul could only speak of historical facts and present experience. The words just do not carry the meaning you suppose - that the evidence has ceased merely because it is only described up to the point where the apostle comments upon it.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 9:11
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    Would this Q not be better suited for the Biblical Hermeneutics site?
    – Anne
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


There is no difference in meaning whatsoever between the two translations of that verse: "the present time" means exactly the same as "until now". The verse following shows that Christians (who are part of "all creation") will continue to groan until they are released from their physical bodies in death, and that the final end of such groaning will happen to all creation after the Day of Resurrection and Judgment.

Then the old earth, and heaven, will have been 'removed' and replaced with "a new heaven and a new earth, in which righteousness will dwell" (2 Peter 3:10-13).

The last book in the Bible, Revelation, confirms this, showing that increasing tribulation will build up until the Last Trump. See chapter 20, verses 11-15 and chapter 21, verse 1 and chapter 22 verses 1 to 6 (noticing that that is when 'the curse' is removed.)

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    @steveowen Interpretation is, indeed, an individual matter. The visionary depictions conveyed in Revelation cannot possibly all be literal. Literal truth (the new heavens and the new earth, which Anne speaks of above) are quite clearly literal. But the visions which give us some appreciation of those new heavens and new earth which 'eye hath not seen nor ear heard nor hath entered into the heart of man' are not literal, but symbolic. You 'make a man an offender for a word'. And I support the words that were uttered, in balance and in truth and proper representation of truth.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 10:30
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    @steveowen All the visions in 'Revelation' are symbolic, not literal. Even the still future 'new heaven and new earth' is a vision that will only be seen literally by those who are blessed to inhabit that new heaven and earth. 'Revelation' says the first heaven and earth 'passed away and there was no more sea". I know some groups that say that's symbolic, with no literal new earth; just this one being cleansed of sin, and heaven cleansed too (not that I agree with them). Besides, that Q I answered was about Christ ascended back to heaven, all of that being detailed in symbolic visions.
    – Anne
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 11:14
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    Of course all visions are symbolic - of actual events yet to happen. This does not make such somewhat bizarre visions any less real in what they symbolise. To arbitrarily choose or dismiss one to be more literal over another is not the intention. "all is inspired...'. (Jesus never went back to heaven, he ascended to heaven)
    – steveowen
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 11:41
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    @ steveowen This is where interpretation shows; "Jesus never went back to heaven, he ascended to heaven". Now, what was that I said in my other answer about some responding with arguments about what they take to be 'Gotcha!' questions...? Is that why you are responding here like this, instead of in that other answer? After all, it was in my other answer that I said Jesus went back to heaven! That is according to my interpretation. Yes, we bring individual beliefs into our interpretations, which does not change that taking all of 'Revelation' literally is absurd.
    – Anne
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 11:49
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    @steveowen John 3:13, John 6:62, John 16:28 for example. You may not prefer to interpret them this way but they are certainly plain enough to make the interpretation valid. Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 12:55

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