Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (AV/KJV)
Romans 3:20 because no flesh will be made righteous before Him by means of works of law, for by law is full knowledge of sin. (Lavender NT)
As translated by all the translations I have on this computer, all English translations are in error except the Lavender NT here. All other translations produce a contradiction with Romans 2:13,
Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (AV/KJV)
Romans 2:13 For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the
doers of the Law will be justified. (Lavender NT)
Under the Law, “doers of the law shall be justified” (Romans 2:13).
Under Grace, believers in Christ are made righteous, not merely justified, apart from the works of the Law. Believers are not justified by the Law.
The Lavender New Testament provides the following note for Romans 2:13 on the word “justified”:
“Justified, dikaioō, is used here, as in a few other places in Romans as under Law. When used as under Law dikaioō means declared just, acquitted, righteousness imputed, but under grace dikaioō means to make righteous (cf. Ro 3:24, 26, 28, 30; 5:1, 9, 19; 8:30, 33); further, these meanings accord with the respective systems as to ability to put away sin. Under the Law the blood of Levitical animals could not take away sins (cf. Heb 10:4, 11); thus the sins of God’s people were “passed over” and they were declared righteous. But the blood of Christ, under the better covenant, does what the Law could never do – takes away sin. Regenerative change of the inner man was not possible under Law (cf. Ro 3:20); these conditions thus verify the need to justify. But in Christ there is a power not known under Law; in Christ there is a power by which sinners may be made righteous (cf. Ro 3:20-31).”
The Lavender New Testament provides the following note for “made righteous” for Romans 3:20,
“Made righteous: Even though the Jews were in the sphere of the Law, it was unable to make them righteous because under the Law the blood of the Levitical animals could not take away sins (cf. Heb 10:4, 11). The Law could justify, but it could not make righteous (see Ro 2:13 and note).”
In his commentary on Romans (page 20), Dr. Malcolm Lavender states:
“(1) Under the Law men were justified by a forensic act of God, or a legal declaration, and so, counted righteous, not made righteous.
(2) The ground for legal justification consisted in the fact that the Law could not make righteous (Romans 3:20; Hebrews 10:4, 11). But God in righteous forbearance passed over sins, until Calvary (Romans 3:25; cf. Acts 17:30).
(3) Thus in Romans 3:20, no flesh will be made righteous [not justified] in His sight under law. But now a man is made righteous [not justified] by faith (Romans 3:28) on the ground of the shed blood of Christ (Romans 3:25) apart from law (Romans 3:21).
(4) Here we establish the meaning of dikaioō in Romans and, indeed, in the NT: Under the Law dikaioō was forensic, to justify, to declare righteous, but in the NT it means to make righteous on the ground of the blood of Christ. We now have the reality of the “how much more” efficacy (Hebrews 9:14) of the blood transcendently exceeding the “counting as righteous” under the Levitical animal that never could “take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11).
(5) Reformation theology, and all forms of Calvinism, have destroyed the salvation vocabulary of the NT, by perverting the meaning of dikaioō to a legal status. The blood of Christ, the Son of God, has been reduced to an EQUALITY with the blood of the Levitical animal–neither remove sin or make righteous in this life.”