Romans 12:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

New Living Translation
Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

English Standard Version
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

New American Standard Bible
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

King James Bible
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.

International Standard Version
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.

NET Bible
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

King James 2000 Bible
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

American King James Version
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

American Standard Version
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

Darby Bible Translation
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

English Revised Version
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Webster's Bible Translation
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Weymouth New Testament
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome the evil with goodness.

World English Bible
Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Young's Literal Translation
Be not overcome by the evil, but overcome, in the good, the evil.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:17-21 Since men became enemies to God, they have been very ready to be enemies one to another. And those that embrace religion, must expect to meet with enemies in a world whose smiles seldom agree with Christ's. Recompense to no man evil for evil. That is a brutish recompence, befitting only animals, which are not conscious of any being above them, or of any existence hereafter. And not only do, but study and take care to do, that which is amiable and creditable, and recommends religion to all with whom you converse. Study the things that make for peace; if it be possible, without offending God and wounding conscience. Avenge not yourselves. This is a hard lesson to corrupt nature, therefore a remedy against it is added. Give place unto wrath. When a man's passion is up, and the stream is strong, let it pass off; lest it be made to rage the more against us. The line of our duty is clearly marked out, and if our enemies are not melted by persevering kindness, we are not to seek vengeance; they will be consumed by the fiery wrath of that God to whom vengeance belongeth. The last verse suggests what is not easily understood by the world; that in all strife and contention, those that revenge are conquered, and those that forgive are conquerors. Be not overcome of evil. Learn to defeat ill designs against you, either to change them, or to preserve your own peace. He that has this rule over his spirit, is better than the mighty. God's children may be asked whether it is not more sweet unto them than all earthly good, that God so enables them by his Spirit, thus to feel and act.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Be not overcome of evil,.... Neither of the evil one, Satan, who is very busy to stir up the corruption of nature to an hatred of enemies, and to seek revenge; but give no place nor heed unto him, resist him, and he will flee from you, James 4:7; "put on the whole armour of God", Ephesians 6:11, whereby you may defend yourselves, that he cannot touch you: nor of the evil of sin that dwells in you; "for whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage", 2 Peter 2:19; nor of the evil of the man that has done you an injury, as you will be, if you return evil for evil, or take any steps and measures to avenge yourselves; for then not you, but he that has done you the wrong, will be the conqueror:

but overcome evil with good; overcome the evil man, and the evil he has done you, by doing good to him, by feeding him when hungry, by giving him drink when thirsty, by clothing him when naked, and by doing other offices of kindness and humanity to him; which is most likely to win upon him, and of an enemy to make him your friend: and if not, however it will show that you are conquerors, yea, "more than conquerors", Romans 8:37, through the grace and strength of him that has loved you, over Satan, over the corruptions of your own hearts, and over the malice and wickedness of your enemies.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. Be not overcome of evil—for then you are the conquered party.

but overcome evil with good—and then the victory is yours; you have subdued your enemy in the noblest sense.

Note, (1) The redeeming mercy of God in Christ is, in the souls of believers, the living spring of all holy obedience (Ro 12:1). (2) As redemption under the Gospel is not by irrational victims, as under the law, but "by the precious blood of Christ" (1Pe 1:18, 19), and, consequently, is not ritual but real, so the sacrifices which believers are now called to offer are all "living sacrifices"; and these—summed up in self-consecration to the service of God—are "holy and acceptable to God," making up together "our rational service" (Ro 12:1). (3) In this light, what are we to think of the so-called "unbloody sacrifice of the mass, continually offered to God as a propitiation for the sins both of the living and the dead," which the adherents of Rome's corrupt faith have been taught for ages to believe is the highest and holiest act of Christian worship—in direct opposition to the sublimely simple teaching which the Christians of Rome first received (Ro 12:1)—(4) Christians should not feel themselves at liberty to be conformed to the world, if only they avoid what is manifestly sinful; but rather, yielding themselves to the transforming power of the truth as it is in Jesus, they should strive to exhibit before the world an entire renovation of heart and life (Ro 12:2). (5) What God would have men to be, in all its beauty and grandeur, is for the first time really apprehended, when "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshy tables of the heart," 2Co 3:3 (Ro 12:2). (6) Self-sufficiency and lust of power are peculiarly unlovely in the vessels of mercy, whose respective graces and gifts are all a divine trust for the benefit of the common body and of mankind at large (Ro 12:3, 4). (7) As forgetfulness of this has been the source of innumerable and unspeakable evils in the Church of Christ, so the faithful exercise by every Christian of his own peculiar office and gifts, and the loving recognition of those of his brethren, as all of equal importance in their own place, would put a new face upon the visible Church, to the vast benefit and comfort of Christians themselves and to the admiration of the world around them (Ro 12:6-8). (8) What would the world be, if it were filled with Christians having but one object in life, high above every other—to "serve the Lord"—and throwing into this service "alacrity" in the discharge of all duties, and abiding "warmth of spirit" (Ro 12:11)! (9) Oh, how far is even the living Church from exhibiting the whole character and spirit, so beautifully portrayed in the latter verses of this chapter (Ro 12:12-21)! What need of a fresh baptism of the Spirit in order to this! And how "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners," will the Church become, when at length instinct with this Spirit! The Lord hasten it in its time!

Romans 12:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
Forgiveness
20"BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Cross References
Romans 12:20
On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Romans 13:1
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Treasury of Scripture

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules …

Luke 6:27-30 But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which …

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise …

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