Romans 7
ICC New Testament Commentary
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

7:1-6. Take another illustration from the Law of Marriage. The Marriage Law only binds a woman while her husband lives. So with the Christian. He was wedded, as it were, to his old sinful state; and all that time he was subject to the law applicable to that state. But this old life of his was killed through his identification with the death of Christ; so as to set him free to contract a new marriage—with Christ, no longer dead but risen: and the fruit of that marriage should be a new life quickened by the Spirit.

1 I say that you are free from the Law of Moses and from Sin. You will see how: unless you need to be reminded of a fact which your acquaintance with the nature of Law will readily suggest to you, that Law, for the man who comes under it, is only in force during his lifetime. 2Thus for instance a woman in wedlock is forbidden by law to desert her living husband. But if her husband should die, she is absolved from the provisions of the statute ‘Of the Husband.’ 3Hence while her husband is alive, she will be styled ‘an adulteress’ if she marry another man: but if her husband die, she is free from that statute, so that no one can call her an adulteress, though she be married to another man.

4 We may apply this in an allegory, in which the wife is the Christian’s ‘self’ or ‘ego’; the first husband, his old unregenerate state, burdened with all the penalties attaching to it.

You then, my brethren in Christ, had this old state killed in you—brought to an abrupt and violent end—by your identification with the crucified Christ, whose death you reproduce spiritually. And this death of your old self left you free to enter upon a new marriage with the same Christ, who triumphed over death—a triumph in which you too share—that in union with Him you, and indeed all of us Christians, may be fruitful in good works, to the glory and praise of God. 5Our new marriage must be fruitful, as our old marriage was. When we had nothing better to guide us than this frail humanity of ours, so liable to temptation, at that time too a process of generation was going on. The impressions of sense, suggestive of sin, stimulated into perverse activity by their legal prohibition, kept plying this bodily organism of ours in such a way as to engender acts that only went to swell the garners of Death. 6But now all that has been brought to an end. Law and the state of sin are so inextricably linked together, that in dying, at our baptism, a moral death, to that old state of sin we were absolved or discharged from the Law, which used to hold us prisoners under the penalties to which sin laid us open. And through this discharge we are enabled to serve God in a new state, the ruling principle of which is Spirit, in place of that old state, presided over by Written Law.

1-6. The text of this section—and indeed of the whole chapter—is still, ‘Ye are not under Law, but under Grace’; and the Apostle brings forward another illustration to show how the transition from Law to Grace has been effected, and what should be its consequences.

In the working out of this illustration there is a certain amount of intricacy, due to an apparent shifting of the stand-point in the middle of the paragraph. The Apostle begins by showing how with the death of her husband the law which binds a married woman becomes a dead letter. He goes on to say in the application, not ‘The Law is dead to you,’ but ‘You are dead to the Law’—which looks like a change of position, though a legitimate one.

Gif. however may be right in explaining the transition rather differently, viz. by means of the παλαιὸς ἄνθρωπος of ch. 6:6. The ‘self’ of the man is double; there is an ‘old self’ and a ‘new self’; or rather the ‘self’ remains the same throughout, but it passes through different states, or phases. Bearing this in mind we shall find the metaphor work out consistently.

The Wife = the true self, or ego, which is permanent through all change.

The (first) Husband = the old state before conversion to Christianity.

The ‘law of the husband’ = the law which condemned that old state.

The new Marriage = the union upon which the convert enters with Christ.

The crucial phrase is ὑμεῖς ἐθανατώθητε in ver. 4. According to the way in which we explain this will be our explanation of the whole passage. See the note ad loc.

There is yet another train of thought which comes in with vv. 4-6. The idea of marriage naturally suggests the offspring of marriage. In the case of the Christian the fruit of his union with Christ is a holy life.

1. Ἤ ἀγνοεῖτε: [‘surely you know this—that the régime of Law has come to an end, and that Grace has superseded it.] Or do you require to be told that death closes all accounts, and therefore that the state of things to which Law belongs ceased through the death of the Christian with Christ—that mystical death spoken of in the last chapter?’

γινώσκουσι γὰρ νόμον λαλῶ: ‘I speak’ (lit. ‘am talking’) ‘to men acquainted with Law.’ At once the absence of the article and the nature of the case go to show that what is meant here is not Roman Law (Weiss), of which there is no reason to suppose that St. Paul would possess any detailed knowledge, nor yet the Law of Moses more particularly considered (Lips.), but a general principle of all Law; an obvious axiom of political justice—that death clears all scores, and that a dead man can no longer be prosecuted or punished (cf. Hort, Rom. and Eph. p. 24).

2. ἡ γὰρ ὕπανδρος γυνή: [‘the truth of this may be proved by a case in point.] For a woman in the state of wedlock is bound by law to her living husband.’ ὕπανδρος: a classical word, found in LXX.

κατήργηται: ‘is completely (perf.) absolved or discharged’ (lit. ‘nullified’ or ‘annulled,’ her status as a wife is abolished). The two correlative phrases are treated by St. Paul as practically convertible: ‘the woman is annulled from the law,’ and ‘the law is annulled to the woman.’ For καταργεῖν see on 3:3.

ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ἀνδρός: from that section of the statute-book which is headed ‘The Husband,’ the section which lays down his rights and duties. Gif. compares ‘the law of the leper’ Leviticus 14:2; ‘the law of the Nazirite’ Numbers 6:13.

3. χρηματίσει. The meanings of χρηματίζειν ramify in two directions. The fundamental idea is that of ‘transacting business’ or ‘managing affairs.’ Hence we get on the one hand, from the notion of doing business under a certain name, from Polybius onwards (1) ‘to bear a name or title’ (χρηματίζει βασιλεύς Polyb. V. Lev_2); and so simply, as here, ‘to be called or styled’ (Acts 11:26 ἐγένετο … χρηματίσαι πρῶτον ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ τοὺς μαθητὰς Χριστιανούς); and on the other hand (2) from the notion of ‘having dealings with,’ ‘giving audience to’ a person, in a special sense, of the ‘answers, communications, revelations,’ given by an oracle or by God. So six times in LXX of Jerem., Joseph. Antiq., Plutarch, &c. From this sense we get pass. ‘to be warned or admonished’ by God (Matthew 2:12, Matthew 2:22; Acts 10:22; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 11:7). Hence also subst. χρηματισμός, ‘a Divine or oracular response,’ 2 Macc. 2:4; Romans 11:4. Burton (M. and T. § 69) calls the fut. here a ‘gnomic future’ as stating ‘what will customarily happen when occasion offers.’

τοῦ μὴ εἶναι = ὥστε μὴ εἶναι: the stress is thrown back upon ἐλευθέρα, ‘so as not to be,’ ‘causing her not to be,’—not ‘so that she is.’ According to Burton τοῦ μή here denotes ‘conceived result’; but see the note on ὥστε δουλεύειν in ver. 6 below.

4. ὥστε with indic. introduces a consequences which follows as a matter of fact.

καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐθανατώθητε. We have said that the exact interpretation of the whole passage turns upon this phrase. It is commonly explained as another way of saying ‘You had the Law killed to you.’ So Chrys. ἀκόλουθον ἦν εἰπεῖν, τοῦ νόμου τελευτήσαντος οὐ κρίνεσθε μοιχείας, ἀνδρὶ γενόμενοι ἑτέρῳ. Ἀλλʼ οὐκ εἶπεν οὕτως, ἀλλὰ πῶσ; Ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ (cf. Euthym.-Zig.). In favour of this is the parallel κατήργηται ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ἀνδρός in ver. 2, and κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου in ver. 6. But on the other hand it is strange to speak of the same persons at one moment as ‘killed’ and the next as ‘married again.’ There is therefore a strong attraction in the explanation of Gif., who makes ὑμεῖς = not the whole self but the old self, i.e. the old state of the self which was really ‘crucified with Christ’ (ch. 6:6), and the death of which really leaves the man (= the wife in the allegory) free to contract a new union. This moral death of the Christian to his past also does away with the Law. The Law had its hold upon him only through sin; but in discarding his sins he discards also the pains and penalties which attached to them. Nothing can touch him further. His old heathen or Jewish antecedents have passed away; he is under obligation only to Christ.

καὶ ὑμεῖς. The force of καί here is, ‘You, my readers, as well as the wife in the allegory.’

διὰ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ. The way in which the death of the ‘old man’ is brought about is through the identification of the Christian with the Death of Christ. The Christian takes his place, as it were, with Christ upon the Cross, and there has his old self crucified. The ‘body’ of Christ here meant is the ‘crucified body’: the Christian shares in that crucifixion, and so gets rid of his sinful past. We are thus taken back to the symbolism of the last chapter (6:6), to which St. Paul also throws in an allusion in τῷ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθέντι. The two lines of symbolism really run parallel to each other and it is easy to connect them.

ὁ παλαιὸς ἄνθρωπος = The Husband:

Crucifixion of the παλ. ἄνθ. = Death of the Husband:

Resurrection = Re-Marriage:

ζῃν, δουλεύειν τῷ Θεῷ = καρποφορεῖν τῷ Θεῷ.

εἰς τὸ γενέσθαι ὑμᾶς ἑτέρῳ. Lips. takes this not of ‘being married to another husband,’ but of ‘joining another master, ’ on the ground that there is no marriage to the Law. This however (1) is unnecessary, because marriage to the ‘old man’ carries with it subjection to the Law, so that the dissolution of the marriage involves release from the Law by a step which is close and inevitable; (2) it is wrong, because of καρποφορῆσαι, which it is clearly forced and against the context to refer, as Lips. does, to anything but the offspring of marriage.

καρποφορήσωμεν τῷ Θεῷ. The natural sequel to the metaphor of ‘Marriage.’ The ‘fruit’ which the Christian, wedded to Christ, is to bear is of course that of a reformed life.

5. ὅτε γὰρ ἦμεν ἐν τῇ̀ σαρκί. This verse develops the idea contained in καρποφορήσωμεν: the new marriage ought to be fruitful, because the old one was. εἶναι ἐν τῇ σαρκί is the opposite of εἶναι ἐν τῷ πνεύματι: the one is a life which has no higher object than the gratification of the senses, the other is a life permeated by the Spirit. Although σάρξ is human nature especially on the side of its frailty, it does not follow that there is any dualism in St. Paul’s conception or that he regards the body as inherently sinful. Indeed this very passage proves the contrary. It implies that it is possible to be ‘in the body’ without being ‘in the flesh.’ The body, as such, is plastic to influences of either kind: it may be worked upon by Sin through the senses, or it may be worked upon by the Spirit. In either case the motive-force comes from without. The body itself is neutral. See esp. the excellent discussion in Gifford, pp. 48-52.

τὰ παθήματα τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν: πάθημα has the same sort of ambiguity as our word ‘passion.’ It means (1) an ‘impression,’ esp. a ‘painful impression’ or suffering; (2) the reaction which follows upon some strong impression of sense (cf. Galatians 5:24). The gen. τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν = ‘connected with sins,’ ‘leading to sins.’

τὰ διὰ τοῦ νόμου. Here St. Paul, as his manner is, ‘throws up a finger-post’ which points to the coming section of his argument. The phrase διὰ τοῦ νόμου is explained at length in the next paragraph: it refers to the effect of Law in calling forth and aggravating sin.

ἐνηργεῖτο. The pricks and stings of passion were active in our members (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 1:4:12; Galatians 5:6, &c.).

τῷ θανάτῳ: dat. commodi, contrasted with καρποφ, τῷ Θεῷ above.

6. νυνὶ δὲ κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου. ‘But as it is we’ (in our peccant part, the old man) ‘were discharged or annulled from the Law’ (i.e. we had an end put to our relations with the Law; by the death of our old man there was nothing left on which the Law could wreak its vengeance; we were ‘struck with atrophy’ in respect to it: see on ver. 2). πῶς ἡμεῖς κατηργήθημεν; τοῦ κατεχομένου παρὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἀνθρώπου παλαιοῦ ἀποθανόντος καὶ ταφέντος Chrys. We observe how Chrys. here practically comes round to the same side as Gif.

The renderings of κατηργήθημεν are rather interesting, and show the difficulty of finding an exact equivalent in other languages: evacuati sumus Tert.; soluti sumus Codd. Clarom. Sangerm. Vulg. (= ‘we were unbounden’ Wic.; ‘we are loosed’ Rhem.); ‘we are delivered’ Tyn. Cran. Genev. AV.; ‘we are discharged’ RV.; nous avons été dégagés Oltr. (Le Nouveau Test., Geneva, 1874); nun aber sind wir für das Gesetz nicht mehr da Weizsäcker (Das Neue Test., Freiburg i. B. 1882, Exo_2).

ἀποθανόντες. AV. apparently read ἀποθανόντος, for which there is no MS. authority, but which seems to be derived by a mistake of Beza following Erasmus from a comment of Chrysostom’s (see Tisch. ad loc.). The Western text (D E F G, codd. ap. Orig.-lat. and most Latins) boldly corrects to τοῦ θανατοῦ, which would go with τοῦ νόμου, and which gives an easier construction, though not a better sense. After ἀποθανόντες we must supply ἑκείνῳ, just as in 6:21 we had to supply ἐκείνων.

ἐν ᾧ κατειχόμεθα. The antecedent of ἐν ᾧ is taken by nearly all commentators as equivalent to τῷ νόμῳ (whether ἐκείνῳ or τούτῳ is regarded as masc. or better neutr.). Gif. argues against referring it to the ‘old state,’ ‘the old man,’ that this is not sufficiently suggested by the context. But wherever ‘death’ is spoken of it is primarily this ‘old state,’ or ‘old man’ which dies, so that the use of the term ἀποθανόντες alone seems enough to suggest it. It was this old sinful state which brought man under the grip of the Law; when the sinful life ceased the Law lost its hold.

ὥστε δουλεύειν: not ‘so that we serve’ (RV. and most commentators), but ‘so as to serve,’ i. e. ‘enabling us to serve.’ The stress is thrown back upon κατηργήθημεν,—we were so completely discharged as to set us free to serve.

The true distinction between ὤστε with infin. and ὥστε with indic., which is not always observed in RV., is well stated by Goodwin, Moods and Tenses, ed. 1889, § 584 (with the quotation from Shilleto, De Fals. Leg. App. in the note), and for N. T. by the late Canon T. S. Evans in the Expos. for 1882, 1:3 ff.: ὥστε with indic. states the definite result which as a matter of fact does follow; ὥστε with infin. states the contemplated result which in the natural course ought to follow. ὥστε with indic. lays stress on the effect; ὥστε with infin. on the cause. Thus in 1 Corinthians 1:7 ὥστε ὑστερεῖσθαι = ‘causing or inspiring you to feel behindhand’ (see Sp. Comm. ad loc.); in Matthew 13:32 γίνεται δένδρον, ὥστε ἐλθεῖν τὰ πετεινὰ καὶ κατασκηνοῦν = ‘becomes a tree big enough for the birds to come,’ &c. It will be seen that the distinction corresponds to the difference in the general character of the two moods.

ἐν καινότητι πνεύματος … παλαιότητι γράμματος. In each case the gen. is what is called of ‘apposition’: it denotes that in which the newness, or oldness, consists. The essential feature of the new state is that it is one of ‘Spirit’; of the old state, that it is regulated by ‘written Law.’ The period of the Paraclete has succeeded to the period which took its character from the Sinaitic legislation. The Christian life turns on an inspiration from above, not on an elaborate code of commands and prohibitions. A fuller explanation of the καινότης πνεύματος is given in ch. 8.

It is perhaps well to remind the reader who is not careful to check the study of the English versions by the Greek that the opposition between γράμμα and πνεῦμα is not exactly identical with that which we are in the habit of drawing between ‘the letter’ and ‘the spirit’ as the ‘literal’ and ‘spiritual sense’ of a writing. In this antithesis γράμμα is with St. Paul always the Law of Moses, as a written code, while πνεῦμα is the operation of the Holy Spirit characteristic of Christianity (cf. Romans 2:29; 2 Corinthians 3:6).


7:7-25. If release from Sin means release from Law, must we then identify Law with Sin? No. Law reveals the sinfulness of Sin, and by this very revelation stirs up the dormant Sin to action. But this is not because the Law itself is evil—on the contrary it is good—but that Sin may be exposed and its guilt aggravated (vv. 7-13).

This is what takes place. I have a double self. But my better self is impotent to prevent me from doing wrong (vv. 14-17). It is equally impotent to make me do right (vv. 18-21). There is thus a constant conflict going on, from which, unaided. I can hope for no deliverance. But, God be thanked, through Christ deliverance comes! (vv. 21-25).

7 I spoke a moment ago of sinful passions working through Law, and of the death to Sin as carrying with it a release from the Law. Does it follow that the Law itself is actually a form of Sin? An intolerable thought! On the contrary it was the Law and nothing else through which I learnt the true nature of Sin. For instance, I knew the sinfulness of covetous or illicit desire only by the Law saying ‘Thou shalt not covet.’ 8But the lurking Sin within me started into activity, and by the help of that express command, provoking to that which it prohibited, led me into all kinds of conscious and sinful covetousness. For without Law to bring it out Sin lies dead—inert and passive. 9And while sin was dead, I—my inner self—was alive, in happy unconsciousness, following my bent with no pangs of conscience excited by Law. But then came this Tenth Commandment; and with its coming Sin awoke to life, while I—sad and tragic contrast—died the living death of sin, precursor of eternal death. 10And the commandment which was given to point men the way to life, this very commandment was found in my case to lead to death. 11For Sin took advantage of it, and by the help of the commandment—at once confronting me with the knowledge of right and provoking me to do that which was wrong—it betrayed me, so that I fell; and the commandment was the weapon with which it slew me. 12The result is that the Law, as a whole, is holy, inasmuch as it proceeds from God: and each single commandment has the like character of holiness, justice, and beneficence. 13Am I then to say that a thing so excellent in itself to me proved fatal? Not for a moment. It was rather the demon Sin which wrought the mischief. And the reason why it was permitted to do so was that it might be shown in its true colours, convicted of being the pernicious thing that it is, by the fact that it made use of a good instrument, Law, to work out upon me the doom of death. For this reason Sin was permitted to have its way, in order that through its perverted use of the Divine commandment it might be seen in all its utter hideousness.

14The blame cannot attach to the Law. For we all know that the Law has its origin from the Spirit of God and derives its character from that Spirit, while I, poor mortal, am made of frail human flesh and blood, sold like any slave in the market into the servitude of Sin. 15It is not the Law, and not my own deliberate self, which is the cause of the evil; because my actions are executed blindly with no proper concurrence of the will. I purpose one way, I act another. I hate a thing, but do it. 16And by this very fact that I hate the thing that I do, my conscience bears testimony to the Law, and recognizes its excellence. 17So that the state of the case is this. It is not I, my true self, who put into act what is repugnant to me, but Sin which has possession of me. 18For I am aware that in me as I appear to the outer world—in this ‘body that does me grievous wrong,’ there dwells (in any permanent and predominating shape) nothing that is good. The will indeed to do good is mine, and I can command it; but the performance I cannot command. 19For the actual thing that I do is not the good that I wish to do; but my moral agency appears in the evil that I wish to avoid. 20But if I thus do what I do not wish to do, then the active force in me, the agent that carries out the act, is not my true self (which is rather seen in the wish to do right), but the tyrant Sin which holds possession of me. 21I find therefore this law—if so it may be called—this stern necessity laid upon me from without, that much as I wish to do what is good, the evil lies at my door. 22For I am a divided being. In my innermost self, the thinking and reasoning part of me, I respond joyfully to the Law of God. 23But then I see a different Law dominating this bodily organism of mine, and making me do its behests. This other Law makes the field in arms against the Law of Reason and Conscience, and drags me away captive in the fetters of Sin, the Power which has such a fatal grip upon my body. 24Unhappy man that I am—torn with a conflict from which there seems to be no issue! This body from which proceed so many sinful impulses; this body which makes itself the instrument of so many acts of sin; this body which is thus dragging me down to death.—How shall I ever get free from it? What Deliverer will come and rescue me from its oppression?

25A Deliverer has come. And I can only thank God, approaching His Presence in humble gratitude, through Him to whom the deliverance is due—Jesus Messiah, our Lord.

Without His intervention—so long as I am left to my own unaided self—the state that I have been describing may be briefly summarized. In this twofold capacity of mine I serve two masters: with my conscience I serve the Law of God; with my bodily organism the Law of Sin.

7. So far Sin and Law have been seen in such close connexion that it becomes necessary to define more exactly the relation between them. In discussing this the Apostle is led to consider the action of both upon the character and the struggle to which they give rise in the soul.

It is evident that Marcion had this section, as Tertullian turns against him St. Paul’s refusal to listen to any attack upon the Law, which Marcion ascribed to the Demiurge: Abominatur apostolus criminationem legis … Quid deo imputas legis quod legi eius apostolus imputare non audet? Atquin et accumulat: Lex sancta, et praeceptum eius iustum et bonum. Si taliter veneratur legem creatoris, quomodo ipsum destruat nescio.

ὁ νόμος ἁμαρτία. It had just been shown (ver. 5) that Sin makes use of the Law to effect the destruction of the sinner. Does it follow that Sin is to be identified with the Law? Do the two so overlap each other that the Law itself comes under the description of Sin? St. Paul, like every pious Jew, repels this conclusion with horror.

ἀλλά contradicts emphatically the notion that the Law is Sin. On the contrary the Law first told me what Sin was.

οὐκ ἔγνων. It is not quite certain whether this is to be taken hypothetically (for οὐκ ἂν ἔγνων, ἄν omitted to give a greater sense of actuality, Kühner, Gr. Gramm. ii. 176 f.) or whether it is simply temporal. Lips. Oltr. and others adopt the hypothetical sense both here and with οὐκ ᾔδειν below. Gif. Va. make both οὐκ ἔγνων and οὐκ ᾔδειν plain statement of fact. Mey.-W. Go. take οὐκ ἔγνων temporally, οὐκ ᾔδειν hypothetically. As the context is a sort of historical retrospect the simple statement seems most in place.

τήν τε γὰρ ἐπιθυμίαν. τε γάρ is best explained as = ‘for also,’ ‘for indeed’ (Gif. Win. § liii. p. 561 E. T.; otherwise Va.). The general proposition is proved by a concrete example.

ἔγνων … ᾔδειν retain their proper meanings: ἔγνων, ‘I learnt,’ implies more intimate experimental acquaintance; ᾔδειν is simple knowledge that there was such a thing as lust.

ἐπιθυμήσεις. The Greek word has a wider sense than out ‘covet’; it includes every kind of illicit desire.

8. ἀφορμὴν λαβοῦσα: ‘getting a start,’ finding a point d’appui, or, as we should say, ‘something to take hold of.’ In a military sense ἀφορμή = ‘a base of operations’ (Thuc. i. 90. 2, &c.). In a literary sense ἀφορμὴν λαβεῖν = ‘to take a hint,’ ‘adopt a suggestion’; cf. Eus. Ep. ad Carpianum ἐκ τοῦ πονήματος τοῦ προειρημένου ἀνδρὸς εἰληφὼς ἀφορμάς. And so here in a moral sense: Sin exists, but apart from Law it has nothing to work upon, no means of producing guilt. Law gives it just the opportunity it wants.

ἡ ἁμαρτία: see p. 145, sup.

διὰ τῆς ἐντολῆς. The prep. διά and the position of the word show that it is better taken with κατειργάσατο than with ἀφορμ, λαβ. ἐντολή is the single commandment; νόμος the code as a whole.

χωρὶς γὰρ … νεκρά. A standing thought which we have had before, 4:15; 5:13: cf. 3:20.

9. ἔζων (ἔζην B ; ἔζουν 17). St. Paul uses a vivid figurative expression, not of course with the full richness of meaning which he sometimes gives to it (1:17; 8:13, &c.). He is describing the state prior to Law primarily in himself as a child before the consciousness of law has taken hold upon him; but he uses this experience as typical of that both of individuals and nations before they are restrained by express command. The ‘natural man’ flourishes; he does freely and without hesitation all that he has a mind to do; he puts forth all his vitality, unembarrassed by the checks and thwartings of conscience. It is the kind of life which is seen at its best in some of the productions of Greek art. Greek life had no doubt its deeper and more serious side; but this comes out more in its poetry and philosophy: the frieze of the Parthenon is the consummate expression of a life that does not look beyond the morrow and has no inward perplexities to trouble its enjoyment of to-day. See the general discussion below.

ἀνέζησεν: ‘sprang into life’ (T. K. Abbott). Sin at first is there, but dormant; not until it has the help of the Law does it become an active power of mischief.

11. ἐξηπάτησέ με. The language is suggested by the description of the Fall (Genesis 3:13 LXX; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14). Sin here takes the place of the Tempter there. In both cases the ‘commandment’—acknowledged only to be broken—is the instrument which is made use of to bring about the disastrous and fatal end.

12. ὁ μὲν νόμος. The μέν expects a following δέ. St. Paul had probably intended to write ἡ δὲ ἁμαρτία κατηργάσατο ἐν ἐμοὶ τὸν θάνατον, or something of the kind; but he digresses to explain how a good Law can have evil consequences, and so he fails to complete the sentence on the same plan on which he had begun it. On St. Paul’s view of the nature and functions of the Law see below.

It is hardly safe to argue with Zahn (Gesch. d. K. ii. 517) from the language of Tertullian (given above on ver. 7) that that writer had before him a corrupt Marcionitic text—not, Zahn thinks, actually due to Marcion, but corrupted since his time—ἡ ἐντολὴ αὐτοῦ δικαία for ἡ ἐντ. ἁγία καὶ δικαία. It is more probable that Tert. is reproducing his text rather freely: in De Pudic. 6 he leaves out καὶ δικαία, lex quidem sancta est et praeceptum sanctum et optimum (the use of superlative for positive is fairly common in Latin versions and writers).

13. Why was this strange perversion of so excellent a thing as the Law permitted? This very perversion served to aggravate the horror of Sin: not content with the evil which it is in itself it must needs turn to evil that which was at once Divine in its origin and beneficent in its purpose. To say this was to pronounce its condemnation: it was like giving it full scope, so that the whole world might see (φανῇ) of what extremities (καθʼ ὑπερβολήν) Sin was capable.

14. The section which follows explains more fully by a psychological analysis how it is that the Law is broken and that Sin works such havoc. There is a germ of good in human nature, a genuine desire to do what is right, but this is overborne by the force of temptation acting through the bodily appetites and passions.

πνευματικός. The Law is ‘spiritual,’ as the Manna and the Water from the Rock were ‘spiritual’ (1 Corinthians 10:3, 1 Corinthians 10:4) in the sense of being ‘Spirit-caused’ or ‘Spirit-given,’ but with the further connotation that the character of the Law is such as corresponds to its origin.

σάρκινος (σαρκικός אc L P al.) denotes simply the material of which human nature is composed, ‘made of flesh and blood’ (1 Corinthians 3:1; 2 Corinthians 3:3), and as such exposed to all the temptations which act through the body.

There has been considerable controversy as to the bearing of the antithesis in St. Paul between the σάρξ and πνεῦμα. It has been maintained that this antithesis amounts to dualism, that St. Paul regards the σάρξ as inherently evil and the cause of evil, and that this dualistic conception is Greek or Hellenistic and not Jewish in its origin. So, but with differences among themselves, Holsten (1855, 1868), Rich. Schmidt (1870), Lüdemann (1872), and to some extent Pfleiderer (1873). [In the second edition of his Paulinismus (1890), Pfleiderer refers so much of St. Paul’s teaching on this head as seems to go beyond the O. T. not to Hellenism, but to the later Jewish doctrine of the Fall, much as it has been expounded above, p. 136 ff. In this we need not greatly differ from him.] The most elaborate reply was that of H. H. Wendt, Die Begriffe Fleisch und Geist (Gotha, 1878), which was made the basis of an excellent treatise in English by Dr. W. P. Dickson, St. Paul’s Use of the Terms Flesh and Spirit, Glasgow, 1883. Reference may also be made to the well-considered statement of Dr. Gifford (Romans, pp. 48-52). The controversy may now be regarded as practically closed. Its result is summed up by Lipsius in these decisive words: ‘The Pauline anthropology rests entirely on an Old Testament base; the elements in it which are supposed to be derived from Hellenistic dualism must simply be denied (sind einfach zu bestreiten).’ The points peculiar to St. Paul, according to Lipsius, are the sharper contrast between the Divine πνεῦμα and the human ψυχή, and the reading of a more ethical sense into σάρξ, which was originally physical, so that in Galatians 5:19 ff., Romans 8:4 ff. the σάρξ becomes a principle directly at war with the πνεῦμα. In the present passage (Romans 7:14-25) the opposing principle is ἁμαρτία, and the σάρξ is only the material medium (Substrat) of sensual impulses and desires. We may add that this is St. Paul’s essential view, of which all else is but the variant expression.

15. κατεργάζομαι= perficio, perpetro, ‘to carry into effect,’ ‘put into execution’: πράσσω = ago, to act as a moral and responsible being: ποιῶ = facio,to produce a certain result without reference to its moral character, and simply as it might be produced by inanimate mechanism (see also the notes on ch. 1:32: 2:9). Of course the specific sense may not be always marked by the context, but here it is well borne out throughout. For a fuller account of the distinction see Schmidt, Lat. u. Gr. Synonymik, p. 294 ff.

οὐ γινώσκω appears to describe the harmonious and conscious working of will and motive, the former deliberately accepting and carrying out the promptings of the latter. The man acts, so to speak, blindly: he is not a fully conscious agent: a force which he cannot resist takes the decision out of his hands.

ὃ θέλω. The exact distinction between θέλω and βούλομαι has been much disputed, and is difficult to mark. On the whole it seems that, especially in N. T. usage, βούλομαι lays the greater stress on the idea of purpose, deliberation, θέλω on the more emotional aspect of will: in this context it is evidently something short of the final act of volition, and practically = ‘wish,’ ‘desire.’ See especially the full and excellent note in Grm.-Thay.

17. νυνὶ δέ: ‘as it is,’ ‘as the case really lies’; the contrast is logical, not temporal.

ἡ οἰκοῦσα ἐν ἐμοὶ ἁμαρτία. [Read ἐνοικοῦσα with א B, Method. (ap. Phot. cod., non autem ap. Epiph.)] This indwelling Sin corresponds to the indwelling Spirit of the next chapter: a further proof that the Power which exerts so baneful an influence is not merely an attribute of the man himself but has an objective existence.

18. ἐν ἐμοί, τοῦτʼ ἓστιν, κ.τ.λ.The part of the man in which Sin thus establishes itself is not his higher self, his conscience, but his lower self, the ‘flesh,’ which, if not itself evil, is too easily made the instrument of evil.

παράκειταί μοι: ‘lies to my hand,’ ‘within my reach.’

οὐ א A B C 47 67** al., Edd.: οὐχ εὑρίσκω D E F G K L P &c.

20. ὃ οὐ θέλω B C D E F G al., WH. RV.: ὃ οὐ θέλω ἔγω א A K L P &c., Tisch. WH. marg.

21. εὑρίσκω ἄρα τὸν νόμον: ‘I find then this rule,’ ‘this constraining principle,’ hardly ‘this constantly recurring experience,’ which would be too modern. The νόμος here mentioned is akin to the ἕτερον νόμον of ver. 23. It is not merely the observed fact that the will to do good is forestalled by evil, but the coercion of the will that is thus exercised. Lips. seems to be nearest to the mark, das Gesetz d. h. die objectiv mir auferlegte Nothwendigkeit.

Many commentators, from Chrysostom onwards, have tried to make τὸν νόμον = the Mosaic Law: but either (i) they read into the passage more than the context will allow; or (ii) they give to the sentence a construction which is linguistically intolerable. The best attempt in this direction is prob. that of Va. who translates, ‘I find then with regard to the Law, that to me who would fain do that which is good, to me (I say) that which is evil is present.’ He supposes a double break in the construction: (1) τὸν νόμον put as if the sentence had been intended to run ‘I find then the Law—when I wish to do good—powerless to help me’; and (2) ἐμοί repeated for the sake of clearness. It is apparently in a similar sense that Dr. T. K. Abbott proposes as an alternative rendering (the first being as above), ‘With respect to the law, I find,’ &c. But the anacoluthon after τὸν νόμον seems too great even for dictation to an amanuensis. Other expedients like those of Mey. (not Mey.-W.) Fri. Ew. are still more impossible. See esp. Gif. Additional Note, p. 145.

22. συνήδομαι τῷ νόμῳ τοῦ Θεοῦ: what it approves, I gladly and cordially approve.

κατὰ τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον. St. Paul, as we have seen (on 6:6), makes great use of this phrase ἄνθρωπος, which goes back as far as Plato. Now he contrasts the ‘old’ with the ‘new man’ (or, as we should say, the ‘old’ with the ‘new self’); now he contrasts the ‘outer man,’ or the body (ὁ ἔξω ἄνθρωπος 2 Corinthians 4:16), with the ‘inner man,’ the conscience or reason (2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16).

23. ἕτερον νόμον: ‘a different law’ (for the distinction between ἕτερος, ‘different,’ and ἅλλος, ‘another,’ ‘a second,’ see the commentators on Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:7).

There are two Imperatives (νόμοι) within the man: one, that of conscience; the other, that proceeding from the action of Sin upon the body. One of these Imperatives is the moral law, ‘Thou shalt’ and ‘Thou shalt not’; the other is the violent impulse of passion.

τῷ νόμῳ τοῦ νοός μου. For νοῦς see on 1:28: it is the rational part of conscience, the faculty which decides between right and wrong: strictly speaking it belongs to the region of morals rather than to that of intercourse with God, or religion; but it may be associated with and brought under the influence of the πνεῦμα (Ephesians 4:23 ἀνανεοῦσθαι τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ νοός: cf. Romans 12:2), just as on the other hand it may be corrupted by the flesh (Romans 1:28).

24. ταλαίπωρος ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπος. A heart-rending cry, from the depths of despair. It is difficult to think of this as exactly St. Paul’s own experience: as a Christian he seems above it, as a Pharisee below it—self-satisfaction was too ingrained in the Pharisaic temper, the performance of Pharisaic righteousness was too well within the compass of an average will. But St. Paul was not an ordinary Pharisee. He dealt too honestly with himself, so that sooner or later the self-satisfaction natural to the Pharisee must give way: and his experience as a Christian would throw back a lurid light on those old days ‘of which he was now ashamed.’ So that, what with his knowledge of himself, and what with his sympathetic penetration into the hearts of others, he had doubtless materials enough for the picture which he has drawn here with such extraordinary power. He has sat for his own likeness; but there are ideal traits in the picture as well.

ἐκ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ θανάτου τούτου. In construction τούτου might go with σώματος (‘from this body of death’): but it is far better to take it in the more natural connexion with θανάτου; ‘the body of this death’ which already has me in its clutches. Sin and death are inseparable: as the body involves me in sin it also involves me in mortality; physical death to be followed by eternal, the death of the body by the death of the soul.

25. ἄρα οὖν κ.τ.λ. A terse compressed summary of the previous paragraph, vv. 7-24, describing in two strokes the state of things prior to the intervention of Christ. The expression is that which comes from deep feeling. The particular phrases hardly seem to need further explanation.

εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ. The true reading is probably χάρις τῷ Θεῷ. The evidence stands thus.

χάρις τῷ Θεῷ B, Sah., Orig. semel Hieron. semel.

χάρις δὲ τῷ Θεῷ אa C2 (de C* non liquet) minusc. aliq., Boh. Arm., Cyr.-Alex. Jo.-Damasc.

ἡ χάρις τοῦ Θεοῦ D E 38, d e Vulg., Orig.-lat. bis Hieron. semel Ambrstr.

ἡ χάρις τοῦ Κυρίου F G, f g, cf. Iren.-lat.

εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ א * A K L P &c., Syrr. Goth., Orig. bis Chrys. Theodrt. al. [εὐχαριστῶ Θεῷ Method. ap. Epiph. cod., sed χάρις τῷ Θεῷ vel χάρις δὲ τῷ Θεῷ Epiph. edd. pr.; vid. Bonwetsch, Methodius von Olympus, i. 204.]

It is easy to see how the reading of B would explain all the rest. The reading of the mass of MSS. would be derived from it (not at once but by successive steps) by the doubling of two pairs of letters,


The descent of the other readings may be best represented by a table.

The other possibility would be that εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ had got reduced to χάρις τῷ Θεῷ by successive dropping of letters. But this must have taken place very early. It is also conceivable that χάρις δέ preceded χάρις only.

The Inward Conflict

Two subjects for discussion are raised, or are commonly treated as if they were raised, by this section. (1) Is the experience described that of the regenerate or unregenerate man? (2) Is it, or is it not, the experience of St. Paul himself?

1 (α). Origen and the mass of Greek Fathers held that the passage refers to the unregenerate man. (i) Appeal is made to such expressions as πεπραμένος ὑπὸ τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ver. 14, κατεργάζομαι [τὸ κακόν] vv. 19, 20, ταλαίπωρος ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπος ver. 24. It is argued that language like this is nowhere found of the regenerate state. (ii) When other expressions are adduced which seem to make for the opposite conclusion, it is urged that parallels to them may be quoted from Pagan literature, e. g. the video meliora of Ovid and many other like sayings in Euripides, Xenophon, Seneca, Epictetus (see Dr. T*. K. Abbott on ver. 15 of this chapter). (iii) The use of the present tense is explained as dramatic. The Apostle throws himself back into the time which he is describing.

(β) Another group of writers, Methodius (ob. 310 a.d.), Augustine and the Latin Fathers generally, the Reformers especially on the Calvinistic side, refer the passage rather to the regenerate. (i) An opposite set of expressions is quoted, μισῶ [τὸ κακόν] ver. 15, θέλω ποιείν τὸ καλόν ver. 21, συνήδομαι τῷ νόμῳ ver. 22. It is said that these are inconsistent with the ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι καὶ ἐχθροί of Colossians 1:21 and with descriptions like that of Romans 8:7, Romans 8:8. (ii) Stress is laid on the present tenses: and in proof that these imply a present experience, reference is made to passages like 1 Corinthians 9:27 ὑπωπιάζω μου τὸ σῶμα καὶ δουλαγωγῶ. That even the regenerate may have this mixed experience is thought to be proved, e.g. by Galatians 5:17.

Clearly there is a double strain of language. The state of things described is certainly a conflict in which opposite forces are struggling for the mastery.

Whether such a state belongs to the regenerate or the unregenerate man seems to push us back upon the further question, What we mean by ‘regenerate.’ The word is used in a higher and a lower sense. In the lower sense it is applied to all baptized Christians. In that sense there can be little doubt that the experience described may fairly come within it.

But on the other hand, the higher stages of the spiritual life seem to be really excluded. The sigh of relief in ver. 25 marks a dividing line between a period of conflict and a period where conflict is practically ended. This shows that the present tenses are in any case not to be taken too literally. Three steps appear to be distinguished, (i) the life of unconscious morality (ver. 9), happy, but only from ignorance and thoughtlessness; (ii) then the sharp collision between law and the sinful appetites waking to activity; (iii) the end which is at last put to the stress and strain of this collision by the intervention of Christ and of the Spirit of Christ, of which more will be said in the next chapter. The state there described is that of the truly and fully regenerate; the prolonged struggle which precedes seems to be more rightly defined as inter regenerandum (Gif. after Dean Jackson).

Or perhaps we should do better still to refuse to introduce so technical a term as ‘regeneration’ into a context from which it is wholly absent. St. Paul, it is true, regarded Christianity as operating a change in man. But here, whether the moment described is before or after the embracing of Christianity, in any case abstraction is made of all that is Christian. Law and the soul are brought face to face with each other, and there is nothing between them. Not until we come to ver. 25 is there a single expression used which belongs to Christianity. And the use of it marks that the conflict is ended.

(2) As to the further question whether St. Paul is speaking of himself or of ‘some other man’ we observe that the crisis which is described here is not at least the same as that which is commonly known as his ‘Conversion.’ Here the crisis is moral; there it was in the first instance intellectual, turning upon the acceptance of the proposition that Jesus was truly the Messiah. The decisive point in the conflict may be indeed the appropriation of Christ through His Spirit, but it is at least not an intellectual conviction, such as might exist along with a severe moral struggle. On the other hand, the whole description is so vivid and so sincere, so evidently wrung from the anguish of direct personal experience, that it is difficult to think of it as purely imaginary. It is really not so much imaginary as imaginative. It is not a literal photograph of any one stage in the Apostle’s career, but it is a constructive picture drawn by him in bold lines from elements supplied to him by self-introspection. We may well believe that the regretful reminiscence of bright unconscious innocence goes back to the days of his own childhood before he had begun to feel the conviction of Sin. The incubus of the Law he had felt most keenly when he was a ‘Pharisee of the Pharisees.’ Without putting an exact date to the struggle which follows we shall probably not be wrong in referring the main features of it especially to the period before his Conversion. It was then that the powerlessness of the Law to do anything but aggravate sin was brought home to him. And all his experience, at whatever date, of the struggle of the natural man with temptation is here gathered together and concentrated in a single portraiture. It would obviously be a mistake to apply a generalized experience like this too rigidly. The process described comes to different men at different times and in different degrees; to one early, to another later; in one man it would lead up to Christianity, in another it might follow it; in one it would be quick and sudden, in another the slow growth of years. We cannot lay down any rule. In any case it is the mark of a genuine faith to be able to say with the Apostle, ‘Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ It is just in his manner to sum up thus in a sentence what he is about to expand into a chapter. The break occurs at a very suitable place: ch. 8 is the true conclusion to ch. 7.

St. Paul’s View of the Law

It was in his view of the Mosaic Law that St. Paul must have seemed most revolutionary to his countrymen. And yet it would be a mistake to suppose that he ever lost that reverence for the Law as a Divine institution in which every Jew was born and bred and to which he himself was still more completely committed by his early education as a Pharisee (Galatians 1:14; Php 3:5 f.). This old feeling of his comes out in emotional passages like Romans 9:4 (cf. 3:2; 2:25, &c.). And even where, as in the section before us, he is bringing out most forcibly the ineffectiveness of the Law to restrain human passion the Apostle still lays down expressly that the Law itself is ‘holy and righteous and good’; and a little lower down (ver. 14) he gives it the epithet ‘spiritual,’ which is equivalent to ascribing to it a direct Divine origin.

It was only because of his intense sincerity and honesty in facing facts that St. Paul ever brought himself to give up his belief in the sufficiency of the Law; and there is no greater proof of his power and penetration of mind than the way in which, when once his thoughts were turned into this channel, he followed out the whole subject into its inmost recesses. We can hardly doubt that his criticism of the Law as a principle of religion dates back to a time before his definite conversion to Christianity. The process described in this chapter clearly belongs to a period when the Law of Moses was the one authority which the Apostle recognized. It represents just the kind of difficulties and struggles which would be endured long before they led to a complete shifting of belief, and which would only lead to it then because a new and a better solution had been found. The apparent suddenness of St. Paul’s conversion was due to the tenacity with which he held on to his Jewish faith and his reluctance to yield to conclusions which were merely negative. It was not till a whole group of positive convictions grew up within him and showed their power of supplying the vacant place that the Apostle withdrew his allegiance, and when he had done so came by degrees to see the true place of the Law in the Divine economy.

From the time that he came to write the Epistle to the Romans the process is mapped out before us pretty clearly.

The doubts began, as we have seen, in psychological experience. With the best will in the world St. Paul had found that really to keep the Law was a matter of infinite difficulty. However much it drew him one way there were counter influences which drew him another. And these counter influences proved the stronger of the two. The Law itself was cold, inert, passive. It pointed severely to the path of right and duty, but there its function ended; it gave no help towards the performance of that which it required. Nay, by a certain strange perversity in human nature, it seemed actually to provoke to disobedience. The very fact that a thing was forbidden seemed to make its attractions all the greater (Romans 7:8). And so the last state was worse than the first. The one sentence in which St. Paul sums up his experience of Law is διὰ νόμου ἐπίγνωσις ἁμαρτίας (Romans 3:20). Its effect therefore was only to increase the condemnation: it multiplied sin (Romans 5:20); it worked wrath (Romans 4:15); it brought mankind under a curse (Galatians 3:10).

And this was equally true of the individual and of the race; the better and fuller the law the more glaring was the contrast to the practice of those who lived under it. The Jews were at the head of all mankind in their privileges, but morally they were not much better than the Gentiles. In the course of his travels St. Paul was led to visit a number of the scattered colonies of Jews, and when he compares them with the Gentiles he can only turn upon them a biting irony (Romans 2:17-29).

The truth must be acknowledged; as a system, Law of whatever kind had failed. The breakdown of the Jewish Law was most complete just because that law was the best. It stood out in history as a monument, revealing the right and condemning the wrong, heaping up the pile of human guilt, and nothing more. On a large scale for the race, as on a small scale for the individual, the same verdict held, διὰ νόμου ἐπίγνωσις ἁμαρτίας.

Clearly the fault of all this was not with the Law. The fault lay in the miserable weakness of human nature (Romans 8:3). The Law, as a code of commandments, did all that it was intended to do. But it needed to be supplemented. And it was just this supplementing which Christianity brought, and by bringing it set the Law in its true light and in its right place in the evolution of the Divine plan. St. Paul sees spread before him the whole expanse of history. The dividing line across it is the Coming of the Messiah. All previous to that is a period of Law—first of imperfect law, such law as was supplied by natural religion and conscience; and then of relatively perfect law, the law given by God from Sinai. It was not to be supposed that this gift of law increased the sum of human happiness. Rather the contrary. In the infancy of the world, as in the infancy of the individual, there was a blithe unconsciousness of right and wrong; impulse was followed wherever it led; the primrose path of enjoyment had no dark shadow cast over it. Law was this dark shadow. In proportion as it became stricter, it deepened the gloom. If law had been kept, or where law was kept, it brought with it a new kind of happiness; but to a serious spirit like St. Paul’s it seemed as if the law was never kept—never satisfactorily kept—at all. There was a Rabbinical commonplace, a stern rule of self-judgement, which was fatal to peace of mind: ‘Whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point, he is become guilty of all’ (Jam 2:10; cf. Galatians 3:16; Romans 10:5). Any true happiness therefore, any true relief, must be sought elsewhere. And it was this happiness and relief which St. Paul sought and found in Christ. The last verse of ch. 7 marks the point at which the great burden which lay upon the conscience rolls away; and the next chapter begins with an uplifting of the heart in recovered peace and serenity; ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.’

Taken thus in connexion with that new order of things into which it was to pass and empty itself, the old order of Law had at last its difficulties cleared away. It remained as a stage of salutary and necessary discipline. All God’s ways are not bright upon the surface. But the very clouds which He draws over the heavens will break in blessings; and break just at that moment when their darkness is felt to be most oppressive. St. Paul himself saw the gloomy period of law through to its end (τέλος γὰρ νόμου Χριστὸς εἰς δικαιοσύνην παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι Romans 10:4); and his own pages reflect, better than any other, the new hopes and energies by which it was succeeded.

Gif. Gifford.

Lips. Lipsius.

&c. always qualify the word which precedes, not that which follows:

Chrys. Chrysostom.

Euthym.-Zig. Euthymius Zigabenus.

Tert. Tertullian.

Vulg. Vulgate.

Wic. Wiclif.

Rhem. Rheims (or Douay).

Tyn. Tyndale.

Genev. Geneva.

AV. Authorized Version.

RV. Revised Version.

Oltr. Oltramare.

Tisch. Tischendorf.

D Cod. Claromontanus

E Cod. Sangermanensis

F Cod. Augiensis

G Cod. Boernerianus

codd. codices.

Orig.-lat. Latin Version of Origen

Va. Vaughan.

Mey.-W. Meyer-Weisa.

Go. Godet.

Win. Winer’s Grammar.

Eus. Eusebius.

B Cod. Vaticanus

אԠCod. Sinaiticus, corrector c

L Cod. Angelicus

P Cod. Porphyrianus

al. alii, alibi.

אԠCod. Sinaiticus

Epiph. Epiphanius.

A Cod. Alexandrinus

C Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus

K Cod. Mosquensis

WH. Westcott and Hort.

Mey. Meyer.

Fri. Fritzsche (C. F. A.).

Sah. Sahidic.

Orig. Origen.

אԠCod. Sinaiticus, corrector a

Boh. Bohairic.

Arm. Armenian.

Cyr.-Alex. Cyril of Alexandria.

d Latin version of D

e Latin version of E

f Latin version of F

g Latin version of G

Syrr. Syriac.

Goth. Gothic.

Theodrt. Theodoret.

Method. Methodius.

Gif. Gifford.

&c. always qualify the word which precedes, not that which follows:

For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
ICC New Testament commentary on selected books

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