Romans 7

This is a literal translation of an ancient Greek text. It has also been cross-posted on For more information on how to read this post and what everything means, see the relevant page on that site.

1Or do [you] not perceive, brothers—for [I] speak [to those who] know law—that the law is lord of a person for as long a time as [he] lives? 2For the marriedlit. under-a-man woman has been bound by law to the living man; but if, on the other hand, the man dies, [she] has been left free here and in verse 6, lit. left idlefrom the law of the man. 3Then, therefore, with the man living, if [she] comes to be with a different man, [she] operates asidiomatically, is called adulterous; but if, on the other hand, the man dies, [she] is free from the law, in order that [she] may not bearticular infinitive in the genitive showing purpose adulterous, having come to be with a different man. 4And so, my brothers, you also were put to death ὥστε + indicative verb is a result clauseto the law through the body of Christ,a in order that you may come to be with another,lit. a different [one]εἰς + articular infinitive usually expresses purpose, but may also express result; in this case, the alternative translation would be: so that you come to be with another [that is,] with the [one] having been awakened out of [the] dead, in order that [we] may bear fruit for God. 5For when [we] were in the flesh, the misfortunes of the errors,here and throughout, (sins) the [misfortunes] through the law, were being energizedAs is typical, here we have a neuter plural subject (παθήματα, misfortunes) taking a singular verb (ἐνηργεῖτο). in our limbs, in order to bear fruit for death;b 6but now, on the other hand, [we] were left free from the law,c [we] dying in that with which [we] were being held back, so that we are slaves ὥστε + accusative-infinitive clause, indicating resultin a newness of spirit and not [in] an antiquity of writing.(letter)d

7What, therefore, shall [we] say? The law [is] an error? May [it] not come to be; but [I] would not know the error if not through law;In this clause and immediately following, these conditionals are simple past conditionals. Because of the negative construction, the difference in English between this and a counterfactual conditional is minimal. for [I] would also not know the desire (coveting)if the law did not say, “Thou will not desire.”(covet)e 8But the error, having seized a starting point through the commandment, works athere and throughout, (achieves by labor) every desire in me; for apart from [the] law, error [is] dead.f 9But I was living apart from [the] law then, but with the commandment having come, the error returned to life, 10but I died, and it was found [that] for me, the commandment, the [one] unto life,g this [one] [was] unto death; 11for the error, having seized a starting point through the commandment, deceived meh and, through it,i.e., the commandment [the error] killed [me]. 12And so the law [on the one hand] [is] holy and the commandment [is] holy and just and good.i

13Therefore did the good [thing] for me become death [for me]? May [it] not come to be; but [it was] the error, in order that [it] may appear as error, through the good [thing] working at death for me, in order that the error may become surpassingly lit. according to an overthrowingerroneous through the commandment.j 14For we knowSome manuscripts: on the one hand, [I] know; this differs from the text as given by a space between letters that the law is spiritual, but on the other hand, I am fleshy, having been sold under the error.This construction could also mean that the error is the agent of the sale, i.e., that Paul was sold by the errork 15For what [I] work at, [I] do not know; for what [I] want, this [I] do not achieve, but what [I] hate, this [I] do. 16But if [I] do not do this [thing] which [I] want, [I] consent to the law that [it is] beautiful. 17But now, I no longer work at it, but the error dwelling in me [works at it]. 18For [I] know that a good [thing] does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh;l for the wishing is close at handhere and in verse 21, (available) for me, but on the other hand, working at the beautiful [thing] [is] not [close at hand];Some manuscripts: [I] do not know [how to work at the beautiful thing]; others: [I] do not find [working at the beautiful thing] 19for [I] do not do a good [thing] which [I] want, but [I] achieve this bad [thing] which [I] do not want. 20But if [I] do this [thing] which ISome manuscripts omit do not want, I no longer work at it, but the error dwelling in me. 21[I] find, then, the law, for me, wanting to do the beautiful [thing], that for me the bad [thing] is close at hand; 22for [I] rejoice together with the law of God Some manuscripts: of the mind; others omitaccording to the interior person, 23but [I] see a different law in my limbs, warring against the law of my mindm and taking me prisoner in the law of the error, the [law] being in my limbs. 24I [am] a miserable person; who will save(set free); lit. protect / cover me out the body of this death?or this body of death; word placement suggests the translation as given, but this alternative sounds more natural in English and may still get the point across 25But grace [be] to God through Jesus Christ our lord.Some manuscripts: [there is] the grace of God through Jesus Christ our lord; others: [there is] the grace of [the] lord through Jesus Christ our lord; others: grace to our lord Jesus Christ; others: [I] give thanks to God through Jesus Christ our lord.n Then, therefore, I myself am a slave to [the] law of God in my mind on the one hand, but on the other hand [I am a slave] to [the] law of error in my flesh.

a And so, my…body of Christ: cf. Colossians 2:14
b in order to…fruit for death: cf. Romans 5:21; 8:6, 13
c but now, on…from the law: cf. Romans 8:2
d so that we…antiquity of writing: cf. Romans 6:4
e Thou will not desire: cf. Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21; 4 Maccabees 2:5; Romans 13:9
f for apart from…error [is] dead: cf. Romans 5:13
g the commandment, the…[one] unto life: cf. Leviticus 18:5
h for the error…commandment, deceived me: cf. Genesis 3:13; Hebrews 3:13
i verse 12: cf. I Timothy 1:8
j [it was] the…through the commandment: cf. Romans 5:20
k I am fleshy…under the error: cf. Psalm 51:5; John 3:6
l For [I] know…in my flesh: cf. Genesis 6:5; 8:21
m a different law…of my mind: cf. Galatians 5:7; James 4:1; I Peter 2:11
n But grace [be]…Christ our lord: cf. I Corinthians 15:57

Add a comment or ask a question