Romans 7

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Romans 7
Codex claromontanus greek (The S.S. Teacher's Edition-The Holy Bible - Plate XXVII).jpg
The Greek text of Romans 7:4-7 in Codex Claromontanus, from ca. AD 550.
BookEpistle to the Romans
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part6

Romans 7 is the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle, while he was in Corinth in the mid 50s CE,[1] with the help of an amanuensis (secretary), Tertius, who adds his own greeting in Romans 16:22.[2]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 25 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

The Latin text of Romans 7:4-7 from Codex Claromontanus.

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references[edit]

Lifelong authority of the Law[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

Do you not know, brothers (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?[3]
  • "Has dominion" or "rules"[4]

Writing to "those who know the [Jewish] Law, Paul says that the Law has authority over a man (only) [5] "as long as he lives" (verse 1).

Jewish Christians in Rome would have been familiar with the Hebrew Bible but many commentators recognise that "the whole Roman Church, whether Jewish or Gentile, would be familiar with it; many of them having been disciples of the synagogue, and all being directed constantly to the use of the Old Testament by apostolic precept and example".[6] William Robertson Nicoll, however, argues that "neither Roman nor Mosaic law is specially referred to: the argument rests on the nature of law in general".[7]

Marriage provides an example:

For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. (New King James Version) [8]

Verse 3[edit]

So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.[9]

Verse 4[edit]

Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another — to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.[10]

The law provides knowledge of sin[edit]

Paul asks a rhetorical question in verse 7:

Verse 7[edit]

Is the law sin?
Certainly not! (Greek: μη γενοιτο, mē genoito),[11] he replies,
But if it had not been for the Law, I would not have known (i.e. recognised) sin (New King James Version) or
I would not have known what sin is really like (Contemporary English Version).[12]

Verse 25[edit]

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.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hill 2007, p. 1084.
  2. ^ Donaldson, Terence L. (2007). "63. Introduction to the Pauline Corpus". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 1077. ISBN 978-0199277186.
  3. ^ Romans 7:1 MEV
  4. ^ Note [a] on Romans 7:1 in NKJV
  5. ^ "Only" is added, for example, by the New Century Version and New International Version
  6. ^ Quote from Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Romans 7, but similar points are made by Heinrich Meyer (Meyer's NT Commentary) and Charles Ellicott (Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers)
  7. ^ Expositor's Greek Testament on Romans 7, accessed 15 September 2016
  8. ^ Romans 7:2
  9. ^ Romans 7:3 NKJV
  10. ^ Romans 7:4 NKJV
  11. ^ See Romans 6#The Bearing of Justification by Grace upon a Holy Life
  12. ^ Romans 7:7 CEV
  13. ^ Romans 7:25 NKJV


External links[edit]