Matthew 7:18

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
A good tree cannot yield bad fruit Not but that both good and bad men may change their lives. This, according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers, is only to be understood while they remain such. If a bad tree begin to produce good fruit, it becomes a good tree (Witham) For not those who do one or two good works are just, but those who continue permanently to do good: in the same manner, not those who commit one or two bad actions are wicked, but those who continue in evil. (Menochius)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Jesus also said these things to shut the mouths of those who say nothing but slander and to reign in the lips of those who speak maliciously. For many are suspicious of good people because so many others are evil, but Jesus by this saying has deprived them of all excuse. For on this premise one would not even be able to say, “I am deceived and was misled.” For he has provided you a rule by which accurately to identify the frauds by their deeds. He has also commanded you to proceed on the basis of practices and not to mix up all cases at random. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And if He states the same thing twice, it is not tautology. But, lest any one should say, Though the evil tree bear evil fruit, it bears also good, and makes the distinction difficult, the crop being twofold: This is not so, says He, for it bears evil fruit only, and never can bear good: as indeed in the contrary case also. What then? Is there no such thing as a good man becoming wicked? And the contrary again takes place, and life abounds with many such examples. But Christ says not this, that for the wicked there is no way to change, or that the good cannot fall away, but that so long as he is living in wickedness, he will not be able to bear good fruit. For he may indeed change to virtue, being evil; but while continuing in wickedness, he will not bear good fruit. What then? Did not David, being good, bear evil fruit? Not continuing good, but being changed; since, undoubtedly, had he remained always what he was, he would not have brought forth such fruit. For not surely whi...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit as long as it is diseased. But if it has changed its condition, it can bring forth good fruit. See that He did not say, "it will not be able," but only that as long as it is corrupt it does not bear good fruit.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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