Romans 7:13

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 exceedingly sinful.
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Ambrosiaster

AD 400
Although even before the law came, the devil obtained death for man because of the first sin of Adam, nevertheless, after the law came he found still greater punishments for him in hell, where death followed him. For to have sinned before the coming of the law was a lesser crime than to have sinned after it. The wording here suggests that a limit was imposed on transgressors when they were forbidden to sin…. What the apostle means is that sinning after the law came was much more serious than sinning before it. He means that after the law came the attacks and tricks of Satan grew worse. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles. ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Here Paul elaborates on what he said [in verse ]. It is not that a good thing (i.e., the law) had become death for him but rather that sin worked death through the law’s goodness, i.e., that it became apparent whereas without the law it had lain hidden. For everyone recognizes that he is dead if he cannot fulfill a precept which he recognizes as just, and because of the criminal offense of the trespass he sins even more than he would have if it had not been forbidden. Before the coming of the law the offense was less, because without the law there is no transgression. ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Even those who do not know God’s will deserve God’s punishment because they sin, even if it is in ignorance. Nevertheless, they have some excuse, for when the law is explained to them they will probably excuse themselves in front of those who are under the law, on account of their ignorance. But those who have chosen to sin and do so not out of ignorance have committed a crime of madness and have completely rejected God. Such people are said to be “sinful beyond measure.” Someone who sins in ignorance is still sinful, but he is not, nor is he said to be, “sinful beyond measure.” . ...

Didymus the Blind

AD 398
Here Paul is expounding the person of Adam. For although he had the image of God dwelling in him, he turned away from true life and chose death instead. Moreover, this death was not just the common death of our bodily members but the spiritual death of disobedience as well. .

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
That it may appear sin, or that sin may appear; viz. to be the monster it is, which is even capable to take occasion from that which is good to work death. (Challoner)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
By the very way he accuses sin, Paul shows how excellent the law is…. It was the commandment which showed us just how evil sin is. At the same time, Paul also shows how grace is so much greater than the law. Grace is not in conflict with the law; it is superior to it.

Methodius of Olympus

AD 311
Because it was given, not for injury, but for safety; for let us not suppose that God makes anything useless or hurtful. What thou? "Was then that which is good made death unto me? "

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Why then do you, (O Marcion, ) impute to the God of the law what His apostle dares not impute even to the law itself? Nay, he adds a climax: "The law is holy, and its commandment just and good."

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

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