Contradiction in OT and NT?



My problem is with Deut. 30.11, 14 and Rom. 7.18.

Please don’t quote Haydock’s commentary. It didn’t help clarify the problem.

“For this commandment that I command you today tis not too hard for you, neither is it far off . . . But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it" (Deut. 30.11, 14).

“For I know that nothing good dwells ain me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Rom. 7.18).

How can Paul say he does not have the ability to carry out the “good” (the commandments) when the Law itself says he does have the ability?



Good question.

The point which Paul is making in Romans is that he alone, that is, he as a fallen human being, is incapable of doing good without the grace of God. He clarifies that by saying “… that is, in my flesh.” Paul is saying that in his fallen human nature, due to the weaknesses of the flesh, he ultimately can only achieve evil; no matter how much he wants good, the temptations of the flesh will eventually conquer him, but with the grace of God, he can do good.


:thumbsup: There is no contradiction.


:thumbsup: exactly. Man can obey, but only to the extent that he’s in communion with God. And this, reconciliation between us and Him so that His Spirit may dwell within, as was always intended, is the reason why Jesus came.


The covenant of Moses was a covenant deeply bound up in relationship with the living God. By the time of Paul, this relationship component had been lost. The Law was no longer living, it was a dead letter. The Law did not contain the relationship that made its obedience possible.

In Jesus, we find that relationship, which makes faithfulness possible for a mere man like Paul.


Here is the footnote from the Aquinas Study Bible, which points out what good Paul is referring to

7:18 there dwells not in me… that which is good: For the Apostle is not discussing a good of nature but the good of grace, by which we are freed from sin. (St. Thomas Aquinas)


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