Romans 12:17



The Greek word kakos is described as "base treatment" (Lenski, p. 777) and "harm caused by evil intent" (Arndt, p. 398). "Three times in the NT apodidomi is used in the expression of a major rule of Christian conduct: Evil is not to be repaid with evil, but with good (I Thess. 5:15; Rom. 12:17; I Pet. 3:9). There is no corresponding rule in the OT (Prov. 20:22 is only a remote analogy). Of course, the OT prohibits the repayment of good with evil (Gen. 44:4; Jer. 18:20; etc.)" (Exeg. Dict., p. 128).


Romans 12:21; 13:10 I Peter 2:23 Matthew 5:44


"The child of God may not set himself to 'get even' with another, nor retaliate in kind against any who might slight or wrong him" (Coffman, p. 439).

"This is probably one of the most difficult precepts of Christianity; but the law of Christ on the subject is unyielding. It is a solemn demand made on all his followers, and it must be obeyed" (Barnes, p. 287).

"Tit-for-tat would only aggravate the situation and set up a vicious circle" (Layman's, p. 1411).

"Jesus Christ, both by example and precept, taught that none should recompense evil for evil to his neighbor" (Lipscomb, p. 230).

"An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, is one of the most natural sentiments of the human heart," but "it is unchristian, because wholly unmixed with mercy" (Lard, p. 393).

"'Do not repay evil for evil,' for to do so would be to follow the inclination of the flesh" (Expos. Comm., p. 134).

"Tit for tat .... the maxim of the Pharisees, Matt. 5:38, 44. But if God applied only that principle to us, where should we be?" (Lenski, p. 776-77).

"No provocation warrants a Christian to revenge an injury" (McKnight, p. 439).

The Greek word "medeni is emphatic: to no one, Christian or un-Christian. Nothing can ever justify revenge" (Expos. Greek, p. 694).

"Do not take notice of every little injury you may sustain. Do not be litigious. Beware of too nice a sense of your own honour; intolerable pride is at the bottom of this. The motto of the royal arms of Scotland is in direct opposition to the Divine direction --- Nemo me impune lacesset, of which 'I render evil for evil to every man,' is a pretty literal translation. This is both antichristian and abominable, whether in a state or in an individual" (Clarke, p. 141).

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