Romans 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 3:17, NIV: and the way of peace they do not know.'

Romans 3:17, ESV: and the way of peace they have not known.”

Romans 3:17, KJV: And the way of peace have they not known:


Romans 3:17, NLT: They don't know where to find peace.'

Romans 3:17, CSB: and the path of peace they have not known.

What does Romans 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul concludes his reference of Isaiah 59:7–8 here. He has used Isaiah's words to provide more Old Testament evidence that human beings are sinful by nature. We all deserve God's angry judgment, no exceptions (Romans 3:10), and no excuses (Romans 1:18–20). Paul has agreed with Isaiah that our feet are quick to carry us toward hurting others—including bloodshed—and that we leave misery behind everywhere we go.

Now Paul quotes the last line of Isaiah 59:8 to show something even worse. It's bad enough that our feet carry us into sinfulness and violence. But when it comes to mankind, in general, we don't know how to do anything else. Apart from God's intervention, human beings have never experienced the "way of peace" or a peaceful path. We can't find it. We don't know how to go that way. It's not our nature to walk away from sin and conflict; we create it along the way.

Paul will soon show, however, that with God's help, through faith in Christ and by God's grace, we can escape the sinful, painful paths of sin and walk in the way of righteousness. We just cannot do it on our own.