Romans 7:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 7:24, NIV: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

Romans 7:24, ESV: Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Romans 7:24, KJV: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Romans 7:24, NASB: Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Romans 7:24, NLT: Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

Romans 7:24, CSB: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

What does Romans 7:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After expressing the frustration of continuing to sin in spite of his desire to do good and follow the law of Moses, Paul now cries out in desperation: Wretched man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death?

It's worthwhile to represent two perspectives about what Paul intends to say in this section. A few Bible scholars believe Paul is describing himself before he became a Christian, back when he was following the law. In that case, the cry in this verse is an admission of his complete inability to do what is right no matter how hard he tries. He comes to see that he is truly a slave to his own sinfulness with no hope of escape. He acknowledges that he needs someone to step in and save him from his "body of death"? Paul has been clear that sin lives in the members of his body (Romans 7:23) and that sin always leads to death (Romans 7:10–13). The sinfulness that lives inside of him will kill him unless he is rescued.

Other Bible scholars and teachers understand Paul to be expressing his great frustration as a Christian. The specific Greek grammar Paul uses here certainly suggests this is his intention. While earlier passages used plural voices, or past and future tenses, this section is in a first-person, singular, present-tense voice. At least in literary terms, Paul speaks from the here-and-now. Although he has been freed from slavery to sin, he has not lost his desire to sin. Sin in his body continues to trip him up even as he sees it for the evil that it is. Perhaps he cries out to be released from his sin-riddled body and be given a new body beyond the reach of his own sinful desires, something he will talk about in the following chapter. Perhaps he cries out for the Holy Spirit to give him power to overcome the sin from which he cannot seem to escape (Galatians 5:16–24).

In either case, Paul will immediately and emphatically answer the question, "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" in the following verse.