Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
For no one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God’s law, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying it.
Our involvement with God's revelation doesn't put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else's sin.
Because by the works of the law no man is able to have righteousness in his eyes, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
For "no human being will be justified in his sight" by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
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|NET © Notes||
1 sn An allusion to Ps 143:2.
2 tn Grk “because by the works of the law no flesh is justified before him.” Some recent scholars have understood the phrase ἒργα νόμου (erga nomou, “works of the law”) to refer not to obedience to the Mosaic law generally, but specifically to portions of the law that pertain to things like circumcision and dietary laws which set the Jewish people apart from the other nations (e.g., J. D. G. Dunn, Romans [WBC], 1:155). Other interpreters, like C. E. B. Cranfield (“‘The Works of the Law’ in the Epistle to the Romans,” JSNT 43 : 89-101) reject this narrow interpretation for a number of reasons, among which the most important are: (1) The second half of v. 20, “for through the law comes the knowledge of sin,” is hard to explain if the phrase “works of the law” is understood in a restricted sense; (2) the plural phrase “works of the law” would have to be understood in a different sense from the singular phrase “the work of the law” in 2:15; (3) similar phrases involving the law in Romans (2:13, 14; 2:25, 26, 27; 7:25; 8:4; and 13:8) which are naturally related to the phrase “works of the law” cannot be taken to refer to circumcision (in fact, in 2:25 circumcision is explicitly contrasted with keeping the law). Those interpreters who reject the “narrow” interpretation of “works of the law” understand the phrase to refer to obedience to the Mosaic law in general.
3 tn Grk “is.”