Romans 7:18 NKJV

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

But in other modern translations it is not bracketed

Romans 7:18 ESV

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

Romans 7:18 DARBY

For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, good does not dwell: for to will is there with me, but to do right [I find] not.

Romans 7:18 YLT

for I have known that there doth not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh, good: for to will is present with me, and to work that which is right I do not find,

Why is this phrase bracketed in the NKJV?


2 Answers 2


The punctuation in the NKJV of bracketing the phrase in Rom 7:18, "that is, in my flesh" suggests it is simply a parenthetical remark. Other versions simply use two commas rather than parentheses.

The use of the parentheses is not intended to suggest that the phrase is spurious. The text of Rom 7:18 is undisputed.

The convention in the NLJV for showing added text by the translators is the same as in the KJV - italic type face such as in Rom 7:8, "manner of evil".

Thus, the parentheses in the NKJV of Rom 7:18 is unremarkable.


In NKJV (Rom. 7:18) round parentheses are a punctuation matter of how non-restrictive the phrase is. It does not indicate a lack of confidence in the underlying Greek text. A restrictive phrase has no punctuation. Non-restrictive has punctuation setting it apart, starting with commas. Round parentheses () means it's even less essential to the meaning of what's modified; just there in case you don't understand.

NA28 uses square brackets [] for text that has poor textual support, but enough they consider worth giving the reader the option to consider. I'm not aware of any English translations using this.

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