John 8:34

New Testament

33 “We are descendants of Abraham,” they replied, “and have never been anyone’s slaves! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. 36 So if the son sets you free, you will be really free.

Sukkah 52b

Babylonian Talmud

Rava said: Initially, the verse called the evil inclination a traveler coming from afar. Subsequently, the verse calls it a guest, as one welcomes it. Ultimately, the verse calls it man, indicating significance, as it became the homeowner. As it is stated in the parable of the poor man’s lamb that Nathan the prophet said to David: “And there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was reluctant to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to prepare for the guest” (II Samuel 12:4). And it is written in the same verse: “And he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared it for the man that was come to him.” In other words, the evil inclination that began as a traveler gradually rose in prominence.

 Notes and References

"... There is, in fact, little reason to think that Paul is interested in defending the Torah itself. Actually, it is Paul’s view of the law and especially its relationship to sin that needs defending. As Seifrid notes, “Paul here defends his Gospel against the potential Jewish objection that it compromises the holiness of Torah.” Although this reading offered by Seifrid and others is better, it also does not represent accurately what Paul does in this section. Paul does not soften any of his previous comments about the relationship of the law to sin. He remains on the offensive and has no intent to reverse his previous statements. He maintains an intimate connection between the law and sin, while clarifying that the law itself is not evil. If this is a defence of the law or even his own view of the law, then Paul fails miserably since he introduces ideas that his Jewish contemporaries would find objectionable. For example, he describes God’s law as being taken hostage by Sin. What Jew would find in this a defence of the law? Paul also declares the law as incapable of dealing with the problem of Sin. Paul’s fellow Jews, however, thought the law was God’s solution to the evilness of humanity. (See Sirach 21.11: “whoever keeps the law masters his thoughts”; 4 Ezra 7:116–131. Although much later, R. Raba (d. AD 352) remarks, “Though God created the evil inclination, he created the law as an antidote against it” (b. Bava Batra 16a; cf. b. Kiddushin 30b; Sifre Deuteronomy 45; ‘Avoda Zarah 5b; b. Sukkah 52b) ..."

Maston, Jason Divine and Human Agency in Second Temple Judaism and Paul: A Comparison of Sirach, Hodayot, and Romans 7-8 (pp. 155-156) Durham University, 2009

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