Romans

5:12-21

Arguments in support of the proposition, 1:18-11:36

3. The consequential blessing that flows to the righteous in Christ, 5:1-8:39

iii] Life eternal

Argument

Having expounded the first part of his text from Habakkuk 2:4, "he who is righteous out of faith", chapters 3:21-4:25, Paul sets out to expound the substance of "will live." In 5:1-11 he describes the depth of the new relationship that exists between a believer and their living God, and this as a natural consequence of their having been set right with God on the basis of faith (Christ's faithfulness + our faith response) apart from works of the law. Now, in 5:12-21, Paul explains how "Christ's saving death has affected all humanity", Dumbrell. Christ's death has overcome the curse of Adam's sin. This truth is exegeted by comparing the disobedience of Adam with the obedience of Christ. The consequences of both acts are beyond comparison, for sin leads to eternal death, but grace in Christ leads to eternal life.

In v13-17 Paul compares Christ with Adam. Christ's act of obedience ("the gift" = Christ's sacrifice for sin. Often interpreted as the gift of [imputed] righteousness), prompted by "the grace of God" (God's covenantal faithfulness), produces "justification" (acquittal / being set right before the judgement seat of God = an eternal right-standing before God = "the free gift of righteousness") and "dominion in life" (the reign of believers with Christ / new life in Christ), as compared with Adam's act of disobedience ("the one man's trespass/sin") producing "judgment / condemnation" and "the dominion of death."

In v18-21 Paul makes the point that just as all humanity participates in Adam's disobedience and its consequence, so may all participate in the obedience of Christ and its consequence, namely right-standing before God, with all its inherit blessings - "eternal life", the fullness of life in Christ now and for eternity.

 
Issues

i] Context: See 5:1-5.

 

ii] Background: See 1:8-15.

 

iii] Structure: This passage, serving to compare the effects of Adam's rebellion and Christ's obedience, presents as follows:

The results of Adam's sin - death, v12;

Universal sin and death prior to the giving of the law, v13-14;

Adam's rebellion and Christ's obedience compared, v15-17:

Adam = death (punishment); Christ = grace, v15;

Adam = judgment; Christ = acquittal, v16;

Adam = death; Christ = life, v17.

The ultimate consequence of Adam's sin and Christ's obedience, v18-19:

Adam = condemnation; Christ = justification / made righteous.

The function of law and grace, v20-21:

As sin reigned in death the law increased sin;

As grace reigned through justification life abounded.

 

iv] Thesis: See 3:21-31.

 

v] Interpretation:

Adam and Christ: The argument Paul puts forward, particularly in v13-17, is tight and complex, is not easily discerned and open to some dispute. Hunter, as is so often the case, provides us with a simple overview: "Paul pauses here to consider the relation of redemption to the fall, comparing Christ and Adam. This comparison enables him to show the universal range of Christ's saving work. From Adam, he says, came sin and death for his descendants: from Christ came righteousness and life for all who believe in him. And always grace is mightier than sin." See Moo for a detailed overview of the argument.

 

Paul and the Law: In v20-21, Paul notes the place of the law in the Adam/Christ dichotomy, identifying the Torah ("law") as the divine mechanism of exposing Israel's standing with all humanity under sin and thus reminding Israel that covenant compliance and thus blessing (the Abrahamic blessings) rests on promise - God's faithfulness appropriated through faith. The Torah identifies sin as sin and magnifies its consequences ("the curse of the law"). Having "entered / penetrated / arrived", the law then undermines any notion that sin can be restrained by an effort of the will. So, the law exposes us as sinners under the condemnation of death, but, argues Paul, God's grace in Christ is far more powerful. The atoning work of Christ has conquering sin and provided access to eternal life.

The reader will note that these two verses play a significant role in the debate over the new perspective on Paul. New perspective commentators tend to see the Torah as a mechanism designed to sanctify the national life of Israel for the maintenance of the covenant and that for the faithful remnant it performed this role. For Gentile believers in Christ, the indwelling compelling of the Spirit supersedes this role, which truth drives Paul to have "works of the law" lifted from Gentile believers. Yet, in these two verses, Paul is quite adamant that the divine purpose of the law is to expose the human condition of loss, a loss shared by Israel.

Romans 5:12-21 serves to contrast the universal loss caused by Adam and the universal salvation achieved by Christ, a contrast between sin and grace. In verses 20-21, Paul notes the relationship of the law to Adam and Christ. In unequivocal terms he ties law to sin, not grace, such that law remains independent of grace (law but exposes our need for grace), and he identifies the divine purpose of the law in terms of exposing the human condition of sin, death and judgment.

Paul's critique is not against legalism, but rather nomism, the notion that law obedience serves to maintain covenant compliance by restraining sin and advancing holiness (progress sanctification). As far as Paul is concerned, the law never served this end. Righteousness before God has always rested on faith, a faith like Abraham's; righteousness has always rested on the promises of God, upon God's covenant fidelity. Paul's gripe is particularly focused on those believers who have adopted the pharisaic heresy of nomism. To return to the law to progress the Christian life is to undermine our standing before God.

 

vi] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

 
Text - 5:12

The consequential blessing of life that flows to the righteous in Christ, v12-21. i] This verse commences a comparison between death in Adam and life in Christ - between the universal effect of Adam's sinful deed and the universal effect of Christ's righteous deed, v12. His point is that Adam's sin has infected the whole human race and as a result, death has gained control. So, death reaches all people, not only because of Adam's sin, but because of the contribution of the sin of each individual. The comparison is not completed until v18 where Paul states "so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all." Contra., see wJsper below.

dia touto "therefore" - because of this. This causal construction is best taken as inferential, as NIV. Given Christ's work of reconciliation, as expounded in v1-11, Adam's curse is overcome.

wJsper "just as" - as, just as. This conjunction introduces a comparative clause, although the apodosis, the then clause, doesn't appear until v18, ou{twV kai, "so also ..."; "just as .... then ....." Paul seemingly moves into a digression in v13-17. The comparison presumably being: Adam's sin = death, Christ's obedience = life. Given that the adverb is present in the verse, some argue that the sentence is an anacoluthon (the writer looses track of the grammar), but the comparison does eventually emerge. It is possible though that the kai ou{twV of this verse completes the comparison, "just as ..... even so." If this is the case then Paul has first established the universality of sin and death, and this being an original form of sin. He then exegetes this truth in v13-17, before dealing with God's answer, namely, justification.

eiV + acc. "[sin entered the world]" - [sin came] into [the world]. Spacial, entry.

di (dia) + gen. "through" - Expressing agency; "through,"

eJnoV adj. "one" - The "one man" is obviously Adam.

ou{twV adv. "[and] in this way" - thus, so / in this way. Inferential, establishing a logical conclusion.

dihlqen (diercomai) aor. "[death] came" - [death] passed through [to all men]. Death, both physical and spiritual, came to all humans; "death spread to all", Moffatt.

ef (epi) + dat. "because" - over, on, at, upon [in whom]. This construction, the preposition + the relative pronoun is adverbial, possibly "in as much as", or causal, "because". Turner and others have opted for a spacial sense, "over/on/upon", where sin has spread "over" humanity due to our identification with Adam. "Death passed upon all men through him in whom all men sinned", Turner.

hJmarton (aJmartanw) aor. "[all] sinned" - The aorist is probably gnomic, ie. sin is universal, although Longenecker suggests it is constative, expressing action at a point of time. Some commentators have suggested that it means "all have sinned in Adam's sin", so Moo, Murray, ...., while others argue that all sin as a result of the inherited nature from Adam, so Cranfield, Longenecker, ... Either way, "everyone has sinned and so everyone must die", CEV.

 
v13

ii] Paul now exegetes the comparison between Christ and Adam in what is virtually a parenthesis, v13-17: a) Paul first establishes the universal condition of human sin, quite apart from the law, with its consequence, death, v13-14.

gar "for / to be sure" - More explanatory than causal, as TNIV; "I must qualify this last statement", Pilcher.

acri + gen. "before [the law was given]" - until. Temporal; "before there was law in the world there was sin", Barclay.

nomou (oV) "law" - law [sin was in the world]. There is no definite article so it may be "before there was law", NEB, "law" taken in a general sense, but the REB reverts to "the Law", meaning, "the Law of Moses" / Torah, and this is surely what Paul intends.

de "but" - but, and [sin]. Here adversative, as NIV, introducing an objection.

ouk ellogeitai (ellegew) pres. pas. "is not taken into account / is not charged against anyone's account" - is not reckoned, accounted. Gnomic present, with the passive being theological / divine. A person cannot be a lawbreaker with an account kept of their law-breaking, if there is no law. "Sin is not entered into the account when no Law exists", Weymouth. Of course, just because the law of Moses had not, as yet, been promulgated, doesn't mean that sin doesn't exist and that it won't be condemned. Adam's sin, in defiance of a direct command from God, infected the whole human race and brought about the condemnation of all.

mh ontoV (eimi) gen. pres. part. "where there is no [law]" - being not law. The participle forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal, "while there is no law."

 
v14

Sin was in the world even before the Law was given by God through Moses, although without the law, sin is not easily seen for what it is (ie. it is not as clearly defined). As a result of sin's presence, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sin was not like Adam's, ie. not the breaking of a direct command from God. Paul rounds off with the comment that "Adam was a pattern of the one to come." By pattern, he means "type" or "example". Adam, in his universal effectiveness for ruin, is a pattern of Christ's universal effectiveness for salvation.

alla "nevertheless" - but, on the contrary. The adversative sense is paramount. Irrespective of the fact that sin cannot be identified without the evidence of a broken law, v13, due to the solidarity humanity shares with Adam's sin, "death reigned."

ebasileusen (basileuw) aor. "reigned" - [death] reigned. Constative aorist. Even though there was no law, death reigned supreme over the human race. "Yet death still had power over all who lived from ...", CEV. Obviously, if this is the case, why is humanity punished? Commentators usually opt for: i] humanity stands guilty in Adam's sin, or ii] humanity always falls short of the divine standard of goodness (a law written on the heart) due to the infection of Adam's sin, or iii] both.

apo .... mexri "from the time of [Adam] to the time of [Moses]" - from [Adam] until [Moses]. Temporal use of these two prepositions.

kai "even" - and. Ascensive; "even".

epi + gen. "over" - Spacial, those "over" whom death exercises its authority, as NIV.

touV mh aJmarthsantaV (aJmartanw) aor. part. "those who did not sin" - the ones not having sinned. The participle serves as a substantive.

epi + dat. "by" - Here causal; "on the basis of the likeness of the transgression of Adam" = "in the same way in which Adam broke the command he had received", Barclay.

thV parabasewV (iV ewV) gen. "breaking a command, [as did Adam]" - [the likeness] of the transgression [of Adam]. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive or of definition, epexegetic, with Adam, "Adam", being possessive; "whose sins were not like Adam's transgression", Moffatt.

tupoV (oV) "[who is] a pattern" - [who is] a type. In what sense is Adam a type of Christ? Phillips covers himself with "Adam, the first man, corresponds in some degree, to the man who was to come." The "some degree" is Adam's headship over those who are perishing. Adam led the charge to destruction, whereas Christ led the charge to life.

tou mellontoV (mellw) gen. part. "the one to come" - of the one coming. The participle serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, descriptive. "The one who is coming / the coming one" is most likely a messianic title.

 
v15

b) Paul now explains how the consequences of Christ's act of obedience surpass the consequences of Adam's act of disobedience, v15-17. Having suggested that Adam is a "type" of Christ, Paul contrasts the dramatic difference between Adam's "trespass" and Jesus' "gift" (his sacrifice for sin). God's gracious kindness ("grace"), enacted through Jesus Christ, bears no comparison to the consequences of Adam's sin. Adam's act of rebellion brought death to all humanity, but Christ's act of obedience (his "gift") brought life to all who believe. "The gift" transcends ("how much more") "the trespass."

all "but" - The adversative underlines the fact that Adam is only "a type" "to some degree."

wJV ..... ouJtwV "[the gift is not] like [the trespass]" - [not] as [the trespass] so [even the gift]. A contrastive construction where the action has been fulfilled; "as ..... so ....." The negation can produce a question expecting a positive answer. Paul now exposes the difference. Both Adam and Christ perform a significant act, but the acts are significantly different. Christ's act of obedience, his cross ("the gift"), brings life, whereas Adam's act of disobedience ("the trespass") brings death. "But how different are the results! The Fall of Man is very different from the free gift of God's favor", Pilcher.

to carisma (a atoV) "gift" - grace / gift. Emphasizing the act of giving, namely, the life-giving sacrifice of Christ. It is possible that the ma ending implies result/consequence and therefore, as death is the result of human rebellion (the "trespass", false step), so life ("justification", v17) is the result of God's "grace" - his gracious kindness. "Free gift", RSV.

gar "for" - More explanatory than causal; "let me explain. If ....."

ei + ind. "if" - Introducing a conditional clause, 1st class, where the condition is assumed to be true; "if as is the case .... then [by how much more] ...." The presence of pollw/ mallon, "by how much more", indicates that the conditional clause is a fortiori, an argument from the lesser to the greater. If Adam's sin can damage the many, then imagine what the faithfulness of Christ can do for the many.

oiJ polloi adj. "the many" - [by the trespass of the one man] the many [died]. The articular adjective serves as a substantive. Most probably used as a Hebrew equivalent of "all", ie. it is inclusive; a whole consisting of many.

tw/ ... paraptwmati (a) dat. "by the trespass" - The dative is instrumental, expressing means, as NIV.

tou enoV gen. adj. "of the one man" - of the one. The adjective serves as a substantive, while the genitive may be treated as a adjectival, possessive, or verbal, subjective.

pollw/ mallon "how much more" - by much rather. Adverbial, comparison of degree.

hJ cariV tou qeou kai hJ dorea "God's grace and the gift" - the grace of God and the gift. The repetition of the article supports the NIV translation, indicating that "grace" and "gift" are separate entities - Granville Sharp's rule. "Grace", being God's covenant fidelity, his kindness expressed in the salvation of a people in accord with his covenant promises, and the "gift" being Christ's sacrifice for sin on behalf of lost humanity. It is possible that we have a hendiadys here where kai serves to form a single idea from the two articular nouns, "the gracious gift of God"; "His favor through the one man Jesus Christ has overflowed for the whole human race", Williams.

en cariti "that came by the grace" - in grace. The preposition may be instrumental, expressing means, "the grace of God and the free gift by, through grace", or expressing association, "in connection with grace." The prepositional phrase serves to modify "the gift", or "grace" and "gift" together = "favor". An adjectival participle is often assumed in translations, as NIV; "God's favor which came through grace"; "the gift which comes through the grace of the one man Jesus Christ", Cranfield. The "gift", as above, although in reformed circles it is often viewed as "the gifted benefits" = imputed righteousness. Salvation stems from God's unmerited favor.

th/ dat. art. "-" - The dative article serves as a nominalizer forming a noun clause standing in apposition to cariti, "grace"; "namely the grace of the one man Jesus Christ."

tou enoV anqrwpou (oV) gen. "of the one man" - of the one man [Jesus Christ]. The genitive may be treated as adjectival, possessive, such that the grace belongs to Christ, or ablative, source/origin, of the grace that flows from Christ, or verbal, subjective, of the grace exercised by Christ. "Jesus Christ" stands in apposition to "the one man".

eperisseusen (perisseuw) aor. "overflow" - abounded. Constative aorist. Note the comparison of degree in this verse. Adam's sin brought death, but Christ's act of obedience "abounded" to the many.

eiV + acc. "to" - toward. Expressing purpose / end view, or advantage; "abounded for many", ESV.

touV pollouV (poluV) adj. "the many" - The adjective serves as a substantive. The whole number who rely on God's grace in Christ, as against the whole number who remain bound in their sins.

 
v16

Paul now compares the consequences of "the trespass" and "the gift": a) Judgement dealt with the single sin of Adam, but the free gift deals with the accumulated sin of mankind; b) The judgement of Adam brought condemnation, but the free gift of God brings justification; c) Adam's sin brought about the reign of death, but the unspeakable generosity of divine grace brings about the reign of life, v17. The "reign of life" refers to living a renewed life in Christ, now and for eternity.

kai "again" - Introducing a further comparison, the consequences of the "trespass" and the "gift"; "and again." "There is another difference", Pilcher.

ouc wJV "is not like / compared with" - [the gift is] not as if / like [one having sinned]. Comparative. The clause "nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man's sin", NIV, is an an ellipsis in that key words seem to have been omitted. The verb is certainly missing, but it is the contrast between "gift" and "one man's sin" that has caused the greater problem. Moo suggests "condemnation" from the following sentence; "the gift is not like the condemnation that came through the one who sinned." Morris sees the contrast as "the gift" (the bestowed benefits of one man's act of righteousness) as against "one having sinned" (the downside, "results", of one man's act of disobedience). The NIV "result", or Cassirer "effect", is where the comparison lies, a comparison between the "effects" of "one man's sin" and another man's "gift", ie. Adam's disobedience and Christ's obedience. "Gift of God", NIV, is misleading since "God" is not in the Gk. "There is a lot of difference between Adam's sin and the gift."

di (dia) + gen. "the results of" - through. Instrumental, expressing means, "by means of", or agency, "through".

aJmarthsantoV (aJmartanw) gen. aor. part. "[one man's] sin" - [one man] having sinned. Taking the adjective eJnoV, "one", as a noun, "one man", the participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the one man"; "the one who sinned."

gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the gift of God cannot be compared with the result of one man's sin, "because ....."

men ..... de .... "..... but ..." - An adversative comparative construction; "on the one hand .... but on the other ...."

to krima (a atoV) "the judgment" - judgment. The contrast is further developed: "judgment", the condemnation of humanity due to the one man's sin, is contrasted with ....., with what? Some suggest "the gift" (grace gift), God's gift of life through the one man's obedience. This contrast, argued by Morris, does defy the word order, but article identification is in his favour. Few follow his lead. Moo argues that the contrast is as rendered in the NIV: the judgment that resulted in condemnation and death, was from one sin, whereas, the gift that led to justification followed many sins. This interpretation is adopted by most translators. "For the sentence resulted from the offense of one man, and it meant condemnation; but the free gift resulted from the offenses of many, and it meant right standing", Williams.

ex + gen. "followed [one sin]" - out of, from [one trespass]. Expressing source/ origin; "the verdict that followed the one sin", Barclay.

eiV + acc. "brought" - to. Here probably expressing result; "resulted in."

katakrima (a atoV) "condemnation" - judgment [but on the other hand, the gift following on from many trespasses into (resulted in) justification]. The third contrast suggested by Morris. Adam's act of disobedience led to the condemnation of "many", but Christ's act of obedience led to the justification / judicial acquittal of "many".

 
v17

gar "for" - Often treated as causal, as NIV, although reason / explanatory is probably better; "let me explain further. If ....." The idea that God's judicial announcement of acquittal is drawn out of many sins obviously need further explanation.

ei + ind. "if" - Introducing another conditional clause where the condition is believed to be true; "if, as is the case, ..... then [how much more] ....." Again the presence of pollw/ mallon in the apodosis indicates that the argument is a fortiori, see v15. "If" death has reigned supreme because of Adam's act of disobedience, then "how much more" will justification reign supreme because of Christ's act of obedience.

tw/ paraptwmati (a atoV) dat. "by the trespass" - The dative is instrumental, expressing means; "by means of."

tou enoV gen. adj. "of the one man" - of the one. The adjective serves as a substantive, while the genitive is usually treated as verbal, subjective.

ebasileusen (basileuw) aor. "[death] reigned" - Ingressive aorist, ie. the weight is put on the beginning of the action. "Death began to rule", TEV.

dia + gen. "through [that one man]" - Instrumental, expressing agency; "through".

oiJ ..... lambanonteV (lambanw) pres. part. "those who receive" - [much more] the ones receiving. The participle serves as a substantive, with the present tense being gnomic. The "many" (all) who "respond to / accept"; "receive the "overflow of His unmerited favor and His gift of right standing with Himself", Williams.

thV caritoV (iV itoV gen. "[God's abundant provision] of grace" - [the abundance] of the grace. The genitive is best taken as adjectival, attributed, "the abundant grace of God"; "God's overflowing mercy", Goodspeed ("God" is not in the Gk.).

thV dwreaV (a) gen. "the gift" - [and] of the gift, grant. The genitive is again best taken as adjectival, attributed; "the abundant ..... gift."

thV dikaiosunhV (h) gen. "of righteousness" - The genitive is adjectival, of definition / epexegetic; "a gift which consists of eternal right-standing before God. An actual righteousness, or status of righteousness, is constantly debated, although what God says so is so. If God says we are right with him then we are right with him. "The ones who receives the abundant grace and gift that is righteousness", Harvey.

basileusousin (basileuw) fut. "reign" - will reign. We would expect that since death reigned, the logical contrast would be that life will reign in life. The future tense reinforces the amazing truth that the saints will reign with Christ in eternity, cf. 1Cor.6:2, ie. a reign "in (eternal) life". Yet, it is more likely that Paul has in mind here the reign of a believer in the present, their appropriation of the new life that is theirs in Christ, a life lived in contrast to a life lived under the dominion of sin and death. "Imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides", Peterson.

en + dat. "in [life]" - Local, expressing space/sphere; "in the sphere of life."

dia + gen. "through [the one man, Jesus Christ]" - Instrumental, expressing agency; "through". "Jesus Christ" stands in apposition to "the one man."

 
v18

iii] All humanity participates in Adam's disobedience and its consequence, but can equally participate in Christ's obedience and its consequence, v18-21: a) Paul restates the comparison between Adam and Christ commenced in v12 and completes it in this verse.

ara oun "consequently" - so therefore. Inferential construction serving as an emphatic "therefore".

wJV ..... ouJtwV - "just as .... so ...." - Forming a comparative clause; "as through one unrighteous act ..... so through one righteous act."

dia + gen. "-" - through. Instrumental, expressing means, " by means of the lapse of one man / through one lapse", Morris, but causal is proposed by Harvey, "because of."

eJnoV paraptwmatoV "one trespass" - one trespass. Adam's sin, although note, it is unclear whether Paul intends "one man's sin" or "one sin."

eiV "resulted" - into = resulting in. This preposition, along with its partner, introduces a statement explaining the consequences of the unrighteous act / sin / trespass - eiV, "to" all men eiV "to" condemnation. The second part of the comparative clause contains a similar explanatory statement; "to all men to justification." The first eiV serves as a dative interest, advantage; "for all men / people." The second can be taken to express result, as NIV, or as a predicate nominative; "for all men a verdict of condemnation ... for all men a declaring righteous", Lenski. Paul's point is that one sin results in the condemnation of all mankind.

katakrima (a atoV) "condemnation" - judgment [to all men]Guilty and thus subject to punishment. Used 3 times in NT. The prefix strengthens the sense of judgment, so "condemnation", even "punishment", BAGD.

ouJtwV kai "so also" - Adverbial, modal / manner and comparative; "in this way also."

dikaiwmatoV (a atoV) "[one] act of righteousness" - [through one] righteous act / judicial sentence. Most commentators opt for "just deed / righteous act", cf. Moo, which nicely balances the sinful act that led to condemnation, but elsewhere in the NT the word often carries the sense of "judicial sentence / ordinance." If this sense is followed we head toward a tautology, although only if "justification" is understood as a judicial sentence ("judicial sentence [resulting] in/to justification"). Morris suggests "sentence of justification", "justificatory sentence", Godet. Moo points out that the word used for "justification" in this verse is not the one usually chosen by Paul. So, dikaiwsiV ("justification") may just mean here "right standing before God" rather than the act of declaring/making right before God. This possibility deals with the tautological problem. "Just as a single transgression resulted in a condemnation extending to all men, so one acquittal results in a life giving justification extending to all men", Cassirer.

dikaiwsin (iV ewV) "justification" - [into (resulting in) justification, put in a right relationship with / set right with. See above.

zwhV (h) gen. "life" - of (to) life [into (for) all men]. The genitive is probably adjectival, of definition, epexegetic, explaining something about "justification", it "leads to / issues in life", Morris, so also Zerwick, Turner, or appositional, "justification which is life", or descriptive, "a life-giving justification." Possibly verbal, objective, or adverbial, expressing result, "this righteous status has life, eternal life, as its result", Cranfield, so also Murray, Moo, Harvey, cf. BDF 166. "This justifying, by which God was true to his nature and his covenant promises, leads to and reflects a life of ultimate triumph for all people in Christ", Dumbrell.

 
v19

b) Paul simplifies and restates the comparative clause formed in v18.

gar "for" - Explanatory.

wJsper ..... ouJtwV "just as ... so ..." - Forming a comparative clause, see v18.

dia + gen. "through" - Instrumental, expressing agency; "by means of the disobedience of the one man."

thV parakohV "the disobedience" - the disobedience [of the one man]. The genitive following, "of the one man", is verbal, subjective. The noun "disobedience" is used rather than "sin / trespass" to promote a balance with Christ's "obedience", presumably his submission to the cross.

katestaqhsan (kaqisthmi) aor. pas. "were made" - [the many] were made [sinners]. "Constituted".

katastaqhsontai (kaqisthmi) fut. pas. "will be made" - [so also through the obedience of the one man the many] will be made. The legal / "forensic flavor" of this word should be noted; not just "made", but rather, "people are inaugurated into the righteous state", Moo. A logical future tense, rather than predictive, cf. Fitzmyer (although it can rightly be both - now / not yet); "by one man's obedience the rest of mankind can be constituted righteous", Barclay. The "obedience" of Christ is usually taken to refer to his sacrificial death, so Jewett, Moo, ...., although Cranfield thinks it refers to his whole life.

dikaioi adj. "righteous" - "Righteous" in a legal sense, not moral, "ranked as being righteous", Cassirer.

 
v20

c) In 5:12-19, Paul has again established the universality of sin and wants to again include all those, in that state, who have placed themselves under God's law (primarily the law of Moses), v20-21. Paul's focus is on law-bound believers / nomist believers, but the principle that law increases the trespass applies equally well to unbelieving Pharisees. Believers who use law-obedience for purification, and thus blessing, need to face the fact that law increases sin, not blessing; law but points to our need for grace.

de "-" - but, and. Serving as a transitional connective, indicating a step in the argument.

nomoV "the law" - Presumably the Torah, the law of Moses.

pareishlqen (pareisercomai) aor. "was added" - Added at a later date. Not "come / enter between", as if standing between Adam and Christ, nor "snuck in" as if the law deceptively came, so Dunn, rather simply "arrived / penetrated / entered." "The law has been added to the nexus of sin and death that was initiated with and by Adam", Hofius.

iJna + subj. "so that [the trespass might increase]" - Forming a purpose clause explaining the intended aim of the addition of the law. The law was given in order to increase the awareness of sin (make it visible) and increase the reality of sin (make it more sinful by making it a conscious act of disobedience). The law does not prompt obedience, nor does it actually damn us, since we are already damned. "The law compels sin to demonstrate its full power and greatness by arousing within us sleeping sinful passion and by kindling the latent epiqumia (desire, longing) directed against God", Hofius.

pleonash/ (preonazw) aor. subj. "might increase" - [the trespass] should increase. Increase in what sense? i] The law serves to increase the number of actual transgressions against God's revealed will exponentially starting with the one command, don't eat the apple, to the many commands of the Torah, so Dunn, Godet; ii] The law encourages legalism and therefore leads to damnation, so Bultmann; iii] The law serves to heighten our awareness of what constitutes sin and therefore our state of loss; iv] The law serves to increase the seriousness of sin by making it "transgression", "rebellion against the revealed will of God", Moo. Something like [iii] or [iv] is best.

ou| de "but where" - but where [sin increased]. Most likely introducing an adversative conditional clause, rather than local, as NIV. "But when sin increased, then grace ...."

uJpereperisseusen (uJperperisseuw) aor. "[grace] increased all the more" - The prefix uJper intensifies; "beyond measure." Sin and law together are a potent power for loss, but God's grace is more than able to overpower them. The superlative sense is best expressed, "grace super-increased / super abounding grace", Moo; "superabundant grace", Morris. Not just eschatological abundance, Jowett.

 
v21

iJna + subj. "so that" - Forming a purpose clause. "Grace increased all the more in order that ... grace will reign (ie., replace the reign of sin)."

wJsper .... ouJtwV "just as ..... so .." - even as. Comparative clause: comparing the reign of sin and death with the reign of grace through righteousness unto life.

hJ aJmartia "sin [reigned]" - The power of sin took control, "established its reign", NEB.

en + dat. "in [death]" - Possibly local, expressing sphere, "in the sphere of / dominion of death", Moo; or possibly instrumental, expressing means, "by means of", "sin used death as the instrument of its tyranny", Barrett; or accompaniment, "with". It is also possible that the proposition is used here for eiV = movement toward, "to death", "sin reigned such that all come to death." "Sin exercised its kingly rule by bringing death (spiritual and physical)", Cassirer.

basileush/ (basileuw) aor. subj. "[grace] might reign" - [so also grace] might reign. The eschatological note here can be captured by "will reign", although grace reigns now. Sin may exercise its kingly rule and bring death, but "super abounding grace" exercises its rule and brings life.

dia + gen. "through" - through, by means of. A purpose clause would make sense, although the preposition would normally be followed by an acc., and even then such usage is rare, "in order that they might receive the gift of justification that results in eternal life", Hofius. None-the-less, it is more likely instrumental; "through / by means of." Super abounding grace exercises its rule "by means of" righteousness and as a consequence, brings life eternal.

dikaiosunhV (h) "righteousness" - As always, there are many possible meanings: "conduct that reflects the New Covenant relationship", Dumbrell; a "status of righteousness", Cranfield; "the gift of righteousness", Osborne, Schreiner (Schreiner includes both the forensic gift of a righteous status along with a grace-produced righteous living); Imputed ("donated") righteousness, Murray; "uprightness", Fitzmyer. The chances are that as the grace is God's, so the righteousness is God's, ie. "righteousness" as his "covenant fidelity", his determined action-plan, in Christ, to gather a people to stand right with him for eternity, to justify a people for himself in union with Christ. "So grace might also exercise dominion through [the gift of] justification leading to eternal life", NRSV.

eiV "to bring" - to = for. Expressing goal, "toward eternal life", as NIV, or result, "resulting in", or even possibly spacial, "into" = "in", "grace might reign ....... in the realm of life eternal."

zwhn aiwnion "eternal life" - This dimension of "life" is certainly eschatological, but also a present reality. "Life" for Paul is the fullness of new life in Christ, now and for eternity, a life that fulfills God's promised blessings to Abraham and his seed.

dia + gen. "through" - through [Jesus Christ the Lord of us]. Instrumental, agency; "through".

 

Romans Introduction

Exposition

 

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