Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sunday Knox: Romans 5:12-19

"It was through one man that guilt came into the world; and, since death came owing to guilt, death was handed on to all mankind by one man. (All alike were guilty men;[2] there was guilt in the world before ever the law of Moses was given. Now, it is only where there is a law to transgress that guilt is imputed,[3]  and yet we see death reigning in the world from Adam’s time to the time of Moses, over men who were not themselves guilty of transgressing a law, as Adam was.) In this, Adam was the type of him who was to come. Only, the grace which came to us was out of all proportion to the fault. If this one man’s fault brought death on a whole multitude, all the more lavish was God’s grace, shewn to a whole multitude, that free gift he made us in the grace brought by one man, Jesus Christ.  The extent of the gift is not as if it followed a single guilty act; the sentence which brought us condemnation arose out of one man’s action, whereas the pardon that brings us acquittal arises out of a multitude of faults.  And if death began its reign through one man, owing to one man’s fault, more fruitful still is the grace, the gift of justification, which bids men enjoy a reign of life through one man, Jesus Christ.  Well then, one man commits a fault, and it brings condemnation upon all; one man makes amends, and it brings to all justification, that is, life.  A multitude will become acceptable to God through one man’s obedience, just as a multitude, through one man’s disobedience, became guilty."

Knox Notes:
[2] ‘All alike were guilty’; some would translate ‘In him (Adam) all had sinned’.

[3] The sense seems to be, that those who lived between Adam’s time and that of Moses, whatever their sins were, incurred no guilt of disobedience, there being no (revealed) law to disobey. Death is the penalty of disobedience; and the fact that death came to Adam’s immediate descendants must therefore be attributed to Adam’s disobedience, not to their own. St Paul must not be understood as meaning that men are not responsible for their actions where they have no revealed law to guide them; cf. 2.15 above.

NAB Lectionary:

"Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come. But the gift is not like the transgression.  For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.  And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned.  For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. For if, by the transgression of the one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous."

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