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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Romans 5

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 5

Romans 5:1. ἔχομεν] Lachm. (in the margin), Scholz, Fritzsche, and Tisch. (8) read ἔχωμεν, following AB* C D K L א*, min(1117), several vss(1118) (including Syr(1119) Vulg. It.) and Fathers. But this reading, though very strongly attested, yields a sense (let us maintain peace with God) that is here utterly unsuitable; because the writer now enters on a new and important doctrinal topic, and an exhortation at the very outset, especially regarding a subject not yet expressly spoken of, would at this stage be out of place.(1120) Hence the ἔχο΄εν, sufficiently attested by B** א** F G, most min(1121), Syr. p(1122) and some Fathers, is to be retained; and the subjunctive must be regarded as having arisen from misunderstanding, or from the hortatory use of the passage.

Romans 5:2. τῇ πίστει] wanting in B D E F G, Aeth. It.; omitted by Lachm. and Tisch. (7), as also by Ewald. Following Romans 5:1, it is altogether superfluous; but this very reason accounts for its omission, which secured the direct reference of εἰς τ. χάρ. ταύτ. to προσαγ. The genuineness of τῇ πίστει is also attested by the reading ἐν τῇ πίστει (so Fritzsche) in A א** 93, and several Fathers, which points to a repetition of the final letters of ἐσχήκα΄ EN.

Romans 5:6. After ἀσθενῶν preponderating witnesses have ἔτι, which Griesb. Lachm. and Tisch. (8) have adopted. A misplacement of the ἔτι before γάρ, because it was construed with ἀσθενῶν, along with which it came to be written. Thus ἔτι came in twice, and the first was either mechanically allowed to remain (A C D* א), or there was substituted for it εἴγε (B), or εἰς τί (F G), or εἰ γάρ. The misplacement of the ἔτι came to predominate, because a Church-lesson began with χριστός.

Romans 5:8. θεός, which a considerable number of witnesses have before εἰς ἡμᾶς (so Tisch. 7), is wanting in B. But as the love of Christ, not that of God, appeared from Romans 5:7 to be the subject of the discourse, θεός was omitted.

Romans 5:11. καυχώ΄ενοι] F G read καυχῶ΄εν; L, min(1123), and several Fathers καυχώμεθα. Also Vulg. It. Arm. Slav. express gloriamur. An erroneous interpretation. See the exegetical remarks.

Romans 5:12. The second θάνατος is wanting in D E F G 62, It. Syr. p(1124) Aeth. and most Fathers, also Aug. In Syr(1125) with an asterisk; Arm. Chrys. Theodoret place it after διῆλθεν. Tisch. (7) had omitted it. But as the word has preponderant testimony in its favour, and as in order to the definiteness of the otherwise very definitely expressed sentence it cannot be dispensed with, if in both halves of Romans 5:12 the relation of sin and death is, as is manifestly the design, to be expressly put forward, θάνατος omitted by Tisch., must be defended. Its omission may have arisen from its apparent superfluousness, or from the similarity between the final syllables of ἀνθρώπουσ and θάνατοσ.

Romans 5:14. ΄ή] is wanting in 62, 63, 67**, Or. and others, codd(1126) in Ruf. and Aug., and is declared by Ambrosiaster to be an interpolation. But it is certified partly by decisive testimony in its favour; partly by the undoubted genuineness of the καί; and partly because the ΄ή apparently contradicts the erroneously understood ἐφʼ (in quo) πάντες ἥμαρτον in Romans 5:12. See Reiche, Commentar. crit. I. p. 39 ff.

Romans 5:16. ἁ΄αρτήσαντος] D E F G, 26, 80, and several vss(1127) and Fathers read ἁ΄αρτή΄ατος, which Griesb. recommended. A gloss occasioned by the antithesis ἐκ πολλ. παραπτω΄άτων.

Romans 5:17. τῷ τοῦ ἑνὸς παραπτώ΄ατι] So also Lachm. and Tisch. (8) following B C K L P א, vss(1128), and Fathers. But A F G read ἐν ἑνὶ παραπτ., D E ἐν τῷ ἑνὶ παραπτ. 47, Or. ἐν ἑνὸς παραπτ. The original reading was most probably the simplest, ἐν ἐνὶ παραπτ., which, though not most strongly, is nevertheless sufficiently attested (also recommended by Griesb. and adopted by Tisch. (7), because from it the rise of the other variations can be very naturally explained. By way of more specific indication in some cases, the article was added (D E), in others ἑνί was changed into ἑνός (47, Or.). But, seeing that in any case the sense was quite the same as in the τῷ τοῦ ἑνὸς παραπτ. read in Romans 5:15, this was at first written alongside as a parallel, and then taken into the text.

CONTENTS.

Paul has hitherto described the δικαιοσύνη ἐκ πίστεως in respect of its necessity (Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:21); of its nature (Romans 3:21-30); and of its relation to the law (Romans 3:31 to Romans 4:25). He now discusses the blessed assurance of salvation secured for the present and the future to the δικαιωθέντες ἐκ πίστεως (Romans 5:1-11); and then—in order clearly to exhibit the greatness and certainty of salvation in Christ, more especially in its divine world-wide significance as the blissful epoch-forming counterpart of the Adamite ruin—he presents us with a detailed parallel between this salvation and the misery which once came through Adam (Romans 5:12-19), and was necessarily augmented through the law (Romans 5:20-21).


Verse 1

Romans 5:1.(1129) οὖν draws an inference from the whole of the preceding section, Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25, and developes the argument in such a form that δικαιωθέντες, following at once on διὰ τήν δικαίωσιν ἡ΄., heads the sentence with triumphant emphasis. What a blessed assurance of salvation is enjoyed by believers in virtue of their justification which has taken place through faith, is now to be more particularly set forth; not however in the form of an exhortation (Hofmann, in accordance with the reading ἔχωμεν) “to let our relation to God be one of peace” (through a life of faith), in which case the emphasis, that obviously rests in the first instance on δικαιωθ. and then on εἰρήνην, is taken to lie on διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡ΄. ʼι. χ.

εἰρήνην ἔχ. π. τ. θεόν] He who is justified is no longer in the position of one to whom God must be and is hostile ( ἐχθρὸς θεοῦ, Romans 5:9 f.), but on the contrary he has peace (not in a general sense contentment, satisfaction, as Th. Schott thinks) in his relation to God. This is the peace which consists in the known objective state of reconciliation, the opposite of the state in which one is subject to the divine wrath and the sensus irae. With justification this peace ensues as its immediate and abiding result.(1130) Hence δικαιωθέντες.… ἔχομεν (comp Acts 9:31; John 16:33). And through Christ ( διὰ τοῦ κυρίου κ. τ. λ(1132)) as the εἰρηνοποιός is this pacem obtinere (Bremi, a(1133) Isocr. Archid. p. 111) procured; a truth obvious indeed in itself, but which, in consonance with the strength and fulness of the Apostle’s own believing experience; is very naturally again brought into special prominence here, in order to connect, as it were, triumphantly with this objective cause of the state of peace what we owe to it respecting the point in question, Romans 5:2. There is thus the less necessity for joining διὰ τοῦ κυρίου κ. τ. λ(1134) with εἰρήνην (Stölting); it belongs, like πρὸς τ. θεόν, in accordance with the position of ἔχο΄εν, to the latter word.

πρὸς (of the ethical relation, Bernhardy, p. 265), as in Acts 2:47; Acts 24:16. Comp Herodian, viii. 7, 8 : ἀντὶ πολέ΄ου ΄ὲν εἰρήνην ἔχοντες πρὸς θεούς. Plat. Pol. v. p. 465 B: εἰρήνην πρὸς ἀλλήλους οἱ ἄνδρες ἄξουσιν; Legg. xii. p. 955 B Alc. I. p. 107 D Xenoph. and others. It is not to be confounded with the divinely wrought inward state of mental peace, which is denoted by εἰρήνη τοῦ θεοῦ in Philippians 4:7; comp Colossians 3:15. The latter is the subjective correlate of the objective relation of the εἰρήνη, which we have πρὸς τὸν θεόν although inseparably combined with the latter.


Verse 2

Romans 5:2. δἰ οὗ καὶ κ. τ. λ(1137)] Confirmation and more precise definition of the preceding διὰ.… ἰησοῦ χ. The καί does not merely append (Stölting), but is rather the “also” of corresponding relation, giving prominence precisely to what had here an important practical bearing i.e. as proving the previous διὰ κυρίου κ. τ. λ(1138) Comp Romans 9:24; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 4:10. The climactic interpretation here (Köllner: “a heightened form of stating the merit of Christ;” comp Rückert) is open to the objection that the προσαγωγὴ εἰς τ. χάρ. is not something added to or higher than the εἰρήνη, but, on the contrary, the foundation of it. If we were to take καὶ.… καί in the sense “as well.… as” (Th. Schott, Hofmann), the two sentences, which are not to be placed in special relation to Romans 3:23, would be made co-ordinate, although the second is the consequence of that which is affirmed in the first.

τὴν προσαγωγήν] the introduction,(1141) Xen. Cyrop. vii. 5, 45; Thuc. i. 82, 2; Plut. Mor. p. 1097 E, Lucian, Zeux. 6; and see also on Ephesians 2:18. Through Christ we have had our introduction to the grace, etc., inasmuch as He Himself (comp 1 Peter 3:18) in virtue of His atoning sacrifice which removes the wrath of God, has become our προσαγωγεύς, or, as Chrysostom aptly expresses it, μακρὰν ὄντας προσήγαγε. In this case the preposition διά, which corresponds with the διά in Romans 5:1, is fully warranted, because Christ has brought us to grace in His capacity as the divinely appointed and divinely given Mediator. Comp Winer, p. 354 f. [E. T. 473].

To τ. προσαγ. ἐσχήκ. belongs εἰς τ. χάριν ταύτην; and τῇ πίστει, by means of faith, denotes the subjective medium of τ. προσαγ. εσχήκαμεν. On the other hand, Oecumenius, Bos, Wetstein, Michaelis, Reiche, Baumgarten-Crusius take τ. προσαγωγ. absolutely, in the sense of access to God (according to Reiche as a figurative mode of expressing the beginning of grace), and εἰς τὴν χάρ. ταύτ. as belonging to τῇ πίστει. In that case we must supply after προσαγ. the words πρὸς τ. οεόν from Romans 5:1 (Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12); and we may with Bos and Michaelis explain προσαγωγή by the usage of courts, in accordance with which access to the king was obtained through a προσαγωγεύς, sequester (Lamprid. in Alex. Sev. 4). But the whole of this reading is liable to the objection that πίστις εἰς τὴν χάριν would be an expression without analogy in the N. T.

ἐσχήκαμεν] Not: habemus (Luther and many others), nor nacti sumus et habemus (most modern interpreters, including Tholuck, Rückert, Winzer, Ewald), but habuimus, namely, when we became Christians. So also de Wette, Philippi, Maier, van Hengel, Hofmann. Comp 2 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:5. The perfect realises as present the possession formerly obtained, as in Plat. Apol. p. 20 D, and see Bernhardy, p. 379.

εἰς τὴν χάρ. ταύτ.] The divine grace of which the justified are partakers(1145) is conceived as a field of space, into which they have had ( ἐσχήκαμεν) introduction through Christ by means of faith, and in which they now have ( ἔχομεν) peace with God.

ἐν ἑστήκαμεν] does not refer to τῇ πίστει (Grotius), but to the nearest antecedent, τὴν χάριν, which is also accompanied by the demonstrative: in which we stand. The joyful consciousness of the present, that the possession of grace once entered upon is permanent, suggested the word to the Apostle. Comp 1 Corinthians 15:1; 1 Peter 5:12.

καὶ καυχώμεθα] may be regarded as a continuation either of the last relative sentence ( ἐν ἑστήκ., so van Hengel, Ewald, Mehring, Stölting), or of the previous one ( διʼ οὗ καὶ κ. τ. λ(1147)), or of the principal sentence ( εἰρήν. ἔχο΄εν). The last alone is suggested by the context, because, as Romans 5:3 shows, a new and independent element in the description of the blessed condition is introduced with καὶ καυχώμεθα.

καυχᾶσθαι expresses not merely the idea of rejoicing, not merely “the inward elevating consciousness, to which outward expression is not forbidden” (Reiche), but rather the actual glorying, by which we praise ourselves as privileged (“what the heart is full of, the mouth will utter”). Such is its meaning in all cases.

On ἐπί, on the ground of, i.e. over, joined with καυχ. comp Psalms 48:6; Proverbs 25:14; Wisdom of Solomon 17:7; Sirach 30:2. No further example of this use is found in the N. T.; but see Lycurgus in Beck. Anecd. 275, 4; Diod. S. xvi. 70; and Kühner, II. 1, p. 436. It is therefore unnecessary to isolate καυχώμεθα, so as to make ἐπʼ ελπίδι independent of it (Romans 4:18; so van Hengel). Comp on the contrary, the σε΄νύνεσθαι ἐπί τινι frequent in Greek authors. The variation of the prepositions, ἐπί and in Romans 5:3 ἐν, is not to be imputed to any set purpose; comp on Romans 3:20; Romans 3:25 f. al(1151)

The δόξα τ. θεοῦ is the glory of God, in which the members of the Messiah’s kingdom shall hereafter participate. Comp 1 Thessalonians 2:12; John 17:22, also Romans 8:17; Revelation 21:11; 1 John 3:2; and see Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 376. The reading of the Vulg.: gloriae filiorum Dei, is a gloss that hits the right sense. Reiche and Maier, following Luther and Grotius, take the genitive as a genit. auctoris. But that God is the giver of the δόξα, is self-evident and does not distinctively characterize it. Rückert urges here also his exposition of Romans 3:23; comp Ewald. But see on that passage. Flatt takes it as the approval of God (Romans 3:23), but the ἐλπίδι, pointing solely to the glorious future, is decisive against this view. It is aptly explained by Melancthon: “quod Deus sit nos gloria sua aeterna ornaturus, i. e. vita aeterna et communicatione sui ipsius.”


Verse 3-4

Romans 5:3-4.(1154) οὐ ΄όνον δέ] scil. καυχώ΄εθα ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι τῆς δόξης τ. θεοῦ. Examples of the usage (Romans 5:11; Romans 8:23; Romans 9:10; 2 Corinthians 8:19) may be seen in Kypke, II. p. 165; Vigerus, ed. Herm. p. 543; Heind. and Stallb. a(1155) Phaed. p. 107 B. Comp Legg. vi. p. 752 A Men. p. 71 B.

ἐν ταῖς θλίψ.] of the tribulations (affecting us), as commonly in the N. T. ἐν is connected with καυχᾶσθαι (Romans 5:11; 2 Corinthians 10:15; Galatians 6:13). Comp Senec. de prov. iv. 4 : “gaudent magni viri rebus adversis non aliter quam fortes milites bellis triumphant.” As to the ground of this Christian καύχησις, see the sequel. On the thing itself, in which the believer’s victory over the world makes itself apparent (Romans 8:35 ff.), comp 2 Corinthians 11:30; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 5:12; Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:12 f. Observe further, how with the joyful assurance of ample experience the triumphant discourse proceeds from the ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης, as subject-matter of the καυχᾶσθαι, to the direct opposite ( ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν), which may be likewise matter of glorying. Others (Glöckler, Baumgarten-Crusius, Stölting) erroneously render ἐν as in, which the contrast, requiring the object, does not permit, since ἐν τ. θλ. is not opposed to the ἐν in Romans 5:2.

ὑπο΄ονήν] endurance (“in ratione bene considerata stabilis et perpetua permansio,” Cic. de inv. ii. 54), namely, in the Christian faith and life. Comp Romans 2:7; Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:13. Paul lays down the θλίψις ὑπο΄. κατεργάζ. unconditionally, because he is speaking of those who have been justified ἐκ πίστεως, in whose case the reverse cannot take place without sacrifice of their faith.

δοκι΄ήν] triedness, 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Philippians 2:22, “quae ostendit fidem non esse simulatam, sed veram, vivam et ardentem,” Melancthon. Triedness is produced through endurance (not made known, as Reiche thinks); for whosoever does not endure thereby becomes ἀδόκιμος. There is here no inconsistency with James 1:3. See Huther.

ἐλπίδα] namely, τῆς δόξης τ. θεοῦ, as is self-evident after Romans 5:2. The hope, it is true, already exists before the δοκι΄ή; nevertheless, the more the Christian has become tried, the more also will hope (which the ἀδόκιμος loses) consciously possess him. Comp James 1:12. Hope is therefore present, and yet withal is produced by the emergence of the δοκιμή, just as faith may be present, and yet be still further produced through something emerging (John 2:11). Comp Lipsius, Rechtfertigungsl. p. 207 f.

Observe further, how widely removed from all fanatical pride in suffering is the reason assigned with conscious clearness for the Christian καυχᾶσθαι ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσι in our passage. In it the ἐλπίς is uniformly meant and designated as the highest subjective blessing of the justified person, who is assured of the glorious consummation (not in Romans 5:3 f. as conduct and only in Romans 5:2 as blessing, as Hofmann thinks). Comp the ἡδεῖα ἐλπίς, which ἀεὶ πάρεστι, in contrast to the ζῆν ΄ετὰ κακῆς ἐλπίδος in Plato, Rep. p. 331 A.


Verse 5

Romans 5:5. δὲ ἐλπίς] not, “the hope thus established” (Oecumenius, Olshausen, Stölting), but, in accordance with the analogy of the preceding elements, and without any excluding limitation, the hope (of glory), as such, consequently the Christian hope. This deceives no one who has it. It is self-evident, and the proof that follows gives information as to the fact, that this is uttered in the consciousness and out of the inward assurance of real living justification by faith.(1163)

οὐ καταισχύνει] maketh not ashamed, i.e. “habet certissimum salutis (of the thing hoped for) exitum,” Calvin, as will be shown at the judgment. “Spes erit res,” Bengel. Comp Romans 9:33; Sirach 2:10; Baruch 6:39; Psalms 22:6. Comp also Plat. Conv. p. 183 E, λόγους καὶ ὑποσχέσεις καταισχύνας. Polit. p. 268 D Dem. 314, 9. The expression of triumphant certainty in the present is not to be removed by changing it into the future (Hofmann, who would read καταισχυνεῖ).

ὅτι ἀγάπη τ. θεοῦ κ. τ. λ(1166)] Ground of δὲ ἐλπίς οὐ καταισχ. The divine love,(1167) effectually present in the heart through the Holy Spirit, is to the Christian consciousness of faith the sure pledge that we do not hope in vain and so as to be put to shame at last, but that God will on the contrary fulfil our hope. θεοῦ is the genitive of the subject; the love of God to us (so most expositors following Origen, Chrysostom and Luther), not of the object: love to God (Theodoret, Augustine, Anselm and others; including Klee, Glöckler, Umbreit, Hofmann, Stölting), which appears from Romans 5:8 as incorrect.(1168) Comp Romans 8:39; 2 Corinthians 13:13. As respects the justified, the wrath of God has given place to His love, which has its presence in them through the Spirit, its dwelling and sphere of action in believing hearts; and thus it is to them, like the Spirit Himself, ἀῤῥαβων of the hoped-for δόξα, 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5.

ἐκκέχυται] Figure for abundant, living effective communication (Acts 2:17; Acts 10:45). The idea of abundance is already implied in the sensuous image of outpouring, but may also, as in Titus 3:6, be specially expressed. Comp generally Suicer, Thes. I. p. 1075.

ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις] denotes, in accordance with the expression of the completed fact, the being spread abroad in the heart (motus in loco). Comp LXX. Psalms 45:2.

διὰ πνεύματος κ. τ. λ(1172)] Through the agency of the Spirit bestowed on us, who is the principle of the real self-communication of God, the divine love is also poured out in our hearts; see Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6.


Verse 6

Romans 5:6. Objective actual proof of this ἀγάπη τ. θεοῦ, which through the Spirit fills our heart. Comp as to the argument Romans 8:39. “For Christ, when we were yet weak, at the right time died for the ungodly.”

ἔτι] can in no case belong to ἀπέθανε (Stölting), but neither does it give occasion for any conjecture (Fritzsche: τί). Paul should perhaps have written: ἔτι γὰρ ὄντων ἡ΄. ἀσθενῶν χριστός κ. τ. λ(1174), or: χριστὸς γὰρ ὄντων ἡμῶν ἀσθενῶν ἔτι κ. τ. λ(1175) (hence the second ἔτι in Lachmann); but amidst the collision of emphasis between ἔτι and the subject both present to his mind, he has expressed himself inexactly, so that now ἔτι seems to belong to χριστός, and yet in sense necessarily belongs, as in Romans 5:8, to ὄντων κ. τ. λ(1176)

(1177) Comp Plat. Rep. p. 503 E: ἔτι δὴ τότε παρεῖμεν νῦν λέγομεν; p. 363 D: οἱ δʼ ἔτι τούτων μακροτέρυς ἀποτείνουσι μισθούς (where ἐτι ought to stand before μακρ.). Achill. Tat. v. 18: ἐγὼ δὲ ἔτι σοὶ ταῦτα γράφω παρθένος, and see Winer, p. 515 [E. T. 692]. Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 333 f.; and Fritzsche in loc(1179) To get rid of this irregularity, Seb. Schmid, Oeder, Koppe, and Flatt have taken ἔτι as in-super, and that either in the sense of adeo (Koppe, also Schrader), which however it never means, not even in Luke 14:26; or so that a “for further, for moreover” (see Baeumlein, Partik. p. 119) introduces a second argument for δὲ ἐλπὶς οὐ καταισχ. (Flatt, also Baumgarten-Crusius). Against this latter construction Romans 5:8 is decisive, from which it is clear that Romans 5:6-8 are meant to be nothing else than the proof of the ἀγάπη τ. θεοῦ. On ἔτι itself, with the imperfect participle in the sense of tunc adhuc, comp Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 693. It indicates the continued existence, which the earlier condition still had; Baeumlein, p. 118; Schneider, a(1181) Plat. Rep. p. 449 C.

ὄντων ἡμ. ἀσθενῶν] when we were still ( ἔτι) without strength, still had not the forces of the true spiritual life, which we could only receive through the Holy Ghost. The sinfulness is purposely described as weakness (need of help), in order to characterise it as the motive for the love of God interfering to save. The idea of disease (Theodoret: τῆς ἀσεβείας περικειμένων τὴν νόσον; comp Theophylact, Umbreit and others), or that of minority (van Hengel), is not suggested by anything in the context.

κατὰ καιρόν] may either (1) be rendered according to the time, according to the nature of the time, so that with Erasmus, Luther, Flacius, Castalio, Pareus, Seb. Schmid, also Schrader and Th. Schott, it would have to be connected with ἀσθ.;(1183) or (2) it may belong to ὑπὲρ ἀσεβ. ἀπέθανε, and mean, in accordance with the context, either at the appointed time (Galatians 4:4), as it is here taken usually, also by de Wette, Tholuck, Philippi, Maier, Baumgarten-Crusius; or (3) at the proper time (see Kypke; comp Pind. Isthm. ii. 32; Herod. i. 30; Lucian, Philops. 21; LXX. Isaiah 60:22; Job 5:16; Job 39:18; Jeremiah 5:24), the same as ἐν καιρῷ, ἐς καιρόν, ἐπὶ καιροῦ; Phavorinus: κατὰ τὸν εὔκαιρον κ. προσήκοντα καιρόν; and so the bare καιρόν (Bernhardy, p. 117), equivalent to καιρίως, the opposite of ἀπὸ καιροῦ and παρὰ καιρόν. In the first case, however, κ. κ. would either assign to the ἀσθ. an inappropriate excuse, which would not even be true, since the ἀσθένεια has always obtained since the fall (Romans 5:13); or, if it was meant directly to disparage the pre-christian age (Flacius, “ante omnem nostram pietatem,” comp Stölting and Hofmann), it would characterise it much too weakly. In the second case an element not directly occasioned by the connection (proof of God’s love) would present itself. Therefore the third interpretation alone: at the right time (so Ewald and van Hengel) is to be retained. The death of Jesus for the ungodly took place at the proper season, because, had it not taken place then, they would, instead of the divine grace, have experienced the final righteous outbreak of divine wrath, seeing that the time of the πάρεσις, Romans 3:25, and of the ἀνοχή of God had come to an end. Comp the idea of the πλήρωμα τῶν καιρῶν, Ephesians 1:10; Galatians 4:4. Now or never was the time for saving the ἀσεβεῖς; now or never was the καιρὸς δεκτός, 2 Corinthians 6:2; and God’s love did not suffer the right time for their salvation to elapse, but sent Christ to die for them the sacrificial death of atonement.(1187)

ὑπέρ] for, for the benefit of. Comp Eur. Alc. 701: μὴ θνῆσκʼ ὑπὲρ τοῦδʼ ἀνδρὸς ουδʼ ἐγὼ πρὸ σοῦ, Iph. A. 1389; Soph. Trach. 705; Aj. 1290; Plat. Conv. p. 179 B: ἐθελήσασα μόνη ὑπὲρ τοῦ αὑτῆς ἀνδρὸς ἀποθανεῖν; Dem. 690, 18; Xen. Cyr. vii. 4, 9 f.; Isocr. iv. 77; Dio. Cass lxiv. 13; Sirach 29:15 : ἔδωκε γὰρ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ὑπὲρ σοῦ; 2 Maccabees 6:28; 2 Maccabees 7:9; 2 Maccabees 8:21; comp also Ignatius, a(1190) Romans 4 : ὑπὲρ θεοῦ ἀποθνήσκω.(1191) So in all passages where there is mention of the object of Christ’s death. Luke 22:19-20; Romans 8:32; Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14. See also Ritschl in the Jahrb. für Deutsche Theol. 1863, p. 242. That Paul did not intend by ὑπέρ to convey the meaning instead of, is shown partly by the fact, that while he indeed sometimes exchanges it for the synonymous (Bremi, a(1192) Dem. Ol. iii. 5, p. 188, Goth.) περί (Galatians 1:4, like Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:25), he does not once use instead of it the unambiguous ἀντί (Matthew 20:28), which must nevertheless have suggested itself to him most naturally; and partly by the fact, that with ὑπέρ as well as with περί he puts not invariably the genitive of the person, but sometimes that of the thing ( ἁμαρτιῶν), in which case it would be impossible to explain the preposition by instead of (Romans 8:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3). It is true that he has certainly regarded the death of Jesus as an act furnishing the satisfactio vicaria, as is clear from the fact that this bloody death was accounted by him as an expiatory sacrifice (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 5:2; Steiger on 1 Pet. p. 342 f.), comp αντίλυτρον in 1 Timothy 2:6; but in no passage has he expressed the substitutionary relation through the preposition. On the contrary his constant conception is this: the sacrificial death of Jesus, taking the place of the punishment of men, and satisfying divine justice, took place as such in commodum ( ὑπέρ, περί) of men, or—which is the same thing—on account of their sins (in gratiam), in order to expiate them ( περί or ὑπὲρ ἁ΄αρτιῶν). This we hold against Flatt, Olshausen, Winzer, Reithmayr, Bisping, who take ὑπὲρ as loco. That ὑπέρ must at least be understood as loco in Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:14 (notwithstanding Romans 5:15); 1 Peter 3:18 (Rückert, Fritzsche, Philippi), is not correct. See on Gal. l.c(1194) and 2 Cor. l.c(1195); Philemon 1:13 is not here a case in point.

ἀσεβῶν] Paul did not write ἡ΄ῶν, in order that after the need of help ( ἀσθενῶν) the unworthiness might also be made apparent; ἀσεβῶν is the category, to which the ἡμεῖς have belonged, and the strong expression (comp Romans 4:5) is selected, in order now, through the contrast, to set forth the more prominently the divine love in its very strength.


Verse 7-8

Romans 5:7-8. Illustrative description ( γάρ) of this dying ὑπὲρ ἀσεβῶν as the practical demonstration of the divine love (Romans 5:8). Observe the syllogistic relation of Romans 5:8 to Romans 5:7; which is apparent through the emphatic ἑαυτοῦ.

Scarce, namely, for a righteous man (not to mention for ἀσεβεῖς) will any one die. This very contrast to the ἀσεβεῖς completely shuts out the neuter interpretation of δικαίου (“pro re justa,” Melancthon, comp Olshausen, Jerome, Erasmus, Annot. Luther). On account of the same contrast, consequently because of the parallel between ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ and ὑπὲρ δικαίου, and because the context generally has to do only with the dying for persons, τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ also is to be taken not as neuter,(1198) but as masculine; and the article denotes the definite ἀγαθός who is in question in the case concerned. Since, moreover, an essential distinction between δίκαιος and ἀγαθός (comp on the contrary Matthew 5:45; further, ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς κ. δίκαιος in Luke 23:50; ἐντολὴ ἁγία κ. δικαία κ. ἀγαθή in Romans 7:12; δίκαιος ἡ΄ῖν ἀναπέφανται ὤν ἀγαθός τε καὶ σοφός, Aesch. Sept. 576; Eur. Hipp. 427; Thes. fr. viii. 2) is neither implied in the context, where on the contrary the contrast to both is ἀσεβῶν and ἁ΄αρτωλῶν, nor is in the least hinted at by Paul, no explanation is admissible that is based on an essential difference of idea in the two words; such as that τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ should be held to express something different from or higher than δικαίου. Therefore the following is the only explanation that presents itself as conformable to the words and context: After Paul has said that one will hardly die for a righteous man, he wishes to add, by way of confirmation ( γάρ), that cases of the undertaking such a death might possibly occur, and expresses this in the form: for perhaps for the good man one even takes it upon him to die. Thus the previously asserted ὑπὲρ δικαίου τις ἀποθανεῖται, although one assents to it vix et aegre, is yet said with reason,—it may perhaps occur. Paul has not however written τοῦ δικαίου in the second clause of the verse, as he might have done, but introduces τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ, and prefixes it, in order now to make still more apparent, in the interest of the contrast, the category of the quality of the person for whom one may perhaps venture this self-sacrifice. This is substantially the view arrived at by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, in the Paraphr., Beza, Calvin (“rarissimum sane inter homines exemplum exstat, ut pro justo mori quis sustineat, quamquam illud nonnunquam accidere possit”), Castalio, Calovius, and others; recently again by Fritzsche (also Oltramare and Reithmayr); formerly also by Hofmann (in his Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 348). It has been wrongly alleged that it makes the second half of the verse superfluous (de Wette) and weakening (Köllner and Rückert); on the contrary, in granting what may certainly now and again occur, it the more emphatically paves the way for the contrast which is to follow, that God has caused Christ to die for quite other persons than the δικαίους and ἀγαθοῦς—for us sinners. Groundless also is the objection (of van Hengel), that in Paul’s writings the repeated τίς always denotes different subjects; the indefinite τίς, one, any one, may indeed even here represent in the concrete application different subjects or the same. Comp 2 Corinthians 11:20. And, even if δικαίου and τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ be regarded as two distinct conceptions, may not the second τίς be the same with the first? But the perfect accordance with the words and context, which is only found in the exposition offered, shuts out every other. Among the explanations thus excluded are: (1) Those which take τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ as neuter, like the rendering of Jerome, Erasmus, Annot. (“bonitatem”), Luther, Melancthon (“pro bona et suavi re, i. e. incitati cupiditate aut opinione magnae utilitatis”), and more recently Rückert (“for the good, i.e. for what he calls his highest good”), Mehring (“for for his own advantage some one perhaps risks even life”); now also Hofmann (“what is in itself and really good.… a moral value, for which, when it is endangered, one sacrifices life, in order not to let it perish”).—(2) Those explanations which indeed take τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ properly as masculine, but yet give self-invented distinctions of idea in reference to δικαίου; namely (a), the exposition, that ἀγαθός means the benefactor: hardly does any one die for a righteous man (who stands in no closer relation to him); for for his benefactor one dares perchance (out of gratitude) to die. So Flacius,(1201) Knatchbull, Estius, Hammond, Clericus, Heumann, Wolf, and others; including Koppe, Tholuck, Winer, Benecke, Reiche, Glöckler, Krehl, Maier, Umbreit, Bisping, Lechler and Jatho. They take the article with ἀγαθοῦ as: the benefactor whom he has, against which nothing can be objected (Bernhardy, p. 315). But we may object that we cannot at all see why Paul should not have expressed benefactor by the very current and definite term εὐεργέτης; and that ἀγαθός must have obtained the specific sense of beneficence (as in Matthew 20:15; Xen. Cyr. iii. 13, 4, al(1202) ap. Dorvill. a(1203) Charit. p. 722; and Tholuck in loc(1204)) from the context—a want, which the mere article cannot supply (in opposition to Reiche). Hence, in order to gain for ἀγαθός the sense beneficent in keeping with the context, δίκαιος would have to be taken in the narrower sense as just (with Wetstein and Olshausen), so as to yield a climax from the just man to the benevolent (who renders more than the mere obligation of right binds him to do). An apt illustration of this would be Cicero, de off. iii Romans 15 : “Si vir bonus is est, qui prodest quibus potest, nocet nemini, recte justum virum, bonum non facile reperiemus.” But in Romans 5:8 there is no reference to ἀγαθός in the sense assumed; and the narrower sense of δικαίος is at variance with the contrasting ἁ΄αρτωλῶν in Romans 5:8, which demands for δίκ, precisely the wider meaning (righteous). Besides the prominence which Paul intends to give to the love of God, which caused Christ to die for sinners, while a man hardly dies for a δίκαιος, is weakened just in proportion as the sense of δίκαιος is narrowed. The whole interpretation is a forced one, inconsistent with the undefined τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ itself as well as with the entire context.—(b) No better are the explanations which find in τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ a greater degree of morality than in δικαίου, consequently a man more worthy of having life sacrificed for him. So, but with what varied distinctions! especially Ambrosiaster (the δίκαιος is such exercitio, the ἀγαθός natura), Bengel ( δίκ. homo innoxius, ἀγαθός, omnibus pietatis numeris absolutus.… v. g. pater patriae), Michaelis, Olshausen, Köllner ( δίκ.: legally just, ἀγαθ.: perfectly good and upright), de Wette ( δίκ.: irreproachable, ἀγαθ.: the noble), Philippi and Th. Schott (both substantially agreeing with de Wette), also van Hengel ( δίκ.: probus coram Deo, i. e. venerabilis, ἀγαθ.: bonus in hominum oculis, i. e. amabilis), and Ewald, according to whom. δίκ. is he “who, in a definite case accused unto death, is nevertheless innocent in that particular case,” while the ἀγαθός is “he, who not only in one such individual suit, but predominantly in his whole life, is purely useful to others and guiltless in himself;”(1205) comp Stölting, who finds in δίκ. the honest upright man, and in ἀγαθός him whom we personally esteem and love. But all these distinctions of idea are artificially created and brought in without any hint from the context.(1207)

On τάχα, fortasse, perhaps indeed, expressing possibility not without doubt, comp Xen. Anab. v. 2, 17; Philemon 1:15; Wisdom of Solomon 13:6; Wisdom of Solomon 14:19. In classic authors most frequently τάχʼ ἄν.

καὶ τολμᾷ] etiam sustinet, he has even the courage,(1209) can prevail upon himself, audet. The καί is the also of the corresponding relation. In presence of the good man, he ventures also to die for him.

We may add, that the words from ὑπὲρ γὰρ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ down to ἀποθανεῖν are not to be put (with Lachmann) in a parenthesis, since, though they form only a subordinate confirmatory clause, they cause no interruption in the construction.

Romans 5:8. δέ] Not antithetical (“such are men, but such is God,” Mehring), as if the sentence began with δὲ θεός, but rather carrying it onward, namely, to the middle term of the syllogism (the minor proposition), from which then the conclusion, Romans 5:9, is designed to result.

συνίστησι] proves, as in Romans 3:25. The accomplished fact of the atoning death is conceived according to its abiding effect of setting forth clearly the divine love; hence the present. The emphasis indeed lies in the first instance on συνίστησι (for from this proof as such a further inference is then to be drawn), but passes on strengthened to τὴν ἑαυτοῦ, because it must be God’s own love, authenticating itself in the death of Christ, that gives us the assurance to be expressed in Romans 5:9. God Himself, out of His love for men, has given Christ to a death of atonement; Romans 3:24, Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:16; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10 et al(1210) To find in τ. ἑαυτοῦ ἀγαπ. the contrast to our love towards God (Hofmann; comp on Romans 5:5) is quite opposed to the context, which exhibits the divine demonstration of love in Christ’s deed of love. That is the clear relation of Romans 5:8 to Romans 5:6 f., from which then the blessed inference is drawn in Romans 5:9. Hence we are not to begin a new connection with συνίστησι δέ κ. τ. λ(1212) (Hofmann, “God lets us know, and gives us to experience that He loves us; and this He does, because Christ, etc.). The ὅτι cannot be the motive of God for His συνίστησι κ. τ. λ(1213), since He has already given Christ out of love; it is meant on the contrary to specify the actual ground of the knowledge of the divine proof of love (= εἰς ἐκεῖνο, ὅτι, comp on 2 Corinthians 1:18; John 2:18).

εἰς ἡ΄ᾶς] belongs to συνίστ.

ἔτι ἁ΄αρτ. ὄντ. ἡ΄.] For only through the atoning death of Christ have we become δικαιωθέντες. See Romans 5:9.


Verse 9

Romans 5:9. To prove that hope maketh not ashamed (Romans 5:5), Paul had laid stress on the possession of the divine love in the heart (Romans 5:5); then he had proved and characterised this divine love itself from the death of Christ (Romans 5:6-8); and he now again infers, from this divine display of love, from the death of Christ, that the hoped-for eternal salvation is all the more assured to us.

πολλῷ οὖν μᾶλλον] The conclusion does not proceed a minori ad majus (Estius and many, including Mehring), but, since the point now turns on the carrying out of the divine act of atonement, a majori (Romans 5:6-8) ad minus (Romans 5:9).

πολλῷ μᾶλλον] expresses the enhancement of certainty, as in Romans 5:15-17 : much less therefore can it be doubted that, etc.; νῦν stands in reference to ἔτι ἁμαρτωλῶν ὅντων ἡμῶν in Romans 5:8.

σωθησόμεθα ἀπὸ τ. ὀργῆς] we shall be rescued from the divine wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10; comp Matthew 3:7), so that the latter, which issues forth at the last judgment (Romans 2:5, Romans 3:5), does not affect us. Comp Winer, p. 577 [E. T. 743]; Acts 2:40. This negative expression for the attainment of the hoped-for δόξα renders the inference more obvious and convincing. For the positive expression see 2 Timothy 4:18.

διʼ αὐτοῦ] i.e. through the operation of the exalted Christ, ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ, Romans 5:10

Faith, as the ληπτικόν of justification, is understood as a matter of course (Romans 5:1), but is not mentioned here, because only what has been accomplished by God through Christ is taken into consideration. If faith were in the judgment of God the anticipation of moral perfection (but see note on Romans 1:17), least of all could it have been left unmentioned. Observe also how Paul has justification in view as a unity, without different degrees or stages.


Verse 10

Romans 5:10. More special development ( γάρ, namely) of Romans 5:9.

ἐχθροί] namely, of God, as is clear from κατηλλ. τῷ θεῷ. But it is not to be taken in an active sense (hostile to God, as by Rückert, Baur, Reithmayr, van Hengel, Mehring, Ritschl in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol. 1863, p. 515 f.; Weber, vom Zorne Gottes, p. 293, and others); for Christ’s death did not remove the enmity of men against God, but, as that which procured their pardon on the part of God, it did away with the enmity of God against men, and thereupon the cessation of the enmity of men towards God ensued as the moral consequence brought about by faith. And, with that active conception, how could Paul properly have inferred his πολλῷ μᾶλλον κ. τ. λ(1217), since in point of fact the certainty of the ( σωθησόμεθα is based on our standing in friendship (grace) with God, and not on our being friendly towards God? Hence the passive explanation alone is correct (Calvin and others, including Reiche, Fritzsche, Tholuck, Krehl, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Philippi, Hofmann): enemies of God, i.e. those against whom the holy θεοσεχθρία, the ὀργή of God on account of sin, is directed; θεοστυγεῖς, Romans 1:30; τέκνα ὀργῆς, Ephesians 2:3. Comp Romans 11:28; and see on Colossians 1:21; comp Pfleiderer in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr. 1872, p. 182. This does not contradict the ἀγάπη θεοῦ praised in Romans 5:8 (as Rückert objects), since the very arrangement, which God made by the death of Jesus for abandoning His enmity against sinful men without detriment to His holiness, was the highest proof of His love for us (not for our sins).

Consequently κατηλλάγημεν and καταλλαγέντες must also be taken not actively, but passively: reconciled with God, so that He is no longer hostile towards us, but has on the contrary, on account of the death of His (beloved) Son, abandoned His wrath against us, and we, on the other hand, have become partakers in His grace and favour; for the positive assertion (comp Romans 5:1 f.), which is applicable to all believing individuals (Romans 5:8), must not be weakened into the negative and general conception “that Christians have not God against them” (Hofmann). See on Colossians 1:21 and on 2 Corinthians 5:18. Tittmann’s distinction between διαλλάττειν and καταλλάττειν (see on Matthew 5:24) is as arbitrary as that of Mehring, who makes the former denote the outward and the latter the inward reconciliation. Against this view, comp also Philippi’s Glaubenslehre, II. 2, p. 270 ff.

ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ] by His life; more precise specification of the import of διʼ αὐτοῦ in Romans 5:9; therefore not “cum vitae ejus simus participes” (van Hengel, comp Ewald). The death of Jesus effected our reconciliation; ail the less can His exalted life leave our deliverance unfinished. The living Christ cannot leave what His death effected without final success. This however is accomplished not merely through His intercession, Romans 8:34 (Fritzsche, Baumgarten-Crusius), but also through His whole working in His kingly office for His believers up to the completion of His work and kingdom, 1 Corinthians 15:22 ff.


Verse 11

Romans 5:11. οὐ μόνον δέ] Since καυχώμενοι cannot stand for the finite tense (as, following Luther, Beza and others, Tholuck and Philippi still would have it) οὐ μόνον δέ cannot be supplemented by σωθησόμεθα (Fritzsche, Krehl, Reithmayr, Winer, p. 329, 543 [E. T. 441, 729], following Chrysostom), so as to make Paul say: we shall be not only saved (actually in itself), but also saved in such a way that we glory, etc. Moreover, the present καυχᾶσθαι could not supply any modal definition at all of the future σωθησόμεθα. No, the participle καυχώμ. compels us to conceive as supplied to the elliptical οὐ μόνον δέ (comp on Romans 5:3) the previous participle καταλλαγέντες (Köllner, Baumgarten-Crusius, Hofmann; formerly also Fritzsche); every other expedient is arbitrary.(1224) This supplement however, according to which the two participles answer to each other, is confirmed by the concluding refrain: διʼ οὗ νῦν τ. καταλλ. ἐλάβ., which is an echo of the καταλλσγέντες understood with οὐ μόνον δέ. Accordingly we must render: not merely however as reconciled, but also as those who glory, etc. Thus the meaning is brought out, that the certainty of the σωθήσεσθαι ἐν τ. ζωῆ αὐτοῦ (Romans 5:10) is not only based on the objective ground of the accomplished reconciliation, but has also subjectively its corresponding vital expression in the καυχᾶσθαι ἐν τῷ θεῷ κ. τ. λ(1225), in which the lofty feeling of the Christian’s salvation reveals itself.

ἐν τῷ θεῷ] Luther’s gloss is apt: “that God is ours, and we are His, and that we have in all confidence all blessings in common from Him and with Him.” That is the bold and joyful triumph of those sure of salvation.

διὰ τ. κυρίον κ. τ. λ(1226)] This glorying is brought about through Christ, because He is the author of our new relation to God; hence: διʼ οὗ νῦν τ. καταλλ. ἐλάβ. The latter is that κατηλλάγημεν of Romans 5:10 in its subjective reception which has taken place by faith.

νῦν is to be taken here (differently from Romans 5:9) in contrast, not to pre-Christian times (Stölting), but to the future glory, in reference to which the reconciliation received in the present time (continuing from the conversion of the subjects of it to Christ) is conceived as its actual ground of certainty.


Verse 12

Romans 5:12.(1228) διὰ τοῦτο] Therefore, because, namely, we have received through Christ the καταλλαγή and the assurance of eternal salvation, Romans 5:11. The assumption that it refers back to the whole discussion from chap. Romans 1:17 (held by many, including Tholuck, Rückert, Reiche, Köllner, Holsten, Picard) is the more unnecessary, the more naturally the idea of the καταλλαγή itself, just treated of, served to suggest the parallel between Adam and Christ, and the διʼ οὗ τὴν καταλλαγὴν ἐλάβομεν in point of fact contains the summary of the whole doctrine of righteousness and salvation from Romans 1:17 onward; consequently there is no ground whatever for departing, as to διὰ τοῦτο, from the connection with what immediately precedes.(1229) This remark also applies in opposition to Hofmann (comp Stölting and Dietzsch), who refers it back to the entire train of ideas embraced in Romans 5:2-11. A recapitulation of this is indeed given in the grand concluding thought of Romans 5:11, that it is Christ to whom we owe the reconciliation. But Hofmann quite arbitrarily supposes Paul in διὰ τοῦτο to have had in view an exhortation to think of Christ conformably to the comparison with Adam, but to have got no further than this comparison.

ὥσπερ] There is here an ἀνανταπόδοτον as in Matthew 25:14; and 1 Timothy 1:3. The comparison alone is expressed, but not the thing compared, which was to have followed in an apodosis corresponding to the ὥσπερ. The illustration, namely, introduced in Romans 5:13-14 of the ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον now rendered it impossible to add the second half of the comparison syntactically belonging to the ὥσπερ, and therefore the Apostle, driven on by the rushing flow of ideas to this point, from which he can no longer revert to the construction with which he started, has no hesitation in dropping the latter (comp generally Buttmann’s neut. Gr. p. 331; Kühner, II. 2, p. 1097), and in subsequently bringing in merely the main tenor of what is wanting by the relative clause attached to ἀδάμ: ὅς ἐστι τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος in Romans 5:14. This ὅς.… μέλλ. is consequently the substitute for the omitted apodosis, which, had it not been supplanted by Romans 5:13-14, would have run somewhat thus: so also through one man has come righteousness, and through righteousness life, and so life has come to all. Calvin, Flacius, Tholuck, Köllner, Baur, Philippi, Stölting, Mangold, Rothe (who however without due ground regards the breaking off as intended from the outset, in order to avoid sanctioning the Apokatastasis) find in ὅς ἐστι τύπ. τ. μέλλ., in v. 14, the resumption and closing of the comparison,(1232) not of course in form, but in substance; compare also Melancthon. According to Rückert, Fritzsche (in his commentary), and de Wette, Paul has come, after Romans 5:13-14, to reflect that the comparison begun involved not merely agreement but also discrepancy, and has accordingly turned aside from the apodosis, which must necessarily have expressed the equivalence, and inserted instead of it the opposition in Romans 5:15. This view is at variance with the entire character of the section, which indeed bears quite especially the stamp of most careful and acute premeditation, but shows no signs of Paul’s having been led in the progress of his thought to the opposite of what he had started with. According to Mehring, Romans 5:15, following Romans 5:13-14 (which he parenthesises) is meant to complete the comparison introduced in Romans 5:12, Romans 5:15 being thus taken interrogatively. Against this view, even apart from the inappropriateness of taking it as a question, the ἀλλʼ in Romans 5:15 is decisive. Winer, p. 503 [E. T. 712] (comp Fritzsche’s Conject. p. 49) finds the epanorthosis in πολλῷ μᾶλλον, Romans 5:15, which is inadmissible, because with ἀλλʼ οὐχ in Romans 5:15 there is introduced the antithetical element, consequently something else than the affirmative parallel begun in Romans 5:12. Others have thought that Romans 5:13-17 form a parenthesis, so that in Romans 5:18 the first half of the comparison is resumed, and the second now at length added (Cajetanus, Erasmus Schmid, Grotius, Bengel, Wetstein, Heumann, Ch. Schmid, Flatt, and Reiche). Against this view may be urged not only the unprecedented length, but still more the contents of the supposed parenthesis, which in fact already comprehends in itself the parallel under every aspect. In Romans 5:18 f. we have recapitulation, but not resumption. This much applies also against Olshausen and Ewald. Others again have held that Romans 5:12 contains the protasis and the apodosis completely, taking the latter to begin either with καὶ οὕτως (Clericus, Wolf, Glöckler), or even with καὶ διά (Erasmus, Beza, Benecke), both of which views however are at variance with the parallel between Adam and Christ which rules the whole of what follows, and are thus in the light of the connection erroneous, although the former by no means required a trajection ( καὶ οὓτως for οὓτω καί). While all the expositors hitherto quoted have taken ὥσπερ as the beginning of the first member of the parallel, others again have thought that it introduces the second half of the comparison. So, following Elsner and others, Koppe, who after διὰ τοῦτο conceives ἐλάβο΄εν καταλλαγὴν διʼ αὐτοῦ supplied from Romans 5:11; so also Umbreit and Th. Schott (for this reason, because we σωθησό΄εθα ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ, Christ comes by way of contrast to stand just as did Adam). Similarly Märcker, who attaches διὰ τοῦτο to Romans 5:11. These expositions are incorrect, because the universality of the Adamite ruin, brought out by ὥσπερ κ. τ. λ(1234), has no point of comparison in the supplied protasis (the explanation is illogical); in Galatians 3:6 the case is different. Notwithstanding van Hengel (comp Jatho) thinks that he removes all difficulty by supplying ἐστί after διὰ τοῦτο; while Dietzsch, anticipating what follows, suggests the supplying after διὰ τοῦτο: through one man life has come into the world.

διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου through one man, that is, διʼ ἑνὸς ἁμαρτήσαντος, Romans 5:16. A single man brought upon all sin and death; a single man also righteousness and life. The causal relation is based on the fact that sin, which previously had no existence whatever in the world, only began to exist in the world (on earth) by means of the first fall.(1236) Eve, so far as the matter itself is concerned (Sirach 25:14; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14; Barnab. Ep. 12), might as well as adam, be regarded as the εἷς ἄνθρ.; the latter, because he sinned as the first man, the former, of whom Pelagius explained it, because she committed the first transgression. Here however, because Paul’s object is to compare the One man, who as the bringer of salvation has become the beginner of the new humanity, with the One man who as beginner of the old humanity became so destructive, in which collective reference (comp Hofmann’s Schriftbew. I. p. 474) the woman recedes into the background, he has to derive the entrance of sin into the world from Adam, whom he has in view in διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπον. Comp 1 Corinthians 15:21 f., 45 f. This is also the common form of Rabbinical teaching. See Eisenmenger’s entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 81 f.

ἁμαρτία] not: sinfulness, habitus peccandi (Koppe, Schott, Flatt, Usteri, Olshausen), which the word never means; not original sin (Calvin, Flacius, and others following Augustine); but also not merely actual sin in abstracto (Fritzsche: “nam ante primum facinus patratum nullum erat facinus”), but rather what sin is according to its idea and essence (comp Hofmann and Stölting), consequently the determination of the conduct in antagonism to God, conceived however as a force, as a real power working and manifesting itself—exercising its dominion—in all cases of concrete sin (comp Romans 5:21; Romans 6:12; Romans 6:14; Romans 7:8-9; Romans 7:17 al(1241)). This moral mode of being in antagonism to God became existent in the human world through the fall of Adam; produced death, and spread death over all. Thus our verse itself describes the ἁμαρτία as a real objective power, and in so doing admits only of this explanation. Compare the not substantially different explanation of Philippi, according to which the actual sin of the world is meant as having come into the world potentialiter through Adam; also Rothe, who conceives it to refer to sin as a principle, but as active; and Dietzsch.

On εἰς τ. κόσμον, which applies to the earth as the dwelling-place of mankind (for in the universe generally sin, the devil, was already in existence), comp Wisdom of Solomon 2:24; Wisdom of Solomon 14:14; 2 John 1:7; Clem. Cor. I. 3; Hebrews 10:5. Undoubtedly sin by its entrance into the world came into human nature (Rothe), but this is not asserted here, however decisively our passage stands opposed to the error of Flacius, that man is in any way as respects his essential nature ἁμαρτία.(1243)

The mode in which the fall took place (through the devil, John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:3) did not here concern the Apostle, who has only to do with the mischievous effect of it, namely, that it brought ἁμαρτία into the world, etc.

καὶ διὰ τ. ἁ΄αρτ. θάνατος] scil. εἰς τ. κόσ΄ον εἰσῆλθε. The θάνατος is physical death (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Calovius, Reiche, Fritzsche, Maier, van Hengel, Klöpper, Weiss, and many others), viewed as the separation of the soul from the body and its transference to Hades (not as “citation before God’s judgment,” Mehring), with which however the conception of the φθορά and ΄αταιότης of the κτίσις in ch. 8, very different from the θάνατος of men, must not be mixed up (as by Dietzsch), which would involve a blending of dissimilar ideas. The interpretation of bodily death is rendered certain by Romans 5:14 as well as by the considerations, that the text gives no hint of departure from the primary sense of the word; that the reference to Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:19 could not be mistaken by any reader; and that on the basis of Genesis it was a universal and undoubted assumption both in the Jewish and Christian consciousness, that mortality was caused by Adam’s sin. See Wisdom of Solomon 2:24; John 8:44; 1 Corinthians 15:21; Wetstein and Schoettgen, in loc(1244); and Eisenmenger’s entdeckt. Judenthum, II. p. 81 f. Compare, respecting Eve, Sirach 25:24. Had Paul taken θάνατος in another sense therefore, he must of necessity have definitely indicated it, in order to be understood.(1245) This is decisive not only against the Pelagian interpretation of spiritual death, which Picard has repeated, but also against every combination whatever—whether complete (see especially Philippi and Stölting), or partial—of bodily, moral (comp νεκρός, Matthew 8:22), and eternal death (Schmid, Tholuck, Köllner, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Olshausen, Reithmayr; Rückert undecidedly); or the whole collective evil, which is the consequence of sin, as Umbreit and Ewald explain it; compare Hofmann: “all that runs counter to the life that proceeds from God, whether as an occurrence, which puts an end to the life wrought by God, or as a mode of existence setting in with such occurrence.” As regards especially the inclusion of the idea of moral death (the opposite of the spiritual ζωή), the words θάνατος and ἀποθνήσκειν are never used by Paul in this sense; not even in Romans 7:10 (see in loc(1247)), or in 2 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 7:10, where he is speaking of eternal death.(1248) The reference to spiritual death is by no means rendered necessary by the contrast of δικαιοσ. ζωῆς in Romans 5:18, comp Romans 5:21; since in fact the death brought into the world by Adam, although physical, might be contrasted not merely in a Rabbinical fashion, but also generally in itself, with the ζωή that has come through Christ; for to this ζωή belongs also the life of the glorified body, and it is a life not again subject to death.

καὶ οὕτως] and in such manner, i.e. in symmetrical correspondence with this connection between the sin that entered by one man and the death occasioned by it. Fuller explanation is then given, by the ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον, respecting the emphatically prefixed εἰς πάντας, to whom death, as the effect of that first sin of the One, had penetrated. Since οὓτως sums up the state of the case previously expressed (comp e.g. 1 Corinthians 14:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:17) any further generalization of its reference can only be arbitrary (Stölting: “through sin”). Even the explanation: “in virtue of the causal connection between sin and death” (Philippi and many others) is too general. The οὕτως, in fact, recapitulates the historical state of the case just presented, so far as it specifies the mode in which death has come to all, namely, in this way, that the One sinned and thereby brought into the world the death, which consequently became the lot of all.

διῆλθεν] came throughout (Luke 5:15). This is the progress of the εἰς τὸν κόσμον εἰσῆλθε in its extension to all individuals, εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπ., which in contrast to the διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρ. is put forward with emphasis as the main element of the further description, wherein moreover διῆλθεν, correlative to the εἰσῆλθε, has likewise emphasis. On διέρχεσθαι εἴς τινα comp Plut. Alcib. 2. Compare also ἐπί τινα in Ezekiel 5:17 and Psalms 88:16. More frequent in classic authors with the simple accusative, as in Luke 19:1.

ἐφʼ πάντες ἥ΄αρτον]

[1252] on the ground of the fact that, i.e. because, all sinned, namely (and for this the momentary sense of the aorist is appropriate(1253)) when through the One sin entered into the world. Because, when Adam sinned, all men sinned in and with him, the representative of entire humanity (not: “exemplo Adami,” Pelagius; comp Erasmus, Paraphr.), death, which came into the world through the sin that had come into it, has been extended to all in virtue of this causal connection between the sin that had come into existence through Adam and death. All became mortal through Adam’s fall, because this having sinned on the part of Adam was a having sinned on the part of all; consequently τῷ τοῦ ἑνὸς παραπτώματι οἱ πολλοὶ ἀπέθανον, Romans 5:15. Thus it is certainly on the ground of Adam that all die ( ἐν τῷ ἀδὰμ πάντες ἀποθνήσκουσιν, 1 Corinthians 15:22), because, namely, when Adam sinned, all sinned, all as ἁμαρτωλοὶ κατεστάθησαν (Romans 5:19), and consequently the death that came in through his sin can spare none. But it is in a linguistic point of view erroneous, according to the traditional Catholic interpretation after the example of Origen, the Vulgate, and Augustine (Estius, Cornelius à Lapide, Klee; not Stengel, Reithmayr, Bisping, and Maier; but revived by Aberle), to take ἐφʼ as equivalent to ἐν , in quo scil. Adamo, as also Beza, Erasmus Schmid, and others do; compare Irenaeus, Haer. 5.16, 3. The thought which this exposition yields (“omnes ille unus homo fuerunt,” Augustine) is essentially correct, but it was an error to derive it from ἐφʼ , since it is rather to be derived from πάντες ἥμαρτον, and hence also it is but arbitrarily explained by the sensuous notion of all men having been in the loins (Hebrews 7:9-10) of Adam (Origen, Ambrosiaster, Augustine). Chrysostom gives in general the proper sense, though without definitely indicating how he took the ἐφʼ : “ τί δέ ἐστιν ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον; ἐκείνου πεσόντος καὶ οἱ μὴ φαγόντες ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου γεγόνασιν ἐξ ἐκείνου πάντες θνητοί.” So also substantially Theophylact, though explaining, with Photius, ἐφʼ as equivalent to ἐπὶ τᾧ ἀδάμ. The right view is taken by Bengel (“quia omnes peccarunt.… Adamo peccante”); Koppe (“ipso actu, quo peccavit Adamus”), Olshausen, Philippi, Delitzsch, Psychol. p. 126, 369, and Kahnis, Dogm. I. p. 590, III. p. 308 f.; comp also Klöpper.(1256) The objection that in this way the essential definition is arbitrarily supplied (Tholuck, Hofmann, Stölting, Dietzsch, and others) is incorrect; for what is maintained is simply that more precise definition of ἥμαρτον, for which the immediate connection has necessarily prepared the way, and therefore no person, from an unprejudiced point of view, can speak of “an abortive product of perplexity impelling to arbitrariness” (Hofmann). Nor is our view at variance with the meaning of οὓτως (as Ernesti objects), since from the point of view of death having been occasioned by Adam’s sin ( οὓτως) the universality of death finds its explanation in the very fact, that Adam’s sin was the sin of all. Aptly (as against Dietzsch) Bengel compares 2 Corinthians 5:14 : εἰ εἷς ὐπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανε, ἄρα οἱ πάντες ἀπέθανον (namely, Christo moriente); see on that passage. Others, and indeed most modern expositors (including Reiche, Rückert, Tholuck, Fritzsche, de Wette, Maier, Baur, Ewald, Umbreit, van Hengel, Mehring, Hofmann, Stölting, Thomasius, Mangold, and others,) have interpreted ἥμαρτον of individual sins, following Theodoret: οὐ γὰρ διὰ τὴν τοῦ προπάτορος ἁμαρτίαν, ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν οἰκείαν ἕκαστος δέχεται τοῦ θανάτου τὸν ὅρον. Compare Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 263; Märcker l.c(1257) p. 19. But the taking the words thus of the universal having actually sinned as cause of the universal death (see other variations further on) must be rejected for the simple reason, that the proposition would not even be true;(1258) and because the view, that the death of individuals is the consequence of their own actual sins, would be inappropriate to the entire parallel between Adam and Christ, nay even contradictory to it. For as the sin of Adam brought death to all (consequently not their own self-committed sin), so did the obedience of Christ (not their own virtue) bring life to all. Comp 1 Corinthians 15:22. This objective relation corresponding to the comparison remains undisturbed in the case of our exposition alone, inasmuch as ἐφʼ πάντ. ἥμαρτ. shows how the sin of Adam necessarily brought death to all. To explain ἥμαρτον again, as is done by many, and still by Picard and Aberle: they were sinful, by which is meant original sin (Calvin, Flacius, Melancthon in the Enarr.: “omnes habent peccatum, scilicet pravitatem propagatam et reatum”), or to import even the idea poenam luere (Grotius), is to disregard linguistic usage; for ἥμαρτον means they have sinned, and nothing more. This is acknowledged by Julius Müller (v. d. Sünde, II. p. 416 ff. ed. 5), who however professes to find in ἐφʼ π. ἥμ. only an accessory reason for the preceding, and that in the sense: “as then” all would besides have well deserved this severe fate for themselves by their actual sins. Incorrectly, because ἐφ does not mean “as then” or “as then also” (i.e. ὡς καί); because the statement of the reason is by no means made apparent as in any way merely secondary and subjective, as Neander and Messner have rationalised it, but on the contrary is set down as the single, complete and objective ground; because its alleged purport would exercise an alien and disturbing effect on the whole development of doctrine in the passage; and because the sense assigned to the simple ἥμαρτον (this severe fate they would have all moreover well merited) is purely fanciful. Ernesti takes ἐφʼ not of the objective ground, but as specifying the ground of thinking so, i.e. the subjective ground of cognition:about which there can be no doubt, in so far as all have in point of fact sinned;” this he holds to be the logical ground for the οὔτες κ. τ. λ(1260) But, as there is no precedent of usage for this interpretation of ἐφʼ (Philippians 3:12 is unjustifiably adduced), Ernesti is compelled to unite with ἐφʼ , Romans 5:13-14 in an untenable way. See on Romans 5:13 f., remark 1, and Philippi, Glaubensl. III. p. 222 ff. ed. 2.

Respecting ἐφʼ , which is quite identical with ἐφʼ οἷς, we have next to observe as follows: It is equivalent to ἐπὶ τούτῳ ὅτι, and means on the ground of the fact that, consequently in real sense propterea quod,(1261) because (dieweil, Luther), of the causa antegressa (not finalis), as also Thomas Magister and Favorinus have explained it as equivalent to διότι. So in the N. T. at 2 Corinthians 5:4 and Philippians 3:12. Comp Theophilus, a(1263) Autol. ii. 40, ed. Wolf: ἐφʼ οὐκ ἴσχυσε θανατῶσαι αὐτούς (because he was unable to put them to death), Diod. Sic. xix. 98: ἐφ .… τὸ μὲν μεῖζον καλοῦσι ταῦρον, τὸ δὲ ἔλασσου μόσχον (because they call the greater a bull, etc.); just so ἐφʼ οἷς, Plut. de Pyth. orac. 29. Favorinus quotes the examples: ἐφʼ τὴν κλοπὴν εἰργάσω, and ἐφʼ οἷς τὸν νό΄ον οὐ τηρεῖς, κολασθήση. Thomas Magister cites the example from Synesius ep. 73: ἐφʼ γεννάδιον ἔγραψεν (propterea quod Gennadium accusasset, comp Herm. a(1265) Viger. p. 710). Another example from Synesius (in Devarius, ed. Klotz, p. 88) is: ἐφʼ οἷς γὰρ σεκοῦνδον εὖ ἐποίησας (on the ground of this, that, i.e. because thou hast done well to Secundus) ἡμᾶς ἐτίμησας, καὶ ἐφʼ οἷς οὕτω γράφων τιμᾷς, ἐξηρτήσω σαυτοῦ κ. ἐποίησας εἶναι σούς. See further Josephus, Antt. i. 1, 4 : ὄφις συνδιαιτώμενος τῷ τε ἀδάμῳ καὶ τῇ γυναικὶ φθονερῶς εἶχεν, ἐφʼ οἷς (propterea quod) αὐτοὺς εὐδαιμονήσειν ᾤετω πεπεισμένους τοῖς τοῦ θεοῦ παραγγέλμασι. Antt. xvi. 8, 2 : καὶ τὸ δικαίως αὐτοὶ παθεῖν, ἐφʼ οἷς ἀλλήλους ἠδίκησαν, προλαμβάνοντες μόνον. Rothe (followed by Schmid, bibl. Thol. p. 260) has taken it as: “under the more definite condition, that” ( ἐπὶ τούτῳ ὥστε), so that individual sins are the consequence of the diffusion of death through Adam’s sin over mankind. But this view is wholly without precedent in the usus loquendi, for the very frequent use of ἐφʼ , under the condition, that (usually with the infinitive or future indicative), is both in idea and in practice something quite different; see Kühner, II. 2, p. 1006. Of a similar nature are rather such passages as Dem. 518, 26: ἓν γὰρ μηδέν ἐστιν, ἐφʼ τῶν πεπραγμένων οὐ δίκαιος ὤν ἀπολωλέναι φανήσεται (upon the ground of which he will not seem worthy, etc.); de cor. 114 (twice); as well as the very current use of ἐπὶ τούτῳ, propterea (Xen. Mem. i. 2, 61), of ἐπʼ αὐτῷ τούτῳ, for this very reason (Dem. 578, 26; Xen. Cyr. ii. 3, 10), etc.; and further, such expressions as ἐπὶ μιᾷ δή ποτε δίκῃ πληγὰς ἔλαβον (Xen. Cyr. i. 3, 16), where ἐπί with the dative specifies the ground (Kühner, II. 1, p. 436). Ewald formerly (Jahrb. II. p. 171), rejecting the second θάνατος, explained: “and thus there penetrated to all men that, whereunto all sinned,” namely death, which, according to Genesis 2:17, was imposed as punishment on sin, so that whosoever sinned, sinned so that he had to die, a fate which he might know beforehand. In this way the ἐφʼ would (with Schmid and Glöckler, also Umbreit) be taken of the causa finalis (Xen. Cyr. viii. 8, 24: οὐδέ γε δρεπανηφόροις ἔτι χρῶνται, ἐφʼ κῦρος αὐτὰ ἐποιήσατο, iii. 3, 36, ὑπο΄ι΄νήσκειν, ἐφʼ οἷς τε ἐτρεφό΄εθα, Thuc. i. 134, 1, al(1266); and see especially Wisdom of Solomon 2:23), and the subject of διῆλθεν ( τοῦτο) would be implied in it. But, apart from the genuineness of θάνατος, which must be defended, there still remains, even with the explanation of ἐφʼ as final, so long as ἥ΄αρτον is explained of individual actual sins, the question behind as to the truth of the proposition, since not all, who die, have actually sinned; and indeed the view of the death of all having been caused by the actual sins of all is incompatible with what follows.(1267) See also Ernesti, p. 192 ff.; comp his Ethik. d. Ap. P. p. 16 f. Moreover the telic form of expression itself would have to be taken only in an improper sense, instead of that of the necessary, but on the part of the subjects not intended, result, somewhat after the idea of fate, as in Herod. i. 68: ἐπὶ κακῷ ἀνθρώπου σίδηρος ἀνεύρηται. Subsequently (in his Sendschr. d. Ap. P.) Ewald, retaining the second θάνατος, has assumed for ἐφʼ the signification, so far as (so also Tholuck and van Hengel); holding that by the limiting phrase “so far as they all sinned,” death is thus set forth the more definitely as the result of sin, so that ἐφʼ corresponds to the previous οὕτως. But even granting the not proved limiting signification of ἐφʼ (which ἐφʼ ὅσον elsewhere has, Romans 9:13), there still remain with this interpretation also the insurmountable difficulties as to the sense, which present themselves against the reference of ἥμαρτον to the individual sins. Hofmann (comp also his Schriftbew. I. p. 529 f.) refers ἐφʼ to θάνατος, so that it is equivalent to οὗ παρόντος: amidst the presence of death; making the emphasis to lie on the preposition, and the sense to be: “death was present at the sinning of all those to whom it has penetrated; and it has not been invariably brought about and introduced only through their sinning, nor always only for each individual who sinned.” Thus ἐπί might be justified, not indeed in a temporal sense (which it has among poets and later prose writers only in proper statements of time, as in Homer, Il. viii. 529, ἐπὶ νυκτί), but perhaps in the sense of the prevailing circumstance, like the German “bei” [with, amidst]

[1270] (see Kühner, II. 1, p. 434). But apart from the special tenor of the thought, which we are expected to extract from the bare ἐφʼ , and which Paul might so easily have conveyed more precisely (possibly by ἐφʼ ἤδη παρόντι, or οὗ ἤδη παρόντος), this artificial exposition has decidedly against it the fact that the words ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον must necessarily contain the argumentative modal information concerning the preceding proposition κ. οὔτως εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους θάν. διῆλθεν, which they in fact contain only when our view is taken.(1271) They must solve the enigma which is involved in the momentous οὕτως of that clause; and this enigma is solved only by the statement of the reason: because all sinned, so that the θανάσιμος ἁμαρτία of Adam was the sin of all. Against Hofmann, compare Philippi’s Glaubensl. III. p. 221 f. ed. 2.

REMARK 1. The Rabbinical writers also derived universal mortality from the fall of Adam, who represented the entire race in such a way that, when Adam sinned, all sinned. See the passages in Ammon, Opusc. nov. p. 72 ff. Even perfectly righteous persons are “comprehensi sub poena mortis” (R. Bechai in Cad hackemach f. 5, 4). It may reasonably be assumed therefore that the doctrine of the Apostle had, in the first instance, its historical roots in his Jewish (comp Sirach 25:23; Wisdom of Solomon 2:23 f.; Romans 14:14) and especially his Rabbinical training, and was held by him even prior to his conversion; and that in his Christian enlightenment he saw no reason for abandoning the proposition, which on the contrary he adopted into the system of his Christian views, and justified by continuing to assert for it in the development of the divine plan of redemption the place which is here assigned to it, as even Christ Himself traces death back to the fall (John 8:44). Comp 1 Corinthians 15:22 : ἐν τῷ ἀδὰμ πάντες ἀποθνήσκουσιν, on which our passage affords the authentic commentary. We may add that, when Maimonides is combating (More Nevoch. iii. 24) the illusion that God arbitrarily decrees punishments, there has been wrongly found in the dogmatic proposition adduced by him, “non est mors sine peccato, neque castigatio sine iniquitate,” the reverse of the above doctrine (see especially Fritzsche, p. 294). The latter is on the contrary presupposed by it.

REMARK 2. That Adam was created immortal, our passage does not affirm, and 1 Corinthians 15:47 contains the opposite. But not as if Paul had conceived the first man as by his nature sinful, and had represented to himself sin as a necessary natural quality of the σάρξ (so anew Hausrath, neut. Zeitgesch. II. p. 470), but thus: if Adam had not sinned in consequence of his self-determination of antagonism to God, he would have become immortal through eating of the tree of life in Paradise (Genesis 3:22). As he has sinned, however, the consequence thereof necessarily was death, not only for himself, seeing that he had to leave Paradise, but for all his posterity likewise.(1274) From this consequence, which the sin of Adam had for all, it results, in virtue of the necessary causal connection primevally ordained by God between sin and death, by reasoning back ab effectu ad causam, that the fall of Adam was the collective fall of the entire race, in so far as in fact all forfeited Paradise and therewith incurred death.

If ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον be explained in the sense of individual actual sins, and at the same time the untenableness of the explanation of Hofmann and Dietzsch be recognised, it becomes impossible by any expedients, such as that of Rothe, I. p. 314, ed. Schenkel, to harmonize the view in our passage with that expressed in 1 Corinthians 15:47; but, if it be referred to the fall of Adam, every semblance of contradiction vanishes.


Verses 12-19

Romans 5:12-19. Parallel drawn between the salvation in Christ and the ruin that has come through Adam.

εἰπὼν, ὅτι ἐδικαίωσεν ἡμᾶς χριστὸς, ἀνατ ρέχει ἐπὶ τὴν ῥίζαν τοῦ κακοῦ, τὴν ἁμαρτίαν καὶ τὸν θάνατον, καὶ δείκνυσιν ὅτι ταῦτα τὰ δύο διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου, τοῦ αδὰμ, εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον.… καὶ αὖ διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνῃρέθησαν ἀνθρώπου, τοῦ χριστοῦ, Theophylact; comp Chrysostom, who compares the Apostle here with the physician who penetrates to the source of the evil. Thus the perfect objectivity of the salvation, which man has simply to receive, but in no way to earn, and of which the Apostle has been treating since chap. Romans 1:17, is, by way of a grand conclusion for the section, set forth afresh in fullest light, and represented in its deepest and most comprehensive connection with the history of the world. The whole μυστήριον of the divine plan of salvation and its history is still to be unfolded before the eyes of the reader ere the moral results that are associated with it are developed in chap. 6.


Verse 13

Romans 5:13 f. Demonstration, that the death of all has its ground in the sin of Adam, and the causal connection of that sin with death. This argument, conducted with great conciseness, sets out from the undoubted historical certainty (it is already sufficiently attested in Genesis 4-6) that during the entire period prior to the law ( ἄχρι νόμου = ἀπὸ ἀδὰμ μέχρι ΄ωϋσέως, Romans 5:14) there was sin in humanity; then further argues that the death of individuals, which yet has affected those also who have not like Adam sinned against a positive command, cannot be derived from that sin prior to the law, because in the non-existence of law there is no imputation; and allows it to be thence inferred that consequently the death of all has been caused ( ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον) by the sin of Adam (not by their individual sins). Paul however leaves this inference to the reader himself; he does not expressly declare it, but instead of doing so he says, returning to the comparison begun in Romans 5:12 : ὄς ἐστι τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος, for in that death-working operation of Adam’s sin for all lay, in fact, the very ground of the typical relation to Christ. Chrysostom aptly says: εἰ γὰρ ἐξ ἁμαρτίας θάνατος τὴν ῥίζαν ἔσχε, νόμου δὲ οὐκ ὄντος ἁμαρτία οὐκ ἐλλογεῖται, πῶς θάνατος ἐκράτει; ὅθεν δῆλον ὄτι οὐκ αὐτὴ ἁμαρτία τῆς τοῦ νόμου παραβάσεως, ἀλλʼ ἐκείνη τῆς τοῦ ἀδὰμ παρακοῆς, αὕτη ἦν πάντα λυμαινομένη. καὶ τίς τούτου ἀπόδειξις; τὸ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ νόμου πάντας ἀποθνήσκειν· ἐβασίλευσε γὰρ κ. τ. λ(1275) Compare Oecumenius.

ἄχρι νό΄ου] i.e. in the period previous to the giving of the law, comp Romans 5:14; consequently not during the period of the law, ἕως νό΄ος ἐκράτει,(1277) Theodoret; comp Origen, Chrysostom, and Theodore of Mopsuestia.

ἐλλογεῖται] preserved nowhere else except in Boeckh, Inscript. I. p. 850 A, 35, and Philemon 1:18 (text rec(1279)), but undoubtedly meaning: is put to account (consequently equivalent to λογίζεται, Romans 4:4), namely, here, according to the context, for punishment, and that on the part of God; for in the whole connection the subject spoken of is the divine dealings in consequence of the fall. Hence we are neither to understand ab judice (Fritzsche), nor: by the person sinning; so Augustine, Ambrosiaster, Luther (“then one does not regard the sin”) Melancthon (“non accusatur in nobis ipsis”) Calvin, Beza and others, including Usteri, Rückert, J. Müller, Lipsius, Mangold, and Stölting (“there the sinner recognises not his sin as guilt”), whereby a thought quite irrevelant to the argument is introduced.

μὴ ὄντος νόμου] without the existence of the law; νόμος, as previously ἄχρι νόμου, meaning the Mosaic law, and not any law generally (Theodore of Mopsuestia, and many others, including Hofmann), as ἁμαρτία already points to the divine law. Comp Romans 4:15. The proposition itself: “Sin is not imputed, if the law is absent,” is set down as something universally conceded, as an axiom; therefore with repetition of the subject (in opposition to Hofmann, who on account of this repetition separates ἁμαρτία δέ κ. τ. λ(1281) from the first half of the verse and attaches it to what follows), and with the verb in the present. The proposition itself, inserted as an intervening link in the argument with the metabatic δέ, without requiring a preceding ΄έν, which Hofmann is wrong in missing (see Dietzsch and Kühner, II. 2, p. 814), has its truth as well as its more precise application in the fact, that in the absence of law the action, which in and by itself is unlawful, is no transgression of the law (Romans 4:15), and cannot therefore be brought into account as such. That Paul regarded the matter in this light, and had not, as Hofmann thinks, sinning generally, “as it was one and the same thing in the case of all,” in view apart from the sins of individuals, is plain also from καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς μὴ ἁμαρτ. ἐπὶ τῷ ὁμοιώματι τῆς παραβάσ. ἀδάμ, in Romans 5:14. His thought is: If the death of men after Adam had been caused by their own sin, then in the case of all those, who have died during the period from Adam till the law, the sin which they have committed must have been already reckoned to them as transgression of the law, just as Adam’s sin was the transgression of the positive divine command, and as such brought upon him death; but this is inconceivable, because the law was not in existence. In this Paul leaves out of consideration the Noachian commands (Genesis 9), as well as other declarations of God as to His will given before the law, and likewise individual punitive judgments, such as in the case of Sodom, just because he has only the strict idea of real and formal legislation before his mind, and this suggests to him simply the great epochs of the Paradisaic and Sinaitic legislations. A view, which does not subvert the truth of his demonstration, because mankind in general were without law from Adam until Moses, the natural law, because not given positively, remaining out of the account; it makes the act at variance with it appear as sin ( ἁ΄αρτία), but not as παράβασις νό΄ου, which as such ἐλλογεῖται.

Romans 5:14. ἀλλʼ] at, yet, although sin is not put to account in the absence of the law. It introduces an apparently contradictory phenomenon, confronting the ἁμαρτία οὐκ ἐλλογεῖται κ. τ. λ(1282); one, however, which just proves that men have died, not through their own special sin, but through the sin of Adam, which was put to their account. ἐβασίλευσεν] prefixed with emphasis: death has not perchance been powerless, no, it has reigned, i.e. has exercised its power which deprives of life (comp Romans 5:17-21). Hofmann (comp also Holsten, Aberle, and Dietzsch) finds in the emphatic ἐβασ. the absolute and abiding dominion, which death has exercised independently of the imputation of sins ( ἀλλὰ being taken as the simple but), “just as a king, one by virtue of his personal position once and for all entitled to do so, exercises dominion over those who, in virtue of their belonging to his domain, are from the outset subject to him.” But no reader could educe this qualitative definite sense of the βασιλεύειν, with the highly essential characteristic elements ascribed to it, from the mere verb itself; nor could it be gathered from the position of the word at the head of the sentence; on the contrary, it must unquestionably have been expressed (by ἐτυράννευσεν possibly, or τυραννικῶς ἐβασίλευσεν) seeing that the subsequent καί (even over those, etc.) does not indicate a mode of the power of the (personified) death, but only appends the fact of its dominion being without exception.

μέχρι ΄ωῢσ.] equivalent to ἄχρι νόμου in Romans 5:13. A distinction of sense between μέχρι and ἄχρι is (contrary to the opinion of Tittmann, Synon. p. 33 f.) purely fanciful. See Fritzsche, p. 308 ff. and van Hengel in loc(1285)

καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς μὴ ἁμαρτήσαντας κ. τ. λ(1286)] even over those(1287) who have not sinned like Adam, that is, have not like him transgressed a positive divine command. Even these it did not spare. It is erroneous with Chrysostom (but not Theodoret and Theophylact) to connect ἐπὶ τᾧ ὁ΄οιώ΄ατι κ. τ. λ(1288) with ἐβασίλ. So Finckh again does, following Castalio and Bengel: “quia illorum eadem atque Adami transgredientis ratio fuit.… i.e. propter reatum ab Adamo contractum.” Erroneous for this reason, that Paul, apart from the little children or those otherwise incapable of having sin imputed, whom however he must have indicated more precisely, could not conceive at all (Romans 3:23) of persons who had not sinned ( μὴ ἁμαρτήσαντες without any modal addition more precisely defining it), and a limitation mentally supplied (sine lege peccarunt, Bengel) is purely fanciful. The καί, even, refers to the fact that in the period extending from Adam till Moses, excluding the latter, positively given divine commands were certainly transgressed by individuals to whom they were given, but it was not these merely who died (as must have been the case, had death been brought on by their own particular sins); it was also those,(1289) who etc. Their sin was not ἐπὶ τῷ ὁμοιώμ. τῆς παραβ. ἀδάμ ( ἐπί used of the form, in which anything occurs, see Bernhardy, p. 250); they did not sin in such a way, that their action was of like shape with the transgression of Adam, “quia non habebant ut ille revelatam certo oraculo Dei voluntatem,” Calvin. For other definitions of the sense see Fritzsche, p. 316, and Reiche, Commentar. crit. I. p. 45 ff. Reiche himself explains it of those who have transgressed no command expressly threatening death. So also Tholuck. But this peculiar limitation is not suggested by the context, in which, on the contrary, it is merely the previous μὴ ὄντος νόμου which supplies a standard for determining the sense of the similarity. According to Hofmann καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς down to ἀδάμ is meant to be one and the same with the previous ἀπὸ αδὰμ μέχρι ΄ωϋσέως, inasmuch as a transgression similar to that of Adam could only then have occurred, “when God placed a people in the same position in which Adam found himself, when he received a divine command on the observance or transgression of which his life or death depended. This misconception, springing from the erroneous interpretation of ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον, is already excluded by καί,(1290) as well as, pursuant to the tenor of thought, by the fact that in the pre-legal period in question all those, who transgressed a command divinely given to them by way of revelation, sinned like Adam. Their sin had thereby the same moral form as the act of Adam; but not only had they to die, but also ( καί) those who had not been in that condition of sinning. Death reigned over the latter also.

The genitive with ὁμοιώμ. is not that of the subject (Hofmann), but of the object, as in Romans 1:23, Romans 6:5, Romans 8:3; the sins meant are not so conceived of, that the παράβασις of Adam is homogeneously repeated in them, but so that they are, as to their specific nature, of similar fashion with it, and consequently belong to the same ethical category. They have morally just the same character. As to ὁμοιώμα see on Romans 1:23.

ὅς ἐστι τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος] who—to educe now from Romans 5:13-14 the result introduced in Romans 5:12, and so to return to the comparison there begun—is type of the future (Adam). Theophylact correctly paraphrases: ὡς γὰρ παλαιὸς ἀδὰμ πάντας ὑποδίκους ἐποίησε τῷ οἰκείῳ πταίσματι (by bringing upon them death), καίτοι μὴ πταίσαντας, οὕτως χριστὸς ἐδικαίωσε πάντας, καίτοι μὴ δικαιώσεως ἄξια ποιήσαντας. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:45. Koppe, following Bengel, takes μέλλ. as neuter (of that, which should one day take place), and ὅς for . This agreement of the relative with the following substantive would perhaps be grammatically tenable (Hermann, a(1291) Viger. p. 708; Heind. a(1292) Phaedr. p. 279), but seeing that ἀδάμ immediately precedes it, and that the idea of Christ being ἔσχατος ἀδάμ is a Pauline idea (1 Cor. l.c(1293)), it is quite unjustifiable to depart from the reference of the ὅς to Adam; and equally so to deny to the μέλλων its supplement from the immediately preceding ἀδάμ, and to take it as “the man of the future” (Hofmann), which would nevertheless yield in substance the same meaning.

τύπος] type, so that the μέλλων is the anti-type (1 Peter 3:21). The type is always something historical (a person, thing, saying), which is destined, in accordance with the divine plan, to prefigure something corresponding to it in the future,—in the connected scheme of sacred historical teleology, which is to be discerned from the standpoint of the antitype. Typical historical parallels between Adam and the Messiah (so that the latter is even expressly termed the last Adam) are found also in Rabbinical authors (e.g. Neve Schalom f. 160, 2 : “Quemadmodum homo primus fuit primus in peccato, sic Messias erit ultimus ad auferendum peccatum penitus;” Neve Schalom 9, 9 : Adamus postremus est Messias”), and are based in them on the doctrine of the ἀποκατάστασις πάντων. Compare the passages in Eisenmenger, entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 819, 823 ff. Paul based this typology of his on the atoning work of Christ and its results, as the whole discussion shows; hence in his present view Christ as the μέλλων ἀδάμ is not still to come, but is already historical. Comp Chrysostom; also Theodore of Mopsuestia: ὥσπερ διʼ ἐκείνου (Adam) τῶν χειρόνων πάροδος ἐγένετο, οὕτω διὰ τούτου τῆς τῶν κρειττόνων ἀπολαύσεως τὴν ἀφορμὴν ἐδεξάμεθα. For this reason however μέλλων may not, with Fritzsche and de Wette, be referred to the last coming of Christ; but must be dated from the time of Adam, in so far, namely, as in looking back to the historical appearance of Adam, Christ, as its antitype, is the future Adam (comp ἐρχόμενος).

REMARK 1. Those who refer ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον to the proper sins of individuals, or even to the principle of the ἁμαρτία dwelling in them, ought not to find, as Baumgarten-Crusius, Umbreit, and Baur still do, the proof for the πάντες ἥμαρτον in Romans 5:13 f.; for how in the connection of the passage could any proof for the universality of sin be still required? Certainly just as little as in particular for the fact, that, with death already existing in the world (Dietzsch), all individuals have sinned. Consistently with that reference of the ἐφʼ π. ἥμαρτον there must rather have been read from Romans 5:13 f. the proof for this, that the death of all results from the proper sins of all. But how variously has this demonstration been evolved! Either: although sin has not until Moses been imputable according to positive law, yet each one has brought death upon himself by his sin (Romans 5:14), which proves the relative imputation thereof. So de Wette. Or: although sin, which even from Adam till Moses was not lacking, be not imputed by a human judge in the absence of positive law, yet the reign of death (Romans 5:14) shows that God has imputed the pre-Mosaic sins. So Fritzsche. Or: in order to show “in Adamo causam quaerendam esse, cur hominum peccata mors secuta sit,” Paul declares that death has reigned over all from Adam till Moses, whether they sinned like Adam or differently. So van Hengel; comp also Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 264. Or: not even in the period from Adam till Moses was sin absent; but the clear proof to the contrary is the dominion of death in this period. So Baur, and with a substantially similar view of the mode of inference ab effectu ad causam,(1297) Rothe also. But however it may be turned, the probative element has first of all to be read into the passage; and even then the alleged proof (Romans 5:14) would only be a reasoning backwards from the historical phenomenon in Romans 5:14 to the cause asserted by ἐφʼ π. ἥμαρτ., and consequently a mere clumsy argument in a circle, which again assumes the assertion to be proved—id quod erat demonstrandum—in the phenomenon brought forward in Romans 5:14 : and moreover utterly breaks down through the proposition that sin is not imputed in the absence of law. Ewald, in his former view (Jahrb. II.) rightly deduces from Romans 5:14; consequently it only appears the more certain, that death propagated itself to them only by means of Adam’s,” but attributes to this inference, consistently with his view of ἐφʼ π. ἥμ., the sense: “that they all sinned unto death just in the same way as, and because, Adam had sinned unto it.” In his later view (Sendschr. d. Ap. P.) he supposes that in connection with ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον the possible doubt may have arisen, whether it was so certain that death had come upon those oldest men from Adam till Moses in consequence of their sins? which doubt Paul properly answers in Romans 5:13 f., thereby all the more corroborating the truth. But the emergence of a doubt is indicated by nothing in the text; and that doubt indeed would have been dissipated by the very fact that those men were dead, which does not prove however that they died on account of their sins. Thus also the matter would amount to a reasoning in a circle. According to Tholuck the argument is: that death has passed upon all through the disposition to death (?) introduced in Adam, and not through their own sins, is plain from the fact, that pre-Mosaic sin, though not positively threatened with death, as in the case of Adam and in the law, was nevertheless placed under its dominion.” Only thus, he holds, is the logical relation between the clauses apparent. In general this is right; but by this very circumstance Tholuck just attests the correctness of our explanation of ἥμαρτον, namely, that it is not meant of individual sin. The caution which he inserts against this inference, namely, that Paul regards the actual sins “only as the relatively free manifestations of the hereditary sinful substance,” is of no avail, seeing that they remain always acts of individual freedom, even though the latter be only relative, while the argument in our passage is such that the individual’s own sins, as cause of death, are excluded. Ernesti joins ἁμαρτία δὲ κ. τ. λ(1298) with ἐφʼ κ. τ. λ(1299): “since indeed all have sinned, but sin is not placed to account,” etc. The ἄχρι.… κόσμῳ, standing in the way, he encloses in a parenthesis. But why this parenthesis? The πάντες ἥμαρτον, in the sense of Romans 3:23, needed no proof; and it could not occur to any one to date sin only from the epoch of the law. The ἄχρι.… κόσμῳ acquires its pertinent significance when, as an essential element in the syllogistic deduction, it is closely united with the axiom ἁμαρτία δὲ οὐκ ἐλλογ. κ. τ. λ(1300) attached to it, and is not set aside in a parenthesis as if it might equally well have been omitted. According to Holsten the argument turns on the fact that objective sin entered the world through Adam, and death along with it; thus death has passed upon all because all were sinners (in the objective sense)—a diffusion by means of one over the whole, which is illustrated by the thought that, while sin was in the world until the law, this sin could not, in the absence of law, be imputed as subjective guilt; but death became ruler, in accordance with the objective divine law of the universe, with a tyrannical power not conditioned by the subjects of its rule, even over those who were indeed (objectively) sinners, but not (subjectively) transgressors like Adam. Holsten has certainly in this way avoided the error of making universal death conditioned by the subjective sin of the individuals; but he has done so by means of a distinction between objective and subjective sins, which is so far from being suggested by the text, that it was just through Adam that the subjective sin, joined with the consciousness of guilt, entered the world, and therefore the divine action, in decreeing death upon sin, could not be conceived as indifferent to the subjectivity. Hofmann—who sees in ἄχρι.… κόσμῳ a [very unnecessary] ground assigned for the ἐφʼ π. ἥ΄αρτον, upon which there follows in ἁ΄αρτία δὲ κ. τ. λ(1301) a declaration regarding death in the pre-legal period, according to which this could not have been caused by the sinning of that period, seeing that on the contrary the latter took place when death was already present—confuses the entire exposition of the passage, and by his artificial rendering of ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον makes the understanding of it impossible. In general the entire history of the interpretation of our passage shows that when once the old ecclesiastical explanation of ἐφʼ (this however taken as propterea quod) πάντες ἥμαρτον is regarded as the Charybdis to be shunned at all hazards, the falling into the Scylla becomes unavoidable. Even Klöpper, in attributing to πάντες ἥμαρτον the underlying thought that Adam’s sin penetrated to all, and Dietzsch, by his simplifying and modification of Hofmann’s exposition, have not escaped this danger.

REMARK 2. Since Paul shows from the absence of imputation ( ἐλλογεῖται) in the absence of law, that the death of men after Adam cannot have been occasioned by their own individual sins, but only by Adam’s, in which all were partakers in virtue of their connection with him as their progenitor, he must have conceived that Adam’s sin brought death not merely to himself but also at the same time to all by way of imputation; and therefore the imputatio peccati Adamitici in reference to the death, to which all are subjected, certainly results from our passage as a Pauline doctrine. But as to original sin (not however as to its condemnableness in itself), the testimony of our passage is only indirect, in so far, namely, as the ἐφʼ πάντες ἥμαρτον, according to its proper explanation and confirmation in Romans 5:13 f., necessarily presupposes in respect to Adam’s posterity the habitual want of justitia originalis and the possession of concupiscence.

REMARK 3. The view of Julius Müller as to an original estate and original fall of man in an extra-temporal sphere (comp the monstrous opinion of Benecke, p. 109 ff., and in the Stud. u. Krit. 1832, p. 616 ff.) cannot be reconciled with our passage and its reference to Genesis 3.(1303) See Ernesti, p. 247 ff., and among dogmatic theologians, especially Philippi, III. p. 92 ff.; and (against Schelling and Steffens) Martensen, § 93, p. 202 ff. ed. 2.


Verse 15

Romans 5:15. But not as is the trespass, so also is the gift of grace. Although Adam and Christ as the heads of the old and new humanity are typical parallels, how different nevertheless are the two facts, by which the former and the latter stand to one another in the relation of type and antitype (on the one side the παράπτωμα, on the other the χάρισμα)—different, namely ( εἰ γὰρ κ. τ. λ(1304)), by the opposite effects(1305) issuing from those two facts, on which that typical character is based. The question is not as to the different measure of efficacious power, for this extends alike in both cases from one to all; but as to the different specific kind of effect; there death, here the rich grace of God—the latter the more undoubted and certain ( πολλῷ μᾶλλον), as coming after that deadly effect, which the παράπτωμα had. “For if ( εἰ purely hypothetical) through the trespass of one the many died, much more has the grace of God and the gift by grace of the one man Jesus Christ become abundant to the many.” On τὸ παράπτωμα comp Wisdom of Solomon 10:1. The contrast is τὸ χάρισμα, the work of grace, i.e. the atoning and justifying act of the divine grace in Christ,(1307) comp Romans 5:17 ff.

οἱ πολλοί] the many, namely, according to Romans 5:12 (comp Romans 5:18), the collective posterity of Adam. It is in substance certainly identical with πάντες, to which Mehring reverts; but the contrast to the εἷς becomes more palpable and stronger by the designation of the collective mass as οἱ πολλοί. Grotius erroneously says: “fere omnes, excepto Enocho,” which is against Romans 5:12; Romans 5:18. Such a unique, miraculous exception is not taken into consideration at all in this mode of looking at humanity as such on a great scale. Erroneous also is the view of Dietzsch, following Beck, that οἱ πολλοί and then τοὺς πολλούς divide mankind into two classes, of which the one continues in Adamite corruption (?) while the other is in Christ raised above sin and death. This theory breaks down even on the historical aorist ἀπέθανον and its, according to Romans 5:12, necessary reference to the physical death which was given with Adam’s death-bringing fall for all, so that they collectively (including also the subsequent believers) became liable to death through this παράπτωμα. See on Romans 5:12. It is moreover clear from our passage that for the explanation of the death of men Paul did not regard their individual sin as the causa efficiens, or even as merely medians; and it is a meaning gratuitously introduced, when it is explained: “the many sinned and found death, like the one Adam,” (Ewald, Jahrb. II., van Hengel and others).

πολλῷ μᾶλλον] as in Romans 5:9, of the logical plus, i.e. of the degree of the evidence as enhanced through the contents of the protasis, multo potius. “If Adam’s fall has had so bad an universal consequence, much less can it be doubted that,” etc. For God far rather allows His goodness to prevail than His severity; this is the presupposition on which the conclusion rests. Chrysostom has correctly interpreted π. μᾶλλ. in the logical sense ( πολλῷ γὰρ τοῦτο εὐλογώτερον), as does also Theodoret, and recently Fritzsche, Philippi, Tholuck (who however takes in the quantitative plus as well), van Hengel, Mangold, and Klöpper. The quantitative view (Theophylact: οὐ τοσοῦτον μόνον, φησὶν, ὠφέλησεν χριστὸς, ὅσον ἔβλαψεν ἀδά΄; also Erasmus, Calvin, Beza, Calovius and others; and in modern times Rückert, Reiche, Köllner, Rothe, Nielsen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Maier, Hofmann, and Dietzsch) is opposed to the analogy of Romans 5:17-18; and has also against it the consideration, that the measure of punishment of the παράπτωμα (viz. the death of all) was already quantitatively the greatest possible, was absolute, and therefore the measure of the grace, while just as absolute ( εἰς τοὺς πολλούς), is not greater still than that measure of punishment, but only stands out against the dark background of the latter all the more evidently in its rich fulness.(1310)

χάρις τ. θεοῦ κ. δωρεά] the former, the grace of God, richly turned towards the many, is the principle of the latter ( δωρεά = τό χάρισμα in Romans 5:15, the gift of justification). The δωρεά is to be understood κατʼ ἐξοχήν, without supplying τοῦ θεοῦ; but the discourse keeps apart with solemn emphasis what is cause and what is effect.

ἐν χάριτι.… χριστοῦ is not with many expositors (including Rothe, Tholuck, Baumgarten-Crusius, Philippi, Mehring, Hofmann, and Dietzsch) to be joined with δωρεά (the gift, which is procured through the grace of Christ), but with Fritzsche, Rückert, Ewald, van Hengel, and others, to be connected with ἐπερίσσευσε (has become abundant through the grace of Christ)—a construction which is decisively supported, not indeed by the absence of the article, since δωρεά ἐν χάριτι might be conjoined so as to form one idea, but by the reason, that only with this connection the τῷ.… παραπτώματι in the protasis has its necessary, strictly correspondent, correlative in the apodosis. The divine grace and the gift have abounded to the many through the grace of Christ, just as the many died through the fall of Adam. The χάρις ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ is—as the genitive-relation naturally suggests of itself, and as is rendered obviously certain by the analogy of χάρις τ. θεοῦthe grace of Jesus Christ, in virtue of which He found Himself moved to accomplish the ἱλαστήριον, in accordance with the Father’s decree, and thereby to procure for men the divine grace and the δωρεά. It is not therefore the favour in which Christ stood with God (Luther, 1545); nor the grace of God received in the fellowship of Christ (van Hengel); nor is it the steadily continued, earthly and heavenly, redeeming efficacy of Christ’s grace (Rothe, Dietzsch). Comp Acts 15:11, 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 1:6; Titus 3:6; 2 Corinthians 12:8; 2 Corinthians 13:13. The designation of Christ: τοῦ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου ʼι. χ., is occasioned by the contrast with the one man Adam. Comp 1 Corinthians 15:21; 1 Timothy 2:5. To describe the divine glory of this One man (Colossians 1:19) did not fall within the Apostle’s present purpose; but it was known to the reader, and is presupposed in His χάρις (John 1:14).

τῇ τοῦ] “articuli nervosissimi,” Bengel

εἰς τοὺς πολλούς] belongs to ἐπερίσσ. The πολλοί are likewise here, just as previously, all mankind (comp πάντας ἀνθρώπους, Romans 5:18). To this multitude has the grace of God, etc., been plentifully imparted ( εἰς τ. π. ἐπερίσσευσε, comp 2 Corinthians 1:5), namely, from the objective point of view, in so far as Christ’s act of redemption has acquired for all the divine grace and gift, although the subjective reception of it is conditioned by faith. See on Romans 5:18. The expression ἐπερίσσευσε (he does not say merely ἐγένετο, or some such word) is the echo of his own blessed experience.


Verse 16

Romans 5:16. Continuation of the difference between the gift of grace and the consequence of the fall, and that with reference to the causal origination on either side in a numerical aspect.(1315)

And not as through one, who has sinned, so is the gift, i.e. it is not so in its case—the state of the case there is the very reverse—as if it were occasioned διʼ ἑνὸς ἁμαρτήσ. (like death through Adam). The διʼ ἑνὸς ἁ΄αρτήσ. indicates the unity of the person and of the accomplished sinful act; comp Stölting. Beyond the simple ἐστί after δώρη΄α nothing is to be supplied (so also Mangold), because the words without supplement are quite in accordance with the Greek use of ὡς (Bernhardy, p. 352, Stallbaum, a(1317) Plat. Sympos. p. 179 E), and yield an appropriate sense, whereas none of the supplements that have been attempted are suggested by the context. It has been proposed, e.g. after ἁμαρτ. to supply θάνατος εἰσῆλθεν (Grotius, Estius, Koppe), or τὸ κρῖ΄α or κατάκρι΄α (Bengel, Klee, Reiche, Köllner; or after ὡς: τό (Beza), which is indeed impossible, but is nevertheless resorted to even by de Wette: “and not like that which originated through one that sinned, so is the gift,” and Tholuck: “the gift has a different character from that which has come through the one man sinning.” Comp Philippi, who like Rückert and Dietzsch supplies merely ἐγένετο after ἁ΄αρτ. (and then after δωρ.: ἐστί),—which however still yields no complete sentence, since the ἐγένετο is without a subject. The correct view in substance is taken by Rothe, Ewald, and van Hengel; while Fritzsche still calls in the aid of a supplement after ἁ΄αρτ. ( τὸ παράπτω΄α ἐγένετο); and Hofmann even wishes mentally to supply to καὶ.… δώρη΄α from what precedes, to which it is attached, εἰς τοὺς πολλοὺς ἐπερίσσευσεν as predicate;(1319) whereas Mehring puts his rendering, which erroneously makes it a question (comp on Romans 5:15), in this form: “And ought not the gift to be, as it was through one that sinned?

τὸ μὲν γὰρ κρῖμα κ. τ. λ(1321)] sc(1322) ἐστί; explanation of the point of difference previously specified: For the judicial sentence redounds from a single one to a sentence of condemnation, but the gift of grace from many trespasses to a sentence of justification.

τὸ κρῖμα] quite general: the sentence which God pronounces as judge; comp 1 Corinthians 6:7. For the kind of sentence, which this shall prove to be in the concrete result, is indicated only by the following εἰς κατάκριμα. The explanation which refers it to the divine announcement contained in Genesis 2:17 (Fritzsche, Dietzsch) is erroneous, because the latter is a threat, and not a κρῖμα; and because the act of Adam must have already preceded the κρῖ΄α. Others understand by it the sentence of punishment pronounced against Adam, which has become a sentence of punishment (sentence of death) against his posterity ( κατάκριμα) (Reiche, Rückert, Nielsen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Krehl, de Wette, Maier, Hofmann); but wrongly, because they thus neglect the pointed interchange of κρῖ΄α and κατάκρι΄α, and in εἰς κατάκρι΄α place the stress on the condemned subject, which however is not even mentioned. Linguistically erroneous is the view of Beza, Calixtus, Wolf, and others, that τ. κρῖ΄α is the guilt. Nor does it mean the state of being finally adjudged (Stölting). Philippi, Tholuck, Ewald, and van Hengel hold the right view; while Rothe, with unnecessary refining and gratuitous importation, takes τὸ μέν and τὸ δέ by themselves as subject, κρῖ΄α and χάρισ΄α as predicates (“the one effect is a righteous judgment.… the other on the contrary a gift”). Dietzsch still more breaks up the sentence, making κρῖ΄α and χάρισ΄α appositions, the former to τὸ μέν, and the latter to τὸ δέ.

ἐξ ἑνός] has, like ἐκ πολλῶν παρσπτ afterwards, the chief emphasis; ἑνός is masculine on account of the previous διʼ ἑνὸς ἁ΄αρτήσ., not neuter ( παραπτώ΄ατος), as Rothe, Mehring, Dietzsch, Stölting and others think. This masculine however does not necessitate our taking πολλῶν also as masculine (Hofmann), which would in itself be allowable (comp on 2 Corinthians 1:11), but is here opposed by the consideration that Paul would have expressed the personal contrast to ἐξ ἑνός more symmetrically and thoughtfully by the bare ἐκ πολλῶν. The Vulgate gives the right sense: “ex multis delictis.”

ἐξ] points to the motive cause, producing the event from itself: forth from one; see Kühner, II. 1, p. 399. Just in the same way the second ἐκ.

εἰς κατάκριμα] sc(1325) ἐστί, as in the first half of the verse,(1326) “ut una cum praesentibus praeterita tamquam eadem in tabella repraesentet,” van Hengel. One was the cause (moving the divine righteousness) that the judgment of God presents itself in the result as a punitive judgment (namely, that on account of the sin of one all should die, Romans 5:12); many sins, on the other hand, were the cause (moving the divine compassion) that the gift of grace results in concreto as a judgment of justification. In the one case an unity, in the other a multiplicity, was the occasioning cause. In the second clause also, following the analogy of κρῖμα in the first, τὸ χάρισμα is conceived of generally and abstractly; the χάρισμα redounds in the concrete case εἰς δικαίωμα, when God, namely, forgives the many sins and declares their subjects as righteous. δικαίωμα, which is not, with Dietzsch, to be understood in the sense of the right framing of life through sanctification of the Spirit—a view contrary to linguistic usage and the context—is here also (comp Romans 1:32, Romans 2:26, Romans 8:4; Luke 1:6; Hebrews 9:1; Hebrews 9:10; Revelation 15:4; frequently in LXX. and Apocr., see Schleusner, Thes. II. p. 167 f.), according to its literal signification, in itself nothing else than judicial determination, judicial sentence; but it is to be taken here in the Pauline sense of the divine δικαιοῦν, hence: the sentence defining righteousness, the ordinance of God in which He completes the δικαίωσις as actus judicialis, the opposite of κατάκριμα. Condition of righteousness (Luther and others), “the actual status of being righteous” (Hofmann), would be represented by δικαιοσύνη; satisfaction of justice, compensation of justice (Rothe, Mehring following Calovius, and Wolf), in accordance with which idea it may even designate punishment in classical usage (Plat. Legg. ix. p. 864 E), it might mean (Aristot. Eth. Nic. v. 7, 17: ἐπανόρθωμα τοῦ ἀδικήματος), but never does so in Biblical usage, to which this special definition of the sense is foreign. Paul could convey the sense declaration as righteous, verdict of justification, the more appropriately by δικαίωμα, since in Baruch 2:17 the word is also substantially thus used ( δώσουσι δόξαν κ. δικαίωα τῷ κυρίῳ, in Hades they shall not praise God and declare Him righteous). Compare also 2 Samuel 19:28; Jeremiah 11:20; Proverbs 8:20; Revelation 15:4; Revelation 19:8.(1328) The right view is taken by Fritzsche, Baumgarten-Crusius, Krehl, Philippi, Tholuck, Ewald, van Hengel, Holsten, Klöpper, and Pfleiderer; Rückert (also Maier) abides by means of justification, following merely the form of the word without empirical proof, while de Wette is undecided, and Stölting, without precedent from linguistic usage (comp above Luther and Hofmann), understands the state of justification into which the state of grace (the χάρισμα) has passed. These two conceptions however exclude any idea of succession, and are concurrent.

The addition ζωῆς in D. Vulg. is a correct gloss; comp Romans 5:18.


Verse 17

Romans 5:17. The τὸ δὲ χάρισμα ἐκ πολλ. παραπτ. εἰς δικαίωμα, just asserted in contrast to the κατάκριμα proceeding from One, has now the seal of confirmation ( γάρ) impressed on it through the triumphant certainty of the reign of life, which must belong to the recipients of the δικαίωμα in the approaching completion of the kingdom through the One Jesus Christ all the more undoubtedly, since the παράπτωμα of the One Adam brought death to reign. The effect of the second One (the Adam μέλλων) in the direction of salvation cannot in fact remain behind the effect which proceeded from the first One in the direction of destruction. On this rests the evidence of the blissful assurance, which with πολλῷ μᾶλλον stands forth as it were from the gloom of the death previously described (comp Romans 5:15; Romans 5:9). The view that Romans 5:17 adduces the proof of the first half of Romans 5:16 being really proved by its second half (Hofmann), is to be rejected for this very reason, that the demonstration in Romans 5:16 is so full and clear in itself, especially after Romans 5:15, that there is no longer any necessity for receiving proof of its probative power, and no reader could expect this. It is quite arbitrary in Rothe, especially looking to the regular continuation by γάρ, to take Romans 5:16 as a parenthesis, and to attach Romans 5:17 to Romans 5:15. For other views of the connection see Dietzsch, who, in accordance with his own unsuitable rendering of δικαίω΄α, finds here the inner righteous condition of life verified by the final reign of life as its outward manifestation.

διὰ τοῦ ἑνός] through the medium of the One, is added, although ἐν ἑνὶ παραπτώματι had been already said (see the critical remarks), in order to prepare the way with due emphasis for the διὰ τοῦ ἑνὸς ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ of the apodosis. Comp on 2 Corinthians 12:7.

πολλῷ ΄ᾶλλον] Here also, as in Romans 5:15, the logical plus, the far greater certainty and evidence.

οἱ λαμβάνοντες] not those who believingly accept (Bengel, Rothe, van Hengel, and others), but simply the recipients. The present participle denotes the presence of the time of grace introduced by Christ, which stands in the middle between the former reign of death and the reign of life in the blissful future and determines the subjects of the latter; comp Romans 5:11.

τὴν περισσείαν] the abundant fulness (comp Romans 2:4) of grace, referring to ἐπερίσσευσε in Romans 5:15.

τῆς χάρ. κ. τ. δωρεᾶς] distinguished, as in Romans 5:15. But the emphasis of the description, climactic in the enthusiasm of victory, lies in the first instance on χάριτος, and then, as it advances, on δικαιοσύνης, in contrast to the former tragic παράπτω΄α.

τῆς δικαιοσ.] is that, in which the δωρεά consists. The whole characteristic description of the subjects by οἱ.… λα΄βάνοντες already implies the certainty with which one may reckon in the case of those, who are honoured to receive such abundance, on the final βασιλεύειν ἐν ζωῇ through Christ.

ἐν ζεῇ βασιλεύσουσι] The word βασιλ. itself, and more especially the future, renders it certain that the future Messianic ζωή is here meant; in which, as the opposite of the θάνατος, the pardoned and justified shall have the joint-dominion of the new world (Romans 8:21), the κληρονο΄ία and its δόξα (Romans 8:17), under Christ the Head (1 Corinthians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:12), in whose final manifestation their life shall be gloriously manifested (Colossians 3:3 f.). Observe, further, that in the apodosis Paul does not say ζωή βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τοὺς.… λα΄βάνοντας in accordance with the protasis, but appropriately, and in harmony with the active nature of the relation, i.e. of the future glorious liberty of the children of God, places the subjects actively in the foreground, and affirms of them the reigning in life.

The ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ is added as if in triumph, in contradistinction to the unnamed but well-known εἷς, who occasioned the dominion of death. Finally, we should not fail to notice how in this passage the glance proceeds from the status gratiae ( λαμβάνοντες) backward to the status irae ( ἐβασίλευσε), and forward to the status gloriae ( βασιλεύσουσι).


Verse 18

Romans 5:18 f. Summary recapitulation of the whole parallel treated of from Romans 5:12 onwards, so that the elements of likeness and unlikeness contained in it are now comprehended in one utterance. συλλογίζεται ἐνταῦθα τὸ πᾶν, Theodore of Mopsuestia. The emergence of the ἄρα οὖν now ushering in the conclusion, as well as the corresponding relation of the contents of Romans 5:18 f. to the indication given by ὁς ἐστι τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος in Romans 5:14, carries us back to Romans 5:12; not merely to Romans 5:16 f. (de Wette, Fritzsche); or merely to Romans 5:15-17 (Hofmann, Dietzsch). The right view is taken by Philippi, Ewald, Holsten.

ἄρα οὖν] conclusive: accordingly then,(1335) in very frequent use by the Apostle (Romans 7:3; Romans 7:25, Romans 8:12, Romans 9:16; Romans 9:18, Romans 14:12; Romans 14:19; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:19 et al(1336)), and that, contrary to the classical usage (Herm. a(1337) Antig. 628, a(1338) Viger. p. 823), at the beginning of the sentence. For the necessary (contrary to Mehring’s view) completion of the two sentences, which are in the sharpest and briefest manner compressed as it were into a mere exclamation (Ewald), it is sufficient simply to supply: res cessit, it has come, ἀπεβή (Winer, p. 546 [E. T. 734]), or ἐγένετο (Grotius). See Buttmann’s neut. Gr. p. 338. As it therefore has come to a sentence of condemnation for all men through One trespass, so also it has come to justification of life (which has for its consequence the possession of the future Messianic life, comp Romans 5:21; John 5:28-29) for all men through One justifying judgment. The supplying of τὸ κρῖμα ἐγένετο to the first, and τὸ χάρισμα ἐγένετο to the second half (so Fritzsche and Rückert), considering the opposite sense of the two subjects, renders the very compressed discourse somewhat singular.

διʼ ἑνὸς δικ.] through one judicial verdict (see on Romans 5:16; Romans 5:19), namely, that which was pronounced by God on account of the obedience of Christ rendered through His death. In strict logic indeed the δικαίωμα, which is properly the antithesis of κατάκριμα (as in Romans 5:16), should not be opposed to παράπτωμα; but this incongruity of a lively interchange of conceptions is not un-Pauline (comp Romans 5:15). And it is thoroughly unwarranted to assign to δικαίωμα here also, as in Romans 5:16, significations which it has not; such as actual status of being righteous (Hofmann, Stölting), fulfilment of right (Philippi, Mangold), making amends (Rothe), righteous deed (Holsten), righteous life-condition of Christ (Dietzsch), with which a new humanity begins, act of justification (Tholuck), virtuousness (Baumgarten-Crusius), obedience (de Wette), and the like—definitions, in which for the most part regard is had to the act of the death of Jesus partly with and partly without the addition of the obedientia activa (comp also Klöpper), while Fritzsche explains it of the incarnation and humiliation of Christ (Philippians 2:5; Philippians 2:8) as His recte factum. Ewald interprets rightly: “through One righteous sentence;” so also van Hengel and Umbreit. This alone is permitted by Romans 5:16. It is the One declaration of what is now of right, that is, the judicial verdict of the being reconciled, which took place on the part of God on the ground of Christ’s sacrificial death—the consequence therefore, of His ὑπακοή rendered in death—and which so far may appear as the antithesis to the fall of Adam with the same right as in Romans 5:15 the grace and gift were adduced as the contrast to that fall. To take the ἑνός as masculine (Vulgate, Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, and many others, including Tholuck, Fritzsche, Nielsen, Picard, Klöpper, Philippi, and Hofmann), is, seeing that no article is annexed, unwarranted according to the analogy of the immediate context, vv 17, 19; or Paul would have only expressed himself in a way liable to be misunderstood (how differently in ver 16!). Equally unwarranted is it to conceive the verb to be supplied in the apodosis as in the future (Philippi, Dietzsch). The judicial verdict is given and has redounded once and for ever to justification of eternal life for all; that is the great historical fact of salvation, which Paul has in view and sets forth as a concrete event (not under the point of view of a timeless abstraction, as Rothe thought) without considering how far it is now or in the future appropriated through faith by the subjects.

In both halves of the verse πάντες ἄνθρωποι is simply all men, as in Romans 5:12. At the same time it must be noted that in the second half the relation is conceived in its objectivity. On the part of God it has come to justification for all; thus the case stands objectively; the subjective attainment of this universal justification, the realisation of it for the individuals, depends upon whether the latter believingly apprehend the δικαίωμα for their own subjective δικαίωσις, or unbelievingly reject it. This dependence on a subjective condition, however, did not belong to the scope of our passage, in which the only object was to set forth the all-embracing blessed objective consequence of the δικαίωμα, in contrast to the all-destructive objective consequence of the ἕν παράπτωμα. Hence just as little can anything be deduced from our passage as from Romans 11:32 in favour of a final ἀποκατάστασις. The distinction imported by Hofmann and Lechler: that πάντες ἄνθρωποι means all without distinction, and πάντες οἱ ἄνθρωποι, on the other hand, all without exception, the sum total of mankind, is purely fanciful; πάντες means omnes, nemine excepto, alike whether the substantive belonging to it, in accordance with the connection, has or has not the article (“articulus, cum sensus fert additus vel omissus, discrimen sententiae non facit,” Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 519). Only when the article stands before πάντες (consequently οἱ πάντες ἄνθ.) does the distinction emerge, that we have to think of “cunctos sive universos, i. e. singulos in unum corpus colligatos” (Ellendt, p. 521); comp Krüger, § 50, 11, 12; Kühner, II. 1, p. 545.


Verse 19

Romans 5:19. This final sentence, assigning a reason, now formally by the recurrence of the ὥσπερ points back to Romans 5:12, with which the whole chain of discourse that here runs to an end had begun. But that which is to be established by γάρ is not the how of the parallel comparison, which is set forth repeatedly with clearness (in opposition to Rothe), but the blissful conclusion of that comparison in Romans 5:18 : εἰς δικαίωσιν ζωῆς, upon which what is now expressed in Romans 5:19 impresses the seal of certainty. Dietzsch thinks that the purport, which is kept general, of Romans 5:18 is now to be established from the personal life. But the right interpretation of δικαίωμα and of δίκαιοι κατασταθήσονται is opposed to this view.

ἁμαρτωλοὶ κατεστάθ. οἱ πολλοί] The many were set down as sinners; for according to Romans 5:12 ff. they were indeed, through the disobedience of Adam, put actually into the category of sinners, because, namely, they sinned in and with the fall of Adam. Thus through the disobedience of the one man, because all had part in it, has the position of all become that of sinners. The consequence of this, that they were subjected to punishment (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact and others), were treated as sinners (Grotius, Flatt, Böhme, Krehl and others), and the like, is not here expressly included, but after the foregoing is obvious of itself. Fritzsche (comp Koppe and Reiche) has: through their death they appeared as sinners.(1344) On the one hand this gratuitously imports something (through their death), and on the other it does violence to the expression κατεστάθ., which denotes the real putting into the position of sinners, whereby they de facto came to stand as sinners,(1345) peccatores constituti sunt (James 4:4; 2 Peter 1:8; Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 8:3; 2 Maccabees 15:2; 3 Maccabees 1:7; Plat. Rep. p. 564 A Conv. p. 222 B examples from Xenophon in Sturz, II. p. 610), as is required by the ruling normal clause ἐφ πάντες ἥμαρτον in Romans 5:12. The Apostle might have written ἐγενήθησαν (as Dietzsch explains the κατεστ.), but he has already in view the antithesis δίκαιοι καταστ., and expresses himself in conformity to it: hence also he does not put πάντες (which might have stood in the first clause), but οἱ πολλοί.

διὰ ὑπακοῆς] through obedience. The death of Jesus was κατʼ ἐξοχήν His obedience to the will of the Father, Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8. But this designation is selected as the antithesis to the παρακοή of Adam, and all the more certainly therefore it does not here mean “the collective life-obedience” (Lechler, comp Hofmann, Dietzsch and others), but must be understood as the deed of atonement willed by God (Romans 5:8 ff.), to which we owe justification, and the ethical premiss of which on Christ’s side is righteousness of life, although Hofmann improperly rejects this view as a groundless fancy.

δίκαιοι κατασταθήσονται] shall be placed in the category of righteous. The future refers(1347) to the future revelation of glory after the resurrection (Reiche, Fritzsche, Klöpper); not to the fact that the multitude of believers is conceived of as not yet completed, and consequently the justifying of them is chiefly regarded as a succession of cases to come (comp Romans 3:20; Romans 3:30). The how of the δίκαιοι κατασταθ. cannot be found in an actual becoming righteous, as result of the divine work of grace, at the close of the saving process (Dietzsch), which would offend against the whole context since Romans 5:12, and anticipate the contents of ch. 6. In truth the mode which Paul had in view is beyond doubt, after the development of the doctrine of justification in chs. Romans 3:4. God has forgiven believers on account of the death of Christ, and counted their faith as righteousness. Thus the obedience of the One has caused that at the judgment the πολλοί shall by God’s sentence enter into the category of the righteous,(1349) as the disobedience of the One had caused the πολλοί to enter the opposite. In both cases the causa meritoria is the objective act of the two heads of the race (the sin of Adam—the death of Christ), to whom belong the πολλοί on both sides; while the subjective mediating cause is the individual relation to those acts (communion in Adam’s fall—faith). It is a mistake therefore to quote this passage against the Protestant doctrine of justification (Reithmayr and Bisping), as if the making righteous were designated as sanctification. But we are not entitled to carry the comparison between Adam and Christ further than Paul himself has done.


Verse 20-21

Romans 5:20-21. The comparison between Adam and Christ is closed. But in the middle between the two stood the law! How therefore could Paul leave unnoticed the relation of the law to both, the relation of this essential intervening element in the divine plan of salvation, the continuity of which was not to be hindered by the law, but, on the contrary, advanced to its blissful goal? The mention of it presented itself necessarily to him, especially after the utterance already contained in Romans 5:13, even without our thinking of an opponent’s objection,(1350) or, at least, of persons who fancied that they must themselves furnish something in order to secure for themselves eternal life (Hofmann); but it cannot be regarded as the proper goal of the entire discussion (Th. Schott), which would not at all correspond to so succinct an indication.

παρεισῆλθεν] there came in alongside (of the ἁμαρτία, which had already come in, Romans 5:12) into the world. See Vigerus, ed. Herm. p. 651; and van Hengel in loc(1351) Comp Philo in Loesner, p. 252, especially de temul. p. 263 C, where παρεισελθεῖν ἐῶσα means juxta se intrare sinens. On the idea comp Galatians 3:19. The notion of secrecy (Vulgate: subintravit, comp Erasmus, Annot., Send.) is not implied in παρά in itself, but would require to be suggested by the context, as in Galatians 2:4; Pol. i. 7, 3; i. 8, 4; ii. 55, 3 (where λάθρᾳ stands along with it); comp παρεισάγω, παρεισδύω, παρεισφέρω κ. τ. λ(1356), which likewise receive the idea of secrecy only from the context. But this is not at all the case here, because this idea would be at variance with the solemn giving of the law (Galatians 3:19; Acts 7:33), and the reverence of the Apostle for it (Romans 7:12 ff.) Reiche, Rothe, Tholuck, Rückert, and Philippi import the idea that the law is designated as an accessory institution, or its coming in as of subordinate importance in comparison with that of sin (Hofmann), as an element not making an epoch (Weiss, Dietzsch). It was not such, Galatians 4:24, nor is this sense implied in the word itself. Linguistically incorrect (for παρεισέρχ. does not mean coming in between, but coming in alongside) is the view of others: that it came in the middle between Adam (according to Theodoret and Reithmayr, Abraham) and Christ (Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Baumgarten-Crusius, Usteri, Ewald, Bisping and others). Nor does παρεισῆλθεν mean: it came in in opposition thereto, i.e. in opposition to sin (Mehring). Such a reference must necessarily have been implied, as in Galatians 2:4, in the context, but would be out of place here on account of the following ἵνα κ. τ. λ(1357), which Mehring inappropriately takes as painful irony. Finally that παρά means obiter, ad tempus (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Cornelius à Lapide) is a pure fancy.

ἵνα πλεονάσῃ τὸ παράπτ.] in order that the transgression might be increased. The παράπτωμα can only be intended in the sense in which the reader must have understood it in virtue of the preceding text, Romans 5:15 ff., therefore of the Adamite transgression. This was the concrete destructive evil, which existed in the world as the beginning of sin and the cause of universal death. By the law, however, it was not to be abolished or annulled, but on the contrary (observe the prefixing of πλεονάσῃ) it was to be increased, i.e. to obtain accession in more and more παραπτώμασι. If therefore τὸ παράπτωμα is not to be taken collectively (Fritzsche, de Wette, van Hengel and others) just as little is ἵνα πλεονάσῃ to be rationalised so that it may be interpreted logice, of greater acknowledgment of sin (Grotius, Wolf, Nielsen, Baur), or of the consciousness of sin (J. Müller), since the corresponding ὑπερεπερίσσ. cannot be so taken; nor so, that ἵνα is to be explained as ecbatic (Chrysostom, and several Fathers quoted by Suicer, Thes. I. p. 1454, Koppe, Reiche), which is never correct, and is not justified by the groundless fear of a blasphemous and un-Pauline idea (Reiche). Comp Galatians 3:19; 1 Corinthians 15:56; and generally on Romans 1:24. Augustine (in Ps. cii. c. 15) rightly says by way of describing the intervening aim referred to: “non crudeliter hoc fecit Deus, sed consilio medicinae;.… augetur morbus, crescit malitia, quaeritur medicus et totum sanatur.”

παράπτωμα and ἁμαρτία are not certainly distinguished as Tittmann, Synon. p. 47, defines; nor yet, as Reiche thinks, simply thus, that both words indicate the same idea only under different figures (this would be true of παράπτωμα and ἁμαρτήμα); but in this way, that τὸ παράπτωμα invariably indicates only the concrete sin, the sinful deed; while ἁμαρτία may have as well the concrete (as always when it stands in the plural, comp on Ephesians 2:1) as the abstract sense. It has the latter sense in our passage, and it appears purposely chosen. For if the Adamite transgression, which was present in the world of men as a fact and with its baneful effect, received accession through the law, so that this evil actually existing in humanity since the fall increased, the sum total of sin in abstracto, which was among men, was thereby enlarged; the dominion of sin became greater, both extensively and intensively (comp Lipsius, Rechtfertigungsl. p. 73). Therefore the discourse progresses thus: οὗ δὲ ἐπλέονασεν ἁμαρτία, and then ἐβασίλ. ἁμαρτία.

οὗ] where, local, of the domain, where etc. This field is generally the world of men, in which, however, the increase in sin here meant came from the people of the law, from Israel; but without the sphere of the οὗ being limited to the latter, since immediately, in Romans 5:21, he brings forward the universal point of view as it prevails throughout the section (in opposition to Hofmann). The temporal rendering: when (Grotius, de Wette, Fritzsche, Stölting) is likewise linguistically correct (time being represented under the aspect of space, comp ἀφʼ οὗ and the like), but less in harmony with the analogous passages, Romans 4:15; 2 Corinthians 3:17 ( οὗ.… ἐκεῖ).

ὑπερεπερίσσ.] it became over-great, supra modum redundavit. The ἐπλεόνασεν had to be surpassed. Comp 2 Corinthians 7:4; 1 Timothy 1:14; Mark 7:37; 2 Thessalonians 1:3. But that it had surpassed itself (Hofmann), is a definite reference gratuitously introduced. The two correlative verbs are related simply as comparative and superlative.

ἵνα ὥσπερ κ. τ. λ(1363)] in order that, just as (formerly) sin reigned in virtue of death, so also (divine) grace should reign by means of righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the whole blessed aim of the ὑπερεπερίσσ. χάρις. Rothe incorrectly desires to treat οὔ δὲ.… χάρις as a parenthesis. This proposition is in fact so essential, that it is the necessary premiss for the opening up of that most blessed prospect. See moreover Dietzsch.

ἐν τῷ θανάτῳ] not unto death (Luther, Beza, Calvin, and many others), nor yet in death as the sphere of its rule (Tholuck, Philippi), but instrumentally, corresponding to the antithesis διὰ δικαιοσύνης εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον (which belong together). Sin has brought death into the world with it, and subjected all to death (Romans 5:12), ἐφʼ πάντες ἥ΄αρτον; thus sin exercised its dominion in virtue of death. This dominion however has given way to the dominion of grace, whose rule does not indeed abolish death, which having once entered into the world with sin has become the common lot of all, in itself, but accomplishes its object all the more blissfully, in that it confers a righteousness redounding to everlasting life.(1364) And grace exercises this bliss-bringing rule through the merit of its personal Mediator ( πρόξενος, Chrysostom) Christ, who has earned it for men through His expiatory death. The full triumphant conclusion, διὰ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίουη ̔ μῶν (Comp Romans 7:25; 1 Corinthians 15:57 al(1366)) belongs to the entire thought χάρις βασιλεύσῃ.… ζ. αἰώνιον, upon which it impresses the seal. Here, also, the δικαιοσύνη is the righteousness of faith (not of life).

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 5:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-5.html. 1832.

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Friday, December 13th, 2019
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