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A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans online

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TTJv lavToO AYA-mriv els ■fi^as h 0€6s NACKP &c. : S ©<ir tit ^fiSs
D E F G L : om. <J 0€oy B. There is no substantial difference of meaning,
as fis fifiSis in any case goes with awiarrjcri, not with iyimjr.

uirep -fiiiav iiriQave. St. Paul uses emphatic language, i Cor.
XV. 1-3, to show that this doctrine was not confined to himself but
was a common property of Christians.

0. St. Paul here separates between ' justification,* the pronouncing
* not guilty' of sinners in the past and their final salvation from the
wraih to come. He also clearly connects the act of jusdfication
with the bloodsliedding of Christ: he would have said with the
author of Heb. ix. 22 x^P^^ alfiuTtKxyvuis ov yiixTcu acptais, see p. 92,


No clearer passage can be quoted for distinguishing the spheres
of justification and sanctification than this verse and the next — the
one an objective fact accomplished without us, the other a change
operated within us. Both, though in different ways, proceed from

81* auToG : explained by the next verse tV rfj fw7 avrov. That
which saves the Christian from final judgement is his union with
the living Christ.

10. KarrjXXciYTjiJi.ei'. The natural prima facie view is that the
reconciliation is mutual ; and this view appears to verify itself on
exammaiion : see below.

kv TT) ^WT] auTou. For the full meaning of this see the notes on
ch. vi. 8-1 1 ; viii. 10, 11.

11. Kouxwfiei'ot ({"5 B C D, &c.) is decisively attested for Kau;^a)jue^a,
which was doubtless due to an attempt to improve the construction.
The part, is loosely attached to what precedes, and must be taken
as in sense equivalent to Acau;^a)/i€^a. In any case it is present and
not future (as if constructed with o-co^r^o-oVf^a). We may compare
a similar loose attachment of 8iKaiovixfvoi in ch. iii. 24.

TAg Idea of Reconciliation or Atonement

The KaraKKayi] described in these verses is the same as the dp{]vr\
ofver. i; and the question necessarily meets us, What does this
t\pi]vi\ or KaraWayx] mean ? Is it a change in the attitude of man to
God or in that of God to man ? Many high authorities contend
that it is only a change in the attitude of man to God.

Thus Lightfoot on Col. i. 21 : ' fx6povs, " hostile to God," as the
opposite of dnr]XXoTpicop.fvovi, not " hateful to God," as it is taken
by some. The active rather than the passive sense of ix^pow is
required by the context, which (as commonly in the N. T.) speaks
of the sinner as reconciled to God, not of God as reconciled to the
sinner ... It is the mind of man, not the mind of God, which must
undergo a change, that a reunion may be effected.'

Similarly Westcott on i Jo. ii. 2 (p. 85) : ' Such phrases as " pro-
pitiating God" and "God being reconciled" are foreign to the
language of the N, T. Man is reconciled (2 Cor. v. 18 ff.; Rom.
v. 10 f.). There is "propitiation" in the matter of sin or of the
sinner. The love of God is the same throughout ; but He
"cannot" in virtue of His very nature welcome the impenitent
and sinful: and more than this, He "cannot" treat sin as if it
were not sin. This being so, the iKaafios, when it is applied to the
sinner, so to speak, neutralizes the sin.' [A ditlicult and it may be
thought hardly tenable distinction. The relation of God to sin is
not merely passive but active ; and the term tXaa^ds is properly


used in reference to a personal agent. Some one is * propitiated ' :
and who can this be, but God?]

The same idea is a characteristic feature in the theology of
Ritpchl {Recht. u. Vers. ii. 230 ff.).

No doubt there are passages where ex^/^"'* denotes the hostility
and KaTa\\c.yr\ the reconcihation of man to God ; but taking the
language of Scripture as a whole, it does not seem that it can be
explained in this way.

(i) In the immediate context we have t^v KaTaK\ayr)v iXddofiev,
implying that the reconciliation comes to man from the side of
God, and is not directly due to any act of his own. We may
compare the familiar x^P'^ '<^"' f'P'?^'^. to which is usually added dno
Ofou in the greetings of the Epistles.

(2) In Rom. xi. 28 e'xdpoi is opposed to ayanijroi, where ayairryroi

must be passive ('beloved by God'), so that it is hardly possible
that ex^P"' can be entirely active, though it may be partly so : it
seems to correspond to our word * hostile.'

(3) It is difficult to dissociate such words as JXao-r^ptoi/ (Rom. iii.
25), IXao-MOf (i Jo, ii. 2) from the idea of propitiating a person.

(4) There is frequent mention of the Anger of God as directed
against sinners, not merely at the end of all things, but also at this
present time (Rom. i. 18, &c.). When that Anger ceases to be
so directed there is surely a change (or what we should be com-
pelled to call a change) on the part of God as well as of man.

We infer that the natural explanation of the passages which
speak of enmity and reconciliation between God and man is that
they are not on one side only, but are mutual.

At the same time we must be well aware that this is only our
impei feet way of speaking : KaTo. avdpajnov \tya> must be written
large over all such language. We are obliged to use anthropo-
morphic expressions which imply a change of attitude or relation
on the part of God as well as of man ; and yet in some way which
we cannot wholly fathom we may believe that with Him there is
' no variableness, neither shadow of turning.'


V. 12-14. What a contrast does this last description
suggest between the Fall of Adam and the justifying Work
of Christ ! There is indeed parallelism as well as contrast.
For it is true that as Christ brought righteousness and life^
so Adam s Fall brought sin atid death. If death prevailed
throughout the i>re-Mosaic period, that could not be due solely

V. 12-14.} ADAM AND CHRIST 131

to the act of i \ose who died. Death is the punishment of
sin; but they hud not sinned against law as Adam had.
The true causs thsn was not their own sin, but Adam's ;
whose fall thus had consequences extending beyond itself like
the redeeming act of Christ.

"The description just j'^^en of the Work of Christ, first justifying
and reconciling the sinner, a."id then holding out to him the hope
of final salvation, brings ouv' forcibly the contrast between the
two great Representatives of ITumanity — Adam and Christ. The
act by which Adam fell, like thi act of Christ, had a far-reaching
effect upon mankind. Through his Fall, Sin, as an active principle,
first gained an entrance among tLo human race ; and Sin brought
with it the doom of (physical) Death. So that, through Adam's
Fall, death pervaded the whole body of his descendants, because
they one and all fell into sin, and died as he had died. " When
I say ' they sinned ' I must insert a word of qualificadon. In the
strict sense of full responsibility, they could not sin: for that
attaches only to sin against law, and they had as yet no law to
sin against. "Yet they suffered the full penalty of sin. All
through the long period which intervened between Adam and the
Mosaic legislation, the tyjant Death held sway; even though
those who died had not sinned, as Adam had, in violation of
an express command. This proved that something deeper was
at work : and that could only be the transmitted effect of Adam's
sin. It is this transmitted effect of a single act which made Adam
a type of the coming Messiah.

12. Sicl TouTo : points to the logical connexion with what pre-
cedes. It has been argued, at somewhat disproportionate length,
whether this refers to ver. 1 1 only (Fricke, De Mente dogmatica loci
Paulini a^ Rom. v. 12 sq., Lipsiae, 1880, Mey., Philippi, Beet), or
to vv. 9-1 1 (Fri.), or to vv. i-ii (Rothe, Hofmann), or to the
whole discussion from i. 17 onwards (Beng., Schott, Reiche,
Riickert). We cannot lay down so precisely how much was
consciously present to the mind of the Apostle. But as the lead-
ing idea of the whole section is the comparison of the train of
consequences flowing from the Fall of Adam with the train of
consequences flowing from the Justifying Act of Christ, it seems
natural to include at least as much as contains a brief outline of
that work, i. e. as far as w. i-i i.

E %


That being so, we cannot with Fricke infer from ver. ii that
St. Paul only wishes to compare the result of death in the one
case with that of life in the other. Fricke, however, is right in
saying that his object is not to inquire into the origin of death
or sin. The origin of both is assumed, not propounded as
anything new. This is important for the understanding of the
bearings of the passage. AH turns on this, that the effects of
Adam's Fall were transmitted to his descendants; but St. Paul
nowhere says how they were transmitted ; nor does he even define
in precise terms what is transmitted. He seems, however, to mean
(i) the liability to sin, (2) the liability to die as the punishment
of sin.

wairep. The Structure of the paragraph introduced by this
word (to the end of ver. 14) is broken in a manner very character-
istic of St. Paul. He begins the sentence as if he intended it to

run: wo-Trfp Si' kvo^ dvdpanov t] afxapTia (is rbv Kocrfiov flarjX6e, Koi 8ia
Trjs afiapTias 6 6a.vaT0S • • • ovto) koi Bi fPus dvdpanrov fj BiKaioirwr)
flcrri\6f, Kol Sta Trjs BiKaioavvtji r) (corj. But the WOrds Bia riyr afiap-
Tias 6 ffdvaros bring up the subject which St. Paul is intending to
raise, viz. the connexion of sin and death with the Fall of Adam :
he goes off upon this, and when he has discussed it sufficiently
for his purpose, he does not return to the form of sentence
which he had originally planned, but he attaches the clause
comparing Christ to Adam by a relative {os fan tvttos rov nfXXovTos)
to the end of his digression: and so what should have been the
main apodosis of the whole paragraph becomes merely sub-
ordinate. It is a want of finish in style due to eagerness and
intensity of thought ; but the meaning is quite clear. Compare
the construction of ii. 16; iii. 8, 26.

1^ djiapTio: Sin, as so often, is personified: it is a malignant
force let loose among mankind : see the fuller note at the end of
the chapter.

els Toc KcSo-fjLov eiarjXOe : a phrase which, though it reminds us
specially of St. John (John i. 9, 10; iii. 17, 19; vi. 14; ix. 5,
39; X. 36, &c.), is not peculiar to him (cf. i Tim. i. 15; Heb.
X. 5). St. John and the author of Heb. apply it to the personal
incarnation of the Logos; here it is applied to the impersonal
self-d illusion of evil.

6 6amTos. Some have taken this to mean ' eternal death,'
chiefly on the ground of vv. 17, 21, where it seems to be opposed
to 'eternal life.' Oltr. is the most strenuous supporter of this
view. But it is far simi)ler and better to take it of 'physical
death' : because (i) this is clearly the sense of ver. 14; (2) it is
the sense of Gen. ii, 17; iii. 19; to which St. Paul is evidently
alluding. It seems probable that even in vv. 17, 21, the idea
is in the first instance physical. But St. Paul does not draw the

V. 12.] ADAM AND CHRIST 1 33

marked distinction that we do between this life and the life to
come. The mention of death in any sense is enough to suggest
the contrast of life in all its senses. The Apostle's argument
is that the gift of life and the benefits wrought by Christ are
altogether wider in their range than the penalty of Adam's sin ;
imepfTTepiaa-evatv ^ X''ptf is the keynote of the passage. It is not
necessary that the two sides of the antiih sis should exactly cor-
respond. In each particular the scale weighs heavily in favour
of the Christian.

The Western text (D E F G, &c.) omits this word altogether. Aug.
makes the subject of the vb. not death but sin ; he accuses the Pelagians
of inserting (the second) o divaros.

SifjXSei': contains the force of distribution; 'made its way to
each individual member of the race ' : KaOdntp ns KXi'ipos Trarpos
8inj3as fTTt Tovs eyy6vovs ('like a father's inheritance divided among
his children'), Euthym.-Zig.

e<|>' w. Though this expression has been much fought over,
there can now be little doubt that the true rendering is ' because.'
(i) Orig. followed by the Latin commentators Aug. and Ambrstr.
took the rel. as masc. with antecedent 'Addp. : ' in whom,' i. e. ' in
Adam.' But in that case (i) eVt would not be the right preposi-
tion ; (ii) m would be too far removed from its antecedent.
(2) Some Greeks quoted by Photius also took the rel. as masc.
with antecedent Odvaros : ' in which,' i. e. ' in death,' which is
even more impossible. (3) Some moderns, taking w as neut. and
the whole phrase as equivalent to a conjunction, have tried to
get out of it other meanings than 'because.' So (i) 'in like
manner as' ('all died, j'us^ as all sinned'), Rothe, De Wette;
(ii) (= f(f)' ocrov) ' in proportion as,' ' in so far as ' (' all died, m so
far as all sinned'), Ewald, Tholuck (ed. 1856) and others. But
the Greek will not bear either of these senses. (4) w is riglitly
taken as neut., and the phrase «'0' a as conj. = ' because' ('for
that' AV. and RV.) by Theodrt. Phot. Euthym.-Zig. and the mass
of modern commentators. This is in agreement with Greek
usage and is alone satisfactory.

((p' <p ill cl.issical writers more often means 'on condition that': cf.
Thuc. i. 113 (nrovdas voirjadpevoi (^' a> roiis avSpas Kop-iovvTai, 'on con-
dition of getting back their prisoners,' &c. The plural ei^' oh is more
common, as in dv6' S)v, i^ uiu, dt' wv. In N. T. the phrase occurs three
times, always as it would seem ^frofteiea qtwd, 'because' : cf. 2 Cor. v. 4
OTivdCpixiv ^apovixfvoi' €(p' w ov 6i\oniv tuSvaaaQai k.t.K.; Phil. iii. 13
f(t>' V '^"■^ KarfArjipOiv vrro X. 'I. (where 'seeing that' or 'because' appears
to be the more pro'jable rendering). So Phavorinus (d. 1537; a lexico-
grapher of the Renaissance period, who incorporated the contents of older
works, but here seems to be inventing his examples) «(// a/ uyji tov 5«6ti
ktfovciv 'AttikoI, oTov i<p' ^ tI^v K\oir7jy »lpfdav (' because you com-
mitted the theft ') k.t.K.


c4>' w Trdires T^fAapror. Here lies the crux of thi« d'fficult pas-
sage. In what sense did 'all sin'? (i) Man/, including even
Meyer, though explaining e0* w as neut. rather than masc, yet
give to the sentence as a whole a meaning practically equivalent
to that which it has if the antecedent of w is *ASa/i. Benoel has
given this classical expression: omties peccarunt, Adamo pfccante,
' all sinned implicitly in the sin of Adam,' his sin involved theirs.
The objection is that the words supplied are far too important
to be left to be understood. If St. Paul had meant this, v;hy did
he not say so? The insertion of eV 'ASa/:* would have removed
all ambiguity. (2) The Greek commentators for the most part
supply nothing, but take fjnaprov in its usual sense : ' all sinned
in their own persons, and on their own initiative.' So Euthym.-

Zig. : dtort nduTfs rjfiaprop dKoXovdrjcravTfs tw npontiTopi Kara ye to

dpaprrja-ai. The objection to this is that it destroys the parallelism
between Adam and Christ : besides, St. Paul goes on to show
in the same breath that they could not sin in the same way that
Adam did. Sin implies law; but Adam's descendants had no law
(3) It is possible however to take Tjpaprov in its ordinary sens!
without severing the connexion between Adam and his posterity.
If they sinned, their sin was due in part to tendencies inherited
from Adam. So pracdcally Stuart, Fricke, Weiss, &c. There
still remains the difficulty as to the connexion of this clause with
what follows : see the next note.

It is a further argument in favour of the view taken above that a very
similar sequence of thought is found in 4 Ezra, Immediately after laying
down that the sin of Adam's descendants is due to that malignitas radicis
wliich they inherit from their forefather (see the passage quoted in full
below), the writer goes on to describe this ?in as a repetition of Adam's due
to the fact that ihey too had within them the cor malignum as he had : Et
deliquerunt qui habitabant a'vitatem, in omnibus facientes sicut fecit Adam
et omnes generationes eius, utcbantur enini et ipsi corde maligno (4 Ezra iii.
25 f 1. Other passages may be quoted both from 4 Ezra and from Apoc.
Bartich. which lay stress at once on the inherited tendency to sin and on the
freedom of choice in those who give way to it : see the fuller note below.

13. axpi Y^P ►'OP'OW K.T.X. At first sight this seems to give a
reason for just the opposite of what is wanted : it seems to prove
not that TraiTff i"paprov, but that however much men might sin
they had not at least the full guilt of sin. This is really what
St. Paul aims at proving. There is an un^ler-current all through
the passage, showing how there was something else at work
besides the guilt of individuals. That 'something' is the effect
of Adam's P'all. The Fall gave the predisposition to sin; and
the Fall linked together sin and death.

St. Paul would not say that the absence of written law did
away with all responsibility. He has already laid down most
distinctly that Gentiles, though without such written law, hav*

V. 13, 14.] ADAM AND CHRIST 135

law enough to be judged by (ii. 12-16); and Jews before the
time of Moses were only in the position of Gentiles. But the
degree of their guilt could not be the same either as that of
Adam, or as that of the Jews after the Mosaic legislation.
Perhaps it might be regarded as an open question whether, apart
from Adam, pre-Mosaic sins would have been punishable with
death. What St. Paul wishes to bring out is that prior to the
giving of the Law, the fate? of mankind, to an extent and in a way
which he does not define, was directly traceable to Adam's Fall.

^jiaprio 8e ouk eWoyeirai k.t.X. The thought is one which
had evidently taken strong hold on St. Paul: see on iv. 15, and
the parallels there quoted.

eXXoyeiTai: 'brought into account' (Gif.), as of an entry made
in a ledger. The word also occurs in Philem. 18, where see
Lightfoot's note.

(?<\oyfiTai (or (v\oy(iTat) N«BCDEFGKLP, &c., iWoyarai N<* :
iveKoyeiTO ti*, kWoyaro A 52 108; tmj>utal/aiur Vnlg. codd. Amhistr. al.
The imperf. appears to be a (mistaken) correction due to the context.
As to the form of the verb: eXXoya is decisively attested in Philem. 18 ;
but it would not follow that the same form was used here where St. Paul
is employing a different amanuensis : however, as the tendency of the MSS.
it rather to obliterate vernacular forms than to introduce them, there is
perhaps a slight balance of probability in favour oi (Woyarai : see Westcott
and Hort, Notes on Orthography in Appendix to Introd. p. 166 ff.

14. e|3a(riXcoo-€i' 6 Gcii'aTos. St. Paul appeals to the universal
prevalence of death, which is personified, as sin had been just
before, under the figure of a grim tyrant, in proof of the mis-
chief wrought by Adam's Fall. Nothing but the Fall could
account for that universal prevalence. Sin and death had their
beginnings together, and they were propagated side by side.

On the certainty and universality of Death, regarded as a penalty, comp.
Seneca, Nat. Quaest. ii. 59 Eodem citius tardiusve veniendum est . . . In
omnes constitittutn est capitale supplicium et quidein constitutione iustissinia.
nam quod magnum solet esse solatium extrema passuris, quorum eadem
causa et sors eadem est. Similarly Philo speaks of tov ffvj.i<pva viKpuv rji^wv,
TO awfm {De Gigant. 3 ; ed. Mang. i. 264). Elsewhere he goes a step further
and asserts oti -navTi yiwi-jTy . . . avix<pvh to anapravuv. For parallels in
4 Ezra and Apoc. Baruch. see below.

€Til Tovis (ATI ajAapTTio-avTas. A number of authorities, mostly Lat n Fathers,
but including also the important margin of Cod. 67 with three other cursives,
the first hand of d, and the Greek of Orig. at least once, omit the negative,
making the reign of death extend only over those who had sinned after the
likeness of Adam. So Orig.-laU (Rufinus) repeatedly and expressly, Latin
MSS. known to Aug., the 'older Latin MSS.' according to Ambrstr. and
Sedulius. The comment of Ambrstr. is interesting as showing a certain grasp
of critical principles, though it was difficult for any one in those days to have
sufficient command of MSS. to know the real state of the evidence. Ambrstr.
prefers in this case the evidence of the Latin MSS., because those with which
he is acquainted are older than the Greek, and represent, as he thinks, an
older form of text. He claims that this form has the support of TertuUian,


Cyprian and Victorinus — a statement which we are not at present able to
verify. He accounts for the Greek reading by the usual theory of heretical
corruption. There is a similar question of the insertion or omission of a
negative in Rom. iv. T9 (q.v. \ Gal. ii. 5. In two out of the three cases the
Western text omits the negative, but in ch. iv. 19 it inserts it.

xuTros (jviTToj) : (i) the 'impression' left by a sharp blow {rdv Tvrroy
rujv ri\ocv John xx. 25"). in particular the 'stamp' struck by a die; (a)
inasmuch as such a stamp bears the figure on the face of the die, ' copy,'
' figure,' or ' representation '; (3) by a common transition from effect to cause,
'mould,' 'pattern,' 'exemplar'; (4) hence in the special sense of the word
type, which we have adopted from the Greek of the N. T., ' an event or
person in history corresponding in certain characteristic features to another
event or person.' That which comes first in order of time is properly the
type, that which comes afterwards the antitype {avTiTviros i Pet. iii. ai).
These correspondences form a part of the Divine economy of revelation : see
esp. Cheyne, Isaiah, ii. 170 ff. ^Essay III, ' On the Christian Element in the
Book of Isaiah ').

ToG fAeXXokTos. (i) The entirely personal nature of the whole
comparison prevents us from taking roO /i«AX. as neut. = ' that
which was to come ' (Beng., Oltramare). If St. Paul had
mtended this, he would have written tov fieWovros atS)vos. (2)
Neither is it probable that we have here a direct allusion to the
Rabbinical designation of the Messiah as 6 ddrfpos or 6 ecrxaTos
'Addfi (i Cor. XV. 45, 47). If St. Paul had intended this, he
would have written rov fxeWovroi 'aSo'/i. (3) The context makes
it clear enough who is intended Tiie first representative of
the human race as such prefigured its second Great Repre-
sentative, whose coming lay in the future : this is sufficiently
brought out by the expression ' of Him who was to be.' i
fitXkcov thus appro.ximates in meaning to 6 tpxofifvos (Matt. xi.
3; Luke vii. 19; Heb. x. 37), which however appears not to
have been, as it is sometimes regarded, a standing designation
for the Messiah *. In any case tov fxeXXomos = ' Hun who zvas to
come' when Adam fell, not 'who u (still) to come' (Fru De W.).

TAe Effects of AdanCs Fall in Jewish Theology,

Three points come out clearly in these verses: (i) the Fall of
Adam brought death not only to Adam himself but to his
descendants ; (2) the F"all of Adam also brought sin and the
tendency to sin ; (3) and yet in spite of this the individual does
not lose his responsibility. All three propositions receive some
partial illustration from Jewish sources, though the Talmud does

* * The designation " The Coming One " {Habbd), though a most truthful
expression of Jewish exijcctaiicy, was not one ordinarily used of the Mcssiak.'
tdersheim, Z. (Sr* Z'. L p. 068

V. 12-14.] ADAM AND CHRIST 1 37

not seem to have had any consistent doctrine on the subject
Dr. Edersheim says expressly: * So far as their opinions can l>e
gathered from their writings the great doctrines of Original Sin and
of the sinfulness of our whole nature, were not held by ihe ancieni
Rabbis' {Life and Times, &c. i. 165). Siill there are approxima-
tions, especially in the wrilin^s on which we have dniwn so treelv
already, the Fourth Book of Ezra and the Apocalypse of Baruch.

(i) The evidence is itrongeA as to the connexion between Adam's sin and
the introduction of death. ' 'Ihere were,' says Dr. Edersheim, ' two divergent
opinions — tlie one ascribing death to personal, the other to Adam's guilt '
(b/. cit. i. 166). It is however allowed that the latter view greatly pre-
ponderated. Traces of it are found as far back as the Sapiential Books:
e.g. Wisd. ii. 33 f o 0fos fieTtaef tov dv6 pw-nov kit' aipOapaia . . . <p66iw hi

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