Exegetical Annalysis Of Romans 5:12-21: Critique Reqested


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Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to be an exegetical analysis of Rom. 5:12-21. This is not a devotional paper or a sermon. This paper is technical in nature and deals only with the content presented in the text. As the specific questions presented in the Graduate Study Guide are addressed, definitions from the unit reading will be supplied to facilitate reaching the unit objectives while responding to the required elements.

Content, Purpose, and Audience

Content

The first part of this assignment is to discuss the content of the selected passage (Rom. 5:12-21). The definition of “content” used for this assignment is “the meaning the author intends to convey”; this also referred to as the “illocutionary force” (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 169). Also, we will be operating under the assumption that the most probable interpretation is most likely the intent of the author (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 202).

The content of this passage describes the avenue in which sin entered into the human race, and the consequences that followed. It then continues on to describe the remedy of sin and its results which are only possible through the work accomplished by Jesus Christ. In this text several contrasts are made: (a) Adam and Jesus; (b) before the law and after the law; © the gift and the trespass; (d) disobedience and obedience; (e) sin and grace.

Adam and Jesus. In verse twelve the author is presuming a basic knowledge of Genesis chapter three, where the narrative concerning the entrance of sin into the human race is found. The author emphasizes “one man” being the door through which sin entered sets up the comparison for the other “one man” referred to in this pericope; which was Jesus. All the problems relating to sin and death are the result of the actions of one man; which was Adam.

This effect is present in those who did not sin by breaking a command like Adam did (5:14). Similarly, the gift of God is available to all men (and women) through Jesus (5:17). Adam’s sin and effects are contrasted with God’s gift through Jesus and its effects.

Regarding the law. Verse thirteen makes a distinction between the time before the law was given and the time after the law was given. In this contrast it is stated that: (a) sin was in the world before the law was given; (b) sin was present without breaking any commandments; and © the evidence that sin existed prior to the law is that death reigned even prior to the law. The author makes the case that breaking a commandment is not necessary for a person to commit sin.

Gift and trespass. Verse fifteen states that the reason death came was because of the trespass of one man (Adam). This trespass is contrasted by the overflow of the gift. The text places the power of the gift far beyond the power of the trespass. Because of the trespass, judgment fell because of one trespass, but the gift made many trespasses justified.

Disobedience and obedience. Verse nineteen states that because of the disobedience of one many were made to be sinners. In like manner, the obedience of one many will be made righteous. Something to note is the use of the aorist tense in reference to being made sinners, and the future tense regarding the will be made righteous.

Sin and grace. The final contrast is made in verse twenty with sin and grace. In similar fashion with the obedience, gift, and Jesus, it is shown that the works of God by far out do the works of man, sin, disobedience, and death. Because of the law, sin was made more sinful. However, and the same time, grace became more graceful at the same time.

Purpose

As we discover the content of the text, and understand it in its context, we can then reveal the purpose of the text. This is referred to as the “perlocutionary effect” (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 169). In discussing purpose we are trying to understand why the author wrote the text; to discover what he was trying to accomplish with the text.

The purpose of this text is to further explain the preceding content of Romans 5:1-11: to describe how we are justified in Christ Jesus and what it means to be justified in Christ Jesus. In the larger picture, the purpose of this text is to explain what Jesus has done for us and to show the extent to which His work reaches.

Audience

Verse seven states that Paul was writing to the believers that lived in Rome in the late fifties of the first century AD (Walvoord and Zuck 1985, 435). The text is not specifically addressed to Jews or Gentiles, and appears to be written to both Jewish and Gentile believers. It is important to note that since we have identified some brief details concerning the audience, any meaning that would not have been understood by the above described audience would illegitimate (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 11).

Language Assessment

Writers write to their audience with different purposes in mind (Lowenberg 2010, 19). Some write to inform their readers in regard to a subject, and some write to get a response from their readers. To accomplish these goals writers use specific language depending on their purpose for writing. Literature in general has two main kinds of language: (1) referential language, which is used to pass on information and describe something in a non-emotional way; and (2) commissive language, which is use to evoke decisions, convey and arouse emotions, and elicit feelings (Stein 1994, 73). We are going to examine Rom. 5:12-21 in search of commissive and referential language, and see how they affect the meaning of the text.

Commissive

Commissive language is the language of poets, people in love, football coaches, motivational speakers and those trying to evoke a response from their audience, (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 169; Stein 1994, 73).

One feature of commissive language is that it could be in poetic form. Using the assistance of several modern translations (NIV, NAB, NKJV, NASB, and NRSV) in comparison with Stein’s chart (1994, 102) Rom. 5:12-21 does not fit the example for poetry. However, there is a rhetorical style component to the contrasting points given in the text, and also the reoccurrence of the words “one man” and “all men” which may have a commissive element to it. Apart from that, the language of this text is not poetic or overtly commissive.

Referential

Referential language is informative in purpose, it is non-emotional nature, and is used to pass on facts. It is the language of technicians, doctors, philosophers, and mechanics (Stein 1994, 73). In this writer’s opinion, Rom. 5:12-21 is a passage that is primarily composed of referential language. The description of how sin entered (5:12-13), and how death entered (5:14), the contrasting points listed above in the “content” portion of this paper, and the comments regarding death and life (5:20-21) are informative, non-emotive, and factual statements made regarding the subject matter.

The Effect

Referential language gives the reader a straight forward assessment or a report of facts. In this text reader is given an accounting of method in which sin and death entered and also how it is remedied. The effect is that the reader has a simple and easy to interpret explanation of what could be a rather mysterious and confusing subject.

Variants

The Bible as we have it today is the result of translations of manuscripts (copies) of the original work of the original authors (autographs). There are no existing autographs today (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 119) and though the manuscripts we have today are copies of the autographs, and we have several families of manuscripts. In regard to the New Testament texts, the main Greek texts are the UBS forth edition, and the NA twenty-seventh edition (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 119; Lowenberg 2010, 21).

For this project, a comparison was made of Rom. 5:12-21 in the NIV, the NASB, and the NRSV and there were no notable differences. The only exception is where the NASB adds in verse sixteen “on the one hand,” “on the other hand,” and “that which came”.

For a second comparison, the same task was repeated using the NIV (based on the Greek UBS forth edition), the NKJV (based on the Greek Textus Receptus), and the AENT (Aramaic-English New Testament based on the Aramaic Khbouris Codex). In this comparison, verse sixteen is the one with the most additional material; and the NJKV has the most additional material of the three. Clarifying statements such as “which came,” “that which came,” “resulted” where in the NKJV only. The Aramaic-English had one such clarifying note: “offence” in parenthesis. From the AENT naturally here we some expected Aramaic-“isms,” such as Y’shua the Mashiyach instead of Jesus Christ, Moshe instead of Moses, Elohim instead of God. Other than these slight differences, both comparisons yielded nothing that had any significance regarding textual variants.

Factors Affecting the Transmission of the Text

The transmission of the text throughout the centuries has several inherent issues that can surface: (a) the accidental duplication of portions called “dittography”; (b) the accidental omission of letters, words, or portions called “haplography”; and © intentional errors or revisions for intended to correct or clarify the text (Lowenberg 2010, 25).

To investigate this specific text for evidences dittography, haplography, and additions I compared The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Baker Publishing: 2003) which uses the Stephens 1550 Textus Receptus , with the Nestle-Aland Greek Interlinear New Testament (UBS: 1998) which uses the NA27/UBS4 Greek text.

It was discovered through this comparison that between these two Greek texts every article, particle, and pronoun was identical; every noun gender and declension was identical; and every verb tense, voice, mood, person, and number was identical. With the exception of “Moses” in verse fourteen the spelling and vocabulary was also identical. Though the spelling of Moses was different by one letter, it was clear by either Greek text that Moses was genitive noun in that sentence, and by the context then same Moses of the Pentateuch was the person being mentioned. In this text, it appears that the factors that could affect the transmission of this text have not affected the transmission of this text.

Traditions that Affect Interpretation

When we approach texts or writings, our interpretation of such are filtered through our own “preunderstandings.” A preunderstanding is what the interpreter brings to the task of interpretation, such as: (a) assumptions; (b) attitudes; or © biases (Blomberg, Hubbard, and Klein 2004, 154), which are affected by the traditions we come from, or are a part of. Our tradition is the result our entire set of experiences and settings that make up our own personal history (Fee 1991, 68). The theological and practical traditions that influence this writer’s interpretation of this Scripture are; (a) belief that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God; (b) ministry and business experience that provide evidence for the claim in this text that sin reaches to every person; © as an Assemblies of God minister Jesus is our savior, baptizer, healer, and coming king; and (d) personal knowledge that life is in Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

Understandably, the meaning of the text can be discovered by anyone who can read and understand English and have some knowledge of the author, audience, and surrounding context. However, interpretation calls for the ability to determine the significance to our world today. The illumination of the Holy Spirit is how the significance of the Scriptures is possible.

REFERENCE LIST

Fee, Gordon, D. 1991. Gospel and Spirit: Issues in New Testament Hermeneutics. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Klein, William W., Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. 2004. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Lowenberg, Douglas P. 2010. Hermeneutics: God’s Message and its Meaning. Springfield, MO: Global University.

Stein, Robert H. 1994. A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Walvoord, John F., Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary. 1985. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Volume Two. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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That whole exercise made me realize how ineffectual written language and scripture is at all when compared to direct experience of God himself. Just like a child reading a medical book on sex pales in comparison to the actual experience.

RevRainbow I think I would say though that The illumination of the Holy Spirit makes scripture seem like one of those dust covered sexual medical books in comparison.

Edited by Fawzo
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That whole exercise made me realize how ineffectual written language and scripture is at all when compared to direct experience of God himself. Just like a child reading a medical book on sex pales in comparison to the actual experience.

RevRainbow I think I would say though that The illumination of the Holy Spirit makes scripture seem like one of those dust covered sexual medical books in comparison.

What do you mean by inneffectual?

And, what sepcifically is ineffectual about a text that was written over 1,900 years ago and has remained unchaged regardless of the language the manuscript or translation is in?

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What do you mean by inneffectual?

And, what sepcifically is ineffectual about a text that was written over 1,900 years ago and has remained unchaged regardless of the language the manuscript or translation is in?

After one reads a book before their first sexual experience what good is the book after one has the experience?

Same way with the Bible after one experiences the Agape Love of God firsthand the Bible can rest on the shelf alongside the sex book. I do understand the enjoyment of rereading publications for enjoyment and inspiration. I don't need to reread other peoples perceptions about God's personality, I've met him and can make my own assessments. My views aren't tainted by an environmnet where blood scarifice is an everyday perception to appease a God set in a barbaric late Bronze Age and early Iron Age constant war zone.

The Gospel of Thomas and Gilgamesh epic have been "unchanged" as well for the same period. What is that any type of proof of, though I think many would challenge your claim of unchanged. How many versions are there? If Codex Sinaiticus is any semblemce of the original autograph it would seem as with most things in this life change is constant.

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After one reads a book before their first sexual experience what good is the book after one has the experience?

Same way with the Bible after one experiences the Agape Love of God firsthand the Bible can rest on the shelf alongside the sex book. I do understand the enjoyment of rereading publications for enjoyment and inspiration. I don't need to reread other peoples perceptions about God's personality, I've met him and can make my own assessments. My views aren't tainted by an environmnet where blood scarifice is an everyday perception to appease a God set in a barbaric late Bronze Age and early Iron Age constant war zone.

The Gospel of Thomas and Gilgamesh epic have been "unchanged" as well for the same period. What is that any type of proof of, though I think many would challenge your claim of unchanged. How many versions are there? If Codex Sinaiticus is any semblemce of the original autograph it would seem as with most things in this life change is constant.

When you used the word "ineffectual" what did you mean by that?

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When you used the word "ineffectual" what did you mean by that?

I definitely could have used a better word. What I meant was that most scriptures of all faiths fall far short at attempting to define what God and his Love is like. It must be experienced just as an orgasm must be experienced. Someone telling you about their orgasm is about as helpful at conveying the experience as someone telling you about the experience of God.

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I definitely could have used a better word. What I meant was that most scriptures of all faiths fall far short at attempting to define what God and his Love is like. It must be experienced just as an orgasm must be experienced. Someone telling you about their orgasm is about as helpful at conveying the experience as someone telling you about the experience of God.

Would you agree that defining God's love and the comparison of God's love with orgasms is beyond the limits of this Scriptural text and the scope of this essay as described in the introduction of this essay?

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Would you agree that defining God's love and the comparison of God's love with orgasms is beyond the limits of this Scriptural text and the scope of this essay as described in the introduction of this essay?

From my viewpoint no. Paul making such statements that SIn entered the world through Adam and that all sentient beings suffer and die for justice to be served in the eyes of the Divine, tells me he has never personally encountered the Love and compassion of a sophisticated God unbiasedly without projecting his own preconditioned Pharisee concepts onto it.

He was a Pharisee of Pharisees and so he was enculturenated even more than most before he had his encounter. It is odd though that in Corithians he could write that agape love bears all, endures all and never fail and yet make statements that everyone suffers and dies because of the disodbedience of one.

The comparison of experiencing orgasm and God's love was used in answer to your question of what I meant by my use of the word ineffectual.

Every bit of Paul's writings were most likely influenced by his Zealous nature as well, He even had others killed becuase he was so fanatical about things.

How much do you feel his writings were influenced by the blood sacrificial system for appeasement that he was immersed in. Would Buddah have conveyed his personal experiences with the Divine Love of God in the same manner having not been indoctrinated in the bloody barbaric system of Levitical Law? Methinks not.

For me most of Paul's writings except the mentioned vesres in Corithians are ineffectual at conveying God's Love and compassion.

We may have had other opposed viepoints such as that of the Martry Stephen if Paul hadn't eliminated him first before he began his campaign.

Did Yeshua die for my sins or merely because he and the Baptists were foolish enough to challenge temple authority at a sensitive time and when tensions were at their highest. Those who caused problems were crucified by the thousands in those days and many of those suffered worse fates, what made his death any different than that of a trouble maker.

If someone were going to pay for the sins of all mankind how could he suffer less than anyone else . Wouldn't those that suffered on both sides of him have paid for their own sins if suffering and pain and death was the solution. So it would seem that death and suffering are not part of the retribution process at all.

So if suffering, pain and agony and death are not the key to forgiveness of sins what is?

Sorry for going off on a tangent. I just feel as if an exegetical annalysis of the Movie Avatar would be more beneficial for mankind.

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From my viewpoint no. Paul making such statements that SIn entered the world through Adam and that all sentient beings suffer and die for justice to be served in the eyes of the Divine, tells me he has never personally encountered the Love and compassion of a sophisticated God unbiasedly without projecting his own preconditioned Pharisee concepts onto it.

The comparison of experiencing orgasm and God's love was used in answer to your question of what I meant by my use of the word ineffectual.

For me most of Paul's writings except the mentioned vesres in Corithians are ineffectual at conveying God's Love and compassion.

My objection to what you are saying is that you are saying this text is ineffectual at communicating God's love, when that is not even the point of this text (see "Purpose"). In addition, this text uses referential language (see "Language Assessment") which can only pass on facts, not express emotion or feeling.

In essence, you are saying that this apple is not a good apple because it is not an orange.

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In essence, you are saying that this apple is not a good apple because it is not an orange.

I think in essence what I am saying is that what you hold in your hand isn't an apple at all, but rather a 2-D colored crayon rendition of one. It lacks the texture, smell and taste of an actual apple altogether.

It may be useful in helping you to recognize an actual apple when you finally encounter one, but. once you find the apple and feel its texture, smell it and taste its sweetness what value does Paul's crayon markings have.

Thats the way I see it.

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Referential language gives the reader a straight forward assessment or a report of facts. In this text reader is given an accounting of method in which sin and death entered and also how it is remedied. The effect is that the reader has a simple and easy to interpret explanation of what could be a rather mysterious and confusing subject.

I keep seeing and hearing about "facts" and I'm not sure whether your article is mentioning facts about the exegetical annalysis or in the statements of Paul.

In either case I'm not seeing any facts. Death existed before sin came into the world as it is a vital part of creation itself. The statements that the writings we have are copies of the original autographs seem a bit misleading as well, as what I have read most often is that what we have are considered copies of copies at best and many have been editted.

Work buzzzer going off in 5 minutes will have to stop short here.

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I keep seeing and hearing about "facts" ...

I'm not sure whether your article is mentioning facts about the exegetical analysis

or (facts)in the statements of Paul.

In either case I'm not seeing any facts.

Gotta agree with The Fawz on this score. :unsure:

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First off Coolhand, I think it's great that you bring up a exegesis on a subject and examining certain attributes of one aspect of the many beliefs out there. I hope this encourages others to do the same involving issues or texts of their personal interest.

I have to agree with Fawzo and Hexalpa on the facts being varied as compared to Paul's opinionated writings. The comparison between the actual occurrence of something and the conveying of that experience are precisely the crux of the issue. Paul, in my most humble opinion, was a zealot and maniac who's writings were full of judgmental disparages against anything he could not personally understand, having ear plugs and blinders in place concerning anything other than his own viewpoints.

However, I shall put that aside as an opinion for the moment and try and evaluate this from a less antagonistic perspective. I suppose it may be best described as my writing on this topic are both commissive and referential.

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.)

Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

As I read this, Paul is making the statement that prior to "the law" being given, death was death,final and absolute. No chance of eternal grace and dwelling in Heaven as the "law" had not yet been given down to the people.

In this light, prior to the Christ, we were an entirely humanistic society without the ability of salvation, in essence then, completely nullifying the Old Testament.

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Rom 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Saying then that if one man, Adam, caused the multitudes to die, for eternity, without chance of the Grace of Eternal Life, the Christ, being one man would redeem the multitudes and give them Eternal Life. A cycle theory.

Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

This either elevates Adam to an equal with the Christ, or reduces the Christ to that of Adam. Saying that Adam could cause all of mankind to be condemned to eternal, and final death puts an enormous amount of deific power on one human. Had Adam been aware of his status as an equal to a "son of God" perhaps he would have refused Eve's offer of the fruit from the Tree of Life.

From a personal experience perspective, I once worked for a company like that. When they attempted to fire me for gross negligence as "supervisor", my first question was to see the documentation that I was indeed promoted from Assembler III, to Lead, to Supervisor, which of course they could not. Had I known I was supervising seven other workers, by official title, responsibility and empowerment, I never would have allowed a machine to be shipped the way it was.

Secular reference aside, as far as I read and decipher from Genesis, Adam only had knowledge of being a creation of God, not a "Son" thus making him responsible for humanity in its entirety. I firmly believe he would have made a better choice had he known so. (1)

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The grace referenced here, is that retroactive? If it 'aboundeth' more-so than the offense, wouldn't it be likely? In my studies, this is one of the biggest questions I've had for many years concerning the Eternal Life concept. Is that merely from the Christ's execution forward or does it include those tens of millions who passed into the ethers prior to that time? (2)

I don't want to sway the topic from Romans 5:12-21 as that is the intended purpose here, but I've found many of Apostle's writings to be a bit exclusionary to "facts" they had access to in the Torah and other texts that would become the "Old Testament". The Apostle's, given the authority by Jesus to spread the "Good News", seemingly had great leeway in their interpretations of the Christ's messages.

After all, they, not Jesus, were creating an entirely new religious based faith and belief system. From many texts, written from first hand accountings of the Christ's life, (i.e.; Dead Sea Scrolls and others) the parables Jesus used in his presenting the Law as per the Torah, were analogies in order to gain a better understanding by his many audience's. As well, in their time, transforming from a eternal death to Eternal Life based culture must have had a huge impact on people who lived moment by moment in fear of death from myriad of sources from government to diseases.

(1) One of the reasons I bring up this angle is Genesis and the creation story, lends credibility to evolution. Taking dust and forming man is a clear indication of things transforming from one into another. Transformation being exactly what evolution is by process. It may be a loose interpretation, however, putting Genesis through the same exegesis, there are many clues as to validity of such a thought.

(2) I also think that the many references to the dead rising from their graves through the Eternal Grace of "Salvation" inferred the past dead as well as those after 33 CE, not just in the thousand year reign but as a means of solving this theological conundrum. An interesting point, prior to the Christ's crucifixion and promise of eternal life, the funeral pyre was the accepted form of body disposal rite. Afterwards, burial became the normal procedure, I believe, due to a misunderstanding of Jesus' intended message. The location of the soul after physical death has no bearing on resurrection as I do not believe it is the physical body being resurrected. I think the whole resurrection analogy is symbolic, not literal.

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This is a fasinating discussion. As I read these posts I thought what a shame it is that those who would criticize the Universal Life Church probably never bother to read these discussion boards.You are presenting serious, well thought out points of view. I am pleased to have the opportunity to read them.

Brother Peter

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I think in essence what I am saying is that what you hold in your hand isn't an apple at all, but rather a 2-D colored crayon rendition of one. It lacks the texture, smell and taste of an actual apple altogether.

It may be useful in helping you to recognize an actual apple when you finally encounter one, but. once you find the apple and feel its texture, smell it and taste its sweetness what value does Paul's crayon markings have.

Thats the way I see it.

I was interested in hearing from you regarding why you say this.

I keep seeing and hearing about "facts" and I'm not sure whether your article is mentioning facts about the exegetical annalysis or in the statements of Paul.

In either case I'm not seeing any facts. Death existed before sin came into the world as it is a vital part of creation itself. The statements that the writings we have are copies of the original autographs seem a bit misleading as well, as what I have read most often is that what we have are considered copies of copies at best and many have been editted.

Work buzzzer going off in 5 minutes will have to stop short here.

The statment about facts is in regard to referential language: that it is the type of language that is a statement of fact, opposed to emotional poetry type language. You may debate the content of the text, but you cannot debate that the language is referential and not commissive; which was my point.

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This either elevates Adam to an equal with the Christ, or reduces the Christ to that of Adam. Saying that Adam could cause all of mankind to be condemned to eternal, and final death puts an enormous amount of deific power on one human. Had Adam been aware of his status as an equal to a "son of God" perhaps he would have refused Eve's offer of the fruit from the Tree of Life.

Though I do think that 12-21 is a somewhat of an explanation of 5:1, I do not think (in this text) that what is being compared is eternal final death with eternal life, or that Adam and Jesus are on the same level as in equality.

I would argue that the point and the comparison is in regard to "justification." the writer (in my opinoin) is comparing/contrasting the work of Adam with the work of Jesus; not life and death.

I would argue against the idea that the writer is placing Adam and Jesus on the same level as par. In my opinoin, a great case could be made conserning the failure of Adam and the success of Jesus, which could be extended to the fallen nature of man and his/her inability to do what is right all the time.

The premise not explained in the text that I think was implied, that Adam sinned and brought this avenue of failure unpon mankind, and he did so when there was no reason to do so. So if the Adam in the presumed perfect environment failed, he then brought failure upon man as the norm to which all men from then on followed.

Of course, death coming into the world when it allegedly did not exist creates an environment different from that of the Garden where Adam failed because when he failed he did not have the "time ticking" as the rest of us have had since then. We have an environment that causes sin (in my opinion) due to our knowledge that we are going to die; or that we have to protect ourselves or we could die. In my opinion, Adam made it much easier for disobeidience to God to occur environmentally.

I would say that death, eternal or not, is not the subject of this text; that the author is not intentionally dealing with that; and that this text should not be used in coming to conclusions regarding eternal death and what happened to those who died before Christ died.

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[The grace referenced here, is that retroactive? If it 'aboundeth' more-so than the offense, wouldn't it be likely? In my studies, this is one of the biggest questions I've had for many years concerning the Eternal Life concept. Is that merely from the Christ's execution forward or does it include those tens of millions who passed into the ethers prior to that time? (2)

I don't want to sway the topic from Romans 5:12-21 as that is the intended purpose here, but I've found many of Apostle's writings to be a bit exclusionary to "facts" they had access to in the Torah and other texts that would become the "Old Testament". The Apostle's, given the authority by Jesus to spread the "Good News", seemingly had great leeway in their interpretations of the Christ's messages.

After all, they, not Jesus, were creating an entirely new religious based faith and belief system. From many texts, written from first hand accountings of the Christ's life, (i.e.; Dead Sea Scrolls and others) the parables Jesus used in his presenting the Law as per the Torah, were analogies in order to gain a better understanding by his many audience's. As well, in their time, transforming from a eternal death to Eternal Life based culture must have had a huge impact on people who lived moment by moment in fear of death from myriad of sources from government to diseases.

(1) One of the reasons I bring up this angle is Genesis and the creation story, lends credibility to evolution. Taking dust and forming man is a clear indication of things transforming from one into another. Transformation being exactly what evolution is by process. It may be a loose interpretation, however, putting Genesis through the same exegesis, there are many clues as to validity of such a thought.

(2) I also think that the many references to the dead rising from their graves through the Eternal Grace of "Salvation" inferred the past dead as well as those after 33 CE, not just in the thousand year reign but as a means of solving this theological conundrum. An interesting point, prior to the Christ's crucifixion and promise of eternal life, the funeral pyre was the accepted form of body disposal rite. Afterwards, burial became the normal procedure, I believe, due to a misunderstanding of Jesus' intended message. The location of the soul after physical death has no bearing on resurrection as I do not believe it is the physical body being resurrected. I think the whole resurrection analogy is symbolic, not literal.

This seems to argue that this grace came to all men, by using the earlier definition that the writer use of all men: the ones that death came to. Farther than that, you could argue for universalism based on 5:18 separated from the rest of the test. So I would say, this grace is at least retroactive.

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