Romans 5
ICC New Testament Commentary
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

5:1-11. The state which thus lies before the Christian should have consequences both near and remote. The nearer consequences, peace with God and hope which gives courage under persecution (vv. 1-4): the remoter consequence, an assurance, derived from the proof of God’s love, of our final salvation and glory. The first step (our present acceptance with God) is difficult; the second step (our ultimate salvation) follows naturally from the first (vv. 5-11).

1We Christians then ought to enter upon our privileges. By that strong and eager impulse with which we enroll ourselves as Christ’s we may be accepted as righteous in the sight of God, and it becomes our duty to enjoy to the full the new state of peace with Him which we owe to our Lord Jesus Messiah. 2He it is whose Death and Resurrection, the object of our faith (4:25), have brought us within the range of the Divine favour. Within the sheltered circle of that favour we stand as Christians, in no merely passive attitude, but we exult in the hope of one day participating as in the favour of God so also in His glory. 3Yes, and this exultation of ours, so far from being shaken by persecutions is actually founded upon them. For persecution only generates fortitude, or resolute endurance under trials: 4and then fortitude leads on to the approved courage of the veteran; and that in turn strengthens the hope out of which it originally sprang.

5More: our hope is one that cannot prove illusory; because (and here a new factor is introduced, for the first time in this connexion) the Holy Spirit, through whom God is brought into personal contact with man—that Holy Spirit which we received when we became Christians, floods our hearts with the consciousness of the Love of God for us. 6Think what are the facts to which we can appeal. When we were utterly weak and prostrate, at the moment of our deepest despair, Christ died for us—not as righteous men, but as godless sinners! 7What a proof of love was there! For an upright or righteous man it would be hard to find one willing to die; though perhaps for a good man (with the loveable qualities of goodness) one here and there may be brave enough to face death. 8But God presses home the proof of His unmerited Love towards us, in that, sinners as we still were, Christ died for us.

9Here then is an a fortiori argument. The fact that we have been actually declared ‘righteous’ by coming within the influence of Christ’s sacrificial Blood—this fact which implies a stupendous change in the whole of our relations to God is a sure pledge of what is far easier—our escape from His final judgement. 10For there is a double contrast. If God intervened for us while we were His enemies, much more now that we are reconciled to Him. If the first intervention cost the Death of His Son, the second costs nothing, but follows naturally from the share which we have in His Life. 11And not only do we look for this final salvation, but we are buoyed up by an exultant sense of that nearness to God into which we have been brought by Christ to whom we owe that one great step of our reconciliation.

1-11. Every line of this passage breathes St. Paul’s personal experience, and his intense hold upon the objective facts which are the grounds of a Christian’s confidence. He believes that the ardour with which he himself sought Christian baptism was met by an answering change in the whole relation in which he stood to God. That change he attributes ultimately, it is clear throughout this context, not merely in general terms to Christ (διά 5:1, 2, 11 bis) but more particularly to the Death of Christ (παρεδόθη 4:25; ἀπέθανε 5:6, 8; ἐν τῷ αἵματι 5:9; διὰ τοῦ θανάτου 5:10). He conceives of that Death as operating by a sacrificial blood-shedding (ἐν τῷ αἵματι: cf. 3:25 and the passages referred to in the Note on the Death of Christ considered as a Sacrifice). The Blood of that Sacrifice is as it were sprinkled round the Christian, and forms a sort of hallowed enclosure, a place of sanctuary, into which he enters. Within this he is safe, and from its shelter he looks out exultingly over the physical dangers which threaten him; they may strengthen his firmness of purpose, but cannot shake it.

1. The word δικαίωσιν at the end of the last chapter recalls St. Paul to his main topic. After expounding the nature of his new method of obtaining righteousness in 3:21-26, he had begun to draw some of the consequences from this (the deathblow to Jewish pride, and the equality of Jew and Gentile) in 3:27-31. This suggested the digression in ch. 4, to prove that notwithstanding there was no breach of God’s purposes as declared in the O. T. (strictly the Legal System which had its charter in the O. T.), but rather the contrary. Now he goes back to ‘consequences’ and traces them out for the individual Christian. He explains why it is that the Christian faces persecution and death so joyfully: he has a deep spring of tranquillity at his heart, and a confident hope of future glory.

ἔχωμεν. The evidence for this reading stands thus: ἔχωμεν א * A B* C D E K L, cursives, Vulg. Syrr. Boh. Arm. Aeth., Orig.-lat. repeatedly Chrys. Ambrstr. and others: ἔχομεν correctors of א B, F G (duplicate MSS. it will be remembered) in the Greek though not in the Latin, P and many cursives, Did. Epiph. Cyr.-Alex. in three places out of four. Clearly overwhelming authority for ἕχωμεν. It is argued however (i) that exhortation is here out of place: ‘inference not exhortation is the Apostle’s purpose’ (Scrivener, Introd. ii. 380 Exo_4); (ii) that ο and ω are frequently interchanged in the MSS., as in this very word Galatians 6:10 (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:49); (iii) it is possible that a mistake might have been made by Tertius in copying or in some very early MS. from which the mass of the uncials and versions now extant may have descended. But these reasons seem insufficient to overthrow the weight of direct testimony. (i) St. Paul is apt to pass from argument to exhortation; so in the near context 6 (1), 12, (15); 12; (ii) in ἒχωμεν inference and exhortation are really combined: it is a sort of light exhortation, ‘we should have’ (T. S. Evans).

As to the meaning of ἔχωμεν it should be observed that it does not = ‘make peace,’ ‘get’ or ‘obtain peace’ (which would be σχῶμεν), but rather ‘keep’ or ‘enjoy peace’ (οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἴσον μὴ οὖσαν εἰρήνην λαβεῖν καὶ δοθεῖσαν κατασχεῖν Chrys.; cf. Acts 9:31 ἡ μὲν οὖν ἐκκλησία ̣ ̣ ̣ εἶχεν εἰρήνην, ‘continued in a state of peace’). The aor. part. δικαιωθέντες marks the initial moment of the state εἰρήνην ἔχωμεν. The declaration of ‘not guilty,’ which the sinner comes under by a heartfelt embracing of Christianity, at once does away with the state of hostility in which he had stood to God, and substitutes for it a state of peace which he has only to realize. This declaration of ‘not guilty’ and the peace which follows upon it are not due to himself, but are διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ: how is explained more fully in 3:25; also in vv. 9, 10 below.

Dr. J. Agar Beet (Comm. ad loc.) discusses the exact shade of meaning conveyed by the aor. part. δικαιωθέντες in relation to εἰρήνην ἔχωμεν. He contends that it denotes not so much the reason for entering upon the state in question as the means of entering upon it. No doubt this is perfectly tenable on the score of grammar; and it is also true that ‘justification necessarily involves peace with God.’ But the argument goes too much upon the assumption that εἰρ. ἔχ. = ‘obtain peace,’ which we have seen to be erroneous. The sense is exactly that of εἶχεν εἰρήνην in the passage quoted from the Acts, and δικαιωθ., as we have said, marks the initial moment in the state.

2. τὴν προσαγωγήν. Two stages only are described in vv. 1, 2 though different language is used about them: δικαιωθέντες = ἡ προσαγωγή, εἰρήνη = χάρις; the καύχησις is a characteristic of the state of χάρις, at the same time that it points forward to a future state of δόξα. The phrase ἡ προσαγ., ‘our introduction,’ is a connecting link between this Epistle and Ephesians (cp. Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12): the idea is that of introduction to the presence-chamber of a monarch. The rendering ‘access’ is inadequate, as it leaves out of sight the fact that we do not come in our own strength but need an ‘introducer’—Christ.

ἐσχήκαμεν: not ‘we have had’ (Va.), but ‘we have got or obtained,’ aor. and perf. in one.

‘Both grammar and logic will run in perfect harmony together if we render, “through whom we have by faith got or obtained our access into this grace wherein we stand.” This rendering will bring to view two causes of getting the access or obtaining the introduction into the state of grace; one cause objective, Christ: the other subjective, faith; Christ the door, faith the hand which moves the door to open and to admit’ (T. S. Evans in Exp. 1882, i. 169).

τῇ πίστει om. B D E F G, Lat. Vet., Orig.-lat. bis. The weight of this evidence depends on the value which we assign to B. All the other evidence is Western; and B also (as we have seen) has a Western element; so that the question is whether the omission here in B is an independent corroboration of the Western group or whether it simply belongs to it (does the evidence = β + δ, or δ only?). There is the further point that omissions in the Western text deserve more attention than additions. Either reading can be easily enough accounted for, as an obvious gloss on the one hand or the omission of a superfluous phrase on the other. The balance is sufficiently represented by placing τῇ πίστει in brackets as Treg. WH. RV. marg. (Weiss omits).

εἰς τὴν χάριν ταύτην: the ‘state of grace’ or condition of those who are objects of the Divine favour, conceived of as a space fenced in (Mey. Va. &c.) into which the Christian enters: cf. Galatians 5:4; 1 Peter 5:12 (Va. and Grm.-Thay. s. v. χάρις 3. a).

ἑστήκαμεν: ‘stand fast or firm’ (see Va. and Grm.-Thay. s. v. ἵστημι ii. 2. d).

ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι: as in 4:18.

τῆς δόξης. See on 3:23. It is the Glory of the Divine Presence (Shekinah) communicated to man (partially here, but) in full measure when he enters into that Presence; man’s whole being will be transfigured by it.

Is the Society or the Individual the proper object of Justification?

It is well known to be a characteristic feature of the theology of Ritschl that he regards the proper object of Justification as the Christian Society as a collective whole, and not the individual as such. This view is based upon two main groups of arguments. (1) The first is derived from the analogy of the O. T. The great sacrifices of the O. T. were undoubtedly meant in the first instance for ‘the congregation.’ So in regard to the Passover it is laid down expressly that no alien is to eat of it, but all the congregation of Israel are to keep it (Exodus 12:43 ff., Exodus 12:47). And still more distinctly as to the ritual of the Day of Atonement: the high priest is to ‘make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, even all their sins’; he is to lay both his hands on the head of the goat, and ‘confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, even all their sins’ (Leviticus 16:16, Leviticus 16:21, also 33 f.). This argument gains in force from the concentration of the Christian Sacrifice upon a single event, accomplished once for all. It is natural to think of it as having also a single and permanent object. (2) The second argument is derived from the exegesis of the N. T. generally (most clearly perhaps in Acts 20:28 τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ [v. l. Κυρίου], ἣν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου: but also in 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; 1 Peter 3:18; Revelation 1:5 f.; Revelation 5:9 f.), and more particularly in the Epistles of St. Paul. The society is, it is true, most clearly indicated in the later Epp.; e. g. Titus 2:14 σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ., ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπερ ἡμῶν, ἵνα λυτρώσηται ἡμᾶς ̣ ̣ ̣ καὶ καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ λαὸν περιούσιον: Ephesians 5:25 f. ὁ Χριστὸς ἡγάπησε τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, καὶ ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς· ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ καθαρίσας κ.τ.λ. (cf. also Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; Colossians 1:14). But Ritschl also claims the support of the earlier Epp.: e. g. Romans 8:32 ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πάντων παρέδωκεν αὐτόν: 3:22 δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ ̣ ̣ ̣ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας: and the repeated ἡμεῖς in the contexts of three passages (Comp. Rechtfert. u. Versöhn. ii 216 f., 160).

In reply the critics of Ritschl appeal to the distinctly individualistic cast of such expressions as Romans 3:26 δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ: 4:5 ἐπὶ τὸν δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἀσεβῆ, with the context: 10:4 εἰς δικαιοσύνην παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι (Schäder, op. cit. p. 29 n.; cf. also Gloël, Der Heilige Geist, p. 102 n.; Weiss, Bibl. Theol. § 82 b, referred to by Schäder).

It is undoubtedly true that St. Paul does use language which points to the direct justification of the individual believer. This perhaps comes out most clearly in Rom_4, where the personal faith and personal justification of Abraham are taken as typical of the Christian’s. But need we on that account throw over the other passages above quoted, which seem to be quite as unambiguous? That which brings benefit to the Church collectively of necessity brings benefit to the individuals of which it is composed. We may if we like, as St. Paul very often does, leave out of sight the intervening steps; and it is perhaps the more natural that he should do so, as the Church is in this connexion an ideal entity. But this entity is prior in thought to the members who compose it; and when we think of the Great Sacrifice as consummated once for all and in its effects reaching down through the ages, it is no less natural to let the mind dwell on the conception which alone embraces past, present, and future, and alone binds all the scattered particulars into unity.

We must remember also that in the age and to the thought of St. Paul the act of faith in the individual which brings him within the range of justification is inseparably connected with its ratification in baptism. But the significance of baptism lies in the fact that whoever undergoes it is made thereby member of a society, and becomes at once a recipient of the privileges and immunities of that society. St. Paul is about (in the next chapter) to lay stress on this point. He there, as well as elsewhere, describes the relation of spiritual union into which the Christian enters with Christ as established by the same act which makes him also member of the society. And therefore when at the beginning of the present chapter he speaks of the entrance of the Christian into the state of grace in metaphors which present that state under the figure of a fenced-off enclosure, it is natural to identify the area within which grace and justification operate with the area of the society, in other words with the Church. The Church however in this connexion can have no narrower definition than ‘all baptized persons.’ And even the condition of baptism is introduced as an inseparable adjunct to faith; so that if through any exceptional circumstances the two were separated, the greater might be taken to include the less. The Christian theologian has to do with what is normal; the abnormal he leaves to the Searcher of hearts.

It is thus neither in a spirit of exclusiveness nor yet in that of any hard and fast Scholasticism, but only in accordance with the free and natural tendencies of the Apostle’s thought, that we speak of Justification as normally mediated through the Church. St. Paul himself, as we have seen, often drops the intervening link, especially in the earlier Epistles. But in proportion as his maturer insight dwells more and more upon the Church as an organic whole he also conceives of it as doing for the individual believer what the ‘congregation’ did for the individual Israelites under the older dispensation. The Christian Sacrifice with its effects, like the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement by which it is typified, reach the individual through the community.

3-5. The two leading types of the Old-Latin Version of the Epistle stand out distinctly in these verses. We are fortunately able to compare the Cyprianic text with that of Tertullian (non solum … confundit) and the European text of Cod. Clarom. with that of Hilary (tribulatio … confundit). The passage is also quoted in the so-called Speculum (m), which represents the Bible of the Spaniard Priscillian (Classical Review, iv. 416 f.).

Cyprian. Cod. Clarom.

Non solum autem, sed et gloriamur in pressuris, scientes quoniam pressura tolerantiam operatur, tolerantia autem probationem, probatio autem spem; spes autem non confundit, quia dilectio Dei infusa est cordibus nostris per Spiritum Sanctum qui datus est nobis.

verum etiam exultantes Tert.; certi quod Tert.; perficiat Tert. (ed. Vindob.); tol. vero Tert.; spes vero Tert. Non solum autem, sed et gloriamur in tribulationibus, scientes quod tribulatio patientiam operatur, patientia autem probationem, probatio autem spem; spes autem non confundit, quia caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per Spiritum Sanctum qui datus est nobis.

perficit Hil.; prob. vero m Hil.; spes vero Hil. (Cod. Clarom. = m).

Here, as elsewhere in Epp. Paul., there is a considerable amount of matter common to all forms of the Version, enough to give colour to the supposition that a single translation lies at their root. But the salient expressions are changed; and in this instance Tertullian goes with Cyprian, as Hilary with the European texts. The renderings tolerantia and pressura are verified for Tertullian elsewhere (tolerantia Luke 21:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:4: pressura Romans 8:35; Romans 12:12; 1 Corinthians 7:28; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 7:4; Colossians 1:24; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; Revelation 2:22; Revelation 7:14), as also dilectio (to which the quotation does not extend in this passage, but which is found in Luke 11:42; John 13:35; Romans 8:35, Romans 8:39; 1 Corinthians 13:1 ff., &c.). We note however that Hilary and Tertullian agree in perficit (perficiat), though in another place Hilary has allusively tribulatio patientiam operatur. Perhaps this coincidence may point to an older rendering.

3. οὐ μόνον δέ (ἑστήκαμεν ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμεθα, or ἑστηκότες ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμενοι): in this elliptical form characteristic of St. Paul and esp. of this group of Epistles (cf. 5:11; 8:23; 9:10; 2 Corinthians 8:19).

καυχώμενοι B C, Orig. bis and others: a good group, but open to suspicion of conforming to ver. 11 (q. v.); we have also found a similar group, on the whole inferior, in 3:28. If καυχώμενοι were right it would be another example of that broken and somewhat inconsecutive structure which is doubtless due, as Va. suggests, to the habit of dictating to an amanuensis.

Note the contrast between the Jewish καύχησις which ‘is excluded’ (3:27) and this Christian καύχησις. The one rests on supposed human privileges and merit; the other draws all its force from the assurance of Divine love.

The Jewish writers know of another καύχησις (besides the empty boasting which St. Paul reprehends), but it is reserved for the blest in Paradise: 4 Ezr. 7:98 [Bensly = vi. 72 O. F. Fritzsche] exultabunt cum fiducia et … confidebunt non confusi, et gaudebunt non reverentes.

ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσι. The θλίψεις are the physical hardships and sufferings that St. Paul regards as the inevitable portion of the Christian; cf. Romans 8:35 ff.; 1 Corinthians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 7:26-32; 1 Corinthians 15:30-32; 2 Corinthians 1:3-10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-27. Such passages give us glimpses of the stormy background which lies behind St. Paul’s Epistles. He is so absorbed in his ‘Gospel’ that this makes very little impression upon him. Indeed, as this chapter shows, the overwhelming sense of God’s mercy and love fills him with such exultation of spirit that bodily suffering not only weighs like dust in the balance but positively serves to strengthen his constancy. The same feeling comes out in the ὑπερνικῶμεν of 8:37: the whole passage is parallel.

ὑπομονήν: not merely a passive quality but a ‘masculine constancy in holding out under trials’ (Waite on 2 Corinthians 6:4), ‘fortitude.’ See on 2:7 above.

4. δοκιμή: the character which results from the process of trial, the temper of the veteran as opposed to that of the raw recruit; cf. Jam 1:12, &c. The exact order of ὑπομονή and δοκιμή must not be pressed too far: in St. Jam 1:3 τὸ δοκίμιον τῆς πίστεως produces ὑπομονή. If St. James had seen this Epistle (which is doubtful) we might suppose that he had this passage in his mind. The conception is that of 2 Timothy 2:3 (in the revised as well as the received text).

ἡ δὲ δοκιμὴ ἐλπίδα. It is quite intelligible as a fact of experience that the hope which is in its origin doctrinal should be strengthened by the hardening and bracing of character which come from actual conflict. Still the ultimate basis of it is the overwhelming sense of God’s love, brought home through the Death of Christ; and to this the Apostle returns.

5. οὐ καταισχύνει: ‘does not disappoint,’ ‘does not prove illusory.’ The text Isaiah 28:16 (LXX) caught the attention of the early Christians from the Messianic reference contained in it (‘Behold, I lay in Zion,’ &c.), and the assurance by which this was followed (‘he that believeth shall not be put to shame’) was confirmed to them by their own experience: the verse is directly quoted Romans 9:33 q. v.; 1 Peter 2:6.

ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ: certainly ‘the love of God for us,’ not ‘our love for God’ (Theodrt. Aug. and some moderns): ἀγάπη thus comes to mean, ‘our sense of God’s love,’ just as εἰρήνη = ‘our sense of peace with God.’

ἐκκέχυται. The idea of spiritual refreshment and encouragement is usually conveyed in the East through the metaphor of watering. St. Paul seems to have had in his mind Isaiah 44:3 ‘I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground: I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed,’ &c.

διὰ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου: without the art., for the Spirit as imparted, St. Paul refers all his conscious experience of the privileges of Christianity to the operation of the Holy Spirit, dating from the time when he definitively enrolled himself as a Christian, i.e. from his baptism.

6. ἔτι γάρ. There is here a difficult, but not really very important, variety of reading, the evidence for which may be thus summarized:—

ἔτι γάρ at the beginning of the verse with ἔτι also after ἀσθενῶν, the mass of MSS.

ἔτι at the beginning of the verse only, some inferior MSS. (later stage of the Ecclesiastical text).

εἰς τί γάρ (possibly representing ἵνα τί γάρ, ut quid enim), the Western text (Latin authorities).

εἰ γάρ few authorities, partly Latin.

εἴ γε B.

It is not easy to select from these a reading which shall account for all the variants. That indeed which has the best authority, the double ἔτι, does not seem to be tenable, unless we suppose an accidental repetition of the word either by St. Paul or his amanuensis. It would not be difficult to get ἔτι γάρ from ἴνα τί γάρ, or vice versa, through the doubling or dropping of ΙΝ from the preceding word ΗΜΙΝ; nor would it be difficult to explain ἔτι γάρ from εἰ γάρ, or vice versa. We might then work our way back to an alternative εἰ γάρ or εἴ γε, which might be confused with each other through the use of an abbreviation. Fuller details are given below. We think on the whole that it is not improbable that here, as in 4:1, B has preserved the original reading εἴ γε. For the meaning of εἴ γε (‘so surely as’ Va.) see T. S. Evans in Exp. 1882, 1:176 f.; and the note on 3:30 above.

In more detail the evidence stands thus: ἔτι γάρ here with ἔτι also after ἀσθενῶν א A C D* al.: ἔτι here only Dc E K L P &c.: εἰς τί γάρ Db F G: ut quid enim Lat. Vet. Vulg., Iren.-lat. Faustin: εἰ γάρ 104 Greg. ( = h Scriv.), fuld, Isid.-Pelus. Aug. bis: εἰ γὰρ ̣ ̣ ̣ ἔτι Boh. (‘For if, we being still weak,’ &c.): εἰ δέ Pesh.: εἴ γε B. [The readings are wrongly given by Lips., and not quite correctly even by Gif., through overlooking the commas in Tisch. The statement which is at once fullest and most exact will be found in WH.] It thus appears: (1) that the reading most strongly supported is ἔτι γάρ, with double ἔτι, which is impossible unless we suppose a lapsus calami between St. Paul and his amanuensis. (2) The Western reading is εἰς τί γάρ, which may conceivably be a paraphrastic equivalent for an original ἵνα τί γάρ (Gif., from ut quid enim of Iren.-lat. &c.): this is no doubt a very early reading. (3) Another sporadic reading is εἰ γάρ. (4) B alone gives εἴ γε. So far as sense goes this is the best, and there are not a few cases in N. T. where the reading of B alone strongly commends itself (cf. 4:1 above). But the problem is, how to account for the other readings? It would not be difficult palaeographically from εἰ γάρ to get ἔτι γάρ by dittography of ι (ειγαρ, ειιγαρ, ετιγαρ), or from this again to get εἰς τί γάρ through dittography of ε and confusion with χ (εχτιγαρ); or we might take the alternative ingeniously suggested by Gif., of supposing that the original reading was ἵνα τί γάρ, of which the first two letters had been absorbed by the previous ἡμῖν (ημιν[ιν]ατιγαρ). There would thus be no great difficulty in accounting for the origin either of ἔτι γάρ or of the group of Western readings; and the primitive variants would be reduced to the two, ει γαρ and ει γε. Dr. Hort proposed to account for these by a conjectural ει περ, which would be a conceivable root for all the variations—partly through paraphrase and partly through errors of transcription. We might however escape the necessity of resorting to conjecture by supposing confusion between γε and the abbreviation γβ. [For this form see T. W. Allen, Notes on Abbreviations in Greek MSS. (Oxford, 1889), p. 9 and pl. iii; Lehmann, Die tachygraphischen Abkürzungen d. griech. Handschriften (Leipzig, 1880), p. 91 f. taf. 9. We believe that the oldest extant example is in the Fragmentum Mathematicum Bobiense of the seventh century (Wattenbach, Script. Graec. Specim. tab. 8), where the abbreviation appears in a corrupt form. But we know that shorthand was very largely practised in the early centuries (cf. Eus. H. E. VI. xxiii. 2), and it may have been used by Tertius himself.] Where we have such a tangled skein to unravel as this it is impossible to speak very confidently; but we suspect that εἴ γε, as it makes the best sense, may also be the original reading.

ἀσθενῶν: ‘incapable’ of working out any righteousness for ourselves.

κατὰ καιρόν. St. Paul is strongly impressed with the fitness of the moment in the world’s history which Christ chose for His intervention in it. This idea is a striking link of connexion between the (practically) acknowledged and the disputed Epistles; compare on the one hand Galatians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Romans 3:26; and on the other hand Ephesians 1:10; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Timothy 6:15; Titus 1:3.

7. μόλις γάρ. The γάρ explains how this dying for sinners is a conspicuous proof of love. A few may face death for a good man, still fewer for a righteous man, but in the case of Christ there is more even than this; He died for declared enemies of God.

For μόλις the first hand of א and Orig. read μόγις, which has more attestation in Luke 9:39. The two words were easily confused both in sense and in writing.

ὑπὲρ δικαίου. There is clearly in this passage a contrast between ὑπὲρ δικαίου and ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ. They are not expressions which may be taken as roughly synonymous (Mey.-W. Lips. &c.), but it is implied that it is an easier thing to die for the ἀγαθός than for the δίκαιος. Similarly the Gnostics drew a distinction between the God of the O. T. and the God of the N. T., calling the one δίκαιος and the other ἀγαθός (Iren. Adv. Haer. I. xxvii. 1; comp. other passages and authorities quoted by Gif. p. 123). The δίκαιος keeps to the ‘letter of his bond’; about the ἀγαθός there is something warmer and more genial such as may well move to self-sacrifice and devotion.

In face of the clear and obvious parallel supplied by Irenaeus, not to speak of others, it should not be argued as it is by Weiss and Lips. (who make τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ neut.) and even by Mey. and Dr. T. K. Abbott (Essays, p. 75) that there is no substantial difference between δίκαιος and ἀγαθός. We ourselves often use ‘righteous’ and ‘good’ as equivalent without effacing the distinction between them when there is any reason to emphasize it. The stumbling-block of the art. before ἀγαθοῦ and not before δικαίου need not stand in the way. This is sufficiently explained by Gif., who points out that the clause beginning with μόλις is virtually negative, so that δικαίου is indefinite and does not need the art., while the affirmative clause implies a definite instance which the art. indicates.

We go therefore with most English and American scholars (Stuart, Hodge, Gif. Va. Lid.) against some leading Continental names in maintaining what appears to be the simple and natural sense of the passage.

8. συνίστησι: see on 3:5.

τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀγάπην: ‘His own love,’ emphatic, prompted from within not from without. Observe that the death of Christ is here referred to the will of the Father, which lies behind the whole of what is commonly (and not wrongly) called the ‘scheme of redemption.’ Gif. excellently remarks that the ‘proof of God’s love towards us drawn from the death of Christ is strong in proportion to the closeness of the union between God and Christ.’ It is the death of One who is nothing less than ‘the Son.’

τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀγάπην εἰς ἡμᾶς ὁ Θεός א A C K P &c.: ὁ Θεὸς εἰς ἡμᾶς D E F G L: om. ὁ Θεός B. There is no substantial difference of meaning, as εἰς ἡμᾶς in any case goes with συνίστησι, not with ἀγάπην.

ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀπέθανε. St. Paul uses emphatic language, 1 Corinthians 15:1-3, to show that this doctrine was not confined to himself but was a common property of Christians.

9. St. Paul here separates between ‘justification,’ the pronouncing ‘not guilty’ of sinners in the past and their final salvation from the wrath to come. He also clearly connects the act of justification with the bloodshedding of Christ: he would have said with the author of Hebrews 9:22 χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις, see p. 92 above.

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 Christ.

διʼ αὐτοῦ: explained by the next verse ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ. That which saves the Christian from final judgement is his union with the living Christ.

10. κατηλλάγημεν. The natural prima facie view is that the reconciliation is mutual; and this view appears to verify itself on examination: see below.

ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ. For the full meaning of this see the notes on ch. 6:8-11; 8:10, 11.

11. καυχώμενοι (א B C D, &c.) is decisively attested for καυχώμεθα, 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 καυχώμεθα. In any case it is present and not future (as if constructed with σωθησόμεθα). We may compare a similar loose attachment of δικαιούμενοι in ch. 3:24.

The Idea of Reconciliation or Atonement

The καταλλαγή described in these verses is the same as the εἰρήνη of ver. 1; and the question necessarily meets us, What does this εἰρήνη or καταλλαγή 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 Colossians 1:21: ‘ἐχθρούς, “hostile to God,” as the consequence of ὰπηλλοτριωμένους not “hateful to God,” as it is taken by some. The active rather than the passive sense of ἐχθρούς 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 1 John 2:2 (p. 85): ‘Such phrases as “propitiating God” and “God being reconciled” are foreign to the language of the N. T. Man is reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18 ff.; Romans 5:10 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 ἱλασμός, when it is applied to the sinner, so to speak, neutralizes the sin.’ [A difficult and it may be thought hardly tenable distinction. The relation of God to sin is not merely passive but active; and the term ίλασμός 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 Ritschl (Recht. u. Vers. ii. 230 ff.).

No doubt there are passages where ἐχθρός denotes the hostility and καταλλαγή the reconciliation 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.

(1) In the immediate context we have τὴν καταλλαγὴν ἐλάβομεν, 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 χάρις καὶ εἰρήνη, to which is usually added ἀπὸ Θεοῦ in the greetings of the Epistles.

(2) In Romans 11:28 ἐχθροί is opposed to ἀγαπητοί, where ἀγαπητοί must be passive (‘beloved by God’), so that it is hardly possible that ἐχθροί 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 ἱλαστήριον (Romans 3:25), ἱλασμός (1 John 2:2) 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 (Romans 1:18, &c.). When that Anger ceases to be so directed there is surely a change (or what we should be compelled 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 imperfect way of speaking: κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω must be written large over all such language. We are obliged to use anthropomorphic 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.’


5:12-14. 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 and death. If death prevailed throughout the pre-Mosaic period, that could not be due solely to the act of those who died. Death is the punishment of sin; but they had not sinned against law as Adam had. The true cause then was not their own sin, but Adam’s; whose fall thus had consequences extending beyond itself, like the redeeming act of Christ.

12The description just given of the Work of Christ, first justifying and reconciling the sinner, and then holding out to him the hope of final salvation, brings out forcibly the contrast between the two great Representatives of Humanity—Adam and Christ. The act by which Adam fell, like the act of Christ, had a far-reaching effect upon mankind. Through his Fall, Sin, as an active principle, first gained an entrance among the 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. 13When I say ‘they sinned’ I must insert a word of qualification. 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. 14Yet they suffered the full penalty of sin. All through the long period which intervened between Adam and the Mosaic legislation, the tyrant 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. διὰ τοῦτο: points to the logical connexion with what precedes. It has been argued, at somewhat disproportionate length, whether this refers to ver. 11 only (Fricke, De Mente dogmatica loci Paulini ad Romans 5:12 sq., Lipsiae, 1880, Mey., Philippi, Beet), or to vv. 9-11 (Fri.), or to vv. 1-11 (Rothe, Hofmann), or to the whole discussion from 1:17 onwards (Beng., Schott, Reiche, Rückert). We cannot lay down so precisely how much was consciously present to the mind of the Apostle. But as the leading 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 vv. 1-11.

That being so, we cannot with Fricke infer from ver. 11 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. All 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 (1) the liability to sin, (2) the liability to die as the punishment of sin.

ὥσπερ. The structure of the paragraph introduced by this word (to the end of ver. 14) is broken in a manner very characteristic of St. Paul. He begins the sentence as if he intended it to run: ὥσπερ διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου ἡ ἁμαρτία εἰς τὸν κόσμον εἰσῆλθε, καὶ διὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὁ θάνατος … οὕτω καὶ διʼ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου ἡ δικαιοσύνη εἰσῆλθε, καὶ διὰ τῆς δικαιοσύνης ἡ ζωή. But the words διὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὁ θάνατος 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 (ὅς ἐστι τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος) to the end of his digression: and so what should have been the main apodosis of the whole paragraph becomes merely subordinate. 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 2:16; 3:8, 26.

ἡ ἁμαρτία: 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.

εἰς τὸν κόσμον εἰσῆλθε: a phrase which, though it reminds us specially of St. John (John 1:9, John 1:10; John 3:17, John 3:19; John 6:14; John 9:5, John 9:39; John 10:36, &c.), is not peculiar to him (cf. 1 Timothy 1:15; Hebrews 10:5). St. John and the author of Heb. apply it to the personal incarnation of the Logos; here it is applied to the impersonal self-diffusion of evil.

ὁ θάνατος. 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 simpler and better to take it of ‘physical death’: because (1) this is clearly the sense of ver. 14; (2) it is the sense of Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:19; 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 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; ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις is the keynote of the passage. It is not necessary that the two sides of the antithesis should exactly correspond. 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 makes it a charge against the Pelagians that they understood in the second place ὁ θάνατος.

διῆλθεν: contains the force of distribution; ‘made its way to each individual member of the race’: καθάπερ τις κλῆρος πατρὸς διαβὰς ἐπὶ τοὺς ἐγγόνους (‘like a father’s inheritance divided among his children’), Euthym.-Zig.

ἐφʼ ᾧ Though this expression has been much fought over there can now be little doubt that the true rendering is ‘because’ (1) Orig. followed by the Latin commentators Aug. and Amdrstr. took the rel. as masc. with antecedent Ἀδάμ: ‘in whom,’ i. e. ‘in Adam.’ But in that case (i) ἐπί would not be the right preposition; (ii) ᾧ would be too far removed from its antecedent. (2) Some Greeks quoted by Photius also took the rel. as masc. with antecedent θάνατος: ‘in which,’ i. e. ‘in death,’ which is even more impossible. (3) Some moderns, taking ᾧ 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, just as all sinned’), Rothe, De Wette; (ii) (= ἐφʼ ὅσον) ‘in proportion as,’ ‘in so far as’ (‘all died, in so far as all sinned’), Ewald, Tholuck (ed. 1856) and others. But the Greek will not bear either of these senses. (4) ᾧ is rightly taken as neut., and the phrase ἐφʼ ᾧ 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.

ἐφʼ ᾧ in classical writers more often means ‘on condition that’: cf. Thuc. i.113 σπονδὰς ποιησάμενοι ἐφʼ ᾧ τοὺς ἅνδρας κομιοῦνται, ‘on condition of getting back their prisoners,’ &c. The plural ἐφʼ οἷς is more common, as in ἀνθʼ ὧν, ἐξ ὦν, διʼ ὧν. In N. T. the phrase occurs three times, always as it would seem = propterea quod, ‘because’: cf. 2 Corinthians 5:4 στενάζομεν βαρούμενοι· ἐφʼ ᾦ οὐ θέλομεν ἐκδύσασθαι κ.τ.λ.; Php 3:12 ἐφʼ ᾧ καὶ κατελήφθην ὑπὸ Χ. Ἰ. (where ‘seeing that’ or ‘because’ appears to be the more probable rendering). So Phavorinus (d. 1537; a lexicographer of the Renaissance period, who incorporated the contents of older works, but here seems to be inventing his examples) ἐφʼ ᾧ ἀντὶ τοῦ διότι λέγουσιν Ἀττικοί, οἷον ἐφʼ ᾧ τὴν κλοπὴν εἰργάσω (‘because you committed the theft’) κ.τ.λ.

ἐφʼ ᾧ πάντες ἥμαρτον. Here lies the crux of this difficult passage. In what sense did ‘all sin’? (1) Many, including even Meyer, though explaining ἐφʼ ᾧ 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 ᾧ is Ἀδάμ. Bengel has given this classical expression: omnes peccarunt, Adamo peccante, ‘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, why did he not say so? The insertion of ἐν Ἀδάμ would have removed all ambiguity. (2) The Greek commentators for the most part supply nothing, but take ἥμαρτον in its usual sense: ‘all sinned in their own persons, and on their own initiative.’ So Euthym.-Zig.: διότι πάντες ἥμαρτον ἀκολουθήσαντες τῷ προπάτορι κατά γε τὸ ἁμαρτῆσαι. 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 ἥμαρτον in its ordinary sense without severing the connexion between Adam and his posterity. If they sinned, their sin was due in part to tendencies inherited from Adam. So practically 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 which they inherit from their forefather (see the passage quoted in full below), the writer goes on to describe this sin as a repetition of Adam’s due to the fact that they too had within them the cor malignum as he had: Et deliquerunt qui habitabant civitatem, in omnibus facientes sicut fecit Adam et omnes generationes eius, utebantur enim et ipsi corde maligno (4 Ezra 3:25 f.). Other passages may be quoted both from 4 Ezra and from Apoc. Baruch. 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. ἄχρι γὰρ νόμου κ.τ.λ. At first sight this seems to give a reason for just the opposite of what is wanted: it seems to prove not that πάντες ἤμαρτον, 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 under-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 Fall. 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, have law enough to be judged by (2:12-16); 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.

ἁμαρτία δὲ οὐκ ἐλλογεῖται κ.τ.λ. The thought is one which had evidently taken strong hold on St. Paul: see on 4:15, and the parallels there quoted.

ἐλλογεῖται: ‘brought into account’ (Gif.), as of an entry made in a ledger. The word also occurs in Philemon 1:18, where see Lightfoot’s note.

ἐλλογεῖται (or ἐνλογεῖται) אc B C D E F G K L P, &c., ἐλλογᾶται אd: ἐνελογεῖτο א*, ἐλλογᾶτο A 52 108; imputabatur Vulg. codd. Ambrstr. al. The imperf. appears to be a (mistaken) correction due to the context. As to the form of the verb: ἐλλόγα is decisively attested in Philemon 1:18. 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 is rather to obliterate vernacular forms than to introduce them, there is perhaps a slight balance of probability in favour of ἐλλογᾶται: see Westcott and Hort, Notes on Orthography in Appendix to Introd. p. 166 ff.

14. ἐβασίλευσεν ὁ θάνατος. 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 mischief 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 constitutum est capitale supplicium et quidem constitutione iustissima. nam quod magnum solet esse solatium extrema passuris, quorum eadem causa et sors eadem est. Similarly Philo speaks of τὸν συμφυᾶ νεκρὸν ἡμῶν, τὸ σῶμα (De Gigant. 3; ed. Mang. i.264). Elsewhere he goes a step further and asserts ὅτι παντὶ γεννητῷ … συμφυὲς τὸ ἁμαρτάνειν. For parallels in 4 Ezra and Apoc. Baruch. see below.

ἐπὶ τοὺς μὴ ἁμαρτήσαντας. A number of authorities, mostly Latin 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.-lat. (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 Tertullian, 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 Romans 4:19 (q.v.), Galatians 2:5. In two out of the three cases the Western text omits the negative, but in ch. 4:19 it inserts it.

τύπος (τύπτω): (1) the ‘impression’ left by a sharp blow (τὸν τύπον τῶν ἥλων John 20:25), in particular the ‘stamp’ struck by a die; (2) 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 (ἀντίτυπος 1 Peter 3:21). 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’).

τοῦ μέλλοντος. (1) The entirely personal nature of the whole comparison prevents us from taking τοῦ μέλλ. as neut. = ‘that which was to come’ (Beng., Oltramare). If St. Paul had intended this, he would have written τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος. (2) Neither is it probable that we have here a direct allusion to the Rabbinical designation of the Messiah as ὁ δεύτερος or ὁ ἔσχατος Ἀδάμ (1 Corinthians 15:45, 1 Corinthians 15:47). If St. Paul had intended this, he would have written τοῦ μέλλοντος Ἀδάμ. (3) The context makes it clear enough who is intended The first representative of the human race as such prefigured its second Great Representative, whose coming lay in the future: this is sufficiently brought out by the expression ‘of Him who was to be.’ ὁ μέλλων thus approximates in meaning to ὁ ἐρχόμενος (Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19; Hebrews 10:37), which however appears not to have been, as it is sometimes regarded, a standing designation for the Messiah* In any case τοῦ μέλλοντος = ‘Him who was to come’ when Adam fell, not ‘who is (still) to come’ (Fri. De W.).

The Effects of Adam’s Fall in Jewish Theology

Three points come out clearly in these verses: (1) the Fall of Adam brought death not only to Adam himself but to his descendants; (2) the Fall 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 not seem to have had any consistent doctrine on the subject. Dr. Edersheim says expressly: ‘So far as their opinions can be gathered from their writings the great doctrines of Original Sin and of the sinfulness of our whole nature, were not held by the ancient Rabbis’ (Life and Times, &c. i. 165). Still there are approximations, especially in the writings on which we have drawn so freely already, the Fourth Book of Ezra and the Apocalypse of Baruch.

(1) The evidence is strongest as to the connexion between Adam’s sin and the introduction of death. ‘There were,’ says Dr. Edersheim, ‘two divergent opinions—the one ascribing death to personal, the other to Adam’s guilt’ (op. cit. i. 166). It is however allowed that the latter view greatly preponderated. Traces of it are found as far back as the Sapiential Books: e.g. Wisd. 2:23 f. ὁ Θεὸς ἔκτισεν τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐπʼ ἀφθαρσίᾳ … φθόνῳ δὲ διαβόλου θάνατος εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον, where we note the occurrence of St. Paul’s phrase; Ecclus. 25:24 [33] διʼ αὐτὴν (sc. τὴν γυναῖκα) ἀποθνήσκομεν πάντες. The doctrine is also abundantly recognized in 4 Ezra and Apoc. Baruch.: 4 Ezra 3:7 et huic (sc. Adamo) mandasti diligere viam tuam, et praeterivit eam; et statim instituisti in eum mortem et in nationibus ( = generationibus) eius: Apoc. Baruch. xvii. 3 (Adam) mortem attulit et abscidit annos eorum qui ab eo geniti fuerunt: ibid. xxiii. 4 Quando peccavit Adam et decreta fuit mors contra eos qui gignerentur.

(2) We are warned (by Dr. Edersheim in Sp. Comm. Apocr. ad loc.) not to identify the statement of Ecclus. 25:24 [33] ἀπὸ γυναικὸς ἀρχὴ ἁμαρτίας with the N. T. doctrine of Original Sin: still it points in that direction; we have just seen that the writer deduces from Eve the death of all mankind, and in like manner he also seems to deduce from her (ἀπὸ γυν.) the initium peccandi. More explicit are 4 Ezra 3:21 f. Cor enim malignum baiulans primus Adam transgressus et victus est, sed et omnes qui de eo nati sunt: et facta est permanens infirmitas, et lex cum corde populi, cum malignitate radicis; et discessit quod bonum est, et mansit maiignum: ibid. iv. 30 Quoniam granum seminis mali seminatum est in corde Adam ab initio, et quantum impietatis generavit usque nunc, et generat usque dum veniat area: ibid. vii. 48 (118) O tu quid fecisti Adam? Si enim tu peccasti, non est factus solius tuus casus, sed et nostrum qui ex te advenimus.

(3) And yet along with all this we have the explicit assertion of responsibility on the part of all who sin. This appears in the passage quoted above on ver. 12 (ad fin.). To the same effect are 4 Ezr. 8:59 f. Non enim Altissimus voluit hominem disperdi, sed ipsi qui creati sunt coinquinaverunt nomen eius qui fecit eos: ibid. ix. 11 qui fastidierunt legem meam cum adhuc erant habentes libertatem. But the classical passage is Apoc. Baruch. liv. 15, 19 Si enim Adam prior peccavit, et attulit mortem super omnes immaturam; sed etiam illi qui ex eo nati sunt, unusquisque ex eis praeparavit animae suae tormentum futurum: et iterum unusquisque ex eis elegit sibi gloriam futurum … Non est ergo Adam causa, nisi animae suae tantum; nos vero unusquisque fuit animae suae Adam.

The teaching of these passages does not really conflict with that of the Talmud. The latter is thus summarized by Weber (Altsyn. Theol. p. 216): ‘By the Fall man came under a curse, is guilty of death, and his right relation to God is rendered difficult. More than this cannot be said. Sin, to which the bent and leaning had already been planted in man by creation, had become a fact; the “evil impulse” ( = cor malignum) gained the mastery over mankind, who can only resist it by the greatest efforts; before the Fall it had had power over him, but no such ascendancy (Uebermacht).’ Hence when the same writer says a little further on that according to the Rabbis ‘there is such a thing as transmission of guilt, but not such a thing as transmission of sin (Es gibt eine Erbschuld, aber keine Erbsünde),’ the negative proposition is due chiefly to the clearness with which the Rabbis (like Apoc. Baruch.) insist upon free-will and direct individual responsibility.

It seems to us a mistake to place the teaching of St. Paul in too marked opposition to this. There is no fundamental inconsistency between his views and those of his contemporaries. He does not indeed either affirm or deny the existence of the cor malignum before the Fall, nor does he use such explicit language as nos vero unusquisque fuit animae suae Adam: on the other hand he does define more exactly than the Rabbis the nature of human responsibility both under the Law (ch. 7:7 ff.) and without it (2:12-15). But here, as elsewhere in dealing with this mysterious subject (see p. 267 below), he practically contents himself with leaving the two complementary truths side by side. Man inherits his nature; and yet he must not be allowed to shift responsibility from himself: there is that within him by virtue of which he is free to choose; and on that freedom of choice he must stand or fall.


5:15-21. So far the parallelism: but note also the contrast. How superior the Work of Christ! (1) How different in quality: the one act all sin, the other act all bounty or grace! (ver. 15). (2) How different in quantity, or mode of working: one act tainting the whole race with sin, and a multitude of sins collected together in one only to be forgiven! (ver. 16). (3) How different and surpassing in its whole character and consequences: a reign of Death and a reign of Life! (ver. 17). Summarizing: Adam’s Fall brought sin: Law increased it: but the Work of Grace has cancelled, and more than cancelled, the effect of Law (vv. 18-21).

15In both cases there is a transmission of effects: but there the resemblance ends. In all else the false step (or Fall, as we call it) of Adam and the free gift of God’s bounty are most unlike. The fall of that one representative man entailed death upon the many members of the race to which he belonged. Can we then be surprised if an act of such different quality—the free unearned favour of God, and the gift of righteousness bestowed through the kindness of that other Representative Man, Jesus Messiah—should have not only cancelled the effect of the Fall, but also brought further blessings to the whole race? 16There is a second difference between this boon bestowed through Christ and the ill effects of one man’s sinning. The sentence pronounced upon Adam took its rise in the act of a single man, and had for its result a sweeping verdict of condemnation. But the gift bestowed by God inverts this procedure. It took its rise in many faults, and it had for its result a verdict declaring sinners righteous. 17Yet once more. Through the single fault of the one man Adam the tyrant Death began its reign through that one sole agency. Much more then shall the Christian recipients of that overflowing kindness and of the inestimable gift of righteousness—much more shall they also reign, not in death but in life, through the sole agency of Jesus Messiah.

18To sum up. On one side we have the cause, a single Fall; and the effect, extending to all men, condemnation. On the other side we have as cause, a single absolving act; and as effect, also extending to all, a like process of absolution, carrying with it life. 19For as through the disobedience of the one man Adam all mankind were placed in the class and condition of ‘sinners,’ so through the obedience (shown in His Death upon the Cross) of the one man, Christ, the whole multitude of believers shall be placed in the class and condition of ‘righteous.’ 20 Then Law came in, as a sort of ‘afterthought,’ a secondary and subordinate stage, in the Divine plan, causing the indefinite multiplication of sins which, like the lapse or fall of Adam, were breaches of express command. Multiplied indeed they were, but only with the result of calling forth a still more abundant stream of pardoning grace. 21Hitherto Sin has sat enthroned in a kingdom of the dead; its subjects have been sunk in moral and spiritual death. But this has been permitted only in order that the Grace or Goodwill of God might also set up its throne over a people fitted for its sway by the gift of righteousness, and therefore destined not for death but for eternal life—through the mediation of Jesus Messiah, our Lord.

15. παράπτωμα: lit. ‘a slip or fall sideways,’ ‘a false step,’ ‘a lapse’: hence metaph. in a sense not very dissimilar to ἁμαρτημα (which is prop. ‘missing a mark’). It is however appropriate that παράπτ. should be used for a ‘fall’ or first deflection from uprightness, just as ἁμάρτ. is used of the failure of efforts towards recovery. On the word see Trench, Syn. p. 237 f.

τοῦ ἑνός: ‘the one man,’ i. e. Adam.

οἱ πολλοί: ‘the many,’ practically = πάντας ver. 12; πάντας ἀνθρώπους in ver. 18, ‘all mankind.’ It is very misleading to translate as AV., ignoring the article, if ‘through the offence of one, many be dead, by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ Redemption like the Fall proceeds not from any chance member of the human race, and its effects extend not only to ‘many’ but to ‘all’—to ‘all,’ that is potentially, if they embrace the redemption which is offered them.

See Bentley, quoted by Lft. On Revision, p. 97, ‘By this accurate version some hurtful mistakes about partial redemption and absolute reprobation had been happily prevented. Our English readers had then seen, what several of the Fathers saw and testified, that οἱ πολλοί, the many, in an antithesis to the one, are equivalent to πάντες, all, in ver. 12, and comprehend the whole multitude, the entire species of mankind, exclusive only of the one.’

πολλῷ μᾶλλον. What we know of the character of God as displayed in Christ makes us more certain of the good result than of the evil.

ἡ δωρεά is more fully defined below (ver. 17) as ἡ δωρεὰ τῆς δικαιοσύνης: the gift is the condition of righteousness into which the sinner enters. δωρεά, ‘boon,’ like δῶρον contrasted with δόμα, is reserved for the highest and best gifts; so Philo, Leg. Alleg. iii. 70 ἔμφασιν μεγέθους τελείων ἀγαθῶν δηλοῦσιν (Lft. Rev. p. 77); comp. also the ascending scale of expression in Jam 1:17.

ἐν χάριτι goes closely with ἡ δωρεά. In classical Greek we should have had the art. ἡ ἐν χάριτι, but in Hellenistic Greek a qualifying phrase is attached to a subst. without repetition of the art. Mey., however and some others (including Lid.) separate ἐν χάριτι from ἡ δωρεά and connect it with ἐπερίσσευσε.

χάρις is more often applied to God the Father, and is exhibited in the whole scheme of salvation. As applied to Christ it is (1) that active favour towards mankind which moved Him to intervene for their salvation (cf. esp. 2 Corinthians 8:9) (2) the same active favour shown to the individual by the Father and the Son conjointly (Romans 1:7 q. v.).

16. The absence of verbs is another mark of compressed antithetic style. With the first clause we may supply ἐστί, with the second ἐγένετο: ‘And not as through one man’s sinning, so is the boon. For the judgement sprang from one to condemnation, but the free gift sprang from many trespasses (and ended in) a declaration of righteousness.’ In the one case there is expansion outwards, from one to many: in the other case there is contraction inwards; the movement originates with many sins which are all embraced in a single sentence of absolution.

δικαίωμα: usually the decision, decree, or ordinance by which a thing is declared δίκαιον (that which gives a thing the force of ‘right’); here the decision or sentence by which persons are declared δίκαιοι. The sense is determined by the antithesis to κατάκριμα. δικαίωμα bears to δικαίωσις the relation of an act completed to an act in process (see p. 31 sup.).

17. πολλῷ μᾶλλον. Here the a fortiori argument lies in the nature of the two contrasted forces: God’s grace must be more powerful in its working than man’s sin.

τὴν περισσείαν … τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς δικαιοσύνης λαμβάνοντες. Every term here points to that gift of righteousness here described as something objective and external to the man himself, not wrought within him but coming to him, imputed not infused. It has its source in the overflow of God’s free favour; it is a gift which man receives: see pp. 25, 30 f., 36 above.

βασιλεύσουσι. The metaphor is present to St. Paul’s mind; and having used it just before of the prevalence of Death, he naturally recurs to it in the sense more familiar to a Christian of his share in the Messianic blessings, of which the foremost was a heightened and glorified vitality, that ‘eternal life’ which is his already in germ.

διὰ τοῦ ἑνὸς Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. The διά here covers the whole mediation of the Son in reference to man: it is through His Death that the sinner on embracing Christianity enters upon the state of righteousness, and through the union with Him which follows that his whole being is vitalized and transfigured through time into eternity.

18. This and the three following verses, introduced by the strongly illative particles ἄρα οὖν, sum up the results of the whole comparison between Adam and Christ: the resemblance is set forth in vv. 18, 19; the difference and vast preponderance of the scale of blessing in vv. 20, 21.

Again we have a condensed antithesis—the great salient strokes confronting each other without formal construction: origin, extent, issue, alike parallel and alike opposed. ‘As then, through one lapse, to all men, unto condemnation—so also, through one justifying act, to all men, unto justification of life.’ There are two difficulties, the interpretation of διʼ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος and of δικαίωσιν ζωῆς.

διʼ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος. Does δικαίωμα here mean the same thing as in ver. 16? If so, it is the sentence by which God declares men righteous on account of Christ’s Death. Or is it the merit of that Death itself, the ‘righteous act,’ or ὑπακοή, of Christ? A number of scholars (Holsten, Va. Lips. Lid.) argue that it must be the latter in order to correspond with διʼ ἑνὸς παραπτώματος. So too Euthym.-Zig. διʼ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος τοῦ Χ. τὴν ἄκραν δικαιοσύνην πεπληρωκότος. But it seems better, with Mey. Gif. and others, to give the same sense to δικαίωμα as in ver. 16. We saw that there the sense was fixed by κατάκριμα, which is repeated in the present verse. On the other hand it is doubtful whether δικαίωμα can quite = ‘a righteous act.’ God’s sentence and the act of Christ are so inseparable that the one may be used in the antithesis as naturally as the other.

It is best also to follow the natural construction of the Greek and make ἑνός neut. in agreement with δικαιώμ. (Mey.-W. Va. Gif.) rather than masc. (Lips.).

δικαίωσιν ζωῆς. ‘Life’ is both the immediate and ultimate result of that state of things into which the Christian enters when he is declared ‘righteous’ or receives his sentence of absolution.

19. διὰ τῆς παρακοῆς … διὰ τῆς ὑπακοῆς. It is natural that this aspect of the Fall as παρακοή should be made prominent in a context which lays stress on the effect of law or express command in enhancing the heinousness of sin. It is natural also that in antithesis to this there should be singled out in the Death of Christ its special aspect as ὑπακοή: cf. Hebrews 5:8, Hebrews 5:9; Matthew 26:39; Php 2:8. On the word παρακοή (‘a failing to hear,’ incuria, and thence inobedientia) see Trench, Syn. p. 234.

κατεστάθησαν … κατασταθήσονται: ‘were constituted’ … ‘shall be constituted.’ But in what sense ‘constituted’? The Greek word has the same ambiguity as the English. If we define further, the definition must come from the context. Here the context is sufficiently clear: it covers on the one hand the whole result of Adam’s Fall for his descendants prior to and independently of their own deliberate act of sin; and it covers on the other hand the whole result of the redeeming act of Christ so far as that too is accomplished objectively and apart from active concurrence on the part of the Christian. The fut. κατασταθήσονται has reference not to the Last Judgement but to future generations of Christians; to all in fact who reap the benefit of the Cross.

When St. Paul wrote in Galatians 2:15 ἡμεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι, καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί, he implied (speaking for the moment from the stand-point of his countrymen) that Gentiles would be regarded as φύσει ἁμαρτωλοί: they belonged ‘to the class’ of sinners; just as we might speak of a child as belonging to the ‘criminal class’ before it had done anything by its own act to justify its place in that class. The meaning of the text is very similar: so far as it relates to the effects of the Fall of Adam it must be interpreted by vv. 12-14; and so far as it relates to the effects of the Death of Christ it is parallel to vv. 1, 2 δικαιωθέντες οὖν [ἐκ πίστεως] εἰρήνην ἔχομεν (contained in ἔχωμεν) πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ., διʼ οὗ καὶ τὴν προσαγωγὴν ἐσχήκαμεν εἰς τὴν χάριν ἐν ᾗ ἑστήκαμεν. For the use of καθίστασθαι there is a good parallel in Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 9 Ἐγὼ οὗν τοὺς μὲν βουλομένους πολλὰ πράγματα ἔχειν … εἰς τοὺς ἀρχικοὺς καταστήσαιμι, where καταστ. = εἰς τοὺς ἀρχικοὺς τάττομεν (sup.) and ἐμαυτὸν τάττω εἰς τοὺς βουλομένους (inf.).

20. παρεισῆλθεν: ‘come in to the side of a state of things already existing.’ St. Paul regarded Law as a ‘parenthesis’ in the Divine plan: it did not begin until Moses, and it ended with Christ (cp. 4:13-16; 10:4). Here however he has in view only its late beginning: it is a sort of ‘after-thought’ (see the Paraphrase).

‘Why did he not say the Law was given, but the Law entered by the way? It was to show that the need of it was temporary and not absolute or claiming precedence’ (πρόσκαιρον αὐτοῦ δεικνὺς τὴν χρείαν οὖσαν, καὶ οὐ κυρίαν οὐδὲ προηγουμένην) Chrys.

ἵνα πλεονάσῃ. For the force of ἵνα comp. εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἀναπολογήτους 1:20: the multiplication of transgression is not the first and direct object of law, but its second and contingent object: law only multiplies trangression because it is broken and so converts into deliberate sin acts which would not have had that character if they had not been so expressly forbidden.

Τὸ δὲ ἵνα ἐνταῦθα οὐκ αἰτιολογίας πάλιν ἀλλʼ ἐκβάσεώς ἐστιν. Οὐ γὰρ διὰ τοῦτο ἐδόθη ἱνα πλεονάσῃ, ἀλλʼ ἐδόθη μὲν ὥστε μειῶσαι καὶ ἀνελεῖν τὸ παράπτωμα· ἐξέβη δὲ τοὐναντίον, οὐ παρὰ τὴν τοῦ νόμου φύσιν, ἀλλὰ παρὰ τὴν τῶν δεξαμένων ῥαθυμίαν (Chrys.): a note which shows that the ancients were quite aware of the ecbatic sense of ἵνα (see on 11:11).

πλεονάσῃ, as Va. remarks, might be transitive, but is more probably intransitive, because of ἐπλεόνασεν ἡ ἁμαρτ. which follows.

τὸ παράπτωμα: seems expressly chosen in order to remind us that all sins done in defiance of a definite command are as such repetitions of the sin of Adam.

21. ἐν τῷ θανάτῳ. Sin reigns, as it were, over a charnel-house; the subjects of its empire are men as good as dead, dead in every sense of the word, dead morally and spiritually, and therefore doomed to die physically (see on 6:8 below).

διὰ δικαιοσύνης. The reign of grace or Divine favour is made possible by the gift of righteousness which the Christian owes to the mediation of Christ, and which opens up for him the prospect of eternal life.

St. Paul’s Conception of Sin and of the Fall

St. Paul uses Greek words, and some of those which he uses cannot be said to have essentially a different meaning from that which attached to them on their native soil; and yet the different relations in which they are placed and the different associations which gather round them, convey what is substantially a different idea to the mind.

The word ἁμαρτία with its cognates is a case in point. The corresponding term in Hebrew has much the same original sense of ‘missing a mark.’ Both words are used with a higher and a lower meaning; and in both the higher meaning belongs to the sphere of religion. So that the difference between them is not in the words themselves but in the spirit of the religions with which they are connected.

This appears upon the face of it from the mere bulk of literary usage. In classical Greek ἁμαρτία, ἁμαρτάνειν are common enough in the lighter senses of ‘missing an aim,’ of ‘error in judgement or opinion’; in the graver sense of serious wrong-doing they are rare. When we turn to the Bible, the LXX and the N.T. alike, this proportion is utterly reversed. The words denote nearly always religious wrong-doing, and from being in the background they come strongly to the front; so much so that in the Concordance to the LXX this group of words fills some thirteen columns, averaging not much less than eighty instances to the column.

This fact alone tells its own story. And along with it we must take the deepening of meaning which the words have undergone through the theological context in which they are placed. ‘How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ (Genesis 39:9). ‘Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Thy sight’ (Psalm 51:4). ‘Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die’ (Ezekiel 18:4). We have travelled a long way from Hellenic religion in such utterances as these.

It is impossible to have an adequate conception of sin without an adequate conception of God. The Hebrew in general, and St. Paul in particular, had this; and that is why Sin is such an intense reality to them. It is not a mere defect, the coming short of an ideal, the mark of an imperfect development. It is something more than a negation; it is a positive quality, calling forth a positive reaction. It is a personal offence against a personal God. It is an injury or wound—if the reaction which it involves may be described in such human terms as ‘injury’ or ‘wound’—directed against the Holy One whose love is incessantly going forth towards man. It causes an estrangement, a deep gulf of separation, between God and man.

The guilt of sin is proportioned to the extent to which it is conscious and deliberate. Wrong actions done without the knowledge that they are wrong are not imputed to the doer (ἁμαρτία δὲ οὐκ ἐλλογεῖται μὴ ὄντος νόμου Rom. 5:13: cf. 4:15). But as a matter of fact few or none can take advantage of this because everywhere—even among the heathen—there is some knowledge of God and of right and wrong (Romans 1:19 f.; Romans 2:12, Romans 2:14 f.), and the extent of that knowledge determines the degree of guilt. Where there is a written law like that of the Jews stamped with Divine authority, the guilt is at its height. But this is but the climax of an ascending scale in which the heinousness of the offence is proportioned to advantages and opportunities.

Why did men break the Law? In other words, Why did they sin? When the act of sin came to be analyzed it was found to contain three elements. Proximately it was due to the wicked impulses of human nature. The Law condemned illicit desires, but men had such desires and they succumbed to them (Romans 7:7 ff.). The reason of this was partly a certain corruption of human nature inherited from Adam. The corruption alone would not have been enough apart from the consentient will; neither would the will have been so acted upon if it had not been for the inherited corruption (Romans 5:12-14). But there was yet a third element, independent of both these. They operated through the man himself; but there was another influence which operated without him. It is remarkable how St. Paul throughout these chapters, Romans 5:6, Romans 5:7, constantly personifies Sin as a pernicious and deadly force at work in the world, not dissimilar in kind to the other great counteracting forces, the Incarnation of Christ and the Gospel. Now personifications are not like dogmatic definitions, and the personification in this instance does not always bear exactly the same meaning. In ch. 5, when it is said that ‘Sin entered into the world,’ the general term ‘Sin’ includes, and is made up of, the sins of individuals. But in chaps. 6 and 7 the personified Sin is set over against the individual, and expressly distinguished from him. Sin is not to be permitted to reign within the body (6:12); the members are not to be placed at the disposal of Sin (6:13); to Sin the man is enslaved (6:6, 17, 20; 7:14), and from Sin he is emancipated (6:18, 22), or in other words, it is to Sin that he dies (6:9, 11); Sin takes up its abode within his heart (7:17, 20): it works upon him, using the commandment as its instrument, and so is fatal to him (7:8, 11).

In all this the usage is consistent: a clear distinction is drawn at once between the will and the bodily impulses which act upon the will and a sort of external Power which makes both the will and the impulses subservient to it. What is the nature of this Power? Is it personal or impersonal? We could not tell from this particular context. No doubt personal attributes and functions are assigned to it, but perhaps only figuratively as part of the personification. To answer our questions we shall have to consider the teaching of the Apostle elsewhere. It is clear enough that, like the rest of his countrymen (see Charles, Book of Enoch, p. 52 f.), St. Paul did believe in a personal agency of Evil. He repeatedly uses the personal name Satan; he ascribes to him not only mischief-making in the Church (1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 2:11), but the direct temptation of individual Christians (1 Corinthians 7:5); he has his followers on whom he is sometimes invited to wreak his will (1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20); supernatural powers of deceiving or perverting men are attributed to him (2 Thessalonians 2:9 κατʼ ἐνέργειαν τοῦ Σατανᾶ ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει καὶ σημείοις καὶ τέρασι ψεύδους: cf. 2 Corinthians 11:14). The Power of Evil does not stand alone but has at its disposal a whole army of subordinate agents (ἀρχαί, ἐξουσίαι, κοσμοκράτορες τοῦ σκότους τούτου Ephesians 6:12; cf. Colossians 2:15). There is indeed a whole hierarchy of evil spirits as there is a hierarchy of good (Ephesians 1:21), and Satan has a court and a kingdom just as God has. He is ‘the god of the existing age’ (ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου 2 Corinthians 4:4), and exercises his rule till the final triumph of the Messiah (2 Thessalonians 2:8 f.; 1 Corinthians 15:24 f.).

We see therefore that just as in the other books of the N.T. the Gospels, the Apocalypse, and the other Apostolic Epistles, evil is referred to a personal cause. And although it is doubtless true that in chaps. 6, 7, where St. Paul speaks most directly of the baleful activity of Sin, he does not intend to lay special stress on this; his language is of the nature of personification and does not necessarily imply a person; yet, when we take it in connexion with other language elsewhere, we see that in the last resort he would have said that there was a personal agency at work. It is at least clear that he is speaking of an influence external to man, and acting upon him in the way in which spiritual forces act.

St. Paul regards the beginnings of sin as traceable to the Fall of Adam. In this he is simply following the account in Gen_3; and the question naturally arises, What becomes of that account and of the inferences which St. Paul draws from it, if we accept the view which is pressed upon us by the comparative study of religions and largely adopted by modern criticism, that it is not to be taken as a literal record of historical fact, but as the Hebrew form of a story common to a number of Oriental peoples and going back to a common root? When we speak of a ‘Hebrew form’ of this story we mean a form shaped and moulded by those principles of revelation of which the Hebrew race was chosen to be the special recipient. From this point of view it becomes the typical and summary representation of a series of facts which no discovery of flint implements and half-calcined bones can ever reproduce for us. In some way or other as far back as history goes, and we may believe much further, there has been implanted in the human race this mysterious seed of sin, which like other characteristics of the race is capable of transmission. The tendency to sin is present in every man who is born into the world. But the tendency does not become actual sin until it takes effect in defiance of an express command, in deliberate disregard of a known distinction between right and wrong. How men came to be possessed of such a command, by what process they arrived at the conscious distinction of right and wrong, we can but vaguely speculate. Whatever it was we may be sure that it could not have been presented to the imagination of primitive peoples otherwise than in such simple forms as the narrative assumes in the Book of Genesis. The really essential truths all come out in that narrative—the recognition of the Divine Will, the act of disobedience to the Will so recognized, the perpetuation of the tendency to such disobedience; and we may add perhaps, though here we get into a region of surmises, the connexion between moral evil and physical decay, for the surest pledge of immortality is the relation of the highest part of us, the soul, through righteousness to God. These salient principles, which may have been due in fact to a process of gradual accretion through long periods, are naturally and inevitably summed up as a group of single incidents. Their essential character is not altered, and in the interpretation of primitive beliefs we may safely remember that ‘a thousand years in the sight of God are but as one day.’ We who believe in Providence and who believe in the active influence of the Spirit of God upon man, may well also believe that the tentative gropings of the primaeval savage were assisted and guided and so led up to definite issues, to which he himself perhaps at the time could hardly give a name but which he learnt to call ‘sin’ and ‘disobedience,’ and the tendency to which later ages also saw to have been handed on from generation to generation in a way which we now describe as ‘heredity.’ It would be absurd to expect the language of modern science in the prophet who first incorporated the traditions of his race in the Sacred Books of the Hebrews. He uses the only kind of language available to his own intelligence and that of his contemporaries. But if the language which he does use is from that point of view abundantly justified, then the application which St. Paul makes of it is equally justified. He too expresses truth through symbols, and in the days when men can dispense with symbols his teaching may be obsolete, but not before.

The need for an Incarnation and the need for an Atonement are not dependent upon any particular presentation, which may be liable to correction with increasing knowledge, of the origin of sin. They rest, not on theory or on anything which can be clothed in the forms of theory, but on the great outstanding facts of the actual sin of mankind and its ravages. We take these facts as we see them, and to us they furnish an abundant explanation of all that God has done to counteract them. How they are in their turn to be explained may well form a legitimate subject for curiosity, but the historical side of it at least has but a very slight bearing on the interpretation of the N. T.

History of the Interpretation of the Pauline doctrine of δικαίωσις

In order to complete our commentary on the earlier portion of the Epistle, it will be convenient to sum up, as shortly as is possible, the history of the doctrine of Justification, so far as it is definitely connected with exegesis. To pursue the subject further than that would be beside our purpose; but so much is necessary since the exposition of the preceding chapters has been almost entirely from one point of view. We shall of course be obliged to confine ourselves to certain typical names.

Clemens Romanus.

Just at the close of the Apostolic period the earliest speculation on the subject of Justification meets us. Clement of Rome, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, writes clearly guarding against any practical abuses which may arise from St. Paul’s teaching. He has before him the three writers of the N. T. who deal most definitely with ‘faith’ and ‘righteousness,’ and from them constructs a system of life and action. He takes the typical example, that of Abraham, and asks, ‘Wherefore was our father Abraham blessed!’ The answer combines that of St. Paul and St. James. ‘Was it not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith?’ (§ 31 οὐχὶ δικαιοσύνην καὶ ἀλήθειαν διὰ πίστεως ποιήσας;). And throughout there is the same co-ordination of different types of doctrine. ‘We are justified by works and not by words’ (§ 30 ἔργοις δικαιούμενοι καὶ μὴ λόγοις). But again (§ 32): ‘And so we, having been called through His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works which we wrought in holiness of heart, but through faith whereby the Almighty God justified all men that have been from the beginning.’ But dangerous theories as to conduct, which arise from holding such beliefs in too crude a manner, are at once guarded against (§ 33): ‘What then must we do, brethren? Must we idly abstain from doing good, and forsake love? May the Master never allow this to befall us at least … We have seen that all the righteous were adorned in good works … Seeing then that we have this pattern, let us conform ourselves with all diligence to His will; let us with all our strength work the work of righteousness.’ Clement writes as a Christian of the second generation who inherits the teaching and phraseology of the Apostolic period. ‘Faith,’ ‘Works,’ ‘Righteousness,’ are ideas which have become part of the Christian life; the need of definition has not arisen. The system of conduct which should be exhibited as the result of the different elements of this life is clearly realized. What St. Paul and St. James each in his different way arrived at is accomplished. For the exact meaning of St. Paul, however, and the understanding of his teaching, we get no aid. Bishop Lightfoot, while showing how Clement ‘has caught the spirit of the Pauline teaching,’ yet dwells, and dwells rightly, on ‘the defect in the dogmatic statement.’ (See Lightfoot, Clement, i. 96,397.)

The question of Justification never became a subject of controversy in the early church, and consequently the Fathers contented themselves as Clement had done with a clear practical solution. We cannot find in them either an answer to the more subtle questions which later theologians have asked or much assistance as to the exact exegesis of St. Paul’s language.


How little Origen had grasped some points in St. Paul’s thought may be seen by his comment on Romans 3:20 Ex operibus igitur legis quod non iustificabitur omnis caro in conspectu eius, hoc modo intelligendum puto: quia omnis qui caro est et secundum carnem vivit, non potest iustificari ex lege Dei, sicut et alibi dicit idem Apostolus, quia qui in carne sunt Deo placere non possunt (in Romans 3:6; Opp. tom. vi. 194, ed. Lommatzsch). But in many points his teaching is clear and strong. All Justification is by faith alone (3:9, p. 217 et dicit sufficere solius fidei iustificationem, ita ut credens quis tantummodo iustificetur, etiamsi nihil ab eo operis fuerit expletum). It is the beginning of the Christian life, and is represented as the bringing to an end of a state of enmity. We who were followers of the devil, our tyrant and enemy, can if we will by laying down his arms and taking up the banner of Christ have peace with God, a peace which has been purchased for us by the blood of Christ (4:8, p. 285, on Romans 5:1). The process of justification is clearly one of ‘imputation’ (fides ad iustitiam reputetur iv. I, p. 240, on Romans 4:1-8), and is identified with the Gospel teaching of the forgiveness of sins; the two instances of it which are quoted being the penitent thief and the woman with the alabaster box of ointment (Luke 7:37-42). But the need for good works is not excluded: sed fortassis haec aliquis audiens resolvatur et bene agendi negligentiam capiat, si quidem ad iustificandum fides sola sufficiat. ad quem dicemus, quia post iustificationem si iniuste quis agat, sine dubio iustificationis gratiam sprevit … indulgentia namque non futurorum sed praeteritorum criminum datur (3:9, p. 219, on Romans 3:27, Romans 3:28). Faith without works is impossible (4:1, p. 234): rather faith is the root from which they spring: non ergo ex operibus radix iustitiae, sed ex radice iustitiae fructus operum crescit, illa scilicet radice iustitiae, qua Deus accepto fert iustitiam sine operibus (4:1, p. 241; see also the comment on Romans 2:5, Romans 2:6 in 2:4, p. 81). We may further note that in the comment on Romans 1:17 and 3:24 the iustitia Dei is clearly interpreted as the Divine attribute.


The same criticism which was passed on Origen applies in an equal or even greater degree to Chrysostom. Theologically and practically the teaching is vigorous and well balanced, but so far as exegesis is concerned St. Paul’s conception and point of view are not understood. The circumstances which had created these conceptions no longer existed. For example, commenting on Romans 2:10 he writes: ‘it is upon works that punishment and reward depend, not upon circumcision or uncircumcision’; making a distinction which the Apostle does not between the moral and ceremonial law. The historical situation is clearly grasped and is brought out very well at the beginning of Hom. vii: ‘He has accused the Gentiles, he has accused the Jews; what follows to mention next is the righteousness which is by faith. For if the law of nature availed not, and the written Law was of no advantage, but both weighed down those that used them not aright, and made it plain that they were worthy of greater punishment, then the salvation which is by grace was henceforth necessary.’ The meaning of δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ is well brought out. ‘The declaring of His righteousness is not only that He is Himself righteous, but that He doth also make them that are filled with the putrefying scars of sin suddenly righteous’ (Hom. vii. on iii. 24, 25). It may be interesting to quote the exposition of the passage which follows. He explains διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων thus: διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν, τουτέστι τὴν νέκρωσιν. οὐκέτι γὰρ ὑγείας ἐλπὶς ἦν, ἀλλʼ ὥσπερ σῶμα παραλυθὲν τῆς ἄνωθεν ἐδειτο χειρός, οὕτω καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ νεκρωθεῖσα, giving πάρεσις the meaning of ‘paralysis,’ the paralysis of spiritual life which has resulted from sin. Generally δικαιόω seems clearly to be taken as ‘make righteous,’ even in passages where it will least bear such an interpretation; for instance on 4:5 (Hom. viii.) δύναται ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἐν ἀσεβείᾳ βεβιωκότα τοῦτον ἐξαίφνης οὐχὶ κολάσεως ἐλευθερῶσαι μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ δίκαιον ποιῆσαι, … εἰ γὰρ μακάριος οὕτως ὁ λαβὼν ἄφεσιν ἀπὸ χάριτος πολλῷ μᾶλλον ὁ δικαιωθείς, and on 4:25 (Hom. ix) ἐπὶ τούτῳ γὰρ καὶ ἀπέθανε καὶ ἀνέστη ἵνα δικαίους ἐργάσηται. Yet his usage is not consistent, for on Romans 8:33 he writes: ‘He does not say, it is God that forgave our sins, but what is much greater:—“It is God that justifieth.” For when the Judge’s sentence declares us just (δικαίους ἀποφαίνει), and such a judge too, what signifieth the accuser?’


No purpose would be served by entering further into the views of the Greek commentators; but one passage of Theodoret may be quoted as an instance of the way in which all the fathers connect Justification and Baptism. On Romans 5:1, Romans 5:2 (vid. p. 53) he writes: ἡ πίστις μὲν ὑμῖν ἐδωρήσατο τῶν ἁμαρτημάτων τὴν ἄφεσιν καὶ ἀμώμους καὶ δικαίους διὰ τῆς τοῦ λουτροῦ παλλιγγενεσίας ἀπέφηνε· προσήκει δὲ ὑμᾶς τὴν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν γεγενημένην φυλάττειν εἰρήνην.

To sum up the teaching of the Greek Fathers. They put in the very front of everything, the Atonement through the death of Christ, without as a rule elaborating any theory concerning it: this characteristic we find from the very beginning: it is as strong in Ignatius as in any later Father: they all think that it is by faith we are justified, and at the same time lay immense stress on the value, but not the merits, of good works: they seem all very definitely to connect Justification with Baptism and the beginning of the Christian life, so much so indeed that as is well known even the possibility of pardon for post-baptismal sin was doubted by some: but they have no theory of Justification as later times demand it; they are never close and exact in the exegesis of St. Paul; and they are without the historical conditions which would enable them to understand his great antithesis of ‘Law’ and ‘Gospel,’ ‘Faith’ and ‘Works,’ ‘Merit’ and ‘Grace.’

St. Augustine.

The opinions of St. Augustine are of much greater importance. Although he does not approach the question from the same point of view as the Reformation theologians, he represents the source from which came the mediaeval tendency which created that theology. His most important expositions are those contained in De Spiritu et Litera and In Psalmum XXXI Enarratio II: this Psalm he describes as Psalmus gratiae Dei et iustificationis nostrae nullis praecedentibus meritis nostris, sed praeveniente nos misericordia Domini Dei nostri … His purpose is to prove as against any form of Pelagianism that our salvation comes from no merits of our own but only from the Divine grace which is given us. This leads to three main characteristics in his exposition of the Romans. (1) For, first, good works done by those who are not in a state of grace are valueless: nemo computet bona opera sua ante fidem: ubi fides non erat bonum opus non erat (Enarratio § 4). Hence he explains Romans 2:5, Romans 2:13 ff. of works done not in a state of nature but of grace. In 2:13 the Apostle is referring to the Gentiles who have accepted the Gospel; and the ‘Law written in their hearts’ is the law not of the O.T. but of the N.T.: he naturally compares 2 Corinthians 3:3 and Romans 2:26 (De Sp. et Lit. §§ 44-49). (2) Then, secondly, St. Augustine’s exposition goes on somewhat different lines from those of the Apostle’s argument. He makes the whole aim of the early portion of the Romans to be the proof of the necessity of grace. Men have failed without grace, and it is only by means of it that they can do any works which are acceptable to God. This from one point of view really represents St. Paul’s argument, from another it is very much removed from it. It had the tendency indeed to transfer the central point in connexion with human salvation from the atoning death of Christ accepted by Faith to the gift of the Divine Grace received from God. Although in this relation, as often, St. Augustine’s exposition is deeper than that of the Greek fathers, it leads to a much less correct interpretation. (3) For, thirdly, there can be no doubt that it leads directly to the doctrine of ‘infused’ grace. It is quite true that Chrysostom has perhaps even more definitely interpreted δικαιοῦσθαι of ‘making just,’ and that Augustine in one place admits the possibility of interpreting it either as ‘making just’ or ‘reckoning just’ (De Sp. et Lit. § 45). But although he admits the two interpretations so far as concerns the words, practically his whole theory is that of an infusion of the grace of faith by which men are made just. So in his comment on 1:17 he writes: haec est iustitia Dei, quae in Testamento Veteri velata, in Novo revelatur: quae ideo iustitia Dei dicitur, quod impertiendo eam iustos facit (De Sp. et Lit. § 18): and again: credenti inquit in eum qui iustificat impium deputatur fides eius ad iustitiam. si iustificatur impius ex impio fit iustus (Enarratio § 6): so non tibi Deus reddit debitam poenam, sed donat indebitam gratiam: so De Sp. et Lit. § 56: haec est iustitia Dei, quam non solum docet per legis praeceptum, verum etiam dat per Spiritus donum.

St. Augustine’s theory is in fact this; faith is a gift of grace which infused into men, enables them to produce works good and acceptable to God. The point of view is clearly not that of St. Paul, and it is the source of the mediaeval theory of grace with all its developments.


This theory as we find it elaborated in the Summa Theologiae, has so far as it concerns us three main characteristics. (1) In the first place it elaborates the Augustinian theory of Grace instead of the Pauline theory of Justification. It is quite clear that in St. Paul χάρις is the favour of God to man, and not a gift given by God to man; but gratia in St. Thomas has evidently this latter signification: cum gratia omnem naturae creatae facultatem excedat, es quod nihil aliud sit quam participatio quaedam divinae naturae quae omnem aliam naturam excedit (Summa Theologiae, Prima Secundae Qu. cxii. i). So also: donum gratiae … gratiae infusio … infundit donum gratiae iustificantis (cxiii. 3). (2) Secondly, it interprets iustificare to ‘make just,’ and in consequence looks upon justification as not only remissio peccatorum, but also an infusion of grace. This question is discussed fully in Qu. cxiii. Art. 2. The conclusion arrived at is: quum iustitiae Dei repugnet poenam dimittere vigente culpa, nullius autem hominis qualis modo nascitur, reatus poenae absque gratia tolli queat; ad culpae quoque hominis qualis modo nascitur, remissionem, gratiae infusionem requiri manifestum est. The primary text on which this conclusion is based is Romans 3:24 iustificati gratis per gratiam ipsius, which is therefore clearly interpreted to mean ‘made just by an infusion of grace’; and it is argued that the effect of the Divine love on us is grace by which a man is made worthy of eternal life, and that therefore remission of guilt cannot be understood unless it be accompanied by the infusion of grace. (3) The words quoted above, ‘by which a man is made worthy of eternal life’ (dignus vita aeterna) introduce us to a third point in the mediaeval theory of justification: indirectly by its theory of merit de congruo and de condigno it introduced just that doctrine of merit against which St. Paul had directed his whole system. This subject is worked out in Qu. cxiv, where it is argued (Art. 1) that in a sense we can deserve something from God. Although (Art. 2) a man cannot deserve life eternal in a state of nature, yet (Art. 3) after justification he can: Homo meretur uitam aeternam ex condigno. This is supported by Romans 8:17 si filii et haeredes, it being argued that we are sons to whom is owed the inheritance ex ipso iure adoptionis.

However defensible as a complete whole the system of the Summa may be, there is no doubt that nothing so complicated can be grasped by the popular mind, and that the teaching it represents led to a wide system of religious corruption which presented a very definite analogy with the errors which St. Paul combated; it is equally clear that it is not the system of Justification put forward by St. Paul. It will be convenient to pass on directly to the teaching of Luther, and to put it in direct contrast with the teaching of Aquinas. Although it arose primarily against the teaching of the later Schoolmen, whose teaching, especially on the subject of merit de congruo and de condigno, was very much developed, substantially it represents a revolt against the whole mediaeval theory.


Luther’s main doctrines were the following. Through the law man learns his sinfulness: he learns to say with the prophet, ‘there is none that doeth good, no not one.’ He learns his own weakness. And then arises the cry. ‘Who can give me any help?’ Then in its due season comes the saving word of the Gospel, ‘Be of good cheer, my son, thy sins are forgiven. Believe in Jesus Christ who was crucified for thy sins.’ This is the beginning of salvation; in this way we are freed from sin, we are justified and there is given unto us life eternal, not on account of our own merits and works, but on account of faith by which we approached Christ. (Luther on Galatians 2:16; Opp. ed. 1554, p. 308.)

As against the mediaeval teaching the following points are noticeable, (1) In the first place Justification is quite clearly a doctrine of ‘iustitia imputata’: Deus acceptat seu reputat nos iustos solum propter fidem in Christum. It is especially stated that we are not free from sin. As long as we live we are subject to the stain of sin: only our sins are not imputed to us. (2) Secondly, Luther inherits from the Schoolmen the distinction of fides informis and fides formata cum charitate; but whereas they had considered that it was fides formata which justifies, with him it is fides informis. He argued that if it were necessary that faith should be united with charity to enable it to justify, then it is no longer faith alone that justifies, but charity: faith becomes useless and good works are brought in. (3) Thirdly, it is needless to point out that he attacks, and that with great vigour, all theories of merit de congruo and de condigno. He describes them thus: talie monstra pertenta et horribiles blasphemiae debebant proponi Turcis et Iudaeis, non ecclesiae Christi.


The teaching of the Reformation worked a complete change in the exegesis of St. Paul. A condition of practical error had arisen, clearly in many ways resembling that which St. Paul combated, and hence St. Paul’s conceptions are understood better. The ablest of the Reformation commentaries is certainly that of Calvin; and the change produced may be seen most clearly in one point. The attempt that had been made to evade the meaning of St. Paul’s words as to Law, by applying them only to the ceremonial Law, he entirely brushes away (on 3:20); again, he interprets iustificare as ‘to reckon just,’ in accordance with the meaning of the Greek word and the context of 4:5 The scheme of Justification as laid down by Luther is applied to the interpretation of the Epistle, but his extravagant language is avoided. The distinction of fides informis and formata is condemned as unreal; and it is seen that what St. Paul means by works being unable to justify is not that they cannot do so in themselves, but that no one can fulfil them so completely as to be ‘just.’ We may notice that on 2:6 he points out that the words can be taken in quite a natural sense, for reward does not imply merit, and on 2:13 that he applies the passage to Gentiles not in a state of grace, but says that the words mean that although Gentiles had knowledge and opportunity they had sinned, and therefore would be necessarily condemned.

The Reformation theology made St. Paul’s point of view comprehensible, but introduced errors of exegesis of its own. It added to St. Paul’s teaching of ‘imputation’ a theory of the imputation of Christ’s merits, which became the basis of much unreal systematization, and was an incorrect interpretation of St. Paul’s meaning. The unreal distinction of fides informis and formata, added to Luther’s own extravagant language, produced a strong antinomian tendency. ‘Faith’ almost comes to be looked upon as a meritorious cause of justification; an unreal faith is substituted for dead works; and faith becomes identified with ‘personal assurance’ or ‘self-assurance.’ Moreover, for the ordinary expression of St. Paul, ‘we are justified by faith,’ was substituted ‘we are saved by faith,’ a phrase which, although once used by St. Paul, was only so used in the somewhat vague sense of σώζειν, that at one time applies to our final salvation, at another to our present life within the fold of the Church; and the whole Christian scheme of sanctification, rightly separated in idea from justification, became divorced in fact from the Christian life.

The Reformation teaching created definitely the distinction between iustitia imputata and iustitia infusa, and the Council of Trent defined Justification thus: iustificatio non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed etiam sanctificatio et renovatio interioris hominis per voluntariam susceptionem gratiae et donorum (Sess. VI. cap. vii).

Cornelius a Lapide.

A typical commentary on the Romans from this point of view is that of Cornelius a Lapide. On 1:17 he makes a very just distinction between our justification which comes by faith and our salvation which comes through the Gospel, namely, all that is preached in the Gospel, the death and merits of Christ, the sacraments, the precepts, the promises. He argues from 2:13 that works have a place in justification; and that our justification consists in the gift to us of the Divine justice, that is, of grace and charity and other virtues.

This summary has been made sufficiently comprehensive to bring out the main points on which interpretation has varied. It is clear from St. Paul’s language that he makes a definite distinction in thought between three several stages which may be named Justification, Sanctification, Salvation. Our Christian life begins with the act of faith by which we turn to Christ; that is sealed in baptism through which we receive remission of sins and are incorporated into the Christian community, being made partakers of all the spiritual blessings which that implies: then if our life is consistent with these conditions we may hope for life eternal not for our own merits but for Christ’s sake. The first step, that of Remission of sins, is Justification: the life that follows in the Christian community is the life of Sanctification. These two ideas are connected in time in so far as the moment in which our sins are forgiven begins the new life; but they are separated in thought, and it is necessary for us that this should be so, in order that we may realize that unless we come to Christ in the self-surrender of faith nothing can profit us. There is a close connexion again between Justification and Salvation; the one represents the beginning of the process of which the other is the conclusion, and in so far as the first step is the essential one the life of the justified on earth can be and is spoken of as the life of the saved; but the two are separated both in thought and in time, and this is so that we may realize that our life, as we are accepted by faith, endowed with the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and incorporated into the Christian community, must be holy. By our life we shall be judged (see the notes on 2:6, 13): we must strive to make our character such as befits us for the life in which we hope to share: but we are saved by Christ’s death; and the initial act of faith has been the hand which we stretched out to receive the divine mercy.

Our historical review has largely been a history of the confusion of these three separate aspects of the Gospel scheme.

אԠCod. Sinaiticus

A Cod. Alexandrinus

B Cod. Vaticanus

C Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus

D Cod. Claromontanus

E Cod. Sangermanensis

K Cod. Mosquensis

L Cod. Angelicus

Vulg. Vulgate.

Syrr. Syriac.

Boh. Bohairic.

Arm. Armenian.

Aeth. Ethiopic.

Orig.-lat. Latin Version of Origen

Chrys. Chrysostom.

Ambrstr. Ambrosiaster.

F Cod. Augiensis

G Cod. Boernerianus

P Cod. Porphyrianus

Epiph. Epiphanius.

Cyr.-Alex. Cyril of Alexandria.

Va. Vaughan.

Exp. Expositor.

Lat. Vet. Vetus Latina.

Treg. Tregelles.

WH. Westcott and Hort.

RV. Revised Version.

Mey. Meyer.

&c. always qualify the word which precedes, not that which follows:

Grm.-Thay. Grimm-Thayer’s Lexicon.

Tert. Tertullian.

Orig. Origen.

Theodrt. Theodoret.

Aug. Augustine.

al. alii, alibi.

fuld Cod. Fuldensis (Vulgate)

Pesh. Peshitto.

Lips. Lipsius.

Gif. Gifford.

Tisch. Tischendorf.

Eus. Eusebius.

ԠאCod. Sinaiticus

Orig. Origen.

Mey.-W. Meyer-Weisa.

&c. always qualify the word which precedes, not that which follows:

Gif. Gifford.

Lips. Lipsius.

Mey. Meyer.

Va. Vaughan.

Lid. Liddon.

A Cod. Alexandrinus

C Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus

K Cod. Mosquensis

P Cod. Porphyrianus

D Cod. Claromontanus

E Cod. Sangermanensis

F Cod. Augiensis

G Cod. Boernerianus

L Cod. Angelicus

om. omittit, omittunt, &c.

B Cod. Vaticanus

Fri. Fritzsche (C. F. A.).

Oltr. Oltramare.

Aug. Augustine.

Euthym.-Zig. Euthymius Zigabenus.

AV. Authorized Version.

RV. Revised Version.

Phot. Photius.

אԠCod. Sinaiticus, corrector c

Vulg. Vulgate.

codd. codices.

Ambrstr. Ambrosiaster.

al. alii, alibi.

Orig.-lat. Latin Version of Origen

Beng. Bengel.

* ‘The designation “The Coming One” (Habba), though a most truthful expression of Jewish expectancy, was not one ordinarily used of the Messiah ’. Edersheim, L. & T.i. p. 668.

De W. De Wette.

Trench, Trench on Synonyms.

Lft. Lightfoot.

Chrys. Chrysostom.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
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:
(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
ICC New Testament commentary on selected books

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Romans 4
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