New American Standard Bible
The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
King James Bible
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Darby Bible Translation
But law came in, in order that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded grace has overabounded,
World English Bible
The law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly;
Young's Literal Translation
And law came in, that the offence might abound, and where the sin did abound, the grace did overabound,
Romans 5:20 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Moreover - But. What is said in this verse and the following, seems designed to meet the Jew, who might pretend that the Law of Moses was intended to meet the evils of sin introduced by Adam, and therefore that the scheme defended by the apostle was unnecessary. He therefore shows them that the effect of the Law of Moses was to increase rather than to diminish the sins which had been introduced into the world. And if such was the fact, it could not be pled that it was adapted to overcome the acknowledged evils of the apostasy.
The law - The Mosaic laws and institutions. The word seems to be used here to denote all the laws which were given in the Old Testament.
Entered - This word usually means to enter secretly or surreptitiously. But it appears to be used here simply in the sense that the Law came in, or was given. It came in addition to, or it supervened the state before Moses, when people were living without a revelation.
That sin ... - The word "that" ἵνα hina in this place does not mean that it was the design of giving the Law that sin might abound or be increased, but that such was in fact the effect. It had this tendency, not to restrain or subdue sin, but to excite and increase it. That the word has this sense may be seen in the lexicons. The way in which the Law produces this effect is stated more fully by the apostle in Romans 7:7-11. The Law expresses the duty of man; it is spiritual and holy; it is opposed to the guilty passions and pleasures of the world; and it thus excites opposition, provokes to anger, and is the occasion by which sin is called into exercise, and shows itself in the heart. All law, where there is a disposition to do wrong, has this tendency. A command given to a child that is disposed to indulge his passions, only tends to excite anger and opposition. If the heart was holy, and there was a disposition to do right, law would have no such tendency. See this subject further illustrated in the notes at Romans 7:7-11.
The offence - The offence which had been introduced by Adam, that is, sin. Compare Romans 5:15.
Might abound - Might increase; that is, would be more apparent, more violent, more extensive. The introduction of the Mosaic Law, instead of diminishing the sins of people, only increases them.
But where sin abounded - Alike in all dispensations - before the Law, and under the Law. In all conditions of the human family before the gospel, it was the characteristic that sin was prevalent.
Grace - Favor; mercy.
Did much more abound - Superabounded. The word is used no where else in the New Testament, except in 2 Corinthians 7:4. It means that the pardoning mercy of the gospel greatly triumphed over sin, even over the sins of the Jews, though those sins were greatly aggravated by the light which they enjoyed under the advantages of divine revelation.
LibraryLet us have Peace
'Let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.'--ROMANS v. 1. (R.V.). In the rendering of the Revised Version, 'Let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,' the alteration is very slight, being that of one letter in one word, the substitution of a long 'o' for a short one. The majority of manuscripts of authority read 'let us have,' making the clause an exhortation and not a statement. I suppose the reason why, in some inferior MSS., the statement takes the place of the …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
A Threefold Cord
"Now the End of the Commandment," &C.
because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
2 Corinthians 3:7
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,
Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.
1 Timothy 1:14
and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
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