Romans 5:12-19

Romans 5:12-19
Lent A14


12 Therefore, just as sinA came into the worldB through one man,C and death came through sin, and so death spreadD to all because all have sinnedE— 13 sin was indeed in the world before the law,F but sin is not reckonedG when there is no law. 

Notes on verses 12-13

A “sin” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin). Hamartano is from a (not) + meros (a part or share). Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
B “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is were “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
C “man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
D “spread” = dierchomai. Related to “came” in v12. From dia (through, because of, across) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go through, pierce through, travel, depart, spread.
E “sinned” = hamartano. Related to “sin” in v12. See note A above.
F “law” = nomos. From nemo (to parcel out). Literally, this is that which is assigned. It can be usage, custom, or law. This word can be used for human or divine law. It can be used specifically for the law of Moses or as a name for the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Sometimes it is used for scripture as a whole, used of the Gospel, or of any theology. It is also used for the “tradition of the elders,” which would be the oral Torah – the tradition of the laws plus their interpretations as they were passed down over time. We must carefully consider which meaning of “law” is meant when we interpret passages the word is found in.
G “reckoned” = ellogeo. 2x in NT – here and in Philemon 1:18 “if [Onesimus] has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.” From en (in, on, at, by, with) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is charge to, impute, reckon, or attribute.

14 Yet death exercised dominionH from AdamI to Moses,J even over those whose sins were not like the transgressionK of Adam, who is a typeL of the one who was to come.M

Notes on verse 14

H “exercised dominion” = basileuo. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is to reign as king, to rule in a literal or figurative sense.
I “Adam” = adam. 9x in NT. From Hebrew Adam (Adam); from the same as adam (human, humankind, ruddy); from adam (to be red, red in the face). This is Adam.
J “Moses” = mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
K “transgression” = parabasis. Related to “exercised dominion” in v14. 7x in NT. From parabaino (to go past, depart, go by the side of, violate, transgress; this is a willful, defiant violation – deliberately crossing a line to violate a command); {from para (by, beside, in the presence of) + the same as basis (see note H above)}. This is literally an overstepping – willfully crossing the line to break God’s law. Figuratively, a transgression.
L “type” = tupos. 16x in NT. From tupto (to strike repeatedly, wound, punish; figuratively to offend). This is a figure, model, image, impression, pattern, copy. Properly, this is a model created through much repetition so figuratively it is the proper model. It can be the impression of a stamped image, the mark of a scar, the shape of a statue. Figuratively, it can refer to a style or resemblance. Used specially, it is a model as something to imitate or as a cautionary tale. This is where the word “type” comes from.
M “come” = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.

15 But the free giftN is not like the trespass.O For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the graceP of GodQ and the free giftR in the grace of the one man, JesusS Christ,T aboundedU for the many. 

Notes on verse 15

N “free gift” = charisma. 17x in NT. From charizomai (to show favor, kindness, or grace, to pardon, forgive); from charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, undeserved favor, a free gift, or a spiritual gift. It is the working of grace, some spiritual gift or religious qualification. It could be some kind of miraculous endowment.
O “trespass” = paraptoma. From para (by, beside, in the presence of) + pipto (to fall in a literal or figurative sense). This is properly, falling away after having been devout or faithful. So, this is a lapse, sin, slip, transgression, offense. It is a deviation from what is true – it could be accidental or unconscious.
P “grace” = charis. Related to “free gift” in v15. See note N above.
Q “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
R “free gift” = dorea. 11x in NT. From doron (gift, offering, sacrifice; emphasizes that the gift is given freely, voluntarily); from didomi (to give in a literal or figurative sense). This is a free gift given voluntarily and not received by merit or entitlement. It emphasizes the benevolence of the giver.
S “Jesus” = iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be) + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
T “Christ” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
U “abounded” = perisseuo. From perissos (abundant, more, excessive, advantage, vehemently); from peri (all-around, encompassing, excess). This is more than what is ordinary or necessary. It is abounding, overflowing, being leftover, going above and beyond. It is super-abounding in number or quality.

16 And the free giftV is not like the effect of the one man’s sin.W For the judgmentX following one trespass brought condemnation,Y but the free giftZ following many trespasses brings justification.AA 

Notes on verse 16

V “free gift” = dorema. Related to “free gift” in v15. 2x in NT. From doreomai (to give, grant, give freely); from doron (see note R above). This is a gift, bestowment, or bounty.
W {untranslated} = men. Truly, indeed, verily, in fact.
X “judgment” = krima. From krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is judgment, sentence, verdict. Sometimes, this can have a negative sense – condemnation. It is the decision and the full force of its effect negative and positive.
Y “condemnation” = katakrima. Related to “judgment” in v16. 3x in NT – all in Romans. From kata (down, by, according to, against) + krino (see note X above). This is the punishment that comes after condemnation, penalty. It is punishment that comes after guilt is established – a negative verdict.
Z “free gift” = charisma. Same as v15.
AA “justification” = dikaioma. 10x in NT. From dikaioo (to be righteous, plead the cause of, justify, acquit; properly, approved, particularly carrying the weight of a legal judgment; upright, render just or innocent); from dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); From dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is justification or righteousness – it can be a second chance for a criminal, a verdict for or against, an act that is legally proper, or a statute or decision. It is something pronounced righteous by God.

17 If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundanceBB of grace and the free giftCC of righteousnessDD exercise dominion in lifeEE through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Notes on verse 17

BB “abundance” = perisseia. Related to “abounded” in v15. 4x in NT. From perisseuo (see note U above). This is abundance, profit, more – what is beyond the standard expectation.
CC “free gift” = dorea. Same as “free gift” in v15.
DD “righteousness” = dikaiosune. Related to “justification” in v16. From dikaios (see note AA above). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.
EE “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousnessFF leads to justificationGG and life for all. 19 For just as by the one man’s disobedienceHH the many were madeII sinners,JJ so by the one man’s obedienceKK the many will be made righteous.LL

Notes on verses 18-19

FF “act of righteousness” = dikaioma. Same as “justification” in v16.
GG “justification” = dikaiosis. Related to “justification” in v16 & “righteousness” in v17. 2x in NT. From dikaioo (see note AA above). This is justifying, justification, acquittal. It is pronouncing someone righteous or absolving them. In secular Greek, it referred to being set free from a punishment that was deserved.
HH “disobedience” = parakoe. 3x in NT. From para (by, beside, in the presence of) + akouo (to hear, listen, understand by hearing). This is hearing amiss or hearing imperfectly. It could also be hearing in a contrary way, which would imply disobedience that came from a poor attitude or an oppositional posture. It could be inattention or willful misunderstanding to disobey.
II “made” = kathistemi. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + histemi (to stand, set, place, establish, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to set down in a place, make, constitute, render, escort. It could be to give someone standing or authority so that they can be in charge or use force. It can also be to place permanently- constitute, convoy.
JJ “sinners” = hamartolos. Related to “sin” & “sinned” in v12. From hamartano (see note A above). This is sinner, sinning, sinful, depraved, detestable. It is a loss because of missing the mark.
KK “obedience” = hupakoe. Related to “disobedience” in v19. 15x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about, under authority of) + akouo (see note HH above). This is obedience, submissiveness, or compliance. It is obeying what one has heard – being attentive and following through.
LL “righteous” = dikaios. Related to “justification” in v16 & “righteousness” in v17 & “justification” in v18. From dike (see note AA above).

Image Credit: “Paradise Bliss” by Creator Jan de Kempeneer after Michiel Coxie, circa 1550.

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