Romans 5:16
And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses to justification.
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(16) The judgment was by one.—The judgment, verdict, or sentence from a single case ends in, or in other words takes the form of, condemnation; whereas, on the other hand, the free gift, starting from or prompted by many sins, ends in, takes the form of, justification. In the former of these cases the verdict is “Guilty,” while in the other case it (or, rather, the free act of grace which takes its place) is a verdict of acquittal.

5:15-19 Through one man's offence, all mankind are exposed to eternal condemnation. But the grace and mercy of God, and the free gift of righteousness and salvation, are through Jesus Christ, as man: yet the Lord from heaven has brought the multitude of believers into a more safe and exalted state than that from which they fell in Adam. This free gift did not place them anew in a state of trial, but fixed them in a state of justification, as Adam would have been placed, had he stood. Notwithstanding the differences, there is a striking similarity. As by the offence of one, sin and death prevailed to the condemnation of all men, so by the righteousness of one, grace prevailed to the justification of all related to Christ by faith. Through the grace of God, the gift by grace has abounded to many through Christ; yet multitudes choose to remain under the dominion of sin and death, rather than to apply for the blessings of the reign of grace. But Christ will in nowise cast out any who are willing to come to him.And not ... - This is the second point in which the effects of the work of Christ differ from the sin of Adam The first part Romans 5:15 was, that the evil consequences flowed from the sin of one man, Adam; and that the benefits flowed from the work of one man, Jesus Christ. The point in this verse is, that the evil consequences flowed from one crime, one act of guilt; but that the favors had respect to many acts of guilt. The effects of Adam's sin, whatever they were, pertained to the one sin; the effects of the work of Christ, to many sins.

By one that sinned - δι ̓ ἑνὸς ἁμαρτήσαντος di' henos hēmartēsantos. By means of one (man) sinning; evidently meaning by one offence, or by one act of sin. So the Vulgate, and many manuscripts. And the connection shows that this is the sense.

The gift - The benefits resulting from the work of Christ.

The judgment - The sentence; the declared penalty. The word expresses properly the sentence which is passed by a judge. Here it means the sentence which God passed, as a judge, on Adam for the one offence, involving himself and his posterity in ruin, Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:17-19.

Was by one - By one offence; or one act of sin.

Unto condemnation - Producing condemnation; or involving in condemnation. It is proved by this, that the effect of the sin of Adam was to involve the race in condemnation, or to secure this as a result that all mankind would be under the condemning sentence of the Law, and be transgressors. But in what way it would have this effect, the apostle does not state. He does not intimate that his sin would be imputed to them; or that they would be held to be personally guilty for it. He speaks of a broad, everywhere perceptible fact, that the effect of that sin had been somehow to overwhelm the race in condemnation. In what mode this was done is a fair subject of inquiry; but the apostle does not attempt to explain it.

The free gift - The unmerited favor, by the work of Christ.

Is of many offences - In relation to many sins. It differs thus from the condemnation. That had respect to one offence; this has respect to many crimes. Grace therefore abounds.

Unto justification - Note, Romans 3:24. The work of Christ is designed to have reference to many offences, so as to produce pardon or justification in regard to them all. But the apostle here does not intimate how this is done. He simply states the fact, without attempting in this place to explain it; and as we know that that work does not produce its effect to justify without some act on the part of the individual, are we not hence, led to conclude the same respecting the condemnation for the sin of Adam? As the work of Christ does not benefit the race unless it is embraced, so does not the reasoning of the apostle imply, that the deed of Adam does not involve in criminality and ill-desert unless there be some voluntary act on the part of each individual? However this may be, it is certain that the apostle has in neither case here explained the mode in which it is done. He has simply stated the fact, a fact which he did not seem to consider himself called on to explain. Neither has he affirmed that in the two cases the mode is the same. On the contrary, it is strongly implied that it is not the same, for the leading object here is to present, not an entire resemblance, but a strong contrast between the effects of the sin of Adam and the work of Christ.

16. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift—"Another point of contrast may be mentioned."

for the judgment—"sentence."

was by one—rather, "was of one," meaning not "one man," but, as appears from the next clause, "one offense."

to condemnation, but the free gift—"gift of grace."

is of many offences unto justification—a glorious point of contrast. "The condemnation by Adam was for one sin; but the justification by Christ is an absolution not only from the guilt of that first offense, mysteriously attaching to every individual of the race, but from the countless offenses it, to which, as a germ lodged in the bosom of every child of Adam, it unfolds itself in his life." This is the meaning of "grace abounding towards us in the abundance of the gift of righteousness." It is a grace not only rich in its character, but rich in detail; it is a "righteousness" not only rich in a complete justification of the guilty, condemned sinner; but rich in the amplitude of the ground which it covers, leaving no one sin of any of the justified uncancelled, but making him, though loaded with the guilt of myriads of offenses, "the righteousness of God in Christ."

q.d. As there is a difference between Adam and Christ in respect of their persons, so also in respect of their acts, and the extent thereof; for one sin of Adam did condemn us; the mischief arose from one offence; but the free gift and grace of Christ doth absolve us not only from that one fault, but from all other faults and offences; it reacheth to the pardon, not only of original sin, but of all other personal and actual sins. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift,.... The apostle goes on with the dissimilitude between the effects of Adam's sin, and Christ's righteousness:

for the judgment was by one to condemnation; by "judgment" is meant, not the judgment of God, or the judiciary sentence pronounced by God on Adam and his posterity for sin; but the guilt of the one man's sin, which is imputed to all men to condemnation, on account of which the sentence of condemnation passed on all men; the law transgressed, became a ministration of condemnation to them:

but the free gift is of many offences unto justification; the righteousness of Christ, which stands opposed to the guilt of Adam's sin, being imputed to all his offspring, is to the justification of them; and that not only from the guilt of that particular offence, but from many other offences, even all their actual sins and transgressions, of every sort; which is another instance of the exuberance, or abounding of the grace of God, in the righteousness of Christ, not only over the sin of the one man, but also over the sins of many, even all the elect of God; for the last clause may be also thus rendered, "the free gift is of the offences of many, unto justification".

{15} 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 {t} justification.

(15) Another inequality consists in this, that by Adam's one offence men are made guilty, but the righteousness of Christ imputed unto us freely, does not only absolve us from that one fault, but from all others.

(t) To the sentence of absolution, by which we are acquitted and pronounced righteous.

Romans 5:16. Continuation of the difference between the gift of grace and the consequence of the fall, and that with reference to the causal origination on either side in a numerical aspect.[1315]

And not as through one, who has sinned, so is the gift, i.e. it is not so in its case—the state of the case there is the very reverse—as if it were occasioned διʼ ἑνὸς ἁμαρτήσ. (like death through Adam). The ΔΙʼ ἙΝῸς ἉΜΑΡΤΉΣ. indicates the unity of the person and of the accomplished sinful act; comp Stölting. Beyond the simple ἘΣΤΊ after ΔΏΡΗΜΑ nothing is to be supplied (so also Mangold), because the words without supplement are quite in accordance with the Greek use of Ὡς (Bernhardy, p. 352, Stallbaum, a[1317] Plat. Sympos. p. 179 E), and yield an appropriate sense, whereas none of the supplements that have been attempted are suggested by the context. It has been proposed, e.g. after ἁμαρτ. to supply ΘΆΝΑΤΟς ΕἸΣῆΛΘΕΝ (Grotius, Estius, Koppe), or ΤῸ ΚΡῖΜΑ or ΚΑΤΆΚΡΙΜΑ (Bengel, Klee, Reiche, Köllner; or after Ὡς: ΤΌ (Beza), which is indeed impossible, but is nevertheless resorted to even by de Wette: “and not like that which originated through one that sinned, so is the gift,” and Tholuck: “the gift has a different character from that which has come through the one man sinning.” Comp Philippi, who like Rückert and Dietzsch supplies merely ἘΓΈΝΕΤΟ after ἉΜΑΡΤ. (and then after ΔΩΡ.: ἘΣΤΊ),—which however still yields no complete sentence, since the ἘΓΈΝΕΤΟ is without a subject. The correct view in substance is taken by Rothe, Ewald, and van Hengel; while Fritzsche still calls in the aid of a supplement after ἉΜΑΡΤ. (ΤῸ ΠΑΡΆΠΤΩΜΑ ἘΓΈΝΕΤΟ); and Hofmann even wishes mentally to supply to ΚΑῚ.… ΔΏΡΗΜΑ from what precedes, to which it is attached, ΕἸς ΤΟῪς ΠΟΛΛΟῪς ἘΠΕΡΊΣΣΕΥΣΕΝ as predicate;[1319] whereas Mehring puts his rendering, which erroneously makes it a question (comp on Romans 5:15), in this form: “And ought not the gift to be, as it was through one that sinned?

τὸ μὲν γὰρ κρῖμα κ.τ.λ[1321]] sc[1322] ἐστί; explanation of the point of difference previously specified: For the judicial sentence redounds from a single one to a sentence of condemnation, but the gift of grace from many trespasses to a sentence of justification.

τὸ κρῖμα] quite general: the sentence which God pronounces as judge; comp 1 Corinthians 6:7. For the kind of sentence, which this shall prove to be in the concrete result, is indicated only by the following εἰς κατάκριμα. The explanation which refers it to the divine announcement contained in Genesis 2:17 (Fritzsche, Dietzsch) is erroneous, because the latter is a threat, and not a κρῖμα; and because the act of Adam must have already preceded the ΚΡῖΜΑ. Others understand by it the sentence of punishment pronounced against Adam, which has become a sentence of punishment (sentence of death) against his posterity (κατάκριμα) (Reiche, Rückert, Nielsen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Krehl, de Wette, Maier, Hofmann); but wrongly, because they thus neglect the pointed interchange of ΚΡῖΜΑ and ΚΑΤΆΚΡΙΜΑ, and in ΕἸς ΚΑΤΆΚΡΙΜΑ place the stress on the condemned subject, which however is not even mentioned. Linguistically erroneous is the view of Beza, Calixtus, Wolf, and others, that Τ. ΚΡῖΜΑ is the guilt. Nor does it mean the state of being finally adjudged (Stölting). Philippi, Tholuck, Ewald, and van Hengel hold the right view; while Rothe, with unnecessary refining and gratuitous importation, takes τὸ μέν and ΤῸ ΔΈ by themselves as subject, ΚΡῖΜΑ and ΧΆΡΙΣΜΑ as predicates (“the one effect is a righteous judgment.… the other on the contrary a gift”). Dietzsch still more breaks up the sentence, making ΚΡῖΜΑ and ΧΆΡΙΣΜΑ appositions, the former to τὸ μέν, and the latter to ΤῸ ΔΈ.

] has, like ἘΚ ΠΟΛΛῶΝ ΠΑΡΣΠΤ afterwards, the chief emphasis; ἙΝΌς is masculine on account of the previous ΔΙʼ ἙΝῸς ἉΜΑΡΤΉΣ., not neuter (ΠΑΡΑΠΤΏΜΑΤΟς), as Rothe, Mehring, Dietzsch, Stölting and others think. This masculine however does not necessitate our taking ΠΟΛΛῶΝ also as masculine (Hofmann), which would in itself be allowable (comp on 2 Corinthians 1:11), but is here opposed by the consideration that Paul would have expressed the personal contrast to ἐξ ἑνός more symmetrically and thoughtfully by the bare ἘΚ ΠΟΛΛῶΝ. The Vulgate gives the right sense: “ex multis delictis.”

ἐξ] points to the motive cause, producing the event from itself: forth from one; see Kühner, II. 1, p. 399. Just in the same way the second ἐκ.

εἰς κατάκριμα] sc[1325] ἐστί, as in the first half of the verse,[1326] “ut una cum praesentibus praeterita tamquam eadem in tabella repraesentet,” van Hengel. One was the cause (moving the divine righteousness) that the judgment of God presents itself in the result as a punitive judgment (namely, that on account of the sin of one all should die, Romans 5:12); many sins, on the other hand, were the cause (moving the divine compassion) that the gift of grace results in concreto as a judgment of justification. In the one case an unity, in the other a multiplicity, was the occasioning cause. In the second clause also, following the analogy of κρῖμα in the first, τὸ χάρισμα is conceived of generally and abstractly; the χάρισμα redounds in the concrete case εἰς δικαίωμα, when God, namely, forgives the many sins and declares their subjects as righteous. δικαίωμα, which is not, with Dietzsch, to be understood in the sense of the right framing of life through sanctification of the Spirit—a view contrary to linguistic usage and the context—is here also (comp Romans 1:32, Romans 2:26, Romans 8:4; Luke 1:6; Hebrews 9:1; Hebrews 9:10; Revelation 15:4; frequently in LXX. and Apocr., see Schleusner, Thes. II. p. 167 f.), according to its literal signification, in itself nothing else than judicial determination, judicial sentence; but it is to be taken here in the Pauline sense of the divine δικαιοῦν, hence: the sentence defining righteousness, the ordinance of God in which He completes the δικαίωσις as actus judicialis, the opposite of κατάκριμα. Condition of righteousness (Luther and others), “the actual status of being righteous” (Hofmann), would be represented by δικαιοσύνη; satisfaction of justice, compensation of justice (Rothe, Mehring following Calovius, and Wolf), in accordance with which idea it may even designate punishment in classical usage (Plat. Legg. ix. p. 864 E), it might mean (Aristot. Eth. Nic. v. 7, 17: ἐπανόρθωμα τοῦ ἀδικήματος), but never does so in Biblical usage, to which this special definition of the sense is foreign. Paul could convey the sense declaration as righteous, verdict of justification, the more appropriately by δικαίωμα, since in Bar 2:17 the word is also substantially thus used (δώσουσι δόξαν κ. δικαίωα τῷ κυρίῳ, in Hades they shall not praise God and declare Him righteous). Compare also 2 Samuel 19:28; Jeremiah 11:20; Proverbs 8:20; Revelation 15:4; Revelation 19:8.[1328] The right view is taken by Fritzsche, Baumgarten-Crusius, Krehl, Philippi, Tholuck, Ewald, van Hengel, Holsten, Klöpper, and Pfleiderer; Rückert (also Maier) abides by means of justification, following merely the form of the word without empirical proof, while de Wette is undecided, and Stölting, without precedent from linguistic usage (comp above Luther and Hofmann), understands the state of justification into which the state of grace (the χάρισμα) has passed. These two conceptions however exclude any idea of succession, and are concurrent.

The addition ΖΩῆς in D. Vulg. is a correct gloss; comp Romans 5:18.

[1315] Dietzsch takes it differently, finding the progress of the argument in this, that at the end a state of life adequate to the divine law may be established. This view however rests on an erroneous exposition of δικαίωμα (see below), and generally on an erroneous mixing up of sanctification with justification—an intermingling to be avoided throughout the entire train of thought in our passage; comp. Pfleiderer in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr. 1872, p. 167.

[1317] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[1319] It would run thus: “The gift has not so accrued abundantly to the many and passed over to them, as was the case when such a bestowal ensued through one that sinned.” This supplement is already guarded against by the fact that κ. οὐχ down to δώρημα is the obvious parallel of οὐχ ὡς τ. παραπτ. down to χάρισμα, and hence, like the latter, may not be supplemented further than by ἐστί. Any other course is arbitrary and artificial.

[1321] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[1322] c. scilicet.

[1325] c. scilicet.

[1326] In consequence of the way in which Hofmann has supplemented the first half of the verse, we should now take, in the one instance, ἐξ ἐνὸς εἰς κατάκριμα εἰς τοὺς πολλοὺς ἐπερίσσευσεν as predicate to τὸ κρῖμα; and in the other instance, ἐκ πολλῶν παραπτωμάτων εἰς δικαίωμα εἰς τοὺς πολλοὺς ἐπερίσσευσεν as predicate to τὸ χάρισμα,—notwithstanding that in both cases a definition with εἰς is already given by Paul himself. How enigmatically and misleadingly he would have written!

[1328] Where τὰ δικαιώματα τῶν ἁγίων are the divine verdicts of justification, which the saints have received. The pure byssus is their symbol. Compare Ewald, Joh. Schr. in loc. p. 330. Düsterdieck understands it otherwise (righteous acts).Romans 5:16. A fresh point of contrast. That which God bestows (for δώρημα, see Mayor on Jam 1:17) is not as through one that sinned: the analogy with Adam breaks down here. For the Divine judgment (κρίμα neutral) starting from one (person) resulted in condemnation (for all); whereas the free gift, starting from many offences (which appealed to the mercy of God), has resulted in a sentence of justification (for all). This abstract way of looking at the matter disregards what the Apostle insists on elsewhere, that this “sentence of justification” only takes effect for the individual on the condition of faith. The ἐκ πολλῶν παραπτωμάτων in this verse is a decisive argument for the meaning given above to πάντες ἥμαρτον: redemption is not inspired merely by the fall of the race in Adam, but by its actual and multiplied offences, and this is its glory. ἐξ ἑνὸς: ἑνὸς is masculine, resuming the ἑνὸς ἁμαρτήσαντος of the previous clause; not neuter, with παραπτώματος anticipated from the following clause.16. And not, &c.] The line of thought here is less difficult if we take Romans 5:17 in close connexion, and read the words from “for the judgment” to “unto justification” as a parenthetic statement of the two facts before us. We may then paraphrase Romans 5:16-17 thus: “The Gift, in wonder and greatness of quality, far exceeds the Ruin, though each is the result of one Person’s act: (for, as we know, the sentence and execution was the result of one man’s one sin, while the atonement and justification is the result, in a sense, of many men’s many sins:)—I say the Gift exceeds the Ruin; for while the result of Adam’s sin was just the lawful reign of death over men as sinners, the result of Christ’s work shall be not a mere reversal of this, but the reign of justified men over death in glory.”

And not, &c.] The Gr. here is more exactly, And not as by means of the sinning of one, [is] the gift: for the sentence [resulted] from one [person] unto condemnation; but the boon [resulted] from many offences unto acquittal. Here the “one” is plainly Adam; and the contrast is between his one-ness, and that of his sin, and the many offences of his many sons. St Paul estimates the greatness of the pardon of all the sins of all the justified from the tremendous legal results of the one sin of Adam. Such is sin, that Adam’s sin brought death on all men; such is grace, that innumerable sins are, through the Propitiation, “abundantly pardoned.”—The phrase above, “resulted from,” has of course a different bearing in the two clauses. The first sin was the strict cause of the sentence; while the “many offences” “caused” the boon, only as calling forth the mercy.—“The sentence … unto condemnation;” “the boon … unto acquittal:”—in each of these phrases the last word explains the first: the sentence amounted to sentence of death; the gift was nothing less than acquittal.—The hereditary guilt and doom of the Fall is very distinctly taught in this verse. The sentence of death on man as man came “by means of the sinning of one,” in a sense expressly distinguished from the guilt of the “many offences” of the many.Romans 5:16. Καὶ, and) The meaning is to this effect: and not, as by one that sinned (is the judgment) (so by one, the author of righteousness is) the gift [Engl. Vers, is different]; that is to say; And [moreover] the proportion [the ratio] on both sides, is not the same.—κρίμα, the judgment) namely, is.—ἐξ ἑνὸς, from one) namely, offence, [Engl. Vers. differs]; for the antithesis, of many offences, follows. The one offence was of the one man; the many offences are of many men.[53]

[53] I frankly confess, that I do not clearly understand how this plural proves, that Paul is not treating here of original sin, as if it ever exists without the accompaniment of other sins, which is the assumption of some one of the more recent commentators. Doubtless the Apostle distinctly shows, that the gift in Christ is the cure both for original sin, and for the actual offences of individuals BESIDES. There are, certainly, many actual sins, which are not to be considered as the necessary consequence of the first sin (otherwise all the morality of our actions would now cease); but there is no sin, whether it be called original or actual, the pardon and removal of which, ought not to be considered as the mere effect of the gift, χαρίσματος.Therefore the power of the gift, τοῦ χαρίσματος, is greater than that of the judgment, τοῦ κρίματος.—E. B.That sinned (ἁμαρτήσαντος)

The better supported reading. Some MSS. and versions read ἁμαρτήματος transgression.

Of one

Some explain, one man, from the preceding (one) that sinned. Others, one trespass, from Romans 5:17.

The judgment (κρῖμα)

Judicial sentence. Compare 1 Corinthians 6:7; 1 Corinthians 11:29. See on 2 Peter 2:3.

Condemnation (κατάκριμα)

See on shall be damned, Mark 16:16. A condemnatory sentence.

Justification (δικαίωμα)

Not the subjective state of justification, but a righteous act or deed. Revelation 19:8; see on Romans 5:18.

The word is sometimes rendered ordinance, Hebrews 9:1, Hebrews 9:10; an appointment of God having the force of law. So Romans 1:32, where Rev. gives ordinance for judgment, and Romans 2:26, ordinances for righteousness.

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