Romans 5:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned--

New Living Translation
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

English Standard Version
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Berean Study Bible
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.

Berean Literal Bible
Because of this, just as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death passed to all men, because all sinned.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

King James Bible
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:

Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.

Contemporary English Version
Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.

Good News Translation
Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.

International Standard Version
Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death resulted from sin, therefore everyone dies, because everyone has sinned.

NET Bible
So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned--

New Heart English Bible
Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all people, because all sinned.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For just as by the agency of one-man, sin entered the universe, and by means of sin, death, in this way death passed by this sin unto all the children of men, because all of them have sinned.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Sin came into the world through one person, and death came through sin. So death spread to everyone, because everyone sinned.

New American Standard 1977
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, in the manner which sin entered into the world by one man, and because of sin, death; and so death passed upon all men in the one in whom all sinned.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore, 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:

American King James Version
Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned:

American Standard Version
Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:--

Douay-Rheims Bible
Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

Darby Bible Translation
For this [cause], even as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death; and thus death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

English Revised Version
Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:--

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
What follows? This comparison. Through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and so death passed to all mankind in turn, in that all sinned.

World English Bible
Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned.

Young's Literal Translation
because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin the death; and thus to all men the death did pass through, for that all did sin;
Study Bible
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
11Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. 13For sin was in the world before the Law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law.…
Cross References
Genesis 2:17
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die."

Genesis 3:6
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom, she took the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your bread, until you return to the ground--because out of it were you taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return."

Romans 5:14
Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.

Romans 5:15
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many!

Romans 5:17
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Romans 5:18
Therefore, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men.

Romans 5:19
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:21
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:21
What fruit did you reap at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The outcome of those things is death.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:21
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.

Ephesians 2:3
We all lived among them at one time in the cravings of our flesh, indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.

James 1:15
Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.

Treasury of Scripture

Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned:

as by.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the …

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that …

and death.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life …

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not …

Genesis 3:19,22-24 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to …

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the …

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when …

Revelation 20:14,15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death…

for that. or, in whom. all.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, …

1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth …

(12-21) Contrast between the reign of death introduced by the sin of Adam, and the reign of life introduced by the atonement of Christ.

The sequence is, first sin, then death. Now, the death which passed over mankind had its origin in Adam's sin. Strictly speaking, there could be no individual sin till there was a law to be broken. But in the interval between Adam and Moses, i.e., before the institution of law, death prevailed, over the world. which was a proof that there was sin somewhere. The solution is, that the sin in question was not the individual guilt of individual transgressors, but the single transgression of Adam. Here, then, is the contrast. The single sin of the one man, Adam, brought death upon all mankind; the single act of the one Redeemer cleared away many offences--also for all men. Under the old dispensation law entered in to intensify the evil; but, in like manner, under the new, grace has come in to enhance and multiply the benefit. Thus the remedial system and the condemnatory system are co-extensive, the one over against the other, and the first entirely cancels the second.

(12) Wherefore.--The train of thought which follows is suggested by the mention which had just been made of atonement, reconciliation. We see here another instance of the Apostle's fondness for transcendental theology, and for the development of the deeper mysteries of God's dealings with man. The rapidity with which ideas of this kind throng into his brain is such as to break the even flow and structure of his sentence.

As by one man.--This clause, "As by one man sin and death entered," ought to have been answered by "So by one Man grace and life entered." But a difficulty occurs at the very outset. How can it really be said that sin and death entered by Adam? For sin does not exist without law, and the law did not come in till Moses. And yet we have proof that sin must have been there; for death, its consequence, prevailed all through this period in which law was still wanting. The fact was, the sin which then prevailed, and had such wide and disastrous effects, was Adam's. So that it is strictly legitimate to compare his fall with the act of redemption. It is strictly true to say that by one man sin and death entered into the world, as life and grace entered by another. In either case the consequence was that of one man's act.

For that all have sinned.--.Rather, for that, or because, all sinned--i.e., not by their own individual act, but implicitly in Adam's transgression. They were summed up, and included in him as the head and representative of the race.

Verses 12-21. - (b) From consideration of the blessed effects on believers of faith in the reconciliation through Christ, the apostle now passes to the effects of that reconciliation as the position of the whole human race before God. His drift is that the reconciliation corresponds to the original transgression; both proceeded from one, and both include all mankind in their results; as the one introduced sin into the world, and, as its consequence, death, so the other introduced righteousness, and, as its consequence, life. It may be observed that in ch. 1 also he has in one sense traced sin backward through the past ages, so as to show how all mankind had come to be under condemnation for it. But the subject was regarded from a different point of view, the purpose of the argument being also different. There he was addressing the heathen world, his purpose being to convince the whole of it of sin, on the score of obvious culpability; and, suitably to this design, his argument is based, not on Scripture, but on observation of the facts of human nature and human history. It did not fall within his scope to trace the evil to its original cause. But here, having shown Jew and Gentile to be on the same footing with respect to sin, and having entered (at Romans 3:21) on the doctrinal portion of his Epistle, he goes to Scripture for the origin of the evil, and finds it there attributed to Adam's original transgression, which implicated the human race as an organic whole. This is the scriptural solution of the mystery, which he here gives, not only as accounting for things being as they are, but also, in connection with the stage of the argument at which he has now arrived, as explaining the necessity and the purpose of the atonement for the whole guilty race, effected by the second Adam, Christ. Verse 12. - Wherefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all sinned. To this sentence, introduced by ὥσπερ, there is no apodosis. One has been sought in the course of what follows, and by some found in ver. 18. But ver. 18 is a recapitulation rather than resumption of the argument, and is, further, too far removed to be intended as a formal apodesis. It is not really necessary to find one. The natural one to the first clause of the sentence would have been, "So through One righteousness entered into the world, and life through righteousness;" and such may be supposed to have been in the writer's mind. But, after his manner, he goes off to enlarge on the idea expressed in the second clause, and never formally completes his sentence. A similar anacoluthon is found in 1 Timothy 1:3. Sin is here, as elsewhere, regarded as a power antagonistic to God, which has been introduced into the world of man, working and manifesting itself in concrete human sin (cf. Romans 5:21; Romans 6:12, 14; Romans 7:8, 9, 17). Its ultimate origin is not explained. Scripture offers no solution of the old insoluble problem, κόθεν τὸ κακὸν: its existence at all under the sway of the Omnipotent Goodness in which we believe is one of the deep mysteries that have ever baffled human reason. All that is here touched on is its entrance into the world of man, the word εἰσῆλθε implying that it already existed beyond this mundane sphere. The reference is, of course, to Gem fit., as the scriptural account of the beginning of sin in our own world. It is there attributed to "the serpent," whom we regard as a symbol of some mysterious power of evil, external to man, to which primeval man, in the exercise of his prerogative of free-will, succumbed, and so let sin in. Through sin entered also death as its consequence; which (primarily at least) must mean here physical death, this being all that is denoted in Genesis (comp. Genesis 3:19 with Gen 2:17), and necessary to be understood in what follows in the chapter before us (see ver. 14). But here a difficulty presents itself to modern thought. Are we to understand that man was originally so constituted as not to die? - that even his bodily organization was immortal, and would have continued so but for the fatal taint of sin? We find it difficult at the present day to conceive this, however bound we may feel to submit our reason to revelation in a matter so remote, so unknown, and so mysterious as the beginning of human life on the earth, in whatever aspect viewed, and indeed of all conscious life, must ever be. But St. Paul himself, in another place, speaks of "the first man" having been, even on his first creation, "of the earth, earthy" (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47), with a body, like ours, of" flesh and blood," in its own nature corruptible (1 Corinthians 15:50). Neither is the narrative of Genesis 3. inconsistent with this idea. For it seems to imply that, but for his eating of the mystical "tree of life" (whatever may be meant by it), the first man was in his own nature mortal, and that his liability to death ensued on his being debarred from it (Genesis 3:22). It may be impossible for us to understand or explain. The following considerations, however, may perhaps help us in some degree.

(1) When we pay regard to man's spiritual capabilities and aspirations, even as he is now, death does seem to us an anomaly - a contradiction to the ideal of his inner self. That a beast of the field should die appears to us no such anomaly; for it has done all that it seems to have been meant to do, or to be capable of doing: it has served as a link in the continuance of its kind, not having been conscious, as far as we know, of anything beyond its surroundings. But man (i.e. man as he is capable of being, so as to represent the capacity of humanity) connects himself in his inner self with eternity; his mind resents the idea of death, as an unwelcome stoppage to its development and its yearnings. It goes on ever maturing its power, enlarging its range, thirsting for higher knowledge, entertaining affections that seem eternal; and then bodily decay and death arrest its progress as it were in mid-career. Thus death, as it comes to us and affects us now, seems to involve a contradiction between man's inner consciousness and the facts of his existence at present; it is shrunk from as something that ought not to be. It is true that, when faith has once grasped the idea of bodily death being but a transition to a better life, the anomaly disappears: but such is its aspect to the natural man: and thus we can enter into the scriptural idea of death, as it comes to us so inevitably now, being something not originally meant for man, though we may be unable to say how it would have been with him had not sin entered.

(2) Though physical death, obvious to men's eyes, and not spiritual death of the soul either in this world or in the world to come, is here evidently in view (see ver. 14), yet we must bear in mind the general idea associated with the word "death" in the New Testament. It is sometimes used so as to imply more than the mere parting of the soul from the body, including in the conception of what it is all the woes and infirmities that flesh is heir to, which are its precursors in the present state of things (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:31; 2 Corinthians 4:10, 12, 16; 2 Corinthians 6:9), being thus regarded also as the visible sign before our eyes of man's present alienation from the life that is in God. St. Paul, then, in the passage before us, though alleging mere natural death as sufficient evidence of sin, may be conceived as having in his view Death armed as he has been with a peculiar sting to man through all known time. The main point of his argument is that the doom recorded in Genesis as having been pronounced on Adam had obviously remained in force throughout the ages; and there is surely no difficulty in assenting to the position that the dominion of death, as it has been exercised since that doom, is evidence of its continuance, and consequently of sin. "For that all sinned" (more correctly so than, as in the Authorized Version, "all have sinned") seems to mean, not that all since Adam in their own persons committed sin, but that all sinned in him - were implicated in the sin of the progenitor (cf. ver. 15; also 1 Corinthians 15:22, "in Adam all die;" and 2 Corinthians 5:14, where all are said to have died to sin in the death of Christ). The doctrine of original, as distinct from actual, sin, thus intimated, has been, as is well known, the subject of much controversy since the time of Pelagius. It does not fall within the proper scope of this Commentary to discuss the theories of divines, but rather to set forth candidly what the language of the portions of Scripture commented on in itself most obviously means, viewed in the light afforded by general Scripture teaching. With respect to the passage before us, it may suffice to say:

(1) That more must be understood than the mere imputation of Adam's transgression to his descendants, irrespectively of any guilt of theirs. This notion, which jars on our conception of Divine justice, is precluded by the entire drift of the earlier chapters of this Epistle, which was the actual culpability of mankind at large, and also by what follows here, sin itself being spoken of - not the imputation of it only - as being in the world after Adam, and universal too, as evidenced by the continued reign of death. All men are said to have sinned in the sin of the first transgressor, because sin was thus introduced, as a power in human nature antagonistic to God, and because this "infection of nature" has continued since. And thus

(2) the Pelagian position is also precluded, according to which "original sin standeth (only) in the following of Adam" (Art. 9.), i.e. in actual imitation of his sin, which man is supposed to have still, as Adam had, the power to avoid. For it is expressly said (ver. 14) that death reigned over - in proof that sin infected - even those who had not sinned after the similitude of his transgression. But

(3) we must guard against confusion between the idea of man's natural liability to condemnation on the ground of transmitted sinfulness, and that of God's actual dealing with him. It is nowhere said or implied that the natural infection which they could not help will be visited on individuals in the final judgment. All that is insisted on by St. Paul is that man, in himself, as he is now, falls short of the glory of God, and cannot put in a plea for acceptance on the ground of his own righteousness. But he no less emphatically declares that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world,.... The design of these words, and of the following, is to show how men came to be in the condition before described, as "ungodly", Romans 5:6, "sinners", Romans 5:8, and "enemies", Romans 5:10; and to express the love of Christ in the redemption of them; and the largeness of God's grace to all sorts of men: the connection of them is with Romans 5:11, by which it appears that the saints have not only an expiation of sin by the blood of Christ, but a perfect righteousness, by which they are justified in the sight of God; and the manner how they came at it, or this becomes theirs, together with the necessity of their having such an one, are here declared: by the "one man" is meant Adam the first man, and parent of mankind, who is mentioned by name in Romans 5:14; sin which came by him designs a single sin, and not many, even the first sin of Adam, which goes by different names, as "sin" here, "transgression", Romans 5:14, the "offence" or "fall", Romans 5:15, "disobedience", Romans 5:19, and whatever was the first step or motive to it, which led to it, whether pride, unbelief, or concupiscence, it was finished by eating the forbidden fruit; and is called sin emphatically, because it contained all sin in it, was attended with aggravating circumstances, and followed with dismal consequences. Hence may be learnt the origin of moral evil among men, which comes not from God, but man; of this it is said, that it "entered into the world"; not the world above, there sin entered by the devil; but the world below, and it first entered into paradise, and then passed through the whole world; it entered into men by the snares of Satan, and by him it enters into all the inhabitants of the world; into all men that descend from him by ordinary generation, and that so powerfully that there is no stopping of it. It has entered by him, not by imitation, for it has entered into such as never sinned after the similitude of his transgression, infants, or otherwise death could not have entered into them, and into such who never heard of it, as the Heathens; besides, sin entered as death did, which was not by imitation but imputation, for all men are reckoned dead in Adam, being accounted sinners in him; add to this, that in the same way Christ's righteousness comes upon us, which is by imputation, Adam's sin enters into us, or becomes ours; upon which death follows,

and death by sin; that is, death has entered into the world of men by sin, by the first sin of the first man; not only corporeal death, but a spiritual or moral one, man, in consequence of this, becoming "dead in sin", deprived of righteousness, and averse, and impotent to all that is good; and also an eternal death, to which he is liable; for "the wages of sin is death", Romans 6:23; even eternal death: all mankind are in a legal sense dead, the sentence of condemnation and death immediately passed on Adam as soon as he had sinned, and upon all his posterity;

and so death passed upon all men; the reason of which was,

for that, or because "in him"

all have sinned: all men were naturally and seminally in him; as he was the common parent of mankind, he had all human nature in him, and was also the covenant head, and representative of all his posterity; so that they were in him both naturally and federally, and so "sinned in him"; and fell with him by his first transgression into condemnation and death. The ancient Jews, and some of the modern ones, have said many things agreeably to the apostle's doctrine of original sin; they own the imputation of the guilt of Adam's sin to his posterity to condemnation and death;

"through the sin of the first man (say they (g)) , "thou art dead"; for he brought death into the world:''

nothing is more frequently said by them than that Adam and Eve, through the evil counsel of the serpent, , "were the cause of death to themselves and to all the world" (h); and that through the eating of the fruit of the tree, , "all the inhabitants of the earth became guilty of death" (i): and that this was not merely a corporeal death, they gather from the doubling of the word in the threatening, "in dying thou shalt die", Genesis 2:17 (margin);

"this doubled death, say they (k), without doubt is the punishment of their body by itself, , and also of the "soul by itself".''

They speak of some righteous persons who died, not for any sin of their own, but purely on the account of Adam's sin; as Benjamin the son of Jacob, Amram the father of Moses, and Jesse the father of David, and Chileab the son of David (l), to these may be added Joshua the son of Nun, and Zelophehad and Levi: the corruption and pollution of human nature through the sin of Adam is clearly expressed by them;

"when Adam sinned, (say they (m),) he "drew upon him a defiled power, , "and defiled himself and all the people of the "world".''

Again (n),

"this vitiosity which comes from the sin and infection of our first parents, has invaded both faculties of the rational soul, the understanding by which we apprehend, and the will by which we desire.''

This corruption of nature they call , "the evil imagination", which, they say (o), is planted in a man's heart at the time of his birth; and others say (p) that it is in him before he is born: hence Philo the Jew says (q), that , "to sin is connatural", to every man that is born, even though a good man; and talks (r) of , "evil that is born with us", and of (s) , "spots that are of necessity born with" every mortal man. And so his countrymen (t) often speak of it as natural and inseparable to men; yea, they represent Adam as the root and head of mankind, in whom the whole world and all human nature sinned: descanting on those words, "as one that lieth upon the top of a mast", Proverbs 23:34;

"this (say they (u)) is the first man who was "an head to all the children of men": for by means of wine death was inflicted on him, and he was the cause of bringing the sorrows of death into the world.''

continued...Ro 5:12-21. Comparison and Contrast between Adam and Christ in Their Relation to the Human Family.

(This profound and most weighty section has occasioned an immense deal of critical and theological discussion, in which every point, and almost every clause, has been contested. We can here but set down what appears to us to be the only tenable view of it as a whole and of its successive clauses, with some slight indication of the grounds of our judgment).

12. Wherefore—that is, Things being so; referring back to the whole preceding argument.

as by one man—Adam.

sin—considered here in its guilt, criminality, penal desert.

entered into the world, and death by sin—as the penalty of sin.

and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned—rather, "all sinned," that is, in that one man's first sin. Thus death reaches every individual of the human family, as the penalty due to himself. (So, in substance, Bengel, Hodge, Philippi). Here we should have expected the apostle to finish his sentence, in some such way as this: "Even so, by one man righteousness has entered into the world, and life by righteousness." But, instead of this, we have a digression, extending to five verses, to illustrate the important statement of Ro 5:12; and it is only at Ro 5:18 that the comparison is resumed and finished.5:12-14 The design of what follows is plain. It is to exalt our views respecting the blessings Christ has procured for us, by comparing them with the evil which followed upon the fall of our first father; and by showing that these blessings not only extend to the removal of these evils, but far beyond. Adam sinning, his nature became guilty and corrupted, and so came to his children. Thus in him all have sinned. And death is by sin; for death is the wages of sin. Then entered all that misery which is the due desert of sin; temporal, spiritual, eternal death. If Adam had not sinned, he had not died; but a sentence of death was passed, as upon a criminal; it passed through all men, as an infectious disease that none escape. In proof of our union with Adam, and our part in his first transgression, observe, that sin prevailed in the world, for many ages before the giving of the law by Moses. And death reigned in that long time, not only over adults who wilfully sinned, but also over multitudes of infants, which shows that they had fallen in Adam under condemnation, and that the sin of Adam extended to all his posterity. He was a figure or type of Him that was to come as Surety of a new covenant, for all who are related to Him.
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