March 9 2014 Epistle Lectionary, First Sunday in Lent; Romans 5:12-19

March 9 2014 Epistle Lectionary, First Sunday in Lent

Romans 5:12-19

Ro 5:12 Διὰ τοῦτο ὥσπερ δι’ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου ἡ ἁμαρτία εἰς τὸν κόσμον εἰσῆλθεν καὶ διὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὁ θάνατος, καὶ οὕτως εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους ὁ θάνατος διῆλθεν ἐφ’ ᾧ[A] πάντες ἥμαρτον— Therefore, just as through one person sin entered into the world, and through sin, death [entered into the world,] and thus death spread to all people, because of which all sinned—
Ro 5:13 ἄχρι γὰρ νόμου ἁμαρτία ἦν ἐν κόσμῳ, ἁμαρτία δὲ οὐκ ἐλλογεῖται[B] μὴ ὄντος νόμου, For until the law [came], sin was in [the] world, but sin is not reckoned when law does not exist.
Ro 5:14 ἀλλὰ ἐβασίλευσεν ὁ θάνατος[C] ἀπὸ Ἀδὰμ μέχρι Μωϋσέως καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς μὴ ἁμαρτήσαντας ἐπὶ τῷ ὁμοιώματι[D] τῆς παραβάσεως Ἀδάμ, ὅς ἐστιν τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος. But death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned after the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the coming one.
Ro 5:15 Ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὡς τὸ παράπτωμα, οὕτως καὶ τὸ χάρισμα[E]· εἰ γὰρ τῷ τοῦ ἑνὸς παραπτώματι[F] οἱ πολλοὶ ἀπέθανον, πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἡ δωρεὰ ἐν χάριτι τῇ τοῦ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς τοὺς πολλοὺς ἐπερίσσευσεν. But the gift is not like the transgression.  For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, by how much more did the grace of God and the gift abound in [the] grace of the one human, Jesus Christ, to the many?
Ro 5:16 καὶ οὐχ ὡς δι’ ἑνὸς ἁμαρτήσαντος τὸ δώρημα· τὸ μὲν γὰρ κρίμα ἐξ ἑνὸς εἰς κατάκριμα, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα ἐκ[G] πολλῶν παραπτωμάτων εἰς δικαίωμα. And the gift was not like [what came] through the one who sinned.  On the one hand, the judgment [came] from one resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand, the gift, after many transgressions, results in righteousness.
Ro 5:17 εἰ γὰρ τῷ τοῦ ἑνὸς παραπτώματι ὁ θάνατος ἐβασίλευσεν διὰ τοῦ ἑνός, πολλῷ μᾶλλον οἱ τὴν περισσείαν τῆς χάριτος καὶ τῆς δωρεᾶς[H] τῆς δικαιοσύνης λαμβάνοντες ἐν ζωῇ βασιλεύσουσιν διὰ τοῦ ἑνὸς Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. For if, by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, by how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one Jesus Christ?
Ro 5:18 Ἄρα οὖν ὡς δι’ ἑνὸς παραπτώματος εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς κατάκριμα, οὕτως καὶ δι’ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους εἰς δικαίωσιν ζωῆς·[I] So then, just as, [death/sin came] through one transgression, to all people, resulting in condemnation, so also [the gift came] through one righteous act, to all people, resulting in righteousness of life.
Ro 5:19 ὥσπερ γὰρ διὰ τῆς παρακοῆς τοῦ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου ἁμαρτωλοὶ κατεστάθησαν οἱ πολλοί, οὕτως καὶ διὰ τῆς ὑπακοῆς τοῦ ἑνὸς δίκαιοι κατασταθήσονται οἱ πολλοί.[J] for just as, though the disobedience of the one person, many were caused [to be] sinners, so also through the obedience of the one, the many will be caused to be righteous.

[A] A notoriously difficult prepositional phrase to render here.  One question has to do with the antecedent of the relative pronoun ᾧ.  Grammatically, it could be either “death” in the previous clause, or more remotely, it could be “one person” in the earlier phrase.  Or it could be a general relative pronoun alluding to the entire earlier discussion.  In this case, we could translate “on the basis of which” or “in that” indicating cause (which most translations adopt), or “in addition to which,” suggesting that universal sinfulness is an “add-on” to death spreading to all.  Or it may mean, as I have rendered, that universal sinfulness is the result of death spreading to all.  This is the closest antecedent to the relative pronoun.  But the grammar is probably too complex to settle the matter by itself, and I’m not terribly confident of this translation.

[B] An accounting term—might be be rendered here “counted.”

[C] So even when sin does not “count,” death still reigns.

[D] In light of the previous verse, we should probably assume that “after the likeness of the transgression of Adam” means “in disobedience to an explicit command” (i.e., a violation of “law”) or something similar.

[E] Literally, “but not as the transgression, so also the gift.”

[F] Dative of means.

[G] Note the parallel uses of ἐκ in this verse, though as I have translated, I think there is a shift in nuance in the two uses.  But the Greek is more fully parallel than an English translation can render here.  Literally, the phrases are rendered, “the judgment from one into condemnation, and the gift, from many transgressions, into righteousness.”

[H] Note that the genitive cases require a “double abundance”—an abundance of grace and of [the] gift of righteousness.

[I] I’ve tried to preserve Paul’s highly elliptical speech here in my translation.

[J] Paul probably switched to “the many” in this verse to avoid the potentially universalistic interpretation of εἰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους in the previous verse.  In both verses, however, there remains some tension, since in this verse, the use of “the many” makes the universality of human sinfulness more problematic (why not “all?”), whereas in the previous verse, the use of “to all people” seems to suggest a soteriological universalism, something we don’t find elsewhere in Paul.  Paul is juggling a lot of things at once here!