Re: Rom 5:12 Death spread... because all sinned - How?

From: Trevor M Peterson (
Date: Wed Mar 04 1998 - 07:19:54 EST

On Tue, 03 Mar 1998 21:52:15 -0700 Wes Williams <>

>First, The verse speaks of death as having DIHLQEN 'spread' 'pass on'
>to all men, which implies a progressive rather than a simultaneous
>effect on Adam's descendants.

But this is refering to QANATOS, not hAMARTIA. If Paul is emphasizing
physical death (since he is trying to explain why people still died
between Adam and Moses), this would only make sense. Everyone didn't die
immediately but each in his own time--a gradual spreading indeed.
>Secondly, verse 14 goes on to speak of death as ruling as king "from
>Adam down to Moses, even over those who had not sinned after the
>likeness of the PARABASEWS "transgression" by Adam." Thus, the type of
>"sins" from Adam to Moses was not quite the same as the type of sin
>committed by Adam. This fact seems out of harmony with the view that
>'when Adam sinned, all of his as yet unborn descendants sinned with

Unless the stress is on Adam's sin. I take Paul's use of PARABASIS here
as significant. He seems pretty consistent in tying it to the idea of a
law to be broken, and in this context, the very issue at hand is how
people could die without a law. So, Paul explains that before the law
men couldn't transgress a particular command; thus, sin could not be
imputed to them. This does not mean that sin did not exist at that time,
but they died for Adam's transgression, which was the last one to fall
under a specific command with a specific penalty.
>Thirdly, verse 19 points to this conclusion when he says that "just as
>through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] many were constituted
>sinners, likewise also through the obedience of the one person [Christ
>Jesus] many will be constituted righteous." Those to be "constituted
>righteous" by Christ's obedience were not all immediately so
>at the moment of his presenting his ransom sacrifice to God, but they
>progressively come under the benefits of that sacrifice as they come
>PISTEUW in that provision and become reconciled to God. (Joh 3:36; Ac

Good point, but this may put too much weight on the comparison. Paul's
emphasis is on the idea of "one" affecting "all." Another significant
difference is that Christ had to be totally righteous, while Adam had
only to transgress once.

>Sin, along with its
>consequences, "entered" EISELQEN and "spread" DIHLQEN to all the human

But again, I would say that DIHLQEN refers only to death, at least the
way Paul describes it.

Also, this seems to conflict with vv. 13-14, since now you have not
Adam's sin but a sinful tendency passing to all men. Thus, they would be
the ones sinning themselves, which actually destroys Paul's analogy, not
to mention his statement that their sins could never be imputed to them
anyway, before the law.

Trevor Peterson
M.Div. Candidate
Capital Bible Seminary
Lanham, MD

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:08 EDT