RE: please help

From: John Stendahl (
Date: Mon Jan 10 2000 - 11:48:22 EST

On Sun, 09 Jan 2000 20:15:30 -0500 (bill starkey) wrote:

>Regarding Romans 5:12, The Jerome Commentary has this: This tradition
>found its formal conciliar expressioll in the Tridentine Decretum super
>peccato originali (Seas. V, 2-4). Echoing Canon 2 of both the 16th
>Council of Carthage (AD 418 [DB 102; DS 223]) and the 2nd Council of
>Orange (AD 529 fDB '75; DS 372]), it decreed,
>"Quoniam non aliter intelligendum est id, quod dicit Apostolus: Per
>unum hominem peccatum intravit in mundum, et per peccatum mors, et ita
>in omnes homines mors pertransiit, in quo omnes peccaverunt, nisi
>quemadmodum Ecclesia catholica ubique diffusa semper intellexit" (DB
>791; cf. 789; DS 1514; cf. 1512).

In the above, I corrected a few small mistakes in your scan or transcription of
the Latin. I don't have an official English text at hand, but one way this text
from the Council of Trent's Decree on Original Sin might be rendered is:

"For what the Apostle says-- 'Through one man Sin came into the world, and
through Sin Death, and thus Death spread throughout all humanity, by which all
sinned'-- must not be understood otherwise than in the way that the catholic
Church universal [lit. "spread out everywhere"] always understood it."

The trickiest aspect of this passage is the "in quo" of the Vulgate in Romans
5:12, reflecting the "EF' hWi" of the Greek. My translation of "by which" for
the Latin is intentionally ambiguous but I think the phrase in the Vulgate could
possibly also be taken as "in whom," referring back to the one man, or "in
which," referring to death. Still, the point of the Tridentine passage cited is
more generally dogmatic rather than specifically exegetical.

John Stendahl
Lutheran Church of the Newtons, Newton, MA

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