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Reformation Study Bible – Rom 5:12–21
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Rom 5:12–21

5:12–21 Paul’s “Therefore” (v. 12) indicates that what follows is connected in Paul’s mind with what has preceded, so that the comparison and contrast he draws between Adam and Christ is his theological elaboration on what has already been said. Paul’s stress on the “one man” throughout the passage (vv. 12, 15–17, 19) indicates that he viewed both Adam and Christ as historical individuals. In the case of Adam, the focus of attention is on his “one trespass” (vv. 16, 18, and text note) by which all “were made sinners” (v. 19). They had solidarity with Adam as their representative before God, and this constituted them sinners when Adam sinned.