20. Moreover, the law entered, that the offense might abound; 1 but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
20. Lex vero intervenit, ut abundaret delictum; ubi vero abundavit delictum, superabundavit et gratia:
21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
21. Quo, sicut regnavit peccatum per mortem, sic et gratia regnet per justitiam in vitam æternam per Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum.
2 "Intercessisse legem -- that the law came between," i.e., Adam and Christ;
3 Chrysostom regarded
4 The superabounding has a reference to the increasing of sin by means of the law. Grace not only abounded so as to be sufficient to remedy the first sin and the sins which followed it; but it abounded still more, so as to be an adequate provision for sin when increased by the law, through the perverseness of human nature. -- Ed.
5 The antithesis to "sin" is properly "righteousness;" but, as Calvin observes, "grace" is connected with it. To preserve the contrast, the sentence might be rendered, "grace through righteousness;" and then to show the medium or channel through which this "grace through righteousness" is to reign so as to issue in "eternal life," it is added, "through Jesus Christ our Lord." So that in this single sentence, we have the origin, "grace," the means or the meritorious cause, "righteousness," the agent, or the procurer of it, "Jesus Christ," and the end, "eternal life." Some take "grace" as antithetic to sin, and connect "righteousness" with "eternal life," and render it "justification;" but this does not so well preserve the antithetic character of the clause. Those who render it "holiness" completely misunderstand the drift of the passage.
The first part is differently rendered: instead of "unto death," Hammond renders it, like Calvin, "through death," and Grotius, "by (per) death." The preposition is en and not eij, and its common meaning is "in," and it may be here translated, "in death," i.e., in a state of death. The reign of sin was that of death and misery; the reign of grace through Christ's righteousness is that of life and happiness, which is never to end. -- Ed.
6 That the antitheses of this remarkable passage, from verse 12 to the end, may be more clearly seen, it shall be presented in lines. The contrast in Romans 5:12 and 20 will be found in the first and last line and in the second and the third; and as to all the other verses, in the first and the third line and in the second and the fourth, except Romans 5:13 and 14, which are an explanation of the 12th. The 17th includes the two ideas of the 15th and 16th, in an inverted order. The 18th and l9th contain the summing up of the argument, --
12. For this reason, -- as by one man sin entered into the world, And death by sin, Even so death came upon all men, -- Because all had sinned:
13. Sin indeed was until the law in the world, But sin is not imputed when there is no law;
14. Yet reign did death from Adam to Moses. Even over those who had not sinned, After the likeness of the transgression of Adam, Who is the type of him who was to come.
15. But not as the transgression, So also the free favor; For if through the transgression of one Many died. Much more has God's grace, and his free gift through the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, Abounded unto many:
16. And not as through one sin, So the free gift; For judgment was indeed Through one sir to condemnation, But the free favor Is from many transgressions to justification, --
17. For if for one transgression, Death reigned through one; Much more shall they, who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, Reign in life through one, Jesus Christ.
18. So then, as through one transgression, Judgment was on all men to condemnation; So also through one righteousness, The free favor is on all men to justification of life:
19. For as through the disobedience of one man, Sinful were made many; So also through the obedience of one, Righteous shall be made many.
20. But the law entered in, That multiplied might be transgression; But where sin multiplied, Superabounded has grace: So that as sin reigned Into death; So also grace shall reign through righteousness, Into eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Ed.