An Email About Romans 5, Part 1

I get emails or, in this case, Facebook messages. This is about a class on Romans 5 —

Question #1: Is it possible for one to be under the reign of sin and that sin not be like Adam’s?  Give the verse that proves your answer.

Question #2: ( True-False)  All people have sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.

A reader has been leading a class on Romans and wanted help with these questions. And I have to begin by expressing how very hard it must be to teach such a class out of the King James Version. Romans is hard, and having to sort through Pauline theology through the filter of Jacobean English makes it all the harder. But I understand that there are still congregations where the KJV is not optional.

(“Similitude” is the giveaway. I can’t find it in any other translation. It’s one obscure word.)

I’ve not studied this part of Romans in quite a long time. I’ll try to see if I can get my Romans thoughts together. I guess we should start with context.

(Rom 5:1-2 ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The theme of the chapter is grace made available to both the Jews and Gentiles by the grace of God “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This grace is obtained by faith in Jesus. And so we rejoice.

“Glory of God” is a reference to God’s immediate presence. Presently, God’s glory is in heaven. When the world ends, Revelation 21-22 picture heaven and earth being joined to become the New Heavens and New Earth in which God dwells with man and so man will be in the presence of his glory.

(Rom 5:5 ESV)  … 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

God transforms us by the power of the Spirit, who works in our hearts so that we become vessels through whom God’s love is poured. And this is why we can be sure of our hope — because we can see God at work in us, if we’ll but look — and because we can count on God and his Spirit.

(Rom 5:6-8 ESV)  6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The amazing extent of God’s love is shown by the fact that he offered his Son for us while we were still outside the faith, outside the family of God, still sinners, and even enemies of God (v 10). This is the kind of love he has for us, and so the kind of love we should demonstrate to others.

(Rom 5:9-10 ESV) 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Verses 9-10 may be the most amazing verses in all the Bible. They declare — twice — that we are “much more” saved after becoming saved than when we were first saved.

Paul’s logic is simple and compelling. If God was willing to save us while we were the enemies of God, imagine how much more grace is in store for those who are now a part of his family!

Therefore, the notion that we were more saved coming out of the baptistry than a month later is exactly backwards. God’s salvation is greater for the saved than for those being saved. Baptism moves us through grace into even greater grace. It’s not a one-time extra dose of grace. It’s the introduction into a greater grace than even baptism provides.

You see, if we view salvation legalistically — about committing and forgiving sins one at a time after repentance and confession of each sin to be forgiven — this makes no sense. But if we view salvation relationally, it’s makes perfect sense. When did you love the child you adopted the most? When the papers were first signed? Or 20 years later when you attended her wedding? Children are adopted in love, but the love only grows over time.

(I really enjoy commenting on that passage. A lot.)

(Rom 5:12-13 ESV)  12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned — 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

Paul now shifts perspectives to consider God’s grace from another perspective. The “therefore,” however, tells us that what he’s about to say is based on what he just said. He’s building on the previous statements, not changing the subject. The topic is still grace.

Sin entered the world through Adam*, Paul says, and therefore death entered the world through Adam. Death thus spread to all of humanity “because all sinned.”

Now, at this point, we should hesitate, because Jesus did not sin but he died. Is Paul discussing corporate guilt, as Augustine might argue? Or is Paul speaking in generalities, ignoring Jesus? I doubt that either is right. We’ll return to this question in the next post of this series.

Next, Paul declares that “sin is not counted where there is no law.” And so ignorance of the law is an excuse! Surely Paul has a deeper thought in mind.

Paul is wrestling with the fate of those — the Gentiles — to whom God granted no special revelation. He’s also thinking about Adam and Eve, and they weren’t charged with sin other than eating of the Tree of Knowledge, but because that was the only law of God revealed to them. They could have sinned in other ways, but they were only accountable for the portion of God’s law that was revealed to them.

(Rom 5:14 ESV) 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

Adam was given “special revelation” of God’s will. He ate the fruit knowing it to be contrary to God’s law. But many — surely most — of those who died after Adam and before the Law of Moses (Torah) had no such special revelation.

Paul isn’t saying that those without special revelation didn’t sin. Rather, he indicates that their sin is different from the sin of those who were given special revelation. We’ll return to this question as well.

“Type” translates tupos or typos. (The “u” is a Greek upsilon, likely pronounced like a German “ue” or ü, which has no English equivalent. It’s kind of close to the “ew” in pew after eating a persimmon). It’s a root of our “prototype” and “antitype.”

The word indicates a parallel, which can be an opposite sort of parallel or a similar sort of parallel. In this case, the idea is that Adam and Jesus are parallel but opposites, as Paul will explain.

It’s subtle at this point, but it’s becoming clear that Paul is contrasting “death” and “the free gift” = “eternal life.” But, of course, those with eternal life die; it’s just that they’re resurrected. Hmm …

If the dead are all raised and none ever die, but live either in eternal bliss or in eternal torture, what’s Paul’s point? Does “dead” mean “raised to live forever and suffer eternal torment”?

Does “death reigned from Adam to Moses” means that all who lived at that time are damned? As we’ll see later in the post, that’s quite impossible because Paul taught the exact opposite in —

(Rom 3:25b ESV) This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

How could damnation have reigned if their sins were “passed over”? And if their sins were passed over, how did death reign? I worry about these things.

(Rom 5:15 ESV) 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

We’ll return to this question in the next post.

“Free gift” is eternal life, as Paul makes explicit in Romans 6:23. “Trespass” is a common First Century Jewish idiom for “sin,” just as in the Lord’s Prayer.

Allow me to paraphrase how I read the text —

(Rom 5:15 ESV) 15 But [eternal life] is not like the [sin of Adam]. For if many died [and did not receive eternal life] through one man’s [sin], [many] more have the grace of God and [eternal life] by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ [provided generously] for many.

Paul then explains —

(Rom 5:16 ESV)  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

Now the contrast is between the effect of one trespass (condemnation) and the one free gift that overcomes many trespasses through justification. God’s grace is not only more powerful than Adam’s sin and the resulting curse, it can cover many, many sins.

(Rom 5:17 ESV)  For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

“Reign in life” means “sit on thrones as kings in eternal life,” which we’ve considered in an earlier post. Before Jesus, “death reigned,” meaning death was king before Jesus.

But people still die. Obviously, Paul sees Jesus as somehow having already cured death. And yet we all die — saved and damned, innocent and guilty.

(Rom 5:18 ESV) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

Of course, not everyone is condemned and not everyone is justified. Rather, the potential for either is now available for all. Paul subtly is returning to his original theme from chapter 1: “to the Jew first and then also to the Gentile.” “All” emphasizes that both condemnation and eternal life are now available to all mankind, Jew and Gentile.

(Rom 5:19 ESV) For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

“Obedience” probably does not refer to Jesus’ life of obedience but his crucifixion, as the parallel is between single acts. Adam did an act of disobedience that was undone by Jesus’ act of obedience. (Cf. Hebrews 5:8).

(Rom 5:20-21 ESV)  20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,  21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul now returns to the earlier theme of the impact of the law on sinfulness. Trespasses occurred even without special revelation, as Paul explained earlier. “Increase” clearly indicates that trespasses had been occurring.

The Creation itself reveals enough about God to demonstrate that some sins are contrary to his will and damn many —

(Rom 1:20 ESV) 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

And our own moral nature — our willingness to judge others as wrong — damns us all, because we all do some of the things we condemn in others —

(Rom 2:1-3 ESV)  Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.  2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.  3 Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God?

And so the point isn’t that no one will be condemned in the absence of special revelation. We sin (and deserve damnation) even without God’s special revelation in the Garden or via the Torah. But when God revealed his will much more thoroughly in the Torah, sin increased because ignorance of God’s will declined.

But —

grace abounded all the more,  21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness …

Even though the Torah greatly increased the sin chargeable against the Israelites, God gave them enough grace so that they might be saved “through righteousness.”

Now, in Romans, God’s “righteousness” is his faithfulness to his covenant with Abraham (as is evident from chapter 3 and 4).

God revealed his will to Israel. They therefore were charged with more sin, but because of their faith (chapters 3 and 4, again), they were saved because of God’s promise to Abraham.

Just so, as the Gentiles are grafted into Israel, we are grafted into God’s promise to Abraham (Romans 11), and so we enjoy God’s abundant grace through our faith in Jesus.

When we learn about Jesus, we learn more of God’s will, and so we become more accountable for our actions — but faith brings grace so that we are far, far better off knowing Jesus and the gospel despite knowing God’s will so much better.

And our hearts are changed so that we delight in God’s law (Romans 8) and so repent and allow God to transform us by his Spirit (Romans 8 again). Our relationship with God changes so that God’s grace is rewarded by our faithfulness.

Now, to the questions —

Question #1: Is it possible for one to be under the reign of sin and that sin not be like Adam’s?  Give the verse that proves your answer.

Yes. Those who have received no special revelation (the scriptures, divine revelation through a prophet, God’s direct communication as in the Garden) and only know God through the Creation and their own moral nature stand condemned even though their sins are not like Adam’s. Adam had special revelation, making his sin particularly damnable.

Therefore, it’s amazing that God saves us when we sin against him despite knowing so much more of his will, having a much more full revelation. This is the nature of his “much more” grace! We do sin after the type or similitude of Adam, and so when we sin, it’s particularly inexcusable. And yet God forgives us.** We are, after all, his children.

Question #2: ( True-False)  All people have sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.

False. Not everyone has special revelation. And yet all sin and all die. But sin is not charged against those in grace, and they do not die.


* Many want to blame Eve and not Adam based on 1 Tim 2:11-14, but Paul blames Adam here — in his most thorough, detailed work of theology. It’s therefore hard to justify the argument that women are subordinate to men because of Eve’s sin caused the Fall of Man when Paul blames Adam for the entry of both sin and death into the world. It’s not the subject of this post — just a note to remind the reader that whatever we say about 1 Timothy 2 should not contradict Romans, no matter how convenient the argument or how many have made the same argument in the past.

** There are, of course, ways to fall from grace, which is a subject Paul doesn’t directly address in Romans. I’ve addressed that question many times here, and realize that many disagree. And the greatest scholars disagree with each other on that question.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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26 Responses to An Email About Romans 5, Part 1

  1. Price says:

    This was good !! Thanks.

    I think I would agree with you more closely if you said JUMPED from grace rather than FALL from grace…Falling seems accidental and as you clearly pointed out here, grace covers us…Jumping seems intentional and I would certainly agree that one can turn their back on God…But, even then, the prodigal son, with whom I can closely identify, was received with joy and celebration…. I think it’s pretty tough to escape the palm of God’s hand…

    I’m thinking this posting method is the easiest….

  2. Todd Collier says:

    I have thought that since Adam’s sin was to desire to be “like” God – having His power and authority that we indeed have all sinned that sin.

  3. nick gill says:

    Adam’s sin was not to be like God – but to trust the serpent’s way to get there rather than God’s way.

    The whole point of sanctification, it seems, is to be remade like Him. Christ became like us so that we could, in the resurrection, become truly like Him.

  4. rich constant says:


    where in the world did you learn to read a letter :-),and that letter being about our rescue from unfaithfulness to god”s word so bringing on separation from the presence of god(death)so all men died because god is no respecter of persons,all missed the mark of gods good(sinned) and were disobedient to god’s word as passed down(or i could say because of Adam men knew how to do good but choose evil)hence unfaithful to being good and death reigned, or spread to all men,there is no law GIVEN BY GOD, sin is not imputed where there is no law,as stated until Moses, nonetheless.
    as we find out god had a plan of (rescuing)restoring the cosmos through grace( threw the anointed One[his prophet king priest JESUS]by being the author and perfecter of faithfulness to the father”s will or words)and that plan was in the mind of the father before the foundation of the world.

    It is the “butt now”5:1 ROM 3:21 that predicates chap 5’s”therefore” of which stands on Rom 3:1-4

    and goes back to

    1:1 From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. 1:2 This gospel6 he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 1:3 concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, 1:4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1:5 Through him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience14 of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name. 1:6 You also are among them,16 called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all those loved by God in Rome,called to be saints:Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

    3:1 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 3:2 Actually, there are many advantages.1 First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.4 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified in your words and will prevail when you are judged.”

    3:21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3:24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

    5:11 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have2 peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice3 in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not4 only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

    this being so…
    5:18 Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for alpeople. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous. 5:20 Now the law came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 5:21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    and of course there is a bunch more.
    this is a general idea of how i see ROM 5 explation of the faithfulness of the trinity.

    blessings jay and all
    rich constant

  5. Todd Collier says:

    To be made like Him in His way – true. Adam’s desire was to be made like Him in spite of Him. There is a huge difference – the sin of pride.

  6. Re: being “more” or “less” saved:

    If I am “saved” out of a purely selfish desire to go to heaven/not go to hell – and never progress beyond that – am I really saved?

  7. rich constant says:

    THIS GUY JAY IS A SELF PROFESSED sleeping pill for his students.
    although i love his name and blog….
    kinda an ironic look at how we study and get answers from gods
    that he is good and responsible and accountable to his very good by Being good without compromise.and restores the good of creation,in his son.
    gen.1:31 God saw all that he had made – and it was very good! There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.
    hence grace through faith.
    which is the way of god
    the two great commands stand.
    from beginning to end.!

    how do you judge the thoughts and intent of the hart…
    when you don’t have the data

    On Lily Pads and Rivers: The Theology of Data Types
    Every semester I teach a statistics class at ACU. That’s one of the classes you get to teach when you are the experimental psychologist in the Psychology Department. I’m the stats geek.

    Experimental Theology

    The thoughts, articles and essays of Richard Beck

    Just about every statistics class opens up with a lecture about data types. It’s a fundamental issue because the data you have determines the statistics you should use. So when people call me on campus to ask “What statistic should I use?” I start by asking them about what kind of data they have.

  8. abasnar says:

    (“Similitude” is the giveaway. I can’t find it in any other translation. It’s one obscure word.)

    We have it oin our German translations, it could be translaten (Greek – German – English) as “in the same manner” or “just alike” – (greek: ?????????)

    As I understandi it: Each one of us faces his own tree of knowledge and – sooner or later – fails. we’ll not be condemned because of Adam’s sin, but because of our own sins.

    The effect of Adam’s sin to us is limited to this life:

    – We live outside of eden
    – We die
    – We live under the curse
    – We live in an environment of darkness
    – We have an inclination to sin

    All of this limts our free will to a degree, but does not overrule it either. This makes us accountable before God for our decisions, actions and attitudes.


  9. rich constant says:


    2:25 For circumcision has its value if you practice the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcised man obeys the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 2:27 And will not the physically uncircumcised man who keeps the law judge you who, despite49 the written code and circumcision, transgress the law? 2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, 2:29 but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God.

    now then if i am not mistaken there are 5 vertical commands and 5 horizontal in the torah.

  10. guestfortruth says:

    Jay !

    In other posting you wrote” Jay Guin, on June 14th, 2011 at 9:17 pm Said:
    I don’t accept the traditional view of eternal, conscious torment for all who never accept the gospel. do you have a modernistic or postmodernistic view of it? ”

    What is your explanation of Luke 16:19-31
    about The Rich Man and Lazarus? Is this a metanarrative? Explain please.

  11. Price says:

    Guest…….have you ever heard of a person being able to carry on a casual conversation while burning alive ?? The only time I’ve ever seen anyone on fire they were screaming in pain. Interesting story about the Rich Man and Lazarus, huh?

  12. Jay Guin says:


    Please don’t take me to be ducking your question. It’s a good and fair one, but one I’ve responded to several times. /index-under-construction/eschatology/surprised-by-hell/, especially —

    The Age of Accountability: Conditional Immortality: The Rich Man and Lazarus; Where Are the Dead? Part 1

    The Age of Accountability: Conditional Immortality: The Rich Man and Lazarus; Where Are the Dead? Part 2

    Now, while it’s fair for me to respond to your questions, it would be fair of you to read the arguments that support my view, which are found at the first link. Some additional support will be found in tomorrow’s post.

  13. Jay Guin says:

    Keith asked,

    If I am “saved” out of a purely selfish desire to go to heaven/not go to hell – and never progress beyond that – am I really saved?

    If your three-year old obeys solely to avoid punishment or to get an ice cream cone, he’s still your son — just a very immature son. Over time, you expect your discipline and example will lead him to obey because of his changed nature — because he’s being transformed into your image. But he remains your son while he’s maturing.

    But if he’s 25 and still only obeys your will out of fear or for ice cream cones, and if he’s not under some mental disability, there may well come a point where you disown him. But that day won’t come quickly or easily.

  14. rich constant says:

    now then
    about Antinomianism
    are you gun shy on the word legal? 🙂

    3:31 Do we then
    nullify (46tn Grk “render inoperative.”)

    the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law.

    Eph. 2:15 when he
    nullified (29tn)
    in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, 2:16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed.

    29tn (a translation note)
    Or “rendered inoperative.” This is a difficult text to translate because it is not easy to find an English term which communicates well the essence of the author’s meaning, especially since legal terminology is involved. Many other translations use the term “abolish” (so NRSV, NASB, NIV), but this term implies complete destruction which is not the author’s meaning here. The verb ???????? (katargew) can readily have the meaning “to cause someth. to lose its power or effectiveness” (BDAG 525 s.v. 2, where this passage is listed), and this meaning fits quite naturally here within the author’s legal mindset. A proper English term which communicates this well is “nullify” since this word carries the denotation of “making something legally null and void.” This is not, however, a common English word. An alternate term like “rendered inoperative [or ineffective]” is also accurate but fairly inelegant. For this reason, the translation retains the term “nullify”; it is the best choice of the available options, despite its problems.

    5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious:sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 5:21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

    It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with1 his father’s wife…
    …5:13 But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.15

    faithfulness / unfaithfulness
    belief / unbelief
    obedient / disobedient
    a hardened hart
    Hebrews 3
    Jesus and Moses
    Exposition of Psalm 95: Hearing God’s Word in Faith

    3:18 And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient? 3:19 So
    we see that they could not enter because of unbelief.


  15. abasnar says:

    It’s just in a footnote, but it is also a major ingredient to an egalitarian (= wrong) view of God’s order between men and women – so I’d like to add a footnote to this footnote:

    * Many want to blame Eve and not Adam based on 1 Tim 2:11-14, but Paul blames Adam here — in his most thorough, detailed work of theology. It’s therefore hard to justify the argument that women are subordinate to men because of Eve’s sin caused the Fall of Man when Paul blames Adam for the entry of both sin and death into the world. It’s not the subject of this post — just a note to remind the reader that whatever we say about 1 Timothy 2 should not contradict Romans, no matter how convenient the argument or how many have made the same argument in the past.

    Please read carefully what Paul says in 1Tim: He says Adam was not deceived, but Eve was deceived and fell into transgression.
    Adam fell into transgression, because – in his own words – “My wife gave me and I ate.”

    Now, God calls this Sin “Adam’s Sin” and not “Eve’s Sin”, holding HIM responsible for Eve’s fall. OK, why that?

    a) The command was given to Adam in the first place – before Eve was created
    b) Thus Adam was responsible to teach this command to Eve, and he did – you can notice in Eve’s conversation that she not only accepted that they must not eat from that tree, but they should not even touch it (this was not, what God said, but it is very likely that Adam added this as a “safeguard”, as we do so often)
    c) After the Fall God FIRST asked Adam what happened
    d) When God rebuked Adam, he introduced this with “Because you have listened /obeyed to your wife …” – Eve took the lead in this and that was wrong, it was an upside down order

    Man is the head of the woman even before the Fall, and Paul is basing this in 1Co 11 and 1Ti 2 on the fact that Adam was created first. So, there is absolutely no discrepancy between 1Ti and Rom, because although Eve transgressed first (after being deceived), the Sin was and is called Adam’s Sin. Because he, as the head, had the main responsibilty.

    And that’s why Christian women are called to submit to their husbands and to let the men lead the church. And that’s why men are urged to take the lead in a rsponsible and Christlike manner.


  16. guestfortruth says:


    I read the link suprise by hell . and I found a modernistic view of the teaching of hades (seol). I can see that at the beggining you call the story of The rich man and Lazarus (Posted on August 4, 2008 by Jay Guin Surprised by Hell: The Traditional-View Verses and Eternal Death) that topic should be call the Traditional View- Versus the Modernistic View that started in the 19 century. Instead of eternal death. In this other Posted on August 14, 2008 by Jay Guin Surprised by Hell: Degrees of Punishment Jay said ” On the other hand, recall that the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus speaks of agony and torment for the damned” Is a parable or a narrative? Jay, Do you believe that the human soul is mortal? why do you believe that the human soul is mortal? Do you believe in annihilationist? where are your references?

  17. Jay Guin says:


    Those questions are answered in that series at length. For example,


    The Septuagint, translated hundreds of years before Jesus, routinely translates Sheol as Hades. If you read all the OT and NT references to both words (as I have done many times), you’ll see the testaments use the two words in the same way.

  18. guestfortruth says:


    you said “Please don’t take me to be ducking your question.” but I did more than 1 question. what I found was a contradiction in 2 differents postings. One says “story” and other says “parable”.
    I read the link that you provide me about The Rich and Lazarus. Is this a parable, Narrative or metanarrative? That was my question. But in one of your link you said the Story (Narrative) and in other posting you said is a parable. Which one is the correct one? Parable or Story? Explain why is a parable and not a story. Are you familiar with the term metanarrative (this is a very progressive term)?

  19. Jay Guin says:


    Merriam-Webster defines “parable” as “a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle.”

  20. guestfortruth says:


    You know that a secular dictionary is going to give you a definition secularistic as the word church, they defined as a building without knowing the original meaning.

    if you look up in a biblical dictionary as smith’s Bible Dictionary defined as :

    Parable. [B] [E]
    (The word parable is in Greek parable (parabole ) which signifies placing beside or together, a comparison, a parable is therefore literally a placing beside, a comparison, a similitude, an illustration of one subject by another. –McClintock and Strong. As used in the New Testament it had a very wide application, being applied sometimes to the shortest proverbs, ( 1 Samuel 10:12 ; 24:13 ; 2 Chronicles 7:20 ) sometimes to dark prophetic utterances, ( Numbers 23:7 Numbers 23:18 ; 24:3 ; Ezekiel 20:49 ) sometimes to enigmatic maxims, ( Psalms 78:2 ; Proverbs 1:6 ) or metaphors expanded into a narrative. ( Ezekiel 12:22 ) In the New Testament itself the word is used with a like latitude in ( Matthew 24:32 ; Luke 4:23 ; Hebrews 9:9 ) It was often used in a more restricted sense to denote a short narrative under which some important truth is veiled. Of this sort were the parables of Christ. The parable differs from the fable (1) in excluding brute and inanimate creatures passing out of the laws of their nature and speaking or acting like men; (2) in its higher ethical significance. It differs from the allegory in that the latter, with its direct personification of ideas or attributes, and the names which designate them, involves really no comparison. The virtues and vices of mankind appear as in a drama, in their own character and costume. The allegory is self-interpreting; the parable demands attention, insight, sometimes an actual explanation. It differs from a proverb in that it must include a similitude of some kind, while the proverb may assert, without a similitude, some wide generalization of experience.–ED.) For some months Jesus taught in the synagogues and on the seashore of Galilee as he had before taught in Jerusalem, and as yet without a parable. But then there came a change. The direct teaching was met with scorn unbelief hardness, and he seemed for a time to abandon it for that which took the form of parables. The worth of parables as instruments of teaching lies in their being at once a test of character and in their presenting each form of character with that which, as a penalty or blessing, is adapted to it. They withdraw the light from those who love darkness. They protect the truth which they enshrine from the mockery of the scoffer. They leave something even with the careless which may be interpreted and understood afterward. They reveal on the other hand, the seekers after truth. These ask the meaning of the parable, and will not rest until the teacher has explained it. In this way the parable did work, found out the fit hearers and led them on. In most of the parables it is possible to trace something like an order.

    There is a group which have for their subject the laws of the divine kingdom. Under this head we have the sower, ( Matthew 13:1 ; Mark 4:1 ; Luke 8:1 )… the wheat and the tares ( Matthew 13:1 ) … etc.
    When the next parables meet us they are of a different type and occupy a different position. They are drawn from the life of men rather than from the world of nature. They are such as these –the two debtors, ( Luke 7:1 ) … the merciless servant, ( Matthew 18:1 ) … the good Samaritan, ( Luke 10:1 ) … etc.
    Toward the close of our Lords ministry the parables are again theocratic but the phase of the divine kingdom on which they chiefly dwell is that of its final consummation. In interpreting parables note– (1) The analogies must be real, not arbitrary; (2) The parables are to be considered as parts of a whole, and the interpretation of one is not to override or encroach upon the lessons taught by others; (3) The direct teaching of Christ presents the standard to which all our interpretations are to be referred, and by which they are to be measured.

  21. guestfortruth says:

    Jay !

    So The Story of The Rich and Lazarus is a parable? if is a parable. Why the Lord Jesus named the personages? usually in a parable Jesus does not use names for peoples. Can you explain that?

  22. guestfortruth says:

    guestfortruth, on June 24th, 2011 at 7:57 am Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You know that a secular dictionaries are going to give you a secularistic definition. An Example the word “church”, they defined as a building without knowing the original meaning.

    if you look up in a biblical dictionary as smith’s Bible Dictionary defined as :

    Parable. [B] [E]
    (The word parable is in Greek parable (parabole ) which signifies placing beside or together, a comparison, a parable is therefore literally a placing beside, a comparison, a similitude, an illustration of one subject by another.

  23. Jay Guin says:


    It’s been often observed that Jesus’ naming of Lazarus is unique to this story among his parables. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a parable. And the fact that the argument has frequently been made hardly makes it true. Let’s take the definition you offered in a recent comment:

    [“Parable”] was often used in a more restricted sense to denote a short narrative under which some important truth is veiled. Of this sort were the parables of Christ.

    The Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus easily fits your own definition.

    You might also check out —



  24. guestfortruth says:

    I know, that I posted the whole thing from smith’s Bible Dictionary, That posting was waiting. And I wonder why did you choose the part in the commentary instead of the etymology provided by Dr. Smith?, The quote that you are providing is the personal commentary of Dr. Smith. Later I posted the part that I wanted to show you and was the first entry about the etymology of the Word. The other part is a brief discussion by Dr.Williams Smith wrote it in 1881 and the short Story of The Rich and Lazarus does not fit the definition by his etymology. Dr. William Smith an Anglican priest as N.T Wright one of your favorites. BTW is not my own definition. It’s from an Anglican Priest. Most of the scholars agree in the etymology. but not in the approach to the Story (Narrative) of The Rich and Lazarus . Do you believe that this Short Story is just a metaphor and Not a true Event? Is true or not . what was the purpose of Jesus telling us an important truth from the afterlife? If is a mere parable as you think, what use do you give it today? It Should communicate the same message (Truth) as in the first century language. Have you believed the commentaries instead the real meaning of the words? Have you believe that the Short Story of The rich and Lazarus is just a metaphor? Have you believed that way since you obeyed the Gospel? Do you believe that modern Theology from 19 century or postmodern theology nowadays has a better understanding for the bible truths? I read the links that you have provided and their explanations are modern (ignoring 2 Timothy 2:15) . No the ancient truth explain it by the book of God. Mainly their modern cultural bias .

  25. Jay Guin says:


    You can be quite insulting in your questions. I’m happy for you to ask questions, but please don’t engage in personal attacks or innuendo. For example, you accuse me of ignoring 2 Tim 2:15 —

    15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth

    Moreover, you make all sorts of snide accusations that I’m a Postmodernist, guilty of “modern cultural bias,” and that I find parables useless — all because I demonstrated that the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus meets your own definition of a parable.

    But since you are insisting on the “real meaning of words,” I thought I’d turn to the Greek dictionaries. None of these are remotely Postmodern in theology or perspective.

    Thayer’s Greek dictionary defines “parabolh” (“h” refers to a long e) as follows:

    3975 parabolh,
    parabolh,, parabolh/j, h` (paraba,llw, which see), the Septuagint for lv’m’;

    1. a placing of one thing by the side of another, juxtaposition, as of ships in battle, Polybius 15, 2, 13; Diodorus 14, 60.

    2. metaphorically, a comparing, comparison of one thing with another, likeness, similitude (Plato, Isocrates, Polybius, Plutarch): universally, Matt. 24:32; Mark 13:28; an example by which a doctrine or precept is illustrated, Mark 3:23; Luke 14:7; a thing serving as a figure of something else, Heb. 9:9; this meaning also very many interpreters give the word in Heb. 11:19, but see 5 below; specifically, “a narrative, fictitious but agreeable to the laws and usages of human life, by which either the duties of men or the things of God, particularly the nature and history of God’s kingdom, are figuratively portrayed” (cf. B. D., see under the words, Fable, Parable (and references there; add Aristotle, rhet. 2, 20, 2ff and Cope’s notes)): Matt. 13:3,10 ,13,24,31,33-35,53; 21:33,45; (22:1); Mark 4:2,10 ,(11),13,30,33f; (7:17); 12:1,(12); Luke 8:4,9-11; 12:16,41; 13:6; 14:7; 15:3; 18:1,9 ; 19:11; 20:9,19; 21:29; with a genitive of the person or thing to which the contents of the parable refer (Winer’s Grammar, sec. 30, 1 a.): tou/ spei,rontoj, Matt. 13:18; tw/n zizani,wn, Matt. 13:36; th,n basilei,an tou/ Qeou/ evn parabolh, tiqe,nai (literally, to set forth the kingdom of God in a parable), to illustrate (the nature and history of) the kingdom of God by the use of a parable, Mark 4:30 L text T Tr text WH.

    3. “a pithy and instructive saying, involving some likeness or comparison and having preceptive or admonitory force; an aphorism, a maxim”: Luke 5:36; 6:39; Matt. 15:15 (Prov. 1:6; Eccl. 1:17; Sir. 3:29(27); 13:26(25), etc.). Since sayings of this kind often pass into proverbs, parabolh, is

    4. a proverb: Luke 4:23 (1 Sam. 10:12; Ezek. 12:22f; 18:2f).

    5. an act by which one exposes himself or his possessions to danger, a venture, risk (in which sense the plural seems to be used by Plutarch, Aratus 22: dia, pollw/n e`ligmwn kai, parabolw/n perainontej pro,j to, tei/coj (cf. Diodorus Siculus fragment book 30:9, 2; also variant in Thucydides 1, 131, 2 (and Poppo at the passage))); evn parabolh,, in risking him, i. e. at the very moment when he exposed his son to mortal peril (see paraboleu,omai), Heb. 11:19 (Hesychius evk parabolh/j. evk parakinduneumatoj); others with less probability explain it, in a figure, i. e. as a figure, either of the future general resurrection of all men, or of Christ offered up to God and raised again from the dead; others otherwise.*

    Now, the primary objection to referring the story as a parable is the use of the proper name “Lazarus.” Thayer’s defines “Lazarus” as —

    La,zaroj, Lazarou, o` (rabb. rz”[.l;, apparently the same as rz”[‘l.a,, whom God helps (cf. Philo, quis haeres sec. 12); according to others, equivalent to rz<[, al{, without help), Lazarus;

    1. an inhabitant of Bethany, beloved by Christ and raised from the dead by him: John 11:1ff 43; 12:1f,9f,17.

    2. an imaginary person, extremely poor and wretched: Luke 16:20, 23-25.*

    Louw-Nida states,

    93.225 La,zaroj, ou m: (1) the brother of Mary 2 and Martha (Jn 11.1 ); (2) a beggar in a parable (Lk 16.20) – 'Lazarus.'

    VGNT says,

    464 La,zaroj [pg 368]
         is a contracted form of VElea,zaroj: see s.v. VElea,zar, and cf. Wetstein ad Lk 16(20). The name survives in MGr: Thumb (Handbook, pp. 239–41) gives a Popular Tale of a cobbler called Lazarus—o` ku.r La,zaroj kV oi` dra,koi.

    Gingrich says,

    a,zaroj, ou, o` Lazarus—1. brother of Mary and Martha J 11:1f, 5, 11, 14, 43; 12:1f, 9f, 17.—2. name of a beggar in the parable Lk 16:20, 23–25.* [pg 116]

  26. guestfortruth says:

    Jay said “Now, the primary objection to referring the story as a parable is the use of the proper name “Lazarus.”” Is this a logical explanation? All parables are figurative metaphorical and just using a proper name as Lazarus makes it a story ( Narrative) based in a true story. Lazarus the poor is not Lazarus the brother of Mary and Martha. and Just because Jesus use a proper name makes it different than a Parable.

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