Now I will address Romans 5:12-21, a very famous passage commonly used to "prove" Original Sin. I will show you from scripture that Romans 5;12-21 does not prove Original Sin, in fact, it refutes it.
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Does Romans 5:12 say a sin nature passed on all men? NO, it says DEATH passed upon all men, FOR THAT ALL HAVE SINNED.
It is a fact that Augustine used a flawed Latin text that said "in whom" in verse 12, that he mistakenly interpreted to mean Adam. Almost all Greek scholars admit that the scriptures Augustine used gave a flawed intepretation, and that this verse should say, "because all have sinned" or "for that all have sinned" showing that men die because of PERSONAL sin, not Adam. This is a historical fact.
Dr. J. W. “Jack” MacGorman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for over 56 years wrote this concerning Augustine's interpretation of Romans 5:12-21;
1. The Vulgate, a fourth-century Latin translation of the Bible, wrongly translated the last clause of Romans 5:12. Where the Greek text has, "Because all men sinned," the Vulgate rendered, "In whom all sinned." Adam was regarded as the unnamed antecedent of "in whom."
2. Upon the basis of this translation error in the Vulgate, Augustine (a.d. 354-430) developed his doctrine of original sin. He taught that all men were seminally present in the loins of Adam when he sinned. Thus he held that the whole human race sinned in Adam's sin. By virtue of our physical descent from Adam, we inherit his guilt. We are born guilty of original sin, according to Augustine. …
It was Augustine who first attempted to develop the concept of Original Sin from the scriptures. Unfortunately, he was using a flawed Latin text that implied death passed on all men because of Adam's sin, but that is not what Romans 5:12 says in the Greek. The Greek fathers NEVER agreed with Augustine's interpretation. This is HISTORICAL FACT.
Next, does verse 14 say that all men sinned Adam's sin in the garden? NO, it very specifically says they HAD NOT sinned in the similitude of Adam's sin. If we were all in Adam's loins as some falsely teach, we would be guilty of Adam's EXACT sin. Verse 14 clearly refutes this error.
And note that verse 14 mentions only men from Adam to Moses. This is solid PROOF that Romans 5:12-21 is not addressing the subject of Original Sin whatsoever, because if it was, it would apply to ALL MEN, not men from Adam to Moses only.
No, what Paul is really saying is that the fact all men from Adam to Moses died PROVES sin was in the world.
But in verse 13 Paul says sin is not imputed when there is no law. So why did men from Adam to Moses spiritually die? Because they broke the law written on their hearts that Paul showed in chapter 2.
Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Paul had already explained in chapter 2 that men "without law" shall perish "without law". Why? Because all men by "nature" have the law written on their hearts. This is why men from Adam to Moses who had no written law perished. They DID NOT sin after the similitude of Adam's sin, that would be impossible, as no man had access to the tree of knowledge of good and evil after Adam and Eve were banished from the garden.
Lastly, if Romans 5:12-21 is teaching that all men are made sinners unconditionally because Adam sinned, then verses 18-19 must also teach that all men are unconditionally made righteous because of Christ's obedience.
Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
You cannot violate Paul's form of argument in Romans 5:12-21. What applies to the first phrase must also apply to the second phrase in each verse. You cannot teach that Adam's sin is unconditionally imputed to all men, and then Jesus's righteousness is conditionally imputed to those that believe. That violates Paul's form of argument.
You have only two options to be consistent.
#1 Adam's sin is "unconditionally" imputed to all men, likewise Jesus's righteousness is "unconditionally" imputed to all men. This would lead to Universalism, and Rom 5:18-19 is in fact the chief proof text used by Universalists. We know from scripture this interpretation is error, the scriptures are clear that not all men will be saved.
#2 Adam's sin and condemnation is "conditionally" imputed to all men when they willingly and knowingly sin as Adam did, and Jesus's righteousness is "conditionally" imputed to all men who believe on Jesus as Jesus trusted his Father to raise him from the dead.
#2 is the correct interpretation. When we knowingly and willingly sin as Adam did, we are judged or made "sinners" as Adam was, and those men who trust Jesus are judged or made "righteous" as Jesus was righteous because he trusted his Father to raise him from the dead.
What Paul is teaching is what is known as "Legal Precedent". In law, a legal precedent is when the law uses a case (usually the first case) as a precedent or authority establishing a principle or rule that a court or other judical body adopts when deciding later cases involving similar issues or facts. This guarantees equal treatment and fairness under the law.
So, however the first person who broke a law was treated, the law will normally use this as a standard in future cases. If the first person to break a law got 5 years in jail, persons who commit the same crime will most likely be given the same sentence.
And this is what Romans 5 is teaching. When we sin as Adam, we are imputed "sinners" and sentenced to death, when we believe as Jesus we are imputed "righteous" and given the free gift of justification unto life.
Romans 5:12-21 DOES NOT support Original Sin. Rightly interpreted it absolutely refutes it.
Edited by Winman, 27 July 2014 - 03:55 PM.