Romans 5:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 5:12, NIV: "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned--"

Romans 5:12, ESV: "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—"

Romans 5:12, KJV: "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:"

Romans 5:12, NASB: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--"

Romans 5:12, NLT: "When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned."

Romans 5:12, CSB: "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned."

What does Romans 5:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Earlier, Paul explained that salvation on the basis of faith brings us peace with God. We can hope in Him, and trust Him, since He has so clearly shown His love for us (Romans 5:8). Paul begins a new section in this verse in which he will compare the work of Adam, as the representative of sinful humanity, with the work of Christ, on behalf of sinful humanity. This further explains the ideas of human sin, Christ's sacrifice, and our salvation, all of which have already been introduced in this letter.

Paul starts with Adam, though he is not mentioned by name for several verses. Paul states that sin came into the world through one man. This one man is Adam, the first man created from dust by God Himself (Genesis 1:27). God breathed life into Adam and placed him in the garden of Eden with only one restriction: Don't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15–17). Adam, along with his wife, Eve did exactly what they were told not to, and sin entered the world.

It's worth noting here that the term "world," in this context, is specifically a reference to humanity. Paul's discussion here is entirely focused on the relationship between human beings and God. Interpreters differ on whether or not this verse supports that all death—including that of animals—is implied in this statement.

What's clear from Paul's argument here is that death followed sin, as God said it would. First, God slaughtered an animal to provide clothing for Adam and Eve, suddenly made aware of their nakedness by their sin (Genesis 3:21). More than that, though, Adam and Eve were sent away from God and from the garden and began to die physically. They became mortal beings with a limited lifespan. Even worse, Adam and Eve passed on their sin to their offspring. Every person ever born in the world, other than Christ (Hebrews 4:15) was born sinful and destined to die. Sin always leads to death, as Paul will make clear in the following verses.

This was the tragic and seemingly inescapable result of Adam's first sin in the garden.