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Romans 5 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Romans 5 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Yes, salvation can only be obtained through faith. See the verses the author of the SAB lists as saying the opposite, that is clearly not the case. See for example Matthew 5:20.

2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

The guilty are "justified" and "saved from wrath" by the blood of an innocent victim.
The “him” in this verse is Jesus Christ. He was not a victim, but a willing sacrifice. God does not lie. When God said in Gen. 2:17:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

God will exact that judgment. How is it possible to escape from that righteous judgment of God without paying that penalty? We cannot, but if we believe in Jesus Christ we can, as he has payed the penalty demanded by the law.

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

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:

(5:12, 18) God punishes everyone for someone else's sin; then he saves them by killing an innocent victim.
"As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin."
Death didn't enter the world a few thousand years ago because of Adam's sin. Death has been a part of life since life first arose (on this planet, at least) a few billion years ago.
BOM: 2 Nephi 9:6
God does not punish anyone for someone else's sin. If your father was a rich man, but gambled his money away, so you as his child have to live in poverty instead of in riches, are you being punished? So it is in this case: Adam sinned, and he was rejected from paradise. And so we do no longer live in paradise. Is that God's fault?
On death: it has not been part of the world supposedly billions of years ago. Only six thousand years ago death entered into this world.

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.

(5:12, 14) "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men."
Must everyone die?
Has everyone sinned?
Who was to blame for original sin?
On if every one must die: yes. That is what they must expect. Sometimes though God takes people away. May he not?
On if everyone has sinned: yes. The author of the SAB constructs a contradiction by partial quoting. In the links he quotes: “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned.” But Paul does not end the sentence with a dot. Paul continues with: “them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” But then, this is the author of the SAB's strongest point: misquoting the Bible. What Paul says here is:

This does not exclude the dominion of death over such who had sinned after the likeness of Adam, but rather confirms its power over them; nor does it intend adult Gentiles, who did not sin in the same manner, nor against the same law, as Adam did; but it designs infants, not yet guilty of actual sin; and therefore since death reigns over them, who only holds and exercises his dominion by virtue of sin, it follows, that they must have original sin in them; the guilt of Adam's transgression must be imputed to them, and the corruption of nature, from him, derived unto them, or it could not reign over them.

On who was to blame for original sin: Adam as this verse clearly says. He was the head of the covenant, our covenant father. See 1 Tim. 2:14 where Paul discusses a different subject.

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

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.

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
It's difficult to imagine a more unjust system.
Perhaps the author of the SAB hasn't followed the discussion up to this point. The phrase “by one man's disobedience many were made sinners” does not mean that innocent people are made sinners. To give the same example again: if a father had inherited a large fortune, and gambled it away, it simply means his children do not have access to that fortune, and have to live in poverty. The father was fully responsible here, was he not? He made his children poor by his actions. It was his responsibility. It is not unfair nor unjust that his children live in poverty now, else there would be no responsibility in this world.
So it was by Adam: by his disobedience he brought sin into this world. His children have to live with the consequences. And we are not punished for Adam's sin, but for our own only. If we do not sin, but obey the law perfectly all our lives, we will enter heaven. But who does not sin? There would be no escape for us sinners if it was not for the obedience of Jesus Christ. Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved and all his sins forgiven.

20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

"The law entered, that the offence might abound."
The law that entered is in particular the Ten Commandments given in Sinai. Although these laws are written in man's conscience, man tends to forget the disapproval of his conscience and with experience it becomes easier and easier to ignore one's conscience. So God gave the Ten Commandments in explicit form so that “offense might abound,” meaning that the knowledge of our sins may become fully known to us. That there will be no ignorance of what sin is.

21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.