Romans 6:7 Why not "justify"?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Moo addresses the v.7 issue I highlighted yesterday. Here's a summary of his comments.

Verse 7 explains the connection in v.6 between death (crucified with Christ) and freedom from sin (no longer serve sin), but how it does so, however, is debated.

One view - he who died with Christ has been justified, in the usual Pauline sense, acquited from the penalty of sin. But Paul does not connect our dying with our justification anywhere else. Some suggested that "he who died" refers to Christ, who through his death secured justification for himself and others - but this introduces a shift in subject for which the context has not prepared us.

Now, this would explain why NIV and NASB does not translate it as justify.

With this, it is likely that "justified from sins" means "set free from the power of sin". "The one who dies" still refer to "the one who has died with Christ". So rather than virtually repeating v.6, it is more likely that Paul is citing a general maxim, to the effect that " death severs the hold of sin on a person".


You Might Also Like

2 comment(s)

  1. Meaghan,
    In this verse Paul is drawing on the Jewish tradition that says an individual's own death atones for his sin (according to the JNT Commentary) In the Siddur, the deathbed confession says in part, "May my death be an atonement for all the sins..." So yes, he is citing a general maxim. By being united with the Messiah and his death, we effectively die and our sins are atoned for.

  2. Julia,
    Any idea what's Siddur?