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Which “All” Sinned? Rom 3:23-24 Reconsidered

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Because πς is a rather elastic pronominal adjective, the sense and scope of “all” must be carefully handled in context. The expression “all have sinned” in Rom 3:23 is tightly focused on “all who believe” in Rom 3:22, thus making more of Jew-Gentile relations in the early church than providing a prooftext of universal condemnation. Such a recognition also helps clarify that 3:24 is from Paul rather than traditional material. While it is undoubtedly true Paul sees the whole of humanity as condemned (cf. Rom 5:12), the scope of “all” is without distinction more than it is without exception.

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