Provide an interpretation of the two passages given below. Remember, I want you to go deep. Ponder the passages and do not settle for superficial answers! Remember also to connect these passages to what comes before them and what comes after; but also remember: do not spend too much of your precious time and space retelling the story. After all, your reader is already familiar with it. Remember that what I am evaluating you on is your ability to provide an intelligent interpretation grounded thoroughly in the given text. In the course of your essay, you need to answer each of the questions I provided alongside the passages, in addition to whatever else you want to include. You may use your Bibles, Bergsma, and your notes. DO NOT USE INTERNET SOURCES. I would like you to get as close to 1.5  pages in Times New Roman, 12-point font as you can, for each of your interpretations. That means your exam should be almost exactly three pages in total. When you are done, turn it in to Blackboard in either MS Word or PDF format.
Passage 1: Romans 5:12-19
12Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned—13sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgressions of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal for all men. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Questions to be answered in your essay on Passage 1:
1.     Which of the spiritual senses is Paul utilizing in this passage?
2.     Why does Paul say that death came through sin?
3.     What does Paul mean by justification? (Don’t overthink this: justification is the subject of a lot of theological dispute and speculation; I just want you to articulate a very basic meaning)
4.     According to the Bible, how is it possible that one man can stand in for all, either for condemnation or for righteousness? 
5.     How does Christ pass on to us what he achieved for us? (You will need to look outside of this particular passage)
Passage 2: John 8: 39-47
39They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, 40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. 41You do the works of your father.” They said to him, “We were not born of fornicators; we have one Father, even God.” 42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
Questions to be answered in your essay on Passage 2:
1.     What is the basis of the dispute between Jesus and his interlocutors?
2.     What is the significance of Jesus saying that he himself did not come to them of his “own accord” but that the devil speaks “according to his own” nature?
3.     Why do Jesus’s interlocutors respond to Jesus by saying, “We were not born of fornicators”? (Hint: think of some things we talked about in the Old Testament)
4.     How was the devil a murderer from the beginning? Why does Jesus bring that up here? Does it connect with anything else of significance in John’s Gospel?
5.     What would enable someone to be able to bear to hear Jesus’s words?

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