The argument presented by the leaders of the JWs claims that Jesus paid the price for Adam's sin, but that the ransom sacrifice does not cover Adam himself. (This is actually self-contradictory.) Mankind is under the same exact condemnation that was upon Adam. Jesus died to pay the condemnation that was upon Adam. If that condemnation was such that no ransom could be provided, then all of mankind is under that same condemnation, and thus there could be no ransom for anyone under that condemnation. The condemnation for which no ransom is provided is spoken of in Revelation as the "second death". Are we to suppose that Adam is under the condemnation of the second death, whereas his descendants are under another condemnation? If so, then there could be no single ransom sacrifice, since each individual sinner would need another sinless human to pay the price for their sin. It is only in the fact that there is one condemnation for Adam and the same exact condemnation for all of his offspring that makes the one ransom sacrifice viable. Being that it is one condemnation, and not one condemnation for Adam and another for his offspring (as I have heard some JWs argue), then only one man is needed to release mankind from the condemnation. To say that Adam is not included would imply that Adam suffered one condemnation, but that his offspring was under a different condemnation, and thus there results a denial of the whole ransom sacrifice as described in the Bible. But to arrive at the idea that Adam, or any of his offspring, is not covered by the ransom sacrifice, the judgment of man aside from the ransom has to be added to the scriptures, and this is what Rutherford did, and what the WT leaders persist in doing.
I don't have any recent issues of the Watchtower that deal with this. I do have a quote I kept from the March 15, 1990 issue:
"Jesus came `to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.' ... But who are the many? Adam is evidently excluded because he was a perfect man who deliberately chose to disobey God and died as unrepentant, willful sinner."
The article goes on to say:
"The course taken by each individual determines whether he will benefit from Jesus' sacrifice. Like Adam, the willfully wicked do not have the ransom merit and eternal life forced upon them. As Christ said: `He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.'"
The article distorts the scripture John 3:36 here to imply that Jesus was saying that he who disobeys receive no benefit from the ransom. If this were so, then all down through history who were living and died in disobedience will not be raised, and there is no need for a day of judgment for the world, since none but those who have exercised faith in Jesus are covered by the ransom sacrifice. This, of course, is not what the JWs teach, but the misapplication of scripture as given in the quote would lead such a conclusion and thus actually shows that the WTS teaching contradicts itself.
No one who remains in disobedience, will be able to see, or apprehend the life in Jesus, and the wrath of God continues upon such a person. What wrath is this? It is the wrath that is upon mankind in which Paul speaks of when he refers to the believer as having once been, as all of mankind is, "by nature, children of wrath," "children of disobedience." (,) In other words, as long as one is disobedient, the wrath and condemnation through Adam remains upon that person, and they continue in their unjust condition. This does not mean that the one in this age who remains in disobedience comes under a new condemnation, a condemnation for which Jesus did not die for. Those who do not believe in this age simply remain under that condemnation through Adam, and thus are covered by the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, and thus, this does not mean that they will not be among those who are raised in the last day in the resurrection of the unjust for a new judgment day.
By Charles T. Russell:
Jehovah's Character Manifested in His Great Plan of the Ages
Adam - Why Given a Second Trial?