Fw: Beginner's Question Romans 8:2

John Macaulay john_macaulay at sil.org
Wed Sep 26 07:15:02 EDT 2001

From: Luke Hartman <lutherkent at mail.com>
To: Biblical Greek <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2001 8:53 AM
Subject: [b-greek] Beginner's Question

> Subscribed a few days ago and enjoying reading the posts so far.
> I have a question regarding the translation of SE in Romans 8:2. The
> verse contains HLEUQERWSEN SE APO TOU NOMOU, and all the English
> versions I have consulted have 'set me free from the law...' (or
> something similar). Why is this translated 'me' when the pronoun is 2
> person singular accusative? Wallace (GGBB) has a category 'second for
> third person', but he says that this is not a case of that, and that SE
> here is used as a singular for the plural, which doesn't explain the>
change in person (at least to me). I would expect it to be EME or ME for
> the translations.
> Luke Hartman
> Oklahoma City
Dear Luke,

This is not a translation issue, but a textual issue. In other words, some
manuscripts have SE, some have ME (another reading is hNMAS - 'us'
accusative, but this is widely regarded as not the original). The UBS
editorial committee obviously thought on balance that SE was more likely to
be the original text, being the more difficult reading.

However, they acknowledge that the judgement was a close thing, and I quote
them - "it is much more difficult to choose between ME and SE." (more
difficult than assessing hNMAS and rejecting it as a secondary
modification). So the translators of many English versions have gone with ME
as the original reading.

There are English translations that say 'you' - for example, CEV
(Contemporary English Version) and NLT (New Living Translation) and NASB
(New American Standard Bible). Several of these give the other meaning in a

A good commentary like Moo's will give you more detail, if you want it. John

More information about the B-Greek mailing list