hOSOI in Rom 6.3

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Mon Jan 21 08:43:25 EST 2002

Iver Larsen comments below:
> Thank you for your responses. Forgive more for asking a few more
> (probably bone-headed) questions.
> (1) Would I be safe to assume that, syntactically speaking, the
> correlative pronoun functions approximately like the relative pronoun,
> agreeing in gender and number with an "antecedent," whether explicit or
> implied? I realize that the correlative pronoun may precede its
> "antecedent," so I am using the term loosely, in the sense that the
> correlative is dependent on the main clause.

Yes, it agrees in gender and number with something, but it has no person
marking like a finite verb has. So, whether the subject is 1st, 2nd or 3rd
person plural, it makes no difference, the correlative pronoun will just be
plural. Of course, if the subject is an impersonal noun, the pronoun will
agree with that noun in gender and number, if it relates to the subject.
> (2) Smyth seems to be saying that the elliptical antecedent is a
> demonstrative pronoun. This was actually my first thought in dealing
> with Rom 6.3, and the conclusion I came to with regard to Rom 3.19 (hOSA
> LEGEI ... [TAUTA] LALEI). This seems to fit well for Rom 3.19, since the
> elliptical TAUTA is the object of the verb. But in Rom 6.3 it seems
> awkward to imagine a hOUTOI as the subject of the first person plural
> EBAPTISQHMEN. Is this just because I am thinking in English? Would it be
> natural Greek for a demonstrative pronoun to be the subject of a first
> person plural verb? Or would the personal pronoun hHMEIS be a better
> candidate, at least in Rom 6.3?

First, I don't see the need to talk about an elliptical TAUTA in 3:19.
Rather hOSA is used substantively just like the demonstrative pronoun is
often used, and it has an implied "things". It is these "things" that are
the shared object in the two clauses. To add a TAUTA to the second clause
would add an emphasis that is not needed, nor implied.

Second, yes, hOUTOI would not occur in 6:3 since the verbs are in 1st person
plural. hHMEIS would be a better candidate, but uncalled for.

hOSOS may refer to an explicit noun such as in
Rom 7:1, 1 Cor 7:39 EF' hOSON CRONON

Or it may refer to an implied general noun, such as people (hOSOI) or things

In a case like Gal 6:12 and
the demonstrative is not required because of the hOSOI. It would be possible
to leave it out and still have the third person plural subject: For as many
(people) they-are-led by the Spirit of God, they-are sons of God.
The addition of the demonstrate only serves to add contrastive emphasis:
These ones (and not others) they-are sons of God.

In Rom 6:3 the personal subject "we" is included in the verb that occurs in
both clauses: EBAPTISQHMEN	"we-are-baptized".
hOSOI refers to the 1st person plural subject included in the verb form, but
it can only take the plural and no person agreement. It is masculine,
because the subject is personal, that is people rather than things.
"As many (of us who) we-are-baptized into Christ, (so many of us)
we-are-baptized into his death"
If we were to add the emphatic personal pronoun hHMEIS, we would add a
contrastive emphasis that does not fit in this context.

Iver Larsen

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