Interpretation of Rom 4:1

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at
Sat Jan 26 03:11:00 EST 2002

> So, I would like to suggest another analysis in the spirit of Hays:
> Ti oun? Eroumen heurekenai Abraam ton propatora hemon kata sarka?
> Ti oun can be a sentence in its own. For example, in Rom 6:15, we have:
> Ti oun; Hamarteswmen hoti ouk esmen hupo nomon alla hupo xarin;
> What would said against this interpretation?
> Moon
> Moon R. Jung

Good to her from you again,
In the infinitive with accusative that depends on EROUMEN, it is Abraham who
is the subject. So, Abraham has discovered something.
The apposition to ABRAAM which is TON PROPATORA hHMWN KATA SARKA could
grammatically speaking be left out. It creates a rapport with the readers
since this is shared and agreed knowledge. No one would dispute that Abraham
is the physical ancestor to the Jews. The apposition helps to clarify that
when Paul says "we" he is speaking to his fellow Jews (who relied on the law
for justification), not the Gentiles.
The word TI must be part of the clause containing ABRAAM, because the
question is "What did Abraham discover?" Paul goes on to spell out what he
discovered, namely that righteousness is by faith and obedience, not by
observing any law.

Iver Larsen

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