hOS GE in Rom 8.32

Manolis Nikolaou aei_didaskomenos at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 26 07:35:30 EST 2002

> >
> > Yes, my understanding also was that GE emphasized the word it
> > follows. And,
> > as you indicate, BDAG affirms this when it says, "enclit.
> > particle, appended
> > to the word or words it refers to." What confused me in the entry, though,
> > was the specific treatment of Rom 8.32. Under a.B (small a, beta), GE is
> > designated "intensive." Then, before the citing of Rom 8.32, it
> > is given the
> > gloss "even." Rom 8.32 is then cited in the Greek, with the following
> > translation: "who did not spare even his own son." It seems here
> > to indicate
> > that GE intensifies TOU IDIOU hUIOU. But this follows GE. Hence my
> > confusion. I'm still wondering what to make of that.
> > ============
> >
> > Steven Lo Vullo
> You have a excellent point. BDAG is confusing and can hardly be correct. A
> slightly fuller quote says:
> "enclit. particle, appended to the word it refers to; it serves to emphasize
> this word".
> "Enclitic" means that it has a linguistic status between a suffix and a
> word. Grammatically, it is a separate word, but it has no independent word
> stress and functions phonologically as a suffix.
> However, a clitic does not have to grammatically or semantically modify the
> word it is appended to. It can modify a phrase or clause. (E.g. Amharic has
> a clitic modifying a phrase and Finnish has a clitic modifying a clause.) I
> believe BDAG is mistaken in claiming that it emphasizes the word it is
> appended to. Usually GE is appended to conjunctions like EI, ARA, ALLA. One
> does not emphasize conjunctions (or relative pronouns as in Rom 8:32). It
> seems better to say that it indicates emphasis to the clause (proposition)
> it is part of. It would correspond to English "indeed, surely, really".
> To translate it with "even" in Rom 8:32 is questionable. KAI would have had
> that function if it came before TOU IDIOU hUIOU. The sense is more like
> "Indeed/amazingly, he did not spare his own son!" If you would like to you
> use English "even" it should come before the verb: "he who did not even
> spare his own son."
> Iver Larsen

To understand the meaning of a specific "GE", one has to take into
consideration the clauses occurring before and after it, as well. So:

(Rom 8:31) EI hO QEOS hUPER hUMWN, TIS KAQ' hUMWN? / (Rom 8:32) hOS GE TOU

A GAR in this case, instead of GE, wouldn't be impossible. However, the
meaning would be slightly different: while GAR would just explain better
why hO QEOS UPER HHMWN (ESTI), GE works in a more affirmative way: "If God
is on our side, who can possibly be against us? He who did not spare his
own son, but for us all has delivered him up, *no doubt* he would give us
everything, having given Him."

Well, translation in such cases may not be as accurate as we'd wish, but I
guess this is the reason we try to read the NT in the original- isn't that

Manolis Nikolaou

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