Romans 5:15

B. Ward Powers bwpowers at
Thu Mar 28 00:30:43 EST 2002

At 07:05 AM 020327 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 11:17 AM +0000 3/27/02, Jack Stewart wrote:
> >Thanks Glen - quite right, I now see a little bit clearer.  However, should
> >'THi' not be instead thought of as the definite article
> >functioning as a substantive noun, and thus working as a relative particle
> >in this context, rather than, as you have suggested, a relative pronoun
> >proper (I was under the impression that the rel. pronoun did
> >indeed differ in form from the article).
> >
> >Jack Stewart,
>Yes, and in more traditional grammatical language, THi is an article in the
>attributive position making the whole phrase THi ... CRISTOU an attribute
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)

Let me endorse and add a little to what Carl has said. He is correct of 
course in his comments. This THi is definitely not a relative pronoun, but 
the use of the article in an attributive construction. An adjective can 
occur in the attributive intermediate position (between the article and its 
noun) or the attributive post position (after the noun to which it refers) 
- and in the latter construction the article in front of the noun is 
repeated after it in front of the adjective. So that you get two 
occurrences of the article: once in front of the noun and a second time 
after it in front of the adjective. In place of the adjective you can also 
have an adjectival expression. The verse cited in this discussion, 2 
Timothy 2:1, is an excellent example of the normal construction with the 
noun's article repeated for the following attributive adjective or (here) 
adjectival expression.

But this construction can even occur when the first article is omitted. An 
example is John 14:27, EIRHNHN THN EMHN DIDWMI hUMIN: here in front of EMHN 
we have a "repeat" of the article which in fact does not occur in front of 
EIRHNHN. Even so, THN EMHN is the attributive post use of the article. And 
that is exactly the same kind of construction which we have in Romans 5:15. 
The THi is the attributive post occurrence of the notional article which 
would have occurred in front of CARITI if it had one.  Thus (as Carl has 
pointed out) it ties the phrase TOU hENOS ANQRWPOU IHSOU CRISTOU closely to 
CARITI as an attributive expression.

Rev Dr B. Ward Powers        Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street          Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM  NSW  2049      email: bwpowers at
AUSTRALIA.                         Director, Tyndale College

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