diagrams of Romans and 1 Corinthians 1-5

Steven Lo Vullo slovullo at mac.com
Wed Jan 22 03:21:50 EST 2003


On Tuesday, January 21, 2003, at 09:21 AM, Long, Fred wrote:

> I think someone could still claim that EN indicates the realm within 
> which
> Paul has received the grace and Apostleship, namely, "among all the
> gentiles".

I think the use of the aorist ELABOMEN here is perfective, denoting 
completed past action and stressing the accomplishment of the verbal 
idea. What is in view is Paul's past and completed reception of grace 
and apostleship through Christ (DI' hOU), a one time, unrepeated 
action. I just can't get my mind around the idea of "among all the 
Gentiles" being the sphere of the **reception** of grace and 
apostleship ("we received grace and apostleship among all the 
Gentiles"). I could understand describing the **exercise** of the 
apostolic ministry as being among all the Gentiles, but not the 
**reception** of the apostolic ministry. And if CARIN refers to the 
grace of salvation, it is even harder to see how we can construe EN 
PASIN TOIS EQNESIN with ELABOMEN, since the idea would seem to be that 
Paul was saved among the Gentiles. I think construing EN PASIN TOIS 
EQNESIN with ELABOMEN would almost necessarily indicate the sphere in 
which Paul found himself when he received grace and apostleship, i.e., 
that he was among the Gentiles when he was converted and appointed an 
apostle.

> I wonder whether the inclusive scope of "all" would work against
> the reading you are suggesting.  In other words, his sphere of 
> Apostleship
> extends to all, but the obedience of faith would not.  On the other 
> hand, it
> may be that Paul is expressing his divine optimism and hope that all 
> the
> Gentiles would come under "the obedience of faith."

I think what is in view here in the phrase EN PASIN TOIS EQNESIN is 
distribution of the action in view (hUPAKOHN) **among** the group or 
groups of people designated in the prepositional phrase (cf. TO ... 
ONOMA TOU QEOU DI' hUMAS BLASFHMEITAI EN TOIS EQNESIN in 2.24). In Rom 
1.5, PASIN TOIS EQNESIN is universal in the sense that no people group 
or ethnic entity is excluded from the purpose (EIS) of the apostolic 
commission. God intended in his appointment of Paul as an apostle to 
bring about the obedience of faith in the lives of people who lived 
**among** all the various people groups and ethnic entities. This is 
confirmed by EN hOIS in v. 6. There the Roman Christians are designated 
as an example of those **among** all the Gentiles who were "called by 
Jesus Christ" (KLHTOI IHSOU CRISTOU). **Among** all people groups and 
ethnic entities are those who, like the Roman Christians, are KLHTOI, 
and who exhibit hUPAKOHN PISTEWS. So I don't think it is necessary, if 
we construe EN PASIN TOIS EQNESIN with hUPAKOHN, to conclude that the 
obedience of faith must extend to all Gentiles without exception, just 
to those Gentiles who are KLHTOI **among** all people groups and ethnic 
entities, the "fruit" obtained **among** the Romans and the "rest" of 
the Gentiles (cf. hINA TINA KARPON SCW EN hUMIN KAQWS KAI EN TOIS 
LOIPOIS EQNESIN in v. 13).

> Don't get me wrong.  I appreciate very much your reading of of the 
> Greek in
> Rom 1:5 and I am in sympathy with it.  I believe there is strong 
> contextual
> support for this theme ("obedience of faith among all the Gentiles"; 
> cf. Rom
> 2:14-16, 25-29; 15:16-18; 16:26).  I wanted to probe you a bit on your
> reasons and particularly how to represent possible alternatives.   And
> certainly the glory given to Christ by the obedience of the gentiles
> converts is a very powerful idea and fits completely with my 
> understanding
> of Romans 6-8 and the victorious Christian life over sin.

I appreciate the probing, Fred. It never hurts to be challenged and to 
think more carefully about the text.
=============
Steven R. Lo Vullo
Madison, WI




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