[B-Greek] Rm 9:7a Seed of Abraham or Children of Abraham

Iver Larsen iver at larsen.dk
Sat Apr 29 06:21:57 EDT 2006


>> The Greek was:
>> OUX hOION DE hOTI EKPEPTWKEN hO LOGOS TOU QEOU.
>> OU GAR PANTES hOI EX ISRAHL hOUTOI ISRAHL OUD' hOTI EISIN SPERMA ABRAAM PANTES TEKNA
>> ALL' *EN ISAAK KLHQHSETAI SOI SPERMA.*


> I think the solution is in appreciating what holds the thematic focus
> (theme) within the context. In v. 7b the quotation <It is through
> Isaac that 'your seed' shall be raised> tells us that 'seed'  (as God
> promised to Abraham) is the one commanding the focus.  Consequently,
> Hays' rendering (though more difficult understanding of the Gk syntax)
> <not that all children of Abraham are 'his seed'> appears to be a
> better choice than the other rendering <because they are Abraham's
> seed, all are not children> (which shifts the focus to 'children).
>
> Oun Kwon.

How do you connect PANTES with TEKNA? Since TEKNA is neuter plural and SPERMA is neuter singular, I cannot see how the 
masculine plural PANTES can modify either of the two. There is no phrase in the text that can be translated "all 
children".

Therefore, I take PANTES to function substantively (with an implied ANQRWPOI) so that the construction is:
"and not all (people/Jews - cf. PANTES hOI EX ISRAHL just before) (are) children (of God/Abraham in the spiritual sense) 
because they are Abraham's seed".
Or following the order slavishly:
"and not because they are seed of Abraham (are) all (Jews) children (of God/Abraham in the spiritual sense)."
Since SPERMA and ABRAAM are placed together, it seems most reasonable to take them together as "seed(descendants) of 
Abraham". To connect TEKNA with ABRAAM to get "children of Abraham" seems highly unlikely in view of the word order. 
However, you may assume an implied second ABRAAM, carried over from the first one.
PANTES is then the subject for both the implied EISIN and the explicit EISIN with SPERMA ABRAAM the predicate.

I don't think the focus is between TEKNA and SPERMA, but between the physical and spiritual sense of either of these 
words. In any case, the verse is further explained in the following verse where TEKNA THS SARKOS are contrasted to TEKNA 
TOU QEOU.

Iver Larsen 




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