[B-Greek] Rom 10:4 hOU: pronoun or adverb
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Jul 26 07:20:25 EDT 2007
Rick Richmond has asked me to post for him the following "point of
Rom. 10:14 Πῶς οὖν ἐπικαλέσωνται εἰς ὃν
οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν; πῶς δὲ πιστεύσωσιν
οὗ οὐκ ἤκουσαν; πῶς δὲ ἀκούσωσιν
PWS OUN EPIKALESWNTAI EIS hON OUK EPISTEUSAN? PWS DE PISTEUSWSIN
hOU OUK HKOUSAN? PWS DE AKOUSWSIN CWRIS KHRUSSONTOS?
hOU (q.v.) as an adverb of place “where:” The use of this form
in Romans 10:14 is intended by the writer as an adverb not a pronoun.
There is no need to supply a preposition and a pronoun to make sense
of the clause and it is a mistake to do so. In the context the point
is that the feet of those itinerate preachers are beautiful because
they walk from place to place to proclaim the Gospel. Secondly they
do this traveling, because they have been sent. The Question being
posed is: How can they believe where they have not heard, presumeably
by means of one of these traveling preachers? To make it say “how
can they believe on him whom…. does violence to the Greek text.
“Believing into” is the common formula for faith and it requires
the preposition. This phrase does not have a preposition because in
this instance hOU is an adverb not a personal pronoun. Had the
prounoun been intended a different form and case would have been used
and the form would have been accompanied by a preposition. I have
found only one English translation that has this part of the verse
translated (in my opinion) accurately.
For economy's sake I'll attach my own response directly. Rick is
certainly correct in asserting that the form οὗ (hOU) could be a
relative adverb ("where") as well as a genitive sg. relative pronoun;
he's right too in saying that one would expect εἰς ὃν (EIS hON)
with the verb PISTEUW -- and in fact that's what we have in the first
sentence of Rom 10:14.
But the οὗ (hOU) of the third sentence of Rom 10:14 is in fact a
genitive sg. of the relative pronoun; it is NOT the complement of
PISTEUSWSIN but rather of ἤκουσαν (HKOUSAN): ἀκούω
(AKOUW) does require a genitive complement and the construction here
is the standard one with antecedent implicit in the relative pronoun:
"How are they to believe one whom they have not heard?"
I grant that οὗ (hOU) as a relative adverb would make sense here:
"How are they to believe in a case in which they have not heard?"
Cf. BDAG s.v. οὗ (hOU) 2. marker of situation or set of
circumstances, someth. like (in a situation) where fig. ext. of 1
(Jos., Ant. 2, 272) οὗ δὲ οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος
οὐδὲ παράβασις (hOU DE OUK ESTIN NOMOS OUDE PARABASIS)
where no law exists, there is no transgression, either Ro 4:15. Cp.
5:20. οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου
ἐλευθερία (hOU DE TO PNEUMA KURIOU, ELEUQERIA) 2 Cor
But I really think that the syntax here is better understood with
οὗ (hOU) functioning as genitive relative pronoun complement to
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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