[B-Greek] hO QEOS in ROM. 1:28

Vasile Stancu stancu at mail.dnttm.ro
Wed May 14 09:47:24 EDT 2008


When I first read it (the passage under discussion), I simply had the
impression that the author felt that hO QEOS was necessary, for whatever
reason. Perhaps it's presence would strike the attention of some modern
readers, but now, if I tried to exclude it (hO QEOS) - I had not been aware
that someone proposed that is was somewhat superfluous - I would feel that
the phrase was incomplete: who is the one who PAREDWKEN AUTOUS? Yes, perhaps
God, but let me read again the previous verse, and the one that preceeds it,
just in case another word would function as its subject.

Whether this is or is not sintactically necessary, I believe that the
ultimate source of our understanding is the Greek texts. Appealing to modern
interpretations when the textual evidence is there would be like the theory
someone once formulated: "Let's see what the theology of Paul is. I propose
that the Epistle to Romans is the most representative, so we will summarize
his theology using this book". Later, if some theological details of
2Thimothy, for instance, or 2Corinthians, do not fit that summary, the
conclusion could easily be: "That epistle is not authored by Paul, for it
does not fit his theology".

Vasile Stancu

-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Elizabeth Kline
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:26 AM
To: greek B-Greek
Subject: [B-Greek] hO QEOS in ROM. 1:28

ROM. 1:28 KAI KAQWS OUK EDOKIMASAN TON QEON ECEIN EN EPIGNWSEI,  
PAREDWKEN AUTOUS hO QEOS EIS ADOKIMON NOUN, ...

hO QEOS, omitted by the first hand of Codex Sinaiticus and  
Alexandrinus, is syntactically unnecessary, see Fitzmyer (Rom. AB,  
p289). The text would be more cohesive with a pronoun or just the  
third person singular ending of PAREDWKEN. However, the fact that a  
full noun phrase is not required introduces a certain level of  
attention grabbing significance to the use of a full noun phrase. In  
other words this is a 'marked' use of a full noun phrase in a context  
where a pronoun or verb ending would have been adequate to encode the  
agent[1] of PAREDWKEN.

Fitzmyer notes that hO QEOS is not required and he reduces it to a  
pronoun in his translation. IMO this fails to take into account both  
the mark use of a full noun phrase and the rhetorical significance of  
the three repetitions of PAREDWKEN AUTOUS hO QEOS.

ROM. 1:24 DIO PAREDWKEN AUTOUS hO QEOS EN TAIS EPIQUMIAIS ...
ROM. 1:26 DIA TOUTO PAREDWKEN AUTOUS hO QEOS EIS PAQH ATIMIAS ...
ROM. 1:28 KAI KAQWS OUK EDOKIMASAN TON QEON ECEIN EN EPIGNWSEI,  
PAREDWKEN AUTOUS hO QEOS EIS ADOKIMON NOUN ...


Elizabeth Kline

[1] Not everyone would agree with assigning the semantic role AGENT to  
hO QEOS in this context.  However, that is not the issue under  
discussion here.


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