[B-Greek] Rom 10:3 and transitive hISTHMI
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 12 11:55:42 EDT 2009
Perhaps BDAG would be somewhat more to your liking
③to set up or put into force,establish,fig. ext.of 1 (cp.Gen 26:3 τὸν ὅρκον; Ex 6:4) τὴν ἰδίαν δικαιοσύνην Ro 10:3.τὸ δεύτερον (opp.ἀναιρεῖν τὸ πρῶτον, a ref.to sacrificial system) Hb 10:9.—Of legal enforcement κύριε, μὴ στήσῃς αὐτοῖς ταύτην τ. ἁμαρτίαν Lord, do not hold this sin against them Ac 7:60 (contrast ἀφίημι 1 Macc 13:38f; 15:5; Stephen’s expression=ἄφες Lk 23:34; s. Beginn. IV, ad loc.).
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. (3rd ed.) (482). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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- Jan Hus
From: Iver Larsen <iver_larsen at sil.org>
To: John Wilking <jcwilking at yahoo.com>
Cc: BG <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 8:10:38 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Rom 10:3 and transitive hISTHMI
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Wilking" <jcwilking at yahoo.com>
To: "Carl Conrad" <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
Cc: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 12. oktober 2009 02:19
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Rom 10:3
> --- On Sun, 10/11/09, Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com> wrote:
> From: Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Rom 10:3
> To: "John Wilking" <jcwilking at yahoo.com>
> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 12:10 PM
> On Oct 11, 2009, at 10:05 AM, John Wilking wrote:
>> I'm trying to make sense of KAI THN IDIAN ZHTOUNTES STHSAI. If we pick up
>> DIKAIOSUNHN from the previous clause we are left with STHSAI THN IDIAN
>> DIKAIOSUNHN. Does something like this occur elsewhere?
> The full text: Rom. 10:3 ἀγνοοῦντες γὰρ τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν
> [δικαιοσύνην] ζητοῦντες στῆσαι, τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐχ ὑπετάγησαν.
> [AGNOOUNTES GAR THN TOU QEOU DIKAIOSUNHN KAI THN IDIAN [DIKAIOSUNHN] ZHTOUNTES
> STHSAI, THi DIKAIOSUNHi TOU QEOU OUC hUPETAGHSAN. ]
> JCW Or instances of similar structure that use different abstract nouns as a
> way of getting a handle on the semantics of the verb hISTHMI. For example,
> does something like STHSAI THN IDIAN KPISIN occur anywhere?
> CC: to the phrase in question that I find in the GNT is Mark 7:9 καὶ ἔλεγεν
> αὐτοῖς· καλῶς ἀθετεῖτε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν στήσητε.
> [KAI ELEGEN AUTOIS· KALWS AQETEITE THN ENTOLHN TOU QEOU, hINA THN PARADOSIN
> hUMWN STHSHTE. ], something like, "You've got a neat way of nullifying God's
> commandment so as to put your own tradition in place."
The transitive usage of hISTHMI in a figurative sense has always been of
interest to me, and I am not completely satisfied with how it has often been
treated in translations.
BAGD suggests the following glosses: "establish, confirm or make valid". I think
"establish" is in order, but I am hesitant to accept the other two.
Gen 26:3 KAI STHSW TON hORKON MOU hON WMOSA ABRAAM TWI PATRI SOU
I don't think the meaning here is to establish, confirm or make valid, because
the oath/promise was already established when given to Abraham. For the
corresponding Hebrew word, the NET has this note: "The Hiphil stem of the verb
(qum) here means “to fulfill, to bring to realization.” For other examples of
this use of this verb form, see Lev 26:9; Num 23:19; Deut 8:18; 9:5; 1 Sam 1:23;
1 Kgs 6:12; Jer 11:5."
It makes more sense to me in this context to understand STHSW to mean "I will
fulfill my oath/promise".
Similarly in Lev 26:9 I would prefer "fulfill, carry out" my covenant for STHSW.
I suppose to "keep a promise" (GNB, NIV) is the same as to fulfill it, to carry
Jer 11:5 is also about fulfilling or carrying out the oath/promise made earlier.
In Num 23:19 the Hebrew is again qum, but the Greek here is EMMENEI (he will
stand by it). English versions suggest various words: make it happen, keep his
promises, fulfill it, make it good, carry it through.
In Deut 8:18 the LXX is KAI hINA STHSHi THN DIAQHKHN AUTOU hHN WMOSEN KURIOS
TOIS PATRASIN SOU
Some English versions say "confirm", but I think that "fulfill the
covenant/promise" is again better (NLT).
Deut 9:5 is very similar and English versions say: accomplish (NIV), perform
(KJV), fulfill (NLT), keep the promise (GNB). Some also say "confirm", but I
don't think this is correct.
In 1 Sam 1:23 we again have Hebrew qum and Greek STHSAI. English versions: make
good his word (NIV), fulfill his promise (NET), make your/his promise come true
(GNB), keep his word (GW).
1 Kings 6:12 is the same "fulfill my word" (LXX Alexandrian text). Here most
English versions have "fulfill". They are not consistent.
BAGD mentions Ex 6:4 KAI ESTHSA THN DIAQHKHN MOU PROS AUTOUS
Here the sense is "establish" since the text looks back to the time the
covenant/promise was first made. Once it has been established, any further
instance of "make a promise/word stand" means, I believe, "to fulfill it, make
it happen, carry it through." This is similar to prophetic words. If the word
fails to come true, it "falls", but if it comes true, the word "stands". A
promise "falls" if it is not fulfilled, but it "stands" when it is fulfilled.
BAGD also mentions Rom 3:31, Heb 10:9 and Rom 10:3.
In Rom 3:31, Paul is not saying - I believe - that we confirm or establish the
law, but we fulfill it. The "law" was established long ago, and it refers to the
human responsibility of the covenant. If people fulfill their part, God will
fulfill his part. The Greek word is the present tense of hISTHMI.
There is a relevant passage in Is 44:26, where again the Hebrew has qum, and
English versions suggest:
fulfill (NET), make come true (GNB, CEV), carry out (NIV, NLT). KJV and RSV say
"confirm", but I think that is not quite correct. The LXX has the present
participle hISTWN (fulfilling) and in the second half of the parallelism
ALHQEUWN (making come true).
Heb 10:9 is different in that the context here requires "establish" for a new
covenant to replace the former one.
Rom 10:3 is similar to Heb 10:9 (and Mark 7:9) with the sense "establish". The
Jews sought to establish their own "righteousness" (i.e. the way to become
approved by God) rather than the way God had established/put in place through
In this verse we have the added complication of the genitive τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ
δικαιοσύνην THN TOU QEOU DIKAIOSUNHN. This means God's way of making people
acceptable to him. The DIKAIOS person is the one who does the will of God and
whom God therefore can accept and approve of.
I am aware that some people in recent years have claimed that DIKAIOSUNH QEOU is
a subjective genitive meaning God's righteousness (God is righteous). I must say
that I think this is a mistake based on how literal versions have rendered it
into English. The genitive here is more likely one of source. The new way of
righteousness is from God, the one that God has established and it is in
contrast to the one the Jews - who ignored God's way - tried to establish.
I don't normally look in commentaries until after I have done my own work, but
when I checked Moo, I thought his comment worth quoting: "This does not mean
that the Jews did not understand that God was a righteous God. For, as the
parallel phrases in 9:31 and 10:6 suggest, “the righteousness of God” here
denotes the dynamic activity of God whereby he brings people into relationship
with himself. This “justifying” activity of God is manifested in Christ (3:21)
and proclaimed in the gospel (1:17). The Jews’ ignorance, therefore, involves
their failing to understand that God has fulfilled his promise to reveal his
saving activity in Jesus Christ."
Morris says: "“The righteousness of God” is the righteousness, the right
standing, that comes from God."
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