Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Romans 9:1-5

In verse 9:1, Paul uses the verb "confirm." However, the root word here is syn-martyreoo. Paul uses this word three times in Romans. First in 2:16 when he says that the law works to "confirm" in people's conscience the lack of righteousness in their activities. Then he uses it in 8:16 to say that the spirit "confirms" we are children of God. Paul is the only author in the NT to use this word. In 9:1 it is found in a genitive absolute that agrees with "conscience." Furthermore, there is a an odd "to me" in 9:1, perhaps suggesting that this confirmation takes place in Paul...

In 9:2, Paul uses the word "Adialeiptos" (from lack) to talk about how his grief is without hesitation. This same word appears in 2 Tim, where Paul gives endless thanksgiving. The use of the dative with the word "me" in this sentence is also helpful to remember. Paul says, literally, "that a grief me is great." To translate this into English needs a bit of manuvering. "That it is a great grief to me." Also, the hoti here in the beginning of the sentence can be "because" or "that." (Because it is a great grief or that it is a great grief; with sensory verbs like think, hoti is normally transalted "that").

In 9:3, the first verb is in the imperfect -- Paul continually prays/wishes. Also interesting is that in this sentence, the infinitive clause is all in the nominative, whereas, normally, it is in the accusative. Paul wishes he were, literally, an "anathema."

9:4: Paul uses the word "adoption" here (huiothesia) -- interesting because earlier he talks about how we are adopted by the Holy Spirit. Paul also uses the word promises; the manuscripts are divided on whether this should read promise or promises.

In 9:5, Paul uses both wn with a rough breathing mark: hoon; and without "oon." The later is found in the second half of the sentence, which here is a substantive participles "The one who is." Interesting, these three letters, "o w n" (which make up this participle) are found around Jesus' head in icons.

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