Romans 14:1 eis diakriseis dialogismwn

Jonathan Robie (
10 Sep 96 09:07:30 EDT

This phrase completely baffled me, so I looked at various translations, which
seem to differ significantly:

"for the purpose of quarelling over opinions" NRSV
"without debate about his misgivings" REB
"do not get into arguments about doubtful points" NJB
"so that the unbeliever does not despair in his thoughts" Zur, freely translated
(orig: [damit es] nicht zu Zweifeln in seinen Gedanken [kommt])

Whatever this phrase means, trying to figure it out has brought me EIS
DIAKRISEIS DIALOGISMWN, so I thought I'd see if I could get some help here.

The key difference in these translations seems to be the interpretation of the
word DIALOGISMOS, which some translations interpret as arguments among people,
and others as disputes within one's self. In context, either interpretation
makes sense to me. Can anyone save me from Faustian meditations on the different
ways this verse could be interpreted?

The GNT seems to use this term both ways. DIALOGISMOS is used in Luke 2:35 "so
the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed" (opws an apokalufqwsin ek pollwn
kardiwn dialogismoi); Luke 24:38 "why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise
in your heart?" (ti tetaragmenoi este, kai dia ti dialogismoi anabainousin en th
kardia umwn;); and Phil 2:14 "do everything without complaining or arguing"
(panta poieite xoris goggusmwn kai dialogismwn).

Is there anything that will help me decide how to understand this?