Re: Re. Is Christ declared to be God in Romans 9:5!

Rod Bias (
Wed, 04 Dec 1996 03:35:58 -0800

Mitchell Andrews wrote:
> It is important to note that in the earliest Greek MSS., there is a
> punctuation stop after TO KATA SARKA.

Actually, according to the official report of the UBS3 editorial
committee, the "fact that four uncial namuscripts (ABCL) and at least
twenty-six minuscule manuscripts have a point after SARKA" is "of
relatively minor significance." Because the punctuation "originated at a
time subsequent to Paul's writing (i.e. dictating; cf. 16.22) the
passage, and is therefore of questionable authority."

> Further, TO KATA SARKA represents a natural end to a complete grammatical
> sentence, there is nothing else needed to complete the clause. There is a
> natural pause after SARKA.

In fact, many noted scholars, including Westcott and Hort, A.T.
Robertson, Moulton, Turner, Sanday and Headlem, k.t.l. have stated (as I
quoted in my reply to Carl W. Conrad) that such a "natural pause" (your
term) is, in their opinion, "unnatural." Please review their various
comments as given in that message.

> The position of QEOS (subject) is also noteworthy in relation to
> EULOGHTOS (predicate). This word order is also found in Psalms 68:19
> (67:19 LXX):
> KURIOS hO QEOS EULOGHTOS (Brenton: "Blessed be the Lord God,"). Note the
> position of subject and predicate, QEOS EULOGHTOS. The word order is the
> same as in Romans 9:5, QEOS EULOGHTOS. This argues in favor of the "God,
> who is over all, be blessed" translation; God is subject, blessed is
> predicate.

Again, for the third time, your comment is misleading. I refer you
again to the UBS3 report: "Asyndetic doxologies, not only in the Bible
but also in Semitic inscriptions, are differently constructed; the verb
or verbal adjective ... always precedes the name of God, and never
follows it, as here ^5 [Romans 9:5]." At the bottom of the page,
footnote ^5 says: "The only instance which appears to be an exception is
Ps 68.19-20 [=LXX 67.19-20], where the Septuagint reads KURIOS hO THEOS
first EULOGHTOS has no corresponding word in Hebrew and seems to be a
double translation."

So. Mitchell, your one and only example is (according to the UBS
committee) either a lone exception to a general rule or, more likely, a
mistranslation. Either way, it offers precious little support to your

> I do not think we would hesitate to agree that the doxology "hO WN ...
> AIWNAS" refers, not to Jesus, but back to "God and Father."

You think wrong. Although a few scholars would agree with you, it
appears that a substantial number (probably a sizable majority) would
not agree. So, when you say, "I do not think we would hesitate to
agree," you are not accurate. Many, if not most, Greek scholars would
"hesitate to agree" with you. Moreover, they would find the doxology "hO
WN ... AIWNAS" does IN FACT refer to Jesus, and NOT "back to 'God and
Father'," as you wish it did.

Originally, the majority of the UBS3 committee voted against the
punctuatuion which calls Christ God because "on the basis of the general
tenor of [Paul's] theology it was considered tantamount to impossible
that Paul would have expressed Christ's greatness by calling him God
blessed for ever." ... "In reply [the minority] argued that if Paul
could refer to CHRISTOS IESOUS as ISA THEW [God's equal] (Php 2.6), it
is not inconceivable that on another occasion he could also refer to hO
CHRISTOS as THEOS." As I said in my message to Carl W. Conrad, it is my
understanding that the UBS4 committee reversed the UBS3 opinion on this
passage and now accepts the punctuation which would call Christ God. (I
may be in error about this reversal of opinion. If so, I'd like to be

> In conclusion, the verse highly exalts Christ, ...
> but not to equality with God.

Finally, as mentioned above, and as argued by members of the UBS3
committee, since Paul elsewhere calls Christ "God's Equal" it is hardly
strange for him to here refer to Christ as "God who is supreme," just as
he is called "our Great God and Savior" in Titus 2:13 -- another
"Pauline" passage. Luke quotes Paul as mentioning the "church of God
which he [God] purchased with his [God's] own blood" (Acts 20:28).
Surely, when taken together, these four "Pauline" passages calling
Christ God must remind us that the Son is the spitting image of his
Father. And, "all must honor the Son EXACTLY as they honor the Father.
He that does not honor the Son [exactly as he honors the Father?] does
not honor the Father who sent him." (John 5:24-25). We don't want to
dishonor the Father by giving less than equal honor to the Son, do we,



Rodney L. Bias (602) 438-9202 4648 East Saint Catherine Avenue Phoenix, Arizona 85040-5369 USA