Re: Romans 9:5

Mr. Timothy T. Dickens (
Thu, 5 Dec 1996 22:36:53 -0500 (EST)

At 03:56 PM 12/5/96 -0500, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>At 02:58 PM 12/5/96 -0800, Mr. Timothy T. Dickens wrote:
>Hi, Tim!
Hi Jonathan!

>>My comment to you all has to do with the on-going discussion of how
>>Romans 9:5 should be translated. When the Greek is read, one of two
>>translations is possible which supports either (A) the Christ and God
>>are the same person; thus, Christ is God, or (B) Christ is a different
>>person from God; thus, two individuals are mentioned in the verse.
>I like Zerwick & Grosvenor's comments on this:
> After major punctuation hO WN KTL. will refer to God
> the Father: "May God who is over all be blessed for
> ever! Amen." With a comma after SARXA, hO WN would be
> in apposition to Christ, "The Messiah according to
> the flesh who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen",
> others otherwise.
>So there is a big difference between:
>Roma 9:5 (GNT) wn oi patere kai ex wn o Cristos to kata sarka, o wn epi
>pantwn, qeos euloghtos eis tous aiwnas, amhn.

. . .Hold on one sec. . . . Jonathan in the sentence above there is no comma
after 'pantwn' in the Greek. Why did you supply this?

>Roma 9:5 (GNT) wn oi patere kai ex wn o Cristos to kata sarka. o wn epi
>pantwn qeos euloghtos eis tous aiwnas, amhn.

TTD: But Jonathan, it is precisely this line [above] that can mean either
one of two things. Christ being over all, God Blessed for ever! Or "Who
being. . . {nominatives [o wn] read), then the next nonminative 'qeos' ". .
.God over all {epi pantwn); ". . .Blessed for ever, Amen!" [euloghtos eis
tous aiwnas, amhn]

>This helps me understand the differences in interpretation. I don't know if
>there is anything that would help choose one interpretation over the other.
Precisely Jonathan, this is my point! But I must also admit that I received
a lovely message for a member today with some advice for both of us. It
reads . . .


Absolutely must reading for you is "On the Construction of Romans ix. 5." It was
in the first volume of "Journal of Biblical Literature," pp 86-154. He covers
all the angles very thoroughly. Punctuation, Early Church Fathers, What other
scholars say, what the context indicates, is the pause natural or unnatural,
Paul's doctrine about QEOS, etc. He comes down emphatically that it teaches two
persons. This from a scholar who believes Jesus is God, but definitely not from
Romans 9:5 nor from Titus 2:13.


I plan to read this article as soon as Christmas break comes for my school.
I thought I had that edition of JBL, but apparently, I don't.

be well Jonathan

Peace and Love,
Timothy T. Dickens
Smyrna, GA Home School

Please visit my website at:

Near Eastern specialist and Egyptologist. . .are too aware of the
isolationism often seen in traditional classics--or more precisely in
studies of Greek civilization--with its emphasis on the events of a
relatively short period, primarily in a particular exemplar of a single
group of cultures. Studies that appear to see fifth-century B.C.E Athens as
the defining experience of all civilization puzzle those whose interest lie
in other areas of the Mediterranean antiquity, and still more those
concerned with other regions of the world.

"On The Aims And Methods of Black Athena"
by John Baines in Black Athena Revisited