Re: Negative Rom 7:15

Carl Conrad wrote:

> I can take no credit for this because it was sent to me by Professor Rusch
> at Augustana College in South Dakota. He agrees with me that the first OY
> negates the clause rather than the verb, but that the two clauses must be
> understood as an OYK -- ALLA construction: thus: "Not what I want do I do,
> but what I hate I do."

I was going to send off a note on a similar line.  Smyth (_Greek 
Grammar_ 1956 section 2690 a.) states: "A contrast must be supplied 
in thought when the negative precedes the article, a relative, a 
conjunction, or a preposition."  An example of the implied 
contrast is in a statement like "not a short trip", which implies 
"but a long trip".  Paul, however, provides the contrast 
with two sentences and even supplies a "synonymous" verb.  As Carl 
Conrad pointed out in a previous message, this seems to be for 
rhetorical purposes:  in the first sentence Paul says, not that he 
does something he did not want to do, but rather that he wanted to do 
something and ended up not doing it;  he then states that what he 
ended up doing was what he hated.  I think it could be translated 
with only one verb as:  "I do, not what I want to do, but what I 
hate."  Unfortunately, that may lose the sense of the nicely 
balanced Greek construction and may lessen the rhetorical force of 
the statement. 

Had Paul left the second part off the construction, he would have 
implied something other than what he states, i.e., only that, what he 
did was what he *did not will* and that could have been some good act. 
He wanted, it seems, to make it clear that what he did not will to do 
was *also* something he hated.

Glenn Wooden
Acadia Divinity College
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada