Romans 7.25 (ho autos)

It seems to me that our English translations are missing the point of
"ho autos" in Romans 7.25.

The RSV reads "So then, I *of myself* serve the law of God with my
mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."

Other English translations read effectively the same. But this is
largely meaningless - just following the *words* of the Greek
blindly and uncomprehendingly.

"Ho autos" in Biblical Greek seems to be an idiom (often, even if not
always) for "the same". In Ps 102.27, for example, (quoted in Hebrews
1.12) we have, "Su de ho autos" ("But thou art the same, and thy years
shall not end.") At the end of Luke too, (24.39) Jesus is described as
appearing to his disciples and telling them to look at his hands and
feet as evidence that "ego eimi ho autos", (so to speak - forgive the
idiomatic English) "It is the same me!" (that you knew before).

In Romans 7.25, I think the same idiom is in action. Paul is saying, "So
then it is the *same me* that serves the law of God with my mind, and the
law of sin with the flesh." One might not want to translate it quite so
idiomatically, but this is surely the point he is making, and the
translation should convey this idea - perhaps along the lines of, "the
same person in me that...".

John Richards                                       Stackpole Elidor (UK)