Rom 4:12

Since 4/27 (my first day with the group) BCoulie, PGraber, and CConrad have
been discussing the seemingly awkward double tois in Rom 4:12: tois ouk ek
peritomEs monon alla kai tois stoikhousin....

Their proposals favor some emendation of the text (omitting the second tois or
transposing the order of tois ouk as I recall).  Cranfield (ICC 1.237) seems to
agree with omitting the second tois, as does LMorris (1988: 204).  Despite the
opinions of these eminent commentators, it would seem that the manuscript
tradition would reflect these suggestions if they were truly viable.

I suggest instead (in agreement with Fitzmyer, AB 381-82) that Paul is speaking
of two groups here.  If the text is retained as is, Paul could be speaking of
Abraham's fatherhood of both the Jews and those Gentiles who follow in the stepsof Abraham's faith.  That Paul regarded Abraham as the father of the Jews or
the circumcised is clear from 4:1.  Acc to 4:9, Abr's blessing is upon the
circumcised as well as the uncircumcised.  Rom 9-11 is controversial, but such
texts as 9:4-5 and 11:17-26 seem to indicate that the Jews still play a major
role in redemptive history in Paul's thought (cf.Rom 15:8-12).

Fitzmyer thinks that Paul uses circumcision in two ways in 4:12, the first
a spiritual circumcision and the second a physical circumcision.  I'm not so 
sure of this, but cf. 2:25-29).

At any rate, here's some more grist for the mill.

David L. Turner                         Office: 616/949-5300 x287
Professor of New Testament              Fax: 616/949-4154
Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary           E-mail: dturner@grbcs.edu