Re: Phusis, Romans 11:16ff

How about if we tackled the matter quite apart from "nature" and "natural" 
terminology?  There was little in the first century to correspond with our 
dichotomy between the artificial and the natural, which probably underlies 
our dissatisfaction with the dichotomy between the morally perverse and the 
morally correct.

Maybe KATA FUSIN would be rendered sensibly as "built-in," and PARA FUSIN 
could then be "not built-in" or some less cumbersome equivalent.  These 
terms are more mechanistic or clinical and so lack the moralizing overtones 
that we seem to hear when we use "nature/natural/unnatural."

I also find it curious that the theology of original sin and its 
concomitant portrait of Nature permeated by human sinfulness is stood on 
its head in renditions of Romans.  In the latter, Nature is good rather 
than polluted, if we accept "nature" in our English translations.  This 
contradicts much of what Paul writes elsewhere; translators and Greek 
students might do better to avoid confusing themselves and their Anglophone 

--David N. Wigtil.  Technology Assessment.  U. S. Department of Energy.
Graeca leguntur in omnibus fere gentibus,
Latina suis finibus exiguis sane continentur.   (Cicero, "Pro Archia")
(Greek works are read in practically all nations;
 Latin works are confined in their rather small territory.)
                     [ How things can change! ]
{ Internet:  david.wigtil@hq.doe.gov        (via cc:Mail) }
{ Personal:  72331.1732@compuserve.com                    }
{ X.400   :  g=david s=wigtil o=hq p=usdoe a=attmail c=us }
{ Bitnet  :  u8806dw@doevm                  (via OV/VM)   }
{            Voice:  301-903-5730.                        }