Re: Phusis, Romans 11:16ff
Please! I repeat again--Do NOT impute to Koine physis the modern
connotations of "nature". The ancients do NOT usually have in mind our
organic, biological connotations, as if one's "nature" arises from
genetics, etc. "Physis" is a far more rough & ready observable
charcteristics of something. The "wild olive shoots" of Rom 11 are
grafted "para physin" which = contrary to their previous "normal" place in
the divine plan as outside the elect community of Israel. That's all. No
need to speculate about whether "nature" in the modern sense is good or
evil or whether God is violating his own creation, etc. etc.
The passage proclaims simply the apparant turn in the divine
economy of redemptive history, turning to embrace those previously outside
the salvific community being now included, and those previously thought
securely inside now put in doubt and manifesting a rejection of God's gospel.
Paul is complex enough when properly undestood, so let's try to
avoid introducing further complications of our own.
Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba