Re: Rom. 1:26-27

     Greg Jordan wrote:

>refers to passion alone.  _PathE_ both in etymology and usage are 
>*passive* feelings, feelings that happen *to* one, not feelings one sets 
>out to have; in more general Greek usage _pathE_ can refer to events that 
>happent *to* one. 

    I don't want to spit hairs, but Mr. Jordan seems to imply that Paul would
distingush between feelings one deliberately created as opposed to feelings
which just somehow "happen".  I don't think I could suppor that exegetically
(indeed, in Romans 7, however you understand it overall, Paul seems clearly
to be saying that his feelings or linclinations to covet and so forth, come froma source he cannot even identify, but dfoes not for that reason escuse
himself from guilt).  I certainly don't understand feelings or urges as 
something actIVEly chosen.  I don't suppose many people wake up one day and
will to create the emotional feelings that go with stealing, murder, adultery,
etc.  All those feelings could be argued to "happen" to them, so I don't see
that understanding of pathE, however valid it is, as being of consequence
exegetically.  Second, while "this" does seem to refer to idolatry, I would
argue that Paul is saying the Gentiles, having rejected God, have been handed
over to the urges or inclinations that come from the flesh alienated from
God, since that's what the context describes, while it does not descirbe any
sort of guard.  If that were not the case, and if Mr. Jordan's interpretation
is correct, how does Paul's statement advance Paul's argument?  Paul is
arguing that Gentiles rejected what they could see of God and turned to
idolatry.  In response, God gave them over to their own choices "however those
choices were arrived at), and those choices demonstrate just how fallen
humans are, which is the whole point of Rom 1:18-3:21.  

Ken Litwak
Sybase, Inc.
Emeryville, CA