Romans 3:12 - Substantival Participle

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Romans 3:12 - Substantival Participle

Post by rhutchin » September 16th, 2017, 8:18 am

Romans 3:12
οὐκ ἐστιν ὁ ποιων χρηστοτητα οὐκ ἐστιν ἑως ἑνος.

This was explained to me in this manner, "As for the Psalmist, Paul, when he quotes him, uses a substantival participle… i.e. nobody always does good. One rotten egg soils the batch."

This was said to oppose the position that the verse should be taken to say that no one ever does good.

How are we to understand this part of the verse - particularly the use of the participle?

Roger Hutchinson
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Roger Hutchinson

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Romans 3:12 - Substantival Participle

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » September 16th, 2017, 11:00 am

Sounds weird. In my opinion the key to interpreting the sentence, either in the Psalms or in Paul, is not found in the grammar.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Romans 3:12 - Substantival Participle

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 16th, 2017, 2:19 pm

Hi Robert,
This looks like a place where knowing Greek might go some way towards clarifying the rather vague word "good" that seems to carry over from bonus into English translations.

Aside from context-cotext or others exegesical techniques that one could bring to the passage, from a linguistic point of view, you might like to consider the synonymy of ποιῶ χρηστότητα, and ἀγαθοποιέω. Trench section 63 might be a start for that.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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