Re: Romans 2:27

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 28 1995 - 07:40:14 EDT

At 10:57 PM 9/27/95, wrote:
>Would someone help me with Romans 2:27:
>"kai krinei hH ek phusews akrobustia ton nomon telousa se ton dia grammatos
>kai peritomHs parabatHn nomou"?
>1) Is the writer saying that "the one who is physically uncircumcised and
>yet fulfills the law will judge you who are a transgressor of the law through
>'letter' and circumcision"?

(1) Yes, and KRINEI here probably should even be rendered "will condemn."

>2) If so, what is the justification for using the "ton" which is found
>before "dia"?

See (4)below.

>3) As a definite article what noun or pronoun does it stand in relation to?
> If it has a substantive use, how is it identified grammatically? Does it
>link with "parabatHn"? If so, why isn't it "tHn"? The other three nouns
>following it are genitives, if I'm not mistaken?

(3) PARABATHN (the only accusative m. sg. noun that really could go with
TON appropriately).

>4) Is there a simple rule governing the use of the article which I have

(4) Yes: the distinction between ATTRIBUTIVE and PREDICATIVE use of the
article; items sandwiched between the article and the substantive which it
governs function like attributive adjectives. e.g., TON AGAQON ANQRWPON,
"the good man"; hOI TOTE ANQRWPOI, "the men of that time"; hOI EN hUDATI
BAPTISQENTES, "those who have been baptized with water"

>5) Also, would making this verse a question as the UBS 4th ed. apparatus
>suggests some manuscripts have done have any bearing on the use of "ton" or
>the overall meaning of the verse?

No, not on the use of TON. As I read the UBS4, it is not, in fact, any MS
that puts a question-mark there, but rather the 1889 printed version of the
Textus Receptus and the 1978 "La Nouvelle Version Segond[e?) Revise'e."
That is, it's an editor suggesting it be read as a question; it's not
something found in the MSS. And it has no bearing on the use of TON here
which is nothing extraordinary at all.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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