Re: Romans 3:19-20

Date: Mon Oct 09 1995 - 02:22:12 EDT

James Clardy,

Regarding the HO NOMOS and following NOMOU: There is no rule here, just that
a commond Greek practice was to leave articles off following nouns after
declaring it with the article the first time in a given context. This should
help us to see namely one thing here. That is, the succeeding uses of the
noun may indeed be referring to the same reality that the previous use with
the article did. In other words, in John 1:1, we have several perfectly good
explanations for why THEOS was without the article. One is this practice
here. NOMOU does not necessarily refer to anything different that the
previous HO NOMOS.

One thing that does distress me is that often when we get so analytical, we
read things into the grammar when it was a common practice that didn't mean
anything at all. We are looking so hard for hidden meanings that we can't
just take the contextual influence to interpret what the word means. I
believe the context is the strongest determiner of what NOMOU means here.
 Grammatical rules should not always be determiners of interpretation because
they often are broken. Rather, they should be a check for a correct
contextual interpretation. If we pour over the context we will do better.

Also, on the Aorist tense stuff, you can find some truth to some of what they
are saying, but don't swallow it hook, line, and sinker. This discussion is
not new. People like to dramatize things and make it sound like we are
discovering "new things" when it has been around for years. I am not
discouraging new research, but we must be careful not to so quickly follow
new lines of thinking without much testing. For the most part, the new
thinking can tend to be erroneous and liberal today.

For years now the Aorist has been understood to represent a wide variety of
contextual interpretations. A quick look at Dana and Mantey's intermediate
grammar will show many different uses of the Aorist. But the Aorist still
means what we thought it meant in most circumstances. Obviously in the
indicative it can often mean completed action in past time. But it is a
mistaken view to view it always as a point in time. It can often represent a
range of time in the past, or reoccurring action for a short time in the
past. If you have Dana and Mantey, you will see all these uses and more.

In Christ,

Jim McGuire

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:29 EDT