Re: Romans 4:7-8

From: Bruce Terry (
Date: Thu Oct 12 1995 - 14:44:01 EDT

On Thu, 12 Oct 1995, James Clardy wrote:

>Suggested translation:
>7) Blessed (happy) are those whose lawless deeds were forgiven and whose
>sins were covered over.
>8) Blessed is the man whose sin the lord himself might not place to one's
>NOTE: I have AFEThHSAN as aorist passive indicative.
>COMMENT: Ernest Campbell, Romans, vol 1, p.132, indicates that the passive
>voice here makes it clear that a group of people "did nothing" to obtain the
>state of blessedness.

This is an overstatement of the grammatical function of the passive voice.
The passive merely indicates that the subject receives the action, i.e., is
semantically a patient, an undergoer, etc. It says nothing about whether the
subject deserves to receive the action.

Further, in the passage in question, "the lawless actions" (hAI ANOMIAI)
serves as subject, not the people, although conceptually I would have no
problem in shifting the semantic domain of AFEQHSAN to say that the people
were forgiven of their sins.

Bruce Terry E-MAIL:
Box 8426, ACU Station Phone: 915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699 Fax: 915/674-3769

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