Re: Romans 5:1-6

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Nov 10 1995 - 10:59:48 EST

At 9:45 AM 11/10/95, wrote:
>NOTE Romans 5:1. Is DIA TOU KURIOU...a (genitive of source)
>making here in context 'IHSOU CHRISTOU the source
>of the EIRHNEN?
>NOTE Romans 5:5. Is, then, DIA PNEUMATOS HAGIOU
>also the source of H AGAPH THEOU?
>NOTE Romans 5:6. Does ASTHENWN inherently only have the idea
>of moral failure? The UBS dictionary defines it simply as "weakness."
>There is also a sense in which Jesus' dying is thought of as weakness
>and his death is referred to in this verse.

I'd say both the genitive constructions are simple genitives of the
intermediate agent through whom something is accomplished. As for ASQENWN,
it seems evident that in this context Paul is speaking of a loss of moral
power that is the consequence of sin; this is what he sets forth so
thoroughly in chapter 7: once having fallen under the power of sin, the
self is no longer free to fulfill the law's demands; it may WILL to fulfill
them, but it has not the POWER to do so. As I understand Paul's message, it
is the influx of spirit at conversion that enables a transformation of
selfhood so that one may begin to fulfill God's will.

ASQENEW, I might note, is used regularly of sickness; the synoptic gospels
speak of those healed by Jesus often as ASQENOUNTES. The word, however, can
certainly be used more extensively, as here, for moral incapacitation.

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

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