Re: Rom. 8:27

From: Carlton L. Winbery (
Date: Sat May 11 1996 - 02:53:35 EDT

David Moore responds;
>>The genitive TOU PNEUMATOS modifies TO FRONHMA. You could see it as a
>>subjective genitive if you take FRONHMA as "thinking." You would then
>>translate it, "He who searches the heart knows what the Spirit is
>>because (I take hOTI to be causal) he intercedes for the saints
>>to God's [will]."
>About the causal hOTI:
> If we are talking about God the Father as "He who searches the
>hearts," is the *reason* He knows the mind of the Spirit _because_ the
>latter intercedes for the saints according to God's will? Or is it
>that, knowing the hearts (KARDIAS here is acc. pl. rather than gen.
>sing.) of all, He also knows what the Spirit is thinking and knows that
>He intercedes for the saints according to God's will.

The object of OIDEN if the relative clause introduced by TI. If the hOTI
is the object of OIDEN (thus indirect discourse then "that" would be the
translation. If the hOTI clause is in apposition to the TI clause (as the
punctuation in the N-A27 might imply) then it is also appropriate to
translate hOTI as "that." There can be no doubt that KARDIAS is acc. pl.
because of the article and also because of its obvious function.

> The first construction seems difficult logically and
>theologically. If hOTI were to be taken as causal, could we say that
>the Father would not know what the Spirit was thinking if He didn't so
>intercede for the saints? A causal "because" would imply as much.
I see no such implication in taking the hOTI clause as causal. It simply
explains the confidence we can have in our relation to God through the
Spirit which is present with us. (so also ASV, RSV, NASV). The RSV has
"because" in the text but gives "that" in the footnote. The CEV makes the
hOTI seem temporal or at least similtaneous, "as the Spirit prays for God's
people." Again I see no theological problem here.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College

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