Re: Re. Spiritual vs Reasonable (Rom. 12:1)

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Tue Sep 24 1996 - 15:48:30 EDT

There has been a series of excellent postings on LOGIKOS in Rom 12:1. I
want to comment only on one item from the discussion.

I agree that reasonable is not a good translation here. But I also think
that spiritual is not a good translation. LOGIKOS here means, I think, that
which correlates with [the] LOGOS. The question is, what is the LOGOS that
underlies this term. The answer must be Romans 1-11! Paul is arguing that
the gospel he preached (cf. Rom 1:14-17) must work its way out in the
world, in the nitty-gritty of real life. The true worship of God is not the
sacrifice of animals, but of one's whole life.

Carl Conrad wrote:

>For that reason I am toying with a
>very vague sort of suspicion that he may mean LOGIKOS= "non-literal"--your
>QUSIAN which is )not actually an offering of a sacrificial victim, as QUSIA
>is usually understood to imply--but rather) "figurative sacrifice." If
>this is right--and mind you, it's no more than a conjecture--then it's the
>sort of thing that Plato would have glossed parenthetically with something
>like hWS EPOS EIPEIN ("to coin a phrase," "so to speak"). So I suggest
>"your sacrifice in a non-literal sense."

I can get to what Carl says, but do not like his "in a non-literal sense"
as a translation here precisely because it obscures Paul's intentional play
on the term LOGOS. After all, Paul elsewhere talks of the LOGOS TOY QEOU.
There is an analogy to this in Philo, who argued that incense offering of
Diaspora Jews was prayer.
>"Reasonable" fails primarily because it means something different in
>English from anything LOGIKOS can properly mean in Greek, which would have
>to be some form of "concerned with reasoning," "having to do with
>reasoning," "rational."

Or can it properly mean having to do with LOGOS = speech, account, explanation?

Ernst Kaesemann years ago wrote an unusually good article on this passage
under the title "Der Gottesdienst im Alltag." It still repays careful

Edgar Krentz, New Testament OR ***** NEW E-MAIL Address:
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
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