From: Mitchell Andrews (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Dec 03 1996 - 23:48:52 EST
>Please comment on the following:
>wJn oiJ patere", kai ex wJn oJ Cristo" to kata: oJ wn epi pantwn qeo"
>In who are the fathers, and out of whom is Christ according to the
> euloghto" ei" tou" aiwna, amhn.
> Paul F. Evans
It is important to note that in the earliest Greek MSS., there is a
punctuation stop after TO KATA SARKA. An example of the effect this has
is shown in the Revised Standard Version:
Romans 9:5 to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to
the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.
(Note the period before God).
Whereas this punctuation stop is not in the King James and many others.
Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh
Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Note the comma
before God instead of the period).
This punctuation mark indicating a lengthened pause is reflected in the
Romans 9:5 WN hOI PATERES KAI EX WN hO CRISTOS TO KATA SARKA: (note the
colon, an elevated point in the Greek) hO WN EPI PANTWN, QEOS EULOGHTOS
EIS TOUS AIWNAS. AMHN.
This punctuation mark is significant, as Zerwick noted in "A Grammatical
Analysis of the Greek New Testament." on Romans 9:5; "After major
punctuation hO WN ... will refer to God the Father : May God who is over
all be blessed forever! Amen. With a comma after SARKA hO Wn would be in
appos. to Christ, the Messiah according to the flesh who is over all, God
blessed forever, Amen,"
Further, TO KATA SARKA represents a natural end to a complete grammatical
sentence, there is nothing else needed to complete the clause. There is a
natural pause after SARKA. This natural pause after SARKA is driven home
by the fact that we find an punctuation point (roughy corresponding to a
colon) after SARKA in all our oldest MSS, namely, A, B, C, L, ... and
dozens of cursives have a stop after SARKA.
This indicates an independent clause following SARKA, as reflected in the
Revised Standard Version:
God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.
The position of QEOS (subject) is also noteworthy in relation to
EULOGHTOS (predicate). This word order is also found in Psalms 68:19
KURIOS hO QEOS EULOGHTOS (Brenton: "Blessed be the Lord God,"). Note the
position of subject and predicate, QEOS EULOGHTOS. The word order is the
same as in Romans 9:5, QEOS EULOGHTOS. This argues in favor of the "God,
who is over all, be blessed" translation; God is subject, blessed is
This second expression is naturally separate from the preceeding clause,
since it represents a doxology, as the similar expression in 2 Cor 11:31
31 hO QEOS KAI PATHR TOU KURIOU IESOU OIDEN, hO WN EULOGHTOS EIS TOUS
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever,
knows that I do not lie.
I do not think we would hesitate to agree that the doxology "hO WN ...
AIWNAS" refers, not to Jesus, but back to "God and Father." This doxology
"formula" to God, who is blessed forever, naturally suggests a praise to
God. In Romans 9:5 this praise to God is for the coming of Jesus in the
flesh. How thankful indeed, all mankind should be for this gift from God.
In conclusion, the verse highly exalts Christ, as Romans 8:3 calls him,
God's "Son who came in the flesh", but not to equality with God.
Romans 8:3 "God, by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful
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