From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sun Feb 23 1997 - 15:51:18 EST

At 03:19 PM 2/23/97 -0500, Ronald Wong wrote:

>Though I see where you're going...I don't think that Paul is looking
>"from without," separating himself from "hH OIKOUSA EN EMOI hAMARTIA"
>and "TON ESW ANQRWPON." Though both are seemingly persons within him.
>We see that the phrases deal with two natures:
> 1. what _I_ desire (QELW)
> 2. What _I_ do (POIEW)

To me, Paul is clearly separating himself from hH OIKOUSA EN EMOU hAMARTIA
when he says:

Roma 7:17 (GNT) nuni de ouketi egw katergazomai auto alla h oikousa en emoi

This sin lives in Paul, but Paul does not identify with it. It isn't his
true self. I don't know how else this passage could be read (though I'm open
to other possiblities).

hO ESW ANQRWPOS, however, could be interpreted in at least two ways.

1. Many medieval mystics believed in a faculty they called "the spark of the
soul" which is designed to let us see God. I use the term faculty the way it
is used in modern cognitive psychology: the visual faculty includes not only
the eyes, but a whole network of nerves and regions of the brain which
automatically process visual cues. A faculty "has a life of its own" - you
don't go through a conscious process when you recognize your grandmother,
this happens automatically. hO ESW ANQRWPOS might mean a similar faculty
which is designed to recognize God; we can pay attention to this faculty or
ignore it, but it is there.

2. Carl says that Bultmann saw hO ESW ANQRWPOS as something which I
interpret as quite similar to the ego in clinical psychology, "the knowing,
deciding, determining subjective part of selfhood which one might well call
the "I" in distinction from the SWMA which is the external self or objective
self--the "me" of selfhood which one's "I" may contemplate (and discern
going its own way contrary to the will of the PNEUMA)".

>I would say...let me say guess instead...that Paul knows what he desires
>to do...but what he actually does isn't that!


>A question which arises with difficulty then would be: Is the "living
>sin" involuntary?

What is voluntary? do we have many wills within us? can we want many things
at the same time? to what extent can we make our actions subject to the will
of God's spirit within us?

>Along with the other Exegetical questions....*sigh* I've seem to raise
>more questions than answered. :)

Plenty of them...

>more ramblings....

"Granted, I am a babbler, but what is to be done if the sole vocation of
every intelligent man is babble; that is, the intentional pouring of water
through a sieve."

- Fyodor Dostoevski, "Notes from the Underground"

I'm not aiming that at you, but sometimes I'm not sure I can ever nail these
things down...I'll have to get that Bultmann article.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
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