Re: Bultmann on Rom. 3:23ff.--old tradition

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Apr 05 1997 - 11:08:41 EST

Edward, thank you very much for the extended extract from Bultmann
regarding expiation for sin as a doctrine derived from Isaiah 53 and
developed in the earliest believing community. It appears to me, however,
that what Bultmann there says really concerns more Paul's argument in Rom
3:24ff rather than what he says in 3.23, namely PANTES GAR hHMARTON KAI
hUSTEROUNTAI THS DOXHS TOU QEOU. Is this doctrine of universal sinfulness
necessarily part of the same proposition regarding atonement? It does seem
to me that Paul has gone to great lengths to argue for this proposition of
universal human depravity in the course of chapters 1-3 of Romans, and it
appears to me that 3:23 is a summary of his entire argument up to this
point before launching, in 24, into atonement as a way out of the human
predicament. Edgar Krentz was also arguing for some source being cited by
Paul at this point, but were you referring, Edgar, to this Bultmann
argument? I vaguely remember myself having read somewhere (Davies on Paul
and Rabbinic thought?) that this notion of universal human depravity may
have been taught by some rabbis, although it surely was not standard
teaching of the rabbis. I would guess that we don't want to get sidetracked
into the larger traditio-critical issue, and certainly not into theology,
but I'm curious still about whether this phrase, PANTES GAR hHMARTON KAI
hUSTEROUNTAI THS DOXHS TOU QEOU, is in fact a phrase cited from some
previous author or source that can at least be speculatively identified in
the early Christian community or in rabbinical Judaism (if it isn't a
misnomer to speak of rabbinical Judaism prior to the Synod of Jamnia). Do
you think, either Edgar or Edward, that vs. 23 ought to be set in quotation
marks in our text (granting, furthermore, that punctuation is a modern
invention, of course, still, it is a very helpful thing, even if it is
mischievous to the extent that it makes the editor of a Greek text an
interpreter, anytime that he or she even sets a comma or a period in a
particular place in the text).

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

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