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

Date: Sat Apr 05 1997 - 16:44:48 EST

Carl (and other colleagues),

You wrote:

>>>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

        Yes, of course it is about 24-25; that is what Edgar raised in his
post, and I responded to his statement about 24ff. with the reference to
Bultmann; then John Oaklands asked me to post the actual German/Greek text,
which I did.

>>> 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. <<<

        Bultmann's discussion was in his reconstruction of the theology of
the earliest community, under the meaning of Jesus for them. He used Paul
here to reconstruct what Paul had received from tradition, and did so by
indicating the Pauline glossing of that tradition.

>>> 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). <<<

        (Of course, there never was a "Synod of Jamnia". But there WAS a
"theological seminary" or "rabbinical school" founded by Jochanan ben
Zacchai at Yavneh/Jamnia. And I suspect before that "rabbinical Judaism"
was called "the Pharisees.")
        Edgar will have to speak for himself; but my recollection of
Bultmann's discussion of Paul's doctrine of human sin (and it has been some
years since I have re-read it--but in earlier days, I read it over many
times, in both Grobel's surprisingly good translation and RB's crystal-
clear German)--my recollection is that Bultmann does not attribute this view
to any prior source, though I am sure he would not have argued that was the
invention of Paul. I would venture my own opinion if pressed, but it is
worth only that--my opinion.

>>> 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). <<<

        I can't speak for Edgar, who will have to answer for himself. My
view is that, while near-certain quotes, such as from OT, or specifically
named as a quote, or almost certainly quotation from "opponents" in the
diatribe style of argument (as in Rom. 3:1-8, or in 1 Cor. 7 & 8), should
be printed with quotation marks around them, I would be squeamish
about putting quotes IN THE TEXT (as distinct from a footnote or an
annotation) when it is a scholarly reconstruction. Hence, I have put IN MY
OWN NT little red quotation marks around Rom. 3:24-25, with parentheses
around Paul's additions--but I would not want a printed text to do that.
On the other hand, the NRSV was right to put quotes around part of v. 20
(from the Psalm), and the RSV was wrong not to. In ANY case, I wouldn't
put any quotes around verse 23.

Edward Hobbs

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