Re: Romans 5:6 ETI...ETI KATA KAIRON

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Apr 16 1997 - 12:43:25 EDT

At 7:45 AM -0500 4/16/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>At 12:20 PM 4/15/97 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>>At 11:23 AM -0500 4/15/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>>Might the second ETI actually go with CRISTOS too, and just be repeated for
>>I really don't see how: it's an adverb and one used most frequently to
>>emphasize a temporal adverb or phrase--which is what we have in this
>>instance--in fact very much like German "noch." I don't see how it would be
>>used to emphasize a noun subject.
>Yes, you are clearly right here. But I wonder if it isn't repeated for
>There is some confirmation for this idea in Bruce Metzger's Textual
>Commentary on the Greek New Testament, where he says "whether it originated
>as a primitive error, or one may assume, Paul repeated ETI, perhaps
>for the sake of emphasis". I started looking at the variants when I figured
>that I'm not the only person who might find that construction confusing. The
>variants are interesting here:
>Variant readings:
>1. ETI GAR ... (omit)
>2. EI GAR ... (omit)
>3. EI DE ... (omit)
>4. EI GE ... ETI
>5. EI GAR ... ETI
>6. EIS TI GAR ... ETI
>7. EIS TI GAR ... (omit)
>These reading suggest to me that the ETI could logically be used on either
>end, and perhaps it was repeated for emphasis here.
>Does this idea have merit?

Yes, I think so; when Plato starts a long counter-factual conditional
sentence with the apodosis, he may put an AN at the very beginning and, if
a lot of stuff comes inbetween before he actually gets to the verb with
which the AN has to be construed, he'll repeat it.

On the other hand, I'd still hold out for my earlier view that the first
ETI should be read with ONTWN hHMWN ASQENWN and the second with KATA
KAIRON. I would add, in response to Eric Inman's comment of late last night,

>For the second ETI, I would not translate ETI KATA KAIRON as "at the right
>>time," but as "while there was still opportunity." Transalations like the
>>former have given me the impression of Christ waiting for the right time,
>>whereas ETI KATA KAIRON gives me the impression of not letting the
>opportunity >slip by.

that this is the way I was taking ETI KATA KAIRON originally when I
translated it, "at an opportune time"--i.e., = "before it was too late."

Sigh: I am carrying on after the crash of a hard drive, sort of crushed,
but delighted that it was all backed up to a ZIP drive and that the
internet connection still works through the system that was copied over to


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

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