From: Jeffrey Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Apr 22 1997 - 15:11:36 EDT
On Tue, 22 Apr 1997, Jonathan Robie wrote:
> Roma 7:5 (GNT) hOTE GAR HMEN EN THi SARKI, TA PAQHMATA TWN hAMARTIWN TA DIA
> TOU NOMOU ENHRGEITO EN TOIS MELESIN hHMWN, EIS TO KARPOFORHSAI TW QANATW:
> TA PAQHMATA TWN hAMARTIWN is almost always translated "sinful passions".
> When I read this though, I first read it as "the sufferings of sin". Here's
> a traditional translation from the New American Standard, followed by a
> translation from the Little Greek Translation which reflects the way I had
> read it initially:
> Roma 7:5 (NASU) For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which
> were [aroused] by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear
> fruit for death.
> Roma 7:5 (LGT) For while we were in the flesh, the sufferings of sin, which
> were effected in our bodies through the law, that we might bear fruit for death.
> This makes sense in terms of the suffering we have under the weight of the
> law, our inability to live up to its demands, and the inevitable
> condemnation we fall under if we try to earn our way by following the law.
> What do you think - does this second translation also have merit?
It makes some sense but not, I think, for the reasons you think it does.
No where does Paul express anything about anyone's (especially
his own) inability to keep the law, or that he ever perceived the Law as
something which would break those who attempted to keep it. In fact his
testimony in Phil 3 is quite the opposite. And his statement about the
Law being a "tutor" unto Christ - a statement that is often used as a
prooftext for the idea that the Law exists to break us, to make us
realize that we fall under condemnation if we try to earn "salvation" by
following its demands, and therefore as a filter through which this
passage in Romans is read - misunderstands what PAEDAGOGOS
meant in 1CE and in Paul's intention. Perhaps the passage needs to
be read, as Krister Stendhal implies, as the sufferings that Paul
inflicted upon Christians before his "call", suffereings which arise not so
much from trying to follow the itself Law (which, after all, is holy, just,
and good), as what now appears to Paul as a misreading of what
the Law demands.
In any case, here is an instance of a question of exegesis that
cannot be settled on grammatical grounds alone. It needs to be answered
within the wider context of Paul's view of the "keepability" of the Law.
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