Re: Rom. 9:3

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue May 27 1997 - 03:53:26 EDT

At 12:19 AM -0400 5/27/97, wrote:
>Greetings, B-Greekers....
>Perhaps, as a seminary student, I should be able to parse this word in my
>sleep, but ... this evening I was working my way through Rom. 9:1-13. Verse
>3 begins with a variant. The Nestle-Aland text has eeuchomeen (ee = eta,
>in good Dutch fashion), while the Majority text has euchomeen. (I don't
>think N-A even notices the variant.)

First let me note that although anyone is certainly free to use any system
of transliteration he or she chooses on this list, your "Dutch" fashion
seems rather awkward. One of our more common schemes on BG is to upper case
characters for clear distinction from message text and to use H/E and W/O
to distinguish Greek Eta from Epsilon and Omega from Omicron respectively.
An account of common transliteration schemes used on BG may be found at the
BG web site:
>Eeuchomeen is the 1 sing impf. ind. dep. ... but what would euchomeen be?
> The ending is 1 sg. impf. ind. dep ... but it's missing the augment? Very
>puzzling, says I.

EUCOMHN (your "euchomeen"), an unaugmented present stem with a first person
sg. MP secondary ending, shouldn't represent anything in any traditional
Greek orthography. I can understand how it may have appeared in some MSS at
some points because HUCOMHN and EUCOMHN would have been PRONOUNCED alike,
but in morphological terms, EUCOMHN doesn't mean anything at all. It is
most likely a mis-spelled form of HUCOMHN.

>And ... is it just me, or are these verses a bear to diagram? I can follow
>Paul's thought, but when I try to do diagrammatical analysis, I lose it.
>Any help you can give with this word in v. 3 or with diagramming -- hey! any
>help you can give on this passage as a whole -- would be greatly appreciated.

This HUCOMHN is one of those imperfects of which Jonathan has been speaking
recently, the kind that appear to have emerged from the classical use of
imperfect indicative with AN in contrary-to-fact result clauses--so here
the sense is "I would pray (if it would do any good, which it wouldn't!)"

So far as the construction or diagramming is concerned, you may possibly be
confused by the nominative AUTOS as the subject of EINAI. But in fact Paul
follows ordinary grammatical construction here, which calls for the subject
of a subordinate infinitive to be NOMINATIVE if it is identical with the
subject of the main verb--as it is here, where Paul himself is the subject
of HUCOMHN and also of EINAI. A consequence of this is that ANAQEMA also
should be understood as a nominative, the predicate noun to AUTOS EINAI.

I hope this helps.

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

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