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

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Jun 02 1997 - 20:20:53 EDT

Edgar mailed to me this response to a message of mine in a thread two
months ago into which Edward and I had both had some input. I won't try to
regurgitate the thread--anyone interested can consult the archives at and get a sense of the discussion. I
thought, nevertheless, that this ought to go to the list to bring a closure
of sorts to that particular discussion.

>Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 16:53:57 -0500
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>To: "Carl W. Conrad" <>
>From: Edgar Krentz <>
>Subject: Re: Bultmann on Rom. 3:23ff.--old tradition
>Carl wrote (gekuerzt) long ago on 4/5/97, in response to me and Edward
>Hobbs. Sorry it has taken me this long to respond in any fashion.
>>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. ...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 ... 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
>I agree with the above analysis.
>Edgar Krentz was also arguing for some source being cited by
>>Paul at this point, but were you referring, Edgar, to this Bultmann
>Not specifically. It has almost become common coin to argue that the
>participle DIKAIOUMENOI in v. 24 ought to be a finite verb + DE to carry
>out the structure implied in v. 23.
>>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).
>No, I do not think that Rom 3:23 is citation of an earlier something.
>There is an excellent article on this passage by John H. P. Reumann some
>years ago in the journal INTERPRETATION; but almost any recent commentary
>on Romans will take up the issue. See especially Kaesemann or Wilkens on
>I argue that Paul is citing a Jewish-Christian interpretation of the
>crucifixion as covenant sacrifice, that they use it to argue the
>superiority of their group to gentile Christians at Rome, and that Paul
>inserts CARITI and DIA THS PISTEWS into the citation to maintain that God
>justifies Jew and Gentile alike, without either having priority (see Rom
>* Edgar Krentz, Prof. of New Testament *
>* Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago *
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(704) 675-4243

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