Romans 9:7 & OU

Date: Tue Jun 03 1997 - 13:51:16 EDT

Jim Beale and I have been discussing the function of the OU in Romans 9:6:
Does it negate the whole of what follows or just the PANTES clause? I'd like
to move on for a moment and look at Romans 9:7a:


What does the OU modify here?

     (1) OU cannot modify EISI because it would need to appear after the hOTI
to do so. Nor would that reading make sense in context: "Because they are
not Abraham's seed, all are (his) children."

     (2) OU cannot modify the subordinate hOTI clause as a whole, because
that, too, would not fit the context: "All are children, not because they
are Abraham's seed."

     (3) OU cannot modify PANTES, because that, too, doesn't fit the context:
"Because they are Abraham's seed, not all are children."

     (4) OU cannot modify PANTES TEKNA--that is, it cannot modify the EISI
which is implied in the predicate use of the adjective--because that would
contradict what Paul is saying: "Because they are Abraham's seed, all are NOT

For this reason, many commentaries take the OUDE as an implicit "It is not
the case..." That is my suggestion: OUDE here has the function of negating
not just one element of the sentence which follows but the whole of it. That
is, "It is NOT the case that, because they are Abraham's seed, all are
children." Modern slang version: "All are children because they are
Abraham's seed--NOT."

Conclusion: There are times when it the negator cannot be applied to one
element in the sentence which follows it--whether to the subordinate clause
or to the main verb--but is properly taken to negate the idea expressed in
the whole of the sentence.


John Barach
     frazzled but busy preparing for a huge exam
           after which, DV, he will be declared
                         eligible for call....

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