Rom 13:1- TASSW

From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Tue Aug 26 1997 - 09:10:59 EDT

Dear b-greekers,

In Rom 13:1 we find the clause hAI DE OUSAI hUPO QEOU TETAGMENAI EISIN.
Some renderings of TASSW are:"set up" Darby, "have been established" NAB,
"are ordained" ASV,"are established" NASB,"are appointed" YNG, "have been
established" NIV," have been appointed" NJB,"are appointed" NKJV, "have
been instituted" RSV,"have been put there" TEV,"are ordained" KJV.

All the above renderings indicate that God directly is responsible for
anyone of the EXOUSIAIS hUPERECOUSAIS, he appointed them! This accords with
the use of hUPO which shows that God is the agent of the passive perfect
participle. There is no trace of any intermediary agent in the context.
However, among the 7 other occurrences of TASSW in the NT I find no clear
example of "appoint", and in the 8o examples in the LXX I find only 5 (2
Sam 20:23, 1 Chr 16:4,7; 17:19 and 2 Chr 31:2) where this meaning is likely.

Other suggested meanings of TASSW are "place in a certain order",
"arrange", "assign to a place". Is it on the basis of the use of the word
in Classical Greek or elswhere possible to argue that God has not the full
responsibility for the institution of every government of the world, such
as for instance that of Adolf Hitler?


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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