Re: Rom 1:20

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Oct 07 1997 - 16:43:05 EDT

At 03:55 PM 10/7/97 -0400, Ronald Wong wrote:
>I'm having problems translating this...please help!
>. . .

I had just exactly this problem this March! I came to the conclusion that it
might be understood like this:

TA GAR AORATA AUTOU: for his invisibles (i.e. invisible qualities)
APO KTISEWS KOSMOU: ever since the creation of the earth
TOIS POIHMASIN: dative of means - through the things which were made
NOOUMENA KAQORATAI: when they are considered, are plainly seen.

>I'm not sure how or where to put the pres/pass/part NOOUMENA
>or the verb KAQORATAI.

Bingo! This is a little confusing. First off, why is KAQORATAI singular,
when all the things that might be made clearly plain are plural? It turns
out that neuter plurals often have singular verbs. Here's what Smyth has to
say about this:

On Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. GMT, 01 August 1918, Herbert Weir Smyth wrote:
>Subject in the Plural, Verb in the Singular
>958. A neuter plural subject is regarded as a collective (996), and has its
>verb in the singular: KALA HN TA SFAGIA "the sacrifices were propitious"

So if KAQORATAI can refer to a plural, what is the thing which would be made
clearly seen? TA AORATA AUTOU - his invisible qualities are plainly seen.

Now for NOOUMENA - what is it that is being considered? I believe that TOIS
POIHMASIN uses a dative of means to say "through the things which were
made", and NOOUMENA refers to TOIS POIHMASIN, meaning "through the things
which were made, when they are considered".

This sentence has a somewhat unusual sentence structure - last March, Fred
Nofer suggested that the structure is intended to emphasize the contrast
between AORATA (from A-ORAW, un-seen) and KAQORATAI (from KATA-ORAW, plainly
Hope this helps!


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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