Nitpicking(?) at translations - Romans 10:11

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Wed Feb 11 1998 - 02:05:49 EST

    At Romans 10:11 Paul adds one word - PAS - to his quote of Isaiah
28:16 compared to his previous quotation of it at 9:33 (actually it's an
adaptation of Isaiah 28:16, since Paul adds EP' AUTWi, possibly being
influenced by Isaiah 8:14 with which he conflated/compounded it at 9:33
- but that's another issue). Yet this one additional word causes a
translation change in several of my translations. (Note, though, that
the Byz, e.g., text has PAS at both verses, but UBS4 rates the non-PAS
reading at 9:33 as preferred with an {A}.)
    While many translations render the two verses basically the same,
i.e., "He who believes in him will not be disappointed/put to shame
(9:33)"/"Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed/put to shame
(10:11)," several translations, including those by Classical Greek
experts (Richmond Lattimore, Arthur Way, Richard Weymouth) render the
second verse - 10:11 - as "No one who believes in him will be
disappointed/put to shame." (I mention this fact because I wonder if
this has to do with one's Classical training; i.e., I assume one's
Classical Greek expertise would give one more familiarity with nuances
of Greek syntax than one who has only learned Hellenistic Greek.) In
other words, they change the "He who believes will not" to "No one who
believes will." (I should mention that F.F. Bruce, another Classical
Greek scholar, in his paraphrase renders both verses along the lines of
"He who believes will not....." - so maybe it has nothing to do with
one's knowledge of Classical Greek.)
    The original LXX quotation of Isaiah 28:16 (as Lancelot Brenton has
it) is not Paul's OU plus FUTURE PASSIVE INDICATIVE but instead is OU MH
plus AORIST PASSIVE SUBJUNCTIVE - which to me supports the "He who
believes will not..." rendering. But because Paul not only changes the
verb tenses but also adds the PAS, I can't rely on the LXX for how best
to translate 10:11. Hence my question again: Is the addition of PAS in
10:11 sufficient cause for translators to change the rendering from the
"He who believes will not" of 9:33 to "No one who believes will"?
    I know that either way it basically says the same thing, but like
litotes, there is a different nuance. So which is the preferred
rendering of 10:11?

"Eric S. Weiss"

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