Re: Neuter article in Rom 9:5

Date: Sun Mar 15 1998 - 11:17:42 EST

Jack Painter wrote:
> George Blaisdell writes:
> >KATA SARKA is introduced in 9:3 describing the Israelites, then
> >reappears in 9:5 with TO as an emphatic that gives it much greater
> >power as an attribution of the Christ.
> The difficulty with this interpretation is that the article is neuter and
> as far as I can see does not agree in any way with what precedes and if
> intruducing an adjectival prepositional phrase would usually agree in case,
> gender and number. In fact the very next article does agree with HO
> If one looks beyond 9:5 to 9:7 two possibilities arise, SPERMA, used twice,
> and TEKNA both neuter. SPERMA is the most likely choice since it is neuter
> singular (and agrees with Paul's point in Galatians 3:16). This would then
> make the article kataphoric, or pointing forward to what it agrees with.

Thanks Jack ~

Your response sent me scurrying back to the drawing board when I
realized that the emphatic interpretation of TO fails on much less
generous grounds than the one you so gently provided. [I won't go into
detail flogging my own dead horse...] 'TO' is just a little two
letter Greek word ~ It's got to be simple ~ I kept telling myself
that... Then I remembered the Spartan reply to the Athenian
'surrender and pay tribute' demand, where Athens said that should
Sparta refuse, Athens would invade, and if they defeated Sparta, they
would kill all the men, women and children and raze all the buildings,
burn all the crops and on and on [details sketchy in memory]. And
what was the Spartan response?? "EI" !!! [And they defeated the
Athenian army.]

One little word... the humble 'if'... And here we have 'TO', a
humble neuter article, lurking between hO KRISTOS and KATA SARKOS.
Could this be a tad bigger than it first appears? The opening of this
passage would seem to indicate yes. Paul says that not only is he
telling the truth in Christ, but that he is not lying... [Read My
Lips...] So we might do well to weigh every word that follows. In 9:3
he refers to his brethern KATA SARKA [without TO] the Israelites, then
goes on to list their credits with a series of hWN attributions...
But, when he gets to Christ, the hWNs shift to EXhWN ~ Why? ~ Because
Christ is not a son of Israel in the same way that Paul and his
brethern are. [Christ created Israel as the Logos...] And the TO
signifies abstractly just what part of the Christ Israel can claim
credit for providing. THAT'S why the article is neuter. It does not
have a single word referent in either the previous or the following
text. It is there to differentiate hWN from EXhWN, KATA SARKA.
Israel gave the Christ TO KATA SARKA ~ 'That which accords flesh'
EXhWN ~ 'Out of [Israel's] being'.

Now if the text is this simple... Then WHY is it so HARD???

George Blaisdell

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