Re: Article in Dative = "by" in Romans 5:15?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Jun 04 1998 - 10:28:48 EDT

At 7:33 PM -0400 6/03/98, Williams, Wes wrote:
> At 4:00 PM -0400 6/03/98, Bill Ross wrote:
> >Romans 5:15:
> >
> >>
> >>is translated
> >>
> >>"For if through the offence"
> >>
> >>Question: Why is "TW" translated "by"?
> Carl responded:
> >It is an instrumental dative: translate it "by means of" or
>"by reason of."
> >It explains the causal factor for the Fall of Humanity. If
>the cause were a
> >PERSON, it would have been genitive with hUPO, but as it is
>a THING, it is
> >in the dative (normally without a preposition, occasionally
>in Koine with
> >EN).
> Carl,
> I am aware that grammars disagree on this point, but are you
>saying that the hUPO would be used with a person because of the instrumental
>dative, or because of the causal, or both? I ask since we do have the
>instrumental dative with persons in Gal 3:8 hOTI ENEULOGHSONTAI EN SOI PAUTA
>TA EQNH. "All nations will be blessed by means of you." At least, I see it
>as an instrumental dative.

I quite agree about the citation from Gen 12 in Gal 3:8, that we have here
an instrumental dative with EN.

All I meant to attempt to convey (and apparently failed) was that what
Aristotle means by "efficient cause" is conveyed NORMALLY in Greek by hUPO
+ genitive if it's a person, by an instrumental dative if it's a thing.

But of course the EN SOI in Gal 3:8 is by no means an "efficient cause" in
the Aristotelian sense.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243 OR

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