RE: Use of the Article in Greek

From: Stevens, Charles C (
Date: Wed Aug 05 1998 - 19:24:56 EDT

On 05 August 1998 at 2:29PM, Jim West replies:

<<No. The analysis is inadequte on a number of levels ... Second, the
premise has nothing to do with the conclusion and therefore the exchange
is filled with logical fallacies. ... >>

As best I can tell, the premise is that Paul in Romans sometimes uses
the article with hAMARTIA and sometimes doesn't, and that the contrast
between arthrous and anarthrous uses is what Paul uses to distinguish
between the two classes of sin in that epistle.

Anarthrous use of this noun appears to me rare in the NT, and at any
rate is defensible in those context for other reasons.

At quick glance, it looks to me like *all* the cited examples are
arthrous; certainly the three instances he calls out specifically are
(7:17, 7:20, 7:23) have the definite article, which can't, therefore,
contrast with 5:12, 5:20, 5:23, 6:1, 6:6, 6:7 ... which also have the
definite article.

Thus, the premise, if I have read it right, is false.

In trying to figure out what grammatical point the original responder
was trying to make, given that this one doesn't demonstrate the point, I
considered the distinction between singular and plural. Yes, that's a
straw man, but some case might be made for the differences in usage
between "sin" and "sins" in the New Testament having some exegetical

The singular is used in all the cited examples.

But the plural forms of hAMARTIA, as best I can tell, are found in
Romans only in 4:7 and 11:27.

The former is a verbatim quote of LXX Psalm 32:1.

The latter appears to be an OT reference, but I haven't found it (it
doesn't appear to be a direct LXX quote; one Bible I have suggests
Isaiah 59:20ff and Jeremiah 31:33, but I don't see it.).

That latter one remaining plural, which Paul seems to treat as a quote
of somebody else (and not an explication of an original thought on his
part) is not a strong enough base to convince me that Paul was carefully
drawing distinctions between sinful nature and individual acts in his
differing uses of the word hAMARTIA in its various grammatical forms.

    -Chuck Stevens [SMTP:]

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