Re: Romans 8:28

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Wed Aug 12 1998 - 13:07:29 EDT

Carl Conrad replied to George;

>At 8:00 AM +1000 8/13/98, George Athas wrote:
>>The problem with seeing PANTA as the subject of SYNERGEI is the
>>discrepancy in number (as Ben mentioned). PANTA is plural, SYNERGEI is
>>singular. It seems that "God" is the implied subject of SYNERGEI, but
>>not explicitly stated since "God" was mentioned in the opening part of
>>the statement. Thus, I do not think we can legitimately see PANTA as the
>>subject. We can, however, see it as an emphatic object (emphatic due to
>>syntax). Yet, I wonder if we cannot see PANTA acting adverbially here,
>>in the sense of "always" - thus giving the reading:
>>For we know that regarding those who love God, he always works for good,
>>for those who, according to plan, are called.
>>What say others?
>As Ben has noted, neuter plurals are not abnormal as subjects of singular
>verbs; it would be quite proper to say that in classical Attic neuter
>plural subjects are REGULARLY used with singular verbs, and I think that
>exceptions to this in Koine are actually rather rare.
I agree with Carl, the neuter plural subject with a singular is more the
rule in Hellenistic Greek.

Concerning SUNERGEI, it does not (as someone else has said) appear as
transitive elsewhere, but that is not the only option to seeing PANTA as
subject. BAGD gives the option of PANTA as accusative of specification
(They add "almost like an adverb), "in every thing" God works . . .
SUNERGEW is used with the dative in the sense of helping. I would take it
as God always (in every situation) helps those who love him, who are called
. . .

It is interesting that P46 has hO QEOS in the text, probably an addition to
make clear that God (mentioned earlier) is the subject. P46 also has the
singular PAN also. No doubt P46 is a clarification of the text, but I
think he captured what Paul intended to say.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Pineville, LA 71359

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