Re: The word alone in Romans 3:28

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Mon Aug 24 1998 - 10:59:09 EDT

At 09:27 24/08/98 -0600, Benjamin Raymond wrote:
>I believe that 'allein' is the word you're seeking. Would anyone offer a
>concordant translation?

In his Anchor Bible volume on Romans, Joseph Fitzmyer points out that:
" At 3:28, Luther introduced the adverb 'only' into his iranslation of
Romans (1522) 'alleyn durch den Glauben' " and he points to 'Aus der
Bibel' (1546) where it is spelt: 'alleine durch den Glauben'.

Fitzmyer goes on to point out that although 'alleyn/alleine' has no
corresponding adverb in the Greek text, Luther made two arguments for the
One, that it was demanded by the context
Two, that 'sola' was used in the theological tradition before him.

This latter point was borne out by Robert Bellermine, who listed eight
earlier authors who used 'sola':

John Chrysostom
Cyril of Alexandria

A later writer added two more, Theodoret and Thomas Aquinas
The use of 'sola' was argued against by Pelagius, but as Fitzmyer points
out, _that_ did indicate its presence in his tradition, too.

Fitzmyer is quick to pick up the irony that " the adverb 'only' was derived
from 'that right strawy epistle' Jas. 2:24" you see that a human being is
justified by works and not by faith alone ( OUK EK PISTEWS MONON)"

Hope this is of help.


Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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