Re: Romans 1:5

From: John M. Moe (
Date: Tue Aug 25 1998 - 16:49:11 EDT

Jim Clardy wrote:

> NOTE: eis hupakoHn pistews
> In Martin Luther's Commentary On Romans he translates this as "obedience
> to the faith."
> If this is an acceptable translation, are "the nations" to "obey" what
> is preached, or is St. Paul to "obey" the call of an apostle to preach
> the good news, or ...? In other words, who are the obedient ones?


Although HUPAKOUH, in the NT, is consistently translated "obedience" in English, I

believe it to be, in many cases, misleading. Our English "obey/obedience" leave
out the strong element of "hearing/listneing/heeding, which HUPAKOUW/HUPAKOUH have

in the NT, partially do to the influence of LXX's handling of Heb. SheMaH [please
forgive transliteration] (cf. TDNT 1:224).

There are a number of places where the problem with "obey/obedience" for
HUPAKOUW/HUPAKOUH make some difficult passages in English. Besides the one we are
dealing with here, there is Rom. 10:16 Where a number of English translations
render OU PANTES UPHKOUSAN TW EUAGGELIW "not all have obeyed the Gospel." Now,
"obeying" the gospel seems like a bit of a strange notion whether we are talking
about the NT Gospel, or the good news of victory from the battlefield. Not all
have "Listened to," or "heeded" or "paid attention to the Gospel might make Paul's

intent clearer.

My question regarding 1:5 is; Is this a subjective or an objective genitive. Is
it the "heeding" that faith produces? or the "heeding" that produces faith ala
10:17? for which he has been granted Apostleship? Anybody have thoughts on that?

Moo (in his New International Commentary on Romans, p. 51-53) And Luther (In a
comment on 1Peter 1:14, American Edition 30:30-31) point to a relationship between

faith and obedience so close as to border on synonymous.

Your mention of Luther's use of "Gehorsam" to translate "UPAKOUH" at Rom. 1:5
raises a question which has been of interest to me for some time, but is not
directly related to the Gr. text. I understand that "Gehorsam," in modern German,
is pretty much equivalent of the English "Obey." It's etymology, however, seems
to be related to the concept of hearing. Obey, too, has its roots (in its French
origins) in the concept of hearing (although it no longer carries that notion).
Word meanings can shift considerably in 500 years. Does anyone know if "Gehorsam"

still carried a strong element of "hearing" in Luther's day?

My apology for drifting from the Subject of B-Greek to the history of the German
Language. Couldn't resist the opening.



Rev. John M. Moe
St. John's Lutheran Church, Rich Valley

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:57 EDT