Romans 2:4

From: Jim Beale (
Date: Sun Nov 22 1998 - 13:47:45 EST

Hello b-greekers,

A friend and I are having a disagreement over the interpretation
of Romans 2:4. I interpret it in the usual way, such that AGEI
is understood to be conative, that is, as saying something about
the tendency of God's goodness. My friend interprets this verse
as follows. Would anyone have a moment to comment on it? He

  The present participle AGNOWN can be taken in its full
  force as meaning they did not know experientially. AGNOWN
  comes from an A privative plus GINOWSKW which is
  experiential knowledge in contrast to OIDA, head knowledge.
  Then, if we take AGEI as an iterative or customary present
  (a far more common nuance of the present tense than is the
  conative or tendentia)l, we will get efficacious leading
  versus tendential and inefficacious leading.

  Furthermore, the participle AGNOWN can be taken causally,
  yielding in an amplified way, "you think lightly of the riches
  of His kindness and forbearance and patience because you do
  not know experientially that the kindness of God leads you
  efficaciously to repentance."

  The idea is that God's kindness does not actually lead the
  reprobates to repentance and that is why they think lightly
  of His kindness, forbearance and patience. Likewise, by
  contraposition, had they known experientially that God's
  kindness led them to repentance, then they would not have
  thought lightly of His kindness, forbearance and patience.

Thanks, and cheers!

In Christ,
Jim Beale

   The good man does not grieve that other people
   do not recognize his merits. His only anxiety
   is lest he should fail to recognize theirs.
   -- Confucius

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