Re: Romans 7:25

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Feb 17 1999 - 06:33:44 EST

At 8:58 PM -0800 2/16/99, George Blaisdell wrote:
>I am groping my way through this passage, and find several textual
>variances, and almost no English translations that use the word
>'grace'... What gives?
>1. CARIS DE EUCARISTW TW QEW [Concordant Text ~ Sinaiticus?]
>2. EUCARISTW TW QEW [Alexandrinus]
>3. CARIS TW QEW [Vaticanus]
>Context seems to place this passage as the answer to the TIS ME RUSETAI
>question immediately preceding, and the culmination of a long a-building
>rhetorical sequence, and CARIS would seem to be THE answer. The DE is
>part of this question ~ Two texts have it ~ And while CARIS DE would
>seem to introduce the next 'sentence', I am wondering if it might not be
>rhetorically translated "Grace!!", with the next 'sentence' starting
>with EUCARISTW [#1]. It IS nominative singular, yes?, and has no
>And CARIS DE euCARIStw [#1] seems tantalizing... Rhetorical simile?
>Sheer coincidence?

Yes, it does relate to the preceding TIS ME hRUSETAI? CARIS in this context
must mean "Thanks," or "Gratitude." EUCARISTEW is its verbal equivalent, "I
thank." The basic sense of CARIS is something like "goodwill evoking
reciprocal goodwill or responding to it, i.e., "graciousness" and
"gratitude." When it gets translated as "grace" it refers to the primal
goodwill of God that is reciprocated in the thankfulness of believers.
EUCARISTEW appears to be an alternative to CARIS in the Alexandrinus
meaning the same thing, while the reading you have in your Concordant Text
appears to incorporate both variants in a meaningless jumble.

>#2 seems too easy and avoids answering the grand rhetorical question
>just posed. Yet #3 & #4 almost make CARIS into a verb! How would the
>dative work in English without EUCARISTW?

There is an implicit verb, either ESTW, 3d person sg. imperative of EIMI,
or else ESTI with CARIS: either "thanks be to God" or "there is gratitude
to God"

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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