RE: GAR in Rom 1:16-18

From: Thomas J. Kraus (
Date: Wed Apr 07 1999 - 07:32:05 EDT

Sat, 3 Apr 1999 21:11:32 Moon-Ryul Jung referred to GAR in Rom 1:16-18.

Dear Moon,

to start with your general question about GAR and causal connection: it
occurs to me that you can neither understand nor translate GAR without
context. GAR may have more functions additionally to its being a causal
connection (which probably is the most common of them). It can serve as an
emphatic or intensifying particle pointing out something as extraordinary,
be used in a specific response (*sure yes/no*), and express adversative
meaning (then, again the context tells you whether to translate it as
*because*, *since*, *but* or not).
Principally, language does not (always) function according to the strict
rules of grammar and the basic entries in dictionaries (A.T. Robertson, A
Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research,
Nashville/Tenn. 1934: "Greek is not like *Esperanto* made to order by any
one man."). See on that S.R. Slings, Written and Spoken Language: An
Exercise in the Pragmatics of the Greek Sentence, in: Classical Philology
87, 1992, 95-109.

As far as Rom 1:16-18 is concerned I think you hit the point. 1:15 somehow
concludes (OUTWS) the paragraph Rom 1:8-15. Then, 1:16 is connected with
the preceding clause by means of the word EUAGGELION and GAR, which seems
to me more an emphatic particle (*namely*, *sure*, or weak *but*) here
than a causal connection (for what would it give a cause?) whereas the
second GAR in 1:16 refers back to the first part of the verse
(EPAISCUNOMAI TO EUAGGELION) providing a reason for that. Similarly, GAR
in 1:17: EN AUTW refers to its antecedent EUAGGELION, thus, supposing a
connection with the preceding two verses. GAR here takes up (even
repeatedly gives) the causal connection for the statement in 1:16a.
More or less a matter of interpretation is GAR in 1:18. Does it refer back
to the citation at the end of 1:17? Or has it the same function as the
first GAR in 1:16 (connecting without explicit causal force)? Well, ...

Nonetheless, I hope that these thoughts are not AKARPOS.
Best wishes,

Thomas J. Kraus

Universitaet Regensburg
Kath.-theol. Fakultaet
Universitaetsstr. 31
D-93053 Regensburg

Tel. + 49 941 943 36 90
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