Date: Sat Jun 12 1999 - 16:36:21 EDT
A friend and I are having a discussion about the grammar of Romans 1:28,
and I thought I'd forward it to the list to see if anybody thinks my
reasoning is sound. First is my friend's critique of a previous statement
I made, followed by my rebuttal. The Greek grammar I refer to is WD
Chamberlain's An Exegetical Grammar of the Greek New Testament, which is
what I happened to have at hand when I looked this up for my friend. Does
anybody have an opinion on the book or on the particular passages I use?
> You link this to verse 28 but what I don't see here is the
> conjunctive phrase KAI KATHOS (in the beginning of verse 28)
> which is a conjoining conjunction connecting everything that has
> just been said previously (vv.24-27). The NIV for example
> translates this "furthermore" showing another example of the
> consequences of a depraved mind (sexual immorality/homosexuality
> in vv.24-27). Homosexuality as you say is not the provocation
> of the wrath of God but it does appear to be another example
> behavior of homosexuality/lesbian seems like it should be
> included in the list of sinful behaviors outlined in the
I finally had a chance to look through Romans 1 and check out the kai
kathos in v. 28. I disagree with how you are reading that section. I
don't think that Paul is using kai kathos to join v. 28 to all of 24-27. I
think metyllaxan/paradwken are the boundaries for the 3 clauses, and kai
kathos is only part of that 3rd clause (v. 26b-28). It could be that I
don't fully understand my clauses (which I fully admit that possibility--I
only had Lowery for intro to the NT, not for an exegesis class,
unfortunately), but I think that Paul was just using a connecting clause
for his three parallels--for the first he uses "dio", for the second he
uses "dia touto", and for the last he uses "kai kathos". Isn't that
reasonable? Let me know if it isn't. The Greek grammar I have
specifically mentions Romans 1:28 regarding "kathos".
It says that kathos here takes a causal meaning:
Chamberlain, 1987, p. 176: "Sometimes, it seems to shade off into the
causal idea [quotes Rom 1:28 in Greek], 'because they did not approve
having God in (their) knowledge God gave them up to a reprobate mind,' "
He goes on to mention that it could have a comparative meaning, in which
case it would be translated as following: "In proportion as (according as)
they did not approve having God in their knowledge, God gave them up..."
In another part of the book he mentions this verse again, this time in
relation to the infinitive poiein, p. 106: When it explains a verb, it is
called the epexegetical infinitive: poiein (Rom 1.28), 'to do' (the things
that are unseemly), explains what Paul means by paredwken autous o qeos
eis adokimon noun, 'God gave them up to a reprobate mind.' The list of
unseemly acts follows. "
Paul seems to change the focus of his discussion when he starts the sin
list. To me it looks like Paul says the following:
v. 26b-27-Men and women "metyllaxan" (exchanged) natural relations for
v. 28-"Kai kathos" (and because of this) they stopped believing in God,
and so he "paradoken" (gave them over) them to do evil things.
v. 29-The things in this list are the evil things they did.
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