Re: romans 1

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Sun Jun 13 1999 - 17:55:50 EDT

On Sat 12 Jun 99 (23:07:19), wrote:
> Which still leaves the original question. Regarding "kathos" as 'causal'
> as Chamberlain suggests, and regarding poiein (Rom 1.28), which he says is
> an epexegetical infinitive, do these two things separate the homosexual
> acts listed in 26-27 from the sin list in 29ff as separate entities.
> Several commentaries I've read say that they should all be considered part
> of one big list, but it doesn't seem that that conclusion is allowed by
> the text. It seems that the interpretation should go as listed below
> which, if correct, clearly makes the homosexual acts separate entities
> from the sin list, and therefore part of the ultimate CAUSE of God giving
> them over, not the RESULT of God giving them over. I still agree with you
> that the sin list in v. 29ff (which is what I assume you are referring to
> above when you say "deviant behavior") is the RESULT, not the CAUSE.

 Thanks for the feedback, Jeremy. I don't have Chamberlain to hand; but I
 do have Hodge (1864); and often, "the old is better". It is too verbose
 to quote in extenso; but here are two snippets:

 "VERSE 24. /Wherefore also he gave them, in their lusts, unto uncleanness/.
 The most natural construction of this passage is to connect EIS AKAQARSIAN
 with PAREDWKEN, /he gave them up unto uncleanness/. We have the same
 construction in vers. 26, 28, and frequently elsewhere. To construct
 PAREDWKEN with EN TAIS EPIQUMIAIS, as Beza and others do, gives indeed a
 good sense, /He gave them up to their desires unto uncleanness/, i.e.,
 so that they became unclean, but is opposed to the constant usage of the
 New Testament, inasmuch as PARADIDWMI never occurs in construction with
 EN. If the former construction be adopted, EN TAIS EPIQUMIAIS may be
 rendered as in our version, /through/ their lusts; EN expressing their
 condition, or circumstances; /them in their lusts/, i.e., being in them,
 immersed in them. ... ..." (page 40).

 "VERSE 28 /And as they did not think it worth while to retain God in
 their knowledge, he gave them up to a reprobate mind/. Another repetition
 of the sentiment is expressed in vers. 24, 26, that God abandons those who
 abandon him. /And as/, KAI KAQWS. The cases are parallel; /as/ they
 deserted God, so God abandoned them; comp. John 17:2. /They did not like/,
 OUK EDOKIMASAN; the verb means to try or put to the test, to examine, to
 approve, and, /dignum habere/, to regard as worthy, 1 Cor. 16:3; 1 Thess.
 2:4, and when followed by an infinitive, to /think it worth while/. The
 heathen did not think it worth the trouble to retain the knowledge of
 God. They considered religion as useless, and supposed they could live
 without God. The phrase ECEIN EN EPIGNWSEI is stronger than simply /to
 know/; both because EPIGNWSIS, /full knowledge/, is stronger than GNWSIS,
 and because ECEIN EN EPIGNWSEI is stronger than EPIGIGNWSKEIN. The text
 therefore means /to retain in accurate or practical knowledge/. It was the
 practical recognition of the only true God, whose eternal power and
 Godhead are revealed in his works, that men were unwilling constantly to
 make. /God gave them up to a reprobate mind/. Beza, Bengel, and others,
 give ADOKIMOS here the sense of /judicii expers/, incapable of judgment
 or discernment. But this is contrary to usage, and contrary to the etymology
 of the word. DOKIMOS, from DECOMAI, means /receivable/, worthy of being
 received; and ADOKIMOS, /worthy of rejection/, reprobate. /To do things not
 becoming/; that is, to do things not becoming the nature and duties of man.
 Of the things meant, the following verses contain a long and painful
 catalogue. POIEIN is the exegetical infinitive, /to do/, that is, /so that
 they did/. It expresses the consequence of the dereliction just spoken of,
 and the natural fruit of a reprobate mind" (page 42).
 Well, Jeremy; I don't know if Hodge's *exegetical infinitive* is the
 same as Chamberlain's *epexegetical infinitive". You'll have to reread
 Chamberlain to discover that.

 ISTM there are several stages in Paul's argument. The question is implied
 "Why is God's wrath revealed...?" (verse 18). Because "DIOTI" they reject
 Natural Revelation, verses 19-20; "DIOTI" they reject logic and embrace
 philosophical folly; they reject God and worship idols, verses 21-23. So far
 all off their own bat.

 In verse 24 God moves: "DIO PAREDWKEN AUTOUS hO QEOS...". This issues in
 further idolatry, and carnal abuse, verses 24-25. In verse 26 God moves
 again: "DIA TOUTO PAREDWKEN AUTOUS hO QEOS..." which issues in rebellious
 lesbianism and sodomy, verses 26-27. Francis Schaeffer suggests that this
 carnal abuse stems from the fact that the human body is in the image of
 God (Genesis 1:26-27). Having abused God and his creatures, they now
 abuse God's Image by abusing themselves.

 Verse 28 begins again with the reason for God's wrath; "KAI KAQWS OUK
 EDOKIMASAN..."; and continues immediately with God's move: "PAREDWKEN
 AUTOUS hO QEOS...". This seems a shortened summary of the foregoing.
 God has given them over to suffer the consequences of their initial
 rejection of Him, by letting them go down the path of degredation to the
 very bottom, varses 29-32.

 IMHO there is only a difference of *degree* between the lists of vv 26-27
 and vv 29-32. In the first case, it was their refusal to acknowledge God
 and worship him (21-23); in the second case it was the result of their
 refusing even to retain God as a category in their philosophy (28).
 "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis" (Le Marquis de Laplace, 1749-
 1827, to Napoleon; explaining why he made no mention of God in his book
 Me/canique Ce/leste).

 I seem to have left the parameters of b-greek behind. If you wish to
 discuss this further, let's take it off the List before they take me off
 the List.


 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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