Re: Romans 5:15

From: Mike Sangrey (
Date: Wed Sep 08 1999 - 11:31:27 EDT

Carl W. Conrad said:
> I agree that we have an attributive phrase in THi TOU hENOS ANQRWPOU
> IHSOU CRISTOU, an attributive phrase that is intended to pinpoint the
> precise nature of the grace to which he is referring. I think that
> the distinctive force of the article in this kind of attributive
> phrase is intensely demonstrative and practically substantival
> (I don't think it hurts to remember that hO/hH/TO was originally
> a demonstrative and in some functions in later Greek continues to
> be one) and the phrase is like an appositive: "grace--THAT (grace)
> of the one man Jesus Christ ..."

At the risk of being a little child playing in this muddy puddle, I'd
like to ask a question. I'll state what I'm thinking before asking
whether it makes any sense in the hopes that those who are playing
in this puddle with me will point out any murkiness in my thinking.
I'm trying to clarify my understanding of hO/hH/TO.

Rom. 5:15 starts with:
          TO PARAPTWMA,
          TO CARISMA;

This appears to me to be setting in place the topic which Paul is
about to elucidate. He seems to be saying, "I'm going to talk about
two things, on the one side 'sin' on the other side 'grace' and these
are related by stark contrast.

Then we have:

where the TWi appears to me to be a demonstrative pronoun as opposed
to thinking that TWi TOU hENOS PARAPTWMATI is an attributive phrase.
I note TWi is in the dative so I'd like to think of this as something
like "'To' or 'for' this one" where 'one' refers back to PARAPTWMA
at the beginning of the verse. I would render it into English as

  "For if in reference to this sin, this single sin, the many perished".

I understand that it appears more natural to think of the TWi...
PARAPTWMATI as an attributive phrase, but if we think of TWi as
referring back to the earlier PARATWMA we have set up a somewhat
easy explanation for the next clause where the 'article', 'article',
'phrase' construction is used again.


Here, in the context of CARITI we have this THi. Instead of trying
to think of this as an attributive phrase, why can't we say that
THi refers back to CARISMA as a demonstrative pronoun--just as I've
explained above with TWi. Rendering into English I have,

  "much more the grace of God and the gift by grace; in reference to
  this grace, this grace of the single man Jesus Christ, it abounded
  unto the many."

Also, as Paul gets further away from the statement of his topic, he
uses constructions to keep in force the structure of his argument.
Namely, he uses TO MEN..., TO DE in verse 16; so we do have in this
context the notion of "the one..., the other..."

It appears to me that the strongest argument against what I've
said is that THi is feminine and CARISMA is neuter. Could I argue
gender attraction to CARITI so Paul would be clear and still keep
THi referring back to CARISMA? Does that make sense?

Well, I'm done playing in the mud puddle. I suppose, at best, this
might be just another way of explaining the grammar to get the same
semantics, but others will know better than I.

So, my questions are:
   Can these articles (demonstratives) perform like this?
   Does this explanation hold any water?
   Does my rubber ducky float?

Mike Sangrey
Lancaster, Pa.
       There is no 'do' in faith, everywhere present within it is 'done'.

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