From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jun 11 2000 - 07:46:49 EDT
At 3:44 AM -0400 6/11/00, DEXROLL@aol.com wrote:
>7.7 TI OUN EROUMEN hO NOMOS hAMARTIA; MH GENOITO: ALLA THN hAMARTIAN OUK EG
>NWN EI MH DIA NOMOU: THN TE GAR EPIQUMIAN OUK HDEIN EI MH hO NOMOS ELEGEN, OU
>7.8 AFORMHN DE LABOUSA H hAMARTIA DIA THS ENTOLHS KATEIRGASATO EN EMOI PASAN
>EPIQUMIAN: CWRIS GAR NOMOU hAMARTIA NEKRA.
>My name is David Rollins. I have never submitted a question to the list
>before, so I hope that my transliteration is correct. I'm not sure of all
>the conventions of spelling that you have adopted. My question is whether
>you would find my rendering of the verses correct.
> OUK EGNWN ...sin had no way of starting to be known except through law.
>I am taking the anarthrous NOMOU as a reference to law in general rather than
>specifically the Mosaic Law. I realize many will probably disagree with that
>conclusion, but that is where I have landed in this verse. I am taking the
>aorist form as indication of the start of an action.
> OUK HDEIN... lust had no way of being fully understood except by an
>explicit command. I am taking the pluperfect form to imply that there could
>be no completion of the understanding in the past or present without an
>explicit command. There are quite a few conclusions one could draw from this
>rendering, but I'll see what you all think so far.
I like the way you read the implications of this passage because I myself
read it in relationship to the Eden narrative of Genesis 3 and understand
it of human experience in general rather than specifically and exclusively
of Paul's personal experience of Mosaic Law. Even so, what the Greek says
by using the first-person is, I think, significant, and so I wonder about
your transformation of the first-person active into a third-person passive.
Rightly or wrongly, despite the absence of an AN, I've always understood
OUK EGNWN and OUK HDEIN as counterfactual result clauses: "I would not have
recognized ..." and "I would not have been aware of ..." You're viewing
them differently, and yet the form of EI MH HO NOMOS ELEGEN ... is
characteristic of a counterfactual condition: "If the Law weren't
commanding, 'Don't be desirous!'" Moreover the fact that the clause about
EPIQUMIA begins with a GAR suggests to me that EI MH DIA NOMOU too should
be understood as an abbreviated counterfactual "if" clause.
Quite apart from larger questions of how this passage fits into the
argument of Romans as a whole and what its theological implications may be
(both of which questions are not appropriate for this forum), the passage
itself is loaded with these questions at the least. I'm not sure whether
you mean to imply by your rendering that you DON'T understand these clauses
as counterfactual conditions or whether you're just phrasing them
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
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