[b-greek] Re: hUIOQESIA and a Roman custom

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sun Jul 02 2000 - 14:33:10 EDT

At 5:00 AM +0000 7/2/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>After these two brief quotes (taken from an Internet search), I would like
>to ask one final question:
>On Galatians 4:
>"Adoption: If the apostle were thinking of a Roman metaphor, he may have had
>in mind the Roman custom by which a youth, on attaining manhood, removed the
>crimson-bordered toga praetexta, the garment of childhood, and put on the
>toga virilis, the garment of manhood. At that time the young man would take
>his place in the family councils, taking on the responsibilities of maturity
>and enjoying the freedom that went with his new position. Since the apostle
>has just said that the Galatians have attained the position of adult sonship
>and will add heirship in a moment (v. 29), that "pagan" custom (Bruce's
>word) should not be dismissed lightly."
>And this one:
>"It was customary for his father to take him into the city Forum. There,
>from a public platform, he would announce to the citizens of that city:
>"This is my son. He has come of age. Today he inherits my name, my property,
>and my social position among you." Then he would take off the customary toga
>praetexta of a Roman boy and put on him the toga virilis, the coat of
>manhood. This act of public announcement and claiming of one’s son was
>called "adoption.""
>I assume by this that a Hellenistic Greek individual would describe this
>Roman custom by hUIOQESIA. In other words, I am not so much asking whether
>or not hUIOQESIA ever conveyed this idea within the Greek culture itself.
>This is a lexical question, I guess. Can anyone confirm that “adoption” was
>used as these quotes imply?
>This does to me seem like a legitimate question in B-Greek because it is
>trying to understand the range of implications of the Greek word hUIOQESIA.
>In fact, the final quote below is from the NET Bible on Eph. 1:5:
>“Adoption AS HIS SONS is different from spiritual birth as children. All
>true believers have been born as children of God and will be adopted as sons
>of God. The adoption is both a future reality, and in some sense, already
>Sorry for my persistence, I guess this topic has just got my attention.

I think that the points relating to Roman practice do not concern adoption
so much as the ordinary recognition of the coming of age of a boy, putting
on the toga virilis. And I don't think this really proves anything about
the meaning of hUIOQESIA in the GNT, which is the question at hand.


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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