[b-greek] Re: Romans 3:19 "those under the law"; EN vs HUPO

From: B.J. Williamson (hellen_ic@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 17:13:20 EDT

>Reply-To: Bret Hicks <bret@ratedg.com>
> In Romans 3:19, Paul says that the law is speaking TOIS EN TWi
>NOMWi. Most translations have this as being "those under the law."
>While I understand the idea of the locative here (that it speaks to
>those in the realm/sphere/jurisdiction of the law), I am confused as to
>why Paul used this unusual phrase to express the idea here.


To label this phrase "unusual" I think is an exaggeration. The locative
"within its jurisdiction" is simply another SIMILAR way to describe those
under the Law. "Within its grasp or confines" and "under its rule" seem very
much alike to me, albeit with slightly different emphases.

>My question is why he did not simply use HUPO NOMON here. It seems
>as if this is the intent; so why not simply use the phrase?

Looking at what is NOT there is generally a futile exercise, IMHO.

>Wouldn't this be the more "normal" way of saying this?

I would suggest looking for either stylistic variation, or slightly
different nuances. But to question why Paul uses a particular expression as
opposed to a different one seems to lead down the path of hypothetical

>Or is there something
>conveyed by EN TWi NOMWi that would not be conveyed by HUPO NOMON?

Perhaps, in this context, EN TWi NOMWi is emphasizing those who are within
the confines of its reach (locative):

1. The Mosaic Law: the Jews are within its confines
2. The Natural Law: the Gentiles are within its confines.

Therefore, EVERY mouth will be stopped, and ALL will become guilty, each
group by means of its own law. Both Jew and Gentile were under a law.
Whichever law (Mosaic or Natural) you find yourself within, it will
accomplish its purpose; you can be assured of that. Hence, God is not a
respecter of persons.

I might wonder if hUPO NOMON would not emphasize being under its heavy
weight and burden.


B. J. Williamson

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