[b-greek] Re: Rom.1:5: hUPAKOH PISTEWS

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sat Sep 09 2000 - 08:41:41 EDT

At 2:16 PM -0500 9/8/00, Rob Matlack wrote:
>I greatly appreciate the insights that are shared on the list. As a
>pastor I have little interaction in the original language on the NT
>except through this list. The comments on Rom 1:5 have been most helpful.
>AUTOU, ...
>Dr. Conrad, I have two questions:
>On Mon, 4 Sep 2000 16:41:47 -0500 "Carl W. Conrad"
>wconrad@artsci.wustl.edu> writes:
>> At 12:03 PM -0400 9/4/00, Theodore H Mann wrote:
>> >I recently read that hUPAKOH PISTEWS, in Romans 1:5, has been
>> viewed as
>> >(1) an objective genitive, (2) a subjective genitive, (3) an
>> attributive
>> >genitive, or (4) as a genitive of apposition. Any thoughts as to
>> which
>> >it might be?
>> I've said this before, but some don't take it very seriously: these
>> distinctions reflect English or other target language usage, not
>> categories
>> in which Greek speakers/authors understood the relationship of a
>> genitive
>> with another noun.

>snip... First question:
>I think I understand your point, but as a pastor I find it helpful to me
>to reflect on recognized categories to analyze the text. In fact, I find
>that I even do this in English. In light of your answer, am I correct
>that you would not object to this or at least see it as a necessary evil?
>Perhaps a practice not to be used by linguist, but tolerated in pastors?
>Or should I endeavor to take a completely different approach and if so,

No, I have taught "subjective" and "objective" genitive as useful
categories for understanding a common type of genitive dependent upon a
noun expressing a verbal idea. All I was saying is that in terms of formal
structure there's no difference between "John's book," "John's love," and
"love of John" or even "John's love of fine things" or "John's love of
Martha." I don't think I'm saying anything more than what's obvious: a
single structural form (noun + noun-in-genitive-case) is used in a number
of ways semantically without the speaker/writer being conscious of such a
thing as "possessive genitive" or "subjective genitive" or "objective
genitive." These are categories of usage and indeed USEFUL ones. Where I
start complaining is at the stage where the simple categories are being
subdivided almost as rapidly as Protestant sects at odds over notions of
'orthodox' Biblical interpretation. I remember once being appalled at the
thought that first-year Latin students should be taught more than twenty
"different" kinds of ablative "constructions"; that number can be reduced
considerably without significant loss in intelligibility and perhaps with
considerable gain in intelligibility.

>> Now consider the alternatives suggested:
>> (1) objective genitive: "for obedience to faith" -- but is faith a
>> person
>> to whom one offers obedience? hardly.
>> (2) subjective genitive: "faith's obedience" -- but is faith a
>> person who
>> can obey?
>> (3) attributive genitive: "obedience of faith" = "obedience
>> associated
>> with/dependent upon faith" = "faithful obedience" -- that's what
>> strikes me
>> as most appropriate in this instance.
>> (4) genitive of apposition: "obedience, i.e. faith" -- this doesn't
>> make a
>> lot of sense to me.
>Ant from a later post :"Yes, I think there is a much tighter link between
>the noun and the second noun in the genitive dependent on the first. It
>is NOT, in my opinion, a matter of two separate actions--believing and
>obeying--but rather of a kind of believing that by nature involves


>Second question:
>I realize that to the multiplying of categories there may be no end, but
>could this not be seen as a genitive of source? The explanation being
>similar to yours explained in this and the later post, but not tying
>together faith and obedience as you would? Could the tie be that
>obedience is dependent upon, but not mandated by, faith; sourced in
>faith? Would this violate a grammatical principle? If not, one would have
>to validate either interpretation based upon broader issues.

i.e. as "obedience derivative from faith"? Certainly it could, and quite
intelligibly; and that's a commonly referenced genitive usage. Funny,
though--I find myself asking, "is there a great deal of difference between
referring to 'the river's water' and 'faith's obedience'? I rather doubt
it; of course, the second phrase may require just a little bit more
reflection to grasp the sense, but not a great deal more. Now, on the other
hand, when we get into those long strings of genitives dependent on other
genitives in the letter to the Hebrews, long and hard reflection seems
called for!


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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