From: Mark Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 21:20:30 EDT
>Is it correct to think that the article "hO" makes the Law
>definite, as in The Law Of Moses and without the article
>it is "law" per se?
I think the answer to your question(s) is No.
hOTAN GAR EQNH TA MH NOMON ECONTA FUSEI TA TOU NOMOU POIOSEN,
hOUTOI NOMON MH ECONTES hEAUTOIS EISEN NOMOS
Here, the second NOMON (anarthrous) refers to the Mosaic Law, while TOU
NOMOU also refers to the Mosaic Law. The last NOMOS would be "a law."
Paul's very argument is that the Gentiles do have "a law" in their
conscience. So, in 2:14 Paul is saying that the Gentiles, who do not have
THE MOSAIC LAW (NOMON), do by nature the works of THE MOSAIC LAW (TOU
NOMOU); these Gentiles who do not have THE MOSAIC LAW (NOMON)
are a law to themselves.
Hence, the last part of your question is not the case, but the reason I
believe the first part is also not true is because you have reduced the
definite article, as it relates to NOMOS, to "one function."
For example, Paul very well could have referred to this "law in our
conscience" with the definite article. The definite article does not convert
law per se into a specific reference to the Mosaic Law. Rather, I would say
that the definite article can perform multiple functions relating to NOMOS
(Kataphoric, Anaphoric [previous reference], Substantive it, General
For example, the definite article could be used with NOMOS to designate the
previous mention of a law of conscience, or a law of works.
To require the use of hO with NOMOS to refer to the Mosaic Law I think would
make for quite awkward Greek elsewhere.
However, it may be the case that the definite article does indeed make NOMOS
per se "definite," but not definite in the sense of THE MOSAIC LAW. Perhaps,
hO makes NOMOS "definite" in the sense of "I am referring to a specific,
definite law now, not just any law." (The context would determine which
specific law is now being addressed.)
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