[b-greek] Re: Rom 10:17

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 26 2000 - 08:31:25 EDT

At 11:05 AM +0200 9/26/00, Blahoslav Cicel wrote:
>Helo listers,
>going on in the study of faith issues I came to Rom 10:17. Several questions
>1) DIA denotes PHMATOS QEOU as instrument or means or a cause?
>2) is the genitive PHMATOS QEOU objective or subjective?
>ad 1)
>if DIA denotes cause, then it is an answer to the question given in v.15
>"How they will preach if they were not sent? ... So the faith (is) from
>preaching and preaching because of the word-command of God (Christ)."
>if DIA denotes instrument, I have problems to understand it, how the word of
>God may be an instrument for preaching (obviously is an instrument in the
>case of temptation). Any discussion about this part (apart of realy
>"technical notes") I ask you to send off-list.
>if DIA denotes means, it is clear (and usualy translated in this way).

causal DIA normally construes with an accusative--pointing to the object of
DIA as a key causal factor in whatever is being asserted; here we have DIA
with the genitive,which ordinarily indicates mediating factor, agent, or
means; in this instance I think DIA hRHMATOS means "through the
instrumentality of the word," i.e. "by means of the word."

>ad 2)
>usualy it is translated as beeng subjective - God is who speak (or spoke).
>genitive as objective is proposed by Robertson in his NT Word Pictures - the
>preaching consists of words about God (Christ). It makes sense.
>So, several possibilities, most of them inteligible. But, is there any way
>how to decide, which seems to be the most proper?

I don't think there's anything in the construction itself that can clearly
identify it as subjective or objective; nevertheless I'd opt for subjective
genitive because it seems to me easier to refer it to QEOS/CRISTOS LEGEI
than to LEGEI TIS QEON/CRISTON. But since the latter is by no means
impossible, I think that either reading would be legitimate and that the
balance is going to have to be tripped by other interpretative factors
brought to bear upon it.

For example, are there other instances of hRHMA CRISTOU/QEOU? I can't find
any other instance of hRHMA CRISTOU, but I find three of hRHMA QEOU (Lk
3:2; Eph 6:17, and Heb 11:3); in each of these the phrase is unquestionably
derivative from the Hebraic DVR IHWH, and I would think that settles the
matter in favor of its being subjective genitive: "the Word which
Christ/God has spoken."


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

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