From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Feb 10 2001 - 08:31:25 EST
At 7:20 AM -0500 2/10/01, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>I have some question on the syntax of Rom 4:16-17:
>hOS ESTIN PATHR PANTWN hHMWN,
>KAQWS GEGRAPTAI hOTI PATERA POLLWN EQNWN TEQEIKA SE,
> KATENANTI hOU EPISTEUSEN QEOU TOU ZWOPOIOUNTOS TOUS VEKROUS.
>I consulted several versions, all of which render the above as follows:
>(a) who is the father of us all
> (b) (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)
> (c) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead.
>In this rendering, (a) and (c) are considered to form a sentence, where
>(b) is a
>But I am inclined to render it as follows:
>who is the father of us all, as it is written "I have made thee a father
>of many nations";
>before whom he believed, God who quickens the dead.
>In this rendering, the antecedent of hOU is the "I" who made the promise.
>I wonder why many translations do not render as I did.
Moon, this is a fairly common construction (as I understand it) wherein the
verb is sandwiched between the relative pronoun and the noun that is its
real antecedent. Although you might conceivably supply an EKEINOU between
KATENANTI and hOU and say that QEOU is in apposition to that EKEINOU, I
don't think that's necessary, and of course, that wouldn't really quite
resolve your problem, even if you wanted to make the EKEINOU refer back to
the subject of TEQEIKA.
I think that that middle part really must be parenthetical: it provides the
evidence for the proposition stated in the first clause. More important,
perhaps, your way of construing the relative clause makes the relative
clause subordinate to/dependent upon that central clause citing scripture.
In fact, however, that final relative clause needs to be seen in the
context of the much fuller context from the beginning of verse 16 onwards
to the end of the whole sentence:
The whole text: DIA TOUTO EK PISTEWS, hINA KATA CARIN, EIS TO EINAI BEBAIAN
THN EPAGGELIAN PANTI TWi SPERMATI, OU TWi EK TOU NOMOU MONON ALLA KAI TWi
EK PISTEWS ABRAAM, hOS ESTIN PATHR PANTWN hHMWN,KAQWS GEGRAPTAI hOTI PATERA
POLLWN EQNWN TEQEIKA SE, KATENANTI hOU EPISTEUSEN QEOU TOU ZWOPOIOUNTOS
TOUS NEKROUS KAI KALOUNTOS TA MH ONTA hWS ONTA.
The focus of the sentence as a whole is really the nature of Abraham's
faith/trust in a God of a particular nature: Abraham is the father of those
who believe, as he did, in the kind of creator God who makes what is dead
alive and summons into being what does not exist. If therefore, one must
look back to any antecedent of KATENANTI hOU, one should look BEYOND the
TEQEIKA of the scriptural citation and beyond the portion originally cited
from Rom 4:16 to TWi EK PISTEWS ABRAAM: the promise is sure ... to the one
(who is righteous) by virtue of the faith of Abraham ... before the God
whom he believed as one who makes the dead alive and calls into beng what
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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