[b-greek] Re: Rm. 9:32a

From: Dave Washburn (dwashbur@nyx.net)
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 13:40:59 EST

> Dear Mark,
> This is the passage I had some time to think about.
> I wanted to find some way to interpret this passage
> without introducing the idea that the Jews seeked for
> so called "work-righteousness" or salvation based on
> works.

Why? That's exactly what the passage says. As I see it, the
hWS simply indicates that such an approach could never work.
The RSV rendering you cite brings this out nicely:

> An example of this interpretation is:
> RSV Romans 9:32 Why? They didn't rely on faith to gain God's approval,
> but they relied on their own efforts. They stumbled over the rock that
> trips people.
> I have no problem interpreting hWS to mean "as if".
> I would translate Rom 9:31, 32 as follows:
> Israel seeking the law of righteousness (the law that promises
> righteousness) did not attain to that law.
> Why? Because [they seeked it] not by faith [in Christ]
> but as if by works (deeds) [of the law].

Rather than "as if" I would render it "but, as if it were possible, by
works." The ALL' denotes a contrast between "by faith" and "by
works," so I don't really see how it would be possible to render the
latter without suggesting that these people were trying to achieve a
works-based righteousness.

Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated." C. S. Lewis

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