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

From: RUSSELL RANKIN (rrankin@isd.net)
Date: Sat Mar 31 2001 - 12:30:27 EST


I noticed you placed "of the law" in brackets. Upon checking the Textus
Receptus with the Kurt Aland Text, I found a footnote to the Kurt Aland Text
which does not have NOMOU. It lists the manuscripts which suggest NOMOU is
part of the text and the ones which do not. Therefore, if one accepts the
manuscripts which contain NOMOU, the translation may read "of law"
literally. But contextually the referent is Moses, so one might translate
NOMOU as "of the law" as you suggested but without brackets as the KJV, or
"of the law [of Moses]."

Russell Rankin
Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Moon-Ryul Jung [mailto:moon@sogang.ac.kr]
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2001 10:13 PM
To: Biblical Greek
Subject: [b-greek] Re: Rm. 9:32a


I have no problem with interpreting hWS to mean "as if it were possible".
I would have:

> > 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 it were possible by works (deeds) [of the law].

But according to the historical reconstruction of the first centry
Judaism suggested by the proponents of the "New Perspective on
Paul", e.g. E. P. Sanders and James Dunn, it was not a religion of
"work-righteousness". The jews tried to observe the Law,
especially the laws concerning circumcision, sabbath, food. But
in general, they did it as a response to the grace of God, who called
Israel as the people of God. In itself, there was nothing wrong with
Judaism. The only problem was that the Jews did not see the fact that
the time was being fulfilled, the time when both Jews and
Gentiles, become one people of God by faith in Christ. They thought
that only by becoming the people of the Law, that is, Jews,
Gentiles could be people of God. The works or deeds of the Law was
the marker or badge of being people of God. They thought it was sufficient
for them to observe the Law to remain people of God. It was wrong
according to Christ and Paul. But it was different from saying that
their religion was a religion of "work-righteousness".

Moon-Ryul Jung
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea

> Moon,
> > 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

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