[b-greek] Re: IOUDAIOUS TE KAI hELLHNAS (Rom 3:9)

From: Iver Larsen (iver_larsen@sil.org)
Date: Sun Oct 07 2001 - 14:29:51 EDT

> George and Carl seem to take IOUDAIOUS TE KAI hELLHNAS in opposite
> directions.
> George: not only Jews but ALSO GREEKS (1)
> Carl : JEWS NO LESS than Greeks. (2)
> In (1), the presupposition is that the proposition in question is
> considered to hold with respect to Jews.
> In (2), the presupposition is that the proposition in question is
> considered to hold with respect to Greeks.
> Denniston said that in X TE KAI Y, either the first or the second
> element gets emphasis [depending on the context].
> Does the above two renderings imply that both persons
> take the context of Rom 3:9 differently?
> Moon
> Moon R. Jung

Having looked at the various occurrences of X TE KAI Y it seems to me that
this structure implies a close unity between the X and the Y, a unity which
is normally translated in English as "both X and Y".
TE has at least two other functions, I believe. One is as a stylistic
variant for KAI in a long list of many coordinated concepts (e.g. Luk 21:11)
Another is when it connects two clauses (propositions, events) rather than
just two phrases. In that case it ties the two events closely together into
what I prefer to call "overlapping events".

But back to TE KAI in Rom. 3:9. I doubt the A TE KAI Y in itself implies
emphasis on one or the other of the two elements, which seems to agree with
Denniston. On the other hand, the item to the left generally has prominence
(sorry, my pet theme). I would be interested in seeing any context where the
second item could be said to be more prominent than the first. Just a couple
of examples:

(doing miracles and teaching go together as a unit, but if any is more
prominent than the other, it would be the first).

(Peter was the main spokesman for the apostles, but Peter and John formed a
team in chapter 3, so they appear to be more of a unit than the others.)

How do we read the context in Rom 1-3? My understanding is that Paul is
writing to a mixture of Jews and Gentiles. Some of the Jews are not sure
they really need the Gospel, since they already have the Law and know God.
In 1:18-32 Paul points to the well-known sins of the pagan Gentiles. One can
almost see the Jews nodding (cf. 2.1). They know that the Gentiles are
sinners. But then Paul is using the whole section from 2:1 to 3:20 to try to
convince the Jews that they, too, are sinners just as much as the pagan
Gentiles. Paul needs to create that basis before he can present the Gospel,
because he must convince the Jews that they need the gospel of grace as much
as the Gentiles do.

From this perspective, I would agree that the context points to "Jews as
much as Gentiles". It does not mean that they are greater sinners, but that
contrary to the thinking of many Jews, they, too, are sinners. But I think
the TE KAI only unites the two, and it is the word order that suggests the
relative prominence.

Iver Larsen

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