[b-greek] Re: hOTI in Rom 5.8

From: Harold R. Holmyard III (hholmyard@ont.com)
Date: Sun Oct 14 2001 - 20:41:20 EDT

Dear Steven,

>Rom 5.7 contains two occurrences of GAR. Both are tagged as explanatory
>conjunctions in Accordance. Does the second instance simply introduce a
>clause parallel to the first clause introduced by GAR, or is there a
>distictive usage involved?

HH: BAGD notes that sometimes GAR can function like DE and even have the
sense "but." It specifically cites Rom 5:7 with this sense (see under 4.).
So NIV's "though" for the second GAR in 5:7 may be pretty good.

>In Rom 5.8 the Gramcord text of Accordance tags hOTI as a subordinating
>causal conjunction. But it seems more appropriate to take it as a nominal
>conjunction introducing a clause in apposition to AGAPHN. Which do you think
>is correct? Or are there other possibilities?

HH: I like Gramcord's parsing. Verse 8 seems like verse 6. As verse 6
supports the assertion in verse 5, so verse 8b supports the one in 8a.
Verse 8b shows not so much the content of the love, but the way in which
God commends it.

There may be emphasis on God as initiator of the love already in verse 5.
Our hope in God does not disappoint us, for God's love has been poured out
in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. That is, God took the initiative, as
verse 6 describes.

We see that love on the human plane will scarcely die for a merely
righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone would dare to
die. So God commends His love for us to us, for while we were still sinners
Christ died for us. This surpasses anything to be expected on the human
plane, thus commending the love of God as supernatural.

                                Harold Holmyard
                                Dallas, TX

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