From: Glenn Blank (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 01:33:12 EST
>The rendering of RWM. 4:1 below is taken from H KAINH DIAQHKH:
>NEOELLHNIKH METAFRASH APO SUMEWN IWANNIDHS, 1994:
>TI QA POUME LOIPON; OTI O ABRAAM O PATERAS MAS BRHKE TH DIKAIWSH TOU CARH
>SE ERGA THS SARKAS;
>It presupposes the word order of the Byzantine text:
>TI OUN EROUMEN, ABRAAM TON PROPATORA hHMWN hEURHKENAI KATA SARKA;
>My translation of IWANNIDHS:
>What shall we say then? That Abraham our father obtained his
>justification thanks to works of the flesh?
>I see in this rendering elements of both Moon's and Glenn's views. The
>rhetorical structure is basically Moon's: a "y/n" question. But it is
>logically consonant with Glenn's understanding of the structure and flow
>of Paul's argument.
>Now let me go out on a limb and make a prediction:
>I predict that neither Moon nor Glenn will like this compromise . . .
Of course not: I am right and Moon is wrong, that's all there is to it, no
compromise needed! :) Moon, my tongue is embedded deeply in my cheek -- I
am not at all serious about that snide remark!
Actually, Richard, the compromise rendering has some merit, although as you
said, the Byzantine text lends itself to that rendering while the NA makes
that rendering less likely, so that it comes down to a textual issue.
You are right that your rendering is consonant with my understanding of the
thrust of Paul's argument (although I am willing to concede Moon's point
that Paul's main focus *in Romans 4:9-17* is on arguing that believers are
all children of Abraham, but only parenthetically to the rest of Romans)
But I am still hung up on conceding that a y/n question fits in this context
for this reason: everywhere else there is a y/n question in Romans, it
postulates a proposition
1) which one might reasonably infer from the preceding discussion
2) with which Paul disagrees
3) against which Paul argues in the following discussion
Characteristic 1) does not apply to 4:1 -- the proposition of the y/n
question Richard has proposed Paul has already established as false in the
preceding discussion (especially 3:28), so that one cannot one would not
infer it from the preceding discussion.
Moon had asked (Mon, 28 Jan 2002 23:46:10 -0500)
>Very interesting view point! But let me ask:
> Is "assumption" that Gentiles are included in the Abrahamic covenant
> the assumption already made when Paul utters Rom 4.1?
> Or is it developed within Romans 4 as an intermediate step to the final
>I will proceed assuming the second position is yours.
No, actually, the first position was mine. As I said, presupposed in the
question itself, even as Moon has rendered it, but also established in 3:29.
However, rhetorical patterns are not set in stone, and Paul may very well
have deviated from his usual pattern of wh- vs y/n questions in this one
Moon, I understand where you are coming from, and I have enjoyed the
interaction. However, since the settling of the issue seems more and more
to hinge on rhetorical theory and textual considerations that on syntax, and
since I have nothing further to add other than the rhetorical arguments, I
am going to bow out of the thread. I am curious to know, though, whether my
hypothesis is indeed a regular discourse pattern of NTG beyond Pauline
y/n questions in contexts I described above vs wh- questions The pattern for
"wh" questions when
>the preceding discussion
>suggests an inference which is in fact the proposition [the author] is
and followed by further development of that argument.
Thanks Moon. I have learned a great deal by probing your proposal with you.
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