Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Romans 5:15

For those who enjoy NT Greek, a question.

The text of the beautiful verse 5:15 runs:

VAllV ouvc w`j to. para,ptwma( ou[twj kai. to. ca,risma\ eiv ga.r tw/| tou/ e`no.j paraptw,mati oi` polloi. avpe,qanon( pollw/| ma/llon h` ca,rij tou/ qeou/ kai. h` dwrea. evn ca,riti th/| tou/ e`no.j avnqrw,pou VIhsou/ Cristou/ eivj tou.j pollou.j evperi,sseusenÅ

The part I want to quiz you on: h` dwrea. evn ca,riti th/| tou/ e`no.j k)t)l)

Now why is it so structured, I wonder? What did Paul gain by placing the article after the evn ca,riti? Perhaps evn ca,riti is semitic style (where dwrea th/j ca,ritoj would have been tidier?), and Paul then had to put the definite article somewhere, so bunged it after this clause?

Perhaps I am missing something really obvious, so any thoughts are appreciated.

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At 8/07/2012 11:18 PM, Anonymous Jeff Martin said...

One commentator said the wording was because it was hellenistic greek instead of classical greek.

Others say it was to show the intimacy between gift and grace instead of connecting grace with the verbal idea of pouring out

At 8/08/2012 3:59 AM, Anonymous Ryan O. said...

I thought the naked dative or ἐν + dative is much more common to indicate means than the genitive. The issue with your suggestion ἡ δωρεὰ τῆς χάριτος is that it is followed by another genitive τοῦ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ which would result in a translation something like “the gift of the one man’s, Jesus Christ, grace”, thus grace being the gift rather than the means, cf. Eph 3:7. In Rom 5:15 τῇ functions as a relative pronoun in order to emphasize that is Christ’s grace through which the gift comes.

At 8/08/2012 4:16 AM, Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

My sense is that, here, ἐν χάριτι τῇ τοῦ ἕνὸς ἄνθρωπου is more emphatic than ἐν τῇ χάριτι τοῦ ἕνὸς ἄνθρωπου. See, e.g., Stephen Levinsohn, Discourse Features of the NT, who notes that the article of identifiable nouns is often omitted when it is focal.

At 8/08/2012 1:06 PM, Blogger r.campbell said...

[Douglas here]

Hays and others point out the similarities between this construction and G 2:20 and suggest that it's to signal apposition, which makes perfect sense to me. So, as Stephen is saying, the apposition or identification is being emphasized.

At 8/08/2012 5:04 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

This is all very helpful, thanks guys. Thanks also to my man Roberto de la Noval who found a ref., which would also collaborate these suggestions. Smyth's Greek grammar, section 1159, states it involves not only emphasis but explanation: "and the gift in/by grace, the grace, I mean, of the one man Jesus Christ"

At 8/08/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/08/2012 6:23 PM, Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

I've got my books packed away at the moment and I don't know if it has been addressed, but I'm wondering if anyone had read the prepositional phrase adverbially (as in Gal 2:20) rather than adjectivally, like: "... how much did God's grace and gift abound to the many in/by the grace of the one person Jesus Christ."


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