Romans 1:1-5

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Bernard Muller
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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:52 pm

to Ben,
The instances in Numbers 34.6 and Joshua 13.27 support the word as defining something new, not as confirming something old. You are trying to get definition #1 in Thayer to line up with your interpretation for Romans 1.4, but it does not; in fact, Thayer himself puts his mention of Romans 1.4 under definition #2.
I don't think I did that. Thayer puts the definition in the "appointed" group, but there, the interpretation is "openly appointed among men" not just "appointed". There is a big difference. Actually "openly appointed among men" is rather equivalent as "revealed (among men)".
That makes sense. However, as extracted from the NET bible "appointed the Son-of-God in power ... by the resurrection from the dead ..." I have to wonder why the resurrection would appoint Jesus as Son of God rather that something else. And since when a resurrection does appointment? God may appoint, not a resurrection.
I think in that instance "declared" or "determined" (in the sense of identified) makes more sense. "Marked out" also makes some sense and apparently is a legitimate translation for the underlying Greek word.

From the Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, for Greek 'horizo':
"to mark off by boundaries," signifies "to determine," usually of time; in Rom 1:4, Christ is said to have been "marked out" as the Son of God, by the fact of His resurrection; "declared" (RV, marg., "determined)."

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:03 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:58 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:52 pm
to Ben,
The instances in Numbers 34.6 and Joshua 13.27 support the word as defining something new, not as confirming something old. You are trying to get definition #1 in Thayer to line up with your interpretation for Romans 1.4, but it does not; in fact, Thayer himself puts his mention of Romans 1.4 under definition #2.
I don't think I did that.
Then why did you mention Numbers 34.6 and Joshua 13.27?
Thayer puts the definition in the "appointed" group, but there, the interpretation is "openly appointed among men" not just "appointed". There is a big difference. Actually "openly appointed among men" is rather equivalent as "revealed (among men)".
That definition is given only for Romans 1.4 (pay attention to the semicolons!), which is what is suspicious. Thayer gives a theological reason ("Christ was the Son of God before his resurrection") for that definition for the instance in that single verse, not a linguistic one. This is what you are failing to grasp.
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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:04 pm

Furthermore, Bernard, in that other thread you seem keen to make certain that nobody is engaging in Christian apologetics, whereas here, where Thayer is engaging in the most undisguised sort of apologetics (translating the Greek word on the assumption that it makes no sense that Christ would not be considered to be the son of God before the resurrection), you follow him eagerly.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:03 am

to Ben,
Then why did you mention Numbers 34.6 and Joshua 13.27?
Because these verses were in the Thayer's Lexicon in category 1 ("mark out").
That definition is given only for Romans 1.4 (pay attention to the semicolons!), which is what is suspicious. Thayer gives a theological reason ("Christ was the Son of God before his resurrection") for that definition for the instance in that single verse, not a linguistic one. This is what you are failing to grasp.
I first quoted the Thayer's interpretation as just his comment. Not to say that supports my position.
Later, I quoted the Thayer's interpretation (without calling it "definition") just to say that "openly appointed among men" is not the same than just "appointed" (and therefore Ro 1:4 should not be in category 2 under "appointed").
I always knew that interpretation was apologetic.
Furthermore, Bernard, in that other thread you seem keen to make certain that nobody is engaging in Christian apologetics, whereas here, where Thayer is engaging in the most undisguised sort of apologetics (translating the Greek word on the assumption that it makes no sense that Christ would not be considered to be the son of God before the resurrection), you follow him eagerly.
NO, I did not follow the Thayer's interpretation eagerly. I kept my distance from it.

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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:04 am

In that case, the only linguistic support you have for your reading so far is that passage in Josephus that I gave you.
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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:11 pm

to Ben,
It might well be that Romans 1:3b-4a, such as:
"who was from the seed David according to the flesh
and appointed Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead"
was an earlier hymn (or part of one) inserted by Paul. If true, the hymn looks to have been composed when Jesus started to be called "Son of God" but when there was no belief of pre-existence yet, at least from the community of origin (I would think made up of Jewish Christians).
In that case, the Spirit of Holiness would be the one involved in the "Son of God" appellation.

Clues that Paul might not have been the author are about the strange genitive case applied to the first four words, and more so, about "Spirit of Holiness", an expression unique in Paul's epistles, even if Paul had plenty of opportunity to use it.
If so, that would be some evidence for adoptionism, which I always thought preceded the notion of pre-existence.

So why were such words inserted by Paul, even if they don't seem to support the pre-existence that Paul eventually adopted:
I think that the beginning of 'Romans" (from 1:1 to 2:15) was meant to "soften" the anticipated Jewish Christians & Jews audience, before lowering the boom at 2:16. A clue: God (as the Father) is mentioned in these verses 29 times but Jesus Christ (or Christ Jesus) only 6 times. Actually between 1:9 and 2:15, there is no mention of Jesus. So the supposed hymn, with "from the seed of David" and allusion to adoptionism would be part of Paul's scheme.

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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:56 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:11 pm
to Ben,
It might well be that Romans 1:3b-4a, such as:
"who was from the seed David according to the flesh
and appointed Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead"
was an earlier hymn (or part of one) inserted by Paul. If true, the hymn looks to have been composed when Jesus started to be called "Son of God" but when there was no belief of pre-existence yet, at least from the community of origin (I would think made up of Jewish Christians).
Okay....
Clues that Paul might not have been the author are about the strange genitive case applied to the first four words....
Do you mean τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ? What is strange about this phrase in the genitive case?
...and more so, about "Spirit of Holiness", an expression unique in Paul's epistles, even if Paul had plenty of opportunity to use it.
If so, that would be some evidence for adoptionism, which I always thought preceded the notion of pre-existence.

So why were such words inserted by Paul, even if they don't seem to support the pre-existence that Paul eventually adopted:
I think that the beginning of 'Romans" (from 1:1 to 2:15) was meant to "soften" the anticipated Jewish Christians & Jews audience, before lowering the boom at 2:16. A clue: God (as the Father) is mentioned in these verses 29 times but Jesus Christ (or Christ Jesus) only 6 times. Actually between 1:9 and 2:15, there is no mention of Jesus. So the supposed hymn, with "from the seed of David" and allusion to adoptionism would be part of Paul's scheme.
This makes sense. (Not saying you are right, necessarily, but it makes sense.)
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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Bertie » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:36 pm

The Montanari Brill Dictionary gives the meaning of ὁρίζω in the passive tenses as "to be determined, fixed, or established", but it also gives one additional example "by extension", Aristotle Poetics 1452a 32:
πρὸς εὐτυχίαν ἢ δυστυχίαν ὡρισμένων
destined to happiness or misfortune

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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Stuart » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:54 pm

Ben,

My preference is "ordained" as that could be taken either adoptionist, which it was probably intended, and was not considered a heretical opinion until well after the bulk of the NT was written, or it could be taken as affirming his status.

The Adoptionist, fits the Lukan theology, and the entire opining of Romans was IMO rewritten by a Lukan editor, and all the ten letters of the earlier Pauline collection -- before the Pastorals -- have a Lukan layer. It is particularly large in Romans, Galatians, and the Corinthian letters, but proportionally Philippians and probably Ephesians were also almost doubled in size with the redaction.

But I think we need to ask a few basic questions when looking at Romans 1:1-7. First what is the purpose of the "creed" being added to the introduction? And what other opinions or books is it answering?

The answer to the first question is that as the first letter, and in fact the very first page of the revised Pauline Collection of 13 letters, it is serving as an introduction to the reader of Paul, the source of the authority by which he draws his apostleship, the basic principle of Gospel he preaches, and the type of Christ he is presenting. It sets the stage for reading the collection.

The answer to the second question is that the letter is in response to the Marcionite and Gnostic presentation of Paul, the source of his Authority, and the basic principle o the Gospel and type of Christ he is presenting as found in the head of the earlier 10 letter collection, a shorter form of Galatians chapter one. Specifically 1:1-3 (-καὶ θεοῦ πατρὸς and reading αὑτόν instead of αὐτὸν per Tertullian, Origen), 6-9, 11-12, 15-17 (ends at Ἀραβίαν, does not include καὶ πάλιν ὑπέστρεψα εἰς Δαμασκόν which is drawn from Acts chapter 9 and Saul's blinding and being instructed in Christianity by Ananias).

In the ten letter collection this very different Paul, one who preached freedom, and accepted no authority above his own revelation, and who preached a Christ who had the ability to raise himself from the dead without the father, and who preached freedom in Christ, is what the reader first encounters. Even the names of the Gospel are different: in Galatians 1:7 the Gospel of Christ, in Romans 1:1 the Gospel of God ... (about his son). This is a Christ revealed in Galatians, whereas in the revised Romans it is a Christ prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures who is a descendant in flesh of David. The former Christ is the same as the one whom the Jewish ("Judaizing" Christians in my view) say that John's Christ is not (John 7:42). So we do see traces left in the NT of this second theology that ultimately did not prevail. But it's presence confirms the motive for writing Romans 1:1-5 to counter this view.

There are other elements that suggest a counter Gnostic/Marcionite motive, such as the call for the obedience of the gentiles to the faith (1:5).

As for the theme of Adoption. I think this is supported by declaration that Jesus is descends from David's seed. It is a claim of a fully human Jesus. Before his death and resurrection he uses powers consistent with OT prophets, but nothing magical enough to require being fully divine. It is his resurrection from the dead, his mission in Hades, which are supernatural. So the designation of all the high names (e.g., Colossians 1:15-20) would be consistent with this ordination. That he was destined for this, Adoptionist would argue happened at the Baptism when the Spirit descended on him and remained, and God in voice declaring him his son.

There are several parallel terms in Romans and Galatians that illustrate the parallel purposes. Both for example mention that Paul was "set apart" (ἀφορίζω, which by the way has the same root word ὁρίζω which all this discussion is about), in Romans 1:1ff like Acts 13:2 from the other apostles to preach to preach to the gentiles, and in Galatians 1:15-16 from his mothers womb to receive Christ in him by a revelation (in modern terms one would say, "I was born to do this" or "I was destined from birth to do this"). There are simply too many parallel points of argument for one not to have been influenced by the other.

I think the argument for which is first is settled both by the existence of Galatians, and it's not being at the head of the collection, but buried in the middle, where there should be no introduction to Paul's authority and Gospel. Second the evidence that Ephesians (Laodiceans) 1:1 is dependent upon an early form of Romans 1:1, 1:7 in Western form, but is otherwise similar to the generic openings for the Pauline letters. That Romans was occupying a middle position in the ten letter collection, suggests that it also that the more generic opening in it's first edition.

Anyway those two questions, even if you disagree with my assessment -- and I am sure most of you do -- need to be asked when examining Romans 1:1-7
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Re: Romans 1:1-5

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:47 pm

Stuart, there is much in your post to agree with, and much to at least think about. I do think that the variant in Galatians 2.1 casts doubt upon the presence of a "first" visit to Jerusalem in chapter 1 of that epistle; and I do often consider what Origen's variant for Galatians 1.1 might mean for the state of affairs. And, of course, I myself have mounted an argument (not one that I am committed to, but one that I think merits discussion), that much of Romans 1.1-5 is secondary.

However, I find myself at present unpersuaded by the following:
Stuart wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:54 pm
I think the argument for which is first is settled both by the existence of Galatians, and it's not being at the head of the collection, but buried in the middle, where there should be no introduction to Paul's authority and Gospel.
Given that the canonical order of Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians descends in order of word count, I am more persuaded by Harry Gamble and David Trobisch that the order of letters is simply the principle by which the Hauptbriefe, and eventually the canonical version as a whole, was arranged; I suppose one could argue that this method was chosen because it would disrupt the Marcionite order and tuck Galatians safely away, but that may simply be a matter of piling too much onto what may have been a rather simple and relatively innocent editorial decision. For that matter, I am not entirely persuaded that the Marcionite order originated with Marcion; I have read arguments to the effect that the order could have been an attempt at arranging the letters chronologically (albeit without the help of Acts). I am hesitant to so quickly attribute polemical motives to things which may easily be imagined to have other, less dramatic motives. I mean, you may be right: the (re)arrangement may be polemical in nature; but I hardly think it has been proven to be so, at least not to the extent that I would feel safe using it as a secure argument for a further proposition.
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