Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
John2
Posts: 2764
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by John2 » Thu May 23, 2019 4:31 pm

Doudna writes (in the citation above):
But such talk of a few good ones (remnant) and in the end everyone will be saved (pie in the sky) of a doomed people in the present age is rhetoric. Agrippa II and Josephus, who were with Titus, similarly no doubt wept at the divine justice of Roman wrath on the holy city and condemned people within, as they assisted the Romans in carrying it out.

Rhetorical back-and-forth between total destruction of a condemned target and “nevertheless” language of remnants and salvation for all at a future age is common.
Right, but why does it necessarily have to pertain to the destruction of the Temple in Paul's case given that a) there are pre-70 CE writings that lament God's wrath and talk of the salvation of "a few good ones" at a future age without having any awareness of the destruction of the Temple (like the Damascus Document); and b) Paul doesn't explicitly mention the destruction of the Temple? In other words, since a pre-70 CE setting is an option, then (all things considered) that's the one I choose for all of Romans (excepting perhaps the doxology).

The way I look at it is that whoever wrote the Damascus Document believed they were living an age of God's wrath, broader in scope than a single event, similar to how Josephus describes the consequences of the Fourth Philosophy (which began in 6 CE and lasted for almost seventy years).

Ant. 18.1.1:
All sorts of misfortunes also sprang from these men, and the nation was infected with this doctrine to an incredible degree; one violent war came upon us after another ... whence arose seditions, and from them murders of men ... a famine also coming upon us, reduced us to the last degree of despair, as did also the taking and demolishing of cities.

This is all set prior to the destruction of the Temple (just like all the wrath and destruction mentioned in the Damascus Document) and there is a lot to lament about it that seems at least as applicable to Romans as the destruction of the Temple. And since Josephus is writing after the 66-70 CE war he can (naturally) explicitly say (unlike Romans) that "the sedition at last increased so high, that the very temple of God was burnt down by their enemies' fire." If Paul wrote Rom. 9-11 after 70 CE then why wouldn't he explicitly say something about it too?

And where else but Rom. 15:24 and 28 would 1 Clement have gotten the idea that Paul had travelled to "the farthest bounds of the west"? As noted here:
Paul intended to stop in Rome on his way to Spain, but nothing in the NT suggests that he ever went there. However, 1 Clem. 5:6-7 (probably A.D. 97) calls Paul a herald both in the east and the west and says that he reached "the limits of the west" ...

https://books.google.com/books?id=qRtUq ... 15&f=false

And c. 95 CE is close enough for me (though Clement of Alexandria would be close enough for me too if we didn't have 1 Clement, all things considered).
Show me something built to last.

User avatar
Irish1975
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:01 am

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Thu May 23, 2019 7:18 pm

In summary,

External evidence that counts against the authenticity of Romans 15--

1) No one quotes from Romans 15 and 16 before Clement of Alexandria
2) Many manuscripts attest to a 14-chapter Romans
3) Marcion's text, according to the best evidence, ended at 14:23

Dubious aspects of Romans 15 (internal evidence)--

1) The author characterizes his mission as proceeding from Jerusalem: a Lukan theme contradicted by Galatians 1.

2) The author rescinds the intention declared in 1:5-6, 13 to preach the gospel to the Romans and "reap a harvest" when he visits them. Now, on the contrary, he merely wants to visit them briefly on his way to Spain: a blatant inconsistency in his posture toward the recipients of his letter.

3) The author absurdly claims to have "fully preached the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to Illyricum." Kasemann: "Even if it is assumed that Paul himself is content to establish symbolic centers from which Christianity will develop independently, the statement is an enormous exaggeration when measured by geographical reality. It is understandable only on the basic premise that the apostle views his work as preparatory for the imminent parousia" (Commentary on Romans, p. 395). Yes, of course.

4) The absurdity reaches a crescendo with the declaration that the author "no longer has room for work in these regions," sc. the East (Alexandria??), and must set his course for Spain via Jerusalem.

Final consideration. The fierce ideological debates about Paul's apostolic status and relation to Rome in the 2nd century, particularly between Marcion and the proto-orthodox, makes it far more reasonable to read Romans 15 as a skillful forgery with Lukan ecclesiological objectives.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 6613
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 23, 2019 7:18 pm

John2 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 2:53 pm
So I think Paul is just saying in Rom. 15 (and perhaps somewhat poetically) that he taught his Torah-free gospel (that he received from God and the heavenly Jesus) "from Jerusalem and as far round as Illyricum" and not that he had received his Torah-free gospel from Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem.
That is a valid distinction. If Paul wrote Romans 15, he is obviously trying to create as large an arc as possible, and the point is geographical ("this is the range in which I have operated"), not chronological ("this is the order in which I preached in each province"). Jerusalem is, therefore, an endpoint on a geometric arc, not a starting point in time. Even in Galatians 2.2 Paul lays out his gospel in Jerusalem. And Jerusalem must mean something to him if he is organizing (whether in fact or in pretense) a collection for its poor.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Giuseppe
Posts: 5992
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Giuseppe » Thu May 23, 2019 10:58 pm

John2 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 4:31 pm
Doudna writes (in the citation above):
But such talk of a few good ones (remnant) and in the end everyone will be saved (pie in the sky) of a doomed people in the present age is rhetoric. Agrippa II and Josephus, who were with Titus, similarly no doubt wept at the divine justice of Roman wrath on the holy city and condemned people within, as they assisted the Romans in carrying it out.

Rhetorical back-and-forth between total destruction of a condemned target and “nevertheless” language of remnants and salvation for all at a future age is common.
Right, but why does it necessarily have to pertain to the destruction of the Temple in Paul's case given that a) there are pre-70 CE writings that lament God's wrath and talk of the salvation of "a few good ones" at a future age without having any awareness of the destruction of the Temple (like the Damascus Document);
Frankly, I see a great difference between Paul and the Qumranic writings about the “lament God's wrath etc”.

The difference may be described so:

Qumranic writings: we only will be saved at a future age and you (=all the Jews who are not essenes) will be destroyed.

Paul: you (=all the Jews who are not Christians) will be destroyed, but some among you (=Jews who are not Christians) will be saved, even if the your conversion will be a future event.

Hence when Paul hopes that the Jews will be converted, he is talking about Jews who are already saved from the God's wrath even if they are still not Christians.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

User avatar
Irish1975
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:01 am

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:08 am

Romans 9:3-4a is critical for interpreting Romans 9-11, since it introduces the object of Paul's concern throughout the discourse:

ηὐχόμην γὰρ ἀνάθεμα εἶναι αὐτὸς ἐγὼ ἀπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν συγγενῶν μου κατὰ σάρκα, οἵτινές εἰσιν Ἰσραηλῖται

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race. They are Israelites...

I am not an expert in Koine Greek, but the phrase ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν συγγενῶν μου seems odd.

1) Syntax. English translations always take the two genitival phrases "of my brethren" and "of my kinsman" as being in apposition. Paul is in distress because of his brothers, which is to say, because of his kin. "Brethren" and "kinsman" are understood to have exactly the same reference. The reason for the genitive is the preposition ὑπὲρ. But I wonder if this is a common usage, to set two genitival phrases in apposition to each other, where both are equally the object of the preposition. If the second genitive were a participial phrase, which would then qualify the brethren in the manner of a relative clause, i.e., my brethren, who are my kinsmen, it would be more clear. But συγγενής, -ες is an adjective functioning here as a substantive.

2) Semantics. "Brethren" is an important word for Paul. It usually refers to fellow believers in the gospel. Relatedly, it expresses a fundamental idea, the adoptive sonship of all believers after the pattern of the primary son of the father, JC. So why would he use it here to refer to the followers of the Torah, who are not believers? Kasemann explains it thus: "To be ready for [being accursed and cut off from Christ] is for Christians a supreme proof of love for Israel. Hence it is no accident that the title of brethren is here extended to the Jews, which, of course necessitates the specifying apposition." I am unsatisfied by this exegesis.

Is there any other place in Paul where he calls the people of Israel, Jews, by the name brethren?

3) Textual variants.

(a) The Chester Beatty codex, P46 (sc. the earliest text of Paul we have), omits the first instance of μου ("my"), which qualifies τῶν ἀδελφῶν. How does this change the meaning? It seems grammatically more natural to interpret it this way:

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of the brethren of my kinsmen by race, who are Israelites...

Removing μου eliminates the parallel structure of the two phrases that causes translators to set them in apposition (i.e. equivalence) to each other. I am not sure if this is correct, though.

(b) Codex Vaticanus omits τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου altogether:

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my kinsmen by race. They are Israelites...

This variant is the most simple and logical, given the context. The more difficult reading includes the reference to brethren. That the scribe wanted to eliminate "brethren" is easily explained: it's too loving and warm a way to refer to the Jewish people for the anti-Judaic Christians of the 4th century. Therefore we can set this variant aside.

4) Thoughts. It would be very interesting if, following P46, we could interpret Romans 9:3 as a reference by Paul to "the brethren of my kinsmen by race." We would have to wonder whether he means fellow believers in Christ (hence, brethren) who are Jews like him, although still keepers of the Torah. And if that would be the circle that includes James, Cephas, and John.*

*NB. My hypothesis in this thread is that canonical Romans is not an integral letter, and that chapters 9-11 were written at a different time from chapter 15, whether or not both were written by Paul.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 6613
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:26 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:08 am
Romans 9:3-4a is critical for interpreting Romans 9-11, since it introduces the object of Paul's concern throughout the discourse:

ηὐχόμην γὰρ ἀνάθεμα εἶναι αὐτὸς ἐγὼ ἀπὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν συγγενῶν μου κατὰ σάρκα, οἵτινές εἰσιν Ἰσραηλῖται

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race. They are Israelites...

I am not an expert in Koine Greek, but the phrase ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν συγγενῶν μου seems odd.

.... English translations always take the two genitival phrases "of my brethren" and "of my kinsman" as being in apposition. Paul is in distress because of his brothers, which is to say, because of his kin. "Brethren" and "kinsman" are understood to have exactly the same reference. The reason for the genitive is the preposition ὑπὲρ. But I wonder if this is a common usage, to set two genitival phrases in apposition to each other, where both are equally the object of the preposition.
The phrase in question is ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν συγγενῶν μου ("on behalf of my brethren, my kin," Romans 9.3). I have no actual statistics to tell me how common or uncommon such a construction is, but I can give examples of the same construction from elsewhere: μετὰ τοῦ κυρίου μου τοῦ βασιλέως ("with my lord the king," 2 Samuel 19.38 OG), διὰ τῶν παίδων σου τῶν προφητῶν ("through your children the prophets," Daniel 9.10 OG). Since συγγενής is actually an adjective (used substantively), I should point out that the same construction is used with plain old adjectives, as well: ἀπὸ τοῦ κλοιοῦ αὐτοῦ τοῦ βαρέος ("from his yoke, his heavy one" = "from his heavy yoke," 1 Kings / 3 Kingdoms 12.4 OG), ἐπὶ τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν τῆς δεξιᾶς ("upon their hands, their right ones" = "upon their right hands," Revelation 13.16), though in these cases the overlap between apposition and attributive position is clear.
The Chester Beatty codex, P46 (sc. the earliest text of Paul we have), omits the first instance of μου ("my"), which qualifies τῶν ἀδελφῶν. How does this change the meaning? It seems grammatically more natural to interpret it this way:

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of the brethren of my kinsmen by race, who are Israelites...

It could still be apposition: "the brethren, my kinsmen." It just would not make quite as much sense as the usual text.
We would have to wonder whether he means fellow believers in Christ (hence, brethren) who are Jews like him, although still keepers of the Torah. And if that would be the circle that includes James, Cephas, and John.*
It sounds like you are trying to make "the brethren of my kinsmen" mean "the brethren from among my kinsmen." But, if that were the meaning, I would expect either ἐκ (as in Romans 9.24) or ἀπό (as in Revelation 14.4), I think.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

User avatar
Irish1975
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:01 am

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:11 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:26 am
We would have to wonder whether he means fellow believers in Christ (hence, brethren) who are Jews like him, although still keepers of the Torah. And if that would be the circle that includes James, Cephas, and John.*
It sounds like you are trying to make "the brethren of my kinsmen" mean "the brethren from among my kinsmen." But, if that were the meaning, I would expect either ἐκ (as in Romans 9.24) or ἀπό (as in Revelation 14.4), I think.
But it could be a partitive genitive, which doesn't require a preposition.

User avatar
Irish1975
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:01 am

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:25 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:26 am
The phrase in question is ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν συγγενῶν μου ("on behalf of my brethren, my kin," Romans 9.3). I have no actual statistics to tell me how common or uncommon such a construction is, but I can give examples of the same construction from elsewhere: μετὰ τοῦ κυρίου μου τοῦ βασιλέως ("with my lord the king," 2 Samuel 19.38 OG), διὰ τῶν παίδων σου τῶν προφητῶν ("through your children the prophets," Daniel 9.10 OG). Since συγγενής is actually an adjective (used substantively), I should point out that the same construction is used with plain old adjectives, as well: ἀπὸ τοῦ κλοιοῦ αὐτοῦ τοῦ βαρέος ("from his yoke, his heavy one" = "from his heavy yoke," 1 Kings / 3 Kingdoms 12.4 OG), ἐπὶ τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν τῆς δεξιᾶς ("upon their hands, their right ones" = "upon their right hands," Revelation 13.16), though in these cases the overlap between apposition and attributive position is clear.
The Chester Beatty codex, P46 (sc. the earliest text of Paul we have), omits the first instance of μου ("my"), which qualifies τῶν ἀδελφῶν. How does this change the meaning? It seems grammatically more natural to interpret it this way:

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of the brethren of my kinsmen by race, who are Israelites...

It could still be apposition: "the brethren, my kinsmen." It just would not make quite as much sense as the usual text.
I suspect you are right that, as far as syntax is concerned, it could still be apposition. The examples you cite are on point. So if there is anything to my suggested alternate reading of 9:3, it has to do with (a) the Pauline semantics of "the brethren," and (b) the greater ambiguity of the wording in P46. Which is to say that although the apposition reading is possible, it is not only plausible reading.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 6613
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:47 pm

Irish1975 wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:11 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:26 am
We would have to wonder whether he means fellow believers in Christ (hence, brethren) who are Jews like him, although still keepers of the Torah. And if that would be the circle that includes James, Cephas, and John.*
It sounds like you are trying to make "the brethren of my kinsmen" mean "the brethren from among my kinsmen." But, if that were the meaning, I would expect either ἐκ (as in Romans 9.24) or ἀπό (as in Revelation 14.4), I think.
But it could be a partitive genitive, which doesn't require a preposition.
You are right. It could be partitive.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Post Reply