Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
lsayre
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by lsayre »

The god of the kingdom of Israel was El, and the god of the kingdom of Judah was YHWH. When the Kingdom of Israel was conquered, and a flood of immigrants piled into Judah, was it at specifically that juncture that there came into being a "Two Powers in Heaven" conflict? And was it from this conflict that hundreds of years later one of these two gods was revived as the Christ?
Steven Avery
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

Hi Isayra, an interesting question, but not related to Romans 9:5.
gryan
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by gryan »

King James Bible
Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

New King James Version
of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

Interesting to see that the "New" updated KJV differs from the KJV. I vote for the "New" translation with "God" in the sense of a King, anointed by God. "All", meaning with no Jew/Gentile distinction in the age to come.

As much as I do like the word "Kludge" (New word for me!), my interpretation coheres best with Pauline thought when the "God and Christ" textual variant is accepted for Galatians 2:20. Also, both echo in Hebrews, which is a huge plus! (When the better exegetical decisions are considered in obscure, genuine Pauline passages, they often echo in Hebrews).
schillingklaus
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by schillingklaus »

Romans 9-11 is a late addition, as already figured by van Manen.
https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/vmanrom.html
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MrMacSon
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by MrMacSon »

James A Waddell, The Messiah: A Comparative Study of the Enochic Son of Man and the Pauline Kyrios, 2011, pp.172-7:


5.4 Excursus:
A CLOSER LOOK AT ROMANS 9:5:
DID PAUL REFER TO JESUS AS θεός ?

Did Paul refer to Jesus as God (θεός) at Rom 9:5? This is a question that has a long history in the secondary literature. Interestingly, in more recent studies of Pauline christology the question, if not entirely ignored, is delicately sidestepped. At the risk of sounding over critical, the secondary literature exhibits a significant degree of ambivalence on the question, some accepting the ascription of to the messiah figure in Paul’s thought, some not. The ambivalence is no doubt owing to the density of Paul’s grammar and syntax. No one should be surprised by this ...

Romans 9:5 appears in the broader context of Paul’s discussion of his understanding of the identity of Israel and Israel’s inclusion in the promises of God. It is necessary to quote the immediate context in order to analyze the meaning of Rom 9:5: [gives the Greek of Rom 9:1-5 which I cannot copy directly, so here's 9:5]

ών οί πατέρες καί έξ ών ό XC͞͞ τό κατά σάρκα,
ό ών έπί πάντων θεός εύλογητός είς τούς αίώνας, άμήν.


There are essentially two possible translations of Rom 9:5.88

88 The classical treatment of Rom 9:5 is in the commentary by Sanday and Headlam, who nuance the verse into four possible translations. The two presented here drive at the heart of the problem. See William Sanday and Arthur C. Headlam, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (5th ed.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1980), 233–38. Sanday and Headlam come down on the side of the doxology referring to Christ. Abbot, in “On the Construction of Romans ix. 5,” 89–90, offered seven possibilities and hinted at others he did not pursue. Abbot then writes: “The question of chief interest is whether in this passage the Apostle has called Christ God.”

The two possibilities are presented in bold color below:

Translation 1:
"I speak the truth in Christ, I am not lying, as my conscience bears witness for me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great grief and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I pray that I myself would be cut off from the Messiah for the sake of my brothers, my fellow kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, whose is the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the liturgical service and the promises,
whose are the fathers and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh, who is over all God, blessed forever, amen."

Translation 2:
"... whose are the fathers and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh. He who is over all God be blessed forever, amen."

Since the meaning of Rom 9:5 appears to hinge on whether the definite article of the phrase ό ών έπί πάντων θεός εύλογητός είς τούς αίώνας has an antecedent (Translation 1), or whether it is an independent doxology grammatically separate from what has gone before (Translation 2), the goal of the following analysis is to determine precisely what Paul meant in Rom 9:5 by examining two parallel texts in LP and by taking a broader look at Paul’s usage of relative pronouns and definite articles used as relative pronouns in subordinate relative clauses, to see whether Paul was inclined or disinclined to use antecedents with relative pronouns and definite articles in subordinate relative clauses.

Limiting the scope of this brief excursus to the undisputed Letters of Paul (LP), I have examined Paul’s use of relative pronouns and definite articles used as relative pronouns in subordinate relative clauses. The results are mixed. Paul used relative pronouns in subordinate clauses both with antecedents and without antecedents. Paul also used definite articles as relative pronouns in subordinate relative clauses both with antecedents and in a small handful of cases without antecedents.

There are a few instances in which Paul used the relative pronoun as a substantive. There are also several instances in which Paul used the definite article as a substantive. If it had been the case that Paul only used relative pronouns or definite articles as relative pronouns in subordinate relative clauses with antecedents, then we might easily conclude that Rom 9:5 should be understood in terms of Translation 1 above.

However, because the results are mixed, on the basis of examining relative pronouns and definite articles used as relative pronouns in subordinate relative clauses, Paul’s language in Rom 9:5 is ambiguous and does not allow us to make a final determination between Translation 1 or Translation 2.

There are two texts in LP that provide close parallels to Rom 9:5. The first is 2 Cor 11:31:

" ό θεός καί πατήρ τοΰ κυρίον ’Ιησοΰ οΐδεν ό ών εύλογητός είς τούς αίώνας "

"The God and father of our Lord Jesus knows, who is blessed forever …"

... What 2 Cor 11:31 has in common with Rom 9:5 is ό ών ...εύλογητός είς τούς αίώνας. The structure of 2 Cor 11:31 indicates that Paul used ό ών ...εύλογητός είς τούς αίώνας with an antecedent. If this is in fact the case, then Rom 9:5 must be understood in terms of translation 1 above, since ό ών takes a masculine singular antecedent, which can only be ό Χριοτός in Rom 9:5. [Dunn argues εύλογητός is only used wirth reference to God; Did the first Christians worship Jesus?, 26].

The second grammatical parallel to Rom 9:5 is Phil 3:19. Philippians 3:17–19 reads:

[Greek here]

"Become imitators of me, brothers, and watch those who walk thus just as
you have an example in us. For many, whom I have often said to you, and
now also say while weeping, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ,
whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and (whose) glory is in
their shame, who think about earthly things."

Unlike 2 Cor 11:31, Phil 3:19 is conceptually different from Rom 9:5. The grammar, however, is very similar. Philippians 3:19 and Rom 9:5 have genitive plural relative pronouns (ών), and Phil 3:19 ends with a clause containing a definite article and a participle, the definite article being used as a relative pronoun taking an antecedent.

This, taken together with the more closely similar construction of 2 Cor 11:31, strongly indicates that the phrase ών έπί πάντων θεός εύλογητός είς τούς αίώνας in Rom 9:5 is to be understood in terms of Translation 1 above. Based on the combination of grammar and usage in LP, we can confidently say that Paul intentionally referred to Jesus as God (θεός) at Rom 9:5.

It remains, however, to make sense of it. There seem to be two basic possibilities. Did Paul refer to Jesus as in the same sense that Philo referred to Moses as θεός (Mos. 1.158), or in the sense that 11Q13 referred to the mediatorial Melchizedek figure as אלהים ? Philo clearly maintained a distinction between the creator and the created, but also used divine language in order to give Moses an exalted status above all other human beings. Or was Paul’s use of θεός with reference to Jesus more an ontological assertion? Since nowhere else in the undisputed Pauline letters can it be demonstrated that Paul explicitly referred to Jesus as θεός, should we view this claim at Rom 9:5 as a development of Paul’s thought?

Paul certainly had a high christology before writing Romans, holding the messiah figure to be both a human and a heavenly being, a pre-existent agent of God’s creation, the eschatological judge who sits on a judgment throne executing judgment and final punishment, and in some way participating in the mystery of God via the divine name (יהוה/κύριος).

As was stated already in Chapter 1 (§1.2), the issue of the divinity of Jesus is a theological question. It is not a historical question. And the theological question is not the concern of the present study. On the other hand, whether Paul or the early followers of Jesus held to the divinity of Jesus in some sense or used language of divinity with reference to Jesus in some sense, and whether this is reflected in the earliest evidence in the New Testament, is a historical question. In the end, from a purely historical point of view, we must say that there is not enough evidence to relieve us of the ambiguity of Rom 9:5.


Last edited by MrMacSon on Tue May 17, 2022 8:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Steven Avery
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

The post above do not really address spin's proposal, which is quite different from the traditional interpretations of an apposition where Christ=God or a doxology to God, totally separate from Christ, often with God over all, not Christ.

The NKJV, in line with modern Trinitarian preferences, tried to change the AV, and make a Christ is God text. spin talked about that tendency, which can be called translation to doctrine (even if the doctrine is quite fudgy._
Steven Avery
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

"such linguistic usages is not attested in Greek"

"blessed by God" would implie or rather require that the word for "God" in the corresponding Greek phrase should be in the dative case, the so-called Dative of the Agent,

This is from a gentleman who is far more skilled in Greek than the seminarians above, with native fluency.

So the ball is really in spin's court, wish him well and hope to see him soon.
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John T
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by John T »

Steven Avery wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 8:39 pm "such linguistic usages is not attested in Greek"
Based on what very little Greek knowledge I have: Paul did not write with punctuation/comma marks. In Greek, it is the case ending, not the word order that indicates the function of a word.

Both Christos (Christ) and theos (God) are noun, nominative, singular, masculine.
Meaning, Paul is differentiating that Christ and God are two different beings.

When taken together I read Romans 9:4-5 as: God adopted and blessed the Israelites and gave them a fleshy messiah (Christ) to rule over all (Israelites), forever.
Which makes more sense considering it would be another 300 years before the Church invented the Trinity to explain the relationship between Christ and God.
lclapshaw
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by lclapshaw »

John T wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 3:59 am
Steven Avery wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 8:39 pm "such linguistic usages is not attested in Greek"
Based on what very little Greek knowledge I have: Paul did not write with punctuation/comma marks. In Greek, it is the case ending, not the word order that indicates the function of a word.

Both Christos (Christ) and theos (God) are noun, nominative, singular, masculine.
Meaning, Paul is differentiating that Christ and God are two different beings.

When taken together I read Romans 9:4-5 as: God adopted and blessed the Israelites and gave them a fleshy messiah (Christ) to rule over all (Israelites), forever.
Which makes more sense considering it would be another 300 years before the Church invented the Trinity to explain the relationship between Christ and God.
More like Chrestos viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8881
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John T
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Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by John T »

lclapshaw wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 12:48 pm
More like Chrestos viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8881
I tried but could not find it. Please show me your example of Chrestos for Romans 9:5.

Thank you in advance. :popcorn:
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