Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

Romans 9:5 fascinating discussion!
This is taken directly from an earlier thread:

Messiah is Son of God - starts on p.5
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1578

And am attempting to pull out the grammatical substance, with a minimal amount of the doctrinal.

===============

spin - page 2
spin wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:59 am
rakovsky wrote:Romans 9 says:
"Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised!"
Jeez, I have to thank Rakovsky for leading me to another hopelessly tendentious christian translation that should be in your list of indicators of crap translations. I'd say "dishonest" if I thought the translator was deliberately trying to mislead readers, but I think it is more shoehorning the text into christian presuppositions. Here's a literal translation of the parts of Rom 9:5—

(οι πατερες εκ ων)
(the fathers from whom)
ο χριστος
the Christ
το κατα σαρκα
according to the flesh
ο ων επι παντων
who is over all
θεος ευλογητος εις τους αιωνας
God blessed for ever

The last line is Greek working differently from English. We'd use a subordinate clause, "who God blessed forever." The Greek instead uses a verbal form as a noun, still with the subject "God" and tacks the whole nominalized sentence on. We might try "blessed by God forever". God is the one doing the blessing and the Christ is the one blessed. However, the trinitarian Christian oblivious to the fact that Paul is not trinitarian (or even binitarian) happily reorganizes the sentence to make the messiah God. This is amazing doctrinal manipulation of the text. It shows just how easily faith clouds judgment even of those who are supposed to be supplying the best tools for the faithful to use. Instead, they are letting their readers down.

Add Rom 9:5 to your list. If the translation equates the messiah with God you know its a crap translation.
spin - page 3
spin wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:48 am
On the text, the writer has placed two noun forms together, God and the nominalized verb ("blessed"), both nominative singular masculine, so you naturally link them together (just another indicator). But if you can propose a grammatical reason for separating the two NSMs and placing the first with a phrase it has no apparent grammatical connection with, I'll be willing to read it, but I won't hold my breath. Perhaps you might like to reorder ο ων επι παντων θεος as well to help you. I won't mind. Honest.
spin - page 4
spin wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:29 amI've shown you the natural reading, pointed out the grammar behind it ...
spin - page 5
spin wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:23 am
rakovsky wrote:Check out where Paul uses a similar phrase in Greek:
Romans 1
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Notice that Paul supplied "who is" there, inserting a verb into the clause.
That should tell you that we are dealing with something else and that Rom 1:25 sheds no light on 9:5.
The same thing is in the Greek with the verb.
Over in Rom 9 :5, Paul writes "who is over all God blessed forever", but he does not use any verb in the ending clause after "all" or "God." Does "God blessed[noun] forever" sound normal in Greek?
Yes. Go back and read whay I wrote about it. While you are at it go and learn a bit of Greek grammar to understand the ways you can subordinate clauses.
rakowsky - p.5
rakovsky wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:00 pm
Over on the Biblical Greek forum, the writers agree that there is no grammatically set translation:

http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... f=6&t=1587

I invite you to produce a scholarly discussion on the verse that says that the verse definitely says exactly what you claim, and I can show it to my Greek colleagues.
spin p. 6
spin wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:13 pm You're working to hard to blur things that Paul is so clear about:

One god, the father, and one lord, Jesus.
rakovsky - p.6
rakovsky wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:07 pm
Anyway, I am sincerely interested if you can produce detailed scholarship saying your translation of Rom 9 5 is the only right one grammatically, because it's an interesting issue for me.

....

More narrowly on Rom 9 5 what you and I were discussing, I would love to see some scholarship saying grammatically your translation is the only one.
spin - p. 7
spin wrote: Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:49 am
Lol. I've already stated a few grammatical issues regarding reading god with blessed. Once again you are trying to change the topic onto scholars. This is apparently because you've been bullshitting your way through the discussion, relying on translations, tendentious rubbish translations. You need to admit that you are at the mercy of those who believe their dogma ahead of their ability to translate.
Last edited by Steven Avery on Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:19 am, edited 4 times in total.
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

And I have five posts on p.7, one where I quote Brian in another land.
viewtopic.php?p=129912#p129912

Hovever, let’s skip down to the more cordial direct response to spin by brianw on p.7.
brianrw wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:00 pm
Mr. Avery's inquiry involves remarks by Spin that θεὸς εὐλογητὸς involves two nouns, one being a nominalized verb, that are strung together, yielding the meaning, "blessed by God," which is incorrect in both its result and analysis. θεὸς (God) is a noun and εὐλογητὸς (blessed) is an adjective in the predicate position, not a nominalized verb. We are therefore not dealing with “two nouns” strung together to form the passive English construction “blessed by God." To clarify, Mr. Avery is seeking support for the passive construction “blessed by God.”

The Greek text in question is ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ἀμήν (TR)

In the above text, the articular ὁ ὢν forms an attributive (present) participle construction; the present participle in English is “being.” This sets off an equative clause, which asserts Christ being “over all” and being “God." Thus we have two options in English: (1) to bring θεὸς directly into English as a predicate nominative, “Christ . . . who is God over all, blessed forever” or (2) to render the predicate as an apposition (which has the same essential force), “Christ . . . who is over all, God blessed forever.” (ASV, NASB, KJV). In the latter English construction, “blessed” functions as a predicate adjective setting off the clause “blessed forever.” Both translations speak of Christ as God, and there is no significant variation in the overall meaning.

The interpretation “Blessed by God” misreads the adjective “blessed” as a past participle (verb) “blessed,” which is identical in spelling. A predicate adjective simply describes the subject. A participle, however, is a verbal adjective that can perform a verbal action.
Last edited by Steven Avery on Tue Jan 11, 2022 4:20 am, edited 6 times in total.
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery - p.8
Steven Avery wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 8:30 pm Here Brian gives a type of explanation of his position contra spin, looking at the translation issues to English.
https://purebibleforum.com/index.php?th ... #post-9606

=================================

Brian
Here's some of the challenges that a translator faces here:
...
"God" is a predicate nominative to "Christ" as well as the predicand of "blessed," yet it is formally attached to "over all" by the attributive participle (the article creates a stronger relation than a simple relative). The flexibility of Greek word order allows this. However, English wants the subject to come first ("God over all" vs "over all, God"), so I have to actually make a choice of which connection to emphasize in the English. If I want to choose to connect "God" with "over all" then "God" has to come first in English, but that breaks it away from "blessed." If I want (as I prefer to keep the words together) to emphasize the attachment to "blessed," then it breaks from "over all." It's not that one or the other is right, but that I can only choose one.

=================================
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

Keeping it simple:
The standard dueling interpretations are:

"Christ is over all, Christ is God, God/Christ is blessed for ever" - popular with Trinitarians despite many difficulties
"God is over all, blessed for ever" - popular with low-Christology Unitarians and Socinians despite many difficulties

spin has
"Christ who is over all, blessed by God for ever"

Which I believe is the most natural reading of the AV, which follows the Greek word order.

Romans 9:5 (AV)
Whose are the fathers,
and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came,
who is over all,
God blessed for ever.
Amen.

spin has been challenged above, and might want to respond to a couple of points, however the main thing is that we understand the dynamic of the discussion. Note: I find the "Christ is God" defenders to be involved in circular reasoning, especially on the question of a claimed apposition.
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

On the CARM forum, a gentleman named Barry Hofstetter (Greek and Latin professor at Dropsie) was giving his reasons for preferring Romans 9:5 as an apposition of Christ and God. He added a euphony element.

He did acknowledge spin's point on the Greek grammar of God and blessed.
( θεὸς εὐλογητὸς )

I put a little summary and it links to the CARM posts.

Barry Hofstetter offers euphony as the reason for seeing apposition
https://www.purebibleforum.com/index.ph ... tion.2442/
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

If spin is correct, this can be considered the most important Bible text interpretation discovery of many years. Since Romans 9:5 is a key verse in Pauline Christology studies. And generally is interpreted very differently, including the ultra-dubious attempt to assert a Christ=God apposition.

And I would conjecture that this comes out of his background in Classical Greek.Are there any proposed other spots in the OT or NT where two words in this grammatical form work in this manner?

God blessed (is Christ)—
"Christ who is over all, blessed by God for ever"

The seminarian Bible Greek-geeks object to this interpretation, and offer various concerns. We have covered this in another forum, CARM, and I tried to have them give their explanations. (As far as I can tell, their exposure to Classical Greek is light, one says reading capabilities.)

And I will plan on placing a summary of their concerns on the next post.

======

Also others might want to give their own viewpoints. And I know spin has a strong history here, including IIDB and FRDB, yet his background is a bit of a mystery. And he recently went some years without posting. He returned this year, if I remember, but did not rejoin either of the Romans 9:5 threads.
Last edited by Steven Avery on Sat May 07, 2022 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

CRITIQUES

===============================================

This was given as a way to say God blessed (is Christ)
εὐλογητὸς θεῷ
The gentleman who gave that also said he would prefer to use a participle.
https://forums.carm.org/threads/trinita ... ost-705109

===============================================

It was claimed that the words would have to be in the dative case to bear the meaning.
https://forums.carm.org/threads/trinita ... ost-705842

===============================================

It was claimed that the basic assertion was wrong:
"There's no hidden, advanced Greek rule that few recognize where two nominatives, one a noun and another an adjective, can form a compound adjective or prepositional phrase."
https://purebibleforum.com/index.php?th ... /post-9858

===============================================

This was given as the grammar by a gentleman who supports the apposition theory.

When there is a noun and an adjective together in the nominative case, the adjective is either attributive (has the article) or predicative (has no article). They don't form a compound. It's literally one of the easiest concepts to understand in Greek. There is an attributive participle which means the rest of the sentence describes the subject, Christ. That makes "God" a predicate nominative. When you have a predicate nominative thus described by an adjective and the connection of an attributive participle they all refer back to the same subject: Christ.
https://purebibleforum.com/index.php?th ... /post-9851

===============================================

This next was given as a summary of concerns.

spin "On the text, the writer has placed two noun forms together, God and the nominalized verb ("blessed")"

Spin said "noun form" and that means a noun, more specifically a word in the form of a noun. That means he is wrong.
Then he called it a "nominalized verb". That is also wrong.
If by "nominalized verb" he meant the noun form of a verb, he is still wrong.
If by "nominalized verb" he meant a verb functioning as a noun, he is wrong and contradicted himself.
However you explain it, Spin called an adjective a noun and was wrong. .... you can check for yourself and see that εὐλογητός is an adjective (εὐλογεῖν = verb; εὐλογία = noun). ... even if he hadn't called εὐλογητός a noun (and he clearly did) he was still wrong and you knowingly support him anyway.
https://forums.carm.org/threads/trinitarian-confusion-at-romans-9-5.8316/post-707099

===============================================
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

Here is how I worded the question to one friend who has native Greek fluency and good background. It is sort of a prototype that might go to the Greek scholars in Europe with a real Classical Greek background, rather than Anglo seminarians with mostly a Bible Greek background.

=====================================

Hi,
I have a question on Romans 9:5 if you are available !
it is an interesting question but may be a little oddball

Greek
9:5 ὧν οἱ πατέρες καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα· ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ἀμήν

Authorized Version text (mostly faithful in word order, except that Christ is placed after concerning the flesh)
Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

the question has to do with θεὸς εὐλογητὸς ... God blessed
It has a couple of regular interpretations, but a fellow with good background shared one that is rarely seen, I think it might be based on his Classical Greek background
He said that εὐλογητὸς is nominalized (functions as a noun) and combines with θεὸς in θεὸς εὐλογητὸς to mean "God blessed (is Christ) for ever" or "Christ is God blessed for ever" or "Christ is blessed by God for ever"
The seminarian Anglo Greek-geeks are not happy with this.
He points out that both words are nominative singular masculine, as an extra indication that they work together. One scholar, Murray Harris said that θεὸς and εὐλογητὸς have a "natural association", a similar idea.
If he is right, this is something afaik that is not taught in normal Greek grammars. Grammar books do not handle every language feature.
And I was thinking of writing to some one like Georgios Babiniotis on this, or anyone with a strong Classical Greek background, since there may not be anything similar in the New Testament or LXX.
Your preliminary thoughts most welcome!

=====================================
gryan
Posts: 495
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by gryan »

Steven Avery:

I have a hunch I'm missing something, but in skimming this thread, I did not see any suggestion that in Rom 9:5 Paul might be calling Christ "God" in the subordinate sense of the word "God" found in Hebrews 1:8-9

But about the Son He says:

“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever,

and justice is the scepter of Your kingdom.

You have loved righteousness

and hated wickedness; therefore

God, Your God, has anointed You (ἔχρισέν σε, ὁ Θεός, ὁ Θεός σου)

above Your companions with the oil of joy.

------------

Thoughts?
Steven Avery
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:27 am

Re: Romans 9:5 - God blessed for ever

Post by Steven Avery »

Hi gryam,

Yes, it is common to see Romans 9:5 as having an apposition of Christ=God. This has various problems, like "what God?". Noetus said God the Father and thus was criticized by Hippolytus as Sabellianism.

Anyway, the close connection of God and blessed and the independent parts of the verse make such a claim difficult. spin criticized that type of interpretation as being doctrinally driven. And I think he was likely correct (the bandwagon fallacy) but I do not give that emphasis since it could detract from the grammatical / linguistic analysis.

spin's suggestion leads to a smoother word-flow and Christology than either of the two main positions held today, which generally are:

1) an apposition which sort of leads to "Christ who as God is blessed over all"

2) separation of Christ from God, so the final section is simply a doxology to God
(Ofteb this wants to have God as over all, rather than Christ)

Yes, God could be described as subordinate or lesser in some way, the nature of God, but this is a bit of a kludge attempt. The people who want the apposition don’t want limitations.

Hope that helps!
Post Reply