Lectionary Year A
August 4, 2002
Romans 9:1-5

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation

A. Comparing Translations

(JFC) The New American Bible and the New English Translation differ some, as these notes identify:

1b my conscience joins with the holy Spirit in bearing me witness - NAB
my conscience assures me in the Holy Spirit- - NET

3c my kin according to the flesh. - NAB
my fellow countrymen, - NET

4f the worship, the temple worship, - NET

5c according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all - NAB
by human descent, came from Christ, who is God over all, - NET

B. Textual Criticism

(JFC) 1 A few significant witnesses add, Ihsou, at the end of the opening phrase, which seems both unnecessary, understood and longer, therefore to be rejected as original. 3 For avpo. tou/ Cristou/, some redactors read upo, or uper, other prepositions with quite different meanings; avpo., meaning "from, away from", upo "denoting the agent or cause by" and uper, "for, in behalf of, for the sake of someone or something." (Quotes from Arndt's and Gingrich's Lexicon of the NT.) Staying with the text as printed seems more appropriate and therefore more likely to be original unless Paul means to blame Christ for the Jews' misfortune in this sentence, which seems highly unlikely. 4 For a "strongly supported", Metzger's terms, ai` diaqh/kai, a nom. plural, for which TCGNT preferred this text as received "on the grounds that (a) copyists would have been likely to assimilate the plural to the pattern of the instances of the singular number in the series, and (b) plural covenants may have appeared to involve theological difficulties, and therefore the expression was converted to the singular number. Certainly there is no good reason why the singular, if original, should have been altered to the plural." And, perhaps incidentally, the ICC states, "The plural is used not with reference to the two covenants the Jewish and the Christian, but because the original covenant of God with Israel was again and again renewed (Gen. vi.18; ix. 9; xv.18; xvii.2, 7, 9; Ex. ii.24) . . . According to Irenaeus . . . there are four covenants. . . " 5 Here, around the, possibly reversing, order of the words o` w'n, the punctuation makes a difference of whether Paul calls Christ God. Since punctuation was added later than the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament writings, the question of originality is not relevant to this part of the study. And, Fuller says Paul would never call Christ God.

C. Rough Translation

(JFC) 1 Truthfully (it is not an adverb, but a noun in the accusative case; however, how do we translate that form into English?) I say in Christ, not do I lie (present, middle or passive, indicative), showing to be true (present, active, participle) for me the conscience of mine in the Spirit Holy, 2 that grief/sorrow/pain to me is great and endless/constant (is) pain/sorrow in heart of mine. 3 For I was wishing/longing (imperfect, active, middle or passive) cursed/under the curse of God to be oneself I from the Christ for/on behalf of/for the sake of the brothers of mine the kinsmen/relatives/fellow countrymen of mine according to flesh, 4 whoever are Israelites, who (are) the ones adopted, the glory, the covenants and the one (God's) giving the law (to Israel) and the service/worship and the promises, 5 from whom (are) the fathers and from whom the Christ the one according to (the) flesh; the one upon/over all God whom to be blessed/praised into the forever/eternity, Amen.

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