I now go back to Rom. i. 3, 4, and ask your attention to one or two points of interest in connection with these verses. Prof. Pfleiderer had a curious theory about this passage which he has since abandoned. He actually thought he saw in these words of Paul about Jesus " being born of the seed of David according to the flesh," and " declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead," the origin of Luke's narrative of the Virgin Birth. The idea is, of course, untenable, yet there is a gleam of insight in it. I confess it is difficult for me to read this passage in Romans, and rid my mind of the impression that there is a relation between it and what we find in Luke i. 35. Look at the words in the Gospel. The angel announces to Mary that she shall conceive in her womb, and bring forth a son, and that " the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David" (vers. 31, 32). Then, when Mary inquires how this shall be (ver. 34), the answer is given: " The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God " --” or, " the holy thing which is to be born shall be called the Son of God" (ver. 35). In the Greek, however, and always throughout these chapters, except in ch. ii. 26, 27, the words rendered " the Holy Ghost " are simply " Holy Spirit " -- the article is wanting. Turn now to Romans. Here Paul announces, first, that Jesus was born " of the seed of David according to the flesh " ; then "that He was declared (not " constituted," but " defined ") by the resurrection " to be the Son of God, with [or " in "] power, according to the Spirit of holiness." The last is a peculiar expression. It also is, literally, " Spirit of holiness," without the article. The contrast indicated is commonly taken to be between Christ's human and His higher or divine nature; but it seems to me more in keeping with the context to interpret it of origin. " Of the seed of David, according to the flesh " -- on the side of fleshly origin ; " Son of God, with [or " in "] power, according to the Spirit of holiness " on the side of higher spiritual origin. The words are then almost an echo of Luke's --” " Give unto Him the throne of His father David " -- " Holy Spirit shall come upon thee" --"Power of the Most High shall over-shadow thee "- --" Wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called . . . the Son of God " (or, " the holy thing which is to be born," etc.).
To allude to only one other passage, it is a fair exegetical question, I think, whether, in the light of its context (" For Adam was first formed, then Eve," etc.), the phrase in I Tim. ii. 15, " Saved through the child-bearing," should not be taken, with Ellicott and others, as an allusion to the promise in Gen. iii. 15, and its fulfilment in the birth of the Saviour.
I hope I have said enough to show that Paul is not a witness that can be relied on to disprove the Virgin Birth.
Bobby Garringer wrote:To be born (lit. to become, γενομένου) "of the seed of David according to the flesh" (ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα) would not be a pronouncement of weakness in verse 3. Instead this would make Jesus the heir of David, who was prophesied to rule forever. (Note the promises made to the fathers spoken of in verse 2.)
Then the phrase that contrasts with κατὰ σάρκα (verse 3) is κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης (verse 4), not ἐν δυνάμει which has no verbal similarity. So the distinction is not being made between weakness and power, but between Jesus' position -- a great position -- "according to the flesh" and his even greater position "according to the Spirit of holiness."
Bobby Garringer wrote:(If ἐν δυνάμει was sequenced immediately after τοῦ ὁρισθέντος, there would be no doubt that the former modifies the latter as an adverb. But it is not, therefore, some feel justified in relating it to υἱοῦ θεοῦ which stands just before it. This, of course, is the fundamental issue.
BDAG translates υἱοῦ θεοῦ ἐν δυνάμει as "the powerful son of God." You do not.
Scott Lawson wrote:John Brainard wrote:The exegetical question would be whether Romans 1:4 is concerning the Christ or His Position.
Sorry John, I didn't have any exegetical position in mind when reading the verse. I was surprised that ἐν δυνάμει was glossed in a way that seemed to make it adjectival. I took it as either instrumental or associative and had no thought that it could be adjectival. Doesn't this usage surprise you even a little bit? Upon looking at δύναμις in BDAG, I see it has another gloss for ἐν δυνάμει as "with power, powerful(ly)". I'm leaning toward it being associative and would need more explanation as to how ἐν δυνάμει might be understood adjectivally.
John Brainard wrote:What if ἐν δυνάμει carries a casual sense. He was declared the Son of God because of.
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