Romans 5:20

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Wes Wood
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Romans 5:20

Post by Wes Wood » December 20th, 2013, 11:59 am

I hope this is the best place to put this. I believe I have a decent understanding of what this verse means, but, on my initial reading and rereading of it, I came up with a couple of different possible translations. I know which one is most likely, but I am not sure if any of the others are even possible. Would one of you be willing to provide the translation(s) that you would consider possible for this verse. I readily acknowledge that part of the problem I am having is the format of the text itself, but I don't want to compare it to a standard text. I am afraid it will influence my judgment. Here is the text I am looking at: ΝΟΜΟΣΔΕΠΑΡΕΙΣΗΛΘΕΝΙΝΑΠΛΕΟΝΑΣΗΤΟΠΑΡΑΠΤΩΜΑΟΥΔΕΕΠΛΕΟΝΑΣΕΝΗΑΜΑΡΤΙΑΥΠΕΡΕΠΕΡΙΣΣΕΥΣΕΝΗΧΑΡΙΣ

Thanks!
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Wes Wood
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Wes Wood » December 20th, 2013, 12:01 pm

P.S. Particularly the part that is messing me up is the ΟΥΔΕ section.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 21st, 2013, 1:07 am

Romans 5:20 wrote:ΝΟΜΟΣΔΕΠΑΡΕΙΣΗΛΘΕΝΙΝΑΠΛΕΟΝΑΣΗΤΟΠΑΡΑΠΤΩΜΑΟΥΔΕΕΠΛΕΟΝΑΣΕΝΗΑΜΑΡΤΙΑΥΠΕΡΕΠΕΡΙΣΣΕΥΣΕΝΗΧΑΡΙΣ
Wes Wood wrote:I readily acknowledge that part of the problem I am having is the format of the text itself, but I don't want to compare it to a standard text.
.
That is a very interesting - not many beginners tackle a text in this way - I find that I have to rely on my sense of hearing much more in reading the uncial script than I do in reading the miniscule, in that my ears have the duty to divide the words. I can play along with your lets-only-look-at-the-uncial-text-before-us game, so here goes.

ΟΥΔΕISPROBABLYMEANTTOBETAKENINTHESENSEOFANDNOTRATHERTHANNEITHEROFTHEALT
ERNATIVEMEANINGSFORΝΟΜΟΣPERHAPSITISTHEMOSAICLAWTHATISBEINGTALKEDABOUTHER
ESOIWOULDTRANSLATEITASTHETORAHNOWWITHREGARDTOTHEΠΑΡΕΙΣΗΛΘΕΝIREMEMBERTH
ATITWASUSEDABOUTFALSEBRETHERNSLIPPINGINTOTHECHRISTIANCOMMUNITYONTHESLYBUT
IDONTTHINKTHATISTHESENSEHERERATHERPERHAPSTHESENSEOFΠΑΡΑHEREWOULDBEINADD
ITIONΠΛΕΟΝΑΖΕΙΝSEEMSTOMEANTOINCREASEINTHESENSEOFOURAWARENESSOFTRANSGRE
SSIONWHICHMAKESITMOREFROMOURPERCEPTIONBUTTHATDOESNOTMAKEΗΑΜΑΡΤΙΑACTUAL
LYINCREASEBECAUSEITISSTILLJUSTASMUCHASITWASBEFOREASWENOWKNOWORREALISETH
ATWEHAVESINWEAREABLETOSAYSORRYTOGODANDASKFORFORGIVENESSSOHISGRACEWOR
KINGINUSISSOMUCHMOREREALFORUSTHATISTOSAYNOTICEABLEANDITISAHAPPYTHINGSOWED
WELLONTHATANDITSEEMSTOABOUNDSOMUCHMOREEXCEEDINGLYBASICALLYSPEAKINGITHINK
THATITISATEXTWHERETHINGAREEXPLAINEDFROMOURPERSPECTIVESOITISWRITTENFORTHOSE
WHOARENOTYETREADYTOTHINKSPIRITUALLYFROMABROADERPERSPECTIVE
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David Lim
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by David Lim » December 21st, 2013, 3:47 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Romans 5:20 wrote:ΝΟΜΟΣΔΕΠΑΡΕΙΣΗΛΘΕΝΙΝΑΠΛΕΟΝΑΣΗΤΟΠΑΡΑΠΤΩΜΑΟΥΔΕΕΠΛΕΟΝΑΣΕΝΗΑΜΑΡΤΙΑΥΠΕΡΕΠΕΡΙΣΣΕΥΣΕΝΗΧΑΡΙΣ
Wes Wood wrote:I readily acknowledge that part of the problem I am having is the format of the text itself, but I don't want to compare it to a standard text.
.
That is a very interesting - not many beginners tackle a text in this way - I find that I have to rely on my sense of hearing much more in reading the uncial script than I do in reading the miniscule, in that my ears have the duty to divide the words. I can play along with your lets-only-look-at-the-uncial-text-before-us game, so here goes.

[uncapitalized]
ουδε is probably meant to be taken in the sense of and not rather than neither. Οf the alternative meanings for νομος perhaps it is the mosaic law that is being talked about
here so Ι would translate it as the torah. Νow with regard to the παρεισηλθεν Ι remember that it was used about false brethern slipping into the christian community on the sly but Ι dont think that is the sense here. Rather perhaps the sense of παρα here would be in addition. πλεοναζειν seems to mean to increase in the sense of our awareness of transgression which makes it more from our perception but that does not make η αμαρτια actually increase because it is still just as much as it was before. As we now know or realise that we have sin we are able to say sorry to God and ask for forgiveness so his grace working in us is so much more real for us, that is to say, noticeable. And it is a happy thing so we dwell on that and it seems to abound so much more exceedingly. Basically speaking I think that it is a text where thing are explained from our perspective so it is written for those who are not yet ready to think spiritually from a broader perspective
Please don't write with all capital letters in the future; it is very tiring to read it. Anyway I have to disagree with your interpretation for the following reasons. I think "ου" here does not negate "επλεονασεν", but rather means "where (pro-adverb)", otherwise "υπερεπερισσευσεν η χαρις" becomes disjointed, and also "παραπτωμα" and "αμαρτια" are often used synonymously, so it is natural to take it this way instead.

And Wes Wood, most editorial decisions do not affect the meaning, and it is very easy to read any edition and identify the places where it does affect, so you don't have to worry about that.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 21st, 2013, 4:48 am

David Lim wrote:ουδε is probably meant to be taken in the sense of and not rather than neither. Οf the alternative meanings for νομος perhaps it is the mosaic law that is being talked about
here so Ι would translate it as the torah. Νow with regard to the παρεισηλθεν Ι remember that it was used about false brethern slipping into the christian community on the sly but Ι dont think that is the sense here. Rather perhaps the sense of παρα here would be in addition. πλεοναζειν seems to mean to increase in the sense of our awareness of transgression which makes it more from our perception but that does not make η αμαρτια actually increase because it is still just as much as it was before. As we now know or realise that we have sin we are able to say sorry to God and ask for forgiveness so his grace working in us is so much more real for us, that is to say, noticeable. And it is a happy thing so we dwell on that and it seems to abound so much more exceedingly. Basically speaking I think that it is a text where thing are explained from our perspective so it is written for those who are not yet ready to think spiritually from a broader perspective
Ha ha. Yes, it is very labourious to read the all-caps, I find too, but it also makes sense of the connectives that are in the written text, like Καὶ at the beginning of things when there is nothing that it connects to. Such words serve as easily recognisalbe break markers in that case. Without them, I can see, the English ALL-CAPS is even more tiresome to read than the Greek Uncial.
David Lim wrote:"παραπτωμα" and "αμαρτια" are often used synonymously

How would the sense of this passage change if those two exchanged positions in the sentence?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 21st, 2013, 4:57 am

That seems to be a logically valid interpretation. And jokes aside, I can see Wes' point in giving us this with the uncial text.
David Lim wrote: I think "ου" here does not negate "επλεονασεν", but rather means "where (pro-adverb)", otherwise "υπερεπερισσευσεν η χαρις" becomes disjointed
I think that if one were to take οὗ as an adverb of place in the first part, then I would expect an ἐκεῖ together with the second part or another particle of connectedness like μέν ... δέ ... to sort of bring it together in a literary passage. In fact, either way ὑπερεπερισσεϝσεν ἡ χάρις is left disjointed in either case.
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David Lim
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by David Lim » December 21st, 2013, 7:40 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:ουδε is probably meant to be taken in the sense of and not rather than neither. Οf the alternative meanings for νομος perhaps it is the mosaic law that is being talked about
here so Ι would translate it as the torah. Νow with regard to the παρεισηλθεν Ι remember that it was used about false brethern slipping into the christian community on the sly but Ι dont think that is the sense here. Rather perhaps the sense of παρα here would be in addition. πλεοναζειν seems to mean to increase in the sense of our awareness of transgression which makes it more from our perception but that does not make η αμαρτια actually increase because it is still just as much as it was before. As we now know or realise that we have sin we are able to say sorry to God and ask for forgiveness so his grace working in us is so much more real for us, that is to say, noticeable. And it is a happy thing so we dwell on that and it seems to abound so much more exceedingly. Basically speaking I think that it is a text where thing are explained from our perspective so it is written for those who are not yet ready to think spiritually from a broader perspective
Ha ha. Yes, it is very labourious to read the all-caps, I find too, but it also makes sense of the connectives that are in the written text, like Καὶ at the beginning of things when there is nothing that it connects to. Such words serve as easily recognisalbe break markers in that case. Without them, I can see, the English ALL-CAPS is even more tiresome to read than the Greek Uncial.
Yes those Greek conjunctions serve quite well as punctuation. Actually the main reason I find it difficult to read the English all-capitals is because I speed-read, which is hindered by the capitals, so it becomes about 20 times as slow.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:"παραπτωμα" and "αμαρτια" are often used synonymously

How would the sense of this passage change if those two exchanged positions in the sentence?
Not much, in my opinion. Notice that the author refers interchangeably to Adam's sin and Adam's transgression and talks about ones who did not commit sins like Adam's transgression.
Stephen Hughes wrote:That seems to be a logically valid interpretation. And jokes aside, I can see Wes' point in giving us this with the uncial text.
Maybe, but since we would discuss the possibilities and he would read what we say, would it be much different if he peeked at the usual text editions? :)
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote: I think "ου" here does not negate "επλεονασεν", but rather means "where (pro-adverb)", otherwise "υπερεπερισσευσεν η χαρις" becomes disjointed
I think that if one were to take οὗ as an adverb of place in the first part, then I would expect an ἐκεῖ together with the second part or another particle of connectedness like μέν ... δέ ... to sort of bring it together in a literary passage. In fact, either way ὑπερεπερισσεϝσεν ἡ χάρις is left disjointed in either case.
Yes it's a little disjointed, but grammatically well-formed and probably natural enough because "ου" as a pro-adverb doesn't strongly require any matching adverbial particles. An unambiguous example is Rom 4:15 which shows that the author didn't find anything wrong with not providing "ου" with a matching particle.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 21st, 2013, 8:43 am

David Lim wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:I think "ου" here does not negate "επλεονασεν", but rather means "where (pro-adverb)", otherwise "υπερεπερισσευσεν η χαρις" becomes disjointed
I think that if one were to take οὗ as an adverb of place in the first part, then I would expect an ἐκεῖ together with the second part or another particle of connectedness like μέν ... δέ ... to sort of bring it together in a literary passage. In fact, either way ὑπερεπερισσεϝσεν ἡ χάρις is left disjointed in either case.
Yes it's a little disjointed, but grammatically well-formed and probably natural enough because "ου" as a pro-adverb doesn't strongly require any matching adverbial particles. An unambiguous example is Rom 4:15 which shows that the author didn't find anything wrong with not providing "ου" with a matching particle.
How, in your imagination or opinion, would the pronunciation of
Romans 5:20 οὗ δὲ wrote:οὗ δὲ ἐπλεόνασεν ἡ ἁμαρτία, ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις·"
and
Romans 5:20 οὐδέ wrote:οὐδὲ ἐπλεόνασεν ἡ ἁμαρτία, ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις·
differ from one another in practice?

Actually looking at the sentence again, I think that for your understanding it would be better as οὗ γὰρ ἐπλεόνασεν ἡ ἁμαρτία, καὶ ἐκεῖ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις* [This is not a Bible verse, just a scholarly conjecture for the point of discussion]

BTW. There is another option of dissociating the ὑπέρ from the επερίσσευσεν and using it as an adverb, with a particular or conjuctive force would solve the problem of lack of connectedness to some degree, at the expense of what is sensible (David: please check this word in the dictionary) - it would be easier to say that this is just not good Greek. We can see that usage in
2 Corinthians 11:23 wrote:διάκονοι Χριστοῦ εἰσι; ὑπὲρ ἐγώ
"They are servants of Christ. I am more than (them)" (NB. I disagree with the punctuation that I have actually quoted - I don't think Paul ever questioned that they were servants of Christ).ὑπὲρ ἐπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις "More than (that does) God's grace abounds." While it may have been a sort of colloquialism in the Greek of that time to use ὑπέρ in that way, I don't think need to be carried on into our compositions that we want to do now.
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Wes Wood
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by Wes Wood » December 21st, 2013, 9:12 am

Thank you, both. I am sorry for giving you the text in uncials, but it is the text I had before me. Also, it may or may not be found in the *text* of a critical edition, because it is a transcription of an early greek papyrus. I am trying to learn to read this type of script (or read it more easily anyway). My major question, I guess, was whether any of the alternate readings treating "oude" as one word or "ou" as negation rather than as "where" would be defendable alternatives to the standard translation. This is a higher level of thinking about the text than I feel I have attained. Thanks again for your thoughts so far!
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David Lim
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Re: Romans 5:20

Post by David Lim » December 21st, 2013, 11:43 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:How, in your imagination or opinion, would the pronunciation of
Romans 5:20 οὗ δὲ wrote:οὗ δὲ ἐπλεόνασεν ἡ ἁμαρτία, ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις·"
and
Romans 5:20 οὐδέ wrote:οὐδὲ ἐπλεόνασεν ἡ ἁμαρτία, ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις·
differ from one another in practice?
I am not at all qualified to answer that question; you should ask someone else like Randall. :)
Stephen Hughes wrote:Actually looking at the sentence again, I think that for your understanding it would be better as οὗ γὰρ ἐπλεόνασεν ἡ ἁμαρτία, καὶ ἐκεῖ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις* [This is not a Bible verse, just a scholarly conjecture for the point of discussion]
In this case I don't think so. The point the author is making is that "the law came to make the transgression abound (because it would not be reckoned as sin without the law), but wherever the sin abounded, the grace more so increased". It is a contrast for which "γαρ" does not fit.
Stephen Hughes wrote:BTW. There is another option of dissociating the ὑπέρ from the επερίσσευσεν and using it as an adverb, with a particular or conjuctive force would solve the problem of lack of connectedness to some degree, at the expense of what is sensible (David: please check this word in the dictionary) - it would be easier to say that this is just not good Greek. We can see that usage in
2 Corinthians 11:23 wrote:διάκονοι Χριστοῦ εἰσι; ὑπὲρ ἐγώ
"They are servants of Christ. I am more than (them)" (NB. I disagree with the punctuation that I have actually quoted - I don't think Paul ever questioned that they were servants of Christ).ὑπὲρ ἐπερίσσευσεν ἡ χάρις "More than (that does) God's grace abounds." While it may have been a sort of colloquialism in the Greek of that time to use ὑπέρ in that way, I don't think need to be carried on into our compositions that we want to do now.
Hmm I doubt "υπερ" was used that way here. The "υπερ" in 2 Cor 11:23 is not with a verb, and I thought that "υπερ" had fused with verbs to become single words? I couldn't find a single example of "υπερ" with a verb in the entire NT corpus, at least according to the standard editions.
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