Parsing of Rom 3:19 and ἵνα clause as complement

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moon jung
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Parsing of Rom 3:19 and ἵνα clause as complement

Post by moon jung » June 19th, 2014, 6:14 am

We have in Rom 3:19:

Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ, ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ Θεῷ·

It is usually parsed as:

We know that what the law says, says to those in the law, so that every mouth is stopped and all the world is under judgement before God.

But I found out that some people take it as follows:

What the law says to those in the law, says, so that every mouth is stopped and all the world is under judgement before God.

Is there any reason for the majority translation? Is the other translation somewhat forced?

Moon Jung
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cwconrad
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by cwconrad » June 19th, 2014, 6:56 am

moon wrote:We have in Rom 3:19:

Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ, ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ Θεῷ·

It is usually parsed as:

We know that what the law says, says to those in the law, so that every mouth is stopped and all the world is under judgement before God.

But I found out that some people take it as follows:

What the law says to those in the law, says, so that every mouth is stopped and all the world is under judgement before God.

Is there any reason for the majority translation? Is the other translation somewhat forced?
I think you're confusing "parsing" with a "translation" that is so wooden that it doesn't even conform to the standard grammatical usage of English. Moreover, you're asking about the end-result of a way of construing the text without going through the intermediate process of analysis that must explain and justify that end-result.

Let's start over with the text: Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ, ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ Θεῷ·

Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι: This is the introductory part: "We know that ... " What follows is the construction about which you are asking.

The construction about which you are really asking is this: ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ
Here ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει functions as the object of τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ. "λαλεῖ" is the main verb of the sentence; its subject is ὁ νόμος, which is implicit from the introductory clause. So the main clause is:
(ὁ νόμος) λάλει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ and the object of λαλεῖ is ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει.

If we offer a woodenly literal English version of that, we get:
(The Law says to those in the Law what/all the things that/however many things that the Law says, ...

I don't think you're asking about the last clause, but I'll discuss it to complete the accounting: you should note the subjunctive verbs φραγῇ and γένηται which are required by the introductory adverbial conjunction ἵνα: this is a purpose clause, explaining the purpose for which the Law says what it says: namely, so that "the whole world" (all humanity" should be subject to God.

Does that help?
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 19th, 2014, 7:24 am

I think he's asking whether the dative τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ belongs with λέγει or λαλεῖ, but the second parsing is so confusing that I am not sure.
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moon jung
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by moon jung » June 22nd, 2014, 11:03 pm

Carl and Stephen:

thanks for the comments.

Stephen got the intent of my question right.

Which way of parsing should I choose:

(1) [ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει ] [ τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ] ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ Θεῷ·

(2) [ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ] [ λαλεῖ] ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ Θεῷ·

The second one has the implication that what the law says to those in the law actually speaks to ALL people, not just to those in the law.

I would like to know whether the second one is posssible as much as the first one, gramatically speaking, or
is somewhat forced.

Moon Jung
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David Lim
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by David Lim » June 23rd, 2014, 3:51 am

moon wrote:I would like to know whether the second one is posssible as much as the first one, gramatically speaking, or
is somewhat forced.
"Somewhat" is really an understatement. It's like asking whether the following is valid English: "Whatever the second text says to us speaks so that we might be puzzled." :D
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 23rd, 2014, 4:35 am

On the second parsing, I'm not sure it is justified to infer that the lack of an explicit indirect objects means that it speaks to everyone or anyone. It could just well pick up the explicit indirect object of the relative clause, and it would have thus the effect of clarifying the manner of saying as "speaking," as if: "whatever the law tells them, it speaks (i.e., it does it by speaking). Yet there is hardly any daylight between this interpretation and the first parising.

If the intent, however, to broaden the addressees of the law\s speaking, I don't see why Paul would do so by varying the verb, instead of using πᾶσιν or something similar. The means that Paul did choose in the text at hand does not seem conducive to the end being proposed here.
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moon jung
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by moon jung » June 23rd, 2014, 7:15 am

[ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ] [ λαλεῖ] ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ Θεῷ·

How about this:


What the law says to those in the law proclaims that every mouth is stopped and all the world is guilty before God.

Here the ἵνα clause is considered to be the content of the law's speaking.

Moon Jung
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 23rd, 2014, 8:00 am

moon wrote:Here the ἵνα clause is considered to be the content of the law's speaking.
Interesting, but you'd need to then account for the subjunctive in the ἵνα clause.
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David Lim
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by David Lim » June 23rd, 2014, 11:01 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:On the second parsing, I'm not sure it is justified to infer that the lack of an explicit indirect objects means that it speaks to everyone or anyone. It could just well pick up the explicit indirect object of the relative clause, and it would have thus the effect of clarifying the manner of saying as "speaking," as if: "whatever the law tells them, it speaks (i.e., it does it by speaking). Yet there is hardly any daylight between this interpretation and the first parising.
Actually this isn't what Moon meant. He wanted the "οσα" to be the subject of "λαλει", as can be seen from his posts, which is simply impossible in my opinion.
moon wrote:What the law says to those in the law proclaims that every mouth is stopped and all the world is guilty before God.

Here the ἵνα clause is considered to be the content of the law's speaking.
As I've said earlier, it's impossible firstly because no one refers to words that are said as themselves speaking, and secondly because "ινα" heads a purpose clause, not contents of something spoken, so it gives the purposed result of "λαλει", not the contents.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Parsing of Rom 3:19

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 23rd, 2014, 11:27 am

David Lim wrote:Actually this isn't what Moon meant. He wanted the "οσα" to be the subject of "λαλει", as can be seen from his posts, which is simply impossible in my opinion.
Uh, thanks. That was so impossible that I misread the proposal.
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