Jonathan Robie wrote:
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."
Yes, there's very strong parallelism here, but ἐν δυνάμει is not echoed in the first part of this:τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα
,τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ
ἐν δυνάμει κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης
ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν,
Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν <snip>
I would agree with Bobby and James Orr that there is a striking connection between the birth of Jesus as a holy child as a result of the power of God as indicated in Lk 1:35, but I would not see the connection in quite the same way. In the Bible there is often a connection between beginning and end. In Luke 1 we have the beginning of Jesus' life on earth and in Rom 1:4 we have the end of his life on earth. Both are connected to his being holy and the power of God manifestated in a supernatural event.
Rom 1:3 refers to the physical descent from David, since Mary was a descendant of David. κατὰ σάρκα does not refer to weakness or sinfulness, but simply to the physical aspect of his descent. But that alone does not make him the Son of God. His supernatural conception by the power of God is one pointer to his identity as Son of God.
Rom 1:4 is another pointer of his position as the Son of God, but now at a higher level of authority. The same verb ὁρίζω occurs in Acts 17:31 with an interesting parallel. RSV translates: "God ... has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead." One of the pointers or proofs of his position of authority is that God in his power raised him from the dead.
As many have pointed out πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης is not the normal way to refer to the Holy Spirit, and it is therefore more likely that it refers to the holy and spiritual nature of Jesus in contrast or addition to his physical nature in v. 3.
It is not easy to decide how to connect ἐν δυνάμει to other parts of the sentence, but we met δύναμις ὑψίστου in Lk 1:35, so I think it is reasonable to think along the same lines here, that God in his power raised Jesus from the dead and by so doing he appointed him in accordance with his spiritual holiness into a higher postion as Son of God. That position is also a powerful one, but I still prefer to connect ἐν δυνάμει to the underlying clause: God resurrected Jesus from the dead.