ἵνα οὖν μηδ' ἐν τούτῳ δῷ αὐτοῖς λαβήν (Photius, Fragments on the Epistle to the Romans 483.26) -> so that he doesn't give them even here a handle (= an opportunity for refutation)

tim wilson

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Photios on Romans struggling with accurate translation

ἵνα οὖν μηδ' ἐν τούτῳ δῷ αὐτοῖς λαβήν, οὐχ οὕτως φησὶν ἀλλὰ τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου καὶ ἐπὶ μὲν αὐτῶν ἐκείνων τὸν νόμον φησίν, ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν ἀκροβύστων ὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου. οὐ πάντα, φησί, τὸν νόμον εἶπον ἀλλὰ τὰ δικαιοῦντα μόνα, ἅμα σοφῶς ὑπεμφαίνων ὅτι οὐ πάντα τὰ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ἦσαν δικαιοῦντα, ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν δικαιώματα ἦσαν καὶ ἐδικαίουν ὅσα συνεφώνει τῇ χάριτι, τὰ δὲ ἕνεκεν μόνης τῆς ἐκείνων ἀσθενείας ἦσαν δεδομένα
« Last Edit: 08 Apr, 2014, 02:50:47 by billberg23 »


billberg23

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Photius is here commenting on Romans 2:26, where Paul says that a non-circumcised Gentile who (instinctively) observes the Torah's code of justice, τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου, can be counted as (virtually) circumcised, i.e. as good as Jewish.  Photius claims that Paul is careful to say "Torah's code of justice" rather than simply "Torah" so as to designate only the man-to-man provisions of the Torah (the second tablet of the Law, as demarcated by Leviticus 19:18, "Do unto others etc."), not the man-to-god commandments (the first tablet).  If the Jews could catch Paul (get a handle, a λαβή on Paul) claiming the same for the man-to-god provisions, the ἔργα τοῦ νόμου, they could immediately say, "Hey, that part of the Torah commands circumcision, so how could an uncircumcised person be counted as circumcised?"
And those ἔργα τοῦ νόμου, those "works of the Torah," those rituals, mutilations, fastings, sexual taboos,  dietary laws, Sabbaths, holy days, etc. were, in Paul's view, out the window with the coming of the "King's Law" that he proclaimed:  cf. e.g. Galatians 3:10, 6:2, 6:15, etc.
It's tempting to equate the Gentile "uncircumcised who follow the Justices of the Torah" with the Stoics, whose moral code closely matched that of Leviticus 19:18, and whom Paul could observe in all walks of life in the first century.  After all, he had been born and raised in Tarsus, a hotbed of Stoicism.
« Last Edit: 10 Jan, 2016, 05:06:10 by billberg23 »



 

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