Anomalous relative pronoun in Rom 9:5

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Because he's actually taking it as a substantive in apposition to ὁ Χριστός.
Lol, so you are taking it (ὁ ὢν) as an appositive. I was right and Fredo was wrong .

Why couldn’t you have answered this question when I asked you multiple times to do so ?

By the way , Trinitarians take it as an attributive participle.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
There is only one option available to Trinitarians at Romans 9:5, and that is to take ὁ ὢν as an attributive participle modifying ὁ Χριστός. Here is someone who understands the Trinitarian position at 9:5:

ὧν οἱ πατέρες, καὶ ἐξ ὧν ὁ Χριστὸς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα, ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν.

Attributive means an adjectival modifying a substantival head. Most modern translations like the ESV take ὁ rὢν to be an attributive participle modifying Christ, thus giving Rom 9:5 a trinitarian interpretation. It seems pretty straightforward to them. The articular participle is regularly attributive and attributive participles are regularly translated as WHO with a finite verb.

The problem with this however is that ὁ ὢν is never attributive in the GNT. So the Trinitarian reading is just not possible, biblically speaking, and certainly not possible in apostle Paul’s writings where ὁ ὢν at 2 Cor. 11:31, for instance, is certainly not attributive. And that, folks, is how the proverbial cookie crumbles.
 

cjab

Well-known member
As I have previously said on this thread, and scholars in print have said as well, such as Alford, if Paul was intending an attributive, the participle ὢν wouldn't have appeared in the text at all (e.g. Rev 1:5). Alternatively, ὢν would have appeared without the article ὁ (e.g. Eph 2:4 ὁ θεὸς πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει). Moreover the attributive use of God would give rise to the Sabellian heresy (although Trinitarians seem happy to live with it).

Moreover the notion that Christ would have been denoted "God" by a mere attributive, and without a relative pronoun, is both wild and untenable. "θεὸς" isn't an attribute, but an identity and a quasi-proper name with the article.

Trinitarians would have to demonstrate the use of attributives to "implicitly" modify the identity or name of a person in other places in the GNT. This will be difficult. Explicitly, this is possible with verbs such as λέγω (e.g. Matt 1:16) but with the verb εἰμί, the relative or the demonstrative pronoun would be used (e.g. Gal 3:16, Acts 10:36).
 
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The Real John Milton

Well-known member
As I have previously said on this thread, and scholars in print have said as well, such as Alford, if Paul was intending an attributive, the participle ὢν wouldn't have appeared in the text at all (e.g. Rev 1:5). Alternatively, ὢν would have appeared without the article ὁ (e.g. Eph 2:4 ὁ θεὸς πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει). Moreover the attributive use of God would give rise to the Sabellian heresy (although Trinitarians seem happy to live with it).

Moreover the notion that Christ would have been denoted "God" by a mere attributive, and without a relative pronoun, is both wild and untenable. "θεὸς" isn't an attribute, but an identity and a quasi-proper name with the article.

Trinitarians would have to demonstrate the use of attributives to "implicitly" modify the identity or name of a person in other places in the GNT. This will be difficult. Explicitly, this is possible with verbs such as λέγω (e.g. Matt 1:16) but with the verb εἰμί, the relative or the demonstrative pronoun would be used (e.g. Gal 3:16, Acts 10:36).
Bold above is a very strong point. Certain articular participles regularly appear in the second attributive position ofcourse ( example Rev. 17:9, Ὧδε ὁ νοῦς ὁ ἔχων σοφίαν.) but the articular ὢν never functions in this manner. If it is attributive, as you point out, it is invariably anarthrous.

Good warm-up,
 

cjab

Well-known member
Bold above is a very strong point. Certain articular participles regularly appear in the second attributive position ofcourse ( example Rev. 17:9, Ὧδε ὁ νοῦς ὁ ἔχων σοφίαν.) but the articular ὢν never functions in this manner. If it is attributive, as you point out, it is invariably anarthrous.

Good warm-up,
Another point is: ὁ ὢν (Ὁ Ὢν) was a name for God for Greek speaking Jews, from Ex 3:14 ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν. Hence ὁ ὢν is used as a subject in itself in ὁ ὢν ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς, also in Ex 3:14. In this sense, it means "The one being."

Ὁ Ὢν was confused by the Romans and others with the Greek word ὄνος (“the ass”), and a source for accusing Jews of onolatry.

So the force of attraction between ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων and Θεὸς in Rom 9:5 is far greater than one might suppose, given the significance of ὁ ὢν being an epithet for God in itself. The subject is thus the participle clause, ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς, the predicate εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
Another point is: ὁ ὢν (Ὁ Ὢν) was a name for God for Greek speaking Jews, from Ex 3:14 ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν. Hence ὁ ὢν is used as a subject in itself in ὁ ὢν ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς, also in Ex 3:14. In this sense, it means "The one being."

Ὁ Ὢν was confused by the Romans and others with the Greek word ὄνος (“the ass”), and a source for accusing Jews of onolatry.
Do you have a source for that? It sounds like more of a mocking thing than actual confusion, but I'd love to see a primary source.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Another point is: ὁ ὢν (Ὁ Ὢν) was a name for God for Greek speaking Jews, from Ex 3:14 ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν. Hence ὁ ὢν is used as a subject in itself in ὁ ὢν ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς, also in Ex 3:14. In this sense, it means "The one being."

Ὁ Ὢν was confused by the Romans and others with the Greek word ὄνος (“the ass”), and a source for accusing Jews of onolatry.

So the force of attraction between ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων and Θεὸς in Rom 9:5 is far greater than one might suppose, given the significance of ὁ ὢν being an epithet for God in itself. The subject is thus the participle clause, ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς, the predicate εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.
Notice ὁ ὤν is God’s name, not ἐγώ εἰμι.
 

cjab

Well-known member
Do you have a source for that? It sounds like more of a mocking thing than actual confusion, but I'd love to see a primary source.
My source is "God's Name ό "Ων (Exod 3:14) as a Source of Accusing Jews of Onolatry"
Jan M. Kozlowski
Institute of Classical Studies, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

He says, inter alia:

"When it comes to asking for a name, the one who asks expects a priori to
hear a proper name rather than an abstract grammatical form. For an ear not
necessarily familiar with the philosophical tradition identifying God with existence
itself, the naked participle ών, did not say a lot It must haw been rather
perceived as an indeclinable of non-Greek origin, phonetically overlapping
with the Hebrew name of the town of Heliopolis—Ων.

Among the ancient users of the Greek language, we observe the tendency
to Hellenize (εξελληνίζω) non-Greek masculine names ending in a consonant
by appending the inflectional suffix -ος. This can be observed in the instance
of Jewish names that functioned in two versions, e.g., Αδαμ/Αδαμος; Ιακώβ/
'Ιάκωβος; Αβελ/Αβελος; as well as in the case of such Hellenized Egyptian
names as: 4'αμμήτιχος, ΙΙετεσοΰχος or Κόλλουθος. The same is true of the name
of the Egyptian god Ώρος (from Egypt, Ώr). It is therefore probable that non-
Jews hearing the name ό "Ων for the first time declined it many a time as
ό "Ων-ος.

.
.

However, a connection of the hypothetical ό "Ων-ος with ό ὄνος could have
had a more "mechanical" cause. Already in the Attic inscriptions from the
third century BCE we observe an interchange of ω for o. This interchange also
appears in Egyptian papyri, rarely in the third century BCE, but very frequently
from the beginning of the second century BCE onward. Hence, it is plausible
that ό "Ων-ος could be heard as similar to ό ὄνος.

Even a single case of the interpretation of ό "Ων as ό ὄνος would have been
enough to form a meme, which was then transmitted from mouth to mouth.
The rest, in view of die mysteiy that surrounded the name of God of Israel, as
well as of an association of Him with Seth-Typhon and the universal tendency
of the human mind to confabulate, was filled in by imagination."
 

cjab

Well-known member
For the record, this is what Isaac Newton has to say about Rom 9:5.

[45] And such another corruption there is of a Doxology in Rom. 9.5. The Doxology is ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς ἐυλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς ἀιώνας. Αμὴν. Which the Syriac interpreter renders thus. Qui est Deus super omnes. Cui sint laudes et benedictiones in seculum seculorum Amen. Interpres Latinus in Bibl. Polyg. "Who is God over all to whom be praises & blessings for ever, Amen" Where if to him be written instead of to whom, as I suspect it was at first, & the stop in the middle of the sentence taken away, for stops are of late imposition, the Syriac version will be, "He who is God over all, to him be praises & blessings for ever Amen"; that is in our Dialect "To him who is God over all be praises" For the Syrians frequently \[make]/ use of the former way of speaking instead of the latter, which is ours. Some think thxxxxxxxx {sic} been added in the Greek; but I see no xxxxxxund {sic} for such \their/ opinion. There is more reason to suspect that the text has been abused by taking the first word ὁ for a relative, & the Syriac version corrupted as above. For ὁ is not a relative here, as they would perswade us. 'Tis always an article. For it never respects an antecedent, but by apposition of its consequent in the same case. Wee say not Χριστὸ ὁ ὤν Θεὸς but Χριστὸ τὸν ὀύτα Θεὸν. And this is all one to say Χριστὸν τὸν Θεὸν. In both cases τὸν is an article of one and the same nature & signification. We may indeed for ὁ ὤν, του ὄντος, τω ὄντι, by an Ellipsis of the Article say, who is; But if we will express the article, we must say, he who is, of him who is, to him who is, or the, of the, to the. If therefore we would translate the text without losing the article, we must not say, Who is God over all, but, He who is God over all; or, The God over all. And so the Question is, whether we must read, "the God over all blessed for ever Amen", & refer all this sentence to Christ by apposition (which seems a hard construction) or say, "The God over all be blessed for ever Amen" & so, with the Syriac interpreter, make Amen the conclusion of a wish, as it was always among the Syrians. They had no Optative mood; but expressed this mood by the future tense of the Indicative; & where they would lay an emphasis on the wish, added Amen. And the Apostles as it is well <100r> known spake Greek in the Syriac Idiom, and therefore ἐιλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς άιωνας being in the future tense, with Amen after it, is in the Dialect of the Apostles an optative. For even in the Doxology Rom. 1.25. where the verb ἐστιν is by the following words είς τοὺς άιωνας extended to the future tense, the Syriac interpreter, by reason of the concluding word Amen understood it as an Optative. This interpretation therefore I prefer. For the Iews used frequently to intermix Doxologies with their discourses. The Apostles do it frequently in their writings xxxxxx {sic} The God over all &c have the form of such a Doxology. The Apostle had been reckoning up the advantages of his own nation above other Nations, and it was proper to end such a discourse with giving Glory to God. And the Epithets ὀ ὤν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς & ἐύλογητὸς, that is, the most high God, & the blessed one, being among the Iews (x) the proper names of God the Father, cannot without straining be applied to any other, where without straining, they may as in this text be applied to him. (z) St Ambrose indeed disputing against those who understood this text of the Father saith, Siquis autem non putet {illeg} \de/ Christo dictum, "Qui est Deus," det personam de quâ dictum est. De Patre enim Deo hoc loco mentio facta [non] est. Sed quid mirum si in hoc loco Christum Deum super omnia apertâ voce loqueretur de quo aliâ in Epistolâ hunc sensum tali sermone firmavit, dicens, Ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur cælestium, terrestrium et infernorum. Hæc sunt omnia super quæ Deus Christus est. I agree with Ambrose that Christ in \is in/ that other Epistle is represented God over all, but not in this. For it is not requisite that the words of a Doxology should relate to the preceding Discourse. But whatever be the sense of the Greek, its plain by this passage of Ambrose, that some of the Latins of his age understood Qui est Deus of the Father; and by consequence that some of the ancient Latin versions now <101r> lost translated it as a Doxology. And since the Syriac now puts a stop after ἐυλογητὸς in the middle of the sentence, where the Greek admits of none, it argues that this version has been tampered with. And if so it is to be suspected, that the corruption has been made by writing to whom for to him as was said above. For the change in the Syriac lies but in a letter, & so might easily be made which makes me wish that old Syriac MSS could be here consulted. Till that may be done, I can only observe the Syriac Interpreter took Amen in the Greek for the conclusion of a wish, & he that understands it so there, will rather begin that wish at ὁ ὤν than at έυλογητὸς..
 
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The Real John Milton

Well-known member
By the way, in another thread Gryllus finally told me that he sees ὁ ὢν in Romans 9:5 as a predicate substantive ! No one could have predicted this rather strange response with what he had written in this thread.
 

cjab

Well-known member
By the way, in another thread Gryllus finally told me that he sees ὁ ὢν in Romans 9:5 as a predicate substantive ! No one could have predicted this rather strange response with what he had written in this thread.
All tortuous applications of ὁ ὢν to Christ are predicated on not grasping that Θεὸς, ὁ ὢν, ὀ ὤν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς & ἐύλογητὸς relate to the Father in Paul's theology, and also that ὁ ὢν is a Jewish title for God in the LXX.

Flesh cannot be God by definition: only the "son of God."

It's hardly worth arguing with those who can't recognize these basic theological principles accepted by the Jews.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Reminds me a bit of Trinitarians who accuse the apostle John of having “bad Greek” for leaving ὁ ὢν undeclined at Rev. 1:4:

Ἰωάνης ταῖς ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησίαις ταῖς ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ· χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἑπτὰ Πνευμάτων ἃ ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου αὐτοῦ,
 

cjab

Well-known member
Reminds me a bit of Trinitarians who accuse the apostle John of having “bad Greek” for leaving ὁ ὢν undeclined at Rev. 1:4:
Winer: In Rev. i. 4, άπο ό ὢν και ό ην και ό ερχόμενος, a whole phrase
(forming, as it were, a Greek equivalent for יהוה) is treated as an
indeclinable noun,—probably by design, as expressing the name of
the Unchangeable One.
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
My source is "God's Name ό "Ων (Exod 3:14) as a Source of Accusing Jews of Onolatry"
Jan M. Kozlowski
Institute of Classical Studies, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

He says, inter alia:

"When it comes to asking for a name, the one who asks expects a priori to
hear a proper name rather than an abstract grammatical form. For an ear not
necessarily familiar with the philosophical tradition identifying God with existence
itself, the naked participle ών, did not say a lot It must haw been rather
perceived as an indeclinable of non-Greek origin, phonetically overlapping
with the Hebrew name of the town of Heliopolis—Ων.

Among the ancient users of the Greek language, we observe the tendency
to Hellenize (εξελληνίζω) non-Greek masculine names ending in a consonant
by appending the inflectional suffix -ος. This can be observed in the instance
of Jewish names that functioned in two versions, e.g., Αδαμ/Αδαμος; Ιακώβ/
'Ιάκωβος; Αβελ/Αβελος; as well as in the case of such Hellenized Egyptian
names as: 4'αμμήτιχος, ΙΙετεσοΰχος or Κόλλουθος. The same is true of the name
of the Egyptian god Ώρος (from Egypt, Ώr). It is therefore probable that non-
Jews hearing the name ό "Ων for the first time declined it many a time as
ό "Ων-ος.

.
.

However, a connection of the hypothetical ό "Ων-ος with ό ὄνος could have
had a more "mechanical" cause. Already in the Attic inscriptions from the
third century BCE we observe an interchange of ω for o. This interchange also
appears in Egyptian papyri, rarely in the third century BCE, but very frequently
from the beginning of the second century BCE onward. Hence, it is plausible
that ό "Ων-ος could be heard as similar to ό ὄνος.

Even a single case of the interpretation of ό "Ων as ό ὄνος would have been
enough to form a meme, which was then transmitted from mouth to mouth.
The rest, in view of die mysteiy that surrounded the name of God of Israel, as
well as of an association of Him with Seth-Typhon and the universal tendency
of the human mind to confabulate, was filled in by imagination."
Read the entire article as online at JSTOR. Wow. In the publish or perish grind, this should have perished. A sieve would hold water longer than this article stands up. Whenever a writer fills his writing with "it is possible" or "it is plausible" it generally means that he has no actual evidence at all. And so here. Not a single manuscript, inscription or other hard evidence is cited. Just pure speculation.

Do you understand the difference between primary sources and secondary literature?
 
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