Author Topic: Romans 8:3  (Read 2432 times)

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Offline Heorhij

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Romans 8:3
« on: April 09, 2008, 10:52:03 AM »
Dear folks,

What is the meaning of this expression in Rom. 8:3, "Εν ομοιωματι σαρκος άμαρτιας?" English translations give something like "in the likeness of sinful flesh," but isn't it Docetism? Christ came in flesh, not in a "likeness" of a human being. And why άμαρτιας - sinful?

Thanks!

G.
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Offline FrChris

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 11:16:15 AM »
Ah, yes...ομοιωματι again, like yesterday. Bet I know why you're asking this question, eh?  ;)

The word is again imprecise, but the quote supports the idea that Christ was enfleshed in the same humanity that we share with Him. The 'likeness' phrase does not have the same meaning nowadays as it did then--in the past the word was used to mean 'exactly the same', while now 'likeness' implies that something is close to the same, but not quite the same.

As St John Chrysostom wrote in his Homily 13 on this epistle:

Quote
"... Now if he says that it was 'in the likeness of the flesh of sin' that He sent His Son, do not think that His flesh was a different kind...For Christ had no sinful flesh, but indeed like to our own sinful one, but sinless, and in nature the same with us".

So, again this points out the teaching of the Church that your heretical opponent is trying to deny:

1. Christ shares the same flesh as we do.
2. Through His Life, Death, and Resurrection that which He assumed can be deified.
3. Those who will be deified shall have thier human nature (i.e., their flesh) deified as well.
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 11:24:56 AM »
Thank you so much, Father Chris. "No more questions, Your Honor." :)
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008, 11:27:02 AM »
What is the meaning of this expression in Rom. 8:3, "Εν ομοιωματι σαρκος άμαρτιας?" English translations give something like "in the likeness of sinful flesh," but isn't it Docetism? Christ came in flesh, not in a "likeness" of a human being. And why άμαρτιας - sinful?

Thanks!

G.
"ομοιωματι"="in the same form/fashion as".
Note the prefix "ομο" ("homo") which occurs in "homoousios" ("the same substance").
Christ was Incarnate "in the "same fashion" of sinful flesh" because He didn't actual have any sin- as the Fathers of the Ecumenical Council put it: Christ is "a man like us in all things except sin".

Here are some other occurances of the word "ομοιωματι":

Romans 1:23 and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image (ομοιώματι εικόνος) of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.
Note how St. Paul uses the phrase "ομοιώματι εικόνος" ("likeness of an image") here. If he was simply referring to images, the word "εικόνος" would have been sufficient. If an "image" is a "likeness", then what is a "likeness of an image"? A better translation for "ομοιώματι" would be "form of" in this instance- meaning "the form of an image".

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren't like Adam's disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come.

Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection;

Philippians 2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness (form) of men.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008, 11:54:50 AM »
^ Many thanks, George, most helpful. --G.
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008, 01:07:29 PM »
I think there was a little error in your translation; you mention a rough translation of "sinful flesh" but in this case the word for "sin" is not being used as a common adjective but rather is a noun in the genitive case and is showing possession.  So it translates "flesh of sin" meaning the "flesh that sin possesses", and doesn't indicate that the flesh itself is sinful.  So in parallel, if I were to win the lottery, someone might say that it was the "luck of the Irish," so I might be described as lucky but it doesn't necessarily make me Irish.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 01:31:08 PM by Marc Hanna »

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 01:14:43 PM »
Dear ozGeorge,

I was curious; I understand the debate between St. Athanasius and Arius was over one iota.  I notice the iota in the word.  It was a difference between homoousios and homoiousios.

So is that word saying "omo +iwmati" or "omoi + wmati?"

Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 01:15:20 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2008, 01:23:42 PM »
So is that word saying "omo +iwmati" or "omoi + wmati?"
"omo +iwmati"
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2008, 02:11:53 PM »
I think there was a little error in your translation; you mention a rough translation of "sinful flesh" but in this case the word for "sin" is not being used as a common adjective but rather is a noun in the genitive case and is showing possession.  So it translates "flesh of sin" meaning the "flesh that sin possesses", and doesn't indicate that the flesh itself is sinful.  So in parallel, if I were to win the lottery, someone might say that it was the "luck of the Irish," so I might be described as lucky but it doesn't necessarily make me Irish.

Thank you, Marc. And how do you say in Greek, "sinful" (adjective, like in "sinful man," or "sinful deed")?
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2008, 02:19:47 PM »
The same root word can be used in adjectival form but its case endings would have to agree with noun it modifies; so that would depend on whether the noun is masculine, feminine, neuter, singular, plural and what case it is in.   Also, generally there will be a definate article in the mix.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2008, 02:26:15 PM »
Thank you, Marc. And how do you say in Greek, "sinful" (adjective, like in "sinful man," or "sinful deed")?
A "sinful men" would be ανθρωπων αμαρτωλων (lit. "men of sin").
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2008, 02:35:45 PM »
ανηρ αμαρτωλος.  Man sinful or sinful man.

Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2008, 02:48:12 PM »
Ozgeorge:

Wouldn't your's be translated "of sinful men"?

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2008, 03:02:08 PM »
^Thanks again, Marc and OzGeorge.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2008, 03:06:27 PM »
Ozgeorge:

Wouldn't your's be translated "of sinful men"?
"of persons of sin" would be correct.
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2008, 03:11:59 PM »
But doesn't the word for sin just take on the genitive ending because it modifies the noun?  Sorry for my pedantry . . . I think someone was just making fun of pedants in another thread :)

I think men of sin would be "ανθρωποις αμαρτιας"

I can't type Greek fonts into this thing at all, I can only cut and paste.  Can somebody help me, I feel like such an idiot! :)

EDIT:  fixed transliteration.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 03:29:07 PM by Marc Hanna »

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2008, 03:20:33 PM »
I can't type Greek fonts into this thing at all, I can only cut and paste.  Can somebody help me, I feel like such an idiot! :)
Are you using Windows?
Apostolos posted the instructions for you here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15322.msg220089.html#msg220089


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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2008, 03:27:28 PM »
ανθρωπος

Okay, now I got it.  Apparently, I have difficulty following instructions. :)

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2008, 03:32:51 PM »
Depending on which font you are using, try hitting the ";" key before typing a letter and it will accent it.
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2008, 03:38:56 PM »
ἁμαρτία

Ooooh, look at me go now :P

« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 03:56:46 PM by Marc Hanna »

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2008, 04:46:26 PM »
thanks George...so i guess there was an error in translation then?
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2008, 05:47:03 AM »
thanks George...so i guess there was an error in translation then?
In which instance? Do you mean in the case of "homousios" and "homoiousios"?
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2008, 01:08:08 PM »
In which instance? Do you mean in the case of "homousios" and "homoiousios"?

I meant the english.  That is shouldn't be written as "like" but "in the same fashion."
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Romans 8:3
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2008, 10:29:35 PM »
I meant the english.  That is shouldn't be written as "like" but "in the same fashion."
I think the problem is that the meanings of English words have changed with time since the translation of the NT.
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