Greek Question - Rom. 2

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jun 2 2013 9:18 PM

A friend is asking me why Rom. 2:26, 27 are phrased as questions since he doesn't see it in the Greek. Can a Greek scholar elucidate this, please?

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 2 2013 10:04 PM

I don't know Greek, but I've poked around at some of my technical commentaries. Romans 2 is in the form of a diatribe with an interlocutor, a form which uses rhetorical questions.

From Hermeneia:

The second section of the diatribe opens with measured argument, but the questions of Jewish exceptionalism and the assertion of superiority remain central. The issue in this second section is whether circumcision provides a status for Jews that “Gentiles, however righteous, simply lack,” to employ John Barclay’s formulation.101 Some have found the transition to this section so abrupt that a new pericope is considered to begin with v. 25 102 but since the rhetorical questions typical for diatribe continue in vv. 26 and 27 most commentators accept the continuation of a single pericope encompassing vv. 17–29[1]


101 John M. G. Barclay, “Paul and Philo on Circumcision: Romans 2.25–9 in Social and Cultural Context,” NTS 44 (1998) 544.

102 For example, Kühl, 91; Schmidt, 52–53; Käsemann, 71–72; Ziesler, 92; Dunn, 118–19; Fitzmyer, 319–20; Stuhlmacher, 48; Moo, 166.

[1] Robert Jewett and Roy David Kotansky, Romans: A Commentary, ed. Eldon Jay Epp, Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006), 231.

And more specifically, on verse 26, the Hermeneia commentary says:

The first inference in the form of a rhetorical question that Paul draws from his thesis statement in v. 25 is that if uncircumcised persons observe the law, do they not gain the privileged status of being circumcised? Although most Jewish teachers in Paul’s time would have denied this possibility,122 the Christian audience that has followed this diatribe since the beginning of chap. 2 would naturally answer in the affirmative. Paul’s formulation is shrewdly designed to evoke this response. It is not only that a question with οὐκ (“not”) requires an affirmative response.123 The condition he describes is that uncircumcised Gentiles “observe” (φυλάσσῃ) the “righteous requirements of the law” (τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου), employing technical terminology of legal conformity from the LXX.124 This terminology occurs throughout the LXX, for example, in Exod 15:26 where Moses promises prosperity “if … you observe all his righteous requirements (ἐὰν … φυλάσσῃς πάντα τὰ δικαιώματα αὐτοῦ).”125 The possibility of such exemplary obedience on the part of Gentiles was established in Rom 2:14–16, and there is no indication in Paul’s formulation that this is merely hypothetical.126

The apodosis of the rhetorical question is formulated with the logical future, “will not his uncircumcision be reckoned as circumcision?” The future verb λογισθήσεται (“it will be reckoned, counted”) is required by the syntax of the “if” clause,127 and should not be interpreted in reference to the eschatological judgment,128 which is extraneous to this discussion of one group gaining a social or religious advantage over another. This would be rendered more clearly if Marcus’s translation were followed, with the abusive term ἀκροβυστία translated as “foreskin,” a derogatory term for Gentiles.129 Paul’s point is that if Gentiles obey the law of God, they suffer no disadvantage in comparison with circumcised Jews. As John Barclay points out, “that non-Jews could be counted as ‘circumcised’ merely on the basis of ‘keeping the just requirements of the law’ is an astonishing claim.”130 Yet for the Christian audience of this brilliant rhetorical argument, assent to this rhetorical question is ineluctable, and thereby Paul establishes a crucial foundation not only for the rest of this pericope, but also for the later argument (in chaps. 12–16) in favor of equalizing honor between members of the Christian community despite their differences in culture and social status.[1]


122 See Dodd, 41; Michel, 133; Dunn, 122.

123 Cranfield, 173.

124 See Georg Bertram, “φυλάσσω, φυλακή,” TDNT 9 (1974) 237–39; Gottlob Schrenk, “δικαίωμα,” TDNT 2 (1964) 220; nowhere else does Paul employ the plural of δικαίωμα.

125 Other examples of this technical formulation are in Deut 4:40; 6:2; 7:11; 26:17; 28:45; 30:10, 16; 3 Kgdms 2:3; Pss 104:45; 118:5, 8; Prov 2:8; Mic 8:16; Ezek 11:20; 18:9; 20:13, 18, 19, 21; 43:11.

126 For example, Käsemann, 73; Cranfield, 173; and others maintain the purely hypothetical nature of this argument in order to prevent a contradiction with Paul’s conclusion in 3:9 that “both Jews and Greeks are under the power of sin.” Barrett, 58, is correct in arguing that “the ‘when’ of the parallel in v. 14 suggests that the possibility is not merely hypothetical.”

127 Kühl, 92; Moulton and Turner, Grammar III, 115–16; Meyer, 1:132, refers to this as the assessment of “older expositors.”

128 Meyer, 1:132; Zahn, 143; Weiss, 130; Lagrange, 56; Kuss, 90; Schlier, 26; Wilckens, 1:155.

129 Marcus, “Circumcision and Uncircumcision” 74–78.

130 Barclay, “Romans 2.25–9, ” 545.

[1] Robert Jewett and Roy David Kotansky, Romans: A Commentary, ed. Eldon Jay Epp, Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006), 233–234.

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 2 2013 10:16 PM

Verse 26 is definitely a question:

ἐὰν οὖν ἡ ἀκροβυστία τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου φυλάσσῃ, οὐχ ἡ ἀκροβυστία αὐτοῦ εἰς περιτομὴν λογισθήσεται;

The semicolon in the end is an interrogation mark in Greek.

Verse 27 is not punctuated as a question in NA28. However, the punctuation is a later interpretive choice and not in the earlier manuscripts. [Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Palaeography (Corrected Ed.,1991), p. 32: "The interrogation mark (;) first appears about the eighth or ninth century."]

Since verse 27 begins with καί, it is plausible to translate it as a question, by treating the second part of verse 26 through verse 27 as one long apodosis. i.e. If A, won't B? and C and D? In this case we see how καί can be quite versatile.

Different translations do it differently. For example, the ESV goes with the former, and the NET Bible the latter.

 

To reiterate, Metzger on p.32 says:

Although the exegete can learn something concerning the history of the interpretation of a passage by considering the punctuation of a passage in the manuscripts, neither the editor nor the translator need, of course, feel bound to adopt the punctuation preferred by scribes.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 1:01 AM

Thanks for posting this...it does shine "light" on some of the other questions this verse raises--and I don't have Hermeneia, so it's helpful to get that perspective--but it doesn't exactly state "why" these verses are grammatically/syntactically rhetorical questions, it just says they are. Obviously they are translated that way in English, but why?

Rosie Perera:

And more specifically, on verse 26, the Hermeneia commentary says:

The first inference in the form of a rhetorical question that Paul draws from his thesis statement in v. 25 is that if uncircumcised persons observe the law, do they not gain the privileged status of being circumcised? Although most Jewish teachers in Paul’s time would have denied this possibility,122 the Christian audience that has followed this diatribe since the beginning of chap. 2 would naturally answer in the affirmative. Paul’s formulation is shrewdly designed to evoke this response. It is not only that a question with οὐκ (“not”) requires an affirmative response.123 The condition he describes is that uncircumcised Gentiles “observe” (φυλάσσῃ) the “righteous requirements of the law” (τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου), employing technical terminology of legal conformity from the LXX.124 This terminology occurs throughout the LXX, for example, in Exod 15:26 where Moses promises prosperity “if … you observe all his righteous requirements (ἐὰν … φυλάσσῃς πάντα τὰ δικαιώματα αὐτοῦ).”125 The possibility of such exemplary obedience on the part of Gentiles was established in Rom 2:14–16, and there is no indication in Paul’s formulation that this is merely hypothetical.126

The apodosis of the rhetorical question is formulated with the logical future, “will not his uncircumcision be reckoned as circumcision?” The future verb λογισθήσεται (“it will be reckoned, counted”) is required by the syntax of the “if” clause,127 and should not be interpreted in reference to the eschatological judgment,128 which is extraneous to this discussion of one group gaining a social or religious advantage over another. This would be rendered more clearly if Marcus’s translation were followed, with the abusive term ἀκροβυστία translated as “foreskin,” a derogatory term for Gentiles.129 Paul’s point is that if Gentiles obey the law of God, they suffer no disadvantage in comparison with circumcised Jews. As John Barclay points out, “that non-Jews could be counted as ‘circumcised’ merely on the basis of ‘keeping the just requirements of the law’ is an astonishing claim.”130 Yet for the Christian audience of this brilliant rhetorical argument, assent to this rhetorical question is ineluctable, and thereby Paul establishes a crucial foundation not only for the rest of this pericope, but also for the later argument (in chaps. 12–16) in favor of equalizing honor between members of the Christian community despite their differences in culture and social status.[1]


Now, regarding Jewett & Kotansky's statement...

Jewett & Kotansky:

most Jewish teachers in Paul’s time would have denied this possibility

Y'think, guys? This bald understatement is self-evident, because ANYONE who still values the ninth commandment is forced to acknowledge that what Paul is saying there is a complete load of crap...i.e. there is no possible way that his statement can be answered affirmatively and not be a lie. If "the Christian audience" "would naturally answer in the affirmative" then that can only mean "natural" as in unsullied by the word of YHWH and His proclivity for speaking according to Truth.

Also, J&K's further observations...

J&K:

Paul’s formulation is shrewdly designed to evoke this response. It is not only that a question with οὐκ (“not”) requires an affirmative response.123 The condition he describes is that uncircumcised Gentiles “observe” (φυλάσσῃ) the “righteous requirements of the law” (τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου), employing technical terminology of legal conformity from the LXX.124 This terminology occurs throughout the LXX, for example, in Exod 15:26 where Moses promises prosperity “if … you observe all his righteous requirements (ἐὰν … φυλάσσῃς πάντα τὰ δικαιώματα αὐτοῦ).”125 The possibility of such exemplary obedience on the part of Gentiles was established in Rom 2:14–16, and there is no indication in Paul’s formulation that this is merely hypothetical.

...all pretty much gut the heart of the entire argument Paul is "shrewdly" setting up in later chapters. If Gentiles are in fact keeping the law with "exemplary obedience", why say later that "it can't be kept" and call Moses a liar? Deut. 30:10, 11 And never mind the fact that the UNCIRCUMCISED Gentile "who keeps the law" ISN'T KEEPING THE LAW because he isn't circumcised. Which, of course, totally nullifies

J&K:

Paul’s point is that if Gentiles obey the law of God, they suffer no disadvantage in comparison with circumcised Jews.

...primarily because it just simply isn't true. Nay...more--it is impossibly, definitively untrue. Speaking about "uncircumcised Gentiles who keep the law" is like talking about "square circles". This inescapable circumstance, which seems to be blissfully ignored by, um...everyone...is no doubt why J&K's next statement can't help but admit...

J&K:

As John Barclay points out, “that non-Jews could be counted as ‘circumcised’ merely on the basis of ‘keeping the just requirements of the law’ is an astonishing claim.”

"Frightening claim" might have been a more apt way to phrase it. Just as frightening is the notion that the aforementioned "Christian audience" would find such ontological tomfoolery to be a "brilliant rhetorical argument", especially since "inept" and "absurd" are words that are far more appropriate.

That said, I really don't think my friend's concern about whether Paul's comments are or are not phrased as questions has much bearing on his meaning. Still, I noticed that the next guy seemed certain that the first verse at least is interrogative. I will weigh his data.

Thanks.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 1:07 AM

Lee:

Verse 26 is definitely a question:

ἐὰν οὖν ἡ ἀκροβυστία τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου φυλάσσῃ, οὐχ ἡ ἀκροβυστία αὐτοῦ εἰς περιτομὴν λογισθήσεται;

The semicolon in the end is an interrogation mark in Greek.

Hmmm...honestly, I think there really has to be more to it than just a semi-colon. Did they even use them back then??? I don't think so.

There must be some structural reason for it...something that makes Paul's statement rhetorical. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 1:15 AM

David Paul:
Did they even use them back then??? I don't think so.

I agree. Re: Greek manuscripts: "Notice in addition to the lack of punctuation and spacing, the regular use of abbreviations for the words God (ΘΕΟΥ - ΘΥ), Lord (ΚΥΡΙΟΥ – ΚΥ), Jesus (ΙΗΣΟΥ – ΙΥ), and Christ (ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ – ΧΥ). In Codex Sinaiticus as in all of the early manuscripts, such abbreviations are marked by a macron (¯) over the letters.... By including both the first and last letters in the abbreviation, the CASE of the words in question is clear"

Re semicolon: "The author of "Woe is I" Patricia T. O'Conner described semicolon by saying "If a comma is a yield sign and a period is a stop sign, the semicolon is a flashing red - one of those lights you drive through after a brief pause." It was first established by an Italian printer to separate words of different meanings and to mark out the independent statements. The printer in question, Aldus Manutius, printed out the first semicolon in his work in 1494 while the earliest general use of the semicolon was in 1591. The first notable English writer to use this punctuation systematically was Ben Johnson."

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 1:17 AM

David Paul:

Rosie Perera:

most Jewish teachers in Paul’s time would have denied this possibility

Y'think?

I didn't say I think any of this, and am not interested in a debate about it. I was just posting what I found that even addressed the question of whether that was a question or not. That's all I was able to find upon doing a search through my Entire Library for question NEAR <Rom 2:26>. And then I edited my search criteria to target the results more specifically ("rhetorical question" NEAR <Rom 2:26>) since there were a bunch of irrelevant hits from my first attempt, e.g., "the text in question..."; perusing some of the hits I saw that "rhetorical question" seemed to be a likely phrase to find commentaries actually discussing whether this was a question or not. Maybe my search terms were skewed, or maybe my library is skewed away from resources that would think a priori that it couldn't be a question. You seem to be looking for the other type of resource that would support your view. Sorry I can't be of more help. But I've given you some suggestions for how to formulate your search, so maybe you can find something in your Library that's more up your alley. Cheers!

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 1:30 AM

Rosie Perera:

I didn't say I think any of this...

Sorry, Rosie, my retort was not directed toward you, but rather to the quote. Didn't mean to corral you into their perspective. Smile

I think I will call it a night...perhaps by morning someone with solid Greek skills can point out the specific interrogative switch in Paul's passage. If not, I will try a few commentaries that might focus on textual issues like this. I do have a fair-sized library, but I think yours is bigger. I'll see if I can turn something up with a pick and shovel rather than the GPR of a search.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 2:08 AM

David Paul:
perhaps by morning someone with solid Greek skills can point out the specific interrogative switch in Paul's passage.

I'm guessing that just as in English, there is not necessarily any definitive grammatical marking, but the question is in the eye of the beholder, and is determined by context. For example, in English, we might say (without punctuating it as a question, but with a certain sarcastic tone of voice) -- "You're wearing that dress to the party." Depending on context, the recipient of that statement (assuming she is an adult and knows she has full choice over what she can wear and isn't being TOLD to wear that particular dress) would understand her friend/partner to be saying "Surely you're not going to wear that [ugly/ridiculous] dress to the party, are you?"

Likewise, in Greek, the context probably helps determine whether interpreters take something as a question or not. I haven't done a careful read on this particular pericope, but it could be that this is why most interpreters seem to be coming to the conclusion that it is meant as a question. In other words, even if you can definitively prove that the Greek text has no specific markers for a question, interpreters who see it as a question might be fully justified in seeing it so.

I have not found any in commentaries in my Library that interpret either v. 26 or vv. 26-27 as a declarative statement(s) yet. Do you have a suggestion as to a commentary set that might be likely to do so, with theological leanings that might predispose it that way? I could check and see if I have it in my library and look that up for you if you like. I'm thinking it might be a Jewish or Messianic commentary that might see it this way if any. I've got A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, Matthew–1 Corinthians: Volume 4, Acts–1 Corinthians, but it only covers Romans chapters 3, 8, and 11. I don't know of any other Jewish/Hebraic leaning commentary on Romans that Logos carries. But even the Messianic Bible Study Collection (which I do have) translates those verses as questions:

"Verse 26 points out that reality without rite is righteousness: If therefore the uncircumcision keep the ordinances of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision?

"So if a Gentile did keep the Law but lacked circumcision, the lack of circumcision would not condemn him.

"Verse 27 states that, in fact, the righteous uncircumcision will judge the unrighteous circumcision: and shall not the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law?"

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Messianic Bible Study Collection, vol. 87 (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1983), 11–12.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 2:18 AM

I was just about to shut down... Sleep

No, I don't really have anything in mind from a Messianic perspective...or any other. What I was thinking about checking was the UBS commentary, since it addresses translational issues directly. I was also going to check Moo, since with the last Romans question I bothered to check in a commentary, he seemed to get into textual issues a bit. After that, I would probably check some of my Classical Commentaries on Romans, since the old school guys tended to be pretty anal retentive about such stuff, by and large...which is exactly why I bought all of them, Genesis to Revelation.

Fwiw, I don't really care if it is or isn't a question--I don't see that it matters much as far as meaning. I just told my friend that I could probably get a quick answer as to why it was phrased rhetorically.

I'm better with Hebrew. Like I told my friend, Greek is extremely touchy and the bit that completely changes the meaning of a sentence may occur many words away...or even in another person's letter. Wink  But, I am now officially going to think about it tomorrow.

Sleep

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 2:28 AM

Btw, I am suddenly feeling very bicentennial...

Cake

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 3:37 AM

David Paul:
What I was thinking about checking was the UBS commentary, since it addresses translational issues directly.

I did already check the UBS Handbook, but it assumes without explanation that it's a rhetorical question:

Romans 2:26

The Gentile, who is not circumcised (see RSV “a man who is uncircumcised”) is literally “the uncircumcision.” Paul uses this word “uncircumcision” in three different senses, depending on the context: (1) the foreskin of the male, (2) the state of being uncircumcised, and (3) those persons who are uncircumcised, that is, Gentiles. In a similar fashion Paul sometimes uses “circumcision” as a reference to the Jews (see verse in Romans 3:30; and verse 4:9, as well as verse 4:12; and verse 15:8). The passive verb “be regarded” (RSV) is actually a Semantic way of speaking of God’s action without mentioning the name of God. In order to make this information clear for the reader, the TEV renders the entire expression as will not God regard him as though he were circumcised?

Verse 26 involves several problems, not only because of the rhetorical question which completes the verse, but also because of the nonrestrictive attributive clause who is not circumcised. In some languages this expression must be a complete sentence, but clearly marked as contrastive—for example, “on the other hand, Gentiles are not circumcised; nevertheless, if they obey the commands of the Law, God will surely regard them as though they were circumcised.” In this manner the logical relations between the various clauses is carefully preserved and the singular is changed to plural in order to indicate clearly that all such persons are involved.

Barclay Moon Newman and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1973), 47.

David Paul:
I would probably check some of my Classical Commentaries on Romans, since the old school guys tended to be pretty anal retentive about such stuff, by and large...which is exactly why I bought all of them, Genesis to Revelation.

I let most of these pass me by except Genesis, Galatians, and Philippians. I figured I didn't want my Library cluttered with so many commentaries that I'd never have time to dig into them all. Somewhere along the line I started second guessing my decision to sit them all out, so I bid on a few. That explains the random assortment that I ended up with. They were so cheap in CP, I should have just gone for them all. I could have always filtered them out of my searches using collections. Oh well. They're too expensive now to have any second (or third) thoughts.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 3:38 AM

David Paul:

Btw, I am suddenly feeling very bicentennial...

Cake

?????

Who or what was born or published in 1813?

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 4:56 AM

David Paul:

Lee:

Verse 26 is definitely a question:

ἐὰν οὖν ἡ ἀκροβυστία τὰ δικαιώματα τοῦ νόμου φυλάσσῃ, οὐχ ἡ ἀκροβυστία αὐτοῦ εἰς περιτομὴν λογισθήσεται;

The semicolon in the end is an interrogation mark in Greek.

Hmmm...honestly, I think there really has to be more to it than just a semi-colon. Did they even use them back then??? I don't think so.

No, they didn't. Isn't it stated there in my post? Hmm

But the ultimate decider is context, context, context. And any very early commentary could help with that, although I did not bother to consult those for this one-shot forum question.

Maybe someone can take a shot at translating verse 26 as if it were not an interrogative.

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Jon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 5:50 AM

David Paul:
If not, I will try a few commentaries that might focus on textual issues like this

You might also consider looking at some grammars to see how questions work in Greek. Because there were no question marks in the original text, whether a clause is a statement or a question is often a matter of interpretation — for a good example look up a few verses at Romans 2:21b-22.

In this case you are limited to two options... Paul begins the clause with οὐ so the first option is a rhetorical question expecting a positive answer. Since οὐ is also used to negate the indicative mood, the other interpretative possibility is a negative statement, which would read something like "if the uncircumcised [person] were to keep the requirements of the law, their uncircumcision will not be regarded as circumcision."

In context here only the rhetorical question would make sense...

EDIT:

Sections on Greek questions in Porter and Young

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 7:46 AM

I suggest some research into the  "third class subjunctive" (ean+subjunctive mood).

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Mark Keaton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 7:56 AM

Jon:

In this case you are limited to two options... Paul begins the clause with οὐ so the first option is a rhetorical question expecting a positive answer. Since οὐ is also used to negate the indicative mood, the other interpretative possibility is a negative statement, which would read something like "if the uncircumcised [person] were to keep the requirements of the law, their uncircumcision will not be regarded as circumcision."

I think Jon has got it here. But I would go even further to say that οὐ negating the indicative is not a possibility either, since the οὐ is fronted in the clause (2:26b). It works almost identically as English's "won't." Thus, even if English punctuation were to disappear due to a  great "Comma Conflagration," we would be able to reasonably infer an English question mark in the following section:

>>> So if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law 
>>> won't his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision
>>> Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law

Where would the question mark go? Try reading it out loud. To an English speaker, "won't his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision," screams "Question." The Greek οὐχ is functioning in the same way in Rom 2:26b as English "won't."

2:27 as a question is much more interpretive than 2:26. But you would be hard pressed to find someone who would argue with the NA28 punctuation of 2:26.

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 7:58 AM

I seriously wonder why a cursory, seemingly non-technical question in an online forum should want or deserve a full-blooded technical reply.

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Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 8:05 AM

Lee:

I seriously wonder why a cursory, seemingly non-technical question in an online forum should want or deserve a full-blooded technical reply.

Sleep

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 3 2013 8:22 AM

Lee:
I seriously wonder why a cursory, seemingly non-technical question in an online forum should want or deserve a full-blooded technical reply.

Lee,

first of all, threads in online forums tend to develop from the original question - sometimes into shallow small-talk, sometimes into technical depth. To paraphrase a recent philosopher: it's like a box of chocolate, you never know what you'll get, i.e. where the thread evolves to. On the other hand, maybe perception is different between various members of online discussions.

"why Rom. 2:26, 27 are phrased as questions since he doesn't see it in the Greek. Can a Greek scholar elucidate this, please?"

does look like a pretty technical question for me, none the less since scholarship regarding Koine Greek is specifically asked for. A cursory answer like "the translators seemed to think this might be the best fit" would probably not satisfy.

Thanks to those who weighed in - I learned a bit!

Mick

EDIT: I actually liked your answer above, Lee, and for my limited exposure to Greek it was fine, but it seems inquisitive minds dig deeper. /EDIT

 

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