Class Notes: 6/8/2023
The book of Romans part 139; Rom 3:5-7;
In our verse-by-verse study of Romans we are in Rom 3:5; with the phrase translated ""what shall we say?" is a literal translation of the debater's rhetorical response.
It includes the nominative neuter singular from the interrogative pronoun "tis," plus the future active indicative from the verb "lego." The future tense is a deliberative future used for rhetorical questions taking the place of a deliberate assertion.
The future active indicative of this rhetorical question is actually used seven times in the book of Romans, and in each case Paul is using logic in connection with debater's technique in order to refute a false position. Rom 3:5; 4:1; 6:1; 7:7; 8:31; 9:14, 30.
The active voice of the verb: Paul assumes the distortion of the self-righteous Jew as a part of debater's technique producing the action of the verb. This is the setting up of a straw man through an idiom.
The indicative mood is used here as a rhetorical question. The phrase literally means, "what shall we say?" But it is a Greek idiom in debater's technique that should be translated, "to what conclusion are we forced?"
So here we have a debater's rhetorical question designed to express a false conclusion and then destroy that false conclusion. "What shall we say then?" is a literal translation of the idiom but a better translation of the idiom is "to what conclusion are we forced."
The false conclusion is stated, and then refuted. "Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath?" This begins with the negative particle "me" that is used when the question demands a negative answer.
Then a predicate nominative from the adjective "adikos" that means "unrighteousness." This is the key to the false conclusion. The subject in the nominative is "the God" translated from "ho Theos".
Then a present active participle from the verb "epiphero" that means to bring accusation, to inflict with the accusative singular direct object of "orge" that is anthropopathism that means anger but in this case it refers to punishment.
There is also a definite article with the participle acting as a relative pronoun. It should be translated, "to what conclusion are we forced? Is the God who inflicts punishment unrighteous? No."
The historical present tense of the participle indicates a past event viewed with the vividness of a present occurrence. In other words, Paul is extrapolating debater's technique that had been previously used against him and now brings it up to the present by inserting it at this point to teach a principle of doctrine.
The last judgment is also in view here, so we have a futuristic present tense denoting the last judgment and the lake of purification that has not occurred yet.
It is regarded as so certain that it is stated in the present tense as though it has already happened. The active voice: God produces the action.
This is a circumstantial participle that is used in debater's technique. The negative "me" indicates that Paul has assumed a false position in order to refute that position.
The conclusion is unthinkable and blasphemous. It is impossible for God who has perfect integrity to be unrighteous. The integrity of God's holiness was intact in eternity past before man was created, nothing can change it and nothing ever will.
There is nothing man can do to destroy, neutralize, cancel, or rescind God's integrity. There is nothing that man can do to compromise God's integrity.
Man's unrighteousness does not glorify God but God's perfect integrity condemns man's unrighteousness.
There is no point in either angelic or human history where God's integrity is compromised or loses from man's unrighteousness or gains from man's self-righteousness.
The debater's first class condition introduces the premise that sets up a false conclusion. When the premise is false so the conclusion is false. The conclusion can be no stronger than the premise.
No one establishes God's righteousness no one adds anything to God's integrity. This is a fundamental principle of grace that separates grace from legalism.
God can add to something to our integrity but we cannot add anything to God's integrity.
God's righteousness is absolute and is an integral part of His integrity. God's righteousness, along with His justice has always existed and is not subject to change or promotion by any creature. God's essence or character stands without help from man or angel.
In other words, God does not need our help; we need His help. We need the benefit of God's integrity that begins at the point of salvation adjustment to God's justice when we believe in Jesus.
Imputed righteousness is the beginning of blessing from God's justice. Imputed righteousness is where God begins to share His integrity with us.
"(I speak as a man)" is another idiom. "Kata" plus the accusative of "anthropos" means "according to man." It is translated "according to man" or "according to the standards of man." The present active indicative of "lego" means "I am speaking."
This is a descriptive present tense indicating what is now going on, the expression of self-righteous human viewpoint. The active voice: Paul as a part of debater's technique assumes the attitude of the self-righteous unbeliever in order to refute that position.
The indicative mood is declarative for a simple statement of human viewpoint. Paul assumes human viewpoint to refute it using the straw man principle.
Expanded Translation Rom 3:5; "But if our unrighteousness promotes the integrity of God [and we assume it does], to what conclusion are we forced? The God who inflicts wrathful punishment is not unrighteous, is he? No, of course not. I am presenting human viewpoint."
The issue is that it is God who inflicts judgment on the unbeliever's unrighteous. Is God's integrity compromised by judging man? Does the temporal and eternal judgment of the unbeliever in any way compromise the attributes of God? The answer is no.
On the contrary, the function of God's justice in condemning the unbeliever simply confirms God's integrity.
Rom 3:6; Starts with a complete denial of the false assertion that he used in the previous verse. He begins with "me genoito," the strongest of negative idioms translated "May it never be" or "Emphatically not."
The aorist active optative of "ginomai" is used for a doubtful attitude of mind on the part of the hearers, not the writer. By use of the optative of "ginomai" Paul is saying that he is clear, he doesn't have any problem, he is bringing this all up to reflect the hearers' thinking and to straighten it out.
"Otherwise how" is another idiom of suppressed condition translated from, "epei pos." "Otherwise how will the God judge the world?" the nominative singular subject " Theos" with the definite article "o" that we have seen before referring to Jesus Christ who is the presiding judge of the supreme court of heaven per John 5:22, 27.
Then the future active indicative of "krino" translated judge. This is a gnomic future that is a statement of fact. The last judgment is anticipated as reality under the gnomic future tense.
The indicative mood is declarative for the reality of the last judgment. Then an accusative singular direct object from "kosmos" referring to the world that God is going to judge.
Rom 3:6; Expanded Translation: "Emphatically not. Otherwise if it were true how shall God judge the world?"
Rom 3:7; "But if," the postpositive conjunctive particle "de" translated "but" that is used to connect one clause with another to continue to use the debater's technique, showing how ludicrous man's thinking is on this topic.
Then the conditional particle "ei" that introduces a first class condition of "if'," "if and we assume it is true." It introduces the protasis of a first class condition that is an assumption from the viewpoint of reality.
Here the first class condition is used as debater's technique. Paul uses this premise to refute the premise. Paul assumes something to be true so he can refute it. Here he states a premise of legalism.
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