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kruptos & phanero

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#1 yetsirah



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Posted 09 April 2007 - 11:40 AM

Hello all you Greek scholars:
I am studying the words kruptos and phanero. What I am wondering is if any of you know what the best way to translate these words are? My research shows that kruptos is primarily hidden/concealed; Phanero is primarily revealed/known. However, in Romans 2.28 – 2.29 they has been translated as inward and outward. i have found no other occurrence for this in the English texts. This brings question to the translation.

Can any of you help me to understand why SHOULD be translated inward and outward?

Within context it can maintain the idea of conceal or revealed and still make plain sense.



#2 Charles Stock

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 07:22 PM

This may not be the most erudite answer given, but it seems AT Robertson's insight give the flavor of the usage in that passage. Quoted from Word Pictures:

"28. Which is one outwardly (ho en tośi phanerośi). Ioudaios (Jew) has to be repeated (ellipse) with the article, “the in the open Jew” (circumcision, phylacteries, tithes, etc.). Likewise repeat peritomeś (circumcision).

29. Who is one inwardly (ho en tośi kruptośi). Repeat Ioudaios (Jew) here also, “the in the inward part Jew” (circumcision of the heart peritomeś kardias and not a mere surgical operation as in Col. 2:11, in the spirit en pneumati, with which compare 2 Cor. 3:3, 6). This inward or inside Jew who lives up to his covenant relation with God is the high standard that Paul puts before the merely professional Jew described above. Whose praise (hou ho epainos). The antecedent of the relative hou is Ioudaios (Jew). Probably (Gifford) a reference to the etymology of Judah (praise) as seen in Gal. 49:8."

The "Gal. 49.8" is from the Accordance text. It should read Gen. 49:8.

#3 yetsirah



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Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:30 PM

Thank you. Don't take me as throwing it out. However, it seems very traditional Christian. I don't understand why these words would be used otherwise everywhere else (allowing for potential missed verses).

It appears to me that this verse should possibly read...
[UPDATE: Right you were Rob! That was an accident of hurried writing. It didn't even match my notes :) ]
Then not he who [is] a revealed Jew, neither he who [is] revealed circumcised in the flesh.
In other words this "Jew" is showing off circumcision and Jewishness to gain praise. It's not about whether or not he is a real Jew.

But he who is a hidden Jew and his heart is circumcised by the Spirit not he who is praised of people but of God.
This hidden is connected to Jesus' statement of entering a prayer chamber and not praying in front of other to be thought righteous. Because the Father who sees in secret (phaneros) will reward.

I understand the want/need to try to make this an inward and outward issue but there are words for that. Why would Paul use words that specifically mean concealing or revealing? Reading it as an inward issue makes it possible that a Jew of birth is not one of heart. This doesn't seem to fit within context. Nor does it seem to fit with in NT practice.

I am willing to read it as inward outward if I can gain a clear reasoning.


Edited by yetsirah, 16 April 2007 - 05:12 AM.

#4 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 09:30 AM

Probably a better way to understand it would be a what is seen/what is not seen issue. Louw & Nida bring this out by writing, "...it would seem better to preserve the contrast as `that which can be seen' and `that which cannot be seen'" (24.20). It seems like you have turned an adjective into a verb (reveals) in your first note. We could translate, "He is not a Jew who is one in that which can be seen, nor is circumcision that which can be seen in the flesh, but he is a Jew who is one in what cannot be seen, and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter, and his praise is not from men but from God."

It seems Paul's very point is that Jews of birth are not necessarily Jews of heart. That would also seem to be his point in Romans 9:6-13. Whatever way you interpret Paul's words in this passage, sufficient weight must be given to the flesh/heart contrast he sets up, which is very common in his epistles, especially Romans and Galatians. The flesh/heart contrast gives rise to the outward/inward translation so common in English versions. The Greek words themselves might not usually mean inward/outward, but the contrast Paul establishes is so common in his writings that translators have perhaps seen it as more weighty than the typical word usage.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Robb Brunansky

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