Romans 1:20

OK, I'm sorry I even mentioned Kant. I didn't mean to suggest that I take him to be my guide to understanding Rom 1:20, or that anybody else should.

What I'm really after is how the word νοούμενα fits into the sentence. Various translations I've looked at would seem to read the same even if that word were left out of the Greek. I was suggesting that it is the substantive modified by the adjective ἀόρατα. Barry is saying that it is the other way around, that ἀόρατα is the substantive and νοούμενα the modifier. In either case, these two words are paired together, so that's progress towards understanding how νοούμενα fits into the sentence. I don't know that there is a lot of difference between these two cases anyway.

But when you put those two words together, namely, ἀόρατα and νοούμενα, what do you get? Things that are invisible, so not perceived by the senses, but that are objects of thought? Is that the meaning that is expressed by the juxtaposition of these two words?

The phrase τοῖς ποιήμασιν, if it is, as Barry suggests, an instrumental dative, means that these things are discerned (καθορᾶται) by means of the created things, not that the created things are doing the discerning as some translations seem to suggest. I'm not sure I understand what this means, either, but perhaps it is that in the act of seeing visible, created things, we discern the power and deity of God, because we understand those things as creations of God. That is how God's power and deity are manifest in creation.

Does that sound like a plausible way to unpack the meaning? Is there another, more plausible way?

Statistics: Posted by Robert S. Daniel — November 28th, 2020, 6:16 am

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