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Thread: Dullness in part to Israel or Dullness to part of Israel (Greek Scholars needed!)

  1. #1

    Dullness in part to Israel or Dullness to part of Israel (Greek Scholars needed!)

    At the end of Pauls great exposition on the gathering of the Gentiles to partake in the blessings of Israel and within admonition to not be ignorant of God's ultimate plan, he explains the current state of Israel. Paul says 'that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles come in' (Rom 11:25 - NKJV). Seeing that this is the climax of the section, and arguably the whole book, I have a couple of questions concerning the Greek (NB: I am a novice Greek student, so a lot of this could be very wrong - please exercise 1Thess. 5:14 with me).

    ὅτι πώρωσις ἀπὸ μέρους τῷ Ἰσραὴλ γέγονεν ἄχρις οὗ τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν εἰσέλθῃ,

    So the crux of the question is this - Is the phrase "in part" (which is seemingly in the nominative case) modifying Israel or blindness. It seems to me that it is modifying the word blindness (which is in the nominative case also - hence it acts as the subject) and not Israel (in the dative case being the object receiving), which is opposite to the reading that I have heard recently. It has been explained to me that Israel is the subject leaving the meaning as such 'that part of Israel has become blinded'.

    The reason this is in the End Times Forum is because it has direct reference to what we see as the future of Israel within the future scheme of God. Has blindness in part happened Israel or has {only} part of Israel become blinded. The first seems to imply a future moment for Israel awaits her when the fullness of the nations has come in - when finally the blindness will be lifted and then all who are left will be saved (v. 26). Or as the second implies that part of Israel has been blinded so that the Gentiles can come in completing the gathering of all the people of God (v. 25), reconstituted as Jew and Gentile (which is supported by Rom 3:27-4:25; 9:6-13; 11:11-24).

    Just some questions, if you know Greek and can help - Much thanks!

    HV

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by HeavenlyVision View Post
    At the end of Pauls great exposition on the gathering of the Gentiles to partake in the blessings of Israel and within admonition to not be ignorant of God's ultimate plan, he explains the current state of Israel. Paul says 'that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles come in' (Rom 11:25 - NKJV). Seeing that this is the climax of the section, and arguably the whole book, I have a couple of questions concerning the Greek (NB: I am a novice Greek student, so a lot of this could be very wrong - please exercise 1Thess. 5:14 with me).

    ὅτι πώρωσις ἀπὸ μέρους τῷ Ἰσραὴλ γέγονεν ἄχρις οὗ τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν εἰσέλθῃ,

    So the crux of the question is this - Is the phrase "in part" (which is seemingly in the nominative case) modifying Israel or blindness. It seems to me that it is modifying the word blindness (which is in the nominative case also - hence it acts as the subject) and not Israel (in the dative case being the object receiving), which is opposite to the reading that I have heard recently. It has been explained to me that Israel is the subject leaving the meaning as such 'that part of Israel has become blinded'.

    The reason this is in the End Times Forum is because it has direct reference to what we see as the future of Israel within the future scheme of God. Has blindness in part happened Israel or has {only} part of Israel become blinded. The first seems to imply a future moment for Israel awaits her when the fullness of the nations has come in - when finally the blindness will be lifted and then all who are left will be saved (v. 26). Or as the second implies that part of Israel has been blinded so that the Gentiles can come in completing the gathering of all the people of God (v. 25), reconstituted as Jew and Gentile (which is supported by Rom 3:27-4:25; 9:6-13; 11:11-24).
    Seems to me you're right about the nominative case here. The ESV, for example, has: "a partial hardening has come upon Israel." But in terms of meaning, that's still somewhat ambiguous.

    And you have to interpret the passage in the light of the previous verses, where Paul describes four groups:

    1. You (gentile Christians) "cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree" and grafted into a "cultivated olive tree" (the Church, #3)

    2. The "wild olive tree" (gentile non-Christians)

    3. The Church, the continuation of the Old Testament people of God (the "cultivated olive tree"), which has gentile Christians "grafted in" to the Old Testament "nourishing root"

    4. The Jewish branches "broken off because of their unbelief," who will (at least to some extent) be "grafted back into their own olive tree."

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    Seems to me you're right about the nominative case here. The ESV, for example, has: "a partial hardening has come upon Israel." But in terms of meaning, that's still somewhat ambiguous.
    Excellent thank you. It is of course the meaning of the passage that is most controversial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    And you have to interpret the passage in the light of the previous verses, where Paul describes four groups:

    1. You (gentile Christians) "cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree" and grafted into a "cultivated olive tree" (the Church, #3)

    2. The "wild olive tree" (gentile non-Christians)

    3. The Church, the continuation of the Old Testament people of God (the "cultivated olive tree"), which has gentile Christians "grafted in" to the Old Testament "nourishing root"

    4. The Jewish branches "broken off because of their unbelief," who will (at least to some extent) be "grafted back into their own olive tree."
    I would agree that the 'wild olive tree' represents the Gentile nations and the branches 'broken off because of unbelief' are unfaithful Jews. But how do you come to your conclusion on number three? The cultivated olive branch, in my estimation, is Israel. Which is interesting because I would use a similiar definition as yours - the people of God (fundamentally Jewish) into whom the gentiles are grafted in. This seems clear from several passages in the Old Testament (e.g. Jeremiah 11:16). Or are Israel and the church merely the same thing in the post resurrection era?

    Thanks for your input
    HV

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by HeavenlyVision View Post
    I would agree that the 'wild olive tree' represents the Gentile nations and the branches 'broken off because of unbelief' are unfaithful Jews. But how do you come to your conclusion on number three? The cultivated olive branch, in my estimation, is Israel. Which is interesting because I would use a similiar definition as yours - the people of God (fundamentally Jewish) into whom the gentiles are grafted in. This seems clear from several passages in the Old Testament (e.g. Jeremiah 11:16). Or are Israel and the church merely the same thing in the post resurrection era?
    Well, some people read the passage in different ways, but it seems to me that the "cultivated olive tree" that Paul describes has an Old Testament root, but adds gentile Christians and subtracts non-Christian Jews (in other words, all the living people in it are Christians). At least, it seems clear to me that that's what he is saying. Paul writes similar things in Romans 9:8, etc.

  5. #5
    Ah! I see what you are saying. I thought you were revising what the root ment. I totally misunderstood. In other words, the cultivated olive tree represents the people of God both Jew and Gentile.

    Thanks

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