Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gignilliat on sunergei in Rom 8.28

Over at Biblica, there is an article by Mark Gignilliat entitled "Working Together with Whom? Text-Critical, Contextual, and Theological Analysis of sunergei in Romans 8,28".

The text-critical issue that he deals with is whether or not one should prefer some mss that make theos the subject of the verb sunergei (supported by P45 A 81 sa [Coptic] Origen) or those that omit theos and make panta the subject (Aleph C D F G etc). There are theological implications to the text-critical choice made here. Gignilliat writes: "In other words, this text is a classic example of where text-critical arguments and internal evidence may be at loggerheads." His own approach to prefer theos for textual, contextual, and theological reasons.


  1. I am of the opinion that this issue is two sides of the same coin. God actively, intentionally, purposefully, is the first cause of everything that comes to pass while the circumstances, means, events, etc are the simple effects, outworkings and ends thereof.

    For example, a scandal in the church can cause deep contrition and cause a closer walk with the Lord or it can be harden the sinner and cause them to turn away. God is however the ruler and overruler of it all.

  2. It should also be pointed out that the reading with or without QEOS as subject can and should be understood in the 3rd person verbal ending of SUNERGEI. PANTA is perhaps better undertstood as the direct object since God a person is intelligently active in his creation and in our individual lives.

  3. I have a question for you more experienced textual critics. What is an edition of the Greek New Testament that comes closest to having an exhaustive textual apparatus, that is one which lists all the variant?

  4. Josiah,
    I love that question. I am not one of the people who could give a very well-informed answer. But I have a feeling that it would actually require several different answers depending on what kind of exhaustiveness and limitations you have in mind. For example, if you're thinking about a rather limited corpus of Scripture, such as...oh...say the book of Jude, or the pericope adulterae, it might be that the most exhaustive information will be found in somebody's dissertation or journal article. But even if you want something that is not so limited in breadth of the canon, the options might have other areas of give and take in exhaustiveness. For example, do you want an apparatus with the most exhaustive listing of sources; or do you want one that addresses the most variants; or do you want one that most exhaustively describes the actual readings of each witness (rather than just grouping them together for generally supporting this or that reading); or are you interested in something hefty but also affordable?
    I would love to see something like an annotated bibliography of the major NT TC resources that describes what make each one special. I have a vague understanding of things like Text und Textwert, the Editio Critica Maior, the Swanson books, and Tischendorf. But I would love to see an online resource that would explain what all is out there and help me straighten them all out and know where to look for a particular type of TC issue.
    That kind of thing would make for a definite best of post at ETC!

  5. Many very good thoughts and clearer specifications there, Eric. I was thinking of an edition of the entire Greek New Testament with an apparatus addressing as many variants as possible (with as much information about sources as possible - but as a secondary criterion). It would also need to be at an affordable rate, which is not likely for a college student.
    I was studying the text of Romans 9.11 for a paper today, and found that Tischendorf has several readings that neither UBS or NA list.
    Anyway, such an annotates list as you speak of would be of great service, esp. to novices like myself.

  6. Peter Rodgers writes: Readers of this blog may be interested in my study of Romans 8:28 in JTS 46 (1995) pp. 547-550.

  7. Peter, I am definitely interested in your paper. I have Gignilliat's paper, and would be interested in your's as well. You can contact me at

  8. I just read Gignilliat's article, and I want to know just how panta can be translated "in all things" (as he translates it near the end of his paper). Would it not have to be rather in the locative case? Perhaps some of you more familiar with Greek can enlighten me.

  9. According to that translation it might be an accusative of respect.