Adjusting my Attitude about Wallace and Burer on Romans 16:7

I’ve watched the discussions on Romans 16:7 for some time, and had read Wallace and Burer’s article in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Fall 2001). My conclusion at the time of reading was that while Wallace and Burer had shown some additional possibilities for this translation, I did not think that they had established a probability that their choice was the correct reading. In fact, I regarded it as somewhat improbable in the context of the passage itself.

I did follow Suzanne McCarthy’s comments on this (links gathered here), which made me realize that the Psalms of Solomon parallel was not nearly so parallel as I had imagined. But until I read the article again this morning I really didn’t see precisely how important it was that the preposition “en” was never mentioned by Wallace and Burer in their paragraph on this passage. That one point simply means that this passage, which they claim is the closest parallel to Romans 16:7, is simply not parallel at all. I’m coming late to the party, and I can’t explain how this didn’t strike me earlier, but I find the omission shocking.

I use Dr. Wallace’s intermediate grammar in my teaching, and keep it amongst my most referenced Greek texts. I normally find that one can argue against Dr. Wallace’s positions using nothing but his own references, so thorough is he in explaining the details of each position. (I don’t know anything beyond this article of Burer’s work.) I think this is a point that needs to be corrected, especially considering that the point in question has now been carried into a note in the NET on Romans 16:7.

Obviously, we don’t discard a scholar’s work on the basis of one error–there would be nobody left standing. But I consider it very important either to correct the parallel between Psalms of Solomon 2:6 and Romans 16:7 or to make clear the opposing view that the presence of an additional preposition “en” means that these two passages are not, in fact, parallel. I maintain, however, my earlier view that even in the presence of such a parallel, Wallace and Burer’s case would not be made.

Relevant quotations and links are found in Peter Kirk’s post today, Dr Wayne Grudem’s latest errors.

I provide the two passages in Greek for those who are interested:

οἱ υἱοὶ καὶ αἱ θυγατέρες ἐν αἰχμαλωσίᾳ πονηρᾷ, ἐν σφραγῖδι ὁ τράχηλος αὐτῶν, ἐν ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. — Psalms of Solomon 2:6

ἀσπάσασθε Ἀνδρόνικον καὶ Ἰουνιᾶν τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου καὶ συναιχμαλώτους μου, οἵτινές εἰσιν ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις, οἳ καὶ πρὸ ἐμοῦ γέγοναν ἐν Χριστῷ. — Romans 16:7

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One Comment

  1. Peter Kirk says:

    Thanks. I’m glad I convinced someone! I agree that this one example, even if it was correct, would not have been enough to establish their case. But now they are left with no examples at all to support their point, except for Euripides (not Epimenides, my mistake to be corrected when I can, sorry) from five centuries earlier. They really need to give up this argument. If they don’t want to accept that women can be authoritative teachers, all they need to do is argue that “apostle” is used in a weakened sense in this verse, as Grudem has already accepted as a possibility.

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