Saturday, March 30, 2019

Thomas R. Schreiner on φαρμακεία (Galatians 5:20)

Sorcery or magic (φαρμακεία) is regularly condemned in Jewish literature (Exod 7:11, 22; 8:14; Isa 47:9, 12; Rev 18:23; cf. Wis 12:4; 18:13), for instead of trusting in God, people try to manipulate circumstances to bring
about the end they desire. Sorcery, then, turns one from trust in the living God to dependence on other sources.

See Galatians in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

2 Kings 2:1, 11 (LXX)--Screenshot

James Baikie and Bible Reading in the Middle Ages

James Baikie's work is titled The English Bible and Its Story (London: Seeley, 1928).

He indicates that it's difficult to take the "There was no demand for a vernacular copy of Holy Writ during the middle ages" argument seriously. Baikie appears to think the claim does not hold water, and rightly so it seems, for history suggests that several men and women were clamoring to read God's Holy Word in the 1500s. But they were forbidden to read the Scriptures under pain of heresy. Owning a Bible resulted in the torture or death of not a few lay members--both men and women. Simply possessing a Bible likely was viewed as a crime by the Church. Catholic historian Paul Johnson relates the following account:

"Access to the Bible, whether in the original or in any other tongue, had never been an issue in the East. In the West, the clergy had begun to assert an exclusive interpretive, indeed custodial, right to the Bible as early as the ninth century; and from about 1080 there had been frequent instances of the Pope, councils and bishops forbidding not only vernacular translations but any reading at all, by laymen, of the Bible taken as a whole. In some ways this was the most scandalous aspect of the Medieval Latin Church. From the Waldensians onwards, attempts to scrutinize the Bible became proof presumptive of heresy--a man or a woman might burn for it alone--and, conversely, the heterodox were increasingly convinced that the Bible was incompatible with papal and clerical claims" (A History of Christianity 273).

Baikie also recounts the story of eight persons who were arrested in Leicester for reading the Bible (page 140). Three of them recanted of their "heresy" and were ordered to do penance; their names were Roger Dexter, William Smith and Alice (ibid.). They were charged with the "heinous crime of reading the Gospel in their own tongue" but were absolved after doing penance (ibid). Dexter, Smith and Alice desired to read the Bible in their own language but religious authorities thought otherwise.

The English Bible and Its Story provides evidence of other men and women who fervently desired to read the
Bible, but they could not afford a copy or were not allowed to possess one. Hence, these individuals memorized Scripture despite the threat of death. Baikie lists Thomas Chase, who was charged with merely reciting the Epistle of James and Luke as well as Agnes Ashford, who taught Chase part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Subsequently, the Church not only refused to let Ashford teach any man; she also was not permitted to teach her own children portions of Holy Writ (Baikie 144).

Saturday, March 23, 2019

1 Corinthians 1:9-10 and Style

Greek: πιστὸς ὁ θεός, δι’ οὗ ἐκλήθητε εἰς κοινωνίαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν. Παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἵνα τὸ αὐτὸ λέγητε πάντες καὶ μὴ ᾖ ἐν ὑμῖν σχίσματα, ἦτε δὲ κατηρτισμένοι ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ νοῒ καὶ ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ γνώμῃ. (NA28)

Notice how the apostle writes here. At first, the syntax is Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, then τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ in v. 10. What is the significance of this contrasting word order?

Firstly, let's review what Joseph Fitzmyer's Anchor Bible Commentary (p. 134) states regarding 1 Cor. 1:9:

through whom you have been called into companionship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. The prep. dia denotes the source, not the mediation, of assurance that comes from God (BDR §223.3). Soards (1 Cor, 30), however, strangely understands di’ hou, “through whom,” to refer “to the Lord Jesus Christ through whom God acts in relation to humanity.” That might be a good Pauline idea, but that is not what the text says. The rel. pronoun in the prep. phrase di’ hou has God as its antecedent, and the relation to Christ is expressed by eis koinonian. Rather than di’ hou, mss D, F, G, read rather hyph’ hou, “by whom,” followed by
the RSV.

I think Fitzmyer somewhat misunderstands Marion Soards' point. Quite frankly, he does not claim that "through whom" (δι’ οὗ) refers to Christ in 1 Cor. 1:19. His exact words are:

The NIV obscures both Paul’s pattern of speech and the essence of his thought. The loss of precision in language is unfortunate, for Paul’s statement contains the unusual idea that God is the agent through whom the Corinthians were called. In every other instance that Paul uses the phrase “through whom” (Gk. di’ hou), he is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ as the one through whom God acts in relation to humanity—cf. Rom. 1:5; 5:2, 11; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 6:14 (this last reference is ambiguous and may mean “through which” in reference to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ).

[END QUOTE]

So when read in context, it becomes clear that Soards is not asserting that "through whom" refers to Jesus in 1 Cor. 19. Rather, Soards is talking about other verses where such language is used.

The question still remains as to why Paul uses the syntax of vss. 9-10. It seems to me that the syntax is used for rhetorical effect and it illustrates different ways that Christ could be referenced by 1st century writers, namely, as "Jesus Christ our Lord" or "our Lord Jesus Christ."



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

2 Baruch 51:7-11 (Like unto angels and equal to stars)

But those who have been saved by their works and to whom the Torah has been now a hope and understanding an expec­tation and wisdom a confidence shall wonders appear in their time. 8 For they shall behold the world which is now invisible to them and they shall behold the time which is now hidden from them: 9 And time shall no longer age them. 10 For in the heights of that world shall they dwell and they shall be made like unto the angels and be made equal to the stars, And they shall be changed into every form they desire, from beauty into loveliness, and from light into the splendour of glory. 11 For there shall be spread before them the extents of Paradise, and there shall be shown to them the beauty of the majesty of the living creatures which are beneath the throne and all the armies of the angels who are now held fast by my word, lest they should appear, and are held fast by a command, that they may stand in their places till their advent comes.

https://www.cepher.net/2-baruch-51.aspx

Monday, March 18, 2019

Variant Kinds of Dualism (Kevin Corcoran)

Kevin Corcoran analyzes different kinds of dualism in his book, Rethinking Human Nature. Dualism here primarily refers to anthropological twoness: it is the claim that humans are composed of not one, but two things (e.g., body/soul or body/spirit).

Rene Descartes insists that a substance either has mental or physical properties (e.g., being in pain or having a certain mass/weight), but not both.

What kind of dualism is Descartes espousing? The technical name for his philosophy is substance dualism: he argues for two categories--res extensa (extended substance) and res cogitans (thinking substance). The French thinker asserts that he is the latter rather than the former; that is to say, Descartes is not absolutely identical with his body, but allegedly is identical with his soul (mind).

So Descartes allows for the possibility of disembodied existence as a thinking thing. Yet there are questions that can be asked concerning resurrection when it's understood within a dualist framework. For example, does substance dualism satisfactorily account for a resurrection of the body? Physicalist accounts of the resurrection are often heavily critiqued or discounted, but I wonder if dualism (especially of a Cartesian kind) fares any better.

How can the resurrection body be numerically identical with the body that preceded it, since at death, all bodies--with the exception of Christ's body--undergo corruption? That question is difficult to answer using Cartesianism, although hylomorphic/hylemorphic dualism thinks it can provide a plausible answer to the question. But I've seen hylemorphic/hylomorphic accounts that appeal to divine miracle-working in order to justify an absolute identity between the pre and post-resurrection body. Are such approaches satisfactory explanations of the resurrection?

Admittedly, the resurrection is a divine miracle, and so is life itself. Yet multiplying explanations to preserve numerical identity between living and resurrected bodies seems less than satisfactory.

I. Compound Dualism claims that humans are form and matter composites (otherwise known as hylomorphism). Matter (hyle) and form (morphe) constitute two metaphysical principles that define what things (including human beings) are. Aristotle taught hylomorphism: he argues that material objects are matter and form unities. Some examples include tree and treeness or rock and rockness. In the case of human beings, the body is matter, the soul is the substantial form of the body; soul is that which gives the organized material body its distinct form.

Thomas Aquinas rejects substance dualism since he does not believe that the body and soul are two independent substances which possess the capability to subsist on their own. Although he believes the soul can survive the body's death, the soul post mortem is not an actual human being although Aquinas believes that the soul is a subsistent thing. Yet see page 37.

Corcoran apparently reckons that compound dualism is incoherent. But why?

See p. 39

Compound dualists believe that the post mortem soul is able to contemplate God and subsist temporarily without a body.

II. Emergent Dualism

William Hasker represents emergent dualism--he illustrates this kind of dualism with an electro-magnetic field and its source. Minds emerge from complex biological systems with examples including solidity and molecular structure. Mentality supposedly emerges from a suitably complex physical system.

Hasker claims that mentality or mind is not reducible to neural firings or brain events. Mind is allegedly a new phenomenon that emerges from a physical system. So Hasker posits that it's capable of exerting force on that from which it emerges.

See p. 41.


For potential advantages of emergent dualism, see p. 42.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Colossians 3:23--Some Observations

I. Greek: ὃ ἐὰν ποιῆτε, ἐκ ψυχῆς ἐργάζεσθε, ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις (Colossians 3:23)

II. Translations: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (ESV)

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men" (NASB)

"Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as for Jehovah, and not for men" (NWT 2013)

II. To Whom These Words Were Addressed:

See Colossians 3:22: οἱ δοῦλοι, ὑπακούετε κατὰ πάντα τοῖς κατὰ σάρκα κυρίοις, μὴ ἐν ὀφθαλμοδουλίαις, ὡς ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι, ἀλλ’ ἐν ἁπλότητι καρδίας, φοβούμενοι τὸν κύριον. (SBLGNT)

III. Potential Literary Background:

It's difficult to say what motivated the counsel found at Colossians 3:23, but F.F. Bruce (The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians) makes this suggestion:

Christian slaves are next addressed. Within the context of a household code household slaves are primarily in view, and slaves in a Christian household at that. But the directions given would be applicable to slaves whose duties were not within the household (slaves employed in agriculture or industry, for example), and to slaves of pagan masters. Both in this letter and in Ephesians the injunctions to slaves are more extended than those to masters, and are accompanied by special encouragement. This, it has been suggested, is “a reflection of the social structure of these churches”¹⁹⁹ (the implication being that they contained more slaves than masters). That may well be so. On the other hand, it has been pointed out that “the content of the admonitions would certainly be more readily approved by owners than by slaves.”²⁰⁰


IV.Observations:

John Eadie:

In this verse the common reading is καὶ πᾶν ὅ, τι ἐὰν ποιῆτε, but the better reading is ὃ ἐὰν ποιῆτε, ἐκ ψυχῆς ἐργάζεσθε, ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις—“Whatever ye are in the way of doing, work it heartily as to the Lord, and not to men.” They were, in any task that might be assigned them, to labour at it, to work it out, and that without grumbling or reluctance, not only doing it honestly but cheerfully, as Chrysostom says- μὴ μετὰ δουλικῆς ἀνάγκης. [Ephesians 6:6.] The heathen slave might do everything with a grudge, for he had no interest in his labour, but the believing slave was to act with cordiality, plying his toil with alacrity, for he was serving in all this industry no human master, but the Lord, who had bought him with His precious blood. Let this be the feeling, and there would be no temptation to fall into eye-service, men-pleasing, and duplicity of heart or conduct. The apostle says without reservation—“as to the Lord, and not to men.” There is no necessity to take οὐκ as meaning οὐ μόνον. The immediate object of the service must be man, but the ultimate object is the Lord; the negative, though absolute in form, being relative in sense. Winer, § 55, 1. The service, whatever its nature, or its relation to man, was ever to be felt and viewed as an act of obedience done to Christ. See under Colossians 3:17. In doing it to others, they did it to Him; and to Him, with such claims upon their love and fealty, they could not but give suit and service heartily. As usual, in the parallel place in Ephesians, the thought is given more fully, and the relationship of the slave's labour to Christ is twice noted. Besides, not only was the servant to work as here- ἐκ ψυχῆς—“from the heart,” pointing out his relation to his work, but he is enjoined also to labour- μετ᾿ εὐνοίας-that is, “with good will” to his master.

On the other hand, James Dunn thinks Colossians 3:23 likely echoes Deuteronomy 6:5: compare Mark 12:30. Note how NEB and NJB translate this passage. Dunn writes (The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, pages 255-56):

The motivation will be strengthened by doing the "whatever" for the Lord (Christ), even when it is also to be done for human masters. If there is indeed an echo of Deut. 6:5, we should note again how easily the Christian writer thinks of the Lord to be loved from the whole ψυχή as Christ (see also on 3:22). Here, too, the thematic statement (2:6-7) continues to exert its influence.

Of course, those familiar with the NWT will know that "Jehovah" appears in Col. 3:23 rather than "Lord."

Saturday, March 16, 2019

August H. Konkel's Remarks About 1 Kings 8:63

The sacrifices previously described as being without number (v. 5) are here enumerated in terms of oxen and sheep (v. 63). Communal peace offerings introduce the sacrifices and appear to be the central aspect of the dedication. The main function of these offerings is to provide food for the table; these sacrifices are for joyous occasions of celebration.²¹ Worshipers and priests share the peace offerings, providing a bonding of the community and a cele- bration of the covenant (Lev. 7:11–15, 30–36). The blood, fat, and entrails of the peace offering are devoted to God (3:3–5). The quantity of these offerings, plus the burnt offerings and grain offerings given to God, is so great that the great bronze altar does not have sufficient capacity (1 Kings 8:64). The entire court was consecrated for the occasion. Sacrifices were an essential part of the ritual in ancient temple dedications. The central event was the divine possession of the temple (cf. vv. 11–12), which was necessarily accompanied with great celebration and sacrifices for the occasion. The significance of the temple dedication is expressed in the anguage of its own culture. Hurowitz is able to cite numerous parallel examples from Mesopotamian literature.²² Esarhaddon dedicated the Assur temple by placing the god in his eternal dais and offered countless sacrifices. His dignitaries and the people celebrated for three days in the temple courtyard.

Quoted from August H. Konkel, 1 & 2 KINGS: THE NIV APPLICATION COMMENTARY.

See Victor Hurowitz, I Have Built You an Exalted House, 273–77.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Some Thoughts Concerning 2 Kings 4:39

Regarding 2 Kings 4:39, it seems to me that the "wild gourds" were naturally poisonous, not baneful because of a curse.

NLT: One of the young men went out into the field to gather herbs and came back with a pocketful of wild gourds. He shredded them and put them into the pot without realizing they were poisonous. (2 Kings 4:39)

NET translates the last part of 2 Kings 4:39, "not knowing they were harmful."

The NET Bible adds this note: tc The Hebrew text reads, “for they did not know” (יָדָעוּ, yada’u) but some emend the final shureq (וּ, indicating a third plural subject) to holem vav (וֹ, a third masculine singular pronominal suffix on a third singular verb) and read “for he did not know it.” Perhaps it is best to omit the final vav as dittographic (note the vav at the beginning of the next verb form) and read simply, “for he did not know.” See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB),

John Lange offers these comments on 2 Kings 4:39. I will not post what he writes about 2 Kings 4:40, but you might find those comments instructive as well if you choose to read them:

The פַּקֻּעֹת שָׂדֶה are wild cucumbers or gourds (cucumeres agrestes, or, asinini), also called bursting-cucumbers. They have the form of an egg, and a bitter taste. When they are ripe they burst in pieces if pressed on the stem, whence their name (פקע fidit, rupit). When eaten they cause colic and violent purging. The young man took these wild gourds for ordinary ones, which were very much prized as food (Num. 11:5). The Sept. and Vulg. translate by colocynth. Keil also prefers this, because this fruit does not burst when touched, and so could be easily carried home in the garment and cut up; but the root פקע is too distinctly in favor of the bursting-gourd, which did not burst in this instance simply because the specimens collected were not entirely ripe (cf. Winer, R.-W.-B., i. s. 441 sq.). However, the cucumis colocynthi L., or the poisonous colocynth, also has a remarkably bitter taste—a vine which creeps upon the earth, and has light green leaves (cf. I. c., s. 427).

On the other hand, Iain W. Provan writes:

We do not know whether the mixture is really deadly in a literal sense—that is only what the men who have tasted it say. What is indisputable is that Elisha knows, in his wisdom, what to add to the pot to make everything all right—even though no one else knows what the cook originally put in (v. 39). He has remarkable insight, even into the various properties of plants. It is this that makes him a better cook than his servant—as he was a greater healer in 4:8–37.

See Provan, 1 and 2 Kings.

Expositor's Bible Commentary (Old Testament):

This chapter closes with two incidents relative to Elisha's miraculous help in food matters in the prophetic school at Gilgal. In the first instance, a student who had been sent to gather wild vegetables brought an unknown type to them and cut the gatherings into the stew. Its bitter taste convinced the diners that the stew was poisoned; so immediately they cried out to Elisha. He called for flour to be brought; and when he had stirred it into the pot, the stew was found to be both tasteful and safe. Elisha's faith effected a miraculous cure. As had been the case with Elijah his teacher, Elisha had used flour to demonstrate the concern of God for one's daily provisions (cf. 1Ki 17:14-16).

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and the Rapture

(1) First, let me say that Jehovah's Witnesses believe there are two hopes or eternal destinies for the righteous: some of the righteous will live forever on earth, while others (the 144,000) will reign immortally in heaven. It is my belief that 1 Thess. 4:13-18 refers to those who will dwell in the heavens of God's presence for all eternity.

(2) I understand the Rapture to be an event in which God removes His church from earth to heaven bodily apart from the experience of physical death. Thus, while I certainly profess that certain Christians (i.e., the 144,000) will be snatched up to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air, I do not agree that this seizing will be "bodily" (that is, the physical body will not be taken upward); nor does it appear that those taken up to meet Christ will bypass physical death.

(3) 1 Thess. 4:13-18 has reference to the resurrection which occurs during the parousia of Christ. That is why Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to comfort one another with the words found chapter four of that letter. Finally, 1 Cor. 15:35ff indicates that Christians who will reside in heaven forever must undergo the experience of physical death: Jehovah God imparts the heavenly inheritance to certain humans via spiritual resurrection.

Someone asked about those members of the 144,000 who are living when God executes judgment upon this evil age (Gal. 1:4; 2 Thess. 1:6-9). Will they too have to undergo the experience of physical death. It is not wise to be dogmatic here, but the biblical account of Enoch may suggest that God Jehovah will shorten the lives of the 144,000 who are living when Christ reveals himself in all his glory.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Revelation 20:4 (Beheading?)

Revelation 20:4 (ESV): "Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."

SBLGNT: Καὶ εἶδον θρόνους, καὶ ἐκάθισαν ἐπ’ αὐτούς, καὶ κρίμα ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς, καὶ τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν πεπελεκισμένων διὰ τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ καὶ διὰ τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ οἵτινες οὐ προσεκύνησαν τὸ θηρίον οὐδὲ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἔλαβον τὸ χάραγμα ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτῶν· καὶ ἔζησαν καὶ ἐβασίλευσαν μετὰ τοῦ χριστοῦ [a]χίλια ἔτη.

Commentary: "The martyrs in chapter 6 were said to be 'slain' or 'slaughtered.' Here they have been beheaded. They are actual martyrs because in John's visions all faithful Christians have been killed. They are not an elite group that is more 'spiritual' than other believers. The further description of them as those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands (v. 4) places the accent not on their martyrdom as such but on the faithfulness that made martyrdom inevitable."

See https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Rev/Reign-Martyrs

Albert Barnes: "That were beheaded - The word used here - πελεκίζω pelekizō- occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means, 'to axe,' that is, to hew or cut with an axe - from πέλεκυς pelekus 'axe.' Hence it means to behead with an axe. This was a common mode of execution among the Romans, and doubtless many of the Christian martyrs suffered in this manner; but 'it cannot be supposed to have been the intention of the writer to confine the rewards of martyrs to those who suffered in this particular way; for this specific and ignominious method of punishment is designated merely as the symbol of any and every kind of martyrdom'” (Prof. Stuart)."

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Logical Possibility, Scripture, and the Virgin Birth

The expression "logical possibility" means that a statement (P) is not self-contradictory such that P and ~P.

It is logically possible (not self-contradictory) that a man could have experienced physical birth through a virgin, which occurred by means of the holy spirit. But would such a man still have been perfect (in the relevant sense) and thus qualified to ransom his life for humanity?

One older Witness publication argued that only the Word/Logos (the preeminent Son of God and first creation) was qualified to ransom humanity and meet Satan's challenge against Jehovah's divine sovereignty. The more I think about perfect humans coming from imperfect ones, it seems complex since Job effectively said clean beings do not emanate from unclean ones (Job 14:4). Psalm 49:7-8 indicates that humans could never provide a heavenly deliverer: the savior had to come from on high. All the "sent" passages in John might also suggest that God provided a divine being in human form to save us and sanctify his name. See Hebrews 10:5-6. At the end of the day, I not only reckon that the virgin birth is logically possible, but I place my faith in God's wondrous miracle.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Douglas J. Moo, Hoti, and Galatians 4:6

Greek: ὅτι δέ ἐστε υἱοί, ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶν, κρᾶζον· Αββα ὁ πατήρ. (SBLGNT)

There is some debate about whether ὅτι in Galatians 4:6 is demonstrative or causal.

NWT: Now because you are sons, God has sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, and it cries out: “Abba, Father!”

HCSB: And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”

CEV: Now that we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father.

ESV: And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Tyndale Bible: Be cause ye are sonnes God hath sent the sprete of his sonne in to oure hertes which cryeth Abba father.

While it seems that ὅτι is definitely causal in this case, Douglas J. Moo writes the following (Galatians, Baker Exegetical Series):

The initial ὅτι (hoti, because) is most naturally taken in a causal sense, and this also fits the sequence of Paul’s argument: we have received the adoption as sons, and because we are now sons, we also have the Spirit. The only problem with this interpretation is that the claim that possession of the Spirit proceeds from the status of sonship appears to contradict Paul’s usual sequence, which is just the opposite. Especially important is Rom. 8:14–17, a passage with many obvious similarities to Gal. 4:4–6

Moo quotes the verses in Romans, then he professes:

Further, earlier in Galatians Paul has assumed that the Spirit marks the beginning of Christian experience (3:3). For these reasons, some interpreters suggest that this initial ὅτι might have a “declarative” function and depend on an implied assertion such as “to prove that”; see NAB: “As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (see also Lietzmann 1932: 25; Dunn 1993a: 219; Moule 1959: 147; Rohde 1989: 173). However, this is not the obvious way to understand ὅτι, and it is doubtful if we need to introduce such a reading in order to preserve Pauline consistency. A careful reading of Rom. 8:14–17 shows that Paul is not clearly arguing for a sequence of Spirit—sonship. Having the Spirit means that one is a “son”; but Paul is not clearly saying that the Spirit confers sonship. Nor does Paul’s claim that the Spirit marks the “beginning” of Christian experience (3:3) mean that the Spirit must be absolutely prior to all other Christian blessings. Paul wants to associate the status of sonship with the gift of the Spirit, but claiming that Paul teaches a strict temporal or logical sequence between them would be overreading this text and others (see, e.g., R. Longenecker 1990: 173; Martyn 1997: 391; Schreiner 2010: 272).[18] The “sequence” of sonship and Spirit in various texts in Paul is thus probably dictated more by rhetorical than theological concerns.

In addition to the commentators that Moo invokes, see John Eadie's extended comments on Galatians 4:6.