Exegetical Question

I know that there are some intelligent exegetes out there in the Lutheran blogosphere, so here’s my question:
In Romans 8:33-35, Paul asks three questions using tis. It seems that many people take the answer to the second question (“Who is the one who condemns?”) as “Christ Jesus, the one who died….” In other words, Jesus is the Judge, and as the Judge, He is the one who has the right to condemn. Fine, but wouldn’t that mess with the artistry of the three questions?

Does it make sense to answer the first question (“Who will bring a charge against the elect ones of God?”) with “God is the one who justifies”? (That article justifies inserting the “is,” right?) Or is Paul answering this question as well with something like, God is the only one who could truly bring a charge against His own elect?

The second half of verse 35 is not an answer to the first part (the third question); it is an expansion of the question. The answer is verses 38-39.

So my contention is that the three questions do not have what immediately follows as the answer, but as the counterpoint to the assumed answers, which is “no one.” Can anyone who knows Paul and/or Greek better than I give me a reason to go one way or the other?

Timotheos

Ash Wednesday

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I will cry unto God Most High: unto God that performeth all things for me.
Yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge: until these calamities be overpast.
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee.

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that Thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent, create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and ever. Amen.

[I recommend WYDDQ‘s meditation on Lent, “Lent Extra Nos, as well as the prayer posted by Pastor Weedon here from St. Andrew of Crete (don’t know who he is, but it’s a fitting prayer for this day).]

Timotheos