Jordan Polverini Presented a Paper at the Far West Evangelical Theological Society Regional Meeting 

Jordan B. Polverini


Current Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (MABS) candidate Jordan B. Polverini, Class of 2023 recently presented a paper at the Evangelical Theological Society Far West Regional held at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Jordan’s paper is titles, May It Never Be! Paul’s Noteworthy Structural Usage Of μὴ γένοιτο In Romans



Scholars have long recognized that repetition is a common literary device used by the biblical authors to call attention to something important. An often-overlooked example is the virtually exclusive Pauline phrase, μὴ γένοιτο (“may it never be!”), which communicates a negation of abhorrence in koine Greek. The expression occurs fifteen times in the New Testament (NT) with ten uses in the book of Romans alone. Despite the significant presence of μὴ γένοιτο in Romans, it has suffered a lack of attention by scholars as a noteworthy pillar of the book’s structure. This is surprising considering each appearance in Romans occurs within a Pauline diatribe, further supporting an identifiable structural element for the book. This paper will argue that Paul reserved the most forceful negative expression afforded him by the Greek language in key moments of argumentation in order to establish structural elements intended to draw readers to repulsion over specific claims he thought to be heinous. This will be demonstrated in several evaluative steps, including a literary analysis of μὴ γένοιτο, followed by a contextual summary of findings that draw out implications. Moreover, the paper will highlight how Paul’s usage of this key phrase in Romans develops and fortifies his arguments. Contributive research on this topic advances better interpretation of Paul’s largest work, helping gain further insight into authorial intent. Identifying key structural elements like μὴ γένοιτο in Paul’s theological masterpiece will prove valuable in understanding why the book of Romans has been called, “the cathedral of the Christian faith.”

Key words: μὴ γένοιτο, diatribe, interlocutor, structure, Romans


Click here to read the Paper

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