I’ve had an unexpectedly interesting time with this greeting. The by-far predominant view is that Tertius, Paul’s amanuensis, greeted the Roman church “in the Lord” (Kruse, Moo, Cranfield). I only read one contemporary commentator (Morris) who goes against the prevailing view and instead leans toward Tertius “writing in the Lord.” Schreiner didn’t even mention the issue.
I know, I know, what’s the big deal, right? This doesn’t touch on any major doctrine AT ALL. Well, you’re right, but my curiosity was piqued. It’s been awhile since I’ve dug into this kind of research, and I was having fun!
Using what one of OBC’s deacons calls my “Bible chainsaw,” the now defunct BibleWorks, I searched occurrences of the Greek phrase “in the Lord,” and was starting to lean toward seeing “in the Lord” modifying “wrote this epistle,” not “greet.”
Having done that spade work, it was time to see what others thought, hopefully to correct my heresy of going against the standard English Bible translations. I dusted off my nine different Greek grammars and checked their Scripture indices (Wallace, BDF, Porter, Moulton, Zerwick, Turner, Young, Robertson, Moule). I checked out BDAG and NIDNTTE. I also checked the indices of McCune’s and MacArthur’s systematic theologies. I even re-upped my Galaxie subscription (for one month, $5, cheap-skate me) to see if there’s been any recent theological journal articles on this (there weren’t). Nothing. No mention at all.
At this point I side with the minority view, something I was taught not to do unless you’re really, really sure about yourself. So if any of my 3 readers with Greek skillz and perhaps more time and powerful tools I have would like to weigh in, I’m all ears!
Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t support Greek characters very well, so I can’t copy my notes in this post. Thus, I’ve uploaded a PDF of my study here.