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From the


Edited by Gerhard Kittel

Stuttgart, Germany, 1935.

English Translation

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964.

From the Epistle reading: 


the inner man


ton esw anyrwpon


2.  The anthropological term o esw anyrwpov in Rom. 7:22 alternating with egw (v. 17f., 20) and nouv (v. 23, 25), also related to kardia, suneidhsiv (2:15) and pneuma (1:9), denotes the spiritual side of man, or man himself in so far as he enjoys self-awareness, as he thinks and wills and feels.  As such, as the subject of the power of moral judgment, he is accessible to the divine revelation, can be conditioned by it and is open to its claim (sunhdomai tw nomw tou yeou kata ton esw anyrwpon); yet the contradictory practical conduct which is determined by sin brings out the plight of man in the dualism of his existence.  The term bears an even stronger religious content in 2 Cor. 4:16.  Here Paul, proved to be an apostle by suffering, distinguishes in himself the exw anyrwpov, the man determined by God, the "Christ coming into being in Christians" (Gal. 2:20; 4:19), who is a kainh ktisiv (2 Cor. 5:17) and who experiences daily renewal in virtue of the divine gift of the arrabwn tou pneumatov (2 Cor. 5:5).  In the petition in Eph. 3:16...the term is also to be understood of man as the object of God's working or of the place in man at which the power of the Spirit meets and determines him.  As used by Paul, the word always carries with it a suggestion, like the parallel in 1 Peter 3:4, of something which is concealed, and which works in concealment, in the innermost part of man. 

Materially what Paul calls the inner man corresponds to the bl (kardia) of the Old Testament, and there are formal parallels in the sayings of Jesus in Mk. 7:21 and Luke 11:39, cf, Mt. 23:8...But the expression o egw anyrwpon and the antitheses o esw anyrwpov - o exw anyrwpov are of non-biblical origin.  They derive from a terminology of Hellenistic mysticism and Gnosticism disseminated by Platonic philosophy.  Nevertheless, even though Paul adopts the language, he uses it to express his Christian anthropology with its soteriological and eschatological orientation.

Johannes Belm