In Romans 1:29-30 the long sorry list of gross and offensive behavior actually gets tedious after awhile. When we see the pathologies play out in life and on the news everyday it gets depressing. Sometimes a word jumps out and really makes us take notice. Hubris is listed after “God haters” and assume we know what it means – proud or haughty. One commentary talked about those who insolently drive away from themselves all that is good and salutary. If you were ever interested in the stories of the old Greek gods you might remember that the sin of hubris was punished by “nemesis”. Hubris is arrogance associated with greatness that seeks to take from gods their rightful place or honor. In Romans hubris is a distain for everyone and everything but oneself. It it is a general nasty attitude that causes an action that leads to another Greek word -“hamartia” meaning to miss the mark. Here is a section from the internet on tragedy –
Aristotle’s tragic heroes are flawed individuals who commit, without evil intent, great wrongs or injuries that ultimately lead to their misfortune, often followed by tragic realization of the true nature of events that led to this destiny. This means the hero still must be – to some degree – morally grounded. The usual irony in Greek tragedy is that the hero is both extraordinarily capable and highly moral (in the Greek honor-culture sense of being duty-bound to moral expectations), and it is these exact, highly-admirable qualities that lead the hero into tragic circumstances.
The circumstances in Greek tragedy bring about the hero missing the mark (hamartia). Paul seems to turn all this around to say that the hamartia, the sin, causes the circumstances that leads to even more sin and strife. Even heros are without excuse.
if someone needs to write a paper or a thesis this would be fun – An Examination of Greek Tragedy and the Concept of Hamartia in Paul’s Thought; The Modern’s Excuse Machine.
Romans 1 says we are all bad so we do bad things. Moderns try to explain away sin and it as something heroic and God becomes the villain.