When οὔν Doesn’t Mean “Therefore” (John 11:6)

One of the better known conundrums in NT exegesis is Jesus’ response to hearing about Lazarus. “Now Jesus loved (ἠγάπα) Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So (οὖν) when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.” Jesus loved them, and “therefore” stayed longer (i.e., so Lazarus would die).

Some kind of love, or is it?

Read more of Bill’s blog at: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/when-%CE%BF%E1%BD%94%CE%BD-doesnt-mean-therefore-john-116-mondays-with-mounce-285/

Translating Every Word (Matt 10:4)

When it comes to particles and conjunctions especially, it can be difficult to translate every single one. Sometimes the best translation is punctuation, and other times it feels like the word is superfluous and should just be dropped in order to write in proper English.

But extreme caution is urged in the case of the latter. There is a reason for every word, even if we don’t understand why it is used.

In Matthew 10 we find the list of the disciples. In v 4 we read, “Simon the Cananaean (Σίμων ὁ Καναναῖος), and Judas Iscariot (καὶ Ἰούδας ὁ Ἰσκαριώτης), who betrayed him (ὁ καὶ παραδοὺς αὐτόν).” ὁ … παραδοὺς αὐτόν is straightforward Greek, a phrase modifying Ἰούδας. But why is καὶ there, and should it be translated?

Yes.

More at: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/translating-every-word-matt-104-mondays-with-mounce-284/

That Pesky γάρ (Rom 5:6)

By now we should all recognize that γάρ means much more than “for,” and yet so often I hear people complaining that translators don’t always translate γάρ.

Someday we will get away from the simplistic attitude that the connecting tissue in Greek corresponds to words in English. Because of how English views words in sequence, and because of our use of punctuation and paragraphing, we can often convey the meaning of γάρ without using an English word.

http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/that-pesky-%CE%B3%E1%BD%B1%CF%81-rom-56-mondays-with-mounce-280/

When Word-for-Word Is Ambiguous (John 9:7)

~ Mounce

I have been sensitive lately to finding passages in which a word-for-word translation is not clear but is ambiguous and perhaps even misleading. I am finding lots of examples.

The one that jumped out to me this morning is John 9:7. Jesus tells the man born blind, “‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam [τὴν κολυμβήθραν τοῦ Σιλωάμ]’ (which means Sent [ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται ἀπεσταλμένος]).” The ESV here is traditional and is reflected in the CSB (the new edition of the HCSB), NET, NRSV, and KJV.

So why then does the NIV have “(this word means ‘Sent’)”? The NLT is even more explicit. “(Siloam means ‘sent’).” The answer is clear. To the English reader, “which” does not clarify if “Sent” is a translation of Σιλωάμ or τὴν κολυμβήθραν τοῦ Σιλωάμ. But those who know Hebrew or have access to a biblical dictionary know that the term “Siloam” all by itself means “Sent.” So word-for-word creates a problem that the NIV and NLT don’t.

More at: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/when-word-for-word-is-ambiguous-john-97-mondays-with-mounce-279/

Clarity or Ambiguity? (John 1:13)

This is another way of asking the age old question, do you err on the side of word-for-word translation or on the side of meaning? Do you want clarity of meaning, or do you want to stay closer to the Greek and be less meaningful and more ambiguous?

You can’t have it both ways. Period.

Look at John 1:13. My interlinear reads that children of God “were born (ἐγεννήθησαν), not from human stock or from a physical impulse (οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς) or by a husband’s decision (οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ), but by God.” But even that is moving toward clarity.

Read more of Mounce’s blog: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/clarity-or-ambiguity-john-113-mondays-with-mounce-278/

What is Worse? Removing from Scripture or Adding to Scripture? (Matt 18:11)

~ Bill Mounce

I was asked why all modern translations “omit” Matt 18:11. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost” (KJV). The form of the question betrays the basic problem, that people think modern translations omit verses rather than other translations add verses.

There are probably two reasons for this assumption. One is that the verse is in the KJV. The second is that in modern translations the verse number is skipped.

The first Bible to have verse numbers was the Geneva Bible (1557). Verse numbers allowed readers to cross-reference passages (see Wikipedia). This was 54 years before the KJV; but like the KJV, the Geneva Bible was based on the Greek Received Text (TR) that has the verse.

By every canon of textual criticism, we know this verse was added centuries after Matthew wrote it.

There is more: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/what-is-worse-removing-from-scripture-or-adding-to-scripture-matt-1811-mondays-with-mounce-277/

If Only We Knew What μόνον Means (2 Thess 2:7)

~ Bill Mounce

I don’t know what kind of mood Paul was in when he wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians, but it is remarkable how many grammatical incongruities there are.

Read, for example, 2 Thess 2:7. Paul writes, τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας· μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται. He has just said that something (τὸ κατέχον) — and will later say someone (ὁ κατέχων) — is restraining the coming of the antichrist. However, despite this restraint, the mystery of lawlessness (τὸ μυστήριον τῆς ἀνομίας) is already at work (ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται), a mystery that will some day (ἐν τῷ ἑαυτοῦ καιρῷ) give way to the obvious truth of who is behind the evil of our day.

The first “incongruity” is “the one who now holds it back (ὁ κατέχων) will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way” (ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται). I added the italics to show the NIV’s solution to the grammatical problem of ellipsis. You have to supply something after μόνον; it would have been nice if Paul had.

Read more: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/if-only-we-knew-what-%CE%BC%CF%8C%CE%BD%CE%BF%CE%BD-means-2-thess-27-mondays-with-mounce-276/