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/

Is “He is Risen” Passive? (Matt 28:6)

Bill Mounce

William D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language and exegesis on the ZA Blog. He is the president of BiblicalTraining.org, a ministry that creates and distributes world-class educational courses at no cost. He is also the author of numerous works including the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek and a corresponding online class. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV.

The other day in class we translated what Herod said about John. “This is John the Baptist; he has risen (ἠγέρθη) from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him” (Matt 14:2; NASB). ἠγέρθη is an aorist passive and a student asked why the NASB didn’t translate it as a passive.

This becomes a more important question when we realize that passives are used of Jesus being raised from the dead. “He is not here, for He has risen (ἠγέρθη), just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying” (Matt 28:6). The NIV also uses “he has risen,” which is transitive but I am not sure it is passive. The NLT uses an almost stative, “He is risen.” CSB (formerly the HCSB) has an explicit passive: “For He has been resurrected” (“has been raised,” NET).

And why was the NASB not consistent? In Matt 26:32 they translate the passive as a passive, “But after I have been raised (μετὰ … τὸ ἐγερθῆναί με), I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

It is of the utmost theological importance to see that God the Father raised Jesus as a vindication of his perfect sacrifice and a validation that in fact Jesus had done everything he came to do. τετέλεσθαι.

So how do you hear “he is risen”? Do you hear it as an active or a divine passive?

Comment at: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/is-he-is-risen-passive-matt-286-mondays-with-mounce-273/

When is Greek Grammar Bad English Grammar? (1 Cor 9:6)

http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/when-is-greek-grammar-bad-english-grammar-1-cor-96-mondays-with-mounce-270/