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)


Idioms and Context (1 Cor 2:7)

~ Mounce

Idioms are notoriously difficult to translate. When they occur in isolation, they are a little easier since you can just find an English expression that carries the same meaning. But when they fit into the context of the passage, they are more difficult.

Paul tells the Corinthians, “we speak the wisdom of God; a wisdom that was hidden in mystery and that God had determined before the ages (πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων) for our glory” (1 Cor 2:7; see NRSV; NLT).

To most English readers, “before the ages” is meaningless. What ages? The Ice age? Which one?

Find out at: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/idioms-and-context-1-cor-27-mondays-with-mounce-268/

“If” or “Since” we stand firm (1 Thessalonians 3:8)

~ Mondays with Mounce

Learn more about Bill’s Greek resources at BillMounce.com.

1 Thessalonians 3:8

In a first class conditional sentence, the protasis is assumed true for the sake of the argument. In other words, if the protasis is true, then the apodosis must follow. So Paul says, “If you live according to the flesh, you will certainly die” (Rom 8:13).

Where first class conditional sentences get a little tricky is when the “if” injects an element of uncertainty where none is intended. The tendency of some is to translate εἰ as “since” in these situations. “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Matt 12:28). Jesus most certainly was casting out demons by the Spirit of God, and so some prefer “Since I cast out ….” Wallace warns strongly against this as it says too much (690) and it turns “an invitation to dialogue into a lecture” (692).

But in our passage, Paul writes with a third class conditional statement. “For now we really live, since (ἐάν) you are standing firm in the Lord” (NIV). The problem of course is that Paul did not know if every one of them was standing firm, and a third class condition “presents the condition as uncertain of fulfillment, but still likely” (Wallace, 696).

Much better to translate what the Greek says, and to leave the invitation open to the individual Thessalonians to affirm whether or not they truly are standing firm.

Let’s Play “Fill in the Blanks” (1 Timothy 4:3)

Paul can hardly be accused of mincing his words. He is an apostle, knows the truth, and says it clearly and unapologetically. Sometimes he uses sentences that are so long we struggle a bit to follow his discussion, but the Greek often has clues that help.

In describing the false teachers, Paul says that “some” people (τινες) will depart from the faith, and then follows with a series of participles that tie the argument together. When the NIV andNET start a new sentence at 3, and the NLT starts a new paragraph, they break the flow of thought and these participles become key in understanding Paul.

Read more: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/lets-play-fill-in-the-blanks-1-timothy-43-mondays-with-mounce/

Do all things really work for good? (Romans 8:28)

~ Bill Mounce


The ESV represents the standard translation of this verse. “For those who love God all things work together for good” (see also the NET, KJV, HCSB).

The reason these are poor translations is because they make it appear that “all things” mystically make everything that happens good.


Continue: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/do-all-things-really-work-for-good-romans-828-mondays-with-mounce/