Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Greek Phrase Word Order that Miscommunicates

The ordering of phrases can be difficult, and sometimes force even a natural language translation like the NLT to follow awkward Greek word order. In English, phrases have to be next to the word they modify, and this can create confusion in translation.


Point well taken about being careful about the phrase order. You have two grammatical errors in your presentation. προσεφερον is not a participle, contrary to what you said. Also, the prepositional phrase "to him" is in there. The preposition is προς (to/toward), prefixing the above verb as a compound. Koine Greek is what linguists would describe as a "fusional" "synthetic" language, which very often combines morphemes, "synthesizing" words by "fusing" the morphemes together. It is important not to overlook the often arbitrary word compounds in the language.