Every once in a while I see a translation where there is no Greek in any form behind the English. I know at times this is necessary for convey meaning, but every once in a while I suspect something else is in play.
I was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, from kindergarden through Junior High School, and one of the oddities I picked up is the tendency to end a sentence with a preposition. Whenever I say, “Do you want to go with?” my California-raised wife smiles. But maybe this is why Paul’s use of verbal compounds formed with σύν sounds so natural.
Why do we do what we do? Some of us are motivated by duty; we do things because we ought to. Some of us are motivated by a sense of right and wrong; we do things because it is the right thing to do. But how many of us are motivated by love?
Have you ever been in a new church and were asked to say the Lord’s Prayer out loud? What almost always happens? You say, “Give us this day our daily bread ...” and then you pause. Does this church say “debts” or “trespasses”? What is the difference, and why?
λόγος can refer to a "word," or a series of words (i.e., "statement"), or in a much larger sense to the matter to which the words refer. So what were the disciples not to talk about after Jesus' transfiguration?
I received an email the other day that reminded me that we all need to remind ourselves to have a little humility in doing our Greek exegesis. I'm not talking about arrogance as the opposite of humility, but humble caution. The question had to do with the translation of three participles in Mark 16:16, and why the NASB is the only translation to get it “right,” and why the other translations got it “wrong.”
When the Greek is ambiguous, it is always nice to maintain that ambiguity in English. But usually you can’t and you have to make a decision. However, in this verse the ambiguity is essential to the meaning of both the verse and the passage.
If you translate word-for-word in Acts 6:2, you miscommunicate. The Apostles were not wanting to stop being waiters, they weren't asking to stop “waiting on tables.” They understand that their "service" is different." They understand that their "service" is different.
2 Tim 1:3–5 is one long Greek sentence, and it illustrates the dangers of breaking up a long Greek sentence into shorter English sentences, and also the danger of connecting the phrases merely sequentially. Why was Paul so thankful, despite the fact of his imprisonment and coming execution?
When Greek lays out a sequence of events, it tends to use anarthrous participles followed by an indicative verb. The question for the student is how to translate the participle into proper English. In our passage, the participle is actually telling us why the false teachers turned aside to error.
This is a rather technical blog on the nature of Greek appositional constructions. I imagine I lost many of you with that first sentence, but the distinction between the two forms is important exegetically. If you read "x of y," is "y" the same thing as "x" or is "y" explaining something about "x"?
When the woman answers Jesus, "Yes, Lord," is she agreeing or disagreeing? Most translations use an adversative like "but" for the following γάρ even though that gloss does not appear in the lexicon. Are they right to do so?
The present tense can describe anything from a single point in time to an imperfective action to an action devoid of any time significance. It is the difference between "I study" and "I am studying." In our passage, there is a significant difference, in fact a life and death significance, between the two.
The Greek word ὁ is much more than what we call the “definite article.” Depending on context, it can function as a demonstrative or a possessive pronoun. In this verse, it is called an “anaphoric” article.
Paul tells Timothy that the church and care for widows you are truly windows. A few verses later he says that the widow who the church should care for is the woman who is truly in need “and” (καί) is left all alone. The question is whether the καί is repeating the first requirement or adding a second.
It can be very disconcerting for people who do not know Greek to look at an interlinear Bible and not see any Greek word under an English word. Are the translators adding to God’s word? Case in point is 1 Timothy 3:11 and the question as to whether Paul is speaking of deacons’ wives or deaconesses.
Romans 8:28 can be a source of comfort; it can also be a challenge, especially for people in the midst of pain and disappointment. However, sometimes people struggle with a misunderstanding of the verse, thinking that they have to believe that every single thing that happens is good. Is it?
Dynamic equivalent translations are not overly concerned with concordance, i.e., translating the same Greek word with the same English word. But if it is possible to find the right English word that matches all the different uses of the Greek word, it can be a good thing. Yet that task can be more difficult than you might think. And the Greek of Acts 7:19 is a bit treacherous.
Many people do not use certain gender terms properly, which creates confusion in the discussion of translation theory. What is “gender neutral,” “gender inclusive,” and “gender accurate"? Why is this even an issue?
Is it more accurate to translate word-for-word, or to translate phrase-by-phrase? Some argue the former, but in truth it isn't possible. Meaning is conveyed primarily by phrases, and words gain their specific meaning in the context of the phrase. So accuracy has more to do with the phrase than the individual words.