If you have seen the new movie, “The Chosen,” you will perhaps have a fresh look look at the character of the “Samaritan woman.” Some people think she was a prostitute, but is there any evidence that this is so?
Greek wants to start sentences with a conjunction, showing the linkage between the new sentence and the previous one. However, καί can be nothing more of a “daaa” or “ummm.” It does not necessarily imply sequence as it does in English. When we translate it as “and,” sometimes it creates problems that don’t need to exist.
I will be taking a break from my Monday with Mounce blog until September. I have a book to finish and my first grandchild to enjoy. But I will continue doing the Bible Study Greek blog, Translation Thursday. You may want to subscribe to that feed.
One of the more peculiar phrases in the Pastorals is in 1 Tim 5:3. “Honor widows who are truly widows (τὰς ὄντως χήρας).” A word-for-word translation creates something meaningless, and yet most of the translations just translate the words and leave it at that (NASB, ESV, NRSV, NET). “Truly widows?” You mean their husbands truly must be dead? What else could that phrase mean? I guess no widow could be cared for by the church if her husband were just pretending to be dead.
NOTE: Monday with Mounce blogs will start being available through our audio podcast. Just search for "Biblical Greek" on your iOS or Android phone. For more information, see BillMounce.com/podcasts.
As Jesus was going to the cross, some of the people were weeping. He turns to them and says that they shouldn't weep for him, but they should weep for their children because of the days that are coming. He prophecies that their children will then “say (ἄρξονται λέγειν) to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’”
From a grammatical point of view, it's worth noting that almost every major translation translates both ἄρξονται and λέγειν as “begin to say.” Only the NIV and NLT don't convey the inceptive idea — “to begin”: “they will say to the mountains”; “People will beg the mountains.”