Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

You are here

Monday, March 18, 2019

And the answer is ... (John 3:16)

Thanks for everyone who responded to my poll last week about how to properly translate John 3:16. I am still working through all the comments, but here are the basic results of the poll. It appears you like the γάρ translated (somehow), and you like clarity even at the expense of readability.



¶ I didn't take the poll, because the way I would personally prefer to translate it would be in such a way as to violate proper English, following the Koine Greek flow instead. It would be awkward but it would be more true to the original text: ¶ "For thusly the God loves the world..." ¶ Yes, "thus" is already an adverb, so why do I add the "-ly" ending to it? It would be for emphasis, because any English speaker understands what the "-ly" ending means. If I am going to botch the English, I may as well make it obvious. ¶ Then, a bit off topic, I keep the definite article, because θεος is a common noun, not a proper noun or proper name; they distinguished the god of Israel, whose name is יהוה, not English "God," from the other man-made gods that people worshiped. And ηγαπησεν is aorist (without time or aspect), not past tense as in English, so I take advantage of the fact that English simple present is most often used as an implied aorist in actual practice. ¶ If I were to paraphrase it, it would be, ¶ "So, based on God's love for the world, his only-begotten son is given..." ¶ (Note: The blog software seems to strip my blank lines that form paragraphs, so that's why I added the paragraph mark.)