Abbreviated Word Study G2523, kathizete

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Van, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Van

    Van
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    This word literally means to sit down or to cause someone to sit down. One of its shades of meaning is to select and seat a person for a purpose, i.e. to seat as a judge or ruler. Another shade of meaning is to sit for the purpose of teaching i.e. when a teacher (rabbi) sat down, that indicated he was going to teach. And yet another shade of meaning is to sit or be seated near a person of importance as a way of being honored, i.e. Jesus sits at the right hand of God.

    For this study we will look at the verses where someone is seated for the purpose of judging or arbitrating a dispute.

    Matthew 23:2, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;

    This seems to be an accurate translation choice, indicating exercising authority that has already been given or usurped, as opposed to being seated by others to exercise authority.

    Luke 22:30, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on
    thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    Here, “will be seated” better conveys the idea of bestowed authority.

    John 19:13, Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.

    Here, “seated himself” would be better, more consistent with the idea of assuming authority.

    Acts 25:17, So after they had assembled here, I did not delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought before me.

    Again, “seated myself” better conveys the idea of assuming authority.

    1 Corinthians 6:4, So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?

    Before addressing the translation of “kathizete” we should consider what this verse is actually saying. If you look at several different translations, you find two very different renderings. The NASB, and several others, turns the statement into a rhetorical question, reversing its message. This choice seems driven by the context, i.e. the statement was made to the shame of the Corinthians, as indicated in the following verse.

    Lets look at a very literal, word for word rendering: “If ever (G1437), indeed (G3303), you may be having (G2192) life’s affairs (G962) tribunals (G2922) seat (G2523) those (G5128) having been scorned (G1848) among (G1722) the (G3588) called out (G1577).

    The translation issue that divides the two opposite renderings is “do you seat those who have been scorned” as judges? And the answer is yes! Another way to look at it is to say you do not seat the Elders and leaders, those who have been elevated in the church, but the nobodies, the laypersons, for they should judge these common place disputes.

    But leaving aside the perhaps mistaken rendering of the verse as a rhetorical question, if we focus in on our word, then “do you seat “ as judge, provides more transparency and correspondence with the actual word meaning.
     
  2. Greektim

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    Ok... I have to ask...

    Where did you come up with the form kathizete? Every other word study post, you use the lexical form. Why change here?

    And are you aware there is another Greek word that is similar but is a natural reflexive (I am on the no-deponent train)? It is G2516; kathezomai. There is also G2521 kathaymai. This is actually the word used in your Lk. 22 example (though there are variants). Even if the Byzantine reading is correct, you translated a middle voice in the passive. So your translation is not necessarily better or even correct for that matter.

    That also might explain why the rendering in say Jn 19:13 is deliberately not what you think is better since there were different Greek words for that or ways to make that word deliberately middle voice and say "seat himself".

    So seeing how you don't handle accurately these words... do you see why I distrust word studies from people not very familiar w/ the original languages?
     
    #2 Greektim, Aug 16, 2014
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  3. Van

    Van
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    Well I am happy to hear you are reading the word studies. I do not recall, but I expect I was looking at an interlinear, rather than a lexicon. :)

    G2523, kathizō
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    Let me start with thanking you for your effort Greektim, to find fault with this thread.

    I am aware that other Greek words form a family of words with similar meanings.

    This was a study of G2523, not G2521 or G2516.

    But I was unaware that the CT had G2521 at Luke 22:30. I should not have included it.

    Lets discuss translating consistent with the Greek syntax, because that is a very sound goal in translation. Leaving aside 2521 and the variant at Luke 22:30, lets look at John 19:13, where you also noted a flaw in my study.

    If I understood you, you said sat down is different from seated himself. Clearly there is not much difference in the message. I thought I was in the active voice, i.e. seated himself. Note that a very similar word, plural rather than singular, is translated seated themselves at Matthew 23:2.
     
    #4 Van, Aug 16, 2014
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  5. Van

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    The clock had timed out, so I could not edit the OP, so here is the corrected study, with the removal of a verse that I mistakenly included.
     
  6. Greektim

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    To say "seated himself" is reflexive (i.e. middle voice in Greek). Active voice is simply "he sat." The action of sitting is less important than the place of sitting... the judgment seat.
     
  7. Van

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    So the NASB translators were wrong at Matthew 23:2?

    The other way to look at it is to say the subject was not receiving the action, i.e. middle voice, but was performing the action, active voice.

    Perhaps you can reference from scripture a place where seated, seated himself, seated themselves, is translated from a middle voice version of G2523. OTOH, I have presented a case where the active voice is rendered seated themselves.

    Otherwise, I will conclude you are making a distinction without a difference, i.e. seated himself, can be viewed as an accurate translation of the active voice.
     
  8. Greektim

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    Depends on the translators philosophy and understanding. I can't say it was wrong, but the ESV and NET seem to simplify it as simply "sit". I will say this about the NASB and their translation of the verb in question in Matt. 23:2. They translated the aorist verb as "have seated" instead of the simple past "sat". However, to say "they have seated in the chair of Moses" is bad English. In this case, the "themselves" is supplied not to indicate a reflexive understanding of the verb but to make better translation. So this is not a case that proves your point. Granted, they could have rendered it "they have sat in the chair...". But that changes the force that the aorist is trying to convey.

    Also, your understanding of the middle voice is inaccurate. Middle voice in the reflexive sense (there are other ways it can be used) is simply an action done to one's self. For example, in Spanish, you don't bathe but rather you bathe yourself (banarse not banar). Greek has words that are like this, the reflexive is built in. Your G2523 is not one of them, however.

    Your case that you have presented is flawed. That is what I'm trying to point out. You pick and choose translations like the NASB that seem to fit whatever agenda you have (not certain which here). But even your reasoning was incorrect in the NASB rendering.

    Perhaps "seated himself" is an accurate translation of kathizo in the active voice, but there are better words and clearer ways to say that in Greek. And so I would not force the nuance that you seem to want. That was my point.

    And this is my point about word studies... you want to put more in words than are really there... usually.
     
    #8 Greektim, Aug 16, 2014
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  9. Van

    Van
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    Great, we agree, seated himself was not supplied to indicate a"reflective" understanding of the verb, but to make a better translation.

    My understanding of the middle voice is accurate, but your understanding of my understanding needs work. The idea of middle is that an action done by the subject is active, and done to the subject is passive, and if the subject does something that benefits himself, then that falls in the middle. Here, himself is simply an added word, which might be put in italics, to make the action clear.

    I do not pick and choose translations, I always base my word studies on the NASB.

    No doubt my word study is flawed, but unless more flaws are presented, I have addressed and corrected those brought to my attention.

    And I want to close by saying again, that I really do appreciate constructive criticism.
     
    #9 Van, Aug 16, 2014
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  10. Rippon

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    Ha, Ha.
    Yep, but put it in the plural form --studies.
     
  11. Greektim

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    reflexive not reflective

    That is one use of the middle voice. But that is not a reflexive use of the middle voice. See page 407 of Wallace's grammar for a list of middle voice uses (http://books.google.ca/books?id=XlqoTVsk2wcC&q=middle+voice#v=snippet&q=middle voice&f=false).

    Now I'm more curious... from what you studied, what did you learn that you did not know before? What passage of Scripture opened up to you that was veiled before? Was there really a cash out for this?
     
  12. Van

    Van
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    Thanks for the link, I do not own that book.

    Reflexive pronouns like himself, themselves, reflect the action back on the subject. However, they are sometimes used with active voice verbs, in scripture, i.e. 1 John 5:21. So my offering is both consistent with a translation choice of the NASB (at Matthew 23:2), and of some Koine Greek writers, i.e. John (at 1 John 5:21.)

    I learn something, or so I like to think, every time I study God's word. Word study is useful to unveil the nuanced meaning God conveyed in the original language, that may or may not have been lost in translation.

    I did not know that Luke 22:30 used a different word (G2521) in the CT as opposed to the TR.

    Or that sometimes reflexive pronouns are used with either active voice or middle voice verbs. As you know, I know nothing of Greek grammar, and so I pick up tidbits along the way.

    Frequently, I look at a verse in a whole new light, because my understanding of what it is saying is changed.
     
    #12 Van, Aug 17, 2014
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  13. Van

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    Hi Rippon, have you seated yourself on the English chair, put there for any and all dictatorial elitists. Perhaps we need a show of hands to put you in charge. I specified word study, and therefore any word study would be included. :)
     
  14. Rippon

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    Hey there Vern,...I mean Van.
     
  15. Greektim

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    So you learned grammar? Is that the point of a word study then?

    What I'm saying is, what did this word study teach you about God's word that you didn't already have?
     
  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    That some versions of the Bible were influenced by calvinists, and not to be trusted!
     
  17. Van

    Van
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    Well, at least I learned your view of translating active voice verbs with reflexive pronouns was based on a narrow understanding, and inconsistent with a translation used in the NASB, and a Greek usage as found in scripture.

    Your premise, disavowing word study, is not shared by some schools because the process is taught.

    The study of this word did not fundamentally alter my understanding of God's Word, but it increased my understanding of the associated verses. The OP presents several insights (flawed as they may be) that I did not have prior to the word study.
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    He is not against doing word studies, but against using them to justify some "interesting" conclusions!
     
  19. Van

    Van
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    Your crystal ball is cloudy!

    But some of the faults he claimed, proved to be non-faults. He did disagree with my conclusion, that seated or seated himself, seated themselves, etc. was a more transparent and correspondent choice. We disagree.
     
  20. Rippon

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    I think these lines from post #8 deserve repeating.
     

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