Differences in Lexicons affecting translation?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Just wondering, can anyone elaborate on the difference in the lexicons for the Greek word diorysso (Strong's #1358)? Thayer's has the meaning 'to dig through: a house' (followed by the Geneva Bible and by Darby in Matthew 6:19&20, for example) and Strong's has the meaning 'to penetrate burglariously' ("break through" in the KJV and many others). Vine's Expository Dictionary states that the word is rooted in orysso (to dig) and dia (through).
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Jan 5, 2009
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  2. Jim1999

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    One of the dangers of "one" word Greek experts. There are times when one word can make a difference, but more often it is the phrase and circumstances that render the true meaning. Remember that the lexicons are an opinion too, and not always as concrete as we would like.

    In this context we might consider that most houses were built with stones and mud, and therefore, to dig through would make sense, or burglarize (how did the thief get in?) At any rate, the one word does not alter the meaning.

    I learned Greek and passed with decent grades, but never considered myself to be proficient in the language to use it. I found a good use of hermeneutics to be of greater value.

    Not much help.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. gb93433

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    Some of the much better lexicons are:


    A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Walter Bauer and Frederick William Danker

    Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (2 Volume Set)By Louw & Nida
     
  4. Askjo

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    The warning is to be careful on how to use any lexicons or which lexicons because of the TR side and W/H side reflecting to the interepretation. WATCH OUT!
     
  5. Deacon

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    I'm curious Askjo, what lexicons would you recommend?

    WATCH OUT!, Thayers Lexicon is cryptic. :laugh:

    δι-ορύσσω; Passive, 1 aorist, infinitive διορυχθηναι (Mt. 24:43 Tischendorf’s Greek text, Tregelles’s Greek Text, Westcott-Hort; Luke 12:39 Tischendorf’s Greek text, Westcott-Hort Greek Text, Tregelles’s Greek Text margin); 2 aorist infinitive διορυγηναι [compare Westcott-Hort Appendix. Page 170; [see below] from Hom. down]
    to dig through a house: a house (Xen.symp. 4, 30; Job 24:16 Septuagint), Mt 24:43; Lk 12:39; absol. Mt. 6:19 sq. [W.594 (552); B. 146 (127)].*
    [* = all instances of a words occurrences are in the article]
    Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament (1885) p 152.

    Westcott-Hort Appendix
    Notes on Orthography,
    Miscellaneous Forms of Verbs


    The best MSS have διορυχθηναι Lc¹, but διορυγηναι is as well attested Mt¹. Analogous forms are ψυγυήσεται Mt¹; ήρπἀγη, ἀρπἀγἐντα, 2 Co², ἀρπαγηἐσὁμεθα 1 Th¹ (but ήρπἀσθη Ap¹ in the best MSS); ἐκρὐβη Lc¹ Jo² He¹, κρυβῆναι Mt¹ 1 Ti¹, περιἐκρυβεν Lc¹ (these eleven virtually without var.); ήνοἱγησαν Mc¹, ήνοἱγη Act¹ (these two in the best MSS only: also Lc 24 31 in a * (D)) Ap², ἀνοἱγήσεται Mt¹ ˅•² Lc¹ ˅•², besides other forms of ἀνοἱγω mentioned above, p. 161.
    Westcott and Hort Appendix, 170.


    The Louw-Nida Lexicon encompasses both definitions you note
    #19.41 (1:225), citing Luke 12.39

    Consider how the dwellings were made (consider Luke 5:19).

    We have many Toll Brothers houses in our area.
    I've alway thought they were built for "breaking through", all you have to do is "dig through" the plastic siding, a layer of firm insulation and drywall and your in.

    Rob
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Rob, there is a huge difference between a modern framed house and a stone on mud built house. A mud house can easily be dismantled.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Deacon

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    You've never seen those Toll Brother houses have you. :tongue3:

    Rob
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Who are the Toll Brothers?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Deacon

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    Well you're right, they're not made of mud and sticks

    Here's a pic [LINK] of the houses near us.

    Just 800 thousand and it's yours.

    They look so impressive but but a good huff and puff and the sticks would scatter.
    I think they use 2 by 3's for the walls and 2 by 2's for the roof.

    Rob
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Impressive looking, but, I am not impressed with the lumber sizes. That would be illegal in Canada right there.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    I don't know any translators or scholars that use Vines or Strongs, or Thayers for that matter, when doing serious translation work...and I know plenty of scholars engaged in translation work.

    They just aren't awfully good.

    There are better resources (which maybe be a bit out of the average consumer's range) that they have access to for work.

    In addition to BDAG and Spiq there are also:

    Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
    Westermann's Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament
    Westermann's Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament

    and as for OT lexicon's

    Brown-Driver-Brigg's Hebrew Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament
    Koehler-Baumgartner's Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament

    The later is far superior to BDB.

    As a final note, most serious scholars who are engaged for translation work use primary sources in addition to their lexical work.

    The academic community has never really trusted Vines, Strongs, and Thayers since the turn of last century for translation work since their renderings are notoriously limited and lack substantive materials for contemporary sources and limited renderings of words.
     
  12. gb93433

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    At first glance I was not impressed. They used many of the same size windows. The architectural features were minimal. My first thought was basically four walls with a lid.
     
  13. gb93433

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    Of all of the states I have lived in that would only be legal in places where there was no inspection and plans required.
     
  14. franklinmonroe

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    My vintage-1960 BAG does state (page 198, italics original) "... of a thief who digs through the (sun-dried brick) wall of a house and gains entrance, break through, break in ..."
     
  15. Jim1999

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    Quote: My vintage-1960 BAG does state (page 198, italics original) "... of a thief who digs through the (sun-dried brick) wall of a house and gains entrance, break through, break in ..."
    ---------------------------------------

    Thanks for that, Frank.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. John of Japan

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    In determining the meaning of a Greek word there are several things that I consult that are more important than the lexical definition: the NT usage of the word, the extra-Biblical usage of the word (particularly the koine parchments), the immediate context, the classical usage of the word. As a last resort I'll consider the etymology of the word.

    The only lexicon I have (out of ten or so) that helps in this process is BAGD (2nd ed.; some have called the 3rd ed. BDAG--if I remember right). As someone said on the thread this is the best lexicon (2nd ed. not 3rd.). It gives many examples of extra-Biblical usages. I also consult something called the Perseus database through my Biblos software, which has a tremendous number of documents on it which can be used to check extra-Biblical Greek usage.

    I have the Louw-Nida lexicon in my Biblos software, but I rarely use it because I disagree with the semantic theory of Eugene Nida, which is based on existentialism. There is a debate going on right now about this in scholarly circles, with his adherents saying "context is king," and sometimes ignoring usage.

    In the case of diorussw there are only four usages in the NT, all of them very similar, so it's fairly easy to determine it means "to break in," as done by a burglar. I doubt that this word is always used to literally dig through the walls. It's easy to imagine a 1st century breakin through a door or window, and the NT passages don't distinguish this point.
     
    #16 John of Japan, Jan 6, 2009
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  17. gb93433

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    I am shocked to think that not everybody has had that kind of training in language studies.

    When I was in seminary we had to do a paper on a word we picked from a list that the professor gave out. We were to trace the word back as far as we could go into the OT times and onto past the NT.

    I did mine on presbuteros. I got some interesting surprises. I often find that when I do that kind of study that not much theology I get some interesting surprises. Too often an author does not bring out the full amount of information but rather limits his writing based sometimes on the political football at the time.

    When I was in seminary I remember quite well what a well known SBC theology professor told me in a private discussion I had with him after he was asked to write a book and the publishing company completely changed the wording to say something he did not believe. I bought the book he authored because I thought he was a great professor and found him to be credible. I read the book and realized that what I read did not seem like what he taught in class. So I asked him about what was in the book. As we talked I realized that he was quite uncomfortable in talking about it until we got outside. Then he told me what had happened.

    t is a great source of information.

    what do you mean by this?
     
  18. franklinmonroe

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    John, I appreciate your all comments (as well as everyone elses so far) but the fact is, we don't know with a high degree of certainty. Do you have a problem with the Geneva's rendering? Isn't it safer translation to 'err' on the side of being more literal?
     
  19. John of Japan

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    I wish I could tell you more, but I get this from my son who is working on his Ph. D. in New Testament Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He's trying to get me up to speed on what is happening in the world of Greek scholarship. Much of the discussion appears to have been kicked off by The Semantics of Biblical Language by James Barr, as well as Nida's and Louw's views on semantics.

    One area that is being discussed is that some scholars reject diachronics (also called historical linguistics) as a source for learning the meaning of a word. As I said, to these guys "context is king." Books are being written on both sides of this issue. One book that would help some is Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek, by David Alan Black (my son's mentor). Another book that discusses how this is spilling over into the hermeneutics discussion is Evangelical Hermeneutics by Robert L. Thomas.
     
  20. John of Japan

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    What we know with a high degree of certainty is that every single New Testament usage refers to the action of a burglar. According to Liddell and Scott's lexicon, in classical Greek the word meant "dig through," as has been said. In Homer it is used for "to dig a trench." But diachronics teaches us that words develop in meaning. The koine meaning evolved from the classical meaning.

    If I were translating it into modern English I would say "break in," since that has a similar etymology to the Greek word. As for the Geneva rendering, "to dig through," in my mind that is too much dependent on the classical meaning and doesn't look at the NT usage enough. There are 800 years between Homer and the NT! The KJV "break through" is much better to me.
     

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