Ephesians 4:15

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by rsr, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. rsr

    rsr
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    I, like you, have heard Ephesians 4:15 all my life, usually as an exhortation to speak only from love, not from baser motives, in dealing with other people. (I also have seen it used to sanction truly hurtful speech in which malice cloaks itself in love. But I digress.)

    Ephesians 4:11-15, KJV (emphasis added)

    Recently the pastor was preaching from Ephesians 4 using the NKJV, the translation he normally uses. But he said that the Greek means something more akin to acting than speaking.

    I was using my Holman, which agrees with the KJV rendering, as did the NIV pew Bible. When I went home I checked my ESV, which also agrees with the KJV, as do the TNIV, the NRSV and NASB.

    My NET, however, renders it as practicing the truth in love. I thought perhaps this was a newfangled rendering, but further checking revealed that American Bible Union 1865 New Testament (the "Baptist" Bible) translates it as but holding the truth, may in love grow up into him in all things. The Geneva translated it as But let us follow the truth in love, while the Bishops Bible has But following truth in love. Geneva apparently picked up the exact wording from Tyndale. Going back further, the 1395 Wycliffe-Purvey NT says But we do truth in charity (similar to the 1582 Rheims NT.)

    Is the early rendering worthy of being revived?
     
    #1 rsr, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2010
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I will be interested to see what our Greek scholars have to say here.

    My first thought had to do with the older meaning for the word 'communication' and how that related to lifestyle. I also thought our idiom 'actions speak louder than words' and wonder if we limit the idea the word 'speaking' and make it relate only to verbal communication.

    We still will often say something like 'that speaks volumes' when talking about a certain character trait or behaviour.

    Interesting.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    alethea = truth
    aletheuontes = holding the truth

    Along with Gal 4:16 it is commonly translated "speaking" the truth. But involves much more than words.

    I think that translators look at the Ephesians context and the various ways Paul makes parallels to speaking. Look up speak/talk or cognate words and there is a curous "play" going on in the passage

    truth-speaking 4:15
    corrupt-speaking 4:29
    evil-speaking 4:31
    foolish-speaking 5:4
    thanks-speaking 5:4

    That said (having now spent 20 minutes in this passage) there may also be a parallel to "alethea" and truth. This is a pattern of life, not words later in Eph 4. Hmmm

    Food for thought but I must scoot
     
  4. Jerome

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    Cf. "study" (II Tim 2:15) or "conversation".

    Tub-thumping sermonizers take note: sometimes words have a meaning other than the first entry in the dictionary:laugh:
     
    #4 Jerome, Apr 18, 2010
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  5. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Even "hold" has a communicative meaning.
    Consider the following sentence:

    A versions/translations thread is just not a versions/translations thread until Dr. Bob holds forth.:thumbs:
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    boo! Hiss! Throw out da bum!!
     

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