Grammar question

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by natters, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. natters

    natters
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    In Acts 9:22, the KJV says "But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ."

    The NKJV says "But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ."

    Can someone explain the grammar of the KJV to me in the bolded phrase? It sounds very awkward and doesn't seem to even make sense grammatically.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Greek words (1555 St Stephens, underlying the AV Anglican Version):

    sumbibadzon = proving

    oti = that

    outos = this [Jesus] (masculine demonstrative with an implied subject which you go back for and find he is talking about Jesus)

    estin = he is

    ho = the

    christos = Messiah/Christ

    So from the Greek it could be translated accurately as
    proving that this is the Christ
    or
    proving that this Jesus is the Christ
    or
    proving that this one he is the Christ
    or
    proving that this one is the very Christ

    Even the "very" in the AV comes from the demonstrative pronoun "this" can be "this one" or "this very one"

    Unlike the AnglicanVersion only crowd, I believe that there could be four excellent ways to translate that phrase, ALL OF WHICH would be faithful and accurate to the inspired Greek.
     
  3. Ransom

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    "Jesus" is implied after "this," as the NKJV puts it, although the TR does not include the name.

    What the translators rendered "very Christ" is simply Christos in Greek. Obviously they were trying to say that Paul proved Jesus was truly the Messiah (i.e. the "very Christ" himself).

    Unfortunately they used a little bit of dynamic equivalence where they didn't have to, and should have used some where they didn't.
     
  4. HankD

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    The KJV adds the word "very" while the NKJV adds the word "Jesus". Neither of these words appear in the koine (either TR or critical) for this verse.

    "this is the very Christ" appears to be an Elizabethan-Jacobean dynamic equivalence addition by the KJV translators.

    I have no idea why the NKJV translators brought the name "Jesus" into this verse except perhaps to give clarity concerning the one who Paul was preaching about from the preceding verses.

    Either way works.

    My opinion of course.

    HankD
     
  5. natters

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    Thanks, that helps, but the sentence structure in the KJV still seems odd. "Christ" is a noun, but "very" is usually a modifier of adjectives. For example, "proving that this is very truthful" or "very heavy" or "very happy". Trutful, heavy and happy are adjectives. Grammatically, how can something be "very car" or "very person" or "very Christ"? Is this an old grammatical style that has fallen out of use in the last centuries?
     
  6. Ransom

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    I have no idea why the NKJV translators brought the name "Jesus" into this verse except perhaps to give clarity concerning the one who Paul was preaching about from the preceding verses.

    I assumed that would be apparent in Greek from subject/pronoun agreement, as Dr. Bob demonstrated. But unfortunately English does not retain such conveniences.
     
  7. Ransom

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    natters asked:

    Grammatically, how can something be "very car" or "very person" or "very Christ"?

    "Very" means "truly."
     
  8. HankD

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    That's what I said "except perhaps to give clarity concerning the one who Paul was preaching about from the preceding verses".

    Personally I don't think the clarity is that much less with the English pronouns vs. the koine (apart from gender) which doesn't effect the issue anyway.

    HankD
     
  9. natters

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    That makes sense. But still, it might be more grammatically correct to then say "this is truly the Christ". I see the definite article in the Greek, it seems odd to drop it when preserving it would make the phrase smoother. Oh well, thanks for your answers, I guess that clears it up. [​IMG] I came across this verse the other day and thought this is "very strange" (adjective) [​IMG]
     
  10. HankD

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    I believe the way you put it "truly" instead of "very" updates the 1611 period English to the 21st century. "truly" is best IMO.

    Get ready for KJVO INCOMING!

    HankD
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Many of the AnglicanVersion sect believe it is EVIL to say "the Christ", even though here would be a case where the definite article - present in all Greek documents - is simply blown off by the priests.

    "proving that this one is the very christ" would have been optimal.
     
  12. HankD

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    Baptists! they can never agree.

    HankD
     
  13. Ransom

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    natters said:

    But still, it might be more grammatically correct to then say "this is truly the Christ".

    Yes, it would be. Or "this is the true Christ," or "this is indeed the Christ," or something along those lines, would have meant the same thing.
     
  14. Charles Meadows

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    I think Bob summed it up!

    The "very Christ" represents "ho Christos" in the original. That's a noun with the definite article (ho). Sometimes a definite noun used as a predicate nominative is anarthous (without the definite article) - these usually are still definite nouns. In this case the article is present, perhaps leading the KJV translators to render it a little more emphatically (THE VERY Christ), although they didn't add a "the" which makes it sound a little goofy!

    This makes sense since he preaches Christ in verse 20 and in verse 22 refers to "this". Thus the force of the "very" is adjectival of Christ (this one is the very Christ) and not as much adverbial (truly the Christ).
     

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