Harald's Translation

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Gina B, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    HI Harald. Hopefully you read this! I don't know what you plan to name your translation, so there, I gave it a name. [​IMG]
    I'm curious about your translation of John 3:16 " For in this manner *God loved the world, so that the Son of His, the only begotten, He gave, in order that each particular believer in Him not should bring perdition to himself, but to the contrary should keep on possessing life eternal;"

    I noticed a few times in the text you use "keep on possessing life eternal".
    Why do you translate it like this, and the way it's worded sounds like it almost promotes a universal salvation until repeated sin or something like that. Can you explain it a little please? I'm confused by your translation.
    Gina
     
  2. Harald

    Harald
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    Gina. The reason why I translated it the way I did is both grammatical and according to analogia scriptura (the analogy of Scripture). If you look at the Greek NT. The Greek word which I rendered "should keep on possessing" is echê, from #2192 (according to Strong's), echô.

    "To have, to hold, i.e. to have and hold, implying continued possession, trans." (Zodhiates: Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament)

    The grammatical form of echê here is present active subjunctive. Present tense forces me to render in such way as to make clear the possessing is continual, thus "keep on" plus -ing suffix. Subjunctive mood made me insert the auxiliar verb "should".

    OK, Gina, I hope you are following along. In rendering as I did I did compare to some other versions. I will quote a few others.

    "but have everlasting life" (KJV)

    "but may have life age-during." (YLT)

    "but may have life everlasting" (Darby)

    "but have eternal life" (ASV)

    "_but_ shall be having eternal life!" (ALT)


    Of the above only ALT comes close to my choice by its -ing suffix, but it has wrong tense, future (shall), and its mood is indicative. KJV and ASV IMO render in such manner that it may be taken as ambiguous. Most Bible readers I think presume the KJV (ASV) reading ("have") means "come to have", like coming into possession of. This is how most so called decisionists understand this phrase. They teach "believeth in him" precedes "have eternal life", i.e. that an act of faith in Christ brings about "born again" ("have eternal life", emph. mine).

    John 3:16 is not a verse teaching a so called offer of salvation (eternal life) to "whosoever" on the condition or prerequisite of "believeth" once and for all. I will explain why not. I will quote what I wrote once to a forum of this board:


    "John 3:16 is misunderstood by most professors of Christianity. Some of it may relate to translations which can be interpreted this way or that way.

    I will take the much-quoted KJV as an example.

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    It is obvious that decisional regeneration folks take the word "believeth" as a once-and-for-all "act of faith in Christ" ("decision for Jesus"). Moreover they take the word "have" to mean a once-and-for-all "receiving" of regeneration ("everlasting life"). But I think I have never seen an honest decisional regenerationist who would have showed what the underlying Greek text says, from which the KJV is translated. If he would his argument for decisional regeneration from this verse would be blown to pieces.
    First, the Greek does not say "hos an" ("whosoever", KJV) but pâs. In Rom. 10:13 are the two words "hos an", these the inspiring Spirit of God used to denote "whosoever" or "whoever". Pâs in John 3:16 is "every" or "each", it is a singular pronominal adjective.
    Secondly, the Greek verb rendered as "believeth" by the KJV is not an aorist verb, also known as a point action verb. It is pisteuôn, a present active participle. This means it is far from a point action. It is best rendered as "believing" or "believer". Even if one chooses to render it "believing" one must have in mind it is a present participle, which stresses ongoing action ("(continuously) believing"), or possibly a state of being ("believer").
    Thirdly, the Greek verb translated "have" is neither an aorist verb, but a present active subjunctive, echê. It is best rendered as "possess" with the -ing suffix. If the Holy Spirit had willed He could have inspired an aorist, thus stressing a point action, but He did not.
    Thus the verse may be literally rendered as follows:

    3:16 For in this manner God loved the world, so that the Son of His, the only begotten, He gave, in order that every one (continuously) believing in Him not should bring perdition to himself, but to the contrary should keep on possessing life eternal;

    The verb apolêtai is in fact in the middle voice, thus "...should bring perdition to himself" here, but "should perish" is the same thing. It should be evident to any prudent person that John 3:16 cannot be used to teach decisional regeneration. The grammar and syntax of the God-breathed original does not allow for such perverting of God's word. "

    END OF QUOTE

    The other reason for "should keep on possessing" instead of e.g. "should possess" is the fact that the whole of the NT teaches that one who is a "pisteuôn", a believer, is one who already possesses "life eternal" within himself/herself. The Lord Christ is the one speaking in this verse and He refers to "every one believing (present participle - continuously so)" in Himself, the only begotten Son of God. And God the Father sent the Son in order that every single one continuously trusting (believing) in Him (the Son) not should bring perdition to himself (aorist tense, most probably meaning a sudden or swift perdition), but on the contrary should go on possessing the life eternal of which his/her continuous believing in the Son is a fruit and proof. This is what Jesus the Lord taught by these words. He did not teach a decisional regeneration or an offer of eternal life on the condition of a once and for all "decision for Christ", or a once and for all act of faith in Himself. I trust you are familiar with the phrase in citation marks.

    In essence, this verse is a verse chiefly to such who are already believers in the Son of God (especially to pre-Calvary believers), and a verse full of consolation to such. That they need not be worried or anxious about a sudden perdition overtaking them at any time, but that they may go on possessing that life eternal which they have as a gift of God's grace, of which their believing in Christ the Son of God according to the operation of God (Eph. 1:19) is an evidence and fruit. Paul in 1Tim. 6:3-5 refutes the heretical notion that "the godliness" is a means of acquisition, which many hold to. Belief in Christ and/or obedience to Him (godliness) is not a means of getting. "Believing in Him" can thus not secure life eternal for a person. The Scripture cannot be broken. Christ did not contradict Paul, and vice versa.

    And Gina, thank you so much for the feedback. This gives me reason to check my translations again. I don't want them to be confusing or ambiguous in such cases where they shouldn't be. I may yet change the rendering so as to get it more precise and understandable.

    All right, it became a longer answer than I intended. Hope it may have dispersed some confusion. If there be any more questions just ask me.


    Harald
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Yes, that makes it much more understandable, and something to think about. (dare I say that without getting shot by others on here? [​IMG] )
    Thank you for explaining. I'll keep watching and seeing how your work progresses.
    Just out of curiosity, what made you want to do it?
    Gina
     
  4. Harald

    Harald
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    Gina. You are so welcome. I am glad if my explanation was of help. As for my translation project, which I BTW as for now call Received Text Version. Simply because it is translated from the Received Text, which I have found to be the superior Greek NT edition. What made me want to do it? That's a good question, and one not so easy to answer in brief. I will try to say something. If you read the introduction to my translation you will know some things about it. But I did not touch upon the reason for getting into it. And if you checked out the link to my Bible and Translation site you will learn where I stand on the versions issue and bibliology in general.

    But now to your question. I think all began back in 2000, when I trust it was the Lord God who delivered me from King James Onlyism. The main thing He used was the Textus Receptus, more specifically Ricker Berry's Interlinear, which has Stephanus' TR and the KJV in the margin. I had bought this tool from the USA almost two years previous, but it had laid practically untouched up till early 2000. Just before the deliverance I was about to engage in a translation project with some fundamental Baptists in USA. Their Bible translation ministry has as its aim to provide the Scandinavian countries, of which Finland is part, with Bible translations based on the KJV. They were KJV Onlyites, just as myself. I do not recall the name right now, but it may have been "Scandinavians For Christ", which is situated in Oshkosh up north near the great lakes. We had agreed that I take care of Swedish and Finnish, and I was to translate from the KJV. The ministry head liked my renderings of it into Swedish, which he knows due to being of Scandinavian ancestry.
    But just as we were in the middle of planning I was alerted to the fact that they were free willers and decisionists in their beliefs. This saddened me much, and I knew I had to end my cooperation with them and be separate. Just after or at the same time my eyes were opened to see KJVO was false. I kind of fell in love with the Textus Receptus, and wanted to translate from it. I began with practically no knowledge of NT Greek, but nevertheless struggled my way onwards, translating of it into English, Swedish (my mother tongue), and Finnish, when I felt for it. On a chapter by chapter basis. I have come to see that translating the Greek NT of the Lord Jesus Christ is one of those things I love the most in this life. And the few people I have so far sent chapters to (English) by email have given positive comments, which of course gladdens. This has encouraged me to translate more, little by little.

    Of course I know my renderings are not perfect, and they cannot be, but sometimes I feel childishly proud when I have managed to translate aright. No translation is perfect. But when I sit down to translate I strive for the best result I can ever attain to. I get to change and amend a whole lot when I spot some errors. But you cannot imagine how much I love it.

    One reason why I want to translate it, and hopefully finish it is that I am not a version onlyist in the sense that I have settled for one version only. I know there may be great advantage in settling for one specific accurate version. I could do it the easy way and evaluate all TR based Formal Equivalent versions and settle for one. If I did this it would not be the KJV, but the LITV, which is more accurate as compared to the Textus R. But as I am a perfectionist when it comes to God's New Testament and Scripture in general I want to know exactly what God the Holy Spirit inspired, and when I read a translation I want to read one that leaves out nothing of the information He conveyed by the words and their forms. That is one of the reason for the asterisk thing, which you probably noticed.

    But I do not want to finish this translation only for my own benefit, but also for any other person who may feel it can benefit him/her. It is aimed at such who really want to know, via the English, all the information that is possible to convey through a translation. For example, if a translation for some reason omits a definite article, this may affect how one interprets the passage. The same goes for a definite article added where the TR has none. You see my point. Yet I know that one thing that often is not possible to convey to an English version reader through a normal plain version, which mine is, is gender. Undoubtedly at times it would be advantageous if the English versions somehow informed the reader what gender some word(s) is in a given context.

    I hope to have finished the NT in English some day. I hope to post it all to the website as chapters are finished. I am no fan of copyright so it won't be. I do not care whether it will be a success or a failure. I am glad if it commends itself even to one person who loves the word of God. If so comes to pass I have not translated in vain. One thing I hope to achieve with a "woodenly literal" version is greater obedience to God's and Christ's commandments, and clearer understanding of the teachings of Christ. I also hope to provide a version from which one may do exegesis in a more accurate manner than if one used a less literal version.

    I could probably think of many more reasons for executing this project, but I fear I will tire you with much words.
    Any more questions you just ask me. Thanks once more.

    yours to serve,
    Harald
     

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