Idioms?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, May 29, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    One of the future studies I hope to look into is Idioms used in the Bible. In preparation I have procured George Lamsa's book "Idioms in the Bible Explained". I would be interested any anyone's thoughts about the subject or book. I would expect that there can be quite a bit of controversy and debate regarding idioms or problems inherent in identifying idioms, etc. It seems that there were idioms in the actual Greek and hebrew texts themselves. It also seems that we have used idioms in our English bibles to convey the proper meaning even though it would deviate from the actual Greek text (even the KJV does this I believe).

    From Random House online:
    id-i-om (id'ee uhm) n.
    1. an expression whose meaning is not predictable
    from the usual grammatical rules of a language
    or from the usual meanings of its constituent
    elements, as kick the bucket "to die". ...

    A few such idioms in the Bible:
    • "If your had offends you, cut it off."
    • “hand under the thigh" oath
    • "God forbid"
    There are many others I'm sure.
     
  2. Greektim

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    Here's some helps:

    An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek (lot of greek grammar) by Moule

    &

    Idioms of the Greek New Testament (probably more helpful) by Porter.

    Check out these links b/c they are google books that you can actually view.
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Here's one from Job 19:20
     
  4. Greektim

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    Gen 30:3 Then she said, "Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her."

    KJV (more literal): Gen 30:3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
     
  5. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    As I was always in trouble as a kid, I became quite familiar with the phrase from Mom, "you are not going anywhere for a month of Sundays." Since she never carried it out fully, I never figured out if it meant 4 Sundays in a month, or thirty Sundays, one for each day of a month.

    My favorite reply to anyone using a "what if this happened" statement is "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his butt" or "if a grasshopper had a machine gun, the birds wouldn't eat him."

    I think one of the best idioms in the Bible is the one (several places) talking about studying and living the Word of God and planting it, searing it, and placing it in your heart. In other words, you practice it so long, a Godly response becomes a natural reaction.
     
  6. Greektim

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    Careful not to confuse idiom with metaphor.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The first one is not an idiom, but hyperbole. The second one was an actual custom. The third one is an idiom in English, but a different idiom in the Greek: literally, "May it not become" (or, "May it not be.")
     
  8. saturneptune

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    A metaphor is a word or group of words that takes place of or describes another word, like "bundle of fur" for kitten.

    A simile is the same thing except using like, such as the kitten is like a bundle of fur.

    An idiom is a group of words that have a particular meaning within a culture that is not in the dictonary, such as the length of time for "a month of Sundays."
     
  9. Winman

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    You guys crack me up, I don't give a hill of beans about idioms. Idioms are a drag, they'll just bring you down. Maybe you'll see the writing on the wall and set your sights on something useful. I ain't got no score to settle, I ain't trying to stir up trouble, but idioms will sink your boat. I'm washing my hands of this whole thing.
     
  10. Tom Butler

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    In other words, idioms don't float your boat.
     
  11. Winman

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    I'm in no mood to argue, I've got a full plate, ain't gonna rack my brain worrying about idioms.
     
  12. humblethinker

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    Is it the case that an idiom can not also express hyperbole or is it thecase that it can but in this particular instance it is not an idiom in the greek or the english?

    Of course it was a custom. Are you saying that the verbal representation of the custom did not utilize idiom in the hebrew or english? Was it the actual thigh as we understand 'thigh' that the hand was placed under in the oath?

    Thanks, that's great input.
     
  13. humblethinker

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    Thanks, I like these. Do you know if they are idioms in the original laguage or in the English only or both?
     
  14. John of Japan

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    It's not an idiom in either the English or Greek because it doesn't represent a meaning which is not literal. Hyperbole uses a statement which can be taken literally, but nevertheless is an overstatement intended to make a point.
    That is correct. The thigh was literal, therefore there was no idiom.
    You're welcome.
     
  15. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    That is only true if you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway.
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    I have no clue. But our Hebrew scholars on the BB should be able to--uh, shed some light. Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
  17. HankD

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    Yes, no bones about it, but at least he's leveling with us.

    HankD
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Ezekiel 18:2
    The meaning of that idiom is that one becomes irritated.
    The Living Translation renders it as "the children's mouths are puckered up."

    It's also found in Jeremiah 31.
     
  19. John of Japan

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    The first one ("skin and bones" in English but in Hebrew, "my bones cling to my skin and flesh) is arguably hyperbole. The second one, "skin of my teeth," is the same idiom in Hebrew and English.
     
    #19 John of Japan, May 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2012

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