Literal Versus Conceptual

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Orvie, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. Orvie

    Orvie
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    Since my entire post was deleted unfairly,and perhaps it should have only been edited, I'd like to pose a question. Originally the question was whether or not the KJV is too literal translating the Holy Spirit in Rom 8 as "itself" instead of "Himself", the point was made the English noun should be neuter, because it is in Greek, and others, including myself saying the Spirit should be translated by the masculine noun, "Himself"
    The other part of the question is that the Holy Spirit in the KJV is translated "Holy Ghost" and "Holy Spirit". Why? If the Greek makes no distinction, why should we? The person who defended the Holy Spirit as translated "itself" inconsistently believes that the Spirit should be rendered "Holy Ghost" or "Holy Spirit", when in the donor language there is no distinction. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Pastor KevinR

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    Orvie, I agree with you! :eek: (I think)If we must translate the noun 'itself' as referring to the Spirit,then shouldn't the KJV always translate the Spirit as Spirit instead of sometimes Ghost? If memory serves, I read a post too by Bro Cassidy that the context determines whether or not the Spirit should be rendered as such or as "Holy Ghost", but does the original make that distinction? :rolleyes:
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    I think pneuma in reference to the third person of the Godhead should always be translated Spirit. You are right that there is no distinction in the Greek though I would be interested to know what the original purpose was in translating it differently. I also think that the neuter pronound when used in reference to the Holy Spirit should be translated himself because that is who it is referring to. I disagree that verbal, plenary inspiration is at issue. I think accuracy is at issue. God inspired a neuter pronoun because the Greek language did not permit otherwise. In English, the conventions of gender are more easily rendered and should be so done.
     
  4. Mikayehu

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    Such is the difficulty of translation. My first thought is, "Let's use itself, since that maintains the ambiguity of the Greek." But, ultimately, I feel that misses the point. The neuter pronoun can communicate a person in Greek, but "itself" does not do the same in English. The bottom line is that English isn't like Greek here. There is no perfectly satisfying way to translate this passage. It seems that in a translation, one must depart from being literal, when it sacrifices the understanding of the passage. I believe this is the case here.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mikayehu:
    Such is the difficulty of translation. My first thought is, "Let's use itself, since that maintains the ambiguity of the Greek." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't think the Greek is ambiguous here. The Greek is using proper Greek syntax.
     
  6. Rockfort

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RevKevin77:
    Orvie, I agree with you! (I think)If we must translate the noun 'itself' as referring to the Spirit,then shouldn't the KJV always translate the Spirit as Spirit instead of sometimes Ghost? If memory serves, I read a post too by Bro Cassidy that the context determines whether or not the Spirit should be rendered as such or as "Holy Ghost", but does the original make that distinction? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Cassidy has made a big point that the pronoun is neuter, therefore the KJV translations "itself" in Romans 8:16 is superior to any which renders this term "Himself." If Cassidy wishes a translation to be 'technically correct,' as he stated, let it be noted he took the opposite view on an earlier discussion about Romans 3:4,6,31, and other verses, which the KJV translates a term, "God forbid," while MV's translate literally, "May it never be." Cassidy admits the name of God is not in the text, but defends the untechnical KJV rendering--

    "You are correct in saying the word "God" (theos) does not appear in the Greek. However, the words "me genoito" in the second aorist middle deponent optative are a very, very strong statement referring to something that is eternally forbidden. The KJV translation committee, recognizing the impotence of man, while believing in the Omnipotence of God, understood that no man could eternally forbid something from happening, but the Eternal God could, thus their very appropriate translation "God forbid." A much better, because much stronger, rending then the modern versions (which sounds almost like wishful thinking), and completely in keeping with the unique meaning of the Greek term."

    So he is technical or untechnical, depending upon his view of the concept expressed.
     
  7. DocCas

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Orvie:
    Since my entire post was deleted unfairly,<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>You post was not deleted "unfairly." I told you why it was deleted, your name calling and disrespect. Time to get over it and get on with your life.

    [ August 17, 2001: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  8. DocCas

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rockfort:
    Cassidy has made a big point that the pronoun is neuter, therefore the KJV translations "itself" in Romans 8:16 is superior to any which renders this term "Himself."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Please do not mis-represent my position. I have never stated nor implied that "himself" is inferior to "itself." I clearly stated, ". I have no problem with the MVs which translate the neuter pronoun as a masculine, but nevertheless, the KJV is not wrong here, but is, once again, technically correct."

    And once again let me remind you that in polite company it is considered rude to refer to a person only by his last name.
     
  9. TomVols

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    Ultimately, the KJV is linguistically correct in Rom 8:16, while the MVs are theologically correct. All literal translations employ something other than strictly literal renditions of the Greek and Hebrew in places, and this in no way undermines verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture because contextual/grammatical faithfulness demand these.
    Dr. Cassidy is correct in arguing for the proper place of verbal plenary inspiration and its necessity for good translation, yet Pastor Larry, et.al., are correct that because the MVs are preferable and theologically consistent, they in no way malign verbal plenary inspiration.

    [ August 17, 2001: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  10. Dr. Bill Lowry

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    Just a comment on translation. I am continually amused by children learning their mother tongue here in Germany.

    The word for a young girl is Maedchen, which (I dispensed with the Umlaut because of the way the keyboards change it). Little children talk about das Maedchen, then switch to "sie," the feminine pronoun. And that within the same language!

    No wonder it is difficult for translators of the Holy Scriptures.
     
  11. Dr. Bill Lowry

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    Oops! I meant to mention that Maedchen is neuter and did not finish the sentence.

    The point was that a neuter gender confuses learners of a language when referring to a person whose physical gender is feminine.
     
  12. DocCas

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    Dr. Lowry, good illustration. Just to reiterate, the German articles der, die, das indicate masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. However, in German the gender of a noun has nothing to do with the sex of the noun. For example, die Tabelle and der Stuhl. The table, and the chair. In English both nouns are neuter. However, in German one is feminine and the other is masculine! German, like Spanish and Greek, is a Synthetic language while English is an Analytical language. They use different logic to construct sentences. For that reason, translating from Greek into English presents a problem. How do you handle gender of articles, pronouns, and nouns when, in Greek they seem to be arbitrary but in English they refer to the sex of the object in question!

    The answer is, you don't obsess over it! [​IMG]

    [ August 17, 2001: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  13. Orvie

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    Thomas, thanks for your gracious response, but note the timing, when I started this topic it was before your response to me! ;) hence, I am over it. :eek:

    [ August 17, 2001: Message edited by: Orvie ]
     
  14. HankD

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    Speaking of word order...

    KJV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    The word order in the Koine of the last clause of this sentence is:

    ...and God was the Word.

    Which it correct, and does it matter?
    This is not a test, I'de like to know how others feel.

    HankD
     
  15. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HankD:
    Which it correct, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Both.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> and does it matter? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nope. Just like 2+2=4 and 4=2+2, it doesn't matter which side of the equation it is on, Christ and God are equal! ;)
     
  16. Pastor KevinR

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    An illustration I've used in the literal and conceptual is the Spanish word "Odios", literally meaning "God be with you" and conceptually,"see ya later" or "goodbye" Maybe these aren't exact, but you get my drift. Sometimes conceptual is acceptable, but literal is preferred. ;)
     
  17. Forever settled in heaven

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    beg to differ. theological incorrectness isn't demanded of true linguistic faithfulness.

    unless, of course, the model of translation is flawed from the outset.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomVols:
    Ultimately, the KJV is linguistically correct in Rom 8:16, while the MVs are theologically correct. All literal translations employ something other than strictly literal renditions of the Greek and Hebrew in places, and this in no way undermines verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture because contextual/grammatical faithfulness demand these.[ August 17, 2001: Message edited by: TomVols ]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     

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