Matthew 16:19, On Earth or in Heaven first?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    "Shall be" sounds like future, while "will have been" sound like past tense --
    And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (KJV)
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    I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be [fn] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be [fn] loosed in heaven.
    Both fns: Or have been
    (NIV)
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    "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth [fn] shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth [fn] shall have been loosed in heaven."
    Both fns: Greek estai dedemenon, fut. pft. pass.
    (NASB)
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    and I will give to thee the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens.' (Young's)
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    I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven. (NET)
    What is the best way to translate the meaning of this verse into English?
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Feb 7, 2011
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  2. Greektim

    Greektim
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    There is not a 1:1 equivalent for the grammatical construction. You have a periphrastic construction which indicates a future perfect scenario (only here in Matt. 16:19???). "Shall be" brings out the future whereas "having/have been bound/loosed" brings out the perfect. Thus the NET opted for "will have been". Can you think of a way to relay the meaning into English?
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I would translate it, "What you might bind on earth will have been bound in Heaven, and whatever you might loose on earth will have been bound in Heaven."

    (1) "Bind" (aorist subjunctive) comes after ean, which means "if", and is not literally translated in your versions. The phrase is therefore a hypothetical situation, something I tried to show in my translation.

    (2) The second "bind" is a perfect participle, indicating a completed action, so, "will have been bound." (Literally, with the future estai, "shall be having been bound".)

    (3) The second half about "loosing" is exactly the same grammar.

    If my translation seems a little strained in English, that's okay with me. It portrays the Greek constructions accurately, I believe. I aimed at what secular scholar Lawrence Venuti calls a "foreignizing" translation, one that does not necessarily avoid sounding foreign. After all, 1st century Greek society (or Jews speaking Greek) is quite foreign to 21st century America! Why shouldn't the reader realize that?
     
    #3 John of Japan, Feb 9, 2011
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  4. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Thanks for comments, gentlemen.
    Yes, I like that alot! It seems to correspond very well with other material I have read concerning this verse.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Glad you like it. I see I goofed though, and translated "bound" instead of "loosed" for the last verb. Gasp. My translation wasn't perfect! :eek:
     
  6. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    I didn't catch that at first because that was not my focus; but its OK.

    Why do you suppose that so many translations do NOT give the fullest meaning into English at this verse?
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Probably most translators would call my rendering a little awkward. A style editor would tell me to smooth it out. At that point the choice is made between accuracy and readability.

    I am surprised that the NASV especially doesn't have another word to indicate the hypothetical construction, though. But maybe the style editor thought (along with the other version editors) that the word "whatever" conveyed the hypothetical nature of the ean phrase well enough without adding "might" like I did.
     

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