"panton ton kakon"

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    I am having a private discussion with a person who is trying to defend the words of the KJV in 1 Tim. 6:10 which say, "the love of money is THE root of ALL evil." While he cannot defend against the fact that the Greek has no indefinite pronoun equivalent to the English "a", he insists that the Greek words "panton ton kakon" are translated "all evil", with "all sorts/kinds of evil" not being a possible correct translation. (With my very-limited knowledge of Koine Greek, I understand "panton" to be from "pas", all or some of all/every, and "ton", of.)

    Now, this person claims to have taken a coupla koine Greek college classes, but I believe the extent of his college education is "KJVO 101". I hardly believe that the scores of translators who render it "all sorts of evil" were all wrong!

    I explained to him that Scripture cannot be broken, and since REALITY is that there are all sortsa evils not done for lova $$ such as the diaper-head suicide bombings, Columbine HS massacre, etc. etc. the rendering "all sorts" is the CORRECT one. When reality doesn't match a translation of Scripture, it's the translation that must be examined for accuracy.

    I'm wondering if any of of you who are proficient in Scriptural Greek could shed some light on this question?
     
  2. franklinmonroe

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    I do not possess the Greek credentials you are seeking, but no one else has responded.

    Certainly, "all sorts/kinds of evil" is a possible translation. What most folks miss is that the word kakon is in fact in plural form; that means it is actually "evils" (NOT singular). The term ton is the possessive-plural form of the Greek defenite article; that is usually represented as "of-the". Bear in mind that it is not absolutely necessary to always include the definite article in the English translation. Also panton is in the possessive-plural form; which indicates it also describes or belongs to kakon meaning "of-all". In Greek these three words are bound together, shown by their common inflection. This phrase is literally: "of-all of-the-evils". While this may seem to be in your favor, it is possible for a literally plural concept to be represented by a figuratively singular term and not misrepresent or distort the original message. It is also possible to become too literal. But technically without any context "all evil" would be incorrect.

    Now riza ("root") is singular and does not have an article in the Greek text; often in this situation the word is provided the indefinite article for English to indicate its singularity. The KJV's "the" before "root" is not directly supported by a corresponding Greek article here (and so perhaps this "the" should have been printed with italicface, as Darby has done in his version); although I think the KJV men might try to justify this "the" with the latter definite article. It would be more conventionally rendered: "a-root". It is apparently just one root, and therefore NOT necessarily the only root (because a Greek-writer would normally have so indicated). One could interpret that seemingly the love of money is at least one "root" for each and every unique "evil"; there is room for additional roots (most plants have more than one root). That is why I think some translations have "sorts/kinds" -- they have transferred the plural forward in the phrase (it logically conveys that there are different "evils"); today we would probably not say it as: "all sort of evils" or "all kind of evils".

    All togther we now have "a-root of-all of-the-evils". That is approximately the rendering found in many 'literal' versions (such as CLV, ALT, LCV, KJV3, Young's). Two successive "of"s makes it a little clumsy in English, so the translators often drop one; they also almost unanimously leave out the definite article "the" since it seems surperfluous. Thus: "a root of all evils".
     
    #2 franklinmonroe, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2010
  3. Pastor_Bob

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    Unless I am mistaken here, you just elevated your own human reasoning to the place of inspired Scripture. The Bible clearly teaches us that, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isa 55:9
     
  4. RAdam

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    Are you still beating this dead horse? Hasn't been amply proven by now by many on this board that "all" in the bible typically means "all sorts" or "all kinds" and is not used in a universal sense? In a few cases it means most, but not all in a universal sense. Thus your whole argument is a waste of time.

    Here's a good example of what I mean:

    Isaiah 14:9 - Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

    Now, "all the chief ones of the earth" and "all the kings of the nations" obviously doesn't mean all of them in a universal sense, every single one of them without exception. David isn't in hell. Solomon isn't either. There have been kings since Jesus Christ that were God's people, thus they aren't in hell. A quick view of scripture leads us to realize that there are exceptions, thus the word "all" isn't a universal term. But, nevermind the scripture, go ahead with your opinion of what the word means and rail on a translation with which you have an axe to grind.
     
  5. AntennaFarmer

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    Robycop3

    It is discussed briefly in:

    Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. p. 265.

    It comes up on Google books for me.



    A.F.
     
    #5 AntennaFarmer, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2010
  6. John of Japan

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    Thanks for the reference in Wallace. When I first looked at this thread, I checked the Greek and came to the conclusion that either way was correct. This bothered me and I figured I'd better not post, since I might have failed in my analysis of the Greek and thus might lead someone astray. But on p. 265 as per your reference, Wallace gives six possible ways to translate the sentence.

    Here is why there are so many possibilities, according to Wallace: "The reason for these six possibilities is that first, it is difficult to tell whether riVa is indefinite (options 1 & 4), definite (2 & 5), or qualitative (3 & 6), and secondly pantwn may mean 'all without exclusion' (1, 2, & 3) or 'all without distinction' (4, 5, & 6)."
     
  7. AntennaFarmer

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    Hey, you are welcome!

    A.F.
     
  8. jbh28

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    The KJV rendering of all doesn't mean every single one without exception(seems like this always is a problem with these universal terms). As RAdam said, it can mean all kinds/sorts, which is how it is translated in most modern versions. Literally, it is "root of all the evils." So both the KJV and the modern versions are correct. They both teach that money is a root of all types of evils.
     
  9. robycop3

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    So, are you saying Scripture CAN be broken?

    Well, thanx anyway for your response, and for all the others so far.

    The horse in THIS "pasture" might be dead, but not in other "fields". Just wanted s'more confirmation with something I already pretty well knew.
     
  10. Thinkingstuff

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    Just a note Pastor Bob. This is circular reasoning. Evidently the passage can be translated either or. To suggest a definate translation of the passage is to input an already established opinion. Then to say that the opinion (which could be wrong) is the inspired understanding of that passage in scripture is circular. It goes back to the opinion of the translator in which case either translation is just as valid as the other based on the Greek rendering of the words. Since it can go either way you must rely on the translator whom you now inadverdently put on the level of having and inspired "understanding of the text beyond just the words themselves". In which case you are making a statement of a tradition of understanding which you claim is inspired because a particular translator says it is so. It goes beyond the text of scripture to make this suggestion. It is more fair to say it can be translated either or. The King James so happens to base its view on such and such. Unless you're saying the translators for the King James are on level with inspiration to equate them with the original writers of the text. And if this is the case you are relying on traditon beyond what scriptures have themselves suggested. And if this is the case how is your view supperior to that of other tradition based faiths?
     
  11. RAdam

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    This is what happens when people form a conclusion outside the bible and then try to force that conclusion onto the bible. The following terms are a perfect example: all, all men, world, whole world, every, every man. People try to make those terms have a universal meaning in the bible and run into major issues as a result. If we look at the bible to see how it uses those terms, we should realize that they need a context in order to determine meaning.

    Here's a great example of biblical usage of "every man."

    Genesis 7:21 - "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the face of the earth, and every man;"

    The bible just said every man died in the flood. Does that mean every single man without exception died in the flood and none survived? Of course not. The bible also tells us that 8 people were saved in the ark. So, we have a so-called universal term obviously being shown to not to used universally by the bible. Instead, there is an exception. Thus the term "every man" cannot, in this text, mean every man without exception.

    Of course you also have 1 John 5:19 and the phrase "whole world" being used in a sense which has an exception. The bible determines word usage.
     
  12. gb93433

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    1 John 2:15, 16 would take care of his problem without any other discussion.
     
  13. Pastor_Bob

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    I am not at all saying that. If I am understanding you correctly, I find your foundation a bit flawed in this area. You stated, "Since REALITY is...the rendering 'all sorts' is the CORRECT one." Making one's perception of reality the determining factor. Then you go on to say, "When reality doesn't match a translation of Scripture, it's the translation that must be examined for accuracy." Again, making man's opinion the higher of the two.

    Are you saying that you agree with those here who've clearly demonstrated that the KJV rendering is an acceptable and accurate rendering?
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    We do rely on the translators, but not merely their opinions or their perception of "reality." The translators didn't reason within themselves and say, "That just can't be; money is not the root of 'all' evil. For example, how about ....." They simply translated the text based upon the underlying Greek text.

    Agreed.

    I am not saying this. I do not believe this.
     
  15. robycop3

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    Pastor Bob:Are you saying that you agree with those here who've clearly demonstrated that the KJV rendering is an acceptable and accurate rendering?

    I am saying that, while the Greek allows for the KJV's rendering, that rendering is simply not factually correct. If someone were to translate certain Greek words that literally read "Jupiter is God", the translation of the words might be correct, but the message contained therein would be wrong. Same with 1 Tim. 6:10. The Greek DOES allow for the correct rendering, "the love of money is A root of ALL SORTS of evil", which reality matches.
     
  16. RAdam

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    The point you still are not understanding is this: that is the way the KJV typically uses the word "all". You are saying the KJV has the wrong message, but the reality is the KJV is expressing the same thing you are - that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. The problem is people read into the word all a necessary universal meaning when the bible uses that word in a typically non-universal way. If you would read the KJV to see how the word is used there would be no problem. This is why people who don't know enough about the bible need to lay off of these types of conversations.
     
  17. robycop3

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    It's not "the" root; it's "A" root.
     

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