Question on Luke 1:37

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by ElainaMor, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. ElainaMor

    ElainaMor
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    I was reading Luke 1 in NIV 2011 this morning and when I came to verse 37 it said this: "For no word from God will ever fail.” I didn't remember that verse saying that so I checked with other versions online and they all say: "For with God nothing is impossible." I'm wondering why the NIV translated that verse the way it did. Is it a mistranslation or translation choice? Just seems odd that the NIV is the only one that translates it this way.

    I really want to like the NIV but when I come across quirks like this it really makes me doubt the translation.
     
  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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  3. Deacon

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    for euery word schal not be inpossible anentis God. (John Wycliffe Bible 1185)

    For no word from God shall be void of power. (1901 ASV)

    Because no word shall be impossible with God. (D-R)

    For no promise from God will be impossible of fulfilment.” (Weymouth NT)

    For every promise from God shall surely come true.” (The Living Bible)

    Nothing is impossible with respect to any of God’s promises.” (ISV)

    for God’s promises can never fail.’ (REB)

    For no word from God will ever fail.” (TNIV)
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    It appears the NIV put "word or utterance - rhema" properly back into the translation, but then wandered off the track. The NASB, as footnoted reads "For not any word will be impossible with God."

    Bottom line, when a particular translation differs from the others, study is called for. Here, the NIV highlights that most of the other translations followed tradition and presented the same thing, all missing the mark.

    As Deacon showed, many other translations did a better job than either the KJV or NIV. And I agree with Dr. Bob,
    "For nothing spoken by God shall be impossible" presents the actual message.
     
    #4 Van, Dec 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2013
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    This is a mistaken rendering in the NIV, in my view. Note the following points:

    (1) The Greek word translated as "word" has a wider meaning than the English word "word," and can mean, "matter, thing" according to my Greek lexicons. It does mean that often in the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the OT) and in the NT in Luke 2:15, etc.

    (2) The original talks about something that is impossible, not something that will "fail." (The Greek word is adunateo, the verb form for "impossible," and no lexicon gives a meaning of "fail," so the NIV is paraphrasing here.) Words are not possible or impossible, but a "matter, thing" can be possible or impossible. So the NIV should have translated "nothing" like the other translations which have been quoted on this thread instead of "no word."

    P. S. (edited in): In Greek the sentence makes perfect sense, but a strictly literal translation into English would not: "Because not being impossible with/alongside of God all matters/words."
     
    #5 John of Japan, Dec 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  6. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    For with God shall nothing be impossible. -Geneva

    For with God, shall nothing be impossible. -Bishops

    For with God no thing shall be impossible. -KJV1611
     
  7. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
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    What John said! Also, the LXX at Gen 18:14 uses the same terminology in Greek as here in Luke 1:37, so just another reference for the apparent secondary sense of the Hebrew דבר and the Greek ρημα as "thing" in addition to their more common sense, "word."
     
  8. Jerome

    Jerome
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    And the NIV long read: "For nothing is impossible with God"

    The OP has the redone NIV, which shifted to the TNIV wording, "For no word from God will ever fail"
     

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