Question on the English language

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by mesly, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. mesly

    mesly
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    I ran across a verse today in the ESV that got me thinking about the use of english. Does the use of the phrase, "as of a lamb" mean the same thing as, "like that of a lamb"? I am not trying to be nit-picky, but the use of the phrase "like that of" seems to be a bit weaker for the reason that we always equate Christ as "the" lamb, not "like" a lamb, although both would be true I guess.

    The verse in question is: 1 Peter 1:19:

    KJV, "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

    NKJV, "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

    NASB, "but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."

    ESV, "but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot."

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    A metaphor is a word picture, comparing or contrasting by analogy. Jesus calling Herod a "fox" is one such.

    A simile is simply a metaphor that uses "like" or "as". These words hold identical weight in English, spelling out the "similarities" (hence the name, similie) of one word with another.

    So Jesus "as" a Lamb or "like" a Lamb would be for all intent and purpose identical.

    Like = AngloSaxon "lik" meaning similar, almost the same qualities

    As = AngloSaxon "alswa" meaning also, equal or wholly so
     
  3. Haruo

    Haruo
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    I disagree, Dr. Bob. mesly has a point. "As" can, in current English, mean "like, similar to", but it can also mean "in [one's] capacity as, by virtue of being", e.g. "I didn't sign that document as a private citizen, but as the CEO of the corporation." Here "as" unmistakably has an equational, not a comparative, force. The question is which interpretation is more appropriate to the sense of the Greek, and I am not in a position to say. If the Greek is a simile, then ESV is on the money. If the Greek is an equation, then ESV suffers from hamartia. And it may well be that the Greek, like English "as", is susceptible of either reading, in which case we could found new denominational entities over it. ;)

    Haruo
     
  4. HankD

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    Problem?

    In 1 Peter 1:19 the English word as is hos in the Greek text which is translated as either "as" or "like" in the AV depending upon... well who knows, the KJV translators never told us (as far as I know) Example:

    Revelation 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like (hos) unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like (homoioi) fine brass;

    HankD
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Yeah, my dictionary has 27 different meanings for "as" (only 8 for "like"). I opted to only share the meaning where "like" and "as" are about interchangeable.

    Most of the choices in English between the two come from "useage". Those of us who have been ejukated :eek: can "hear" the better choice in almost any sentence, just because we are used to that style of phrasing.

    I've got peace LIKE a river (has peace)
    or
    I've got peace AS a river (has peace)

    LIKE just "sounds" fittinger!

    (BTW, my use of "fittinger" is perfectly acceptable English. If a word is one syllable, the comparative is to add the ending "er". If a word is three or more syllables, you instead use the helping word "more".

    If it is two syllables, the rule is simply "use the one that sounds best". To me, "more fitting" sounds best. But to a ghetto kid? It might be "fittinger"!)
     
  6. mesly

    mesly
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    Thank you for all of your responses (I wish I would have payed better attention in all of those english classes in college <ugh>).

    Haruo, your message helped clarify my thoughts. In my mind, when I hear the word "like" it doesn't necessarily equate to the object being referenced. While the word "as" has an equality with the object. For instance in the following sentence:

    This would mean that I want to purchase a car that is the similar shade of red as the one I am referring to. While in the following sentence:

    This would mean to me that I want to purchase a red car exactly the same shade of red as the one I am referencing.

    I realize grammer and word usage is not my forte in life and maybe growing up in the Midwest has something to do with it :confused: but when I read 1 Peter 1:19 from KJV/NKJV/NASB, it says to me that Jesus is equal to a lamb, while in the ESV it says to me, Jesus is similar to a lamb. As I stated earlier, they both are true, it just sounds strange to me to call him similar as opposed to "THE" lamb.

    Thanks for all of your input. This is certainly a welcome diversion from the normal mode of conversation we have here [​IMG]
     

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