Sarx,Pistis,Sophos,Charis Etc.

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    I have been involved in a discussion with a poster who insists that most (if not all) English translations are deeply flawed because they translate a particular Greek word in scores of ways. He would prefer that logos be translated in only 8 or so ways and is insistent about that.

    Let's start with sarx. Should it be translated only with the word flesh, or is it possible to have a more accurate rendering than only that word in a multitude of places in the New Testament? Shall we limit its translation to a minimum of just three or four words or phrases, or does context dictate that a more wide-ranging approach be considered?
     
    #1 Rippon, Jul 26, 2013
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  2. Dr. Bob

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    How many nuances and different meanings did sarx (and derivatives) have in historical usage? Each of these could have a multitude of legitimate modern English synonyms and parallels.

    Every good translation of the Bible will offer a variety of word choices for such terms both in its translation and in its suggestions of other words.

    First place to start would be legit English words/use for sarx. I'll give a few

    1. Meat (animal/fowl/fish food for us)
    2. Body (literal, physical body of a person)
    3. Body (metaphorical, of nature of a person)
    4. Carnal (of our nature)
    5. Temporal (as contrasted to eternal spirit/soul)
    6. Mankind/humanity (all flesh will praise Him!)

    Others? I am enjoying a break from sermon prep on the deck sans classical and koine Greek tools

     
  3. preachinjesus

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    A fundamental rule of translation is that all word meanings are derived from context, past usage, and their larger lexical meaning.

    For instance with your example of σὰρξ (sarx) which has a lexical meaning that Dr Bob was kind enough to list out, it simply isn't translated "flesh" all the time in the NT because it doesn't fit all the time.

    Notice Luke 3:6 (which is a quotation from Isaiah 40:3ff) the word is translated "everyone" in the HCSB, "all people" (NIV11), "all flesh" (ESV, KJV, NKJV), and "all humanity" (NET.) When we consider the larger contextual meaning of the verses, the idea is that all humanity will see the salvation of God. Saying "all flesh" isn't specific enough and, particularly with the evolution of language, it doesn't communicate the heart of the verse effectively.

    Another example of this is 2 Corinthians 7:5 where it is best understood as referring not to flesh but a bodily metaphor. Though flesh might have been the best term when Paul wrote the text, his broader understanding was that of their bodies being tired.

    There are plenty of other examples, including those for the words. The challenge is that not only because of the significant differences in writing style of the various NT authors, the way they use words differently in their books, makes it a challenge to only translate a term one way.
     
    #3 preachinjesus, Jul 26, 2013
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  4. Mexdeaf

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    No.
    Yes.
    :thumbsup:
     
  5. Yeshua1

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    If you disregard the contex, and the terminology, grammar and construction, how the author has used it before etc

    Can't you end up with a word meaning not intended to be used that way by the author, not his intent?
     
  6. Rippon

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    Accoring to Fee and Straus in their book How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth, they say on pages 59 and 60 :

    The English word "flesh" is commonly used of (1) soft body tissue,(2) the meat of animals,(3) the pulpy part of a fruit or vegetable,and (4) in special idioms like "flesh and blood." The Greek word sarx has a much wider range of senses,including "body tissue," "physical body," "living being," "human being," "human nature," "natural descent," "earthly life," "human realm of existence," "sexual impulse," "sinful human nature," as well as other nuances.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Why who could that be??? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  8. Rippon

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    That would be none other than Van himself!
     
  9. Rippon

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    Charis

    Looks like Van is running away from this thread.

    Let's go with charis. In the NIV it uses several English words aside from grace. In Luke 1:30 favor. In Luke 6:32 credit. In Luke 17:9 thank. In Acts 7:10 goodwill. In 2 Cor. 8:4 privilege.

    I guess those with a minimalist mindset would like to narrow that down to less word equivalents despite the awkwardness in English.
     
  10. JohnDeereFan

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    I have to admit, you got me. I saw "sarx, pistis" and thought "Sex Pistols!" I was so happy because I thought, "finally, somebody here wants to talk about music!"

    In the immortal words of Emily Litella, "iNever mind."
     
  11. Rippon

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    Coming from the valuable book by Fee and Strauss on How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth:

    They discuss collocational relationships. "These are meanings achieved through a word's relationship with another word (its collocate)." (p.51)

    "For example,we teach beginning Greek students that the Greek verb for 'make' or 'do' is poieo...There are many collocates with poieo that make (!) little sense in English." (p.52)

    They then provide a list of almost 50 items with a so-called literal rendering of poieo and then give the ESV reading. (pages 52,53)

    I will give a sample of some of these items from the book of Matthew.

    Literal = lit. ESV rendering = E.

    3:8 lit. Make fruit
    E : Bear fruit

    5:32 lit. Make adultery
    E : Commit adultery

    6:1 lit. Make righteousness
    E : Practice righteousness

    20:12 lit. Make one hour
    E : Work one hour

    22:2 lit. Make a feast
    E : Give a feast

    26:12 lit. Make the passover
    E : Keep the passover

    28:14 lit. Make you secure
    E : Keep you out of trouble

    So even from what is promoted as the essentially literal ESV is actually not the case in these and many other examples. But I do think their renderings are better than going the literal route.
     
  12. Rippon

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    Apparently Van is avoiding this thread with great assiduity.
     

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