Should Χριστος be translated "Messiah" or transliterated "Christ" in the NT?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Greektim, Mar 7, 2012.

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Should Χριστος be translated "Messiah" or transliterate

  1. Translated "Messiah"

    30.0%
  2. Transliterated "Christ"

    40.0%
  3. Other (explain in a post)

    30.0%
  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Personally, I prefer "Messiah" since that restricts the meaning of the Greek word to its likeliest understanding in the NT. Or to say it another way, it helps Christians reading an English NT to have a clearer meaning of what "Christ" is NOT (i.e. it helps them to realize that it is a title that refers to an important ministry that became foundational for the church's confession).

    What are your thoughts on the matter?

    So far, the ISV is the only fairly popular translation that follows this method. Are there others?
     
  2. Amy.G

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    HCSB uses Messiah.
     
  3. glfredrick

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    "Annointed One" would be more correct and precise, though I do like and use Messiah often.
     
  4. Greektim

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    If referring to translational philosophy, it is only MORE correct and precise if it communicates the meaning to the new audience. I feel like "Messiah" reverberates a lot louder than "annointed one".
     
  5. DaChaser1

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    agree with you that Messiah would better convey to us the intended meaning...

    DO like where the HCSB translate this as either Messiah/Christ depending on IF Gentiles/Jews being the listening/reading audience!
     
  6. JonC

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    I also like this because it helps keep in mind the audience, but I do not know that it is more correct to use Messiah (probably most correct to translate it as 'anointed one').

    (Side note - translating every instance as Messiah would have made pronouncing Christmas kinda sould like a zoo animal).
     
  7. Greektim

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    I keep hearing this "most correct" w/ "annointed one" as if the denotative meaning is more important than the connotative meaning. "Messiah" is the connotative meaning and speaks more to the point as a clear reference back to the OT.

    As for the HCSB, I don't know much about their translation philosophy. If they used "Christ" for Gentile audience, I would say that are messing up big time since Gentiles would need to be focused on the concept of Messiah more than Jews. So many modern day Gentiles have no clue about what "Christ" means. It is used as a name or reference to deity rather than Jesus' ministry and a central church confession.
     
  8. Amy.G

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    Here's what the HCSB says about their translation of Christ and Messiah:


    I like the HCSB, but I think it's kind of annoying using both words in the NT.
     
  9. glfredrick

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    That is a good thought, but you have just unwittingly practiced "reading into" the text based on a theological need. Not that the need wasn't there, it certainly was, but the text IS what it is, save for the translitteration that now has us calling Jesus "Christ" as if it is His last name. Jeshua ben Yosef would be His actual name. Christ, Messiah, Immanuel, Annointed One, King, etc. are His titles.
     
  10. DaChaser1

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    or could use name "God!"

    have you read the jewish bible translated by believe David Stern?
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    This is a rather confusing thread. OT translators chose to translate a Hebrew word with a transliteration, rather than a translation, Messiah for "mashiyach" rather than translate its meaning Annointed One. So now others are claiming the connotative meaning, which has no meaning other than it appearing in the OT translation as superior to the actual meaning. But if Messiah is replaced with Annointed One in the OT, and Christos transliterated as Christ replaced with Annointed One, then we would have a faithful translation of the actual text.

    However, we have our whole culture relating to Messiah and Christ as someone special, when the actual idea is Jesus chosen and equipped by God for the Father's purpose.

    As far as I can see, the core argument is two wrongs make a right. :) We should not stick with the blunders of the past, but rather should cling to the truth. We should transliterate names but not titles or other adjectives, those should be translated into the English word or words with the meaning of the original.
     
  12. Greektim

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    Actually, I'd think you find that "Messiah" became known as a popular titled (proper noun even) that connoted more than an anointed one. So it is not that confusing.
     
  13. JonC

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    I actually think that sometimes the HCSB just wanted to get creative. I'm not sure about their philosopy in translating. You're right that many modern day Gentiles have no concept of what "Christ" means - but they probably have little concept of "Messiah" (I wasn't thinking as much, for example, of the actual focus on the OT).
     
  14. Greektim

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    But honestly, don't you think it less likely to misunderstand Jesus Messiah, Messiah, or Jesus the Messiah rather than Jesus Christ or simply terms like Christ? I feel like much of NT scholarship is just now catching up to Messianic import of the NT, partly due to the fact that we have been talking about Christ rather than Messiah (yes I know they are the same thing).
     
  15. glfredrick

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    No, not really. I know several of the translation team members personally, and they worked REALLY HARD to get down to the utter core definition in context of the words used in the original language in keeping with their philosophy to translate word-for-word when possible and thought-for-thought when required. It is a rather rare translation effort actually.

    We spend several days working with the team on one word -- monogeneis -- "translated "only begotten" but that is not precisely what it means in context. The team spent 6 months on the term, as it is used but once in the original Greek and it is not found in Classical Greek. They had no reference to go by save the context of the verse and the roots (stems) of the word. They really searched for an adequate English equivalent but finally bowed to conventional langauge in that case because it was as accurate as any other effort and SO many people know that verse better than any other.
     
  16. Greektim

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    I was hoping to hear your comments on what I said about "anointed one" being better b/c it is the denotative meaning. I still feel like "Messiah" became a proper noun and connoted a ministry/mission that found its fulfillment in the NT. The word "Christ" picked up that term, but later on in English speakers, it started to convey things that were not part of the Messiah's ministry.

    Example, I find it interesting how so many writers refer to Jesus as simply "Christ" as if that was his name. But when they want to refer to his ministry, they go w/ "Messiah." It just seems like we are setting readers up w/ a false notion. I wonder how different things would be if the word was translated Messiah rather than transliterated Christ.
     
  17. glfredrick

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    I'm not sure that would actually fix faulty understanding, for we've "understood" these things for 2000 years. There are no real mysteries in regard to the name of the Messiah. I also agree that TRANSLATION would have been better than TRANSLITERATION in this and several other doctrinal issues in Scripture, baptism one of the most notable examples. Had that term been actually translated we would have eliminated about half of the current division in the church, for everyone would rightly understand that what was being said was "immersion." Instead, like the issues around "Christ" we now essentially have an entirely new manufactured doctrine where once was a simple act that all understood (yes, even the Roman Catholic Church), and we have a "name" where once was a position and a title.

    Making the heared understand the nuances of these issues IS the call to the "teachers" of the Word. Sadly, so many don't really understand themselves (because they READ what is written without understanding that all words have an original language useage that is actually an accurate descriptor of the action instead of merely a proper noun for it.
     
  18. Van

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    We should transliterate names but not titles or other adjectives, those should be translated into the English word or words with the meaning of the original.

    Glfredrick seems to agree with this simply translation guide. Greektim seems to believe we should stick with the mistakes of the past, where adjectives were transliterated as if they were names. Not my cup of tea.

    But I do agree we can go too far, I mean it would be wrong to translation Christ as "coated with oil." :)
     
  19. Greektim

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    Aside from the invective, I'm not sure where I even said "adjective" nor anything about mistakes of the past. That is pretty relevant since you are insisting that "seems to be" what I "believe."

    In fact, I said that saying "Christ" has lead to the mistake that people assume it was another name for Jesus. I'm saying that it was not a name (which you curiously accused me of) and that rendering "Christ" has helped to lead to that mistake.

    I also insist that "annointed one" became a proper title (proper noun) in which the original hearers would have associated it with a mission and person we call Messiah. The denotation is clear, this person is anointed (and so goes all the beautiful allusions that anointed conveys), but the connotation is more, bigger as it were. It conveys the idea of a plan of redemption fulfilled by a person. For us, we can relate to this connotative meaning easiest (in my estimation) with the term "Messiah" w/ its Hebrew Scriptural themes better than "Christ".
     
  20. glfredrick

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    That is correct... "Annointed One" has a different connotation than "one covered in oil" for the "annointing" is of God not an action of man.
     

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