Trough of Despair: Bracketed Words in Scriptures

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by LaymansTermsPlease, May 8, 2004.

  1. LaymansTermsPlease

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    Dec 29, 2003
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    I've read the Bible since I was a child, never really coming to grips with this "Greek thing" until recently.

    I'm a simple layman, so I don't know Greek and probably never will study it....oh, maybe I'll break down and buy a Mounce "Greek for idiots" type book one day. ;) The various translations (especially the literal ones) have been great eye openers for me.

    Proof texting came naturally to me over the years growing up, but a few years ago, I first heard of this "exegesis" thing [​IMG]

    Computer tools to allow me to see 8 or more translations side by side are wonderful...and yet at times frightening.

    Maybe you've heard of the famous enthusiasm curve:

    1 interest
    2 enthusiasm
    3 high enthusiasm
    4 realization of the complexity
    5 trough of despair
    6 reality

    Right now, I think I'm somewhere between phase 4 and 5 of my "digging as deep as possible" project. [​IMG]

    Let's take an example of what boggles my mind. Looking at Romans 5:18 in ASV and literal, we see some phrases that were added to the English by the authors..phrases that are not in the Greek as far as I can tell with side-by-side comparison tools.

    The KJV adds the same bracketed words as the ASV does. I've googled around and looked at numerous commentaries, but I can't for the life of me find any explanation of why these words were just thrown in there.

    I was looking at this verse in context of studies on Arminianism versus Calvinism (so don't worry, I'm not trying to work some misguided Universalist angle) [​IMG]

    It could be any bracketed words anywhere, I suppose. This was just a blatant example of words that just aren't to be found in the Greek, so I can't figure why it was tolearated that they were added to the English.

    Now I haven't seen a side-by-side of English and the vulgate (and I can't read Latin either), so I don't know if maybe they were added there too.

    Any help anyone can provide on this brackets issue in general would be appreciated.
  2. gb93433

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    Jun 26, 2003
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    It depends on the version. It should explain what those brackets mean near the front of your Bible. If not could you give an example from your Bible.
  3. skanwmatos

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    Dec 12, 2003
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    Romans 5:18 reads, literally, "So then as through one offense to all men to condemnation so also through one righteous act to all men to justification of life."

    This sentence is an ellipsis and its meaning can only be understood from the context. The next verse firmly establishes that context. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

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