Why All the Choking At Rev 1:19?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by TCGreek, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. I really have been frustrated these past days at how many translations have choked at Revelation 1:19:

    2. Here's the Greek text:

    γράψον οὖν ἃ εἶδες καὶ ἃ εἰσὶν καὶ ἃ μέλλει γινέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα.

    3. Here are various versions:

    "Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this." (ESV)

    ""Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later" (NIV)

    "Write, therefore, what you have seen: both what is now and what will take place later" (TNIV)

    "Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this." (HCSB)

    "Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things" (NASB)

    "“Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen" (NLTse)

    "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" (KJV)

    4. Only the NASB, NIV and HCSB didn't choke on this verse. Why the equivocating by the other, I don't know.

    5. "What you have seen, what is, and what will take place after these things" is a true translation of the Greek text.

    6. Each tense: past, present and future must be brought out by the translation with equal value: "The things you have see, the things that are, and the things that will take place after these things."

    7. Why equivocate on such a crucial verse?
     
  2. John of Japan

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    Your point is arguable, TC, because μέλλει is not a future but a present middle infinitive. The future meaning is in the word itself and not the tense.
     
  3. Deacon

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    Give me a simple mans (dummies) explanation of the problem.
    I see the past, present and future mentioned in each of the versions you present.

    Rob
     
  4. John of Japan

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    Another little grammar point. The γινέσθαι can mean either "become" or "be." It is often used as a synonym for εἶμι. So the other versions simply take if for "to be" rather than "to take place, become." All of these versions are right--according to the interpretatiuon of the various translators. :smilewinkgrin:

    However, since μέλλω is present tense infinitive, I say the KJV and ESV get the nuance right--namely, "be about to, be going to, begin to" (Anlex in my Bibloi software).
     
  5. TCGreek

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    Thanks John. Yes, mellw always have an "intended" meaning, looking to the future.
     
  6. TCGreek

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    Well, mellw is one of those verbs whose sense must be completed by an infinitive, so we have ginesthai, aorist inf. of ginomai, functioning as a complementary infinitive.

    But even with this construction the future orientation of mellw is not lost.

    Where's what Dr. Wallace says about mellw: "Mellw + inf. makes a conative or tendential notion more explicit" (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 598, fn. 28).

    Mellw in this present still have that future, intended orientation. When it is in the future is sense is more certain.

    Therefore, I still like the HCSB and NIV on this one. :thumbs:
     
  7. EdSutton

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    I tend to agree with you here, basically.

    While there are things that probably can be said for and against each version, here, such as my dislike for the rendering of "μετὰ ταῦτα" as 'later' in some of them, I'd suggest that any 'choking' is mostly self-inflicted, by the reader, and not by the translators. [​IMG]

    Ed
     
    #7 EdSutton, Apr 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2008
  8. TCGreek

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    1. Forgive me for being one of those readers, but I only see two tenses in the TNIV, which is made obvious by the use of the colon:

    "Write, therefore, what you have seen: both what is now and what will take place later" (TNIV)

    2. According to the TNIV, "What you have seen" only refers to the Present and Future.

    3. Now, the NIV reads thus:

    "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later"

    4. Indicating three distinct categories of the vision.
     
  9. EdSutton

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    You are correct, in that I overlooked the colon, when reading, and trying to understand your premise. (Comparing the number of versions, at the same time, in my head, was a bit confuting as well, to my one-track mind.)

    I am not much of a fan of the TNIV, overall, as I believe it to be an attempted "politically correct" version, with its supposed "gender neutral" language. However, I also do not like the rendering of "later" as I indicated, so may have let that dislike interfere with my studying of all you were trying to say, having looked beyond this version. FTR, I am not a huge fan of the NIV, as well, but do see the difference in the two, when they are side by side. The NIV is definitely a more correct rendering, IMO.

    I would say the NASB, of the versions you listed, does the best job with the verse, overall. Likewise, the NLTse does the worst, IMO.

    The NIV also still uses the word 'later', which is an extremely poor rendering of "μετὰ ταῦτα", which is rendered in a much better manner as "after these things", IMO. But I am not going to get overly upset over it, nonetheless.

    (And one can also make the argument that the three 'tenses' all refer to an 'overlap', from the construction, as well, as opposed to three distinct "time-frames", as well, although I do believe that they are actually referring to three different "time-frames". But perhaps I am letting my theology and eschatology actually infringe on the language of the text.)

    I just do not use the NIV, all that much, even though my bride prefers it. :love2: I will sometimes suggest a better rendering to her, but not too vehemently, as you probably can understand. :laugh:

    Perhaps I should have worded my response as "more self-inflicted by the reader as opposed to the translators", for a clearer wording of my intent. :confused:

    I also did note that this dispensationalist (me) does not line up perfectly with our resident Bible Translator, John of Japan. ;)

    Ed
     
    #9 EdSutton, Apr 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2008
  10. TCGreek

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    Ed, sorry for so many version and you getting lost in the forest I created.

    While I'm not big on the NIV, I do like the TNIV, for it has corrected the misgivings I had with the NIV.

    But I do believe the TNIV strives to be too politically correct. You're correct about that.

    I quite agree with you pick on that. NLTse is quite loose.

    ESV and HCSB have "after this" for meta tauta, literally, after these things. I can accept the NIV rendering of meta tauta.

    Well, notice the parallel with 1:4, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, "Grace and peace from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming."

    I think Rev 4:1 is instructive in this whole issue: Ἀνάβα ὧδε καὶ δείξω σοι ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα, "Come up here! and I will show you what must be after these things."

     
  11. TCGreek

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    1. Not only has the TNIV reworked the NIV at Rev 1:19, the ESV has done the same with the RSV:

    "Now write what you see, what is and what is to take place hereafter" (RSV).

    "Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this" (ESV).

    2. The ESV has adopted the same reasoning as the TNIV but without the colon.

    Now, EdSutton, read carefully. :laugh:
     
  12. Deacon

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    The two-fold division (of the TNIV and NLT) is perhaps derived from the context rather than the grammar.

    Earlier in the chapter (vs 11) John was told to, “Write in a book what you see” .
    Verse 19 then, emphasizes that request.

    And what is John told to do? He is to write down the things that have been revealed to him.
    Those are "the things which you have seen"

    What were the things he saw and what did they concern?
    They concerned "things which are [happening]" and "things which will take place after these things".

    John then proceeds to write the things which 'are happening' in his messages to the seven churches.

    A good source of grammatical information and structure (and one that lends support to the three-fold division) is Opentext.org (Rev. 1) [LINK]

    Rob
     
  13. TCGreek

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    1. Rob, here are the three expressions:

    ἃ εἶδες

    καὶ

    ἃ εἰσὶν

    καὶ

    ἃ μέλλει γινέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα

    2. Why not give each the same value?

    What you have seen,

    What are,

    What will be after these things.
     
  14. Deacon

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    Because "what are" becomes "what was" as it's written. :laugh:

    Rob
     
  15. LeBuick

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    This all sounds greek to me... :thumbs:
     
  16. EdSutton

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    Here we have to disagree, I guess. The ESV does give three distinct tense usages (past participle, present, and future (with the infinitive added), here (unlike the RSV, in this instance), and the punctuation of a comma or omission of a comma before the "and" is optional (I do use them, personally.), in a 'list', without affecting the sense, in modern English grammar. By contrast, the RSV, by the use of the two present tense verbs of "see" and "is", and even given its usage of the infinitive, does not make the same distinction.

    Language Cop tells me this, anyway, and also is telling me I need to get to bed. :sleeping_2:

    G'nite, all.

    Ed
     
  17. Deacon

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    Data Dump

    John uses a similar construction of this past/present/future outlook in Rev. 17:8

    The beast that you saw was, [εἶδες] and is [ἔστιν] not, and is about to [μέλλει] come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was [εἶδες] and is [ἔστιν] not and will come.
    Revelation 17:8 NASB95

    Yet I'm still not convinced of a "choke" in the translation: rather it's a different arrangement based upon context.

    Rob
     
    #17 Deacon, Apr 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2008
  18. TCGreek

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    Ed, so what changed from the RSV's rendering to the ESV's.

    Then the ESV should have kept "the things" throughout, for that is what the Greek says.

    But all of a sudden it switched to "those."

    The RSV has "what, what, and what" and rightfully so.
     
  19. TCGreek

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    Rob, here's the crucial question: Is John giving us a threefold outline of the apocalypse in this verse?
     
  20. TCGreek

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    Brothers, it's good that we can explore these matters in a civil manner.
     

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