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Featured Capitalization in John 1:1

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Jerome, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    In another thread, some got upset at an Eastern Orthodox translator not capitalizing the last word in the verse as a way of demonstrating why the issue settled at Nicaea could have become controversial to begin with (apparently the Greek does not distinguish by capitalization?).

    What do you think of English Bibles that do not capitalize God?
    What would you think of not capitalizing Word/Logos in the same verse (John 1:1)?
     
    #1 Jerome, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I think it is a fine idea, and several translations do capitalize when in their opinion, the entity is Yahweh, Father, Son or Spirit.
    The problem of course is when or if they mistakenly capitalize or fail to capitalize.
    The avoidance of "over interpretation" is a conservative rather than a liberal choice.
    One thing is for certain, it should be made clear to the reader that the capitalization reflects an interpretation of the text.

    Perhaps a list could be formulated of behaviors needed to avoid "over interpretation?"

    For example, John 8:47 says "he who is of God hears..." Now in the Greek, the preposition "ek" is omitted in the NASB, but is rendered "belongs to God" in other translations. So on the one hand, you have ambiguity because the translators chose to omit the preposition, and on the other hand, a rather unlikely choice was made to pour a particular viewpoint into the text.

    The most probable interpretation, "ek" being used to refer to those willing to be prompted, guided or influenced by God, is not found in the best modern translations (NASB, LEB, and NKJV) The LEB translates the preposition as "from" but that too might not be the intended idea.

    In a similar construction, John 18:37, those willing to be prompted, guided or influenced by the truth hear Christ's words.

    Interestingly, the dreaded NIV renders the construction "depend" at Romans 4:14, so a good choice might be "depend on God" and "depend on truth" and in this case "depend on the Law."
     
    #2 Van, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  3. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    If one is going to translate, they need to stick with the grammatical rules of the language in which that translation seeks to render.

    Therefore, grammar, punctuation, capitalizations ... are to follow those rules and not some Greek translation that does have such rules and therefore such rules can not be determiners.
     
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  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Did anyone say or suggest Hebrew or Greek grammar rules are the reason references to Yahweh are capitalized in some translations? Nope, so more obfuscation.

    Does Hebrew even have an upper and lower case? Nope.
    Are many of the early Greek texts in "all caps?" Yep

    Are there any rules of English grammar that preclude capitalizing references to Yahweh as a sign of reverence and respect? Nope.
    It is a "style choice" and neither side is right or wrong.

    But when the reference is vague, the practice of capitalization may misrepresent the text. For example in 2 Thessalonians 2:13, people are chosen through faith "in the truth?" Now is "truth" a reference to Christ and therefore should be capitalized or simply a reference to truth as spiritual things that are true, such as the gospel of Christ. Now that is the fly in the buttermilk.
     
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  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    How many years of studying in the Greek/Hebrew have you done though?
     
  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Didn't you know Hebrew has no upper and lower case? Didn't you know some of the early Greek texts are all in caps?
    Or did you think all the translations that capitalize references to Yahweh were violating hard and fast grammar rules?
     
  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I was just asking how much experience do you have in the original languages....
     
  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Returning to the topic of over interpretation, let's look at Romans 3:26. Here is how the LEB translates the verse:
    26 in the forbearance of God, for the demonstration of his righteousness in the present time, so that he should be just and the one who justifies the person by faith in Jesus. ​

    Now if we look at the NET, we see the last phrase refers not to a person's faith tn Jesus, but to a person's dependence upon the faithfulness of Jesus, or Jesus's faithfulness.

    Using the translation choice of "depend" for these "ek" constructions, a translation might read;
    ... and the justifier of the one who depends on Jesus's faithfulness.​

    Again, the fly in the buttermilk is which of these two very different interpretations is most accurate, and which is another example of "over interpretation.
     
    #8 Van, Feb 10, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    No, you were changing the subject and avoiding any contribution to the topic. Please answer my on topic questions!!
     
  10. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Thought the topic was on the capitalization not interpretation.
     
  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Sorry Agedman, but capitalization (or not) is an interpretation of the text.
     
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  12. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    The OP asked two specific questions, please stay on that topic:
     
    #12 Jerome, Feb 10, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Please respond to the on topic answer provided in post 2 and 4. I think it is just fine to capitalize references to Yahweh, Father, Son or Spirit. But it is a style choice with neither side being right or wrong.
    The fly in the buttermilk is when someone capitalizes references in one place but does not in another.
     
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Let's consider 2 Corinthians 2:17.
    17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. (NASB) ​

    Here again we find the Greek construction "ek" God, conveying the idea of those dependent upon God. Thus a more interpretative translation might read, For we are not like the majority, peddling the word of God, but as those who depend with sincerity on God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

    The problem seems to be a risk reward conundrum, do translators risk error to avoid ambiguity?
     
  15. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Let's consider a more interpretative translations of this verse:

    Romans 4:16: For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (NASB)​

    Again translating "ek" as indicating dependence upon someone or something, here is a more interpretative translation:
    Therefore, the promise depends on faith, that it might be in accord with grace, so that it is certain to all the descendants, not only to those dependent on the Law, but also to those dependent on faith like Abraham, who is the father of us all. ​
     
  16. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Unfortunate to your interpretation the word relies upon that which is already generated and intricately formed already within and not an outward source imposed upon or relied upon.

    The Scriptures state that “out of the belly will flow ...”. “Out of” - ek
     
    #16 agedman, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  17. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Agedman, you see to deny that "ek" is sometimes used to indicate dependence. Even the NIV recognizes that truth. The actual issue is whether to translate those cases with clarity, taking the risk of error, in order to avoid ambiguity.
     
  18. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Van, look at this to gain understanding that the preposition is directional not reliance oriented.

    Strong's Greek: 1537. ἐκ (ek or ex) -- from, from out of

    I used this source because it was near at hand.

    Admittedly, imo, the English translations can become confusing on this matter.

    And as always, should scholarship, of others far more able then I am now able, obliges a modification of what I present, I do submit to their authority.
     
  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Agedman, why did you not read your link?
    Copied from your link!!
    7. of the power on which anyone depends, by which he is prompted and governed, whose character he reflects: ἐκ Θεοῦ (equivalent to θεοπνευστον) λαλεῖν, 2 Corinthians 2:17; in the Johannine expressions, εἶναι ἐκ Θεοῦ, John 8:47 (in a different sense above, II. 1 a.); ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου, ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ, ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου, see εἰμί, V. 3 d.; ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας εἶναι, to be led by a desire to know the truth, be a lover of the truth, John 18:37; 1 John 3:19; οἱ ἐκ νόμου, the subjects of the law, Romans 4:14; οἱ ἐξ ἐριθείας equivalent to οἱ ἐριθευόμενοι (cf. ἐριθεία), Romans 2:8; ὁ ἐκ πίστεως equivalent to ὁ πιστεύων, Romans 3:26; Romans 4:16. εἶναι ἐκ τίνος also means to be bound to one, connected with him; to have relations with him; see εἰμί, V. 3 d.; hence, the periphrasis οἱ ἐκ περιτομῆς, the circumcised: Acts 11:2; Romans 4:12; Galatians 2:12; οἱ ὄντες ἐκ περιτομῆς, Colossians 4:11; οἱ ἐκ περιτομῆς πιστοί, Jewish Christians, Acts 10:45.​
     
  20. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Please stop posting things unrelated to the question of the OP (Significance of capitalization at end of John 1:1)

    There are four possible options in English (capitalize both, one, the other, or neither)

    1. ...and the Word was God.
    2. ...and the Word was god.
    3. ...and the word was God.
    4. ...and the word was god.

    Obviously, there is no difference when read aloud, but what do you think is intended when each word is capitalized (or not)? Does it matter?

    Specifically:

    A. What do you think of English translations capitalizing God? not capitalizing God?
    B. What do you think of English translations capitalizing the Word/the Logos? not capitalizing the Word/the Logos?
     
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