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Featured Linguistics and Bible Translation

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by John of Japan, Sep 14, 2022.

  1. Scripture More Accurately

    Scripture More Accurately Well-Known Member

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    Knowing how to speak modern Greek is different from knowing how to translate and exegete Biblical Greek.

    I taught dozens of first-year Greek students as a graduate assistant in my seminary work. None of them ever used that language as a spoken language, but a number of them attained good levels of beginning ability in NT Greek.

    I regularly provided my students with examples of how knowing NT Greek provides greater understanding than reading the Bible in English. Knowing NT Greek is highly beneficial for profiting more from Scripture and for understanding sound doctrine more accurately.
     
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  2. JD731

    JD731 Well-Known Member

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    Spurgeon? The things you have quoted him saying are not verifiable. It is opinion that should not be given any more weight than someone who has another and differing opinion. I have read another opinion of his where he stated "Calvinism is the gospel." Is that true? Of course not, but he gets a pass and is put forth as a leader in the Christian faith He is a man of very "unsound" doctrine.

    The fact is, the Greek language holds no mystical powers and learning it corrects no bad doctrine and there is no one to preach it to.
     
  3. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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    KJV-onlyism corrects no bad doctrine. KJV-only teaching is a non-scriptural, false doctrine of man. It is not a doctrine of God.
     
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  4. JD731

    JD731 Well-Known Member

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    Here is what the KJV says.
    Ac 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    A few months ago I started a thread on the subject of baptism in water from this chapter and how these instructions applied in the context of prophesy, history, the person of Jesus Christ, the promised kingdom, and the salvation of Israel, and sound doctrine, and how they applied to no one else but Israel. There has never been, nor will there ever be, an instance where gentiles are instructed by God to be baptized in water as a condition for receiving the Holy Ghost. As one can tell by reading the Acts, which is the history of the beginning of the church of Jesus Christ, baptism in water is not the only condition given to Israel for receiving the Holy Spirit whom God sent down out of heaven to fulfill his promise, but it is unequivocally a condition. As the history of Acts unfolds, we learn there is yet a third condition that is not mentioned in Acts 2 but was definitely practiced by the apostles.

    What I learned from that thread is that no one believed the words they were reading, and this included those who know the Greek language. People who have preconceived notions and presuppositions cannot accept the conditions in Acts 2:38 no matter what language they read them in although there are two conditions stated. I have concluded that those who learn the Greek are probably easier led astray than others.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I taught Greek to Japanese believers in the Grace Baptist Bible School and the Hokkaido Bible Research Institute. I believe pastors and believers all over the world can benefit from a knowledge of New Testament Greek. There are some things that simply do not come through in a translation, such as the Greek participial usage. Neither English nor Japanese grammar matches the Greek participle. Japanese has no participles, and English has a limited use of them compared to Greek.
     
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  6. JD731

    JD731 Well-Known Member

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    What many KJV believers insist on is that one must believe the words in a text. Someone brought up Acts 2:38 in this discussion. In Acts 2:37, the men of Israel, after hearing of the heinous crime they had committed of killing their Messiah, they asked what they must do in light of the fact that miracles were happening around them. Every Israelite was hearing the message in their own language, The answer for them is in Acts 2:38. There were two things stated that they must do. 1) Repent. 2) be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. The result will be that they will receive the Holy Ghost.

    There are all kinds of explanations of why God demanded this and associated passages that sheds great light on this one but they all have one thing in common. The words in the texts must be received by the reader and they must be believed, whether you understand them of not.

    That is the difference between a KJV believer and the most of you guys here.

    Just as a side note; this is the third time that the triune God baptized this people in water. This is just another evidence of his triune nature.

    God, Jehovah, baptized them after their national birth in the Red Sea.1 Cor 10. They were baptized by John the Baptist in connection with the beginning ministry of Jesus Christ, and they are commnanded to be baptized here in Acts at the sending of the Holy Spirit.
     
    #46 JD731, Sep 17, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Just a reminder, folks. This thread is not about Greek per se, but about linguistics and Bible translation. If you wish to discuss Greek, please do it in connection with Bible translation. It also is not about the KJV, unless you can link that translation to the original languages or perhaps to the level of philological sophistication of the KJV translators.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I have a great book which I've perused but not been able to read yet: Classics in Linguistics, ed. by Donald Hayden, E. Paul Alworth, and Gary Tate (New York: Philosophical Library, 1967). It goes all the way from Aristotle's "Art of Rhetoric" to "A Transformational Approach to Syntax," by Noam Chomsky. This book will be helpful to me in understanding Bible translation in various eras.

    As the old saw goes, "What did the KJV translators know, and when did they know it?" In general, they were excellent philologists in their day, but limited by the state of philology. For example, in 1611 Christian philologists thought that the Greek of the NT was written in some kind of non-standard Greek, maybe a "Holy Ghost" language. Now we know that it was koine (meaning "common"), which was the language of the average Greek in the street.

    Now, concerning that last chapter mentioned in the book above, "transformational grammar" as conceived by Noam Chomsky is a linguistic theory used by Eugene Nida to formulate his dynamic equivalence theory in Toward a Science of Translating (1964). It was also used by James Price to debunk Nida's theory in his book, A Theory for Bible Translation: An Optimal Equivalence Model (2007).

    The theory is kind of complicated, which may be why it's seldom discussed (but occasionally referenced) in translation books nowadays. Our linguistics prof asked me why I thought it should be taught, since linguists nowadays have left it behind.
     
  9. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    the KJV, as with all english translations, make it appear Peter is telling everyone to repent AND be baptized in order to receive remission of sin, and then they will receive the gift of the spirit

    Thats not what it says in the greek.

    Peter told EVERYONE to repent. Those who did would receive the gift of the spirit

    He then said let every one of you (those who repented) be baptized on the account they received remission of sin. (Proven by the fact they received the gift of the spirit)

    Peter did not contradict Jesus (john 3, 4, 5 6) and paul. By adding the WORK of water baptism as a requirement for salvation for anyone jew or Gentiles. As I showed the greek has two commands given two two groups (repent, given to all, be baptized given to induviduals) and two modifying phrases (gift of the spirit modifies the command to repent. And for the remission f sin is the modifying phrase for be baptized)

    This is where the differences in language comes to play. Literally in english it would read “And peter said, all of you repent Repent, and let every one of “they” be baptized….

    Which makes no sense at all..

    Again, repent is a second person plural imperative.. In english second person plural is “You” in old english it was “YE”. Thats why I said, the origional old english got the pronoun correct. Where the new has failed.

    Be baptized is third person singular. Third person is talking of a different group. “He she it they”
     
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  10. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    I disagree, He did not tell them to be baptized to recieve remission of sin or get the spirit. That would be a different gospel. Water baptism is not required to be saved, it is a response to one who has been saved. As it says in the next verse. And those who believed 9because they repented) were baptised.. they already recieved remission of sin and the gift of the spirit when they were baptised.
     
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  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Some on this threads do not seem to understand what linguistics is, so they are posting completely unrelated items. Here is a definition: "Effectively of any investigation of language and languages if not clearly belonging to some other discipline, such as philosophy, the study of literature, etc." (P. H. Matthews, Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2007, 228). This is an excellent dictionary and I've consulted it many times.

    So, if you are posting on the glory of the KJV without reference to its particular language (1611 English), or telling how you think Greek is useless, etc., you are sidetracking this thread.
     
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  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Did you see any example? Show me the verse with a Greek participle that needs knowledge to Greek grammar to grasp the message. The claim that a person needs to know Greek in order to understand God's word is false.

    Certainly study of God's word can be enhanced by being able to consider the nuances presented by the original language, such as when a translation changes a noun to a verb to alter the message.
     
  13. JD731

    JD731 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on how you define "saved." If being saved is receiving the Holy Ghost, then it is obvious that these Israelites will not be saved until they are baptized in water as a condition for receiving him. It is what the text says. Remember, in John 6 that Jesus said that he, as the bread of life, must be inside a man for him to have life. The Spirit is poured out on Israel in Acts 2 like rain comes down from heaven, but no one will have their thirst quenched until they drink the water. The Spirit is immersing Israel, but he is on the outside of their bodies. He must get on the inside and these people must identify with Jesus Christ as their saviour and be baptized in water if their sins are remitted and they receive the Spirit, who is the life of Christ.

    That is what the text says.
     
  14. Eternally Grateful

    Eternally Grateful Active Member

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    How I define being saved?

    1. Recieved remission of sin, due to the penalty of sin being removed
    2. Recieving the gift of the spirit. Who is the pledge of our salvation.
    3. Being rescued (the literal meaning of the greek word translated saved) from eternity in hel

    It is obvious they will not be saved until baptised in water? That is just false my friend. That is adding works to the gospel of Grace. And paul said that should be anathema.

    No one has ever been saved because they were immersed in water. Jesus told nicodemus one must be born again. No mention of baptism, and he spoke to a JEW.. because baptism is NOT a requirment (well water baptism is not)

    We are getting off topic. I do not want to hijak a good mans thread..
     
    #54 Eternally Grateful, Sep 17, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
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  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I'll do that if you'll make me sure you know what a participle is.

    I have never made this claim in my entire life.

    Well, good.
     
  16. JD731

    JD731 Well-Known Member

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    Very well, but as I said, preconceptions and presuppositions prohibit you from believing the words you read.

    Why not allow the text to teach you? These men were doing exactly what Jesus told them to do and to whom he said to do it in Mark 16:15-16.
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I'm going to answer this before Van does, to make sure I was not being offensive. I have to say that many of my Greek students (and English students when I taught that) do not know what a participle is when I get them. To be clear, a participle is a verbal adjective. Also, Greek does not have gerunds like English does, but only participles, but participial usage is much greater than in English.

    Here is an answer to Van's request, which was, "Show me the verse with a Greek participle that needs knowledge to Greek grammar to grasp the message" in Post #52. One thing that is more complicated in the Greek verb system than in English is Aktionsart, which is a German term meaning "kind of action." In Greek, the perfect tense has Aktionsart not seen in the English verb system, which is that a Greek perfect depicts action usually in the past with continuing results. Thus, when Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished," (John 19:30; one word, tetelestai, τετέλεσται), it was a perfect activie indicative. So, Christ was indicating, "My death for sin is finished, but the results will continue." And we are saved as part of those results.

    In James 1:15 we have the same apparent phrase in English, "sin, when it is finished...," (two words, ἁμαρτία ἀποτελεσθεῖσα) but it is a participle instead, modifying "sin." Because it is a present active participle, it is translated with "when" instead of as a declarative sentence. Furthermore, the Greek word for "finished" is different. In John it is the normal word for finishing something (teleo, τελέω), but in James it involves bringing something to fruition (apoteleo, ἀποτελέω), thus emphasizing the end result of sinning, instead of a single action.

    In the textbook I use for Greek 101-102, participles are difficult enough that they don't come until Ch. 20 in the 2nd semester, and even then it is the longest chapter in the book, 18 pages, so I take two days to teach it.
     
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  18. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    So we get a claim but no example, just an effort to change the subject to my knowledge (almost non-existent) of Greek.

    Folks, we have many different translations in English of God's word. Yes they sometimes substantially differ, thus one or both versions of that verse or passage are wrong, but God's word remains reliable and trustworthy, no one comes to the Father except through Christ.
     
  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    You may know of a case or cases you have in mind. But simply as you have said this, it is effectively a meaningless rant.
     
  20. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The meaningless rant is you changing the subject to my behavior but not addressing the fact JOJ claimed Greek participles were not accurately conveyed in English. I asked for a verse when this was the case and not one was presented. See post 52 and now the growing list of non-responses.
     
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