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I received the following question:

Recently we have had some discussion about the character “Lilith” in the Bible. She is mentioned in Isaiah as a “screech owl”. According to the internet, she is listed in Jewish mythology and Babylonian books as Adam’s first wife and was replaced with Eve when she abandoned Adam.

The question is, did Adam have a wife prior to Eve as it implies in Genesis or is it simply a urban legend? Also, in Genesis 1:27 it indicates that God created a male and female and gave them dominion over the earth and animals. Then in Genesis 2:7 he made Adam because “there was no man to till the land”. Then Genesis 2:21 Eve is made.

We are confused of this timeline and Genesis seems to be out of sequence to what we have been taught. Can anyone shed some light on this?

The exact identification of certain animals in the Hebrew is difficult. Once it became a dead language, no one remained to remember what animals were called what, and names that occur only once in Scripture do not leave us with a lot of clues as to their identity. This certainly would be the case with the lilith. Read the rest of this entry »

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dictionary02I received the following question:

Here is a rather erudite article on the Greek word ‘metanoia’.  Please read it and give me your impressions.

http://bible.org/seriespage/new-testament-repentance-lexical-considerations

Well, first of all, it is a rather biased way to promote your proposed meaning of a word by quoting a lot of English translations with the word you are trying to prove something about already translated to the meaning you are promoting. While this proves that your meaning can fit in these passages, it does not prove that your meaning is actually the meaning of the word, since you are dependent upon whatever translator you are using.

I teach that metanoia means literally, “after-mind.” To translate it to English in a single word, I would use either “submission,” “yieldedness,” or “easing.” This based on my translation of metanoeo as “to submit,” “to yield,” or “to ease.”

In the example of the Athenian counsel, one of the second two meanings would fit well. They yielded (to pressure to be more lenient,) or eased (the penalty they thought to impose.) Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following comment:

In your metanoia study you said that A. T. Robertson disagreed with the common translation of metanoia.  But did you ever say what he thought was the correct translation? Below is one study by him.  If you search in the document you will find that he believed that it should be translated to mean “change of mind or life” which is the current common view.

http://www.godrules.net/library/robert/robert2cor7.htm

Read his commentary on Matt 3:2 listed here for a fuller idea of what he felt.

http://www.site-berea.com/B/rwp/n01c3.html

It is wise to not use a quote from a man who opposes your viewpoint to falsely bolster your own.  It is disingenuous and when ultimately found out, reduces your argument to rubble.

No, I did not say what Robertson thought was the correct translation. I actually said what I thought was the correct translation. What I actually said is that Robertson quoted his father-in-law as saying that translating “metanoia” by “repentance” is the worst translation in the New Testament. I am not sure I agree…there are some pretty badly mistranslated words. But I used his quote to point out that there is some agreement that the translation the way we have it now is far from satisfactory. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Numbers 11:25 NKJV “Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.

21st Century KJV “And the LORD came down in a cloud and spoke unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him and gave it unto the seventy elders; and it came to pass that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

What’s the correct translation?  They continued to prophesy or they only did one time?

Well, the Companion Bible note here says, “did not cease. So the Vulgate; but Hebrew = “did not add” (so Septuagint and Syriac), i.e. did not add any more, or again, after that day. Compare Exodus 11:6, Deuteronomy 5:22, Job 38:11, I Samuel 19:24.”

In other words, the translation that suggests they did not stop prophesying comes from the Latin Vulgate, translated in the fourth century AD. The Hebrew, however, along with the Syriac (second century AD?) both have that they did not prophesy again after that day. It appears that the same Hebrew exists in the four verses he has encouraged us to compare with this one, and they clearly have the idea of not adding or speaking any more after a certain day.

It would appear that they spoke forth God’s words that day, but never did so again. They now had God’s power with them for judging, however, and would have had it freely available to use in whatever difficult matters they had to deal with in the future. The initial sign of them publically speaking the words of God, however, was just to prove to the people that they now indeed were qualified to act in the place of Moses, and was not something that needed to continue after that day.