What the Greek REALLY Says

What the Greek REALLY Says March 29, 2015

What the Greek REALLY says

HT Henry Neufeld

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  • Mike

    “Why can’t I find a decent gyro in all of Dallas!?!” – what the Greek REALLY said.

  • Ian

    Okay, a bit of devil’s advocate here. I think there is a justification though.

    When you translate, there isn’t a one to one correspondence in meaning between the words in different languages. Add to that the fact that words are used in the NT in slightly jargon ways. Paul’s σάρξ, for example.

    So when a translation committee figure out what gloss they want to use, they essentially filter a lot of that nuance and context and replace it by a nearby work (flesh, or sinful nature).

    So when I’m leading a bible study it is often useful to say what the greek ‘really means’ (I never use that exact phrase), by trying to give a bit more context, and even down to suggesting what other glosses a translator might use. It is a similar piece of advice to saying ‘compare multiple translations’. Particularly as folks with a copy of Strongs can often get into a real pickle.

    So yes, abused, but the fact is that a translation only ever gives one option for how to interpret the text. An english text can never exactly give the meaning of the greek, no matter how expertly translated. Otherwise we wouldn’t bother requiring our students to learn greek.

    • Agreed. Unfortunately, most of the preachers I’ve heard using the phrase don’t know a lick of Greek themselves. They are just parroting an apologetic talking point passed down to them.

      • Ian

        Right. I’ve had this with γενεά

        “It can also mean ‘nation’, so what Jesus really means is that the Jewish nation won’t pass away before he comes again.”

        Um, no.