Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I don't do Greek but

Mike Bird has a set of translation questions here. I wonder what I would do with the short questions. HT Clayboy.
  1. What makes a translation accurate?
  2. Should I consider using multiple translations or stick with one?
  3. When and why do we update Bible translations?
  4. How should a translation render Romans 1:17?
  5. How does a translation best convey hilasterion in Romans 3:25?
  6. How should we identify the teachers Paul has in mind in 2 Timothy 2:2?
  7. How should we translate the phrase πίστις Χριστοῦ in such passages as Galatians 2:16?
So skip question 1 - accurate is not the primary good characteristic of translations. Effective maybe, communicative, whatever.
On 2, if you don't know the original languages or history and you are beginning to read, then multiple translations is your only defense against bias. Reading multiple translations will also teach you something of the history of English translations.
On 3 - good question. Unfortunately a big question and not enough room to address it here.
On 4 - here's what I did years ago: For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "One who through faith is righteous shall live."  I suspect I took it from RSV and fought with a reading of Habakkuk and guessed.  What would I do today? Here's the text:
δικαιοσύνη γὰρ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται
ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν
καθὼς γέγραπται
 Ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται
Questions that occur to me - what's the gar doing in that position after righteousness? Is this noun going to have a definitive article or not? Is the genitive one of possession or attribution? (I immediately think of Psalm 51 which is about God's righteousness as attributed to God by David.) What is the antecedent of en autoi? What weight do I give to the verb 'revealed'? What should be done with the prepositions ek and eis? What is the written authority he is appealing to and do I recognize it? How to deal with the emphasis on faith?

For God's righteousness in it is being revealed
out of faith into faith
as it has been written
The righteous out of faith will live.

Good exercise - is it that the faithfulness out of which life comes is the faithfulness of Jesus vindicated in the Spirit and the life which results is into the faithfulness that we exercise? Sounds more than imputed to me - sounds like work. That it had been written is not 'prediction' but a fact of all time before and after Jesus.

On 5,  whom God put forward as a mercy seat by his blood, to be received by faith.
This was to show God's righteousness,

Here we have again our faith and God's righteousness. To get the life that is poured 'into faith' we need to see the place where God meets us - the place where mercy is found in the presence of the Holy. 

On 6, faithful people

and 7 - the phrase is incorrectly quoted in the question. It is πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ - the faithfulness of Jesus the Anointed One.

And let's say I am leaving the questions open for the moment.