Sunday, October 24, 2010

JUSTIN MARTYRS INTERESTING VARIANT ON COLOSSIANS 1:15

Just noticed something about JM.

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.):

"Dialouge with Trypho a Jew"

"...τὸν πρωτότοκον τῶν πάντων ποιημάτων..."

(Greek Text, Dial. LXXXIV(84):2)

Two English translations:

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.):

"...the first-begotten of all (ποιημάτων) creation..."

(CHAPTER LXXXIV:II, ANF Roberts & Donaldson)

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.):

"...the First-born of all (ποιημάτων) creatures..."

(Chapter 84:[2], Kevin Edgecome Translation)

Whats the big fuss?

It's all about accuracy in translation.

WHY: Is this important?

BECAUSE: An inaccurate translation can lead inaccurate ideas and doctrines.

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE!

ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΛΟΣΣΑΕΙΣ 1:15 Greek NT:
ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως

BIBLE:
πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως

JUSTINS INTERPRETATION:
πρωτότοκον τῶν πάντων ποιημάτων


What does (κτίσεως) mean?

Quite simply = "...(of) creation..." as shown in virtually all Bible translations.

But what does (ποιημάτων) mean?

Let us find out!

Liddell and Scott. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1889.
ποίημα 1 ποιέω
anything made or done; hence,
I. a work, Hdt., Plat.
2. a poetical work, poem, Plat.
II. a deed, act, id=Plat.
1 poi/hma, atos, to/,

What would be a more accurate translation of this phrase?

LITERAL TRANSLATION: "...(to) the (to) First-one-to-be-born (of) the (of) all (ποιημάτων) (of) things MADE..." (Dial. 84:2, MATT13)

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...the first (one) to be born of all things that have been MADE..." (Dial. 84:2, MATT13)


Compare this with the words of the Nicene Creed

160 YEARS LATER:

THE CREED OF NICAEA (325):

"...But those who say: "...'He was MADE out of nothing,' or ... 'The Son of God IS CREATED,' ... they are condemned by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church..."

(As revised and finalized at the Council of Constantinople in 381)

Justin elsewhere quotes Col 1:15 correctly.

MEANING: To Justin Jesus was not only the first one CREATED but also the first one MADE.

EQUALS: Problem for trinitarians and trintarian theology. It also means Justin did not support modern trinitarian belief.

I don't really have a problem with the above translators translating it that way. But for me it is the finer detail that gives a more accurate picture of Post-Biblical Christian belief. Particularly in regard to the History of the TRI[3]nity doctrine. I am by no means an expert at Greek, and my translations are open to criticism to. The above Edgecome and ANF translations are on the whole very good but it's just some renderings I disagree with. Which will brought out in future posts.