Thursday, October 28, 2010

JUSTIN MARTYRS INTERESTING VARIANT ON COLOSSIANS 1:15 & AND SOME TRANSLATION BIAS

I was reading Justin Martyrs "Dialouge with Trypho a Jew" the other day and noticed this passage:

GREEK TEXT: "...καὶ τὸ οὖν Ἰσραὴλ ὄνομα τοῦτο σημαίνει· ἄνθρωπος νικῶν δύναμιν· τὸ γὰρ ἴσρα ἄνθρωπος νικῶν ἐστι, τὸ δὲ ἢλ δύναμις. ὅπερ καὶ διὰ τοῦ μυστηρίου τῆς πάλης, ἣν ἐπάλαισεν Ἰακὼβ μετὰ τοῦ φαινομένου μὲν ἐκ τοῦ τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς βουλῇ ὑπηρετεῖν, θεοῦ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων, ἐπεπροφήτευτο οὕτως καὶ ἄνθρωπος γενόμενος ὁ Χριστὸς ποιήσειν..." - (Dial. Chap 125:3 - Τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰουστίνου πρὸς Τρύφωνα Ἰουδαῖον Διάλογος (ed. E. J. Goodspeed) Die ältesten Apologeten, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1915)

Chapter 125:[3] "...That Christ ... in that Christ ministered to the will of God, yet He is God, because He is the First-begotten of all creatures..." (Kevin Edgecomes Translation)

CHAPTER CXXV:[III]: "...And that Christ ... in that He ministered to the will of the Father, yet nevertheless is God, in that He is the first-begotten of all creatures..." - (ANF Roberts & Donaldson Translation)

I have a problem with the rendering in red. It is simply does not correspond to the Greek text.

Lets take a closer look. It is this passage in particular:

"...θεοῦ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..."

Chapter 125:[3] "...yet He is God..." (KET)

CHAPTER CXXV:[III]: "...yet nevertheless is God..." (R&DT)

The two translators, in my opinion are doing one of two things here:

1.) Bias Translation towards the Trinity
2.) Translating according to a textual variant

If there is a textual variant here (that I am not aware of) I don't have a problem with it, but only if it is legitimate variant.

But, if this is one of dozens and dozens of biased renderings to support the Post-Chanceldon Trinity doctrine, then I do have a serious issues with it.

[ISSUE 1]: They drop the word (ἐκ) out of the text. (ἐκ) literally means: "out-of", as out of a source. In this case the context being "out of (θεοῦ) God" as a source. Which brings me to my second ISSUE with the way they rendered this passage.

[ISSUE 2]: They have translated the genitive case theos (θεοῦ) "(of) God" as simply "God". Which would be (θεός) or (θεόν) or even (ὁ θεός) or (τόν θεόν) rather than (θεοῦ) in the text.

[ISSUE 3]: They have also dropped (τέκνον) "child" from the text also.

So if we follow their rendering the Greek text would be one of the following possibilities:

"...θεός δὲ εἶναι πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..."

"...θεόν δὲ εἶναι πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..."

"...ὁ θεός δὲ εἶναι πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..."

"...τόν θεόν δὲ εἶναι πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..."

Instead of the actual text:

"...θεοῦ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..."

They have obviously not rendered the Greek literally. That's there choice.

The (δὲ) is functioning adversatively here and it can be rendered "but," "however," or "yet" in this context.

[ISSUE 4]: Theres a sort of parallel construction going on in this verse.

    - ἐκ τοῦ τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς

    - "out-of (of)-the (to)-the (of)-the Father..."

    - ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον

    - "out-of (of) the is a child..."

Very literal translation underneath.

One of our learned brothers who is a university lecturer and more knowledgeable in Greek than myself suggested the following rendering:

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...he ministered to the will of the Father, yet (on the other hand) is from (out of) God in that he is the firstborn (first-begotten) child of the whole creation (of all creatures)..." - (Dial. 125)

Bear in mind this is just a literal translation and only a suggestion.  He would certainly render it differently in a final translation if he chose to do one.

He agrees that the text has not been translated properly in this instance. (Thank you very much for your contribution).

Here is my own translation and alternate renderings along with some footnotes which verify some of my renderings:

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was a subservient minister to the Fathers purposes, yet nevertheless he is from out of God, the first child to be born of all the things created..." - (Dial. 125 MATT13)

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was ministering to the Fathers deliberative counsel, yet nevertheless he is from out of God, the first child to be born of all the things created..." - (Dial. 125 ALTERNATE RENDERING MATT13)

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was ministering as a subordinate to the Fathers purposes, yet nevertheless he is a child from out of God, the first of the creatures to be born of the entire universe..." - (Dial. 125 ALTERNATE RENDERING MATT13)

STRONGS DEFINITION (1012): [βουλή boulē] Advise, counsel. From boulomai; volition, i.e. (objectively) advice, or (by implication) purpose -- + advise, counsel, will.

(ὑπηρετεῖν) Verb: Present Active Infinitive

GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON By Lindell & Scott Page 839, 840: "...(ὑπηρετοῦντα) I. properly an under-rower, under-seaman, II. generally an UNDER-LING, SERVANT...[Same word] SUB-ORDINATE..."

STRONGS DEFINITION (5256): [ὑπηρετέω] From huperetes; to be a subordinate, i.e. (by implication) subserve -- minister (unto), serve.

Occurs once in the NT in the same tense:

Acts 24:23 διαταξάμενος τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ τηρεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἔχειν τε ἄνεσιν καὶ μηδένα κωλύειν τῶν ἰδίων αὐτοῦ (ὑπηρετεῖν) αὐτῷ.
"He ordered the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody, and should have some privileges, and not to forbid any of his friends (to-serve-him) or to visit him."

Getting past the miss-translation and trinitarian bias issue. There is still one point remaining on this text that I would like to bring forward.

GREEK TEXT: "...πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..." - (Dial. Chap 125:3 - Τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰουστίνου πρὸς Τρύφωνα Ἰουδαῖον Διάλογος (ed. E. J. Goodspeed) Die ältesten Apologeten, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1915)

Chapter 125:[3] "...the First-begotten of all creatures..." (KET)

CHAPTER CXXV:[III]: "...the first-begotten of all creatures..." (R&DT)

Jesus here is not just:

"...First (one) to be born OF ALL CREATION..." Colossians 1:15 (MATT13)

Compare:

JUSTINS DAILOUGE LXXXV(85):2 "...πρωτοτόκου πάσης κτίσεως..."

Or

JUSTINS DAILOUGE LXXXIV(84):2 "...τὸν πρωτότοκον τῶν πάντων ποιημάτων..."

"...the First (one) to be born OF ALL THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE..."

But he is in this verse:

GREEK TEXT: "...πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..." - (Dial. Chap 125:3)

"...First (one) to be born OF ALL THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED..."

Or

"...the First of all CREATURES to be born of the (ὅλων) entire universe..."

Jesus is one of the:

(κτισμάτων) "CREATURE(S)" or "CREATED (THINGS)"

Or

(κτίσμα) "A CREATION" or "A (THING) CREATED"

COMPARE:

κτίσμα 1 κτίζω
anything created, a creature, NTest.
Liddell and Scott. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1889.

2938. ktisma
a creature
Original Word: κτίσμα
Transliteration: ktisma
Phonetic Spelling: (ktis'-mah)
Short Definition: creature
Word Origin
from ktizó
Definition
a creature
NASB Word Usage
created (1), created thing (1), creatures (2).
NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation All rights reserved Lockman.org

Revelation 8:9 Greek Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)
καὶ ἀπέθανεν τὸ τρίτον τῶν κτισμάτων τῶν ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ τὰ ἔχοντα ψυχὰς καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῶν πλοίων διεφθάρησαν.

Greek    Transliteration    Strong's    Morphology    English
καὶ    kai    2532    CONJ    and
ἀπέθανεν    apethanen    599    V-2AAI-3S    died
τὸ    to    3588    T-NSN    which
τρίτον    triton    5154    A-NSN    third
τῶν    tōn    3588    T-GPN    of the
κτισμάτων   
ktismatōn    2938    N-GPN    creatures
τῶν    tōn    3588    T-GPN    which
ἐν    en    1722    PREP    in
τῇ    tē    3588    T-DSF    which
θαλάσσῃ    thalassē    2281    N-DSF    sea
τὰ    ta    3588    T-NPN    which
ἔχοντα    echonta    2192    V-PAP-NPN    had
ψυχὰς    psuchas    5590    N-APF    life
καὶ    kai    2532    CONJ    and
τὸ    to    3588    T-NSN    of the
τρίτον    triton    5154    A-NSN    third
τῶν    tōn    3588    T-GPN    which
πλοίων    ploiōn    4143    N-GPN    ships
διεφθάρησαν    diephtharēsan    1311    V-2API-3P    was destroyed

ΑΠΟΚΑΛΥΨΙΣ ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ 8:9 Greek NT: Westcott/Hort with Diacritics
καὶ ἀπέθανεν τὸ τρίτον τῶν κτισμάτων τῶν ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ τὰ ἔχοντα ψυχὰς καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῶν πλοίων διεφθάρησαν.

Latin: Biblia Sacra Vulgata
et mortua est tertia pars (creaturae) quae habent animas et tertia pars navium interiit
   
New International Version (©1984)
a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

English Standard Version (©2001)
A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

International Standard Version (©2008)
one-third of the creatures that were living in the sea died, and one-third of the ships was destroyed.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
one-third of the creatures that were living in the sea died, and one-third of the ships were destroyed.

King James Bible
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

American King James Version
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

American Standard Version
and there died the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, even they that had life; and the third part of the ships was destroyed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the third part of those creatures died, which had life in the sea, and the third part of the ships was destroyed.

Darby Bible Translation
and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea which had life died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

English Revised Version
and there died the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, even they that had life; and the third part of the ships was destroyed.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

Weymouth New Testament
And a third part of the creatures that were in the sea--those that had life--died; and a third part of the ships were destroyed.

World English Bible
and one third of the living creatures which were in the sea died. One third of the ships were destroyed.

Young's Literal Translation

and die did the third of the creatures that are in the sea, those having life, and the third of the ships were destroyed.

James 1:18 Greek Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)
βουληθεὶς ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς λόγῳ ἀληθείας εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἀπαρχήν τινα τῶν αὐτοῦ κτισμάτων.

Greek    Transliteration    Strong's    Morphology    English

βουληθεὶς    boulētheis    1014    V-APP-NSM    having deliberated
ἀπεκύησεν    apekuēsen    616    V-AAI-3S    he begot
ἡμᾶς    ēmas    2248    P-1AP    us
λόγῳ    logō    3056    N-DSM    by word
ἀληθείας    alētheias    225    N-GSF    of truth
εἰς    eis    1519    PREP    so
τὸ    to    3588    T-ASN    the
εἶναι    einai    1511    V-PAN    to be
ἡμᾶς    ēmas    2248    P-1AP    us
ἀπαρχήν    aparchēn    536    N-ASF    firstfruits
τινα    tina    5100    X-ASF    kind
τῶν    tōn    3588    T-GPN    of the
αὐτοῦ    autou    846    P-GSM    of him
κτισμάτων    ktismatōn    2938    N-GPN    creatures

ΙΑΚΩΒΟΥ 1:18 Greek NT: Westcott/Hort with Diacritics

βουληθεὶς ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς λόγῳ ἀληθείας εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἀπαρχήν τινα τῶν αὐτοῦ κτισμάτων.

Latin: Biblia Sacra Vulgata
voluntarie genuit nos verbo veritatis ut simus initium aliquod (creaturae) eius

New International Version (©1984)
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

King James Bible
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

American King James Version

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

American Standard Version
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Darby Bible Translation
According to his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we should be a certain first-fruits of his creatures.

English Revised Version
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Webster's Bible Translation
Of his own will he hath begotten us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

Weymouth New Testament
In accordance with His will He made us His children through the Message of the truth, so that we might, in a sense, be the First fruits of the things which He has created.

World English Bible
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Young's Literal Translation
having counselled, He did beget us with a word of truth, for our being a certain first-fruit of His creatures.

The word κτίσμα is not a verb with the meaning of “to create”; it is a noun indicating ‘something that has been created’ or ‘creature’. (See BDAG, p. 573.)

Compare also the LXX Apocryphal Book of "Wisdom": 9:2; 13:5; 14:11; Sir. 38:34; 3 Macc. 5:11.

Wisdom 9:2    καὶ τῇ σοφίᾳ σου κατασκευάσας ἄνθρωπον ἵνα δεσπόζῃ τῶν ὑπὸ σοῦ γενομένων κτισμάτων

Wisdom 13:5 ἐκ γὰρ μεγέθους καὶ καλλονῆς κτισμάτων ἀναλόγως ὁ γενεσιουργὸς αὐτῶν θεωρεῖται