Do all things really work for good? (Romans 8:28) – Mondays with Mounce 262
The reason these are poor translations is because they make it appear that “all things” mystically make everything that happens good.
Part of this is just common sense, after you have stripped away the religiosity and shallowness of the church’s stereotypical response. Don’t get me wrong; I believe our sovereign God is all good all the time, but it is just nonsensical to say that every evil thing that happens is good, regardless of how you massage…
Is there ever a time to use “man”? (Col 3:9–10) – Mondays with Mounce 261
Paul tells the Colossian church to “Stop lying to one another, since you have put off the old man (τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον) with its practices, and have put on the new man (τὸν νέον), which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (3:9–10).
The challenge is the translation of ἄνθρωπον and the dual meaning in the verse.
On the one hand, it is a contrast between our old sinful nature and our new regenerated nature, hence the NLT’s translation. “Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
Last Chance! Biblical Languages Certificate Introductory Discounts End Soon
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of learning the biblical languages, but going to seminary has never been an option. Or perhaps you once knew Greek and Hebrew well, but over time, you’ve lost some of your proficiency.
When you complete the new Biblical Languages Certificate Program, you’ll be able to work with the languages the Bible was originally written in.
You’ll discover meanings you might not see in an English translation. You’ll be able to see the kinds of rhetorical devices that get lost in translation. And you’ll be prepared for advanced language study.
Understanding Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic will transform how you understand and interpret the text of God’s Word.
Introductory discounts end this coming Friday, September 30.
Do you feel like a “glorious inheritance”? (Eph 1:18) – Mondays with Mounce 260
In the words of Iron Man, “It’s good to be back.” I had a good session with the CBT on the NIV, except that a good friend dropped dead at 42 years of age and I left early to do the funeral. Good break this summer, fantastic board meeting for BiblicalTraining.org topped off with a trip to the Bahamas. Now it is back to work.
I have been reading Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. It is an exceptionally good book and I encourage all of you to read it. This part caught my eye on the flight back yesterday. “The wildest part is that Jesus doesn’t have to love us. His being is utterly complete and perfect, apart from humanity. Yet He wants us, chooses us, even considers us His inheritance (Eph. 1:18).…
Bill Mounce on Learning Biblical Greek Online
We recently sat down with Bill Mounce to discuss learning biblical Greek online. Here’s what he said:
Part of being successful in any task is starting the task with the end in mind.
So it is a really good question to ask, “What will you be able to do when you are done with this class?”
Like most first year language classes, what we are doing is giving you building blocks.
What you will have are all the building blocks necessary to get into exegesis, to get into the sermon preparation, to really be able to study the New Testament. Building blocks—that is what this class is about.
How to study the original languages
The best way to begin your study of the biblical languages is by signing up for the Biblical Languages Certificate Program.
In this program,…
Is κυριος Nominative or Vocative? – Mondays with Mounce 259
Someone pointed out the other day that the only time Jesus is directly addressed in the nominative κυριος as opposed to the vocative κυριε is in Thomas’ declaration, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28, ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου). Is there any significance?
On the one hand, the nominative can be used to function as the vocative, so there is no necessary significance. And yet it is interesting that this is the only example of κυριος being used this way of Jesus. In every other case (as far as I can tell) it is κυριε.
I wouldn’t have thought much about this distinction except that it is such an important passage. It is one of clearest statements of the divinity of Christ, and although our Christology does not depend…
Announcing the new Biblical Languages Certificate Program
Imagine opening a copy of the Greek New Testament or the Hebrew Bible and being able to understand what it says in the original languages. When you complete the new Biblical Languages Certificate Program, you’ll be able to do exactly that.
The Biblical Languages Certificate Program will deepen your understanding of God’s word for preaching, teaching, and personal study. You’ll gain foundational knowledge for reading and understanding the Bible in the languages it was originally written in, and you’ll be well-positioned for advanced language study.
By signing up for the Biblical Languages Certificate Program, you’ll learn the basics of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic—everything you need to begin working with the text of the Bible in the original languages.
Whether you prepare sermons, lead…
Are Ants People? (Mondays with Mounce Archive)
Poetry can be exceptionally difficult to translate. It often conveys meaning more with pictures than with individual words, the words working together to create images more powerful than words.
Metaphors are only slightly easier, but here there is even less context and so the meaning of the metaphor is easily loss.
Four things on earth are small
but they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
the rock badgers are a people not…
Was Jesus In A Lonely, Deserted, or Uninhabited Region? (Mark 1:45) — Mondays with Mounce 258
The sermon yesterday was on the need for solitude, planned margin. Always a good reminder for those of us who tend to define ourselves by what we do — do I hear the amens?
What caught my eye was the NASB’s use of “unpopulated.” For a translation that tends away from excessive interpretation (although all translations are interpretive), their use of “unpopulated” was a very good choice.
ἔρημος is technically an adjective meaning, “pert. to being in a state of isolation, isolated, desolate, deserted” (BDAG). When used substantivally, ἔρημος means “an uninhabited region or locality, desert, grassland, wilderness.” ἔρημος…
Ellipsis’ Ugly Head (John 12:7) —Mondays with Mounce 254
We don’t talk much about ellipsis in first year Greek, but it is a grammatical fact that occurs more than you might think.
An ellipsis is when words are left out, and the assumption is that the context is sufficient to fill in the gaps. It especially happens in the second of two parallel thoughts, words from the first assumed in the second.
But John 12:7 gives us a good example of ellipsis when there is no parallel. Mary anoints Jesus’ feet, Judas objects, and Jesus responds, “Leave her alone…. It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial” (NIV). ἄφες αὐτήν, ἵνα εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ ἐνταφιασμοῦ μου τηρήσῃ αὐτό. In other words, the words “It…
Is “Has Been Causing to Grow” Redundant? (1 Cor 3:6) — Mondays with Mounce 259
One of the important steps every Greek student must make is to move beyond the formal structures of first and even second year Greek, and start considering other issues such as the meaning of a word.
Take for example 1 Cor 3:6. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God has been causing the growth (ηὔξανεν).” Because ηὔξανεν is an imperfect — past time; imperfective aspect — every first year Greek teacher would expect an explicitly durative translation: “has been causing.”
This is great for first year Greek, but let me ask the question. Isn’t the actual meaning of “grow” a durative idea? Do we have to explicitly say “has been causing” to get the durative idea across? Of course not.
In fact, it could be argued that having both “grow” and “has…
Does the Order of Phrases Matter? (Rom 1:5) – Mondays with Mounce 276
One of the harder things to do in translation is line up the phrases properly. Since English uses sequence and proximity, related phrases need to go together. Greek doesn’t care (as much).
Take for example Rom 1:5. Speaking of Jesus, Paul writes, “through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (ESV). The Greek is, δι᾿ οὗ ἐλάβομεν χάριν καὶ ἀποστολὴν εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ.
The prepositional phrase translated “to bring about the obedience of faith” (εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως) is adjectival, modifying “grace and apostleship” (χάριν καὶ ἀποστολήν); it is the end result of God’s grace and his apostolic call.
“Among all the nations” (ἐν πᾶσιν…