Translating the Word but Missing the Context (Mark 5:4) – Mondays with Mounce 302

Bill Mounce on 4 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

Mark 5:4 has an interesting construction with διά, and provides an example of why we need to watch the larger context when translating. Verses 3–4 are as follows.

“This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot (διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν πολλάκις πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσιν δεδέσθαι), but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet (καὶ διεσπάσθαι ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἁλύσεις καὶ τὰς πέδας συντετρῖφθαι). No one was strong enough to subdue him” (NIV).

Notice that διὰ goes with three accusatives, each with its own infinitive.

αὐτὸν … δεδέσθαι διεσπάσθαι … ἁλύσεις…

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