1 Timothy 2:15

How many have heard of Arthur Sanders Way (1847-1930)?

Wikipedia has a good description of him as a Greek scholar, teacher and translator. Let me quote a bit from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Way

Way’s versions give accurate renderings of the meaning of the originals expressed in vigorous verse. The list of his translations in Miller’s Australian Literature includes Odyssey, the Iliad, Euripides, Æschylus, Sophocles, the Epodes of Horace, Vergil’s Georgics, the Nibelungenlied, the Chanson de Roland, Theocritus, Bion, Moschus, the New Testament Biblical letters of Paul and Hebrews entitled, The Letters of St. Paul to Seven Churches and Three Friends with The Letter to the Hebrews, Aristophanes, Hesiod, Virgil, Lucretius, The Lay of the Nibelung Men, The Song of Roland and others. Way was also the author of Homer (1913), Greek through English (1926), and Sons of the Violet-Crowned, a Tale of Ancient Athens (1929).

What is of most interest to me is his excellent translation of Paul’s Letters from 1906. In the preface to his translation he says the following which may ring a bell for those of you who teach Greek:

“Conceding all that is urged in praise of the dignity and beauty of the Authorised Version, and the charm of its rhythm, it can hardly be denied that, if the first requisite of a translation is that it shall convey with absolute clearness the meaning of the original, that version is in many parts of the Epistles far from adequate. If a student handed in such a rendering of a passage of Thucydides or Plato, as the Authorised Version supplies (to give but one instance) of 2 Corinthians, 10:13-16, he would be told by his tutor that he did not understand his author.”

One famous passage where all English versions that I know off (except Way and an NLT and CEV footnote) have failed to understand the author is 1 Tim 2:15, and they therefore present non-sensical translations. The reason for their failure is the lack of awareness or recognition of metonymy (and synecdoche) which is much more common in NT Greek than it is in English. Some commentators, like D. Moo, have understood Paul, as quoted by the NET bible note: ““It is not through active teaching and ruling activities that Christian women will be saved, but through faithfulness to their proper role, exemplified in motherhood” (Moo, 71). In this view τεκνογονία [TEKNOGONIA] is seen as a synecdoche in which child-rearing and other activities of motherhood are involved.”

Way translates: Yet through her motherhood shall woman be saved, if your women swerve not from faith and love and self-consecration, coupled with virtuous self-control.

Arthur Way’s translation of Paul’s letters may be found at:


Iver Larsen

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