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2 Corinthians 3:17

I have decided to lock this thread so that it doesn't serve as bait. Specific questions about the use of Greek words and phrases, the wording of Greek manuscripts, and other topics within the purview of B-Greek are welcome in separate threads. These threads should not debate individual groups or translations. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — January 7th, 2014, 4:49 pm
Warning: Please stay away from textual criticism, translations, theology, speculation, discussing whether specific groups are right or wrong, etc. I may delete posts or lock this thread if we can't stay in bounds.
Scott Lawson wrote: The first definition in BDAG for κυριος is the more common definition of lord, master or owner but the second one notes that κυριος is a substitute for the Tetragrammaton. It also points out that κυριος is used in connection with Jesus and that it is also nearly equivalent of a personal name.
I think this goes beyond what BDAG actually says and inserts your interpretation. I don't think that BDAG says κυριος "is a substitute for the Tetragrammaton", it says that it frequently replaces the Tetragrammaton in the LXX. It might be interesting to start a thread on Adonai, κυριος, the Tetragrammaton, the LXX, and New Testament quotations from the LXX to explore this. I would prefer to do that in a thread that does not mention specific groups by name. BDAG definitely says κυριος is used in connection with Jesus, I don't see that it says it is nearly equivalent to a personal name. And it can refer to various human beings, God, Jesus, etc., BDAG also notes some passages where it is not clear whether κυριος refers to Jesus or to God, a name would have made that distinction clear.
Scott Lawson wrote: It seems to me that just translating every instance of κυριος in the critical text of the NT conveniently ignores a a difficult issue and is easy and it doesn't address the instances individually nor take into account the murky history of how and why κυριος became a substitute for יהוה. Is translating every instance κυριος as lord in the critical text of the NT the best scholarly approach? As I have pointed out BDAG seems to allow us to at least consider that κυριος is a substitute for יהוה. Though the critical text compares texts and attempts to come up with an "original" text it does not address the possibility that due to some bias there was a concerted effort to remove the divine name from the holy writings. Does that idea seem so far fetched in the face of the admitted fact that κυριος is a substitute for יהוה? This substitution can create unusual readings as has been noted on this very site: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=432&p=9056&hilit=Κυριος#p9056
The GNT and many LXX manuscripts clearly did say κυριος, we have no early manuscripts of the GNT that use the Tetragrammaton. You can speculate that this reflects a "concerted effort to remove the divine name from the holy writings", but that kind of speculation really steps outside the proper boundaries of B-Greek. We don't do translation or textual criticism here, we don't speculate on how the texts we have came to be, but we do discuss what those texts say. I don't agree with your conclusion that " κυριος became a substitute for יהוה ", and I don't think that's quite what BDAG says either. I think it is more accurate to say that both words can refer to the same thing within a given frame of reference, as can αυτος. It's also true that many LXX manuscripts and the GNT use the word κυριος where the Masoretic Text uses יהוה. But κυριος can designate many individuals that יהוה cannot designate. The two words do not mean the same thing.
Scott Lawson wrote: Why wouldn't a Bible translation that truly wants to be accurate and honor the God who has revealed himself to us by his name as יהוה (with nearly 7,000 occurrences) not take up this important issue? Did God reveal his name to us just so that it could later be ignored? Is this not one reason that Jesus came; to glorify God's name and make it known?
We have no early manuscripts of the GNT that use the Tetragrammaton. Speculating about why we have no such manuscripts is clearly outside the scope of B-Greek. We can certainly discuss the use of phrases like ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου and what those phrases mean, preferably in specific passages, in separate threads that are not linked to the names of specific groups. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — January 7th, 2014, 3:53 pm
The first definition in BDAG for κυριος is the more common definition of lord, master or owner but the second one notes that κυριος is a substitute for the Tetragrammaton. It also points out that κυριος is used in connection with Jesus and that it is also nearly equivalent of a personal name. It seems to me that just translating every instance of κυριος in the critical text of the NT conveniently ignores a a difficult issue and is easy and it doesn't address the instances individually nor take into account the murky history of how and why κυριος became a substitute for יהוה. Is translating every instance κυριος as lord in the critical text of the NT the best scholarly approach? As I have pointed out BDAG seems to allow us to at least consider that κυριος is a substitute for יהוה. Though the critical text compares texts and attempts to come up with an "original" text it does not address the possibility that due to some bias there was a concerted effort to remove the divine name from the holy writings. Does that idea seem so far fetched in the face of the admitted fact that κυριος is a substitute for יהוה? This substitution can create unusual readings as has been noted on this very site: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=432&p=9056&hilit=Κυριος#p9056 Why wouldn't a Bible translation that truly wants to be accurate and honor the God who has revealed himself to us by his name as יהוה (with nearly 7,000 occurrences) not take up this important issue? Did God reveal his name to us just so that it could later be ignored? Is this not one reason that Jesus came; to glorify God's name and make it known? Statistics: Posted by Scott Lawson — January 7th, 2014, 2:58 pm
 
Barry Hofstetter wrote: Stephen has some very valuable things to say in his response, I think he's given a bit too much credit to the methodology he assumes must have been used by the NWT revisionists. The official Jehovah's Witness explanation is that the tetragrammaton was present in the original autographs, but later was expunged, and they see themselves as restoring it to the text where it rightfully belongs.
I was unaware of these facts, and I'm sorry about that. If I had have had this information, I would not have contextualise both the Complete Jewish Version and the New World Translation in to the same theoretical context. I believe that any and every theoretical basis can be considered as a valid starting point to criticise a work of literature (as indeed a translation is), and the best one that I have at hand to criticise (critique) this translation is the semiotics that I have used. The CJV is never-the-less, a great exercise in achieving what it does - and I'm glad I had the chance to praise it publicly. But, as Barry has said, it was wrong of me to assume that work was itself produced within the theoretical context that I should have merely used to criticise (analyse) it, and for that I apologise to the Watch Tower Society and their translation commitee. I was wrong for assuming that this aspect of their translation fitted into that schoarly context that I described. I recognise now that the basis for the translation is a tenet held within their faith community. I think that in some cases the beliefs and understandings of a faith community mould the way that they understand, read and translate the Greek. The Watch Tower society's interlinear Greek New Testament itself didn't have the personal name of God יהוה in their Greek text when I was shown it back in the late 1980's. According to wikipedia at least, the text that the NWT is based on that of Westcott and Hort text, which also doesn't have that any Hebrew in it. A translation committee would still have to make a value judgement about which instances of the word Κύριος were referrring to the tetragrammaton יהוה and then mentally (at least) resore them before translating. Not all instances of Κύριος are talking about Jesus or the Father. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — December 24th, 2013, 11:52 am
 
cwconrad wrote: I think that the replies have probably overstepped the lines Jonathan intended to draw, but he allowed the question, and I don't see how it could have been answered without the kinds of explanation that have been offered by Stephen and Barry.
Yes, I apologize. William did ask a legitimate question about the underlying text, I tried accepting it with a warning.
cwconrad wrote: Items of this nature are charged with varying levels of intense personal commitment, favorable or adverse; any one person's "objective" accounting may well seem "heavily biased' to another. Barry speaks (rightly, I think) of "theologically motivated rendering" in this instance. It's perilous, however, to raise this issue, since it is a charge that can be cast, rightly or wrongly, regarding several Biblical texts in one version or another. This forum neither endorses nor opposes any particular variety of orthodoxy. Participants in the forum range across a broad spectrum of belief and non-belief. Over the years we have endeavored to keep discussion focused upon issues in the Greek text that can be resolved by clear evidence and generally accepted grammatical criteria and to steer as clear as possible away from interpretive issues that are governed by faith-based assumptions brought to bear upon the text.
And this is important to what B-Greek is. No matter what our beliefs, it also keeps us honest.
cwconrad wrote: I think that we try generally to respond to inquiries of this sort as informatively and clearly as possible, but we are all likely to be upset when we think that a question is posed with a hidden agenda or when a question can not be replied to without goring somebody's ox.
I think it's important to be able to respond to this kind of question, and I agree that we should do it in a way that is not aimed at the groups that take various interpretations. Various groups make claims about the Greek text, this is a good place to ask what the Greek text actually says. But our focus should be on the Greek text. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — December 24th, 2013, 11:18 am
I think that the replies have probably overstepped the lines Jonathan intended to draw, but he allowed the question, and I don't see how it could have been answered without the kinds of explanation that have been offered by Stephen and Barry. Items of this nature are charged with varying levels of intense personal commitment, favorable or adverse; any one person's "objective" accounting may well seem "heavily biased' to another. Barry speaks (rightly, I think) of "theologically motivated rendering" in this instance. It's perilous, however, to raise this issue, since it is a charge that can be cast, rightly or wrongly, regarding several Biblical texts in one version or another. This forum neither endorses nor opposes any particular variety of orthodoxy. Participants in the forum range across a broad spectrum of belief and non-belief. Over the years we have endeavored to keep discussion focused upon issues in the Greek text that can be resolved by clear evidence and generally accepted grammatical criteria and to steer as clear as possible away from interpretive issues that are governed by faith-based assumptions brought to bear upon the text. I think that we try generally to respond to inquiries of this sort as informatively and clearly as possible, but we are all likely to be upset when we think that a question is posed with a hidden agenda or when a question can not be replied to without goring somebody's ox. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — December 24th, 2013, 8:44 am
To put it simply and succinctly, there is no justification from the Greek text for the translation given in the New World version, whether in English or in Spanish. While Stephen has some very valuable things to say in his response, I think he's given a bit too much credit to the methodology he assumes must have been used by the NWT revisionists. The official Jehovah's Witness explanation is that the tetragrammaton was present in the original autographs, but later was expunged, and they see themselves as restoring it to the text where it rightfully belongs. It is a rather egregious example of a theologically motivated rendering. Statistics: Posted by Barry Hofstetter — December 24th, 2013, 7:52 am
 
William Abaunza wrote: "Ahora bien, Jehová es el Espíritu; y donde está el espíritu de Jehová hay libertad" (2 Corintios 3:17 New World - Spanish)
 
William Abaunza wrote: ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν· οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου, ἐλευθερία.
What you have reproduced for us here is not a simple, direct translation from Greek to Spanish. The the name of God (the tetragrammaton) doesn't occur in Westcott and Hort's edition of the Greek New Testament. The Watchtower society's used Westcott and Hort's edition of the Greek New Testament to make their translation of the New Testament. In discussions I have had with people from the Watchtower society, they have been happy to use Thayer's Greek Lexicon (dictionary) to look up words. Thayer's Greek Lexicon does not say that the word Κύριος means "Jehovah". It says that the word Κύριος is used in the Greek version of the old testament to translate the name of God (the tetragrammaton). That is how that version of the personal name of God came into the New World translation. On of the things that we discuss on B-Greek is translation, so let's look at how an idea about language (semiotics) affected the way that this translation was made. The translators of the Watchtower society's New World Version have gone through a number of steps to get to this translation. Let's look for a moment at the way that the Hebrew represents the tetragrammaton. Κύριος (Greek) is used to translate a whole lot of Hebrew words; אָדֹן אֲדֹנָי אֲדֹנָי אֵל אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהַּ בַּעַל גְּבִיר יהוה מָרֵא מָשַׁל צֻר שַׁדַּי שָׁלַט שַׁלִּיט of which the name of God is one of them. You can see that all of those Hebrew words except one has little signs like dots and lines around them. Those little signs are vowels, and vowels let us read words. The only one that does not have the vowels written is יהוה. People did not want to say God's name freely, so they didn't give the name it's vowels. They used the vowels of another words there (the sixth one from the left) אֲדֹנָי and put those vowels on the name of God - and they knew those were the wrong vowels, so they didn't say the name of God. In place of the name of God, they said the word that had shared its vowels, and that word means "Lord" in English or "Señor" in Spanish. In the New Testament, which was written in Greek about 350-400 years after the Old Testament was first translated into Greek, we kept the word Κύριος for the places the Hebrew has יהוה (the name of God). It is not clear from the word Κύριος which of the Hebrew words it translates. That type of approach to translation is more than translation, it is a re-evaluation of the way the text was read. The word κύριος doesn't have the meaning "Lord", but rather it represents the value that Κύριος had when it was translated from יהוה. The translation, therefore, has an historical disconnection with the text and the way that the text has been used from the time it was written till then. Believing that one things represented another thing or pointed to another thing is based on a philosophical system that only became popular in the 20th century. That system is called semiotics. Semiotics is a very good and useful way of understanding the world and most people with a liberal arts education in literature are familiar with it. Never-the-less, it is a way of thinking that became popular in the 20th century. That is to say, the majority of people who read the Bible for 2,000 years, understood the Greek Κύριος (and Latin Dominus) as meaning "Lord", and not as meaning the name of God. The name of God יהוה is not the only thing that can be understood in a referential (pointing) sort of way. There is another translation of the Bible that does a lot more referring to things that are not so obvious in the Greek. That is the Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern. That Bible does a really good job of showing us everything that is Jewish in the New Testament, and let's us see how someone who heard the Greek would (hyothetically) have recognised things that would have been familar to them in the Hebrew (or Aramaic).
2 Corinthians 3:17 (CJB) wrote: Now, “Adonai” in this text means the Spirit. And where the Spirit of Adonai is, there is freedom.
I believe that Stern knows that this passage is referring to the name of God, but doesn't use the Name freely as the New World translation does. That is a very Biblical and traditional things to do. The translations of the Old Testament to Greek (and then to Latin and other languages) teach us to not use God's personal name freely - Stern uses Adonai (the word אֲדֹנָי we looked at earlier that gave its vocalisation to יהוה (the name of God). And Stern gives a complete picture of the Bible in a Jewish context, not just looking at one (albiet important) word. In that regard Stern's translation technique is comprehensive and superior to the Watchtower society's New World (Spanish) translation. Stern has done far more than just substitute one (incorrect) variant of the name of God for Κύριος, he is consistent and scholarly. Just for one example now because Christmas is coming, look at Matthew 1:18
Matthew 1:18 (CJB) wrote: Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place. When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yosef, before they were married, she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh.
That uses the same idea that things, people, places and concepts that are familiar to the translator are referred to (semiotics), rather than simply translated (from Greek to another language (English or Spanish)). The Watchtower's New World Translation doesn't do that...
Matthew 1:18 (NWT) wrote: But this is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. During the time his mother Mary was promised in marriage to Joseph, she was found to be pregnant by holy spirit*+ before they were united.
Actually, Jesus refers to a person who would be known as Yeshua in Hebrew, the Greek word Christ refers to the Hebrew word Messiah, the Greek word Μαρία refers to the Hebrew name Mariyam and so on for the others, but none of them are referred to by the Watchtower Society's New World translation's translation of the Greek. The only thing that is done in that way is the personal Name of God. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — December 23rd, 2013, 1:48 pm
Moderator's Note: Discussion in this thread must focus on evidence for the Tetragrammaton in New Testament Greek manuscripts, not on theology or pamphlets or groups who hold particular beliefs. Welcome to B-Greek, William! You should know that we do our best to focus on Greek texts, and not on translations or what various groups teach. I approved this message, but next time, could you please just ask whether any manuscript says X, so we don't encourage flame wars of any kind? I am not aware of any New Testament manuscript that contains the Tetragrammaton before (if I recall correctly) 1200 or so. For the Septuagint, it's a little more complex .... here is Swete (some of the characters did not come out properly on the forum, see it here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/swete/greekot.iii.ii.html):
The Tetragrammaton is not transliterated, but written in Hebrew letters, and the characters are of the archaic type (, not יהוה); cf. Orig. in Ps. ii., καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἀκριβεστάτοις δὲ τῶν ἀντιγράφων Ἐβραίοις χαρακτῆρσιν κεῖται τὸ ὄνομα, Ἐβραικοῖς δὲ οὐ τοῖς νῦν ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀρχαιοτάτοις—where the 'most exact copies' are doubtless those of Aquila's version, for there is no reason to suppose that any copyists of the Alexandrian version hesitated to write ο κς or κε for יהוה‎.
The above text refers to this footnote:
In a few Hexaplaric MSS. (e.g. Q, 86, 88, 243mg, 264) the Greek letters ΠΙΠΙ are written for יהוה, but (with the exception of the Genizah Palimpsest, Taylor, p. 27) the Greek MSS. use it solely in their excerpts from the non-Septuagintal columns of the Hexapla, and only the Hexaplaric Syriac admits ΠΙΠΙ into the text of the LXX., using it freely for κύριος, even with a preposition (as ). Oxyrh. Pap. 1007 (vol. VII.), late 3rd cent., has ZZ, representing doubled yod, in Gen. ii., iii. Ceriani expresses the opinion that the use of ΠΙΠΙ is due either to Origen or Eusebius, i.e. one of those fathers substituted ΠΙΠΙ for for in the non-Septuagintal columns, using the letters to represent the Hebrew characters which were familiar to them. On the whole subject the student may consult Ceriani, Monumenta sacra et profane, ii. p. 106 ff.; Schleusner, s.v. πίπι, Field, Hexapla ad Esa. i. 2; Hatch and Redpath, Concordance, p. 1135; Driver in Studia Biblia, i. p. 12, n. 3; Z. D. M. G. (1878), 465 ff., 501, 506. Prof. Burkitt acutely points out (p. 16) that (and doubtless also ΠΙΠΙ was read as Κύριος, since in one place in the Aquila fragments where there was no room to write the Hebrew characters "instead of οἴκῳ we find οἴκῳ κυ." On the orthography see Burkitt, p. 15, par. 4.
Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — December 23rd, 2013, 9:52 am
Hello everyone, this is my first post here. Few days ago, I received a little book from two Jehovah’s Witnesses. The title is: «¿Existe un Creador que se interese por nosotros?*»; and, inside, I found this: «Utilizando el nombre personal del Creador según se halla en la Biblia hebrea, Pablo escribió: "Ahora bien, Jehová es el Espíritu; y donde está el espíritu de Jehová hay libertad" (2 Corintios 3:17)**»[1]. Of course I thought it was an exageration. After, I read the Nestle-Aland's online edition (but not only that) to corroborate my point: ὁ δὲ κύριος τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν· οὗ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα κυρίου, ἐλευθερία. But, anyway, I guessed that maybe they use another version of greek texts (related with Textus Receptus) to translate it, therefore I searched, but I didn't find any on the Web. In any case, I think it would be very weird to find יהוה or something like that. The thing is: anyone have a version of the Textus Receptus to check (as you can see, I don't know much about it)? Or what could I do? Thanks and regards from Colombia. [1] Watch Tower, ¿Existe un Creador que se interese por nosotros? (Brazil: Associação Torre de Vigia de Bíblias e Tratados, 2006) 88. * Is There a Creator Who Cares About You? ** Paul, using the personal name for the Creator, as found in the Hebrew Bible, wrote: "Now Jehovah is the Spirit; and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom."─ 2 Corinthians 3:17. Statistics: Posted by William Abaunza — December 22nd, 2013, 3:09 am