Monday, December 29, 2008

John 1:1-18

This is perhaps on the richest passages in all of Greek. I am not sure where to go with it. Rather than a line by line commentary, I would offer three things (which I pretty much got from Pr. Paul Berge):

1.14 The word for dwelt here is "skehno-oo" which literally means tent. The next line is that we see the glory of God in Christ. The last time we saw a tent that held the glory of God was the tabernacle in Exodus.

1.17 Their is no punctuation or words between the first half and the second half of the sentence. I find this profound because theologians, especially Lutheran theologians, our life will be spent wrestling over what punctation to put here -- what is the relationship between the law and the Gospel!

1.18 The word for make known here is literally "exegete!" Jesus exegetes the Father's heart!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Romans 16:25-27

16.25 [Grammar note: the word for "the one who is able" is a substantive participle.]

16.26 This sentence is very complex grammatically, in that there really is not indicative verb in these three sentences!

16.27 One thing worth mentioning here is that the English hides the fact that the word "eternal" or "ages" is used three times, once in each verse here. Things have been hidden for ages; God has given an eternal command; and now God is in glory forever.

An ironic twist of the Bible that Romans ends with the wisdom and glory of God...which Paul will take up in the first page of 1st Corinthians in a very different way!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

John 1:6-8, 19-28

1:7 The word witness and testify both are the same word in the Greek (one in noun form; one in verb form). This distinction in translation of the root "martyria" has no basis in the Greek but reveals the English language's disdain for the same word in a sentence twice!

1:19 The NIV botches the translation of this sentence by making the question, "Who are you?" into an indirect question. It is a direct question in the Greek.

1:20 The word confess is "homologe-oo." Literally "same speak." A unilateral confession is unintelligible!

1:22 Almost all of the speaking verbs in this section are in the aorist; yet here John must say repeatedly (present tense): "I am not." Perhaps a suggestion that we have to confess Christ over and over again.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

5:19 The word for quench is "sbennu-mi." This has a rather unclear English cognate: asbestos. (asbestos is something that is unquenchable!)

5:23 Two of the words here have the root "holo" (as in 'whole'). In English the breadth of Paul's statement about spirit, soul and body is clear; the Greek words just accent this a bit. The NRSV drops the second "holo" word which modifies "spirit."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2 Peter 3:9-15

3.9 Grammatically, the sentence could read "Lord of the promise is not slow." (technically, the word "promise" is in the genitive; this verb can take a genitive object, but it could also be a genitive not connected with the verb but instead with the noun that precedes it.)

The word used in the phrase "all to come to repentence" is "choore-oo." This verb comes from the word for space/region/place (As in the whole Judean Countryside came out to visit him). More literally, thus, this reads "God has room for all to come to repentence."

3.10 A Greek note -- the idea of the cosmos being consumed in a fire is a strong idea in Greek mythology and even stocism.

3.11 The word here for piety is "eusebeia." This word is not used in the Gospels or the Pauline core. Interestingly, Peter does use this word in Acts when he says to the people -- you think we did this of our own piety?? (3:12) (And the ansewr is no!)

3.12 The word translated hastening is "speud-oo," which can also mean "strive for."