Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Galatians 3:19-29

The actually lectionary lesson begins at verse 23, but let's pick up Paul's argument at verse 19.

3.19: Paul literally writes: "Why then the law?" Perhaps the great question is: What does Paul mean by "nomos" or "law" here? Well...let's see!

3.19: Paul here writes that the law was added "archis" (until) "whom the one came..." Just a note here; we will come back to this later.

3:19: The NIV and NRSV/NET differ in how the translate a little relative pronoun "whom" (literally hoo or 'who') The NIV reads: "until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come" The NRSV/NET read: until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made. I confess I am not the greatest in reading relative pronoun sentences, but I see little support for the NIV translation grammatically. The NIV basically says that a dative pronoun refers to a subject, ie, they translate whom was promised as "who was promised." I realize if you look at this too long it all looks alike, but the question is: What came? The promised seed (NIV) or the seed to the promised (NRSV/NET).

3:19: Point about how Greek works: Paul switches back to talking about the law in the latter half the sentence. How do you know? Because the aorist partiple beginning this part of the sentence is in conjugated as a masculine nominative and thus refers back to the law (alos a mas. nom). If it referred to the seed it would be neuter; if it referred to the promise it would be feminine. Participles are conjugated based on what they relate to in the main sentence; relative pronouns are conjugated based on what they relate to in the relative clause.

3:20: Paul is laying the smack down here. In Greek. In English. Anyway, moving on.

3:21: Great example of an ei-an clause. If both are in the indicative, this means that both points are wrong: If the law could give life (but it doesn't); then you could have righteousness (but it doesn't).

3:22 The NIV is hopefully creative here in its translation of "synklei-o" to mean "declares." It means "shut off" or "imprisoned" and would be used, for example, to talk about catching fish in a net. By translating this word as "declared...by the power of sin..." it distorts the Scripture to protect Scripture. The much more natural reading of the verb "synklei-o" and "hypo twn amartian" (under sin) is what the NRSV/NET render it: Scripture has not simply declared, but has actually done the deed itself. Scripture, has like a net, caught us up under sin. That's the image. Now you can figure out what that means.

3:22 See my notes last week on "Faith of Christ". Another interesting note is thatthe faith (noun) of Jesus makes possible the believing (verb; action) by us.

3:23 To further my point about the verb "synklei-o) see (3:22), the NIV translates it in this sentence as "lock-up."

3:23 Here comes another translation issue on a preposition: eis. This little bad boy can mean until or toward or to. So, the question for interpreters of Gal 3 is: Does the law lead us until Christ or up to Christ or toward Christ?

3:24 The great word here is "paidagogos" (literally foot-leader). As Liddell-Scott puts it: a boy-ward; at Athens, the slave who went with a boy from home to school and back again, a kind of tutor, Hdt., Eur., etc.:-hence Phoenix is called the paidagogos of Achilles. The law is slave...

3:25 The participle here is a genitive absolute (they stick everything in genitive to start out the sentence that has nothing to do with the second half). So you have to treat the genitive word and the genitive participle as all in the nominative and then put a coma: "Faith came," Or to make it connect: After faith came...

3:25 The Bible never says what the NIV says here: "We are no longer under the supervision of the law." It simply says, "We are no longer under a paidagogos."

3:27 Compare this verse with Col 3:12. Can you see the difference in Greek?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Galatians 1:11-24

1.11: We have a nice "adjectival participle here. The Gospel that was preached by me. Adjectival participles are easy to recognize and translate. Notice the "to" structure "to" euangellion..."to" euan...it tells you they are a pair.

1.12: The word here for revelation is...Revelation or "apocalypse"! It is indefinite (no article) so it can be translated just as "revelation" or "a revelation."

1.13: A point about the passive. Paul here does the passive construction in a few ways here:
a) verb in passive voice with "hypo" to signify agent (Gospel which was preached by me -- hypo mou)
b) verb in passive voice without any agent (not taught to me)
c) use of prepositions: "received from men (para)" but "through the revelation of Jesus Christ (dia)"

1.14: A rather ironic twist here. Paul says he was hungry for the "tradition" of his elders. Tradition is a latin word; the Greek is almost the same "paradidhmi" (both mean over-give). Paul here seems to be attacking tradition, yet in 1 Cor he will appeal to this same word that he handed over what was of first importance, what was given over to him, (paradidhmi), ie, communion. (See 1 Cor 11.2)

1:16 The NRSV smooths over something rather awkward by Paul here. Paul writes that Christ was revealed (back to apocalypse) in me; not to me, but "en emoi." The NRSV translates it as "to" because Paul uses the same preposition to write I preached it "to the gentiles." There though it can mean "among" but this makes no sense in the context we currently have it.

1:16 Paul uses the phrase "flesh and blood" (sakri kai haimati) (hendiadis = two words that have one meaning) for human here.

1:22 Double dative object construction here. I was unknown (dat) to the face (dat) to the churches...

The first one we translate as an adverb: "I was personally unknown"; the second as the direct object (normally in the accusative, but some verbs that a dative direct object)

1:24 Finally Paul says, "the Glorified God in me" Once again, we have this tricky "in me." The NET Bible justifies this saying, "The prepositional phrase evn emoi, (en emoi) has been translated with a causal force." Blah blah. Why do we want to cover up Paul so much??

In this case, I think Paul is preparing us for his amazing chapter 2 -- where he finally concludes that Christ is in him. wow!