At the end of Matthew’s version of the Lord’s Prayer we read, “But deliver us from evil” in the King James Version and Revised Standard Version. A number of more recent English translations differ. The Good News Bible, New Century Bible, New International Version, New Jerusalem Bible and New Revised Standard Version all render Matthew 6:13b as keep us, save us, rescue us, or deliver us “from the evil one.” The difference is significant, and invites our curiosity.
The viewpoint of scholars toward the Gospel of John has changed considerably during the last generation. (See “Scholarly Attitudes to John” below.) Thanks to several recent discoveries, we are now able to appreciate a number of literary allusions in the Gospel’s introductory verses (1:1-18) that had previously escaped attention. We will discuss the background of a few of these allusions, and then consider some implications for translation.
What kind of book is the Bible? It claims to be inspired by God, but what does that mean for believers in general, for researchers and for Bible translators? Such questions are raised whenever the Bible is examined against the available background of its culture, language and history. I will address the question of inspiration from the perspective of a translator, because it puts me in a middle ground between researchers and general readers.
Writings that were originally composed in Greek tend to have a higher ratio of de to kai than writings that have been influenced by a Semitic language.
Knowledge of the different ways of joining stories in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic can help us understand the history and relationships of the Synoptic Gospels. The three synoptic writers use different linguistic methods to glue their stories together. None of these is purely Greek, and all show Semitic influence. Matthew shows a specifically Aramaic influence, and in this article we will see how he uses an Aramaic conjunction as the glue to hold stories together.
Not only is “son of man” one of the most important phrases in the Bible, it is one of the most misunderstood and disputed. Rooms could be filled with all the books and articles written on this subject. Translators are not immune to fascination with this phrase, and the meaning of “son of man” is a perennial topic of debate. We are keen to understand it because it is the phrase that Jesus used for himself more than any other. A full understanding of “son of man” reveals what Jesus knew about himself and increases our appreciation of how he communicated his message.
Christmas brings many carols and cards containing the words from Luke 2:14, “Goodwill to men” and “Peace to men of goodwill.” The angels praised God with words that in English may sound like a politician wishing us to “Have a nice day.” Most of us sense that these words reflect something deeper, but why did the angels use such seemingly innocuous words?