Re: Meaning of TE

Rod Bias (
Thu, 30 May 1996 14:47:27 -0700

John T. Lewis wrote:
> What is the significance of "te"? I know that it is often translated "and."
> But is there some difference between te and kai? In particular, how is
> te.....te used? I have found very little info. on this word.
> ****************

My opinion only: In the NT, "te" is a "*weak* and" -- sort of 'n' as
in: the butcher 'n' baker 'n' candlestick maker. In Attic or Byzantine Greek
this may be less so; but, in NT Greek I would suggest that sometimes the "and"
is so weak that it should be translated by a comma -- yes, the punctuation
mark. Maybe, I throw this out for others better qualified that I to comment
on, the best translation for "te ... te" is open and close parenthesis!

In English we used to use "Mr. 'n' Mrs. So-and-so" (or Mr. & Mrs.).
The 'n' or & here could (I think) be translated into Greek as "Mr. 'te' Mrs."
Another suggestion for translation of "te" by punctuation might be the slash
as in Mr/Mrs -- or, even a dash! Modern English punctuation affords us "words"
(or symbols) that just might be fair translations of untranslatable Greek
particles. Afterall, doesn't 'ara' translate (more or less) to a question


Rodney L. Bias (602) 438-9202 4648 East Saint Catherine Avenue Phoenix, Arizona 85040-5369 USA