Re: Translation needed-Revelation 5.9

Carl W. Conrad (
Fri, 24 Jan 1997 18:21:42 -0600

At 3:00 PM -0600 1/24/97, JAMES & WENDY ARMSTRONG wrote:
>The Translations differ on whether it is ""men"" or ""us"". I could not
>find either Greek word in UBS
>Rev 5:9 And they sang^ a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the
>book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for
>God with Thy blood """men""" from every tribe and tongue and people and

There is in fact no word for "men" in the UBS text of Rev 5:9, BUT the verb
HGORASAS ("you purchased") has no direct object in the accusative; one must
be supplied from the partitive construction that is in your version above
"from every tribe and tongue and people and nation." It is implicit in the
Greek, and even if the Greek is intelligible without that object being
expressed, you can't put the sense into acceptable English without making
explicit what is only implicit in the Greek: you could use "men," but I
think it would be better to say "people," as I think that the word, if it
WERE expressed in the Greek, would almost certainly be ANQRWPOUS.

I hope that is sufficiently clear.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR