More on swphrwn
With regard to Warren Doud's further questions, I think he is quite right
about the uses of the adjective _swphrwn_ for men being used in the more
general sense and often translated "sober" or "sober-minded." Although it
is centuries earlier, I think the discussion of swphrosune in Plato's
Republic is still valuable for understanding the idea: Socrates there talks
about a man being kreittwn heautou, which could be variously translated as
"stronger than himself" or "master of one's self" or "in control of one's
self." I think the Greek adjective is quite commonly translated into Latin
as _prudens_, although that Latin word originally meant "fore-thinking",
i.e. acting only after deliberation. I would think that is precisely the
quality that is extolled in Titus with regard to men.
When the adjective is applied to women, there is nothing wrong with trans-
lating it the same way, in my opinion, except that it may be misleading.
I think it most probable that here, as usually with application of the
adjective to women, the implication is one of chastity, of preservation of
sexual integrity. I think Brown in _The Body and Society_ dealt very well
with this whole area. As for NIV and NAS avoiding any suggestion of chastity
for swphrwn when applied to women, I can only speculate, but I don't hesitate
to do so. I frankly think there's a squeamishness in translators, the more so
in those doing translations for a conservative group. I note that NRSV finally
calls a spade a spade in translating the pun in Paul's letter to the Galatians
(peritome/katatome) as "I wish they would go ahead and castrate themselves",
where hitherto the most daring version seems to have been, "I wish they would
go ahead and mutilate themselves." This makes the implication clear, but
indulges in a euphemism where Paul is vivid in expressing his indignation: "I
wish they'd go ahead and start lopping it off."
I didn't mean to get into a sermon on this issue and I am certainly no
authority. But translation committees do have to make a version tidy enough
to be used liturgically without disturbing a congregation's sensibilities,
whereas the composer of the original letter may have wanted to express as
vividly as possible what he meant to say.
Perhaps the NIV and NAS translators had a reason to think that chastity was
not a primary consideration in our instance, but I would like to know what
their reasoning was.
CARL W. CONRAD, C25001CC@WUVMD.BITNET OR C25001CC@WUVMD.WUSTL.EDU
Classics, Washington University, One Brookings Dr., St. Louis, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 935-4018