b-greek-digest V1 #18

b-greek-digest           Tuesday, 28 November 1995     Volume 01 : Number 018

In this issue:

        Re: Mark 7:24:  form of dunamai
        Re: review Palmer 1995 
        News release on interesting translation-issue
        Re: News release on interesting translation-issue
        Edward Hobbs' forwarding of News Release
        Contemporary English Version
        Re: Contemporary English Version 
        Re: review Palmer 1995


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 06:18:41 -0600
Subject: Re: Mark 7:24:  form of dunamai

At 5:30 AM 11/26/95, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
>    I'm having difficulty deciding upon the proper reading of Mark
>7:24 in regard to the original form of dunamai.  These both appear to be
>Aorist passvies, but realistically, one would expect a verb to only have
>one form of its AOrist passive.  Q quick check of oen  one of my lexicons
>left me
>unillunminated about which it shold be.  Can anyone help me out here?
>Was spelling that free-form that either hdunasqa or hdunhqh are equally
>probably in that respect?  Thanks.

Ken, I can't answer the text-critical question, but I may be able to
illuminate the grammatical one. We confront in Hellenistic Greek forms that
are dialectal or are common in different parts of the Mediterranean world.
The real question is what is the normal form of the aorist of DUNAMAI. I
don't find HDUNASQA anywhere, and I think that you must have misquoted and
probably mean HDUNASQH.

On looking at the apparatus in NA27 I see HDUNHQH in the printed text with
variants listed as HDUNASQH and HDUNATO. The last of these would be an
imperfect, of course, rather than an aorist. The sigma in the form HDUNASQH
is one that develops in several vowel-stem verbs before the endings,
particularly in the perfect MP and in the aorist passive. It is probably by
analogy from dental stems in D, T, and Q that would normally shift to S to
assimilate before an ending such as MAI, TAI, MEQA. The S of the 2nd plural
MP ending -SQE may also be a factor. At any rate, these forms with S added
are fairly common in Attic dialect, less common, I think, in Ionic. Ionic
happens to be the source of more Koine forms simply because it was the
dialect of Alexander's army and most of the civil servants that settled
into the new cities founded by Alexander and his successors. But other
dialect forms also appear, and for that matter, in Egyptian papyri you can
find a wide variation in spelling of forms of Greek words depending upon
the level of education of the writer. The peculiarity in these forms of
DUNAMAI is that the long alpha has been retained in the form HDUNASQH,
whereas it changed to eta very early in Ionic dialect. I think that the
form HDUNASQH is really a secondary one formed, as I said, by analogy with
such verbs as PEIRAOMAI (attempt, try), which has an aorist form EPEIRASQHN
(1 sg.), although the S is secondary there too. But the verb common -AZW
verbs, such as DIKAZW have stems in -AD- that form aorist passives in
- -ASQH-.

I hope that clears up at least the question about alternative forms of the
Aorist of the verb. Alternative forms are something that one should expect
in any language.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/


From: Bruce Terry <terry@bible.acu.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 10:42:44 CST
Subject: Re: review Palmer 1995 

On Sun, 26 Nov 1995, Rod Decker wrote a review of:

>Palmer, Micheal W. Levels of Constituent Structure in New Testament Greek.
>Studies in Biblical Greek 4. New York: Lang, 1995. 145 pages.

in which he stated:

> Although by itself it would not justify the cost
>of the book, the discussion of the various NT grammars in chapter two is
>very helpful in placing each in its appropriate theoretical framework and
>showing how various theories of language have impacted subsequent
>generations of grammars.

Rod, thanks for the review.  Just what is the cost of Micheal's book?

A side-comment: The necessity to propose an intermediate level between word
and phrase may say more about X-bar syntax than about Greek grammar.

Bruce Terry                            E-MAIL: terry@bible.acu.edu
Box 8426, ACU Station		       Phone:  915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699		       Fax:    915/674-3769


From: Edward Hobbs <EHOBBS@wellesley.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 13:06:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: News release on interesting translation-issue

Dear Colleagues on the B-Greek List:

	I thought this news release about the CEV might be of some interest
to those among us who are concerned with translation theory/practice.

- --Edward Hobbs


Ecumenical News International
ENI News Service
23 November 1995

	`Hate-free Bible' aims to undo centuries of bias

		By Patricia Lefevere

New York, 23 November (ENI)--The world's first Christian Bible
which claims to be free of anti-Jewish bias has been published
in the United States by the American Bible Society (ABS).

Known as the Contemporary English Version Bible (CEV), the
project to translate the whole of the Old and New Testaments has
taken more than 100 scholars, theologians, translators and
consultants 10 years to complete. Since the CEV was completed in
June, 465 000 copies have been printed and nearly 150 000 have
been distributed by the ABS.

Both Jewish and Christian biblical scholars have conceded in
recent decades that anti-Jewish bias exists in the New Testament.
Some scholars have linked 1800 years of Christian antipathy to
Jews with the Holocaust - the Nazi plan for the extermination of
Jews that emerged from a Christian nation.

Christian sensitivity to anti-Jewish attitudes within the New
Testament has grown as dialogue between Jews, Roman Catholics and
Protestants has increased. But neither greater sensitivity nor
political correctness was the reason for the translation,
according to Barclay Newman, the ABS's senior translation

"Our concern was to produce a work as faithful to the original
biblical text as possible ... that text should not do what it was
not intended to do," Newman told ENI.

"A truly faithful translation of the New Testament requires that
the translator should constantly seek ways in which false
impressions may be minimised and hatred overcome," he said,
saying that he had been guided by a statement in the Bible by St
Paul that Jesus came to make peace between Jews and Gentiles.

Newman and his translating team returned to the Hebrew, Greek and
Aramaic manuscripts, and tried to render them in the most
readable, audible, clear syntactical English used today. Their
goal was to produce a Bible that could be read aloud without
stumbling, heard without misunderstanding and listened to with
enjoyment by young children, educated adults and people who had 
little or no contact with Scripture, he said.

"We did not change the text, add to it or subtract from it," said
David Burke, who directs the ABS's Department of Translations and
Scripture Resources. 

The phrase "the Jews" (in Greek, "Hoi Ioudaiou") which occurs 195
times in the New Testament, Burke said, was repeatedly used to
identify and characterise those who opposed Jesus and/or the
movement begun by those Jews who followed Jesus. 

However, Burke said, what we were witnessing in the New Testament
was not Jew against Christian or bad guys versus good guys but
rather a fraternal dispute between those Jews who thought Jesus
was the Messiah and those who did not.

The CEV often translates the phrase, "the Jews" as "all of our
people" while the word synagogue becomes "the meeting place" or
at times "the Jewish meeting place".

Thus, according to the Authorised Version, a verse in the Gospel
of St John (9:22) reads: "These words spake his parents because
they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if any
man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the

In the CEV the passage is rendered: "The man's parents said this
because they were afraid of their leaders. The leaders had
already agreed that no one was to have anything to do with anyone
who said Jesus was the Messiah."

Burke, who has done a selective comparative study of 18 English
Bible translations - 16 of them published since 1971 - found that
the CEV is "the most sensitive" to the phrase "the Jews" and that
the new translation goes the furthest in providing what he calls
"a hate-free" translation of the 195 passages referring to "the

The centuries-old assumption that the Jews were responsible for
the death of Jesus - what many see as the core of Christian
anti-Semitism - is without foundation, Newman and Burke insisted.
The sentence and execution of Jesus were Roman acts, performed
by Roman officials and soldiers, they said.

The insistence of St Paul that the death of Jesus "has united Jew
and Gentile by breaking down the wall of hatred that separated
us" (Ephesians 2:14), is a witness against those who would use
any portion of the New Testament as a weapon of warfare to incite
anti-Jewish sentiments, Newman said. 

Using the New Testament to incite anti-Jewish sentiments "is to
deny the efficacy of the work of Christ and the overall message
of the New Testament", he said.

While the Authorised Version might more easily be forgiven as a
product of another age, culture and language - Renaissance
English - contemporary translations have also engendered bias
against Jews, according to the biblical scholar Eldon J Epp. 

Epp said that the Living Bible, published in 1971, appeared
almost to take pleasure in castigating and chastening the Jews
and Judaism - to punish them by tongue-lashing and to reprimand
them for failing to accept "their Messiah".

Roger Omanson, a translation consultant with the United Bible
Societies, which distributes Bibles worldwide, said he had urged
the UBS not to repeat the kind of anti-Semitic notes and section
headings found too often in some translations, and not to
translate the text itself in a way that made it "more anti-Jewish
than it may already be".

Omanson told ENI that study Bibles ought to contain explanatory
notes about the "words of Jesus", telling the Bible-user that
they were in fact expressions of church communities in the late
first century that were in conflict with Judaism.

Reception of the CEV has been swift and positive, according to
Newman. He said he was surprised that more than 300 people
attended one of his recent lectures in Australia - scores of them

Article (c) Ecumenical News International
	Reproduction permitted only by media subscribers and
	provided ENI is acknowledged as the source

Ecumenical News International
Tel: (41-22) 791 6087/6515  Fax: (41-22) 798 1346 
INTERNET: eni@wcc-coe.org     ECUNET: ENI
PO Box 2100  CH-1211 Geneva 2


From: "Philip L. Graber" <pgraber@emory.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 14:57:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: News release on interesting translation-issue

Has anyone used this Contemporary English Version? Is this a revision of 
the Today's English Version (the "Good News" Bible), or is it a 
completely new translation?

Philip Graber				Graduate Division of Religion
Graduate Student in New Testament	211 Bishops Hall, Emory University
pgraber@emory.edu			Atlanta, GA  30322  USA


From: Paul Wesley Hofreiter <paulhof@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 13:51:50 -0800
Subject: Edward Hobbs' forwarding of News Release

Dear Colleagues on the B-Greek List:
    My deepest appreciation to Edward Hobbs for the news release on the 
CEV Bible.  I teach courses in Bible and Christianity at The 
Lawrenceville School and will bring this translation to the attention 
of my students when entering the discussion of anti-Semitic issues.
    I would be most interested in hearing from those on this list as to 
their views on this process of translation.  We currently use the NRSV 
in our courses.  
    I am interested in a related matter.  As a composer, I have 
normally gone with either my own translations of scripture (with the 
less difficult texts) or translations by others whom I know to be 
sensitive to issues of nuance.  What are preferences of those on this 
    Thank you for your time.

    Paul Wesley Hofreiter
    Depts. of Religion and Music
    The Lawrenceville School
    POBox 6008
    Lawrenceville NJ 08648
    <paulhof@ix.netcom.com> or <phofrei@lville.pvt.k12.nj.us>  


From: Edward Hobbs <EHOBBS@wellesley.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 16:57:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Contemporary English Version

Philip Graber asks about the Contemporary English Version, sobject of
a newsrelease I sent to the List earlier today.  No, it is not a revision
of the TEV.  It is a completely new translation, which had as its target
audience:  Teenagers, adults without high school education, English-as-a-
second-language users, and so on.  Hard to believe, but TEV ("Good News 
Bible") proved to be too difficult for large segments of the public!

What was interesting was that the translation also dealt with this other issue,
which no translation hitherto has tackled.  Groups such as the American
Interfaith Institute have been calling for this, long since.

I haven't yet seen the Old Testament, but I bought a copy of the NT
about three years ago.  It's titled BIBLE FOR TODAY'S FAMILY: New Testament.
It is especially striking that this translation came out over four years
ago, received the Roman Catholic Imprimatur in March 1991, and yet no
publicity has ever before called attention to this aspect of the translation.
The publication of the entire Bible this fall must have been the stimulus
for it; but the translation of "the Jews" as "the people" or "the leaders"
or "the Jewish leaders" is entirely in the NT.

Edward Hobbs


From: Bruce Terry <terry@bible.acu.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 18:36:10 CST
Subject: Re: Contemporary English Version 

On Mon, 27 Nov 1995, Edward Hobbs wrote:

>Philip Graber asks about the Contemporary English Version, sobject of
>a newsrelease I sent to the List earlier today.  No, it is not a revision
>of the TEV.  It is a completely new translation, which had as its target
>audience:  Teenagers, adults without high school education, English-as-a-
>second-language users, and so on.  Hard to believe, but TEV ("Good News 
>Bible") proved to be too difficult for large segments of the public!

I am coming out of my memory on this, so it may be faulty.  I believe the TEV
was written on about a 6th or 7th grade level.  It seems like I have read that
the CEV is on about a 3rd grade reading level.  What puzzles me is why this
translation was produced, since the International Children's Version (at a 3rd
grade reading level) and its upgraded sister the New Century Version (at a 4th
grade reading level) have been out in the complete Bible since 1986.  These
were originally published by Sweet, but I think Word publishes them now.  Was
it that they were commercial translations, and ABS couldn't get the rights? 
Or was there something in them that was objectionable?  They seem like good
translations to me, considering adjustments for the reading level.  I used the
ICV in missionary work on the Navajo Reservation.  Surely the CEV was not
produced just to have a translation that was politically correct on a supposed
anti-Semitism in the New Testament?

Bruce Terry                            E-MAIL: terry@bible.acu.edu
Box 8426, ACU Station		       Phone:  915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699		       Fax:    915/674-3769


From: Rod Decker <rdecker@inf.net>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 23:33:00 -0600
Subject: Re: review Palmer 1995

>Rod, thanks for the review.  Just what is the cost of Micheal's book?

I think it was about $30. Micheal could tell us, but I haven't seen any
sign of him on b-greek in quite a while--unusual after his active
participation last year.


Rodney J. Decker                      Calvary Theological Seminary
Asst. Prof./NT                                   15800 Calvary Rd.
rdecker@inf.net                        Kansas City, Missouri 64147


End of b-greek-digest V1 #18


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