Re: Translating XRISTOS

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Sep 11 1995 - 11:52:50 EDT

At 9:28 AM 9/11/95, David Moore wrote:
> (Carl W. Conrad) wrote:
>>I have long felt that "Messiah" OUGHT to be used to translate
>>XRISTOS in every NT text. I can't think offhand of an exception, although
>>that may be a matter of my typical rushing to judgment.
> I admit that I was of the same opinion when I began the post on
>XRISTOS, but when I began to look at specific passages in the Epistles, I
>felt that a wholesale change to "Messiah" would be too radical. Certain
>passages, like 1Cor. 1:23 would probably come across with more impact:
>"But we preach the crucified Messiah...." Nevertheless, when I considered
>how often XRISTOS is used in many passages in Paul, I felt that the
>constant repetition of the Hebrew term would sound dissonant in the
>context of Paul's rhetoric. Is this a legitimate consideration?

David, I think that the dissonance is precisely what is required to give
these texts the freshness and the sense that the term had for the original
readers, except, as I mentioned before, they at least had (presumably) a
recognition of the relationship between the title XRISTOS and the verb
XRIW, "anoint."

In 1 Cor 1:23, as the text reads 'hHMEIS DE KHRUSSOMEN XRISTON
ESTAURWMENON,' I think it's all the more powerful: "But we proclaim Messiah
crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block [why not say, "scandal"?], to the
Gentiles foolishness ..."

Curiouser and curiouser!

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

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