re: Romans 1:17

From: Edgar M. Krentz (emkrentz@mcs)
Date: Sun Feb 11 1996 - 10:59:02 EST

You wrote:

>I think this raises a very important point, not just about this text but
>many NT texts. It seems as though we must do exegesis BEFORE we can translate
>when it comes to many prepositions, which I am very uncomfortable with, since
>I assume that Paul's original hearers/readers just "heard" EK and EIS and knew
>what they most probably meant. How can we go about deriving a translation
>without having to do exegesis firsxt? To use a very different passage,
>1 Cor 11:10, the understanding of EPI THS KEFALHS depends exegesis. You have to
>decide what Paul is saying before you can translate (or in case of
>virtually all
>modern translation, maul) this phrase. If anyone has suggestions for how to
>get around this type of problem, I'd like to hear them.

I am not sure this is a problem at all. The native speaker also interprets
[i.e., does exegesis] of what she or he reads or hears. There is no
translation without interpretation, no understanding without
interpretation, even of this posting. The problem is made more difficult
when we read something in a foreign tongue or an ancient one.

To say in German "Er ist ziemlich blau" is perfectly clear to a German, but
obscure to an American, since the connotations of blau/blue are different.
An American translating literally understands that the subject is a bit
depressed, while a German knows youi mean he is inebriated [to use a

You cannot get around the problem because it is impossible.

Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Tel: 3112-256-0752; (H) 312-947-8105

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