Re:MEN-DE-DE in John 16:9-11

Date: Fri Aug 23 1996 - 15:36:20 EDT

Sorry that no one got back to you, Jonathan, but now you'll probably have a
full plate. The NASB does use "and" for the two DE's. MEN...DE contructions
can be hard to translate into smooth Eng because of the subtlety of the Greek.
The (probably) most literal approach is "on the one hand...other hand", but
this soon becomes tedious and sometimes downright awkward (Tavia's example in
"Fiddler" is a comic example). Most of the time I leave MEN untranslated and
use "but" for DE if there is a strong enough contrast, but sometimes there is
not, hence the translations you mention (the NASB has "and" because of the
strong commitment to literal translation, but the result is probably not as
smooth as the other translations). As to whether the MEN...DE...DE makes a
difference in the Greek--it undoubtedly does, and the ideal translation (which
sometimes just isn't possible) would reveal the difference without reading
poorly in Eng.

Don Wilkins
UC Riverside

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