Re: present truth: EN THi PAROUSHi ALHQEIAi

From: Isidoros (
Date: Tue Jan 21 1997 - 11:49:20 EST

Glad you found the response of interest, John. And sorry for delay (but
though been trying to invent the 28-hour day, no luck yet)

Let me first address some of the points raised in your letter, in the order
they appear, and then perhaps return to my proposal, that we look at it
in levels, reexamine the "English" translation and then seek for a deeper
understanding of the Greek phrase.

You wrote:

>I was interested in your translation. On the other hand I think of PAREIMI
>more in the sense of something the readers would have, something present
>with them.

Think were you to "tie" PAROUSIA close onto PAREIMI, in any substantive
sense of co-gnation, you'd be doing both words injustice, by the tight
etymological association, and certainly the word that concerns us, OUSA,
rather the root here, which is quite a significant distance from EIMI.

>Doesn't ALHQEIA have to be ALHQEIA at all times and in whatever era?

No, it does not have to be "ALHQEIA at all times and in whatever era",
in one way, the, let us call it here the, relative way; whereus in the
other, the one that Peter has in mind, yes, it would have to be always one,
to satisfy Peter's absolute intention, as it seems to so appear

>Or is there ALHQEIA for Noah's day, Abraham's, Moses'. Jesus', etc.
>as this passage is often interpreted from the mere English rendering?

From "the mere English rendering"...? oh, you mean "present truth," right?
where by "present," you mean the truth "of the day". Yet, John, not "truth",
nor even the "day" seem to be necessarily very "present," in the sense that
you mean it, I think, of the temporary and, so, ever-changing (different
for Noah's day, and then different for Abraham's, and..., as you say.
For one could rather rightfully claim that even in English, "the mere
English rendering" strives for the absolute. For if the present is
understood as "pre-sent," as was originally intended, by the com-bounding,
and if it has been "sent" over since, the same one, apriori, and then sent
again, the same one thing, and again, (adjusting, merely and in accordance
to the chaning "day," so as to keep, by adjusting, ever the same) then
aren't we again talking about it being, re-main-ing the same, the s-aim,
as you, yourself, said, ALHQEIA at all times and in whatever day?!

Of course, the "English rendering" is not but the preliminary aspects
 of our study. Surely it is the Greek we want to examine, on a follow-up
perhaps post, and after hearing of any comments that might exist for
whatever said so far about the "English" translation. For, for the others,
as you also inquire

> I'd be interested to know why you see the translations I cited (NRSV,
>Mod German, Mod French) as being so far off course and
>theologically biased.

we may leave it for another day, for it is not, John, that you are asking
much, or unreasonably, but think we agree 'tis not the main purpose or
appropriate locus, in this already longish post, to go into the theological
aspects of all the differences, which may anyway become clear, in contrast,
after the linguistic analysis to bemade, exposing possibly both
the degree of philological ignorance as well as the depth of each
tradition's invested dogmatic faith, necessarily "respected" in each
translation for the sake of "right" opinion, and for the faithful.


The Ionic Centre, Athens

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