Revelation, John, and translation

From: Mark Arvid Johnson (
Date: Thu Jun 26 1997 - 22:03:17 EDT

Peter Phillips wrote:

<<In reply to the postings so far, I wonder whether we will ever get to
the bottom of this one. Why would John dictate in Hebrew anyway - he
probably spoke Aramaic rather than Hebrew as his first language if he
was a Galilean fisherman. Hebrew would have been used for religious and
liturgical purposes rather than dictating a letter. Also the
possibilities of someone hearing in Hebrew and immediately writing it
down in Greek are surely very slight. And although Hebrew and Aramaic
are close most would agree that Revelation is Hebraeo-Greek and not

I cannot help but think that the hebraic Greek of Revelation argues
somewhat against the oft repeated comment that the GNT is written in
common, every day Greek. It would seem that the GNT was linguistically
influenced by the Hebrew Old Testament. Would not this set some precedence
for formal equivalence as the proper translation methodology rather than
dynamic equivalence?

Mark Arvid Johnson

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