Re: hO in 1 John 1:1

From: John Kendall (john-kendall@???
Date: Fri Feb 06 1998 - 04:04:11 EST

On Thu, 5 Feb 1998 Carl Conrad wrote:

>In my opinion, this way of looking at the Greek confuses the question of
>the way the Greek syntax works with the question of how best to translate
>the Greek into English (or some other language). Personally I think that
>creates a major obstacle to understanding the alien text on its own terms.
>How to convey the sense of the Greek into another language shouldn't
>really be dealt with until after one is confident that one understands the
>Greek construction. More on this below.
>I don't like to be so redundant, but I don't think the point can be
>overemphasized: the FIRST step is to understand the Greek; only AFTERWARDS
>can one go on and decide how best to convey the MEANING of the Greek into
>another language. It is fundamentally wrong to attempt to force the
>structure of a meaningful translation onto the syntactic structure of the
>Greek text, and to do so will only render the Greek text into gibberish.

Carl, I really had no intention of addressing the question of how best to
translate Greek into English. I do agree with you here. But I think that it
*can* be true in cases to suggest that a particular translation reflects a
particular understanding of the Greek syntax. This seems clearly to be the case
with the RSV and NIV renderings which I was using as examples that I thought
might clarify things for Ben.

However, I'm very grateful for your warning about possible pitfalls here and
I'd like to reinforce it. While a translation *may* reflect a particular
understanding of the Greek syntax, we do need to be very careful in drawing
such conclusions. As it turns out, I must confess (red-faced!) that I was far
too hasty in quoting Smalley's rendering in my post. A second, less cursory
glance at his commentary shows that he understands the syntax of verses 1-3
with the 'others' below.

>>>Others understand verse 2 as a parenthesis with verse 1's series of parallel
>>>noun clauses being resumed in verse 3. In this case, these noun clauses are
>>>understood as direct objects of the verb APAGGELLOMEN in verse 3.

Carl adds:
> I think that the UBS committee has done the right
>thing by punctuating after ZWHS with a dash; what this means is that we
>have an anacoluthon--an incomplete sentence, and that after the sentence
>gets this far, the writer starts over with a new subject and predicate in
>verse 2.

But doesn't the other dash after hHMIN suggest that they understand verse 2 as
a parenthesis?


John Kendall

To reply, please remove the three question marks from my address.

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