From: Paul S. Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon May 04 1998 - 13:06:45 EDT
On Mon, 4 May 1998 05:51:43 -0500 "Carl W. Conrad"
>At 10:34 PM -0500 5/3/98, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>>I am at a loss as to understanding the justification for the NIV
>>translation of Acts 3:16a. It reads:
>> By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see
>> and know was made strong.
>>The Greek has:
>> KAI EPI THi PISTEI TOU ONOMATOS AUTOU TOUTON
>> hON QEWREITE KAI OIDATE, ESTEREWSEN TO ONOMA
>>First of all, it apparently takes the masculine accusative TOUTON as
>>subject of the sentence. Secondly, it renders the active ESTEREWSEN
>>as a passive, "was made strong."
>>Most translations take TO ONOMA AUTOU as the subject and render the
>>active voice actively. Just wondering where the NIV translators get
>>their translation. Does "dynamic equivalency" have this much
>Paul, as I read it, the translator is not taking TOUTON as the subject
>ESTEREWSEN at all, but simply transforming the structure of the original
>that the active construction with the order O-V-S becomes in the
>English a passive construction with the order S-V-Agent. The meaning has
>been altered, nor would I really consider this a "dynamic equivalence"
>version. (Actually, this is a translation strategy that I suggest to my
>students for preserving the word-order of the original; when the
>object comes first in its clause and the subject last: translate the
>as subject, make the verb passive, and convert the subject into an
>One might argue (and I think that is the point of Mike Beazley's
>to your message) that this alters the meaning, but I don't really think
>so; sometimes the word-order is as powerful and communicative as the
>phrasing itself, and I believe that is the case here; one thing to
>that inthe Greek the beginning is one place of powerful emphasis and the
>end is another. This sentence, however, also makes a powerful emphasis
>the object by making it a demonstrative and qualifying it with a strong
>relative clause; note also that the concluding phrase, TO ONOMA AUTOU,
>reiterates the opening formula, EPI THi PISTEI TOU ONOMATOS AUTOU. In
>order to convey the full rhetorical force of the original, I'd make the
>translation even stronger:
> "And it is on the basis of faith in him that this very man
>whom you see and know has been made strong: it was His name that did
>But of course, even if that's the real sense of the original Greek, it
>probably wouldn't be acceptable to any translation committee that thinks
>more important to reproduce the FORM of the original than the CONTENT.
That was helpful. Thanks, Carl. This apparently explains the NIV
thinking. The word order of the Greek is often lost in the translations.
So, we are somewhere between wanting to retain the word order (FORM) and
retaining the CONTENT. How about something like this?
"and on the basis of faith in His name, this one, whom you
see and know, His name has made strong."
A little awkward, perhaps, but true to the content and form, and
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