Re: GENESIS in James 1:23

From: Paul Zellmer (
Date: Thu May 21 1998 - 11:45:25 EDT

Carl wrote:
>At 9:15 PM -0400 5/20/98, Paul Zellmer wrote:
>>What think ye about the meaning of TO PROSWPON THS GENESEWS AUTOU in
>>James 1:23? Several English translations render this "his own face,"
>>but that seems a bit weak to me. If we go with "his natural face,"
>>then are we contrasting it to his spiritual face? Or does it imply a
>>face that has imperfections (assuming that all "natural" things are
>>imperfect)? If it is "his living face" or the like, then what is
>>placed outside of his consideration--his "dead" face? If it is "his
>>original face," then is he going to have plastic surgery? Perhaps, in
>>the light of verse 24, GENESIS refers to his ancestry, and PROSWPON is
>>figurative. The words I "know." How they work together in this
>>situation, I'm unsure.
>How's about "the face he was born with" (as opposed to "the face he
>acquired via plastic surgery"); I think that's what is actually meant
>1:23. Presumably it is the one who has had plastic surgery, or who
>himself more handsome than he is, whose forgotten what that
>really showed him. Catullus has a cute little poem about a harlot who
>charges too much; I'll cite only the punch line (Catullus 43:7-8):
> non est sana puella, nec rogare
> qualis sit solet aes imaginosum.
> "The girl's out of her mind--and also out of the habit of
> asking a mirror what she actually looks like."

So, Carl, you're proposing that this is the opposite of the man who
never saw a mirror that he didn't like. It works, and leaves the
interpretation of significance to the reader. Thanks.


Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

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