Re: Problems with Jude

From: Thomas J. Kraus (thomas-juergen.kraus@theologie.uni-regensburg.de)
Date: Mon Mar 29 1999 - 02:14:40 EST


> To: Biblical Greek <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 17:22:56 -0500
> Subject: Problems with Jude
> From: Theodore H Mann <thmann@juno.com>
> Reply-to: Theodore H Mann <thmann@juno.com>

> B-Greekers:
>
> I have translated my way through John, 1 John, 1 Thess., and large chunks
> of several other documents, all (so far) without overwhelming difficulty.
> However, Jude leaves me a little breathless. For example, the first word
> in verse 6 (TOUS AGGELOUS) is apparently the object of the last word in
> that verse (TETHRHKEN), with some 20 words in between. Attempting to
> keep Jude's word order somewhat intact, verse 6 seems to loosely
> translate something like: "And the angels--the ones who have not kept
> their own domain, but have left their own habitation--in eternal bonds
> under darkness for the judgment of the great day, He has kept." I
> understand, of course, that word order in Greek is directly related to
> what the writer wants to emphasize, but most of the writers I have
> encountered so far seem to keep their subjects and predicates in a little
> closer proximity to each other. No doubt, my problem is that I'm just a
> self-taught little Greek, but I'm curious to know from the experts if
> Jude is considered to be a particularly difficult letter to translate,
> and if so, why. Is Jude considered to have been really fluent in Greek,
> or somewhat awkward? Many thanks.
>
> Theodore "Ted" Mann
> Orchard Lake, Michigan
> thmann@juno.com
>
After I hit the reply button I noticed that Edgar Krentz has already
answered your question(s), Ted.
I completely agree with him (AGGELOUS as object; Judeęs quality of style).
Definitely, you should not take John and 1-3John as the source of
Greek linguistic material to judge from. Coming from that corner of Greek
you probably feel quite insecure while finding your way through a
different treatment of word order and sentence structure (you mentioned
"some 20 words in between" object and verb, which is no problem at all,
moreover quite usual in classical and koine Greek, if such a categorical
difference can be stated at all). You also mentioned translating the
letter: well, it depends on your own liking. Some may find it hard to
transfer it into another language (depends into which), some not (the same
counts for every judgment of style and language: some like wordy clauses,
some donęt - so judgment might(!) be absolutely partial).
Nevertheless, you made quite a step into a word of foreign words and
thoughts ("being a self-taught ... Greek"). I would recommend to take
2Peter next to Jude (Jude 6 - 2Peter 2:4) and compare how they both dealt
with their ideas. Possibly, you will find 2Peter somehow more difficult to
translate!?

Best wishes,

Thomas J. Kraus
Universitaet Regensburg
Kath.-theol. Fakultaet
Universitaetsstr. 31
D-93053 Regensburg

Tel. + 49 941 943 36 90
Fax. + 49 941 943 19 86
thomas-juergen.kraus@theologie.uni-regensburg.de

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