RE: Matt 11:28-30

From: Bill Ross (
Date: Tue May 18 1999 - 17:55:04 EDT

>If CRHSTOS generally has the sense of that which is good, useful or
serviceable, why do virtually all translations take it as "easy" here?
Going back to Steve's original question, it seems to me that translators are
(properly) being influenced
by ELAFRON, as Steve suspected, because the two terms are in a parallel
construction. That is,

For my yoke is CRHSTOS
and my burden is ELAFRON.

where the "yoke" and the "burden" are parallel, as are CRHSTOS and ELAFRON.
 Since ELAFRON means "light to bear, easy," that adjective seems to have
colored the common translation of CRHSTOS in this verse.

The reasons I like "ergonomic" are:

* we are talking about the *yoke* not the *burden*. The burden is light, but
the yoke is "well suited to the task." It has the sense of "useful" but the
usefulness is due to its suitability - like a "handy knife."

* a yoke interfaces a load with a yokee. It is most appreciated when it is
form fitted and hence comfortable. It makes me think that the point Jesus
was making is:

"My yoke is not the rigid, unsuitable yoke of the Pharisees - endless laws
and precepts that no one - not even themselves can bear. My yoke is the
custom made, personal, useful, practical, ergonomic yoke that enables you to
do your work with "comfort and joy."

In Acts 15 we see that the acceptable yoke is the Gospel of the grace of
God, apart from the works of the Law, for both the Jew and the Gentile:

Acts 15:
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the
disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall
be saved, even as they.

* the word seems to be related to "hand" and "need" and "use" - so it is
calling attention to the functionality of the item - hence, the ergonomics.

Bill Ross

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