Re: Col 1:4

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Sep 14 1999 - 07:06:22 EDT

At 11:15 AM +0200 9/14/99, Blahoslav Číčel wrote:
>God bless you all.
>Usually it is translated "...we heard *of* your faith... and of your love"
>*about*), but I couldn't find in my grammar handbooks why the preposition is
>added. (May be I missed it.)
>It is only because to say "... we heard your faith...and your love" is at
>unusual, or there is some grammatical reason to do it?

AKOUW takes a genitive of the PERSONS heard or listened to, an accusative
of the SOUND or INFORMATION apprehended when heard. I think this is a
matter of "target-language" idiom; in English we can say "I heard the news"
but we don't say "I heard your arrival in the city"--rather we say, "I
heard ABOUT your arrival in the city." I think that will apply to what
you're noting about the translation of Col 1:4 above. Differences in
idiomatic usage between the original language and the target language
account for an inordinate number of the problems we have in understanding
Greek texts--or, for that matter--texts in other languages alien to us.
This is so obvious that we often fail to take it sufficiently into account
when we have difficulties with a Greek text.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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