From: Joe A. Friberg (JoeFriberg@email.msn.com)
Date: Tue Oct 12 1999 - 03:22:09 EDT
----- Original Message -----
From: Steven Craig Miller <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, October 11, 1999 8:35 AM
> To: Joe A. Friberg,
> JAF: << 2. There is a difference of nuance in the Gk: I might suggest the
> aor. subj. be translated: "that you should believe..." >>
> As opposed to what? As opposed to "that you believe"? Somehow I have a
> time understanding how adding the word "should" would illustrate the
> difference between the aorist subjunctive and the present subjunctive.
> Would you like to elaborate?
These are subtle differences, no doubt about it! And I cannot be *certain*
have nailed down the distinction precisely in either Gk or Engl. In fact, I
am grasping for language to make the distinction, and if you (and others) do
not see the/any distinction, then clearly my suggestion falls on its face!
But here goes for an explication of the nuance I was suggesting:
If "that you believe" is present continuative, then by making the demand
stronger/more pointed, it would be more limited in scope. Something like
the 'uncertainty principle'--the stronger it is, the less broad it is, and
vice versa. (That may not work, tho.) But note that a closer contrastive
counterpart to "that you should believe" is "that you shall believe."
Sounds rather like a legalism; but it does carry (IMHO) a stronger
continuative notion than the "should" version. Because the "shall" is not
natural in everyday language, I am suggesting that the simpler "that you
believe" may replace it in continuative force.
I have added "6.30" to the header, because the people respond back to Jesus
with an *aor.* subj. This makes for an intersting contrast and a challenge
to the translation process. Why did the people use the aor. after Jesus
used the pres.? Either
1. they were unwilling to make that big of a commitment/were seeking an
entry level belief, or
2. they failed to catch the nuance/import of what Jesus said.
If it was the latter, we would do wrong to translate the distinction too bla
tantly. If the former, should the translation grant them any grace at this
point or let them stand clearly condemned by their words?
Let me offer several alternative translations of these two verses and ask
for feedback on which one people like/agree with the most:
1. Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: that you believe in the one he
has sent." They asked him, "What sign will you do that we may see and might
believe you? What will you do?"
2. Jesus answered, "The ongoing work of God is this: believing in the one he
has sent." They asked him, "What sign will you do that we may see and
believe a little in you? What will you do?"
3. Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: that you believe and continue
believing in the one he has sent." They asked him, "What sign will you do
that we may see and believe you? What will you do?"
Would you suggest something different?
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