From: Daniel L Christiansen (
Date: Thu Dec 02 1999 - 00:35:13 EST

A reply to my first post regarding GENNAW came to me personally. I believe it
was intended for the list, so am sending it in full, plus a reply to a portion
of that post.

Dave Palmer wrote:

> I've been looking a while for an example of GENNAW and KARPOS together, and
> so far I am finding the verbs POIEW, DIDWMI, BLASTANW.
> But along those lines of fruit, the GENNAW in Luke 1:57 I translated as
> "produce," because we have the agricultural metaphor of KARPON KOILIAS,
> "fruit of the womb," in conrast to the state of "barren," STEIRA.
> Elizabeth mother of the Baptizer was formerly barren, and feeling disgrace
> because of not being "fruitful and multiplying." So when she did bear, my
> translation of Luke says for EGENNHSEN hUION, "she produced a son."
> As for genealogies, you well pointed out that
> greatgrandfather-greatgrandchild relationships were included in the
> genealogies. I would also point out that in both Greek and English, PATERA
> and "father" include the idea of "grandfather" or even "ancestor," as
> neither gender nor generation-specific. Therefore, would it not be still
> workable to use "fathered" in genealogies? For then "fathered" would
> include the meaning "grandfathered," or the general idea of "cause a
> descendant." I thought it was, therefore my translation of Matthew for the
> GENNAW's in the genealogy says "fathered."
> And for the GENNAW in John 1:13, I had the same "generated" and "sired"
> idea as Carl Conrad.
> My first edition of the gospel of John read: "children generated, not from
> bloods, nor from body desire, nor from a man's decision, but sired by God."
> Later, deciding "sired by God" might be too strange for most people, I
> changed it to "born of God."
> Dave Palmer

    I would agree with most of what you say in your post. As for not locating
a "fruit" use of GENNAW, to perfectly coincide with our English "produce" such
as potatoes, apples, etc, I think I was mistaken. I couldn't think of the
passages, because there aren't any :) But, as I mentioned (or back-pedalled)
in the post, I still would go with "produce," even without those
(non-existant) passages.

    One slight disagreement I have is over the force of "father" in English.
You say that it is not single-generation-specific, and can thus simply mean
"ancestor"; however, I don't find evidence of such a use in English. Of
course, we have "forefathers," but that is not the same; and, we have old
texts which use the term "father" (usually in the plural) in this sense, but
none that I am aware of in modern English standard.
    Of course, Shakespeare, KJV, etc, don't count. Nor (in my opinion) should
we use examples from science fiction/fantasy (though I enjoy the genres) or
from romance novels (which I don't enjoy), since these are either archaic or
archaicizing forms of literature with either outdated or overly-stylized
    Perhaps there are such uses in modern literature and speech, but I am just
not aware of them. Of course, that is the question regarding translation . .
. matching the connotation and denotation of original vocabulary and grammar
with contemporary terms productive of similar intellectual and emotional
response. On the other hand, it's also true that I just like using longer
words, like "produced," instead of "born." :)

Daniel L. Christiansen
Department of Bible
Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR  97220
(Also Portland Bible College, Prof of Biblical Languages)

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