[b-greek] Re: Overtranslating? Ign. Eph. 12.2

From: l. j. swain (x99swain@wmich.edu)
Date: Wed Sep 27 2000 - 11:53:31 EDT

Michael Holmes wrote:
> Re Bart's question about Ignatius, Eph 12.2:
> One hesitation regarding Larry Swain's suggestion ("you are the path for
> those martyred" or even "you are the path for those taken up by martyrdom to
> God") is the use of the term "martyred"; it is likely an anachronism to use
> that term w/regard to Ignatius, inasmuch as it seems that the term entered
> Xtn usage in this sense sometime between the death of Ignatius and the death
> of Polycarp (roughly 3 decades later). Thus I ended up rendering the
> Ephesian text in question as "the highway of those who are being killed for
> God's sake"--clearly in the same direction as what Bart is trying to get at.
> Mike Holmes
> Bethel College

While you're quite right on the history of the use of "MARTURW", I feel
I need to respond. First, we're not certain exactly when the term came
into currency--Ignatius' not using it in the sense we have it does not
indicate that it was available to him in that meaning. Second, there
are passages in the NT in which MARTUS is used very closely to that
meaning--see Acts 22:20 as an example. There are also those passages in
Revelation titling Jesus, post-resurrection and post-ascension as PISTOS
MARTUS--faithful witness, what else would this point to besides his
death? So while these passages don't make the exact equivalence of
"witness by death=martyrdom" it certainly seems to me to be within the
semantic fields. Third, it in part depends on your theory of
translation. Were Dr. Ehrman producing a translation for a college
course in church thought or church history, I would agree with you, one
should steer clear of this usage. Were a student handing in such a
translation, I would again question it. However, Dr. Ehrman is
producing a text and translation for the Loeb series, designed for the
general reader, and at least in my view rendering a translation that is
not "literal".
Thus, to use a perfectly good English word, derived from Greek, to
convey succinctly the idea expressed in Greek seems to me to be
legitimate in this case.

On the other hand, why not use your rendering, but leave off
"sake"--"the highway of those who are being killed for God" in the sense
that EIS can point toward the goal of some action. Just a thought.

Larry Swain

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:37 EDT