[b-greek] Re: Is 7:14 and PARQENOS

From: RHutchin@aol.com
Date: Thu Apr 12 2001 - 14:34:01 EDT

In addition to the reference to TDNT, I also found the following.

The Revised Standard Old Testament

Merrill F. Unger, BSac—V110 #437—Jan 53

The Virgin Birth in the Old Testament and Isaiah 7:14

Charles Lee Feinberg

BSac—V119 #475—Jul 62

Isa 7:14: What’s In A Name?

John H. Walton

JETS 30/3 (September 1987)

The discussion on b-Hebrew was an adventure as its discussions always tend to

Unger and Feinberg argue that almah should be translated, virgin, while TDNT
and Walton argue that it should not. They all seem to agree that the term,
virgin, is inadequate to convey the full meaning of almah, but that almah may
imply virginity even if it cannot ensure it. My personal exegetical opinion
is that an almah is a young girl that one might want to pursue for marriage
and the related term, bethulah, is used when one wants to make the point that
a young girl is not a harlot. That would support two themes that I see
running throughout the OT: Israel was the almah that God desired to make his
bride and God wanted Israel to be a bethulah or one who did not run after
foreign gods as a harlot.

I tend to suspect that the translator faced with the chore of conveying the
meaning of almah to a Greek audience would be stumped for a word to use and
PARQENOS might be the closest he could get. What Matthew may be doing by
citing Is 7:14 is requiring that the reader first understand Is 7:14 and read
that understanding into the Greek translation. The Greek translator could
then use PARQENOS to emphasize a portion of the meaning of almah rather than
trying to translate fully that meaning into Greek.

If you will accept this reasoning, just for the sake of argument, my question
is whether you think PARQENOS explicitly conveys the idea of virginity that
may otherwise only implicitly be conveyed by the Hebrew, almah.

Thank you for your previous and any future comments.

Roger Hutchinson

Original Question--
<< > Regarding the use of PARQENOS in Matthew to translate the Hebrew word

> in Isaiah 7:14, which of the following would be true--


> 1. PARQENOS is a poor choice for the translator to use to translate almah

> since it does not accurately convey the meaning of almah in Isaiah 7:14; if

> so, what is the better Greek word (or term) that the translator might have

> used;


> 2. PARQENOS is the best choice available for the translator to use since

> there is no unique word in the Greek that corresponds to almah, and

> bests conveys the essential meaning of almah as used in Isaiah 7:14; or


> 3. We do not know one way or the other, so the translation can be viewed as

> good or bad depending on one's exegetical inclinations.

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