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

From: RUSSELL RANKIN (rrankin@isd.net)
Date: Sat Apr 14 2001 - 02:29:36 EDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Clwinbery@aol.com [mailto:Clwinbery@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2001 8:55 PM
To: Biblical Greek
Subject: [b-greek] Re: PARQENOS and Is 7:14

I am not trying to turn the discussion to a theological debate. I translate
Matthew as Virgin because of the word PARQENOS. I translate Is. 7:14 as
woman because of the Oxford lexicon.

Carlton Winbery
Louisiana College


PARQENOI was used of Greek temple virgins, young women who served for a time
in the religious rites of temple worship. They were called PARQENOI before
and after their service in the temple. So, "young woman" fits well the
Greek idea of PARQENOS, both as virgins and after virginity. From the
discussion of "alma" I suggest PARQENOS is culturally the Greek equivalent
of "alma" and a good translation based on the context.

I suspect "virgin" is an issue of English translation rather than of the
Hebrew or Greek word and is somewhat influenced by the English translation
of Matthew's quote. I would suggest Matthew be translated "virgin" more
because of his previous description of conception than on the word itself.
But in Isaiah, there seems to be an more narrow English translation than
necessary. The concept of "young woman" in Isa.7 [both in Hebrew and Greek]
allows for the immediate fulfillment of 7:16 in the extended context --
8:1-4, as well as the messianic expectation regarding Immanuel in 7:14, also
found in the extended context of chapters 8-12.

Russell Rankin
Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA

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