[b-greek] Re: EIS QEON

From: Steven R. Lo Vullo (doulos@appleisp.net)
Date: Mon Aug 27 2001 - 23:45:23 EDT

on 8/27/01 10:19 PM, Alan B. Thomas at a_b_thomas@yahoo.com wrote:

> This raises yet another question then. Did the LXX
> translators abandon "ordinary Greek grammar" when
> translating the Hebrew MT text both here and
> elsewhere?
> If Carl's thought above is correct, then is it
> the case that EIS would communicate "become"?

Hi Alan:

I think Carl is correct in his suggestion that the Hebrew lamed in these
cases reflects the Semitic usage "be for" = "become." However, it is
important to keep in mind that when translated into Greek, the verbs that
are used in this construction already assume "being" or "being reckoned as,"
so the more natural way to express this in Greek is with a simple predicate
nominative. Apparently, it was perfectly good Hebrew to use the lamed
preposition with words associated with hayah ("to be"), but this is not so
in the case of the EIS construction with the Greek verbs that express being
or becoming. So I think that, yes, at least in this case, the LXX
translators did abandon "ordinary Greek grammar" in order to account for
what was in the Hebrew. We often have a tendency to do this sort of thing
when translating from Greek to English.

Steve Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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