From: Iver Larsen (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 06:18:41 EST
> Hello Richard,
> MATT. 15:27 H DE EIPEN: NAI KURIE, KAI GAR TA KUNARIA ESQIEI APO
> TWN YICIWN
> TWN PIPTONTWN APO THS TRAPEZHS TWN KURIWN AUTWN.
> > BTW, I had decided that KAI was to be translated as "even" and
> GAR was to be translated as "now", being understood as a transition word.
> > "Yes Lord, now even the dogs eat(s) from the crumbs which fall
> from the table of their master(s)."
> > The effect of translating GAR as "now" rather than as "but" or
> as "yet" seems to me to give a sense of this poor woman making something
> object lesson point to Jesus, rather than her engaging in a witty polemic
> Louw and Nida: 89.23 GAR: a marker of cause or reason between
> events, though in some contexts the relation is often remote or tenuous .
The second clause indicates that defining GAR as a "marker of cause or
reason" is inadequate. GAR is basically an explanatory particle which
introduces a statement that in some way supports what has just been said. It
may be cause or reason, it may give background information, it may introduce
a further step in a series of logical arguments, it may add support in a
very loose sense. Often the flow of the arguments in English is enough, and
no translation of GAR is needed. There is no equivalent word in English,
although "for" is the closest.
> LEH: GAR
> Gn 2:5; 3:5; 4:25; 7:4; 9:5 conjunction used to express cause,
> inference, continuation, or to explain; for, since, as (cause)
> Gn 2:5; for (explanation) Gn 9:5; gar ... gar ... (introducing several
> arguments for the same assertion) Sir 37:13; gar ... gar ... (one cl.
> another cl.) Jdt 7:27; with other particles and conjunctions: idou gar
for, behold Jdt
> 5:23; kai gar for 2 Mc 1:19;
Whereas I agree with the definition "to explain" and that in some cases that
narrows down to "express cause" I am less sure about inference and
continuation. The normal way to indicate inference or continuation in Greek
is OUN. I won't say it is impossible for GAR to indicate this, but it would
be a rather special use, I think, possibly as a translation from a very
wide-ranging Hebrew connecting word (like Ki) or maybe in general from
Semitic influence. (Gal 2:6 may have such a continuative use.)
> So you see that GAR can be used as a logical marker in argumentation. I
> suspect that this is how it functions here. Perhaps your gloss "Now" is
> suitable for this purpose, I am not certain, Ivar Larsen would better
> equipped to handle that question.
Well, I don't think the English "now" captures the sense intended. The woman
is defending her insistence and giving a reason for why Jesus should still
grant her her request. If you are looking for a more idiomatic translation
of the sense, I would suggest something like: "That's true, Lord, but the
dogs still eat the crumbs..." (implicit: even though the food was not
intended for them in the first place.)
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