[b-greek] Re: Mt 15.27 and Mk 7:26

From: B. Ward Powers (bwpowers@optusnet.com.au)
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 09:30:17 EST

Greetings all.

  At 12:18 PM 020223 +0100, Iver Larsen wrote:
> > Hello Richard,
> >
> > > 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
>of a
> > object lesson point to Jesus, rather than her engaging in a witty polemic
> >
> > ****lexicons*****
> > 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.)
>Iver Larsen

Notice that this whole discussion of the words used by Jesus and the woman
presupposes that the conversation took place in Greek. A completely valid
assumption, in my judgement, but let's make it explicit. The parallel in
Mark 7:26 tells us she was a Syro-Phoenician by ethnic race, and a hELLHNIS
- which tells us her culture, and the language she spoke. This then is the
language in which the conversation took place (there is no reason to think
that the earthly Jesus knew the Syro-Phoenician language). Thus a
discussion of the exact words used in that conversation, and their import,
is totally valid.

This has relevance to the perennial discussion which takes place on this
list re whether Jesus knew and ever conversed in Greek.

A thought.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM NSW 2049 email: bwpowers@optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College

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