Monday, March 15, 2010

Revelation 1:18 Translation

Greetings,

There has been some discussion on another email list regarding Revelation 1:18 (etc). I now want to report what I've found regarding the translation of this passage and get some list input. How might one render EGENOMHN NEKROS KAI IDOU
ZWN EIMI in Revelation 1:18?

The Greek Text: καὶ ὁ ζῶν, καὶ ἐγενόμην νεκρὸς καὶ ἰδοὺ ζῶν εἰμι εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων καὶ ἔχω τὰς κλεῖς τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τοῦ ᾅδου (UBS5).

καὶ ὁ ζῶν, καὶ ἐγενόμην νεκρὸς καὶ ἰδοὺ ζῶν εἰμι εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων καὶ ἔχω τὰς κλεῖς τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τοῦ ᾅδου.

Some translations of the verse:

"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!"
(NIV)

"and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore" (ESV)

"and the living one: and I became dead, and behold, I am living to the ages of
ages" (Darby)

"He that liveth, and was dead" (People's NT of 1891)

"and he who is living, and I did become dead, and, lo, I am living to the ages of the ages" (YLT)

"I am he who lives, I have been dead" (Lattimore)

"and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades" (ERV).

Commentators:

Wilfrid J. Harrington (Sacra Pagina Commentary on Revelation) prefers the rendering "I am the first and the last, the living one who was dead." Concerning this treatment of the verse, he writes:

"Charles (1:31) rightly maintains that the text should be rendered as given in our translation" (See Harrington, Revelation, page 51).

Alford writes: "and I was (not HN, but EGENOMHN, ----I became: it was a state I passed into) dead, and behold I am alive for evermore" (see The Greek Testament by Henry Alford, IV:559)

Robertson's Word Pictures: "And I was dead (KAI EGENOMHN NEKRO[S]). 'And I became dead' (aorist middle participle of GINOMAI as in John 1:9 John 1:10, definite reference to the Cross)."

Jamison, Fausset and Brown: "and was--Greek, 'and (yet) I became.'"

Bengel's Gnomon: Ἐγενόμην νεκρὸς, I became dead) It might have been said, ἀπέθανον, I died: but in this passage with singular elegance it is said, I became dead, to denote a difference of times, and of the events in them.

What do you think?

3 comments:

Matt13weedhacker said...

Revelation 1:18?

Here's a rough go at it!

"And [I was] Alive! And [yet I] came to be dead, and 'behold'! I am living into the ages of infinity! Also [I] have the keys of death and of hades."

I'm not very good on tenses, and voice. I only know the basics, but still learning!

Matt13weedhacker said...

Revelation 1:18?

Literally: "And the Living, and came to be dead and behold, living I am into these ages of the ages and having the key's (of) the (of) death and (of) the (of) Hades"

Matt13weedhacker said...

Compare Rev 1:18 with 1st Peter 3:18, 19;

The (μὲν)(δὲ) construction coupled with the exact paralell phrases of equal weight:

θανατωθεὶς (μὲν) σαρκὶ
"put to death ... flesh"

ζῳοποιηθεὶς (δὲ) πνεύματι·
"made alive ... spirit"

Is a common construction in Greek prose to show a contrast. Put them together and you have a change of (sate) thats talked about in Rev 1:18! Verse 19 (ἐν ᾧ) = the sphere "in which" or NWT "in this state..." this took place. Also cross reference 1st Tim 3:16.

It also reminds me the change of state that took place in John 1:14; Phil 2:5-11; the emptying (ἐκένωσεν) of (μορφῇ θεοῦ) God's form of existance ie: "God is a spirit" and then (ἀλλὰ) = contrast (μορφὴν δούλου λαβών) "took" another FORM of existence Psa 8:6; Heb 2:7,9; (ἠλάττωσας) "(made) a little (less) than (elohim) LXX angels" = spirit "mode/state of existance" and (σὰρξ ἐγένετο) "flesh came to be".

Also 1st Cor 15:45 ἐγένετο ... ὁ ἔσχατος Ἀδὰμ εἰς πνεῦμα ζῳοποιοῦν. "the second Adam (ἐγένετο) came to be a life giving spirit".

From spirit form of existence then change of state to flesh form of existence then change of state to death to change of state to being made alive in the spirit, living from then on into ages of infinity!