Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho Chap 125:3

Matthew13weedhacker writes:

'Can I get your opinion please?

CXXV(125):
3 καὶ τὸ οὖν Ἰσραὴλ ὄνομα τοῦτο σημαίνει· ἄνθρωπος νικῶν δύναμιν· τὸ γὰρ ἴσρα ἄνθρωπος νικῶν ἐστι, τὸ δὲ ἢλ δύναμις. ὅπερ καὶ διὰ τοῦ μυστηρίου τῆς πάλης, ἣν ἐπάλαισεν Ἰακὼβ μετὰ τοῦ φαινομένου μὲν ἐκ τοῦ τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς βουλῇ ὑπηρετεῖν, θεοῦ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων, ἐπεπροφήτευτο οὕτως καὶ ἄνθρωπος γενόμενος ὁ Χριστὸς ποιήσειν.

Chapter 125:[3] "...That Christ ... in that Christ ministered to the will of God, yet He is God, because He is the First-begotten of all creatures..." (KET)

CHAPTER CXXV:[III]: "...And that Christ ... in that He ministered to the will of the Father, yet nevertheless is God, in that He is the first-begotten of all creatures..." (R&DT)

θεοῦ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων

"(of) God but out-of (of) the to be a child first-born (of) the (of) entire/whole (of) created things"

What is your opinion?'

REPLY:

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking about how the bold part of the quote from Justin's Greek text has been translated. Frankly, I can see that the Greek is not rendered literally, but I don't personally believe that it has been mistranslated. At least, not the part in bold. δὲ is functioning adversatively here. It can be rendered "but," "however," or "yet" in this context.

The translations you quote above have also left out τέκνον in their renderings, but that choice does not pose a major difficulty for me. I notice that one translation has "He ministered to the will of the Father" where the other says "Christ ministered to the will of God." These renditions may be due to textual variants, although the sense of the passage remains fairly the same. Let me know if I have understood you correctly.

Regards,

Edgar

18 comments:

Matt13weedhacker said...

Hi Edgar, thank you for taking the time to consider my question.

DIALOUGE CXXV(125):3 "...τοῦ φαινομένου (μὲν) ἐκ τοῦ τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς βουλῇ ὑπηρετεῖν, θεοῦ (δὲ) ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων..."

Chapter 125:[3] "...to the will of God, yet He is God..." (KET)

CHAPTER CXXV:[III]: "...yet nevertheless is God..." (R&DT)

θεοῦ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων

I know the (μὲν) means a contrast is comming, which is generally picked up by the (δὲ).

What I don't understand (my Gk., grammar is not that great) is how they can translate the genitive (theos) which I understand as "(of) God" as simply "God".

Also how can they drop the (ἐκ) "out-of"?

Does the genetive article (τοῦ) following the (ἐκ) refer back to the (θεοῦ)?

It seems to be indicating Jesus was "out of God being" or "out of God is" rather than Jesus "being God" or "is God".

Theres a sort of paralell construction going on there as well

- ἐκ τοῦ τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς

- ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον

I would translate:

"...from out of the Fathers will ministered to him, however is a child out of God, the first one to be born of the all the things that have been made..."

Does that sound reasonable to you?

Regards Matt13weedhacker.

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Matt13weedhacker,

A μὲν . . . δὲ construction can usually be rendered (albeit cumbersomely at times) "on one hand . . . on the other hand." But translators have found other ways to render these constructions as well.

Furthermore, I believe the genitive τοῦ should be construed with ἐκ and understood as "in that" like the translations render it..

Looking at this passage again and with your clarifying remarks, I would render the passage thus: "he ministered to the will of the Father, yet (on the other hand) is from (out of) God in that he is the firstborn (first-begotten) child of the whole creation (of all creatures)."

I like parts of your translation and will comment more later. One thing to keep in mind is that it makes the English smoother if we do not stick to wooden literalness.

Best regards,
Edgar

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Matt13weedhacker,

Sorry I had to break away because of a class. In my translation, I tried to provide my preference, then supply alternative ways of rendering the text in parentheses. Looking at this matter again, as I said before, I would agree with you that the rendering "is God" does not evidently do justice to the Greek of Justin's text.

Let me offer a slight correction to my earlier remarks: I would render θεοῦ δὲ ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι "yet (on the other hand) he is of God in that he is . . . " because εἶναι is modifying τέκνον πρωτότοκον.

You wrote: I would translate:

"...from out of the Fathers will ministered to him, however is a child out of God, the first one to be born of the all the things that have been made..."

I would alter or change the syntax of the construction "out of the Fathers will ministered to him" to give it a smoother sound in English, then maybe something like "he is of God" or "from God." Then I would change the wording of the last part to make it conform to English idiom. Otherwise, I think you have a good point about the rendering.

Matt13weedhacker said...

Hey thanks alot.

I really appreciate your objectivity and technical know how in this circumstance.

I agree completely with you, it is a very wooden and bald literal rendering.

I always do a literal version first then do several alternate versions, gradually smoothing them out, until I feel I have got the sense of the passage better and a final translation I am happy with. Then quite often a monthor two down the track Im may revise them. But as you can tell I am an amiture.

Thank you once again. I hope you don't mind me asking these questions on translation every now and then. I know there are trinitarians out there who will dissagree with my translation and try to rip it to bits.

I have no commercial interests in this, as in publishing and selling a translation of the ANF. But I do want to publish them on my blog, particuarly for the benefit of our brothers (Jehovah's Witnesses) in the faith.

And hopefully stimulate others to do research in, what I consider, a neglected area of study. The trinitarians have plastered the web with Anti-JW sites about the ANF, and I want to give them an answer.

Matt13weedhacker said...

Hi Edgar.

I have settled on a few alternate renderings.

My translations:

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was a subservient minister to the Fathers purposes, yet nevertheless he is from out of God, the first child to be born of all the things created..." - (Dial. 125 MATT13)

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was ministering to the Fathers deliberative counsel, yet nevertheless he is from out of God, the first child to be born of all the things created..." - (Dial. 125 ALTERNATE RENDERING MATT13)

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was ministering as a subordinate to the Fathers purposes, yet nevertheless he is a child from out of God, the first of the creatures to be born of the entire universe..." - (Dial. 125 ALTERNATE RENDERING MATT13)

STRONGS DEFINITION (1012): [βουλή boulē] Advise, counsel. From boulomai; volition, i.e. (objectively) advice, or (by implication) purpose -- + advise, counsel, will.

(ὑπηρετεῖν) Verb: Present Active Infinitive

GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON By Lindell & Scott Page 839, 840: "...(ὑπηρετοῦντα) I. properly an under-rower, under-seaman, II. generally an UNDER-LING, SERVANT...[Same word] SUB-ORDINATE..."

STRONGS DEFINITION (5256): [ὑπηρετέω] From huperetes; to be a subordinate, i.e. (by implication) subserve -- minister (unto), serve.

Occurs once in the NT in the same tense:

Acts 24:23 διαταξάμενος τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ τηρεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἔχειν τε ἄνεσιν καὶ μηδένα κωλύειν τῶν ἰδίων αὐτοῦ (ὑπηρετεῖν) αὐτῷ.

"He ordered the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody, and should have some privileges, and not to forbid any of his friends (to-serve-him) or to visit him."

Would be interested to know what you think.

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Matt13,

I'll try to offer some observations on your translation today or Monday.

Best regards,

Edgar

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Matt13weedhacker,

Regarding your translation(s) of "τοῦ φαινομένου (μὲν) ἐκ τοῦ τῇ τοῦ πατρὸς βουλῇ ὑπηρετεῖν, θεοῦ (δὲ) ἐκ τοῦ εἶναι τέκνον πρωτότοκον τῶν ὅλων κτισμάτων...":

The rendering of ὑπηρετεῖν seems fine. Where these things become tricky is when the translator has to consider what a particular term means synchronically. The best place to confirm what the word means in context is by the use of Lampe's Patristic Greek Lexicon. But the way you've handled the term may be confirmed by checking that source.

Another question: Is βουλῇ singular or plural? I believe that two of your renderings have it as a plural.

Personally, I would not render θεοῦ "out of God" or "from out of God" but simply "from God."

Edgar Foster said...

I'm not trying to be overly critical of your translations. They are actually pretty good. But I'm just not in favor of the "out of God" rendering although it is perfectly literal. I just think it could be translated another way in English. For instance, ἐκ θεοῦ appears in John 1:13. A number of Bible translations/versions render that construction as "of God." However, NWT renders that part of the verse "from God" and others say "from the will of God" (ISV) or "from God" (Weymouth).

but now we're talking about how to render Greek into English. Thanks for letting me comment on your work. All the best!

enedra said...

Where is the Greek text of the "fathers" available, I am currently cataloging all the ref.s to John 8:58 up until ~1600s, but ANF is rather irritating b/c they have interpolated the common rendering of ['ehyeh 'asher 'ehyeh] instead of translating the Greek, this wouldn't matter except It is difficult to tell whether the writer was copying the LXX or giving their own translation;

case in point is John Chrysostom Homilies on the Gospel of John #15. Is he attempting to set up 'ego eimi' and 'ho on' as parallels and connecting them to J 8:58 as some attempt (rather fancifully I might add) or is he giving his own rendering as "ego eimi hos eimi" or similar?

regards

Matt13weedhacker said...

Hi Edgar.

Yes, I realize we are talking about a post NT use of the word.

So translating an "under rower" or "a galley slave" would not be appropriate. It would not dignify our Lord Jesus Christ either to render it that way.

I only have one of the volumes of Lampes Patristic Lexicon at home, unfortunately it does not cover the word in question.

Interesting comment's on the word in (Trenchs NT Synonyms) and (Abbott - Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the NT) and also (Thayer & Grimms Greek - English Lexicon Of The NT) makes this comment on Page 138: "...ὑπηρετης according to its etymology suggests subordination..."

Others make similar comments.

REVISED RENDERINGS:

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was a subordinate servant to the Fathers purpose, yet nevertheless he is from of God, the first child to be born of all the things created..." - (Dial. 125 MATT13)

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 160 C.E.): "...on the one hand he was a subordinate servant to the Fathers purpose, yet nevertheless he is a child from of God, the first of the creatures to be born of the entire universe..." - (Dial. 125 ALTERNATE RENDERING MATT13)

I like to bring out fuller meanings in my translations. I appreciate that there are more succinct expressions that most translators commonly use, but I like the Amplified Bible and the Expanded NT and also Weust's Expanded NT type renderings.

But that's just personal taste.

I also like to be quite literal when it comes to doctrinal passages concerning the Trinity that could be misinterpreted or twisted.

Always appreciate your views on matters and look forward to more in the future.

Jehovah be with you.

Edgar Foster said...

Enedra,

There are some Migne files on Chrysostom here: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/20_30_0345-0407-_Iohannes_Chrysostomus,_Sanctus.html

I hate to rely on memory, but it seems that Chrysostom does try to make an association between ego eimi/ho on and connecting the terms in Exodus with Jn 8:58. He is explicitly Trinitarian.

Edgar Foster said...

matthew13weedhacker,

I like the point from Abbott-Smith regarding hUPHRETHS. I don't have Lampe with me at the moment either, but I would recommend the entry for hUPHRETHS in BDAG. Spicq's Theological Lexicon of the NT (pp. 398-402) has a good entry on this word.

Edgar Foster said...

One other thing on hUPHRETHS for now. See TDNT (vol. VIII:543-544). This information lends support to the notion that hUPHRETHS may retain the same denotation in the post-apostolic fathers as it has in the NT. Of course, context must be taken into consideration, but the terse remarks on this word in TDNT may be helpful. Cf. Justin Martyr, Apol. I.14.1; II.2.7.

Jehovah be with you!

Edgar

Edgar Foster said...

Here is what TDNT (vol. VIII:543-544) says about hUPHRETHS:

"In their use of the noun the post-apost. fathers have nothing new compared with the NT. With AGGELOS and ARXWN it means 'official' in the sense 'servant' Dg., 7, 2; cf. Barn., 16.4, or with OIKONOMOS (-----> 542, 11ff.) and PAREDROS, it has the sense of 'functionary' Ign. Pol., 6, 1. The diaconate is EKKLHSIAS QEOU hUPHRETAI in Ign. Tr., 2, 3; possibly this follows Jewish usage ------> 537, 35 ff. Ign. Phld., 11,1 has the verb for the ministry of a deacon associated with him, and the meaning is much the same in Herm. m., 8, 10; XHRAIS hUPHRETEIN, s., 9, 10, 2 and Barn., 1, 5 'to help,' 'to assist,' the will of God being always in the background.

Later usage is along the same lines in Just. Apol., I, 14, 1; II, 2, 7, where hUPHRETHS occurs along with 'slave,' but is a 'free servant' receiving and carrying out orders as such."

Anonymous said...

Matt13weedhacker

Heres a quote from Justin Martyr as translated by Joseph Priestly:

(JUSTIN MARTYR c. 110 to 165 C.E. ): "…I will shew you from the Scriptures, that in the beginning, before all creatures, God ( PRODUCED ) from himself a rational power, which is called by the holy spirit, the glory of God, sometimes the Son, sometimes wisdom, sometimes an [ ἄγγελος] ANGEL, sometimes god, sometimes lord, and logos. Sometimes he calls himself [ ἀρχι-στράτηγον ] COMMANDER IN CHIEF, having appeared in the form of man to Joshua. He has these names from his being SUBSERVIANT TO HIS FATHERS WILL, and from being ( PRODUCED ) at his Father's pleasure, such as we experience in ourselves. For, on our uttering any word, (that is, logos[Greek text here]) we generate a logos ; not that anything is cut off from us so that ( we ) are diminished by that means, but as we see one fire ( lighted ) by another, ( that ) not being diminished ( from ) which it was lighted, but ( continuing ) the same. In proof of this, I can produce the word of wisdom, shewing he is ( a ) God produced from the Father of all, being the logos, the wisdom, the power, and the glory of him that generated him ; and Solomon says, “if I tell you what happens to-day, I will recount things from the beginning, THE LORD CREATED ME THE ([arche Greek text here]),” the beginning, “the way to his works. Before the [age] he established me, in the beginning, before he made the earth..." - (Dial. Page 266., as quoted in: “The theological and miscellaneous works of Joseph Priestley, Volume 6.)

He has translated (Hyperetes) as "SUB-SERVIANT".

Just thought you might find that interesting.

Anonymous said...

Matt13weedhacker

Just noticed the Kingdom Interlinear translates Hyperetes as "...( subordinate )..." with only a couple of exceptions

Lemma:‎ ὑπηρέτης Robinson-Pierpont 2005
KINT: Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures 1985 ed.
Mt 5:25 ὑπηρέτῃ KINT: “...( subordinate )...”
Mt 26:58 τῶν ὑπηρετῶν KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Mk 14:54 τῶν ὑπηρετῶν KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Mk 14:65 οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Lk 1:2 ὑπηρέται KINT: “...( subordinates )...”
Lk 4:20 τῷ ὑπηρέτῃ KINT: “...to the ( subordinate )...”
Jn 7:32 ὑπηρέτας KINT: “...( subordinates )...”
Jn 7:45 οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Jn 7:46 οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Jn 18:3 ὑπηρέτας KINT: “...( subordinates )...”
Jn 18:12 οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Jn 18:18 οἱ δοῦλοι καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the slaves and the ( subordinates )...”
Jn 18:22 τῶν ὑπηρετῶν KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Jn 18:36 οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Jn 19:6 οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Acts 5:22 Οἱ ὑπηρέται KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Acts 5:26 τοῖς ὑπηρέταις KINT: “...the ( subordinates )...”
Acts 13:5 ὑπηρέτην KINT: “...( subordinate )...”
Acts 26:16 ὑπηρέτην KINT: “...( subordinate )...”
1Cor 4:1 ὑπηρέτας KINT: “...( subordinates )...”

Lemma:‎ ὑπηρετέω Robinson-Pierpont 2005
KINT: Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures 1985 ed.‏
Acts 13:36 ὑπηρετήσας KINT: “...having acted ( subordinate )...”
Acts 20:34 ὑπηρέτησαν KINT: “...( ministered )...” NWT: “...attended to...”
Acts 24:23 ὑπηρετεῖν KINT: “...to be ( ministering )...” NWT: “...to wait upon...”

Anonymous said...

Matt13weedhacker

Also noticed that 'St' Basil (Cappodiacan) also uses it in the sense of "...( subordinate ) minister..." in the CCEL Version:

(BASIL OF CAESAREA c. 330 – 379 C.E.): “...The apostle, it is true, says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” [864] But in a phrase of this kind there is no suggestion of any lowly and SUBORDINATE MINISTRY, [865] but rather of the succour rendered “in the power of his might.”...” - (Chapter 8:18; ΤΟΥ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΒΑΧΙΛΕΙΟΥ ΠΕΡΙ ΤΟΥ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΟΧ ΒΙΒΛΙΟΝ. THE BOOK OF SAINT BASIL ON THE SPIRIT. DE SPIRITU SANCTO.)
[FOOTNOTE 864]: Rom. viii. 37.
[FOOTNOTE 865]: ὑπηρεσία. Lit. “under-rowing.” The cognate ὑπηρέτης is the word used in Acts xxvi. 16, in the words of the Saviour to St. Paul, “to make thee a minister,” and in 1 Cor. iv. 1, “Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ.”

I find it very interesting that he did not consider any of Justins writings Trinitarian enough to quote in suport of his new doxologies, nor Polycarps Martyrdom and many others which are quoted ( NOW ) by trinitarians as supporting the trinity. Strong evidence of later doctoring in much of the ANF.

In fact he even mentions tampering with manuscripts in the context.

(BASIL OF CAESAREA c. 330 – 379 C.E.): “...and, strange to say, Dionysius of Alexandria, in his second Letter to his namesake, on “Conviction and Defence,” so concludes. … To God the Father and the Son our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost, glory and might for ever and ever; amen.” And no one can say THAT THIS PASSAGE HAS BEEN ALTERED...” - (Page 44; Chapter XXIX. Section 72; De Spiritu Santo “On The Holy Spirit” )

Out of the blue he mentions "...ALTER[ING]..." of MSS. Amazing.

Edgar Foster said...

Thanks for the additional information on ὑπηρέτης.