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Re: [John_Lit] John 1:1-10 - my proposed translation

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  • Joe Gagne
    Like Jeffrey Gibson, i must also ask why you translate logos as utterance. i have just completed a book entitled The Testimony of the Fourth Evangelist to the
    Message 1 of 3 , May 7, 2005
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      Like Jeffrey Gibson, i must also ask why you translate logos as
      utterance. i have just completed a book entitled The Testimony of the
      Fourth Evangelist to the Johannine Community: We Know His Witness is
      True ( Trafford Publishing, 2004). In chapter 7, i deal with The Logos.
      Obvisouly, Logos is the Greek word used in this Greek document, but its
      use i believe is related to the Hebrew "davar" and the Aramaic
      "memra". The Targums are full of the use of "memra" in association
      with "the Memra of God". All of these uses are in reference to not an
      "utterance", but a dynamic statement such as that used in Genesis to
      refer to the power of God in creation by His spoken commands. I will
      mention only two other 'translations' you made as "the utterance was
      divine". i believe the writer of John did not mean "divinity" which is
      really defined as "having the attributes of God", but "deity" which is
      defined as being God. There is no doubt in my mind that the Fourth
      Gospel stresses the Deity of Jesus Christ. Lastly, translating "kosmos"
      into the term "lost community" is moving here to a theological
      translation. Kosmos is the world in which we live, and as Newman and
      Nida note in "A Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of John" (page 16),
      "the light that comes to the people in the world".

      billrossfamily wrote:

      >I would appreciate any evaluation of the following, which is my
      >proposed translation of John 1:1-10. Thank you.
      >
      >(1) In the beginning was the utterance
      >And the utterance was in company with God
      >And the utterance was divine [utterance].
      >(2) This same [utterance] was in company with God
      >(3) All [people] came to be through it
      >And not even one [person] came to be without it
      >What came to be (4) by it was a life
      >And that life was the light of mankind
      >(5) and the light is shining *in darkness*
      >And the darkness has not supressed it
      >
      >(6) A man came to be, sent from God. His name was John
      >(7) This one came to in order to be a witness
      >That he might testify concerning the light
      >In order that all might believe through it
      >(8) {That one [John himself] was not the light
      >But rather, in order to testify concerning the light
      >(9) [this other] was, [the] true light that lights all mankind}
      >Coming into the lost community,
      >(10) the lost community arose to him. The lost community came to be
      >[in response to] him and the lost community did not recognize him.
      >
      >
      >Thank you,
      >
      >bill Ross
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      --
      Armand J. "Joe" Gagne Jr. PhD.
      University of South Carolina Sumter
      jogagne@...
      joegagne@...
      http://www.joegagne.com
      http://www.fourthgospel.com
    • Bill Ross
      ... It has to do with the lexicons. It has to do with the context. The lexicons I have referred to seem to indicate that a LOGOS is an utterance.
      Message 2 of 3 , May 7, 2005
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        <Joe>
        >>Like Jeffrey Gibson, i must also ask why you translate logos as utterance.


        <Bill>
        It has to do with the lexicons. It has to do with the context. The lexicons
        I have referred to seem to indicate that a LOGOS is an utterance. The
        context, a direct reference to Genesis 1, and creation, refer not to any 4th
        century Roman born Trinity, no Greek idea of "logic" (despite the
        etymological fallacy so commonly invoked), no appeal to Philo - John is
        immersing himself in Gen 1. Moses. Torah. He is a Jew.

        Is this too biased a reading? I think not. The LXX is the primary Jewish
        text, not Philo. Not even in the 1st century.

        <J>
        >>i have just completed a book entitled The Testimony of the Fourth
        Evangelist to the Johannine Community: We Know His Witness is True (
        Trafford Publishing, 2004). In chapter 7, i deal with The Logos.

        <B>
        Congratulations. I have deep respect for anyone who completes a book! Bravo!
        (No, I am not being the least bit sarcastic).

        <J>
        >>Obvisouly, Logos is the Greek word used in this Greek document, but its
        use i believe is related to the Hebrew "davar" and the Aramaic "memra".


        <B>
        Do you think John translated EN ARKH from Hebrew? Might he not have used the
        most proper Greek word extant to refer to the utterance in Gen 1? You are
        drawing firm conclusions from tenuous assumptions. The text we have is
        Greek. The entire NT is Greek. The scriptures quoted in the NT are LXX. John
        alludes to the LXX specifically in the first 2 words.

        But again, sure - DAVAR and MEMRA may be out there - how does that trump the
        LXX and the Greek lexicons? He said O LOGOS - he said EN ARKH - he refers to
        the making of the PANTA "by means of" this LOGOS. What a mountain of
        evidence of a direct reference to Gen 1 is being ignored because of a
        specious assumption of an Aramaic or even Hebrew linguistic background that,
        conincidentally, do not preclude a reading of "utterance!"

        <J>
        >>The Targums are full of the use of "memra" in association with "the Memra
        of God". All of these uses are in reference to not an "utterance", but a
        dynamic statement such as that used in Genesis to refer to the power of God
        in creation by His spoken commands.

        <B>
        Hmm. This distinction eludes me. What is the difference between "utterance"
        and "dynamic statement"? If you are merely arguing that "spoken commands" is
        more germane to the meaning of DAVAR or MEMRA, I am not upset, as you are
        really just adding an intensive aspect. If you are asserting that a "dynamic
        statement" or a "spoken command" is belied by the use of "utterance" - I am
        at a loss to understand why you prefer "word?"

        <J>
        >>I will mention only two other 'translations' you made as "the utterance
        was divine". i believe the writer of John did not mean "divinity" which is
        really defined as "having the attributes of God", but "deity" which is
        defined as being God.

        <B>
        "I believe" is not relevant. Mounce argues that the construction is related
        to quality, not identification. Luther (as well as Mounce) rejected your
        reading as Seballianism.

        <J>
        >>There is no doubt in my mind that the Fourth Gospel stresses the Deity of
        Jesus Christ.

        <B>
        Interestingly, the verse in question makes no mention of Jesus or of a
        Trinity. The whole of the 4th gospel makes no assertion that Jesus is God.
        This prooftext, I have demonstrated, is clearly referring to the utterance
        of God in Gen 1.

        <J>
        >>Lastly, translating "kosmos" into the term "lost community" is moving here
        to a theological translation. Kosmos is the world in which we live, and as
        Newman and Nida note in "A Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of John"
        (page 16), "the light that comes to the people in the world".

        <B>
        So how do you translation KOSMOS in John? Is it "the people in the world"?
        If so, does it include saints? For example, how do you read this?:

        Joh 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of
        it, that the works thereof are evil.

        Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but
        because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
        therefore the world hateth you.

        Bill Ross
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