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Re: [textualcriticism] Eph 4: 8 and Ps 68: 19

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  • A. Dirkzwager
    Dear David Robert, Thank you for thinking with me about this problem. The preposition EN can be rendered several other ways indeed. But I don t think it can
    Message 1 of 12 , May 22, 2007
      Dear David Robert,

      Thank you for thinking with me about this problem.
      The preposition EN can be rendered several other ways indeed. But I
      don't think it can mean FOR in the sense you are proposing. Or have you
      found a parallel for it?

      Arie

      A. Dirkzwager
      Hoeselt, Belgium



      David Robert Palmer schreef:
      >
      > ?
      >
      > FYI, the LXX reads:
      > ?????? ?????? ?? ???????
      > ELABES DOMATA EN ANQRWPWi
      > This is frequently translated Thou has received gifts for men, but the
      > preposition EN might possibly be rendered several other ways. I
      > suppose if he received gifts FOR men, he would necessarily distribute
      > them to men sometime.
      > David Robert Palmer
    • David Robert Palmer
      Hello, The rendering of the Greek preposition EN as for was not my idea. That is the rendering in the translation of the LXX into English done by Sir
      Message 2 of 12 , May 27, 2007
        Hello,
         
        The rendering of the Greek preposition EN as "for" was not my idea.  That is the rendering in the translation of the LXX into English done by Sir Lancelot Lee Brenton, first published in 1851.
         
        The preposition EN was used differently by the Jews of Alexandria than we understand it today.  The "Jewish Greek" or "Septuagint Greek" has a somewhat different lexicology.
         
        David Robert Palmer
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 1:33 PM
        Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Eph 4: 8 and Ps 68: 19

        Dear David Robert,

        Thank you for thinking with me about this problem.
        The preposition EN can be rendered several other ways indeed. But I
        don't think it can mean FOR in the sense you are proposing. Or have you
        found a parallel for it?

        Arie

        A. Dirkzwager
        Hoeselt, Belgium

        David Robert Palmer schreef:
        >
        > ?
        >
        > FYI, the LXX reads:
        > ?????? ?????? ?? ???????
        > ELABES DOMATA EN ANQRWPWi
        > This is frequently translated Thou has received gifts for men, but the
        > preposition EN might possibly be rendered several other ways. I
        > suppose if he received gifts FOR men, he would necessarily distribute
        > them to men sometime.
        > David Robert Palmer_,_.___

         
        .

      • Jovial
        What seems to bother most people is how the word received in Ps 68:18[19] seems to come out as gave in Eph 4:8. We understand these to be opposite words
        Message 3 of 12 , May 28, 2007

          What seems to bother most people is how the word "received" in Ps 68:18[19] seems to come out as "gave" in Eph 4:8. We understand these to be opposite words that have opposite meaning in English, so doesn't this quotation in Ephesians 4 altar the meaning 100%? This is explained in several ways by several groups of people.

          • Some people brush this off as a textual problem, concluding that either one text or another has been changed, but that they probably agreed when Paul made this quote.
          • Some people use this verse to impeach Paul's credibility, claiming that he mis-quoted and/or mis-used this verse.
          • Still others claim the problem is with the way language gets translated immperfectly from one language to another.

          Let me demonstrate why the last of these is the best answer to this problem. The problem is not textual or with Paul, because even the Talmud quotes this verse and applies it in much the same way Paul did. The Talmud has this to say....

          "every one of the angels befriended Moses and each of them disclosed some mystery to him, as it is written [Psalms, lxviii. 19]: "Thou didst ascend on high, lead away captives, receive gifts among men," which means that because at first the angels called Moses one born of a woman (man), they at the close gave him gifts, and even the Angel of Death disclosed a mystery to him" (Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, 89a, Rodkinson's translation, 1903, emphasis added)

          Here's how Socino translates this same passage...

          "each one was moved to love him [Moses] and transmitted something to him, for it is said, Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast taken spoils [the Torah]; Thou hast received gifts on account of man:8  as a recompense for their calling thee man [adam]9  thou didst receive gifts. The Angel of Death too confided his secret to him..." (Shabbat 89a, Socino translation, emphasis added)

          Rodkinson and Socino differ on whether to translate "gave" or "recieve" in the last emphasized word above. However the word used here is LaQaK (xql), the same word that appears in Ps 68:18[19]. Since both translators were done by Jewish men who do not believe in the New Testament, we can safely say this had nothing to do with trying to provide any credibility to Paul's letter to the Ephesians. However, irregardless of which translation we are reading, we can see from the overall context that the verse is being quoted to support the idea that G-d gave men something, because prior to it being quoted, both authors agree it is discussing how angels gave something to Moses, and then quotes Ps 68:18[19] as relevently applying to that context. So this is a very parallel usage because...

          • Paul quotes Ps 68:18[19] and applies it to the context of G-d giving something to men.
          • The Talmud quotes Ps 68:18[19] and applies it to the context of G-d (through angels) giving something to men through Moses.

          So the problem here is not with Paul, nor is it likely to be the textual transmission. What is the English reader failing to see here? And why is a verse that talks about "receiving gifts" being used to explain how G-d gives gifts to men by both Paul and the Talmud?

          Is it because the word LaQaK (xql) can mean to give or recieve? Not exactly. But it is not easy to explain why several translators have felt the need to say "gave" when translating this word into another language, when it does not necessary mean that the subject gave up ownership to the object of the sentence. IT does have a lot to do with the way the word LaQaK (xql) can ambiguously refer to either "receiving" or "selecting / summoning", which I will demonstrate in a moment, combined with a Hebrew sentence structure that is not as easy to perfectly represent in English to someone not familiar with the differences between English and Hebrew grammar.

          Sometimes translations aren't done as much word-for-word as they are phrase-for-phrase, paticularly when the whole sentence structure in one language is a bit different than one can be perfectly represented in the language it is being translated into. Rodkinson's translation of LaQaK (xql) as "gave" here was an attempt to render an interpretation of what the text was saying, rather than give a word-for-word literal translation. But this does provide an example of how different languages can "peal the onion" in different ways, using words that might match very strongly in the most literal basic sense in slightly different ways that don't exactly match in other senses. To understand this better, let's take a look at this explanation of the word LaQaK (xql) from TWOT...

          "In addition to the common meanings of laqah, there are a number of extended uses, some of which have theological significance. The "take" aspect of the word may extend, in some contexts, into the meaning "select" and/or "summon." According to Deut 4:34, God "took" (selected) Israel from among the nations (cf. also 4:30; 1 Kgs 11:37; Josh 3:12;4:2). In Job 41:4 [H 40:28] the leviathan is "taken" (selected) as God's permanent vassal who has a covenant with him. "Summon" would fit equally well in some of these contexts. BDB (pp 543, 546) finds "summon" for laqah in Num 23:11, Jud 11:5, and 1 Sam 16:11......
          Twice Jeremiah uses laqah for the "taking up" or "use" of words. In 23:31 he speaks against the false prophets who "use" (RSV, NASB) their tongues as if the Lord had inspired them. In 29:22 the exiles "use" a curse formula...."

          (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, page 1125, Vol I)

          In English, "take" or "receive" refers to a transfer of ownership of an object from one person to another. But when we say that someone is "taking up tennis", it does not mean that he now owns the sport of tennis, and that ownership has been transfered to him of the sport of tennis. We are extending the base meaning of the word to a slightly different context, and conveying a picture of what someone is doing by drawing an analogy from something the listener already understands. To say someone is "taking on someone" means he is challenging that person, not that he is obtaining ownership of that person.

          So when Ps 68:18 says that G-d

          "took / recieved / selected / summoned gifts in / by / through / among / with men"

          What is it saying? That ownership of some "gift" was transfered from man to God? In English, one could understand the phrase that way. But does that make any sense? Can men really give G-d a gift that is worth mentioning? We understand that LaQaK (xql) very commonly and very frequently means to "take " or "receive", but it occasionally can be used to connotate "selecting" or "summoning", which is more the sense the word is used here. And if we misunderstand how LaQaK (xql) is being used in this sentence, then we cannot correctly understand how the prepositional BET before "men" is being used and whether it should be translated as "in", "by", "through", "with" or "among" or "for", as the KJV puts it. But if we interpret this sentence as "selected gifts in men", the way the Talmud and Paul quote Ps 68:18 suddenly makes sense to English ears, even though "took" or "receive" is the more common usage of this word. Furthermore, because "took" or "receive" fits the sentence so well grammatically, it is easy to understand how it would have gotten translated this way from Hebrew to english or Aramaic or Greek.

          Many translations from Hebrew into other languages have felt the need to render LaQaK (xql), usually translated "took" or "receive", into "gave" in order to render the "same sense" of what is being said to English / Aramaic / Greek ears as what the word LaQaK (xql) renders to Hebrew ears, even though "gave" is the opposite of how it is normally translated. Let's take a look...

          • Hebrew of Ps 68:18 [19]: "took / recieved / selected / summoned [LaQaK (xql)] gifts in / by / through / among / with [(b)] men"
          • Aramaic Targum of Ps 68:18 [19]: "gave [YaHaV ({)t}bhy)] gifts in / by / through / among / with (b) men"
          • Aramaic Eph 4:8: same as Aramaic Targum.
          • Greek LXX: "receive [elabes (elabeV)] gifts in / among [en (en)] men"
          • Greek Eph 4:8 "gave [edoke[n] (edwke[n])] gifts unto [tois (toiV)] men" (Note: the ending nu is in some manuscripts, but not all)

          The translation of the word LaQaK (xql) as being either "receive" or "give" is NOT because the word is so ambiguous, we can't tell whether it means to receive something or whether it means the opposite of that. The problem boils down to this....

          • In Hebrew, LaQaK (xql) has a base meaning of "take" / "receive", but sometimes connotates other meanings that are drawn from or derived from a mental image similar to the concept of "take", but not exactly that.
          • In English, "take" also has a range of meaning similar to LaQaK, while "receive" has a much narrower meaning. "Receive" almost always refers to a transfer of ownership or possession, while "take" is a much broader word that can mean "receive", but is used more widely than that.
          • Because the Hebrew LaQaK (xql) is being used in a way that connotates the concept of some sort of separation (summon, call, select), rather than a transfer of ownership, translating this as "take" or "receive" might actually be misleading to English ears, even though the base meaning from which the connotation that this word is drawn from is trying to convey. Oddly enough, the word normally associated with the opposite of that actually does a better job of rendering the "same sense" in English, Greek and Aramaic.

          Having covered this, let me address the errors that have been used to explain this verse...

          Error#1Paul Goofed: Since the Talmud quotes this verse to prove identically the same point, it's hard to credibly maintain that position.
          Error#2:Paul was quoting the LXX: The Greek of Eph 4:8 reads different from the LXX, but matches the Aramaic Targums just fine. I've heard people try to explain this verse this way, but most people who make that claim probably didn't consult the LXX before making the statement.
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 6:31 PM
          Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Eph 4: 8 and Ps 68: 19

          Hello,
           
          The rendering of the Greek preposition EN as "for" was not my idea.  That is the rendering in the translation of the LXX into English done by Sir Lancelot Lee Brenton, first published in 1851.
           
          The preposition EN was used differently by the Jews of Alexandria than we understand it today.  The "Jewish Greek" or "Septuagint Greek" has a somewhat different lexicology.
           
          David Robert Palmer
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 1:33 PM
          Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Eph 4: 8 and Ps 68: 19

          Dear David Robert,

          Thank you for thinking with me about this problem.
          The preposition EN can be rendered several other ways indeed. But I
          don't think it can mean FOR in the sense you are proposing. Or have you
          found a parallel for it?

          Arie

          A. Dirkzwager
          Hoeselt, Belgium

          David Robert Palmer schreef:
          >
          > ?
          >
          > FYI, the LXX reads:
          > ?????? ?????? ?? ???????
          > ELABES DOMATA EN ANQRWPWi
          > This is frequently translated Thou has received gifts for men, but the
          > preposition EN might possibly be rendered several other ways. I
          > suppose if he received gifts FOR men, he would necessarily distribute
          > them to men sometime.
          > David Robert Palmer_,_.___

           
          .

        • A. Dirkzwager
          Hello, Thank you for this message. If I understand you well, EN should be rendered with FOR, in the sense of destined for . I looked up EN in
          Message 4 of 12 , May 28, 2007
            Hello,

            Thank you for this message.
            If I understand you well, EN should be rendered with FOR, in the sense
            of "destined for".

            I looked up EN in Lust-Eynikel-Hauspie, A Greek-English Lexicon of the
            Septuagint, Part I, Stuttgart 1992. I don't find there "destined for".
            Only FOR as a periphrasis of a genitive of prize. I think we can accept
            "destined for" only is there can be given a real parallel.

            Arie

            A. Dirkzwager
            Hoeselt, Belgium


            David Robert Palmer schreef:
            >
            > Hello,
            >
            > The rendering of the Greek preposition EN as "for" was not my idea.
            > That is the rendering in the translation of the LXX into English done
            > by Sir Lancelot Lee Brenton, first published in 1851.
            >
            > The preposition EN was used differently by the Jews of Alexandria than
            > we understand it today. The "Jewish Greek" or "Septuagint Greek" has
            > a somewhat different lexicology.
            >
            > David Robert Palmer
            >
          • A. Dirkzwager
            Dear all, I would like to thank everybody for messages in this thread and offline. Important was the message sent to me offline, containing a link to
            Message 5 of 12 , May 28, 2007
              Dear all,

              I would like to thank everybody for messages in this thread and offline.

              Important was the message sent to me offline, containing a link to
              http://www.etsjets.org/jets/journal/18/18-3/18-3-pp181-190_JETS.pdf
              There you can read that my conjecture was made before because it was
              thought that receiving gifts cannot be consistent with God's character.

              I only had another starting point, consistency between the text of the
              NT and that of the OT.

              Arie

              A. Dirkzwager
              Hoeselt, Belgium
            • David Robert Palmer
              Here are some quotations from the Blass-DeBrunner-Funk grammar: Sec. 187: “To do good, benefit, harm” etc, with dative and accusative, see Secs. 151(1),
              Message 6 of 12 , May 28, 2007
                
                Here are some quotations from the Blass-DeBrunner-Funk grammar:
                 

                Sec. 187: “To do good, benefit, harm” etc, with dative and accusative, see Secs. 151(1), 157(1) (also ἐν).

                Sec 219 The use of ἐν owes its extension especially to the imitation of Hebrew constructions with בְּ.  It is used for the simple instrumental (sec. 195), but (1) also to designate a personal agent… (2) probably also the reason….  See also the Dative of Respect, sec. 197

                Sec 197: The dative of respect in the NT is far more frequent than the accusative of respect…  e.g., In Luke 1:7, ἐν appears to be used instead of this dative…  [Luke chapters 1 and 2 are very Jewish / LXX Greek]

                Then there is the frequent situation in other parts of the NT where the word ἐν is merely a marker of the dative case, and not acting as a preposition.
                 
                David Robert Palmer
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Monday, May 28, 2007 8:42 AM
                Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Eph 4: 8 and Ps 68: 19

                Hello,

                Thank you for this message.
                If I understand you well, EN should be rendered with FOR, in the sense
                of "destined for".

                I looked up EN in Lust-Eynikel- Hauspie, A Greek-English Lexicon of the
                Septuagint, Part I, Stuttgart 1992. I don't find there "destined for".
                Only FOR as a periphrasis of a genitive of prize. I think we can accept
                "destined for" only is there can be given a real parallel.

                Arie

                A. Dirkzwager
                Hoeselt, Belgium

                .

              • A. Dirkzwager
                Hello, I am very sorry that I have to write that I did not see an exact parallel for destined for . In the sections you quote. I see only the use of the
                Message 7 of 12 , May 29, 2007
                  Hello,

                  I am very sorry that I have to write that I did not see an exact
                  parallel for "destined for". In the sections you quote.
                  I see only the use of the dative or EN to design the persons affected
                  immediately ("I give my son a toy") or the cause ("I am affected by
                  sorrow"), not the purpose ("I got it in order to give it to someone
                  else") , of something.
                  In Hebrew I would expect le-, not be- for the meaning of EN you defend.

                  In my opnion there remains a textual problem.

                  Arie

                  A. Dirkzwager
                  Hoeselt, Belgium


                  David Robert Palmer schreef:
                  >
                  > 
                  >
                  > Here are some quotations from the Blass-DeBrunner-Funk grammar:
                  >
                  > Sec. 187: “To do good, benefit, harm” etc, with dative and accusative,
                  > see Secs. 151(1), 157(1) (also ἐν).
                  >
                  > Sec 219 The use of ἐν owes its extension especially to the imitation
                  > of Hebrew constructions with בְּ. It is used for the simple instrumental
                  > (sec. 195), but (1) also to designate a personal agent… (2) probably
                  > also the reason…. See also the Dative of Respect, sec. 197
                  >
                  > Sec 197: The dative of respect in the NT is far more frequent than the
                  > accusative of respect… e.g., In Luke 1:7, ἐν appears to be used
                  > instead of this dative… [Luke chapters 1 and 2 are very Jewish / LXX
                  > Greek]
                  >
                  > Then there is the frequent situation in other parts of the NT where
                  > the word ἐν is merely a marker of the dative case, and not acting as a
                  > preposition.
                  > David Robert Palmer
                  >
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