[B-Greek] Mark 3:13-19 Translation Issues
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at ioa.com
Tue Nov 15 07:02:05 EST 2005
On Nov 15, 2005, at 1:29 AM, Dan Gleason wrote:
> Mark 3:13-19 Translation Issues
> Here is a traditional translation:
> He went up into the mountain,
> and called to himself those whom he wanted,
> and they went to him.
> He appointed twelve, that they might be with him,
> and that he might send them out to preach,
> and to have authority <to heal sicknesses and> to cast out demons:
> Simon, to whom he gave the name PETER;
> James the son of Zebedee; John, the brother of James, and he
> surnamed them Boanerges, which means, Sons of Thunder;
> Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of
> Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot;
> and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. He came into a house.
> (World English Bible)
14 KAI ANABAINEI EIS TO OROS KAI PROSKALEITAI hOUS HQELEN AUTOS, KAI
APHLQON PROS AUTON. 14 KAI EPOIHSEN DWDEKA [hOUS KAI APOSTOLOUS
WNOMASEN] hINA WSIN MET' AUTOU KAI hINA APOSTELLHi AUTOUS KHRUSSEIN.
15 KAI ECEIN EXOUSIAN EKBALLEIN TA DAIMONIA; 16 [KAI EPOIHSEN TOUS
DWDEKA] KAI EPEQHKEN ONOMA TWi SIMWNI PETRON, 17 KAI IAKWBON TON TOU
ZEBEDAIOU KAI IWANNHN TON ADELFON TOU IAKWBOU
KAI EPEQHKEN ONOMA[TA] BOANERGHS, hO ESTIN hUIOI BRONTHS; 18 KAI
ANDREAN KAI FILIPPON KAI BARQOLOMAION KAI MAQQAION KAI QWMAN KAI
IAKWBON TON TOU ALFAIOU KAI QADDAION KAI SIMWNA TO KANANAIAN KAI
IOUDAN ISKARIWQ, hOS KAI PAREDWKEN AUTON.
Well, nobody can say, Dan, that you can't stand the heat. You keep
with these translation questions despite the fact that you have not,
so far as I can
see, won much approval for the phrasing of your own translations. You
said that you would use only traditional versions hereafter. Here you
one of the more literal of the existing English versions and still
proceed to offer
your own, apparently on grounds that you want to be MORE literal than
World English Bible. And again, the question that I would have to
whether it is the meanings of the Greek words as conveyed into
is important to you or whether it is the English words and meanings
prefer that is your chief concern. IF you are endeavoring to
convey into authentic intelligible English what the Greek means, I
do not think you're doing it. But then, I may be misunderstanding
what it really
is that you are endeavoring to do.
> *** Here is my translation of the Greek text for which I have four
> And he ascended into (EIS) the Mountain ...
I'm very curious why you convey EIS as "into": by derivation EIS is
EN + S;
EN means "in" or "on" and the -S is a directional suffix appended as
in some instances appends "-ward(s)" to directional prepositions and
EIS can be "onto" or "into" depending on whether we understand movement
penetrating the surface of the object or coming to rest upon the
surface of the
object. I note that the WEB which you cite also has "into the
mountain": I think
that's misleading; I think it should be "onto." But if the mountain
is thought of
as a timbered height, then I suppose that "into" could imply that a
some point up the height might be thought of as the "interior" of the
that is penetrated in the course of the climb.
For my part, I would think that the simplest English conveying the
the Greek text is: "he went up the mountain" or "he climbed the
> and he called to him whom he himself wished ...
> and they went away towards (PROS = in front of?) him.
"went away" reproduces the composite derivation of the original word
APHLQON, but, as is the case with many Koine verbs, older uncompounded
verbs have been replaced in usage by compound verbs. The AP- has no
force here; APHLQON here means simply "they went" or better "they came.'
for PROS "towards" is perfectly adequate. PROS means "forward to"
(original PRO "in front" with the directional -S). I think you could say
"they came before him" -- the sense is the presented themselves to him.
> And he made (EPOIHSEN) Twelve ... [whom also he named apostles] ...
> so-that they-might be with him ...
> and so-that he-might send them to proclaim ...
> and to have authority to cast out the Demons.
> And he made (EPOIHSEN) the Twelve.
> And he layed on (EPIQHKEN) a name to-Simon ... the STONE (PETRON).
> And James, the-son of Zebedee ...
> and John, the brother of James ...
> and he layed on (a name to them ... Boanerges ... which is “Sons of
> And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas,
> and James the-son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean.
> And Judas Iscariot who also betrayed him. And he goes into a house ...
> Text questions:
> 1) I think "made" for EPOIHSEN is just as accurate as "appointed."
> Jesus may be "appointing" but the author of the gospel is "making"
> the number "twelve" into a title, a term he will use a lot in
> future verses.
> Here is an observation, I see Mark and Jesus "making" the twelve
> into an "assembly."
I appreciate your distinction between what Jesus did and what the author
of GMk intended to do. I think you are saying that the author of the
gospel is imposing a distinct interpretation upon any tradition that he
may have employed in his own composition.
My problem with "made" is that it seems to point to manufacture or
production of a product: I go into the kitchen and make bread; I go
into the workshop and make a chair. When the verb is used in the LXX
of Genesis 1:1 EPOIHSEN means "created" and maybe that is the word
you want here. What I don't understand is why you see "appointed" in
this instance as meaning something different.
You've hinted at this before but I'm not sure that you've ever been
explicit about it: are you seriously intending to use THE VERY SAME
ENGLISH WORD/EXPRESSION to convey EVERY GREEK WORD
in Mark's gospel in your version? I honestly don't believe that can be
done without distorting the meaning in a translation.
> 2) I think "layed on a name" is preferrable to "gave a name"
> because we are talking about placing a physical object on someone
> In this case it's a metaphorical object called a stone.
Text: EPEQHKEN ONOMA TWi SIMWNI PETRON
I think "imposed" would do very well for EPEQHKEN: it could imply
the laying of a heavy burden upon Simon's back and it even has an
etymological equivalence to EPEQHKEN.
The problem, as I see it, is that you're selecting a gloss
for EPEQHKEN that is based upon the predicate complement
PETRON rather than the direct object ONOMA.
> 3) I think "the STONE" (BDAG) is an infinitely better "dynamic"
> translation than "PETER."
Why "THE" stone? There's no article there. You could very
well say "he put the name Stone on him."
> The name Peter is a phonetic translation - it is the only English
> name that most closely sounds like Petros.
> Maybe there was a very good reason Jesus gave Simon the name of
> this particular non living object.
> After all, 1 Pet 2 contains numerous stone metaphors such as
> "living stones." Is this a coincidence?
> Who first made this decision (and when) to translate the word
> Petros as Peter and why has it persisted so long? Has anyone ever
> disagreed with this tradition?
> Here is another observation, after this verse, Mark only refers to
> this disciple by his title, the "Stone" - although in verse 14:37
> the reader is reminded by Jesus that he still owns the name Simon.
> Is there a good reason why we shouldn't call a Stone a Stone?
I think you're asking some rhetorical questions here. Is it not obvious
that PETROS became a proper name that generally ceased to be
associated with a "stone" in common parlance, just as "Christ"
became a proper name and ceased to be regularly associated
I'd have no objection to using "Stone" as a name, but "THE Stone" is
not what we have here. But you may not find it so easy to sustain
the overtones of the name throughout the gospel; there's something
parallel in Genesis 1-4, where "Eve" ceases to be "Life" and becomes
only the proper name of a particular person.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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