GENNAW

Bart Ehrman behrman at email.unc.edu
Tue Nov 30 21:04:50 EST 1999


   So, would you translate Ps. 2:7, "You are my son, today I have produced
you" ?

-- Bart Ehrman
   University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


On Tue, 30 Nov 1999, Daniel L Christiansen wrote:

> I would tend to agree with Carl on this one: instead of "bear" or
> "birth", "generate" might cover more of the bases in English which are
> covered in Greek by GENNAW.  However, I actually have for some time
> preferred a word which Carl used in his definition of "generate": it
> seems to me that the English verb "produce" fits GENNAW admirably well.
> 
>     The trouble with using "father" as a rendering for GENNAW is
> three-fold.  First, you can't use the same verb for male and female
> sources: that is, GENNAW may indicate a father-child relationship, but
> it may also indicate a mother-child relationship.  Second, it seems that
> GENNAW is sometimes used in reference to non-adjacent generational ties:
> father-child may not be indicated, but rather a
> greatgrandfather-greatgrandchild (this from a comparison of genealogical
> lists, with the assumption that the writers were aware of the "gaps" in
> their genealogies, and still used GENNAW.)  Third, the Greek term is
> used from time to time in reference to conceptual cause-and-effect
> relationships such as the "production of quarrels" in 2Tim 2:23.  It
> seems that I have seen the word used in reference to the production of
> fruit, as well, but I can't think of where. . .  That would be a great
> reason for using "produce," but I won't rest on that argument, since I
> can't back it up with a text right now :)
> 
>     Certainly, there are times when "born" or "give birth" will be the
> best translation for GENNAW.  And we never should try for a one-to-one
> lexical correspondence between languages (apart from purely technical
> terminology).  But, if I *had to* choose one rendering, I would opt for
> "produce."
> 
>     At least, today that's how I feel . . .
> 
> --
> Daniel L. Christiansen
> Department of Bible
> Multnomah Bible College
> 8435 NE Glisan Street
> Portland, OR  97220
> (Also Portland Bible College, Prof of Biblical Languages)
> e-mail: dlc at multnomah.edu
> 
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