[B-Greek] En and Eis

yancywsmith yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
Thu Nov 2 01:24:34 EST 2006

I agree with Iver on this one about the passage in Mark and about the  
Hebrew and OT background he brings to bear on the translation issue.  
On the other hand, I think the confession is ambiguous enough in  
Greek that it could have been read an several ways by different  
Hellenistic Jews, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christ followers.

Without the "dummy" subject "there," my translation (of the Greek)  
would represent one possible way of reading these Greek words: KURIOS

The Lord [is] our God! [Only] one is Lord.

For Paul, this could mean that
Caesar is not really Lord
Nor is Sarapis really Lord
and even the big shot inviting you to a banquet to eat meat  
sacrificed to an idol is not Lord. Nor is the idol Lord.
Christ is Lord.

The use of Adonay and KURIOS as substitutes for the ineffable divine  
name may have had the effect of canceling the "name" connection of  
KURIOS in certain contexts, note how Paul compares KURIOS with KURIOI  
in 1 Cor 8. However I do not mean by this that, if asked, Paul or any  
other 1st century Jew would have been unaware of YHWH behind the  
category title,  e.g. KURIOS, in Phil 2:10 is still "the name that is  
above every name" i.e., YHWH.

Yancy Smith
yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
5636 Wedgworth Rd.
Fort Worth, TX 76133

On Nov 2, 2006, at 1:38 AM, Iver Larsen wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Anthony Buzzard" <anthonybuzzard at mindspring.com>
>> I am new to the list, but the post quoting Clement and the use of en
>> (one) rather than eis for God is intriguing.
>> The point I want to confirm is that the translation of Mark 12:29
>> "The Lord our God is one Lord" is the natural a correct translation
>> of KURIOS EMON KURIOS EIS ESTIN. Standard authorities seem to agree
>> (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, for example)
>> that this is the proper way to render the Greek.
>> Anyone like to comment on that translation "The Lord our God is  
>> one Lord."
>> It seems to me that this is better than "Lord our God, the Lord is  
>> one."
>> Anthony Buzzard
> No, I don't think this is the correct translation, and it is  
> certainly not the standard if you look
> at English versions. Since there are two types of translations  
> nowadays, the literal (form-focused)
> ones and the communicative (meaning-focused) ones, you consequently  
> have two more or less standard
> options:
> 1. RSV: The Lord our God, the Lord is one
> 2. TEV: The Lord our God is the only Lord
> I don't think any of them are quite correct, because KURIOS here is  
> used for YHWH, this being a
> quote from Deut 6:4. I would prefer to take this as two short  
> sentences. The first says "YHWH is our
> god" and is a statement by devout Hebrews that they do not worship  
> the gods of other nations, but
> they have their own god, YHWH.
> The second sentence says "YHWH is one (person)".
> A word like hEIS is grammatically an adjective that is often used  
> substantively. If used in the
> masculine, the idea is "one (person)". If used in the neuter, the  
> idea is "one (thing)". That is why
> I would have to agree with Yancy against George about "one thing"  
> rather than "one God" for the
> Clement quote.
> It really makes no sense to use hEIS as an attributive to YHWH and  
> say "YHWH our God is one YHWH".
> The reason that TEV does not retain "YHWH is one" is that this does  
> not communicate the intended
> meaning in English. The intended meaning of the original of both  
> Deut 6:4 and Mark 12:29 is IMO two
> important statements of creed:
> 1. YHWH is our god/God
> 2. YHWH is the only god/God we have
> The first statement identifies one important contrast to  
> surrounding nations, namely that YHWH and
> neither Baal nor other gods is the God of the Hebrew nation.
> The second statement identifies another important contrast to the  
> surrounding nations, namely that
> YHWH is not only their god, but also their one and only god.
> Iver Larsen
> ---
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