[B-Greek] Theologically motivated translation, at times

Mitch Larramore mitchlarramore at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 28 06:49:41 EDT 2009

I read the following short blurb by Dr. Wallace on Mark 11.22 and the reason for translating ECETE PISTIN QEOU. My question is below the blurb, and this topic is coincidental to the resent set of exchanges about GGBB's discussion of the Genitive.

Why doesn't the translation of the genitive in Mark 11:22 use the word of? How is theology used to translate this verse?
By: Daniel B. Wallace 

The Greek genitive case can be used in dozens of ways, and to leave it as simply an 'of' idea is often very misleading. For example, the genitive case is used with the comparative adjective for the idea of comparison. We would translate this something like, "His car is better THAN her car." The 'than' is the genitive word 'of.' But to translate it as 'his car is better OF her car' doesn't make any sense. In Mark 11:22, although there are a couple of valid ways to translate the text, when one is dealing with God as the object, it's difficult to think of more than one. So, yes, theology does play a part in translation, but necessarily so. There are some groups that want to translate this passage as 'Have the faith that God has' but such an idea is unparalleled anywhere else in the Bible and doesn't fit the context. 'Have faith in God' is the preferred translation and meaning.

[End of paragraph]

Is that really true that the translation "of God" is perhaps expected, but for theological reasons, "in God" is substituted? It seems strange to me to suggest that deviations from the translation "of xyz" for the Genitive may result from theological motives, especially in a "theological" book!

Mitch Larramore
Sugar Land, Texas


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