[B-Greek] Rev 21.4 APERCOMAI

Oun Kwon kwonbbl at gmail.com
Mon Oct 5 19:57:35 EDT 2009

On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 9:23 AM, Ian W Scott <iscott at tyndale.ca> wrote:
> This is one case where I think the NET is being overly directive in its
> translation -- making a very ambiguous interpretive decision for readers
> where the ambiguity could very easily be preserved in the English. True,
> the verb can have a strong ontological emphasis. It is equally possible,
> though (perhaps more likely) for it to place less emphasis on ontology
> and more emphasis on the experience of a changed situation. In a book
> like the Apocalypse I find the primarily ontological focus to be
> particularly problematic. But let's remember that this is really not
> about the word's basic meaning. It's about the judgment regarding
> /which/ aspects of meaning are activated by the specific context. I
> wonder how wise it is to use a translation that excludes readers from
> taking part in that judgment, prevents them from considering for
> themselves which semantic components of the metaphor "passing away" are
> activated and which are not. In a more paraphrastic translation I might
> not be concerned. But in a translation that bills itself as the most
> "accurate" (whatever that means as an absolute statement), I find this a
> bit irresponsible.
> Ian
> Mitch Larramore wrote:
>> Taken from the NET Bible, Revelation:
>> 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had CEASED TO EXIST*,
>> 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have CEASED TO EXIST*.
>> * For the translation of ἀπέρχομαι (apercomai; here ἀπῆλθαν [aphlqan]) L&N 13.93 has “to go out of existence – ‘to cease to exist, to pass away, to cease.’”
>> I read an article on this word APERCOMAI, and the use of this word, especially in vs 4. The thrust of the argument was that APERCOMAI means for some events of reality to "go out of existence." He then argued that for tears, death, pain, etc. to "go out of existence" would require a divine act whereby the reality behind these tears, death, pain, etc. goes out of existence by some kind of "divine reversal."
>> That seemed strange to me until he gave an analogy that got me thinking. He likened it to our waking up because of a bad dream/nightmare. Once we wake up, we realize that the dream is not part of reality. To make this short, what do you think about the idea that the tragic, evil things that have taken place in our lives will "go out of existence" in a way similar to the apparent reality of a nightmare "going out of existence" when we wake up? We essentially move from one level of reality (mental) to another level of reality (actual). When God removes all tears, death, pain, etc. he simply moves us from one level of reality (actual, sinful world) to another level (supernatural) so that the supernatural level of reality makes the actual, sinful, tragic events of this life "go out of existence" as we move from one level to another.
>> Mitch Larramore
>> Sugar Land, Texas

I take the simple one in no time: 'the former heaven and the former
earth were GONE, ..."
Too good to miss, it is odd to find this both in (the very plain)
Bible in Basic English and in the (very literal almost non-English)
Wilson's Diaglot.

As for the rendering 'cease to exist', NET has really gone far, yes,
overboard - even ontologically speaking ;-)

Majority of translations (including KJV) reads '(had) passed away'.
It sounds quite poetic (fitting to the acclaimed 'beautiful' KJV
English style), but this particular one comes strange to my ears in
this verse. For me with ESL, it means 'they died' and no more. Do you
all read 'passed away' in any other meaning than 'died'?

Oun Kwon

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