[B-Greek] the best Metalanguage to understand the Greek NT?(was "2 Peter 1:1")

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Sat Apr 24 10:16:43 EDT 2010


Dear Yancy,

It is not a free floating norm. The OT and LXX are quite consistent with regard
to Tsedeqah + cognates = DIKAIOSUNH + cognates. The norm would be the character
of God as revealed in the Torah both in ethical and forensic contexts. In fact,
the Judah/Tamar incident shows a cultural/ethical norm being carried out in
Genesis 38. All of these concepts carried over into the NT. Its in the
Intertestmental Literature that the concept of "right works" leading ot
salvation is being emphasized. The NT consistently uses DIKOSUNH + cognates in
Forensic (Galatians 2-3; Romans 1:17ff; 3:20-26) and ethical (James 2; Matthew
6:1) with the of norm being the character of God as revealed in the Lord Jesus
Christ.

En Xristwi,

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yancy W Smith" <yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net>
To: "Bryant J. Williams III" <bjwvmw at com-pair.net>
Cc: "George F Somsel" <gfsomsel at yahoo.com>; <dlpost at comcast.net>; "B-Greek"
<b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2010 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] the best Metalanguage to understand the Greek NT?(was "2
Peter 1:1")


Would you say the "norm" is a free floating norm or a norm connected
to some larger social relationship? Perhaps a stipulation/promise in a
covenant?

Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 23, 2010, at 3:44 PM, "Bryant J. Williams III" <bjwvmw at com-pair.net
 > wrote:

> Dear List,
>
> It appears that II Peter 2:1 uses DIKAIOSUNH as "conformity to a
> norm." In this
> case, conformity to the norm of God in Christ by faith. The Hebrew
> OT had
> conformity to the norm, God's character, as revealed in the Torah.
> The LXX used
> Dikaios + cognates to translate the Tsedeqah + cognates. Both are
> used in a
> Legal and Ethical manner. An example of the ethical would be James 2
> and Matthew
> 6:1 where "correct behavior/attitude" is used. I would think that II
> Peter 2:1
> would fit in this latter category; although it could be also that of
> which
> corresponds to what God is doing through Christ to make Christians
> do what they
> are supposed be doing. All this by faith. It is not a question of
> either/or, but
> could very well be both/and.
>
> En Xristwi,
>
> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "George F Somsel" <gfsomsel at yahoo.com>
> To: <dlpost at comcast.net>; <yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net>
> Cc: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Friday, April 23, 2010 8:38 AM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] the best Metalanguage to understand the Greek
> NT?(was "2
> Peter 1:1")
>
>
>> Is it really theologizing or is it simply discerning how the word
>> δικαιοσύνη
> DIKAIOWUNH is being used in this context. Note how Paul contrasts
> the δικαιοσύνη
> DIKAIOSUNH of God with his ὀργή ORGH in Rom 1.17-18.
>>
>> 17δικαιοσύνη γὰρ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ
>> ἀποκαλύπτεται ἐκ πίστεως εἰς
>> πίστιν, καθὼς
> γέγραπται·ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως
> ζήσεται.
>> 18Ἀποκαλύπτεται γὰρ ὀργὴ θεοῦ ἀπʼ
>> οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν καὶ
>> ἀδικίαν
> ἀνθρώπων τῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐν
> ἀδικίᾳ κατεχόντων
>>
>>
>> 17 DIKAOSUNH GAR QEOU EN AUTWi APOKALUPTETAI EK PISTEWS EIS PISTIN,
>> KAQWS
> GEGRAPTAI, "hO DE DIKAIOS EK PISTEWS ZHSETAI."
>> 18 APOKALUPTETAI GAR ORGH QEOU AP' OURANOU EPI PASAN ASEBEIAN KAI
>> ADIKIAN
> ANQRWPWN TWN THN ALHQEIAN EN ADIKIAi KATEXONTWN.
>>
>> Here he also contrasts the δικαιοσύνη DIKAIOSUNH of God
>> with the ἀδικίαν
> ἀνθρώπων ADIKIAN ANQRWPWN. We are accustomed to think of
> δικαιοσύνη DIKAIOWUNH
> in judicial terms, but this obviously cannot be the meaning in 2 Pt
> 1.1 since it
> leads not to judgment but to salvation.
>>
>> george
>> gfsomsel
>>
>>
>> … search for truth, hear truth,
>> learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
>> defend the truth till death.
>>
>>
>> - Jan Hus
>> _________
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: "dlpost at comcast.net" <dlpost at comcast.net>
>> To: yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net
>> Cc: B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 7:26:04 AM
>> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] the best Metalanguage to understand the
>> Greek NT? (was
> "2 Peter 1:1")
>>
>>
>>
>> Here it seems to me that one's theology has entered the discussion
>> of 2 Peter
> 1:1. It seems the grammarians have stopped being grammarians and are
> offering
> their commentary. For what it's worht.
>>
>>
>>
>> Doug Post
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Yancy Smith" <yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net>
>> To: "B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Sent: Friday, April 23, 2010 10:16:23 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
>> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] the best Metalanguage to understand the
>> Greek NT? (was
> "2 Peter 1:1")
>>
>> Mark wrote:
>> Today's GreekVersion says about DIKAIOSUNi TOU QEOU in 2 Peter 1:1
>>  η αγαπη του
> Θεου...δωρισε την...πιστη (H AGAPH TOU QEOU DWRISE
> THN PISTH)
>> [Yancy Smith] I think this is a marvelous translation, similar to
>> the Parole
> de vie: Moi, Simon-Pierre, // serviteur et apôtre de Jésus-Christ, /
> / j'écris à
> ceux qui ont reçu une foi aussi précieuse // que la nôtre, par la
> générosité //
> de Jésus-Christ, notre Dieu et notre Sauveur.
>> I, Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, am writing to
>> those who
> have received a faith just as precious as ours, by the generosity of
> Jesus
> Christ, our God and our Savior.
>>
>> "par la générosité" (=by the generosity) is equally felicitous. I
>> note that
> the UBS Handbook gives the following discussion on this phrase: But
> what does
> righteousness mean here? This word is one of those biblical terms
> that are rich
> in meaning and can be translated in various ways, depending on their
> context.
> For example, the expression “the righteousness of God” appears in
> different
> contexts with different meanings and emphases. In Rom 1.17 the
> righteousness of
> God refers to God's activity of putting people into a right
> relationship with
> himself (as TEV correctly translates). In Matt 6.33, however, the
> righteousness
> of God refers to what he requires people to do in order that they
> will be
> pleasing to him. In the present verse righteousness has been
> interpreted in the
> following ways:
>> 1. It refers to Christ's righteous, redemptive work. It is through
>> Christ's
> righteousness (that is, his dying on the cross) that Christians are
> given the
> power to put their trust in him.
>> 2. It refers to Christ's righteous character as Savior and
>> Redeemer. It is
> because of Christ's righteousness (that is, his sinlessness, holiness,
> uprightness, goodness) that he is able to do his work as Savior and
> redeemer.
>> 3. It refers to Christ's righteous sense of justice, generosity,
>> fairness and
> impartiality. This means that Christ is no respecter of persons; he
> plays no
> favorites. When applied in the realm of faith, it means that Christ
> makes it
> possible for anyone, Jew or Gentile, apostle or nonapostle, to have
> the same
> faith.
>> In the light of the context, and in the light of the usage of “rig
>> hteousness”
> in the rest of the letter, the second and third meanings seem to be
> the more
> logical choices.
>>
>> That the Handbook on 2 Peter ignores any LXX or Second Temple Jewish
> background completely and interprets in terms of Reformation
> dogmatic categories
> is a pity. OFF-LIST interlocutors have accused me of theologically
> biasing the
> grammar here by arguing that in the phrase DIKAIOSUNHi TOU QEOU the
> genitive is
> subjective. But the Translator's handbook, the Greek version, and
> the French
> version all land pretty much in the same place. So, at least I'm in
> good
> company. The NLT takes makes the translation that, I think, Iver
> suggested:
>>
>> "I am writing to all of you who share the same precious faith we
>> have, faith
> given to us by Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, who makes us right
> with God."
>>
>> One must exercise caution in dealing with DIKAIOSUNH, as BDAG
>> cautions, "A
> strict classification of DIKAIOSUNH in the NT is complicated by
> frequent
> interplay of abstract and concrete aspects drawn from OT and Greco-
> Roman
> cultures, in which a sense of equitableness combines with awareness of
> responsibility within a social context." My reasoning in based on
> the idea that
> calling Jesus σωτῆρος in 2 Peter 1:1 may activate a scenario
> that combines both
> OT and Greco-Roman notions of the social responsibility (covenant) and
> beneficence (stipulated within covenant) of the σωτῆρος. The
> reason I don't
> think that the specialized, Pauline meaning of DIKAIOSUNH is apropos
> here is
> that, if had Peter indeed introduced it, one might surmise that he
> would
> elaborated in 1:3-11 or discuss it in the rest of the letter.
>>
>> In Paul's use of DIKAIOSUNH TOU QEOU, as BDAG notes, the intimate
>> association
> of God’s interest in retaining a reputation for justice that rewards
>  goodness
> and requites evil, while at the same time working out a plan of
> salvation for
> all humanity, complicates classification of his use of
> δικαιοσύνη DIKAIOSUNH. On
> the one hand, God’s DIKAIOSUNH is pardoning action, and on the other
>  a way of
> sharing God’s character with believers, who then exhibit righteousne
> ss in the
> moral sense [one might think of the sort of transformation that
> takes place when
> a slave is declare an adopted son, YWS]. God achieves this objective
> through
> exercise of executive privilege in dispensing justice equitably
> without
> reference to νόμος by making salvation available to all humanity
> (which shares a
> common problem of liability to wrath by being unanimously in revolt
> against God
> Ro 3:9–18, 23) through faith in God’s action in Jesus Christ. The
> genitival
>> constr. DIKAIOSUNH TOU QEOU accents the uniqueness of this
>> DIKAIOSUNH Ro
> 1:17; 3:21f, 25, 26.
>>
>>> Yancy wrote
>>>
>>> <Someone said once that the best commentary on the NT is the LXX.>
>> Mark wrote:
>>> It's certainly is one of the better NT commentaries, and I like
>>> the fact
> that
>>> it is not in English.
>>
>> Carl wrote:
>> No, nor in ordinary Greek either. But it is the source of a good
>> deal of the
>> language and expressions used by NT authors and therefore one of
>> the more
>> important resources for an interpreter of the GNT.
>>
>> The saying reminds me of what a mentor of mine once said: the Iliad
>> and
>> Odyssey are the best commentaries on Vergil's Aeneid; one cannot
>> fully
>> appreciate Vergil's achievement without a deep familiarity with the
>> Greek
>> text of the Homeric poems.
>>
>> [Yancy Smith] I completely agree and comments that do not take into
>> account
> the intertextual nature of much of the NT often miss the point of
> the original
> author who could assume a certain amount of familiarity with the LXX
> as a
> resource document.
>>
>> Mark wrote:
>>> But I have been thinking a lot of late that the Modern
>>> Greek NT is not only the best commentary of the NT, but it is also
>>> the
>>> best "Metalanguage" for understanding the Greek NT. I know it is
>>> just
>>> a "translation" (or is it?) but compared to the Metalanguage of
>>> NT Greek Linguistics, it is (a) easier to understand (b) prettier
>>> (c) less
> of
>>> a "traitor" in that it more accurately describes what is going on in
>>> the Koine Text. Here's what the Metalanguage of Today's Greek
>>> Version says about DIKAIOSUNi TOU QEOU in 2 Peter 1:1:
>>>
>>> η αγαπη του Θεου...δωρισε την...πιστη (H
>>> AGAPH TOU QEOU DWRISE THN PISTH)
>>>
>>> Compared to the Metalanguage of NT Greek Linguistics, the
>>> Metalanguage of
> the
>>> Modern Greek NT is also shorter, and it solves George and Eddie's
>>> problem of
>>> avoiding English altogether. Do you see my point? In other words,
>>> if you
>>> HAVE to learn a Metalanguage to understand what the Greek NT means
>>> (and I'm not convinced that you do) why not learn how to read the
>>> Modern
>>> Greek NT instead of learning how to read Hoyle, which would take
>>> you about
>>> the same amount of time?
>>
>> Carl wrote:
>> A curiously facile suggestion, this. It mixes apples not with
>> oranges but with
> brussels sprouts.
>>
>> (1) There's more than one Modern Greek version of the GNT; the
>> versions that
> exist are
>> no less interpretations of the original than are the various
>> translations of
> the GNT into
>> other target languages. Every version depends upon a solution to the
> text-critical problems,
>> and every version depends upon a resolution of alternative
>> understandings of
> those passages
>> that are in any way ambiguous.
>>
>> (2) Using Koine Greek or even Modern Greek as the language of
>> reference for
> descriptive
>> terms and explanation of the structure and usage of Koine Greek is as
> reasonable as using
>> any modern langauge, perhaps even more reasonable. But the notion
>> that any one
> translation
>> of the GNT fills the need for an explanation of HOW and WHY a given
>> text is to
> be understood
>> in one or another particular way confounds explanation with
>> translation. Mark
> may want to
>> throw away lexica and grammatical reference works and continue to
>> pooh-pooh
> the utility
>> or relevance of Linguists working in Biblical Greek, but others may
>> be
> inclined to think
>> this is going down a blind alley.
>>
>> [Yancy Smith] I agree and might add that educated Greeks that I
>> know do use
> metalanguage to understand their own language and the languages of
> others, just
> as many musicians use music theory to understand music. You don't
> have to be
> able to read music to perform it, though, which may be a point Mark
> is trying to
> stress. Often, however, I think Mark is more accurate in his
> affirmations than
> in his denials. Music theory may actually get in the way of
> performance or
> creative composition. Still, all in all, a knowledgeable use of
> metalanguage is
> another tool in the learning and teaching of language that simply
> learning other
> ways to say something in the same language or a later form of it
> cannot teach,
> just as music theory helps in a way that learning another
> arrangement or version
> of some piece of music cannot teach. It won't do to say, I don't need
> metalanguage because I can say the same thing as DIKAIOSUNH TOU QEOU
> in other
> words, i.e. H AGAPH TOU QEOU.
>> That could be like saying I don't need music theory because I can
>> play two
> different versions of chopsticks.
>>
>>
>>
>> Yancy Smith
>> Yancy W. Smith, PhD
>> World Bible Translation Center
>> 4028 Daley Ave., Suite 201
>> Fort Worth, TX 76180
>> p 817-595-1664
>> f 817580-7013
>> yancy at wbtc.org
>>
>> Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some
>> kind of
> battle.
>>
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>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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