[B-Greek] Newbie / Lurker question on Hebrews 11:1 DE as transitional conjunction

Kevin Riley klriley at alphalink.com.au
Wed Aug 25 18:38:02 EDT 2010


  To take 'now' in this context as a temporal word is to misunderstand 
English.  In standard (formal) English, 'now' is a good translation of 
'de' in this instance, which is probably why so many translators use 
it.  For it to have a temporal reference it would have to come somewhere 
else in the sentence.  Actually, I am not sure you could put 'now' as a 
temporal reference into the sentence as it stands without a good bit of 
restructuring.

I suspect the problem is a hermeneutical one rather than one with either 
the Greek or the English language.

Kevin Riley

On 26/08/2010 2:05 AM, Alex Poulos wrote:
> I'm a lurker, and not at all an expert, but I agree with you for what it's
> worth.  δε (DE) is simply a transition.  Had the author wanted to
> communicate "now" in terms of present time, he would've thrown νυν (NUN) in
> there somewhere (my guess, anyway).
>
> I do find it strange that every translation I looked at translated it as
> "Now..." except the REB and NLT.  Everyone seems to follow the KJV.  There
> might be a more suitable conjunction to link it back to 10:39 (as, for,
> etc.).  I suppose anything translational choice is subject to
> misunderstanding though.
>
> Alex Poulos
> Senior - Computer Science
> NC State University
>
> On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 11:24 AM, Kenneth Bent<ken at cotr.com>  wrote:
>
>> Hebrews 11:1  εστιν δε πιστις ελπιζομενων υποστασις πραγματων ελεγχος ου
>> βλεπομενων
>> 1         ESTIN DE PISTIS ELPIZOMENWN UPOSTASIS PRAGMATWN ELEGXOS OU
>> BLEPOMENWN
>>
>> 1 ¶  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do
>> not see. (NIV)
>>
>> DE is commonly translated “now”.
>>
>> I keep running across what seem to be well intentioned but misinformed
>> preachers who, because of the word “now” in the translation make some
>> application in this manner:
>>
>> “Now faith is  - It means faith is always “NOW” – in the present.”
>>
>> My understanding in reading Wallace is that “de” is a transitional
>> conjunction.  I haven’t been able to find any reference to DE translated as
>> ‘NOW’ as being time referent.
>>
>> Of course, ESTIN is present active indicative, but that is not the basis on
>> which they derive their application of the verse.
>>
>> Any thoughts would be appreciated.
>>
>>
>> Kenneth Bent
>> ken at cotr.com
>>
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