[B-Greek] B-Greek Digest, Matt 28:19 and "disciple."
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Wed Dec 22 16:25:43 EST 2010
I'm sorry if I've been the cause of confusion regarding this passage with my objection to use of the English "disciple"
as a verb to convey the sense of the Greek imperative μαθητεύσατε [MAQHTEUSATE]. I do think that it's probably
only those who use "disciple" in English to represent this particular verb in this particular GNT text who are likely to
use "disciple" in English as a verb. But whether or not that may be the case, our focus in this discussion group is
really not upon how to convey the words of a Greek text into English but first and foremost on how best to understand
the Greek words and text in themselves.
The verb μαθητεύω [MAQHTEUW] is a transitive verb and means to turn its accusative object into a μαθητής [MAQHTHS].
I think that this noun -- MAQHTHS -- is a very distinct item of Matthew's vocabulary and is closely associated with the image
of Jesus as a rabbi and new Moses laying down a new Torah for those who sit at the rabbi's feet and take to heart his instruction.
I wonder how often these particular associations of Matthew's usage of the word are in mind when one uses either "make disciples of" or "disciple" or "mentor" are used. Insofar as the question is fundamentally how MAQHTEUSATE ought best to be rendered in
English, the question I would ask is, "How can one best convey the wealth of implication in Matthew's usage of the noun MAQHTHS?"
Ultimately the question is not, I think, "How is this verb best conveyed in English?" but "What all should we understand this verb to mean in Matthew's Greek usage?"
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (ret)
On Dec 22, 2010, at 04:13 PM, Delwyn Campbell <dxcj4life at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Would it be possible to use "mentor all the Gentiles,...teaching them to
> observe..." as a translation of the passage?
> Delwyn X. Campbell
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