Showing posts with label Greek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek. Show all posts

February 13, 2019

New Testament TransLine: A Literal TRANSlation In outLINE Format

The NewTestament TransLine published by Wipf & Stock, who kindly sent me review copies of the two-volume set, is “A Literal TRANSlation in outLINE Format,” which, as author Michael Magill explains in the Introduction, is “not only to translate the words, but also visually display the flow of thought contained in the Greek words” in which the New Testament was written.

Although this TransLine edition probably isn’t one we’ll want to use to just sit down and read cover to cover, it’s an excellent resource for those of us who want greater clarity and deeper insight into God’s Word. As the Introduction tells us:

“Think of it this way. When you hear a foreigner first learning to speak English, you commonly hear such a person rendering the forms and sentence structures of their native language in English words. It sounds foreign to English-speakers. It is improper English. Sometimes it is difficult to understand. As the person learns more English, they adopt the commonly understood Englsh patterns of expression. In a similar way, since the NewTestament TransLine is seeking to give the English reader more insight from the Greek point of view, the Greek forms and structures are retained to a greater degree than proper in good English, but not to such a degree that the meaning is obscured.”

In addition to this approach to translation, the author provides outlines of the text to demonstrate the Greek way of thinking as one thought flows into another. For example, verses in the fourth chapter of Matthew show this thought process:

3B. “You are the light of the world
1C. “A city lying on a hill is not able to be hidden
2C. “Nor do they burn a lamp and put it under the basket, but on the lampstand – and it shines on all the ones in the house
3C. “In this manner, let your light shine in front of people so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in the heavens.”

Those verses also include references to corresponding footnotes on the adjacent page.  For instance, the note for “light” says, “That is, the source of spiritual truth, reflected from God, lighting the darkness. Note Phil 2:15.”

As that footnote clearly shows, we don’t light up ourselves, but God does. And our part is to refrain from hiding that light.

Then, if we think in terms of the “lamp” available during the time of Christ, we know such lighting fixtures had no electricity, unwieldy cords, switches, or breakable bulbs! And so, the word “burn” and its corresponding footnote remind us of the kerosene lanterns used between Jesus’ cultural era and ours, but with either type of “lamp” relying on fire, which brings to mind one of the symbols for the Holy Spirit. In this manner we’re to glow through the glory of the Lord where all can see and be drawn to the light of Christ.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer, reviewer

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March 6, 2015

Hebrew–Greek Key Word Study Bible

When I need a literal translation known for accuracy, I often turn to the New American Standard Bible (NASB), which AMG Publishers wisely chose for the Hebrew–Greek Key Word Study Bible. Besides giving us an updated version of the NASB, this unique edition, which the publisher kindly sent me for review, offers prolific references to precise meanings of words in the original Hebrew and Greek languages.

Consider, for example, Genesis 22 where God tested Abraham’s faith. The superscription beside the English word “tested” refers us to the back of the book where we find “AMG’s Annotated Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary Of the Old Testament.” When we look up the reference number 5254, we find the original Hebrew word followed by the English rendering, a pronunciation guide, description, synonyms, and this definition: “A verb meaning to test, to try, to prove. Appearing nearly forty times in the OT, this term often refers to God testing the faith and faithfulness of human beings.”

A number of examples help to illustrate the principle before ending the entry with this word: “Finally, this term can refer to the testing of equipment such as swords or armour (1 Sa 17:39).” Interesting – especially in light of New Testament exhortations given to put on the full armor of God! So whenever we’re feeling “tested,” we might recheck our armor to see if we pass inspection according to Ephesians 6:10-18.

Since I’d never thought of that before seeing these study notes, I mentioned it to my husband, who then said God provided armor for us in the first place. Therefore, it cannot possibly be faulty. Good point! So apparently our job is to make sure we put on the armor correctly with Ephesians 6 (also provided by God) as our instruction manual.

Since I’m writing this during Lent, that thought seems especially timely. Reading a reader’s edition of the Bible, cover to cover, during Lent is timely too, but when it comes to in-depth study, I highly recommend this study Bible to dig deeply into the full meaning of key biblical concepts any time of the year.

In addition to the OT and NT dictionaries in the back matter of the book, helpful footnotes occur throughout the text. For example, part of a note on Passover in Exodus 12:46 says, “In this verse and in Num. 9:12, the breaking of the lamb’s bones is forbidden, and in Jn. 19:36 the fact that Jesus’ legs were not broken on the cross is regarded by John as a fulfillment of this very verse.” Slain on Good Friday, Christ our Passover Lamb becomes the final, whole and holy sacrifice needed to remove our sin, restore our relationship with God, and heal our brokenness.

©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, poet, writer, and reviewer, is a lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church in all its parts.

Hebrew–Greek Key Word Study Bible, hardback