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Old 03-19-2010, 08:26 PM
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 8,383,615 times
Reputation: 1690


I decided to redo an earlier thread of the same nature since that one caused so much confusion.

How do we know we are reading the bible correctly (not that the bible is at fault but the reader) if there are some phrases that make no sense to us. Such as "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?" or "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads."

Apparently scholars call this type of thing "semitism," "hebraisms" or the addition of hebrew concepts to greek words...

Here is an excerpt of a great article: The Semitic Style of the New Testament
"The meaning of certain words. Probably the most important kind of influence exerted by the Semitic languages on New Testament Greek is in the meaning of certain theological and ethical terms. The Greek outlook on religion and morals differed greatly from that of the Jews, and Greek terms were of course used to reflect the Greek outlook. But the Septuagint translators used these terms to represent Hebrew words which reflected Jewish meanings, and thus gave these Greek terms a new meaning. It is often this new meaning which attaches to these words when they are used in the New Testament.
One example is the Greek word nomos, which is usually translated "law." In Greek the basic meaning of nomos is "custom" or "convention," for the Greeks held that law was simply codified custom. But in the Septuagint the word is used as the equivalent of the Hebrew term torah, which means strictly "instruction" and which was applied to the Books of Moses, "the Law." To the Hebrews, law meant not codified custom, but divine instruction imparted through Moses and his successors. Thus when the New Testament writers wished to speak of law, not in the sense of man's convention, but in the sense of God's revealed will, the noun nomos lay ready at hand. Much the same took place with regard to a number of words, including names and titles of divine beings, psychological terms, and words denoting such theological concepts as righteousness, mercy, sin, atonement, sacrifice, propitiation, and reconciliation."

These happen to be words or concepts that are debated heavily on this sub-forum, and I wonder if any of us, including the translators, are aware that these concepts may not have meant the same to those writing them down.
I bet we have much to learn in this area... especially if what the author of this article says is true and the names of divine beings, psychological terms, mercy, sin, atonement...etc are not what we think they are!
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