on exegesis and translation

I’ve been reading Steve Runge’s Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis (Hendrickson, 2010), and thought he made an interesting comment about translating Greek connectives.  He writes,

Each Greek connective brings to bear a unique constraint upon the connected elements. This is true even where there is a series of connectives in a row, as in Phl 3:8 [sorry, can’t give greek txt from my kindle].  Each connective plays a specific role, bringing its unique constraint to bear in the context.  The objecive is not to know how to translate the connective, but tounderstand how each one uniquely differs from another based on the function that it accomplishes in Greek.

Exegesis and exposition are all about are all about understanding the original and drawing out the meaning.  Translation is often an ill-suited medium for this, even though it is the one most commonly used.  One may have a  very clear understanding of something and till find it troublesome to capture all of the information in a translation.  Do not worry: exposition gives you the opportunity to elaborate aspects of a passage that cannot be well-aptured in tranlation. (19)

To me this just lends more support for the importance of knowlng and understanding how to work in the biblical languages.  Knowing how a word is to be translated when onw understands the function of the word in Greek.


2 responses to “on exegesis and translation

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