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Galatians 3:20 ܕܚܕ

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:05 pm
by sestir
ܡܨܥܝܐ ܕܝܢ ܠܐ ܗܘܐ ܕܚܕ ܐܠܗܐ ܕܝܢ ܚܕ ܗܘ ܀

Almost every bible translates the Greek of this expression so that the sense is: the mediator does not belong to one (person).

KJV: Now a mediator is not [a mediator] of one, but God is one.
ESV: Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
NASB: Now a mediator is not for one [party only]; whereas God is [only] one.
Vg: Intercessor aut unius no est, at deus unus est.

TWTY: However, the mediator ... does not exist as ... one ..., but ... God is ... [entity].

The Greek behind this is (P46, B, W&H and R&P agree):
ὁ δὲ μεσίτης ἑνὸς οὐκ ἔστιν, ὁ δὲ θεὸς εἷς ἐστιν.

ο μεσιτης — the mediator
δε — now/however
ενος — one's/of one, masc/neut genitive
ουκ — not
εστιν — (he/it) is

I wonder, of course, what dchad ܕܚܕ can mean. If the letter to the Galatians was written in Aramaic, the translator into Greek could have been too literal. Can it be a means of expressing oneness as a property to prefix it with d or should it be understood as a genitive of connection?

If we assume a Greek origin, it seems to me that genitive is used so frequently for comparisons and states that it would be dangerous to supply an extra word like in the translations KJV, ESV and NASB above.

Luke 10:41,42 Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many [things], but one [thing] is necessary. — ESV
Μάρθα Μάρθα, μεριμνᾷς καὶ θορυβάζῃ περὶ πολλά, ἑνός δέ ἐστιν χρεία

Here I see no problem with adding "thing" because it is implied by πολλα, but the genitive case did not follow εις into English. Perhaps it shouldn't in Gal 3 either. Could it be because it is a comparison? "The genitive denotes the standard or point of departure from which the comparison is made ..." — Smyth, 1431§. However the examples don't seem to apply here.

If the genitive is just due to it being a comparison, even though no comparing word (eg. greater, smarter, different from) was used, we get:
Now, the mediator isn't single, but God is one.

Which is my suggestion. Any ideas? :mrgreen:

Re: Galatians 3:20 ܕܚܕ

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:13 pm
by Swalchy
Unfortunately I don't know enough Aramaic to disagree. Your translation there is pretty much how I've translated the Greek; however looking at it, I think I've missed typing the word "of": However, the mediator and intervener, arbitrator and go-between, reconciler and interceder does not exist as of only one and one alone, but to the contrary, God is and exists as one single, unique and unanimous entity.

What is exactly meant with the comparison here has actually caused scholars to produce over 300 interpretations of it (as per FF Bruce, The NIGTC: The Epistle to the Galatians, Page 178).

Furthermore, you've actually made me realise just how un-Pauline such a phrase is. When Paul says that "God is one" in other letters, he never has θεὸς εἷς ἐστιν (noun - adjective - verb), but just has εἷς θεὸς (adjective - noun: Rom 3:30; 1 Cor. 8:6; and the usually disputed book, 1 Tim 2:5).

Paul, as a Hebrew writing in Greek, usually omits the verb for "existing" - he doesn't include it, and from what can be seen, especially when it comes to saying that "God is One".

From what I understand, the omission of "existing" is also prevalent in Aramaic, which would lead one to conclude that Galatians is not an Aramaic composition.

(I would expect Paul to have written the following: ὁ γαρ μεσίτης οὐκ ἑνὸς, εἷς δὲ ὁ θεὸς :) )

Re: Galatians 3:20 ܕܚܕ

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:53 pm
by sestir
Even I could recognize your reordered sentence as more natural...
I read an opinion to the effect that the word order affect the sense in this case, so that everyone and not just Paul have to write εις before Θεος or else heis would function as an indefinite article. ... 40862.html

In Scandinavian dialects we have a word ens, which is a genitive of cardinal no 1. Ens means to say they are of one mind/similar/alike.

Re: Galatians 3:20 ܕܚܕ

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:09 pm
by Swalchy
I need to learn a scandinavian language. I'm quite clueless on them at the moment (I do know 'no' in russian: Nyet :P ).

But this again highlights what I mean regarding the above in Galatians: it isn't following the common way Paul (and others) said and wrote things. Why this hasn't caused scholars to question Galatians even slightly is so ridiculously peculiar, I just don't have an explanation for it...

Re: Galatians 3:20 ܕܚܕ

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:42 pm
by sestir
I need to learn a scandinavian language. I'm quite clueless on them at the moment (I do know 'no' in russian: Nyet :P ).
No, you don't need to.
Russian counts among the slavic languages and is rarely spoken in Scandinavia. I can think of three languages that could be called Scandinavian: Nordic (including the sovereign dialects: Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Norweigan and Swedish, as well as many non-national dialects), Finnish and Sami.

Nordic (Nordiska) is the modern version of North Germanic, a language (or family) that branched off from the other Germanic languages a handfull of centuries before Christ' era. It has been somewhat conservative and retained some expressions, grammar and vocabulary from hellenistic time. However that disappears rapidly from the sovereign dialects today and I know of no literature or language courses that will teach the non-sovereign dialects to foreigners (such as Gotlandic (Gutniska) and Scanian (Skånska)).

I think your time is better spent on other things. I know a guy from the Netherlands who learned some Swedish in order to improve his (Moeso-)Gothic. It seemed a good idea on the surface, but Swedish language courses teach a clean and modern Swedish, rid of most Gothic influences and vocabulary. While some Scandinavian dialects (that are spoken in Sweden and therefore called 'Swedish dialects') have three genders and almost the same cases as Gothic, standard Swedish has two genders and rarely use accusative, instrumental or locative.

Maybe I should tell the same thing to myself regarding the need to learn Aramaic. :mrgreen: