[sword-devel] Question about Strong Markup of Matthew 1:20

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 19:06:00 MST 2005

To claim that it is always a paragraph marker would be to take too
simplistic a view of the translation and meaning of the term.  It can often
be used to indicate a new paragraph, but can also be used in a way that
would join together two actions, such as "Jesus went around preaching and
healing.  And while he was walking along..." or some usage like that.  If
"de" is to be thought of as always indicating a new paragraph in the Greek,
then there are lots of missing paragraph lines in translations of the NT.  I
have, though, noticed more and more modern translations (rightly) leaving
out some of the occurances of the word.


On 11/30/05, Art Bolstad <Art at arthurbolstad.com> wrote:
> Just a translator's note:  "de" in Greek (always the second word in a
> sentance) is a paragraph marker.  As such it is really shown in English
> by the indentation.  But it "feels" funny if a Greek word is not shown
> with an English word.
> art
> Greg Hellings wrote:
> > Vladimir,
> >
> > I believe your problem can be resolved with a little expounding of
> > Greek grammar.  Both of the depictions are actually correct.  I would
> > tend to lean towards the markup you have from Sword as being "more"
> > correct, but allow me to explain it with the following:
> >
> > The Greek, with the direct "interlinear" style translation under it
> reads:
> >       tauta      de   autou  enthumethentos
> > these things but     he      while thought
> >
> > I don't usually work with Strongs, but if I can guess what Strongs is
> > doing here it comes down to this:
> > Word 1161 is the particle "de" which is loosely translated as "but"
> > although it simply means a continuation of the story, action or
> > thought and is equally well translated "and, so" etc.
> > Word 846 is probably actually "autou" - which in this case is the
> > genitive form of the pronoun "he."
> > Word 1760 is the genitive "enthumethentos" - the genitive participle
> > of "thought on."
> > Word 5023 is clearly the plural verb "tauta" which means "these" or
> > "these things."
> >
> > When the genitive pronoun is combined with the genitive participle
> > (the words "autou enthumethentos") the result is what is called, in
> > Greek, the "genitive absolute."  Normally when a noun appears in the
> > genitive it indicates possession of something, but when it is combined
> > with a participle, the result could mean almost anything.  Most
> > translators would understand the phrase to mean "while he was
> > thinking" but genitive absolutes have to be translated a bunch of
> > different ways, all depending on the context.  Sometimes it could
> > equally well be "because" or "after" or "before" or any other number
> > of meanings.  The translator has to figure it out from the context.
> > So, essentially, the word "while" does not, strictly speaking, appear
> > in this passage.  However, most of the time in your Bible that you see
> > the word "while" and sometimes even the word "because" and so on, the
> > Greek actually has this same exact construct.  So the word "while"
> > could be thought of as either part of the noun (word 846) or as part
> > of the verb (word 1760).  So both versions of the Strong's markup are
> > technically valid, but the one you get from Sword is more accurate.
> >
> > Ideally, the word "while" would somehow be indicated as a supplied
> > word in the English translation, if the reader is supposed to be
> > working from the Greek.  Many older KJV bibles had this feature by
> > means of italicizing words.  However, for everyday readers, this
> > results in less clarity because they think that the italicized word
> > has greater importance, whereas the italics usually mean that the use
> > of this word was *more* of an interpretive decision than the words
> > around it.  So you might say that the following is a better parsing of
> > the text:
> >
> > 1161 -> But, and, so
> > while -> understood from context, also valid as "because" or other
> > possible meanings
> > 846 -> he
> > 1760 -> thought on
> > 5023 -> these things
> >
> > Hope that helps more than it confuses.  If you really want to learn
> > more, get a good Greek grammar that will teach you something about the
> > genitive absolute construct.  Or, better yet, do that anyway and learn
> > some Greek so you can read the Bible in Greek... actually, I wouldn't
> > recommend that course of action; it takes too long and is usually too
> > time consuming even when have have learned Greek :).
> >
> > --Greg
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
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