CLAOTB: Even More Greek Terminology

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Considering Lingual Aspects of the Bible:
Even More Greek Terminology

 
This section is long, it consists of two major parts. The first part is about 900 words. The second part is about 2600 words. This section will be the last section devoted to Greek Terminology.

 
Part One
In the previous section: More Greek Terminology, I spent time looking specifically at John 4, showing that how the English chooses to translate the Greek term matters to how the English reader reads the text.

In the previous section, I also explained that within the Greek, aner is aner, and that simplicity of the Koine Greek should be easily seen in the English translation.

Additionally, I also explained that within the Greek, gune is gune, and that simplicity of the Koine Greek should be easily seen in the English translation.

In the KJV, at least it translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into only two English terms: “woman” and “wife”.

However, for the KJV that cannot be said for the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435), because the KJV also translates the Greek term aner into the English terms: “sirs” and “fellows”.

In Acts 7.26, Acts 14.15, Acts 19.25, Acts 27.10, Acts 27.21, Acts 27.25 the KJV translated the plural of the Greek term aner into the English term “sirs”.

If my verse lookup is correct, except Acts 27.10, the ESV translates all of those instances of the plural Greek term aner into the plural English term “men”.

So in those specific passages, the ESV has greater consistency than the KJV, but that one exception means that the ESV itself is not consistent with how the ESV itself translated the remainder of the verses that were enumerated.

In Acts 17.5, the KJV translated the plural of the Greek term aner into the plural English term “fellows”, but the ESV appears to have translated the plural of the Greek term aner into the plural English term “men”.

While the ESV seemed to do a more consistent effort of translating the plural of the Greek term aner into the English term “men”, the issue is that the ESV is like the KJV in that both translations will translate the Greek term aner into the English terms “man” (e.g. Mark 10.2) and “husband” (e.g. Mark 10.12).

 
In the section: Greek Terminology, I also showed that the English translates the Greek term anthropos (ανθρωπος, G444) into the English term “man”.

While the Greek term anthropos most certainly can refer to a male human, the Greek term anthropos can also refer to the collective of humanity.

But consider that the Greek term anthropos occurs in Matthew 7.9 “Or what anthropos is there of you…”.

In that instance, the Greek term anthropos could refer to any individual human, which most certainly includes the possiblity of referring to any female.

Because of that, I might translate that portion of that verse as” Or what “person” is there of you…”.

Doing so would present in the English the lingual nature of the Greek, in that the Greek term anthropos can refer to any person.

The ESV seems to translate Matthew 7.9 in a manner to convey the expansive nature of the Greek term anthropos.

The issue is that no English translation is completely consistent, not even the best of the Interlinear Bibles.

As much as it seems that I am picking on Bible translators, in some cases, the issue has little to do with the translators, but the English language itself, at least, for two reasons.

One, there are times one English term cannot express adequately the Hebrew or the Greek.

There will be those who use that as justification to translate the Greek term aner into the English term “husband” and to translate the Greek term gune into the English term “wife”.

My response to that is articulated throughout the section: Considering Lingual Aspects of the English, where I postulated that the modern definitions of the English terms: “husband” and “wife” have rendered the English term “husband” and the English term “wife” as functionally archaic, which means that the English term “husband” is not the best term for translating the Greek term aner and means that the English term “wife” in not the best term for translating the Greek term gune.

My response to number one directly relates to number two.

There are times that the English changes definitions and the English terms become obsolete, making the terms archaic, which is my postulation about the English term “husband” and the English term “wife”. The English Bible is filled with archaic terms (e.g. Google results for Bible list archaic english), and as long as the English language is a living language the English Bible will continue to suffer obsolete and archaic terms and definitions.

These translation moments exist, and the way in which the English translates the Greek affects the manner in which the English reader reads, interprets, and understands the verse.

That is why I am postulating that while the English Bible began with the English term “husband” and began with the English term “wife” that the English language has developed away from those early definitions to where those early definitions are, here in modernity, functionally archaic definitions among English readers.

Therefore, since the old definitions for the English term “husband” and the English term “wife” have become functionally archaic, but the terms remain a lingual reality of the English language, then it follows that those terms have significantly different interpreted meanings in modernity than when the English Bible first appeared.

That means the English term “husband” has become functionally archaic for translating the Greek term aner and the English term “wife” has become functionally archaic for translating the Greek term gune.

 
 
 
Part Two
In the following groups, I have provided more examples of the Koine Greek terms anthropos, aner, and gune. The groups are not exhaustive to represent the entire range of the NT, but the examples are sufficient to establish my point that the Greek linguistics (especially for aner, and gune) are consistent whereas the English alternates terminology.

I will replace the English term with the transliteration of the Greek term, by providing the root Greek term, which will not show any variations based on grammatical variants (e.g. Case, Number).

When one examines the verses in the following lists with the KJV, one will find the English terms. Even though this is based on the KJV, I encourage my reader to have their English Bible for comparison.

In the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term anthropos (ανθρωπος, G444) into the English term “man”:
    – “…anthropos shall not live by bread alone” (Mat. 4.4);
    – “…I am a[n] anthropos under authority…” (Mat. 8.9);
    – “…a[n] anthropos with an unclean spirit…” (Mark 1.23);
    – “…every anthropos a liar…” (Romans 3.4);
    – “…let every anthropos be swift to hear…” (James 1.19);
    – “…the hidden anthropos of the heart…” (1 Peter 3.4).

To see how the choice of an English term influences the verse, in each of those examples, I encourage my reader to translate the Greek term anthropos into the English term “person”.

Importantly, while anthropos can refer to the individual male human, the Greek term anthropos can serve as gender neutral by simply being used to refer to an individual “person”.

Interestingly, another example is Matthew 9.9, where the KJV translates the Greek term anthropos into the English term “man”.

In that verse, the name Matthew helps us see that the individual was masculine, but the Greek term anthropos could have been translated into the English term “person” and the verse would not lose integrity.

Therefore, while the Greek term anthropos is technically masculine, depending on grammatic structure, the term can function in the gender neutral (e.g. Matthew 4.4, 9.9).

My reader should note that in those examples the Greek term was anthropos, not the Greek term aner.

Additionally, my reader should note that the English never translates the Greek term anthropos into the English “husband”.

 
In the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “man”:
    – “…I will liken him unto a wise aner…” (Mat. 7.24);
    – “…shall be likened unto a foolish aner…” (Mat. 7.26);
    – “…a[n] aner full of leprosy…” (Luke 5.12);
    – “A double minded aner…” (James 1.8);
    – “Blessed is the aner…” (James 1.12).

I won’t ignore that the above examples of the Greek term aner could be translated into an English term like “person” and doing such would have an impact on how the English reader reads and interprets the verse. That is without question.

Reflectively, I can see that there seems to be good rationale for translating those examples into the English term “person”.

Why?

Because while the Greek term aner is masculine, in the above examples, the grammatical structure surrounding the Greek term seems to lingually lend the Greek term to being used in the gender neutral.

So how does that affect my postulation?

Full disclosure, it does. One can’t ignore it.

But the reality remains, lingually in the Greek aner is aner is aner, even if/when aner functions in the gender neutral.

With that in mind, when the context conveys such (e.g. the above examples) perhaps, there seems to be latitude for translating the Greek term aner into a gender neutral English term like “person”.

However, even if/when that is done, the verses that have the Greek term aner and when that aner has some type of personal relationship with a gune, then in those instances of the Greek term aner should be translated into the English term “man”.

Doing that avoids reading (eisegeting) our SCECS Accepted Marriage into the Biblical text.

 
In the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “man”:
    – “…he was a just aner…” (Mark 6.20);
    – “…a[n] aner named Jairus…” (Luke 8.41);
    – “…when I became a[n] aner…” (1 Cor. 13.11).

In Mark 6.20, the Greek term aner refers back to John, who is masculine. Therefore it is proper for the English to translate the Greek term aner into the English term “man”.

In Luke 8.41, the Greek term aner refers to Jairus, who is masculine.

Interestingly, Luke 8.41 utilized the Greek term aner to refer to Jairus, but Matthew 9.9 utilized the Greek term anthropos to refer to Matthew. These types of things are not inconsistencies in the Koine Greek. Instead these types of things reflect how each author has a unique style within their material.

In 1 Corinthians 13.11, the Greek term is aner, but the Greek term is referring to Paul, who himself is masculine.

 
However, in the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “husband”:
    – “…Joseph her aner…” (Mat. 1.19);
    – “…Anna… had lived with an aner…” (Luke 2.36);
    – “…her that is put away from her aner…” (Luke 16.18b);
    – “…buried her by her aner…” (Acts 5.10);
    – “…I have espoused you to one aner…” (2 Cor. 11.2).

Importantly, as my reader can see, the Greek term aner is not consistently translated with one English term.

If my reader were to go to the previous examples and use the English term “husband” and were to go the above examples and use the English term “man”, my reader can see how the different English terms affect our understanding of any given verse.

I have been postulating that it is best to translate the Koine Greek into “Koine” English, meaning that when the Greek term aner is in the verse, then the English reader reads the English term “man”.

As I stated previously, there are some verses (e.g. Matthew 7.24, 7.26; Luke 5.12; James 1.8, 1.12) where the Greek term aner seems to function in the gender neutral, as such the English could translate the Greek term aner into the English term “person”.

However, if/when that is done, it is still a disservice to the English reader to translate the Greek term aner into the English term “husband”.

Why?

Because the English reader depends on English Bible translations.

That means the English reader will read the English Bible interpreting the English term “husband” through the English reader’s understanding of the English term “husband”.

That means that most English readers read (eisegete) into the Biblical text their own SCECS and the modern definition of “marriage”.

That happens because the older definition of the English term “husband” (a cultivator) has become archaic.

That definition became archaic when it was replaced (supplanted) by a different definition for “husband”, a definition that relates a “husband” directly to “marriage”.

Therefore, it is still my postulation that the English should translate the Greek term aner into the English term “man”.

Doing that would allow the English reader to read the passage and determine for themselves what type of personal relationship a “man” (aner) may or may not have with a “woman” (gune).

 
In the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “woman”:
    – “…whosoever looketh on a gune…” (Mat.5.28);
    – “…a gune took, and hid…” (Mat. 13.33);
    – “…the gune died also.” (Mat. 22.27);
    – “…a gune taken in adultery…” (John 8.3);
    – “…this gune was taken in adultery…” (John 8.4);
    – “…the gune standing in the midst.” (John 8.9);
    – “…a certain gune named Lydia…” (Acts 16.14);
    – “…a gune named Damaris” (Acts 17.34).

As my reader can see, between those examples and the next group of examples, the Greek term gune is not consistently translated with one English term.

If my reader were to go to the above examples and use the English term “wife” and were to go to the following examples and use the English term “woman” my reader can see how the different English terms affect our understanding of any given verse.

Simply consider Matthew 5.28. If the English translated the Greek term gune into the English term “wife” the verse takes on a completely different moral and ethical application.

Consider John 8.3, 8.4, and 8.9. If the English translated the Greek term gune into the English term “wife” the verses and the narrative takes on a much different moral and ethical application.

Consider Acts 16.14. If the English translated the Greek term gune into the Engish term “wife” the verse would convey to English readers that a “woman” within a “marriage” had been persuaded to follow Jesus.

 
Contrastingly, in the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “wife”:
    – “…Mary thy gune…” (Mat. 1.20);
    – “…whosoever shall put away his gune…” (Mat. 5.32);
    – “…whosoever shall put away his gune…” (Mat. 19.9);
    – “…Zacharias… and his gune… Elisabeth.” (Luke 1.5);
    – “…Ananias with Sapphira his gune…” (Acts 5.1);
    – “…Aquila… with his gune Priscilla…” (Acts 18.2);
    – “…Felix… with his gune Drusilla…” (Acts 24.24);
    – “…one should [not] have his father’s gune…” (1 Cor. 5.1).

As my reader can see, between the immediate examples above and the previous group of examples, the Greek term gune is not consistently translated with one English term.

If the reader were to go to the above examples and use the English term “woman” and were to go to the previous group of examples and use the English term “wife” my reader can see how the different English terms affect our understanding of any given verse.

When any of the above examples have the English translate the Greek term gune into the English term “woman”, the verses take on new aspects that can challenge the English reader.

What would it mean that Mary was Joseph’s woman (cf. Mat. 1.20)?

One thing is certain, Joseph and Mary did not have a SCECS Accepted Marriage, because the SCECS Accepted Marriage did not yet exist.

Same applies to Zacharias and Elisabeth (Luke 1.5), Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5.1), Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18.2), and Felix and Drusilla (Acts 24.24).

All of those personal relationships would need to be constructed within their ancient ‘scecs’ and perhaps we might begin to see how their personal relationship was defined, developed, understood, and what the accountabilities and responsibilities were within their personal relationships.

As for 1 Corinthians 5.1, when the English does not translate the Greek term gune into the English term “wife”, then the entire verse takes on a different moral and ethical dynamic.

Additionally, what would it mean for a man to put away his woman (cf. Matthew 5.32, 19.9)?

Again the SCECS Accepted Marriage did not exist back during the AD/CE First Century. So what did Jesus mean when Jesus stated those things in Matthew 5.32 and 19.9?

These are the questions that arise when the English translates the Koine Greek terms into “Koine” English terms, translating the Greek term aner into the English term “man” and translating the Greek term gune into the English term “woman”.

 
In the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “husband” and translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “wife”:
    – “Let the aner render unto the gune…” (1 Cor. 7.3a);
    – “…likewise the aner… the gune.” (1 Cor. 7.4b);
    – “…let not the aner put away his gune.” (1 Cor. 7.11);
    – “A bishop… the aner of one gune…” (1 Tim. 3.2).

I simply offer that if/when the English translates the Koine Greek into “Koine” English, the English reader is then confronted with personal relationship dynamics that the current English translations do not offer, which create the need for reexamining the personal relationship and what the Scriptures are trying to communicate.

 
In the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term anthropos (ανθρωπος, G444) into the English term “man” and translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “wife”:
    – “…Is it lawful for… anthropos to put away his gune…” (Mat. 19.3);
    – “…anthropos… shall cleave to his gune…” (Mat. 19.5);
    – “…the anthropos be so with his gune…” (Mat. 19.10).

In the above, the Greek term is anthropos as opposed to the Greek term aner. Again, this gives reality that the writer of Matthew chose different Greek terms to convey information within the written work.

But what can be understood is the manner in which the English translates the Greek term anthropos affects the way in which the English reader reads the verse.

 
In the following verse, the KJV translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “man” and translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “wife”:
    – “…Is it lawful for a[n] aner to put away his gune…” (Mark 10.2).

In that example, the author of the book of Mark used the Greek term aner as opposed to the Greek term anthropos.

Simply translate the Greek term aner into the English term “husband”. Doing so infuses (eisegetes) the SCECS Accepted Marriage into the text.

Or simply translate the Greek term gune into the English term “woman” and the verse takes on a different moral, ethical, and personal relationship dynamic.

 
In the following verse, the KJV translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “man” and translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “woman”:
    – “…neither is the aner without the gune…” (1 Cor. 11.11a KJV).

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term aner into the English term “husband”.

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term gune into the English term “wife”.

 
In the following verses, the KJV translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “wife” and translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “husband”:
    – “…if a gune shall put away her aner…” (Mark 10.12);
    – “…also the gune unto the aner.” (1 Cor. 7.3b);
    – “…the gune… the aner.” (1 Cor. 7.4a);
    – “…Let not the gune depart from her aner.” (1 Cor. 7.10).

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term gune into the English term “woman”.

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term aner into the English term “man”.

 
In the following verse, the KJV translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “wife” and translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “man”:
    – “…the gune of one aner…” (1 Tim. 5.9).

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term gune into the English term “woman”.

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term aner into the English term “husband”.

 
In the following verse, the KJV translates the Greek term gune (γυνη, G1135) into the English term “woman” and translates the Greek term aner (ανηρ, G435) into the English term “man”:
    – “…neither [is] the gune without the aner…” (1 Cor. 11.11b KJV).

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term gune into the English term “wife”.

Simply consider how different the English would read if the English translated the Greek term aner into the English term “husband”.

 
Even when taking into consideration what I postulated in this section about the Greek term aner, the issue at hand is that the English translation does not remain consistent.

This English inconsistency creates a unique issue for the readers of the English Bible, that the readers of the Greek and that the readers of the Hebrew did not experience.

I have simply postulated that the manner in which modernity has defined the English term “husband” and the English term “wife” makes both terms directly relate to “marriage”, and because of that, those English terms promote an incorrect reading of the Scriptures, which means those English terms have become incapable of revealing the nature of the personal relationships found within the Bible.

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