Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A bit of Greek musing

I was reading in Hebrews tonight in the Greek and ran across this:
τότε εἴρηκεν· ἰδοὺ ἥκω τοῦ ποιῆσαι τὸ θέλημά σου. ἀναιρεῖ τὸ πρῶτον ἵνα τὸ δεύτερον στήσῃ, 10 ἐν ᾧ θελήματι ἡγιασμένοι ἐσμὲν διὰ τῆς προσφορᾶς τοῦ σώματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐφάπαξ. (Heb 10:9-10 NA27)

then he added, “Lo, I have come to do thy will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (RSV)

<idle musing>
I had never noticed the repetition of θέλημα (will) before; it gets lost in the English unless one is paying close attention—as does the use of the perfect passive periphrastic—; possibly because in English "that" isn't as clear as if it had been translated "which". And remember that ἁγιάζω can be translated "holy" not just sanctified, which to my mind sounds too lofty and distant. I would English it as "by which will we have been made holy..." or some such to bring out the reference back to the will of God in the previous verse(s), even though it makes bad English : )

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