Month: March 2009

Second Timothy 2.8-13

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 2.8-13

8 Μνημόνευε Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν
8 Remember Jesus Christ,
        ἐκ νεκρῶν,
        from the dead,
    ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυίδ,
    from the seed of David, 
    κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιόν μου, 
    according to my gospel;

9 ἐν ᾧ κακοπαθῶ 
9 in which I suffer misfortune, 
    μέχρι δεσμῶν 
    even to being bound with chains 
        ὡς κακοῦργος, 
        as a criminal, 
    ἀλλὰ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ οὐ δέδεται· 
    but the word of God has not been bound.

    10 διὰ τοῦτο 
    10 For this reason 
πάντα ὑπομένω
I endure all things
    διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς, 
    for the sake of the elect,
    ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ σωτηρίας τύχωσιν
    so that they may also obtain salvation 
        τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ
        which is in Christ Jesus
        μετὰ δόξης αἰωνίου.
        with eternal glory.

11 πιστὸς ὁ λόγος·
11 This saying is trustworthy:
    εἰ γὰρ συναπεθάνομεν, καὶ συζήσομεν·
    For if we died together, we will also live together;
    12 εἰ ὑπομένομεν, καὶ συμβασιλεύσομεν·
    12 If we endure, we will also rule together as kings;
    εἰ ἀρνησόμεθα, κἀκεῖνος ἀρνήσεται ἡμᾶς·
    If we will deny him, He also will deny us;
    13 εἰ ἀπιστοῦμεν, ἐκεῖνος πιστὸς μένει,
    13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful,
        ἀρνήσασθαι γὰρ ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται.
        for he is unable to deny himself.


Recall that 2Ti 2.1-13 is likely one section, with subsections of 2Ti 2.1-7 and 2Ti 2.8-13. See previous entry on 2Ti 2.1-7.

Verse 8

Μνημόνευε Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν] Here μνημονεύω is an imperative, in the second person singular; Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν (accusative) is the object of the verb. Timothy is to remember Jesus Christ. Paul provides other supplementary information about Christ, discussed below.

ἐγηγερμένον ἐκ νεκρῶν] participial clause, here further describing “Jesus Christ”. One important aspect of Paul’s gospel is that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.

ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυίδ] prepositional phrase, this as well modifies “Jesus Christ”, providing us even more essential information about him: He has not only been raised from the dead, he is also of the seed of David.

κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιόν μου] prepositional phrase, with accusative object. I believe that this as well modifies “Jesus Christ” and acts as a summary statement: “Remember Jesus Christ … according to my gospel”. Note ESV’s translation, “as preached in my gospel”, which inserts a verb (“as preached in”) that doesn’t actually exist in the text.

Verse 9

Note: v. 9 in the above assumes the start of a new clause unit. Here I follow Marshall who notes “In terms of syntax the next phrase is added on loosely to the preceding phrase by a rel. pron., but it should probably be regarded as a main affirmation. The rel. construction is used, as frequently, as a link and not as a means of subordination.” (ICC Pastoral Epistles, 736)

ἐν ᾧ κακοπαθῶ] another prepositional phrase, this with a relative clause (headed by a dative relative pronoun) as the object, “in which I suffer”. The pronoun’s referent is Paul’s gospel. He suffers because of what he preaches (some content of which is reflected in the emphasis on Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, and of the seed of David).

μέχρι δεσμῶν] μέχρι can be parsed as an adverb or as an improper preposition. Here the phrase provides further circumstance to the suffering, indicating the extent of which or degree of which Paul will endure: he will “suffer even to the point of being imprisoned” (BDAG). Here δεσμῶν is best translated using “bound” in some way (“bound in chains”) due to the play on words in the upcoming αλλα statement.

ὡς κακοῦργος] adverbial, further circumstance to the main verb, κακοπαθῶ. Note also the κακ* stem being repeated (cf. κακοπαθῶ above). Paul suffers “in chains/bonds”, he suffers “as a criminal”.

ἀλλὰ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ οὐ δέδεται] Here the αλλα offers correction to the previous statement. Paul has set himself up as an example. He preached his gospel, concerning Christ’s resurrection, and as a result suffered as a criminal, even being imprisoned. But, Paul avers, “the word of God has not been bound!” Here the contrast is in the binding. Even though Paul has been shut up in prison, the word of God has continued its proclamation. Paul takes heart in this, and is exhorting Timothy to continue in preaching Jesus Christ, to continue to ensure that the word of God will be preached and proclaimed.

Verse 10

διὰ τοῦτο] Fronted prepositional phrase, providing circumstance to the following verb. The referent of τοῦτο (“this”) is likely looking back (thus following Marshall, ICC 737; though cf. Knight, NIGTC 398, who sees it as looking ahead).

πάντα] Fronted object. Translated “all things”, serves as the object of the verb. Runge labels it with “main clause emphasis”, though it isn’t “emphasized” as one would normally think. Runge says it is the most important information in the clause.

ὑπομένω] Present active indicative, here in the sense of “endure” (cf. 1Ti 6.11). Paul endures all things because of Christ and the gospel. See also v. 12 below, where the same word is used (in the “faithful saying”).

διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς] prepositional phrase, “for the sake of the elect”, providing circumstance to the verb. Paul perseveres in spite of persecution so that he is a continuing example to those who will later be persecuted.

ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ σωτηρίας τύχωσιν] subordinate clause, ἵνα + τύχωσιν, “so that they may obtain”. Note the extra inclusion of the pronoun αὐτοὶ, “they”, making the subject explicit instead of implicit (via grammaticalization of the verb person/number). This is a specific referent, referring back to the elect. Also notice the “adverbial” καὶ; usually translated “also”. Lastly, σωτηρίας (accusative) is what is also being obtained. On salvation language in the Pastoral Epistles, see George Weiland, $amz(1597527211 The Significance of Salvation: A Study of Salvation Language in the Pastoral Epistles), who discusses this specific instance as well as every other instance in the PE.

τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ] Here the article functions like a relative pronoun, thus this structure functions like a relative clause; the prepositional phrase provides circumstance to the implied “is” verb; “which is in Christ Jesus”. The referent of the article functioning as pronoun is σωτηρίας in the previous clause.

μετὰ δόξης αἰωνίου] prepositional phrase, providing circumstance to the verb of the subordinate clause.

Verse 11

Note: πιστὸς ὁ λόγος is a catch phrase in the Pastoral Epistles. The full scope of it will not be examined here. Sometimes it is cataphoric, sometimes it is anaphoric. See Knight, $amz(0801054028 The Faithful Sayings in the Pastoral Letters), for more information.

πιστὸς ὁ λόγος] Here this acts almost like a quotation formula, indicating some sort of likely quoted material that follows as worthy and somehow relevant to the current context. It is followed by four conditional clauses, which various commentators have made various suggestions concerning the relationship between clauses and progression of subject matter within the clauses.

γὰρ] The γὰρ offers support, connecting the introduction to the “faithful word” to this group of clauses. Several commentaries (Marshall is best; Mounce and Knight are also worthy of consultation) handle the four statements as a unit, discussing possible approaches to them. The interesting aspects to me involve the tenses of each conditional clause as well as any semantic contrast present by virtue of concepts/words used. Also necessary is to recall the larger context from above; Paul has just laid out essential aspects of his “gospel”; he has said that even if he is bound, the word of God is not bound; he has encouraged Timothy to continue to proclaim his gospel; he has noted his own motive for “enduring all things”, which is to bring Christ’s salvation to the ones who are his. Here the “faithful word” justifies/provides support for Paul’s action, and for Paul’s exhortation of Timothy to endure as Paul has endured.

εἰ γὰρ συναπεθάνομεν, καὶ συζήσομεν] conditional clause. The καὶ is adverbial. Note contrast in the verbs, between aorist “we died together” and future “we will live together”. The καὶ ties the two actions together, bringing an almost sequential vibe to the wisdom saying.

Verse 12

εἰ ὑπομένομεν, καὶ συμβασιλεύσομεν] conditional clause. The καὶ is adverbial here as well. Here the contrast in verbs is between the present tense “if we endure” and the future tense “we will also reign”. Again, the effect is to create sequence between the two verbs. Note also lexical cohesion with earlier instance of ὑπομένω in v. 10, above. Here present difficulties, if rightly endured, are rewarded in the future.

εἰ ἀρνησόμεθα, κἀκεῖνος ἀρνήσεται ἡμᾶς] conditional clause. Here the first verb is a future tense verb; the crasis κἀκεῖνος (και + ἐκεῖνος) consists of an adverbial και and the demonstrative pronoun. This is interesting because of the function of the demonstrative. Runge (following Levinsohn) calls ἐκεῖνος in such circumstances the “far demonstrative”, hence a sense of “that” or “that one” is intended. This, combined with the middle voice of the repeated verb could be translated “if we deny [him]; that one, he will also deny us”. The effect is to focus on the second party who is somewhat removed from the current context, the one initially denied, and his reaction to the denial. I’ve not followed this translation above, but that is largely because it sounds clunky. The sense is there, and I may revisit to see if some of the idea can be worked in more smoothly.

Verse 13

εἰ ἀπιστοῦμεν, ἐκεῖνος πιστὸς μένει] conditional clause. Again, note the tenses of the two verbs; here they are both present. Also again note the presence of ἐκεῖνος, the “far demonstrative”. Again, it could be translated “If we are unfaithful, that one, he remains faithful”. Also interesting is the lexical cohesion; here μενω could be seen as part of a semantic chain with the two previous instances of ὑπομένω (vv. 10 & 12).

ἀρνήσασθαι γὰρ ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται] This offers support to the previous clause, God remains faithful because he cannot deny himself. This provides the motive/support for remaining faithful. Some (e.g. Runge, Knight, Marshall, Mounce) see the cause as functionally subordinate while others (e.g. mark it as a separate top-level clause. Some lexical cohesion within the unit is present with the repeating of ἀρνήσασθαι (cf. v. 12b above). The infinitive clause functioning as complement (ἀρνήσασθαι .. ἑαυτὸν, “to deny himself”) is fronted, with a negator and a verb following (“not he is able”). The infinitive clause completes the primary verb (“he is not able to deny himself”).

First Timothy 3.2 and Polygamy

First, on the Koinonia blog (Zondervan), Bill Mounce wrote on 1Ti 3.2 noting that there were four possibilities on how to translate μιας γυναικας ανδρα (the “one-woman man” or “husband of one wife”). Read the post, I won’t duplicate his four options here.

Today, Matthew Burgess on the Confessions of a Bible Junkie blog followed up with some nice tidbits on Mounce’s option 2, which sees the phrase as focused against polygamy. Check it out as well.

Second Timothy 1.15-18

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 1.15-18

15 Οἶδας τοῦτο,
15 You know this,
    ὅτι ἀπεστράφησάν με
    that they have turned away from me—
    πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ,
    all those in Asia,
            ὧν ἐστιν Φύγελος καὶ Ἑρμογένης.
            among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

16 δῴη ἔλεος ὁ κύριος τῷ Ὀνησιφόρου οἴκῳ,
16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus,
    ὅτι πολλάκις με ἀνέψυξεν
    because many times he refreshed me.
    καὶ τὴν ἅλυσίν μου οὐκ ἐπαισχύνθη,
    He was not afraid of my chains,
    17 ἀλλὰ γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ σπουδαίως ἐζήτησέν με καὶ εὗρεν·
    17 but having arrived in Rome he diligently sought and found me.

18 δῴη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος εὑρεῖν ἔλεος
18 May the Lord grant him to find mercy
    παρὰ κυρίου
    from the Lord
    ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ.
    on that day.

    ὅσα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ διηκόνησεν,
    of all the service he rendered in Ephesus,
βέλτιον σὺ γινώσκεις.
you are well aware.


Verse 15

Οἶδας τοῦτο] Runge (Discourse Grammar) labels this a “meta-comment”; from an epistolary form-critical perspective it may also be seen as an instance of the “disclosure formula” (e.g. Marshall). The idea of both approaches is to recognize that this is an instance where the author steps back from his default voice and exhorts the reader/hearer to pay attention to what follows because it is important. In this case, τοῦτο looks ahead to the content of the subordinate clause that immediately follows. Note also that Οἶδας is in the second person singular (that is, the referent would be the addressee, Timothy). Many think that this letter was written to a larger group, but grammatical cues such as this may argue against that notion.

ὅτι ἀπεστράφησάν με] subordinate clause, this is the content referenced by “know this”.

πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ] Here Paul more fully describes who was turning away from him. This is likely not a reference to everyone, everywhere in Asia, who was a Christian. It is more likely a reference to subordinates of Paul in Asia. This scope is clarified by the next comment, a relative clause that sharpens the scope of “all those in Asia”.

ὧν ἐστιν Φύγελος καὶ Ἑρμογένης] Here Paul references two specific people, Phygelus and Hermogenes, among the group of “all those who are in Asia”. Because Paul goes to this level of detail here, it is likely that the previous reference is also a smaller group of people, not the mass of Asian Christendom.

Verse 16

δῴη ἔλεος ὁ κύριος] Here δῴη is the aorist optative of διδωμι. Occurrence of the optative is relatively rare in the NT, notable is use of the same verb (with same parsing) in verse 18 below.

ὅτι πολλάκις με ἀνέψυξεν] A subordinate clause, here providing the reason for Paul’s wish that the Lord bestow mercy on the household of Onesiphorus: “because many times he refreshed me”.

καὶ] In the above translation, what is one sentence in the Greek I have split into two English sentences. As I read the verse at present, this καὶ marks the beginning of a new clause, where two parts are joined by αλλα and a comparison is made. In the English, this makes more sense as a separate sentence. This instance of καὶ is necessary in that it marks development of the previous clause, but it need not be “Englished” literally (“and”) as inserting a sentence break in the translation recognizes its function.

καὶ τὴν ἅλυσίν μου οὐκ ἐπαισχύνθη] As noted above, this clause (“He was not afraid of my chains”) is involved in a contrast with the clause that follows it. This portion is the “Counterpoint” (cf. Runge, Discourse Grammar), providing a platform for contrast with what follows.

Verse 17

ἀλλὰ γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ σπουδαίως ἐζήτησέν με καὶ εὗρεν] This is the “Point” of the contrasted pair, the item Paul desires to make prominent. Onesiphorus “sought and found” Paul instead of shying away because Paul was in prison.

γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ] Runge (Discourse Grammar) calls this a “nominative circumstantial frame”. This is when a participle is fronted before the primary verb of the clause, providing background to the current situation. Here the background is “having arrived in Rome”, which provides more background to the main action of the clause, “[Onesiphorus] sought and found me”.

Verse 18

δῴη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος εὑρεῖν ἔλεος] Note the similarity with the first portion of v. 16 above. The verb is the same, the subject is the same (“May the Lord grant”). The one receiving is the same as well, in v. 16 it is “the house of Onesiphorus”, in v. 18 it is “him” (e.g., Onesiphorus). In v. 16 “mercy” is directly wished; in v. 18 it is wished for Onesiphorus to be able “to find mercy”. The wishes, however, are slightly different in that v. 18 has a more directly eschatological vibe to it. On this (optative, syntactic and lexical similarity) see Van Neste, Cohesion and Structure, 159.

παρὰ κυρίου] prepositional phrase, “from the Lord”, and according to the analysis is modifying (providing circumstance) to the infinitive εὑρεῖν (“to find”).

ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ] prepositional phrase, “in that day”. This as well modifies the infinitive εὑρεῖν, “to find”. Paul wishes that Onesiphorus, on that final day, will find mercy from the Lord. This prepositional phrase is doubly interesting with the use of the far demonstrative ἐκεῖνος, “that”, which creates some metaphoric distance between the present time (of the composition) and the time of “that day” (cf. Runge, Discourse Grammar). Secondly, the use of the article with ἡμέρᾳ could be seen and further stressing the nature of “that particular day”.

καὶ ὅσα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ διηκόνησεν] “and of all the service he rendered in Ephesus”. The correlative pronoun indicates a comparison of sorts; Paul is reminding the reader(s) that Onesiphorus served well, and that the reader(s) know about it.

ἐν Ἐφέσῳ] A spatial frame (Runge, Discourse Grammar), the larger structure isn’t about Onesiphorus’ service in general, it is specifically about the service he rendered in Ephesus. Also, ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ is a great blog you should really have in your blog reader.

βέλτιον σὺ γινώσκεις] Note the verb here (γινώσκεις, “you know”) is also second person singular, modified by the adverb βέλτιον (only here in the NT). The pronoun σὺ is also second person. As the second person reference is grammaticalized in the verb itself, the existence of the pronoun could be seen to be emphatic, making the second person reference all the more prominent. The referent here is Timothy. Also worthy of note is how this set of verses begins with “you know this” (v. 15) and ends with “you are well aware”. A semantic chain (on semantic chains, cf. Van Neste, Cohesion and Structure) of knowing/being aware may be indicated, with vocabulary of cognition beginning and ending the section.

All in all, Onesiphorus’ example has been held up as worthy to Timothy; this in juxtaposition with the information that several in Asia have left Paul. The offshoot is to be like Onesiphorus, do not be like Phygelus and Hermogenes and those who are with them.

Second Timothy 1.13-14

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 1.13-14

13 Ὑποτύπωσιν ἔχε ὑγιαινόντων λόγων
13 Hold to the standard of sound words
    ὧν παρʼ ἐμοῦ ἤκουσας
    which you have heard from me
    ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ
    in faith and love
        τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·
        which are in Christ Jesus.

14 τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην φύλαξον
14 Guard the good deposit
    διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου
    through the Holy Spirit
        τοῦ ἐνοικοῦντος
        who dwells
            ἐν ἡμῖν.
            in us.


Verse 13

Ὑποτύπωσιν] See 1Ti 1.16. The above translation takes Ὑποτύπωσιν as the object, which (cf. Marshall 712) seems best. In both v. 13 and v. 14 the object is fronted in the clause, creating a topical frame (cf. Runge, Discourse Grammar). This introduces new information, new participants, or a new concept to the discourse in such a way as to draw attention to it.

ἔχε] imperative. Note also that the predicator in the following verse is an imperative. Also note the basic pattern of both verses: Object-Verb-Adjunct.

ὑγιαινόντων λόγων] “sound words” or “healthy words”, this is a concept unique to the Pastoral Epistles.

ὧν παρʼ ἐμοῦ ἤκουσας] relative clause. Here Paul takes responsibility for providing the “standard of sound words”

ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ] prepositional phrase. This functions adverbially, providing circumstance to ἔχε (“hold to”). It further describes in what way Timothy is to hold to the standard of sound words.

τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·] Here the article τῇ functions like a pronoun, the structure is like a relative clause. It tells us where the faith and love of the previous prepositional phrase come from.

Verse 14

τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην] fronted object, creating a topical frame (see comment on v. 13 above).

τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην φύλαξον] “guard the good deposit”. Note that “deposit” was used earlier in 2Ti 1.12 with the same verb, “guard”: “he is quite capable to guard my deposit”. Similar language is also in 1Ti 6.20, also see $af(Did 4.13) and $af(EpBarn 19.11). The “deposit” in 1&2 Timothy is Paul’s teaching, the true teaching (sound words, healthy doctrine) which is the antidote to the false teaching that Timothy finds himself combating in Ephesus.

διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου] prepositional phrase, functioning adverbially. This provides further circumstance to the verb, “guard”. The Holy Spirit, in some unspecified manner, helps with the guarding of the deposit.

τοῦ ἐνοικοῦντος ἐν ἡμῖν] participle clause functioning as relative clause, note the embedded prepositional phrase. This gives further information about the Holy Spirit. The “Holy Spirit who dwells in us” is who assists with the guarding of the deposit.