New Testament Semitisms (Bible Translator Article)

New Testament Semitisms (Bible Translator Article)

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2012, 9:07 am

I'd like to discuss an article I'm reading:

“New Testament Semitisms”, David Alan Black, The Bible Translator 39/2 [April 1988], pp. 215-223. There's no complete version online, but a big chunk has been excerpted here.

Here's the first part that caught my eye (you may need to view the image in a separate window):

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db1.png (503.9 KiB) Viewed 2008 times


Is καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς a reference to Old Testament usage? Is the phrase ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν marked biblical Greek?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: New Testament Semitisms (Bible Translator Article)

Postby Lee Moses » May 31st, 2012, 11:26 am

Jonathan, maybe I'm doing something wrong, but the text on the right side of the page is not viewable. And the section you cite does not appear to be included in the link you provided.
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Re: New Testament Semitisms (Bible Translator Article)

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2012, 11:28 am

Lee Moses wrote:Jonathan, maybe I'm doing something wrong, but the text on the right side of the page is not viewable. And the section you cite does not appear to be included in the link you provided.


On my browser, if you do a right mouse click over the image, it lets you open the image in a new tab.

But ... I guess if I have OCR on my box, I should use it:

David Black wrote:No one who knows Hebrew or another Semitic language can fail to be impressed by the Semitic tone and flavor of the New Testament and by its obvious adoption of Semitic modes of speech. This applies to such fundamental matters as sentence structure and the meaning of words. For example, in an earlier issue of The BibIe Translator I argued that the expression "he opened his mouth" in the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5.2) cannot be interpreted solely as Greek, but must also be read in light of Semitic language patterns. When the Semitic background is understood, the phrase is best rendered in a way that indicates the beginning of some profound or solemn pronouncement, as in NEB's "he began to address them." Another example is the common expression ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν "answering he said". No Greek of any period, left to himself, would say or write ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν any more than you or I would say, "He answered and said," unless we were seeking to imitate biblical language, These are but two indications that the New Testament cannot be interpreted solely in terms of Greek grammar, but must also be studied in terms of its Semitic background.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
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Re: New Testament Semitisms (Bible Translator Article)

Postby Lee Moses » May 31st, 2012, 12:28 pm

Okay, I see now how I can do that.

I assume this is being tied in to the previous thread on the necessity of having a Hebrew NT.

I looked in the Delitzsch NT, and he translates every occurrence of ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν with וַיַּעַן וַיֹּאמֶר. This phrase is found in the Hebrew OT, but only 5x (0.02% of verses). Yet ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν occurs 33x in the Greek NT, which is 0.46% of verses. I have very limited familiarity with extrabiblical Greek works, so I'll let others comment on whether the phrase occurs there. The phrase may well be a semitism, but it is interesting that it occurs so much more frequently in the Greek NT than its Hebrew equivalent does in the Hebrew OT.
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Re: New Testament Semitisms (Bible Translator Article)

Postby Tony Pope » May 31st, 2012, 3:33 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:“New Testament Semitisms”, David Alan Black, The Bible Translator 39/2 [April 1988], pp. 215-223. There's no complete version online, but a big chunk has been excerpted here.


The complete article can in fact be viewed page by page at http://www.ubs-translations.org/tbt/1988/02/TBT198802.html?seq=17. It starts at the bottom of the page.
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