Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
Forum rules
This is a beginner's forum - see the Koine Greek forum for more advanced discussion of Greek texts. Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up.

When answering questions in this forum, keep it simple, and aim your responses to the level of the person asking the question.
Post Reply
Terry Hill
Posts: 3
Joined: January 9th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

Post by Terry Hill » January 9th, 2018, 4:02 pm

Hi

This is my first question on the forum. I hope I have posted it in the correct category. My apologies if I haven’t. I would like to ask a question please about 1 Corinthians 8:6 which is normally translated such as

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

Here is the Greek text as I found it on the web.

ἀλλ’ ἡμῖν εἷς Θεὸς ὁ Πατήρ, ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν, καὶ εἷς Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι’ αὐτοῦ.

I believe that the original Greek of the NT had no spaces between the words or any punctuation – at least as we know it today in English – so my question is this:- Would the translation below be allowable or is the comma (after the word “God”) that I have omitted essential to the translation? In other words, is there anything in the way that the Greek is written that would ‘force’ the comma to be where it is as above (as in the KJV)?

“But to us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

Thank you in anticipation of your answer.

Regards

Terry
0 x



Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 9th, 2018, 4:55 pm

Hi Terry,

I'm not sure if you asking a question about the meaning of the Greek text or about comma usage in English. What difference do you see in the meaning of the English sentence with / without the comma?

What do you want to understand about the meaning of the Greek sentence?
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Terry Hill
Posts: 3
Joined: January 9th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Re: Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

Post by Terry Hill » January 10th, 2018, 3:25 am

Hi Jonathan. Thank you for replying. Much appreciated.

I am asking if 1 Corinthians 8:6, as I quoted it minus the comma after the word "God", is an allowable translation (as I have it here)

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

In other words, if I said that this is an allowable translation, could someone say "you cannot translate it this way because the Greek does not allow it" ?

Thanks again for any help

Terry Hill
0 x

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 10th, 2018, 8:42 am

Hi Terry,

This isn't really a forum for discussing commas in English translations. Do you have a question about the meaning of the Greek text?
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Terry Hill
Posts: 3
Joined: January 9th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Re: Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

Post by Terry Hill » January 10th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Hi again Jonathan

Thank you again for taking the time to reply. I think you are misunderstanding what I am asking. I will rephrase my question.

Can you tell me please if the English wording below is an acceptable translation of

ἀλλ’ ἡμῖν εἷς Θεὸς ὁ Πατήρ ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν καὶ εἷς Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι’ αὐτοῦ 1 Corinthians 8:6

But to us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

If yes then that's Ok. No problem. If no then perhaps you will be kind enough to explain why it isn't acceptable. I hope this helps clarify my question.

Thank you

Terry
0 x

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3491
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 10th, 2018, 3:13 pm

Hi Terry,

B-Greek is for discussing Greek, not for discussing English comma usage. So I was asking if you have a question about this text:
ἀλλ’ ἡμῖν εἷς Θεὸς ὁ Πατήρ ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν καὶ εἷς Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι’ αὐτοῦ
Can you more-or-less read the Greek in this text? Is there a phrase you want to ask a question about, a particular word meaning or grammatical construct? That's the text that we discuss here.
Terry Hill wrote:
January 10th, 2018, 1:34 pm
But to us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
I can sometimes be confused about English commas, but I suspect that is not correct English. If I'm right, you need to add a comma: "but one God, the Father", also "one Lord, Jesus Christ". These phrases εἷς Θεὸς ὁ Πατήρ and εἷς Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός also occur in the Nicene Creed, where they also are given commas in the English translation:
Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα
ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς ὁρατῶν τε πάντων καὶ ἀοράτων·
καὶ εἰς ἕνα Κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν
τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν Μονογενῆ,
τὸν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων,
Φῶς ἐκ Φωτός,
Θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ,
γεννηθέντα οὐ ποιηθέντα
ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί,
δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο·
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made,
of one substance with the Father,
through Whom all things came into existence
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

paorear
Posts: 18
Joined: January 2nd, 2012, 2:16 am

Re: Punctuation of 1 Corinthians 8:6

Post by paorear » January 11th, 2018, 2:28 pm

From a translation point of view, he may be raising a question as to whether to interpret "Θεὸς ὁ Πατήρ" or additionally "κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός" as effectively "titular" references vs. adjectival or attributive constructions.

It's an interesting and hard question. Is Jesus' name "Jesus Christ", or is his functioning in the role of Messiah or the anointed one per Greek intentionally (always?) being brought into focus? In some instances it may be one and it may be the other, or it may be both!

So I think Terry may be asking whether the phrase "God the Father" may almost be conceptualized as the phrase (or name/title) "Father God".

Maybe a rewording of his translation might look something like:
"But to us there is but one "Father God", of whom are all things, ..."
as opposed to:
"But to us there is but one God - i.e. the Father - of whom are all things..."

Is this what you're getting at Terry?
0 x
Paul O'Rear

Post Reply