Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

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Bernd Strauss
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Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Bernd Strauss » July 24th, 2018, 5:20 am

Encomium in sanctum Polycarpum (attributed to John Chrysostom), lines 34-37: “Στέφανος δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς διαλεγόμενος Τίνα, φησίν, τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀπέκτειναν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ.”

Some words in the Greek text seem to be missing. (The editor marked some places “linea evanuit.”) I have tried to translate it as “Stephen tells them: “Which one of the prophets,” he says “did your forefathers not kill, those who announced in advance the coming of Christ?””

Is this translation accurate?
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Robert Emil Berge
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Robert Emil Berge » July 24th, 2018, 9:18 am

As the text stands, your translation is fairly accurate. I would translate "πρὸς αὐτοὺς διαλεγόμενος" as "while arguing his point with them" instead of "told them". And I agree with the editor's punctuation which makes Stephen answer his own question. It isn't plausible that the end is a continuation of the question, as you have translated it.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 24th, 2018, 9:57 am

This is, of course, a paraphrase of Acts 7:52:

τίνα τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἐδίωξαν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; καὶ ἀπέκτειναν τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ δικαίου...

Note the omission of ἐδίωξαν and the substitution of παρουσία for ἔλευσις. Typical sort of thing when a writer is citing from memory.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 24th, 2018, 9:59 am

Robert Emil Berge wrote:
July 24th, 2018, 9:18 am
As the text stands, your translation is fairly accurate. I would translate "πρὸς αὐτοὺς διαλεγόμενος" as "while arguing his point with them" instead of "told them".
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Robert Emil Berge wrote:
July 24th, 2018, 9:18 am
And I agree with the editor's punctuation which makes Stephen answer his own question. It isn't plausible that the end is a continuation of the question, as you have translated it.
Are you saying Stephen answers the question: Τίνα τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀπέκτειναν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; by saying τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ? I see this as a rhetorical question, it isn't meant to be answered. If he answered it that way, wouldn't it mean that they hadn't killed those who proclaimed in advance the coming of Christ?

To me, the accusative in τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας is an indication that it has an accusative antecedent. I see this as an apposition along these lines:

τίνα τῶν προφητῶν τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας ...

Some of the phrases in this quote echo Acts 7:52-53:

τίνα τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἐδίωξαν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; καὶ ἀπέκτειναν τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ Δικαίου οὗ νῦν ὑμεῖς προδόται καὶ φονεῖς ἐγένεσθε, οἵτινες ἐλάβετε τὸν νόμον εἰς διαταγὰς ἀγγέλων, καὶ οὐκ ἐφυλάξατε.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 24th, 2018, 10:00 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
July 24th, 2018, 9:57 am
This is, of course, a paraphrase of Acts 7:52:

τίνα τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἐδίωξαν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; καὶ ἀπέκτειναν τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ δικαίου...

Note the omission of ἐδίωξαν and the substitution of παρουσία for ἔλευσις. Typical sort of thing when a writer is citing from memory.
I saw this just after I posted, sorry for the duplication.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Robert Emil Berge
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Robert Emil Berge » July 24th, 2018, 11:18 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
July 24th, 2018, 9:59 am
Are you saying Stephen answers the question: Τίνα τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀπέκτειναν οἱ πατέρες ὑμῶν; by saying τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ? I see this as a rhetorical question, it isn't meant to be answered. If he answered it that way, wouldn't it mean that they hadn't killed those who proclaimed in advance the coming of Christ?

To me, the accusative in τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας is an indication that it has an accusative antecedent. I see this as an apposition along these lines:

τίνα τῶν προφητῶν τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας ...
Yes, you must be right. That's one for having some context... I think I would still take the last part as its own sentence, though, with an understood repetition of "didn't they kill...?".
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Bernd Strauss
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Bernd Strauss » July 24th, 2018, 12:07 pm

The question mark is put in the middle at Ac 7:52 in Bible translations, but the second part of the statement is still a continuation of the first.

“Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? and they killed them that showed before of the coming of the Righteous One.” (ASV)

“Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One.” (KJV)

Although the Greek text is paraphrased in Encomium in sanctum Polycarpum, would it be correct to put the question mark in the middle?
“Stephen is arguing his point with them: “Which one of the prophets,” he says “did your forefathers not kill?” They announced in advance the coming of Christ.””

Are there any phrases in the English language which fit the phrase “πρὸς αὐτοὺς διαλεγόμενος” better than “is arguing his point with them”?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 25th, 2018, 12:41 pm

How about:
But Stephen, reasoning with them, says, "which one of the prophets who foretold the coming of Christ did your forefathers not kill?"
It doesn't try to preserve the Greek word order, but I think it conveys the sense.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Bernd Strauss
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Re: Translation of an Excerpt From a Greek Text

Post by Bernd Strauss » July 26th, 2018, 11:22 am

Thank you. Texts which are viewed as spurious are often not translated. So a person has to translate some excerpts from them on his own.
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