Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

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Benjamin Kantor
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Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by Benjamin Kantor » January 10th, 2019, 12:07 pm

I am curious if anyone here has much experience with Modern Greek translations of the Bible/New Testament.

Which ones are used mainstream in Greece among different churches (that aren't traditionally reading the original)?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 10th, 2019, 4:54 pm

beniamin wrote:
January 10th, 2019, 12:07 pm
I am curious if anyone here has much experience with Modern Greek translations of the Bible/New Testament.

Which ones are used mainstream in Greece among different churches (that aren't traditionally reading the original)?
I don't really know the answer. The most widely used original text is the 1904 Ecumenical Patriarchal Edition, sometimes called Antoniades Patriarchal Edition, that's a Byzantine text based largely on ecclesiastical texts, it is not in the Textus Receptus family (see this introduction. It relies quite a bit on lectionaries, as described in this article. The first link in this paragraph lets you listen and read at the same time, and there are some nice printed editions that can be had at a reasonable price.

The modern Greek text used in audio Bibles I see is the Spyros Filos translation, which is available to read at that link, but without audio. You can get the audio at Faith Comes By Hearing.

Wikipedia has an article on Bible Translations into Greek.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by Shirley Rollinson » January 11th, 2019, 4:32 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
January 10th, 2019, 4:54 pm
beniamin wrote:
January 10th, 2019, 12:07 pm
I am curious if anyone here has much experience with Modern Greek translations of the Bible/New Testament.

Which ones are used mainstream in Greece among different churches (that aren't traditionally reading the original)?
I don't really know the answer. The most widely used original text is the 1904 Ecumenical Patriarchal Edition, sometimes called Antoniades Patriarchal Edition, that's a Byzantine text based largely on ecclesiastical texts, it is not in the Textus Receptus family (see this introduction. It relies quite a bit on lectionaries, as described in this article. The first link in this paragraph lets you listen and read at the same time, and there are some nice printed editions that can be had at a reasonable price.

The modern Greek text used in audio Bibles I see is the Spyros Filos translation, which is available to read at that link, but without audio. You can get the audio at Faith Comes By Hearing.

Wikipedia has an article on Bible Translations into Greek.
I tried the link for the EPE given above, and got "No text available for the selected Bible." I trolled to other sections of the GNT for the EPEdition, and also got "No text available for the selected Bible."
Shirley Rollinson
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mjmselim
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Re: Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by mjmselim » January 12th, 2019, 10:18 am

I use:
1st: The Holy Scriptures Translated from the Divine Original: (Iera Grammata Metaphrasthenta ek tön Theiön Archetupön) published & printed in Great Britain, London, (1950), without Foreword, Intro, or Preface; & this notice: "Dapanë tës Brettanikës Biblikës Hetaireias pros diadosin tou Theiou Logou en te të Megalë Brettania kai të Allodapë."
2nd: Ë Agia Graphë: ë Palaia Diathëkë kai ë Kainë Diathëkë: Adelphotës Theologön ë 'Zöë'; 2nd ed. (Ekdosis Hebdomë) (1973), printed in Greece, Athens. with a Prologues to the Edition & to the OT & NT. dated in 1928, from the Orthodox Synod. The traditional text edited by newer works of Tichendorf & Ralphs.

A comparison to the former with the later reveals the former is Byzantine & the later modern; Gen. 1:2: "Ë de gë ëto amorphos kai erëmos, kai skotos epi tou prosöpou tës abussou. Kai Pneuma Theou ephereto epi tës epiphaneias tö hudatön." (1950); with this (1973): ë de gë en aoratos kai akataskeuastos, kai skotos epanö tës abussou, kai pneuma Theou epephereto epanö tou hudatos." I have not gotten clear as to the best text in talks with a few Orthodox leaders, & I have not needed to trouble myself any further.
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Michael J. Miles

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 12th, 2019, 11:11 am

Shirley Rollinson wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 4:32 pm
I tried the link for the EPE given above, and got "No text available for the selected Bible." I trolled to other sections of the GNT for the EPEdition, and also got "No text available for the selected Bible."
Shirley Rollinson
I think I fixed the link. Does it work for you now?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by Shirley Rollinson » January 13th, 2019, 8:48 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
January 12th, 2019, 11:11 am
Shirley Rollinson wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 4:32 pm
I tried the link for the EPE given above, and got "No text available for the selected Bible." I trolled to other sections of the GNT for the EPEdition, and also got "No text available for the selected Bible."
Shirley Rollinson
I think I fixed the link. Does it work for you now?
Thank you - nice clear pronunciation :-)
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by Stephen Nelson » May 12th, 2019, 1:04 pm

Regarding your question about which Modern Greek bibles are used mainstream in Greece among different churches (that aren't traditionally reading the original) - you may find that most Orthodox Christians simply don't read the bible in any language.

Bible literacy among the laity is not generally promoted by the Orthodox Church, though it's not actively discouraged either. It's widely believed among these communities that interpretation of biblical texts is best left to the clergy. And the clergy sticks to the Orthodox Church's official version of the "original" Greek text - codified in the 1904 edition of the New Testament Patriarchal Text (AKA The Antoniadis Text). This is a Byzantine text with some ecclectic readings.

The history of Modern Greek translations of the Greek bible is quite interesting and complicated. The history is rife with scandals, since the concept of paraphrasing the "original" holy text in the modern vernacular was looked down on for a very long time as a "corruption" of the Holy Writ.

The first version to be published, that I'm aware of, was Maximos Gallipoli's Vernacular Greek NT (printed in Geneva c. 1638). It was reportedly translated about 10 years earlier, per the initiate of Patriarch Cyril Lucaris of Constantinope, who was later strangled!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximos_of_Gallipoli

According to Wikipedia, "Since Patriarch Lucaris had been strangled Maximos' New Testament was hardly used". That explanation seems quite inadequate to me. I would guess that the base text for this version was probably the Textus Receptus (TR), since it was printed 5 years after the 2nd edition of Elzevir's Bible.

Seraphim of Mytilene''s Modern Greek New Testament was published in 1703, and quickly condemned by the Orthodox Church in 1704 - specifically by Gabriel III of Constantinople. Seraphim was exiled to Siberia (presumably for his role in the production of the translation). And in 1705 Gabriel III forbade Greek students from studying in London (again, presumably, due to the connection with this unsolicited Modern Greek translation).

I imagine Seraphim's version must have improved upon Gallipoli's version or been based on it. Alternatively, if Gallipoli's version had been suppressed somehow, maybe Seraphim started from scratch. I'd really love to know more about this whole history. But it's a mystery to me, since I've never seen either version and I haven't been able to find much information about them.

The next translation into Modern Greek was Vamvas' New Testament (New Testament published in 1833 / Old Testament published in 1850). It was based on the TR and written in a form of Katharevousa that was extremely close to the original "Koine" Greek. It reads more like a paraphrase than a translation. It was not well received by the Orthodox Church. But it's become the official version of the Greek Evangelical Churches. So, to answer the original question - which Modern Greek bibles are used mainstream in Greece - it's Vamvas.

The turn of the 20th century saw the near-simultaneous release of 3 Modern Greek translations of the Greek New Testament that had significant political consequences. They were the cause of the Gospel riots, which resulted in an official ban against Modern Greek bible translations. More about this can be read on the Wikipedia article about the Gospel Riots:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_riots

First there was the "Anaplasis Paraphrase" of Matthew in 1900. This Katharevousa version inspired Queen Olga's Translation of the Gospels (by Ioulia Somaki; edited by Prokopios, Pantaazidis & Papadopoulos), which had the periphrastic (translation) text printed on the opposite page from the original "Koine" Greek vorlage.

In that same year (1901), Pallis' Evangelika (a Demotic Greek translation of the Gospels), which was quickly condemned by the Orthodox Church. In a sharp departure from tradition, this edition was based on the emerging Critical Text, not the Textus Receptus or Byzantine Text-Type. This edition is actually available in print, unlike all of the other aforementioned versions (as far as I've aware). It was reportedly wholly independent from Queen Olga's endeavor, with all of the translation work and publication taking place in London. However, the general public (due to complete ignorance and/or conspiracy theories) conflated Pallis' version with Queen Olga's translation, which instigated the famous "Gospel Riots" - which resulted in the deaths of several civilians.

The next Katharevousa translation/paraphrase, published in 1967, was Vasilios Vellas' version, which was derived from Vamvas.

The first complete Demotic translation of the whole bible was Today's Greek Version (published 1985 and updated in 2003), based on the official Antoniadis Text and approved by the Greek Orthodox Church.

The next Demotic translation was the Spyros Filos' Bible (in several editions from 1993, 1995 - the 1st monotonic edition, 2008 & 2013).

Another Demotic version is the Antonis Malliaris (Malliaris-Paideia), which was published in 2012 and approved by the Greek Orthodox Church. This version is an extremely liberal, loose paraphrase of the original Greek text.
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Modern Greek Translations of the Bible/New Testament

Post by Stephen Nelson » May 13th, 2019, 11:04 pm

I’ve made a side-by-side comparison of the various version of the Gospels in Modern Greek that I’ve been able to get my hands on.

I’m not sure which verses would be ideal for illustrating the differences between them. If anyone would like to suggest verses for further comparison, I’d be happy to add them here.

Here is a comparison of Mark 1:2, which has small textual variants that hint at which underlying Greek texts were used by the translators:

ORIGINAL:

Nestle-Aland 28 - Critical Text (2014):
Καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν τῷ Ἠσαΐᾳ τῷ προφήτῃ· Ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου·


Antoniadis Text - Koine (1904):

Ὡς γέγραπται ἐν τοῖς προφήταις, ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου ἔμπροσθέν σου·

MG TRANSLATIONS/PARAPHRASES:

Vamvas (1833):
Καθώς είναι γεγραμμένον εν τοις προφήταις· Ιδού, εγώ αποστέλλω τον άγγελόν μου προ προσώπου σου, όστις θέλει κατασκευάσει την οδόν σου έμπροσθέν σου·

Alexandros Pallis (1901):
Ὅπως εἶναι γραμένο μέσα στὸν Ἠσαΐα τὸν προφήτη Νά, στέλνω τὸν ἄγγελό μου προτύτερά σου, ποὺ θὰ φτιάσει τὴ στράτα σου.

Vasilios Vellas (1967):
σύμφωνα μὲ ἐκεῖνο ποὺ εἶναι γραμμένον εἰς τοὺς προφήτας: Ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὶν ἀπὸ σέ, ὁ ὁποῖος θὰ προετοιμάσῃ τὸν δρόμον σου ἐμπρός σου.

Today’s Greek Version (2003):
Στα βιβλία των προφητών είναι γραμμένο: Στέλνω τον αγγελιοφόρο μου πριν από σένα, για να προετοιμάσει το δρόμο σου!

Spyros Filos (2013):
Καθώς είναι γραμμένο στους προφήτες: «Δες, εγώ στέλνω τον αγγελιοφόρο μου πριν από την προσωπική σου παρουσία, που θα ετοιμάσει τον δρόμο σου μπροστά σου».

Maliaris-Paideia (2012):
καθώς ήταν γραμμένο από τους Προφήτες, κατά τους οποίους, ο ίδιος ο Θεός απευθύνεται στον Υιό Του και Του λέει, με το στόμα του Προφήτη Μαλαχία. «Να, Εγώ θα στείλω τον Απεσταλμένο Μου πριν από σένα στον κόσμο, για να προετοιμάσει το δρόμο, από τον οποίο θα περάσεις για να φτάσεις στις ψυχές των ανθρώπων".

*Note that Pallis was clearly the only translator to depart from the traditional Byzantine reading of "ἐν τοῖς προφήταις", in favor of the Alexandrian/Western reading "ἐν τῷ Ἠσαΐᾳ τῷ προφήτῃ". So I assume he probably used Westcott-Hort as his source text.
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