Back to Series
LGG 00 - Introduction to Greek
According to Wikipedia there are 104 English translations of the full Bible. Over time the English language usage has changed just as did the Greek language. Translators must try to make the new translations relevant and are forced to choose between “formal equivalence”, which is word for word translation, or, “dynamic equivalence”, which strives to reproduce what the original audience actually heard. There are also challenges in choosing the most appropriate vocabulary word. At times there are several English words that could be selected for a given Greek word and at times the opposite is true. Additionally, there are theological or cultural concepts that have been given certain English words that may not capture the original Greek concept. And there are certain Hebrew concepts that were translated into Greek and a strict translation may not capture the original meaning.
Translation, NIV, KJV, NASB, ESV, RASB, “gender-neutral”, “breathing mark”, “formal equivalence”, “dynamic equivalence”, “functional equivalence”, “paraphrase”, “man”, Robert Cawdry, extinct, extinguish, scene, Old Testament, New Testament, Septuagint, Church Fathers, Papyri, vocabulary, love, agapao, phileo, theology, baptize, paidagogos, Hebraisms, hosanna, Aramaic, “positive adjective”
Life Group Greek: Lesson 3 – Vocabulary
The vocabulary words for this lesson are dikaios, which can be translated righteousness or justification; Hagios, or Holy; and, Pistis, which is translated as faith, or belief. Many of our English words are mixed from Germanic or Latin roots. In this case righteousness is from the Germanic root meaning, “just, upright, virtuous, guiltless, sinless: conforming to the divine or moral law”. Justified is from the Latin root, ‘ius’ meaning, “right, law or justice. The words holy, hallowed, consecrate, sacred, sanctify, sanctification and saint are all from the same Greek word, Hagios.
Dikaios, dikaiosune, righteous, righteousness, justified, justification, consistent holiness, ‘righteous-fied’, Germanic, Latin, Hagios, holy, hallowed, consecrate, sacred, sanctify, sanctification, saint, ‘halud’, ‘Consecrare’, ‘sacer’, dedicated, set apart, ‘sanctus’, ‘hagiazo’, holiness, ‘Hagiosune’, believe, belief, ‘pisteuo’, entrusted
Life Group Greek: Lesson 5- Balancing
In English, and particularly since the introduction of word processors, we have numerous ways of emphasizing our written words. We can use bold font, or underline word, or we can capitalize letters, or we can use punctuation. But the ancient Greek writers did not have these tools at their disposal. Instead they used word order or key words, or they used the sentence subject twice. Matthew for example, frequently uses the Greek word “idou” for emphasis. When it is translated, the word can mean, “behold,” or, “look,” or “see.” Several examples of these techniques are shown in this lesson.
Greek tools for emphasis, word order, key words, double subject, “idou”, “tags”, grammatical decision, decision of emphasis, Lord’s Prayer, Father, “Pater”, “hemon”, faithfulness, R. C. H. Lenski, “autou”, “gar”, “esmen”, poiema”, “Bam”, “like”, “behold”, “look”, verb ending, “stem”, “legeis”, “expressed pronominal subjects”, “ego eimi”, “estin”,
Life Group Greek: Lesson 6- Balancing
Particles: A word expressing a mode of thought, considered either in isolation or in relation to another thought, or a mood of emotion. “Men” and “de”, are often used together as a contrast…on the one hand….and, on the other hand. There are many examples in the New Testament of the contrasts between one thought and another that use these terms to set them apart. Illustrations are presented with several verses.
Decisions, contrast, “men”, “on the one hand”, “de”, “on the other hand”, “but”, “Hebrews”, Paul, Levitical Priesthood,
Life Group Greek: Lesson 7- Theological Language
There are Greek words that held a common meaning in their day, but also could hold a more specific meaning for the Christian community. This lesson will discuss how this could affect the translation of: “diabolos” or slanderer; “Church (“Ekklesia”), “Apostle”; and, “Grace” (Charis). The dichotomy in usage, between the secular and the sacred, calls for the translator to determine whether a Greek word is being used in its common sense, or in a particular religious sense. And many of our words have lost some of their original meanings.
Balance, symmetry, semantic, dichotomy, sacred, secular, diabolos, slanderer, accuser, “the devil”, “church”, “called out”, legislative body, community, congregation, assembly, Apostle, “kaleo”, “to call, summon, or invite”, messenger, envoy, Grace, Charis, favor, thanks
Life Group Greek: Lesson 8- Theological Language Grace
Grace can be translated a number of ways: Favor, as in favorable; or in doing one a favor; or benefit; or, thanks; or gift; or, grateful; or, gracious. Grace is not a ‘homonym’, but is simply one word with a wide range of meaning. ‘Anti’ is a preposition, which can mean “as the equivalent of”, or “in return for”, or “instead of”. This helps to illuminate John 1:16, which has been translated as “grace upon grace”. D. A. Carson points out that Jesus fulfilled the Law, and so we now have the grace/gift of Jesus rather than the grace/gift of the Law.
Synonym, antonym, homonym, charis, Bauer, Gingrich, Arndt, Danker, “BGAD”, favor, favorable, benefit, thanks, gift, grateful, gracious, winsomeness, appreciation, gracious disposition, undeserved favor, salvation, graciousness, riches, anti, grace upon grace, grace for grace, Genesis, Nathaniel, Moses, Law
LGG 01 - Vocabulary
One of the best ways to illustrate the difficulty on translating Greek into modern English is by considering several words as representative examples. Tetelestai, which is translated as “it is finished” and teleios, which is translated “perfect”, “mature”, or “full”, are investigated in the lesson this week.
Translation, vocabulary, tetelestai, teleios, teleo, oracle, finished, to fulfill, teleioo, one-to-one translation, Theology, culture, Hebraisms, perfect, mature, full, measure up, merit, meeting the highest standard, fulfill obligations, tzadik,
Life Group Greek: Lesson 2 – Vocabulary
The vocabulary word for this lesson is elpis, which can be translated hope or confident expectation. This is in contrast to the hope one has in a winning lottery ticket. There are 53 instances where this word is used in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul used the word 36 times and in many of these references he combines it with faith and love. We see clearly from Paul’s writings that his elpis was built firmly on God’s character as revealed in the actions of Christ’s redemption.
elpis, hope confident expectation, ‘fingers crossed’, slave girl, fortune-teller, Paul’s shipwreck, faith, love, waiting, steadfast, unchanging, suffering, helmet for salvation, God’s character, Christ’s redemption, nature’s travail, rejoice, coming glory, ‘peace that passes understanding’, ‘Scandal of Grace, Hillsong’, glorious inheritance, assurance
Life Group Greek: Lesson 9 – Verbal Aspect
The main Greek tenses are: ‘aorist’, ‘present’ and ‘imperfect’ and the ‘perfect’ tense. The ‘aorist’ tense occurs where the writer wants to show action as complete within itself, with no particular emphasis on the events spoken of. It is the “default” tense. When the ‘present’ and ‘imperfect tenses are used, attention is commanded. The action of these verbs is focused on it being in progress. The ‘perfect’ tense references a state of affairs. Greek grammarian Stanley Porter uses the bookcase analogy to show the differences in these three types of tenses. He teaches that we can think of the three categories of thought as “background” (the bookcase), “foreground” (one book shelf), and “frontground” (one selected book)
Emphasis, ‘aorist’ tense, ‘present’ tense, ‘imperfect’ tense, ‘perfect’ tense, the bookcase, the bookshelf, the book, ‘forest verb’, narrative events, the ‘default’ tense, action in progress, state of affairs, foreground, ‘frontground’, relief map, verbs, viewpoint
Life Group Greek: Lesson 10 – Verbal Aspect Part 2
Further to last weeks lesson on the verb tenses, another way to illustrate the “aorist” tense is to consider a modern news report on a hurricane: the satellite view is likened to the “aorist” view, which is the most common tense used in Biblical Greek and it provides background information; the “on-the-scene” reporting is likened to the “present” or “imperfect” tense because it provides information on what is happening in the here and now. This is applied on sections from Ephesians (1:3-14, 1:15-23, 2:1-10). Considering the verbs as portraying action from different perspectives allows the reader to see an emphasis from a different viewpoint and not only enhances the understanding but makes reading it more fun.
Life Group Greek: Lesson 13 – The Greek “Y’all”
Our modern English has replaced the former “thee” and “thou” with “you,” and “thy” with “your.” Furthermore, we now use “you” for both the singular and plural cases. This introduces some confusion, complicating translation from the Greek. One way to address this is to use the Southern “y’all” as the plural form. This has been applied to a number of interesting passages improving the understanding as the plural and singular forms are exposed.
Singular, plural, “thee”, “thou”, “thy”, “you”, “ye”, “your”, “y’all”, “all y’all”, Sermon on the Mount, 1 Cor. 3:16-17, Paul, Apollos, Eph. 1:15-20, Col. 1:24-27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”, Rom. 8:10-11, John 3:5-7, 10-12, Nicodemus, Philemon, Onesimus, interplay
Life Group Greek: Lesson 11 – Greek Puns
Puns are fun ways to play around with words and they make things memorable, humorous, interesting and though provoking. Puns also package two meanings into the same statement. There are numerous examples throughout the New Testament and unless one studies Greek one might miss the nuance provided by the puns. Six examples are included that range from Matthew, Luke, John, Philemon and Philippians.
Puns, paly on words, double meanings, camel gamla, swallow, gama, louse, qalma, Sermon on the Mount, disfigure, seen, phaino, hypocrites, favor, dekton, acceptable, born again, anothen, from above, pneuma, spirit, wind, Spirit, Nicodemus, sound, phone, voice, overcome, katalambano, to take, grasp, caught, adultery, Philemon, Onesimus, profit advantage, useful, benefit, all, pas
Life Group Greek: Lesson 14 – The Genitive Case and the Faith of Christ
The genitive case, as it is called, generally operates to limit a noun. This is the ending that is typically translated as “of”. The phrase, “the love of Christ,” which could either mean our faith in Christ, or, the faith that Christ has, is evaluated from all aspects of the genitive case citing various verses, such as: Rom. 3:22; Rm. 3:26; Gal. 2:16; Gal. 2:20; Gal. 3:22; Phil. 3:9. Comparisons of syntax, context and theology are discussed.
Genitive case, nouns, “the love of Christ”, Christ’s love for us, “faith of Jesus”, “objective genitive”, “subjective genitive”, faithfulness, syntax, context, righteousness, “faith alone”, sola fide, orthodoxy, Robert D. Brinsmead, “saving faith”, perfect faith of Christ, “Young’s Literal Translation
Life Group Greek: Lesson 15 – The Nativity in Matthew
Matthews Nativity story is analyzed using the tools previously discussed in the Greek lessons, namely: Puns, Emphasis, Verbal Aspect, the Greek Y’all. The ‘take-aways’ include: The incarnate Jesus was not God with us. He is God with us! Generations come and go, but we can find Jesus each day in everyone. Jesus Christ came in the flesh! Matt. 1:1-2:23
Christmas, nativity, Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, puns, perspective, ginomai, “genesis”, “birth”, genealogy”, “offspring”, “family”, ginnao, “to be the father of”, “to bear”, “to begat”, genea, generation, “Immanuel”, “biblos geneseos”