Sunday, July 10, 2005

Request to fellow authors

Could I ask that blog-authors keep their comments (unless they're just asides) to the main body of the blog, rather than using the comments section? It rather defeats the purpose of having authors if significant parts of the debate are tucked away out of the main arena. If you're making an important point, I'd ask that you log in and write an actual entry. It also makes the blog livelier and far more attractive to returning readers.


Mark 1:1: The main issues so far

I've enjoyed the dialogue so far, including those who've commented. Let me distill the main issues yet to be resolved in translating Mark 1:1:
a. Heading or opening sentence?
b. Translation of euangelion
c. How to render the genitive: "of" or "about"?
d. Translation of Christou
a. I opt for either a heading or for the rendering "This is the beginning". Someone mentioned that this would be an "addition", but in fact good translation (and perhaps this is something others may want to argue against) sometimes needs to use different forms in order to get the same meaning. In modern English, "The beginning of" etc is simply not a sentence. It could be a heading, or it could be made plain with "This is".

b. I think "Good News" (capitalized) is the best rendering of euangelion suggested so far. It resolves the ambiguity of "gospel" and the capitalization helps to retain something of the sense of specialness in the original Greek.

c. For the sake of clarity, I agree with Wayne that the genitive should be rendered "about": "The Good News about Jesus".

d. In the comments, Sarah asks whether "Messiah" is plain enough English. On the one hand, it is hard to avoid technical terms sometimes in translating biblical Greek words, since by its very nature the Bible contains technical words for which other cultures have no direct equivalent. On the other hand, I like Kenny Pearce's suggestion of "the Chosen One". Far better than "Anointed One", and its meaning is quite plain to the modern reader.

I'm proposing this translation of Mark 1:1:
This is the beginning of the Good News about Jesus the Chosen One.
What to do with huios theou is another wrench in the works.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Revised proposal for Verse 1

Given everything that has taken place so far, I propose the translation for Mark 1:1:

The beginning of the Good News of Jesus the Messiah.

I do not opt for "the God News about Jesus" as that would seem to connote "the Good News concerning Jesus" whereas what follows in the Gospel of Mark sounds to me more open ended; both the Good News concerning Jesus and the Good News which comes from and in a sense belongs to Jesus.

Shall we dive in further to this verse? How does the translation above read to everyone?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

Monday, July 04, 2005

Beginning in the Middle: Mark 1

I just stumbled across this other blog which has posts which will be interesting to those who are working on Mark 1 on this blog. Click on the title to my post here to view the other blog. The post is part of a series on Mark 1, and you can read more of that blog's series by clicking on a link in the right margin of that blog.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Good news of Jesus the Messiah?

(Still on Mark 1:1) Taking for granted "good news" for a moment, commenter Pat suggested "Jesus the Messiah" for Iesou Christou. I am tempted to agree. It is hard to come up with an English translation without plumping for a technical term. "Christ", as our commenter points out, has come to lose all meaning, and people tend to think of it as Jesus' last name!

I also like Pat's suggestion to add "This is", making the whole first verse read:
This is the beginning of the good news of Jesus the Messiah.
Now I read over that, I wonder if it couldn't become
This is the beginning of the Good News of Jesus the Messiah.
Perhaps capitalizing "Good News" would be the way of capturing euangelion's specialness?