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?


Blogger King of Peace said...

I really like the idea of switching to Jesus the Messiah and capitalizing Good News. While "This is" seems appealing, are their textual grounds for that change? I see the other changes as translation decisions. Isn't adding "This is" an addition rather than a mere translation?

The Rev. Frank Logue

7:22 AM  
Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Dave suggested: "This is the beginning of the Good News of Jesus the Messiah."

As a plainer poster who likes plainer English, I suggest revising the ambiguous second "of" to "about". I, too, like use of "Messiah." It is coming into increasing usage, methinks, and Frank is right that Christ sounds like a surname for many English speakers.

If this sentence is treated as a section header, one could leave out "This is", which I happen to like and think is there is the semantic structure of the Greek, where copulas are sometimes covert instead of overt.

Plain Wayne

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Pat L said...

I agree with capping Good News to alert readers to its specialness.

I also like Wayne's suggestion to change the second "of" to "about."

kingofpeace, in my original comment I suggested adding This is the as an alternative to setting the original sentence fragment off as a heading. If it is set off as a heading, then the fragment is fine. If, however, it is run into the first prose paragraph, then I think it is legitimate to translate its heading-like function in Greek into a complete sentence in order to make it plain English.

That's my take. Then again maybe it would be plain enough as a sentence fragment. Perhaps this could be polled.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I'm disappointed that you've opted to use either Christ or Messiah, as neither of them strikes me as plain English at all (isn't the former Greek and the latter Hebrew?).

Would using annointed one, work?

Also I'll have to beg you to pardon my ignorance of Greek, butI'd be curious to know why a definite article has been added now with Messiah when it was absent with Christ (Jesus the Messiah/Jesus Christ). Are you postulating a zero article in the Greek? Is Christou even a noun in that sentence (I'm wondering if it could be read as an adjective...)?

8:46 AM  
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