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


Anonymous Kenny Pearce said...

I think "plain" English denotes the absence of any technical theological terms, except where the terms are actually being invented, or very nearly so, in the text. This may, for instance, be the case with dikaiosune, righteousness, and agape, love, which rarely occur outside the NT and Septuagint and are thus essentially technical terms of Judeo-Christian religion, which many in the intended audiences would not have prior exposure to. However, in both cases there would be some preconceived ideas attached to the words, due to the etymological link between dikaiosune and dike, justice, and between agape and the verb agapao which does exist in classical Greek prior to the Septuagint (which apparently coined the noun form). The word Christos is certainly used as the closest Greek equivalent to the Hebrew "Messiah," but I don't think transliterating the Hebrew is any more "plain English" than transliterating the Greek. The word is, again, far more common in the Septuagint and New Testament than in secular or Pagan texts. Nevertheless, in order to capture the feel of the original text, I think it should be rendered based on the meaning the Gentile audience would be most familiar with, namely, "anointed one." Because the custom of anointing is no longer familiar in our culture, I vote for an ultimate rendering as "The beginning of the Good News of Jesus, the Chosen One, the Son of God."

Another note: I've noticed that the phrase "the Son of God" is missing from your translations thus far. I'm curious as to whether you just haven't got that far yet, or if you do not believe it to be original. The online text you linked to brackets it, but according to my apparatus criticus (included in Hodges and Farstead) it is included as huiou tou theou in the majority of manuscripts, including Codex Alexandrius, and as huiou theou in Codex Vaticanus (this is the reading given in brackets in your text). The only major text that omits it completely is Codex Sinaiticus, to which it seems to have been added later (hence it's bracketing as non-original in most modern critical texts). I think this phrase should be included. If you wish to include a footnote stating that there is some doubt as to its authenticity, that is fine (this is in fact what NASB and NIV do).

1:04 PM  

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