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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.31 n.1 Pretoria  2010 



Some more translation headaches in Romans



Andrie B. du Toit

Department of New Testament, University of Pretoria





Following on a previous article, three more problematic lexical items which occur repeatedly in Romans are discussed:σνμμαρτνρεω and λογίζομαι. Typical of the old, etymological approach, translators are often inclined to attach too much weight to the preposition sVn in σνμμαςτνρέω. In Romans 8:16, for instance, it would be more appropriate to translate σνμμαρτνρέω in the sense of 'affirm': '[t]he Spirit of God affirms to our spirit that we are God's children'. Despite all objections, rendering τά έ'θηη 'Gentiles/Gentile nations' still remains the best option. In certain contexts in Romans, it would be advisable to translate λογίζομαι as 'I realise/am convinced'. Thereafter some ad hoc problems in Romans 12:6-8; 14:4 and 15:17 are discussed.

Keywords: Bible translations; charismata; commentaries; etymological fallacy; gentiles; translation equivalents; witnessing



Full text available only in PDF format.




Bible translations and their abbreviations:

GNT92: Good News Translation 1992.         [ Links ]

GNB97: Die Gute Nachricht Bibel 1997.         [ Links ]

LUT84: Die Bibel (Luther revised) 1984.         [ Links ]

NAB86: The New American Bible 1986.         [ Links ]

NBV04: De Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling 2004.         [ Links ]

NET96: The New English Translation 1996        [ Links ]

NIB61: The New English Bible 1961.         [ Links ]

NIV84: The New International Version 1984.         [ Links ]

NLT96: The New Living Translation 1996.         [ Links ]

NRS89: The New Revised Standard Version 1989.         [ Links ]

REB89: The Revised English Bible 1989.         [ Links ]

RSV52: The Revised Standard Version 1952.         [ Links ]

Barrett, C.K., 1962, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, rev. edn., Black, London.         [ Links ]

Bauer, W., Arndt, F.W., Gingrich, F.W. & Danker, F.W., 2000, A Greek-English Lexikon of the New Testament and other EarlyChristian Literature, 3rd. edn., University of Chicago Press, Chicago (BAGD).         [ Links ]

Bosman, P., 2003, Conscience in Philo and Paul. A Conceptual History of the Synoida Word Group, (WUNT 2. Reihe 166.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.         [ Links ]

Cranfield, C.E.B., 1977, The Epistle to the Romans, 2 vols, Clark, Edinburgh.         [ Links ]

Dabelstein, R., 1981, Die Beurteilung der 'Heiden' bei Paulus,         [ Links ] [The Assessment of the 'heathen'in Paul] (BET 14.), Peter Lang, Frankfurt a. M.-Bern-Cirencester.

Du Toit, A.B., 2007, Focusing on Paul. Persuasion and Theological Design in Romans and Galatians, (WUNT 151.), De Gruyter, Berlin-New York.         [ Links ]

Du Toit, A.B., (ed.), 2009, Focusing on the Message: New Testament Hermeneutics, Exegesis and Methods, Protea, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Du Toit, A.B., [2010a], 'Translating Romans: Some persistent headaches', forthcoming in In die Skriflig 44.

Du Toit, A.B., [2010b], Τα προς τον θεον in Romans and Hebrews: Towards understanding an enigmatic phrase', ZNW 101, 241-251.         [ Links ]

Du Toit, H., 2009, 'Contributions from Modern Linguistics to New Testament Exegesis', in A.B. du Toit (ed.), Focusing on the Message: New Testament Hermeneutics, Exegesis and Methods, pp. 267-304, Protea, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Gove, P.B. (ed. in chief), 1961, Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, G. Bell & Sons, London, G. & C. Merrian, Springfield.         [ Links ]

Grundmann, W., 1973, χρίω κτλ. ThWNT 9,518-576.         [ Links ]

Hulst, A.R., 1976, 'am/gōj Volk, THAT 2, 290-235.         [ Links ]

Jewett, R., 2007, Romans: A Commentary, (Hermeneia), Fortress, Minneapolis.         [ Links ]

Kümmel, W.G., 1968, Kirchenbegriff und Geschichtsbewusstsein in der Urgemeinde und bei Jesus [Concept and awareness of history in the early church and Jesus].         [ Links ] 2. Aufl., Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen.

LaGrand, J., 1993, ' 'Gentiles' in the New Revised Standard Version', BR 38:44-54.         [ Links ]

Liddell, H.G., Scott, R. &. Jones, H.S., 1985, A Greek-English Lexicon. Repr, Clarendon Press, Oxford.         [ Links ]

Louw, J.P. & Nida, E.A., 1988, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains. 2 vols, United Bible Societies, New York.         [ Links ]

Martin, R.P., 1986, 2 Corinthians, (WBC 40), Word Book Publisher, Waco, Texas.         [ Links ]

Michel, O., 1978, Der Brief an die Römer, (KEK IV), 14th edn., Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen.         [ Links ]

Newman, B.M. & Nida, E.A., 1973, A Translator's Handbook on Paul's Letter to the Romans. United Bible Societies, London-New York.         [ Links ]

Roloff, J., 1993, Die Kirche im Neuen Testament [The church in the New Testament],         [ Links ] (Grundrisse zum Neuen Testament. NTD Ergänzungsreihe 10), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen.

Schenk, W., 1995, 'Die ältesten Selbstverständnisse christlicher Gruppen im ersten Jahrhundert', ANRW II 26.2, 1357-1467.         [ Links ]

Schlier, H., 1977, Der Römerbrief (HThK VI), Herder, Freiburg.         [ Links ]

Schrenk, G., 1935, εκδικεω κτλ, ThWNT 2, 440-444.         [ Links ]

Scott, J.M., 1995, Paul and the Nations: The Old Testament and Jewish Background of Paul's Mission to the Nations with SpecialReference to the Destination of Galatians, (WUNT 84), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.         [ Links ]

Simpson, J.A. & Weiner, E.S.C., (eds.), 1989. The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd. edn., Clarendon Press, Oxford.         [ Links ]

Stuhlmacher, P., 1989, Der Brief an die Römer, (NTD 6), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen.         [ Links ]

Trumble, W.R. & Stevenson, A. (eds.), 2002, Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edn., Oxford University Press, Oxford.         [ Links ]

Van der Watt, J. 2009, 'Reading New Testament Imagery', in A.B. du Toit (ed.), Focusing on the Message: New TestamentHermeneutics, Exegesis and Methods, pp. 305-340, Protea, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Walter, E. (senior commissioning ed.), 2008, Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 3rd edn., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York.         [ Links ]

Walter, N., 1980, έθνος , EWNT 1, 924-929.         [ Links ]

Wilckens, U., 1982, Der Brief an die Römer (Röm 12-16), (EKK V1/3), Benziger & Neukirchen, Zürich.         [ Links ]



Andrie du Toit
PO Box 92345
Pretoria 0059
South Africa

Received: 06 Apr. 2010
Accepted: 08 June 2010
Published: 21 Sept. 2010

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