Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Rabbis and Fathers and Teachers! Oh, My!"

I posted a link to this video clip on Facebook today with a note that said it relates to what would probably be my next blogpost here.

Chris Wright - Disciples 1st from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo.

Well, here is that blogpost.

I was going to write some related comments about servantship and church leaders in the Body of Christ, but decided to just let Chris Wright speak about it.

As for the Scripture passage from Matthew 23 that I was going to discuss, I also decided to just post Jesus' words, and my comments would only be about my translation:

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "...Don't let anyone call you 'Rabbi,' for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. And don't address anyone here on earth as 'Father,' for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. And don't let anyone call you 'Teacher,' for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant." (Mt 23:1,8–11, NLT)
Here is the original text:
Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν τοῖς ὄχλοις καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ λέγων·...ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε· Ῥαββί, εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε· καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος· μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί, ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς ὁ χριστός· ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος.
And here is my (improvable) translation:
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples and said: "...But as for you all: Don't have anyone1 address2 you as 'Rabbi,'3 for you all have One Teacher, and all of you are brothers and sisters.4 And don't call anyone1 on earth your 'Father,'5 for you all have One Heavenly Father. Nor are you to be called 'Instructors,'6 because you all have One Instructor,6 The Christ.7 [Unlike these religious leaders8], the one who is the greatest among you must be9 as your servant."

1 "anyone" is implied by the Greek.
2 Or "call".
3 I.e., Master Teacher.
4 Translating the common-gender noun ἀδελφοί.
5 "Father" is emphasized in the Greek text, which is literally: "And 'Father' not you-should-call your on the earth...."
6 "Instructor(s)" is used to differentiate this word (καθηγητής) from the word that is translated in this passage as "teacher" (διδάσκαλος).
7 I.e., The Messiah.
8 See Matthew 23:2-7.
9 Translating the future as an imperative as the NLT does. See BDF §362. (Blass, F., Debrunner, A., & Funk, R. W. (1961). A Greek grammar of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (183). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.)

1 comment:

  1. "call no one your father" is a Hebrew idiom for "call no one your superior in a human hierarchy". See Joel Hoffman.