Lectionary Year A
March 10, 2002
Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation
A. Comparing Translations
(BD)I used: 1 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
2 New Kings James (NKJ)
3 The Living Bible (TLB)
V.8 For once you were darkness RSV State of being
V.8 For you were once darkness NKJ State of being
V.8 For though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it TLB
V.9 for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true…RSV
V.9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth NKJ
V. 9 Because of this light within you, you should do only what is good and right and true. TLB
V. 10 try to learn what is pleasing… RSV
V. 10 finding out what is acceptable NKJ
V. 10 Learn as you go what pleases TLB
V. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works RSV
V. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works NKJ
V. 11 Take no part in worthless pleasures of evil TLB
V. 12 things that they do in secret RSV
V. 12 things which are done by them in secret NKJ
V. 12 …pleasures of darkness which the ungodly do. TLB
V. 13 when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. RSV
V. 13 all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. NKJ
V.13 But when you expose them, the light shines in upon their sin and shows it up, and when they see how wrong they really are, some of them may even become children of light. TLB
V. 14 Therefore it is said RSV
V. 14 Therefore he says NKJ
V. 14 That is why God says in the Scripture TLB
(CB)I have chosen to compare the New International Version (NIV), the Revised Standard Version (RSV), and The Living Bible (LB) Bibles for comparison.
Verse 8 NIV For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
RSV For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
LB For though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it!
Verse 9 NIV (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
RSV fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
LB Because of this light within you, you should do only what is good and right and true.
Verse 10 NIV and find out what pleases the Lord
RSV and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord
LB Learn as you go along what pleases the Lord.
Verse 11 NIV Have nothing to do… deeds of darkness
RSV Take no part… works of darkness
LB Take no part in the worthless pleasures of evil and darkness, but instead, rebuke and expose them.
Verse 12 NIV For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
RSV For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret;
LB It would be shameful even to mention here those pleasures of darkness which the ungodly do.
Verse 13 NIV But everything exposed by the light becomes visible
RSV but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.
LB But when you expose them, the light shines in upon their sin and shows it up, and when they see how wrong they really are, some of them may even become children of light!
Verse 14 NIV for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
RSV Therefore it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light."
LB That is why God says in the Scriptures, "Awake, O sleeper, and rise up from the dead; and Christ shall give you light.
There appear to be only subtle differences between the NIV and the RSV. Differences of note between these two translations occur in verses 8 and 14. In verse 8, the distinction is in the imperative "live" in the NIV verses the RSV, which uses "walk." In verse 14, the major difference between the NIV and the RSV is that the NIV places the phrase regarding the light making everything visible into verse 14 rather than in verse 13.
The LB, on the other hand, takes liberties in its translation in every verse. Of interest is the embellishment of verse 13 whereby those who sin see how really wrong they are and may actually become children of light, in spite of their exposure!
B. Textual Criticism
(BD)9. fwto.j (light) is supported by the Alexandrian and Western texts.
14 Western witnesses suggest using "Christ will touch you" or "you will touch Christ" instead of "Christ will shine upon you." Since the suggestion is not supported by Alexandrian texts I did not use this textual criticism.
(CB)Verses 9, 10 and 14 were reviewed for textual criticism issues. Verses 9 and 10 indicate a one word alternative reading in other cited documents and verse 14 indicates a phrase as an alternative reading in other documents. Specifically, verse 9 shows the alternative of pneumatoj (MSN) for fwtoj. According to Thayer, this would render the word as: "relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as the part of man which is akin to God and serves as [God's] instrument or organ; " or, as "belonging to a spirit, or a being higher than man but inferior to God;" or as "belonging to the Divine Spirit" (523). The use of fwtoj, on the other hand, according to Thayer, indicates a theological difference in that "everything made manifest by the aid of Christian truth has taken on the nature of light, so that its true character and quality are no longer hidden" (663). The Nestle-Aland text indicates this alternative reading is found in three first order witnesses while the text supports nine such references. Therefore, the external evidence overwhelmingly supports the rendering as cited in the Nestle-Aland text.
In verse 10, there is an alternative reading of qew (MSD) for kuriw, God verses Lord. The alternative reading supports three Alexandrian textual references while the Nestle-Aland remains silent. This indicates that all other significant sources uses "Lord" rather than "God" in this passage.
Finally, verse 14 offers an alternative phrase for evpifau,sei soi o` Cristo,j, "the Christ he/she/it will shine/give light over/on/at the time of to/for you." The alternative reads, epiyauseij tou cristou, "your Christ will shine/give light over/on/at the time of to/for you all," thus rendering the verb in the plural and Christ in the genitive verbal form. The apparatus indicates one first order witness while, again, the Nestle-Aland text is silent, indicating that all other first order references are rendered in the singular. Therefore, in all three examples of textual criticism, the external evidence overwhelmingly supports the editorial decisions made in the Nestle-Aland text.
C. Rough Translation
(BD)8. For you were once darkness, but now light in (the) Lord, as children of light walk.
9. For the fruit of the light (is) in all goodness and righteousness and truth.
10. Proving what is well pleasing to the Lord.
11. And do not participate in the works unfruitful of darkness, but rather even expose (them)
12. For (as to) the things being done in secret by them it is shameful even to speak (of them)
13. But everything being exposed by the light becomes visible.
14. For everything becomes visible in light, therefore it says, "Arise, the one sleeping, and rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
8. For you all were once darkness, but now light in to/for Lord. As/like children of light you all (are) to walk 9. - for the fruit of light (is) in to/for all goodness and righteousness and truth - 10. testing what is acceptable to/for the Lord, 11. and not you all to participate with others to/for words/deeds/actions to/for unfruitful of darkness but more and by conviction to bring to light/to expose them. 12. For the secretly/in secret become by/by means of the things base/dishonorable and is to say, 13. but the all being convicted to bring to light/being exposed by/by means of light he/she/it is being revealed, 14. for the each/every being revealed one light is. Therefore he/she/it says: "you (are) to raise up, the sleeping one, and you raised out the dead, and the Christ he/she/it will shine/give light over/on to/for you.
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