Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Jesus "Was Continually Submitting Himself to Them" (Luke 2:51)

Have you given thanks recently for all the wonderful English Bible translations we have available to us today? There's hardly a day that goes by that I do not thank God for the NIV, or the GNT, or the TLB, or the ESV. What a treasure to possess a copy of God's word in a language we can understand! Do Bible translators always get it right? Of course not. Do they always work hard to put into English as many of the nuances of the Greek as possible? Hardly. One example came up in today's Greek class: Luke 2:51. Does your Bible say something like, "He [Jesus] went down with them [his parents] and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them"? The construction in Greek for "was submissive to them" is, I believe, a little stronger than that. Okay, a lot stronger. It's possibly the strongest possible way in Greek of saying that something was being done continually or habitually or constantly or totally. "Was submissive to them" just doesn't cut it. But there's good news. Here are a few translations that, in my opinion, do a much better job of it:

  • "He continued to be subject to them" (NASB).
  • "He ... was continually submissive and obedient to them" (Amplified).
  • " ... remaining in submission to them" (ISV).
  • " ... was always obedient to them" (Weymouth). 

See also Dios Habla Hoy: " ... vivio obedeciendolos en todo." Even the Hawaiian Pidgin has "... an everytime wen do wat dey say." I love it!

Let me remind you: never separate a verse from its context. Jesus was not autonomous. Though God was his Father, he still lived under the roof of Joseph and Mary, to whom he continually and habitually submitted himself

Never confuse meek with weak. Jesus was meek as Moses was meek. He was strong enough to recognize his place under God. There is no freedom anywhere in the world apart from the freedom we we were created for in the first place: to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I dare to hope that I can learn to live this way too. 

P.S. I know that some Spanish words take an accent mark, but I haven't yet figured out how to write accents using Blogger! 

P.P.S. Kudos to my students. Their English to Greek translations today were superb!