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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Run-On Sentences

So there was this time when I decided I wanted to translate something from the Bible so I picked Ephesians because I thought that since Ephesians was something I had never read straight through in English it would be a good idea to do in the Greek and then I realized that Paul or whoever wrote Ephesians (because I don't think Paul did it, but that's something I ought to study a little more) tends to use run-on sentences which is kind of annoying due to the fact that at the beginning of a sentence there is a participle and you can go three or four verses along and still not find its controlling verb and that frustrates me.

If Paul or pseudo-Paul can do it, why can't I? Answer: because it annoyed me to even try to write one, let alone translate such a mess!

I got to Eph 2, which starts with καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας... When I see a participle, my training has taught me that it almost always is relative to a finite verb. So I started looking. 2.1 begins with a participle whose controlling verb does not appear to occur until v. 6. Relative clauses, participles, genitives, and seemingly random asides abound in these few short verses. If this is how English teachers feel when they grade badly written essays, then I applaud you for your patience.

As for how the translating is going in Eph, you might have noticed that I'm much farther in translating than in blogging about such. There is a simple reason and a complicated reason for doing this. First, I just haven't got around to posting my translating notes. Second, I'm kind of waiting to see whether the translating of later parts of the text will inform or exegete earlier areas. I might get the early stuff out of the way, writing down how participles and genitives are translated, which means the potential for self-interpretation would have to wait. We'll just have to see where this goes.

Grace and peace,

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