Blind Comparison in Acts

A portion of the sermon this morning was derived from the fourth chapter of Acts. As the pastor read from his translation, I followed along in another translation which was completely different from his. I was surprised at the difference so much that as soon as I got home I looked up verses 16 and 17 immediately in several translations. Just to show the variety in translations I am including quite a few here for your convenience.

I’m curious to read your comments about which rendering is most easily understood by you. The first translation is the one I took with me to church this morning. The last translation before the Greek is the only one that did not use inclusive language. Please have a look and let me know what your thoughts are.

  • “What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.”
  • “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
  • “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.”
  • “What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign, evident to all who live in Jerusalem, has been done through them, and we cannot deny it! But so this does not spread any further among the people, let’s threaten them against speaking to anyone in this name again.”
  • “What are we to do with these men?” they said. “It is common knowledge in Jerusalem that a notable miracle has come about through them; and we cannot deny it. But to stop this from spreading farther among the people, we had better caution them never again to speak to anyone in this name.”
  • “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”
  • “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”
  • “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.”
  • λέγοντες· τί ποιήσωμεν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις τούτοις; ὅτι μὲν γὰρ γνωστὸν σημεῖον γέγονεν διʼ αὐτῶν πᾶσιν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν Ἰερουσαλὴμ φανερὸν καὶ οὐ δυνάμεθα ἀρνεῖσθαι· ἀλλʼ ἵνα μὴ ἐπὶ πλεῖον διανεμηθῇ εἰς τὸν λαὸν ἀπειλησώμεθα αὐτοῖς μηκέτι λαλεῖν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι τούτῳ μηδενὶ ἀνθρώπων.

Update
There are three follow up posts: part 1, part 2, and part 3.

About these ads

11 thoughts on “Blind Comparison in Acts

  1. The first one is the most understandable for me and uses the most natural language for the most part. The last sentence may not sound as emphatic as the rest but the word order is more natural than some of the others.

    Many of the others use the ever awkward “for”.
    Jeff

  2. I suppose I should have mentioned my preferences. I liked number four the best. Thanks for stopping by Damian.

    Jeff, thanks for the comment. Number one used “can’t” which I prefer over “cannot”. However it used the term “propaganda” which was the main reason I didn’t like it, and also why I decided to post these.

  3. Nathan,

    I think I actually like ‘propaganda’ used here. Not necessary, but I think it expresses the concerns of the speakers well. You’re right about ‘can’t’, though – it does make a lot of difference.

    I think the reason I like the last one is ‘noteworthy miracle’. I think it’s a succinct way of saying it, moreso than most of the others.

  4. I’m super busy this week, but I plan a follow up to this post as soon as I have time to finish typing it up. After reviewing the list of translations I probably should have posted fewer of them to make it easier to read through them all. Anyways… more soon.

  5. For the first half of these passage (“What are we going [...] cannot deny it.”), I prefer the second translation listed. I prefer the fourth translation for the second half (“let’s threaten them” is stronger and more direct than “warn”), though I like “propaganda” as well.

  6. Pingback: Acts comparison results part 1 « Discipulus Scripturae

  7. Pingback: Acts comparison results part 2 « Discipulus Scripturae

  8. Pingback: Acts comparison results part 3 « Discipulus Scripturae

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: