Author Topic: πάτερ, ἄφες αὐτοῖς, οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν -> Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34)  (Read 1202 times)

horizonhb

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Bible verse Luke 23:34 or at least part of it.

πατερ αφες αυτοις ου γαρ οιδασιν τι ποιουσιν
OR
πάτερ, ἄφες αὐτοῖς, οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν

If I go word-by-word I get..
Father, forgive them not indeed they know what they do.

Yet every translation I com across is....
Father forgive them for they know not what they do

Please help me understand?????
« Last Edit: 13 May, 2012, 08:30:16 by billberg23 »


spiros

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"Father forgive them for they know not what they do" is the right translation. Syntax does not "translate" literally across languages.

billberg23

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The secret, horizonhb, is that the Greek word that expresses cause (γὰρ) is always postpositive — that is, it has to come second in a clause, where we would put our cause-word (because, or for, or since) first in the clause.  There are many such postpositive conjunctions in Greek — it's a peculiarity of the language, and is usually learned in the first few weeks of any ancient or biblical Greek course.
So γὰρ really does mean "for", not "indeed."
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος