εἰς ὁδόν ἐθνῶν μὴ ἀπέλθητε -> go not into the way of the Gentiles (Matthew 10:5)

autumn · 6 · 1175

autumn

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εἰς ὁδόν ἐθνῶν μὴ ἀπέλθητε

My translation:
to the road of the nations go not away

Is this correct?
« Last Edit: 26 Aug, 2010, 20:24:52 by billberg23 »


jtownsle

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My Greek is terrible, so take this for what it's worth...

I would have liked some more context for this quote.  I googled the words and it looks like it's from Matt 10:5?

Here's what I found:  Robertson's NT Studies says that οδόν εθνών="way of the gentiles".  I would assume this incorporates a couple of ideas, like--the way of the non-Jews, and the way of the foreigners. 

LSJ says that εις απέλθητε implies that you depart one place and arrive at another place.  απέλθητε is aorist, active, subjunctive.  Since this is a command, I would take the subjunctive to mean "as you go."

So my paraphrase of this, making it into a positive and incorporating the context, would be: "Take this message to the Jews."
A translation would look more like: "As you go, don't take the roads to the Gentiles."




autumn

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My Greek is terrible, so take this for what it's worth...

I would have liked some more context for this quote.  I googled the words and it looks like it's from Matt 10:5?

Here's what I found:  Robertson's NT Studies says that οδόν εθνών="way of the gentiles".  I would assume this incorporates a couple of ideas, like--the way of the non-Jews, and the way of the foreigners. 

LSJ says that εις απέλθητε implies that you depart one place and arrive at another place.  απέλθητε is aorist, active, subjunctive.  Since this is a command, I would take the subjunctive to mean "as you go."

So my paraphrase of this, making it into a positive and incorporating the context, would be: "Take this message to the Jews."
A translation would look more like: "As you go, don't take the roads to the Gentiles."

I am not interested in a subjective translation, but a literal translation. A subjective translation brings in bias to form the translation including using previous translations and assumptions on what one thinks it should say. This is not a question of what individual words translate to, but the overall grammar of the sentence, which to me reads as I translated previously.

If it was telling them to not go to the nations it would read: μη απέλθητε εις οδόν εθνών -or- απέλθητε μη εις οδόν εθνών.


jtownsle

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My apologies for any offense.  I may be overly sensitive, but i read hostility in your response and I certainly did not intend to provoke you.  I'm quite new here and am unfamiliar with the cultural norms.

But I stand by my response on a number of counts.  First, in an epistemological sense, there is no such thing as a literal translation, especially with a language and culture 2000+ years old.  For example, how do you translate the subjunctive case from Greek into English?  It can be done, but not by superimposing one English word onto one Greek word.  Often in translating a text you must use a phrase to convey meaning that another language conveys with a simple suffix.  I do not see the subjunctive case in your translation.  It's relatively simple to create an interlinear-type document where you string together grammar, something like, "απέλθητε=to depart, 2nd aorist, active, subjunctive" for every word.  But that isn't a translation and it really is neither useful nor meaningful.  If that's all you wanted, then didn't you have access to that on your own from a simple Google search?

Second, what does οδόν mean?  What does εθνών mean?  Again, cultural differences prevent a simple single-word for single-word translation.  For example, ever since the historical trajectory of the Treaty of Westphalia --> Napoleon --> final fall of the European empires post WWI, we have been developing the political and philosophical construct of the "nation-state."  When your Greek phrase was written, where was no such thing as a nation-state.  The Greeks had city-states, but they were not simply smaller versions of today's nation-states.  Entire books have been written on how to understand the ancient construction of the concept of the εθνών.  If I read your response correctly, you want a simple one-word translation that will convey this idea?  You can substitute the modern word "nations" for "εθνών" as you do, but I don't think the philology supports a homology between our modern use of the word and the writer of this text.  Especially since it's a genitive pairing with οδόν,  "road of the nations," from your translation, does not make sense to me even an English syntactical sense.  Meaning, if you came up to me and asked me "What is the road of the nations," I would have no idea what you were talking about.



autumn

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No hostility at all, but I did not come here for a discussion on Greek or Judean culture. I came for a basic translations of the sentence I posted and an explanation on grammar of that translation because I was reading the Greek and comparing it to an English translation and the translation of this particular translation looked off.

εις
οδον
εθνων
μη
απελθητε


billberg23

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  • Words ail me.
εἰς = into
ὁδὸν = (the) way, road
ἐθνῶν = of nations (i.e. Gentiles)
μὴ = do not
ἀπέλθητε = go off

Νothing complicated about this sentence.  It simply advises the Twelve not to go running after Gentiles in their current mission.
« Last Edit: 27 Aug, 2010, 02:48:39 by billberg23 »


 

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