Saturday, April 27, 2013

An easy-to-miss minor improvement in NA28 - James 1:21

The text of James 1:21 has not undergone any change between the NA27 and NA28, but it has been improved anyway.

This is how it is printed in NA27:

διὸ ἀποθέμενοι πᾶσαν ῥυπαρίαν καὶ περισσείαν κακίας ἐν πραΰτητι, δέξασθε τὸν ἔμφυτον λόγον τὸν δυνάμενον σῶσαι τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν.

And here as it is in NA28:

διὸ ἀποθέμενοι πᾶσαν ῥυπαρίαν καὶ περισσείαν κακίας ἐν πραΰτητι δέξασθε τὸν ἔμφυτον λόγον τὸν δυνάμενον σῶσαι τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν.

ESV:
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

The difference between the two Greek texts is the absence of punctuation after ἐν πραΰτητι, which leaves open the question whether 'with meekness' goes with 'putting away all filthiness and rampant wickedness', or, as per ESV and NRSV, with the reception of the implanted word. Though I think (rather strongly, actually) that the interpretation of NA27 is to be preferred over that of the two English translations, I also think that it is not necessarily the case that an edition of the Greek text has to decide this on behalf of the reader. NA28 made the right call not to force the issue. This is, therefore, a good case of 'less is better'.

1 Comments:

Matthew Frost said...

This seems to be a case like Romans 1:17, in which the valence of the dative as an object is unclear. And why should it be, in this case? Are the verbs in competition? I see a participial absolute phrase, an adverbial construct, and a main verb with its objects.

"Therefore, humbly, putting away all filth and surplus evil, receive the implanted word that is able to save your souls."

In any case, I agree that NA28 did well to lose the comma.