Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Greek NT "Utter Chaos"

Struggling to know exactly how to translate a portion of a Pauline epistle this morning, I consulted an authoritative grammar, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Blass, Debrunner, and Funk (known as BDF). Here's what BDF said (§§ 467):

“The construction 1 T 1:3ff. is reduced to utter chaos by interminable insertions and appended clauses.”

Well, small wonder, then, that I had a little trouble. "Reduced to utter chaos," they say. The authorities on these matters call this tough bit of text "utter chaos."

It probably just needs a verb supplied from the context, as it seems all English translations have done. In any case, I find it encouraging that the authorities and the experts note the difficulties at precisely the point where I myself am finding difficulties.  

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