Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

John 1: 1 and ' it '


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 composer

composer

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,065 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 04:03 AM

From Evangelion's Post -

http://www.thechrist...c=158#entry1578

it is established that a number of translations describe ' the word ' as "it," not "him."

My detractor writes -
. . . I am pretty certain that no modern French translations describe anything as an "it." French nouns have genders, and so are all referred to as he and she.

Thus, one translation reads: (Version not cited)

Au commencement était celui qui est la Parole de Dieu. Il était avec Dieu, il était lui-même Dieu.

Roughly: In the beginning was the one who is the Word of God (la Parole is a feminine noun). He was with God, he was himself God.


Can any French scholars here please help me verify that some French translations do indeed render ' the word ' as an ' it ' rather than a ' him '?

I am also led to believe that certain German Translations also render ' the word ' as ' it ' and not ' him '?

Many thanks

#2 Amy Parkin

Amy Parkin

    Tau

  • Christadelphian
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,810 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:01 PM

French nouns have genders, and so are all referred to as he and she.

...

Can any French scholars here please help me verify that some French translations do indeed render ' the word ' as an ' it ' rather than a ' him '?

The two sentences there are contradictory. Yes, French only uses "le" and "la" (masc. and fem.) and it is at the translator's transgression that they translate "he", "she" or "it" in English. So the French actually doesn't distinguish.

There is however the problem that if the version did use "le Parole" it would just look and sound plain weird, even if it was theologically correct (which I don't believe it is) that this referred to a masculine object/person (i.e. Jesus).

I am also led to believe that certain German Translations also render ' the word ' as ' it ' and not ' him '?

Yes, that's correct. In German "the word" is always neuter (das Wort). Again, it would sound plain weird to say "der Wort". It just looks and sounds wrong. It is therefore easy to argue either case:

1) It refers to Jesus and the reason it's neuter ("it") is because if it was masculine it would read wrong.
2) It is neuter and therefore can't refer to Jesus.

I would point out, though, that in the Luther version of the German Bible (which is used widely, as the KJV is here), is continues not to say "he was with God" but it says "the Word was with God" (still "it").

In German the word for "it" is "es". However, you can refer to objects using "he" or "she". So for example, the word for "table" is "der Tisch", which is masculine. So you could say "This is my table. He is quite small" and no one would bat an eyelid.

This is probably the case in French, too, though I haven't done any French for 4 years.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make straight your paths."


--Proverbs 3:5-6

#3 nsr

nsr

    Order of the Golden Pedant 2nd Class

  • Forum Manager
  • 6,354 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:03 PM

French doesn't have a neuter form, correct? So everything is going to be "le" (masculine) or "la" (feminine).

German looks so easy. It appears to be basically English in a German accent.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#4 Tarkus

Tarkus

    Sigma

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,560 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:35 PM

German looks so easy. It appears to be basically English in a German accent.

Yes, well a man here thought that and volunteered to translate for a German witness. After blurting out "vot is your name!?" a la Colonel Klink he spent the afternoon in jail for contempt of court.

It must be true, I read it in the newspaper. :o

#5 Jeremy

Jeremy

    Order of the Golden Pedant

  • Christadelphian Armoury
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,434 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:46 PM

French doesn't have a neuter form, correct? So everything is going to be "le" (masculine) or "la" (feminine).

Correct.

German looks so easy. It appears to be basically English in a German accent.

I just quoted this to the German lady I sit next to at work. She frowned for a moment, then said, "I don't think so..." :o
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

#6 Gileade

Gileade

    Rho

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,890 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:54 PM

I have one Bible version that has "she" for the word because in portuguese 'word' 'palavra' is feminine. All the other versions circumvent this by using "verb" instead of 'word' as 'verbo' is masculine.
Posted Image
Quer saber mais sobre a Bíblia? Clique aqui

#7 nsr

nsr

    Order of the Golden Pedant 2nd Class

  • Forum Manager
  • 6,354 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 04:41 PM

German looks so easy. It appears to be basically English in a German accent.

I just quoted this to the German lady I sit next to at work. She frowned for a moment, then said, "I don't think so..." :o

Germans have no sense of humour either. I guess they consider it inefficient.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..." (Heb 12:22-23)

#8 Evangelion

Evangelion

    Omega

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,351 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for the responses, guys. :P

In any case, the detractor's assertion seems a rather pointless one. What is he trying to prove? :o
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas
Imago
Credo

#9 Amy Parkin

Amy Parkin

    Tau

  • Christadelphian
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,810 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 06:37 PM

German has some words in common with English, yes, but a lot of it you definitely wouldn't be able to just guess. :o
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make straight your paths."


--Proverbs 3:5-6

#10 Evangelion

Evangelion

    Omega

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,351 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 08:00 PM

Ordnung! Ordnung!

:o
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas
Imago
Credo

#11 Flappie

Flappie

    Psi

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,730 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 12:06 AM

English does not have genders, to compare it with languages that do is stupid. In Greek it is only masculine because the word is masculine, not because it is a male entity.

So the only justifiable reason to translate it as "he" in English is if you believe it is talking about a man.
"I am Flappicus!"
"The first condition of immortality is death."
Broeders in Christus

#12 composer

composer

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,065 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 04:21 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys. :)

In any case, the detractor's assertion seems a rather pointless one. What is he trying to prove? :confused:

Well I surmise he is suggesting there is no legitimacy in claiming that ' the word ' can be translated as an ' it ', he is claiming it has to be a he or a she? (I would suggest?)

Thanks

Edited by composer, 12 July 2008 - 04:22 AM.


#13 Evangelion

Evangelion

    Omega

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,351 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:01 AM

composer, if that is his argument, then he is wasting his own time and everyone else's (for the reason given in Flappie's post).

The guy has no idea what he's talking about. Tell him to come here and have a nice chat with us some time. :o :P
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas
Imago
Credo

#14 composer

composer

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,065 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 02:41 AM

composer, if that is his argument, then he is wasting his own time and everyone else's (for the reason given in Flappie's post).

The guy has no idea what he's talking about. Tell him to come here and have a nice chat with us some time. :evangelion: :chair:

Yes I agree Evan but from experience it is best if I first spend some time discussing with them and then invite them here (as I did recently with RODNEY).

If I just send them here firstly they accuse me of not being able to discuss anything without others backing me up so I always spend some time directly with them and then cordially invite them here.

Regards to all

#15 Evangelion

Evangelion

    Omega

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22,351 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 05:28 AM

Sure, fair enough.
In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas
Imago
Credo

#16 John the Bearded

John the Bearded

    Lambda

  • Christadelphian MD
  • PipPip
  • 296 posts

Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:04 PM

For what it is worth, the word "word" in French is "parole", which is feminine in gender. Hence various French versions use the feminine pronoun "Elle" for the word. Examples are:-

Joh 1:1 Au commencement était la Parole, et la Parole était avec Dieu, et la Parole était Dieu.
Joh 1:2 Elle était au commencement avec Dieu.
Joh 1:3 Toutes choses ont été faites par elle, et rien de ce qui a été fait n'a été fait sans elle.
Joh 1:4 En elle était la vie, et la vie était la lumière des hommes.
Joh 1:5 La lumière luit dans les ténèbres, et les ténèbres ne l'ont point reçue.
(Louis Segond)

and

Joh 1:1 Au commencement était la Parole; et la Parole était auprès de Dieu; et la Parole était Dieu.
Joh 1:2 Elle était au commencement auprès de Dieu.
Joh 1:3 Toutes choses furent faites par elle, et sans elle pas une seule chose ne fut faite de ce qui a été fait.
Joh 1:4 En elle était la vie, et la vie était la lumière des hommes.
Joh 1:5 Et la lumière luit dans les ténèbres; et les ténèbres ne l'ont pas comprise.
(Darby)

Yours

John the Bearded

#17 Jeremy

Jeremy

    Order of the Golden Pedant

  • Christadelphian Armoury
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,434 posts

Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:42 PM

Bonjour, Jean le Barbé. :shrug:

For what it is worth, the word "word" in French is "parole", which is feminine in gender. Hence various French versions use the feminine pronoun "Elle" for the word.

In fact the feminine "parole" refers to the spoken word. One would use the masculine "mot" for the written word. Interesting, I think, that Segond and his fellow francophones went for the former.
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users