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Translation of the Didache 16:3-8

No one got the clue from earlier I guess. Well, the answer is the Didache 16:3-8. And that is where the translation for today comes from. This is the second time I’ve translated from the Apostolic Fathers and it has definitely gotten easier. My vocabulary has definitely improved. I’m happy about that. So, without further ado, here it is:

Greek My Translation Holmes’ Translation
3 ἐν γὰρ ταῖς ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις πληθυνθήσονται οἱ ψευδοπροφῆται καὶ οἱ φθορεῖς καὶ στραφήσονται τὰ πρόβατα εἰς λύκους καὶ ἡ ἀγάπη στραφήσεται εἰς μῖσος For in the last days the numbers of the false prophets and the seducers will be increased, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate. For in the last days the false prophets and corrupters will abound, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate.
4 αὐξανούσης γὰρ τῆς ἀνομίας μισήσουσιν ἀλλήλους καὶ διώξουσι καὶ παραδώσουσι καὶ τότε φανήσεται ὁ κοσμοπλανὴς ὡς υἱὸς θεοῦ καὶ ποιήσει σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα καὶ ἡ γῆ παραδοθήσεται εἰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ καὶ ποιήσει ἀθέμιτα ἃ οὐδέποτε γέγονεν ἐξ αἰῶνος For as lawlessness is increasing, they will hate and persecute and betray each other. And then the deceiver of the world will appear as a son of God and doing signs and wonders, and the earth will be turned over into his hands, and doing lawlessness that has never happened since the beginning. For as lawlessness increases, they will hate and persecute and betray one another. And then the deceiver of the world will appear as a son of God and will perform signs and wonders, and the earth will be delivered into his hands, and he will commit abominations the likes of which have never happened before.
5 τότε ἥξει ἡ κτίσις τῶν ἀνθρώπων εἰς τὴν πύρωσιν τῆς δοκιμασίας καὶ σκανδαλισθήσονται πολλοὶ καὶ ἀπολοῦνται οἱ δὲ ὑπομείναντες ἐν τῇ πίστει αὐτῶν σωθήσονται ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ τοῦ καταθέματος Then mankind will have come into the testing fire, and many will fall away and will die, but those having endured in their faith will be saved by the accursed one himself. Then all humankind will come to the fiery test, and many will fall away and perish; but those who endure in their faith will be saved by the accursed one himself.
6 καὶ τότε φανήσεται τὰ σημεῖα τῆς ἀληθείας πρῶτον σημεῖον ἐκπετάσεως ἐν οὐρανῷ εἶτα σημεῖον φωνῆς σάλπιγγος καὶ τὸ τρίτον ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν And then the signs of the truth will be revealed:
First sign: an opening in heaven,
Next sign: a sound of a trumpet,
And the third: resurrection of the dead –
And then there will appear the signs of the truth: first the sign of an opening in heaven, then the sign of the sound of a trumpet, and third, the resurrection of the dead –
7 οὐ πάντων δέ ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἐρρέθη Ἥξει ὁ κύριος καὶ πάντες οἱ ἅγιοι μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ but not all, rather as it was said, “The Lord will come, and all the saints with Him.” but not all; rather, as it has been said, “The Lord will come, and all his saints with him.”
8 τότε ὄψεται ὁ κόσμος τὸν κύριον ἐρχόμενον ἐπάνω τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ Then the world will see for itself the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven. Then the world will see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

Now, if there are any questions, concerns, congratulations, or otherwise, I’d be happy to hear them. Every little bit helps me to do better next time.

MSE

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8 Responses

  1. Concerning Did 16.3:

    φθορεῖς – I think “corrupters” is probably better than “seducers,” which suggests to me a sexual kind of corruption.

    πληθυνθήσονται – It’s not quite clear what it means for the false prophets to “increase.” Are they getting louder, fatter, or more numerous. I think the latter. If you want to keep the English verb “increase,” then you can go with “In the last days, the numbers of false prophets and corrupters will increase.”

    ἡ ἀγάπη – This is just the use of the Greek article with abstract nouns, which is not used in English. It’s “love,” not “the love” in English.

    • Stephen, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate it.

      φθορεῖς – I’ll have to give that one some more thought. Perhaps “corrupters” should be there. I’ll get back to you with my decision sometime this week (I’ll probably make a post about it).

      πληθυνθήσονται – Noted. You are right. What is increasing? Ok, I think I’ll take your last suggestion and add “the numbers of” into the passage.

      ἡ ἀγάπη – Thanks for the help. I’ll change it.

      • Great.

        For φθορεῖς, BDAG suggests “corrupters” because it’s generic (in other contexts “seducers” may be appropriate.

        I do think you are right to avoid “abounds”: though its meaning is OK, it is too old-fashioned. (I might prefer an English intransitive “will increase” to the passive “will be increased”; otherwise the reader is wondering who is doing the increasing.)

  2. For D 16.4, some of Holmes’s translation is missing. After “deceiver” this text follows: “of the world will appear as a son of God and”.

    τῆς ἀνομίας – Another case of the Greek article with an abstract noun.

    ποιήσει (2x) – not sure why you’re rendering it with a participle “doing” instead of the future “will do”.

    Interestingly, both you and Holmes are rendering παραδώσουσι and παραδοθήσεται with different words “betray” and “turned over / delivered over.” I’m not sure whether it’s good to maintain the verbal connection, though.

  3. Yes, I definitely didn’t want to go with “abounds.” Trying to keep fairly modern language in there. The reason I went with the passive “will be increased” is out of a desire to keep a fairly formal equivalence (not because I don’t like dynamic, but rather because this gives me some more definite parameters to work within – still learning Greek).

  4. Corrected that bit of missing Holmes. Thanks again.

    Also fixed the translation of τῆς ἀνομίας. I guess I need to check some stuff out on abstract nouns.

    ποιήσει comes from ποιήσις and is a feminine singular dative noun meaning doing.

    Actually I came to “betray” by myself. It seemed to make more sense in the context. When I compared to Holmes I was surprised.

    • Oh, I see what’s going on. ποιήσει, with the accent on the penult, is the 3rd person singular future indicative of ποιέω. ποίησει, with the accent on the antepenult, is the dative fem. sing. of ποίησις. In this case, we’re looking at the verb form.

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