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Translation of Luke 2:1-7

I thought it would be nice to post a translation from one of the birth narratives since Christmas is just around the corner. That’s why I chose Luke 2:1-7.

Remember that my translation is fairly literal (with a couple of exceptions this time), so keep that in mind while reading.

Greek

My Translation

HCSB

1 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. It happened that in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus for all the Roman Empire to be registered. In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered.
2 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. This registration was the first that took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν. And everyone was going to be registered, each one to his own city. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲθ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ, So Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth to Judea into the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family of David, And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David,
5 ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ. to register with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant.
6 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, It happened while they were there that the days were fulfilled for her to give birth, While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7 καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι. and she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was not a place for them in the guest room. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough– because there was no room for them at the inn.

A couple of notes on my translation. I translated ‘οἰκουμένην’ ‘as ‘Roman Empire’ instead of ‘world’ because I remember being a little kid and wondering how it would be possible for every person around the globe to return to their ancestral home and be a part of a census. I don’t believe that there’s many translations that make this leap (HCSB and NLT come to mind), but I think it is what the author had in mind.

Also, I translated ‘καταλύματι’ as ‘guest room.’ I will admit that I could be wrong and that they may have been filled up at the Holiday Inn, but it just makes sense in my mind that Luke would be referring to a guest room. Joseph is returning to his ancestral home. I would assume that he has relatives there that would take him into their own home (unless they had no room left or didn’t like that his fiancée was pregnant already).

Be sure to let me know your thoughts (especially if you think I made a mistake somewhere).

MSE

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