Bible Studies/translation


Dear Pastor

    I have been study the bible in Koine Greek and find that often times a word used in the Greek is not expressed accurately in english. For example in Genesis 22 - 2. the english versions read "Take now your son, your only son" Where as the Greek meaning is "Take, please (or I plead or something to that effect)" Why dont they just use the word closest to the original?

         Thank you PETE

Hi Pete,

Thank you for your question.  I am not sure where you are getting your information, but I will try to help you anyway.  First of all, the Old Testament was not written in Greek, it was written in Hebrew.  With any language sometimes translations requires words to be supplied in order to have a smooth reading.  Now I did research that passage with a fantastic Hebrew to English tool and I did not find the discrepancy you described.  Here is what I did find out about the Hebrew interpretation of that passage:


He said: He now refers to God and may need to be translated as “God.”
Take your son: Take is used here in the sense of “Take your son with you,” “Have your son accompany you,” “Go with your son.”
Your only son Isaac, whom you love emphasizes the special relationship between Abraham and Isaac and underlines the harshness of the demand to sacrifice Isaac. The expression your only son is emphatic and means the only son you have, which REB translates “your one and only son.” Ishmael, of course, is also Abraham’s son, but Isaac is the heir to the promise made to Abraham. Now that Ishmael has been sent away, Isaac is the only son. Whom you love is a second expression added to son. This is the first occurrence of the word love in Genesis. The term or expression used to translate love in this context must be appropriate for love of children. In some languages the word for love toward a person’s relatives or children is different than love in a general sense or love for objects. It may be that a figurative expression is most appropriate; for example, “your only son for whom your heart is warm,” or “your son who makes your innermost to be at ease.”
In some languages the whole expression your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, in which four different items of information are linked with the simple term son, is altogether too heavy to be included in a longer sentence. It may therefore need to be made a separate sentence leading up to the main command; for example, “You have only one son, Isaac, and you love him very much. Take this boy.…”

Reyburn, W. D., & Fry, E. M. (1998). A handbook on Genesis (p. 487). New York: United Bible Societies.

I hope that this helps you.

In Christ
Pastor Don

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Pastor Don Carpenter


I believe that every word of the Bible is God-Breathed. This blessed book is the foundation of truth for faith and practice. If you ask this volunteer a question you will receive an answer from the Bible that is based upon a litteral, normal interpretation, taking into account the grammar and culture of the time.


I have been in the ministry for almosat 20 years. During this time I served as youth pastor, assistant pastor, counselor, and Senior Pastor. Currently I serve as a Senior Pastor for an independent fundamental Baptist Church in New England.

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BS in Bible from Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, PA

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