Bible Studies/word translation


Mr Gade

    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


Sorry for the delay...again.

The problem of using the "original" meaning is that many of the base words don't have ONE original meaning but often have 3to 5 perfectly acceptable meanings.  
For instance, there is the word "flesh".  Thayer,s Lexicon says it means:  
what can be stripped off from the bones
1.   properly, flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the  bones
and is permeated with blood) of both men and beasts: 1 Cor 15:39

2.   equivalent to the body,
a.   universally, John 6:63
b.   used of natural or physical origin, generation, relationship: Rom 9:3
c.   the sensuous nature of man, "the animal nature": of sexual desire, John 1:13

3.   a living creature

, when either expressly or tacitly opposed to pneuma(tou Theou), has an ethical sense and denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God;"
(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

Besides this, there is the doctrinal bias of the translator. Those translators like the ones who translated the KJV will almost always use the meaning of the word(s) which would infer that Christians are still under the Law (10 Commandments)rather than fully in the New Covenant, the Covenant of God's Grace(unmerited favor).

Young Literal Translation is probably the best in choosing God's intended meaning.  The Amplified also good because it has the advantage of including the diverse meanings of the Greek word along with the choice used first.

I must mention that the Hebrew of the old testament is even more difficult. That language has many less basic words; which means that each word needs to have very diverse meanings.  One which comes to mind is "covenant".  Its base meaning is "cut". That makes sense only when you consider that great  covenant agreements were so important that there were animal sacrifices made with the verbal agreement: the animal was "CUT" into parts.  

Bible Studies

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dean Gade


I can answer questions concerning the translating of specific words and translations of the New Testament. I can give the etemology of Greek words, primarily in the Koine Greek, but also in Classical Greek. I can also give explanations of much of the Bible having read it many times and written many Bible studies.


I studied Greek in earning my BA at a university and my DTh. and MDiv. at an accredited seminary. I was a diviity student at both the university and seminary, spending most of those eight years studying the Bible.

©2017 All rights reserved.