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Analytical-Literal Translation

Baptized … to Forgiveness of Sins?

The following e-mails are commenting on the Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT). The e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.


In your version, where do you get that eis means "because of [in Acts 2:28]."<

From Dana and Mantey's Greek grammar. They give "because of" as one possible meanings, with Matt 12:41; Rom 4:20 as examples (pp.103-4).

> eis is a preposition not a conjunction.<

This is a good point.

> eis means "into" - "to" - "toward." <

Among many other things. Prepositions usually have a wide range of meanings.

> People are immersed toward the forgiveness of sins not because of. eis always carry action forward.

Please correct this.

In Christ,

What I have is not a mistake given Dana and Mantey's support. And You can be sure I have struggled quite a bit over this one. I did have "to" as one possible meaning at one time, but it was so awkward and didn't really fit the context, so I took it out. "for" is another possibility, and is a very common meaning. A meaning of "because of" works as this is the sense in Matt 12:41.

I was trying to avoid giving three meanings for a word, but I might change to "to [or, for; or because of.]" This will show all of the possibilities. I will think about it some more before finalizing the ALT for the publisher.

God bless,
Gary Z.

>Dana & Mantey were Baptist and they let their religious views get in the way.<

It sounds to me like this is what you are doing. Your "religious views" are preventing you from accepting the fact that prepositions have more than one meaning.

>Matthew 12:41 The Ninivites will stand up with this generation in the judgment and will condemn it: because they repented FROM the preaching of Jonah; and behold, more than Jonah is here. MLV<

The use of "from" makes no sense, but "at" or "because of" do. And such passages demonstrate why it is wrong to say a preposition, or most words for that matter, have only one meaning. Also, the "more than" is excessively awkward and makes little sense as well. See the ALT: Background Pages for more details in this regard

I was trying to avoid giving three meanings for a word, but I might change to "to [or, for; or because of.]" This will show all of the possibilities. I will think about it some more before finalizing the ALT for the publisher.

> How about leave "for" in context and [literally 'to' 'into' 'toward']? This way people decide if their baptism was valid  or not, not you.<

I did not use "literally" as a note anywhere in my text. I always used the literal rendering, and if it was not clear, then a "fig." bracketed meaning. In this case, any of the renderings are literal since all are possible renderings of the word. But I will go with what I indicate above as it shows the different possibilities.

Otherwise, you've gotten into making suggestions a little late on this project. This week is the last time I will be able to make changes to the text before it is finalized for the publisher. All I'm really doing now is proofreading for typos. The translation work itself has been finished for weeks, having begun almost two and a half years ago.

And I am very busy right now, as I have to get the entire text proofread and back to the publisher within 10 days.

> Have you ever looked at the Modern Literal Version? You can download it in Word Perfect format here. Please read the preface.<

I hadn't heard of it, but will check it out when I get the chance. But with renderings like the above, it sounds like it is unnecessarily awkward. With the ALT, I have kept it literal, but have made it readable by recognizing that words, especially ones like prepositions, have a range of meanings, although I have tried to keep the different English words used for each Greek word to a minimum. So the ALT is more consistent in translation than most versions, but not slavishly so. And for controversial translations like this one, I tried to show the different alternatives, when I could do so without getting too awkward.  

The following is taken from Part Six of the "Grammatical Renderings" section of the Companion Volume to the ALT.

Eis: Basic translations: to, into.

Possible Meanings: (1) with accusative. to, into, unto, for, in, Rare. at, on, upon, by, near, among, against, concerning, as, because of, with respect to, with reference to. (2) with infinitive. for the purpose of. (3) Phrases: eis ti: why?; eis to panteles: completely; eis to palin: again; eis tov aiona: forever.

Note that based on a variety of lexical sources, I do give "to, into" as the most basic translation. These renderings are used most often in the ALT when eis is used. However, several of the other options are also seen as context warrants.

So Acts 2:38 in the ALT now reads, "Then Peter was saying to them, 'Repent, and let each of you* be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, to [or, for; or, because of] [the] forgiveness of sins, and you* will receive the free gift of the Holy Spirit.'"

I decided to use "to" first since it is the most basic meaning of the word, "for" second since it is a somewhat commonly used possible meaning, and "because of" last since it is a "rare" usage.

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