The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

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The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:03 am

Hebrews 11:27 wrote:τὸν γὰρ ἀόρατον ὡς ὁρῶν ἐκαρτέρησεν.
Only the NTE (2011) translation takes this as "he persisted in seeing". Other translations take it as some sort of general endurance / persistence with what is endured / persisted in derived from the context.

Is there something about having the ὡς here that is thought to inhibit the construction καρτερέω + participle "persist in doing some action" from being read by most translators?
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by BrianB » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:25 pm

This verse presents the translator with a double challenge, I think. Even if he succeeds in finding a satisfactory way to join together the ideas of perseverance and seeing, he will still be left uncomfortably aware that he is on the way to ending his sentence with “seeing the invisible,” an unexplained paradox that will likely have an unsettling effect on the reader.

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:48 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:03 am
Hebrews 11:27 wrote:τὸν γὰρ ἀόρατον ὡς ὁρῶν ἐκαρτέρησεν.
Only the NTE (2011) translation takes this as "he persisted in seeing". Other translations take it as some sort of general endurance / persistence with what is endured / persisted in derived from the context.

Is there something about having the ὡς here that is thought to inhibit the construction καρτερέω + participle "persist in doing some action" from being read by most translators?
Actually, yes. Most see the ὡς as limiting ὁρῶν making it the equivalent of a conditional or relative clause, something like ὡσπερεὶ ὁρᾷ... Therefore it's not being used in the normal sense as a supplementary participle with the verb.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by jeidsath » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:53 pm

@BrianB -- He's not ending the sentence with "seeing the invisible." Check the Greek!

@hekebolos -- Even if that's a possibility, don't you find the word order strange for καρτερέω + participle? Why would he emphasize ἐκαρτέρησεν by putting it last? Not to mention the fact that it would fit awkwardly with the rest of the sentence.
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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by BrianB » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:42 pm

Fair enough, Joel, but I think I made it clear I was referring to what the translator is writing in English, not what he is reading in Greek. Bible Hub lists twenty-something translations of this verse. Nearly all of them end with “he saw him who is invisible,” “seeing Him who is unseen,” “he could actually see the invisible God,” or words to that effect. Only two of them end with something else.

https://biblehub.com/hebrews/11-27.htm

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by jeidsath » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:04 pm

Not at all. There is no law of English grammar that would make it go last. After Elizabeth Warren in 2017, I don't see how any translator could avoid:

"...for as if seeing the invisible, he persisted."
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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by BrianB » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:34 pm

Well spotted! :lol:

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by Lukas » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:39 am

My interlinear translates it as, ". . . for the unseen [one[ as seeing he endured."
Λουκᾶς

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:39 am

BrianB wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:25 pm
ending his sentence with “seeing the invisible,” an unexplained paradox that will likely have an unsettling effect on the reader.
jeidsath wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:53 pm
@BrianB -- Check the Greek!
To answer your question and to give you a way to get closer to the Greek, you could open this link:
https://biblehub.com/interlinear/hebrews/11-1.htm
You will see this:
Image

The verse that we are discussing is:
Image


You will notice that the English is the same (a form of "see") for both βλεπομένων and ὁρῶν. Reading the English under the Greek, then, doesn't let you know the difference between those two words in Greek. You need to learn the language for that. You are in a conversation with three people here, all of whom know Greek in one way or another. One advantage that we have, and which you will have as grapple with the Greek, is that we know the difference between the Greek words. When the words in an interlinear (common for the New Testament) or a parallel translation (usual for other classical and post-classical texts) are the same, because we have leant the language, we have ways to go beyond the words interlinked or in parallel columns.

Barry is a seasoned reader with about 40 years of reading Greek notched up on the butt of his rifle. As such, he would have seen the words in umpteen different contexts and will have a feel for the collocations that they are natively used in. Joel still has less the a decade in the Language, so he is still exploring. His multi-pass (reading over and over) approach to reading texts appears to give him an affinity for the Greek. Since the beginning of my engagement with Greek, I have been a commited proponent of rote learning of vocabulary lists. Those three approaches to Greek are going to produce slightly different (but not uncomplimentary) understandings of the differences between those words.

Speaking from my own predilection, when I read βλέπω, I think of βλέμμα "a glance" (ie, "the rapid movement, targeting and the return of the physical eyeballs to their original position", implicit in my choice of gloss is the assumption that Lot very quickly got off targeting. The idea of target and fix on something attentively can be implied b other situations) and ανάβλεψις "the recovery of sight (a healing of physical blindness)", or "looking up" (the physical changing of the angle of sight). When I read ὁράω, I think of ὅρασις and ὅραμα "a vision" (a insight in a dream-like state).

Barry's approach, which we can refer to as extensive reading allows people to see things in multiple contexts. If a person who approached Greek primarily or predominantly in that way wondered about the difference between the words in Greek, they might remember reading μηδὲ τὸν ἥλιον βλέπουσαι "nor to see the sun" in Josephus, Antiquitates Judaicae, 16.204 and reading οὔτε ἐνύπνια ὁρᾶν "nor see dreams" in Herodotus 4.184.4. The sun is a physical object in the sky and a dream is supersensible. Based on previous reading experience such as having seen those collocation, upon reading "see" in English a more exact appreciation of the distinction in sense can be realised.

Either and any way, the end result in understanding that comes from reading the actual Greek rather than the translations or interlined English is that both words mean "see" in so far as βλέπω is with the eyes and ὁράω is in the mind (in this case).

If you do look at the Greek of verse 27 there there is an apparent paradox in ὁράω τὰ ἀόρατα "I see unseen things" in the case of Moses, God. There are two ways to read that - with the same meaning and with different meanings. The same meaning would be like saying "uncomplicated the complex", and a different meaning would be like we use in word plays, e.g. "some people were settled, but the rest were restless". There is only one meaning of "complex" there, but two meanings of "rest. If we only read the translation, or we simply transfer or English understanding to the Greek, then to our thinking, the most obvious would be to wow at a paradoxical "seeing what can not be seen" (assuming both the same meaning for ὁράω). There is however the possibility that the meaning of ὁρα in ὁρῶν "seeing" (Heb.11:27) and ὁρα in ἀόρατον "unseen" (ibid.) are no more similar in Greek than the two occurrences of "rest" in "the rest are resting" are similar to us. If you know Greek (specifically in this case - the semantic domains of ὁρα), you can consider stuff like that.
jeidsath wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:53 pm
@BrianB -- Check the Greek!
+1. Decide what resources, techniques, knowledge and skills you need to be able to meaningfully engage with the Greek to your own satisfaction, and plan how to get them. There are both low-hanging fruit and choice fruits in the higher branches - knowing a little or knowing a lot will be rewarding either way.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by BrianB » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:31 am

Thank you, ἑκηβόλος, for taking the trouble to write such a thoughtful and illuminating exposition of the complexities of the Greek language, and also for your introduction to the distinguished senior members of this forum. Allow me to ask you this hypothetical question, getting back to Hebrews 11:27. If a publisher had commissioned you to revise a translation of this book for an edition of the Bible aimed at the general reader, what form of words, exactly, would you recommend in the case of this verse?

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:20 pm

BrianB wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:31 am
Thank you, ἑκηβόλος, ... for your introduction to the distinguished senior members of this forum.
Besides Barry, the others with golden grey matter are not currently active. I assume they must be involved in their other personal affairs over the Easter break. You will recognise those who have put on their Tudor bonnets or mortarboards to answer your questions, because you will feel that you can get benefit from reading through their posts a few times.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by BrianB » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:26 pm

Thanks again! I look forward to that.

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:56 pm

BrianB wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:31 am
Allow me to ask you this hypothetical question, getting back to Hebrews 11:27. If a publisher had commissioned you to revise a translation of this book for an edition of the Bible aimed at the general reader, what form of words, exactly, would you recommend in the case of this verse?
The obvious answer is that I don't know, so that is why I have started this thread and am asking for comment. :lol:

As you set out with your Greek, translation is a means to making Greek (a foreign language) manageable. Later however, you will find that you can understand the Greek in itself, then after you have understood the meaning, you can find English to express it. I have not yet reached adequate understanding of the sentence yet in Greek to be able to make more than a word-for-word translation.

I realise that with the hypothetical publisher thingy you are merely constructing a narrative context within which to ask me for my idea about how best to render it, but I will say that I am not seeking to make a Bible version for publishing. I don't think there is a niche in the market for amateur Bible translations. They just wouldn't sell. Statistically, it is more likely that an individual could be canonised as a saint in the Church than that they could get their own personal translation of the Bible published.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:10 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:53 pm
@hekebolos -- Even if that's a possibility, don't you find the word order strange for καρτερέω + participle? Why would he emphasize ἐκαρτέρησεν by putting it last? Not to mention the fact that it would fit awkwardly with the rest of the sentence.
I don't find that order strange. Here is a similar order from
Diodorus Siculus, Library, 15.65.1 wrote:τότε θεωροῦντες δῃουμένην ὑπὸ τῶν πολεμίων οὐκ ἐκαρτέρουν
could not then bear to see it being sacked by the enemy,
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by jeidsath » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:38 pm

It's not similar. There, the emphasis is on οὐκ ἐκαρτέρουν. That's why it comes last. However, it would be a strange emphasis for the Hebrews verse, under your interpretation of "persisted in seeing the invisible". You'd expect there to be some sort of echo of ἐκαρτέρησεν before or after.

Πίστει κατέλιπεν Αἴγυπτον, μὴ φοβηθεὶς τὸν θυμὸν τοῦ βασιλέως, τὸν γὰρ ἀόρατον ὡς ὁρῶν ἐκαρτέρησεν.

In the "so seeing the invisible, he persisted" interpretation, the echo is clear, referring back to μὴ φοβηθεὶς..., and the word order is obvious.

The sentence also has a very nice 1-2-3 punch, that simply breaks apart into a 1-2 + 3 under your interpretation, and disturbs the general effect of the whole section.
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Re: The role of ὡς in καρτερέω + participle (Heb. 11:27)

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:06 am

jeidsath wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:38 pm
under your interpretation of "persisted in seeing the invisible".
I do not go by Tom Wright. My nom de plume is ἑκηβόλος. The NTE translator and I are different people.
jeidsath wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:38 pm
The sentence also has a very nice 1-2-3 punch, that simply breaks apart into a 1-2 + 3 under your interpretation, and disturbs the general effect of the whole section.
Ditto.

You are confident in your assertion of the nature of word-order, as a simple 1-2-3. I do not share your interpretative model.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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