Lectionary Year A
July 11, 1999
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation
(JFC) A. COMPARISON OF TRANSLATIONS
In verse 5, Anchor Bible Commentary translates "exaneteilen", "they grew
upwards". Very expressive of the contrast intended.
- In verse 8, NIV &
NASB translate "edidou karpon", "produced/yielded a crop". NRSV has,
"brought forth grain".
- In verse 9, NRSV translates "ho echon ota
akoueto", "Let anyone with ears listen!", with a footnote signifying that
at the word "ears", "Other ancient authorities add to hear." Inclusive
language is good. There, Anchor Bible translates "ho echon ota
akoueto", "Let him
who has understanding . . ." Probably more nearly literally what was
- In verse 19, the Anchor Bible Commentary & Schweitzer
capitalize "Evil One".
- At the end of verse 20, Anchor Bible translates "
meta charas lambanon auton", "embraces it with enthusiasm". NRSV
translates it, "receives it with joy". Schweizer reads, "receive the
message gladly as soon as they hear it". English has several words meaning
"joy". All these possibilities convey the feeling Jesus was talking about
in this parable, surely.
- Schweizer also reads verse 21's opening phrase,
"But, it does not sink deep in them and it does not last long." That
rendering is more a paraphrase, isn't it? At the end of that verse (21) I
could find no English translation that satisfied my initially critical eye
for translations. The Greek word is "skandalizetai". Anchor Bible has, "he
immediately falls". NRSV has, "that person immediately falls away".
Schweizer has, "they give up at once". The Jerusalem Bible and the New
English Bible read, "he falls away at once". What happened to the virtue
of recognizing the original record and translating it with the English word,
- For verse 22's he merimna tou aionos kai he apate tou
ploutou" Anchor Bible reads, "worldly worries & care for wealth". NRSV
reads, here, "the cares of the world and lures of wealth". Schweizer reads,
"their worries about this life and their love of riches". Different ways of
saying the same thing, no? At the end of that verse (22), "akarpos" gets
translated by Anchor Bible, "it becomes unproductive". NRSV = "it yields
nothing". Schweizer = "they don't bear fruit". Close enough, all.
the concluding verse in our lection (23), after Schweizer reads, "they bear
fruit," he translates, "some as much as one hundred, others sixty and others
thirty'." Since we in our native tongue no longer talk about "folds",
Schweizer seems to get at the point sensibly for us.
(JFC) B. TEXTUAL CRITICISM
Several witnesses from among Alexandrian, Western, Byzantine and Caesarean
sources want to insert a post positive "de" between the first 2 words in the
first verse of the text. More reliable witnesses prefer to retain the
Textus Receptus. Some, similarly, want to add prepositions "ek" or "apo"
before "tes oikias" in this first verse. Both prepositions denote
separation out of. The meaning is clear without the addition.
- In verse 2,
several, likewise, would add the article "to" to "ploion". Unnecessary.
- Then, the last word in the third verse seems to prompt suggestions to
change it from a present, active infinitive to an aorist, active infinitive
or to add to it, a phrase that might translate, "the seed sown of it".
Others prefer the text as received. Shorter is better and just as clear and,
most likely, closer to the original.
In verse 4, several Uncials of the
Greek Witnesses would change "elthonta", an aorist participle, to "dlthen", an
aorist active indicative third person singular verb. Furthermore, they and
others want to add a "kai" between the 2 verbs that end that verse. Still
they and others, yet, would add to "ouranou". The verb form gives more
emphasis to the story. So, I probably go with it. The other suggestions
seem unnecessary if not commensurate with the discourse as presented.
verse 6, a few witnesses want to replace "ekaumatisthe", a 3rd person
singular passive indicative verb, with 3rd person plural. Probably the
more nearly original is the singular since that construction would be more
awkward than pluralizing it would be. Then, a few suggest adding "bathos" to
a genetive form of "rizes" to replace the accusative, "rizan". Finally in the
6th verse, one uncial D and Syriac, from the edition of Harclean version by
Joseph White, would read, for "exeranthe", "exeranthesan", changing the form
from 3rd person singular aorist passive indicative to a 3rd person plural.
Are we dealing here with collective nouns and verb forms? If so, it makes
little difference, surely.
- In verse 7, many uncials from the Greek Witnesses and a majority of the texts, want to replace "epnixan" with a 3rd
person aorist active indicative of the same word. However, some other
uncials and some minuscules prefer the text as received. So, we go with the
- In the 9th verse, inserted in addition to "akoueto", some several
uncials & Latin and Syrian witnesses suggest "akouein". Some uncials and
others prefer the text as received. The addition helps clarify the
statement. And, the more lengthy and more difficult might be more nearly the
original, here. However, the meaning seems clear without the additional
word. It doesn't need that present, active infinitive.
- Then, in the second half of our text for this week, several uncials and a
majority of others, want to make the last word in verse 18 a present active
participle instead of an aorist active participle. Others prefer to retain
the text as received. Internal evidence probably says to change it.
However, the difference is negligible.
- In the next verse (19), the
Peshita text of the Syriacs seeks to add "ton logon" to that which is sown.
Too few witnesses to go that way, although the meaning is clarified as if
it needed to be. Then, too, a couple of uncials would change the case of
the sown material from "to esparmenon" to "to speiromenon". That would
make it a present instead of a perfect participle. Again, the evidence is
too slight to warrant such a change.
- Then, in verse 22, some uncials and
many other witnesses would add another, more emphatic article to "tou
aivonos". Some witnesses prefer the text as received and the text needs not
be so emended to be clear.
(JFC) C. ROUGH TRANSLATION
1 On the day that one Jesus was coming out from the house and was seated
beside the lake; 2 and gathered about Him people (so) many that He into a
boat got to be seated and all the multitude on the shore remained. 3 And He
spoke to them often in parables saying; Listen, went out a sowing one in
order to sow. 4
And in the sowing some fell on the path, and some made an appearance so
that birds consumed them. 5 But moreover some fell on the rocky ground
where not were they able to have soil deep enough, and immediately they
sprang up without having soil deep. 6 But the sun rising scorched for not
having enough roots dried up. 7 But others fell among the thorns, and came
up those thorn-plants and choked them. 8 But other fell on this soil the
good amd it gave harvest which on the one hand one hundred, and the other
sixty, and the other thirty. 9 Ones having ears listen.
18 You then hear the parable of the sower. 19 Everyone hearing the word
of the kingdom and not understanding is appearing the Evil One and attacks the
sower in the heart of his, which means he is the one from the way of the
sower. 20 But the ones on rocky ground having been sown, it is the one the
word hearing and immediately with joy takes advantage of it, 21 but not
having roots in itself temporary it is, but becomes distress of either
persecution through the word immediately he gives up his faith. 22 But the
ones among the thorn-plants having been sown, they are the ones to the word
listening, and the concern of the present life and the deceitful ways of the
riches choke the word and barren make it become. 23 But the one on the good
earth sown, this is the one the word hears and understands, the one indeed
bearing fruit and doing it by the hundreds, and by the sixties, and by the
(DH) C. ROUGH TRANSLATION
1 On that day, after going out of the house, Jesus sat [down] alongside
the sea [lake]; 2 and there came together toward him many crowds, with
the result that he, stepping into a boat, sat [down], and the entire crowd
had been standing [up]on the shore. 3 And he said to them many things
in parables, saying: "Pay attention, the sower [lit. the one who sows] went
out in order to sow. 4 And as he [was] in the process of sowing, some
things [seeds?] fell alongside the way, and after coming, the birds ate
them. 5 But other things fell [up]on [the] rocky paths [ground], where
they did not have much soil [earth], and immediately they sprouted up on
account of not having depth of soil; 6 but as the sun was rising, they
were being burnt, and on account of not having root, they were being dried
up. 7 But others fell [up]on the thorn-plants, and the thorn-plants
went up and choked them. 8 But others fell [up]on the good earth and
gave [yielded?] fruit, some one hundred, others sixty, others thirty
18 "Therefore, all of you hear the parable of the sower! 19 As
anyone who hears the word of the kingdom and does not have insight into it,
the evil one comes and takes away violently that which is sown in the
persons heart, this person is the one who has been sown alongside the path.
20 But the one who has been sown [up]on the rocky paths [ground], this
person is the one who is hearing the word and immediately with joy is
receiving it, 21 but s/he does not have root in the very same one [i.e.
the word], but it is temporary, but as affliction or persecution happens on
account of the word, s/he immediately falls away [is afflicted with doubt
about it?]. 22 But the one who has been sown into [among] the
thorn-plants, this person is the one who hears the word, and the concern
[worry] of the age and the deception of [the] wealth are crushing the word
and it becomes fruitless. 23 But the one who has been sown [up]on the
good earth [soil], this person is the one who hears the word and has insight
into it, who indeed [therefore?] bears fruit and makes [yields], one a
hundred, but another sixty, but another thirty [-fold].
| Return to gospel listings | Return to epistle listings |
| Return to Old Testament listings | Return to Psalm listings |
| User response form |