Lectionary Year A
September 5, 1999
Matthew 18:15-20

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation


(JFC) A. COMPARISON OF TRANSLATIONS

Versions used: Anchor Bible, the New Revised Standard Version and Eduard Schweizer's The Good News According to Matthew.

VerseAnchorNRSVSchweizer
15If your brother sins [against you]If another member of the church sins against youIf your brother sins,
remonstrate with him privatelypoint out the fault when the two of you are alone show him his fault.But do it privately, just between yourselves.
gained your brotherregained that oneWon your brother back
16But if he will not listen,But if you are not listened to,But if he will not listen to you,
others with you others along with youpersons with you
'by the evidence of two or three witness every word may be confirmed.'every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses'every accusation may be upheld by the mouth of two or three witnesses.'
17tell it to the communitytell it to the churchtell the whole thing to the community
let him be regarded as outside the communitylet such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collectortreat him like a heathen or a tax collector
I solemnly tell youTruly I tell youAmen, I tell you
releaselooseloose
19Again, I tell youOnce again: Amen, I tell youAgain, truly I tell you
any request you makeanything you askanything they pray for
done for yougranted for themdone for you
20are gathered in my namecome together in my name are gathered in my name
I am there in the middle of themI am there among themI am in the midst of them


(JFC) B. TEXTUAL CRITICISM

The prepositional phrase in verse 15, "eis se", is omitted by several witnesses, but far more include it. It is longer to include and to do so makes the meaning unmistakably clear.
In verse 16, several witnesses change the order of the last 6 words before the comma, while the vast majority retains the order as printed. Likewise, some witnesses would change the order of the middle four words in the quote from the Old Testament in that verse (16).
Then, one uncial and others would add an article to "ho telones" in verse 17.
In the next verse (18) some witnesses would omit the verb "estai." As frequently, some witnesses would alter the number and/or case of "ouvrano" at the end of that verse. Many would retain it as printed.
Verse 19 might begin with a post positive "de", according to some. More witnesses would find it unnecessary to add it. Also, several would change the order of the words "sumfonesosin ex humon", while more see no need to change. Others would change the case of the pronoun. Most leave it as received.
Finally, in verse 20, the first phrase and the last one have some redactors placing negative vocabulary within the text as received. It could make more of an impact that way, but very few witnesses suggest this form. So, we retain the textus receptus.

(JFC) C. ROUGH TRANSLATION

15 If anyone should sin [against you] the brother of you, go convince him of his error between you and him alone. If you he gives heed to you, you gained the brother of you. 16 But if he does not give heed to you, take along with you in addition one or two (others), so that on the evidence of the witnesses two stand all the words; 17 but if he should refuse to listen to you (pl), go to the church group, but also if to the church group he refuses to listen, he becomes to you as the heathen and the tax collector. 18 Truly I say to you; for as much as you bind on the earth shall be bound in heaven, and as much as you set aside on the earth shall be set aside in heaven.
19 Furthermore, [truly] I say to you that if two should get together with you on the earth everything undertaken then whatever you request, shall take place for you by the father of mine who is in the heavens. 20 For where there are two or three gathered in the name of mine, there I am in the midst of them.

Response:

hi anni...a big 'thank you' to jfc and to you for this good opening via step I to matthew 18:15ff. one question for jfc is the rough translation of "church group" for "ekklesia" in v. 17. my sense is that this is a technical term here and in the rough translation it should probably reflect some of the terminological roots of "kaleo" and "ek"...= "called out" or "called out to an assembly" or some such. i'd be interested in his response to this proposal. included, i suppose, is the issue of the relationship between rough and smooth translations. thank you.



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