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Saturday, 24 September 2011

The NIV in Philippians 1:1--an inclusive translation?

Counter I earlier wrote a post on the O/NNIV's flipflop on women and children in Acts 21:5. My readers might have caught this (according to Blogspot, that post had 16 of them), but the CBT may well be right now after all (meaning they were wrong earlier). The Greek phrase is πάντων σὺν γυναιξὶ καὶ τέκνοις, "all with women/wives and children," which the TNIV now interprets as "all of them, including wives and children." While I do have a quibble with the English phrasing--I would speak rather of "women and children" (as in Matthew 14:21 O/NNIV)-- "including" is their translation of  σὺν (sun or syn) here.

But let's draw our attention to another place where the CBT translated σὺν. It turns out that the O/NNIV in Philippians 1:1 translates "πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Φιλίπποις σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις" as "all the saints/God's holy people . . .together with the overseers and deacons." NASB has "including the overseers and deacons." O/NKJV has "with the bishops and deacons."

Obviously, the overseers and ministers at Philippi were a subset of "all the saints" there. So "including" would be the most logical word to use to translate syn. And the example had already been set by the NASB. So why did the CBT retain "together with" in Philippians, but change "and" to "including" in Acts?

I might add that the NNIV, without explicitly recognizing the church leaders of Philippi as "God's holy people," explicitly turns the brethren of Rome into men and women preachers in vv. 14-17.

UPDATE 2015: see earlier post.

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