For some time now terms ending in the word “equivalent” or one of its variations have been preferred in describing translation philosophies. I have a problem with this word, and all translators really should have the same problem with it: it begs the very question we are debating.
Does harpazo or any of its derivatives have the sense of ‘holding in possession,’ ‘retaining,’ or does it mean ‘seize,’ ‘snatch violently’?
John 1:1 is all about capitalization and the tiny word “a,” which in grammar is called the indefinite article. And yet, this clause has been the most debated verse for centuries. So, was the Word “God” or “a god”?
There is a single article (the) preceding two nouns of the same case (God, Savior) that are joined by the conjunction “and.” More than 140 years ago, Granville Sharp developed what became known as “the Granville Sharp rule,” applying it in such constructions. It claims that, since the article (the) is not duplicated before the second noun (Savior), the two nouns have to refer to the same person or subject.
UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, all major English Bible translations were based on the premise that the goal of Bible translation is to take the reader as close as possible to the words that the biblical authors actually wrote.
John 8:58 is one of the most hotly debated verses in the Bible, so our investigation is likely to offend someone.
While I cannot address this subject at length, it needs to be addressed, to lay the foundation for you, the reader. My approach here is to assume that you have no knowledge of Bible translation issues, or the process of translating from the Original Languages (OL) of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, into what we call the Receptor Language (RL), such as English. However, this does not mean that we will pass over all the elements of this subject because some of them are essential to the issues of literal translation.