Thursday, October 6, 2011

Romans 4:7

Romans 4:7
I was surprised to notice in my dictionary that the Greek word translated here as "forgiven" literally means "to send". Often when it is used in the Greek New Testament it is not translated as forgive; in fact it's translations can be rather negative (divorce, neglect, disregard). We can easily forget that the word we see in English may reflect multiple words in the original language or the one word in the original language may be properly translated into very different English words in different contexts. It is times like this that I wish I could read Greek myself rather than relying solely on the work of others.

We've become used to the word "forgive" without considering where the word came from or what it would have meant to the first readers of the New Testament letters and books. I find it helpful to look at the various meanings of a particular word, read how it's translated in different contexts, and then read the first verse again keeping in mind the different connotations I've learned that the original word contains. This page gives a list of all the different connotations of the original Greek word and the ways it is translated into English, including a list of verses to read it in context. This blog offers a short yet helpful perspective on the meaning of forgive and how that applies to us.

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