The Supreme Translation

“No one has seen God at any time.  The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” (John 1.18; NKJV; {Note: I am aware of the variant reading in this text, but said topic is not within the scope of this brief article}).

*In the world of translations there is the general theme of Dynamic Equivalence vs. Formal Equivalence—terms coined by renowned lexicographer Eugene Nida.  The former denotes the sense-for-sense translation while the latter conveys a word-for-word or a more supposedly “literal” translation.

*Any translation inherently possesses a dual nature inasmuch as said rendering has both the divine and human elements present.  The divine “nature” (I use the term loosely) is seen in the originally-inspired languages—or the sender language.  The human “nature” is demonstrated in the transmission process in an attempt to accurately convey the meaning of the original languages into the receptor dialect, depending on which translation philosophy is being adopted.

*In the text above, the Greek verb translated “declared” in the NKJV is transliterated as exēgēsato (ἐξηγήσατο) and is where we derive our English word “exegesis.”  This is a compounded term consisting of the preposition transliterated as “ek or ex” (ἐξ) meaning “from the interior outward,” and the verb hégeomai (ἡγέομαι) meaning “to draw out by showing priority.”  Hence, this verb literally defines as, “to draw from the interior outward[ly] by showing priority.”

*See here this lexical source:  1834 eksēgéomai (from 1537/ek, “completely out of {or} from,” intensifying 2233/hēgéomai, “to lead by showing priority”) — Properly, lead out completely (thoroughly bring forth), i.e., “Explain (narrate) in a way that clarifies what is uppermost (has priority).”  [1834 (eksēgéomai)] is the root of the English terms, “exegesis, exegete.”

*About A.D. 75, Josephus used 1834 (eksēgéomai) as a “technical term for the interpretation of the law as practiced by the rabbinate” (A. Schlatter, Der Evangelist Johannes, Stuttgart, 1948, p. 36, who cites Josephus, Ant. 17.149; War 1.649; 2.162; http://biblehub.com/greek/1834.htm.)

*On a grammatical level then, this text demonstrates that Jesus Christ literally exegeted the Father by narrating or lifting Him out in the Incarnation.  As the “Word made flesh,” Jesus was the most literal “Formal Equivalence” that was ever rendered!  That is, in the “Incarnation-Translation” Jesus’s dual nature of divinity and humanity worked in tandem to show priority to – and clearly lift out – the truths of the “Original.”  In sum, He was “The Supreme Translation!

5 comments on “The Supreme Translation

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. God bless you.

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  2. I love this rendition of Jesus as the Supreme Translation. I like to think of Jesus as the Spitting Image of His Father, a phrase my family always used when we were kids, to describe our cousins, and it reminds me of when Jesus used his spittle mixed w/clay (us?) to give the blind sight.

    It’s all so nuanced, almost impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t see it. It can turn into a game of semantics.

    John 20:17:
    Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

    In the last of this verse, Jesus is referring to their God and His God, referring to their Father and His Father. Is there no better discounter of the trinity doctrine than this verse? And there are so many others.

    I saw your debate w/J. White in Aus. and you made a believer out of me! I was on the fence at the time, being raised a Catholic, then getting saved but still inclined to mindlessly accept the trinity as a given.

    I thank God for people like you who have helped me in this area, but you were the one who clinched it for me. It was like raising the dimmer switch on the Jesus’s light in the room of my soul. I feel the love, mercy, and guidance of the Holy Spirit of God in Jesus in me more than ever! John 17 has a deeper meaning to me each time I read it. I keep praying for Jesus’s precious salve on my eyes to see.
    Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Valerie Serrano

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    • Perkins says:

      Thank you so very much for your gracious comments. You’re too kind. It is testimonies just like yours that’s the reason we do it!

      Your comments regarding the words of Christ in John’s gospel betrays someone who has put in a lot of private research, humility & honesty. Excellent point!

      May God continue to bless you with deep understanding of His sacred writ. Thank God for biblical truth👏🙌🏻! God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul says:

    That was very well said, I mean your exegeting of the phrase “The only begotten Son…has declared Him” (Jn. 1:18a). Your elucidation affords me further clarity bringing to memory the convictions of the writer of the book of Hebrews (methinks Paul) that Jesus Christ “is the express image of his person (that is, God, Heb. 1:3)” or as Paul puts it “the visible image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15 NLT; cf. 1Tim. 1:17).

    It was the apocalyse, the Revelation or self-disclosure of Jesus Christ himself. Truly, as you have aptly concluded Jesus Christ was “the Supreme (and superlative) Translation” of that which has always been from the beginning!!! God bless and thank you for the succinct piece.

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    • Perkins says:

      Thank you for the astute observations. The passages that you reference serve as excellent supplemental Scriptures to the article. Very good points!

      God Bless!

      Like

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