Friday, April 13, 2012

Translation Note: Romans 15:19b

In study for last Sunday's message, I was intrigued by the AV translation of the final phrase as "I have fully preached the gospel of Christ [peplerokenai to euangelion tou christou]" in Romans 15:19.  As is typical of the AV, it is an aphoristic expression that lends itself well to preaching the text.    From the translation, however, one might expect the verb here to be kerusso, "to preach," but it is plero-o, "to fulfill."

The modern translations generally follow the AV pattern, e.g.:

"I have fully proclamed the gospel of Christ" (NIV)

"I have fully preached the gospel of Christ" (NASB, NKJV, RSV).

The ESV gets a little closer to indicating that the underlying verb is plero-o:

"I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ."  But it adds the word "ministry" without placing it in italic.

Perhaps the best rendering might be that of the Geneva Bible:

"I have caused to abound the gospel of Christ."

Paul's point is not only that he has preached the gospel of Christ, but he has fulfilled or "caused to abound the gospel of Christ" both "by word and deed" (v. 18b).  This provides a keen insight into his apostolic self-understanding.u/ Cristou/

No comments: