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Monday, August 29, 2005

Did he break his neck?

Here is a verse from the NKJV which Mark Strauss quotes in his Powerpoint presentation:
And he arose, and came to his father. But while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
I see several translation problems in the English wording here.

One is that the antecedent of "his" in the noun phrase "his neck" is unclear. Whose neck did he fall on? If the father fell on his own neck, we can wonder if his neck got broken in that fall?

Another problem is that the literal wording "fell on his neck" does not communicate the meaning of the original Greek to English speakers. Other recent English translations accurately translate the Greek here to say that the father "embraced" his son.

There are other translation problems in the NKJV wording of this verse, but we won't take time for them now.

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