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Friday, March 23, 2007

1 Thess. 2:7: "little children" or "gentle"

One of my favorite bloggers, Ted Gossard, has posted about being like children in mission. Ted begins:
I was struck in my Bible reading this morning by Paul's description of himself and his fellow workers when they had come and were serving the Thessalonians with the gospel and their lives. He likened himself and those working with him as being like young children among them (1 Thessalonians 2:7). It can read "gentle" among you, my Greek New Testament categorizing the reading the TNIV adopts as "almost certain". There is one letter difference. Gentle among you is powerful as well. But I especially find the thought of being like young children among these new believers, intriguing. He also likens himself and his fellow workers to a nursing mother and a father dealing with his children.
I want to follow up on Ted's observation that there is a text critical issue of whether Paul told the Thessalonians that he had been like "young children" or "gentle" among them.

The translators of the TNIV chose to follow the "B" reading of the UBS Greek New Testament 4th edition which has the word nhpioi in the text. The "B" grade is elevated one level from the "C" grade ("considerable degree of doubt") this reading was given in the 3rd edition of the UBS Greek New Testament. As Ted pointed out, there is only one letter difference between the two readings. nhpioi means 'little children' while hpioi means 'gentle.'

Click here to read the rest of my post on the TNIV Truth blog.


At Fri Mar 23, 10:42:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

The RSV included a textual footnote indicating the alternative reading, as did many translations following it: ESV, GNT, HCSB, ISV, NET, NAB, NASB, NCV, NET, NLT2, and NRSV. (The NLT2 and NET use same reading as the TNIV.)

In contrast, the TNIV does not include a footnote alerting the reading to the issue. In fact, even the flagship annotated version of the TNIV, Zondervan's TNIV Study Bible, gives no indication of a textual controversy here. So it seems that someone trying to follow the textual issues here would be better off with one of the bibles listed above.

At Fri Mar 23, 01:17:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

You're right, Anon., we do need those footnotes. I can pass that need on to the TNIV team.

At Sat Mar 24, 07:20:00 PM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

Wayne, Thanks for your kind words and your thoughts here on this issue. And I too think it would be better for them to include a footnote.


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