Matt. 19:11 - Which teaching?
His disciples said to him, "If it is like that for a man and his wife then maybe it is better not to married, right?"This is the same meaning as that found in English translations, such as:
The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” (19:10 TNIV)Next, verse 11 in the tribal translation chooses one exegetical option and expresses it like this:
Jesus said to them, "This word I am teaching is not for everybody, but it is given to those God chooses.I checked my resources and found that this interpretation is one that some exegetes and commentators have accepted. But the majority of English versions that I checked have Jesus referring, in verse 11, not to his own teaching, but to what the disciples have just said in verse 10, for example:
But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. (NRSV)The interpretation followed by each of these translations is consistent with the preceding and following contexts. In what precedes the disciples respond that it is better not to marry, if restrictions on divorce are as Jesus has just taught. In verse 12, which immediately follows, Jesus talks about those who do not marry.
But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. (ESV)
But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. (NASB)
Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. (TNIV)
But He told them, “Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those it has been given to. (HCSB)
Jesus answered, “This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only to those to whom God has given it. (TEV/GNT)
Jesus told them, “Only those people who have been given the gift of staying single can accept this teaching. (CEV)
“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. (NLT)
Each of the version wordings for verse 11 are fairly clear. But I was struck by the God's Word rendering:
He answered them, “Not everyone can do what you suggest. Only those who have that gift can.To me, the GW wording takes the prize for clarity. It is expressed in English more natural than that of most of the other versions and also makes it clear that it is what "you", the disciples have just suggested that Jesus is responding to.
Now, as always, clarity does not guarantee accuracy. But I sure do find it refreshing to read a clear translation, at least whenever the biblical language texts seem to be clear.