Friday, December 18, 2009

Luke 2:14

Everyone and his or her dog has posted about Luke 2:14. But I can't agree that Christ only came for those whom God favours and not all of humankind.

I think the main point here is that anthropos needs to be understood as applying univerally to all of mankind. I notice that a lot of other blogs are going with "people" in the restricted sense of only "those people who are favoured." But because of the use of "earth" it seems to me to mean "all people," not just "some people". How about disposing of the plurals altogether and writing,

Glory to God in highest heaven,
And on earth peace
to mankind whom God favours.

It is not poetic and can't replace the KJV in a ritual setting, but at least is does not too severely distort the meaning of the Greek. It leaves no doubt in the mind that God loves all of humankind and not just the favoured few.

Other blogs which discuss this passage are:

Jim West
Kirk Gayle
Shields up

1. In Mark 3:28 we see a precedent set by the ESV of translating the plural of anthropos into English as "man" as a generic for the human race. I don't think "men" functions as a generic any more, so it is really just time to give that one up and get over it.
2. I just reread Kirk's version and I think it hits the nail on the head, but mine is a little more spare.

1 comment:

Rod said...

Nice post.

And yeah, to go with "those God favors" exposes Calvinist biases in the interpretation of texts. hardly objective.