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Beg the harvest boss? Ask the harvest owner?


jkgayle
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 δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐκβάλῃ ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

My father was an evangelist and used this verse quite regularly to recruit others into Christian evangelical evangelism.

 

The morning I looked at how the scholars of the Jesus Seminar translate it and how classical scholar & translation expert Willis Barnstone renders it:

 

"So beg the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."

"Ask the harvest owner to send his workers into the fields."


How are boss and owner to get at what Matthew does with τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ?

And how about dispatch and send for ἐκβάλῃ?
 

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"Dispatch" is an interesting translation--fresh. I'm used to hearing "send" there.

 

Do those two translations use "boss" or "owner" for κύριος elsewhere?

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Here's how both variant English translations handle the identical Greek in Luke's version of this story; they both change it up slightly this way (first Jesus Seminar's, then Barnstone's):

 

"So implore the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."

"Ask the master of the harvest owner / to send out his workers into his harvest the fields."

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I think we'd commonly use the term "foreman" for this position here in the US.

 

I like "implore" and "dispatch" very much, though.

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These Greek in a Year discussions are very useful to us who do not read Greek, for they demonstrate the complexities of translation. This thread also reinforces the value of reading multiple translations in our native language so that we may begin to grasp the range of meaning as translation is rendered. It makes me wish I had taken a few Greek courses back in the 1960's instead of German.

 

Danke,

Josef

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There's another translation worth looking at, Clarence Jordan's. Here's what he has for Matthew, then Luke (whose Greek, I'll say again, are identical):

"So beg the Harvest Master to recruit workers for his harvest."

"Make your request to the harvest-master that he provide workers for his harvest."


Jordan's "Master" is great! But his "recruit" and "provide _____ for" seem metaphorically in the other direction from "send (out)" and "dispatch."

In this context in Matthew, any English phrase to match ἐκβάλλω is a challenge, given the frequency and especially the special focus of the Hellene phrase:

As we all see, in v 22 of ch 7, in vv 12, 16, 31 of ch 8, in v 25 of ch 9 -- everything again and again and again and again has to do with getting rid of δαιμόνια.

Then in v 25 of ch 9, it's him getting rid of/ sending away a crowd people.

But then in vv 33 - 34 again the getting rid of δαιμόνια. 

And here in v 38 of ch 9, it's people again, if imagined metaphorical ones; this urging for request making/begging/asking/imploring of the harvest foreman/master/boss/owner/lord to "dispatch"/"send (out)" the workers/harvesters.

Doesn't the Greek read with a more violent sense to it, almost an urgency driven by disgust or by pain or by fear?  before the repeated getting rid of δαιμόνια, there's the same verb we've noticed for getting the speck and getting the log out of the eye. There's no sense in waiting around for getting rid of these things! 

As we all see, then in three close vv right after this harvest prayer, it's again the getting rid of δαιμόνια, the getting rid of δαιμόνια, the getting rid of δαιμόνια. 

Edited by jkgayle
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I also was struck by that same Greek verb being used in such close proximity. I didn't think about it as carefully as you have, but my initial impression was just that, since context determines meaning, this simply had to be a different definition/use of the same word. But when you put all the uses together in one place, as you have, one does wonder!

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