December 21, 2009

More Gender and Number - 1 Tim 5:8

Ooh, lookie. More ambiguity:
If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Tim 5:8, NASB)
Suzanne McCarthy brought to our attention that there is no masculine pronoun in the Greek, even though many translations say "he". Next, Suzanne translated Erasmus' Latin version using the singular "they". Somehow, Erasmus thought it should have said "she". Third, Suzanne cited John Calvin, who generalizes the "anyone" as a "they" - meaning two parents. Finally (for now), she gives us a selection of quotes about 'Biblical Manhood' that generalize alternately towards "men" and "a man".

In her last comment (so far) below TC Robinson's response, Suzanne says
The passage is a bit hard to untangle, between the plurals and singulars and who is to do what, like the rest of Timothy. Very frustrating sometimes.
Fascinating. Good thing we can trust folks like Suzanne to stay on top of this one... but has anyone attempted a systematic analysis of singulars and plurals throughout 1st Timothy? I know it's beyond me, but in the wake of my recent thoughts, I'm very curious...

1 comment:

T.C. R said...

Bill,
Yes, this is a tricky one. But it seems to be a stylistic thing going on in 1 Timothy. Perhaps you could spend 2010 tracking them down in 1 Timothy. ;-)

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