Thursday, June 29, 2023

Anabas eis Hypsos

 I, the prisoner in the Lord, call on you to walk around in a way worthy of the summons to which you were summoned, with every kind of humility and mildness, with undauntableness, enduring one another in devotedness, zealous to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit as you also were summoned into one expectation from the summons, one Lord, one fidelity, one immersion, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. And to every one of us has been given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. Thus it says, Having risen up to heaven, he captured captivity and gave gifts to men. And having risen, what is it if not also having gone down to the lower parts of the earth? Who went down is the same as the one who rose up above all the heavens, so that he might fill up everything.

And he gave some particularly as ambassadors, and some as proclaimers, and some as messengers, and some as shepherds and teachers, for the completeness of the holy ones, for the work of service, for the construction of the body of Christ, so that we might all come to the unity of the fidelity and the recognition of the Son of God, to the complete man, to the measure of maturity of the fullness of Christ, that we no more should be infants, tossed around and driven by every wind of teaching through the game-playing of men, the unscrupulousness, out of errant scheming. And speaking truth in devotedness, we should grow in all things into the one who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, compacted and brought together by every supporting ligament, each part acting in a measured way, makes for itself bodily growth for its construction in devotedness.

[Ephesians 4:1-16, my very rough translation. As usual, I'm here less interested in an ideal translation than trying to capture some of the meaning in a way that breaks up the familiarity, which is why I deliberately avoid some standard translations. The last two sentences are headaches to translate, grammatically, and I'm very far from sure about various aspects of them. Oikodomen shows up twice, translated as 'construction'; it means a building or a building-structure or an act of building. 'Construction' seemed to cover the possible bases. 'Undauntableness' translates makrothymia, which is usually translated by 'patience'. Kybeia, here translated as 'game-playing', literally means 'gambling with dice', but can have the sense of deceit or trickery; panourgia etymologically means 'every-deed-ness', but has the sense particularly of a willingness to do anything, even evil things, which is why I have translated it as 'unscrupulousness' (it is usually translated as something like 'craftiness', which I don't think actually fits it very well). Ten methodeian tes planes is an interesting phrase; one could translate it very woodenly as 'method of deviance', but the idea seems to be of schemes that deviate or wander from the good, thus 'errant scheming'. Several variants of kleseos (calling, invitation, summons) are used here. This is also notably one of the New Testament passages that treats pistis (faith/confidence/fidelity), elpis (hope/expectation), and agape (charity/love/devotedness) as integral to the Christian life, although they aren't specifically selected out.]