In Part One of this series, I examined the problem with translating the Greek phrase, “believe in me,” the same as “believe me.” In English, the main difference between the two phrases are that “believing in” something means we believe in its existence like children “believe in” Santa Claus. This makes sense after Jesus lived because some people didn’t and don’t believe that Jesus existed. However, when he lived, he had no need to ask others to trust that he existed. This “believe in” phrase isn’t used commonly in Greek or in the Greek Old Testament, the
Great article Gary. It does give clarity to these ‘famous’ verses, which might not be as popular had the translation been ‘as much as me’.
You mentioned that some didn’t and don’t believe Jesus even existed.
This may be beyond the scope of your work, but I am curious how you deal with it when it comes to translating his word. I am assuming you are aware there is a growing body of scholarly work comparing the prior myths of the ancient world to the story of Jesus. If mythical, who wrote what, when, and for what purpose? Though we have that issue no matter what we believe about Jesus, does the possible mythical origins ever factor in the translation?
I reconcile that man or myth, I choose to believe in the divine and the power available by living in alignment to its ways, ‘as much as’ Jesus did. Of course, I don’t always do so, but it is my goal.
My question to you, or any of the readers of your newsletter, do you think it matters that prior myths align to our stories of Jesus? Does it add or take away from the truths that great myths reflect or are pointing to?
Again, I understand if this is not within the scope of your work. I only ask it because I think those following and reading your newsletter can handle it and might help me by adding other perspectives that don’t include throwing the baby out with the bath water. I do not allow myself to ask many others because I don’t want to be the cause of their doubt and cause more confusion. The translators did enough of that imho.
Thanks again for this work.
You've done a great job of clearly illustrating the points you were making in this article.
It was easy to understand. Well done and Thank you.
Under "other complex verses" you question whether or not your analysis works. (I greatly respect you for this question, by the way.) But I think your analysis does work. And that is because, I think, every time Jesus is saying "trust as much as me", He isn't saying "trust in Him." He is saying "trust in the Father as much as I do." That is why we can do "even greater" things than He did. He promises that the Father will work through us just like He works through Jesus. Thoughts?