Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 25, 1968

"To Greek Or Not To Greek"

Pryde Hinton

Several years ago somebody wrote an article with the foregoing caption. It made me think — and that's hard work! Once a young fellow said to me: "If you tell me what the Greek says, and it differs from all English translations, I am forced to choose between your translation and those of scholars who have spent their whole lives studying, and teaching, and working with the languages. So I suppose I would have to say that I had rather risk the translations of scholars than you or any other preacher, who has not made such languages a life's study and work." And, do you know, I had to agree with him! I think I still agree with him.

I remember that 100 people who were renowned in their special fields of knowledge met at Brown University about 20 years ago to select the ten greatest writings of the world. No book or writing was to be considered if it had been written less than twenty-five years; because they averred that it takes that long for a work of literature to be tested. So, as the Lord said that His word would endure forever, and scholars without mercy will criticize the translations, I think that most defects of a translation will appear within at least twenty-five years. God will take care of such things, I believe. In II Cor. 5:19, where it is said that God was in Christ (the) world reconciling to himself, isn't the Greek the same for that "in" as it is for the "in" in Eph. 1:7, or the "in" in Col. 1:14? Does the word "in" have the same significance in every place it is found? Are we IN Christ the same way that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself? Some English translations, I notice, say "through" or "through union with Him," or "by whom," etc. in these passages, instead of saying "in"; and I wonder if they are correct? Will somebody tell me?