Translation of Scripture Debate - Windsor v. Hofstetter

Round 3b

Cross Examination Round

Responses by Windsor to Hofstetter’s Answers

SW: 1. As I alluded to in my response to your question #3, if we went with the
typical Protestant rendering of Luke 1:28 of simply “favored” or “found
God’s favor,” can you provide us with the reason Mary would be so
astounded by the angel’s greeting, not accepting it as a greeting any
believer would?

BH: I will address this issue in even more detail in my opening comments in
Round 4.  In a word, it’s context, and particularly the miraculous and
unexpected circumstances and content of the announcement by the angel.

SW RESPONSE:  Clearly the context shows that she was disturbed by the greeting, not by the angel himself.  At the point of her being disturbed, the only “context” is “Hail, Full of Grace.”  Keep in mind, angels don’t appear as artists have drawn them, with wings and halos, but as messengers - and would be quite “human” in form/appearance.

BH: An unknown person stands before her, and pronounces a greeting that is
admittedly unusual. Even in ancient times, people did not walk up to one
another and say, “Greetings, favored one!” any more than they do so
today.  If some stranger came up to you and said, “Hello, you lucky
guy!” you’d wonder what he was about and what he was selling.  

SW RESPONSE:  I might wonder about what the guy is selling, but I wouldn’t be disturbed or “fear” him.  

BH: In Mary’s case this is compounded by the fact that this is not any ordinary messenger, but the angel Gabriel.  The typical response to meeting an angel throughout the Bible is fear, cf. Judges 13:20.  The verb that Luke uses to describe Mary’s emotional state is diatarassô, “to be perplexed, distressed.”  When Gabriel resumes his announcement after Luke’s description of Mary’s feeling, his words are “Do not be afraid,” an accurate assessment of what a young lady’s response might be to an angelic stranger bringing an unexpected message.  These circumstances are sufficient to explain her response without imposing a meaning on the verb kecharitômené that it doesn’t bear.

SW RESPONSE:  Again, I draw attention to the fact that the Blessed Virgin is not distressed about WHO is greeting her, but in WHAT he said to her - and at this point it is only a greeting, and if that greeting where just “Hey, you lucky girl!” well, that would not be something to be “disturbed” over - but to say, “Hey, full of grace!” that does invoke a bit more curiosity.  To make this about the angel and not about the greeting betrays the text.   

SW: 2. You appear to have contradicted yourself when you said:

Please understand that charitoõ and kecharitômenê are
the same word with precisely the same range of meaning. Using the
perfect stem does not change the meaning of the word to mean “full of
grace.” It changes the meaning of the word to “having received grace.”

After  rereading this, would you agree that you have stated that kecharitomene
“changes the meaning” so kecharitomene and charitoo do not have “precisely the same range of meaning?”

BH: No, I would not so agree, and there is no contradiction.  Linguistically speaking, these are morphemic changes, not changes in semantic content.   I have already given you both a Latin example and an English example to illustrate this.  The morphemic markers (the reduplication at the beginning of the word, the change in form at the end of the word) change the syntactical use of the word in its context, but do not alter the range of meaning that the word has.  I do apologize for being casual with my vocabulary in my previous response.  I was attempting to keep it simple for the non-specialist by avoiding technical terminology.

SW RESPONSE:  First off, don’t talk down to me - that’s insulting.  Secondly, I accept your apology for being “casual” as conceding the contradiction.  You went from “precisely the same range of meaning” to “changes the meaning.”  Clearly the word “charitoo” alone does not mean “precisely” the same thing as kecharitomene.  

SW: 3. You seemed to be downplaying that charitoo has the meaning of “grace” included when you posted your first rebuttal, which you also appear to contradict in what I quoted above from your Round 2 Counter Response. Question, would you agree that charitos (which you used in your first rebuttal) and charitoo both come from the same Greek root of “charis” - which means “grace?” Here’s a few resources for you:

BH: This  Is essentially what linguists call “the root fallacy,” that the root of  the word is the same meaning as its derivatives.  As it is, I have no problem with the verb being translated “to show favor/grace.”  While your online resources can be helpful to a limited extent, what is needed is a true lexicon, such as Bauer, the standard scholarly NT lexicon, or the LSJ (Liddell-Scott-Jones) the standard classical lexicon, especially since these illustrate the usages from primary source literature.

χαριτόω (χάρις) 1 aor. ἐχαρίτωσα; pf. pass. ptc. κεχαριτωμένος (Sir 18:17; Ps 17:26 Sym.; EpArist 225; TestJos 1:6; BGU 1026, XXIII, 24 [IV a.d.]; Cat. Cod. Astr. XII 162, 14; Rhet. Gr. I 429, 31; Achmes 2, 18)to cause to be the recipient of a benefit, bestow favor on, favor highly, bless, in our lit. only w. ref. to the divine χάρις (but Did., Gen. 162, 8 of Noah διὰ τῶν τῆς ἀρετῆς ἔργων χαριτώσας ἑαυτόν):  ὁ κύριοςἐχαρίτωσεν αὐτοὺς ἐν πάσῃ πράξει αὐτῶν Hs 9, 24, 3. τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ (=τοῦ θεοῦ), ἧς ἐχαρίτωσεν ἡμᾶςἐν τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ God’s great favor, with which he favored us through his beloved (Son) Eph 1:6. Pass. (Libanius, Progymn. 12, 30, 12 vol. VIII p. 544, 10 F. χαριτούμενος=favored; cp. Geminus [I b.c.], Elem. Astronomiae [Manitius 1898] 8, 9 κεχαρισμένον εἶναι τοῖς θεοῖς) in the angel’s greeting to Mary κεχαριτωμένηone who has been favored (by God) Lk 1:28 (SLyonnet, Biblica 20, ’39, 131–41; MCambe, RB 70, ’63, 193–207; JNolland, Luke’s Use of χάρις: NTS 32, ’86, 614–20); GJs 11:1.—DELG s.v. χάρις. M-M. TW.[1]

A. show grace to any one, “τῆς χάριτος ἧς ἐχαρίτωσεν ἡμᾶς Ep.Eph.1.6:—Med. χαριτώσομαι I will bestow favour upon thee, BGU 1026 xxiii 24 (iv A. D.):—Pass., to have grace shown one, to be highly favoured, LXX Si.18.17,Ev.Luc.1.28; πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους Aristeas 225, cf. Heph.Astr.1.1; ὄμμαστροφαῖς -ούμενον prob. in Lib.Descr.30.12.[2]

BH: To translate as “shown grace” or “highly favored” simply does not mean the same thing as “full of grace” with all the theological content imposed on it by Catholic piety.

SW RESPONSE:  The question was a simple “yes/no” question - and you did not answer it.  You appear to be trying to impress with all sorts of quotes -OR- distract from the fact that you’re avoiding the question.  Yes or no, do agree that charitos and charitoo both come from the same Greek root of “charis” which means “grace?”  The question did not ask you about verb usage, charis is not a verb.  One of the sources I pointed you to (referenced twice) IS a lexicon and would have told you this:   

Again, the question did NOT ask you to go into deeper theological use, which you could have done AFTER you answered the question (which I would have dismissed as well as not related to the question).  So you have dodged this question.  

SW: 4.  Sort of weaving the first three questions to ask this one... Since it is clear that kecharitomene is the perfect/completed past participle of charitoo (a point you’ve already agreed to and is quoted above), then why would it not be a viable translation to say that the grace which the Blessed Virgin Mary was given, at some point in the past, was “completely” or “fully” given to her - or in short, “full of grace?”

BH: This question simply repeats your earlier assertion on the subject as though I have not already thoroughly dealt with it, complete with references from standard grammars and commentaries.  I will summarize here again for the sake of convenience: the completed aspect of the perfect has nothing to do with the “fullness” of the action – that must be determined from the semantic content of the word, a semantic content that is not a denotation of the word under discussion, as the above references suffice to show.  Luke and John both have occasion to describe someone as “full of grace,” and they do not use this verb, cf. Acts 6:8; John 1:14.

SW RESPONSE:  I take it your answer is “no” (but again, you don’t directly answer the question!).   I also responded to your assertion that Luke means the same thing in Acts 6:8, it’s NOT the same usage!  In Acts Luke says Stephen is “full of grace and fortitude” so we must consider that some PERCENTAGE of Stephen’s “fullness” is grace while the OTHER PERCENTAGE is fortitude.  Likewise, John’s usage in 1:14 is “grace and truth,” so by USAGE we must figure a PERCENTAGE of each - not a “fullness” of one above the other.

SW: 5. Since I would like to look at your sources and one of the rules of this debate which we both agreed to explicitly states, “All valid sources will have online links”  - could you please provide me/us with the online sources you used for the MT, DSS which you stated both used the same word and is also supported by the LXX (Septuagint) [all within the same paragraph of your Round 2 Counter Response, under “Another Translation Issue”]?

BH: I have already supplied a general link to the number of the Hebrew manuscripts.  As for scholarly resources, not all of them yet are online – many are under copyright, such as the BDAG lexicon, so that I have supplied the full entry with traditional footnote.  But to answer your question, the critical apparatus of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, the standard critical Hebrew OT based on the Leningrad Codex contains no variants at all for Gen 3:15 – please note the scanned PDF page accompanying these answers.  A critical edition examines the vast majority of manuscripts and includes any significant variants in the text.  The references at the bottom of the page are the critical apparatus (marked on the pdf page) which list those variants.  

SW RESPONSE:  So, an argument from silence.  Thank you.

BH:  Here is a  link to the Leningrad Codex,

SW RESPONSE:  Thank you, so let’s look at that:

And for those who cannot read Hebrew **, let’s look at an interlinear version:

The key word here is “1931 [e]” which can be translated “he, she or it” - thus “she” remains a viable translation of this passage.  Thank you.

BH: As for the DSS, see, I have to retract my statement.  According to Eugene Ulrich's The Biblical Qumran Scrolls (Leiden: Brill 2010) Gen 3:15 is not extant in any DSS manuscript.

SW RESPONSE:  Thank you.  So, in summary, you have an argument from silence; a reference without comment to a Greek source which upon further examination shows us “she” is a viable translation; and a retraction.  I have nothing further to add.

SW: 6.  You challenge St. Jerome’s translation, almost as if you believe he did this in a vacuum, do you believe the Old Latin Vulgate was not, what we  would call, “peer reviewed” by other Latin scholars of his day and especially by Vatican officials before it was accepted as the official canon and translation of the Catholic Church?

BH: Actually, Jerome was perhaps the only Christian scholar of his time period who actually studied Hebrew. A true peer review, in the modern sense, would have to include scholars at the same level, and these simply didn’t exist.  Jerome was, in a quite literal, sense, without peer.  As far as I know, there is no documentary evidence of a review process.  Jerome was commissioned to produce the translation, and so he did.  People trusted him to do a good job – they had to do so, since they did not possess the qualifications to evaluate his work.  He did run into quite a bit of opposition (especially for using the Hebrew for the OT rather than the Greek), and had to justify his procedure as well as make certain adjustments, sometimes against his better judgment,  What we can say is that his translation at Gen 3:15 does not reflect the Hebrew Bible that we have in nearly all its manuscript iterations, nor does it reflect the LXX, as proven above.

SW RESPONSE:  Actually, what was “proven above” was that the LXX can be translated “he, she or it” on the word in question - thus leaving St. Jerome’s translation a viable one.   So, your answer is that St. Jerome’s work was NOT peer reviewed. You also said, "nearly all" leaving us open for some which have it exactly the way St. Jerome translated it.  Thank you, more later (I can’t introduce new material at this point in the debate).

SW: 7. In the rebuttal phase from your Question 1 you said: “The subject of the second clause is “you”, i.e., the serpent, and the direct object of the verb SUPh is “heel.” So  that would be the serpent is the subject and the direct object of the verb (correction, noun) “heel” - thus it is the serpent who lies in wait of the heel. Then in your rebuttal of your Question 8 you said: “Nowhere in the text is “heel” the subject of that verb...”  While you did make a negative argument about "whose heel" do you see where it appears you’re dancing around the fact that you did make an argument for “whose heel did the crushing?”

BH: I  made no argument for any heel doing any crushing.  I pointed out instead that heel is the direct object of the verb.  “Heel” is not a verb, but a noun.  The subject is “you” (=the serpent), the verb is “crush” and the direct object is the noun “heel.”  There is no way you can assert even the appearance of such an argument on my part without totally misconstruing what I have said.

SW RESPONSE:  First off, that last question was posted a bit hastily, yes, “heel” is not a verb, it is a noun.   The point of the question was you were denying (a negative argument) the “subject of the verb” - which would be the “heel” and thus “whose heel did or does the crushing” is the question at hand.  As we have seen above, that “who” can be “he, she or it” so for St. Jerome to translate it to “she” (or her) it is a viable translation.

** I originally used the word "Greek" here, it should have been "Hebrew." This was a mistake.   

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