Talk:Matthew 10-19 (Translated)
Two Greek words for "sickness" or "illness"
As I indicated in my Analysis of Matthew 10:1, the Greeks had two separate words for the concepts "disease" or "illness" that modern English treats as synonymous. They are μαλακια (malakia) and νοσος (nosos).
The word νοσος is the origin of our modern medical word nosocomial, an adjective that applies to a communicable disease that is transmitted from patient to patient in a hospital. Obviously νοσος is one of the words that contributes to this modern word; the other appears to be κομη or kome, which means "village". Thus nosocomial literally means the disease of the village. Hence it is likely to be communicable.
Furthermore, the verb νοσεω or noseo, meaning "I have an unhealthy desire," must come from the same root. So a νοσος, in ancient Greek, probably meant the sort of disease that you "catch" from doing something you shouldn't have been doing, or especially going to places you shouldn't have been going to. All of the sexually transmitted diseases would be nosoi.
The word μαλακια shows up in another Greek word that appears in the New Testament: μαλακος or malakos, which means "soft" or "luxurious." That word shows up in Jesus' question to the people about what they expected in John the Baptist: "Did you expect to see someone dressed in soft clothes? You'll find wearers of soft clothes in kings' houses." So μαλακια could mean any illness that debilitates someone and almost forces him to live a "soft" life if he wants to live at all. Thus a person afflicted with a μαλακια would be called an invalid today.
- That is a superb and enlightening analysis, Terry. I defer your superior knowledge of this, but do suggest that perhaps better English words could be used to maintain the distinction that is in the Greek.--Andy Schlafly 22:56, 9 October 2009 (EDT)
Just a couple little notes here:
First, on βούλομαι in verse 27. I think it would be more accurate to translate it "deeply desires" or "deeply wants." For example: Pilate "wanted" to please the people, so he gave them Barabas (Mark 15:15). When the ship sank, the guards "wanted" to kill the prisoners so they wouldn't escape, but the captain "wanted" to save Paul, so he stopped the guards (Acts 27:42-43). It more tells motivation or emotion than intellect or action. Admittedly, this is a very minor issue, just thought I'd point it out.
Second, in first century Jewish culture, the totality of what a particular Rabbi taught to his disciples was called his "yoke." A disciple of a Rabbi was not really allowed to disagree with the doctrines or teaching of his Rabbi, particularly once he became a Rabbi himself. So the teachings of a Rabbi, along with this prohibition against disagreeing with "your" Rabbi, was a Rabbi's "yoke," it was the "burden" that each disciple carried from his Rabbi. This included any particular interpretations he had, his traditions, his habits, his insights, etc.
Here is how I would translate this, "Accept my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is wonderfully pleasant, and my burden is very light." The "yoke" He is referencing here is the totality of what Jesus offers His disciples, including His teaching, His death and resurrection, eternal life, etc. All of this is wonderful, pleasant, gentle and restful. He will lift from us our burdens of sin, and replace it with His "yoke" - the totality of what He has to offer us - and all of that is very pleasant indeed. Jesus is speaking as our Rabbi to accept everything He has to offer, because unlike the "yoke" of most Rabbis, His is light and pleasant, because it gives something no other Rabbi can give: forgiveness of sins and eternal life.--Michael Back 17:08, 9 December 2009 (EST)
This suggestion is a fascinating one, but I wonder if we should consider the possibility that this passage is straight-up liberal fraud. I can't think of anywhere else in the Bible with a message at all similar to this. It sounds like something added by a monk whose monastery found itself at the losing end of some papal budget cuts. Maybe it's even a jab at the pope himself! I suggest that more careful textual and historical study may be in order. --LanceS 10:25, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
- Being facetious??? I wasn't aware that popes were typically wealthy ....
- Seriously, this passage exists in all three synoptic Gospels, and there is no political or linguistic basis for challenging its authenticity. But there is an interesting question of how to translate it to capture the original meaning of what Jesus said.--Andy Schlafly 11:03, 11 October 2010 (EDT)
I think I can provide some insight to the true meaning of the "eye of a needle" verse. Perhaps it is truly a reference to the fact that we lose our material possessions when we go to heaven, rather than the socialist propaganda liberals often state that it means.--Briella Rollert 15:15, 29 May 2011 (EDT)