Friday, September 10, 2010

Sony's definitely not Greek to me!

It's all Japanese to me!
How a Japanese company has come to own the trademark for a Greek letter is beyond me. I'm pretty sure the Greek system of writing can in no way be traced back to the Japanese. I guess my Greek New Testament is now under penalty of using Sony's registered trademark without permision approximately 10 gazzilion times. Not to mention Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and on down the line. Who knew that when Jesus said he was the Alph and the Omega, he was being so multicultural!

εἶπέν μοι· γέγοναν. ἐγώ [εἰμι] τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος. ἐγὼ τῷ διψῶντι δώσω ἐκ τῆς πηγῆς τοῦ ὕδατος τῆς ζωῆς δωρεάν. (Revelation 21:6)

He said to me, "They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who is thirsty I will give freely from the the springs of the water of life." (my translation)

--Since we're looking at this verse, I can't help but add a few comments (sorry, it's the Greek instructor in me).

The adverb "freely" (δωρεάν) is separated from the verb it describes and is placed as the last word in the statement. This helps draw attention to it and emphasize that this is how the water of life is given ("without payment" as the ESV puts it). But what exactly is given freely? That is, what does the phrase "the spring of the water of life" mean? It seams pretty clear what the first word group "the spring of water" means. But what does it mean for this spring to be "of life"? A little study of the uses of the Genitive case in Greek would be instructive here. 

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