Friday, October 8, 2010

Hypography, Puffery & Hypocrisy: Warnings from 1 Corinthians 4:6-7

Wikipedia (the ever faithful friend of the lazy researcher) defines a hypograph as shown below.

Hypograph (mathematics)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In mathematics, the hypograph of a function f : Rn → R is the set of points lying on or below its graph:
\mbox{hyp} f = \{ (x, \mu) \, : \, x \in \mathbb{R}^n,\, \mu \in \mathbb{R},\, \mu \le f(x) \} \subseteq \mathbb{R}^{n}
and the strict hypograph of the function is:
\mbox{hyp}_S f = \{ (x, \mu) \, : \, x \in \mathbb{R}^n,\, \mu \in \mathbb{R},\,  \mu <  f(x) \} \subseteq \mathbb{R}^{n}.
The set is empty if f \equiv -\infty .
Similarly, the set of points on or above the function's graph is its epigraph.

It's all Math to me! But I am thrilled to see a familiar little Greek letter mu (μ) (I've 
never seen a Greek letter mooo, however).

Let me draw a connection here to 1 Corinthians 4:6 in which Paul begins to draw 

to a close his lengthy first point to the Corinthian Church. He had been drawing a 
distinction between human folly under the guise of rhetoric and godly wisdom 
expressed in the simplicity of the Gospel message.

"I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, 

that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may 
be puffed up in favor of one against another." (ESV)

In the Greek text, “to go” is absent.

It reads τὸ μὴ ὑπὲρ ἃ γέγραπται (to mā hyper ha gegraptai)

Here the astute reader may notice my connection to the hypograph (hyper + grapho 

= beyond the writing). Translators have had a hard time bringing this phrase into 
English as can be seen by a quick perusal of various translations.

Screen Clipping taken of Logos 4 Bible Comparison Tool. The NET, NAS, HCSB, ASV, KJV, and NIV are compared to the ESV.
The strike-through-text is replaced in those versions with the blue-text. 

Notice the different words added in: "exceed", "go", "the saying", "think of men above". Next week 
I will discuss how this phrase should be translated and show that all the major translations mask 
Paul's point here and can lead to some seriously off-the-mark conclusions.

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