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philologos
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 severed from Christ?

Quote:
Quote:
Galatians 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (NASB)

Ah well, if you WILL use these peculiar translations...

This is the wonderful verb katargeO and should never have been translated as 'severed'. Check out Strong's G2673 - katargeō

ergeO would mean 'to work'
if you put an 'a' in front of it it means 'to not work'
if you put the prefix 'kata' in front of it you add the sense of 'down' to the bottom or utterly.

hence katargeO is to render something utterly non-working, you might say 'neutralize'. Tracing the meaning of this word through the scriptures will give wonderful insights into all kinds of truths.



I have extracted this excerpt from a now locked thread. I think we can examine this aspect without controversy... hopefully. I am indebted to KingJimmy, in a private email, for provoking my thoughts on this verse.

JImmy pointed out that Thayer includes 'severed' in his definitions of the word. I add an excerpt from my reply to him. (Jimmy and I are personal e-friends so this is not a sly way of contending with him but a mutual combined effort to exegete this passage of scripture)

Quote:
Thanks for this and I can see your point but I still think the NASB is too strong here in a similar way that the KJV is too strong in translating it 'destroy' in Rom 6:6. I suppose it is the Rom 6:6 passage which is always uppermost in my mind when thinking of kataergeO. You will know that its first NT use is on land which had become 'barren' no longer productive. This is what happens to the Old Man by cocrucifixion with Christ. In Christ, it becomes inoperative. This is why I avoid the language of eradication in my understanding of entire sanctification.

You point on 'apo' IS significant but I think it is still pointing to the effect rather than to the cause. Separation from a life source will cause inoperability but it is not synonymous with inoperability. This is functional 'separation' rather than the image of violent amputation. It is in its use with apo that Thayer suggests 'severed' but I still think it is function in mind and not position. They are, as regards effect, severed in that the flow of grace is thereby 'cut off'. It is just that 'severed' is such a permanent sounding word that I question the NASB's use of it here. I particularly like Darby here...

Ye are deprived of all profit from the Christ as separated [from him], as many as are justified by law; ye have fallen from grace.

I note that most modern version do go for 'severe' but I still think that word too severe! (our crazy English language!)



I am quoting this here to ask the question 'is it possible for us to 'block' the grace of God? and are there other ways in which we might 'block' or make the grace of God 'vain'?


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/13 5:15Profile
KingJimmy
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 Re: severed from Christ?


Now, regarding the translation of katagreo, rendered "severed" as in the NASB, ESV, and many others, I personally find it an appropriate translation. The word is only used 27 times in the New Testament, and is translated a variety of different ways, seemingly, very dependent upon context. Either way, the general idea with the word carries about notions of being put away. Indeed, Thayer specifically says it can be defined as "to be severed from, separated from, discharged, loosed from any one... and terminated." Such violent imagery as being "severed" also fits contextually in Paul's dispute with the Galatians.

For the Galatians, as you are well aware, were bewitched into believing a false gospel that one had to be circmcised to truly be saved. The party of "the knife happy circumcisers" (Philippians 3; The Message) had invaded the church and persuaded many to receive circumcision in order to secure their salvation. Paul in the next breath calls them mutilators whom he wishes wouldn't stop with the forskin, but go all the way with total emasculation (5:12). The very grotesque over-the-top argument Paul employs shows that the circumcision party wants to cut off the forskin, but Paul warns them that to buy into such a doctrine involves a severance of another kind, namely, being "severed" from Christ. Thus, I believe the KJV, "Christ is become no effect unto you" is weak in its translation, and tones down exactly what it was Paul was saying, especially considering the immediate context. Additionally, I think the preposition immediately following the Greek, apo "from," brings a greater emphasis on the violent division that is made between the man living by law, and Christ. Paul further drives the point home all the more by saying in the same verse that such persons "fall" (thus creating a gap/division) from God's grace.

----


Indeed, you make a valid theological point that it is perhaps too strong (though I think perhaps grammatically it is demanded). After all, those whom Paul is arguing with he seems to imply are individuals who see manifestations of the miraculous power of the Spirit. "So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Gal 3:5)

Such would imply that they haven't been entirely severed/fallen from Christ and grace at either a positional level as you suggest. But even with such marks of the Spirit present in the Galatian community, Paul, as noted by many, writes this epistle without ever giving his customary "thanks" for this church as he does in all his other letters, even though he does throughout the letter regard them still as "brethren." Of course, it is likely that though the majority in Galatia have been caught up in this error, perhaps there are still some who have not, and thus, there are those who have not fallen from grace and still live by the Spirit.

If the ENTIRE church is caught up in this deadly error, Paul seems to still regard these individuals as regenerate, or having at least some measure of the Spirit. However, I feel that Paul believes that should they continue on this course of works based righteousness by subjection to the Law, that such will create in them a life of the flesh, which produces the works thereof (Gal 6), which in the eternal scheme of things, brings death and damnation (a view not welcomed from a Reformed perspective I'm sure). For as you know, Paul regards being a slave to the Law as a slave unto the flesh, which is our body of sin. Law based living and Spirit based living are two entirely contrary things.

Nevertheless, whatever the theological implications of Galatians 5:4 may be, considering the highly emotional nature of Paul's writing and the issues at hand, grammatically, I still believe "severed" or "cut off" is a justified and perhaps demanded translation. Interpreting it, perhaps we should understand it in a hyperbolic way (this view will probably make my Reformed brethren happier with me). While interpretation can and does serve as a guide to translating, especially in regard to vague words, I personally give grammatical demands a higher priority in most instances, including this one.


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Jimmy H

 2008/12/13 10:15Profile
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 Re:

I can't see how in the context of the verses in gal 5:1-6, one could make the word change to severed (cut off)in the modern versions.

If you use the new word severed then you are saying that they have lost there salvation by trying to be justified by the Law.

I don't think Paul was saying that they lost their salvation as of yet but that Christ would have no effect on them, meaning they had fallen from grace. This means that they were going back into bondage.

They needed to heed the words of Paul and turn away from trying to be justified from the Law.

 2008/12/13 11:23Profile









 Re:

Quote:

rbanks wrote:
I can't see how in the context of the verses in gal 5:1-6, one could make the word change to severed (cut off)in the modern versions.

If you use the new word severed then you are saying that they have lost there salvation by trying to be justified by the Law.

I don't think Paul was saying that they lost their salvation as of yet but that Christ would have no effect on them, meaning they had fallen from grace. This means that they were going back into bondage.

They needed to heed the words of Paul and turn away from trying to be justified from the Law.



This is just like the NWT translating John 1:1 as "a god", or some translations rendering 1 Cor 1:18 as "are being saved" instead of "are saved". These kinds of things are simply rooted in unbelief.

Old Joe

 2008/12/13 12:38
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 Re:


If you use the new word severed then you are saying that they have lost there salvation by trying to be justified by the Law.


I believe that is the ultimate end of those who try to be justified by the Law. Even if the KJV translation is more correct in this instance, we have to sit and think: What does Christ having "no effect" on the person mean? What does it mean to be fallen from grace? What does Christ bring to a person? What does grace bring to a person?

It is my conviction that Paul has some very tangible things in mind here. The "effect" Christ brings, that His grace brings, ultimately is centered around salvation, and all the benefits, blessings, and fruit thereof. If a fall from grace and does not lose all these benefits, then Christ is being effectual towards that individual, which, would stand contrary to this passage. A person on whom Christ has no effect, or whom has been severed from Christ, should have no stock from Him after cashing out.


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Jimmy H

 2008/12/13 12:40Profile
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 Re:

Just a word of caution going forward, for those of you who may hold to a KJV Only theory, please gear comments away from such unfruitful conversation. If you believe the translation of this particular passage to be more accurate in this instance, please state why you believe such other than playing some sort of "The KJV is right" card. Such is simply an unfruitful conversation, and is a dead horse that has been beaten many times here on SI.

This thread originated out of one that was locked, and I am sure I speak for Ron as well that we would not like to see this thread likewise locked :-)


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Jimmy H

 2008/12/13 12:43Profile
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 Re:

1 Timothy 6:3 (KJV)
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;



1 Timothy 6:3 (NASB77)
3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,



1 Timothy 6:3 (NIV)
3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,


Here is an example of words being changed. Notice in the nasb the words "teach otherwise" was changed to "advocates a different doctrine" which seems to be very much simular in helping one to understand. But notice the niv uses "false doctrines" which is not what Paul said. This is like getting the cart ahead of the horse. Paul was saying that if the doctrine is different then it is false. Everyone should know that we are not to teach false doctrines but what Paul was saying is how to clarify that it is false. I believe we are interested in what the Holy Ghost has actually inspired the apostles to write, which is the word of God and not to be added to nor taken away from.

Now back to the original post concerning the words " no effect" and "severed". A translation of the original language should be just that and not a translation of our interpretation. It is clear that no effect means that Christ is not having an effect on their life while they are trying to be justified by the Law, which is dangerous to our life of grace and if continue in could lead to our being cut off from Christ but not if we get back on course.

But to say that we are cut off from Christ is to say that we are not saved. There is just no other way to put it, either you are in Christ or you are out of Christ, there is no in between.

Even the apostle Peter got sidetracked one time because of fear of the Jews and at that moment Christ was having no effect on his life but He was still in Christ. Paul called him on the carpet so to speak and he realized his error and immediately turn away from the law back to grace.


 2008/12/13 13:47Profile









 Re:

Quote:

KingJimmy wrote:
Just a word of caution going forward, for those of you who may hold to a KJV Only theory, please gear comments away from such unfruitful conversation. If you believe the translation of this particular passage to be more accurate in this instance, please state why you believe such other than playing some sort of "The KJV is right" card. Such is simply an unfruitful conversation, and is a dead horse that has been beaten many times here on SI.

This thread originated out of one that was locked, and I am sure I speak for Ron as well that we would not like to see this thread likewise locked :-)



Just to clarify my position. I am not KJV-only I am anti-modern version, for reasons like "being saved" vs "are saved". The latter day corruption of the source of truth was required to facilitate this Laodicean period, and is exactly why so many here do not believe they have EVERLASTING life. If you don't prefer the KJV, read the Geneva if you want, it will do much more good than any of the modern versions.

You have to ask yourself, did Dewey Lockman founder of the NASB, and practicing mason have your best interest at heart? Or is there something rotten in the state of Denmark? The list goes on....

Since ears here seem to be closed on this issue, unless anyone requires further clarification, that is my last post on this matter in this thread.

Old Joe

 2008/12/13 15:05
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

Quote:
I can't see how in the context of the verses in gal 5:1-6, one could make the word change to severed (cut off)in the modern versions.


Jimmy is saying that the preposition 'apo' which means 'from' gives that significance to the verb katargeO. Most modern translations follow this way of interpretation.

I don't follow it for several reasons. The main one is the context

Gal 5:2 uses the phrase..."if you are being circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing". This is the point that Paul is making here, Christ's death is having no effect upon their lives as a result of their commitment to circumcision. The behaviour has made Christ's death ineffectual in their own experience.

This theme is repeated in Gal 5:4 with the phrase "Christ is become of no effect to you" as the KJV expresses it.

Paul's purpose in these verses is to show that the behaviour of the Galatians is 'effectively' negating the purpose of Christ's death. This is the key, to my way of thinking, we are talking about the 'effects'. 'severing' is not an effect but a prime action. It may also be significant that we already have a perfectly adequate word for 'sever' used earlier in this same letter.

[color=0033FF]Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace, [/color]

This word [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G873&t=KJV]separate[/url] really does mean to separate one thing from another. If Paul had wanted to speak of 'separation' surely he would have used this word, or a similar one, in Gal 5:4.

I looked up this verse in Ellicott's Commentary on the Greek Text. 1867 He writes...

[color=0033FF]"Ye were done away from Christ" "your union with Christ became void" ...
...apo strictly considered, not belonging to katargeO in the sense of EleutherOthEte apo, but to some word which can easily be supplied eg katErgEthEte kai echOristhEte apo...[/color]

Ellicott really was a brilliant Greek scholar and way beyond my level so I cannot endorse what he is saying, but he is a powerful witness and one that I regard very highly. What he is saying here is that we ought not to connect the 'apo' to katargeO' but to a word which would be 'supplied'. This may sound strange to folks who haven't studied Greek but Biblical Greek frequently leaves a word to be 'supplied'. Acts 19:2, literally 'we have not heard whether the Holy Spirit is....' and the final word is to be 'supplied'. This may seem vague but Jimmy will know that what I am saying is true.

In Gal 5:6 we read of a faith the 'works' by love. This word 'works' is [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1754&t=KJV]Strong's G1754 - energeō[/url] We have a continuing idea here. Commitment to what circumcision implies makes Christ death 'ineffectual' 'katargeO' whereas faith 'works' by love. Faith works, embracing the law actually causes Christ's death not to work.


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/13 15:29Profile





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