Mike has tagged me for a translation of Ephesians 4:7.
- ἑνὶ δὲ ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ
It seems fairly straightforward,
- But to each one of us grace has been given according to the portion given by Christ.
Here is an excerpt from Mike’s post,
- Most translations go with something like:
But the grace was given to each one of you according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
This last phrase is a genitive nightmare. And the following translations more or less give the same rendering: ISV, NASB95, NRSV, HCSB, KJV, NET, ESV.
The NIV and TNIV were the only ones different:
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
I would like to add a few more translations,
- Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The Message
Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. CEV
Each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given. GNB
Each of us has been given his gift, his due portion of Christ’s bounty NEB
So the question here seems to be whether the second phrase is simply “the portion Christ has given” or “according to the portion of Christ’s generosity”. Is generosity intended to be emphasized in this verse? I don’t really think so. In fact, the “measure” is explained in verse 13 – the full stature of Christ. Not that this isn’t generosity, but I think the sense is that Christ wants us to be adults, that is the full stature.
There are a couple of approaches then,
- But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift ESV, NASB
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it TNIV, NIV
In my opinion, the shift in tense in the (T)NIV is more accurate. Tenses do not agree across languages and should not be made to. The word order is better in the (T)NIV, but the ESV reproduces the second reference to “gift”. The problem with my translation is that it repeats “given” but so does the Greek although in different forms. I understand why the (T)NIV did what it did,
- But to each one of us grace has been given according to the portion given by Christ. (mine)
- But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it TNIV, NIV
Well, mine is more literal, but the (T)NIV reads more smoothly. I hope that helps, Mike.