I haven’t completely recovered from pronoun theology but now I have been introduced to “participle” theology. I am eternally baffled by these things. What should I make of these two posts?
The English Standard Version translation preserves the grammar of the original Greek, presenting [1 Peter 5:7] as a subordinate clause as follows:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
By faithfully rendering the grammar of the original, the ESV enables the reader immediately to see that there is a close connection between humility and getting rid of our anxiety. In fact, the reader is instructed to demonstrate true humility before God by casting all anxieties on him. Worry is pride, a refusal to acknowledge who God is and who we are.
But in another part of the blogosphere, Dan Wallace writes,
- There’s a myth foisted on the Christian public about the meaning of the Great Commission (Matt 28.19-20). It goes something like this: “In the Greek, the word translated ‘Go’ is really a participle and it literally means, ‘as you are going.’ But the words ‘make disciples’ are an imperative in Greek. That’s the only imperative in these two verses.
Therefore, the Great Commission is not a command to go; rather, it is a command to make disciples as you are going, or make disciples along the way.” The exposition based on this understanding of the Greek text then attempts to salve the consciences of the congregation, permitting them to do nothing about the lost if it at all means going out of their way.
Read the rest here.
This is the ESV translation of that verse. It uses a syntax common to most translations, translating a participle followed by an imperative as two imperatives.
- Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matt. 28:19.
The ESV blog should be very careful not to give the impression that translating a Greek participle into an English participle has theological import. I am not sure that they were doing that, but they need to make sure that they are not encouraging people to do exactly what Wallace is so concerned that people not do.