Thursday, October 29, 2009

Titus 3

3:4. The strange case of the missing philanthropist! Dunno what happened, but just as I thought there was a textual variant to explain the various readings of this verse ... ("certainly there must be something in my book on the various manuscripts..." no!), and then I thought there was a cultural axe being ground somewhere ... ("certainly God's love for MANKIND won't be thought to not be gender-neutral enough ..."), I was just as surprised to find that the Greek word in question was ... philanthropia, philanthropy! What happened to the Divine Philanthropist?!

And then, suspecting the worst, that there was some kind of systematic stubbornness laying down precepts like "in translating, thou shalt not deny any version of the eternal decree of election and reprobation by explicitly asserting a GENERALIZED love for MANKIND related to any saving activity of God," I noticed the same problem in the RSV as the ESV ... so THAT theory had to go out the window too!

In some cases, we'll just have to admit -- "the Greeks had a word for it." I hope Paul won't mind being called Greek, at least long enough for us to notice that here, in Titus 3:4, God displays philanthropia.

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