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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.44 n.3-4 Pretoria Jan. 2010




Translating Romans: Some persistent headaches1


Die vertaling van Romeine: 'n Aantal hardnekkige hoofpyne



A.B. du Toit

Research Fellow: New Testament Research Unit, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, PRETORIA. E mail:




This article concentrates on some of the linguistic phenomena in Romans which continuously cause exegetes and translators alike headaches. Attention is given to the δικσι group, oi αγιοι, en Χριστω/κνρίω, hyperbolical contrasts, πνεύµα, όργή and οµοιώµα. Various translations are discussed and possible solutions are offered. It all too often happens that, when facing problems of translation, translators seek refuge in the safe harbour of traditional renderings, even if these only camouflage the real issues. Scientifically it is more responsible to continue wrestling with the text and, through trial and error, eventually make some progress than to resign to this type of false certitude.

Key concepts: Bible translation, forensic understanding, holy ones, in Christ, linguistic context, Romans, Spirit or spirit


Hierdie artikel konsentreerop 'n aantal linguistiese manifes-tasies in Romeine wat voortdurend aan eksegete en vertalers hoofbrekens besorg. Aandag word aan die δικαι-groep, oi αγιοι, en Χριστω/κνρίω, hiperboliese kontraste, πνενµα, οργή en οµοιώµα gegee. Verskillende vertalings word bespreek en moontlike oplossings aangebied. Wanneer vertalers gekonfronteer word met vertalingsprobleme is hulle geneig om al te gemaklik terug te val in die veiligheid van tradisionele vertalings, selfs al sou laasgenoemde die werklik kontensieuse punte bloot kamoefleer. Om met die teks te bly worstel, selfs al sou dit foutlopies insluit om daardeur mettertyd vordering te maak, is wetenskaplik meer verantwoord as valse sekerheid.

Kernbegrippe: Bybelvertaling, forensiese verstaan, Gees of gees, heiliges, in Christus, linguistiese konteks, Romeine



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List of references

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1 In honour of our esteemed colleague, friend and brother in Christ, Tjaart van der Walt.

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