ἀπὸ in Revelation 13:8

Discussion in 'Languages' started by Taylor Sexton, Apr 12, 2019.

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  1. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    I have noticed what I believe to be an oddity in the ESV. In Revelation 13:8, the text reads like this: "...everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world..." The Greek word behind "before" is ἀπὸ which, as far as I can tell, does not have the temporal "before" in its semantic range. Furthermore, in every other instance where we find ἀπὸ followed by the genitive case, the ESV translates it as "from," indicating source. This rendering seems to be a carry-over from the RSV. Some commentators even seem to offer "before" as either their translation or a possible translation, yet none of them address directly or specifically the fact that the temporal "before" does not appear to be an option for this term.

    What is the deal here?
     
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    In this verse--which has other translation and text questions attached--going with the association of "name written" and "earth's foundation," then the literal reading will be: name... written from earth's foundation.

    Accepting the verbal connections and the translation, in context, there are presumably very many names written down. "From" in the context, regardless of its verbal connection, refers to the very beginning, the "instant" it began (we might say).

    Therefore, unless one proposes that the author's (John's) intent is to say that there was a flurry of activity on the books (so to speak) just as creation got underway and time began--then it makes sense to regard earth's foundational moment as that hour after which no other names were added. Inferring an authorial implication, then, one may say they must all have been written prior to earth's foundation.

    :2cents:
     
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  3. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    Or maybe “from the earth’s foundation” refers to the location at which the names were written. In other words, the writer was at the foundation of the earth when he wrote the names. :hunter:

    Or maybe it’s better to understand that the “before” is implied... (for the reasons given by Bruce)... thus “from before the foundation of the earth.” I’ll just stick with the ESV on this.
     
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