Sunday, January 6, 2013

I am a Child of God in the Septuagint

When the Samaritan authorities asked the returning Jews why they were building a temple, the Jews, according to 1 Esdras, responded:
We are the children of Jehovah who built heaven and earth (1 Esdras 6:12).
The Greek actually has an ambiguous term, παῖδες, in this passage. In English we have to choose how to translate this ambiguous term. Do we choose children or servants? The original authors probably understood it as servants rather than sons, but by the time of Jesus such passages were often understood as sons rather than servants. The Greek supports either understanding.