Tag Archives: direct object

John 3:34 Translation Issues

John 3:34- 
ὃν γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ θεοῦ λαλεῖ, οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου δίδωσιν τὸ πνεῦμα.”
For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; because to him God gives the Spirit without measure.”

 txt το πνευμα 𝔓³⁶ 𝔓⁶⁶ 𝔓⁷⁵ 𝔓⁸⁰ ℵ B¹ C* L Wsupp 083 it-b,e,fc,l Or-grk Cyr Vict-Pett½ SBL TH NA28 {B} ο θεος το πνευμα A C² D E 047 086 𝔐 it-a,aur,(d),f*,j,π,q,r¹ (itff² του θεου) vg syr-p,h cop arm eth geo Or-lat Did-dub Chrys Vict-Pett½ Greg-Elvvid Jer Aug TR RP ο πατηρ τω υιω αυτου syr-c,Diatess-Eph  ο θεος ο πατηρ syrs  omit B* lac Ν P Q T 0233

The Bible translator confronts two questions here: (1) whether to include ο θεος “God” or not; and (2), whether the verb δίδωσιν has an implied direct object, i.e., the person who is the subject being discussed, “he whom God has sent,” the Son.

On the first question, we cannot tell which text the translations are following, since they could have, like I did, even though following the Greek text not containing ο θεος, felt a need to clarify who was doing the giving, and added the word “God” anyway.  Note in the critical apparatus that indeed the Curetonian Syriac and the Diatessaron supplied τω υιω αυτου, “to his Son.”  That does not mean that their Greek exemplar contained those words.)

Following are he translations which we presume follow the UBS/NA text, which nevertheless supply the word “God” for clarification:

Weym   for God does not give the Spirit with limitations.”
CBW      for God continues to give Him the Spirit without measure.
AMP      for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]!
CEB        because God gives the Spirit generously.
CJB         For God does not give him the Spirit in limited degree —
ERV        God gives him the Spirit fully.
EHV?     for God gives the Spirit without measure.
GW        After all, God gives him the Spirit without limit.
GNT       because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit.
ICB         . God gives him the Spirit fully.
ISV         because God does not give the Spirit in limited measure to him.
MOUNCE    for God does not give the Spirit in a limited measure.
NCB       for God gives him the Spirit without measure.
NCV       because God gives him the Spirit fully.
NIV        for God gives the Spirit without limit.
NLT        for God gives him the Spirit without limit.

On the 2nd question, whether a direct object is implied as to whom the Spirit is given without measure, the following translations supply “him” or some other stand-in for the Son:

CBW      for God continues to give Him the Spirit without measure.
Bishops       For God geueth not the spirite by measure vnto hym.
CJB         For God does not give him the Spirit in limited degree —
CEV        and he has been given the full power of God’s Spirit.
DLNT     For He does not give Him the Spirit from a measure.
ERV        God gives him the Spirit fully.
Genev  for God giveth him not the Spirit by measure.
GW        After all, God gives him the Spirit without limit.
GNT       because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit.
ICB         God gives him the Spirit fully.
ISV         because God does not give the Spirit in limited measure to him.
PHILLIPS    and there can be no measuring of the Spirit given to him!
KJV         for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
NCB       for God gives him the Spirit without measure.
NCV       because God gives him the Spirit fully.
NLT        for God gives him the Spirit without limit.

And those which do not supply an object:

Weym   for God does not give the Spirit with limitations.”
AMP      for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]!
Tyndale     For God geveth not the sprete by measure.
ASV        for he giveth not the Spirit by measure.
CSB        since he gives the Spirit without measure.
CEB        because God gives the Spirit generously.
EHV        for God gives the Spirit without measure.
ESV        for he gives the Spirit without measure.
HCSB     since He gives the Spirit without measure.
MOUNCE    for God does not give the Spirit in a limited measure.
NAB       He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
NASB95     for He gives the Spirit without measure.
NET        for he does not give the Spirit sparingly.
NIV        for God gives the Spirit without limit.
NKJV     for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
NRSV     for he gives the Spirit without measure.
RSV        for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit;

Now a conclusion I make about which was the true early Greek text, is that it was the reading without ο θεος, as in the 3rd centruy 𝔓⁸⁰, and that the Byzantine text, coming out of Syria, had to acknowledge the prior popularity of all the Syriac language translations that were already popular, including the Diatessaron which was more popular than the individual Greek gospels.  The Syriac translators I say, supplied “God” or “the Father” for clarification just as many modern translations do even though their translations were based on a Greek source text that doid not include ο θεος.  Fortunately, the addition of ο θεος in the text does no harm, since that is who is doing the giving clearly from context.