The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 168 of 211
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The Revised Version.
The prepositions.
pp. 114 - 117
It has been said that "prepositions alter prepositions"; and all will agree that issues as
diverse as life and death may hang upon the words "in" and "out of".
The Revisers have in many instances given accurate renderings of the various
prepositions. Their note with regard to this question is as follows:--
"Many changes have been introduced in the rendering of the prepositions, especially
where ideas of instrumentality or of mediate agency, distinctly marked in the original,
had been confused or obscured in the translation. We have, however, borne in mind the
comprehensive character of such prepositions as `of' and `by', the one in reference to
agency and the other in reference to means, especially in the English of the seventeenth
century; and have rarely made any change where the true meaning of the original as
expressed in the Authorized Version would be apparent to a reader of ordinary
Compare the A.V. rendering of Matt. 1: 22 with that of the R.V., noting the changed
"Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the
prophet, saying" (A.V.).
"Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord
through the prophet, saying" (R.V.).
The nice distinction between apo, "from", and ek, "out of" (indicating the source from
which anything flows) is almost impossible in idiomatic English, but an attempt is made
in the R.V. of II Cor. 3: 5 to show the difference:--
"Not that we are sufficient of (apo) ourselves, to account anything as from (ek)
ourselves, but our sufficiency is from (ek) God."
In this the more usual renderings of apo by "from" and ek by "of" are reversed, but the
contrasted "from ourselves" and "from God" are retained. The A.V. renders both apo
and ek by the same preposition "of":--
"A variation in the use of prepositions often suggests instructive lines of thought . . . . .
Here, in I Cor. 12: 8, 9, in the description of the manifestation of the Spirit we read in
the Authorized Version, `To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another
the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit'.
Thus `the word of wisdom', `the word of knowledge' and `faith' are presented in
exactly the same connection with the Spirit, as simply given `by' Him. But in the
original three different prepositions are used to describe the relation of these three gifts to
the Spirit, represented exactly in the Revised Version by `through the Spirit', `according
to the Spirit' and `in the Spirit'.  The English reader is necessarily led to consider