Author Topic: 1 Corinthians 15:8  (Read 530 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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1 Corinthians 15:8
« on: May 15, 2022, 07:11:40 AM »
This came up in Bible class last week. What does Paul mean when he says he is one "untimely born" (ESV)? Various translations occur.
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Michael Slusser

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2022, 09:36:06 AM »
This came up in Bible class last week. What does Paul mean when he says he is one "untimely born" (ESV)? Various translations occur.
In French, it's "Et en tout dernier lieu, il est même apparu à l’avorton que je suis."  Have fun with that!

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Michael
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Charles Austin

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2022, 10:08:12 AM »
Fr Slusser, is there a slang use of “avorton” that we may not know?
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Michael Slusser

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2022, 11:00:45 AM »
Fr Slusser, is there a slang use of “avorton” that we may not know?
Not that I am aware.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2022, 01:10:57 PM »
From my word study on ἔκτρωμα. In the NT it only occurs at 1 Corinthians 15:8. It occurs three times in the LXX, listed below.

Lowe & Nida
ἔκτρωμα: an untimely or premature birth – untimely birth. There is a certain fundamental problem involved in the rendering of ἔκτρωμα in 1 Cor 15:8. Here Paul refers to himself, but the event in question is the appearance of Jesus to Paul, evidently on the road to Damascus. The reference, therefore, would seem to be his being born as a Christian. This spiritual birth, however, would appear to be rather late in the process rather than premature. It is for this reason that it may be wise to translate ἔκτρωμα in some instances as untimely birth or born at the wrong time, rather than indicating that he was born too soon.  23.55

BDAG
(prob. miscarriage, Num 12:12; Job 3:16; Eccl 6:3 w. preference for ἄμβλωμα = abortion) a birth that violates the normal period of gestation (whether induced as abortion, or natural premature birth or miscarriage) [of a mother who miscarried because of violence done to her], or birth beyond term) untimely birth

In the LXX it is used for two different Hebrew words.

In Numbers 12:12 it is used for מוֹת (usually translated "death" or "dead"). The literal Hebrew phrase there is "please let her [Miriam] not be as one dead who, when coming out of the womb from the mother, has the flesh half eaten."

In Job 3:16 and Ecclesiastes 6:3 it is used for נֵפֶל. This word generally means "to fall." (It is related to the "Nephilim" in Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:33.) (The Hebrew word also occurs in Psalm 58:8, but the LXX uses πίπτω = "to fall".)

In both Job and Ecclesiastes the context indicates that one would be better off having died in the womb than suffering the problems of living.

It's sort of like saying, "I wish that I had never been born."

One interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:8 is that Paul is indicating that Jesus' appearance to him came much later than all those other appearances. Perhaps if he had been "born from above" earlier, the risen Jesus might have appeared to him earlier.

Another interpretation based on its uses in the LXX is that Paul feels so badly about how he had persecuted the church, he now believes that it would have been better if he had not been born than for him to have done what he did. In spite of that, Jesus still appeared to him and is using him for good now.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2022, 04:03:34 PM »
Strangely, the lexicons have "untimely born," "miscarriage," "abortion," but etymologically the word would mean "from" or "by a wound."
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2022, 04:53:46 PM »
Strangely, the lexicons have "untimely born," "miscarriage," "abortion," but etymologically the word would mean "from" or "by a wound."


The root meaning of ἐκ- is from out of, e.g., ἐκβάλλω = "I cast out" or ἐξέρχομαι = "I go out." It can also indicate completely or utterly, e.g., ἐκπληρόω = "I fill completely" or ἐξαπορέομαι = "I am utterly at a loss."


It would seem to have the second meaning in ἔκτρωμα.


τρῶμα is Ionic for τραῦμα (from which we get "trauma"). Its basic meaning is "wound," but it is also used of "damage" to a ship; "disaster" or "defeat" in war. It seems that it is used in legal indictments: "for wounding (with intent to murder)."


The Doric spelling is found in the NT
τραῦμα - Luke 10:34
τραυματίζω - Luke 20:12; Acts 19:16


"To wound completely," could refer to death or a permanent state of woundedness.



"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2022, 10:41:38 AM »
As I look at the literal sense of the word, I wonder whether the apostle intended something like episiotomy by this term. I don't see a time reference in the term itself, which makes me question "untimely born." Here is a translation from that perspective:

"Last of all, as [one born] by a wound, He appeared also to me."

The wound might refer to the antagonistic relationship described in Acts 9.
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Terry W Culler

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2022, 11:13:59 AM »
I've always read it to mean he was born again late because he had clung to so vigorously to Pharisaic Judaism.   
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Michael Slusser

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2022, 11:22:24 AM »
As I look at the literal sense of the word, I wonder whether the apostle intended something like episiotomy by this term. I don't see a time reference in the term itself, which makes me question "untimely born." Here is a translation from that perspective:

"Last of all, as [one born] by a wound, He appeared also to me."

The wound might refer to the antagonistic relationship described in Acts 9.
What does the Evangelical Heritage Version do with this?

Peace,
Michael
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2022, 11:46:38 AM »
Here are the translations of τῷ ἐκτρώματι from all the English versions on Bible Gateway. The two Greek words require more words in English.

KJ21
And last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
ASV
and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also.
AMP
and last of all, as to one untimely (prematurely, traumatically) born, He appeared to me also.
AMPC
And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one prematurely and born dead [no better than an unperfected fetus among living men].
BRG
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
CSB
Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.
CEB
and last of all he appeared to me, as if I were born at the wrong time.
CJB
and last of all he was seen by me, even though I was born at the wrong time.
CEV
Finally, he appeared to me, even though I am like someone who was born at the wrong time.
DARBY
and last of all, as to an abortion, he appeared to *me* also.
DLNT
And last of all, as-if-indeed to the untimely-born one, He appeared to me also.
DRA
And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time.
ERV
Last of all, he appeared to me. I was different, like a baby born before the normal time.
EHV
Last of all, he appeared also to me, the stillborn child, so to speak.
ESV
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
ESVUK
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
EXB
Last of all he was seen by me [Acts 9]—as by a person ·not born at the normal time [prematurely/abnormally born; C Christ’s appearance to Paul was unique, occurring after Jesus’ ascension].
GNV
And last of all he was seen also of me, as of one born out of due time.
GW
Last of all, he also appeared to me. I’m like an aborted child ⌞who was given life⌟.
GNT
Last of all he appeared also to me—even though I am like someone whose birth was abnormal.
HCSB
Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me.
ICB
Last of all he showed himself to me—as to a person not born at the normal time.
ISV
and finally he was seen by me, as though I were born abnormally late.
PHILLIPS
For I passed on to you Corinthians first of all the message I had myself received—that Christ died for our sins, as the scriptures said he would; that he was buried and rose again on the third day, again as the scriptures foretold. He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve, and subsequently he was seen simultaneously by over five hundred Christians, of whom the majority are still alive, though some have since died. He was then seen by James, then by all the messengers. And last of all, as if to one born abnormally late, he appeared to me!
JUB
And last of all he appeared unto me also, as of one born out of due time.
KJV
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
AKJV
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
LEB
and last of all, as it were to one born at the wrong time, he appeared also to me.
TLB
Last of all I saw him too, long after the others, as though I had been born almost too late for this.
MSG
The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me. It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.
MEV
Last of all, He was seen by me also, as by one born at the wrong time.
MOUNCE
Last · of all, as to one abnormally born, he appeared even to me.
NOG
Last of all, he also appeared to me. I’m like an aborted fetus who was given life.
NABRE
Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.
NASB
and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
NASB1995
and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
NCB
Last of all, he appeared to me, as to one born abnormally.
NCV
Last of all he was seen by me—as by a person not born at the normal time.
NET
Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.
NIRV
Last of all, he also appeared to me. I was like someone who wasn’t born at the right time.
NIV
and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
NIVUK
and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
NKJV
Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
NLV
Last of all, Christ showed Himself to me as if I had been born too late.
NLT
Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.
NMB
And last of all he was seen by me, as by one who was born out of due time.
NRSVA
Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me.
NRSVACE
Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me.
NRSVCE
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
NRSVUE
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
NTE
and, last of all, as to one ripped from the womb, he appeared even to me.’
OJB
And, last of all, even as if to one born not normally [like the rest], Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach was seen by me also (cf. 9:1).
RGT
And last of all he was seen also by me, as by one born at the wrong time.
RSV
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
RSVCE
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
TLV
and last of all, as to one untimely born, He also appeared to me.
VOICE
Last of all, He appeared to me; I was like a child snatched from his mother’s womb.
WEB
and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.
WE
Last of all, I saw him too. I was like one who was born at the wrong time.
WYC
And last of all he was seen also to me, as to a dead born child [as to a mis-born child].
YLT
And last of all -- as to the untimely birth -- he appeared also to me,
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peterm

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2022, 03:24:52 PM »
I've always understood this to be something of an understanding of a "Johnny come lately" believer if you will with shades of regret perhaps for not seeing the truth sooner. 
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Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2022, 04:33:06 PM »
What I'm observing is that the literal meaning of ektroma does not refer to either time or birth expressly. These are supplementary elements of the translation based on the idea that the term is a medical term, though the lexicons I've seen so far haven't made that clear for me. I'm still pondering this.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 1 Corinthians 15:8
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2022, 07:04:17 PM »
What I'm observing is that the literal meaning of ektroma does not refer to either time or birth expressly. These are supplementary elements of the translation based on the idea that the term is a medical term, though the lexicons I've seen so far haven't made that clear for me. I'm still pondering this.


Although its use in the LXX always refers to miscarriage or premature birth. As I suggested above, it seems to be a way of saying, "I wish I hadn't been born." As such, it is more of a metaphor about a troubled life now, than a literal event related to births.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 07:09:36 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]