~ For the last 4 days I have been thinking about this verse… strangely enough even in the dead of the night, in mid-sleep. I have wanted to pass it on to someone going through some struggles and been thinking about it a whole lot.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it because it seems as though it can be translated in both:
- a descriptive sense and a prescriptive sense
- an indicative fashion and an imperative fashion
- a fact and a value
- in the form of an is and the form of an ought
- as being and as a be.
Both are important and yet my preference is for the indicative, for being over be (= doing). The indicative seems to be more passive-oriented and about the work being done in you by the Holy Spirit whereas the imperative is about the work that you have to do.
First the Greek:
τῇ ἐλπίδι χαίροντες, (= in hope, rejoicing)
τῇ θλίψει ὑπομένοντες,
τῇ προσευχῇ προσκαρτεροῦντες, ~ Romans 12:12
~ Which I need to think though and come back to later… but post for now for future reference. Also I will quickly note the οντες for now… These signal participles or ______-ing words.
And now… the English…
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12, NIV).
~ Notice that this verse in the NIV begins with a “be”. The NIV is a more user-friendly version.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12, ESV).
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer (Rom. 12:12, KJV).
~ The above is the classic King James Version in its 1611 English. No be’s. Just being?
“… rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer …” (NASB)
~ No be’s… two -ings for being but all three describe states of being.
“… rejoicing in hope, enduring in affliction, being devoted to prayer” (Lexham)
~ this one even has a being in it…
Going back to the context in Romans – I do want to note that verse 9 which precedes it states the following:
“Love must be sincere. …” Romans 12:9 (NIV)
“Let love be genuine” Romans 12:9 (ESV)
So am I being told to allow love to be of a certain sort (= being) or do I do something so that it is expressed sincerely?
Words cannot describe why I like this verse – in the Indicative. I basically like the NIV minus the be.
… joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12, NIV).
When I first met this verse in the NIV I think, it seem to have wrapped up within it some sort of a beautiful contemplative silence. A pensive, emotional silence. Something of that sort. I am not sure how to describe it.