A Question Regarding Mirza Abu'l-Fadl's Arabic Bible

Apr 2011
1,080
Hyrule
#1
As I was reading Mirza Abu'l-Fadl's Baha'i Proofs, I came across the following words:

"But our Lord Christ--Glory and Baha be upon Him!--promised that these seals should be opened and these prophecies understood at the time of the LORD'S coming from Heaven, who would then explain their reality. St. John, ch. xvi., vs. 12, 13:--"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." Likewise, St. John, ch. vi., v. 27:--"Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for [1]it hath God the Father sealed." [1. This pronoun refers to the "meat" in the Arabic Bible, from which the author has quoted the verse. But the English version refers it to the "Son of Man" and gives a masculine pronoun ("him") instead of "it." The rendering here is according to the Arabic text quoted by the author.--Translator.]"​
I am unaware of any Bibles (including English translations of Arabic Bibles) that translate John 6.27 this way.
 
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Apr 2011
1,080
Hyrule
#2
I have been reading David Bentley Hart's translation of the Bible. It is interesting. It reads:

"Do not labor for perishable food, but for the food that abides unto life in the Age, which the Son of Man will give you; for God has placed his seal on this one."​
Here are some other translations:

"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
(NIV)​
"Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."
(KJV)

"Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal."
(ESV)

"Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Fatherhas set His seal of approval on Him."
(HCSB)

"work not for the food that is perishing, but for the food that is remaining to life age-during, which the Son of Man will give to you, for him did the Father seal -- [even] God.'"
(YLT)

"Labor not for the food that perishes, but for the food that abides to life eternal, which the Son of man gives you; for him has God the Father attested."
(Codex Sinaiticus)​
 
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Jun 2014
1,061
Wisconsin
#3
As I was reading Mirza Abu'l-Fadl's Baha'i Proofs, I came across the following words:

"But our Lord Christ--Glory and Baha be upon Him!--promised that these seals should be opened and these prophecies understood at the time of the LORD'S coming from Heaven, who would then explain their reality. St. John, ch. xvi., vs. 12, 13:--"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." Likewise, St. John, ch. vi., v. 27:--"Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for [1]it hath God the Father sealed." [1. This pronoun refers to the "meat" in the Arabic Bible, from which the author has quoted the verse. But the English version refers it to the "Son of Man" and gives a masculine pronoun ("him") instead of "it." The rendering here is according to the Arabic text quoted by the author.--Translator.]"​
I am unaware of any Bibles (including English translations of Arabic Bibles) that translate John 6.27 this way.
So a note about Arabic: to my knowledge it doesn't have gendered pronouns. I assume "him" and "it" would be the same word, so the identity of the "him/it" word would be more unclear to an Arabic reader than an English reader. From the Greek text it is clearly a "him" and refers to Jesus. I assume it is more vague in the Arabic language and Fadl inferred that the pronoun in question referred back to the food/meat rather than Jesus.

EDIT: Actually I think I'm thinking of Farsi, not Arabic. I could be wrong about Arabic pronouns.

And, of course, the "meat/food that endures to eternal life" is in itself a metaphor for Jesus, so even with Fadl's translation error, the meaning is ultimately the same.
 
Aug 2010
724
New Zealand mainly
#5
As I was reading Mirza Abu'l-Fadl's Baha'i Proofs, I came across the following words:

"But our Lord Christ--Glory and Baha be upon Him!--promised that these seals should be opened and these prophecies understood at the time of the LORD'S coming from Heaven, who would then explain their reality. St. John, ch. xvi., vs. 12, 13:--"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." Likewise, St. John, ch. vi., v. 27:--"Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for [1]it hath God the Father sealed." [1. This pronoun refers to the "meat" in the Arabic Bible, from which the author has quoted the verse. But the English version refers it to the "Son of Man" and gives a masculine pronoun ("him") instead of "it." The rendering here is according to the Arabic text quoted by the author.--Translator.]"​
I am unaware of any Bibles (including English translations of Arabic Bibles) that translate John 6.27 this way.
The form of the verse that Abu'l-Fadl cites on page 96 of his text in Arabic, is not different at the crucial point from other Arabic translations of the Gospel of John that I found online. For example:
"اِعْمَلُوا لاَ لِلطَّعَامِ الْبَائِدِ، بَلْ لِلطَّعَامِ الْبَاقِي لِلْحَيَاةِ الأَبَدِيَّةِ الَّذِي يُعْطِيكُمُ ابْنُ الإِنْسَانِ، لأَنَّ هذَا اللهُ الآبُ قَدْ خَتَمَهُ»."... (يو 6: 27-46)
But the commentaries on the last letter of the verse disagree with the translator's translation and the footnote: they hold that it refers to Son of Man.
See شرح إنجيل يوحنا
The reason why the translator has chosen "it" rather than "him" is not that the Arabic text specifies this (the pronouns are the same), but rather that Abu'l Fadl's further argument supposes that it is the meat = the Words of God, that have been sealed. The fault lies with the author.
 
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