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Bible Gem 527 - Treasures in jars of clay - using the versions (2 Cor 4:7)

April 24, 2019

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (NIV) (2 Cor 4:7)

 

Here is the gem in its original setting with all facets intact. 

 

Εχομεν δὲ τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦτον ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν, ἵνα ἡ ὑπερβολὴ τῆς δυνάμεως ᾖ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἡμῶν. 

 

Well that is probably not much help to you, so how about this: I have cut and pasted this verse in all the versions I have loaded on E-Sword to help you. (well not al, there are some I thought were no use to you.)

 

(AMP)  However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 

(ASV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves; 

(BBE)  But we have this wealth in vessels of earth, so that it may be seen that the power comes not from us but from God; 

(CEV)  We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. 

(EMTV)  But we have this treasure in clay vessels, so that the extraordinary character of the power may be of God and not of us; 

(ESV)  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 

(GNB)  Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. 

 (GW)  Our bodies are made of clay, yet we have the treasure of the Good News in them. This shows that the superior power of this treasure belongs to God and doesn't come from us. 

(ISV)  But we have this treasure in clay jars to show that its extraordinary power comes from God and not from us. 

(KJV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

(LITV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not from us; 

(MKJV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us; 

(MSG)  If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. 

(Murdock)  But we have this treasure in an earthen vessel, that the excellency of the power might be from God, and not from us. 

(NASB)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 

(NLT)  We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 

(RV)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves; 

(Webster)  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not from us. 

(YLT)  And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us;

 

While you may not be able to get much from the original Greek, you can actually gain more than you imagine.

 

(GNT)  ῎Εχομεν δὲ τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦτον ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν, ἵνα ἡ ὑπερβολὴ τῆς δυνάμεως ᾖ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἡμῶν, 

 

If you use any version with a + in the name it is keyed to the dictionaries using Strong’s references numbers. This means that you have access to the Greek lexicons without knowing Greek. Now that is good news. Simple run your cursor over the green numbers and it will bring up the dictionary reference for you. WHEN YOU ARE IN E-SWORD. 

 

(GNT-BYZ+)  εχομενG2192 V-PAI-1P  δεG1161 CONJ  τονG3588 T-ASM  θησαυρονG2344 N-ASM  τουτονG3778 D-ASM  ενG1722 PREP  οστρακινοιςG3749 A-DPN  σκευεσινG4632 N-DPN  ιναG2443 CONJ  ηG3588 T-NSF  υπερβοληG5236 N-NSF  τηςG3588 T-GSF  δυναμεωςG1411 N-GSF  ηG1510 V-PAS-3S  τουG3588 T-GSM  θεουG2316 N-GSM  καιG2532 CONJ  μηG3361 PRT-N  εξG1537 PREP  ημωνG1473 P-1GP  

(GNT-WH+)  εχομενG2192 V-PAI-1P  δεG1161 CONJ  τονG3588 T-ASM  θησαυρονG2344 N-ASM  τουτονG3778 D-ASM  ενG1722 PREP  οστρακινοιςG3749 A-DPN  σκευεσινG4632 N-DPN  ιναG2443 CONJ  ηG3588 T-NSF  υπερβοληG5236 N-NSF  τηςG3588 T-GSF  δυναμεωςG1411 N-GSF  ηG1510 V-PAS-3S  τουG3588 T-GSM  θεουG2316 N-GSM  καιG2532 CONJ  μηG3361 PRT-N  εξG1537 PREP  ημωνG1473 P-1GP  

(KJV+)  ButG1161 we haveG2192 thisG5126 treasureG2344 inG1722 earthenG3749 vessels,G4632 thatG2443 theG3588 excellencyG5236 of theG3588 powerG1411 may beG5600 of God,G2316 andG2532 notG3361 ofG1537 us.G2257

 

If you have these versions and the dictionaries loaded, this enables you to dig behind the Greek text even if you don’t have ability in Greek. But beware there are dangers and limitations. It doesn’t make you an expert in Greek. For that you need special olive extract and 10 years in Greece.

 

There are other useful tools too. The following are Greek versions but they helpful.

 

(GNT-TR)  εχομεν δε τον θησαυρον τουτον εν οστρακινοις σκευεσιν ινα η υπερβολη της δυναμεως η του θεου και μη εξ ημων 

(GNT-V)  εχομεν δε τον θησαυρον τουτον εν οστρακινοις σκευεσιν ινα η υπερβολη της δυναμεως η του θεου και μη εξ ημων 

 

GNT – TR is the text of the Textus Receptus or the Majority Text. I won’t explain for those of you who don’t know the significance. That’s for a higher level of study. But those of you who do know what the significance is know it is helpful. Basically it helps you track where there are differences in the text readings based on the comments in footnotes “Most manuscripts read . . .” 

GNT-V is the Greek New Testament text with variants 

Also GNT – WH+ above is useful. It is the eclectic text of Wescott and Hort. Enough said. If you know about it you know how to use it. If you don’t know about it don’t worry. 

 

On this verse you can see there is no variation at all. All Greek readings are exactly the same. There are no textual variations in this verse.

 

Compare the different English versions. Note particularly the NLT version which includes the extra element “We now have this light shining in our hearts” 

 

The rest of the verse follows the Greek and the other versions. “we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” Where does the addition come from? You know it doesn’t come from any variant readings. There are none. Take some time to think about it. I will tell you tomorrow. 

 

 

And yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You are the potter. We all are formed by Your hand. Isa 64:8  

 

"O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand.” Jer 18:6  

 

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