by A.E. Knoch

THE microscopic precision of the Word of God, and the absolute necessity of an accurate translation which does not omit a single particle, is well illustrated by the phrase at the head of this paragraph (Luke 21:32). Reams have been written, trying to explain it, for all see that that generation did pass away, and the things spoken of have not yet been fulfilled. The word translated "fulfilled" means simply to occur, but this does not fully satisfy. The key to its solution lies in the Greek particle an, which is found nearly two hundred times in the Greek Scriptures, yet is never translated, if we credit the witness of Wigram's Concordance. In preparing a concordant version it became evident that English idiom would seldom bear the presence of EVER, the standard assigned to this word. Further study showed, however, that it was always used with the subjunctive, may, and the force of may ever could readily be expressed by changing the may into should. The Authorized Version fails, first of all, in translating this verb "be fulfilled" in place of "may be occurring." Even then the force of the particle an is ignored. This we can preserve, in English, by changing may to should. Our Lord knew very well that these things would not be fulfilled, hence He carefully modified His speech to indicate, not what would take place, but what should occur. This is more fully explained in the note in the Version. Instead of being a difficulty, this statement becomes the key to the whole prophecy. And all this simply by giving heed to a particle deemed so insignificant that no traces of it are apparent in the Authorized Version. Two letters of God's revelation give more light than libraries of human explanation.

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