An English, German, and PA-Dutch “Word Comparison Study” Reflecting on Titus 1:1a
By Andy Geesey
May 1, 2008
Before we get started with our "Word Comparison Study", please know that the English text used in this article is from the Authorized King James Version. The German text is from Das Neue Testament unsers Herrn und Heilandes Jesu Christi [nach der deutschen Ubersetzung Martin Luthers "1912"]. The PA-Dutch/German text is taken from Es nei Testament which was translated from the Textus Receptus Greek Text and Dr. Martin Luther's German translation.
Titus 1:1a (English): Paul, A servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness...
The Strong's Greek Concordance uses the words "an attendant" and "a waiter" which means "at table or other menial duties," in order to explain what Paul was trying to say with the use of the word servant.
Was Paul saying that he was an attendant? I think yes. The attendant makes a living by serving their employer's customers. A wise attendant will be committed to serving by going the extra mile in order to make a good impression on the customer. Why? Because the attendant understands that their actions are a direct reflection on their employer.
Paul, the servant of God, was willing to be the best attendant to mankind that he could be. His intention was to serve mankind with the gospel of Christ Jesus. Paul wished to serve all with food [Spiritual], loving care and compassion. He sought to attend to the needs [building up] of God's children. He praised others who were servants of God such as Phebe in Romans 16:1. She was a servant, serving God in her local church. True followers of Christ follow wholeheartedly and gladly become attendees - they follow and serve (see John 12:26).
Titus 1:1a (German): Paulus, ein Knecht Gottes und ein Apostel Jesu Christi, nach dem Glauben der Auserwählten Gottes und der Erkenntnis der Wahrheit zur Gottseligkeit
In Pennsylvania Dutch a gnecht is a hired hand that a farmer trains and teaches the art of farming to. The gnecht learns under the guidance and influence of the farmer how to do each task and works with the farmer until the gnecht can be trusted to do the tasks on his own. In time the gnecht is able to do almost any task on the farm because he has been trained, and has proven his ability by his actions through his willingness to learn and to perform. But a gnecht never worships his farmer. He is thankful for the farmer he works for, but he cannot or must not worship him.
Titus 1:1a (PA Dutch): Paulus, en deensht-gnecht funn Gott un en aposhtel funn Jesus Christus, noch em glawva funn selli raus-groofana funn Gott, un es di voahheit fanemma vass eishtimd mitt en gettlich layva.
The use of the English words "a servant" and the German "ein Knecht" have the same meaning. However, when the word deensht is added to form the PA Dutch/German word "en deensht-gnecht," these words are given a slightly stronger and clearer meaning.
The word deensht comes from the PA-Dutch root deena which means to worship and to serve. In PA Dutch, en deensht-gnecht is a [male] servant. Therefore, in Dutch one can say that a deensht-gnecht is a male servant who is in worship. Although I have never heard the following words combined on a secular level, the words deensht-mawt [female] are to be used when referring to a servant maid. The use of combining deensht-mawt, makes a strong point on a Spiritual level. Referring back to Romans 16:1 at the acknowledgement that Phebe was considered a servant of God in her local church.
Therefore, whether a deensht-gnecht or a deensht-mawt of God, the truth of the matter is this person is one who first of all worships God and because of his/her worship to God, he/she is willing to be God's gnecht/mawt.
So, are you willing to follow Paul's example of serving and worshipping? If you are, then it will be demonstrated in your actions and shown in your love and care towards others.
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