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ingosorke
01-14-2010, 12:14 PM
I'm trying to establish a pattern (if there is one) for the use of "shall" vs. "will" in English versions (esp. NKJV, ESV, NAU), but haven't found one based on Greek grammar - some futures are rendered "shall", some "will".

Example: "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (Mat*1:21*NKJ)

Anybody have any insights on this?

Thanks, Ingo

Michael Hanel
01-14-2010, 12:20 PM
I don't know if it's entirely consistent in translationese, but in my experience shall is used for a stronger imperative/command. In reality, shall is not really used much at all in modern English and is almost archaic these days.

The Wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shall_and_will) is pretty thorough.

Dale A. Brueggemann
01-14-2010, 12:55 PM
Michael's right about it being archaic now, but for the usage of yester-year, check out Fowler, King's English on shall/will (http://www.bartleby.com/116/213.html).

Adelphos
01-14-2010, 03:10 PM
Michael is correct in that shall appeared -- in the past -- to be used for a slightly more emphatic future than will, but ususally in regard of action.

For example, you will notice in the KJV that shall is employed in all three places in Matthew 1:21.

There was a great emphasis on certain passages in this respect. Perhaps the most notable of the Puritan era was John Bunyan's proclamation that John 6:37 was called THE GREAT SHALL COME.

"All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME to me; and him that cometh to me I WILL in no wise cast out." John 6:37

Why is anybody actually saved at all, seeing as he is dead in trespasses and sins and therefore not even able to hear, much less respond -- respond SAVINGLY -- to the Gospel of Christ?

Why?

Because, according to Bunyan, THE GREAT SHALL COME decrees it so!

ISalzman
01-14-2010, 03:28 PM
I'm trying to establish a pattern (if there is one) for the use of "shall" vs. "will" in English versions (esp. NKJV, ESV, NAU), but haven't found one based on Greek grammar - some futures are rendered "shall", some "will".

Example: "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (Mat*1:21*NKJ)

Anybody have any insights on this?

Thanks, Ingo

Hi Ingo. "Shall" is usually only used for the second person (i.e., You, Thou, etc.). But it is archaic.

Adelphos
01-14-2010, 04:19 PM
Hi Ingo. "Shall" is usually only used for the second person (i.e., You, Thou, etc.). But it is archaic.

No, that is not true. Shall is used with multiple persons. Shalt (with the "t") is used with the second person.

ISalzman
01-14-2010, 04:53 PM
No, that is not true. Shall is used with multiple persons. Shalt (with the "t") is used with the second person.

Well, that may be true. But common usage isn't always correct. I once had an English professor who said that, according to proper English grammar, "shall" was best used with the second person. I don't doubt however that you'll find it used with different persons as well.

Nevertheless, there is a lot which passes for common usage, but is grammatically incorrect. For example, the English word "presently" is almost always misused in common parlance. Most people equate it with "currently." However, "presently" does not mean "currently;" it actually means "soon" or "about to." Other English words which are commonly misused include "emigrate" vs. "immigrate," etc.

Adelphos
01-14-2010, 05:01 PM
The shall in its base form is used both grammatically and popularly with all persons, i.e., I shall, you shall, he shall, she shall, we shall, they shall, etc. It's that way now; its always been that way. It has nothing to do with the second person whatsoever.

As the 1828 Webster states --

"Shall is primarily in the present tense, and in our mother tongue was followed by a verb in the infinitive, like other verbs... It is now treated as a mere auxiliary to other verbs, serving to form some of the tenses...."

In other words, the word shall as a verb has everything to do with tenses, but in its bare form has nothing to do with the person. That is determined, as with other inflected languages, by its inflected form, which used to be shalt when one desired to indicate the second person in that form of that verb.

ISalzman
01-14-2010, 05:06 PM
The shall in its base form is used both grammatically and popularly with all persons, i.e., I shall, you shall, he shall, she shall, we shall, they shall, etc. It's that way now; its always been that way. It has nothing to do with the second person whatsoever.

As the 1828 Webster states --

"Shall is primarily in the present tense, and in our mother tongue was followed by a verb in the infinitive, like other verbs... It is now treated as a mere auxiliary to other verbs, serving to form some of the tenses...."

In other words, the word shall as a verb has everything to do with tenses, but in its bare form has nothing to do with the person. That is determined, as with other inflected languages, by its inflected form, which used to be shalt when one desired to indicate the second person in that form of that verb.

Well, I guess it's settled then. Scott, should Obama ever appoint a secretary of English grammar to his cabinet, you have got my unswerving vote!

Adelphos
01-14-2010, 05:09 PM
Well, I guess it's settled then. Scott, should Obama ever appoint a secretary of English grammar to his cabinet, you have got my unswerving vote!

If he does, it should be decreed that the newly appointed Secretary of Grammar SHALL be accurate!

ISalzman
01-14-2010, 05:12 PM
If he does, it should be decreed that the newly appointed Secretary of Grammar SHALL be accurate!

Amen to that. Je suis d'accord.

Adelphos
01-14-2010, 06:01 PM
By the way, Ingo, Webster states that our shall is a derivative of the German schulden and thus carries the same force in English as it does in German.

In other words, shall intimates the force of a debt, and is therefore used as an ought, which is to say, as I said at the first, that shall is a bit more emphatic than will.

Adelphos
01-14-2010, 09:17 PM
Since the Webster 1828 electronic version is lacking a great deal of material -- and it appears several places are missing in the electronic version on just this one word -- I have typed in the following preliminary data from the print edition, a book which everyone in our field should possess, IMO. I have in the past been interested in this word as well, and I consider the following information very useful. So, again, from the 1828 printed Webster Dictionary --

"SHAL, SHALL - verb auxiliary. pret. should. [Sax. scealan, scylan], to be obliged. It coincides in signification nearly with ought, it is a duty, it is necessary; D. zal, zul; G. soll; Sw. skola, pret. skulle; Dan. skal, skulle, skulde. The German and Dutch have lost the palatal letter of the verb; but it appears in the derivative G. schuld, guilt, fault, culpability, debt; D. schuld, id.; Sw. skuld, Dan. skyld, debt, fault, guilt; skylder, to owe; Sax. scyld, debt, offense, L. scelus. The literal sense is to hold or be held, hence to owe, and hence the sense of guilt, of being held, bound or liable to justice and punishment. In the Teutonic dialects, schulden, skyld, are used in the Lord's prayer, as "forgive us our debts," but neither debt or trespass expresses the exact idea, which includes sin or crime, and liability to punishment. The word seems to be allied in origin to skill, L. calleo, to be able, to know. See Skill. Shall is defective, having no infinitive, imperative or participle. It ought to be written shal, as the original has one l only, and it has one only in shalt and should." American Dictionary Of The English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

Moreover, I would suggest that you take a look - ESPECIALLY IN THE GOSPELS -- at the TNT (Tyndale's NT) in BibleWorks, and run through the variations between Tyndale's use of shall and will as employed with their respective Greek equivalents in the SCR, for Tyndale employed the Traditional Text, as Tyndale is WITHOUT QUESTION the architect of the English language in the sense that it is Tyndale's English that serves as the base for all the English that follows in succeeding generations.

And Tyndale was especially carefull in his translation of the Gospels. The KJV in the Gospels is approximately ninety percent Tyndale as well, the KJV translators merely polishing his words for the most part.

So if you really want a good feel for the word shall, this is a sound approach.

ingosorke
01-14-2010, 09:43 PM
I shall thank all of you for your responses and will study them further.
The intriguing intricacies of language - sure glad to have found some German roots in all of this ;)

To take it one step further: I wonder how much particular translation teams were aware of these dynamics, what accounts for the statistical differences in the use of "shall" esp. between NKJV, ESV, and NAU, and why a modern version/revision like ESV or NAU would retain a now archaic term. (I'm not arguing accuracy, dynamic-equivalence, etc. here, just curious about the mind and intentionality of the translators.)

Thanks again.

Ingo

P.S. One day shall we gather at the river . . . and talk the same language?!

Mark Eddy
01-14-2010, 09:57 PM
Let me muddy the waters a bit further.
When I was taught English grammar (in the 1960s and 70s) based on what my teacher (educated in the 40s) and our textbooks (printed in the 50s & early 60s) said, the usages of shall and will are as follows:
First person ("I" and "we") is to use "shall" for the simple future:
I shall go. We shall go.
Second and third person ("you" and "he, she, it, they") are to use "will" for the simple future:
You will go. He will go. She will go. It will go. They will go.
The opposite wording (using "shall" instead of "will" or "will" instead of "shall") is to be used to express a command (roughly equivalent to the cohortative and jussive in Hebrew or perhaps a third person imperative in Greek).
Thus:
"I will go" or "we will go" can be used to translate Hebrew cohortatives. This expresses an intention rather than a prediction of what will happen.
"You shall go" is to express a command. Thus the ten commandments "You shall not..." This was somewhat of a wooden expression of jussives into English. Since Hebrew has no negation of imperative forms, it has to use negations of imperfects. English translations, instead of using our native imperative: "Do not..." kept the indicative "shall" or "will" but expressed the command nature by not using the purely future form. "You will go" would be a prediction of what is going to happen in the future. "You shall go" would be a command to go.
Having written this, it is clear that many modern translations (including the NKJ, and in places even KJV itself) seem to be almost clueless to this distinction. They seem to thow in "shall" in order to make something sound more authoritative. But they have forgotten to change the first person to "will" for the same reason.
Technically (though this seems to be almost totally forgotten by English speakers today) "should" and "would" are to follow to same usage as "shall" and "will." This distinction is probably being lost because we are forgetting how to use the subjunctive in general.
"I should say not!" is not a command, as if someone told me "You should not say that." Instead it expresses a personal desire or intention or even strong emotion. But "You should not say that!" is a form of command, expressing not so much an outright prohibition as a statement that what was said is not proper.
"If I were a rich man, I should give more to church" expresses a subjunctive idea. Saying the same thing in third person would be:
"If he were a rich man, he would give more to church."
Modern murdered American English speakers would probably state the above as follows:
"If I was a rich man, I would go to the beach more." Such a statement grates on my ears, but it seems to bother very few people. English grammars seem to have given up on rules for word usage since the 70s. Today, standard English is not the historic usage but what the majority considers normal. Grammar has become democratized. So, we are becoming less precise.
The upshot of this is that the fine distinction between "you shall" and "you will" is lost to most hearers. It is retained in some translations, but not uniformly.
Perhaps what I was taught, and what I presented above, is a holdover from the Germanic roots of the English language. In German there are different forms of verbs for first, second, and third person. This has almost died out in English, except for really common words, e.g. "I am" "you are" "he is" "we are" they are."
"Shall" and "will" are another holdover from the Germanic distinction of persons. But few Americans are taught the rules about which verb is to be used with which person, with the result that they are used somewhat indiscriminately.
For what it's worth,
Mark Eddy

Adelphos
01-14-2010, 10:15 PM
That's why it's a good idea to go through Tyndale, for he used the terms very purposely, and I mean every word. Further, Tyndale was very cognizant of the roots of English and the cognative languages, including the Germanic and Saxon strains.

For example, Tyndale grew up at the intersection of the amalgamation of all the languages -- I mean he lived in a district where they all came together -- such as from West Germanic to Anglo-Frisian to Old English to Old Frisian to Old German, etc., and he understood very well, probably more than any man before or since, their relationship to each other and their entanglements.

In short, God raised up the perfect man for translating the Bible into English, for not only was Tyndale a very accomplished linguist, both naturally and professionally, but he was raised up in exactly the right spot at the exactly the right time for all these interrelated languages to coalesce.

Again, if you want to really understand the employment of the word shall, a walk through Tyndale's NT is the most fertile ground you can find.

And not to diminish grade school teachers, but Tyndale knew a lot more about the employment of his words than people many centuries later, and so if you want to know the meaning of the words from a biblical perspective, i.e., how they were intended to be used then, in that context, then Tyndale is the master.

In short, Tyndale is the man who gave many of our English words their original meaning.

MGVH
01-15-2010, 02:17 AM
...
When I was taught English grammar (in the 1960s and 70s) based on what my teacher (educated in the 40s) and our textbooks (printed in the 50s & early 60s) said, the usages of shall and will are as follows:
First person ("I" and "we") is to use "shall" for the simple future:
I shall go. We shall go.
Second and third person ("you" and "he, she, it, they") are to use "will" for the simple future:
You will go. He will go. She will go. It will go. They will go.
The opposite wording (using "shall" instead of "will" or "will" instead of "shall") is to be used to express a command (roughly equivalent to the cohortative and jussive in Hebrew or perhaps a third person imperative in Greek).
Mark Eddy
Ha! We must be of similar age and learned from similar grammars! (And some of my teachers were strict about it!)
They would be disappointed in my lack of attention to this now...

David Kummerow
01-15-2010, 04:52 AM
Huddleston and Pullum in their Cambridge Grammar of the English Lanuage provide an account of shall that is still in use today. They argue that there are three deontic uses still in use. First is a constitutive/regulative use used in constitutions, regulations, and legal or quasi-legal documents as in The committee shall meet at least four times per year. A second relates to the speaker's guarantee as in You shall have your money back tomorrow. A third releates to direction questions as in Shall I close the window?

They also provide an account of non-deontic uses with discussion between shall and will. First is a futurity function as in I shall never understand why she left. A second is a consequence function as in If the rules have changed as much as you suggest we shall have done most of this work for nothing. And a third is a volition function as in I shall do as she says.

In a footnote they also state that in some legal language shall can be used in an open protasis as in If the tenant shall at any time fail to keep the demised premises as aforesaid the landlord may do all things necessary to effect or maintain insurance. (Sounds like my own rental lease I've recently had to sign again!)

Regards,
David Kummerow.

Adelphos
01-15-2010, 11:20 AM
Here's why you have to go back to Tyndale, to the dawn of the English language, to properly understand the use of shall...

The following is from the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary --

"usage From the reams of pronouncements written about the distinction between shall and will—dating back as far as the 17th century—it is clear that the rules laid down have never very accurately reflected actual usage. The nationalistic statements of 18th and 19th century British grammarians, who commonly cited the misuses of the Irish, the Scots, and occasionally the Americans, suggest that the traditional rules may have come closest to the usage of southern England. Some modern commentators believe that English usage is still the closest to the traditionally prescribed norms. Most modern commentators allow that will is more common in nearly all uses. The entries for shall and will in this dictionary show current usage." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/SHALL

David Kummerow
01-15-2010, 03:47 PM
Note that Merriam-Webster is a dictionary and not a grammar. As such, it provides helpful etymology and definitional sketch. You need to read, for example, Huddleston and Pullum for an account of the grammar at work and broader discussion of shall and will. What Huddleston and Pullum have to say isn't in conflict with Merriam-Webster, it just provides more discussion and examples which help to understand shall.

Regards,
David Kummerow.

Adelphos
01-15-2010, 04:14 PM
Note that Merriam-Webster is a dictionary and not a grammar. As such, it provides helpful etymology and definitional sketch. You need to read, for example, Huddleston and Pullum for an account of the grammar at work and broader discussion of shall and will. What Huddleston and Pullum have to say isn't in conflict with Merriam-Webster, it just provides more discussion and examples which help to understand shall.

I haven't read Huddleston and Pullum, but the point is identical to going back to Tyndale. Tyndale is the premier English grammarian. His use of English words in his Bible became the standard, and he precedes all others who came after him.

And Tyndale employed his English terms based on his vast knowledge, acquaintaince and fluency with the congnate languages of English.

For instance, it is Tydnale who defined the word passover and easter for the English language. It is known that Tyndale invented the word passover, and he is also the first known person to use the English easter in the Bible, derived from the German cognate, and may very well be the inventor of that word in the English langauge as well.

My treatise on the correct translation of Easter in Acts 12:4 deals with this fact --

http://lamblion.net/Articles/ScottJones/easter_or_passove.htm

In short, Tyndale's use of English is the standard to which all others moulded themselves, including the verb teneses of most words.

Not that Tyndale was the first person to write in English, of course, but his work, the Bible, becamse the standard upon which all subsequent forms of the English lanauge devolved.

Chaucer and the others faded into oblivion with regard to their forms and usage of English.

Tyndale's work alone became fruitful and multiplied. That's because Tyndale's English was standardized in the English Bible.

anupkanwar
01-16-2010, 11:54 AM
No, that is not true. Shall is used with multiple persons. Shalt (with the "t") is used with the second person.

Yes ,agreed .shall is used with multiple and shalt is with second person.
Regards,Anup Kanwar