Original Research - Special Collection: Mag in die Nuwe Testament

Die vertaling van ἐξουσία [eksousia] in Johannes 1:12

D. Francois Tolmie
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1057 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1057 | © 2012 D. Francois Tolmie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 April 2011 | Published: 27 January 2012

About the author(s)

D. Francois Tolmie, University of the Free State, South Africa


The translation of ἐξουσία [eksousia] in John 1:12. A survey of Bible translations in Afrikaans, Dutch, English, German and French indicates that the term ἐξουσία [eksousia] in John 1:12 is translated in different ways by translators. In Afrikaans the options available to translators are ‘gesag’ (‘authority’), ‘mag’ (‘might’), ‘krag’ (‘power’), ‘reg’ (‘right’) and ‘voorreg’ (‘privilege’). In this article, the translation into Afrikaans of the term in John 1:12 is considered. The article begins with an overview of choices made by previous translators in this regard, as well as an overview of how the term is interpreted in dictionaries and by commentators. This is followed by an investigation of the other occurrences of the term in the Fourth Gospel, and suggestions as to the way it should be interpreted in each case. The use of the term in John 1:12 is then considered. It is proposed that the best translation of the term in Afrikaans is ‘mag’ (‘might’).


Bible Translation; New Testament; John 1:12; Power


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