Titus 1:1-4 (Take 2)

I have the pleasure of a Ukrainian bible at my disposal. And my intention is to blog not only a translation from Greek to English, but also to compare Ukrainian to the Greek and English translations of both. I myself, in the very least, am interested to see what I find.

Ukrainian Greek English
Titus 1:1 Павло раб Божий, а апостол Ісуса Христа, по вірі вибраних Божих і пізнанні правди, що за благочестям Παῦλος δοῦλος θεοῦ, ἀπόστολος δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ κατὰ πίστιν ἐκλεκτῶν θεοῦ καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας τῆς κατ’ εὐσέβειαν Paul, a slave of God, and a messenger of Jesus Christ according to the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that comes from a godly walk
1:2 в надії вічного життя, яке обіцяв був від вічних часів необманливий Бог, ἐπ’ ἐλπίδι ζωῆς αἰωνίου, ἣν ἐπηγγείλατο ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, in the hope of life eternal, which our trustworthy God promised from the very beginning,
1:3 і часу  свого з’явив Слово Своє в проповіданні, що доручене було мені з наказу Спасителя нашого Богаб, – ἐφανέρωσεν δὲ καιροῖς ἰδίοις τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ ἐν κηρύγματι ὃ ἐπιστεύθην ἐγὼ κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ, but in due time manifested his word by proclamation, which I was entrusted with according to the command of God our savior,
1:4 до тита, щирого сина за спільною вірою: благодать, милість та мир від Бога Отця й Христа Ісуса, Спасителя нашого! Τίτῳ γνησίῳ τέκνῳ κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν· χάρις καὶ εἰρήνην ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν. to Titus, a true son according to our shared faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

Immediately I was struck by the congruity between the wording in Greek and Ukrainian, over that of the English. This makes sense, in that both are case-based in a way that English is not. Though not word for word, it is very close – in both count and order of words employed. But there are differences.

One particular example seems to be the use of Божий and Божих in v. 1:1 (compare Бог in 1:2 and Бога in 1:4). While Greek employs a genitive form, θεοῦ “of/belonging to God”, the Ukrainian equivalent is not the genitive Бога, as in 1:4. Божий has the form of a singular masculine nominative 1 adjective. In my limited study of Ukrainian I have not yet encountered “possessive adjectives”, other than the possessive pronoun, but Wiktionary contains a declension chart for a Russian possessive adjective that matches (differing in the soft marker in the plural).

Trying to nail down Божих is a little harder. The form is accusative or genitive plural (I’m guessing based on likelihood and similarity to Russian form), modifying вибранихselected“. I struggled to find вибраних in any online setting where I could clearly determine the words form – noun, adjective, etc. Based on my limited knowledge, this could be another instance of a possessive adjective modified by a possessive adjective (both plural and accusative) – “[by the faith] belonging to [the] selected [ones] belonging to God – or a noun modified by a possessive adjective (both plural and genitive) – “[by the faith] of [the] selected [ones] belonging to God. I know, the stated English differentiation is rather arbitrary – but hopefully points out the distinction in usage. Because по governs a singular locative – in this case вірі – the second possibility is preferred; otherwise, agreement by number fails.

That being said, the phrase по вірі had me stumped for a time 2. Assuming a plural accusative form for по вірі , I was hard-pressed to determine how to translate the preposition according to my Ukrainian grammar. Note the computer translated expression. However, a common case governed by по is the locative with the idea of “by”, “after” or “about”, with feminines like віра ending in . I had overlooked the locative, seeing only the genitive with this case ending in the singular. Problem solved: “by/after [the] faith”. This nicely shows that Paul’s status as an apostle is based on, or proceeds from, the faith of God’s people and knowledge/perception (пізнанні – another locative form) of the truth.

Also, a simple Greek prepositional phrase about godliness became a relative clause in Ukrainian – as it did in my English translation.

Most of the rest follows easily, with some word inversion differences between Ukrainian and Greek (adjective and noun in agreement). The Ukrainian uses respectful casing at times generating Слово Своє, “His Word” (inverted, of course, and this time just as in the Greek) and Спасителя, “Savior”. I have not chosen to follow this practice in my English translation, and the Greek certainly doesn’t.

Greek ἀψευδὴς is translated by Ukrainian необманливий, both containing an element of negation, as in English “un-lying”. Since that is not very nice sounding in English, I used “trustworthy” in my translation. But the similarity between the Ukrainian and Greek is striking, once again.

милість та мир slightly confuses me, not because it is difficult to translate “grace and peace”, but because the word for “and” is not in the form that might be expected based on a textbook definition. The Ukrainian word for “and” varies based on the sounds that surround it, just like English a/an. In this case, since their are no vowels, and certainly no risk of a doubled і, I would have expected і not та. Бога Отця й Христа Ісуса “God the Father and Christ Jesus” does follow the expected pattern, й following a vowel (in this case ).

I’m looking forward to the arrival of my Ukrainian-English/English-Ukrainian dictionary from Amazon. This was a difficult exercise using a grammar with no vocabulary reference, an instructional course with a very minor dictionary, and online resources (paltry at best for Ukrainian). I don’t think I’ll offer another Take 2 until that time.


  1. This form could also be an singular accusative inanimate masculine, but since modifying animate раб, this possibility is not likely.
  2. I am sad to say that I was plagued by the apparent contradictions in grammatical form here for hours. Two little words. It makes one want to cry.

About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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1 Response to Titus 1:1-4 (Take 2)

  1. Pingback: Fascinating Stuff (or, I Wish I Read Mandarin) « Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

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