Alliteration in Luke 8:5

In my translation for this morning I noticed some alliteration:

Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ (Lk 8:5)

As I translated the text, I noticed that the alliteration is naturally retained in an English translation, “A sower went out to sow his seeds.”

For reference, Matthew and Mark’s versions of the parable omit the final phrase τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ. Luke’s inclusion of the unnecessary clarification—intentionally or unintentionally—seems to strengthen the alliteration. Compare the other versions below:

  • ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπείρειν (Matt 13:3)
  • ἰδοὺ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων σπεῖραι (Mk 4:3)

Though the times are few, I always love it when literary/rhetorical devices can be transferred into the target language with little effort.

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