James 1.2: a quick note on "all joy"

job.jpg

As you know, there are many different translations out there; and they all do something a little different with James 1.2, specifically the phrase Πᾶσαν χαρὰν ἡγήσασθε (all joy consider). You can see from the list below that the common consensus is to translate this as "consider/count it all joy".

Consider/count it all joy (LEB; ESV; NASB; KJV; NKJV; RSV; ASV)

Consider it pure joy (NIV)

Consider it nothing but joy (NRSV; NET)

Consider it (an opportunity) for great joy (NLT; HCSB)

Be full of joy (NCV)

Consider yourselves fortunate (GNT)

Consider it a sheer gift (Message)

Now, while the default rendering may be accurate, I want to suggest some other possibilities that I think are more colloquial.

  • Consider it only a joy: if you've ever been somewhere that has some British influence, you'll be familiar with the phrase "it's only a pleasure". In the same way, I think James is telling his readers to take various trials in life as "only a joy".
  • Consider it a straight up joy: while this is definitely more slang, I think you're bound to get the picture here.
  • Consider it a joy, 100%: some of my South African buddies might like this. I seemed to hear a lot of people describe their attitude toward something on a scale like this.
  • Consider it a joy, through and through: this is certainly more idiomatic than the default translation attested to above, and still gets at the same point.

If I was on a deserted island and had to select one of the more established translations, based only on this phrase we're looking at, I think I'd have to go with the NRSV or NET's rendition. Now this assumes that I couldn't bring my GNT (and the host of tools I'd need to get anywhere in the text!).

What are your thoughts? What Western idioms would you use to "translate" Πᾶσαν χαρὰν ἡγήσασθε (all joy consider)?

Poor Job.