a special definition for KJV's use of word

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    I have found that at least two English dictionaries have a separate and unique definition for one word just for how it was used in the KJV. All sources including KJV-only sources seem to agree that the sackbut was a wind musical instrument.

    The Oxford English Dictionary
    noted that the name sackbut was “not found as the name of a musical instrument earlier than the later half of the 15th century” (XIV, p. 333). The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary described the sackbut as “a wind instrument of music; a kind of trumpet.“ Laurence Vance acknowledged that “a sackbut is a medieval wind instrument” (Archaic Words, p. 296). D. A. Waite’s Defined KJB defined “sackbut” as “a medieval wind instrument, forerunner of the trombone” (p. 1170). James Knox wrote: “A sackbut is a brass wind instrument of music, like a trumpet, so contrived that it can be lengthened or shortened according to the tone required” (By Definition, p. 142). John Florio’s 1598 A World of Words is said to explain trombone as “a great sackbut, a great trump.“ The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible contended that “the sackbut was some kind of trombone, which did not exist in biblical times” (Vol. III, p. 476).

    On the other hand, most sources affirm that the word in the original languages at Daniel 3:5 that was translated "sackbut" in the KJV referred to a stringed musical instrument.

    That sets a little background for the special definition for "sackbut" that I found in two English dictionaries.

    The 1970 Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language (Unabridged) gives two different definitions for sackbut. Its first definition is “a medieval wind instrument, similar to the trombone.” Its second definition is as follows: “In the Bible, a musical stringed instrument resembling a lyre; Daniel 3:5” (p. 1593). This dictionary stated that this word “has acquired its second meaning from somewhat resembling in form Hebrew sabbeca, and being used to translate it” (Ibid.). Perhaps from the influence of that dictionary or some other possible common source, the 1976 Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary also listed a second definition as follows: “In the Bible, a stringed instrument” (II, p. 587).
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Which goes to show the amazing impact that this great version has had on the English language.
     
  3. thomas15

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    Logos1560,

    Just this past weekend I read through Daniel in the KJV and noticed sackbut listed as an instrument. Being that I play trombone and knew that the sackbut was the trombone of the time of the KJV, so I did a search of the word (so much for non-KJVOist being lazy).

    I doubt that the Jews in Daniels time had a horn with a slide. Chalmers Etymological dictionary (i think, going by memory) says the word is middle english and is a Jewish stringed instrument. This was news to me. I never heard of this although I have played a sackbut before, a slide trombone with bell with less of a flair (at the bell) than todays trombones.

    Also, a dulcimer (mentioned in the same passage) today is basically an Appalachian folk instrument, there are 2 kinds (lap and hammered), again, not likely used in Bible times. One source I read called it (the dulcimer) a bagpipe! I thought that maybe I ate some bad hamberger or something and was suffering from an illness because this was not what I was expecting to read. Another thing is these instruments (dulcimer) are not very loud so it would have taken a army of players to make enough sound to call people to prayer under what I would think would be normal circumstances. A horn would have the volume. A cornet as we know it is a trumpet with more of a taper in the bore and has valves, also not in use in Daniels time.

    I didn't think based on my very limited resources that I had found a KJ translation mistake although at best the words have changed meaning over the years. I do believe that the NIV has the passage translated correctly and without confusion.

    Reading your post Logos1560 was like "deja vu" all over again for me, I really was surprised to see that word in Daniel. More research is needed, I would like to see a picture or sketch or even literature describing a Hebrew "sackbut" from Daniel's time.

    Certainly though, a reader of the Bible in 1611 would think trombone, cornet (or trumpet) and hammered dulcimer (or piano) when reading the Scriptures, not what I believe the Chaldeans were using to summon pagans to prayer in Daniels time.

    Tom
     
    #3 thomas15, Feb 25, 2008
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  4. Salamander

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    "What's with the name?

    The first evidence of the trombone was with the early Greeks in 685 B.C. The trombone is truly an ancient instrument.
    In medieval times the English term "sackbut" was bestowed on the instrument. This term was most likely derived from a similar sounding French term meaning to push and pull. The widely accepted name "trombone" is Italian for large trumpet. Thank you Italy! "

    www.sackbut.com

    What a waste of time.
     
  5. EdSutton

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    FTR, there was nothing anything like a modern piano at the time the KJV was translated, so I don't believe that the readers of the KJV in 1611 would have thought this in any way. Trombone or trumpet? Yes. A version of 'bagpipes'? Yes. "Hammered dulcimer"? Yes.

    Piano? No.

    Ed
     
  6. thomas15

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    Ed, FYI, a hammer dulcimer is basically a piano without the large case and mechanical action (keys to hammers). I understand that the piano was not in use during the KJ period either, I'm not stupid. I'm trying to point out the difference between the different meanings of the words, of which I know something about.

    A hammered dulcimer is a sort of crude piano though. A Harpsicord, more of the time frame looks like a piano but instead of a hammer it uses a quil that plucks the string. It is much quieter than a piano. Learch in the Adams Family played a harpsicord. I think you should consider the harpsicord.:laugh:
     
  7. thomas15

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    Salamander, I have been a trombone player for 40 years. Salamander, I have never seen or heard of a slide trombone kind of instrument going back to 600 BC. It may be true that it's roots go back that far (in a very crude way) but the slide trombone and or sackbut of the 17th century was probably not around in any meaningful way in 600 BC.

    I can accept a type of trumpet (or post horn) in Daniels time but not a horn with a slide. Unless of course you can get your hands on a picture of a 600 BC sackbut or a sketch, which you cannot do using google because it doesn't exist.

    Anyway Salamander, a reader in 1611 would think slide trombone type of instrument and the dictionary calls it a Hebrew stringed instrument so you are on the loosing side of this arguement anyway.

    Tom

     
  8. EdSutton

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    I do know what a hammer dulcimer is. BTW, it's actually "the Addams Family" and the butler is "Lurch".

    [​IMG] "U-u-h-h-h!"

    Ed
     
  9. Salamander

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    OK< you go straighten out the sackbut.com people.

    Their report has more to substanciate their view than yours does.
     
  10. thomas15

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    I'ts SUBSTANTIATE.

    Salamander, I don't have to go back to the sackbut.com people because they don't say the sackbut was invented in 600BC, they say there was evidence of the trombone in Greek culture 685 BC. That leaves a lot of room for research and development my friend.

    I would like to see the evidence to see the similarities. You can't provide it now can you? In order to get the slide to work and not leak air it would have been very bulky and hard to slide because they would have had to fabricate some kind of seals which would have dragged the action to a stand still. Also, metalwork technology wasn't there to deep draw the slide components at a weight light enough for a player to actually hold the thing. You are annoying dear brother Salamander. I have actually played a sackbut Salamander, have you? No, case closed.
     
    #10 thomas15, Feb 25, 2008
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  11. thomas15

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    You are correct Ed, I guess we know who watched the show the most between the two of us.:laugh:
     
  12. Logos1560

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    Some of the translations on the KJV-only view’s own line of good Bibles vary in how they translate the word in the original language at Daniel 3:5. Wycliffe’s Bible has “sambuke,” Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, and Great Bibles have “shawmes,” Bishops’ Bible has “shawme,” and the Geneva and KJV have “sackbut.” Luther’s German Bible has “Geigen” [’violin‘ according to present German].

    Thus, the KJV seems to have followed the rendering of the Geneva Bible.


    The Oxford English Dictionary
    noted: “Coverdale 1535 (for what reason is not clear) renders the word by shawmes, thus taking it to denote a wind instrument; the Geneva translators, accepting this view, seem to have chosen the rendering ‘sackbut’ on account to its resemblance in sound to the Aramaic word” (XIV, p. 333). Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible suggested that the Geneva Bible translators used sackbut “from an impression that it was a form of the same word” (Vol. IV, p. 326). Laurence Vance, a KJV-only author, wrote: “The word was first used by the Geneva Bible for the obscure instrument in Nebuchadnezzar’s band due to its resemblance in sound to the underlying Aramaic word” (Archaic Words, p. 296). McClintock also suggested that the KJV “has evidently imitated the word [sambuca]” (Cyclopedia, III, p. 211).
     
  13. EdSutton

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    Actually, one of my long-time closest friends, and later my roommate at Bible College, already had the nickname of "Lurch" when he arrived at school over 37 years ago, and has kept it, even in his e-mail address, today. And I remembered the spelling of "Addams" all these years, because I had never seen that spelling before (or since) that show.

    BTW, I never saw very many episodes, nor any of the later movies, either, for I was simply not that interested.

    Now "The Hillbillies", "Gomer Pyle", "Jeannie" and "Bonanza", on the other hand...

    Ed
     
    #13 EdSutton, Feb 25, 2008
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  14. robycop3

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    Mighta been a forerunner of the Fender Stratocaster.....
     
  15. Logos1560

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    Besides the KJV's use of "sackbut" and the definitions of sackbut that refer to a wind instrument, what evidence substanciates the view that the word in the original language referred to a "wind instrument"?
     
  16. Logos1560

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    Here is some of the evidence that indicates that the word used here in the original languages referred to a stringed instrument. Wilson’s O. T. Word Studies defined the word as “a stringed instrument of music having four strings” (p. 364). The Davis Dictionary of the Bible asserted that “the name is evidently identical with the Greek sambuke, which was an instrument of music somewhat like the harp or lyre, but with only four strings” (p. 702). The Encyclopaedia Judaica suggested that the word sabbekha at Daniel 3:5 was Aramaized version of the Greek word sambyke (Vol. 12, p. 565). Theological Wordbook of the O. T. pointed out that “it is not sure whether the Greek borrowed from the Semitic or vice versa” (II, p. 1075). Either way, the Aramaic word and the Greek word would be referring to the same musical instrument. McClintock and Strong noted that “the sambuca was a triangular instrument with four or more strings played with the fingers” (Cyclopaedia, IX, p. 211). Fairbairn’s Standard Bible Encyclopaedia affirmed that it “was a stringed instrument” (Vol. IV, p. 313). Young’s Analytical Concordance defined or described sabbeka as a “harp-like instrument” (p. 829). Green’s Concise Lexicon gave this definition: “trigon, a triangular musical instrument with four strings, similar to a lyre” (p. 163). Fallows’ Bible Encyclopaedia characterized it as “a four-stringed triangular instrument like a harp” (IV, p. 1502).


    Bridges and Weigle maintained that the Aramaic word sabbeka “means a ’trigon,’ a triangular lyre or harp with four strings” (KJB Word Book, p. 294). In the text in his commentary on the book of Daniel, Edward J. Young translated the word as “trigon,” and in his comments he noted that “the Greek instrument was of triangular shape with four strings” (p. 87). In his commentary on Daniel, John Walvoord identified it as a stringed instrument (p. 84). Leon Wood referred to it as “a triangular instrument of four strings, playing high notes” in his commentary on Daniel (p. 83). In their commentary, Jamieson and Fausset have this note: “a triangular stringed instrument, having short strings, the sound being on a high sharp key” (I, p. 626). Keil and Delitzsch’s commentary has this description: “a four-stringed instrument, having a sharp, clear tone” (IV, p. 123). In its first volume on Daniel, Barnes’ Notes on the O. T. concluded that “it seems to have been a species of triangular lyre or harp” (p. 209).


    The Liberty Annotated Study Bible [KJV] has a marginal note “lyre” for “sackbut” (p. 1274). The Ryrie Study Bible [KJV] described it as “a triangular instrument with four strings that played high notes” (p. 1271). The Criswell Study Bible [KJV] indicated that it was “a four-stringed, musical piece with sharp, clear tone” (p. 982). The New Scofield Reference Bible has a marginal note that described it as “a stringed instrument, like a lute” (p. 900). Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible indicated that it is “another type of harp” (p. 859). The 1657 English translation of the Dutch Bible has a note that affirmed that “some render it an harp.“ The 1842 revision by Baptists has “lyre” instead of “sackbut.“ Furthermore, even the definition and note in Waite’s Defined KJB acknowledged that the word in the original languages referred to “a triangular musical instrument with four strings, similar to a lyre” (p. 1170). In his King James Bible Companion, KJV-only author David Daniels defined “sackbut” as “triangular, 4-stringed instrument, like a lyre.“ The Oxford English Dictionary maintained that the rendering sackbut “is a mistranslation of Aramaic sabbeka, which the LXX and Vulgate render (doubtless correctly) by Greek sambuke, Latin sambuca, the name of a stringed instrument” (XIV, p. 333). Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible maintained that “’sackbut’ is unsuitable, for two reasons: it is a wind instrument; and whereas the sambuca was particularly shrill, the sackbut had a deep note” (IV, p. 326). The 1895 Sunday-School Teachers’ Bible [KJV] has this note in its article on music in the Bible: “It [sabbeca] is wrongly translated ’sackbut’ instead of ’harp’” (p. 92).
     
  17. Salamander

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    Pure conjecture on your part and glad I can annoy you!

    What is truly a disgrace is you use your arrogance to concoct yet another attack on the King James Bible.

    The Sackbut was the most like what the same type of slide action described by the instrument of 656 B.C. is what they are saying.
     
  18. Salamander

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    Um, I suppose only that wind must have been incorporated to produce the sound.

    I know that today's references to wind instruments denotes the use of a reed.

    I wouldn't be so quick to under-estimate the reason for choosing the word "sackbut" since it is most likely to describe to the reader the slide action which seems to date all the way back to 656 B.C. and it doesn't matter who objects to that date, it remains.
     

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