Copyist Error in KJV?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by InTheLight, May 30, 2012.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    Solomon begins to build the temple. Although the length and width was the same--20 cubits--in the KJV the height is 6X that dimension or 120 cubits.

    2 Chronicles 3:4 And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.

    This does not seem correct. Surely it should be 20 cubits (about 30 ft.) in height as well. I doubt the temple was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 180 feet tall!
     
  2. Greektim

    Greektim
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    This is not just in the KJV.
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    There's actually a variant in the Hebrew here. Looks a scribe missed a "H" in the text and it changed the meanings. So it isn't an error in the KJV, they just didn't know about it during the last revision 150 years ago (or so.) Also, the Hebrew is difficult here, it's a confusing way to describe the building.

    As for the height, nope that's what the Hebrew says. 120 cubits tall. But that is the variant, Syriac version corrects it but all the modern versions have 120 cubits.
     
  4. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    So it's a copyist error that predates the KJV?

    Indeed. In 3:13 the cherubims are described:

    KJV: and their faces were inward. (??)
    NIV: facing the main hall.
    NASB: facing the main room.
    HCSB: faced the larger room

    NIV has 20 cubits for the height, HCSB has height of 30 feet (20 cubits)
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Yes.

    Chronicles is clearly a post-exillic document written after the Babylonian captivity to try to rally the remaining Israelites. Given the nature of its Hebrew the book is complicated and difficult to translate. The passage in 3:13 is difficult as well, using non-specific language that necessitates understanding of the original context. The KJV isn't wrong to say "their faces were inward" but it could be clearer. Perhaps the intent is that the cherubim were facing inward, towards the house, looking at the nave.

    Yeah, I shouldn't have said all. Never goes well when you do that. Some modern versions have 120. Any change reflects a scholarly insertion and does not, actually, reflect the current text. (Or it just takes the variant...which is okay too.) This happens a lot in modern versions and isn't a bad thing. There are minor tweaks and twists we need to allow for in the tranmission process of Scripture. :)
     

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