Darby's Translation and Dispensationalism

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    In my thread on revisions, I asked Smyth at least twice to start a new thread to air his concerns about Darby's version and whether or not it illegitimately injected his theology into the translation. So far, in the verses Smyth persisted in referencing on that thread, every one of Darby's renderings was permissible according to the Greek. If, as a translation consultant, my African translators had suggested those renderings, I would have allowed them. Smyth, having no apparent knowledge of the Greek (though he pontificated on it in that thread, was reduced to an appeal to context. I want to consider context and semantics in the "about to" rendering he objected to in particular.

    Here it is Luke 24:21 in the KJV: "But we hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel. Yea and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things came to pass."

    Here it is in Darby's version: "But we had hoped that he was [the one] who is about to redeem Israel. But then, besides all these things, it is now, to-day, the third day since these things took place."

    What Smyth objects to is the use of the phrase "about to" to translate the Greek present active participle of μέλλω (mello). However, this word in the same form (though with different case and number) is translated exactly the same elsewhere in the KJV: Acts 3:3 and 20:1, and Heb. 8:5,

    Then he switched to saying the context forbids the Darby rendering. However, he has yet to say how the context does that, so I'll wait on that nugget to comment further on the context.

    To continue, Smyth is wrong in his understanding of the English language here. In the English as in the Greek, the "about to" phrase is governed by the verb "had hoped." Darby's translation as well as the KJV connects the "about to" to a hope that Jesus (before His death) would redeem Israel--that is, take His place as literal King. So in Darby's rendering, the "about to" remains in the past, and is not in any way, shape or form an endorsement of dispensationalism. it has the same meaning as the KJV: We thought Jesus was going to institute an earthly kingdom, but He didn't, so we, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, are unsure what to think.

    Smyth will reply that Darby said "is about to," present tense. His problem then is explaining why ἐστιν, (estin), the present active indicative of the Greek "to be" verb, should not be translated with a present tense.

    So, Smyth, two things: what in the context forbids Darby's rendering, and why should the Greek for "is" (present tense) not be translated with a present tense?
     
  2. John of Japan

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    Let me add that when I challenged Smyth to name a single Greek scholar who agreed with him that the JW version of John 1:1 was possible according to the Greek, he simply listed some translations that did not translate with "is about to." in Luke 24:21. This is not the same as saying that Darby was wrong, so my challenge remains. Find a single Greek scholar who says that "is about to" in Luke 24:21 is a mistaken translation.
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

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    And in my years as a dispensationalist, I don't remember any one relying on or quoting Darby's translation in support of their position.
     
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  4. Van

    Van
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    I found five translations that rendered it "about to," (BLB, HCSB, Darby, Weymouth, and YLT.) Others had "going to" such as NASB , NET and NAS. So it does not seem to be an agenda driven translation.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    While I wait for Smyth to reply here (should he so choose--it's up to him), let me just mention my terminology. When I say a translation is "mistaken," I mean it does not accurately reflect the original language. When I say it is "permissible," I mean it can be justified from the original language text. This does not mean I would translate a particular verse just like Darby or anyone else.

    Let me also say that yes, theological suppositions can drive a rendering when there is ambiguity. All translators translate according to their theological presuppositions. The JW Bible is certainly that way. The RSV translators did that when they rendered "young woman" for "virgin."

    Did Darby translate according to his dispensational presuppositions? Probably, though Smyth has yet to prove it. Does that mean his translation was wrong in the passages in which he did this? Not so far. His renderings that have been accused of being overly dispensational have so far been permissible. You know, you can disagree with how someone translates without calling them heretical or even mistaken. That's why we Baptists have as a distinctive the priesthood of the believer.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Another Darby rendering Smyth objected to was 2 John 7:

    7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (KJV)
    7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, they who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in flesh--this is the deceiver and the antichrist. (DBY)

    Here is my discussion of that from the other thread, Post #72:

    I will further note that the use of "coming" by Darby does not necessarily mean in the future in English. We often refer to events of the past with the word "coming." Example: "Was the coming of Obama to the White House a good thing?" Or, "The first coming of Jesus changed the world, as the second coming will."

    In my view, the Darby rendering of 2 John 7 is ambiguous. It could refer to His first or His second coming, either one.
     
  7. Smyth

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    I have no problem explaining why ἐστιν should not be translated present tense, as I have already explained. Luke 24:21 refers to a past event and past expectation, not a current event with a future expectation. This meaning is not in dispute, so why defend (Darby) a rendering that does not equal the undisputed meaning?

    But, the Greek is present tense? So? The Greek is written in a style that is different from modern English. Part of the translation process isn't just to replace the words themselves, but to also change the grammar to match the target language.
     
  8. Smyth

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    Yes, I've already noted that the Darby translation is so poor that even none of his followers use his translation.
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    You are wrong about the Greek in this case. The Greek present tense in this verse is not the historic present, which can be used to refer to past events with the Greek present tense. It is a normal present tense and can thus be translated as an English present tense.

    Stop pretending you know the Greek language. It's unbecoming and demeans you. You are better than that, as I have seen from your other posts on the BB.
     
  10. Smyth

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    What are you talking about? When history is being talked about, the past tense should be used, as nearly all English translations do with regards to the verse in question. Muttering that I'm ignorant of Greek is not an argument.
     
  11. TCassidy

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    But it is true, as you have demonstrated over and over and over again.
     
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  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    And I reply that your reply proves that you do not know Greek. In Greek the aorist and perfect and pluperfect tenses are the past tenses. There is also the present and future.

    Normally one of those three past tenses is used in the indicative mood for past events (but not the subjunctive or infinitive or participle). Now, in Greek when the author is describing a past event and wants to be vivid, he can use the present tense to describe the past event. This is called the historical use of the present. It is normally translated into English with a past tense.

    In the verse under discussion, there is no historical present, but only a normal present. That is why Darby translated it with a present tense--because the Greek had a present tense that was not the historical present.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I'm not a follower of Darby, though I am a dispensationalist. But you see, we don't need Darby's translation to prove dispensationalism, and I don't ever refer to it in my Dispensational Theology class. The KJV (NASB, NKJV, etc.) will do fine. :p
     
  14. Smyth

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    You're not Darby's follower, but you're following his doctrines? No, the KJV, NASB, and NKJV, etc. do not do fine supporting Dispensation doctrine. That's why when Dispensationalists defend their doctrine, it's rank pleading. "The church is Raptured in Revelation at the end of chapter 3 because the word church isn't mentioned after chapter 3". Well, except for the members of church being mentioned throughout the book of Revelation and Revelation 22:16 telling us that the things in Revelation are for the Church.
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Please take your anti-dispensationalist prejudice to the theological forum. I'm not interested in the discussion, myself. I'm on the BB mainly for translation discussions.
     
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  16. Smyth

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    Okay, keeping it to translation, how do you think Darby translated Revelation 22:16? You don't need to know Greek to know that Darby wouldn't want to translate to say that the things in Revelation are for, upon, the church.

    ἔπεμψα τὸν ἄγγελόν μου μαρτυρῆσαι ὑμῖν ταῦτα ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις

    ἐπὶ means to superimpose, making "upon" the best translation. But, Darby chooses to translate as if it's the word "ἐν", because he doesn't want the things in Revelation to apply to the church. (Yeah, yeah, if I weren't so ignorant of Greek, I'd know that "in" is permissible.)
     
  17. TCassidy

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    Revelation 22:16

    DARBY 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify these things to you in the assemblies. I am the root and offspring of David, the bright [and] morning star.

    KJV I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

    BISHOPS BIBLE I Iesus sent myne angell, to testifie vnto you these thynges in ye Churches. I am the roote and the generation of Dauid, and the bryght mornyng starre.

    WEBSTER I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning-star.

    GENEVA I Iesus haue sent mine Angell, to testifie vnto you these things in the Churches: I am the roote and the generation of Dauid, and the bright morning starre.

    DOUAY-RHEIMS Jesus have sent my angel, to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and stock of David, the bright and morning star.

    NKJV “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
     
    #17 TCassidy, Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  18. McCree79

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    I have Darby's Translation on my phone but never use it. All this talk makes me want to check it out. Hahaha


    Sent from my LGLS990 using Tapatalk
     
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  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I just have a few minutes--faculty in-service today. All I can say is no, Darby did not translate epi like en, he translated it like epi, which has a wide range of meaning, including the meaning which he gave it in this passage.

    Here is Friberg on the word:

    epi, preposition with a basic meaning on, but with a wide range of meanings according to the context; I. with the genitive emphasizing contact; (1) in answer to "where?" on (LU 2.14); (2) with verbs of motion answering "to what place? where?" on, in (HE 6.7); (3) expressing immediate proximity at, by, near (JN 21.1 ); (4) in legal procedures in the presence of, before an official court (AC 25.10); (5) figuratively, related to rule and authority over (RO 9.5); (6) figuratively; (a) as giving a basis on the basis or evidence of (1T 5.19); (b) based on, in view of ( LU 4.25 ); (7) as relating in historical timing in the time of, under (the rule of) ( MK 2.26); II. with the dative emphasizing position; (1) of place on, in (MK 6.39); of proximity at, near, by (MT 24.33); (2) of hostility against (LU 12.52); (3) of time at, in, in the time of, during (HE 9.26); (4) of cause or occasion because, on account of, on the basis of, from (the fact that) (RO 5.12); (5) figuratively, of aim or purpose for (the purpose of) (EP 2.10); (6) figuratively, of power, authority, control over (LU 12.44); III. with the accusative emphasizing motion or direction; (1) of place on (MT 14.29); across, over (MT 27.45); as far as, to, up to (MK 16.2 ); (2) of hostile intent against (MT 26.55); (3) figuratively, of goal or purpose for ( MT 3.7); (4) figuratively, of making addition to something already present on, on top of (PH 2.27 ); (5) figuratively, in relation to feelings that are directed toward a person or thing: (believe) on (AC 9.42), (hope) for (1P 1.13), (have compassion) on, toward (MT 15.32), etc.; (6) of extension of time, answering "when?" or "for how long?" for, over a period of (LU 4.25 ); (7) to indicate number, in answering "how many times?" with ev. untranslated (AC 10.16 ); (8) to indicate degree or measure, in answering "how much?" evfv o[son to the degree that, insofar as ( MT 25.40); ev. to. cei/ron to the worse, from bad to worse (2T 3.13)
     
  20. Rob_BW

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    No such thing as bad press, eh?
     

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