Eagles or vultures?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    While I'm not exactly known as a rabid KJVO, I don't agree with everything from the Freedom Reader side either, & in fact will give the KJVOs credit the few times they ARE right.

    One of these instances is in Luke 17:37 where the KJV & some other versions says 'eagles', while the NIV & some other versions say 'vultures'. Here, 'eagles is CORRECT, for the following reasons:

    1.) The GREEK here is 'aetos', which means 'eagle'. Jesus certainly knew eagles from vultures.

    2.) The eagles found in Judea & its surroundings certainly WERE frequent scavengers. While they are capable of taking their own prey, of course, they prefer to eat carrion that's not too gamey yet. This includes the European sea eagle, a large bird that often drives off all other birds from a dead animal it spots. In fact, the leading cause of eagle mortality worldwide is being struck by motor vehicles while eating roadkill. Most species of eagle cannot rapidly fly from the ground to get outta harm's way & thus are often killed on the roads.

    Summary:"Eagles" is correct; "vultures" is incorrect. While no doctrine is changed either way by this, let's give one to the KJVOs this time.

    I have other LEGITIMATE examples of where the KJV has the most-correct translation, or where the Freedom Reader objection isn't correct. Anyone else who has any, please post'em here.
     
  2. Deacon

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    Roby a KJVO??? :laugh:
    That's the best you can do?
    Words need to be translated in context to their meaning.
    Some translations ignore the meaning and translate a word in a woodenly literal way,
    Others are interested in conveying the meaning of the words in the way it was when it was spoken or written.

    What exactly does the verse mean in the KJV?
    It's unclear to me!

    The Latin translation reads:
    qui dixit eis ubicumque fuerit corpus illuc congregabuntur aquilae

    In the Greek 'soma' can mean body or corpse.
    Obviously the Latin translated it as corpse.

    Even early in the history of translation they understood what it was refering to.

    Aquilae is a type of eagle (unclear of what type) which were know at the time as scavengers.

    Now, at least in America we look at the Eagle as a noble bird, that is not the type of bird the verse is refering to.

    "Eagle" is a correct translation of the word; "vulture" is correct if we are looking to convey the meaning of the verse.

    Rob
     
    #2 Deacon, Apr 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2007
  3. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    There is a difference between KJVs
    (words of Jesus in red):

    Luke 17:37 (KJHV1611 Edition):
    And they answered, and said vnto him,
    Where, Lord? And he said vnto them,
    Wheresoeuer the body is,
    thither will the Eagles be gathered together.


    Luke 17:37 (KJHV1769 Edition, Authorized Version):
    [FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]And they answered and said unto him,
    Where, Lord? And he said unto them,
    Wheresoever the body is,
    thither will the eagles be gathered together
    .

    Why is the modern day capitalization of
    pronouns to honor members of the Holy Trinity
    not followed?

    [/FONT]
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Huh???? You can't have it both ways!
     
  5. robycop3

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    In the Greek, 'aetos' means 'eagle'.

    In Latin, 'aquila' means 'eagle'.

    Jesus said 'aetos', not 'gypas'.

    And eagles often DO scavenge, especially if they find a large dead animal that's fairly fresh.

    As i said, Deacon, when the KJVOs are right, which is rare, I give'em credit.

    Ed, I cannot answer why the rules of punctuation weren't followed as WE follow'em. I aint that mucha an expert in my own tongue.
     
  6. Deacon

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    Check out Matthew Henry (1662-1714) who expounds upon the unclear rendering of the verse in the KJV.
    Sounds very much like the modern versions.

    "...wherever a dead carcase is, the birds of prey will smell it out, "
    Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible

    In fact I like it better than the modern versions!

    Rob
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Here's another where the KJV gets it right.

    "It is good for a man not to touch a woman."--KJV

    "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman."--ESV

    The Greek here is haptomai, which is the normal word for touch, not some special word for sexual relations. The word occurs 33 times in the Greek NT, including whenever Jesus touched someone to heal them, and this verse is the only place where the context indicates sexual activity.

    In many of the modern versions there is a rush to modernize and revise that sometimes produces bizarre results.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I think robycop has shown that the KJV rendering here is not at all unclear.
     
  9. Hope of Glory

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    Well, let me start out with a quote from the BDAG (I deleted the keys to the abbreviations):

    ἀετός, οῦ, ὁ (since Hom., who, as do many after him, writes αἰετός early Attic [cp. Jos., Bell. 5, 48]; ins, pap, LXX; Test12Patr, ParJer; ApcMos 33; Jos., Bell. 1, 650f, Ant. 17, 151; Tat. 10, 1f; DELG s.v. αἰετός) eagle symbol of swiftness Rv 12:14 (s. Ezk 17:3, 7); cp. 4:7; 8:13 (s. Boll 37f; 113f—ἀ. πετόμενος as Job 9:26). Eating carrion, in the proverb (cp. Job 39:30) ἐκεῖ (ἐπι)συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀ. Mt 24:28; Lk 17:37 (where vulture is meant; Aristot., HA 9, 32, 592b, 1ff, and Pliny, Hist. Nat. 10, 3 also class the vulture among the eagles; TManson, Sayings of Jesus ’54, 147, emphasizes the swiftness of the coming of the Day of the Son of Man). Moses forbade eating of its flesh B 10:1, 4 (Dt 14:12; Lev 11:13).—M-M.​

    Now, seeing that it can be either, does it matter?

    I can tell you from experience, that first of all, not every eagle is the bald eagle that we like to think of, and second of all, bald eagles are carrion eaters. They will eat anything dead, just like a vulture.

    I'm posting a couple of photos. One of them is from the dump, the other is from a place where a lady dumps fish carcasses. (We have the most beautiful dump in the world, BTW.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Good post, HofG. :thumbs:
     
  11. Deacon

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    Beautiful pics. We’ve got eagles in the northeast but nothing like that!

    I’ve gotten up close and personal to them while canoeing the upper Delaware in early summer.
    The eagles scavenge the dead Shad along the banks.

    Another commentary:
    In Re 12.14 the emphasis is upon strength and speed, and therefore a term meaning ‘eagle’ is probably more satisfactory, but in Mt 24.28 (and the parallel passages in Lk 17.37) the reference is to the eating of dead flesh, and therefore a word meaning ‘vultures’ is more appropriate.
    The basic distinction between eagles and vultures is that the former either capture their prey or feed upon dead carcasses, while vultures only feed upon dead carcasses. Only in the Western Hemisphere are there two distinct families of birds: (1) birds of prey, which also feed upon dead bodies (eagles) and (2) vultures, which never take live prey, but only feed upon carcasses.
    Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (1:44).

    Concerning the verse mentioned by Robycop (Lu 17:37),
    I find it curious that in the parallel verse (Mt 24:28) Luke uses the word “body” rather than “corpse” considering his profession. Wonder why?

    I too have found a few places (particularity in the OT) where I prefer a more literal rendering of an idiom rather than a dynamic equivalent.
    Just my preference....

    Rob
     
  12. robycop3

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    Whole point is, I tryta be FAIR about it. When the KJVOs are right, which isn't too often, I'm not afraid to admit they're right. Same when the Freedom Readers are wrong...I'm not afraidta admit it. Fair is FAIR.

    I gave the example of the "voice of the turtle" being proper 17th C. usage & that the Freedom Readers who raked the KJV for having that phrase were wrong.

    And although I give those examples, I don't believe too many folks will mistake me for a KJVO.
     
  13. franklinmonroe

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    I find the KJV very often correct, but every version I have reviewed has both strengths and weakness. I hope to offer some strong KJV examples later, but for now much can be discussed about this verse.

    I have appealed to dozens of sources and versions and have found them fairly evenly split upon the rendering of "eagles" and "vultures". Some legitimate sources cite that aetos (Strong's #109) can also mean "vulture", as described in other posts. Because there is good scholarship to uphold either position, I wouldn't objectively declare "eagles" the correct translation.

    It is true that eagles generally will suppliment their diet with carrion. However, this does not seem to be most species preference, nor the attribute by which they are most commonly recognized. Most eagles are biologicaly classified in the Accipitridae sub-family of Buteoninae which includes hawks and buzzards.

    Actually, the difference is significant between those that prefer "eagles" to those that prefer "vultures" and seems to be necessary for their overall interpretation of the passage. For example, swiftness can be emphasized if using "eagles", or the military symbolism (specifically, the Roman standard).
     
    #13 franklinmonroe, Apr 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2007
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Ummmmmm. Nah! [​IMG]
     
  15. John of Japan

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    I'm still going to stick with eagles. The word occurs 4 times in the NT: Matt. 24:28 and Luke 17:37 might have the possibility of "vulture" but Rev. 4:7 and Re 12:14 certainly do not IMO. Also, there are distinct words in Hebrew for both eagle and vulture, so the 1st century Jews would have distinguished them clearly IMO.

    Besides, if it is not eagles, how would we be able to find the US in the Bible? :smilewinkgrin: :smilewinkgrin:
     
  16. franklinmonroe

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    In his Douay-Rheims-onlyism work entitled Which Bible Should You Read? (2001), Thomas A. Nelson (not affiliated with the well-known 'Christian' publishing company) uses the similarly worded verse from Matthew chapter 24 as one of many sample passages to support his belief that the Douay-Rheims is the only Word of God in English.

    Mr. Nelson compares the "body" (the Rheims reads "body" in both Matthew and Luke) to the Eucharistic Body of Christ, and states that the "eagles" are the Saints of the Catholic Church. He interpretes this verse to be a prophecy concerning the Mass (an allusion to feeding on "living flesh"). He writes that Catholics "soar high above the rest of mankind like eagles with sharp eyesight and a wide perspective...". Of course, he insists that the traditional "eagles" brought from the Latin Vulgate must be retained --
    All this meaning comes forth out of one short, compact verse of Scripture! And a person can see from this one short verse just how very rich, how poetic, how incredibly powerful the Bible can be, even in English... when properly translated! (pg.32)​
    He cites several versions, including the Catholic NAB and Jerusalem Bible, which use "vultures". He writes of them--
    Gone is the prophecy! Gone is the poetry! Gone is the beautiful symbolism! Gone are the consolation and hope! And in their place? At best a trite little truism. (pg.33)​
    According to Mr. Thomas "the Greek-speaking St. Jerome would surely called them vultures" if that was what the manuscripts intended. This is just an example of how the translated English words can become significant in the interpretation and meaning of the text.
     
    #16 franklinmonroe, Apr 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2007
  17. franklinmonroe

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    I concur.
    Unfortunately, no Greek word is translated as "vulture" the KJV's New Testament. Probably, Jesus originally spoke in Aramaic here, and thus those Hebrew words may be of little consequence, right?
     
  18. Keith M

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    Whew! You had me scared 'n confused for a minute there!

    :laugh: :thumbs: :confused: ;)
     
  19. Deacon

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    ...and since it's common knowledge that Luke was a physician, he obviously took courses in taxonomy and would clearly communicate the difference with inerrant precision.

    Rob
     
  20. franklinmonroe

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    Although similarly worded, these two passages cannot be assumed to be parallel.

    One difference has already been noticed, that the wording is not the same from Matthew to Luke. What, if anything, does this mean? Secondly, the Matthew verse is part of the Olivet Discourse, while the Luke verse seems to be an entirely separate occassion. Other differences can be seen in the contexts; for example, the reference to the 'one taken, and the other left' (v. 40-41) occurs after Jesus speaks of "eagles" (or vultures) in Matthew, while in Luke the 'one taken, and the other left' (v.34-36) occurs before the parable.

    There are numerous interpretations (see previous post for a Catholic view). Who (or what) is represented by the "body": is it Jesus? is the Jerusalem? is the Jewish religion? How is Jesus answering their question (Where...?): will there be an obvious sign that can be seen afar off? or will it come so suddenly and unexpectedly that signs will only come after the event has occurred?

    It seems that those taken in Luke are seized for judgment or destruction, while the implication in Matthew seems to be that those taken are received by the Lord. Is it possible that "eagles" is a better picture for the meaning in Matthew, and "vultures" is a better fit in Luke?
     
    #20 franklinmonroe, Apr 25, 2007
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