Flatter or deceive?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    Psalm 78:36 in the KJV sez, "Nevertheless they did FLATTER him(God) with their mouth..."

    while some newer versions say 'deceive' insteada 'flatter'.

    The Hebrew word here is 'pathah', which can be either flatter or deceive.

    Some KJVOs object to the 'deceive' rendering because God cannot be deceived. But neither can He be flattered! However the people described in the Psalm thought they were getting away with flattering or deceiving God.

    Can the Hebrew readers here shed a little light on this subject, please? Is either 'flatter' or 'deceive' correct in this verse? Is it simply a matter of translators' choice? After all, the KJV renders 'pathah' as 'deceive' eight times and as 'flatter' only twice.
     
  2. franklinmonroe

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    As you mentioned, "the KJV renders pathah as 'deceive' eight times and as 'flatter' only twice", but that is not the 'whole story': first, the Hebrew word is most often translated as "entice" (10 times) as well as "persuade", "allure", and some others; second, in none of those occurrences where the KJV has "deceive" is the deception towards God.

    I agree that God cannot be deceived and therefore I think that "flatter" is better than "deceive" here. To "flatter" is to give insincere or excessive praise, but it does not have to be believed or have any affect on the intended person. These words reflect badly upon the flatterer, not the target of the flattery.

    However, by definition to "deceive" is to cause the recipient of the deception to believe what is not true; if the target of the deception does not accept what is false, then logically there was no deception (only an attempt). Being deceived does tend to reflect poorly on the intended victim. Notice Psalm 78:36 in its entirety (KJV) --
    Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.​

    Correspondingly, to lie is to give false witness, but it does not have to be accepted or believed by the recipient; unbelieved by the target of the liar, a lie still remains a lie. The false statement reflect badly upon the speaker, not the audience of the lie.

    Additionally, both flattery and lying are essentially verbal falsehoods ("mouth" and "tongues" in the verse); but a deception can be created by non-verbal means (think about an illusionists' slight-of-hand). So, I think God can be lied to (but He will not be deceived by a lie). I think God can be flattered (but He will not be taken in or impressed by flattery).
     
    #2 franklinmonroe, Nov 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2008
  3. TC

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    From E-Sword
    Strong's definition
    I see no problem with either one. The people were telling God what they thought he wanted to hear while their hearts were far from him. God was not deceived or flattered by this behavior.
     
  4. Salamander

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    Flattery does not always hold to being a lie. Maybe it is in the eye of the one being flattered, but the one flattering can be very honest in their remarks.

    The objection is in the NASB where it is renderd "deceived". Even the op determines the misuse and misleading of the term found in the NASB.

    When one has a telephone pole in their face they're bound to see some creosote.:wavey:

    The context shows they did lie to the Lord and tried to decive Him. Even FLM sees this for what it really is, so does the Lord.:godisgood:
     
  5. Marcia

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    The words might be factual but the intentions are hidden. Flattery is misleading because one is using words only to manipulate or to get what one wants. So in a way, flattery is deception. This is not an honest way of speaking.

    See the thread on Flattery in Baptist Theology and Bible Study.
     
  6. Marcia

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    I tried to edit my post but am having so much trouble with the wireless connection. The page showed my edited version but when I hit "save" it went back to what I had.

    This is better wording:
    The words might be factual but the intentions are hidden. Flattery is misleading because one is using words only to manipulate or to get what one wants. So in a way, flattery is deception. This is not an honest way of speaking.

    See the thread on Flattery in Baptist Theology and Bible Study.
     
  7. Salamander

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    Not always. I do flatter my wife for GOOD reason! It helps her overcome some things only women go through.:eek: :love2: :eek:
     

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