For KJV Adherents--What Does this Passage Mean?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by InTheLight, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    I ran across this in my readings recently. I read the KJV because I'm used to it and I like my KJV study bible. But these two verses threw me for a loop. My study bible had footnotes explaining the verses, but I'd like to challenge hard core KJV adherents to explain what these verses mean without consulting another translation, a commentary, or study Bible notes.

    Psalm 35:15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:

    16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.



    The abject tear me and I knew it not? Hypocritical mockers in feasts? Gnashing upon me with their teeth?
     
    #1 InTheLight, Jun 28, 2011
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  2. DiamondLady

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    I'm going to assume you're serious here. Basically....this is a Psalm of David and he was feeling pity for himself. He's talking about people who speak against him, slander him, threaten him, that when he made a mistake they all were glad . If you go on he's asking God to take vengance against them....a sort of "get even with them for me."
     
  3. InTheLight

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    Thank you for your summary of the chapter.

    Yes, I was serious. I'm simply trying to point out that while the KJV is a great translation, there are problems with the old style English. For example, what are "hypocritical mockers at feasts"? And what is "gnashing upon me with their teeth?"

    Those two phrases back-to-back, if taken literally as is the KJV style of translation, might give the impression that there are people at feasts that bite David.

    My study Bible footnotes says that "hypocritical mockers at feasts" are people dressed up in colorful clothes that hurl insults laced with profanity ("gnash upon me with their teeth") at people as entertainment. Essentially court jesters whose job it is do denigrate people. Reading the KJV you would never get that interpretation.
     
  4. Baptist4life

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    I find it hard to believe that
    yet you found that pretty simple to understand passage confusing.


    Methinks someone is "pot stirring".
     
  5. Amy.G

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    It's not always just the old English that is difficult, but also the literalness of the verses that makes it hard to understand. The NASB reads very similar but does not use old English.

    15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together;
    The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me,
    They slandered me without ceasing.
    16 Like godless jesters at a feast,
    They gnashed at me with their teeth.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    So would you say that the word 'backbiting' might mistakingly be seen as biting someone on the back'?
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Like you I also use the KJV quite a bit. I have to say that the passage did not cause me any problems - the picture was very clear.
     
  8. InTheLight

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    No, however, if the word was used in the same sentence as food, it might give me pause.

    Example. Supposing this was in Proverbs:

    "He who backbites at meat shall be considered foolish."

    Now, people accustomed to reading the KJV wouldn't be confused and would know that the passage meant people that say spiteful things at meal times are foolish. Your average person? Might have trouble with it.
     
  9. InTheLight

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    Methinks thou art wrong. :laugh:

    How many of you would have gotten the meaning of a jester out of "hypocritical mocker"?
     
  10. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Don't know - am not sure I would have had that exact image, but the effect would have been the same. Is there a translation around that uses 'jester' there that would be more clear than the KJV? The NKJV uses 'ungodly mockers.' The ESV uses 'profane mockers.' Neither of those major modern translations give the image of a 'jester' either.

    'Hypocritical mocker' makes me think of Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets - I think that is a pretty clear image of what the psalmist is describing, and what they do is definitely 'gnashing.'

    I think the KJV guys did a pretty good job here -as good as any modern translation does for their time.
     
    #10 NaasPreacher (C4K), Jun 29, 2011
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  11. InTheLight

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    AmyG posted the passage from the NASB that uses 'jester'.

    I think the word 'jester' would have fit the times of the KJV better than 'hypocritical mocker.'
     
    #11 InTheLight, Jun 29, 2011
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  12. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Which proves one thing - we each have an opinion :).
     
  13. kingjamespreacher

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    As in many of the Psalms, this is a picture of the crucifixion. See also Psalm 22:11-19 where the phrase "They gaped upon me with their mouths" is equal to "gnashed". Acts 7:54 says "gnashed" but they did not bite him here as they did not come close to him till verse 57. Scripture with Scripture.
     
    #13 kingjamespreacher, Jun 30, 2011
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  14. revmwc

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    Sounds a lot like the members of the church I pastored. In the end they stabbed me in the back.
     

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