Has any version translated Mark 7:3 literally?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Here is Mark 7:3 from the Greek TR --
    οἱ γὰρ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ πάντες οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἐὰν μὴ πυγμῇ νίψωνται τὰς χεῖρας οὐκ ἐσθίουσιν κρατοῦντες τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων
    I am primarily focusing on the word πυγμῇ (Strong's #4435) which can mean 'the fist, clenched hand', or 'up to the elbow'. Here's a sampling of popular versions --
    (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. (2011 NIV)

    (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions. (2007 NLT)

    (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, (ESV)

    (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; (NASB)

    For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. (KJV)

    (For the Pharisees, in fact all the Jews, will not eat unless they wash their hands ritually, keeping the tradition of the elders. (HCSB)

    (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing, holding fast to the tradition of the elders. (NET)

    Did you see "fist" or "elbow" in any of those renderings? Are the more formal translations very different here from the thought-based translations?
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Jan 21, 2014
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  2. franklinmonroe

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    A quote from the Pulpit Commentary on Mark 7 --

    Verse 3. - Except they wash their hands oft. The Greek word here rendered "oft" is πυγμῇ: literally, with the fist, i.e. with the closed hand, rubbing one against the other. This word has caused a vast amount of criticism; and the difficulty of explaining it seems to have led to the adoption of a conjectural reading (πυκνῷς or πυκνῇ) rendered "oft;" crebro in the Vulgate. But the Syriac Peshito Version renders the Greek word by a word which means "diligently," and it is interesting and helpful, as a matter of exegesis, to know that it also renders the Greek word (ἐπιμελῶς) in Luke 15:8 by the same Syriac synonym, "diligently." The "clenched fist" implies vigor and resolution, and points to "diligence," and there are very high authorities in favor of this rendering, as, Epiphanius, Isaac Casaubon, and Cornelius a Lapide, to say nothing of our best modern expositors. It is also adopted in the Revised Version. Holding the tradition of the elders. The Pharisees pretended that this tradition had been orally delivered by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, and then transmitted orally down to their time. These oral precepts were afterwards embodied in the Talmud.
     
  3. franklinmonroe

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    Actually there are several versions that have "fist" in their translation of Mark 7:3 --
    For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash the hands with the fist, holding the tradition of the elders.
    (KJ3 Literal Translation NT by Jay P. Green, 2006)

    For the Pharisees and all the Jews, if they do not wash their hands with [the] fist [fig., in the proper manner], do eat not, keeping the tradition of the elders.
    (ALT by Gary Zeolla, 2001)

    for the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat except they wash with the fist, holding to the tradition of the elders.
    (Literal and Consistent NT by Donald A. Nash, 1998)

    For the Pharisees and all the Jews, if ever they should not be washing the hands with the fist, are not eating, holding the tradition of the elders;
    (Concordant Literal NT by A.E. Knoch, 1983)

    For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands with a clinched fist, holding the tradition of the elders.
    (Purified Translation NT by Lorine L. Reynolds Foundation, 2000)

    For the Pharisees and all Jews, holding the tradition of the elders, do not eat without first washing the hands as far as the wrists;*
    (Translators NT by the BFBS, 1973)

    A few had footnotes, which I did not include here. Do individual translators render more literally than committees?
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, Jan 21, 2014
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  4. Rippon

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    You have made some important points Franklin.

    The so called literal,formally-equivalent,word-for-word,essentially literal translations fall significantly short of their much hyped publicity. They often use more dynamic,or shall we say --paraphrased renderings along with translations known to be much more free.

    Did I hear some say :"Often,but not as much." Ah ha,it is a matter of degree --not as if the NIV or even the NLT are so radically different than the ESV or NASBU in that respect.
     
  5. DocTrinsoGrace

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    Young's Literal Translation renders it:

    "for the Pharisees, and all the Jews, if they do not wash the hands to the wrist, do not eat, holding the tradition of the elders,"
     
  6. jonathan.borland

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    The KJV apparently abandons the Greek here, preferring to stick with the Latin crebro, "oft."
     
  7. Van

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    The ghoulish rubbing of hands into a cupped fist, like an undertaker, appears to be the manner of ceremonial washing. Anyway, it paints an apt picture for me. :)
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    NOMNE here suggest that ANY version is 100% literal and word for word, that would make us holding to interlinears alone as good versions, but you would agree that as a general philosophy, the formal versions such as Nasb/Nkjv are intended to adhere more closely to what the original language texts actually had recorded down, correct?

    more into keeping the sentence/structure/grammar/syntax, even if it reads 'more wooden/less normal?"
     
  9. Rippon

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    You quoted my post #4 and yet entirely disregarded it in your reply --why?
     
  10. franklinmonroe

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    Here is another that mentions "fist" --
    … will not eat unless they have washed hand against fist,
    (Lattimore, 1996) ​

    Two more that use "wrist" --
    … do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the wrist,
    (Kleist, 1956)

    … decline to eat till they wash their hands up to the wrist,
    (Moffatt NT, 1917) ​

    Here are some that render it as "elbow"--
    … never eat without washing their arm as far as the elbow;
    (Jerusalem NT, 1966)

    … do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow,
    (NWT, 1961)

    … do not eat without washing their hands up to the elbow,
    (Berkley, 1945)​
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    I was replying to that post, as thought you were stating there there was really no important differences between say Niv/Nasb regarding translation theories and results, and I am saying that there really is!
     
  12. Rippon

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    If you will note I was indicating that the commonalities between a number of versions outweigh the differences.

    Translation theory is one thing --the actual translation practice may not line up in the same manner as advertised. It's a case of real versus ideal. Most translations do not achieve their ideal --largely because it's not possible to fulfill competing demands.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    yes, for even though do the bulk of my study in the Nasb/esv, there are passages and portions where do actually prefer to us ethe Nlt!
     
  14. franklinmonroe

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    JOHN GILL
    except they wash their hands oft, eat not;
    or except they wash very cautiously, with great care, diligence, and exactness, as the Syriac version suggests; and about which there are various rules given, to be observed with great strictness . Some render the words, "they wash their hands to the elbow"; and this is a rule with the Jews, which is closely to be abode by, that the washing of hands is to be, (qrp de) , "to the joint", which joins the hand and arm together: particularly it is observed, that "washing of the hands for the eating of the offering, is unto the elbow, and for common food, to the joints of the fingers: he that eats with an ancient man, and does not wash his hands to the elbow, he may not eat with him.''

    MATTHEW HENRY
    We have here an account of the practice of the Pharisees and all the Jews, Mark 7:3,4. 1. They washed their hands oft they washed them, pygme the critics find a great deal of work about that word, some making it to denote the frequency of their washing (so we render it) others think it signifies the pains they took in washing their hands they washed with great care, they washed their hands to their wrists (so some) they lifted up their hands when they were wet, that the water might run to their elbows. ...

    ADAM CLARKE
    Except they wash their hands - πυγμῃ, the hand to the wrist - Unless they wash the hand up to the wrist, eat not. Several translations are given of this word; that above is from Dr. Lightfoot, who quotes a tradition from the rabbins, stating that the hands were to be thus washed. This sort of washing was, and still continues to be, an act of religion in the eastern countries. It is particularly commanded in the Koran, Surat v. ver. 7, "O believers, when ye wish to pray, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows - and your feet up to the ankles." Which custom it is likely Mohammed borrowed from the Jews. The Jewish doctrine is this: "If a man neglect the washing, he shall be eradicated from this world." But instead of πυγμῃ, the fist or hand, the Codex Bezae has πυκνῃ, frequently: and several of the Itala have words of the same signification. Bathing is an indispensable prerequisite to the first meal of the day among the Hindoos; and washing the hands and the feet is equally so before the evening meal. Ward's Customs.
     
  15. Jerome

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    Not sure why this has not been included yet:

    KJB margin:

    "Or, diligently, in the Originall, with the fist: Theophilact, up to the elbow."
     
  16. jonathan.borland

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    Nice one, Jerome. I so wish my Bible software KJV included the marginal notes!
     
  17. franklinmonroe

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    No slight against the KJV intended. Many of the versions I quoted had a footnote which I chose not to include at the time. Additionally, the thread was not intended to focus on the KJV's rendering.
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    what software are you using?
     
  19. franklinmonroe

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    I have several KJVs and only the 1611 reprints have these notes (not the ones I typically read).

    Do I understand this correctly: the KJV men knew that the Greek meant "with the fist" but chose to render it "oft"? This note seems to preclude the idea that they formally followed the Latin here.

    So then, does this mean that their rendering is so 'dynamic' that it does not include any reference to hand/wrist/elbow anatomy? Or is this an idiom?
     
    #19 franklinmonroe, Jan 24, 2014
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  20. Yeshua1

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    was it a wrong/mistaken rendering in the translation then?
     

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