How Various Bible Translations Would Handle the Pledge of Allegiance

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by InTheLight, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    KJV
    Thine loyal servant pledgeth fealty to the banner of the United States of America, and to republicanism for which it doth stand, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all men.

    NKJV
    I pledge my allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to its republic which it represents, one nation, under God*, undividable, with liberty and justice for all.
    * early mss. do not include "under God".

    NIV
    I promise to be loyal to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic that it represents, one nation that will not be divided, with freedom and justice for everyone.

    ESV
    I promise my loyalty to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic which it represents, one nation, undividable, with liberty and justice for you all.

    The Message
    I promise to be loyal and true to the flag of the United States of America, and to the form of democratic government that it symbolizes, one nation that cannot be broken up into separate parts, with freedom, liberty, and justice for all people.

    Feel free to add to the list.
     
    #1 InTheLight, Jun 10, 2015
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  2. John of Japan

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    Change "Thine" to "Thy," then "pledgeth" to "doth pledge" and you have it. Reasons: "thine" only appears before vowels and the letter h. "Pledgeth" is the undefined form, so "doth" is preferable to show the present action taking place with the pledge.
     
    #2 John of Japan, Jun 10, 2015
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  3. InTheLight

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    I had "doth pledge" at first but since I also have "doth stand" I changed it. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  4. Jerome

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    Huh?

    You might want to check out I Chron. 21:24 and Job 4:6 for starters.
     
  5. Jerome

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    You might want to rethink this too.
     
  6. Salty

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    So how did the translantion commite respond when you mentinoned that back in 1611?:smilewinkgrin:
     
  7. rsr

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    Thy always is the equivalent of your. Thine can be the equivalent of either you or yours, depending on whether is precedes a word that begins with a vowel. Unfortunately, many words that once had an unpronounced consonant (heart, for example) now have a pronounced consonant, so you have to know how the word was pronounced at the time or assume that the modern pronunciation is correct. This is similar to the a vs. an rule; an historic assumes that the h is not pronounced, but nowadays it almost always is, so a is correct.

    Either doth pledge or pledgeth is grammatically correct; doth pledge is the emphatic tense.
     
    #7 rsr, Jun 10, 2015
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  8. John of Japan

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    The case of 1 Chron. 21:24 is different from the syntax in our discussion. In that passage the "thine" is perfectly proper because it does not directly precede the noun of which it is the possessive (in which case the previously mentioned rule would apply).

    In Job 4:6, technically the rule would apply, but probably for style's sake the "thy" was retained. But I'm not one who says the KJV is perfect. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. John of Japan

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    Naw, I don't think I will. :smilewinkgrin:

    What is involved is called verbal aspect, which is how the verb describes the action and is different from tense. In this case the aspect is of pledging right now, this moment. If we say "pledgeth" that is undefined action, meaning simply describing the action in general. It would be used to describe someone else taking the pledge at some unknown time: "He often pledgeth allegiance, or so saith his friend."

    On the other hand, "doth pledge" defines an action currently taking place, which fits the aspect of making a pledge. Thus my suggestion.
     
  10. John of Japan

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    You know, those varlets were unwilling to take my suggestions, saying that their work was perfect! Would that they had hired me for the project. :laugh:
     
  11. John of Japan

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    You've described the problem well.
    Technically, tense refers to time, so there is no "emphatic tense." The problem here is of verbal aspect, not tense.
     
  12. rsr

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    "Emphatic tense" is probably not the best way to describe it, though some grammarians do use the phrase. (And get walloped by other grammarians for doing so.) "Emphatic form" of the tense might be accurate, so the last clause of the first sentence would be the emphatic form of the present tense.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Well, I know some Internet grammarians use the term "emphatic tense." :smilewinkgrin: But tenses in English normally refer to time, and the grammars list six. I'm not aware of a grammar outside of the Internet that uses the term "emphatic tense," though there is much I don't know.

    The English grammar I teach from (Eng. 101) lists this usage of "do" as an emphatic mood rather than a tense, and I think that fits modern English grammar better. The problem here, though, is not modern English but Middle English grammar (or early modern, depending on who is talking about it). It is my view here that using "doth" makes it a continuing action in the present in 1611 rather than emphatic. See 2 Cor. 1:10 for an example. (There are also other usages of "doth" in the KJV.)
     
    #13 John of Japan, Jun 12, 2015
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  14. Rippon

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    The usage of doth is attributed to a speech impediment (or to those who are light in their loafers.) ;-)
     
  15. John of Japan

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    Doth thou truly think tho?
     
  16. Jkdbuck76

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    ASV would be like the KJV pledge, but would say JEHOVAH instead of God.

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk
     

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