It is good for a man not to touch a woman ...

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by rsr, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. rsr

    rsr
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    No, it's not that question.

    Instead, while reading along with the pastor from my HCSV, I noticed some unaccustomed punctuation, i.e., the addition of quotation marks around “It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman.”

    I looked in my ESV, and, sure enough, the translators do the same thing:

    Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman."

    So do the NRSV and the New American Bible.In these instances, it appears the purpose of the quotations marks is to make clear that the "It is good for a man not to touch a woman" is a statement of the Corinthians, not Paul's judgment. After all, why would be be quoting himself? (Although reading the rest of the chapter makes it clear that Paul does not disagree with the statement, but he does qualify it considerably.)

    Are the quotations marks justified, or are they an unwarranted interpolation by the translators?

    (The NIRV, BTW, goes the full distance: Now I want to deal with the things you wrote me about. Some of you say, "It is good for a man not to have sex with a woman.")
     
    #1 rsr, Feb 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2009
  2. John of Japan

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    The passage is 1 Cor. 7:1, by the way.

    This is a poor rendering in the ESV.

    (1) The usual Greek way to give a quote is by preceding it with oti (hoti), and this passage does not do that. So I believe the quote marks are probably unjustified.

    (2) The word for "touch" here is aptomai, which is frankly just a normal word for touch, used in 33 verses in the NT. Using this word in Matthew alone, according to the NT Jesus Himself touched a leper to heal him (8:3), touched the hand of Peter's mother-in-law to heal her (8:15), had a woman and many others touch the hem of his garment for healing (9:20-21, 14:36), touched the eyes of blind men (9:29), touched His disciples to encourage them (17:7), and touched the eyes of more blind men to heal them (20:34).

    Paul himself uses this word in 2 Cor. 6:17 when it is definitely not sexual relations. So I am really disappointed in the rendering of the ESV here.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    The expression "to touch a woman" is not foreign to scripture. It is used in Gen 20:26 and again in Prov 8:29 LXX, as a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Perhaps the translators have missed the mark here in how it should read.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. John of Japan

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    Good point Brother Jim. However, the Genesis passage (20:6, actually) is debateable. I can't find the Proverbs passage you mean. However, that's a moot point. The ESV and other version translators need to prove the Greek idiom or Hebraism by 1st century usage, and to my knowledge they haven't done that. In fact, I'd say the Corinthians were not really up on Hebrew idioms anyway!
     
  5. stilllearning

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    Hi rsr

    To answer your question, the context of the line makes it clear what is being said, and how it is being said........

    1 Corinthians 7:1-2
    V.1 ¶ Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman.
    V.2 Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

    They had questioned Paul, about the propriety of unmarried people, embracing one another.

    i.e. Paul’s response..... “It would be unwise, to do this.” (And it is.)

    If you want a girl to hug around on, get married.

    IMHO
     
  6. Deacon

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    :tonofbricks: Now you see, the above interpretation is an example of why the passage needs to be clearly spelled out!

    Fee does a good job with this passage in his commentary (the passage discussion starts on page 166, including a short discussion re: the quotation marks).

    “The idiom, to touch a woman” occurs nine times in Greek antiquity, ranging across six centuries and a variety of writers, and in every other instance, without ambiguity it refers to having sexual intercourse."
    Gordon Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 275. [LINK]

    Rob
     
    #6 Deacon, Feb 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2009
  7. 4His_glory

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    That has always been my understanding of the passage. This is a good example of why we must actually study the historical understanding of the text and not superimpose or American 21 century rendering upon it.

    I suppose that one would claim that the ESV rendering is DE. To me however this is a good usage of it because it makes the passage very clear.
     
  8. 4His_glory

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    You better never travel to another country were embracing and kissing the opposite gender are the normal acceptable and expected forms of greeting.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Not for me. I shake hands. That's what the "right hand of fellowship" is all about. It shows I have no weapon in my hand.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. 4His_glory

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    Well in Argentina it is the custom to kiss on one cheek. Even some men do it to other men. We call it "greeting one another with a holy kiss".
     
  11. John of Japan

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    According to BAGD, the phrase also occurs in Aesop in the same construction as here, with the genitive case, with the meaning of simply touching a woman generally.

    Also, in one of the cases given by Fee, Ruth 2:9, it is extremely problematic whether physical relations are meant in either the Hebrew or LXX. "Boaz charged the young men not to touch her." Eh what? Sounds like old Boaz was just saying, "Leave her alone while she gleans, guys." In others of the cases given by Fee (Aristotle, etc.) the reading is in classical Greek, meaning it is quite possible the idiom was not valid for koine. Aristotle was 4th century BC, the same gap as between us and the KJV. Makes me wonder what I would find if I checked out all 9 of Fee's examples.

    So the ESV interpretation is not a done deal. My view is, when in doubt about the meaning of the idiom in the original, translate literally and let the reader study it out and decide.

    Makes me wonder also, if the ESV's rendering is right, then Catholic asceticism is a good thing...right??
     
    #11 John of Japan, Feb 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2009
  12. Mexdeaf

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    Likewise in Mexico, although it is more of an 'air kiss', if you know what I mean.:laugh:
     
  13. stilllearning

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    Hello 4His_glory

    Your response to my post was.........
    “You better never travel to another country were embracing and kissing the opposite gender are the normal acceptable and expected forms of greeting.”


    Your right, I won’t travel there.

    But just because something is “normal & acceptable or expected” by man, doesn’t mean that it is Biblical or even good sense.

    It is never good, for men and women, to be embracing or kissing, unless they are married.
     
  14. 4His_glory

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    Ok so how do you interpret 1 Cor. 16:20?
     
  15. sag38

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    There is hugging and then's there's hugging. One is reserved for the occasional hug I may give a sister in the church. The other is reserved on for my wife. Most folks know the difference.
     
  16. 4His_glory

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    Right. And there is kissing and their is kissing. Like I said people here greet one another with a kiss. There is nothing sensual or immoral about it. Its just what you do.

    I look forward to SLs response to my question regarding the holy kiss passage. I started another thread in the general forum so as to not derail this one.
     
  17. stilllearning

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    Hi sag38

    You said........
    “There is hugging and then's there's hugging.”

    And I agree.
    --------------------------------------------------
    But you also pointed out.......
    “Most folks know the difference.”

    What about those who don’t know what you mean.


    In wisdom, we must act on the side of caution.
    1 Thessalonians 5:22
    “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
     
  18. stilllearning

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    Hi 4His_glory

    You asked me about 1 Cor. 16:20
    1 Corinthians 16:20
    “All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.”


    I was rased in a cult, that had this practice as one of it main tenets.
    So I am very familiar with it.

    We need to see this instruction, in light of........
    Luke 22:48
    “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

    It’s just another religious practice, that can be put-on, and doesn’t mean a thing!
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    People in cults eat, drink, shop, dress, and some use the KJV also. Doesn't make of those things wrong.
     
  20. 4His_glory

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    You still did not answer the question though. You claimed:

    Yet 1Cor. 16:20 is very clearly allowed for kissing. Does this not contradict your previous statement?

    Are you suggesting that in a culture where people greet one another with a kiss is wrong?
     

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