Jer 17:9 in the KJV.

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Ulsterman, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    The KJV is regarded as a literal translation, yet, in Jeremiah 17: 9, the translators chose not to use the literal term for "anash" translating it as "desperately wicked" rather than the more literal "incurably sick." Although not a literal word-for-word translation "desperately wicked" is certainly what the Hebrew is really getting at. It seems that this verse was translated with a dynamic equivalent, (or at very least a sense-for-sense) method.

    Are there any other places in the KJV which are similarly translated?
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    Fasten your seatbelts, we're in for an E-ticket ride!!

    :laugh:
     
  3. robycop3

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    Jeremiah 17:9...

    "beyond cure"...NIV

    "desperately sick"...NASB

    "desperately wicked"...NKJV

    "crooked is the heart...incurable"...YLT

    "desperately sick"...HCSB

    I cannot say the KJV goofed here, as in God's sight, wickedness is an illness. However, the LITERAL translation CANNOT be ruled incorrect, either!

    And it's true that a wicked heart is beyond cure-by MAN. But, is anything too hard for JESUS to do?
     
  4. Ulsterman

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    Careful Robycop! I am not saying they "goofed":eek: , just that on this occasion they did not apply the literal method, and wondering about other refs that were treated similarly.
     
  5. robycop3

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    Well, here's one oft-discussed here:

    Psalm 12: 7Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

    Remember the marginal note for the second them, indicating the literal rendering was him?
     
  6. franklinmonroe

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    Here is Jeremiah 17:9 from the KJV--
    The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it? ​
    As Ulsterman correctly previously posted, the English expression "desperately wicked" represents the Hebrew verb 'anash (Strong's #605) which generally means to be weak, sick, frail (especially incurably or desperately so). Metaphorically, it can be applied to sin, as robycop3 has pointed out.

    This word occurs only 9 times in the Old Testament and the KJV renders it as "incurable" more than half. It must have been a favorite term for Jeremiah since the majority of the total occurrences are in his book. Let's look at the other four --

    Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, [which] refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, [and as] waters [that] fail? (15:18)

    As for me, I have not hastened from [being] a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was
    before thee. (17:16)

    For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise [is] incurable, [and] thy wound [is] grievous. (30:12)

    Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow [is] incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: [because] thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. (30:15)​


    Reading these verses by the same author shows that a consistant translation of a word exactly the same way in every occurence (that is, strictly literal) doesn't always neccesarily convey the proper meaning or tone. Most translators do not restrict themselves to such a mechanical transcription which results in wooden readings, but use a range of synonyms to articulate formal equivalence.

    I hope that it is obvious that 'literal' does not have to be a verbatim transcription. A translation that is in accordance with, conforms to, and upholds the exact meaning of a word (or words) in context, while avoiding exaggeration, figuerative interpretation, or embellishment, is 'literal'.

    If other versions (like some examples given by robycop3 previously) miss the meaning of the message or give a false impression, then they are not being literal. The key that Jeremiah 17:9 is about metaphorical condition of the heart comes from the properly translated word "deceitful" (Hebrew `aqob, Strong's #6121), or as Young has it, "crooked".

    The use of "Red Sea" is a very clear example of non-literal interpretation inserted into the text, to the extent it cannot be called a translation at all (but almost all versions use it).​
     
    #6 franklinmonroe, Apr 5, 2007
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  7. Lagardo

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    "Literal" is somewhat of a misleading term to describe any translation because people assume literal means word-for-word. Short of an interlinear, word-for-word, translations do not exist. Its better to view translations as being somewhere in a range from formal equivalence to dynamic equivalence. The KJV certainly falls more on the formal side of that range, but it will still have some elements of dynamic equivalence. Its unavoidable.
     
  8. HankD

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    Right. Context, context, context: The context must always be considered :

    Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.​

    Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:​

    all these words enboldened above have epithumia as their root.​

    HankD​
     
  9. robycop3

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    Another such dynamic-equivalent term in the KJV is "God forbid". We see this term used as a strong negative throughout thousands of English worx over several hundred years. "God forbid" is a stronger expression than the literal definition of the Greek "me ginomai", I. E. "May it not, or never, be". As the above posts point out, CONTEXT is everything.

    The KJVOs have no basis to criticize any other version for using some dynamic equivalence or adding words for clarity in English.
     
  10. EdSutton

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    Lagardo makes an excellent point, as this post by him in another thread shows, this as well. I quote it:
    I, and most students of language (which I am not really, I admit) would agree. And I add, several of the posters on this thread would seem to agree, as well.

    Ed
     
    #10 EdSutton, Apr 6, 2007
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  11. franklinmonroe

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    I understand EdSutton's point, but this does not seem to be a very representative example of a non-literal translation. Here is Lagardo's citation of Mounce on John 3:16 (quoted in a previous post by EdSutton) --

    so for he loved the God the world so that the son the only he gave so that each the one who believes in him not he might perish but he might have life eternal. ​

    Now these 35 words translated from Greek are all that is needed to compose this verse in English. Greek is not dependant upon word order to convey meaning like our language does, so these words are simply not in the standard English order for clear understanding. Just rearrange the words and add some capitalization and puncuation. For example, the message can be constructed thus--

    For He, the God, so loved the world, so, that He gave the Only, the Son, so that each (the) one who believes in Him, he might not perish but he might have life eternal.​

    A quite literal translation. Nothing added, nothing left out. Now, you may be tempted to remove a "so" or a "the" that seem extraneous to help smooth out the verse for contemporary readers, which would be acceptable. But look at those definite articles: its not just any God, its the God; and its not just any son, its talking about the Son; God loved the whole world but this truth is written specifically to the one who believes (the reader is that individual)!

    Translating has its difficulties, but this verse 'literally' speaks for itself.
     
    #11 franklinmonroe, Apr 6, 2007
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  12. EdSutton

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    Actually, EdSutton merely quoted Lagardo, who quoted Mounce, on John 3:16, FTR.
    For EdSutton quoted a complete post.

    Ed
     
  13. franklinmonroe

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    Actually, I know that Greek/English interlinears are not even strictly word-for-word. Look at some of these interlinears and you will see instances where it takes two or more words in English to translate a single Greek word, thus falling short of an exact word-to-word correlation.

    Many a Greek word must be translated by several words to be fully expressed in English. In addition, many words are not translated at all (often articles). This is exposed clearly in word counts of various translations when compared to their underlying text.
     
    #13 franklinmonroe, Apr 6, 2007
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  14. franklinmonroe

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    I agree, but...

    ...this is not true as it is related to the Greek expression translated by the KJV as "God forbid". It is an idiom that cannot be captured exactly with direct translation. "God forbid" is not strictly literal, but it was formal equivalence in 1611. Nothing has been added for clarity.

    "I strongly interject that it should never be so!" might be considered a dynamic equivalence for this idiom.

    As correctly stated, "May it not be" does not convey the tone or emotion of the author. "God forbid" is archaic and perhaps has lost its significance fpr contemporary English readers. It may be that "God forbid" has now become a dynamic equivalent. Whether represented as "No way!", or "Forget about it!" modern idioms are still as close to literally expressing the meaning as is humanly possible.
     
    #14 franklinmonroe, Apr 6, 2007
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  15. HankD

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    IMO, This expression "God forbid" or another "would to God" violates the edict of the Scriptures themselves against adding to His words. Yes, because of translation issues adding receptor words is sometimes unavoidable.

    But in this case theos is no where in the original language text.
    Had it been a less weighty word then I suppose it might be justified.

    Also Paul (for instance) was no stranger to the use of similar phrases such as:

    2 Corinthians 13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.​

    In this passage he uses the word theos.​

    In the cases of "God forbid" or "would to God (with one exception)" he does not and it should not have been added where not present (IMO).​

    HankD​
     
  16. franklinmonroe

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    True; words without context have no meaning (that is, no specific meaning). Words can have multiple definitions and this can be seen in English. Perhaps, you may be familar with this example: Visualize the undescribed object in this question--
    Do you see the trunk?​
    Now did you imagine the central part of a tree, or the nose of an elephant? It could also refer to the strorage space generally in the rear of an automobile, or old piece of luggage like a large chest. Possibly even a reference to men's swimming apparel. Without context, it is unknown what "trunk" means.

    I remember many years ago designing a brochure to promote participation in our church's young unmarried persons group... the 'Singles'. The front featured definitions and pictures of phonograph records (musical 'hits'), a baseball player running to first base, and dollar bills. Why these illustrations? When a ballplayer arrives safely at first, they have completed a "single". Likewise, a one dollar denomination of paper currency is commonly called a "single". These different things are each considered a "single" in their own context.
     
    #16 franklinmonroe, Apr 7, 2007
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  17. HankD

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    I agree with you brother (but not completely) and simply wanted to express my own personal opinion concerning this one case (Granted, you may very well be correct with this usage of "God forbid").

    HankD
     
  18. franklinmonroe

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    The idiomatic phrase of "God forbid" is also found in Old Testament books of the KJV where the Hebrew words for God are also absent.
     
  19. franklinmonroe

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    God bless you, HankD, I understand. BTW - I know that Wycliffe (the likely originator), Tyndale, Rheims, and the Geneva also use "God forbid", so it seems to be the appropriate English idiom over a broad period time. It seems the British frequently use this 'higher' idiomatic speech; "God save the king", for example.
     
    #19 franklinmonroe, Apr 7, 2007
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  20. tinytim

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    what about "Get outta here!!"
    "nope, nada, don't even think about it brother!!"
     

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