KJV innacurate on Exodus 20:13?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Jefferson, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. Jefferson

    Jefferson
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    The rendering of the sixth commandment in the King James was very unfortunate. "Thou shalt not kill" in recent versions (like the NKJV, NIV, RSV, ASB, NASB, etc.) is accurately translated "You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13). In Hebrew, as in English, the words for "murder" and "kill" can be used interchangeably, but their different meanings are easily understood from the context.

    The Hebrew word for murder (ratsach, which appears in Ex. 20:13) is translated by the King James as murder/murderer 17 times, slayer/slain/slayeth 21 times, kill/killing 6 times, manslayer 2 times, and death once. The Hebrew word for kill (which appears in Ex. 13:15-harag) is translated by the King James as slay/slayer/slain 132 times, as kill 27 times, murder/murderer 3 times, destroyed once, out of hand once, and made/put/surely 3 times.

    The Ten Commandments forbid murder, not killing. The chapter following the giving of the Ten Commandments has a number of commands from God to execute criminals, including:

    "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:12

    "He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:15

    "He who kidnaps a man... shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:16

    "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:17

    "[If an unborn baby is killed] you shall give life for life." Ex. 21:23

    It is not plausible to suppose that God contradicted Himself just a few sentences after delivering the Ten Commandments to Moses. Clearly God prohibited murder but insisted upon execution of murderers and others.

    The Sixth Commandment clearly is a prohibition against murder; not an injunction against capital punishment as Ezekiel 13:19 attests: "And will you profane Me among My people...killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live...?"
     
  2. DocCas

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    Just a little study would show that the word "kill" as used in 1611 implied a personal agency and/or the use of a weapon. It meant "to commit murder or slaughter."

    Oxford English Dictionary, "K" volume, page 692.
     
  3. Scott J

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Thomas Cassidy:
    Just a little study would show that the word "kill" as used in 1611 implied a personal agency and/or the use of a weapon. It meant "to commit murder or slaughter."

    Oxford English Dictionary, "K" volume, page 692.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This responses would seem to suggest that one of the MV supporter's main contentions holds merit. Namely that the KJV uses antiquated language that needs to be updated. I doubt that very many KJV users could have known your answer nor do they have access to your resources. I would surmise that the average KJVO is not in possession of the dictionary you suggest.
     
  4. Gina B

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    Not really. [​IMG] When you put someone to death for a crime they committed, do you say they were sentenced to be killed? Just a thought on the difference between killing and carrying out a sentence. If it said murder everyone would still use the same arguments they use now.
    da Gina
     
  5. DocCas

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    Gina, I think you have put your finger on the problem. No matter what it said, somebody would complain about it! There seem to be people who make an entire life out of nit picking about how various translations of the bible were done. Personally I think it is time they grew up and got a real life! :D
     
  6. nam4christ

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    Why is it that certain individuals act like it is a crime to ask someone to use a dictionary when reading or studying their Bible? Correct me if I am wrong but is not that how we learn new things? To the arguement that a person might not have access
    to a English dictionary is weak. And yes a revision is possible but where are you going to find someone to faithfully carry out the task? the NKJV is a good example. It was meant to be a revision but it became much more. It got so bad that Dr. Curtis Hutson, long time editor of The Sword Of The Lord, removed himself from the project. It seems what starts as a revision effort becomes a retranslation effort that always finds itself going to the Hebrew based on the Lenningrad manuscript instead of the Masoretic and the Greek text from Wescott-Hort rather than the Received Text. -ALM
     
  7. Sam

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    "Thou shalt not kill" means the sheadding of innocinent blood. Like Cain did with Abel.
     
  8. Sam

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    "Thou shalt not kill" means the sheadding of innocinent blood. Like Cain did with Abel.
     
  9. Scott J

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nam4christ:
    Why is it that certain individuals act like it is a crime to ask someone to use a dictionary when reading or studying their Bible?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Yes, and why is it that some people act as if it is a crime to try to bring the Bible into current English so that a person does not need a dictionary to study their Bible? <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> To the arguement that a person might not have access
    to a English dictionary is weak.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Agreed but why should we require a dictionary to read God's Word...it was not that way in the beginning... <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> And yes a revision is possible but where are you going to find someone to faithfully carry out the task?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Actually, it can be established that several of the MV translation committees are far more "fundamental" (the way we understand the term) than the KJV translators were.

    [ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: Scott J ]
     
  10. Legacy

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    ....how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    You are correct Cassidy about picking nits or should it be nit picking.

    A person is just as dead and for exactly the same length of time whether that person be killed, murdered or slain.

    Christ knows the motivation for the taking of a life. It is Christ who will be the final judge of the motivations for taking the life.
     
  11. TomVols

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    It is interesting how we have changed what is "death," "Murder," and the like. A person who rips apart an unborn child's skull and vacums it out of the mother's body is not a murderer, but an enlightened doctor performing a valid public service. A soldier who is faithful to his country by defending his life and the life of his fellow countrymen by defeating enemy soldiers is called a murderer. Obviously, there is a difference it the language relating to death and murder. While the MVs are more clear, the KJV is still accurate. It's not a question of good vs. bad, just good vs. better :cool:
     
  12. sjd

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    I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar. However, I can read an English dictionary. I looked up the word "kill" in three commonly used dictionaries They were American Heritage (4th edition), Merriam Webster Online , and Encarta. All three gave virtually the same definition for the word "kill": to put to death, to cause the death of a human being. Merriam Webster and Encarta both give a list of synonyms which include murder but distinguish between murder and killing. For example from Encarta:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    kill a general word used to talk about causing the death of a person or animal; murder to take the life of another person in an intentional and often premeditated way that constitutes a serious criminal act; <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    or from Merriam Webster:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    KILL merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner (killed in an accident) (frost killed the plants). SLAY is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive (slew thousands of the Philistines). MURDER specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility (convicted of murdering a rival).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    My point is not to get into a discussion about the specifics about the definitions. It's all fine and good to say that people should use dictionaries during Bible study (no argument whatever) It makes no sense though when the dictionary doesn't give the answer that we expect. Whatever the semantics of the word was in 1611 is not what the dictionary is giving today.

    Steve
     
  13. DocCas

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    Cut rate dictionaries produce cut rate theology. Try a comprehensive dictionary such as the Oxford English Dictionary. It is available online and at any good library.
     
  14. ChristianCynic

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Legacy:
    ....how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    A hairpin, a cotter pin, a rolling pin, or a bowling pin?

    The waltz, the hula, the twist, or the jitterbug?
     
  15. TomVols

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Cut rate dictionaries produce cut rate theology. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You get your theology from the Oxford Dictionary? This coupled with your conversion at the hands of the RSV, and I'm starting to get concerned about you :D

    Seriously, this is the first time I've ever heard Webster's implied to be a cut-rate dictionary.
     
  16. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nam4christ:
    Why is it that certain individuals act like it is a crime to ask someone to use a dictionary when reading or studying their Bible? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why is it that Tyndale said I will have it that the plowboy will know more of the Bible than the priest? Was he planning on handing out pocket OEDs to farmhands?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>the NKJV is a good example. It was meant to be a revision but it became much more. It got so bad that Dr. Curtis Hutson, long time editor of The Sword Of The Lord, removed himself from the project. It seems what starts as a revision effort becomes a retranslation effort that always finds itself going to the Hebrew based on the Lenningrad manuscript instead of the Masoretic and the Greek text from Wescott-Hort rather than the Received Text. -ALM<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is not true. The NKJV is based upon the very same texts as the KJV. See the NKJV preface.

    [ February 22, 2002: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  17. DocCas

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomVols:
    Seriously, this is the first time I've ever heard Webster's implied to be a cut-rate dictionary.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Think about it for a minute, Tom. How can a small, one volume, desk top dictionary be as comprehensive as a 16 volume gigantic tome such as the OED? [​IMG]
     
  18. DocCas

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:
    Why is it that Tyndale said I will have it that the plowboy will know more of the Bible than the priest? Was he planning on handing out pocket OEDs to farmhands?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>No, he was giving the people the bible in their own language. Up until this time, with the exception of Wycliff's work, which was never published to any great extent, and was in Middle English, the only bibles available were either the Middle English of Wycliff, or the Latin of the Vulgate, or the Greek MSS. Tyndale was simply giving English speaking people the bible in English. [​IMG] <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This is not true. The NKJV is based upon the very same texts as the KJV. See the NKJV preface.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Well, somewhat true. The NKJV OT is based on BHS (Ben Asher text) while the KJV is based on Bomberg's Second Rabbinic Bible (Ben Chayyim text). However, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) differs from the Ben Chayyim text, (Bomberg) in only eight places that would affect translation: Proverbs 8:16; Isaiah 10:16; Isaiah 27:2; Isaiah 38:14; Jeremiah 34:1; Ezekiel 30:18; Zephaniah 3:15; and Malachi 1:12. [​IMG]

    As to the NT, the KJV was based on Stephens TR of 1551 as modified by Beza's edition of 1598, plus several other sources, including the Latin Vulgate. The NKJV is based on the 1894 TR of Scrivener, which is an eclectic TR that looked for, and found (in all but a half dozen instances) the Greek text underlying the KJV and edited it into one Greek text. (Don't tell anyone I said the KJV is based on an eclectic text!) :D

    [ February 22, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  19. sjd

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Thomas Cassidy:
    Cut rate dictionaries produce cut rate theology. Try a comprehensive dictionary such as the Oxford English Dictionary. It is available online and at any good library.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, the OED is considered the premier dictionary. For those who may be unfamiliar with the OED, it is considered the premier English language dictionary. The dictionary gives the user not just definitions but word history and usage as well. The OED is available online for a hefty subscription fee.

    My contention is that the average person reading their Bible probably would not know of the OED. If they did know about the OED and had access to it, the average person also wouldn't use the OED for looking up a relatively common word like "kill". The average person would grab for the dictionary that was on their desk or possibly on line. Merriam Webster and American Heritage are two of the most popular dictionaries. The key word here is average. What a person who may be more versed in Bible study might do would probably be more extensive.

    Finally, a word like "kill" can be deceptive in that over a period of time the meaning shifts ever so slightly. Although under most circumstances the nuanced meaning isn't all that different from the previous, it can make a big difference when applied Biblically.

    Steve
     
  20. sjd

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Thomas Cassidy:
    Think about it for a minute, Tom. How can a small, one volume, desk top dictionary be as comprehensive as a 16 volume gigantic tome such as the OED? [​IMG]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Comprehensive, definitely. :eek: However, the vast majority of OED's extra heft is not in additional definitions, but rather word etymology and examples of use. Useful, but of questionable value when one needs a simple definition. [​IMG]
     

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