KJV translation problem?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    The King James Version states --
    Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20: 13)

    Thou shalt not kill (Deut. 5:17)​
    Now compare Matthew 19:18 in these early English versions --
    The sayde, he vnto him: Which? Iesus saide: Thou shalt not kyll: thou shalt not breake wedlocke: thou shalt not steale: thou shalt beare no false wytnes: (Coverdale)

    He sayd to him, Which? And Iesus sayde, These, Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not commit adulterie: Thou shalt not steale: Thou shalt not beare false witnesse. (Geneva)

    He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, (KJV)​
    What justification can be offered for the KJV rendering of "murder" in the context of quotation of the OT's Sixth Commandment? If "murder" is the intended meaning then isn't "kill" a bit vague? If "kill" is the intended meaning then isn't "murder" too specific?
    Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: (Matthew 5:21)

    Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. (Luke 18:20)

    For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Romans 13:9)

    For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (James 2:11)​
    It is the same Greek word phoneuo (Strong's #5407) in all five NT verses above.

    Clearly, not every time a human being is killed is the action legally defined as committing homicide or should be ethically categorized as murderous. More simply put: all murder is killing, but not all killing is murder. It is simply indisputable that "murder" has a more narrow range of meaning than "kill". Webster's 1828 Dictionary states --
    KILL, v.t.
    1. To deprive of life, animal or vegetable, in any manner or by any means. To kill an animal or a plant, is to put an end to the vital functions, either by destroying or essentially injuring the organs necessary to life, or by causing them to cease from action. An animal may be killed by the sword or by poison, by disease or by suffocation. A strong solution of salt will kill plants.
    2. To butcher; to slaughter for food; as, to kill an ox.
    3. To quell; to appease; to calm; to still; as, in seamen's language, a shower of rain kills the wind.

    MUR'DER, n. [L. mors.]
    1. The act of unlawfully killing a human being with premeditated malice, by a person of sound mind. To constitute murder in law, the person killing another must be of sound mind or in possession of his reason, and the act must be done with malice prepense, aforethought or premeditated; but malice may be implied, as well as express.
    2. An outcry, when life is in danger.

    MUR'DER, v.t.
    1. To kill a human being with premeditated malice. [See the Noun.]
    2. To destroy; to put an end to.​

    However, this is NOT a theological or moral discussion (no need to expound upon war, self defense, accidental deaths [manslaughter], capital punishment, etc.). This is a strictly question about consistent or proper translation in the KJV.
     
  2. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    So here is an unchallenged problem in the KJV: it's inconsistent translation of "murder" at Matthew 19:18 causes readers to suppose that Jesus misquotes the OT (casting doubt on His deity) and giving the appearance that there is contradiction and error in the Bible (which shakes the faith of the weak).
     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,404
    Likes Received:
    328
    I have a feeling that a few KJVO'ers here will give testimonials in the future about their wasted energies devoted to a cause which was dishonoring to God and His people.

    I do not believe any here are sincerely mistaken.When such obvious contradictions are pointed out the KJVO'ers will simply evade and accuse.But in time they will change their tune with the Lord's direct intervention.
     
  4. AntennaFarmer

    AntennaFarmer
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't see why this is supposed to be a problem.

    A.F.
     
  5. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    The KJV translation at Matthew 19:18 of "murder" is inconsistent with it's own Old Testament translation of "kill" in the verse(s) that Jesus is apparently quoting, and inconsistent with it's own New Testament translation of the Greek word in other passages referring back to the same OT verses. "Kill" and "murder" are not synonymous in this context.
     
  6. AntennaFarmer

    AntennaFarmer
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    0

    I am sorry friend. I just can't see what you are talking about. The context of the commandment is the Law. The Law allows for killing in certain circumstances. So kill isn't used in the general sense. The commandment is telling us not to unlawfully kill a person. To unlawfully kill a person is the same as the English word murder.

    It seems to me that you have taken the words out of context.
     
  7. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Then perhaps you're suggesting Matthew 19:18 "murder" is the only place that the KJV translation is truly precise, it is all the rest of those verses with "kill" that are inconsistent and inaccurate.
     
  8. AntennaFarmer

    AntennaFarmer
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    0

    No. I have suggested no such thing.

    The matter seems to be adequately discussed in the preface to the 1611 Holy Bible (The Translators to the Reader):

    Another thing we think good to admonish thee of, gentle reader, that we have not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe that some learned men somewhere have been as exact as they could that way. .....


    A.F.
     
  9. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,404
    Likes Received:
    328
    The KJV Is Wrong--Plain And Simple

    Referencing that Deut.5:17 passage again where it says "Thou shalt not kill." in the KJV provides a contradiction just a couple chapters later.

    In Deut.7:2 : ... utterly destroy them...

    [Wouldn't killing be involved in utterly destroying them?!Remember the Lord is telling them to do this not long after the Decalog was given.]

    In Deut.7:16 : And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee;thine eye shall have no pity upon them...

    The KJV was mistaken not to differentiate between the words kill (God told the Israelites to do this many times) and murder (which God says is always sinful).
     
  10. puros_bran

    puros_bran
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    The ESV translates the Hebrew and the Greek word as murder. The footnote in Exodus 20:13 and Duet 5:11 states

    'The Hebrew word also covers causing human death through carelessness or negligence'.

    No footnote on the Greek wording in the NT is offered.

    Can the Greek word used also
    mean 'death through negligence'?
     
  11. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yes, the variety of phrasing is acceptable since many words are repeatedly found in multiple passages in both similar and different contexts. I believe what the KJV translators were primarily communicating was that they would not confine themselves to establish a single English word for each individual original language word (and rightly so). We have come to appreciate the connotations that English synonyms can supply. However, when an original language word is found in exactly the same context there ought NOT to be a variation in the translated word. Besides which, only one difference in six alike cases does not establish the 'variety' approach.

    The English word "murder" occurs just 8 other times in the entire KJV (four OT and five total in NT). There are just two Hebrew words rendered "murder" in the KJV OT: harag (Strong's #2026) is only translated this way in Psalm 10:8; and ratach (Strong's #7523, this is the same word used in the Sixth Commandment) which is found in the other three OT verses containing "murder". These two words can be used to represent homicide AND also killing in war & even accidental deaths; so, the context must set the proper understanding. But there is no question that "kill" is used for premeditated acts upon innocent victims.

    The other four occurrences of "murder" in the NT are all based upon a single Greek word phonos (Strong's #5408) different than the one found in Matthew 19:18. This Greek word phonos is rendered in the KJV as "kill" 10 out of 12 occurrences; the only other exception (besides "murder" in Matthew 19:18) is "slew" found in Matthew 23:35.

    Furthermore, quoting from one portion to another requires that the wording correspond to preserve the identity and origin of the quote. Consistency is otherwise very well demonstrated in the KJV by the application of "kill" in the other five NT contextually parallel verses where there is no other variation for the Greek word phoneuo.

    The focus of this topic is not to establish the interpretation of either "kill" or "murder" but only that where the Sixth Commandment is quoted in a Bible translation there should be consistent wording.
     
    #11 franklinmonroe, Oct 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2008
  12. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    No, it seems to be not applied in that way. Of the 10 verses containing the word phoneuo in the NT (two verses have the word occur twice in them) five of them have already been quoted earlier in this thread. The remaining five are (KJV) --
    Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. (Mark 10:19)

    Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. (Matthew 23:31)

    That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23:35)

    Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 4:2)

    Ye have condemned [and] killed the just; [and] he doth not resist you. (James 5:6)​
     
    #12 franklinmonroe, Oct 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2008
  13. AntennaFarmer

    AntennaFarmer
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am sorry franklinmonroe, I don't think you have any thing there. This is just another case of "monday morning quarterbacking".


    A.F.
     
  14. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    So, what did Jesus say? NOT what did He mean, but what words did He actually speak? (KJV) --
    And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and [thy] mother: (Matthew 19:16-19a)

    And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
    And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God.
    Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. (Mark 10:17-19)

    And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none [is] good, save one, [that is], God.
    Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. (Luke 18:18-20)​
    What good reason should Jesus words be made to be different in English when they were the same in Greek? The Gospels agree amongst themselves in the wording of the other Commandments ("adultery", "steal", "bear false witness", "honour thy father and mother"), except for "murder" in Matthew 19:18.

    Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
    Thou shalt not kill.
    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Thou shalt not steal.
    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:12-16)

    Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
    Thou shalt not kill.
    Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
    Neither shalt thou steal.
    Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Deut. 5:16-20)
    Except for "murder in Matthew 19:18, the Gospels agree with the Old Testament in the wording of all these other Commandments. For what purpose should the words of Jesus represented in English not correspond with the translation of the Hebrew scriptures?
     
    #14 franklinmonroe, Oct 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2008
  15. Salamander

    Salamander
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Messages:
    3,965
    Likes Received:
    0
    Even a third grader understands the differences between killing another/murder and killing according to justifiable reason. Only a "tree-hugger'"who goes against the word of God would argue against this as some here do.

    To utterly destroy those who are judged of God is not murder, as the word "kill" denotes it to be murder without justifiable reason.

    What really makes this so senseless is only the simple would accept any arguement contrary to this surmountable reason as they were beguiled into believing anything different.

    Better read Exodus 24 and 25 to understand why God commands to utterly destroy, it is not because we are righteous, but because the ones to be utterly destroyed are wicked!

    What you are suggesting is very closely linked to humanism.
     
  16. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Moderators, I think this (quoted above) was posted to the wrong topic. This thread only discusses a translational issue.
     
    #16 franklinmonroe, Oct 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2008
  17. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    facts now revealed

    Notice the Bishops' Bible --
    He sayth vnto hym: Which? Iesus sayde: Thou shalt do no murther, Thou shalt not commit adulterie, Thou shalt not steale, Thou shalt not beare false witnesse, (Matthew 19:18)​
    The Bishops' Bible has "kyll" in 5 of the 6 quotes of the Sixth Commandment in the New Testament; the one exception in the Bishops' NT that does not have "kyll" is Matthew 19:18 where the translation is the uncommon word "murther" (murder). The Bishops' Bible evidently transfered this rendering from the Latin Vulgate --
    dicit illi quae Iesus autem dixit non homicidium facies non adulterabis non facies furtum non falsum testimonium dices (Matthew 19:18)

    mandata nosti non occides non moechaberis non furtum facies non falsum testimonium dices honora patrem tuum et matrem (Luke 18:20)

    qui enim dixit non moechaberis dixit et non occides quod si non moechaberis occides autem factus es transgressor legis (James 2:11)

    non occides (Exodus 20:13)​

    The Latin Bible has the word "occides" (a form of occidio: to slaughter, or massacre) in 5 of the 6 quotes of the Sixth Commandment in the New Testament (in Mark 10:19 "occidas"). Correspondingly, the Latin Bible has "occides" in the OT lists of Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13 & Deuteronomy 5:17). The one verse of interest in the Latin NT that does not have "occides" is Matthew 19:18 where the word "homicidium" is found.

    This can be confirmed by reading the Catholic Rheims' translation of Matthew 19;18 where the "homicidium" is rendered "murder" in English; all the rest of the NT quotes of the Sixth Commandment in the Rheims' are translated "kill". This can also be observed in Wycliffe's translation of the Latin to English where all mentions of the Sixth Commandment have the obsolete word "sle" (slay) except Matthew 19:18 which differentiates with "mansleying" --
    Thou schalt not sle. (Deut. 5:17)

    He seith to hym, Whiche? And Jhesus seide, Thou schalt not do mansleying, thou schalt not do auowtrie, thou schalt not do thefte, thou schalt not seie fals witnessying;(matthew 19:18)

    For, Thou schalt do no letcherie, Thou schalt not sle, Thou schalt not stele, Thou schalt not seie fals witnessyng, Thou schalt not coueyte the thing of thi neiybore, and if ther be ony othere maundement, it is instorid in this word, Thou schalt loue thi neiybore as thi silf. (Romans 13:9)​

    This KJV inconsistent rendering is now exposed for what it is: the king's revisers preferred to apply a politically expedient Latin-derived term at Matthew 19:18 and dismissed the witness of the Greek TR in direct violation of the their trust to correct the Bishops' text by the original languages.
     
    #17 franklinmonroe, Oct 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2008
  18. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    45
    Matthew 19:18
    KJV "murder"

    NIV "murder"
    NLT "murder"
    CEV "murder"
    MESS "murder"
    NCV "murder"
    NRSV "murder"
    HCSB "murder"
    ESV "murder"
     
  19. AntennaFarmer

    AntennaFarmer
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you kidding? Instruction #1 was: "The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the truth of the original will permit." (Quote from Mercer Dictionary of the Bible).

    Your idea appears to be that the translator must have a one to one correspondence between the original language word and the English word. That is not true. The translator is free to substitute an application-specific word where appropriate. The choice depends on both the general and immediate context of the particular passage.

    A.F.
     
  20. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Jerome has listed a number of other English versions (NIV, NLT, etc.) that also translate Matthew 19:18 with "murder" as the KJV does which prompts me to say --

    First, I have NOT attempted to establish the correctness of either "murder" or "kill" in this thread (only that the two words are not completely synonymous). Second, it is my opinion that either "murder" or "kill" can be a proper translation depending upon the context (but for the record, I actually prefer "murder" for the Sixth Commandment). So yes, in and of itself "murder" is an accurate translation of the Greek word in Matthew 19:18.

    However, no verse stands alone. Every translated verse must be compatible with the entire translated volume (a huge task); that is, the rendering of every word should compliment every other rendering, and not have tension or conflict with them. It has been my contention in this thread that the KJV rendering of "murder" is only inaccurate in the sense that it is inconsistent with the rest of the English translation. Notice that the topic title did not focus on a single verse or word, but rather the issue is with the KJV text as a unit.

    The KJV has with its' only rendering of the Sixth Commandment as "murder" in Matthew 19:18 has caused the appearance of Jesus misquoting the Decalogue and apparent disharmony between Matthew's account of this discourse and those of Mark & Luke. The king's revisers had consistently rendered the Greek TR word phoneuo as "kill" (at least 10 of 11 other times); then inexplicably the AV men seemed to have followed the Latin translation (which had influenced the Bishops' text) in Matthew 19:18 against the Greek TR.

    For this current discussion, it does not matter whether "murder" or "kill" is employed in the translation of the Sixth Commandment, it only matters that the same term be applied consistently when the Sixth Commandment is stated in English. I have checked: the NIV, NLT, and the ESV all consistently render the Sixth Commandment as "murder" (2 places in the OT, and 6 places in the NT). But I equally commend the RSV, ASV, and Darby for having consistently used "kill" in those 8 verses.
     
    #20 franklinmonroe, Oct 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2008

Share This Page

Loading...