Marginal notes

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Mexdeaf, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    I posted this on another thread and would like to solicit commentary on the subject of the 'inspiration', or lack thereof, of marginal notes.

    The KJV1611 translators said in their Preface concerning marginal notes-

    " • 5 it hath pleased God in His divine providence here and there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty and doubtfulness, not in doctrinal points that concern salvation, (for in such it hath been vouched that the Scriptures are plain) but in matters of less moment, that fearfulness would better beseem {be suitable to} us than confidence, and if we will resolve, to revolve upon modesty with S.Augustine, (though not in this same case altogether, yet upon the same ground) Melius est dubitare de occultis, quàm litigare de incertis: [S.August. li. 8. de Genes. ad liter. cap. 5.] it is better to make doubt of those things which are secret, than to strive about those things that are uncertain.
    • 6 There be many words in the Scriptures [apax legomena.] which be never found there but once, (having neither brother nor neighbour, as the Hebrews speak) so that we cannot be holpen by conference of places.
    • 7 Again, there be many rare names of certain birds, beasts, and precious stones, etc., concerning which the Hebrews themselves are so divided among themselves for judgement, that they may seem to have defined this or that, rather because they would say something, than because they were sure of that which they said, as S.Hierome somewhere saith of the Septuagint.
    • 8 Now in such a case, doth not a margin do well to admonish the reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily?
    • 9 For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident, so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgement of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption.
    • 10 Therefore as S.Augustine saith, [S.Aug. 2. de doctr. Christian. cap. 14.] that variety of translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is not so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded.
    • 11 We know that Sixtus Quintus [Sixtus V. præf. Bibliæ.] expressly forbiddeth that any variety of readings of their vulgar edition should be put in the margin, (which though it be not altogether the same thing to that we have in hand, yet it looketh that way) but we think he hath not all of his own side his favourers for this conceit.
    • 12 They that are wise, had rather have their judgments at liberty in differences of readings, than to be captivated to one, when it may be the other.

    (You may read this in it's entirety at http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/pref1611.htm#s16
     
  2. Keith M

    Keith M
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    The words of the KJV translators definitely stand against the presumption that in all cases only one particular reading can be possible. Yet, despite the words of the KJV translators, some folks today maintain that only one reading can be possible while all other variances or differences are definitely wrong. Now where did they get that idea?
     
  3. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Interesting- I would have thought that this would generate more than one comment by now since it has had 25 views. The silence of certain individuals on this issue is deafening.
     
  4. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Opening Post (OP):
    By contrast with these Translators of the KJVs,
    their are some alive teachers who don't even believe in
    the Doctrine of the Competency of the Believer and don't think
    enough of the intellegence
    their parishioners can handle what the Translator Footnotes
    mean (or don't know - sometimes hard to tell???).

    And here is what the Translator Footnotes mean:
    There were more than one original language (or other antient
    language) source available that didn't agree word for word.
    In the KJV1611 Edition, for example, Translator Footnoes
    that start out "Heb" mean that among the Hebrew OT sources,
    there is a variant; if it starks out "Gk" it means that among the
    Greek NT sources, there is a variant.
    If a note starts with 'Or', then there is variant good ways to
    translate the Hebrew or Greek source into the English Language.
    Translation isn't an exact science - tranlation is an art form.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    More info on those notes...

    I found this fascinating and educational reading-

    Something "qere" Is Going On In The KJV

    This topic is a fascinating one. It cuts right to the core of several KJV-only arguments at the same time, and will also turns the KJV-onlies' definition of "preservation" on it's ear. In fact, the topic of "qere" is so devastating to the KJV-only position, that ALL BY ITSELF it proves the KJV-only position is nothing more than an unjustified, idealistic fantasy. It also shows that some of the "problems" the KJV-onlies denounce other translations for, are deeply rooted in the KJV as well.

    So what is a "qere"? Basically, a marginal note. A marginal note that became scripture.
    The Masoretic Text

    The Masortic Text was compiled by the Jewish Masorete scribes in the last few hundred years of the first millenium A.D., with the oldest available editions date between 900 and 1100 AD. It is the Hebrew scriptures used to translate the OT. Its production is legendary and it's accuracy is heralded my many. When compared to the much older Dead Sea Scrolls, it's accuracy is considered by some to be incredible to the point of being miraculous, and does much to prove the accuracy and reliability of the Bible. The scribes themselves went to great pains to be as accurate as possible. They did things like:
    • Saying each word aloud as it was read and copied from manuscripts (No word or letter could be written from memory)
    • Always pausing to wipe the tip of the pen before writing the sacred name of God
    • Counting every single word and every letter to verify accuracy and to be sure they matched the original.
    • Completely washing themselves in a ritual bath to remind them of the seriousness and sacredness of copying the scriptures
    • Discarding their work if any errors were detected
    Several KJV-only authors and other supporters know all that very well, and often relate this information to prove the amazing accuracy of the Hebrew scriptures we use to translate the Old Testament. Most even say the Masoretic Text is God's perfect word in Hebrew. However, they don't realize that by making such a strong (and appropriate!) argument for the Masoretic Text, they've just smashed their own KJV-only position to pieces.
    Qere and Ketiv

    As part of this great dedication to accuracy, whenever a scribe felt that the text he was copying wasn't right (e.g. he felt a previous scribe had made a mistake, the text didn't read as tradition indicated, he felt the meaning might be improved, he wanted to smooth over a vulgarity for reading aloud, etc.), he would not change the text he was copying, but instead write a note in the margin. The marginal note reflected what the scribe felt the text should say, for whatever reason. The marginal note is called the "qere" (pronounced "keh-ray"), and the actual text the note was associated with is called the "ketiv" (pronounced "keh-teev"). "ketiv" basically means "to be written" (ie. what should be copied to preserve accuracy), and "qere" basically means "to be read" (ie. what to use instead when reading the text aloud).


    You might be thinking, "That's all very interesting, but what's that have to do with KJV-onlyism?" Only this: Many times, the KJV-translators translated from the "qere" (the marginal note in the Masoretic Text), rather than the "ketiv" (the actual text itself of the Masoretic Text).


    I should point out here that qere readings are not unique to the KJV. Most if not all English translations have them where translators felt they were justified.
    Qere/Ketiv pairs come in several "flavors". Some are synonymous in meaning, but sound different. Some sound identical, but have totally different meanings. Some are different both in meaning and sound. Some are very similar in both meaning and sound.
    A Major Problem for the KJV-Only Doctrine

    Marginal Notes?

    The first KJV-only argument that is totally shot down by this subject has to do with marginal notes. Anyone who has ever seen the original 1611 KJV (genuine or a reprint), will find that many words that KJV-onlies criticize modern versions for, show up in the marginal notes of the 1611 KJV as alternate, possible, and/or equivalent renderings. (See this external KJV-only refutation page for some examples, but be sure to return!)


    Now, KJV-only advocates have been quick to respond "Marginal notes are the translator's opinion, and are not and should not be considered inspired scripture. Stick with the text. God gave us and preserves the text, not the marginal notes." And yet the KJV itself contains translations from the qere readings, the marginal notes, of the Masoretic Text, instead of the text they're arguing has been preserved! And not just in one or two places, but in hundreds. KJV-onlies are slamming other versions for agreeing with the KJV's marginal notes instead of the KJV's text, when that's exactly what the KJV is doing with the Masoretic Text!



    (from http://www.kjv-only.com/qere.html)
     
  6. Ed Edwards

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    Mexdeaf: //Now, KJV-only advocates have been quick to respond "Marginal notes are the translator's opinion, and are not and should not be considered inspired scripture. Stick with the text. God gave us and preserves the text, not the marginal notes." And yet the KJV itself contains translations from the qere readings, the marginal notes, of the Masoretic Text, instead of the text they're arguing has been preserved! And not just in one or two places, but in hundreds. KJV-onlies are slamming other versions for agreeing with the KJV's marginal notes instead of the KJV's text, when that's exactly what the KJV is doing with the Masoretic Text!//

    Amen, Brother Mexdeaf -- Preach it!.

    God used the 'qere' and 'Translator Margin Notes' in
    His Miracle/Divine Preservation of God's Holy Written Word.
     
  7. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Still waiting for a response from a KJVO....
     
  8. Mexdeaf

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    Almost 24 hours since my last post and no response from KJVO's on this issue.
     
  9. Keith M

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    The translators or the original KJV were quite adamant about their feelings. Who can argue with that? What they believed is what they believed, even if some folks these days don't agree with them. To argue with the fact that the KJV translators said these things would be like arguing that Abraham Lincoln didn't deliver the Gettysbug Address. Like you, Mexdeaf, I am surprised that someone hasn't tried to argue that the beliefs of the KJV translators were wrong.
     
    #9 Keith M, Feb 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2007
  10. robycop3

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    Another reason for the marginal notes is that the translators didn't wanna break the rhythm of their text by inserting a long definition, or several possible definitions into the text. therefore, BY PERSONAL OPINION they chose ONE of those correct definitions for their text, but included the others in marginal notes so as to be completely honest in their translation by showing those other correct definitions. An example of this is found in the AV 1611 where the translators give the possible correct renderings for the Hebrew in Psalm 12:7 in a marginal note. Another is in Isaiah 14:7 where they give an alternative definition for helel while using 'Lucifer' in the text.

    The latter KJV editions have 'dumbed down' the original AV by leaving out mosta the extratextual material from the translators.
     
  11. robycop3

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    This is whyI say a copy of the AV 1611 is an invaluable tool for Bible study for any English-reading Bible student. And we Christians are Bible students from the day of our salvations to our deaths.

    The AV translators NEVER claimed that they were making a be-all, end-all version. They often followed existing versions, and merely stated that they'd done their best. The KJVOs would like us to forget that these very same translators declared existing translations, even poor ones, to be the WORD OF GOD.

    Seems as if many disciples of a certain false doctrine wanna believe the AV translators only as far as their writings agree with their doctrine. Since the doctrine arose long after the translators wrote, then the doctrine should conform to those writings...IF THE DOCTRINE WERE TRUE! But it isn't & it doesn't.
     
  12. Keith M

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    It is quite obvious from their notes the translators of the 1611 KJV did not believe they had translated the "end all" English Bible version. It is sad some folks today have adopted this belief which stands totally opposite to the beliefs conveyed by the KJV translators. Go figure...
     
  13. Mexdeaf

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    :(

    Well, I guess that the KJVO's have no answer for this either. Is that strike three or four?
     
  14. Keith M

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    I think we're up to strike 5 but then who's counting? The side was out from the beginning!

    :laugh: :laugh: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     

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