Mark 10:9

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    I can really appreciate the way the KJV renders this verse --
    What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.​

    The English words "put asunder" in the KJV is the from the Greek word chorizeto (Strong's #5563) meaning to separate, divide, part; or to depart from a place. Therefore, many other versions are justified in their use of the English word "separate" --

    Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. (NKJV)

    let no one separate them, for God has joined them together (NLT1996)

    Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. (NIV)

    What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (ESV)

    What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (NASB)​

    For me, "separate" does not have the same connotation or force as "put asunder". I find these versions theologically weak on marriage. Allow me to elaborate.

    "Separate" can mean to disunite, to make come apart, and to become divided into components or individual parts. For illustration, some recipes require the separation of the yolk from the egg white. It is not easy, nor perfect, but it is possible. The egg was once composed of the yolk and the white as a unified whole, but they remained fairly distinct and could be separated.

    "Put asunder" can also mean to divide into parts or pieces, but not so much into original component parts. For illustration, the yolk of a scrambled egg cannot be separated from the white. It's not messy, it's impossible. This is the type of merging (marriage) of two components (husband & wife) that I think is meant by "one flesh" (Matthew 19:6)--
    Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.​

    BTW - these parallel passages are the only two places that chorizeto is rendered as "put asunder", which is very useful in making a strong connection between them.

    "Put asunder" often carries a connotation of violence. Notice how the English word (from other Greek words) is used elsewhere in the KJV (these account for all the rest of the NT references, save one) --

    And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:51)

    Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him. (Mark 5:4)

    Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. (Acts 1:18)

    For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

    They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Hebrews 11:37)​

    When something 'bursts' asunder the results are not neat and tidy individual parts. I believe that God sees divorce as a violent tearing of a marriage into jagged pieces, and the two pieces are never the same as they were before. I think that the word "separate" insinuates that the parts can be more-or-less restored to their original states. I am disappointed in the versions that use "separate" here. The KJV words "put asunder" capture the meaning much more completely and vividly.

    Your thoughts? Other translations?
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Oct 5, 2007
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  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    No comments except that I agree that the KJV rendering is superior here.

    But I do have a KJV bias :)
     
  3. David Lamb

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    Yes, to us in the 21st century "asunder" sounds more forceful. However, in the KJV, the very same word, chorizo, is translated eight times as "depart" (as in: "He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem" - Acts 1.4), three times as "separate" (as in "separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" - Hebrews 7.26) and twice as "put asunder" (Matthew 19.6 and Mark 10.9). As you said, the other times where the English "asunder" is used, the Greek word is different - not chorizo. When Acts 18.1 says that Paul departed from Athens, he did not employ violence.
     
  4. TCGreek

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    "So then, what God has yoked together, let no one rip apart" (TCG). I like my translation better. :thumbs:
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    Yes, I mentioned that chorizo can mean "to depart from a place", and it is true that it is least often rendered as "put asunder" (only twice of 13). I assume you are not suggesting that it should be translated as "depart" in Mark 10:9.

    Just look at almost any word in the dictionary or lexicon, and you will see most words have multiple definitions (frequently very diverse). So, although chorizo may properly mean 'depart' in the majority of cases, that does not preclude it in another situation from suggesting a forceful division.

    I think "put asunder" is superior (to "separate"), regardless of how it might sound to us. Although my argument is linguistic, it is predicated upon a scriptural understanding of marriage, not so much on the Greek. BTW - just look at OT verses for futher violent and forceful contexts of the English word "asunder" in the KJV text.
     
    #5 franklinmonroe, Oct 5, 2007
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  6. franklinmonroe

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    Please defend your rendering of chorizeto as "rip".
     
  7. Jerome

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    I agree with David that asunder does not necessarily entail violence.
    It is not asunder, but the cutting, plucking, bursting, piercing, and sawing words that contribute the notion of violence.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    I think it's covered in those connotations given by Jerome.
     
  9. franklinmonroe

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    You're right; I should have said something more like "is accompanied by" instead of "carries". The forcefulness is not really my point; it is the condition (wholeness) of the parts after they have been divided.
     
  10. David Lamb

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    That seems much clearer - thanks! Otherwise it would seem that only the violent breaking up of a marriage was condemned, and not (say) a secular marriage guidance counsellor suggesting that (in his professional opinion) it would be best for a couple to divorce.
     
  11. robycop3

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    Almost seemsta me that "let no man" is taking into account that a 3rd person is often a marriage-wrecker.
     
  12. franklinmonroe

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    OK, good. My bottom line question was: is "put asunder" theologically superior than "separate"? Or is there an even better translation?
     
  13. TCGreek

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    1. Not theological at all, because the KJV renders the same Greek verb chorizo as "separate" in Rom 8:35, which is a greater theological concept than divorce in a marriage. We're talking about eternal security.

    2. Not theological, just stylistic, IMO.
     
  14. franklinmonroe

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    You bring up an interesting point: is the "man" (person) someone outside the marriage? Is it 'society' that is responsible for not dividing marriages?

    Or, is the "man" the husband and/or the wife? It occurred to me during the previous discussion that if the verse rendered chorizeto as "depart" (the majority definition) it would more clearly indicate the responsibility is upon the married persons not on others; it would look like this --
    What therefore God hath joined together, let not man depart.​

    Is this a possible translation? Is THIS what Jesus meant? It is true, we should not "depart" from our marriages.
     
  15. franklinmonroe

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    Grammatically correct: "asunder" is an adverb. It modifies the verbs cutting, bursting, etc. (the verb supplied in the KJV is "put", which is not explicitly in the Greek). "Asunder" is closely associated with "sunder".

    "Sunder" is a verb form and is defined as: to break (by cracking, or splitting into fragments by means of force); or wrench apart (by strain). Synonyms for "sunder" are shatter, splinter, separate. (source: online American Heritage Dictionary).

    Synonyms for "separate" are divide, part, sever, sunder, divorce. But the AHD further reveals shades of meaning for each --
    These verbs mean to become or cause to become parted, disconnected, or disunited. Separate applies both to putting apart and to keeping apart: “In the darkness and confusion, the bands of these commanders became separated from each other” (Washington Irving). Divide implies separation by or as if by cutting or splitting into parts or shares; the term often refers to separation into opposing or hostile groups: We divided the orange into segments. “‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free” (Abraham Lincoln). Part refers most often to the separation of closely associated persons or things: “Because … nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us” (Emily Brontë). Sever usually implies abruptness and force: “His head was nearly severed from his body” (H.G. Wells). Sunder stresses violent tearing or wrenching apart: The country was sundered by civil war. Divorce implies complete separation: “a priest and a soldier, two classes of men circumstantially divorced from the kind and homely ties of life” (Robert Louis Stevenson).​

    The scriptural teaching of marriage is that the man and woman become united, creating a new institution. It is not disassembled without trauma.

    When the patient was diagnosed with cancer, the initial treatment was to be surgical removal. The cancerous mass needed to be separated from the patient's body. However, the tumor had become so united with the body through infinite blood vessels, that the surgeon immediately recognized that such a sunderance would be fatal and aborted the surgery. My father died a few weeks later.

    When a marriage is torn into pieces, the scared individuals (children included) may live on, but the institution itself does not survive.
     
    #15 franklinmonroe, Oct 8, 2007
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  16. Fred Moritz

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    How about "divide" for "put asunder"? That word seems to contrast nicely with "joined together."

    As to third parties being the cause for divorce, experience verifies that, but I don't think that is what Jesus is getting at in this verse.

    His point seems to be that if God joined man and woman in marriage, no man is to divide them in divorce.

    Fred Moritz
     
  17. TCGreek

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    1. "Put asunder" is the KJV rendering of chorizo at Matt 19:6 but at Rom 8:35 it is render "separate."

    2. We are going around in circles, trying to build something theologically wonderful about "put asunder," since the Greek verb is capable of other rendering.
     
  18. franklinmonroe

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    I believe in eternal security, but the teaching in this passage is primarily one of 'earthly' security. We should not doubt Christ's love when evil befalls us. God wants us to know that He loves us now, despite the problems we will face. In context, Romans 8:28-36 (KJV) --
    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

    He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

    Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? [It is] God that justifieth.

    Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

    Notice, Paul states that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (v.28). And where are we are called to do His purpose? Here on Earth! Paul says "if God be for us, who can be against us?" (v.31). Of course, no one will be "against us" in our eternal rest; he talking about here and now. We meet much evil resistance in this present world.

    Next Paul says "how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (v.32). We need Him to give us things here, now, in this life. We need not fear any "tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword" (v.35) on this Earth (there is no distress or peril in Heaven). Christ still loves us, even when His followers are "killed all the day long" (v.36). Persecution and death was a concern to the early Roman Christians. These earthly trials are NOT signs that God has abandoned us.
     
    #18 franklinmonroe, Oct 8, 2007
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  19. franklinmonroe

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    I think "divide" is better than "separate". It is possible to "divide" something that was once whole, without implying that the parts are in some manner returning fully to a former state. For example, an omelet can be divided into portions without the expectation that each serving results in a restored egg.

    "Separate" implies the setting apart of similar, yet distinct, items (that aren't truly blended or bonded together); like the separation of whites from darks, in laundry terms. I don't think this is a scripturally sound representation of marriage.

    I think I've only seen one translation that used "divide" of the many I've looked at; I have no theory currently that would explain why "divide" has not been selected more often.
     
  20. franklinmonroe

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    Hebrews 4:12 has an example of a Greek term translated by two fairly diverse English terms --
    For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (KJV)​
    The KJV two-word rendering of "dividing asunder" is the single Greek masculine noun merismos (Strong's #3311) which has two definitions: 1 a division, partition, distribution of various kinds; 2 a separation, so far as to cleave asunder or separate (source: Thayer's). It occurs only twice in the entire NT. Here's the other (Hebrews 2:4, KJV)--
    God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?​
    You won't find anything similar to "dividing asunder" in there. Care to guess which English word represents merismos? It's the word "gifts" here. Is "gifts" also a proper rendering of the Greek? Well, many other Bible translators seem to think so ("gifts" is found in the NLT, NIV, ESV, NASB). Young and Darby render it "distributions".

    It is also interesting to notice that the verb "dividing" and the adverb "asunder" have almost the same definition (to separate into parts). Are they redundant? If "division" is already means "to separate", how then does "asunder" modify it? "Asunder" gives "division" some energy, strength, active power. The context indicates that more force is required than "division" could supply alone. I agree with the KJV revisors that this verse and Mark 10:9 demanded the puncuation that "asunder" offers.
     
    #20 franklinmonroe, Oct 8, 2007
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