Our Lord is terrible

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by tinytim, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last night in VBS the theme was "God is Awesome" The main verse was Psalms 47:2

    Psalms 47:2 NKJV
    (2)
    For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.



    One kid asked, "Why does my bible say He is terrible?"...

    He was using a KJV...

    Psalms 47:2 KJV


    (2)
    For the LORD most high [is] terrible; [he is] a great King over all the earth.


    Now, how would you have answered him?... (suppose he was 8 yrs old)


    Our teacher brought the question to me, and I took him to the Hebrew word, and had to explain how translation works...

    Ultimately, I told him that the verse is pointing to the Power of God.
     
  2. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    The KJV translated yare as "terrible" in Psa 47:2 but translated the same Hebrew word as "reverend" in Psa 111:9.

    But I do agree that yare terminates in God.
     
  3. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is precisely what I'm talking about when I say Modern English (or better still, Early Modern English) does not always mean the same thing that today's English means. "Terrible" had different connotations for people back then than the word has for us. So the KJV is accurate enough on its own terms, it just isn't accurate in today's English.
     
  4. Rufus_1611

    Rufus_1611
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,006
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would've said something to the effect that God said it, so I believe it. The Lord is terrible. If you say anything else you have to explain away all of the other passages that describe Him as being terrible.

    "Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible." - Deuteronomy 7:21

    "For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:" - Deuteronomy 10:17

    "And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:" - Deuteronomy 26:8

    "And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:" - Nehemiah 1:5

    "And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses." - Nehemiah 4:14

    Where is the fear of God, if God is not terrible?

    Terrible - 1. Frightful; adapted to excite terror; dreadful; formidable. (Webster's 1828)​

    Does "awesome" describe the fear of the Lord the way "terrible" does? When Bill and Ted say "awesome", does this have the same contemporary meaning as "terrible" did for hundreds of years?
     
  5. Rufus_1611

    Rufus_1611
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,006
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd say "terrible" means whatever the Holy Bible says it means. If I don't understand it, that's cause to study, not have someone create a new Bible.
     
  6. Keith M

    Keith M
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's one of the reasons God has so graciously given us the modern versions, so that we don't have to be stuck with an understanding that is 400 years old. Thank God for the MVs!
     
  7. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sure, it makes perfect sense that way, but you're using the 1828 Websters!!

    Listen to the way most people use the word these days. This lunch was terrible!! That movie was terrible! They're not talking "fearsome" they're saying "rotten".
     
  8. Rufus_1611

    Rufus_1611
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,006
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hear and use bad English all the time. It doesn't mean I'm right and someone should create a Bible that makes sense according to my misuse of the English language.
     
  9. Keith M

    Keith M
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your viewpoint just doesn't make sense, Rufus. You would take away the simplicity of the word of God for everyone but those who study 400-year-old English. You would deny the simplicity of Scripture to everyone but the elite and the studied, Rufus. That is not how Scripture was meant to be and that is not how we should view Scripture today.
     
  10. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe Webster captures well the sense behind "terrible," which is the translation of the Hebrew yare at Psa 47:2.

    I think "terrible" is still a better word than awesome at this point. Yare conveys both terror and awe before God. "Awesome" only captures the sense of awe but not terror.

    "Terrible" captures the sense of terror but not awe. So we need a better word to really convey both the negative and positive senses of yare at Psa 47:2.

    Both "terrible" and "awesome" have their shortcomings. But I choose "terrible" at this point.
     
  11. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fine, but unless you explain to people what "terrible" meant to the translators, a lot of people will wonder why the Bible is saying "The Lord is strongly repulsive and extremely bad". That's what "terrible" means to most people now. The current Webster's dictionary lists it as definition #3, but I hear people use it this way more often than any other way.

    3: extremely bad: as a: strongly repulsive

    This is not a misuse of the English language. It is right there in the dictionary. Today's dictionary, not the dictionary of 1828.
     
  12. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    So basically you would take a word from 1611, and retranslate it into today's language?

    That is what defining it would be.

    I don't think you would go around saying "The Lord is terrible" without explaining what "terrible" means.

    If you would, go out into the street now, and start proclaiming this... after all it is what your Bible says...

    You wouldn't do that would you? Why? Because saying "The Lord is terrible" is misleading.
    You would explain it in today's language, right?
     
  13. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then we need a contemporary word that will capture the sense of God evoking terror and awe as he is beheld and pondererd. What word can we so use?
     
  14. Rufus_1611

    Rufus_1611
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,006
    Likes Received:
    0
    No sir. I would have no hesitation to speak on the street and proclaim that "The Lord is terrible". In fact, next Friday I'll make this my theme verse in your honor...

    "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." - 2 Corinthians 5:11
     
  15. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Rufus , if you misuse contemporary English , isn't it a possibility you may use and understand older English in ways that the translators did not intend ?

    BTW , here are some pieces from a couple older versions for Ps. 47:2 .

    Wycliffe : hiy and fearful

    Coverdale : the most hyest to be feared

    The point is that the LORD fills his enemies with terror and His people with utmost reverent respect ( kind of redundant , I guess ) .

    Rufus and others : What about the lack of concordance in the KJV ? Do you acknowledge that it was a widespread practice by the KJV team ? The same English word was not used for the same Greek ( or in this case , Hebrew ) word . Not that that's a bad thing . I think complete concordance would be silly . There has to be some flexibility according to the various contexts in which a word is being used .
     
  16. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bet you explain what you mean by "terrible" in your sermon. That would be the same thing as defining it for your audience so they don't misunderstand the statement.

    I challenge you to leave out any explanation. Just say, "The Lord is terrible" as part of your sermon and refuse to explain it at all, by example, or by elaboration. Let them figure it out for themselves.

    Better yet, preach the whole sermon in the Early Modern English of 1611. Let none of today's English tarnish your message.
     
  17. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Most KJV-using preachers ( I'm not speaking of KJVO'ers ) when explaining the text of the Bible actually may be closer to the NLTse text . Now that's ironic .
     
  18. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    "For the LORD Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth" (NLT). But what connotation does "awesome" convey here?

    We even say, "That was an awesome shot!" while referring to a basketball going through the hoop. Is that what the psalmist had in mind?
     
  19. Keith M

    Keith M
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rufus, how long did it take you to dig up this definition that is nearly 200 years old, if not older? Let's see what a modern dictionary says. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary said...

    (Emphasis is not mine)

    This dictionarycan be found at http://www.m-w.com/ and it is very current (copyright 2007 is shown on the home page), reflecting the way today's reader would be more likely to understand terrible. This is a fine example of why we need modern Bible versions so that today's reader can better understand what the writers meant. Thankfully, God has graciously provided us with the MVs so that we can better understand what is meant in Scripture, just as He provided the KJV for readers in 1611.
     
  20. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Yes , TCG , I agree that "we" ( not me though ! ) have debased the word "awesome" in contemporary speech . I hear "awesome" tossed around for the most mundane things . Even the phrase "most awesome" has been done to death . " That was the most awesome shot dude !" That degrades the word . "Beautiful" has been degenerated also .

    " ... His terrible swift sword . His truth is marching on..." Okay , that settles it . Let's go back and say terrible once more , the way our ancestors did . But the trouble is -- no movement of ours will be enough to affect a change in the way English is commonly used these days . In sermons words must be defined in the course of the preaching .
     

Share This Page

Loading...