Pronoun Trouble

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by KJVBibleThumper, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. KJVBibleThumper

    KJVBibleThumper
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    The importance of the words “thee, thou, you, and ye” in the clarity of the Scriptures cannot be over emphasized. Modern versions replace these words with a generic “you”, and argue that words “thee, thou, you, and ye” are archaic words that must be replaced. Something they fail to point out, and a fact that many people do not realize, is that when the translators of the King James began their monumental work that would led to the King James, the words “thee, thou, you, and ye” had already passed out of common usage. You say, “well why are they in the King James then?”, well the answer is that they must be there in order to provide an accurate translation into English from the Greek of personal pronouns. Dr. Henry Morris has this to say about it:
    [FONT=&quot]"And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do." (Exodus 4:15)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]These words of God, spoken to Moses concerning the mission he and his brother Aaron were to undertake at Pharaoh's palace are one of numerous examples in Scripture where the King James translation uses several different forms of the second-person pronoun. In this one verse, we see the words "thou," "thy," "you," and "ye," all fulfilling this function. Most modern translations would translate this sentence: "You shall speak to him ...and I will be with your mouth,... and will teach you what you shall do." Why would the King James translators use four different forms of the pronoun when only "you" and "your" are used in modem versions?[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The fact is that the Elizabethan-age English was able to make much finer distinctions than modem English. That is, "thou," "thee," "thy," and "thine," were used for the second person singular, whereas "ye," "you," "your," and "yours" were the corresponding words for the plural. Different words also were used for subject, object, and possessive modifier, as is still true for first and third-person pronouns.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In our text, God was telling Moses that he (Moses) was to speak to Aaron, and that He (God) would then teach both of them, not just Moses, what they were to do. This distinction is clear in the King James English, but not in modern English. This is one of numerous examples where such fine points in the King James language are lost in modern translations.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In the Lord's Prayer, for example, "Yours is the kingdom" could suggest that many will possess the kingdom, where "thine is the kingdom" clearly recognizes one God alone. Clear words are important for clear meanings, and Jesus said, "My words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). HMM[/FONT]
    We must keep those pronouns in our Bible or the meaning in many passages becomes more obscured and harder to understand. Just because our language has degenerated is no reason to accept a looser translation. We must have clarity in our Bible. But if you have to do some studying to fully understand a passage, the Bible still commands us to “study to show ourselves approved unto God”. Why accept a looser and more sloppy reading?
    Please keep in mind that I will only be responding to responses that address the whole issue, I have seen too many topics get de-railed by rabbit trails and I would prefer to avoid that here. If you want me to respond, then post a logical, well reasoned post that addresses every issue I just raised. And keep in mind, as I have said before, that we are all brethren here, if you want to post that according to your convictions, I am in doctrinal error, or that I am twisting Scripture, feel free to do so, but keep the spirit christian. And since I am leaving for Washington Thursday and from thence, to college on Saturday, I will only be able to respond today and tomorrow. So if I do not respond after Tuesday, that is why. ;)
    In Christ,
    Thumper
     
  2. franklinmonroe

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    Clear words are important, I agree. However, clear words must also be properly interpreted; and you don't seem to have a proper understanding of Matthew 24:35. Notice Matthew 26:55 (KJV) --
    In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.​
    If Jesus taught daily in the temple, where are all those words he used to teach them with? They aren't all written in the Bible. Have these words "passed away" then? Yes, to us it seems they have. Therefore, Jesus must have meant something else (less literal) when He said "... but my words shall not pass away". I respect Dr. Morris, but this is a misapplication of the verse as shown simply by comparing scripture with scripture. Until you discover what Jesus Christ actually meant, you probably shouldn't quote this verse or others that do.
     
    #2 franklinmonroe, Jan 12, 2009
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  3. Keith M

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    Good point, BT! That's why it's important to update the words used to convey the message God has given us. The KJVO position stands in direct opposition to clarity in Scripture by seeking to rid the world of modern translations that update words and make the message more understandable.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I disagree. I think it has been over emphasized to death.

    This isn't completely true. Many modern version offer textual notes to help improve the readers' understanding of the actual pronoun.

    Check out the NET Bible. It is replete with translators notes and references to clarify the text. Other versions do this as well.

    Your point is superfluous. Modern version offer clarifying language in many areas, including pronouns, that the KJV does not clarify.

    But what about other faith traditions in other languages that have gender inflected pronouns? Should they read the King James Version too?
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    In how many passages of the Bible have you estimated the meaning could be seriously jeopardized by the lack of number inflected pronouns? Please give several examples (verse references alone will do).
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    I have a friend who has been trying to make the theological case for the inclusion of "ya'll" into a modern translation.

    Maybe this will help. :D
     
  7. Mexdeaf

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    Sorry, preachin'- "ya'll" is liberal modernist interpretation in line with W-H theories of inspiration. As any true Southerner who is SLO (Southern Language Only) knows, the correct spelling and punctuation is "y'all".



    :smilewinkgrin: :laugh:
     
  8. Logos1560

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    Is that clarity always found in the KJV?

    William Tyndale wanted his translation to be clear enough for ploughboys to understand. Tyndale desired that the Scriptures be “plainly laid” before the eyes of the people. In his biography about Tyndale, David Daniel noted: “What is characteristic of Tyndale, and what matters, is his clarity, his determination to put nothing in the way of being understood” (William Tyndale, p. 113). Daniel asserted: “Tyndale goes for clear, everyday, spoken, English” (p. 135). For the most part, the early English translators used the uncomplicated, understandable, everyday English of the common people in their translating. H. D. Williams maintained that “a translator should use the language and vocabulary of the plain man in a language-group to translate the Scriptures” (Word-for-Word Translating, p. 6).

    Tyndale commented: “For if I understand not the meaning, it helpeth me not” (Answer, p. 97). Gordon Clark asserted: "If we cannot understand or conceive what God tells us to do, of what use is the revelation?" (The Trinity, p. 79). In the introduction of his translation of Jeremiah, Benjamin Blayney (editor of the 1769 Oxford edition of the KJV) asked: “Can any Scripture be profitable except it be understood? And if not rightly understood, may not the perversion of it be proportionately dangerous?“ (p. xv). James Peirce commented: “For the people, words that are commonly used and easy to be understood, should be preferred to those that are ancient and obsolete” (Vindication, p. 489). Charles Spurgeon noted: “Unless we understand what we read we have not read it; the heart of the reading is absent. We commonly condemn the Romanists for keeping the daily service in the Latin tongue; yet it might as well be in the Latin language as in any other tongue if it be not understood by the people” (Spurgeon’s Expository Ency., Vol. 15, p. 209). This was the view that the KJV translators themselves stated in their preface to the 1611. They wrote: "But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of Canaan, that it may be understood even of the very vulgar” [referring to the common people].

    Updating the archaic words whose meaning has changed would be restoring the actual meaning intended by the translators. In his introduction to The New Testament Octapla, Luther Weigle noted: "It not only does the King James translators no honor, but it is quite unfair to them and to the truth which they understood and expressed, to retain these words which now convey meanings they did not intend" (p. xiii). To continue to keep archaic terms that convey erroneous ideas to the mind of the uninformed reader would be tolerating and even advocating those misconceptions. Have the good intentions of many lovers of the KJV become the enemy of the best translation of many inspired Hebrew and Greek words into English? Do they in effect keep from many the simple meaning of many of God's words by keeping it hid in archaic words? The words whose meaning has changed would seem to give an “uncertain sound” since they no longer convey the precise meaning intended by the KJV translators (1 Cor. 14:8).

    The Bible does not work as a charm that magically gives understanding in spite of words whose meaning the reader does not know. A reliable and standard Bible translation should be clear and understandable in the language as it exists today and not as it existed over three hundred years ago. If the current meaning of the many words in the KJV is not the same as the meaning of the inspired words in the Hebrew and Greek, should not these words be updated to words with the correct meaning? Should God's Word be allowed to become a mere treasure house of antique phrases and archaic words or should these archaic words be updated? When any translation becomes obscure because of words whose meaning has completely changed, it needs updating. Should archaic words be allowed to cause the meaning of God's inspired Word to be misconstrued? Samuel Newth noted that some “words change their meaning and give to the sentences in which they occur a different and sometimes an alien sense to that which they formerly conveyed” (Lectures on Bible Revision, p. 56). Gleason Archer wrote: "We fall into misinterpretation when we err in understanding the Hebrew or Greek words that compose the original Scripture itself, supposing them to mean something the ancient writer never intended, simply because the English words of our Bible translation might be so construed" (Foundation of Biblical Authority, p. 95). James Gurnhill noted: “When the word occurs in old writings, with a meaning very different from its present one, it is then the real difficulty arises” (Breeches Bible, p. 74). Alister McGrath observed: “Shifts in meaning can easily lead to misunderstandings of what an older translation meant” (In the Beginning, p. 237). John Brown wrote: “The translators in writing attached one meaning, we in reading quite another” (History of the English Bible, p. 118).


     
  9. Logos1560

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    Can you provide any statements from any of the KJV translators themselves that state that was their reason for keeping them? Perhaps your claim is only your assumption or speculation.

    Perhaps they simply kept them from the pre-1611 English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision.

    Scrivener pointed out that over 300 times “you” in the 1611 edition of the KJV was changed to “ye” in later editions of the KJV especially the 1762 Cambridge and 1769 Oxford editions (Authorized Edition, p. 104). Do you claim that the KJV translators were wrong to use "you" those 300 times that later editors changed to "ye?"
     
  10. EdSutton

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    Let's Have No "Pronoun Trouble" Here, Please!

    "Since the Thread is titled 'Pronoun Trouble', I thought I would look at a few posts, in order to find a coupla' glaring examples of such. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get 'Google' to 'cooperate', thus far.

    So, I'll simply speak about the subject.

    The Church, be she local or larger, all the way up to and including the entire 'body of Christ' is always a 'she'. Any church! Every church! There is no such thng as a church that is an 'it'. Period!

    And the facility in which 'she' may happen to assemble, is not the church, FTR. This structure may properly be referred to as an 'it', but never when one is speaking of 'her' 'members', who may happen to be assembled there.

    'She'
    may meet at 'it', but 'it' does not meet, anywhere! Ever!"

    Signed, Language Cop


    "Hmmm! No question in my mind! I'd say ol' L.C. definitely is a bit testy, today!" ;)

    Signed,

    Ed
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    Dear friend. I am sad to see that the basic functions of English grammar has elluded you. We all know that right proper English which uses contractions will always use two or more of the initial word and usually only one or two letters from the other.

    Note:
    Isn't
    Ain't
    Won't
    It'll
    It's

    Thus, ya'll is perhaps the most acceptable form available. Perhaps Ya'llth might be acceptable in some circumstances but the rule is firm...;)

    Back at ya:thumbs:
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    I'm thankful that as English evolved, good men with vision translated the inspired Word into English of that day.

    I've read Wycliffe and man, I was thankful for the bunch who updated the language in 1600. And as language evolved I was thankful for 1901 ASV. And now I'm thankful for more updating.

    Praise God that no matter how a language evolves, there will always be some updated translations to make even those ploughboys understand.
     
  13. sag38

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    I'll have to admit that I have heard a lot of arguments supporting the KJVO position. Some are more tenable (but lacking) but, this is the first telling me that I need to pay attention to the thees, thous, etc. Please, you'll have to do better than that Thumper.
     
  14. KJVBibleThumper

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    "Every word of God is pure" brother, and that is the crux of the issue that we deal with here on the boards, what exactly they are. As "thees,thous, etc" carry the precise meanings of the Greek pronouns better then a generic "you" why shouldn't we want them? Isn't the argument frequently used on here in reference to using an MV the fact that they supposedly translate the Greek in a clearer fashion? Then whats the problem? That is why the KJV translators pt them there, they were out of style even then. Nobody in 1611 walked around saying these words(except for the Quakers, and we won't go into them here :D )
     
  15. sag38

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    I would equate your argument to splitting hairs. Personally, I have better things to worry about when I study God's word.

    Maybe your KJVO argument would hold more weight if there were just one KJV but there isn't. I have two that I use on a regular basis. Both are different. The differences are not major by any sense of the word. But, using your criteria, this is a major problem. Which one should I use? The KJV Study Bible or my Ryrie King James Study Bible? Personally, I prefer the the Ryrie. It reads a little easier than the KJV Study Bible.
     
  16. jonathan.borland

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    There is a modern version that actually prints the plural "you" with spaces in it, like "y o u." I've read it but can't remember which one it is. Does anyone else? As for the "thou" and "ye," it really is unnecessary if one knows grammar well enough to distinguish between subjects and objects.
     
  17. Rippon

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    I don't know of a Bible translation that does this -- but Hendrickson the Bible commentator used to employ that in his works.( By the way he was one of the NIV translators). I like the technique.
     
  18. robycop3

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    BT, have you ever read SHAKESPEARE? He produced mosta his worx between 1590 & 1613 & he wasn't a bit shy about using those pronouns. Nor was he ashamed to coin new words which are now common usage, with their original meaningsfrom accommodation(Othello) to zany(Love's Labour Lost)

    And how about the writings of KING JAMES? Ever read any of THEM? If not, here's a sample( the "advertisement") from one of his "Meditations" written to his son Charles, who succeeded him:

    Other writings of KJ bear the same writing style & word usage.

    Simple fact is, the AV was written in the English style contemporary for its day, very modern for its day in phrase, sentence construction, word usage, & spelling. In 1611 it was the MOST MODERN English Bible ever written.

    It is part of God's pattern of updating the translation of His word, as He causes/allows the language to change over time. He does the same thing in every language now in use that's had His word translated into it for a long time.

    That's GOD'S plan; the KJVO doctrine, derived from a CULT OFFICIAL'S book, is MAN'S plan.
     
  19. Rippon

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    The KJV was modern in the sense of being the most recent in 1611.But its English was not as modern as it could have been.William Tyndale's translation would be modern-sounding to a 21st century person in many places.And that's the case despite being some 85 years older than the 1611.
     
    #19 Rippon, Jan 13, 2009
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  20. gb93433

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    If you came into my classroom using a few particular words from the KJV, I would ask you to leave until you cleaned your mouth up.
     
    #20 gb93433, Jan 13, 2009
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