Punctuation - makes a difference?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by BrianT, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. BrianT

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    Scripture was originally written without punctuation, capitalization, or even spaces. Of course, English is different than ancient Greek and Hebrew, and these things are necessary for our language.

    During translation, is proper punctuation, etc, necessary, or are the "words" the only thing that's important? If the words are correct, but the punctuation is in error, is that an "error" in translation?

    I have a few examples I think would be interesting to discuss, but I'll see how people respond before mentioning them. [​IMG]
     
  2. Author

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    I, for one, would find the examples involving punctuation fascinating. I had a recent discussion with a fellow member of my church. He believes in Bible inerrancy and advowed that every "jot and tiddle" in the Bible is exact... ANY Bible. I pointed out the lack of punctuation in ancient Hebrew and he now thinks me a heretic (I mean, he REALLY does :eek: ). After all, those jots and tiddles are in his KJV, so they must have been in the original mss.

    :D --Ralph

    [ January 04, 2003, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Author ]
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Hey Ralph, ask him where the "jots" and "tittles" are in his English translation! :eek: (of course, they're NOT there)

    I find it amazing to hear Jesus say, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." then see people deny that the Greek and Hebrew are the Word of God . . and replace it with an archaic English translation that has no jot or tittle! :rolleyes:
     
  4. Author

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    Perzactly, Bob. :D

    --Ralph
     
  5. RaptureReady

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    I believe every "jot and tittle" matters. What are your examples?
     
  6. Pastor_Bob

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    The English translations most certainly do contain both the "jot" and "tittle." Remember context is everything. Jesus was obviously referring to even the smallest part of anything contained in the law. He was not referring specifically to the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet iota, or the top of a Hebrew letter (keraia.)

    If your reasoning is correct, then only the Scriptures in Hebrew could be the Word of God. The Greek, by your assessment, does not contain "jots" or "tittles" either as both are Hebrew.
     
  7. Abiyah

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    My daughter had a young lady in her teens argue
    that "If the KJV was good enough for Jesus, it is
    good enough for me." In fact, an apparently adult
    male argued the same thing on Crosswalk 2 - 3
    years ago. While one cannnot help but pity some-
    one who would say such things, it is far more
    amazing that such statements come from the
    churched.

    I do think that the punctuation is important,
    although I think it is occasionally difficult to de-
    cide how to punctuate. One Scripture my hus-
    band and I once debated, regarding this issue,
    was Psalm 121:1.

    KJV: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from
    whence cometh my help. (My help cometh
    from the Lord . . . .)

    NASB: I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
    from where shall my help come?

    NIV: I lift up my eyes to the hillls---
    where does my help from from?

    Stones: I raise my eyes upon the mountains:
    whence will come my help?
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    The only scripture Jesus had WAS the Hebrew OT. He said no jot or tittle - very real parts of Hebrew letters - would perish.

    That is not hard to believe or accept. Why try to interpret that away? It is simply taking Jesus' word at face value. It will not pass away.

    But PLEASE do not apply that to English, since the most obvious problem comes in the 100% absence of jots and tittles! :eek:
     
  9. tfisher

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    Ephesians 4:28

    "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good,..."

    or

    "Let him that stole, steal. No more but rather let him labor with his hands the thing which is good..."

    Since there is no punctuation in ancient Hebrew or Greek, is this what is meant by "rightly dividing the word of truth"?
    :confused:
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    So you are admitting that people who use this verse to argue that we have every single word of the autographs are wrong? Are you admitting that this verse is not about words and letters but rather about content?
     
  11. Pastor_Bob

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    I'm saying that this verse, (Mat. 5:18) is often taken out of context. Jesus is speaking of the law and the commandments. He is not speaking of His Words or of provendential preservation.

    We may, by application refer to preservation using this verse; but then it becomes relative.

    That could certainly be an application but it is not the primary interpretation.

    I've heard no one make that argument. In fact, I've heard many correctly admit that no copy of the originals exist today. I have heard some correctly declare that we do have the preserved Word of God in the English language. We do not believe that it is contained in a smorgasboard of variant translations; we believe it is contained in one translation.
     
  12. BrianT

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    Punctuation is obviously necessary in English. It was not necessary in ancient Greek and Hebrew. So how do we know if we're apply punctuation correctly?

    Here's two examples (of many) that are interesting from a punctuation perspective:

    Previously, while rearching Isa 14:12 (about the "Lucifer" issue), I learned that in the 1611 edition of the KJV, the verse reads (in modern spelling, to avoid discussing the "jots and tittles" that changed as the result of spelling) "How are thou fallen from heaven, O Luciver, son of the morning? how are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations?" Most present-day KJV's have "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" Notice the 1611 has two question marks, while recent KJVs have two exclamation points. Why was this changed, and by whose authority? Which is correct? There are many, many other such changes from 1611 until today.

    Another interesting example: 1 Cor 16:22 (KJV) says "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." How many sentences are there? One. Yet "Anathema" means "accursed" (as translated elsewhere in the KJV, and "Maranatha" means "May the Lord come." or similar. Literally, this verse would then read "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed let the Lord come." Why is there no period ending the sentence after "Anathema"?
     
  13. Ed Edwards

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    Ifaiah XIIII:12 (KJV1611):

    How art thou fallen from heauen,
    || O Lucifer, sonne of the morning?
    how
    art thou cut downe to the ground,
    which didst weaken the nations?


    sidenote: || Or, O daystarre.

    Ifaiah XIIII:12 (alternate KJV1611):

    How art thou fallen from heauen,
    O daystarre, sonne of the morning?
    how
    art thou cut downe to the ground,
    which didst weaken the nations?


    Isaiah 14:12 (NLT):

    "How you are fallen from heaven,
    O shining star, son of the morning!
    You have been thrown down to the earth,
    you who destroyed the nations of the world.

    Isaiah 14:12 (nKJV):
    "How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Lucifer, F17 son of the morning!
    How you are cut down to the ground,
    You who weakened the nations!

    FOOTNOTES:
    F17: Literally Day Star


    Isaiah 14:12 (KJV1873):

    How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,
    son of the morning!
    how art thou cut down to the ground,
    which didst weaken the nations!

    Whilst i have a doctrine myself of
    the chief devil, AKA: Satan -- calling
    that chief devil "Lucifer" really goes
    beyond the text of the Bible.


    BrianT: "Why was this changed, and by whose authority? Which is correct?"

    Things that are different are not the same [​IMG]
    Doesn't "Authorized Version (AV)" mean authorized
    by God? [​IMG]
     
  14. Harald

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    Brian T. I have heard that the words "let him be Anathema Maranatha" may be rendered as "let him be accursed (Anathema) at the coming of the (or, "our") Lord" (Maranatha). I cannot now recall the source to mind. If this is how the KJV translators understood the foreign words it would explain the lack of punctuation. Zodhiates' The Complete Word Study Dictionary, NT, says the following...

    3134. maran atha. Maranatha, two Aramaic words meaning "our Lord has come". (1Cor.16:22), an exclamation uttered in connection with the approaching judgment when the Lord returns (cf. Jude 1:14, 15).

    Thayer's says quite similarly, "our Lord cometh" or "our Lord will come".

    Vine's says some early "Fathers" would have it (atha) as a past tense (cp. Zodhiates). He also says some modern scholars would have the same aramaic word as a present or future, cp. Thayer. In addition Vine mentions some aramaic people said it was an exclamation like "our Lord, come!".

    So herein the lexicographers are divided to a certain extent. Myself would opt that Paul meant "let him be accursed at our Lord's coming". This would square well with 2Thess. 1:7-9. At least in my mind it would not have made so much sense if the sense had been "let him be accursed. Our Lord come!"

    Harald
     
  15. BrianT

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    Herald, that's interesting, I had not heard of that before. But I still don't know why the KJV translators didn't just translate it in the first place. [​IMG] Or why they capitalized it ("jots and tittles") ;)

    I'm still wondering, and I haven't yet seen anyone respond to: since punctuation is a requirement in English, is an error (or change) in punctation an error (or change) in translation? I'll try to dig out some more examples later. I may throw in a few capitalization examples too. [​IMG]
     
  16. H.R.B.

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    BrianT,

    You got anything bigger? These examples don't seem like a big deal.

    King James User,
    heidi

    [ January 06, 2003, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: H.R.B. ]
     
  17. BrianT

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    Heidi, I'll look through my notes. You're right, their not a big deal, unless one is arguing for "jots and tittles" and absolute perfection in a translation. ;)
     
  18. Bob Krajcik

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    Oh?

    I will quote you the next time someone starts arguing on behalf of the Septuagint being quoted.

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  19. TheOliveBranch

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    According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, the comma in the KJV in Luke 23:43 is a mistake and was placed wrong. They believe and have it in their bible to be: Truely I say to you today, you will be in Paradise .[I can't find my copy and am totally frustrated trying to find that bible verse on their website.] They moved the comma to fit their doctrine. Punctuation can change the meaning.
     
  20. BrianT

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    Ah, great example. Is this an example of where an error in translation can occur, because of punctuation, even though all the "words" are correct? I would say yes, because punctuation placement results in differences in meaning.

    So, if punctuation is important, why does it change between editions of various translations?
     

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