Questions about differences

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, May 2, 2007.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    There has been much discussion around here of how the NKJV (RV and others) have changed the readings of the KJV. Well, I was comparing Scriptures when I noticed that there were many differences between two passages: some only subtle, but some imply an alternate understanding.

    I did find that verses 1, 5, and 8 were exactly the same in both chapters. There was one word difference in verse 3: one has "and blasphemy" while the other has "and of blasphemy". There was also one discrepancy in verse 7: one has "and shall return" while the other has simply "and return". Should this be cause for alarm?

    But notice a few more differences at verse 2 below--
    And he sent Eliakim, which [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

    And he sent Eliakim, who [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests
    covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.​

    Maybe those are not such a big deal, you say? But isn't every word important? Now here is verse 4--
    It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that are left.

    It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that is left.​

    And verse 9 --
    And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying,

    And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard [it], he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,​
    Isn't there a distinction between fighting and war? Did the king send messengers once, or did he send them again? I checked the underlying Hebrew of both for verse 9 and found only one obvious word difference there. That one Hebrew word cannot explain the seven or more scattered English differences (and some punctuation).

    You needn't guess which versions are represented above because all the above verses are from the KJV: the top verse is from 2 Kings 19, and the verse below it is from Isaiah 37. This is a comparison of parallel passages within the KJV. Just the KJV, no other version. The Hebrew of both passages is nearly identical for over thirty verses in succession. Yet, the two KJV renderings have many more differences.

    I found it interesting that these chapters from two different books are almost identical (suggesting one was copied from the other). Are the differences in the Hebrew evidence of sloppy plagiarism then or defective transmission later? Which one is the original? Does that have any bearing on inspiration? If a satisfactory translation was established for the text in one place, why wouldn't the exact same English rendering apply in the other place?
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, May 2, 2007
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  2. Pastor_Bob

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    You answered your own question:
    Why would you expect an "exact same" English rendering when the Hebrew is merely "almost identical?" Doesn't the text allow for the English differences?
     
  3. franklinmonroe

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    I wouldn't. Take "exact same" to refer to the English words, clauses, and phrases of the two chapters where no Hebrew difference exists (not the entire passage where I have already advised that there are some variants).

    Yes; although some of the differences in the Hebrew would not necessarily impact the final English translation. My post does allow for the minor variations in Hebrew (thus "almost"), which are few. However, the differences between the two KJV chapters in relation to underlying textual differences is significant (3:1, 5:1, higher?).
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, May 2, 2007
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  4. Ed Edwards

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    So the rest of us can follow the conversation, would somebody
    list the Bible Version, Edition, Book, Chapter, and Verse? Thank
    you.
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    KJV 1769 edition (you can confirm), 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37 (both entire chapters).
     
  6. Ed Edwards

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    Thank you brother Franklinmonroe.
     
  7. franklinmonroe

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    I would expect precisely the same best-possible English rendering (resulting from the same underlying Hebrew) in both 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37; but that is not the case, at least in the KJV.

    In verse 10 through 14 there are a few minor punctuation differences, and also spelling discrepancies. Notice in verse 12 the spelling is "Thelasar" in 2 Kings, while it is "Telassar" in Isaiah. We find "Arpad" in 2 Kings, and "Arphad" in Isaiah. A few words are different: verse 10 has "delivered" in 2 Kings, but it is "given" in Isaiah; verse 14 has differences of 2 Kings' "of" compared to Isaiah's "from", and 2 Kings "into" to Isaiah's "unto". I have witnessed KJV-Onlyists rant over less dramatic changes made by modern versions.

    The verse numbers of the two chapters have been the same so far (making comparison convenient), but verse 15 gets split into two verses in Isaiah 37 causing a difference of one in numeration from that point forward (Isaiah's chapter 37 ends with verse 38, when 2 Kings finishes with 37 numbered verses). Here is the KJV translation of verse 15-16 of Isaiah underneath the 2 Kings 19:15 rendering--

    And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said,
    O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest [between] the cherubims,
    thou art the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.

    And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,
    O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest [between] the cherubims,
    thou [art] the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.​

    The Hebrew underlying "of hosts" is only present in Isaiah (tsaba' Strong's #6635, a military term). Did Hezekiah pray the words of "of hosts", or not? Notice the differing word order in the next portion--

    LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib,
    which hath sent him to reproach the living God. (2 Kings 19:16)

    Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. (Isaiah 37:17)​

    Assuming every word choice is perfect, then how is it justified that the Hebrew natah (Strong's 5186) meaning to stretch out, extend, spread out, pitch, turn, pervert, incline, bend, or bow is translated two different ways in the very same context? Either the O in "O LORD" is supported by the Hebrew, or its not. The next comparison--

    Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, (2 Kings 19:17)

    Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries (Isaiah 37:18)​

    "Destroyed" and "laid waste" are the same word from the Hebrew text; "lands" and "countries" each represent the same Hebrew word. This suggests that an ancient language word can be properly translated into more than only one 'correct' English word; and that there is more than only 'right' word order for our Bible version.
     
    #7 franklinmonroe, May 2, 2007
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  8. Deacon

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    There were different translators for the texts.
    The translators of the KJV worked in six teams; each had different assignments.
    The First Westminster Company worked with Genesis to II Kings.
    The First Oxford Company worked on Isaiah through Malachi.

    At least for the first example [2 Kings 19:2 / Isa 37:2 (difference being “he” or “which”)] there is no difference in meaning.
    The Hebrew word used in Isaiah and 2 Kings, [אֲשֶׁר / ’asar ] is a relative participle that can be translated either way.

    The English rules of grammar in 1611 were a bit less defined than they were later.
    (In fact the KJV played a big part in the development of the English language).

    Rob
     
  9. Salamander

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    Did Isaiah pen II Kings 19?
     
  10. Deacon

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    Given the historical scope of Samuel/Kings there may have been numerous contributors.

    Rob
     
  11. Salamander

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    That is my point.
     
  12. Bluefalcon

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    Would you say the same thing for the Pentateuch (Gen. - Deut.)? What does historical scope have to do with the number of "contributors"? Can there be many contributors and one "author" or "composer"? Not trying to be combative here. I think this is a good topic for discussion.
     
  13. franklinmonroe

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    Yes, of course! And if it is legitimate for the KJV teams to arrive at different translations, then it should be legit for other translators also.
     
  14. Deacon

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    Given the historical scope of Samuel/Kings there may have been numerous contributors.
    By “historical scope” I simply meant that the period of time the books cover was longer than any single authors' lifetime.
    I realize that this is not slam dunk argument, just an observation.

    But there is no reason to presume a single author;
    there is no statement of authorship for the book of Samuel or Kings.
    I assume that some of the stories were borrowed from earlier sources and crafted into the final text. (I won’t presume to guess when that might have taken place).

    Would I say the same thing for the Pentateuch?
    Yes, in a more limited sense; there is no reason why earlier material could not have been collected and integrated into the inspired text.

    But there is a big difference though; there are the claims of Mosaic authorship.
    Exactly what this means and how it concerns our current text is a bit uncertain
    for even in the Pentateuch some editing seems to have occurred; (e.g. Genesis 36:31 and Deut. 34).
    The copyright laws were probably broken or may have been more lax at the time. :rolleyes:

    Rob
     
  15. TCassidy

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    It is not only possible, but entirely true, that there is more than one human contributor to the Pentateuch. The obvious reference to the death of Moses makes it abundantly clear that Moses didn't write all of it. Add to that the formulaic restatement of "the generations of" and it is entirely possible that many people contributed to the Pentateuch.

    (Gen 2:4) These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

    (Gen 5:1) This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

    (Gen 6:9) These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

    (Gen 11:10) These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

    Moses may have worked from an oral or written tradition when he edited the (possible) writings of Adam, Noah, Shem, etc., into the Pentateuch. But it is really a moot point as it was all done under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
     
  16. Bluefalcon

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    When did the Pentateuch reach its final, inspired redacted, canonical form, after which all editorial changes are considered corruptions of the inspired text? Does anyone have any guess? 5th c. B.C.? 1st c. A.D.?
     

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