Serious Study

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by jerry wayne, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. jerry wayne

    jerry wayne
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    I have read on the board several times that the NIV is good for devotional reading, but not for "serious study". Could some of you define what is meant by "serious study"?
     
  2. Harald

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    I take it what is meant by "serious study" is accurate and precise exegesis. But to be honest there are instances when even the most faithful translations are unclear and one needs to resort to the original Greek (speaking of the NT) if wanting to exegete carefully and arrive at the author's original meaning and intent in a given portion. What I say applies also to the highly praised KJV, not only to more recent versions.

    Harald
     
  3. Abiyah

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    I don't care for the NIV for study, because I see
    the translation as too loose. When I study, it is
    with pen in hand, and my NIV has simply gotten
    corrected to death.

    I only bought it because when my husband left
    the church we had belonged to, the first one he
    attended for any length of time used the NIV. I
    bought mine for the Sunday school class we
    attended there. I really wish Ii had not wasted
    my money, although I like having an NIV around
    the house for certain occasions.

    I think it is a fine Bible for little children and
    unchurched new converts, because it is an easy-
    reader, thus also a quick-reader. However, if I had
    little children or advised new believers, I would not
    encourage them to memorize from that Bible, be-
    cause I am fairly certain that they would later want
    a different Bible and would regret it.
     
  4. Terry_Herrington

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    I believe that the NIV is an excellent study bible. I especially recomend the NIV Study Bible by Zondervan.

    In fact, it is easier to study a KJV bible if you have a NIV handy to shed light on some of the awkward wording of the KJV.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    By what standards are you correcting the NIV? What do you use to go about such a decision?
     
  6. Abiyah

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    Basically, more clearly translated Bibles and
    knowledge of vocabulary and contexts of various
    Scriptures.

    I did not intend to sound vain; I certainly have
    much to learn, and I could not posssibly translate
    a Bible myself! But of those Scripturees I have
    studied in depth, I wanted to be able to read them
    using the best possible words, in order to increase
    understanding.

    Furthermore, as I age, the ability to remember and
    understand will possibly diminish. I had thought
    my husband intended to remain in that church, so
    I adapted that Bible for that cause. Since he only
    chose to be there @ 7 months, I rarely pick up
    that Bible, choosing instead some other transla-
    tions.
     
  7. H.R.B.

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    I started with a NIV bible. I was pretty happy with
    it until I found out that verses were missing from
    it. I don't trust the niv. I use the King James.
    I don't have to worry about missing anything that way.
    Heidi
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Having translated a fair amount of the NT, I would actually differ with you. The more I have learned, the more I like the NIV. I used to hate it, believing other people's word that it was a bad translation, too loose, too free, etc. Now having immersed myself in the subject, I have a completely different view. In fact, in probably more than 90% of the translational choices that all translators must make, I find myself convinced by the NIV. There are some places where I think they missed the boat on some things but those are rare. The NIV is a very good translation and should be freely used in conjunction with other translations.

    [ December 28, 2002, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  9. Abiyah

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    Hey--the world would go around a lot more
    slowly without differing opinions! 9oD

    I don't mind difffering, but I do mind stepping on
    toes. Did you want to toss this around a bit, or
    do you want to just recognize that we do differ?
    If you wish, I could go on, but not without your
    perrmission.

    I am curious about where you are coming from,
    since you like it, though.

    [ December 28, 2002, 11:54 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    I don't mind tossing it around with you. I hope the moderators will keep off topic posts from this forum though. It would be easy to highjack the thread and I don't want that to happen. Don't worry about stepping on my toes. I have steel toes in my boots.
     
  11. Deacon

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    Personnally I use the NAS, only because that is the first version I used upon becoming a Christian and I memorized the most verses in that version. (Its hard to do a word search when the words are different).

    But the NIV has some fine resourses for study, so does the KJV.
     
  12. Abiyah

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    8o)

    The problem with my stepping on your steel-toed
    boots is that if I step on yours, I will invariably
    tread upon someone else's bare toes! 8o) My
    main thing is to keep it civil, then, and you seem
    to be headed that direction. I appreciated that.

    I, too, prefer the NAS for the Apostolic Writings
    and additionally the Stone translation of the Law
    and Prophets. For the NAS, I used the latest
    edition.

    However, all of my memorization is from the KJV.
    I agree that using a translation other than the one
    memorized is problematic. Therefore, I always
    have an electronic KJV around.

    With that said, as I have cautioned, I am not a
    scholar--merely a student and lover of the Bible.
    I am sure you can write and talk circles around
    me with regard to translating (and probably many
    other things). Therefore, perhaps I could simply
    point out a few places where I was displeased
    with the NIV translation.

    I look through and see where i have crossed out
    words, writing different words above them (the
    first time in Genesis 16:3), but perhaps the thing I
    find problematic with most Bibles is their titling
    and notes; it is the same with the NIV.

    I purposely bought the NIV, back then, with the
    fewest notes possible, but it is close to impos-
    sible to get away from erroneous titling without
    buying an off-brand Bible I know nothing about.
    Mainly, then, I ignored the titles and notes.

    However, one of the titles I whited out and wrote
    over was above Matthew 12:22. That one must
    have really irked me 8o) , but I cannot tell what it
    had been.

    Another place I see, in my simple paging through
    the book, is Matthew 18:22, in which the NIV says,
    "Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but
    seventy-seven times.'" Theologically and techni-
    cally, this is wrong, since it should say something
    more like "seventy times seven," which is a great
    deal different from 77 times, especially when the
    understanding of such biblical numbers is brought
    to mind.

    Well, that's a starter! 8o)
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    Looking at this verse, I don't see what would be objectionable about it.

    Remember these are not a part of Scripture. However, it also depends on your study Bible. The NIV Study Bible has very good notes for the most part.

    In my NIV, it is "Jesus and Beelzebub." Again, I don't see what is objectionable about that.

    This is one I had not previously looked at. The NIV rendering of the text as "77 times" is identical to the LXX (Greek OT translation) in Gen 4:24 which means 77 times. The idea is not a math equation (490) as sometimes it is taught. The idea is "seven times" (what Peter mentioned) plus a whole bunch more. I remain unconvinced for the most part about the hulabaloo about numbers. There are too many exceptions. They are usually used by people who want to make something sensational out of a straightforward text. That is not to say that no numbers have significance. I am of the opinion however that most numbers are simply numbers. In Matt 18:22, it is just that -- a number. It is not an equation, apparently. Essentially there is no great difference; Jesus it talkinga bout unlimited forgiveness.

    I hadn't noticed that till you brought it up.
     
  14. Abiyah

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    Larry --

    Thank you for being a gentleman about this; I will
    do my best to reciprocate--well, not quite! I will
    try to be a lady. 8oD

    Some paragraphing has been added to your
    posts by me, in order to make them more read-
    able for me.

     
  15. Abiyah

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    Since most believers are more familiar with the
    Apostolic Writngs, I have continued paging
    through them.

    Much of my contention with the NIV has been
    with its treatment of our Lord's death, with the
    Sabbath, and with the overuse of the words law
    and Jews with the complete neglect of the word
    Torah and the underuse of the wordsSanhedrim,
    Pharisees, high priests, etc. However, I have a
    problem with most translations in this regard.
    8o) I believe that these have spawned much
    misunderstanding. While the NIV assumes to
    integrate much interpretation, where it should
    have interpretted these (according to its inten-
    tion), it did not.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Do you object to the same thing done with Jacob's wives? I simply don't see this as a valid objection. But it is not a translation issue; it is a social one (whether the surrogate wife could be called "wife"). I am on my desktop which doens't have my Bible software installed. I will have to do some more research on this to see how other similar places of surrogate wifehood are handled in teh translation. Your comments here didn't jump out at me as I read the text.

    Perhaps I miscommunicated. I do believe the words are important. My point was that with either translation, the point is the same: unlimited forgiveness. As for the NIV's use of the LXX, the word (which I won't transliterate here) is used only once in the NT. Thus it is necessary to rely on extrabiblical sources for a proper definition. In that sense, the LXX is very valuable. The meaning of the word in the context is disputed. It is not clear. Thus we cannot dogmatically say which translation is right. We can dogmatically say that Christ's point was about unlimited forgiveness.

    I will have to do some more study on the word. I have several resources I didn't have time to look up tonight. I will be interested to see if the "math equation" approach can be substantiated.

    With all due respect to you, I think this is a huge amount of interpretation that cannot be supported from the text. Most commentators say that the Jewish law by that time demanded three times of forgiveness. Peter in his attempt at graciousness offered seven times; Christ in his declaration of grace took Peter's number and multiplied it. Thus the "seven" is there because Peter used it, not because of any Jewish reference. Again, respectfully, I suggest that you have read an awful into the text that is not there, most likely.
     
  17. Abiyah

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    Well, we knew we would disagree. 8oD

    --But brother, it is nice to converse with someone
    who doesn't get angry or go away, pouting. 8o)

    Looking at more marked-out-and-corrected
    words, what about Genesis 9:27, where the NIV
    interprets "he" (English) to be Japhath, when, in
    reality, the "he" is our God, who continues in the
    tents of Shem--a fact biblically proven.

    One of the words the NIV had opportunity to cor-
    rect, or, at least, update to modern understanding,
    was the word perfect, as used in 1 John, for exam-
    ple. I wonder why it did not use a word like mature.

    In the same book, I would have preferred "mercy
    seat" rather than "atoning sacrifice."

    As in most Bibles, I wish there had been more spe-
    cific language used for the many occurrences of
    the word sin. I think the word begs to be far
    more clear.

    In Galations, the addition of the word the in rela-
    tion to the word law, where it should not be, is very
    problematic and gives the reader the wrong sense
    of the writer's intention. This is also a matter of
    concern in the book of Romans and in other
    places.

    --Which brings to mind that I wish the NIV had
    used italics to designate words which were added
    to the text in their attempt to clarify.

    I also wonder why, when their very own Greek text
    uses the word (h)ebraidi, translated "Hebrew," in
    Acts 21:40; 22:2; and 26:14, they translated it
    "Aramaic"?

    Another place I just spotted is in John 13:26, 27,
    where the NIV text says, "Jesus answered, 'It is the
    one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I
    have dipped it in the dish.' Then, dipping the piece
    of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of
    Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, satan
    enter into him." Their own Greek text does not say
    bread, but they erroneously interpretted it to be
    bread. It would have been better to have used the
    words "bitter herbs" or even "morsel," rather than
    "bread."

    Continuing with that, this is based upon a misun-
    derstanding of the seder. Had the "morsel" been
    bread, the fingers would have been used to sprin-
    kle a few grains of salt upon it; this was dipped.
    It was the bitter herbs which are dipped in salt
    water during the seder.

    [ December 30, 2002, 04:51 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  18. Abiyah

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    With regard to Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, no, I do
    not object to this. He married Leah, although he
    was deceived, and he consumated the marriage.
    The Scripture says that Laban recognized her as
    Jacobs bride, but it does not say that Jacob did
    not accept this fate. Later, the Scripture says that
    Laban gave Rachel to his wife, and Jacob accep-
    ted her as such.

    (Sorry--breakfast was ready.)

    However, when it comes to Rachel's and Leah's
    servants, whom they gave to Jacob in order to
    gain children through them, the Bible calls these
    women "concubines," not wives. Our God, how-
    ever, did accept their offspring as Jacob's child-
    ren, as evidenced scripturally.

    With Abraham, it was different. Our God had
    promised an heir through Abraham and Sarah--
    an heir through whom the Messiah would come.
    Our God was very specific and distinguished be-
    tween Isaac and Ishmael. My further contention
    with this is that Abraham never accepted Hagar as
    a wife, as I mentioned, calling her Sarah's "servant."

    8o) I do not think I have read anything more into the
    text than was intended. 8o) Even the NIV's own
    Greek text, which they used, says "seventy times
    seven." This figure is representative of eternity,
    and this holds to the intention of forgiveness.

    In Daniel, 9th chapter, the NIV says, "Seventy
    sevens are decreed for your people and your holy
    city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to
    atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting
    righteousness . . . ." The KJV and NASB says,
    "Seventy weeks . . . ." The Stones says, "Seventy
    septets" and notes that this phrase refers to 490
    years.

    Many theologians agree that the Daniel passage
    refers to the completion of all things and the final
    coming of the Messiah; I believe that this is what
    our Lord was referring to--forgive until eternity.

    [ December 30, 2002, 12:41 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  19. Abiyah

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    Bump, because I am interested in your opinions. 8o)
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Sorry to be a bit in responding. Things have been busy here with some out of town guests. Let me take a minute and respond.

    On Gen 9:27, the “he” in mind is not identified in the text. Having recently preached through that passage last year, I do not remember one evangelical commentator who takes your position. It rather makes more sense to take it as Japheth and most likely in the sense of the Abrahamic covenant that “in you (the shemites, descendants of Abraham) would all the nations of the earth be blessed.” This is a curse on Ham and a blessing on Japheth, relating both of them to the chosen line of Shem. Your position is an interpretive issue (and apparently a minority held view).

    Glancing at 1 John, “perfect” is only used one time in the NIV is 4:19 about perfect love. I don’t quibble there with the translation of perfect. Again, that is a interpretive issue, not a translational one. “Mercy seat” is never used in 1 John. I think you are referring to 2:2 where “propitiation” is used and the NIV has “atoning sacrifice.” The idea is one of satisfying God’s wrath. An atoning sacrifice is not technically correct but is better than mercy seat in that it is closer to the meaning of hilaskomai.

    As for the translation of sin, I am not convinced that a great diversity of words is needed. The biblical words are generally translated according to the Greek/Hebrew word. I am not sure how that can be improved upon.

    As for “the Law,” in most places where Paul talks about “law” he is referring to the Mosaic Law and hence, the translation “the Law” is the correct one. The confusion is caused when “the” is omitted and people think that Paul is referring to law in general. Paul’s intention in Romans and Galatians is to contrast righteousness through the Law with righteousness through faith. So in this case, I differ with you all the way around. I think Paul was referring to “the Law” meaning the Mosaic Law of the OT.

    On the translation of “hebrais,” most lexicographers appear to agree that it is not the Hebrew of the OT, but at Acts 21:40 refers to, the dialect spoken by the Hebrews. In the first century and for a time before that, it was Aramaic. Thus “Aramaic” is what the Hebrew dialect was. That appears to be an accurate translation as far as communicating what Paul actually did. Had they translated it “Hebrew,” they would have mislead the reader to thinking that it was the OT Hebrew they were speaking when it was rather Aramaic that was being spoken in the first century.

    As for John 13:26,27, the word psomion is “a piece of meat or meat” as the lexicons agree. While morsel would be an acceptable translation, “a piece of bread” is certainly within the semantic domain, and in light of the occasion, perfectly appropriate. A morsel is a piece of bread. The lexicons and commentators seem to agree on this. Carson references the position you suggest here as a possibility. However, the translation “piece of bread” is what the lexicons say is appropriate.

    About Jacob and his wives, you say However, when it comes to Rachel's and Leah's
    servants, whom they gave to Jacob in order to gain children through them, the Bible calls these women "concubines," not wives.
    All major translations call Zilpah and Bilhah “wives.” The word used in reference to these woman is “issha,” a word that is apparently never translated concubine. There is a Hebrew word for concubine (philegesh) and it is not used here. The only conclusion we can come to is that since Moses used the word “issha” rather than “philegesh” he intended us to understand “wife” rather than “concubine.” So the text tells the same story in the case of Abraham and Jacob: their wives handmaidens were given to them as issha (wives) rather than “philegesh” (concubines). (Here is where I think you are inconsistent. Where you have above rejected the NIV for too much interpretation, here you have rejected it because it is too literal.)

    Returning to Matthew, again, the text can be interpreted either way. It is unclear as to which is intended because the word is only used one time in Scripture. With reference to Dan 9:27, the Hebrew does read “seventy sevens” making the NIV the most literal translation there. However, it is a huge stretch to shoehorn that into the Matthean passage on forgiveness. I do not know of any commentator who sees that connection. Perhaps you can name one. I would like to see his reasoning. I think Christ is talking of unlimited forgiveness. But again, we get back to translation: the words are two words: one meaning “seventy times” and one meaning “seven.” I cannot see how we can be dogmatic that it is a math equation. The OT equivalent leads us to another conclusion. Ultimately, the point of Christ is not in danger. Forgiveness is to be unlimited.

    I haven’t looked at the NIV in this much depth in a while (though this is admittedly not much). Having examined it again, I cannot see where these are valid reasons to reject the NIV. It rather strengthens my regard for it as a good translation.
     

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