Shalt be, or holy? Revelation 16:5

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. franklinmonroe

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    Aug 2, 2006
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    Notice Revelation 16:5 (KJV) --
    And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.​

    καὶ ἤκουσα τοῦ ἀγγέλου τῶν ὑδάτων λέγοντος Δίκαιος Κύριε, εἶ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὅσιος ὅτι ταῦτα ἔκρινας​
    The Stephanus 1550 and most Textus Receptus Greek texts look like the above (there are some but mostly insignificant variants in Greek manuscripts here, but practically ALL critical Greek texts also have ὅσιος).

    Specifically, "shalt be" represents the Greek word ὅσιος (hosios Strong's #3741) and is otherwise translated in the KJV text as "holy" (4 times) "Holy One" (2 times), "mercies" once (8 occurences total). The lexicon definition is: undefiled by sin, free from wickedness, religiously observing every moral obligation, pure holy, pious. All early English Bibles that I have seen rendered this word "holy" --
    And I hearde the angell of the waters say: Lorde, which art, and wast, thou art ryghteous & holy, because thou hast geuen such iudgementes (Bishops')

    And I heard the Angel of the waters say, Lord, thou art iust, Which art, and Which wast: and Holy, because thou hast iudged these things (Geneva)

    And I heard the angel of the waters saying: Thou art just, O Lord, who art, and who wast, the Holy One, because thou hast judged these things: (D-R)

    And I herde an Angell saye: Lorde, whych arte and wast, thou arte ryghteous and holy, because thou hast geven soche judgementes (Great)

    And I herde an angel saye: LORDE which art and wast, thou art righteous and holy, because thou hast geue soche iudgmentes, (Coverdale)

    And I heard an Angel say: Lord which are and wast, you are righteous and holy, because you have given such judgements (Matthew's)

    And I herde an angell saye: lorde which arte and wast thou arte ryghteous and holy because thou hast geve soche iudgmentes (Tyndale)

    Just art thou, Lord, that art, and that were hooli, that demest these thingis; (Wycliffe)​

    There is a similar phrase found elsewhere in Revelation (1:4 & 8, 4:8 and 11:17) but ends with ἐρχόμενος (erchomai Strong's #2064) meaning "to come" (could be used as 'the coming one'). It seems that two TRs have adopted erchomai into their texts: Beza 1598 and Elzevir 1633 (and now reflected in the TBS 1894 text). It seems the AV men followed Beza here against virtually ALL other evidence. But where did Beza get it? Theodore Beza himself tells us (an English translation of his Latin footnote) --
    "And shall be": The usual publication is "holy one," which shows a division, contrary to the whole phrase which is foolish, distorting what is put forth in scripture. The Vulgate, however, whether it is articulately correct or not, is not proper in making the change to "holy," since a section (of the text) has worn away the part after "and," which would be absolutely necessary in connecting "righteous" and "holy one." But with John there remains a completeness where the name of Jehovah (the Lord) is used, just as we have said before, 1:4; he always uses the three closely together, therefore it is certainly "and shall be," for why would he pass over it in this place? And so without doubting the genuine writing in this ancient manuscript, I faithfully restored in the good book what was certainly there, "shall be." So why not truthfully, with good reason, write "which is to come" as before in four other places, namely 1:4 and 8; likewise in 4:3 and 11:17, because the point is the just Christ shall come away from there and bring them into being: in this way he will in fact appear setting in judgment and exercising his just and eternal decrees.​

    You may read a brief BB discussion from 2005 of this verse here --
    #1 franklinmonroe, Dec 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2008
  2. jonathan.borland

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    Nov 15, 2008
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    Many of the comments on the link to the discussion in 2005 were helpful. Thank you.
  3. Logos1560

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    Oct 22, 2004
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    KJV-only author D. A. Waite claimed that modern English versions are “theologically deficient” at Revelation 16:5 for the supposed removal of "and shalt be" (Defending the KJB, p. 170). Waite wrote: “The removal of ‘and shalt be’ puts in doubt the eternal future of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is certainly a matter of doctrine and theology” (p. 170).

    According to KJV defender Edward F. Hills, this KJV rendering “shalt be” came from a conjectural emendation interjected into the Greek text by Beza (Believing Bible Study, pp. 205-206). Hills again acknowledged that Theodore Beza introduced a few conjectural emendations in his edition of the Textus Receptus with two of them kept in the KJV, one of them at Revelation 16:5 shalt be instead of holy (KJV Defended, p. 208). Hills identified the KJV reading at Revelation 16:5 as “certainly erroneous” and as a “conjectural emendation by Beza” (Believing Bible Study, p. 83). William W. Combs maintained: “Beza simply speculated (guessed), without any evidence whatsoever, that the correct reading was ‘shall be’ instead of ‘holy one’” (Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal, Fall, 1999, p. 156).

    The earlier English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision did not have “and shalt be“ at this verse. Was the KJV a revision of earlier Bibles that put in doubt the eternal future of the Lord Jesus Christ according to a consistent application of Waite‘s claim? Tyndale's New Testament, Coverdale’s Bible, Matthew's Bible, Great Bible, Whittingham's New Testament, and the Geneva Bible all have "holy" while the Bishops’ Bible has “holy one.” In his commentary on the book of Revelation, Walter Scott asserted that the KJV’s rendering “shalt be” was an unnecessary interpolation and that the KJV omitted the title “holy One” (p. 326).

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