Should a Bible translation "cuss"?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Dec 7, 2009.

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  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    In another thread, I mentioned that I avoided the "Living Bible" cuz it's too muchova paraphrase for my liking, but mainly cuz it contains one of the most-offensive phrases in American English in 1 Samuel 20:30.

    Now we all know that the KJV contains a word in 2 Kings 18:27 and in Isaiah 36:12, with its present-tense verb found in several other places, that's now considered a "cussword" in most American circles now, but was not thus considered in 17th C. England. I am not faulting the KJV for using this word.

    My Q is this: Should a modern English BV use this word, or similar words considered scatology now?? "Urine" and "urinate" are now commonly-accepted words for this substance & the process of eliminating it from one's body, but some KJV purists say this word shouldn'ta been changed for modern versions.

    I strongly disagree with those 'purists'. To me, it's outright 'cussing' to place a word in a BV that's considered now to be a 'dirty word' regardless of its not having been a dirty word in the past. What are YOUR thoughts, other readers?
     
  2. Johnv

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    It's not "too much" of a paraphrase, it IS a paraphrase through, and wasn't intended to be anything other than that. It's a good equivalence tool, but not a literal translation (nor was it intended to be).
    A translation should translate the word as rendered, into its tranlated equivalent. That should be done without regards to whether or not that translated word is offensive to anyone. But that's strictly me. If I translated scripture, I'd avoid transliterations, even if they've been culturally accepted. But that would mean translating "Jesus" as "Joshua", "Baptize" as "immerse" or "cleanse", and "Lord" as "Master" or "Yahweh". But hey, that's just me.
     
  3. TomVols

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    No, MVs shouldn't cuss. I agree that we need to be as accurate as possible, but this requires the best word choices. Verbal plenary inspiration requires no less.
     
  4. Jim1999

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    Sometimes we need the old translation and words. They grab our attention to the verse and sometimes we better understand where the chapter is coming from and taking us....Just transliterate it when reading publicly.

    Like drinking their own piss and eating their own dung.....Man, do I get that message!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    The ass is inspired. Ask Balaam.
     
  6. annsni

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    If the original language included what was considered a cuss word in that culture then, yes, we should too. However, if over the years and the translations of the word, it's begun to change it's meaning, then we need to be sure that the word that is used best reflects the intent and meaning of the original word. "Gay" has certainly changed it's meaning over the last 100 years and if we had a word in Greek that meant "happy", then "gay" would be a wrong translation today. But if it was speaking of homosexuals, then certainly "gay" would be an accurate translation. So if the original word was a curse, let's use what it says.
     
  7. TCGreek

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    Translation should endeavor as much as possible to render the original in its receptor language in very clear and understandable language.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    I refuse to surrender perfectly good words, such as "gay", to an insignificant segment of society.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. robycop3

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    Thanx, all, for your replies so far. I agree with most of what has been posted so far. However, when a less-offensive word can be used, it SHOULD be, lest someone weak in faith should believe it's OK to cuss since Joe Christian appears to do so.
    "Urine" is unmistakable in its meaning & is not offensive as the other word is. Same for "dung". The other common 4-letter word for this has been a 'cussword' since the late 1500s & thus was not used in the KJV.

    "Dung" comes from any of several old languagesfrom words meaning "to cover, a covering", from an old custom of covering an underground shelter with manure for insulation. (used as a top layer, the odor was no prob.)

    "Manure" came from "manually work the earth", as we all know what substance was the commonest fertilizer worked into the earth.

    "Feces" came from Latin 'faeces', "sediment, remains". It was not used for solid excrement until C. 1639, too late to make the KJV.

    "Piss" comes from 13th C. French, 'pissier', "to urinate", an everyday word. it was in the mid-1700s when the word became offensive to British, and especially Americans.(It was replaced in everyday speech with "pee, pee-pee".) The common use, "P. O.'d" which means 'angry' here means' to leave' in England.

    "Urine" comes from Latin 'urina', same meaning. "Urinate" existed with its same meaning in the 1500s, but just must not have been in enough common usage for the AV men to have used it.

    But what matters is what is NOW offensive. This is NOT a condemnation of the KJV, but is a reminder that something written NOW should NOT use a word that is offensive NOW.

    A little aside...when the KJV was made, the word "bloody" was becoming an offensive word in England, but it was used in the AV dueta its being made in defiance of the late "Bloody Mary's" battle against English-language BVs.

    I tryta avoid using that word as much as possible in posting upon public boards cuz many of them are read by British. Why use an offensive word when it can be avoided?
     
  10. Thermodynamics

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    I think that sometimes we allow ourselves to be too easily offended. I see the phrase in question as a case in point. The Bible contains many phrases and records many events that are "shocking," they are intended to be shocking and I believe that to attempt to sanitize them in translation does a disservice to the reader.
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    And we are all DAMNed without Christ.
     
  12. robycop3

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    context, Context, CONTEXT.

    "Damn" and "hell" are two such words. no one that I know has ever said using "hell" as the name of the final abode of the wicked is cussing. same with "damn" when used in Scripture. But both words are misused in common American scatology. ( My neighbor named his dog "Dammit".) but as we all know, some words are always cusswords regardless of context, and that "P" word in the KJV now fits that category.

    Again, THANX for your interest and commentary on this subject!
     
  13. AntennaFarmer

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    No. It is a perfectly good word. Some uses could certainly be classed as "cussing". To object to the ordinary use of the word is merely prudish.

    A.F.
     
  14. Harold Garvey

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    You object to these words as being offensive and then use them in your arguement.

    Your references are to what you condemn.
     
  15. Harold Garvey

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    Exactly, and the more liberal one becomes with the words of the Bible the more the Bible will become obscene and vulgar to that representative group.
     
  16. sag38

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    Please, all you are trying to do is suggest that the use of MV's leads one to liberalism and you parade this one extreme example as your case in point. Now I'll use one of your favorite smilies. :sleeping_2:
     
  17. robycop3

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    No, it ISN'T, at least in mosta the USA. Say it in some elementary-school class & see what happens.

    You're simply trying to carry over the KJV's usage into MVs as if they're wrong to use a socially-acceptable word that means the same thing.
     
  18. robycop3

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    Quit acting so stupid, HG. I was explaining a little etymology. If you wanna live in the past, then invent & use a time machine.

    Now I dunno WHO made that word a 'cussword', or who made "jazz" into a non-cussword. But that's the way it is in our society. Maybe in Germany, Christians openly drink beer with no one giving it a second thought, but in the USA that's not done. Just as Paul said, while there's nothing really wrong with certain actions, if they could cause someone weak in faith to stumble, one shouldn't do them, at least openly. The society I live in thinx the word in question is a cussword, so I don't use it, unless reading aloud from an old Bible version. Then, I explain it was not a cussword when that version was made.

    And I certainly don't accept any modern BV with "S. O. B." in it, such as the earlier edition of the "Living Bible"! An English Bible version shouldn't have any English cussing in it, plain-n-simple! (Again, this goes backta "context" with words like 'hell' & 'damn'.)
     
  19. Johnv

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    If HG is going to make this an agrument about KJV superiority (which is what he does in nearly every thread), the claim can easily be dispelled in that the KJV uses "p*ss", which in today's language is vulgar, but uses "dung" which isn't. In the source texts, however, the word translated "p*ss" simply means "to urinate", while the source word translated "dung" wasn't just manure, it was an explitive that today would be equivalent to the "s" word.

    BTW, the phrase "him that p*sseth against a wall" is a figure of speech which simply meant a male. It doesn't have that context today. In fact, urinating against a wall today is considered uncouth, immodest, and lacking culture.
     
  20. Harold Garvey

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    I couldn't do a better job as you have making my arguement for me.

    The BIGGEST downfall in Christianity is caving in to what society demands of the Bible.

    To place God's word into this type of subjectivity is an element easily identified with apostacy.
     
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