Should we have to know these words?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Is it wrong to update the archaic words and language in a Bible translation? Is accuracy lost when words are updated? Should archaic words be left in the text with their meaning only explained in marginal notes? Should Bible readers be required to learn the vocabulary of Bible translators that lived 200, 300, 400, or 500 years ago?

    I ask these questions because there are some who claim that archaic words should be left in the text and should not be updated and if updated accuracy is lost.

    Here are some words from the pre-1611 English Bibles (Tyndale's to Bishops') of which the KJV was a revision. If the 1380's Wycliffe's Bible was included, it would be easier to compile even a longer list. Perhaps you know some of these words or can figure some of them out.

    advoutry
    albs
    arede
    cavillation
    chevisance
    debite
    diseasest
    felicity
    frayles
    grece
    hagab
    hargol
    heavengazers
    hucklebone
    lamies
    manchet
    maund
    meinie
    moon prophets
    perquellies
    querne
    quier
    redebush
    rugagates
    sallets
    shawms
    taxus
    unghostly
    whalefish
    Whitsuntide

    Should English readers today have to know these words and was it wrong that these words were updated and replaced in our English translations?
     
  2. Samuel Owen

    Samuel Owen
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    I have seen an original 1611 KJV, believe me you don’t even want to go there. I use a Thompson Chain KJV, and Schofield NABS for comparison study. I also have a NKJV which uses some rather scholarly words, to which end I had to buy a thesaurus to understand.

    In the original translation of the KJV, language was limited to some 600 or so words. Since the old Greek manuscripts were also limited in word usage, I sometimes feel that the KJV remains a little closer to the original. Although it has some rather unique words, that have lost their meanings in modern society.

    I personally can say, that some verses have lost their true meaning in the modern translations. While being clear in the KJV. I think this is a result in the translators choice of wording. Our language now contains so many words that can be used to the same end, if you are unfamiliar with them there is not much difference in using the KJV with its older language. And in some cases I find completely different sentence structures.

    While not being a staunch KJV only person, I do recommend using one in contrast to the other version you are using. We use the KJV, and NASB in our home studies. Sometimes the NASB is clearer, and sometimes the KJV.
     
    #2 Samuel Owen, Nov 30, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2006
  3. franklinmonroe

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    I'm going to challenge this statement. I think there are many more than 600 different words in the KJV. One source states that there are slightly over 12,000 words in the KJV. I believe the KJV holds approximately 785,000 words total (not all different, of course).

    I know that the Basic Bible was specifically designed to have a limited vocabulary of about 800 words. Other "easy-to-read" versions boast vocabs of 'only' 1,000 to 1,500 words.
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, Nov 30, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2006
  4. Samuel Owen

    Samuel Owen
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    Don't hold me to the exact figure, at one time I read somewhere there were a limited number of basic words in the English language at that time. It could have been 800, but it was far less than today.

    The point I was making was that it depends on the individual translators choice of words, whether a modern versions is easier to understand or not. I grew up with the KJV, so I have no problems understanding it.

    And at times it is clearer in meaning than more modern translations, which over complicate the verses. So I would have to say that it is my first choice.
     
  5. ccrobinson

    ccrobinson
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    The OP speaks to a question I've had in my mind from the very first time I found out that there was such a controversy over the KJV.

    If the word charity in I Corinthians 13 is better translated as love in 21st century English, then why would it be such a terrible thing to use a Bible translation that actually says, "Love is patient. Love is kind..."?

    Oh, to supply my answers to the questions in the OP. No, no, no and no.
     
  6. Rippon

    Rippon
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    The word "love" instead of "charity" was used in William Tyndale's version long before the KJV . I guess love was an acceptable 16th century word . Can someone check and see if the so-called "Wycliffe" versions used the word ?
     
  7. Samuel Owen

    Samuel Owen
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    Replacing the word Charity with Love would pose no problem. But replacing the words "Holy Spirit" with "Him" would, which some of the modern translations have done. Not in every case but in select places, if I am not mistaken the NIV does this.
     
  8. Keith M

    Keith M
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    No.

    No, not when the updating is done correctly.

    No.

    No.

    These folks then are determined that the original meanings of Scripture are lost. When the words become more important than the message then one has lost sight of what is truly important. The Bible was written in language that was simple to understand. As language changes, so too should the language of the Bible so readers can continue to understand the message.

    No and no. Words that are archaic can cause confusion. So that the Scripture remains understandable for the modern reader, the language of Scripture needs to be updated to enable that understanding found in the originals. The readers of the original Scriptures did not need to have dictionaries and all sorts of study aids available. Neither should today's reader need dictionaries to understand words that have fallen out of use or whose meanings have changed. Those who want to retain these archaic words seek to take the understanding of Scripture away from the common people and place that understanding only in the hands of scholars. Scripture was not written merely for scholars, and it should not be directed toward only scholars today.
     
  9. Samuel Owen

    Samuel Owen
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    Really the argument is not over the words so much as the manuscripts used to make the translation. The KJV, and NKJV were translated from the Textus Recptus, or received text. While all the other translations were made with the Sanaiticus, and Vaticanus. Which are questioned as to their accuracy.

    The textus recptus was selected from a group of manuscripts in 1611, which agreed with each other. While the other Two don’t even agree with each other, but are supposed to be from the same text source.

    If you don’t like the archaic wording of the KJV, the best probable choice would be the NKJV. Which uses modernized wording but comes from the most reliable text.
     
  10. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Not only are there "archaic" words but there are whole phrases that have changed there meaning.

    I was fooled by this commonly read verse for decades, until reading it in recently I my ESV.

    The International Bible Society, (publishers of the NIV), classifies Matthew 26:27 as a “misleading” verse or an “obscure reading” in the KJV.

    KJV: “Drink ye all of it.”

    Regarding the KJV reading, they state, “This could be taken to mean that not a drop should be left. But that would be incorrect.”

    I thought the verse meant that I should “drink all of it”.
    I never appreciated the fact that for most of the last two millennia there was one cup passed about in each congregation, rather than a hundred or more little cuplets.

    Both the NIV and ESV translate it as:
    “Drink from it, all of you.”

    Looking at older commentaries, they seem to have the same understanding of the verse as the modern versions.

    Matthew Henry (1662-1714) certainly not influenced by modern translation pressures says:


    Baptist theologian John Gill (1697-1771) in his Exposition of the Bible writes: “…and gave it to them, saying, drink ye all of it; for this is not to be restrained from one sort of communicants, and only partook of by another; but all are to drink of the cup, as well as eat of the bread: whether here is not an allusion to the custom of the Jews at the passover, when they obliged all to drink four cups of wine, men, women, and children, and even the poorest man in Israel, who was maintained out of the alms dish may be considered.”

    McGarvey and Pendleton’s The Fourfold Gospel Commentary (1914) states:
    "All" refers to the persons and not to the wine. It was important that all the disciples participate in the cup, but not that all the wine should be used. See Mark 14:23.”


    I’m not saying the KJV translated it wrong, it was correctly understood by others for quite a long time.

    I saying that the language has changed enough that the verse no longer says what it means in today’s language.

    Rob
     
  11. Keith M

    Keith M
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    Samuel, maybe you should read the OP again. The question is about the words, not the manuscripts. The discussion over manuscripts is a totally different subject. Should archaic words be updated to agree with current word usage in modern Bible translations? This is not a question of which manuscripts are most reliable, but of whether or not we should keep archaic words and terms in Bible translations.
     
  12. Logos1560

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    Yes, that was the point of this thread. To show that some KJV-only authors make claims that confirm the validity of my questions, see the following:

    Samuel Gipp wrote that "we should leave the archaic word in the text" (Answer Book, p. 13). Timothy Morton also contended that the archaic words should be left in the text. Morton claimed: "If these [archaic] words are changed in the text then accuracy must be sacrificed, and this would be a terrible mistake" (Which Translation Should You Trust, p. 37). Even KJV defender Edward Hills suggested that “perhaps the best way” [“to handle this matter of obsolete words”] “is to place the modern equivalent in the margin” (KJV Defended, p. 218). Peter Ruckman commented that “any ‘archaic’ words could be printed in the margin without disturbing the text” (Christian’s Handbook, p. 180, footnote 13). Ruckman suggested that “the ‘archaic words’ could be listed in the margin and given the modern equivalents” (Alexandrian, Part One, p. 21). Laurence Vance asked and answered: "Does the AV contain archaic words? Certainly. Should we therefore replace it with something else? Certainly not" (Archaic Words, p. 390; see also King James, His Bible, pp. 147, 152).
     
  13. Logos1560

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    Some of my examples are used more than once and sometimes in more than one pre-1611 English Bible. I am also adding a few more examples to the list. In case anyone is interested in checking them out, I will list one reference with one pre-1611 Bible that uses the word.

    adject (Dan. 4:17) Geneva
    achat (Exod. 39:12) Tyndale's
    advoutry (Mark 7:21) Tyndale's
    albs (Lev. 8:13) Tyndale's
    arb (Lev. 11:22) Tyndale's
    arede (Mark 14:65) Tyndale's
    bruterer (Deut. 18:10) Tyndale's
    buballs (1 Kings 4:23) Matthew's
    byss (Gen. 41:42) Tyndale's
    calamite (Exod. 30:23) Tyndale's
    cavillation (Luke 19:8) Bishops'
    chevisance (Deut. 21:14) Tyndale's
    debite (Luke 20:20) Tyndale's
    diseasest (Mark 5:35) Tyndale's
    flawnes (1 Chron. 23:29) Matthew's
    felicity (Gal. 4:15) Bishops'
    frayles (1 Sam. 25:18) Coverdale's
    grece (Acts 21:35) Tyndale's
    hagab (Lev. 11:22) Tyndale's
    hargol (Lev. 11:22) Tyndale's
    heavengazers (Isa. 47:13) Bishops'
    hoared (Josh. 9:5) Matthew's
    hucklebone (Gen. 32:25) Bishops'
    lamies (Lam. 4:3) Coverdale's
    loured (Gen. 4:5) Tyndale's
    manchet (1 Kings 4:22) Matthew's
    maund (Exod. 29:3) Tyndale's
    meinie (Gen. 22:3) Tyndale's
    moon prophets (Isa. 47:13) Bishops'
    parbreak (Num. 11:20) Tyndale's
    perquellies (2 Sam. 5:8) Coverdale's
    pleck (Lev. 13:4) Tyndale's
    querne (Isa. 47:2) Bishops'
    quier (1 Kings 6:5) Bishops'
    redebush (Isa. 9:18) Coverdale's
    rugagates (Jud. 12:4) Bishops'
    sallets (Jer. 46:4) Bishops'
    shawms (Ps. 98:6) Coverdale's
    taxus (Exod. 25:4) Tyndale's
    unghostly (1 Tim. 4:7) Tyndale's
    whalefish (Job 7:12) Bishops'
    Whitsuntide (1 Cor. 16:8) Tyndale's
     
  14. Jerome

    Jerome
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    "charite" is used in Wycliffe
     
  15. franklinmonroe

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    As a beginner to learning NT Greek, the focus is on approximately 400 words that occur 30 or more times in the text. There are many hundreds of words that only appear a few times. In fact, one source claims that there are 5,624 different
    Greek words (and another 8,674 different Hebrew words in the Bible). It generally takes more words in English to translate the full meaning of Greek expressions. It was implied that modern versions are not as close to the Greek because they use more words than the KJV. Typically, the more paraphrasical a translation is, the more words it uses.

    The KJV is considered somewhat literal, although it is not even the most literal translation of the TR. I have found certainly places where the KJV is not as literal as it could be, but more interpretative. Some literalness was sacrificed for smoother rthymn in English. And the KJV is not very concordant, which means that a single original language word may be represented by several different English words (instead of the exact same English word nearly every time). The AV translators confessed that this was their intention in the preface "... to the Reader". This means that when reading a word in the KJV it is more difficult to immediately know what the underlying Greek or Hebrew word is.
     
  16. Rufus_1611

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    Just like any book it is important to understand the words that the author is using. Discernment of meaning can be found by understanding how the word is used in other locations throughout the work, or by looking up a definition of the word in an external source (though this can be precarious as the external source may not share the same definition as the author).

    The AV does not have a monopoly on the use of archaic or uncommonly used terms. Below is a list of comparative words in select verses. Can you identify which word is from the NIV and which is from the AV? Which word would you be most apt to use today and which would you consider archaic?

    1. Abasement (Ezra 9:5) Heaviness
    2. Voice (2 Chr 15:14) Acclamation
    3. Amazed (Is 13:8) Aghast
    4. Little Chamber (Ezek 40:13) Alcove
    5. Armlets (Num 31:50) Chains
    6. Blunted (Ps 58:7) Cut in Pieces
    7. Waves (Ps 93:4) Breakers
    8. Brooches (Ex 35:22) Bracelets
    9. Children (Is 57:4) Brood
    10. Burnished (Dan 10:6) Polished
    11. Hungry (Is 8:21) Famished
    12. Frolic (Ps 104:26) Play
    13. Cup (Is 51:17) Goblet
    14. Jowels (Deut 18:3) Cheeks
    15. Marauders (Job12:6) Robbers
    16. Vassal (2 Ki 24:1) Servant
    17. Apparel (Ezra 3:10) Vestments
    18. River (Num 34:5) Wadi
    19. Satraps (Est 3:12) Lieutenants
    20. Deputy (Acts 13:8) Proconsul

    For the answers and more examples see Archaic Words and the Authorized Version by Dr. Laurence M Vance

    Should Bible readers be required to learn the vocabulary of Bible translators that lived decades ago or are still alive?

    Perhaps a solution would be to stick to the old paths, study to show ourselves approved and adjust our vocabulary to the Holy Bible, rather than wait for a Bible translation that fits our vocabulary.
     
  17. AVBunyan

    AVBunyan
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    Forget about bibles prior to a KJV

    One should not have to understand words prior to what is in a present day King James Bible. Just get a good dictionary (I recommend a Webster’s 1828) and when a tough word comes up do one of below or a combo of below:

    1. Pray about it
    2. Check your dictionary
    3. Run the references from a concordance – for ex. Maybe a person wants to know what the word “church” essentially means…let the scriptures interpret for a change...

    Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
    Then this takes you to….
    Psa 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

    Church is a congregation – good starting point
    If the average saint would at least do the 3 steps above there would be great changes in Christianity.

    Don’t make it more complicated than it is. Leave the versions prior to a present day Wal-Mart KJV alone when it comes to Bible Study.

    By the time one looks through 10 lexicons, 15 versions, the Geneva, the Bishops, Mad magazine, 53 study guides, Greek/Hebrew, etc. he will be as confused as a termite in a yoyo!!!!:BangHead:

    God bless
     
  18. franklinmonroe

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    I would suggest that if much effort is to be applied to the learning of words that it makes more sense to study the original languages than to become familar with archaic English.

    It has been demonstrated that the changing of an English word to another can reduce or increase the understanding of the author's message; much more so does the translating of a Greek word into another language shift the original meaning.
     
  19. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    The problem is not KNOWN ARCHAIC words the problem is
    OCCULT* ARCHAIC meanings of words.

    *'occult' in this application means 'hidden' or 'unknown'


    Here is such an occult archaic meaning which
    many understand totally WRONG.
    -----------------------------------------
    1 Thessalonians 5:22 (HCSB):

    Stay away from every form of evil.

    1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV1769 with Strong's #):

    Abstain567 from575 all3956
    appearance1491 of evil.4190

    Here is what Strong's says:
    G1491
    εἶδος
    eidos
    i'-dos
    From G1492; a view, that is, form (literally
    or figuratively): - appearance, fashion, shape, sight.


    Note the total absence of LOOKS LIKE as a meaning
    for 'appearance'. Yet the most frequent explanation of
    this verse that I've heard is to stay away from anything
    that even looks like it is evil.
     
  20. Logos1560

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    Of course, some do not want anyone to consider the valid evidence found in pre-1611 English Bibles since that evidence refutes inconsistent KJV-only reasoning. On what consistent basis should it be demanded that English-speaking believers today must learn the archaic words in the 1611 KJV but not learn those in other translations?

    The words in the pre-1611 English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision often help in the understanding of some KJV words. Without looking in a KJV, can you identify which word is from the KJV and which is from a pre-1611 English Bible? Which word would you be most apt to use today and which would you consider archaic?

    Come (Genesis 11:4) Go to
    where he was born (Gen. 11:28) of his nativity
    valley (Gen. 14:3) vale
    dealt roughtly (Gen. 16:6) dealt hardly
    know (Gen. 21:26) wot
    ask her consent (Gen. 24:57) inquire at her mouth
    toward the evening (Gen. 24:63) at the eventide
    seventy and five (Gen. 25:7) threescore and fifteen
    wheat (Gen. 27:28) corn (KJV)
    yesterday (Gen. 31:29) yesternight
    to (Gen. 34:22) for to
    deliver (Gen. 37:22) rid
    knoweth (Gen. 39:8) wotteth
    prison (Gen. 40:4) ward
    full (Gen. 41:5) rank
    famine (Gen. 41:54) dearth
    plowing (Gen. 45:6) earing
    These are (Gen. 46:15) These be
    seventy (Gen. 46:27) threescore and ten
    It may be (Gen. 50:15) peradventure
     

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