Sion or Zion?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    Several times in the New Testament, the KJV, Geneva, and Bishop's Bibles,among other older versions, mention "Sion". Actually, this should be "Zion", the hill near Jerusalem where the Jebusite fortress, conquered by David, stood.

    According to Deu. 4:48, Sion is Mt. Hermon, also known as Mt. Sirion.

    Now, why those translators of the past made that booboo, I don't know.
     
  2. Robert Snow

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    Weak, very weak. Sion is a transliteration of the word Zion. It boils down to a different spelling, you know like music or musick.

    Are there any boundaries you aren't willing to cross to stand against the Word of God?
     
  3. robycop3

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    There are no legal boundaries I won't cross to point out goofs and booboos in translation.

    Mr. Snow, I see you completely ignored Deu. 4:48, which CLEARLY tells us what "Sion" is.
     
  4. Logos1560

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    Sometimes the 1611 edition had "Sion" as its rendering for the Hebrew word usually translated "Zion" but many later editions changed it to "Zion" in all places but Psalm 65:1. Some KJV editions also made the correction at Psalm 65:1, but many present KJV editions do not have that correction.

    Psalm 69:35 [Zion--1560 Geneva; Sion--1602 Bishops] [see Ps. 65:1]
    Sion (1675, 1679, 1709, 1715, 1747, 1754, 1758, 1762, 1765, 1774 Oxford) [1629, 1637, 1638, 1677, 1683, 1817 Cambridge] {1611, 1613, 1614, 1616, 1617, 1640, 1644, 1650, 1660, 1672, 1684, 1711, 1741, 1759, 1767, 1772 London} (1755 Oxon) (1638, 1722, 1735, 1756, 1760, 1764, 1766, 1769 Edinburgh) (1762 Dublin) (1746 Leipzig) (1816 Albany) (1828 MH)
    Zion (1728, 1768, 1769 Oxford, SRB) [1743, 1760, 1769 Cambridge, DKJB]

    Psalm 65:1 [Zion--1560 Geneva, NKJV; Sion--1602 Bishops] [see Ps. 69:35}
    Zion [1817, 1873, 2005, 2011 Cambridge] {1660, 1879 London} (1756, 1760, 1769, 1787, 1789, 1791, 1793, 1810, 1820, 1842, 1858 Edinburgh) (1860, 1866 Glasgow) (1700 MP) (1782 Aitken) (1791, 1816 Collins) (1801 Hopkins) (1802, 1813, 1815 Carey) (1803 Etheridge) (1807 Johnson) (1809, 1810, 1818, 1826, 1828 Boston) (1814, 1832, 1835 Scott) (1816 Albany) (1818 Holbrook) (1818, 1819, 1827, 1829, 1843, 1851, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1858, 1868, 1894, 1902, 1954, 1957, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1988, 2008 ABS) (1827 Smith) (1828 MH) (1831 Brown) (1832 PSE) (1843 AFBS) (1846 Portland) (1845, 1854, 1857, 1876 Harding) (1876 Porter) (1910 Collins) (1911 TCE) (1924, 1958 Hertel) (1948 WSE) (1968 Royal) (1975 Open) (CSB) (RRB) (LASB) (1984, 1991 AMG) (KJRLB) (1994, 2000, 2002 ZOND) (TPB) (HPB) (2006 PENG) (2008, 2010, 2011 HEND) (NHPB) (ASB) (1833 WEB) (1842 Bernard)

    Sion (1769 Oxford, SRB) [1629, 1769 Cambridge, DKJB] {1611 London}
     
  5. rsr

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    I don't think you can call it even a minor boo-boo. I suspect that the early translators simply picked up Sion from the Vulgate. (Tyndale, for example used Syon, a spelling still found in some English place names.) I also suspect that the use of Zion was helped along by Luther's translation.

    Zion in German (with Z pronounced TS) is closer to the Hebrew. Neither Sion nor Zion, as pronounced in English, quite gets as close to the Hebrew anyway, so what does it really matter?
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    There are thousands of spelling changes as the English language was evolving (good use of the word evolution!!) from 1500 to today. Minor issues like this are not even a blip on my radar.

    So "error"? No. Just choice of English translator to translate the tzadik with an English "s" or "z". Don't think any translate it "tz" which would be closest to the Hebrew.

    Sort of like The Tsar of Russia v Czar of Russia. Just as dead.

    With 5000+ spelling and punctuation changes from 1611 to 1769 revisions, plus 150 major changes, it is just showing the continuing struggle to translate God's Word into "modern" English.
     
  7. John of Japan

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    There are two different Hebrew words and one Greek word at play here. The Hebrew word in Deut. 4:48 is }Ùo)yi&, rightly transliterated as Sion. This is the only place in the entire OT that this Hebrew word occurs, so it is a different place from Zion (OèYic÷), which occurs many times in the OT. In the NT there is only one Greek word, Sion, rightly transliterated as Sion.

    So in my view there are no translation errors concerning Sion/Zion in the KJV or any other version that transliterates this way. The NT Sion is the same as the OT Zion, just transliterated differently since it came from a different language.

    One word for kung fu in Chinese is 拳法, transliterated ch'uan fa into English. The same word is used in Japanese and transliterated as kenpo (sometimes mistakenly kempo). It's the same word with the same meaning, literally "fist method," a form of kung fu. Simply because the transliteration is different, the meaning is not changed.

    Edited in: okay, there is just one place in the OT where the KJV transliterates OèYic÷ as Sion, which is Ps. 65:1. I'm with Dr. Bob, though, in that it's not an error of translation, just a difference in how the word was transliterated by the translator, who may have been a different man that the translators in the other passages which have Zion.
     
    #7 John of Japan, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2013
  8. robycop3

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    Well, I never wondered about it until I came across Deut. 4:48, and just figured Sion in the NT was just a slur or Greek pronunciation of "Zion", since the context clearly points to Jerusalem. And Mt. Hermon doesn't hold nearly the prominence in Scripture that Zion Hill does.
     

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