Some questions for KJV critics.

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Joe Turner, Sep 22, 2002.

  1. Joe Turner

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    1. Since your smart enough to find "mistakes" in the KJV, why don't you correct them all and give us a perfect Bible?
    2. Since you do believe "the Bible" is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, could you please show us where Jesus, Peter, James, Paul, or John ever practiced your terminplogy ("the Greek text says...the Hebrew text says...the originals say..a better rendering would be..older manuscripts read..."etc.)?
    3. Since you do not profess to have a perfect Bible, why do you refer to it as "God's word?" :confused:
     
  2. Ransom

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    Ho hum. Haven't we already seen this show?
     
  3. Helen

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    Joe,
    Despite your obvious attitude about this, here are a couple of points to consider:

    1. Every translation is going to have errors. That is the nature of translations. The translator often has to choose among several possible meanings for a word and, in the case of paleo-Hebrew (ancient Hebrew), there are words which we do not know how to translate even today! Suppose someone wanted to translate, for instance, something from the Eskimoes about snow in their area. They have an enormous number of words for snow, simply because their lives depend on knowing what is going on. We have a few: snow, sleet, hail (not really snow, but you can see how sparse the English language is here!). So the translator is stuck. Does he just use the English word 'snow'? Does he put in the entire description involved in the original language word (light dry snow in the spring)? The translators from paleo-Hebrew, either into the classical Greek (Alexandrian LXX), or into modern Hebrew (Masoretic) or simply from Greek to English or modern Hebrew to English (New Testament) poses the same problems, and choices must be made. We can NEVER be as accurate as the original for that reason alone.

    2. Idioms always pose a problem. Did you know that salt was often used in the Hebrew culture as an idiom for wisdom? Most people don't. If you lose your saltiness, you have become foolish. Both "become foolish" and "lose saltiness" are the exact same original term in the Greek in the New Testament. But the phrase is translated one way in the Sermon on the Mount and another way in Paul's letters. The translators had to choose what to say in each case so that the readers would understand the meaning. But always there is a choice between meaning and the actual words. If you get one, you usually lose the other. Therefore there will never be any 'perfect' translation for this reason as well.

    3. The most obvious translator error I know of in the KJV is the commandment translated there as "Thou shalt not kill." And yet God not only commands capital punishment for a number of crimes, but orders to Israelite armies to kill off every member of some populations! The way the word is used in the original Hebrew, however, indicates the correct translation should be "Thou shalt not murder." And murder is clearly defined in the next chapter (Ex. 21) and several other places.

    4. What do you think of translations into Japanese, Russian, French, Spanish, etc.? Are they all deficient, too, because these people do not understand 16th century English?

    5. And this is the biggest point: God is strong enough to overcome our translation errors. He knew precisely what problems would arise in the future and His Word still convicts of sin, explains salvation, explains the character of man, the character of God, and so many other essentials. That is why all the translations have been instruments by which people have been saved.

    If you prefer the King James translation, that's wonderful. I have found a number of times they seem to be more faithful to the original as we sometimes tend to 'over translate' depending on our current understanding of certain matters -- or what we think we understand!

    Keep in mind, also, that the King James and the current translations have been translated from different early manuscripts, and yes, there are some differences in them. It is not that the NIV, for instance, eliminated certain phrases, but that the manuscripts used by them did not have these phrases. Did the King James come down to us with added phrases? It may well have! But when those phrases are glorifying God, I don't have any trouble with that!

    For years I was a deaf interpreter. I can tell you from first-hand experience that taking material from one language and grammatical structure and putting into one that is entirely different (as Hebrew is compared to English), is a very, very difficult job. There is real brain-strain involved!

    Let's just be grateful for everything God has done to make His Word so powerful that in every language and every culture it has had the power to convict of sin and bring people to repentance and a new birth in the Spirit.
     
  4. DocCas

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    Kill . . . 2. To commit murder. American Heritage Dictionary.

    The problem is not an "obvious translator error" but an obvious lack of vocabulary on the part of the reader. [​IMG]
     
  5. Helen

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    That may be, Doc, but it is important for any reader to understand what is meant, is it not? Even in the KJV the term "kill" was used for animals, too. This could easily cause confusion then and certainly does now!

    Today the term 'kill' can be used for
    killing the sound on a recording
    killing a plant
    killing an animal
    killing a human
    killing the motor on a car

    etc. etc.

    I think that is one reason the modern translations are necessary -- they help keep up with the changing meanings of words and thus help eliminate some of the confusion that can be caused.

    We are not all seminary-educated. In fact, Jesus chose fishermen, mostly, as His disciples. It seems to me that the Bible really should be made intelligible and clearly understandable in any vernacular. It is the common folk Jesus called who responded. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were condemned, in part for their snobbery towards these people.

    For those who are comfortable with the King James, that's great. For those who prefer modern English -- or any other language for that matter -- the Bible is available to them, too, now.
     
  6. DocCas

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    The three rules of interpretation.

    1. Context.

    2. Context.

    3. Context.

    Oh, and did I mention, context? [​IMG]
     
  7. DocCas

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    I would hardly equate those who love and use the KJV with Pharisees or those who are Seminary trained as snobs.
    And I did not, of course, indicate otherwise. I merely addressed your attack on the credibility of the KJV. Just as I would defend an attack on the credibility of the NKJV, the NASB, etc. Your incomplete understanding of the English word "kill" does not mean the bible is in error, and to make such a charge demands, in my opinion, a response.
     
  8. RaptureReady

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    I think DocCas has it right here. I also think Paul had it right to in "2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

    I don't believe God reveals everything in His word when you first read it. It takes time, pray and STUDY to see what God has for you. If you could explain everything in the bible, you probably would be God.

    The bible needs to be studied, and rightly divided, not rewritten to make it easier for someone to read like a novel. You know, from front to back.

    I believe God did preserve his words just like Psalms said He would, and therefore I believe the King James Bible to be those words.

    Helen, when you said, "Every translation is going to have errors. " How do you know what the errors are? What if the error is about salvation? Or was Jesus really born of a virgin? The only way you knew about Jesus and what he has done for the world is by His words. Don't you think that if God can create, take care of everything that we know of, he can preserve his word in a book.? The reason I stand for the KJV is because it lets me know that I still am a dirty, rotten, stinking sinner which deserved to go to hell, but by the grace of God I'm saved and I owe it all to Jesus. How do I know this. In a perfect translation that has never failed, the King James Bible. Don't rewrite, reread. [​IMG]
     
  9. Helen

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    I'm not going to spend time arguing here, so this will be my last post on this thread.

    Yes context, Thomas. I argue that all the time.

    I also have wonderful deaf friends who can only read on about a third grade (if that) level, because English is so difficult with its idioms and word usages and grammatical structures. I translate the Bible for them.

    And it feeds their hungry hearts. And I can guarantee you it is NOT coming across as King James!

    There are more uneducated people in the world that educated in terms of the kind of literacy required to really do personal Bible study. Millions simply read what they can, understand what they can, and repent and turn to Jesus even if they can't understand it all.

    But the more they can understand, the more they have an ability to answer questions put to them.

    I have worked with teens for years. MANY of them are 'turned off' by KJV English which they simply do not understand. Now, I have a choice -- attempt to reform the entire educational system in California to bring up their literacy level, or use the NIV or other modern translation. Guess which one I choose?

    [ September 23, 2002, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  10. eric_b

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    Here is a good example of what Helen was talking about. In the passage below (John 21:15-17), two separate words are used in the Greek for love (agape and phileo, which have different meanings), but both words are translated as love/lovest. So the full meaning of this passage from the Greek gets lost in English because English isn't expressive enough. Even the context of this passage gives no clue that two separate words are being used you have to consult the Greek.

    It's impossible to translate over every denotation and connotation of every word and phrase over from the Hebrew and Greek to English; that's why a study of the source texts is so important and why one should keep in mind that even a very good translation like the KJV is only a translation.

    Joh 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jona, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
    Joh 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jona, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
    Joh 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jona, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    Eric
     
  11. DocCas

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    Helen, no need to get so defensive! You seem to have missed my point. I really don't care what version of the bible you, or anyone else, uses. My point was, don't attack somebody else's version of choice just because you don't like it!
     
  12. BrianT

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    I understand, and agree with, Helen's assessment of this verse. I understand the "context" issue, but if the verse was simply translated "thou shalt not murder", it would have been better imho.

    I think that if the situation was reversed, if a modern version had "kill" and the KJV had "murder", we'd hear no end of the arguments that "the modern versions make God a sinner!" for even God killed people.
     
  13. BrianT

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    Where did she say she doesn't like the KJV?
     
  14. BrianT

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    Are you asking this of us, or of the men who gave us the KJV in the first place? My answers would be the same as theirs. [​IMG] If it weren't for the position you are arguing against, you wouldn't even have the KJV to argue about. :rolleyes: [​IMG]
     
  15. Helen

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    I didn't attack it.

    I do like the KJV.

    Cleared up?
     
  16. DocCas

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    You cannot force 21st century understandings of words onto a 17th century translation and claim, on the basis of the common usage of the word in the 21st century that the 17th century usage of the word is "an obvious error." To do so is, in my opinion, not only ignorant, arrogant, but also decidely ungodly!
    Straw man argumentation attempting to link me to the KJVO radicals. I have no problem at all with any modern version translating the the word as "murder." Just as I have no problem with the KJV (and other earlier English versions) translating the word as "kill."
     
  17. DocCas

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    So, Brian, you understood Helen to be saying she likes the "obvious error" in the KJV?
     
  18. DocCas

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    Of course not! You were complimenting the KJV on its "obvious error!"
    Even the "obvious error?"
    I was never confused. I don't think "kill" was an "obvious error" nor do I think "murder" is an "obvious error." In the context both words mean the same thing.
     
  19. BrianT

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    Good thing that's just your opinion. ;)

    I was doing no such thing, stop playing the martyr. I was simply expressing *my* opinion on "kill" vs. "murder" as it relates to Bible versions. Or are you the only one allowed to express opinions here?

    No. But disliking an error is not the same as disliking the thing containing the error. Just ask my wife, who likes me despite my obvious errors. ;)

    [ September 23, 2002, 03:18 PM: Message edited by: BrianT ]
     
  20. Helen

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    I wasn't going to post here again, but I think DocCas is really misrepresenting what I intended. I don't know why...

    At any rate, I stated that ALL translations have errors. Since the original post here was asking about errors in the King James, I pointed out one. I pointed out the most obvious one I know of. And it is an error, despite DocCas's defense of language and such in the earlier years. The word used in that commandment is NOT the same word used in the normal way 'kill' was referred to when animals or capital punishment was spoken of. The KJV translators could certainly see that. Anyone who picks up a Concordance can see that!

    However, there are also errors in every other version that I am aware of. A year ago Barry and I were invited to a private meeting of about twelve of the primary translators alive today, which was an incredible honor. For four or five hours we discussed what Barry had learned about the veracity of Genesis and Job, and also pointed out a few times when the NIV translation (Kenneth Barker was at the meeting) erred in some of the word translations as the translators were attempting to coordinate what the Bible was saying in the Hebrew and Greek with what "modern science had found."

    In these areas the KJV is the much better translation.

    I tried to indicate that sort of thing in my first post but oh well....

    When I present Bible studies to teens or down below, I generally will quote from the NIV as it maintains the poetic feeling of the original where there is poetry, but if anyone reads any of those studies, they will find that I am not averse in the slightest to showing where there may be a problem with a word translation and where the King James, or perhaps another version, does a better job.

    Now, I hope THAT clears it up!
     

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