A very interesting article from http://www.biblepacesetter.org/education/bibleans3.shtml . What are the implications for KJV-onlyism? --------------- Q: In Hebrews 11:21 we read, "By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff." (NIV) What does it mean to worship leaning on the top of a staff? A: The quotation in Hebrews 11:21 is taken from Genesis 47:31, ". . . Israel worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff." (NIV) This reading is taken from the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew scriptures, a translation into Greek that was in common use in the time of Jesus and of the apostles. The NIV uses that same reading in translating Genesis. The Hebrew text as we have it today, however reads: "Then Israel bowed himself on the head of his bed." (NRSV) For hundreds of years the Hebrew text was transmitted without vowels. Only beginning after the 6th century AD were vowels and accent marks added to the text. The difference between the two readings is between two different sets of vowels that could be added to the same consonants. To loosely illustrate this with letters from our English alphabet, the older manuscripts would have HMTH. The translator of the Septuagint would have read HAMATTEH (doubling the 'T' is also an added mark), and the Hebrew text with the vowels reads HAMITTAH. The first means "staff" and the second means "bed." Most Biblical scholars believe that the reading in Hebrew of 'bed' is more likely in Genesis, though the New Living Translation and the New International Version choose to translate the Greek version and indicate the Hebrew in a footnote. (Lest anyone think this is a conservative vs. liberal issue, the New American Standard Bible and the New King James Version as well as the venerable KJV all read 'bed' as well!) If this is correct, why would the author of Hebrews use a flawed translation? He often uses the Septuagint throughout the book. It is likely that he is simply using a version familiar to himself and his readers and is not concerned with an issue that has no impact on his message. The message of Hebrews 11:21 is simply that Jacob had full faith in the promises of God, and relied on them in giving a blessing. He worshiped God as he blessed the sons of Joseph. Perhaps there is a lesson for us here as well about worship!