The "Dynamic " KJV

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Most of us agree that the KJV usage of "God forbid " is a rather dynamic rendering in the KJV . I personally feel that is a bit sacreligious . Perhaps some of you can contribute examples where the KJV uses dynamic wordings . I am not in the least inferring that it is in the same category as The Message though .

    I'll start with the ending of Numbers 14:2 ... Would God we had died in the wilderness .

    The same ending in the TNIV for instance has : or died in the wilderness .
     
  2. robycop3

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    having read a lotta tales of chivalry, the round table, ets. in the english of chaucer through Jacobean English, I know "God forbid" was a frequently-used strong negative for a long time in the history of the language. And I don't know of any English BV, except opssibly the YLT that doesn't use some DE somewhere.(I haven't read the YLT completely through, so I can't correctly comment either way)

    I personally don't think the use of "God forbid" is at all incorrect; in fact I believe it expresses a stronger negative than the literal "may it not be".

    Here's a DE example: Genesis 41:43 (King James Version)(Joseph is made 2nd-in-command of all Egypt)

    43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

    The word here rendered "bow the knee" is 'abrek', possibly an ancient Rgyptian word whose exact meaning is not known, & it appears in the Hebrew only that once. However, given the customs of ancient Egypt, this is a viable DE, IMO, better than the NIV's "make way".
     
  3. franklinmonroe

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    It has been my experience that the examples offered are either idioms, uncertain words or phrases, weak translation, and even insertion against the original languages (witness the "Red Sea"). But are these really examples of 'dynamic equivalency' at work?

    Dynamic (functional) equivalence transparently conveys the essential thought expressed in source text even at the expense of literality, original semantics, word order, etc. By contrast, formal equivalence attempts to faithfully render each word (verbatim) even at the expense of features natural to the target language.

    Figures of speech demand a translation that conveys the literal meaning (including proper tone) but by their very nature preclude a word-for-word rendering. The parlance "God forbid" and the example from Numbers 14 both fall into this category. Listening to converstional speech will yield an abundance of idioms being used that would be total non-sense to a cultural outsider if translated word-for-word: do you really have "all your eggs in one basket", "ants in your pants", or an "axe to grind"? These idioms are "nothing to sneeze at" and they are "just the tip of the iceburg" ("if you get my drift")! Large portions of the Bible are just as ordinary in style and therefore replete with idioms.

    Words or phrases of unknown exact meaning simply cause the translator to make a best guess at meaning based upon context. Because the meaning has been lost to antiquity, these are not even true translations. The example given from Genesis 41 is an estimate of this type. Here is another from Ecclesiastes 2:8 --
    I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, [as] musical instruments, and that of all sorts.​
    Here many other versions follow a more conventional understanding: that of concubine, wife, or harem (Strong's #07705), but in fact this Hebrew word is of uncertain meaning.

    The KJV revisors may have been focused more upon elegance of readabilty in English than actual fidelity to texts, but I don't think I've seen any examples given yet.
     
  4. franklinmonroe

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    Maybe this a case of 1611 dynamic exquivalence (possibly a paraphrase); Genesis 25:8 --
    Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full [of years]; and was gathered to his people.​

    The Hebrew verb translated here as "gave up the ghost" is gava (Strong's #01478) which simply means to expire, die, perish, to be dead or to be near death. It is not an uncertain word; the KJV translates this word as "die" 12 times ("give up ghost" 9, "dead" 1, "perish" 2, "dead" 1). There is no evidence that there is a Hebrew figure of speech here. It is not that it is weak or a mistranslation, because most English readers would get the right idea. And these words are not needed to smooth out a difficult construction. It seems to be both unneccessary and non-literal.

    There is no Hebrew words for "gave up"; no word for "ghost" (ghost is a noun and gava is a verb). What are all these extra words for? I think it just was a popular expression (and belief) in England at the time. It could have been simply rendered that then Abraham died.
     
    #4 franklinmonroe, Apr 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2007
  5. franklinmonroe

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    I came across this example this morning in Sunday School. Its from Genesis 18:6--
    And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead [it], and make cakes upon the hearth. ​

    I find no basis in the Hebrew for the expression "upon the hearth". The underlying Hebrew word seems to be `asah (Strong's #06213) which means to make/to do. It is the same verb translated in the prior phrase "and make cakes". There are four words translated as "hearth" in the KJV; awkh (Strong's #0254) is the primary word rendered as "hearth" (3 times in OT); three other words are translated "hearth" only once each. Perhaps, the first `asah could be construed as the actual forming of the cakes, and the second occurrence could be describing the baking of the cake. Nonetheless, a noun for "hearth" is not found here and so this transmission is very much non-literal.

    I also couldn't find another English version that included anything about a hearth, fire, pan, stove, oven, or heat. But it could be a minor variant between Masoretic text versions, which could account for it not being in other English texts.

    So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes." (NKJV)

    And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” (ESV)

    So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead {it} and make bread cakes." (NASB)

    So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.” (NIV)

    So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, "Quick! Knead three measures of fine flour and make bread." (HCSB)​
     
    #5 franklinmonroe, Apr 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2007

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