Tsoor in Isaiah 44v8

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Sep 30, 2006.

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  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Any ideas about why the KJV team chose to translate tsoor (I think I got that right) as "God" in Isaiah 44v8? Other than Habakkuk 1v12 the word is translated as "rock", "sharp", or "strength." (I may have missed a couple).

    The NKJV chose to use "Rock" which fits the usage of all the rest of the Old Testament in phrases like, "The is no rock like our God," which is similar to the idae here in Isaiah 44v8.

    Folks, this is not going to become a KJVO debate. Would just like your thoughts on why they chose to use this translation in this verse. Lets see if we can have an intellegent discussion about whether "God" or "Rock" is the best translation and why, without interjecting bias or emotionalism.
     
    #1 NaasPreacher (C4K), Sep 30, 2006
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  2. EdSutton

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    Roger, I know no Hebrew so can't really comment. But I'm glad this is not going to become another KJVO debate. If it did, that C4K guy would probably close the thread. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Ed
     
  3. Logos1560

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    One possible and likely reason that the KJV has "God" at Isaiah 44:8 is that the KJV translators followed or kept the rendering of the Geneva Bible at this verse. The 1535 Coverdale's, 1540 Great, and 1568 Bishops' Bibles all have "maker" while the 1395 Wycliffe's had "a former." The KJV translators in their 1611 edition did acknowledge that the literal meaning of the Hebrew word was "rock" since at both Isaiah 44:8 and Habakkuk 1:12 the 1611 has the marginal note "Heb. rock." At Habakkuk 1:12, the 1395 Wycliffe's has "Lord," Coverdale's has "O LORD," Great has "O Lord," and Geneva and Bishops' have "O God" where the KJV has "O mighty God."

    I am not sure why the early English Bibles preferred "God" at these two verses (especially at Hab. 1:12) when at other verses when the same word was used of God they still translated it "Rock." Perhaps one of the other sources (such as Jewish commentaries, translations in other languages including the Spanish Bible, Luther's German, or Latin translations) that the early English translators consulted and sometimes followed influenced them at these two verses. The rendering of the Wycliffe's from the Latin at Habakkuk 1:12 might indicate possible influence of the Latin rendering at that verse.

    In Deuteronomy, the early English Bibles had the example of William Tyndale who translated this Hebrew word as "Rock" referring to God and this rendering was kept in the other early English Bibles. For the books of Isaiah and Habakkuk which William Tyndale did not get to translate, there seems to have been some other influence. Miles Coverdale is said to have translated those books from Luther's German with guidance or consultation with the Latin so that could indicate two possible influences.
     
    #3 Logos1560, Sep 30, 2006
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  4. robycop3

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    I would say in Isaiah that it was a translator's whim, and "God" fits the context much-better than "rock". God was often called the "Rock of Israel" by Moses.

    In Habakkuk, he was praying, and IMO the translators didn't wanna leave the impression that Hab was praying to a rock.
     
  5. Keith M

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    Roger, according to the Strong's information available online at StudyLight.org the original Hebrew was rwc and this was transliterated as tsuwr with tsoor given as the phonetic spelling. The word is translated as God in only 2 places in the KJV. It is translated as "beauty" 1 time in the KJV; as "edge" 1 time; as "mighty One" 1 time; as "rock" 64 times; as "sharp" 2 times; as "stones" 1 time; as "strength" 5 times; and as "strong" 1 time. The numbers are different for the NASB.

    As for why the KJV translators chose to translate the Hebrew as "God" in Isaiah 44:8 the only reason I can think of is that they were trying to convey the "one God" idea that is found troughout the Bible. In light of the question "Is there a God beside me?" just prior to the phrase "there is no God" the translators were probably thinking to answer the question with an affirmation that there is no other god. In their minds as well as in the minds of many other people it made more sense to respond to this question with the affirmation than with the comment "there is no rock."

    Of course all this is just second guessing the translators. Why they actually chose the word "God" rather than "rock" can only be guessed - that is unless someone has access to notes by the translators which may show the reason behind the choice.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I discovered this a little later in the day. I find it an intriguing, but possibly unanswerable question. I came across this in my devotions this morning. I was reading out of the NKJV and the Lord impressed me with the concept of "no other Rock" then went I went to blog my devotions I used e-sword marco to inseret the text from the KJV and saw the difference. I prefer the "rock" translation as it appears literal and it enhances the view of God as our only rock of stability.

    Thanks for what is so far an intellegent and informative discussion. Let's hope we defy convention and the discussion remains as such.
     
    #6 NaasPreacher (C4K), Sep 30, 2006
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  7. Deacon

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    There is no argument about the meaning of the verse; even when it is translated (correctly) as “rock” the understanding is that it speaks of God (see Isa. 26:4; Pss 18:3, 47; 19:15; 28:1; 31:3; 63:3, 7; 73:26; 91:1; Deut 32:4).

    Neither the Vulgate and Luther’s translations translate the Hebrew, tsur, as God.

    Matthew Henry's commentary (1708-1710) briefly mentions it:
    Pre-KJV version shed a more little light on the history of the translation process.

    The Wycliffe Bible (1395)
    Nyle ye drede, nether be ye disturblid; fro that tyme Y made thee for to here, and Y telde; ye ben my witnessis. Whethir a God is with out me, and a formere, whom Y knew not?

    Bishops Bible (1568)
    Be not abashed nor afraide: for haue not I euer tolde you hitherto and warned you? ye can beare me recorde your selues: is there any God except me, or any maker, that I should not know hym?

    The Geneva Bible (1587)
    Feare ye not, neither be afraide: haue not I tolde thee of olde, and haue declared it? you are euen my witnesses, whether there be a God beside me, and that there is no God that I knowe not. (l) Read Isa 43:10 .

    Rob
     
  8. LeBuick

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    Great Blog, I particularly like this sentence, "They soon find that all of these supposed rocks are really nothing more than pebbles that can never sustain anything." That really got my spiritual mind thinking.

    Not to take your thread off subject, but I hope you don't mind a personal question. How does the "rock" in Isiaih compare to the "rock" where Christ built his Church? You put this question in my head, now help me deal with it please?
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I'm just a little curious how you found my little devotional blog so quickly ;).

    If I respond to your question here it will take us FAR off track so maybe we'd better put that somewhere else ;).
     
    #9 NaasPreacher (C4K), Sep 30, 2006
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  10. robycop3

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    I think we all forget that other people can use similes, metaphors, and other descriptive and comparative language same as we can. To the ancient Israelis, a large rock was the most solid, immovable physical object they knew of. they could build a home on such a rock, depending upon it to resist any kind of weather. God compared Himself to such a rock, which they could completely depend upon, while reminding them there was no other rock like Himself, that HE was alive and in charge, while all other rocks were dead objects that could do nothing on their own.
     
  11. Keith M

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    Interesting concept, Cranston.
     
  12. Salamander

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    Jesus is the Rock of my salvation the Stone that the builders rejected.

    The "Rock"/tsoor is God

    Upon this rock will I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    The "rock" is that faith in Christ being the Only Begotten Son of God/ The Messiah.

    Don't know what all the speculators think and don't really care, I just know what I know.:sleep:
     
  13. LeBuick

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    I confess I read most of the guys blogs that are on this site. It helps me better understand and relate to their views. I especially like reading yours, you have a depth that is simple yet profound. I believe that's the way it should be. I also like see your Church pictures and seeing Jr. taking after Dad. Makes me soul happy to see that... Yep, happy...
     
  14. robycop3

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    For once I agree with you, Sal.
     
  15. Forever settled in heaven

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    right, n rock's also a genre of music. so ... gimme a rock, for i'm on the roll?

    neh, God is not faith, n faith is not God. otherwise "faith in God" is tautologous. (altho ... it's quite possible that some people's blind faith become their God!)

    God forbid (geddit?) that what's simply explained by a simple acknowledgement of dynamic equivalence be made into complicated system of multiplied entities.

    tell us something we don't know! :laugh:
     
    #15 Forever settled in heaven, Oct 2, 2006
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  16. LeBuick

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    I often see the rock as symbolic of something solid, lasting and unmovable in our most troubled times. No matter what else is happening in the world, that rock is still there. Like being in the worst storm life has to offer, but having something dependable and solid to anchor your trust and hopes to. I've yet to put my thumb on that specific word I look for but that is my definition. Jesus will have to be the word for now.
     
  17. Salamander

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    Like, mebe, the "rock" Jesus was referring to is that faith and knowledge that he is the Messiah.

    I have a faith that is solid as a rock in The Rock. Noyting complekated bout dat.
     
  18. robycop3

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    Keep up the good posts, & before long, you'll be LeCADILLAC!

    I agree w/you and Sal that the ROCK was the most solid, immovable thing they knew, and so they equated GOD ro a rock, while knowing He was alive & more solid and powerful than all the rocks on the planet..
     
  19. Salamander

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    :1_grouphug: :godisgood:
     
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