Verse Numbers

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by APuritanMindset, May 20, 2005.

  1. APuritanMindset

    APuritanMindset
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    I am translating James this summer to keep my Greek skills up for when school starts in the fall and I enter the Greek exegetical class. Well, in the process of translating, I came across a sentence that is pretty ugly grammar-wise when translated to English, and is only that way because of the verse numbers. Here is my translation:

    James 1:6-8
    (6)But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing, for the one doubting [is] like [a] wave of [a] sea being tossed to and fro by the wind; (7)for that man [must] not suppose that he will receive something from the Lord, (8)a man vacillating, inconsistent in all his ways.

    Verses 7-8 in particular don't flow very well. Would I be wrong to combine those verses into more proper grammar, like this:

    for a vacillating man [is] inconsistent in all his ways and [must] not suppose that he will receive something from the Lord.

    Another question that came from my translating of this was are we bound by the verse numbers when it comes to issues like this? Do we leave a sentence not making sense just to stay literal? I don't see my combining verses 7-8 in the way that I did as being less literal to what the text is saying at all. It is still literal, but more proper in English grammar.

    When translating the Bible, should we follow the verse numbers, to the detriment of English readability? How bound are we to the verse numbers?
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    None - verse numbers are man's creation and therefore man's opinion.
     
  3. Keith M

    Keith M
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    I agree...verse numbers did not appear until the Geneva Bible. None of the "old" Bibles or ancient manuscripts contained verse numbers...and they are not an original part of the Holy Scriptures. They were added as a convnient means of locating passages.
     
  4. Gold Dragon

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    If you notice my bible quotations these boards, I always remove verse and chapter numbers within the body of the text for this very reason. I'll include a link with the chapter and verse numbers at the beginning of the quote for reference sake.

    They are useful for reference, but often get in the way of readability.
     
  5. robycop3

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    Sometimes, when quoting a series of verses in order, I'll place the #s of the first and last quoted verse at the beginning before the text & leave out the #s in between. At other times I'll simply paste the verses, #s and all if I wish to emphasize a certain verse or verses. But as Roger said, the #s are man-made and not actually a part of Scripture. They are there for quick reference, and GOD has seen fit to make them nigh-well universal.
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
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    When you translate James 1:12 take a look at the word often translated temptation and compare it to the word often translated trials earlier in the text. Then go onto verse 13 and compare. I would contend that the passage should be veses 2-12.
     
  7. Ransom

    Ransom
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    Chapter and verse numbers are indispensable to the use of concordances, commentaries, and other helps where some sort of reference system is needed to find passages quickly. But, of course, they are not part of what the Biblical authors originally wrote and are not inspired (<sarcasm>except for in the KJV</sarcasm>).

    If you feel that versification is so constraining as to compromise the meaning of the text, then rearrange the material as you see fit. As I recall, the Living Bible did this frequently and would reference multiple verses simultaneously with a superscript reading "7,8" or something along that line. Seems like a pretty decent system to me.
     
  8. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    We use different Bible Versions in my church.
    In my Sunday School class we have 6 men and
    five different versions. The only way to
    sync the readings is to read the verse numbers
    as well as the words.
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    it is interesting to be dealing with a Christian whose English is weak and whose verse numbers are slightly out of synch (as in some Polish Bibles) ;) .
     
  10. Ransom

    Ransom
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    It's not only Polish. I'm involved with a ministry here in Ottawa that is somewhat bilingual, and there are places in the French Psalms where this happens as well. At least some of the psalms treat the superscription (i.e. "A psalm of David, etc.") as the first verse.

    It can get confusing, particularly when your French is a tad weak and you have to coordinate a bilingual text (e.g. on a PowerPoint slide).
     

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