Vulgar language in the KJV

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by evangelist6589, May 9, 2015.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    No doubt about it there are verses that said without scripture support would land me an infraction, and if said in public would not be appropriate, yet these are real verses in the KJV. I looked up a couple verses that Don posted in another thread in my ESV & NIV and both translations omit them as the ESV & NIV according to Jordan and others of the KJVO persuasion are using corrupt texts and therefore are corrupt translations. But even the NKJV which uses the same texts as the KJV omits the vulgar verses. So I have to wonder what would qualify as a cuss word and who decides this standard?
     
  2. annsni

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    It is completely the culture. I could say a word that means nothing here in the US other than it's regular connotation but in another country, it means something vulgar. So really, it's the culture that decides what words are "bad" and which are not.

    As for the language in the KJV, it was not "vulgar" language as we see the word "vulgar" but it was "vulgar" language as per the times when it was written. "vulgar" meaning "common" when speaking of the fact that the KJV writers wrote that people need a Bible in the vulgar language meaning "common" language.
     
  3. PreachTony

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    I asked that very question in your original thread. Only one person bothered to respond.

    For a funny example of how a word for one group can be so offensive to another group, check out Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel series. One extremely minor character is noted as an award winning film director who famously used the galaxy's most offensive word, "Belgium," in a film.

    http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Belgium
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    Thats not what I mean when I use the word vulgar.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Neither the King James Bible nor any other Bible of any translation has words in them that are vulgar in terms of inappropriateness.

    The Bible is not inappropriate.

    Mankind's abuse of speech is inappropriate. Just like any other thing that God gave to us - music, sex, relationships, food, drink, the family, and so much more - mankind has turned it all into something cheap and salacious and tawdry.

    Let mankind snicker at the word "pisseth". Let uptight Christian get their knickers in a knot over it. Let some Christians refuse to say "Balaam's ass".

    There are no vulgarities in the Bible. The vulgarities are in the filthy mind of man.
     
  6. rsr

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    Annsni is completely correct that "bad words" are defined by the culture. The word in question was acceptable for centuries and was driven out by the Victorians, who also attempted to excise "leg" from polite conversation.

    The vituperative exchanges between Luther and Thomas More were ripe with scatatological references, perhaps less jarring because they were in German and Latin. English translations would not be allowed in prime time, even today.

    We once had a lengthy discussion on the board about the proper way to translate idioms, specifically euphemism (Gen. 4:1, for example) and dysphemism (the opposite, of which the referenced occasions are an example.)

    The problem, as I recall, is trying to decide when a euphemism or dysphemism has passed into such widespread use that it has lost touch with its original roots and has simply become an idiom, without any specific connotations.
     
  7. rsr

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    Which is an excellent example of the issue. "Vulgar" originally meant what is common, as opposed to "exalted." It has become a pejorative instead of a description.

    The Latin Vulgate, for example, is simply the Latin of the common people (although by the Clementine revision no common person used Latin), as opposed to the Latin of the Golden or Silver Ages.
     
  8. Darrell C

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    Agreed.

    This...


    1 Samuel 25:34

    King James Version (KJV)

    34 For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.



    Happens to be chock full of discussion, lol.

    Consider this: no harm would have come to women and the infirm among men.

    Instead of seeing what can be seen, and learned from, it is indeed the vulgar mind that has a modern vulgarity (or what is seen as such) in view rather than the intent of the statement itself.


    God bless.
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    The translators had a 17th century mind set. They lived and worked during the reign of James I of England & IV of Scotland not Victoria and her heirs.
     
  10. evangelist6589

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    If that is true why do the modern versions omit the words "pisseth" and "ballam's ass"?
     
  11. Scarlett O.

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    Not all translations post-King James omit those words.
     
  12. Don

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    Folks, I think Scarlet and Ann pretty much nailed it.

    And by the way: I especially agree with Scarlet on the point about "vulgar verses." There are no vulgar verses, unless you want to call God's Word "vulgar."
     
    #12 Don, May 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2015
  13. evangelist6589

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    The best translations omit those words.
     
  14. annsni

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    They don't omit them but instead make them make sense for us today.

    "Pisseth against the wall" means nothing to us today in the context of what it's trying to say so they change it to help us understand that it's just speaking of men. Balam's ass - I work with equine and we don't tend to say ass anymore but instead will say donkey. It's just our culture and as such, the modern versions don't "omit" these terms but instead give us the terms in our own language.
     
  15. Scarlett O.

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    Whether a translation does or does not use the two words in question has no bearing on it being a good, better, or best translation.

    That's the correct way of understanding it.
     
  16. evangelist6589

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    I see. This I did not know. Thanks..
     
  17. evangelist6589

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    I am biased and see the ESV & NIV 84 as the 2 best english translations and the ones I use the most.
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    I see where the NASB, LEB, and HCSB footnote urinating against a wall, but the WEB has it in the main text.

    As far as translating Balaam's animal as donkey rather than ass, I do not see it as an omission. In fact to the modern reader, the clarity of meaning is enhanced.
     
  19. McCree79

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    I don't see "pisseth against the wall" missing as an Omission either. Just like you said about the donkey......the replaced "pisseth against the wall" with "male. Which adds clarity to the modern reader.
     
  20. Van

    Van
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    Spot on! Especially if they footnote the literal translation.
     

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