Were the KJV translators right to correct?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Were the KJV translators right to correct the use of "me" as a subject at 1 Corinthians 4:9 in several of the pre-1611 English Bibles? Was the KJV's rendering an improvement over the rendering of those pre-1611 English Bibles? Was it a needed, necessary, or helpful change?

    1 Cor. 4:9a
    Me thinketh that God hath set forth (Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's)
    For me thinketh that God hath set forth (Great, Bishops)
    For I think that God hath set forth (1611 KJV)
     
  2. EdSutton

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    Methinks that either is completely acceptable.

    What doeth/doth theethink? :rolleyes:

    Ed
     
    #2 EdSutton, Nov 23, 2007
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  3. EdSutton

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    Or shouldest the question that that I haveth askest, really beeth "What dost thee thinkest?"?

    As I aforetime sayeth, I cometh to the conclusion thateth it maketh no difference to meeth. :laugh: :laugh:

    Ed
     
    #3 EdSutton, Nov 23, 2007
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  4. Jerome

    Jerome
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    From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
    methinks
    O.E. me thyncth "it seems to me," from me, dat. of I, + thyncth, third pers. sing. of thyncan "to seem," reflecting the O.E. distinction between thyncan "to seem" and related thencan "to think," which bedevils modern students of the language (see think). The two words were constantly confused, then finally merged, in M.E.

    From the Oxford English Dictionary:
    think, v.1 (Old English thyncan) "to seem, appear"
    In Old English, as in the cognate languages, the forms of this verb and THINK v.2 remained quite distinct; but in Middle English, owing to the fact that both thync- and thenc- gave ME. think-, ...they became confused and finally fell together. The contiguity of sense also helped: see THINK v.2:

    think, v.2 (Old English thencan) "to conceive in the mind, exercise the mind"
    In Middle English, thenk (as was normal with the groups -eng, -enk) became think, with the result of confusing this in the present stem with the preceding verb., ...so that the forms of the two verbs became completely identical. The practical equivalence of sense between me thinks, him thought, etc., and I think, he thought, etc., also contributed to this result, there being no difference of import between ‘such compani as him thought [= OE. him thúhte] competent’ (see THINK v.1 B. 2a) and ‘such company as he thought [= OE. he thóhte] competent’.


    Methinks ("it seems to me") was becoming obsolete.

    In I Cor. 4:9, the KJV translators, like the Geneva translators did a half century before, kept the verb form "think" but used the more common (by then) nominative pronoun "I".

    Tyndale: "me thinketh"
    Geneva: "I think"
    KJV: "I think"
    NIV: "it seems to me"

    However, in Acts 25:27 the translators retained the dative pronoun and used the verb "seem" instead.

    Tyndale: "me thinketh it unreasonable"
    Geneva: "me thinketh it unreasonable"
    KJV: "it seemeth to me unreasonable"
    NIV: "I think it is unreasonable"
     
    #4 Jerome, Nov 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2007
  5. robycop3

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    I believe the AV men were right in changing it, as English had changed from the day when 'me thenks' was commonly used. "The times, they are a' changin'".
     
  6. Logos1560

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    You found another example of where the KJV translators corrected the use of "me" as a subject in the pre-1611 English Bibles.

    "For me thinketh it unreasonable" (Tyndale's, Matthew's, Great, 1557 Whittingham's, Geneva, Bishops)
    "For me think it an unreasonable thing" (1535 Coverdale's)
    "For it seemeth to me without reason" (1582 Rheims)
    "For it seemeth to me unreasonable" (1611 KJV)

    Perhaps the KJV translators took "for it seemeth to me" from the 1582 Rheims.
     
  7. Logos1560

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    The KJV also revised Tyndale’s, Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, Great, Geneva, and Bishops’ Bibles’ use of “Me think” at Leviticus 14:35. While Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, Great, and Bishops’ Bibles also used “Me think” at the beginning of Song of Solomon 2:8, the Geneva and KJV did not. Those same four Bibles had added a clause at Hosea 9:13 (“as me think”) that is not in the KJV. They also have “me think” at Ecclesiastes 5:18.

    The KJV also did not keep the Bishops’ Bible’s six uses of “me thought” (Gen. 40:9, 40:16, 41:17; Jud. 7:13; Eccl. 9:13; Dan. 8:2).
     
  8. Keith M

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    It was just as right for KJV translators to update to then-current English grammar as it is for modern Bible translators to update to today's English. What is right in one version is also right in another version, as long as God's intended message is not tampered with.
     
  9. Deacon

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    The KJV translators were well ahead of their times.

    Why they even have a verse with Ebonics. :smilewinkgrin:

    And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are moe than they that be with them.
    2 Kings 6:16 AV 1873

    Rob
     
  10. Logos1560

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    The truth is consistent.

    While the KJV translators corrected or updated the use of "me" as a subject several times where it was found in the Bishops' Bible, the KJV kept “me” as a subject from the Geneva and Bishops’ Bibles at 2 Samuel 18:27 [“Me thinketh“] as another poster pointed out. If the change or correction was needed at some verses, why not also make it at 2 Samuel 18:27? Perhaps the KJV translators overlooked this one place.
     
  11. Ed Edwards

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    Ebonics: //They be mo'// -- even before 1873:

    2 Kings 6:16 (Geneva Bible, 1560 Edition):
    And he answered, Feare not:
    for they that be with vs,
    are mo then they that be with them.


    2 Kings 6:16 (Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition):
    And he answered, Feare not:
    for they that be with vs,
    are moe then they that be with them.


    Furthermore, the Geneva Bible has this
    commentery note:
    g. For he was assured of Gods helpe & that millions
    of Angels camped about the godlie to deliver them.
     
  12. Logos1560

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    The 1769 edition of the KJV corrected the use of "him" as a subject at Proverbs 6:19 in the Bishops’ and 1611 KJV. The 1611 edition had simply kept "him" from the Bishops'. Was this change in 1769 needed and was it an improvement?
     
  13. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Change was needed, but the 1769 change was not really an improvement.

    him can properly precede that soweth:
    Prov. 11:18 to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward
    Amos 9:13 the treader of grapes [shall overtake] him that soweth seed
    him is not the subject of soweth, but an object in these sentences

    So in Prov. 6:19, correct pronoun choice depends not on how he/him relates to soweth, but how it relates to the rest of the sentence.

    What you have is the last element of a list, antecedent to verse 16's these six things and/or seven.
    these six things is the subject of its clause, but seven is the object of its clause.

    KJV1611 him refers to these six things
    The LORD hates [him that soweth discord].
    NOT *The LORD hates [he that soweth discord].

    KJV1769 he refers to seven
    [He that soweth discord] is an abomination to him.
    NOT *[Him that soweth discord] is an abomination to him.

    Because of this apparent antecedent ambiguity problem, other versions have used one instead of he or him (NASB, NKJV) and/or rephrased v.16A, making that antecedent a subject as well: "There are six things..." (ASV, NASB).
     
  14. rsr

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    The entire phrase him that soweth righteousness is the complete object. Him in this instance is the subject of the phrase and in contemporary English requires a nominative, i.e., he.
     
  15. Jerome

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    Follow that reasoning and you get:
    Amos 9:13 the treader of grapes [shall overtake] *he that soweth seed
     
  16. Logos1560

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    There are other verses where the KJV used "him" or "himself" as a subject.

    For example, the KJV used "himself" as a subject for a verb at Matthew 8:17 ["Himself took"] and John 4:53 ["himself believed"] where most of the earlier English Bibles had "he." At Luke 6:3, Tyndale's, Matthew's, Great, Whittingham’s, Geneva, and Bishops have the rendering "when he himself was" where the KJV has "when himself was." The Geneva Bible's rendering at Ezra 10:8 ["he should be separate"] was changed in the KJV ["himself separated"]. At Isaiah 38:15, several earlier English Bibles again have “he” where the KJV has “himself” as a subject. In the second half of verse 21 in Genesis 32, the KJV also has "himself" as a subject where Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Geneva, and Bishops’ Bibles have "he."

    Were these changes that the KJV made in the pre-1611 English Bibles improvements?
     
  17. rsr

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    Which is absolutely correct.
     
  18. Dale-c

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    The only problem I see with this is that it shows that the KJV translators did the same thing that a lot of KJVO types say is wrong.

    Language changes.
    I don't see a problem.
     
  19. Jerome

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    Is there an English translation that uses the "absolutely correct" he at Amos 9:13?
    At least twenty use him, including the ESV (2001).
     
  20. Salamander

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    "Corrected" is a subjective term that indicates a misnomer to allocate that there was indeed any real correction to the verse.

    "Methinks" means "I think" and I know that it does. So do all people who can think.:laugh:
     

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