Why Does ESV Omit Torment/Torture in Matthew 18:34?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by InTheLight, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    Today's sermon was on the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18. My church uses the ESV while I carry an NIV (and used a KJV for 35 years prior.) In verse 34, when the master learns the servant he forgave of his debt has not forgiven his own servant the Bible says the master turned his servant over:

    "to the jailers to be tortured" NIV
    "to the torturers" NKJV
    "to the tormentors" KJV
    "to the torturers" NASB

    "to the jailers" ESV

    The parable is clearly teaching the danger of being an unforgiving person and I believe the torment/torture aspect is a picture of Hell. So why is this important element of the parable missing from the ESV?
     
  2. go2church

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    From the NET Bible, there is this note:

    tn Grk "handed him over to the torturers," referring specifically to guards whose job was to torture prisoners who were being questioned. According to LN 37.126, it is difficult to know for certain in this instance whether the term actually envisions torture as a part of the punishment or is simply a hyperbole. However, in light of the following verse and Jesus' other warning statements in Matthew about "fiery hell," "the outer darkness," etc., it is best not to dismiss this as mere imagery.

    My guess, only a guess, is that the translators thought that using the word "jailer" implied there would be torture as this was part of the jailers job. Using jailers isn't inaccurate, that is the word, and you can certainly draw that out of the text when preaching/ teaching the text, but maybe not as precise as other translations.

    This happens in translations, accurate word choice, but perhaps not as finely tuned as possible.
     
  3. InTheLight

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    OK, but not all jailers were torturers, right? Furthermore, the master was angry so throwing someone in debtors prison with no mention of torment doesn't seem like a very angry reaction. Also, verse 35 doesn't have much impact if only the term jailers is used with no promise of torment :

    Matthew 18:35 ESV
    So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

    ESV implies God will send us to prison if we are unforgiving people.
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    Omit from what? The KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV?

    None of these are the standard. :thumbsup::wavey:
     
  5. go2church

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    I don't know the exact job description of a jailer. It easily could be that it was an expectation. Like all translations, there are places where a home run is hit, other places, a bouncing single.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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    believe jesus was teaching to us that IF one calims to be a chrsitian, and yet refuse to forgive others just as he forgive us, that God will allow us to keep ourselves in "jail/prison", for we will not be going to hell, but will be building up a boatload of anger, bile, and just very unproductive for Him and the kingdom!
     
  7. InTheLight

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    Wrong. Jesus is saying if we have an unforgiving spirit then he won't forgive us our sins. We're not really saved. It's as plain as the text. That's why the omission of torment is crucial.

    The master forgave the servant for debts of ten thousand talents (millions of dollars of debt) yet the servant could not forgive his own servant that owed him about $200?
     
  8. InTheLight

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    This message is hidden because preacher4truth is on your ignore list.
     
  9. Rhys

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    It is very unlikely that a majority of the translators (or, rather, revisers) did not see the parable as a metaphor of Hell. Rather, it is much more likely, especially in light of several commentaries on Matt. 18:34, that they chose not to highlight it as such beyond the lexical purview of the Greek.

    Adam Clarke:

    Joseph Benson:

    John Gill was more subtle:

    The use of "jailers" in the ESV is one of many examples where immediate clarity to the reader is sacrificed for the sake of literal adherence to the source text. Nothing is omitted, obscured, or concealed from us -- it simply means more context is required to understand the full meaning. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

    Consider, also, that the verse may contain multiple metaphors. Take, for example, 2 Thess. 1:9:

    Hell will be separation from God, just as imprisonment is separation from the presence of family and community. Just as the wicked will be tormented in Hell, so were the bankrupt debtors in prison. Just as the bankrupts could never repay their debts, neither will sinners in Hell.

    Tormentors/torturers captures only one meaning of the verse, just as 'jailers' does. Since there's no word in English that carries a double meaning, we can either leave it up to the reader to inform themselves, or we can add a couple of words to the text to bring it out; I do believe the NIV has captured the best literal sense of the verse here.
     
  10. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    It's not. It simply acknowledges that jailors tortured their prisoners in those time. The word is basanistes in the Greek, and it means, "one who elicits the truth by the use of the rack; an inquisitor, torturer; also used of a jailer, doubtless because the business of torturing was also assigned to him." That is from Thayer's, and the NASB lexicon.
     
  11. InTheLight

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    So the primary meaning of the Greek word is "one who elicits the truth by the use of the rack; an inquisitor, torturer; and a secondary meaning is "also used of a jailer"
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    Jesus was referring to us as Christians, who if we refuse to forgive others sins against us, we would put ourselves into "prison", as we would be the ones to suffer penalties for unforgiving spirit, such as stress, anger, not able to be used of God etc!
     
  13. InTheLight

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    You're still wrong about the meaning of the parable. Sorry for you....
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    well,Jesus was addressing His own followers, and since none of them can lose their eternal life in him, have to seek another answer than what you postulate it means!
     
  15. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Based on the duties of a jailer, yup.
     

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