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Heaven or heavens? Matthew 5:3

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe Active Member

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    Why do so many translations ignore the plural form of ouranos (Strong's #3772) here? Literal versions such as Young and Darby properly have "of the heavens".
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Feb 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2009
  2. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member
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    I could think of a couple possible reasons. One likely reason or influence would be that "many translations" were influenced by or were following an earlier translation such as the KJV. The KJV may have been following the earlier pre-1611 English Bibles, starting with Tyndale. Although translators or revisers are sometimes accused of making changes for the sake of change, they may actually be hesitant to make changes that they do not consider necessary or important.

    Another possible reason might be that some translators could consider it a figure of speech such as "heterosis of number" ["the plural for the singular"] ["This is so put when great excellence or magnitude is denoted" (Bullinger, Figures of Speech, pp. 528-529).

    By the way, the 1395 edition of Wycliffe's Bible has "the kyngdom of hevenes" at Matthew 5:3.
     
  3. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe Active Member

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    This is an excellent answer. Can any one confirm that "kingdom of heaven" was indeed a figure of speech? How are these figures of speech identified? Would "kingdom of the heavens" be considered a mistranslation?
     
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