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NIV vs KJV on John 1:13

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Friend of God, May 27, 2009.

  1. Friend of God

    Friend of God Active Member

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    Recently while doing a Bible study using a KJV/NIV Parallel Bible I noticed the following difference in John 1:13:


    [QUOTE] children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision, or a husband's will, but born of God. [NIV] [/quote]


    [QUOTE] which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [KJV] [/quote]


    I was wondering if anybody knew why this was translated husband in one version and man in another? I assume that "man" denotes mankind, but 'husband" is very different in it's meaning.


    PLEASE, this is not a debate on which version is better or more accurate. I'm just curious as to the different renderings of this verse of Scripture.
     
    #1 Friend of God, May 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2009
  2. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    The Greek word that is used is "aner" which means a man or husband. In it's useage in the NT, the KJV translates it "man" over 150 times but it does translate it to "husband" 50 times as well. There are other words that would be used to denote "mankind" and but this one doesn't work for that.
     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

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    REB : born not of human stock, by the physical desire of a human father, but of God.

    Weymouth : who were begotten not by human descent, nor through an impulse of the flesh, nor through the will of a human father, but from God.

    According to my wonderful New Testament Text And Translation Commentary by Philip W. Comfort : "the ones who not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of a husband but of God were born" -- TR,WH,NU
     
  4. Baptist4life

    Baptist4life Active Member

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    ..................just different way of saying the same thing.
     
  5. Friend of God

    Friend of God Active Member

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    Thanks everybody. I'm just not that well educated in Greek and Hebrew, and I wondered why the difference.

    I think this says it all. Thanks again for your help.


    Rob
     
  6. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe Active Member

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    "Man" does not represent 'mankind' or 'humanity' here. The common Greek word for human beings is anthropos (Strong's #444) which is most often also rendered "man" in the KJV. And it is this potential confusion with a universal definition that could be a weakness of translating here with the word "man" by itself.

    To build on what annsi previously wrote, aner is typically the word meaning an adult male. The weakness in this case may be a modern tendency to think of "husband" in stricly a legal sense (as 'married'), even though "husband" can more generally identify the male responsible for a houshold (like a steward or manager).

    The context is clearly making the point that this 'birth' is not of flesh & blood origin, and the original language word is distinctly masculine. But our English word "father" may not be completely satisfactory on its own here either. In Greek there is already pater (Strong's #3962) which is the primary word denoting "father".
     
  7. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    Rob - I use www.blueletterbible.org to check the Hebrew and Greek words. It's great because it not only tells you the word in that verse, it tells you all of the other instances of that word being used in Scripture. It tells you how many times that word is translated a certain way (that's how I knew it was used 150+ times as "man" but 50 times as "husband). It's a very easy and useful tool for those of us not educated in Greek and Hebrew.
     
  8. Friend of God

    Friend of God Active Member

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    Thanks Ann. I just checked out blueletterbible.org and I guarantee I'll be using it from now on.
     
  9. Askjo

    Askjo New Member

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    A famous writer said that "man" is called blood and flesh. Not only this writer, but a few commentaries did not say anything about a "husband." Therefore a word, "man" is a correct one for this verse.
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member

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    I believe the NASU sticks closer to the text than any

    " who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
     
  11. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    Isn't a husband a man? I'd hope that the Bible is promoting marriage to conceive rather than just any man. ;)
     
  12. Askjo

    Askjo New Member

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    A husband only? Not a man who is single? A man can be either single or a husband. A man has his will.
     
  13. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf New Member

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    Actually, a 'husband' was not always a married man. It was not until more recent times that the word took on the connotation of marriage.

    (from http://www.bartleby.com/61/31/H0333100.html)

    The English word husband, even though it is a basic kinship term, is not a native English word. It comes ultimately from the Old Norse word husbondi, meaning “master of a house,” which was borrowed into Old English as husbonda. The second element in husbondi, bondi, means “a man who has land and stock” and comes from the Old Norse verb bua, meaning “to live, dwell, have a household.” The master of the house was usually a spouse as well, of course, and it would seem that the main modern sense of husband arises from this overlap. When the Norsemen settled in Anglo-Saxon England, they would often take Anglo-Saxon women as their wives; it was then natural to refer to the husband using the Norse word for the concept, and to refer to the wife with her Anglo-Saxon (Old English) designation, wif, “woman, wife” (Modern English wife).
     
  14. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

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    Why do you believe that?
     
  15. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

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    Specifically, why is it your opinion that the NASBU is closer to the original text of this passage than the NIV/TNIV?
     
  16. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member

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    The NASU95 sticks closer to the Greek text in literal way than the NIV and TNIV. However I believe the NIV and TNIV are a dynamic equivalent and convey the same message.
     
  17. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

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    The above is as word-for-word as it can get into semi-English.

    Here it is in the NET Bible : "children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband's decision, but by God."
     
  18. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that in general the NIV/TNIV should be considered dynamic equivalent, or are you speaking of the way both render John 1:13?
     
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