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Righteous, Righteousness, Justice?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Rippon, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    The word justice occurs 40 times in the book of Psalms within the NLT--only 17 times in the NIV.
    So in this thread I am advocating for the NLT on this topic.

    The majority of times most Bible versions read righteous or righteousness in the Old Testament. It seems the KJV started the trend with a paltry three instances rendering justice in the book of Psalms. (Hmm...rendering justice?). In the whole Bible the total number of times justice is used in the KJV is only 28 times. Compare that with the CEB --220. The ESV has justice 20 times in the book of Psalms.

    I will not list the passages in which the ESV reads justice; rather, I will cite snippets of other passages where the NLT uses the word in Psalms.

    7:6 : Wake up, my God, and bring justice.
    9:8 : He will judge the world with justice.
    9:16 : The Lord is known for his justice.
    11:7 : For the righteous Lord loves justice.
    17:1 : O Lord, hear my plea for justice.
    35:24 : ...O Lord my God. for you give justice.
    36:6 : Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths.
    36:10 : ...give justice to those with honest hearts.
    37:6 : and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
    37:28 : For the Lord loves justice.
    40:9 : I have told all your people about your justice.
    45:4 : In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice.
    45:6 : You rule with a scepter of justice.
    45:7 : You love justice and hate evil.
    48:11 : Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice.
     
  2. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    Continuing in the book of Psalms in which I list occasions that the NLT uses the word justice and the ESV does not.

    50:6 : Then let the heavens proclaim his justice.
    52:1 : Don't you realize God's justice continues forever?
    58:1 : Justice --do you rulers know the meaning of the word?
    67:4 : you govern the nations with justice.
    72:1 : Give your love of justice to the king.
    75:2 : I will bring justice against the wicked.
    94:1 : let your glorious justice shine forth.
    96:13 : He will judge the world with justice.
    97:8 : because of your justice, O Lord!
    98:9 : He will judge the world with justice.
    105:7 : His justice is seen throughout the land.
    119:142 : Your justice is eternal.
     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    About 18 hours from now I will seek to justify (pun intended) the use of justice instead of the two R words.
     
  4. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    One of my favorite books is The Challenge of Bible Translation. One of the chapters is authored by Steven M. Voth. He is Jewish, but has some valid points in his chpter called Justice and/or Righteousness: A Contextualized Analysis of Sedeq In The KJV (English) And RVR (Spanish).

    "Reading the Reina Valera Revisada, one is struck by the number of times the word justicia ('justice') appears in the text. A more careful comparison reveals that in the majority of the cases where Reina Valera Revisada (hereafter RVR) uses justicia, the King James Version (hereafter KJV) uses righteousness."(p.323)

    As I said in the OP, the KJV uses the word justice just 28 times. And that is only in the O.T. It's not used in the N.T.

    "People who during their entuire lifetime have read the New Testament of the KJV would never have come across the word justice in their reading." (p.324)

    The RVR uses the equivalent of the word justice a total of 370 times throughout the Bible. The newer Spanish translation --the NVI uses the equivalent word a grand total of 426 times.

    More at a later time.
     
  5. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    Continuing with some snips of Voth's chapter, page 333.

    King James did not want people to think of the significance of sedeq as the concept of justice. "Powerful words such as justice, just, rights, and communal faithfulness were not in the king's best interests. A religious word such as righteousness, which speaks of a state of being and not of an active, intentional responsibility toward others --especially the poor and marginalized -- is a much safer term. It's also a term that speaks more of an individual state than a societal or communitarian shalom. It is my contention that the term righteousness fit the royal agenda and served the purposes of the monarchy quite well."

    Voth goes on and speaks of the Puritan Samuel Rutherford and his manifesto Lex, Rex. "In this treatise Rutherford openly challenged the king's right to stand above the law and oppress the poor. Throughout the document there are numerous places where a call is issued to the king to insure justice. The Puritan agenda clearly didn't seem to be in the best interests of the king. I suggest, on this basis, that a highly politicized context certainly determined how a translation would be rendered. Oncde again, righteousness, which we've noted to be almost exclusively a religious term, would fit the king's agenda and ideology quite well. Issues of social justice, transformation of the evil structures of society, and civic responsibility were not priorities for the king at the time."
     
  6. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    The following snips are places in which the CEB has the word justice in Psalms and the NLT did not.

    1:5 : the court of justice
    7:8 : Establishing justice for me, Lord
    9:4 : you have established justice
    9:7 : He assumes his throne for the sake of justice
    10:18 : to establish justice for the orphan and the oppressed
    17:2 : My justice comes from you
    25:9 : God guides the weak to justice
    26:1 : Establish justice for me, Lord
    33:5 : He loves righteousness and justice
    35:23 : Get up and do justice for me
    37:30 : their tongues discuss justice
    43:1 : Establish justice for me, God!
    72:4 : Let the king bring justice
    76:9 : when God rose up to establish justice
    82:3 : Give justice to the lowly and the orphan
    89:14 : Your throne is built on righteousness and justice
    94:15 : justice will once again meet up with righteousness
    97:2 : His throne is built on righteousness and justice.
    99:4 : Strong king who loves justice

    To be continued...
     
  7. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    101:1 : Oh, let me sing about faithful love and justice!
    103:6 : does justice for all who are oppressed
    105:5 : the justice he declared
    106:3 : The people who uphold justice
    110:6 : God brings the nations to justice
    111:7 : God's handiwork is honesty and justice
    112:5 : as those who conduct their affairs with justice
    119:84 : justice
    119:149 : according to your justice
    122:5 : the thrones of justice are there
    135:14 : The Lord gives justice to his people
    146:7 : who gives justice to people who are oppressed
    149:9 : achieving the justice written against them
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Is there any evidence that this is the case? We know that James wanted episkopos to be translated 'bishop' rather than 'overseer' because he wanted an Episcopalian system of church government, but I'm not aware that he micromanaged the translation to such a degree that he insisted on other words being translated in certain ways. Also, I'm not persuaded that 'righteousness' is a 'religious' word; I would have described as a moral one.

    Also, I would like someone who knows Hebrew to comment on the meanings of sedeq. My understanding is that it certainly has moral and religious connotations as well as legal ones. God acts in righteousness both in judgement and deliverance (Psalm 119:75, 160; Isaiah 51:5; 62:1).
     
  9. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    King James was fearful of an overthrow by the Puritans. The notes in the Geneva Bible spoke often of tyrants who need to be removed. Justice was emphasized.
    And that kind of government would be best to support the king's orders. No other system had the hierarchy required to be at the king's good pleasure.
    I agree that he didn't micro-manage to that extent. But the Bishop's Bible was the primary translation that he wanted the KJV revisers to base their updated version upon. Get the significance of the Bishop's Bible. The bishop's would do the bidding of the king in the chain of command.
    I agree with you here.
    From my reading the word is open to several shades of meaning --not only justice and just. But those words bring out a different emphasis than righteousness. That's why the Spanish translations I submit are superior to the English versions in that regard. Believers are to not only acknowledge that there is evil but to proclaim that the Lord wants us to be just and cry aloud for His justice to right the wrongs of those who are oppressors. To wage against corruption.
     
    #9 Rippon, Jan 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  10. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    Interestingly the LXX translators use δικαιοσύνη in the verses listed. All the ones I looked up anyway....which is harder than I hoped--- chapter and verse don't line up. But the majority of NT use of δικαιοσύνη is found in Paul and "the main use is for right conduct that accords with God's will and is pleasing to him."-TDNT

    Does "justice" fit here better than "rightousness"? We would all probably agree Paul tends to use the word more for righteousness.

    The TDNT also explores the LXX use of δικαιοσύνη.
    " Righteousness in the LXX. 1. The Righteousness of God. How far does dikaiosýnē do justice to the Hebrew concept of seḏeq with its strong legal and covenantal component? In the later chapters of Isaiah the idea of a legal dispute is present; God intervenes judicially for the oppressed, so that salvation is closely linked with righteousness. God's righteousness in his judicial reign means that in covenant faithfulness he saves his people. On the whole the LXX expresses this well with its use of dikaiosýnē, while also relating it to divine judgment."

    It seems the Greek does represent the Hebrew well.

    Mounce--Noun:צֶדֶק, GK 7406 (S 6664), 123x. "Usually rendered “righteousness, justice, rightness,” the noun ṣedeq generally describes the state or quality of that which accords with some recognized standard...
    .....1) Righteousness is first and foremost a quality ascribed to God (Ps. 35:24, 28; 85,10-13). His actions are right and just. He hates wickedness and loves righteousness (Ps. 45:7; Isa. 11:4-5). He is sometimes addressed as “righteous God” (Ps. 4:1). Jeremiah twice predicts a coming age in which God’s name will become known as “The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:6; 33,16). And when he comes to judge the world, he will judge it honestly and fairly and in accordance with his holy standard (Ps. 9:8; 98,9). (2) God wants his people to pattern their lives after him. Therefore, he wants them to live righteous lives, both religiously and morally (Ps. 4:5; 15,2). This applies to the king, whose job it is to promote the righteous laws of God (Ps. 72:1-2; Prov. 25:5)."
    Mounce does support its function as rightouesness , but does also note later the emphasis it has on social justice at times.

    I also agree with Martin(as does Rippon), that the article is in correctly defining righteousness as a religious term. Mounce and the TDNT both demonstrate that righteousness and justice are closely bound by the Hebrew and Greek. It is a moral not religious term....as noted by Martin. I am not sure what English word should actually be used in the verses cited. Like Martin, I hope someone who can read Hebrew comes along. I lean towards righteousness in today's language since it still maintains a moral standard. Today justice is often used in America as a synonym for legal revenge or payback. We often seek justice in an unrightous way. Through perjury and/or threat of violence The Hebrew word מִןשׂפָּט(mišpāṭ), would better reflect the American usage of justice then the former.

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
     
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