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Some questions for KJV critics.

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Joe Turner, Sep 22, 2002.

  1. DocCas

    DocCas New Member

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    It always amazes me when someone, usually with little or no knowledge of biblical languages, assumes the mantle of critic of all bible translations and translators, and on the basis of little or no knowledge loudly proclaims all the errors in translation in all the versions, as if all the translators, who represent the best minds in the world, were all too dumb to see what this unlearned person can see. It is arrogant, and worse, it is arrogance based on ignorance! I, for one, will defend the translators and the translations against all such charges. There are occasional anomalies which I am at a loss to explain (for instance compare Hebrew 3:11 and 4:3 which reads the same in Greek but different in English of the KJV), but I would never be arrogant enough to assume the translators were too stupid to know what I know and translate it exactly as I would translate it. They had a reason for doing so which I am not privy to, and until I can discuss it with them in Heaven, I would be loth to accuse them of stupidity or error. It is this attitude of humility which I find is sadly lacking in any discussion of bible versions and/or translation. And, it seems to me, the less one knows about biblical languages, the more arrogant they are in their belief that they are correct in spite of what dictionaries, commentaries, context, and common sense say! :(
     
  2. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    DocCas, I don't know why I have irritated you so badly here. I apologise for whatever it was that set you off like this.

    I tried to answer a question/challenge at the beginning of this thread is a clear way and as succinctly as possible. I am not ignorant of the subject. You didn't like what I said. OK. I think the others understood what I was trying to say. I don't like it when threads turn personal so I'm backing out.

    God bless.

    Helen
     
  3. Pastork

    Pastork New Member

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    Helen,

    I just thought I would chime in on the issue of the best translation of Exodus 20:13. I agree that for the average Bible reader I know -many of them highly educated- the word "kill" does not mean "murder". Although it is true that they will call a "murder" a "killing", it is also true that the word "kill" has a broader meaning for most that leaves me having to explain to them as their pastor why God could command "thou shalt not kill" and then command them to "kill" in another passage. My explanation- which they always accept- is that Ex.20:13 does not prohibit all killing, but only murder or negligent homicide. However, I am not sure the word "murder" would be a better translation of the text either because it is too narrow a term for what God had in mind in the overall context and would mislead the reader. The ESV translators, e.g., apparently recognized this problem when they translated ratsach as "murder", but then added a footnote that says "The Hebrew word also covers causing human death through carelessness or negligence". The NET Bible takes the opposite tack and translates it with the word "kill", but then adds a footnote which says "The verb [ ratsach ] refers to the premeditated or accidental taking of the life of another human being; it includes any unauthorized killing (it is used for the punishment of the murderer, and that would not be included here in the prohibition). This commandment teaches the sanctity of all human life." Thus I agree with DocCas that it is not accurate or fair to conclude that the KJV translators made an "obvious" error here. The issue is more complex than that, as I have sought to demontrate through the comparison of two modern translations, both of which handle the issue in an acceptable manner via the addition of a footnote for clarity (although I prefer the NET Bible's approach ). However, though I think your take on the translation of Ex.20:13 needs some nuancing and improvement, I also think your intentions in bringing up the issue were misjudged. I for one see no reason to assume that you are too "arrogant". You will get the benefit of the doubt from me at least.

    Pastork

    [ September 23, 2002, 08:42 PM: Message edited by: Pastork ]
     
  4. kman

    kman New Member

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    Wow...an edifying post on this thread! Who da thunk!

    Thanks Pastork!

    ;)
     
  5. Pastork

    Pastork New Member

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    Thank you for the word of encouragement, Kman! I try to make all of my posts edifying in some manner.
     
  6. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Pastork, I also appreciate that response. I did not mean to start such a brouhaha, but only wanted to give an example.

    I agree that we do not have a suitable word for the actual meaning. But I think that goes to the point of what I was saying in the first place. :D

    Your post was very informative and thank you very much. I have copied it to my Word file so you are now immortalized on my computer.... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Joe Turner

    Joe Turner New Member

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    Well, I just got home from work and decided to check how things were going so far. Not to my suprise, the 'debate' turned into a battle of semantics..."the Hebrew says here...the proper wording is actually...blah,blah,blah..". You know, somebody should pray and let God know that He has a problem with languages, or to put it nicely, "linguistically challenged". The popular belief seems to be that God either didn't or couldn't keep His words in a language we can understand. Fair enough. But while you may laugh when I say the KJV is my final authority in all matters of faith and practice, you should all ask yourselves what your final authority is(and don't say God without defining how He communicates with you).
    P.S. I have never once [​IMG] changed anyones mind by debating with them and don't expect to.
     
  8. eric_b

    eric_b <img src="http://home.nc.rr.com/robotplot/tiny_eri

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    I agree with Helen, Pastork, and kman, this thread has gotten way out of hand. The last thing I'll post on this thread, directly from the King James:

    2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do engender strifes.
    2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
    2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

    Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
    Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

    If the text of the Bible is important enough to argue over, it should be important enough to follow, right? [​IMG]

    Okay, I'm out...

    Eric

    [ September 23, 2002, 10:35 PM: Message edited by: eric_b ]
     
  9. Mrs KJV

    Mrs KJV <img src =/MrsKJV.gif>

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    I would like to know something. Everyone is talking about the originals, but I would like to meet one person who has seen an original. Why does everyone talk about something that they have never seen? :confused:
     
  10. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert New Member

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  11. go2church

    go2church Active Member
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    Same old worn out song,
    Second verse
    How boring!
     
  12. AVL1984

    AVL1984 <img src=../ubb/avl1984.jpg>

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    Helen, I too will give you the benefit of the doubt upon your intentions here. I do think the moderator (who will remain nameless because it is the "law of the land") went a little overboard and should apologize.
     
  13. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I really don't think anyone is laughing.
    How sad that we are divided concerning the Word of God.
    On the other hand, contention and debate does provide a refining process.

    Our final authority is God.
    Through the Word of God, illuminated by the Spirit of God. Whom, IMO, is able to transmit His truth through even the "meanest of translations".

    God has used imperfect men to record, preserve and transmit His Word and provided us (you and I) with the gifts of the Spirit and an anointing (1 John 2:27) to understand that Word.

    The underlying question is, where does (if it does) the imperfection of man show up in the process of recording, preserving and transmitting the Word?

    Which Bible (NT) most closely resembles the originals? Scrivener's 1895 TR.

    But I can only say that by faith. Just as every KJVO must do, and every W&H supporter must do...

    We live by faith and not by sight (or so we should).

    HankD

    [ September 24, 2002, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  14. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    The point I was trying to make from the beginning is that God is big enough to get His message across in all the standard versions (I use standard to discount translations such as the New World Bible which was done soley to support cult doctrine). Again, the King James is a wonderful Bible. It is what I memorized from as a child, and if you ask me for Psalm 23, it will come out in KJ English still! So will a lot of other memory verses. And I am quite happy with that. I never meant to disparage any version.

    My other point is that the very act of translation itself engenders 'mistakes.' These can be in trying to deal with idioms or unknown words, or interpreting a phrase in light of current 'understanding', or any number of things. But at no time do any of the errors (or, if you like, imperfections compared to what the original languages state, not necessarily even the original versions) detract from the message God has put there for us.

    As DocCas said, the message lies far more in the context than in fighting over one little word or another. He was absolutely right about that. And I hope I never indicated anything else. As far as the kill/murder thing, I think most people who read the KJV do understand that the commandment means a) intentional killing for no legal reason and b) of another human being. However I do know that I have received emails from people questioning the use of the word 'kill' there in the translation as it is so generic. To most of us, the intentional, illegal killing of another human being is called murder. So the modern translations use that word instead of kill.

    All I was trying to say is that all the translations have God's Word, and all show the marks of difficulty in translation in some areas. If the word 'error' is offensive, then allow me to apologize for that, too.

    No translation of anything from one language to another, be it the Bible, or Sophocles, or even a modern French author can possibly be as precise in intended meaning as the original. It's the nature of languages.

    That was my whole point, start to finish.

    Those who prefer the KJV -- wonderful. But they should not judge those who prefer another version, for God's Word runs clear and true despite any language difficulties we might have at any time.

    [ September 24, 2002, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  15. DocCas

    DocCas New Member

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    Helen, I am most gratified to see you have had a change of heart! Amen!

    Now let's see if we can help Joe. [​IMG]
     
  16. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Nothing changed, Doc; I was just not as clear as I wanted to be at the beginning. As I said, it was the same point I was trying to make all along...
     
  17. DocCas

    DocCas New Member

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    Hmmmm. First it was an "obvious error" and now it is a "language difficulty." That seems like a change to me. [​IMG]
     
  18. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    You neglected to list the other definitions. Murdering is killing, but not all killing is murdering. Killing in self defense is not murdering and is not forbidden by the commandment. The specific word used in Hebrew means to "murder", not the broader "kill".
     
  19. DocCas

    DocCas New Member

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    Johnv, sorry, but you are wrong again. The Hebrew word is ratsach which means "to pierce." It includes what we would call "manslaughter." If you will note Numbers 35 you will see that a person who accidently kills another man (verses 22 and 23) may flee to a city of refuge and the blood of the dead may not be avenged. The Hebrew word used in verse 27 is ratsach. Note verse 27 says "the revenger of blood kill (ratsach) the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood." In other words he can kill (ratsach) the man and not be a murderer!

    The Hebrew words haraq, nakah, and ratsach, can mean to murder, but they are not limited to that understanding. However, all three words carry the connotation of "kill" or "to kill." The context determines whether or not it is what we would call "murder." The word "murder" is much too limited to give the full scope of the word ratsach.

    [ September 24, 2002, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: DocCas ]
     
  20. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    Johnv, sorry, but you are wrong again. The Hebrew word is ratsach which means "to pierce." It includes what we would call "manslaughter."

    Sorry, but sent this to a buddy of mine who's an EdD and Rabbi at the local Jewish temple, and he says the following:

    "The Hebrew word ratsach (which is pronounced rah-tsakh) a primitive root word which literally means "to dash in pieces". In terms of bodily affliction it means "to put to death, slay, especially as in murder". As used here in the Ten Commandents, it specifically means 'to murder'. It can mean "pierce" when used in different context, but the writer of Exodus 20 uses ot to describe murderous killing. The piercing definition is more attributed to the Hebrew word retsach which comes from the same root word. This word means to crush, or to slay by sword."

    [ September 25, 2002, 02:42 AM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
     
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