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Why do they read so differently?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Amy.G, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    Proverbs 18:24
    I came across this verse recently and it reads completely different depending on the version. They don't just say the same thing in a different way, but are totally different. What is going on here? :confused:


    KJV
    A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

    NKJV
    A man who has friends must himself be friendly,* But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

    NLT
    There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

    NIV
    A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

    ESV
    A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

    NASB
    A man of too many friends comes to *ruin, But there is a *friend who sticks closer than a brother.
     
    #1 Amy.G, Oct 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2012
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Not Atrextual expert, could it be that there is a "gap" in the Hebrew texts that needed to be 'reconstructed" based upon various sources and varients, so thus the differences?
     
  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Hi AmyG, excellent question. From the footnotes available on line from the NET bible, the answer is that the MT differs in some respect to other sources.


    A man of friends might refers to a person with several associates, indicating some level of possession. And from these might arise harm, i.e. to be crushed by them. However a friend, singular, is loving and loyal like a brother.

    "What is going on here?" When studying a verse or passage and you find several different meanings, then further study is required. Often you will find footnotes at the NET site to explain the underlying drivers of the problem. Another place to look is at on line interlinears. And finally, sometimes you have to read several commentaries before you find a view that actually seems to fit all the facts. The best idea I found is that "indiscriminately chosen friends (associates) may bring trouble, but a genuine friend is like a loving and loyal brother.
     
  4. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe Active Member

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    You're absolutely right, Amy. While some people smooth over differences in Bible version by assuming that they just restate the same idea in different words, in reality there are many completely divergent readings. This can be based upon differences in underlying texts or the translators interpretation of the context (sometimes theologically driven). Here are a couple more interesting renderings of Proverbs 18:24 --
    There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (RSV)

    He that maketh many friends [doeth it] to his own destruction; But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (ASV)


     
  5. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Amy, follow the footnotes of the KJV translators.

    Follow the references...

    The Hebrew word translated "broken down" is the same word used in Proverbs 18:24.


    Rob
     
    #5 Deacon, Oct 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2012
  6. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Amy, excellent question. The difference lies, primarily, in the difference between the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Hebrew Vorlage Text (which is also reflected in the Septuagint, the Syriac, the Targums, and the Latin Vulgate).

    Notice in both the KJV and NKJV the words "who has" are in italics indicating they were added in an attempt to help the reader understand a very difficult grammatical construct found in the Hebrew of the Mesoretic Text.

    I tend to think the meaning is that a person who makes friends too easily, without discrimination, does so at his own peril and ultimately to his own destruction but a friend chosen wisely will stick closer than a brother. :)
     
  7. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    :confused:

    Wouldn't the 1611 notes (or lack thereof) be a better place to look?
     
  8. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    I checked a 1611 Authorized Version and saw that the original notes did not include the reference notes I referred to.

    **************

    The good doctor is reading the BHS apparatus which reflects a difficulty determining the root of the word in question, a difficulty going back into antiquity.

    The particular problem is mentioned in a note in Word Biblical Commentaries.

    Rob
     
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