From: george murphy (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Sep 17 2002 - 20:23:29 EDT
John Burgeson wrote:
> Iain posted reputed errors in the KJV:
> "1) Two errors in Gen 1:1. "In the beginning God created the Heaven and
> the Earth".
> Hebrew for "God" is "Elohim", which is plural though "created" "bara" is
> singular). God is always translated in the singular.
> (2) Hebrew for "Heaven" is "Hassamayim" which is plural. Modern
> translations invariably opt for "Heavens" which is more correct.
> (3) John 1:1, end of verse. The Greek says "Kai Theos Ehn O Logos".
> "And God was the Word". All translations, KJV included translate this "And
> the Word was God". "
As Burgy points out, issues of translation don't affect the extreme "KJV
only" translation. But the absurd veneration that version is given by some
shouldn't lead anyone to think that KJV was not, for its time, an excellent
translation. Though they didn't have some important mss and resources we have
today, King James' men were excellent scholars well versed (for 1611) in the
original languages and, of course, in English.
Good translation is not simply a matter of a one-to-one mapping of one
language into another.
Yes, _'elohim_ is plural in form and in some places should be & is translated
"gods". But in most cases in the OT it referes to the God of Israel and should
be translated in the singular.
Hebrew _shamayim_ is again plural and can be translated "heavens" but that
corresponds in modern English to our word "heaven." & if one thinks its more
correct to say "heavens" then in the Gospel of Matthew the frequently occuring
phrase _he basileia ton ouranon_, which is Hebrew in structure though Greek,
should be translated "the kingdom of the heavens." But neither KJV nor NRSV do
There has of course been a great deal of discussion of the phrase
but it has been its theological implications, not the word order, which have
generally been at issue. It isn't true that all translations say "The Word was
God." NEB has, "What God was, the Word was."
There are, of course, ways in which KJV can be criticized as a translation
but one will not find errors in matters of elementary
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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