Re: KJV translation (Was Re: The Flood Hoax)

From: Iain Strachan (
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 11:27:48 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: KJV translation (Was Re: The Flood Hoax)"

    > 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
    >in Jn.1:1,
    >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
    >but one will not find errors in matters of elementary
    >George L. Murphy
    >"The Science-Theology Interface"

    I should point out that I didn't mean to criticize the KJV
    translation as such; in a way it was just a bit of fun, to see what
    Burgy would come up with to "defend" it. However, the issue was in
    my mind because I got cornered by a Mormon in the middle of Oxford
    the other day, and I asked him why the Book of Mormon, which was
    written by Joseph Smith in the 19th Century, is cast in the same kind
    of language as the KJV. He responded that this was the kind of
    language the original document in "reformed Egyptian" was written in
    so it had to be translated in that way. It seemed a bit beyond him
    that one would translate literally using the contemporary equivalent
    words, and not archaic language. He also said that the Mormons only
    accept the KJV as authoritative, and don't believe in modern
    translations. Well, I guess it's better than having your own
    translation that twists things round to suit your own purposes, like
    the JW's.


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