Translations


Holy Spirith - The GhostAs anyone familiar with the KJV will notice, when speaking of the Spirit, the translators were not always consistent. The translators translated pneuma as “Spirit,” but translated pneuma hagios as “Holy Ghost.” Here are some examples where the difference can be seen within the same verse:

• Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
• John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
• John 7:39 But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
• Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
• 1 Corinthians 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

I was tempted to conclude that, for some stylistic reason or due to cultural conventions, the translators preferred to translate pneuma by itself as “Spirit,” but pneuma hagios as “Holy Ghost.” But I have discovered that they did not always translate pneuma hagios (or its Hebrew equivalent) as “Holy Ghost.” Consider these passages:

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Visual History of KJVWhen the KJV turned 400 years old in 2011, there were a number of books published to celebrate and explore this historic, influential translation. One of those books was A Visual History of the King James Bible: The Dramatic Story of the World’s Best-Known Translation by Donald L. Brake.  I picked it up earlier this year via a scratch and dent special through CBD, and I’m glad I did.  It is chocked-full of interesting (and not-so-interesting) information about the history of the KJV.

Brake covers everything from the impetus for the translation to its modern form.  He begins with a brief overview of the history of the English language and the first English translations of Scripture.  Politics and religious factions caused a tug-of-war when it came to the production and acceptance of new translations.  No English translation gained universal acceptance. While the KJV did not immediately gain the adoration of all English speakers, within 30 years it had supplanted most other prior translations, and only continued to gain more and more market share until it became the standard translation in the English speaking world with no serious challengers until the late 19th century.

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Dan Wallace reports on the release of a new New Testament.  A band off 19 liberal Christian and Jewish scholars got together for a “council” and decided to add 13 new books (two are prayers, and one is a song) to the New Testament.

Given some of those on this council (Karen King, John Dominic Crossan), it’s no surprise that they are Gnostic in character.  Both the “council” and the new testament they produced is a farce.

queen-james-gay-bibleIf the title itself doesn’t give it away, the Queen James Bible is a new “gay Bible” based on the King James Version, complete with a rainbow-styled cross on the cover.  It was named “Queen James Bible” because King James I of England, who authorized the creation of the Bible that bears his name, was rumored to be bisexual.

According to the unnamed editors[1] of this version, “The Queen James Bible seeks to resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality.[2] … We edited the Bible to prevent homophobic interpretations.”[3]  It is a near-identical reproduction of the KJV, but with gay-friendly edits made to eight verses that have been traditionally been interpreted as speaking negatively against homosex.  What follows is a comparison of the KJV to the QJV (changes in bold), followed by my comments on their changes:

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The English name “Jesus” is an English transliteration of the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name of our savior, YeshuaYeshua is an updated form of the old Hebrew name, Yehoshua, transliterated into English as “Joshua.”  That’s right, Jesus’ and Joshua had the same name, and thus Jesus’ name could rightly be pronounced “Joshua” in English!  This is made clear in the Greek New Testament in which the name of Joshua the son of Nun and the name of Jesus of Nazareth are both “Iesous.” 

Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David (Acts 7:44-45, KJV) 

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (Heb 4:8, KJV)

Most translations other than the KJV translate Iesous as “Joshua” in these verses since they are clearly referring to Joshua the son of Nun who succeeded Moses and led the children of Israel into the Promised Land.  I used to use these verses as examples of poor translation on the part of the KJV translators since it was clearly Joshua and not Jesus who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land, but truth be told the KJV translators were not only accurately translating the Greek, they were doing so in a more consistent manner than most modern translators since they translated every occurrence of Iesous as “Jesus” even when it referred to someone other than our savior. 

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