Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

 
 
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:07 PM
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Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
 
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Default Genesis 25:16 of Castles and Nations

Genesis 25:16 Of Castles and Nations.

Hi saints. I received this challenge from a pastor over at Baptistboard.com I thought some of you might be interested in how to deal with issues like this when they come up. This brother Bob SAYS he believes The Bible is the inerrant words of God, but pinning him down to tell us exactly where we can get a copy of this inerrant Bible he says he believes in is a little like trying to nail jello to a tree.

He starts off with:


Will, To start off with I use the KJV 95 to 99.9% of the time. But I'm not KJVO, for a lot of reasons but maybe you can answer two questions here, which might help me see your side better.

In Genesis 21:18 God said he would make Ishmael a great nation which is in agreement with the Hebrew, but in Genesis 25:16 it has nations, which isn't in accord with the Hebrew. Here it should be tribes.

Also in Genesis 25:16 it has castles which isn't in accord with the Hebrew. These were nomadic people which lived in tents, they didn't have castles, encampments would have been a better word or tents.

I know God would not have made these two mistakes but man has, no doctrine are changed but it isn't true to the Hebrew.

Thanks Will for your reply that will come.

God bless,
Bob


Hi Bob. Thanks for the questions. I think the way to resolve the difficulty you think you see here is to look more carefully at the English words used and their various meanings.

I notice that in both examples you bring up of individulal words you tell us that the word “nations” and “castles” ISN’T IN ACCORD WITH THE HEBREW. Well, brother, that is your first wrong assumption and you only reveal here that the English translation is not in accord with YOUR understanding of the Hebrew. Other Bible translators and some of them Jewish, who probably know their own language a little better than you do, disagree with you on this.

Let’s start off with your first objection - that of the word “nation”. The word “nation” does not always refer to a territory marked by clear borders and a ruling seat of government, as in the nation of the USA or Canada. The word nation comes from the Latin word natio which is the past particple of the verb nasci, meaning to be born. In Spanish to be born is nacer, and from it we get nación or nation. In English we have the related words nascent = coming into being, being born, beginning to form - thus we speak of the nascent moon or a nascent state of affairs. Another related word in natal, pertaining to birth.


When we use the word “nation” it does not necessarily mean a sovereign political state with well defined borders and a central government. We can also use the word nation to describe a body of people with a common descent and culture. We still talk about the early native American Indians as the Cherokee nation, the Comanche nation, etc.

The particular Hebrew word used in Genesis 25:16 is found only three times in the O.T. Once it is translated as ‘nations’ and twice as ‘people’. In Genesis 25:16 the King James Bible says: “These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles: twelve princes according to their NATIONS.”

The same Hebrew word is translated as “people” in Numbers 25:15 “Zur was head over A PEOPLE”, and in Psalm 117:1 we see the Hebrew parallelism of equating one thing with another term. “O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye PEOPLE.” Here the first word for “nation” is the usual one as found in Genesis 21:18 that you mentioned earlier. The word “people” here is equated in meaning with “all ye nations”.

In fact, the Hebrew word you referrenced before in Genesis 21:18 “I will make him a great nation” is also translated as “people, heathen, and Gentiles” in the KJB. Versions like the NASB translate this same word as “nation, Goiim, herds and people.” The NIV translates it as “nation, people, gentile, countries, foreign, kind, and pagan nation.” So again, when you tell us that the translation of “nation” is “NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE HEBREW”, there are obviously many other bible translators who disagree with your opinion.

When we see the inerrant King James Bible use the word “nations” in Genesis 25:16 to describe the descendants of the 12 PRINCES, who were the sons of Ishmael, we are looking at the various groups of people related by blood, language and traditions.

Don’t pick a definition that doesn fit and then try to claim error in the King James Bible. Be of faith and look for the explanation that makes the most sense; not the one that creates the biggest contradiction. Unless of course you are LOOKING FOR contradictions.


Oxford Compact Dictionary defines Nation =
• noun a large body of people united by common descent, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.
**— ORIGIN Latin, from nasci ‘be born’.


The Cambridge Dictionary gives two definitions of the word nation.
1 a country, especially when thought of as a large group of people living in one area with their own government, language, traditions, etc:
All the nations of the world will be represented at the conference.
The Germans, as a nation, are often thought to be well organized.
Practically the whole nation watched the ceremony on television.

2 a large group of people of the same race who share the same language, traditions and history, but who might not all live in one area: the Navajo nation

Not only does the King James Bible say “twelve princes, according to their NATIONS.” but so also do the following Bible translations: the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version 1881, American Standard Version 1901, Webster’s 1833, the Jewish Publication Society 1917 translation, the Hebrew Publishing Company 1936 translation, the Douay-Rheims, the Hebrew Names Version, Green’s literal 2000, the NKJV 1982, and the 21st Century KJV.



#2 Castle

Objection raised: “Also in Genesis 25:16 it has castles which isn't in accord with the Hebrew. These were nomadic people which lived in tents, they didn't have castles, encampments would have been a better word or tents.”


Brother Bob, again we need to properly define out English words to see how they are being used in a particular context. And again we see that there are some Bible scholars who disagree with you about being “in accord with the Hebrew”.

Castle - Easton’s Bible Dictionary = Castles are also mentioned (Genesis 25:16) as a kind of watch-tower, from which shepherds kept watch over their flocks by night.

The Dictionaries give a variety of meaning to the English word “castle”. It does not always mean the same thing in every context. Please notice definition#3 and notice the origin of this word which has come to us from the Latin language.


Castle -
1. a fortified, usually walled residence, as of a prince or noble in feudal times.
2. the chief and strongest part of the fortifications of a medieval city.
3. A STRONGLY FORTIFIED, PERMANENTLY GARRISONED STRONGHOLD.

Etymology Dictionary - castle = late O.E. castel, from O.N.Fr. castel, from L. castellum "FORTIFIED VILLAGE," dim. of castrum "fort;"


*Encyclopedia Britannica - The word "castle" (castel) was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote a type of fortress, then new to the country, brought in by the Norman knights ...The essential feature of this type was a circular mound of earth surrounded by a dry ditch and flattened at the top. Around the crest of its summit was placed a timber palisade.

This particular Hebrew word has been translated even by such modern versions as the NASB as “battlement”, and by the NIV as “tower” in the Song of Solomon 8:9.

Not only does the King James Bible translate Genesis 25:26 as “by their towns, and by their CASTLES” but so too do Wycliffe 1395, the Bishops’ bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster’s 1833, Douay 1950, the Hebrew Publishing Company translation 1936, the 21st Century KJV Version 1994, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.

The “castle” spoken about in this passage is not the ornate, fortified carved stone residence of a feudal lord. Rather it was a fortified garrison set up to protect the local villages and towns. It is the same word translated elsewhere in the NIV and NASB as “tower” and “battlement”.

If a person states “I believe The Bible is the inspired and inerrant words of God”, we should then examine this profession to see if it is indeed true. Does this person have a real and tangible Book made up of paper and ink that he can read, memorize and believe EVERY word found withing its pages? Or does this person pick and choose among the various manuscripts, different conflicting versions, and preferred translations of individual words to essentially make up their own variety of an “inspired and inerrant Bible” as they go along according to their own understanding?

By His grace believing the Book,

Will Kinney
The King James Bible Page SwordSearcher Bible Software
  #2  
Old 06-28-2009, 10:22 AM
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PaulB PaulB is offline
 
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Default Hi Will

I am always thrilled to read your posts as there is always something to be learned from them.


It never ceases to amaze me that the proclamation that “it is written” seems to have taken second place to “it ought to have been written”. Surprising isn’t it how the church from the second century right through until our generation have been in ignorance of these valuable truths!

Why is it that the people of our day who claim to believe in the promises of God are often the first to challenge Him on that very issue, when so many of the saints of old simply took them as they stood?

When people say to me that “the Hebrew and Greek say..” I often think of the Scribes and Pharisees were also educated in these languages, but they also failed to see the plain truths of what they claimed to believe!
  #3  
Old 06-28-2009, 11:08 AM
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Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
 
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Default It is written or it ought to have been written?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulB View Post

It never ceases to amaze me that the proclamation that “it is written” seems to have taken second place to “it ought to have been written”.
Hi brother Paul. I love the way you put this! Good quote. I think I will steal it from you, if you don't mind, and use it in the future. See how we learn from one another?

The discussion is going on right now and it is quite interesting.

http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=60256

God bless,

Will K
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:02 PM
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Fredoheaven Fredoheaven is offline
 
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Well, Bro. Will, I've seen your posts on the Baptist Board and how well you defend God's Word = KJV. Really amazed and I do know that they cannot put the good man down.
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:05 PM
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Hi Will - I would be honoured to say the least!

God bless

PaulB
  #6  
Old 06-28-2009, 09:29 PM
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Will Kinney Will Kinney is offline
 
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They just got done closing it down and locking the thead. Hopefully God will use some of what was said to open some more eyes.

All of grace,
Will K
  #7  
Old 06-29-2009, 02:23 PM
magicref magicref is offline
 
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Default Swayed by intellectualism

Will,

I applaud you for your stance on the BB and for putting up with the name-calling. I was appalled at Mexdeaf's statement that you are just "an attention whore who jumps around from board to board and spews his heretical notions just so he can show off his gnostic superiority." Please know that there are truth seekers out here who appreciate your very understandable (not gnostic at all) explanations of the KJVO stance.

Your conversations with Annie were going quite well, except for her accusations that you weren't being truthful, which I didn't see at all. I think you were both just coming at things from a different direction.

I had an additional thought about the NIV discussions. Since she doesn't trust that the NIV is inspired or inerrent, then how can she put any credence to the "other" verses that DO prove Christ's deity? That is, she is ready to admit that there are some poor translations in the NIV, so how do I know if ANY of the translations in the NIV are any good?

I'm not just saying that to be facetious. I have been struggling with this issue for many years. I came to Christ too late in life (28 years old, am 46 now), and wished I hadn't wasted those school years outside of Scripture. I am convinced of the truth of God's Word, and read a lot on inerrancy, but always had some of the questions that you and others on this board have pointed out.

What if we find a new set of even older scrolls in the desert? What if those scrolls don't have The Gospel of John in them, but perhaps have the Gospel of Thomas? Will we find that the Davinci Code is right? Have the various translators since the time of Constantine pulled a fast one on us and obscured the real truth? Since, according to many, God's infallible Word is just "out there" somewhere, how are we to find it, and how are we to know it if we do?

Now, I don't want to just stick my head in the dirt and declare that the KJV is true because I believe it! That's essentially what we are being accused of doing (and not that I'm even quite there yet myself!)

Let's look at some of the paths:

I think we all start out with these similar presuppositions:

a. Throughout the centuries, God has directed paths of men, fallible and fallen, to construct his Word and to preserve it. The Jews were faithful to this and preserved His Word through the time of Jesus' day, including COPIES of the Word. Similarly, the words of the Apostles and other NT writers were preserved through time, to include copies that were made. I'll call the True versions of God's Word the "Golden" texts.

b. All this time there were also intentional corrupted manuscripts made, and many copying errors made throughout the centuries. Today's mix of over 5000 manuscripts include all of the above (both Gold and Dross)

c. It should be noted that a corrupted text includes much of the Gold of Scripture, though it is a mix of "wheat" and "tares" with lots of dross included.

So:

KJVO believe that around the late 1500's God began orchestrating things to bring the jealousy of King James and the learned Scholars (not perfect in any sense) to the right place and the right time, along with the appropriate Greek and Hebrew texts. These texts were not necessarily all GOLD in themselves, but were sufficient for the job. God, through His inspiration, enabled these fallible men, working off the base of other great men raised up by Him previously (Coverdale, Tyndale, etc.), to create a "very good" Bible in 1611 of almost pure "gold". By the time of 1769, this version was cleaned up, and is now contains ALL the GOLD, none of the dross, and is the perfect Word of God in the English language. The fruit of the KJV has been its widespread use throughout the World and its proven accuracy. Also, if all English speaking believers would use it as their base, we would ALL have the same standard to work from.

Textus Receptus believers would apply similar logic to the preservation of the TR, with perhaps naming the Theodore Beza edition (I forget which year) as the Golden, or perfected version. I don't know, however, that there is the same fruit that can be said of the TR, as the number of Greek readers is simply much smaller and I can't say that the TR has taken the world by a storm.

All others are still "working in the dark", so to speak.

Majority Text believers would believe that we can properly construct an "original" Greek NT if we could only get access to all of the documents (many which are kept hidden by their owners). Using the Scriptural basis of two or more witnesses, manuscripts that "stand alone", no matter how old, would NOT be used as part of the weighting and would be thrown out. These eclectic texts that are so prized by the modern translations but disagree with Majority Text would be thrown out.

MT Believers would have to say that God is still working on producing the perfect Book, but at least see a path toward getting there, especially with the invention of the computer and the ability to handle mass amounts of data.

Ecclectic Text believers would believe....I don't know what. Can they think we will ever come to a perfect Book? I guess Annie's opinion is the "right" conclusion from this approach, that we never will and never can have one translation (or collection) of the 66 Books of the Bible that is the inspired and infallible Word of God (unless we play with what those words mean, of course).

From a seemingly "practical" sense, the ET believers would say that we have a 95% infallible Bible. That out of any of the Bibles, including the TNIV and the Message, we can "prove" the essential messages of the Scriptures.

In the _real_ practical sense, however, we believers are CONSTANTLY coming to issues with all these different translations. How many times do we hear the Preacher saying, "this is better translated as", or as someone here just posted, "what the Bible really says is..."

When God says that ALL Scripture is profitable, and that we see even ONE WORD can be pivotal (seed vs. seeds), I for one don't feel too content thinking the real Bible is just lurking out there in the ether.

Also, since we have Greek and Hebrew experts on every corner now with all the electronic Bible Study helps, we're back to allowing the Bible to say almost anything we want it to. We are running into real issues in our Churches in areas such as marriage and divorce, and even whether homosexuality is really a sin, because of this five percent that we "can't really know."

Now, to be fully open to the possibilities, could it be that the ET believers are right, and that God through his Holy Spirit will "fill in" that final 5% for the true believer? Jeremiah 31:33-34 "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

I would have to admit that the fruit of the Churches does not seem to support this. I don't see Christ's Church getting stronger and stronger, but rather more and more tepid and mixed up in the World.

Thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Doug A.
  #8  
Old 06-29-2009, 03:39 PM
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Default Some good thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicref View Post

I had an additional thought about the NIV discussions. Since she doesn't trust that the NIV is inspired or inerrent, then how can she put any credence to the "other" verses that DO prove Christ's deity? That is, she is ready to admit that there are some poor translations in the NIV, so how do I know if ANY of the translations in the NIV are any good?
Good point,Doug. Annie speaks out of both sides of her mouth. At times she talks about "other inspired and inerrant Bibles" (never mentioning which ones they might be) and then says that they all have errors and bad translations. Then she says she doesn't believe the Bible even teaches that God said He would preserve His words in a book at all.

What she has in a very real way done is to make up a new definition of the word "inerrant". For Annie and others like her it no longer means "without error" but "ballpark approximation close enuf to be divinely useful" for determining what God probably said.

She talks about her hermeneutics and yet seems totally incapable of seeing some of the plainest teaching of the KJB and how it differs radically from the heresy that is found in the NIV about the deity of Christ in such passages as Micah 5:2 and Acts 13:33.


Quote:
In the _real_ practical sense, however, we believers are CONSTANTLY coming to issues with all these different translations. How many times do we hear the Preacher saying, "this is better translated as", or as someone here just posted, "what the Bible really says is..."

When God says that ALL Scripture is profitable, and that we see even ONE WORD can be pivotal (seed vs. seeds), I for one don't feel too content thinking the real Bible is just lurking out there in the ether.


I would have to admit that the fruit of the Churches does not seem to support this. I don't see Christ's Church getting stronger and stronger, but rather more and more tepid and mixed up in the World.

Thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Doug A.
Amen. Very well said.

God bless,

Will K
 

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