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Translational Inconsistencies
12-22-2008, 01:15 PM
Post: #1
Translational Inconsistencies
I am in complete agreement that there are translations out there that do not remain faithful to the original text, but is this limited to Messianic and Hebrew Roots translations alone? How about the KJV, the RSV, the ASV, etc.?

KJV Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Using a simple concordance and dictionary we find that the Hebrew word behind the word "heart" in the above verse is לב (lev). Can we then assume that whenever we see the word "heart" in the KJV it is the Hebrew word לב (lev)? Let's check.


KJV Psalm 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God; Yea, thy law is within my heart.

Is the Hebrew behind the word "heart" here לב (lev)? Not at all, actually its the word מעה (me'ah). Me'ah means "the gut."

KJV Exodus 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

So, is this the Hebrew word lev or me'ah? Neither, it's the word נפש (nephesh) which means "person" or "being" (but often translated as soul).

KJV Jeremiah 9:8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.

By now you have probably guessed it, the Hebrew behind the word "heart" here is not lev, me'ah or nephesh. Actually it is קרב (qerev) which means "the inside."

We have now see that the KJV has translated many different Hebrew words of different meanings with the same English word "heart" (the same is true for all other translations such as the RSV, ASV, NIV, etc). So, how does the KJV translate the word "lev?" Do they consistently translate it as "heart?" In each of the passages below, the underlined words are the KJV translations of the Hebrew word "lev."

KJV Genesis 31:20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.

KJV Exodus 9:21 And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.

KJV Numbers 16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.

KJV Job 36:5 Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: He is mighty in strength of wisdom.

KJV Psalm 83:5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:

KJV Proverbs 19:8 He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: He that keepeth understanding shall find good.

My question to those who wish to do serious studies of the Bible is, "How can you seriously study the Bible from a translation, when the translators are never consistent on how they translate the original texts?" Are you sure that the translation you are reading is accurate? If you were doing a study on the word "heart" from a translation only, would your results of that study be accurate to the original text?

These are the questions I asked myself many years. The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for me was the Hebrew word נפש (nephesh) which the KJV translates as; soul, life, person, mind, heart, creature, body, dead, desire, man, appetite, lust, thing, self, beast, pleasure, ghost, breath and will.

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12-22-2008, 03:07 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2008 05:59 PM by sheep wrecked.)
Post: #2
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
(12-22-2008 01:15 PM)Nomad Man Wrote:  I am in complete agreement that there are translations out there that do not remain faithful to the original text, but is this limited to Messianic and Hebrew Roots translations alone? How about the KJV, the RSV, the ASV, etc.?

Is the Hebrew behind the word "heart" here לב (lev)? Not at all, actually its the word מעה (me'ah). Me'ah means "the gut."

KJV Job 36:5 Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: He is mighty in strength of wisdom.

. . . the Hebrew word נפש (nephesh) which the KJV translates as; soul, life, person, mind, heart, creature, body, dead, desire, man, appetite, lust, thing, self, beast, pleasure, ghost, breath and will.

Nomad Man

Welcome to the forum Nomad Man Wave

I have some questions.

What do you mean by "original text"?

I am puzzled that you would think one would have to translate a word the same in every instance it's used. Even English does not do that. So if they "regarded" - you would say they "hearted" not the Word of the Lord? or in strength of "hearted" ? I am suppressing giggles Blush

And then, if God puts the laws in our "gut" - would we eat them? Swoon

Dying of curiosity, but what word would you use for "nephesh" Questionmark


All that said, I am wondering where you learned your translation skills. They seem to be real different - certainly like nothing I have seen from credentialed Hebrew scholars Thinking2
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12-22-2008, 06:23 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2008 06:27 PM by Rose of Shushan.)
Post: #3
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
Hi Nomad Man 14578
Welcome to the forum.
I consider myself a moderately serious student of the bible, however, I have no formal studies in the subject.

I'm not sure what you mean by the translators are never consistent when they translate a word.6785
In Hebrew, like in other languages, a word can have more than one meaning and usually context plays a large part in what meaning will be used. Or the word can form part of an idiom and thus translating it literally would be very confusing as part of a translation. It is up to the translator to choose the best meaning of the word that would best convey what the text he is translating from is trying to say.

You gave the example of the word lev and how you would expect all the instances of the word heart on kjv to then be translated as lev. So then you don’t accept that there are some words that may have a similar meaning? Do you think that the lexicons and dictionaries that we have now are inaccurate?

I come from a bilingual culture and I do know that if I have to translate something from one language to the other I am not going to be limited by having to use the same word every time and to translate idioms literally. My translations wouldn’t be much good if I did that.

Seeing also as words can often have more than one meaning, it would not be unusual if, for example, you asked two people here in my town to translate the same paragraph from one language to another and you got different translations which would both be correct.

It seems your knowledge of Hebrew is a bit sketchy .You put this

KJV Psalm 83:5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
-
כִּי נוֹעֲצוּ לֵב יַחְדָּו

The word you underlined, consulted is in hebrew noatzu and has nothing to do with heart.
The phrase reads literally ki (because/for ) noatzu(they consulted) lev (heart) yachdav(together)

The underline should have gone under one consent or to be specific consent Sign0007
No offence intended but maybe you could learn Hebrew formally before you attempt to critique the translations?
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12-22-2008, 07:53 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2008 08:33 PM by Nomad Man.)
Post: #4
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
Shalom Sheepwrecked:

Quote:What do you mean by "original text"?

Good question, I guess I should have clarified that, I mean the Hebrew text. Of course we do not have the "originals" but copies of copies.

Quote:I am puzzled that you would think one would have to translate a word the same in every instance it's used. Even English does not do that. So if they "regarded" - you would say they "hearted" not the Word of the Lord? or in strength of "hearted" ? I am suppressing giggles

Since the Hebrew word לב is a noun, you wouldn't translate it as "hearted" which would be a verb. A literal translation of that portion of the verse would be "he that does not set his heart toward the word..." As you can see there is a bit of difference between what the Hebrew says and how the translators have translated it.


Quote:And then, if God puts the laws in our "gut" - would we eat them?

Your comment seems to imply that "gut" is wrong? You can check the meaning of this word in Strong's (#4578). I frequently hear "you shall not add to or take away from this word" quoted, isn't changing the original intended meaning "gut" a change to the idea of "heart?"

Quote:Dying of curiosity, but what word would you use for "nephesh"


I translate it as "being" but "person" is a good translation as well. The nephesh is the "whole" of the person, body, mind, breath, organs, blood, etc.

Quote:All that said, I am wondering where you learned your translation skills. They seem to be real different - certainly like nothing I have seen from credentialed Hebrew scholars

Yes, it is different in some respects, but not all that different in other respects. The problem with most "credentialed" Hebrew scholars is that they are still looking at the Hebrew language from a western perspective.

Nomad Man





Shalom Rose of Shushan

Quote:Welcome to the forum.

Thank you very much.

Quote:You gave the example of the word lev and how you would expect all the instances of the word heart on kjv to then be translated as lev. So then you don’t accept that there are some words that may have a similar meaning? Do you think that the lexicons and dictionaries that we have now are inaccurate?

Can the Hebrew word מעה (me'ah) mean "heart?" Absolutely not, it means the gut, the bowels, the intestines. If I was traveling in another country and was having chest pains and went to a doctor but a translator was needed to convey my symptons. If I told the translator my "heart" was hurting, but the translator told the doctor, in his languge, my "gut" was hurting, would that be okay? I don't think so. So, is it okay to translate the hebrew word מעה (me'ah) as "heart?" Absolutely not.

Quote:I come from a bilingual culture and I do know that if I have to translate something from one language to the other I am not going to be limited by having to use the same word every time and to translate idioms literally. My translations wouldn’t be much good if I did that.

Sure, there are times where you cannot translate words literally as they would make absolutely no sense whatsoever. For instance, in Biblical Hebrew I could say ראיתי אתו תמול שלשום (ra'iytiy oto temul shilshom) which, when literally translated means "I saw him yesterday three days ago." However, the phrase "yesterday three days ago" is an expression that simply means "previously"-I saw him previously. On the other hand, why not translate it literally so the reader can see how the Hebrew reads, but then add a footnote for what this means. There is a very big difference between translating "yesterday three days ago" with "previously and ranslating "gut" to "heart," which completely changes the meaning of the text. In most cases, a more literal translation works very well and can be done. After all, we are talking about the Word of God here, not a novel.

Quote:The word you underlined, consulted is in hebrew noatzu and has nothing to do with heart.
The phrase reads literally ki (because/for ) noatzu(they consulted) lev (heart) yachdav(together)

The underline should have gone under one consent or to be specific consent
No offence intended but maybe you could learn Hebrew formally before you attempt to critique the translations?

Well, I wouldn't say my Hebrew was "sketchy" I would say I made a mistake and underlined the wrong word LOL, my mistake and thanks for pointing it out. Actually, I had the correct word underlined in my original (I use MS Word to write the posts because of its spell check), but as I am not familiar with formatting the text in this forum, all my underlines and bolds disappeared when I copied it to the forum and I had to manually add the underlines and bolds and I simply underlined the wrong word. If you are going to say my Hebrew poor because of this, what can I say :-).

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12-22-2008, 08:59 PM
Post: #5
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
Here is an example where the Christian translations have "added" a word;

KJV Deuteronomy 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

This verse implies that the law is "against" the people. However, this is how the last part reads in Hebrew.

והיה שם בך לעד

A literal rendering of this phrase is "and he (the Torah) will be there with you for a witness." The idea of "against" is not in the Hebrew text and is clearly added by the translators to imply a negative aspect to the verse.


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12-22-2008, 09:32 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2008 10:19 PM by sheep wrecked.)
Post: #6
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
(12-22-2008 07:53 PM)Nomad Man Wrote:  Since the Hebrew word לב is a noun, you wouldn't translate it as "hearted" which would be a verb. A literal translation of that portion of the verse would be "he that does not set his heart toward the word..." As you can see there is a bit of difference between what the Hebrew says and how the translators have translated it.


Quote:And then, if God puts the laws in our "gut" - would we eat them?

Your comment seems to imply that "gut" is wrong? You can check the meaning of this word in Strong's (#4578). I frequently hear "you shall not add to or take away from this word" quoted, isn't changing the original intended meaning "gut" a change to the idea of "heart?"

Yes, it is different in some respects, but not all that different in other respects. The problem with most "credentialed" Hebrew scholars is that they are still looking at the Hebrew language from a western perspective.

Nomad Man


According to the LXX [the first five books were translated by 70 Jewish Hebrew Scholars], the text is rendered as:

(LXX-T) os de me proseschen te dianoia eis to rema kyriou apheken ta ktene en tois pediois

(Brenton) And he that did not attend in his mind to the word of the Lord, left the cattle in the fields.

dianoia means heart/mind

Are you saying that these Jewish scholars were of a "western" mind set?

btw: I noticed that you used CJ Koster's interpretation of this concept which is found in the ISR:

(The Scriptures '98+) But those who did not set their heart on the word of יהוה left their servants and livestock in the field.


Quote:KJV Psalm 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God; Yea, thy law is within my heart.

Is the Hebrew behind the word "heart" here לב (lev)? Not at all, actually its the word מעה (me'ah - H4578). Me'ah means "the gut."

The word me'eh can also mean the seat of emotions. A Jewish definition of heart, mind, and soul are intertwined and inclusive. I am surprised that you did not know this. Perhaps you are more westernized than you thought you were ;)

H4578
מעה
mê‛eh
BDB Definition:
1) internal organs, inward parts, bowels, intestines, belly
1a) inward parts
1b) digestive organs
1c) organs of procreation, womb
1d) place of emotions or distress or love (figuratively)
1e) external belly



H3820
לב
lêb
BDB Definition:
1)inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
1a) inner part, midst
1a1) midst (of things)
[/color]
1a2) heart (of man)
1a3) soul, heart (of man)
1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
1a6) conscience
1a7) heart (of moral character)
1a8) as seat of appetites
1a9) as seat of emotions and passions
1a10) as seat of courage

H5315
נפשׁ
nephesh
BDB Definition:
1) soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion
1a) that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man
1b) living being
1c) living being (with life in the blood)
1d) the man himself, self, person or individual
1e) seat of the appetites
1f) seat of emotions and passions
1g) activity of mind

1g1) dubious
1h) activity of the will
1h1) dubious
1i) activity of the character
1i1) dubious
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12-22-2008, 10:54 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2008 11:05 PM by Vic.)
Post: #7
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
Quote:Yes, it is different in some respects, but not all that different in other respects. The problem with most "credentialed" Hebrew scholars is that they are still looking at the Hebrew language from a western perspective.

I am puzzled by your theory. The original scribes for the Old Testament for the Masoretic Text were quite well able to deal with the original hebrew texts available. Including the how to's on vocal and accentuation. The KJV utilized the Masoretic text , and I'll stop there before getting too much into the codex's

The masorah or transmission of the masoretic text included the diacritic markings of the Hebrew and concise marginal notes in the manuscripts and later printings. As you likely know, they included textual details including how to spell words.

You've taken quite a liberty with the translation or I assume it's your own translation which we'll call NMV or Nomad Man's Version. You feel you can take words and change them and feel your "NMV translation" is much more exact than the scholars who translated the KJV --since that is your example version of mistranslation.

The Original Translators of the King James Bible were scholars who excelled in Hebrew, Aramaic and or Greek. We know that there were others involved over the next years but we'll start with those.


The First Westminister Company--translated the historical books, beginning with Genesis and ending with the Second Book of Kings.

Dr. Lancelot Andrews
Dr. John Overall
Dr. Hadrian Saravia
Dr. Richard Clarke, Dr. John Laifield, Dr. Robert Tighe, Francis Burleigh, Geoffry King, Richard Thompson
Dr. William Bedwell

II. The Cambridge Company--translated Chronicles to the end of the Song of Songs.

Edward Lively, Dr. John Richardson, Dr. Lawrence Chaderton
Francis Dillingham, Dr. Roger Andrews, Thomas Harrison, Dr. Robert Spaulding, Dr. Andrew Bing

III. The Oxford Company--translated beginning of Isaiah to the end of the Old Testament.

Dr. John Harding, Dr. John Reynolds
Dr. Thomas Holland, Dr. Richard Kilby
Dr. Miles Smith, Dr. Richard Brett, Daniel Fairclough

IV. The Second Oxford Company--translated the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation of St. John the Divine.

Dr. Thomas Ravis, Dr. George Abbot
Dr. Richard Eedes, Dr. Giles Tomson, Sir Henry Savile
Dr. John Peryn, Dr. Ralph Ravens, Dr. John Harmar

V. The Fifth Company of Translators at Westminster--translated all of the Epistles of the New Testament

Dr. William Barlow, Dr. John Spencer, Dr. Roger Fenton, Dr. Ralph Hutchinson, William Dakins, Michael Rabbet, [Thomas(?)] Sanderson

VI. The Sixth Company of Translators at Cambridge translated the apocryphal books.

Dr. John Duport, Dr. William Brainthwaite, Dr. Jeremiah Radcliffe
Dr. Samuel Ward
Dr. Andrew Downes, John Bois
Dr. John Ward, Dr. John Aglionby, Dr. Leonard Hutten
Dr. Thomas Bilson, Dr. Richard Bancroft
The King James translators did not consider Apocrypha scripture--

My question to you, Nomad Man, is what scholarship do you have the proves your NMV is anything but faulty scholarship, opinion or an attempt to pervert the Word of God for your own purposes? I noticed you avoided answering some of the questions put to you above, concerning your scholarship. Why is that? Thinking2

Are you fluent in speaking, reading and writing, Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic Greek, and the other language requirements to translate the Word of God and can you read the original manuscript fragments, etc.? And who is on your translating team and what are their qualifications?
14790

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3John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
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12-22-2008, 11:13 PM
Post: #8
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
Quote:Here is an example where the Christian translations have "added" a word;

KJV Deuteronomy 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

This verse implies that the law is "against" the people. However, this is how the last part reads in Hebrew.

והיה שם בך לעד

A literal rendering of this phrase is "and he (the Torah) will be there with you for a witness." The idea of "against" is not in the Hebrew text and is clearly added by the translators to imply a negative aspect to the verse.


In the deuteronomy verse, the Hebrew actually reads

Vehayah (it will be) sham(there) b'cha (against you) l' ed (for a witness)
where you and I disagree here is on the ´meaning of the ba preposition.
You are translating it as "with" and I prefer the one that most scholars use , which is "against".

I can give some examples where the b' preposition is used as "against"


Gen 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.

Genesis 42 : 22 And Reuben answered them, saying: 'Spoke I not unto you, saying: Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore also, behold, his blood is required.'

Lev 17: 10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, that eateth any manner of blood, I will set My face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.


Lev 26 : 17 And I will set My face against you, and ye shall be smitten before your enemies; they that hate you shall rule over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

Nomad Man, the translators didnt add a word ,they just chose to use the b' preposition as against and not with,which is perfectly fine since the beth preposition doesnt have just one use.

I am surprised that you do not know that the beth preposition can be adversative ,what can I say? Can I perhaps suggest you take a course in biblical Hebrew?
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12-22-2008, 11:21 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2008 11:39 PM by Nomad Man.)
Post: #9
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
Shalom Sheep wrecked:

Quote:Are you saying that these Jewish scholars were of a "western" mind set?

The Greek language is a "western" language and personally, I don't put to much stock in the LXX.

Quote:btw: I noticed that you used CJ Koster's interpretation of this concept which is found in the ISR:

Sorry, I am not familiar with CJ Coster and do not know what the ISR is.

Quote:The word me'eh can also mean the seat of emotions. A Jewish definition of heart, mind, and soul are intertwined and inclusive. I am surprised that you did not know this.

Strong's is a great tool but it is very limited and also views the language from a western perspective. It is not true that each of these words are "the seat of emotion." The word כליה (kilyah) is the kidneys and this is the seat of emotion in Hebraic thought. The heart is the seat of thought (actually the mind), the gut is the seat of the subconscious.

Quote:Perhaps you are more westernized than you thought you were

I am the first person to admit that I am a westerner with westernized thought. But, am attempting to learn the Hebraic thought as best as I can with the resources available.

Nomad Man
Quote:My question to you, Nomad Man, is what scholarship do you have the proves your NMV is anything but faulty scholarship, opinion or an attempt to pervert the Word of God for your own purposes? I noticed you avoided answering some of the questions put to you above, concerning your scholarship. Why is that?

I have no formal education in Hebrew but have studied the language extensively. Though I have not received a degree, I am an adjunct professor in Biblical Hebrew for a University. I also have several published works on Biblical Hebrew.

Quote:Are you fluent in speaking, reading and writing, Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic Greek, and the other language requirements to translate the Word of God and can you read the original manuscript fragments, etc.? And who is on your translating team and what are their qualifications?

I am not fluent in modern Hebrew but I am able to converse in it. I am fluent in reading and writing Biblical Hebrew and yes, I can read the Hebrew text from the ancient manuscripts and fragments such as from the DDS.

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12-22-2008, 11:48 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2008 11:49 PM by sheep wrecked.)
Post: #10
RE: Translational Inconsistencies
[quote='Nomad Man' pid='250' dateline='1230002467']
Shalom Sheep wrecked:

[quote]Are you saying that these Jewish scholars were of a "western" mind set?[/quote]

Nomad Man: The Greek language is a "western" language and personally, I don't put to much stock in the LXX.

sheep: However; those were Jewish scholars, not western gentile ones ;) The same Hebrew minded Jewish scholars in Israel like Emanuel Tov, who is an expert in Greek and Hebrew Mrgreen

[quote]btw: I noticed that you used CJ Koster's interpretation of this concept which is found in the ISR:[/quote]

Nomad Man: Sorry, I am not familiar with CJ Coster and do not know what the ISR is.

sheep: The ISR was listed in my quote as "The Scriptures 98+". You are teaching Hebrew and you are not aware of the ISR? I find that very difficult to believe. It's the version out of South Africa - the one who took on James Trimm's plagiarized Hebrew Roots Version and are selling it as well. It's all over the net - the ISR is one of the most popular Hebrew Roots versions right under the Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern.

[quote]The word me'eh can also mean the seat of emotions. A Jewish definition of heart, mind, and soul are intertwined and inclusive. I am surprised that you did not know this. [/quote]

Nomad Man: Strong's is a great tool but it is very limited and also views the language from a western perspective. It is not true that each of these words are "the seat of emotion." The word כליה (kilyah) is the kidneys and this is the seat of emotion in Hebraic thought. The heart is the seat of thought (actually the mind), the gut is the seat of the subconscious.

sheep: I did not use Strong's. I used Thayers which is the premiere concordance used by credentialed Hebrew Scholars world wide, as well as chairs of University departments, including Israel.

Please give a source that the kidneys are the seat of emotion in "Hebraic thought" and that the gut is the seat of the subconscious. Hope you forgive me, but that sounds pretty Greek minded to me Icon_new_shocked

[quote]Perhaps you are more westernized than you thought you were [/quote]

I am the first person to admit that I am a westerner with westernized thought. But, am attempting to learn the Hebraic thought as best as I can with the resources available.

Nomad Man

sheep: I have heard you personally say that you are translating with a Hebraic/eastern mind set making your "translation" closer in thought to the original. Now you say that you are westernized. Which is it?
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