Friday, July 4, 2008

A famine of hearing the word of the LORD (Pt. 3)

This little project to compare the verses of Psalm 91 in the KJV with the modern Bible versions is already revealing the deceitfulness of the revisers, it seems to me. I was already convinced that the revisions are a trojan horse in the house of God, but the pernicious extent of it is coming home to me with peculiar force as I've done this experiment.

To continue with Psalm 91, verse 2:

KJV: I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

NKJV: I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."

RSV: I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."

NASB: I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"

NIV: I will say* of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
[* footnote here has "or He says."]

I can only repeat that there is no reason for any of these changes, showing that the revisers did not honor their agreement to leave the text intact unless there was a compelling reason to change it. Again, the changes seem minor, but the very fact of making them at all is an offense because it is unnecessary, makes the sharing of God's word among the flock difficult and raises doubt in people's minds: So what DOES the Hebrew say? OF the LORD, or TO the LORD?

Why would the NIV take "He is" out of italics, which in the KJV are there to indicate that the words are not in the Hebrew but are needed to complete the sense of the English? Is that mere sloppiness?

There is no reason not to trust the KJV translators who were a formidably learned lot, and again, the revisers are without excuse.

It is hard to avoid the impression in surveying the scattering of unnecessary little changes they made that the revisers were in fact intent on mutilating the Bible.

But to continue:

Psalm 91, verse 3:

KJV: Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

NKJV: Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.

RSV: For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

NASB: For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly pestilence.

NIV: Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.

In none of the changes identified so far is there any hint that the Hebrew requires them. They are all English substitutions, simply translational choices, all of them utterly unnecessary, and in fact they are vicious in the context of the stated objective to change as little as possible in the Authorized text.

Well, let's start with "noisome" which the noisome, pestilential and perhaps also deadly modern mutilations have managed to change into something else entirely. "Noisome" does NOT mean "deadly" or "perilous."

The dictionary has: noisome \NOY-sum\, adjective:1. Noxious; harmful; unwholesome.2. Offensive to the smell or other senses; disgusting.

It's hard to see how you get from that to "deadly" or "perilous."

The Hebrew word translated "noisome" in the KJV occurs 15 times in the entire Bible, and is translated "noisome" once, here, and in nine other ways elsewhere:

AVcalamity 4, wickedness 3, perverse thing 1, mischief 1, noisome 1, iniquity 1, substance 1, naughtiness 1, naughty 1, mischievous 1

Not one of these renderings includes a hint of "deadly" or even necessarily "perilous." "Destructive" perhaps, even "ruinous" but overall it is closer to "noxious" or "disgusting" or "obnoxious" or "extremely annoying."

Leave the word alone, it's quite apt, and "deadly" is not apt. "Noisome" is not even archaic.

Again, there was no compelling need to make this change in the Bible. Again, it serves only to obfuscate, not to clarify, only to make things more difficult for God's people, not easier.

Is "trapper" an improvement on "fowler?" True, it may be more recognizable to moderns, but even the other modern mutilations didn't use it. Again, the principle that was to have been followed was to make no unnecessary changes. This is another unnecessary change.

So is "fowler's snare" versus "snare of the fowler" (and the latter is better aesthetically). So is "save" versus "deliver" unnecessary.

All these changes do nothing but disunify believers, even in ways that escape detection. It begins to seem this had to have been the real intention of the revisers. Woe to the shepherds who scatter the flock.

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