“King James Only Debate”

The Hebrew has BEELZEBUL. The Greek has BEELZEBUL. But the KJV has BEELZEBUB. Why? Because the LATIN has BEELZEBUB. Anyone want to explain this inspired transposition to me?
Brent Riggs Wycliffe – Belsabub
Tyndale – beelzebub
Coverdale – Beelzebub
Geneva – Beel-zebub
Bishops – Beelzebub
AV – Beelzebub
ERV 1885 – Beelzebub
ASV 1901 – Beelzebub
NIV 1984 – Beelzebub

Polish – Beelzebub
Czech – Belzebub
Spanish – Beelzebub

Beelzebub is both valid and accurate. This has been much to do about nothing. Translations are not always secondary to the original:
– the original no longer exists
– the translation has been authenticated by authority, e.g. notary, court authority, etc.

Erik DiVietro Brent, with all due respect – the verses in the original languages DO exist and they supersede any translation.
Brent Riggs John: The autograph doesn’t exist – that’s a fact. Translators, even modern ones, don’t rely ONLY “upon reliable copies in the original language”, they use those copies along with previous versions, editions, as well as other foreign language editions.

You may correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe there is a difference between “variant reading” and “variant translation”. I’m not concerned about valid and accurate “variant translations”. I am concerned about scholars and their wanna-be counterparts accusing our English Bible of error for “not following the original” when they don’t possess the autograph (their equivocation), the original source documents (not always in “original languages”) or acknowledge the variant reading.

I understand your offense toward “double standards” and agree with you. Both sides should avoid double standards.

I haven’t accused your Bible of error. Yet, those on boards similar to this one have inconsistently (double standard) implied, asserted and directly accused my Bible is error.

I’m convinced that modern versions are probably accurate and valid translations of their source texts. I take note that DIFFERENT source texts were used and that modern translators started from a premise that the previous Standard texts were wrong – hence the debate.

As to the current thread, I demonstrated that translators from a variety of backgrounds and cultures accurately translated the word in question as “Beelzebub”. As I stated previously, this is all much to do about nothing and an indirect attack on the AV. It wasn’t the ERV, ASV and the NIV has “Beelzebub” (they do), but rather the KJV has “Beelzebub”. Is that a double standard or what?

Brent Riggs Erik: The verses in question do indeed exist in original language Mss, and compiled editions. They also exist in previous English versions, later English versions and foreign language versions.

With all due respect (which should always be there in proper debate) I disagree, ” original languages” do not supersede valid authenticated translations. Did you mean, “texts in the original languages”?

Competent translators from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and time periods looked at the text and validly and accurately translated “Beelzebub”. It is not an error.

P.S. I believe you will agree that translations given by inspiration of God can have different spellings of the same name. I think this was already acknowledges in this thread.

Erik DiVietro Did I say it was an error? Could you point to anywhere that I said that? I am very careful in my word choices.
John Wilks Brent, let me be clear then- and speaking only for myself. I don’t think the KJV is in error on this subject. I said so. All I am saying is that many KJVO folks use “gotcha” examples of modern versions making the sort of alteration we’re discussing here even though the KJV does the same.

To your assertion that “” original languages” do not supersede valid authenticated translations” I must admit I’m at a loss. The way we authenticate a translation is by comparing it to the original language document. How then can the document used to validate a translation of itself not, by definition, supersede the translation?

Or if you reject that we authenticate by comparison, from whence comes authetication?

Brent Riggs John: I agree with you, “many KJVO folks use ‘gotcha’ examples…”. I suspect many of them were no doubt retaliating to scholars, textual critics and their wanna-be counterparts who accused the AV of error for the same type of alterations. Round and round we go. I’m glad we agree – we are making progress!

Thanks for acknowledging my point and asking for clarification. Here goes:

There is a difference between “original languages”, “autographs” and “original language texts”. Do you see the difference? Hence, my question to Erik, “Did you mean, ‘texts in the original languages’?”

One language has no more authority than another, original or otherwise. English doesn’t trump Greek, Greek doesn’t trump Hebrew and Hebrew doesn’t trump all other languages. Original Language Onlyism is just as wrong as English Language Onlyism. Agreed?

The correct text, regardless of the language that it is written in, is the correct text. Manuscripts written in Greek and Hebrew have been proven to be wrong – having no authority – e.g apocryphal writings in the original languages or errors in the original languages. Hence, the correct text in whatever language would trump errors in text of the original languages.

The source text of the AV is not the same source text of modern versions. The source text of the AV was not just original language mss. or compiled editions. To imply that the AV is in error because “that’s not in the original” cannot be proved without the source text.

Authenticated translations have already been compared with the source text and found AUTHENTIC – Johnny-come-latelies accusing the authenticated translations of error based upon “their scholarship”, “their invented source text” or “their feeble opinion” are in error, not the authenticated translations.

I’ll clarify further if you need me to.

Brent Riggs Erik: I don’t think you directly stated that “Beelzebub” was an error, but it seemed to me that was your implication. I took from your OP that the translated word “Beelzebub” was from the Latin and thus in error, couldn’t be inspired, and only exact precision (Beelzebul) from the Greek are error free. If I misunderstood please explain. I really don’t understand the point of your OP if this wasn’t the case. Why didn’t you use the ESV, ASV or NIV as an example?
I stated previously:
Translations are not always secondary to the original:
– the original no longer exists
– the translation has been authenticated by authority, e.g. notary, court authority, etc.

Without the extant original source document or if there exists serious question about the authenticity of the alleged copy of the original source document the AUTHENTICATED translation has more authority than the non-extant original source document and the questioned source document.

Erik DiVietro Brent, I never imply things. I say exactly what I mean. I did not imply it is an error, but rather that the KJV translators followed the familiar form – they adapted to the language of the day, exactly what KJVO people accuse modern versions of doing.
Brent Riggs Erik, I got that from your later posts, but not from your OP. Adapting to the language of the day is fine to a point – we don’t want real street language, but a language that the common man will understand. Here is what I’ve written about our translation work:

Translation when concluded should preserve the underlying source text of the Standard Bible. We must preserve the sense of the text where exact literalness is not possible. It’s form (translation) should be in the best possible Polish meeting the highest standards. It should be made so that the common man can read it easily – not in gutter language, nor in scholastic language – but in a language that the average Pole can understand effortlessly. Not too easy for the scholar and not too hard for the farmer. It should be clear, recognizable and read without difficulty. It should be good Polish in the form that Poles would speak using common familiar expressions while retaining the underlying text. We should not get bogged down over choices of words when several different words fit commodiously. Not every word change will carry over all the nuances of the old word, but the word choices should have the same principle meaning of the original word. Changes in tense, word order, use of plurals/singulars, punctuation changes, italics, synonyms, adding and deleting of words were all used by genuine translations and updates throughout history. Of course we should not carelessly make any of these types of changes just for change sake. At the same time we should not allow the fear of these types of changes prevent us for presenting the word of God in the best possible Polish. Doing the best we can with the abilities that God gave us at this time in history we take to heart the words of the AV translators…

Erik DiVietro Bret, I don’t understand what the problem is here. Your answer to me has nothing to do with the OP. Here is the question – did God inspire the KJV TRANSLATORS to follow the Vulgate instead of the original languages (Hebrew and Greek)? The answer is NO. They simply did it. Conscious or not, the change is not inspired because the KJV translation was not inspired. It is a translation – a masterful, beautiful one, but just a translation.
Brent RiggsGary Lehman & Others:
Consensus is not to be confused with a majority, plurality or popular:
Consensus – agreement reached by a group as a whole, collective unanimous opinion
Majority – a number more than half of the total
Plurality (relative majority) – the larger or greater part
Popular – widely favoured
Brent Riggs Erik: As I suspected, you believe “Beelzebub” is an error and does not belong in the English, Polish, Spanish, Czech, etc. Scriptures, for you hold that it is “uninspired” and only that which is “inspired” belongs in the Scriptures. Uninspired additions according to you are an error. Feel free to correct me or clarify if I’m incorrect.

Secondly, you presume that the Latin Vulgate is incorrect and that the AV followed the Vulgate when in fact the reading “Beelzebub” was already in ALL the previous English versions as well as earlier foreign language versions. It is a valid and accurate translation and thus “inspired” even by your criteria – derivative inspiration can only apply to accurate translations of the “original language” manuscripts. “Beelzebub” is an accurate translation whether you find it in Latin, English, Polish, Spanish, etc.

You apparently hold that manuscripts which are NOT the autographs, but by virtue of containing etchings in “original languages” (Greek & Hebrew), have more authority than the Scriptures in any other language including English. I don’t. Tell me Erik were the copyists inspired? Were the compilers of Nestle’s Greek text inspired? If not then how does any manuscript with etchings in Greek and Hebrew have more authority than the Scriptures in any other language including English? There is no “magic” in etchings in Greek or Hebrew. The Greek language doesn’t have more authority than the English language and the English language doesn’t have more authority than the Greek – they are simply languages. However, the Scriptures in any language including Greek & English are to be believed – every book, chapter, verse, phrase and word. For the Scriptures are the very word of God regardless of what language you find them in.

Erik DiVietro Wow, Brent.

No, I do not believe translations are inspired. They are translations of the inspired Scriptures. The Hebrew and Greek languages do not possess any superiority in and of themselves, but since God gave the Scriptures in these languages, it is the God-breathed words that matter, not translations of them.

Can we believe God’s words in translation? Absolutely. But are translations inspired? No. The fact is that translators make both conscience and unconscious decisions in the process of translation, and those changes can be minor (such as this change from the ACTUAL WORD Beelzebul) or large scale (such as reverse engineering the last few verses of Revelation).

An honest, scholarly translation can be trusted but it should never be considered superior to the original language, and by your comments I really wonder if you have any grasp of the nature of human language.

It is clear that you disagree, and that is fine. It is clear that you believe the English translation of the KJV was inspired and supersedes the original, as inspired in Hebrew and Greek; and that is fine.

You have said your piece. I understand your position. No point in kicking a dead horse.

Brent Riggs Erik: Our differences highlight the real debate and I would like to proceed further. I wish you would have answered my questions, because I believe that it might have opened your eyes to a few salient points of mine.

1. Were the copyists inspired?
If yes, then how so? How can a copyist be inspired (copy), but not a translator (translation)?
If no, then a copy has all the alleged weaknesses of a translation. Please take note: Copyists make both conscience and unconscious decisions in the process of copying and those changes can be minor (such as changing the spelling of words, word order, verb tense, etc.) or large scale (such as fabricating exemplars, the Apocrypha comes to mind along with outright forgeries).

2. Were the compilers of Nestle’s Greek (or any other compilation, UBS, Wescott & Hort, Green, Weiss, etc.) text inspired?
If yes, then how so? How can a compiler be inspired (compilation), but not a translator (translation)?
If no, then a compiled edition (e.g. Nestle’s Greek Text – any of the editions) has all the alleged weaknesses of a translation. Please take note: Compilers make both conscience and unconscious decisions in the process of compiling and those changes can be minor (additions or omissions of words, word order, verb tense, etc.) or large scale (conscious rejection and dismissal of the Standard text, outright bias in textual choices, etc.).

3. If not then how does any manuscript with etchings in Greek and Hebrew have more authority than the Scriptures in any other language including English?
Please note that when I use the term Scripture(s) I mean the word of God in written form given by inspiration of God which implies, having God’s authority, infallible, true in all that it states, inerrant, etc. This definition correctly applies to all the verses in the Scriptures where the term Scripture or the Scriptures is used, even when the context (i.e. 2Tm 3:15-17, J 5:39, Acts 17:11, Lk 4:16-21, etc.) shows that it is not a reference to the autograph. If you agree with this definition then say so, if not, please give your definition and explain where I erred in mine.

You stated, “The Hebrew and Greek languages do not possess any superiority in and of themselves”, but then contend that “scholarly translations should never be considered superior to the original language”. Original language what? Scholarly translations can never be considered superior to the original language Apocrypha, original language manuscripts replete with errors in them, original language compiled edition, or the original language autograph?

You stated, “They [translations] are translations of the inspired Scriptures.
– “Inspired Scriptures” is redundant; there is no other kind of Scriptures – all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
– Are you saying, exactly, that the translators translated directly from “inspired Scriptures” or that they use uninspired copies, compiled editions and other versions?

You stated, “it is the God-breathed words that matter, not translations of them”.
– God breathed words (words given by inspiration of God in written form) do indeed matter. Are you saying directly that copies or compiled editions used by translators are “the God-breathed” words, but their translations are not? Please explain.
– I agree that the God-breathed words do indeed matter and we have those God-breathed words in valid copies and translations. In fact, if what you are saying is true, ”The translated Scriptures are not given by inspiration of God”, then I have never read the Scriptures and have no practical authority to teach doctrine – except by learning the original languages and preaching from them (2Tm 3:16-17). Only Scripture(s) is sufficient for doctrine, reproof, etc., which you state that I don’t possess in English, Polish, Spanish or any other language except “the original languages”.

You “wonder if you have any grasp of the nature of human language”. I’m sure I have as much grasp of “the nature of human language” as you do, perhaps more. I speak three languages fluently, was certified to teach English as a 2nd language by Cambridge University and have lived in foreign countries for the past 27 years. I know for a fact that certified translations have more practical (if not legal) authority then original source documents. I know for a fact, from practical experience, that original source documents can be in error and that the translation validly corrected the erroneous source document. Think about that for a moment before jumping to conclusions.

You stated, “You [Brent] believe the English translation of the KJV was inspired and supersedes the original, as inspired in Hebrew and Greek”.

Just to be clear, I believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God no matter what language they are in (English, Polish, Greek, etc.). I have a copy of the Scriptures in English and in several other languages each being the very word of God in those languages – not something less than the word of God (“just a translation”) as you seem to be implying by you direct statements. Or as the translators of the Authorized Version stated, “The king’s speech, which he utters in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the king’s speech”. Valid translations, copies and compilations can “supersede the original” only in the sense that they replace practically the non-extant autographs (“the original”) in power, authority, effectiveness, acceptance, etc., not that they have superior authority. I am not an English or Original Language Onlyist, I believe the Scriptures in whatever language they are found and believe that every word should be read, believed, lived, and preached as the very word of God.

Erik DiVietro Just translation is all they are.
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