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This will cover Chapters 2-21
Includes in order:
Items: 50, 51, 3, 10
We come now to some Detail on Comparative Points to Watch
in the pleasantly clear NKJV translation,
with some reference to the frequently splendid, often normative and beautiful AV Translation
In the first section of this presentation,
On Translations of the Bible, Words about Words:
we have considered some basic elements in view in this field, and were addressing ourselves to a combination of the KJV and the NKJV, in the way there stressed, as a useful and practical possibility for a reasonable result. The NKJV without doubt is likely to add very significantly to the amount of accurate, actual understanding of the text, partly because of more normal usage, including words and grammatical constructions, such as we currently employ, and partly because an emphasis towards clarity.
The NKJV does not have much in the way of poetry to add, or in elegant diction - the KJV has enough of that, and its words are basic to a very great extent. What the NKJV does especially focus is clarity, and hence greater awareness of what was actually said. Since God is the speaker, that is crucially important.
There are however a few cases, worth mentioning, where one needs care, even in that framework, if one is to gain the best insight through careful pondering. Those presented are not numerous; but it seems best to mention them, so that even in such things as these (other than point 1, which as noted before is serious), there may be awareness and thought, and the care needed for a good understanding.
Very occasionally, one may find a Greek original in which NEITHER the AV nor the NKJV handles it accurately, aptly or adequately. Two such cases will be noted. As will be there seen, however, they are far from earth-shaking, being comparatively minor failures, picked up in some other translation, and certainly not in the least affecting any doctrine. These will make up cases 10 and 4, neither of the two considered translations appearing here as careful with the original as is desirable.
The list is now presented for simplicity as
THE LIST OF SPECIAL CASES CONSIDERED, NOTED in this Chapter, IS AS FOLLOWS.
The numbers are as found in the text, in that order, BELOW, and there they are to be found.
Psalm 12:6 and
and these occur as numbers 6) and 50) and 51 below.
Seven texts are set between other numbers, to preserve numerical continuity, 1A, 8A, 21A, 23A, 24A, 40A and 48A.
1) Genesis 1:1
1a) 1b) 1c)
Gracious Goodness Ch. 6, Bright Light Ch. 9, Dayspring et al..
1 A) Genesis 1:14-18
2) Lev. 19:20
3) II Kings 7:13
4) II Kings 8:10 and
5) Job 21:30
6) Psalm 12:6 is also covered in the preliminaries, at End-note *1.
6A) Psalm 18 is addressed and relished overall, with correction for one translation for verse 50.
8) Psalm 22:30
8A) Psalm 59:17 not 'My God of mercy,' but literally 'God of my Mercy' (AV). In the Hebrew, the 'my' appears in association with 'mercy' not with 'God'. If mercy is the concern, there is He who lovingly and personally dispenses it, the God who is also his only defence, refuge and strength, basis and fount of all these things. The Psalmist is not here singularising his God as the site of mercy, but mercy appropriated as fathered for him, by this God over all and for all who receive Him. It is He as He is, multiple in marvels, unique as self-defined in His word, the Bible, the book of the Lord: the only Saviour (Psalm 62, 71, 96:5, Isaiah 34:16, 43:10-11).
10) Psalm 139:16
13) Isaiah 8:19
14) Isaiah 9:3
18) Isaiah 26:19
20) Isaiah 53:10
21) Isaiah 64:4-5
21A) Jeremiah 13:27
24A) Joel 2:23 and
25) Amos 4:13
26) Habakkuk 2:13
27) Zech. 9:17
35) Acts 9:35
37) Romans 3:25
38) Romans 5:12-15,
40A) I Cor. 13:8-10
42) Ephesians 1:3-5
44) II Thessalonians 2:2
45) II Timothy 3:16
46) Titus 1:2-3
47) Titus 2:12
48) Hebrews 11:1
48A) James 4:5-6
49) II Peter 1:19-21
53) Rev. 22:14
54) Rev. 13:12-15
The original numbers, not biblically ordered as above, appear below. Some may be added. Occasionally in the text there may be a reference to one of our newly ordered items with the number below. For example, one refers to "our 21st" case, where this naturally, apart from any minor changes, follows the ordering below. The hyperlinks in this lower list are not all for the current purpose, as the references are to be found in the above list. I Cor. 13:8 has been added, 40A) above.
1) Rev. 19:8
2) I John 5:7-8
3) II Kings 7:13
4) Psalm 139: 16
5) Zech. 9:17
6) Romans 3:25
7) Isaiah 13:12
8) Isaiah 53:10
9) Lev. 19:20
10) Psalm 90:12
11) Matthew 10:8
12) I Cor. 15:33
13) Ephesians 3:21
14) Matthew 28:9
15) Acts 9:35
16) Rev. 20:4
17) Isaiah 64:4
18) Matthew 11:27
19) Job 21:30
20) Titus 2:13ff.
22) Romans 9:5
23) Isaiah 2:22
24) Amos 4:11
25) Psalm 22:30
26) Isaiah 9:3
27) Revelation 22:14
28) Romans 5:12-15,
29) Joel 2:23 and
30-31) Malachi 2:12,15,
32) II Thessalonians 2:2
33) Isaiah 26:19
34) II Kings 8:10 and
35) II Peter 1:19-20.
36) Also on the topic of I John 5:7 see above.
37) On Titus 1:2-3, translation, see Of the Earth Earthy, or Celestial in Christ
14, IV. Ch.
38) At the same site there is a rendering with reason, of Romans 16:25-26.
40) This is the case treated in the preliminary section of this work, Revelation 19:8, at End-note *2.
41) Psalm 12:6 is also covered in the preliminaries, at End-note *1.
42) Zechariah 14:5 (with I Thess. 3:13) is to be found at End-note *2A, below.
43) Psalm 19 is translated in Christ Jesus: the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 3.
44) Isaiah 23:13
45) Hebrews 11:1
46) Ephesians 1:3-5
47) Habakkuk 2:13
50) Ezekiel 34:29
The True God ... Ch. 1
51) Hosea 7:13
52) Isaiah 9:6-7
53) Isaiah 8:19
54) Isaiah 33:6
55) Revelation 13:12-15
THE ITEMS IN BIBLICAL ORDER
It is important to note that the numbers below follow those in the original version, as in The Kingdom of Heaven, from which this is a large expansion, on occasion extending the text considerably. The listing chosen and first given above, is now however in the biblical order, for readers' convenience. This dual constraint requires an order on the one hand, as it comes in scripture for the list itself, but a numerical coverage, as in the sequence of the original version of On Bible Translations. This was in some respects cohesive in sequence, in its content, and so could not be disengaged. The result is as below.
This in the present Chapter 2 ...
Includes in order:
Items 51, 50, 3, 10
The rest arrive in the following Chapters, 3-21, those left available by hyperlinks in the numbers to 53 from the first list.
Notice carefully that in most cases a
SYMBOL, namely § (here made bold and larger for impact, but not necessarily so in the text, where it is provided in whatever colour the text readily enables at that point)
will be used to give a swift approach to the translation being given, but this should not be divorced from the total context of the reasons given, which help one to appreciate the situation carefully, as is needful for the word of the living God, in the Bible, His chosen repository for written teaching, proclamation, information and revelation concerning Himself, mankind, its future and futures ...
51) the chief NKJV failure is in Revelation 19:8. Why this is so and what to do about it, and the whole situation in the Biblical context, broad and narrow, is covered in Chapter 1 of this volume. . Suffice here to say that the KJV "righteousnesses" is better by far, than the NKJV.
I John 5: 7-8
Other, though the NKJV margin is correct.
On the other side,
50) the NKJV is the one attested quite clearly by the manuscripts, re I John 5: 7-8.
To be sure, all but incredibly, it does print the unattested words that are here found in the AV, but at least it clearly shows how the texts are far from supporting this, in its note at the foot of the page.
These constitute the first two cases.
II Kings 7:13
The NKJV contains what almost looks like a reduplicative misprint in the NKJV copy to hand. The AV seems perfectly correct here, as well as more direct.
AV and NASB.
II Kings 7:13 is inadequate in the NKJV, while fine in the AV and excellent in the NASB.
The NKJV here is at its worst, being unclear and unimaginatively unperspicuous in diction, not showing what is being said to the extent that the words dully and vaguely lost from all strength.
In NASB we have:
"One of his servants answered and said, "Please let some men take five of the horses which remain, which are left in the city. Behold they will be in any case like the multitude of Israel who are left in it; behold, they will be in any case like all the multitude of Israel who have already perished, so let us send and see."
Italics for clarificatory added words are duly used, a similar device to that of the NKJV.
The text appears to give two clear and simple alternatives. They will (at worst) be like those left, or else like those who have perished. What could be simpler ? But the NKJV does not make even that much clear here, speaking in the second option, "like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed."
The AV here is quite clear and commendable, if a little less modern in idiom. Both are adequate, unlike the NKJV.
In Psalm 139:16, the NKJV seems inadequate, and the KJV language appears in part, rather forced into the text itself. The topic is the body being fashioned in the womb, not the days, as the NKJV seems to imply; on the other hand, the term 'days' does appear, though not mentioned in the AV. A good translation taking account of what is actually there on the one hand, and the topic on the other would seem to be found by putting in from the Hebrew verb its subject, making a rendering:
"Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days they should be fashioned, when as yet there were none of them." Thus, as the KJV correctly indicates, it is the unformed members which are assaulting the astonished attention, the wonder and the marvelling of David, and their programmed organisation.
Then comes the "days" notation. Yet "days" in any normal sense occur as a sequence focus for the action of the verb. Organised, like the parts to-be-developed, and for them, they are in a time-product ordained system. As to that, the term for embryo in Hebrew has a root background with an etymological sense of something wrapped up, folded or even hidden. Hence the "all of them" simply indicates the intrinsic particularity, not available in form when the embryo is a simple looking mass, but schematically contained in God's book where they are drafted and hidden, in due course to be empowered by program into individual existence as parts or organs in the now integrated whole of the more developed embryo.
In this verse, the plural form "they" impactively appears with "all written", after the singular form for "embryo", thus yielding a verbal impact on the contextual scene. The "it" (pronoun equivalent for the "substance" or "embryo" term used) without any more ado, suddenly becomes a "they". This however is just like the impact of bodily members on the anatomical scene in the embryonic development. Each "arrives" suddenly: the plural form in word in this verse, and the plural fact in body in the embryonic topic, they have a parallel suddenness, a breach of walls of inwardness as they come directly into the open day of life. If you will, this is a sort of structural onomatopoeia, a literary mirroring of the scene it describes, most apt in poetical beauty.
The verbal form similarly - pu'al - is intensive passive, and would fit with the concept of constant fashioning, much fashioning, configuring, moulding, as appropriate for embryo, but not of course for time. Time merely reaches the scene as the date pages, the day-by-day slots for the action for each day as it were, in the divine and pre-formulated book of operational moulding of members. The celestial engineer's handbook is so time-oriented for the prodigious works each day contains. We look then at the marvel of the programmed DAYS on which each DEVELOPMENT is to occur. It might even be prophetically considered: "the days they were fashioned for me", as an envisagement of what being sure, is thought of as finished. The sense in this case would be the same, and the concept in view could be the so-called 'prophetic past'.
That is, it is seen, as in predictive cases, as already accomplished, so graphic and sure is its coming occurrence to the prophet. IN this case, it would be so sure was the divinely directed programmatic series of events in their time slots that it could quite similarly be conceived as done. This would be the physiologically, the anatomically previewed and decided; whilst the parallel use of the past tense for history yet to come would be the historically previewed rendered determinate in the prophetic utterance. In the case of the divine babe, you would have BOTH together, the incarnation with the necessities of the bodily building program, day by day, AND the infinite SIGNIFICANCE of this baby, the new format of Him known before all time, God the word inscribed in flesh for salvation (Philippians 2, Revelation 13:8, 14:6, John 8:58). Each was secure.
Here, in Psalm 139, both the pre-envisagement and the pre-coding are ALREADY DONE. The days they were formed are all over before each of them begins: in security, certainty, apt program and comprehending divine envisagement.
In English, then, with clarity in view, probably the best way of translating the thought pattern (with amplifying addition to help, not part of the translation itself) would be something like this:
"My structure was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret,
and intricately given diversity of form
in the developmental darkness.
Your eyes saw my embryonic substance
and in your book all
(the particular results of developmental processes,
to form the physical equipment of life, organic, structural)
the (very) days they should be fashioned,
when as yet none (organic, structural members) of them
(so much as) existed."
The "fashioning" can even suggest "create", means mould, form like a potter, and is clearly intricately interwoven verbally with the diversity of form concept applicable to the developing "members" (in the AV) "woven" or "curiously wrought" (AV) or as was put here, "intricately given diversity" above. (This latter term relates to weaving with diverse threads, to variegation).
All that would be both ludicrous and anti-contextual if used of the days as their focus, but not when used of the processes occurring in the structurally prepared days, time notches for the wonderful physical events being outworked according to the book! Then days merely reinforces the focal concept.
Indeed, the formulae, formations, fabrications were all written, and their days likewise. Eventuation into life is the explosion of the secret, already performed. Hence the rendering selected.
The sense is this: THERE are the members, "all of them", written, yes, and there are times, correlated, all engineered in the drawing board, all contained in the book, a synthetic whole of time and place, part and whole, organised, prepared, and to be enacted into actuality on earth with a divinely activated fluency. Creation articulated all these things; eventuation displays it (Psalm 148:5, Isaiah 45:12, Genesis 1-3). Here it is the latter that astounds.
The AV margin has "what days they should be fashioned"; but more exactly it is "days", and the leanness of the words, especially in lyric poetry, is best adhered to when one can idiomatically do so, representing minimal or even nil intrusion into the text. The simultaneity of the
ii) time-eventuation is in view:
they are divinely paired, joint occupants of the creator's skill. It is rather like a list, as if to say - written were:- my members, all of them, days they should be fashioned. Thus it is a citation of awe.
We look then at the marvel of the programmed DAYS on which each DEVELOPMENT is to occur. It might, being in the past tense as already noted, even be prophetically considered: "the days they were fashioned for me", as an envisagement of what being sure, is thought of as finished. The sense in this case would be the same, and we would be seeing the so-called 'prophetic past'.
To rehearse: it is not the DAYS which are held here in view - they are merely added, remarkable as they are in the complex; but it is the embryo with its secret fashioning, the UNFORMED embryo which is the primary subject matter, with the MEMBERS (i.e. its arms and legs and neck and head, organs), when AS YET, as is the nature of embryos, there was none of them. Hence we have quite naturally and without stress, the words which actually follow in the Psalm: "and not one among them".
This wonderful and imaginative poetry is making a thunderous point. Literally, then, this part ends: "and not one among them". This of course presents a muddle if you are dealing in days, but is a coherent expression of the heart of the theme, if referring to the substance being there, not one member as yet in it.
renders: "when as yet there was not one among them". Day-member synthesis was all in place, before any member was there. Berkeley
This is the situation:
none of the noted bodily members is there,
but there the program is,
each day of development being nevertheless determinate,
yes, even when not a member was to be seen in the embryo
in its initial simplicity.
That simplicity in marked contrast with its prepared potential, means this:- Amazingly it is all marked out in His book as to days,
each organic whole is envisaged, prepared, pre-designed,
ready to burst forth, like flowers in Spring,
indeed to be moulded,
not one of the members has as yet appeared.
Yes, it is timed!
This is the theme in the context before and after the point in view - the intrusive term "days". If "days" were made the object of formation, and should become the substance, the new item in view, then of course there would be a problem as just noted. Indeed:
a) It would be utterly outside the intimate points preceding, aborting the thrust and continuity.
b) At the time visualised by David, when the embryonic "substance" is held in view, some of the "days" would have been fashioned for the embryo already. Hence there would not be a visualising of the whole day-growth relationship for David the embryo, but a part of it, whereas "they were all written" when "none of them". What however was in view for the unformed embryo was all the members, none of which at the time in view, were observable: ALL had to come "when none of them". The "substance" was still unformed, so that the "members" were not at all formed, or in existence: ALL were in the dark places, evacuated from sight in the powers of the Creator, subject to the diligent skills of the Former.
c) It bereaves the passage of the both the streamlined beauty and coherence as noted above, indeed of its ready intelligibility and theme.
d) It evacuates the words of their stated focal point: members to be contrived - in what at first appears but a vague simplicity. These are prescribed to arrive on this seemingly simple scene: developed organic wholes, means of mobility, of vitality. They are ready to come, ordained to come: into this, this mere commencement of an embryo!
e) We have the clause "when as yet there was none" as meaningless, contorted or else a mystic pot: an unnecessary self-inflicted wound.
Thus "Thy book" was divinely inscribed to cover the case, even when these members, to be made and co-ordinated, were visually absent. (This of course is precisely what is being said in science now, as the genetic code is considered and claims are made that its content for a single human nucleated cell is worth a thousand large, complex volumes of writing. The intense symbolic, code content is prescriptive, directive, executive, integrated, cohesive in kind and synthesising in practice, the most stupendous material design by far, ever visible on earth. It is also, no less, intensively verificatory of the Biblical vision imparted to the prophet who wrote Psalm 139, by the inspiration of God.)
If that sustained emphasis on members is what the NKJV meant to indicate, it does not succeed in unambiguously showing this. The KJV on the other hand, while it does not readily translate the text in its straightforward flow, and seems at one point to render a poetry of its own, adding its relative pronoun to the point to invest a meaning not at all apparent: yet does preserve the basic thrust - an advantage shared by its marginal rendering.
The arrival, formation, formulation, fabrication of parts from the innate mass that preceded them is rightly kept in focus, as the considerations above indicate to be appropriate. Moreover, the AV in using "which in continuance were fashioned", not only adds a pronoun, but subtracts the sense of days as time divisions, turning it into time duration in continuity, which adds substantially to what is actually written.
Thus we could render, to preserve the sense:
§"Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book my formed parts were all written - the days they should be fashioned - when as yet there were none of them."
The italicised "my formed parts" is inserted in italics for simplicity and ease, but could with this punctuation, we omitted. Again, these words could be put in a margin. Then the text would read : " and in Your book, all were written - the days they should be formed - when as yet there were none of them." This sustains clarity and brevity.