Here we will discuss some interesting questions, asked by readers of this Blog.
Why do the NIV make the sin of sodomy “light”? I refer to Deut.23:17 where both “whore” and “sodomite” are simply left out of the NIV! The NIV talks about a “Shrine Prostitute” which does not exist anymore!
Some differences between the KJV and the NIV are caused by plain mistranslation leading to misinterpretation. Consider this example:
KJV: “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.”
NIV:” No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine prostitute.”
The RSV has a better translation since there is a distinct sentence in Hebrew for each gender: “There shall be no cult prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a cult prostitute of the sons of Israel.”
A “whore” according to theOxfordEnglish dictionary, is: “A promiscuous woman; a man’s mistress; an adulteress; engaged in immoral or promiscuous sexual relations; committing adultery.”
“Sodomy” according to the same dictionary is: “Any form of sexual intercourse with a person of the same or opposite sex, except copulation; spec. anal intercourse. Also, bestiality.”
But look at the Hebrew word (qadesh), according to Strongs: “From H6942; a (quasi) sacred person, that is, (technically) a (male) devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry:- sodomite, unclean.”
(The same word is used in connection with the female part of the sentence.)
Though the word “qadesh” could be translated as “whore” or “sodomite”, the meaning or understanding of the word to the modern reader would most probably not bring him to temple prostitution, but rather to promiscuous adultery for females and to homosexuality for males.
This is clearly not the scope of this particular Scripture.
Though it is a fact that we do not know a “Shrin prostitute” in our modern world as an occupation, the interpretation and application of the Word should not be done by the translator, but by the reader, the preacher or pastor of the local congregation!
#1 Direct translation versus meaningful translation.
Someone asked why the NIV translates with “capstone” where the KJV uses the words “head of the corner”?
Mat. 21:42: (Compare Mark 12:10, Lk.20:17, Acts 4:11 with Eph.2:20 and 1Peter 2:6)
Should we translate with “capstone” or “cornerstone”?
KJV: “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner;… “
In Matthew, Mark, Luke and Acts the Greek word ‘kefaly’ (κεφαλη), “head” in conjunction with ‘gonias’ (γονιας), “corner” is used. In the KJV these words are directly translated. What would the “head of the corner” be in a building?
In Ephesians 2:20 and 1Peter 2:6 the word “acrogonaios” (άκρογωναιος) is used. This word literally means the “chief of the corner”, as it is translated in the KJV.
Again we ask to what stones these would refer to? Where would one find these stones and what would be their purpose?
The words used in the KJV are confusing. What would be the difference between the “head of the corner” and the “chief of the corner”? To most people it would mean the same. But surely they would refer to different stones in a building!
There are only two possibilities. Cornerstone, from where all measures were made in the construction of the building. The other possibility is a “capstone”, the final stone, tapered to fit exactly and combine the two parts of an arch.
Looking at the “head of the corner” the word refers to the position of the stone in the building, meaning high up. That supposedly refers to a capstone and not a cornerstone which was part of the foundation of the building. It also corresponds with Mat.21:44:” he on whom it falls will be crushed “. A capstone can fall on someone, but surely not a cornerstone.
The NIV use the proper English translations for these terms: “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ” ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;…“
In Eph.2:20 and 2Peter2:6 the NIV uses cornerstone.
May you be blessed.