Genesis 37:3 "a coat of many colours" or....?
One Bible critic wrote us in our Facebook forum King James Bible Debate saying: "Anyone who tells you that the King James Version is 100% accurate is not telling the truth. Joseph's coat was LONG SLEEVED in the Hebrew version but the King James version said it was multicolored. The great thing out of that is that we have Joseph and the Techi-coloured dream coat musical!!!" (End of bible critics 'deep thoughts')
As for Genesis 37:3 as it stands in the King James Bible - "he made him a coat of many colors" - it is really silly and superficial to claim there is an error here in the KJB. Versions like the NIV, RSV, ESV and NET versions, all of which disagree with the KJB reading, all tell us in their footnotes: "The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain."
So, not even the scholars behind these corrupt Vatican Versions know what the Hebrew expression means. They just changed it from the KJB reading so they can be different and get a copyright for their work.
There are many Bible translations in multiple languages that translate it just as it stands in the King James Bible. We will get to those in a moment. But first, let's look at the wild variety of ways some versions have translated what this piece of clothing was that Jacob gave to his favorite son Joseph.
Darby 1890 - "A VEST of many colors" Youngs 1898 "A LONG coat" RSV - "a LONG ROBE WITH SLEEVES" NIV 1984 edition - "a RICHLY ORNAMENTED ROBE." NIV 2011 edition - "AN ORNATE ROBE", J.P. Green's - "a LONG COAT REACHING TO HIS FEET." The 2011 Common English Bible says: "Jacob made for him a LONG ROBE." and then it Footnotes: "Hebrew uncertain." The New Jewish Version 1985 - "an ORNAMENTED TUNIC", The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003 - "a MULTICOLORED GARMENT", Dan Wallace's NET version has - "and he made A SPECIAL TUNIC for him.", the Judaica Press Tanach 2004 says: "he made him A FINE WOOLEN COAT.", The Mebust Bible 2007 - "he made him a VARICOLORED TUNIC" and The Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010 has "A COAT OF MANY STRIPES".
The only one so far in this list that says what our Bible critic says it should be is the Liberal RSV with its "a long robe with sleeves." I did find another one like this. It's called the Lexham English Bible. It came out in 2012 and says: "And he made a robe with long sleeves[a] for him." But then it Footnotes OR "of many colors".
"a COAT OF MANY COLORS"
Agreeing with the King James Bible are the following - Wycliffe 1395 - "and he made to Joseph a cote of many colors.", Tyndale 1834 - "and he made him a coote of many coloures.", Coverdale 1535 - "and he made him a cote of many coloures.", the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Douay-Rheims 1582, Webster's Bible 1833, The Longman Version 1841, the Lesser Bible 1853, The Revised English Bible 1877, the Revised Version 1885, the ASV 1901 - "and he made him a coat of many colors.", The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "a coat of many colors", the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) 1917, 1936 Jewish Publication Society translation, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, The God's First Truth Translation 1999, The World English Bible 2000, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Yah Sacred Scriptures 2001, A Conservative Version 2005, The Complete Apostle's Bible 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, The New European Version 2010 - "a coat of many colors", the Jubilee Bible 2010, The New Heart English Bible 2010, The Work of God's Children Bible 2011 -"a coat of diverse colors", The Bond Slave Version 2012, The Biblos Bible 2013 - "a coat of many colors", The Modern English Version 2014 and the Hebrew Names Bible 2014.
Several others give a very similar meaning - the NKJV has "a tunic of many colors", NASB he made him a varicolored tunic", Douay and New Life Version 1969 "a long coat of many colors." The 2012 Natural Israelite Bible has "he made him a tunic of many colors." and two of the latest to come down the pike are the Holman Standard and the ESVs 2001-2011 which have" a robe of many colors".
Foreign language translations that read just like the KJB's "a coat of many colors" are the so called Greek Septuagint, and the Modern Greek Bible - "και εκαμεν εις αυτον χιτωνα ποικιλοχρωμον.", Luther's German Bible 1545 - " und machte ihm einen bunten Rock." = "he made him a coat of many colors", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995 y le hizo una ropa de diversos colores.", the French Ostervald 1996 - "et il lui fit une robe de diverses couleurs.", the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués and Almeida Corregida - "e fez-lhe uma túnica de várias cores.", the Italian Diodati 1649 - "e gli fece una giubba vergata." = "he made him a coat of many colors.", the Dutch Staten Vertaling - "en hij maakte hem een veelvervigen rok." = "he made him a coat of many colors.", the Afrikaans Bible 1953 - "en hy het vir hom 'n lang rok met moue gemaak." = "he made him a coat of many colors." and the Czeck BKR Bible - "A udělal mu sukni proměnných barev."
The Hebrew words to describe Joseph's coat of many colors is used on 5 times. We find it here 3 times in Genesis 37:3, 23 and 32. And again in 2 Samuel 13:18 and 19 where Tamar, one of king David's daughters, also wore "A GARMENT OF DIVERSE COLORS."
So when some bible corrector like this tells you in no uncertain terms that the King James Bible is in error, just realize that none of these Bible Critics actually believes that ANY Bible in any language is the inerrant words of God, and most of them have no clue what they are talking about.
All of grace, believing the Book - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.
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