An Example of James White's "Scholarship" that is about as deep as a Parking Lot Puddle.
This is a series of articles dealing with some issues Mr. White brings up in his book, and my conversation with him at an online discussion group. Also available is a Youtube teaching video where I discuss this article about James White and his book with brother Dave Flang. You can listen to it here -
James White’s Bible Blunders Book by Will Kinney
40 minute video teaching.
Acts 10:11 KJB - "And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending UNTO HIM, as it had been a great sheet KNIT at the four corners, and let down to the earth"
Acts 10:11 ESV (NIV, NASB, NET, Catholic versions, Jehovah Witness New World Translation) - "and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth."
Normally I would not even address the minor textual issue brought up by examining Acts 10:11, but since Mr. James White makes such a big deal of it in his book, The King James Only Controversy, I feel I should address the issue.
In chapter nine of his book, which is titled "Problems in the KJV", James lists several silly objections to the language and text of the King James Bible, all of which can easily be refuted. Of course he is "not attacking the King James Bible", you understand, but is merely pointing out areas where it contains errors or is based on what he calls "inferior texts".
James White has no infallible, inspired, complete Holy Bible to recommend to anyone, but sets himself up as the voice of reason and authority in the midst of a complicated and difficult issue. It is ironic that the Muslims themselves are now using his own material on the Internet to try to persuade Christians that we do not have an inerrant Bible.
See for example a James White video that was put up on Youtube by a Muslim where James tells us that Luke 23:34 - "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." - is NOT inspired Scripture. It doesn't belong in the Bible and he would not preach on it.
Let's get specific here and look at this one example of the "incisive scholarship" proffered to us by the good doctor White on page 236 of his book "The King James Only Controversy".
Mr. White writes: "The KJV New Testament is not without its intriguing passages as well. For example, Peter saw a vision that is described in the AV, "And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending UNTO HIM (caps mine), as it had been a great sheet KNIT (caps mine) at the four corners, and let down to the earth" - Acts 10:11. One could completely miss the point here, for the KJV has "knit" for a term that refers to the means by which the sheet was lowered, hence the NASB, "lowered by four corners to the ground." [End of James White's comments]
Most people who read Mr. White's book would automatically assume that he knows what he is talking about. After all, James has gone to some sort of a seminary. He supposedly knows Greek, and surely he would not print something in his book that wasn't true, right?
The fact is, James White is totally in error at every point, and I am somewhat amazed that he would even put such a ridiculous example like this in his book.
First of all, Mr. White is completely incorrect when he says the KJB has "knit" for a term that refers to the means by which the sheet was lowered. The truth is, this is the reading of the Greek text itself that underlies the King James Bible and all Reformation bibles.
The Scripture tells us that the four corners of the great sheet were "KNIT" or "bound" so as to form a vessel or a large, enclosed bag that contained "all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air."
There are two very different textual readings here. One is that followed by all Reformation Bibles including that of Luther - "und herniederfahren zu ihm ein Gefäß wie ein groß leinen Tuch, an vier Zipfeln gebunden”, the Geneva Bible, Bishops' Bible, Coverdale, Tyndale, Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Italian Diodati 1649 and the New Diodati 1991-"ad un gran lenzuolo, tenuto ai quattro capi e che veniva calato a terra.", the Spanish Reina Valera 1569, 1602, 1909, 1995 - "atado de los cuatro cabos ", the Portuguese de Almeida 1681 and the Bíblia Sagrada - "como se fosse um grande lençol atado pelas quatro pontas, e vindo para a terra", the French Louis Segond 1901, and Ostervald 1996 - "une grande nappe retenue par les quatre coins", the Romanian Cornilescu Bible
And the Modern Greek New Testament - "και καταβαινον επ' αυτον σκευος τι ως σινδονα μεγαλην, το οποιον ητο δεδεμενον απο των τεσσαρων"
It is the Critical Text versions that follow a different Greek reading which was adopted by the Westcott-Hort/UBS/Vatican committees. The only thing that is "intriguing" here is how James White could possibly miss this obvious truth any first year Greek student should be able to see.
The reading of "knit at the four corners" or "bound at the four corners" is found in the vast majority of all remaining Greek texts, the Syriac Peshitta, as well as P45 which dates to the third century and is older by at least 100 years than the reading found in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, which the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, Jehovah Witness and the modern Catholic bibles were translated from.
So the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV and the Catholic bibles aren't even following the oldest reading here, but a minority reading found in the notoriously corrupt, confused, and contradictory Sinaiticus-Vaticanus texts - as usual.
The Traditional Greek Texts says in Acts 10:11:
while the Alexandrian text underlying the NASB, NIV, RSV has:
The glaring differences between these two different texts here is that the words for "knit" ( δεδεμένον) and "upon him" ( ἐπ' αὐτὸν) are in most Greek manuscripts but are omitted by the few upon which the NASB, NIV, ESV, Jehovah Witness and Catholic bible versions are based. The information Mr. White gives us in his book it completely wrong.
James White recommends three different bible versions as being what he calls "reliable" - the NKJV, NASB, and the NIV. The one he doesn't recommend is the Authorized King James Holy Bible. These three versions that Mr. White recommends differ from each other in hundreds of verses either in meaning or text.
I have heard that James White has come out with his "revised" edition of The KJV Controversy and has now removed the NKJV from his list of "reliable versions". He may have removed this blundering attempt at "scholarly criticism" as well. I don't know, and unless someone freely gives me a copy of his "revised edition", I will assume that it is still there.
The NKJV is based on a very different Greek text (5000 words worth of differences) than that of the NIV, NASB. Yet, the NKJV which Mr. White recommends as being "reliable" contains THE SAME READING as that found in the KJB which he criticizes!
The NKJV says in Acts 10:11: "and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet BOUND AT the four corners, descending TO HIM and let down to the earth."
The NASB says: "and he beheld the sky opened up, and a certain object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground."
Notice that this Critical Text version entirely omits both "knit" (or bound) and "upon him".
Not only does the King James Bible say "descending UNTO HIM, as it had been a great sheet KNIT AT the four corners" but so also do the Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible (John Rogers) 1549, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, The Beza N.T. 1599, Whitston's Primitive New Testament 1745, Worsley N.T. 1770, The Thomson Translation 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster's 1833 translation, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Longman Version 1841, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Smith Bible 1876, The Clarke N.T. 1913, Green's MKJV 1998, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, The Koster Scriptures 1998 "BOUND at the four corners", and the Third Millennium Bible 1998.
The NKJV, as well as Young's 1898, and Darby 1890 say: "descending UNTO HIM...BOUND AT the four corners."
Other English Bibles that read like the King James Bible that Mr. White criticizes in Acts 10:11 are the Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), Lawrie Translation 1998, God's First Truth 1999, Tomson New Testament 2002 - "unto him...KNIT at the four corners", Complete Apostle's Bible 2003, The Evidence Bible 2003, A Conservative Version 2005, Green's Literal 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005, The Bond Slave Version 2009, The English Majority Text Version 2009, Jubilee Bible 2010 "unto him...KNIT at the four corners", Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, The Conservative Bible 2010, The Far Above All Translation 2011, and The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014.
James White has committed a sophomoric blunder in his vain attempt to overthrow the authority of God's pure words as found in the King James Bible. He has no Final Authority but his own mind and would like very much for you to join him and his merry "Bible of the Month Club Band".
A Person to Person Conversation with James White
At RealTruthAudio on the internet James White came on to discuss these matters with me. This interchange took place in March of 2003 and as of August 2011 it is still online for anyone to see. Here is his answer at this site.
I had posted: "Most people who read this in Mr. White's book would think something like: "Oh, that nasty KJV. What a lousy translation it is and how unscholarly. Why would anybody want to use that?"
Then James White says: "Really? They would think that? Well, that's amazing. Why they would think that is beyond me. It is again a simple statement of fact. If facts are bothersome to you, you might consider what that means. But please note: your ascription of devious purposes to me (replete with unfounded insults) is the creation of your own imagination. Some of us can tell the truth without adding conspiracies to it just to "spice things up."
My response to James: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/realtruthradio/message/69
>>>>Really? They would think that? Well, that's amazing. Why they would think that is beyond me. It is again a simple statement of fact. If facts are bothersome to you, you might consider what that means.<<<<<
James, this is exactly what I mean by hypocritical. That was exactly your intention. Why else would you quote the guy saying: "the KJV goes beyond the bounds a number of times. ... Those who have attempted to follow the usage of a particular Hebrew or Greek term through the AV know how difficult such a task can be, and the inconsistency of the KJV in translating terms only makes the job that much harder."
Since I pointed out that the NASB, NIV and the NKJV too all do the same thing and even much more so, why then this criticism of the KJB? What version did this guy use? If you yourself recommend the NASB, NIV, NKJV and they all are "guilty" of doing the same thing, is this not the dictionary picture of an hypocrite? These facts should be bothersome to YOU.
I again posted: The second word mentioned by Mr. White is "to turn back" and it is # 7725 Shub, and in this case Mr. White is correct in that the KJB does translate it some 60 different ways. However what James forgot to mention is that his favorite NASB has translated this same single Hebrew word at least 104 different ways! while the NIV again has over 200 different meanings!
Then I said: "This whole point in your book should never have been made. It is totally hypocritical and it seems your only desire was to make it sound as though the KJB is extremely inaccurate and sloppy when it comes to translational issues.
If you had said rather "The inconsistency of the NASB, NIV, NKJV in translating terms only makes the job that much harder" you would have been more accurate and would have left a very different impression on the minds of the "lay people" for whom you say you wrote the book.
This sir, is hypocritical, and to call it by any other name would not be accurate. You should have done your homework and compare the other versions you were recommending people use, like the NASB, NIV and NKJV, before you gave such a badly thoughtout slam on the KJB.
James White then responds>>>: "A "lie" is something intentionally presented. You do not know me, hence, you would have to prove, from my writings, that I am specifically attempting to spread untruths."
Will>>> Well, one example might well be your saying that the above example is not one of hypocricy.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/realtruthradio/message/106 From: "will j. kinney" Date: Sat Mar 22, 2003 9:18 am Subject: Searching for some Reality
James, why is it so hard for you to come right out and just give us a straight answer about where God's preserved, infallible words are today? By my count I have asked you three times about this, and you seem to think you have already given us an answer. You even assume I haven't read your book very closely or I wouldn't be asking this question. In reality, it is precisely because I have read your book at least 3 times that I do ask the question. You are a very slippery guy and hard to pin down on a lot of things.
Here is our past correspondence regarding this question, and I confess, I must have missed where you specifically answered the question about where we can all get a copy of God's preserved words.
James >>>> Of course, you play your hand when you speak of "God's preserved words in the King James Bible." That is your starting point, and anything that does not fit with that starting point is going to be attacked and rejected. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
Will >>> Yes, James, that is my starting point. I readily admit that. And your position is that there never was nor is now any inspired, infallible, perfect, preserved words of God we can hold in our hands and really believe every word (Please correct me if I am wrong).
James >>> You are wrong. Anyone who has read my book knows you are wrong. Why you refuse to see the words on a page I leave to you to figure out.
Will>>> I speak of God's preserved words because I really believe God kept His promises to do so. You do not have all the preserved words of God, do you? You did not answer the main question I twice asked you. Would you care to give it a shot, or will this "play your hand" too much?
James >>> Asked and answered, and any honest person who has read the work you seek to criticize well knows it.
Will >>> Do you believe there ever was or is now an inspired, infallible, pure Bible on this earth, or is the best we can hope for a series of different bible versions which contradict each other in both texts and meanings in literally hundreds of verses, all of which claim to be the latest and best in scholarship?
James>>> I'm sorry you have not seemed to read the book you are critiquing, sir. :-) If you had, you would not even ask the question, let alone ask it in such a flawed fashion. Did you actually read the book, or were you just looking for things you could take out of context, attach to the terms "liar and hypocrite," and fire off in e-mail? It is the standard MO of KJVO's that I've been seeing for eight years now.
God gave His precious Word to us at a time when the English language did not yet exist. Obviously, then, we are faced with the issue of translation. You may not like facing those issues, and as a result, choose to irrationally grab a particular translation and make it your standard, but that does not change the reality of the situation.
Will >>> Or will you tell us we have many "reliable translations", whatever that might mean?
James>>> Yes, we have many reliable translations, from the KJV through the ASV, NASB, NIV, NKJV to the ESV. In fact, we have too many, in my opinion. I do not support the "each publishing house gets its own translation" movement that has begun over the past decade. It's worthless.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/realtruthradio/message/72 Will>>> From what I know of you, you have no inspired, infallible, complete Holy Bible. I have heard you "correct" even the NASB for whom you presently work.
James>>> Those who have read my book well know the answer to this fallacious charge. Let me retranslate your assertion into something rational: "You have no inspired, infallible English translation of the Bible, and you are even consistent enough to criticize the NASB's renderings at points." Yes, exactly. I do not believe God inspires translations, whether we are referring to the Septuagint, or Vulgate (both of which had those who defended them as inspired), or the KJV. I believe God inspired the Scriptures as they were given to us by prophets and apostles. I do not believe God then began inspiring "versions" of those Scriptures. It is the Scriptures themselves that are theopneustos, not the translations made by men.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/realtruthradio/message/110 From: James White Date: Sat Mar 22, 2003 11:18 am Subject: Re: [realtruthradio] Searching for some Reality
I wrote>>>: This is a real question, James. I'm not trying to be funny or superficial or rhetorical. I would appreciate a straight, clear, up front answer from you so we can all see exactly where you derive your final authority from.
James>>>I wish I could believe you, sir. But you hold my book in your hand, and anyone who has, in fact, read it, knows the answer is as plain as day. I shall not play games when I have given clear and cogent replies in the book you hold in your hands.
I wrote>>>>Hi James, I would suggest in the name of being fair, you get to ask me about one verse or "error" in the KJB and then I, in turn, am allowed to ask you one. You posted a whole bunch of questions and I tried to answer some of them, but I think it is time that you address just one of the very many I also have for you, OK?
James>>>No thanks, Mr. Kinney. My position is well known. You claim to have read it.
James, I want to thank you for making your position clear on the Bible version issue. At least we can see what the "whaterist" position is. You have no final authority, no final standard but your own mind. You recommend we learn Hebrew and Greek. Of course you don't always accept the Hebrew texts, but, Hey, it couldn't hurt to learn it anyway. Even if we learned Greek, what good would that do us. According to your view, we still wouldn't know which readings were correct or how to translate them.
You recommend several versions, ASV, NASB, KJB, yada, yada, but these all differ radically from each other in both texts and meanings in hundreds of verses.
You still condemn the KJB for using 40 plus words to translate as "destroy". Have you ever searched out the other versions you recommend to see what they do?
I checked the NASB just tonight. It is a long, boring process, but I was pretty sure I would find this to be another hypocritical criticism, just like the one found in the KJV Controversy.
The NASB uses 44 different Hebrew words to come up with the words Destroy, or Destroyer, or Destroyed, just in the O.T.
I could list all the numbers if you wish, but that is very tedious. In the N.T. the NASB uses 12 different Greek words and translates them as "destroy". So, this totals out to 56 different words all translated as "destroy". I'm so glad to find out your "sound criticism" is just another unfounded case of hypocrisy - just like your book.
Isaiah 19:10 "all that make sluices and ponds for fish."
Bible Critic James White posted this example at one of the Bible clubs I belong to. He attempts to prove some kind of an error in the King James Bible by trying to tell us that a particular word came from the Latin Vulgate rather than from the Hebrew texts. This is blatant hypocrisy on the part of Mr. White in that he himself used to work for the NASB committee and his own NASB OFTEN REJECTS the clear Hebrew readings. This can easily be proven by dozens of clear examples. Here they are if you care to see them.
The NASB, NIV reject the Hebrew readings Part 1
The NASB, NIV reject the Hebrew readings Part 2
In spite of all these undeniable examples of the deficiencies of the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman Standard and others, James White continues his crusade to prove that there is no such thing as a complete, inspired and inerrant Bible in any language on this earth today, and so he writes:
Isaiah 19:10 "And THEY shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all THAT MAKE SLUICES AND PONDS FOR FISH." (KJV)
Isaiah 19:10 "And ITS FOUNDATIONS will be broken. All WHO MAKE WAGES WILL BE TROUBLED of soul. (NKJ)
Isaiah 19:10 "And THE PILLARS OF EGYPT will be crushed; All THE HIRED LABORERS WILL BE GRIEVED IN SOUL." (NASB)
Isaiah 19:10 THE WORKERS IN CLOTH will be dejected, and all the wage earners will be sick at heart. (NIV)
Mr. White then comments: "Quite a range of translations, but the most obvious difference is that the KJV has "fish," following Jerome and the Latin Vulgate, rather than the Hebrew text. Is it your contention, sir, that "fish" is the inspired reading, and that it was maintained in the Latin Vulgate, while the Hebrew text was corrupted?" [James White]
My answer to Mr. James "No Bible is inerrant" White:
Let's compare several versions and see if we can determine whether the King James Bible reading comes from the Latin Vulgate as Mr. White asserts in no uncertain terms, or if it comes from a legitimate interpretation of the Hebrew text.
KJB - "And THEY SHALL BE BROKEN IN THE PURPOSES THEREOF, ALL THAT MAKE SLUICES AND PONDS FOR FISH."
This is also the reading of the Wycliffe Bible 1395, the Great Bible 1540, the Bishop's Bible 1568, Douay-Rheims 1610, The Bill Bible 1671, Webster's 1833 translation, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, the 1950 Douay Version translation, The Word of Yah 1993, the 1994 KJV 21st Century, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the 1998 Third Millennium Bible, the Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - "all that make sluices and ponds FOR FISH."
Jewish Virtual Library The Tanakh [Full Text] 1998
“all THAT MAKE SLUICES AND PONDS FOR FISH.”
The Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010 - "And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that MAKE SLUICES AND PONDS FOR FISH."
The Complete Jewish Bible with commentary by Rashi
|"And its foundations shall be crushed, all who make dams for still ponds."|
Commentary by Rashi - "And its foundations shall be crushed, all who make dams: Eklusa in O.F., A SLUICE. Comp. (Gen. 8:2) “And the fountains of the deep were stopped up (וַיִּסָּכְרוּ) ,” for they would stop up the water that went out of the banks of the river and spread out, forming a pond of still water, standing in its place, WHERE FISH WOULD SPAWN. The prophet says that the foundations of their diggings shall be crushed, and the dammed up pools that they made."
The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 has: "all they shall mourn that made pools to take FISHES."
And the English Jubilee Bible 2010 says; "all that make ponds to raise FISH shall be discontented."
Not only do these English translations render the Hebrew phrase found here as "fishes" but so also do the Spanish Reina Valera of 1865 by Angel de Mora - " The Reina Valera versions of 1909, 1960 and 1995. La Santa Biblia (Versión de Cipriano de Valera 1602 Revisada y Corregida) of 1865 also reads "todos los que hacen estanques para criar PECES".
Both the 1569 version and the 1999 Spanish Sagradas Escrituras (Holy Scriptures) also reads as does the King James Bible. They say: "porque todas sus redes serán rotas; y se entristecerán todos los que hacen viveros para PECES." - FISH. If you don't know Spanish, you might recognize the similarity to Pices, or the sign of the fish.
Likewise the 2004 Reina Valera Gomez translation reads like the King James Bible with: "porque todas sus redes serán rotas: y se entristecerán todos los que hacen viveros para peces."
The Modern Greek Bible is similar to the King James Bible in that it says: "all who make gain from FISH ponds." (ixthuotropheioon) - παντες οι κερδαινοντες απο ιχθυοτροφειων.
Now, let's take a look at the wide variety of "reliable translations" found in the multitude of conflicting, more modern versions that men like James White recommend we use instead of that old fashioned King James.
NKJV - " And ITS FOUNDATIONS will be broken. ALL WHO MAKE WAGES WILL BE TROUBLED OF SOUL.
NASB - "And THE PILLARS OF EGYPT will be crushed. All the HIRED LABORERS will be grieved in soul.
NIV - "The WORKERS OF CLOTH WILL BE DEJECTED, and all WAGE EARNERS WILL BE SICK AT HEART.
The Judaica Press Tanach - "And its foundations shall be crushed, ALL WHO MAKE DAMS FOR STILL PONDS."
The 2001 ESV - "THOSE WHO ARE THE PILLARS of the land will be crushed, and ALL WHO WORK FOR PAY WILL BE GRIEVED."
NRSV 1989 - "Its WEAVERS will be dismayed, and all who work for wages will be grieved.
The 2001 Easy to Read Version - "The PEOPLE THAT MAKE DAMS TO SAVE WATER will have no work, so they will be sad."
Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac - "And all those WHO MAKE STRONG DRINK FOR THE DRINKING OF THE PEOPLE shall be humiliated."
Geneva Bible 1599 - "For their nets shall be broken, and all THEY THAT MAKE PONDS shall be heavy in heart."
The Lesser Old Testament 1853 - "And its foundations shall be beaten down, ALL THAT BUILD SLUICES shall be grieved in soul."
Noyes Translation 1869 - "And the ones working them will be in grief; and all THE ONES MAKING BEER shall be fretful; and the souls shall cause pain."
Bible in Basic English 1961 actually omits words reading: "And the MAKERS OF TWISTED THREAD will be crushed, and those who ... will be sad in heart."
The 1970 New English Bible - "Egypt's SPINNERS shall be downcast, and ALL HER ARTISANS sick at heart."
See how true the saying by men like James White is who tell us by reading and comparing a variety of translations we can clear things up?
Now let's see what some other Bible commentators, who are not KJB onlies, have to say.
Adam Clarke - All that make sluices and ponds for fish-"All that make a gain of pools for fish." This obscure line is rendered by different interpreters in very different manners. I translate gain, and which some take for nets or inclosures, the Septuagint is "And all THEY THAT MAKE BARLEY WINE shall mourn, and be grieved in soul."
Jamieson, Faussett & Brown - all that make sluices, —"makers of dams," made to confine the waters which overflow from the Nile in artificial FISH-ponds [HORSLEY]. "Makers of gain," that is, the common people who have to earn their livelihood, as opposed to the "nobles" previously [MAURER].
John Gill - "All that make sluices and ponds for fish; or, "all that make an enclosure of ponds of soul" ; or for delight and pleasure; that is, not only such shall be broken in their purposes, ashamed and confounded, and be dispirited, mourn and lament, whose business and employment it is to catch FISH (caps are mine), or make nets for that end, and get their livelihood thereby; but even such who enclose a confluence of water, and make FISH ponds in their fields and gardens for their pleasure, will be disappointed; for their waters there will be dried up, and the FISH die, as well as in the common rivers."
John Wesley tersely comments on this verse saying: "They shall lose their hopes; for the FISHES in them shall die for want of water."
John Calvin comments on Isaiah 19:10 saying: "Where FISHES are very abundant, they are also preserved in pools and ponds; because the fishers would otherwise be constrained to sell them at a very low price. Besides, when they throw a net, they are not always successful. He therefore follows out the same subject, “It will not be possible either to take or to preserve FISHES. Pools will be of no use.”
On the other hand, Bible critic James White says: "Quite a range of translations, but the most obvious difference is that the KJV has "fish," following Jerome and the Latin Vulgate, rather than the Hebrew text."
Mr. White is mistaken in his understanding. The word renderd "fish" in the KJB (nephesh) has a great variety of meanings even in the NASB, NIV and other modern versions.
For example, some of the meanings given in the NASB for this same Hebrew word include "a living being, a life, appetite, body, breath, corpse, CREATURE, desire, heart, feelings, hunger, men, mind, number, passion, people, soul, person, slave, strength, thirst, throat, will and wish".
Likewise the NIV renders this same word as "life, soul, heart, people, appetite, CREATURES, spirit, body, corpse, needs, desires, hunger, members, being, feel, greed, perfume, slave, throats, wishes and zeal." The Hebrew word can have a great variety of meanings depending on the context.
The context is clearly talking about FISH - Verse 19:8 reads: "The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish."
Then we have verse 10 "And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for FISH." Once the context is determined to refer to "sluices and ponds", we then can reasonably conclude that the creatures which live in the ponds are FISH.
As has been shown, other Bible commentators have expressed the reading of the King James Bible as being derived from the Hebrew text itself, and not from the Latin.
The Latin Vulgate has nothing to do with how the King James Bible translates the text, but rather they translated the Latin Bibles directly from the Hebrew text in this place. It is a matter of different interpretations and understanding; not a difference of the Hebrew versus the Latin texts.
If the Latin bibles say "Christ died for the ungodly" are we to claim they got it wrong? I trow not. By the way, both the Latin of 425 A.D. and Jerome's earlier Latin translation of 385 A.D. both refer to the FISH in the ponds. They got it right way back then even when today's scholars can't agree even among themselves what the verse might mean.
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