"By and By" versus "the by-and-by" and "A CHARGER". Answering a Bible critic.
"Great men are not always wise" Job 32:9
There is a site titled Defects in the King James Version http://www.bible-researcher.com/kjvdefects.html
This noted scholar, Professor Isaac H. Hall Ph.D. lists a bunch of bogus "errors" according to his lofty opinion, and among them lists the usage of the expression "by and by" and the English word "CHARGER". The examples he gives are found in Mark 6:25 and he writes:
'Ask what thou wilt and I will give it thee, even to the half of my kingdom.' (St. Mark vi., 22.) The damsel, after consulting with her mother, returns to the banqueting room, points, no doubt, to the dishes on the banqueting table, and says, 'Give me forthwith, on a dish, the head of John the Baptist.' In the English Bible the speech runs, 'Give me by and by, in a charger.' 'By and by' means, in our century, a time somewhat distant from the present; the phrase has ceased to mean 'forthwith.' ' A charger, in modern English, signifies a war horse; the word has ceased to signify a dish or platter from which plates are charged or supplied."
The Scriptures at issue are:
Luke 21:9 "But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not BY AND BY."
(Parallel passages Matthew 24:6 and Mark 13:7 have "not yet" and "not be yet" with a different Greek adverb "oupo")
Matthew 13:21 "Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, BY AND BY he is offended."
Mark 6:25 "And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me BY AND BY in a CHARGER the head of John the Baptist."
Luke 17:7 "But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him BY AND BY, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
At one of the Bible clubs, another KJB critic posted this accusation. Please note all the mockery and scoffing.
"KJB IDIOTIC ERROR, I guess it's time to demonstrate how idiotic the KJV inerrancy idea is. Not much can be worse than reporting the OPPOSITE of what the text says, but in Matt 13:21 and Luke 21:9, the TR reads "immediately" and the KJV says "by and by". http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=byandby defines "by-and-by" as "an indefinite time in the future", which is certainly not "immediately".
There's just no way to label this as anything but an error. But don't expect too many KJV-Only folks to admit that there's an error in the KJV just because...the plain black and white of the text makes it undeniable. No...if their ideas where based on reality, they wouldn't believe the KJV is error free. You have to throw facts, logic and reason out the window to buy into the KJV Only philosophy and accept as a principle of faith, that no matter how much someone shows you an error, you still must look at it and claim it's not an error for no reason other than the fact that the King James cannot be wrong. KJV Onlyism isn't an act of faith, but an act of ridiculousness.
No one can be taken seriously as a scholar who believes such an easy to disprove idea. After all the evidence we've presented, can't you just simply admit that there are errors in the KJV? It's so obvious to everyone else on this forum. No thinking person could read all the stuff I've posted and still conclude that it's impossible to come up with a better translation of the scriptures than the KJV." (End of this ignorant Bible correctors post)
Why do this KJB critic and the good professor Hall Ph. D. allege the use of "by and by" is an error and a defect in the King James Bible? Simply because they never properly checked the ENGLISH ! Neither one of these men believes that ANY Bible in ANY language IS or ever was the complete, inspired and 100% historically true words of God.
They have no infallible Bible in any language and they know it. Just ask them to tell you where you can get a copy of God's 100% true words so you can compare it to whatever translation you are using now so you can see the similarities and differences. They WILL NEVER TELL YOU! Why? Because they themselves are Bible Agnostics who do not know where to find God's infallible words and they couldn't give you a copy of them if their lives depended on it.
The Greek is fine, the King James Bible is fine, the English is fine, the dictionaries are fine, the commentaries are fine. The only error is found in these Bible critics' lack of understanding of the English language and their rush to falsely accuse the KJB of error.
These poor guys haven't done their homework at all. First notice the difference between "BY AND BY", which according to Webster's 1967 Collegiate Dictionary 7th edition, and the Random House Webster Dictionary 1999 (not too outdated I hope) is an ADVERB and is not even listed as "archaic", the meaning of which is "before long, soon, presently".
In distinction to this is "by-and-by" (please notice the hyphens) is a noun, not an adverb, and means "in the future".
www.dictionary.com American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition by and by adv. After a while; soon. by-and-by (bn-b) n. Some future time or occasion. Preposition: Presently; pretty soon; before long.
Miriam-Webster - http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary by and by adverb : before long : Soon, by-and-by noun : a future time or occasion
So, there is a difference between the adverb "by and by" (soon, presently) and "the by-and-by" the noun (the future), as in "we shall meet in THE by-and-by", which is used with a definite article showing it to be a noun. Thus two distinguishing features are employed to show that one is a noun: a. the hyphens, and b. the definite article "the". In contrast, the adverb is used without the definite article "the" and has no hyphens. By and by
Easton's Bible Dictionary defines the expression "by and by" as: Immediately (Matt. 13:21; R.V., “straightway;” Luke 21:9).
In the King James Version, the expression "BY AND BY" is found only four times - Matthew 13:21; Mark 6:25; Luke 17:7, and Luke 21:9, and in every case it means immediately, soon, or shortly.
Not only does the King James Bible use this expression "by and by" but so also do Tyndale's New Testament in Matthew 13:21, Mark 6:25, and Luke 21:9; Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540 - "I wyll, that thou geue me by and by in a charger, the heed, of Iohn Baptyst.", Matthew's Bible 1549 - "I wil that thou geue me by and by in a charger the head of Ihon Baptist.", the Bishops's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 some 13 times - Matthew 13:21, Luke 17:7; Luke 21:9; John 6:21 etc., and even the very modern versions of the King James Version 21st Century 1994, and the Third Millennium Bible 1998 in Matthew 13:21, and Luke 17:7 and the Jubilee Bible 2010 - in all four verses!
Other English Bibles that continue to have the expression "BY AND BY" - "give me BY AND BY IN A CHARGER the head of John the Baptist" - in Mark 6:25 etc. are The Word of Yah 1993, God's First Truth 1999, The Tomson New Testament 2002 - "BY AND BY he is offended" (Matthew 13:21; Luke 17:7; Luke 21:9 - "but the end followers not BY AND BY), The Evidence Bible 2003, Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “I will that you give me BY AND BY IN A CHARGER the head of Yochanan the Immerser.”
The Tomson New Testament 2002. - "would say unto him BY AND BY when he were come from the field..."
Now a few words about the seminary professor's comments about the word "charger". Mark 6:25 "And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a CHARGER the head of John the Baptist."
Remember, our learned Doctor said: "A charger, in modern English, signifies a war horse; the word has ceased to signify a dish or platter from which plates are charged or supplied."
Again, Professor Hall really should get himself a good dictionary of the English language.
The Random House Webster's Dictionary 1999 edition I have right here on my desk does not even list this word as being "archaic", but defines it as: "noun. a large, flat dish or platter."
Oxford Dictionary - Charger - A large, flat dish; a platter.
Collins English Dictionary - Charger - a large dish for serving at table or for display
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition 2000. Syllabication: charg·er Pronunciation: chärjr NOUN: A large shallow dish; a platter.
Definitions from The Online Plain Text English Dictionary:
(n.) A horse for battle or parade.
(n.) A large dish.
(n.) An instrument for measuring or inserting a charge.
(n.) One who, or that which charges.
Not only does the King James Bible use the word "charger" here but so also do Tyndale 1525, - "I will that thou geve me by and by IN A CHARGER ye heed of Iohn Baptist.", Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Mace N.T. 1729, John Wesley N.T. 1755, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster's 1833 translation, the Revised Version of 1881 (17 times) - "give me in CHARGER the head of John the Baptist", Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902 (17 times)- "And, coming in straightway, with hast, unto the king, she asked, saying - I desire, that, forthwith, thou give me, upon a CHARGER the head of John the Immerser.", the Godbey N.T. 1902 - "head of John the Baptist in A CHARGER.", the Montgomery New Testament 1924 - "I want you," she said, "to give me, without delay, the head of John the Baptist on a CHARGER." the 21st Century King James Version 1994 (19 times) the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Tomson New Testament 2002 "in a CHARGER the head of John the Baptist", The Evidence Bible 2003, Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010.
Darby also use this word in Ezra 1:9 "a thousand CHARGERS of silver", and it is frequently found in Numbers 7:13, 19, 25, 31, 37 "his offering was one silver CHARGER" etc.
The English Jubilee Bible 2010 (I hope this is not too "archaic" for our bible professor) uses the word "charger" to mean a large shallow dish or platter some 16 times - "And his offering was one silver CHARGER, the weight thereof was one hundred and thirty shekels." Numbers 7:12, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73, 79, 84, 85, and in Ezra 1:9 - "And this is the number of them: thirty CHARGERS of gold, a thousand CHARGERS of silver, twenty-nine knives."
The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 has the word CHARGER 11 times in the book of Numbers 7:13 to verse 79 - “And his offering was one silver CHARGER, the weight of which was one hundred and thirty shekels”
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