Bible Babel in the book of Ecclesiastes
Let's look at just a few of the more salient inconsistencies and totally different meanings found in the different Bible versions. There are many more, but these are listed just to give you some idea of the present day Bible Babel.
Ecclesiastes. 2:8 "I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, and that of all sorts."
"Musical instruments" is the reading of the NKJV 1982, the ASV of 1901 (remember, the NASB introduction says this was the "Rock of Biblical Honesty"), The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, Webster's 1833 translation, the Hebrew Names Version 2014- "musical instruments, and that of all sorts.", the KJV 21st Century 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Orthodox Jewish Bible of 2011 - "musical instruments of all kinds."
Other English Bibles that read "MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS" are The Word of Yah 1993, the Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, the Bond Slave Version 2009, the New Heart English Bible 2010, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, the English Jubilee Bible 2010, Natural Israelite Bible 2012, the World English Bible 2012 - "MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS".
Online Hebrew Interlinear - "musical instruments"
The Jewish Virtual Library Tanach 1994 [full text] - "musical instruments"
Foreign Language Bibles
Among Foreign language Bibles that also have "musical instruments" are Luther’s German Bible 1545 - “die Wonne der Menschen, allerlei Saitenspiel” = “the joy of all the people, ALL KINDS OF MUSIC.”, the Italian Diodati 1649 and the Nuova Diodati 1991 - "E STRUMENTI MUSICALI di ogni genere. (of every kind) ", the Spanish Reina Valera of 1569, 1909, 1960 and 1995 INSTRUMENTOS MUSICALES, and the 2010 Reina Valera Gómez bible - "y de toda clase de instrumentos de música.", the French Martin 1744 - "une harmonie d'INSTRUMENTS DE MUSIQUE, même plusieurs harmonies de toutes sortes d'instruments", the Russian Synodal Bible of 1876 - "разные музыкальные орудия." = all kinds of musical instruments", the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida 2009 and the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués - "e das delícias dos filhos dos homens, E DE INSTRUMENTOS DE MUSICA de toda sorte.", the Albanian bible - "dhe vegla MUZIKORE të çdo lloji.", the Czech Kralicka Bible - "a nástroje MUZICKE rozličné.", the Lithuanian bible - "MUZIKOS INSTRUMENTU.", the Tagalog Ang Dating Biblia 1905 - “mga sarisaring INSTRUMENTO NG MUSIKO iya'y totoong marami.”, and the Romanian Fidela Bible of 2009 - "INSTRUMENTE MUZICALE".
The Bible Babble Buffet in Action
The NASB, RSV, ESV and Holman Standard say: "I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men-MANY CONCUBINES."
The NIV says: "I acquired men and women singers, AND A HAREM AS WELL, - the delights of the heart of man." Then the NIV footnotes that the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
I'm pretty sure there is a difference between musical instruments and an harem. Let's see what some other translations have come up with. Remember, all these translators are "experts in the original languages".
The Catholic Connection
The Catholic Douay-Rheims 1610 and the Douay Version 1950 - "...and the delights of the sons of men, CUPS AND VESSELS TO SERVE TO POUR OUT WINE."
Then the Catholic St. Joseph of 1970 changed this to "AND ALL HUMAN LUXURIES."
Then the 1985 New Jerusalem embellished this a bit more and says: "AND EVERY HUMAN LUXURY, CHEST UPON CHEST OF IT."
But now the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has come out and it has gone back to the previous Douay version reading: "and the delights of the sons of men, BOWLS AND PITCHERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF POURING WINE."
Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - “the delights of the sons of men, and I appointed for myself BUTLERS AND WAITRESSES.”
The Jehovah Witness NWT has: "exquisite delights of the sons of mankind, A LADY, EVEN LADIES."
The Common English Bible OF 2011 (one of the latest critical text edition) has: "along with EVERY HUMAN LUXURY, TREASURE CHESTS GALORE!"
The Knox Bible of 2012 says: "men-singers I had and women-singers, and all that man delights in; BEAKERS A MANY, AND JARS OF WINE TO FILL THEM."
The Judaica Press Tanach - "I acquired for myself various types of MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, the delight of the sons of men, WAGONS AND COACHES."
The Concordant Literal Version - “the delicacies of the sons of humanity, A WINE WAITER AND WINE WAITRESS.”
The Online Interlinear 2012 (André de Mol) - "delicacies of the sons of men, FIELD AND FIELDS."
New English Version 1970 - "I acquired singers, men and women, and ALL THAT MAN DELIGHTS IN."
The so called Greek Septuagint (LXX) actually says: "I procured me singing men and singing women, and delights of the sons of men, A BUTLER AND FEMALE CUPBEARERS."
Coverdale 1535 - "...I GAT ME DRINKING CUPS AND ALSO GLASSES."
Bishops' Bible 1568, Geneva Bible 1587 - "I have provided me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as A WOMAN TAKEN CAPTIVE, AND WOMEN TAKEN CAPTIVES."
Young's - "and the luxuries of the sons of man -- A WIFE AND WIVES."
Easy To Read Version 2001 - " I had men and women singing for me. I HAD EVERYTHING ANYONE COULD WANT."
Green's "literal" says: "and the delights of the sons of men, A CONCUBINE, AND CONCUBINES." (Makes a lot of sense, huh? ;-)
Peterson's The Message: " and--most exquisite of all pleasures--VOLUPTUOUS MAIDENS FOR MY BED."
Let's see..."musical instruments", "a harem", "everything anyone could want", "a woman taken captive", "a wife and wives", "drinking cups and glasses", "a butler and female cupbearers", "beakers and jars of wine to fill them", "every human luxury", "wagons and coaches", "field and fields" and "concubines".
Yep, it must be true. The bible scholars have made great advances in their knowledge of biblical languages. All we need to do is "go to the Hebrew" to find out what God REALLY said...Don't ya think?
Bible scholars are all over the board on just about any subject and any individual word. What one affirms, another absolutely denies, so my trust is NOT in any scholar but in the sovereign God of the universes who promised to give us "the book of the LORD" and to preserver His words.
John Gill - "and the delights of the sons of men; as musical instruments, and that of all sorts; such as David his father invented; and to which he might add more, and indeed got all that were to be obtained; see Amos 6:5. The two last words, rendered "musical instruments, of all sorts," are differently interpreted; the Targum interprets them of hot waters and baths, having pipes to let out hot water and cold; Aben Ezra, of women taken captive; Jarchi, of chariots and covered wagons; the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, of cup bearers, men, and women, that pour out wine and serve it; and the Vulgate Latin version, of cups and pots, to pour out wine. IT SEEMS BEST TO UNDERSTAND IT OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, or of musical compositions ; sung either with a single voice, or in concert; which, according to Bochart , were called "sidoth," from Sido, a Phoenician woman of great note, the inventor of them or rather from giving unequal sounds, which, by their grateful mixture and temperament, broke and destroyed one another."
2:25 "For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, MORE THAN I?"
Here the Bishops' and Geneva Bibles, the Revised Version, the ASV of 1901, NKJV, Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Complete Jewish Bible of 1998, Darby, Young's, Hebrew Names Version, Third Millenium Bible, and the Spanish Reina Valera all agree with the KJB reading of "more than I?".
However the NASB, Holman Standard, ESV, and the NIV say: "For who can eat and who can have enjoyment WITHOUT HIM?" The RSV and NRSV say the same as the NIV, Holman Standard, and the NASB, but both have a footnote that says: "without Him" comes from the Greek LXX and the Syriac, but the Hebrew says "apart from me" or "more than I".
Even the footnotes in the modern versions are confused and contradictory. The ESV tells us that "A Few Hebrew manuscripts, the Greek and the Syriac read "without HIM", but that most Hebrew manuscripts contain the reading found in the King James Bible. But the Holman Standard has badly blundered in its footnote. It tells us the exact opposite, saying: "Other Hebrew mss., LXX and Syriac read ME". This is totally wrong. It is the LXX and Syriac that read "without HIM", not ME or "more than I", as is found in the King James Bible and all three Jewish translations I have access to. The NASB, Holman Standard, ESV,and NIV have abandoned the traditional Hebrew text and have followed the Greek and Syriac readings instead.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 - "the world" or "eternity", or "the past" or "ignorance" or "obscurity" or "knowledge" or "intelligence"?
Bible agnostic mantra - "We just need to go to the Hebrew to find out what God really said." Right?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJB - "He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set THE WORLD in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."
"He hath set THE WORLD in their heart" is the reading of the King James Bible, Wycliffe 1395, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version 1881, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Sharpe Bible 1883, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the Jewish Publication Society bible of 1917, The 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company Bible, The Complete Apostle’s Bible 2003, the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, the Italian Diodati 1649, Webster Bible 1833, Darby 1890, Douay 1950, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Work of God’s Children Bible 2011 and The Biblos Bible 2013 - “he has set THE WORLD in their heart”.
Online Hebrew Interlinear - “also the WORLD he hath set in their heart”
The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 -
“he hath set THE WORLD in their heart”
Jewish Publication Society Old Testament 1917 -
“also He hath set THE WORLD in their heart”
The Jewish Virtual Library Tanach 1994 -
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set THE WORLD in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end”
The Complete Tanach with commentary by Rashi 2004 -
“He has made everything beautiful in its time; also the [wisdom of] THE WORLD He put into their hearts, save that man should not find the deed which God did, from beginning to end.”
Rashi’s commentary - “also THE WORLD He put in their hearts, etc.: Also the wisdom of the world that He put into the hearts of the creatures - He did not put it all into the heart of everyone, but He gave a little to this one and a little to that one, in order that man should not comprehend the entire deed of the Holy One, blessed be He, to know it”
The Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010 -
“also he has set THE WORLD in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that Elohim (אלהים) makes from the beginning to the end.”
The English Translation of the Greek Septuagint
“All the things which he has made are beautiful in his time: he has also set THE WHOLE WORLD in their heart, that man might not find out the work which God has wrought from the beginning even to the end.”
Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta 1936 -
“also he has made THE WORLD dear to mans heart, so that no man can find out the works which the LORD has done from the beginning to the end.”
The Longman Version 1841 - “also he hath put it into their hearts TO OBSERVE THE WORLD”
The Boothroyd Bible 1853 - “and hath put it in their heart TO SURVEY THE WORLD”
Lamsa's Translation of the Syriac Peshitta 1933 - "also he has made THE WORLD dear to man's heart"
Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Spanish Jubilee bible 2010 = the world - “y aun EL MUNDO les entregó a su voluntad”
French Martin Bible 1744 - the world - “aussi a-t-il mis LE MONDE en leur cœur”
Portuguese Almeida Corrigida 2009 - the world - "também pós O MUNDO no coraçäo do homem"
Odd Versions -
The NKJV joins the RSV, NASB, NIV and Holman Standard in saying: "He has put ETERNITY in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."
The Jehovah Witness New World Translation - "Even TIME INDEFINITE he has put in their heart"
The Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 - "and has put THE TIMELESS into their hearts"
The Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 - "he has given us AN AWARENESS OF THE PASSAGE OF TIME"
Lexham Bible 2012 - He also has put THE PAST in their hearts
Coverdale 1535, Matthew’s Bible 1540, Great Bible 1549, Bishops’ Bible 1568 - “He hath planted IGNORANCE also in the hertes of men, that they shuld not comprehende the ground of hys worckes, which he doth from the begynning to the ende.”
God’s First Truth Translation 1999 - “He has planted IGNORANCE in the hearts of men, that they should not find out the ground of his works, which he does from beginning to the end.”
Dan Wallace and company’s NET version 2005 - “God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed IGNORANCE in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.”
The Message 2002 - “True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time - but HE’S LEFT US IN THE DARK, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he's coming or going.”
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902 - "also, INTELLIGENCE hath he put in their heart"
Young’s 1898 - also, THAT KNOWLEDGE He hath put in their heart without which man findeth not out the work that God hath done from the beginning even unto the end.
Bond Slave Version 2012 - “also he has set THE AGE in their heart”
Modern English Version 2014 - “He has also put OBSCURITY in their hearts so that no one comes to know the work that God has done from the beginning to the end.”
As usual the commentators differ among themselves, but John Gill remarks: "The meaning is, that God hath set before the minds of men, the whole world of creatures, the whole book of nature, in which they may see and read much of the wisdom power, and goodness of God in his works; and to some he gives an inclination and desire hereunto; but yet the subject before them is so copious, there is such a world of matter presented to them, and their capacity so small, and life so short, that they cannot all their days find out the works of God, either of creation or providence, to perfection; or find out what God works, from the beginning of the world to the end of it; for, of what he has wrought, but a small portion is known by them, and they know less still what shall be done hereafter."
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: "set the world in their heart--given them capacities to understand the world of nature as reflecting God's wisdom in its beautiful order and times (Ro 1:19, 20). "Everything" answers to "world," in the parallelism."
The Hebrew word translated as "world" has many different meanings which change according to the context of the passage. The King James Bible translated this word as "world" four times; here, and in Psalm 73:12, Isaiah 45:17 and 64:4.
The NKJV joins the RSV, NASB, NIV and Holman Standard in saying: "He has put ETERNITY in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." Yet the NKJV translates this same Hebrew word as "world" in Isaiah 64:4 "For since the beginning of THE WORLD men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him."
The American Standard Version also translates this word as "world" in Isaiah 45:17 "Ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded WORLD without end."
Other translations give a totally different rendering of this word which dramatically changes the sense of the verse.
The NRSV of 1989 says: "He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put A SENSE OF PAST AND FUTURE into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."
So, is it "the world, eternity, knowledge, ignorance, or a sense of past and future"? Hey, what's the big deal? They all mean the same thing, don't they?
4:16 "There is no end of all the people, EVEN OF ALL THAT HAVE BEEN BEFORE THEM: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit."
Here the NIV, RV, ASV, Holman Standard, Geneva Bible and the NASB all say the same thing as the King James Bible with it's "even of all that have been before them" but the NKJV says: "There was no end of all the people OVER WHOM HE WAS MADE KING: Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him." I have no idea how the NKJV came up with this new twist, but it is similar to the RSV, NRSV, and ESV which say "There was no end of all the people, ALL OF WHOM HE LED." The NKJV reading is not at all what the Hebrew text says.
5:8 "If thou seest the oppresion of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter. for HE THAT IS HIGHER THAN THE HIGHEST REGARDETH; AND THERE BE HIGHER THAN THEY." The "He that is higher than the highest" unjust judges of the earth is God Himself. This again is the reading of the RV, ASV, Geneva, Darby, the 1936 Hebrew-English and the Spanish Reina Valera.
John Gill comments: "for he that is higher than the highest regardeth: that is, God, who is the most high in all the earth; higher, than the kings of the earth, and all high and haughty oppressors."
Matthew Henry also remarks: "God is higher than the highest of creatures, than the highest of princes,... God is the Most High over all the earth, and his glory is above the heavens; before him princes are worms... God has his eye upon them, takes notice of, and will reckon for, all their violent perverting of judgment; he regards, not only sees it but observes it, and keeps it on record, to be called over again; his eyes are upon their ways. See Job 23:33."
But the NKJV, NIV and NASB all unite to change the reference from God as being He who is higher than them all, and to Whom they will all eventually give an account. The NKJV reads: "do not marvel at the matter; FOR HIGH OFFICIAL WATCHES OVER HIGH OFFICIAL, AND HIGHER OFFICIALS ARE OVER THEM." This doesn't even make sense. If all the officials are corrupt, then what good does it do us to know that there are higher officials over some others who are equally corrupt? The Book ends with "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments...For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." The KJB fits the context; the others do not.
5:20 "For he shall not much remember the days of his life: because God ANSWERETH him in the joy of his heart." The word here is cleary "answer" # 6030 and is found in the RV, ASV, Geneva, 1936, 1917, Darby, Young and Spanish. It is the word in 10:19 "money answereth all things." But the NKJV says: "the days of his life, because God KEEPS HIM BUSY with the joy of his heart." And the NIV, NASB have "God KEEPS HIM OCCUPIED." The joy that God gives can be an inner contentment and peace with my lot in life, but it is not the same thing as being kept busy with joy.
Ecclesiastes 8:8 KJB - "There is no man that hath power over THE SPIRIT TO RETAIN THE SPIRIT; neither hath he power in the day of death, and THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR..."
NASB - "No man has authority TO RESTRAIN THE WIND WITH THE WIND, or authority over the day of death, and THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THE TIME OF WAR..."
Here the reading of "NO MAN HAS POWER OVER THE SPIRIT TO RETAIN THE SPIRIT" (Meaning that we cannot keep ourselves from eventually dying) is the reading found in Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Lesser Bible 1853, Noyes Translation 1869, the Revised Version 1885, Darby 1890, Young's 1898, ASV 1901, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, Douay 1950, the NKJV 1982, even the RSV and the 2011 ESV.
Other English Bibles that read the same way are The Word of Yah 1993, Context Group Version 2007, Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, Jubilee Bible 2010, Conservative Bible 2011, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust)
The Amplified Bible 1987 has the same meaning as the KJB with: - “There is NO MAN WHO HAS POWER OVER THE SPIRIT TO RETAIN THE BREATH OF LIFE, neither has he power over the day of death; AND THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN BATTLE AGAINST DEATH”
The Jubilee Bible 2010 also does, with: "There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither does he have power over the day of death, and WEAPONS ARE OF NO USE IN THAT WAR”
The Names of God Bible 2011 also got it right - “No one has the power to PREVENT THE SPIRIT OF LIFE FROM LEAVING. No one has control over the day of his own death. THERE IS NO WAY TO AVOID THE WAR AGAINST DEATH”
Even the Living Bible 1971 got the meaning right, with: "NO ONE CAN HOLD BACK HIS SPIRIT FROM DEPARTING, no one has the power to prevent his day of death, FOR THERE IS NO DISCHARGE FROM THAT OBLIGATION AND THAT DARK BATTLE"
BUT the NASB says: "No man has authority to RESTRAIN THE WIND WITH THE WIND, or authority over the day of death, and there is no discharge IN THE TIME OF WAR."
This is a totally senseless rendering. "Nobody can restrain the wind with the wind." What a revelation! I didn't know that. There also is no Hebrew word for the NASB's "in the time of" war.
The NIV is like the NASB - “As no one has POWER OVER THE WIND TO CONTAIN IT, so no one has power over the time of their death. As NO ONE IS DISCHARGED IN TIME OF WAR, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.”
The verse is talking about death, and all have to die and perish before this enemy. It is not talking about the time of human conflict and war and your not being able to get out of the army. The NIV is equally as wrong as the NASB with the same reading.
Matthew Henry Commentary - “Death is an enemy that we must all enter the lists with, sooner or later: THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR, no dismission from it…While we live we are struggling with death, and we shall never put off the harness till we put off the body, never obtain a discharge till death has obtained the mastery”
John Gill Commentary - "AND THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR, death is a warfare as well as life, with which nature struggles, but in vain; it is an enemy, and the last that shall be destroyed; it is a king, and a very powerful one; there is no withstanding him, he is always victorious; and there is no escaping the battle with him, or fleeing from him; a discharge of soldiers in other wars is sometimes obtained by interest, by the entreaty of friends, or by money; but here all cries and entreaties signify nothing; nor does he value riches, gold, or all the forces of strength”
Matthew Poole’s Annotations - “THE SPIRIT, i.e. the soul of man, which is oft called a spirit, as Job 7:7; 10:12; Psalms 78:39; 104:29. TO RETAIN THE SPIRIT; to keep it in the body beyond the time which God hath allotted to it. This is added as another evidence of man’s misery. THERE IS NO DISCHARGE, as there is in other wars, when soldiers either are dismissed from the service, or escape by flight or otherwise. In that war, in that fatal conflict between life and death, between nature and the disease, when a man is struggling with death, though to no purpose, for death shall always be conqueror.”
John Wesley - “No discharge - In that fatal conflict between life and death, when a man is struggling with death, though to no purpose, for death will be always conqueror.”
John Trapp (English Puritan) - “No sending either of forces to withstand death, or of messages to make peace with him. The world and we must part, and whether we be unstitched by parcels, or torn asunder at once, the difference is not great.”
The Holman Standard is also wrong with: - “No one has AUTHORITY OVER THE WIND TO RESTRAIN IT, and there is no authority over the day of death; THERE IS NO FURLOUGH IN BATTLE”
Also wrongly reading "no discharge IN TIME OF WAR" is the NKJV and the ESV.
"AND THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR", referring to the "war" we have with death, is found in Webster's Translation 1833, Noyes Translation 1869, Darby 1890, the Revised Version 1885, The Word of Yah 1993, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, the Conservative Bible 2011, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust)
The King James Bible is absolutely right, as always.
Ecclesiastes 8:10 - the wicked “were forgotten” or “were praised”?
King James Bible, NASB, NKJV - “And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they WERE FORGOTTEN in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.”
ESV, NIV, Holman Standard, Names of God Bible, - ”Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and WERE PRAISED in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.”
Footnote: "Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts "AND ARE FORGOTTEN".
I would hope that you can see there is an obvious difference between the wicked being forgotten and the wicked being, not only not forgotten, but even praised! You can’t praise someone and have forgotten them at the same time.
Agreeing with the King James Bible in saying that the wicked were FORGOTTEN are: Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Revised Version 1885, ASV 1901, NASB 1995, Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac, Darby 1890, Young’s 1898, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, New Life Version 1969, the NKJV 1982, the Hebrew Names Bible 2014, the Jewish Publication Society 1917 translation, The Word of Yah 1993, - "AND WERE FORGOTTEN IN THE CITY", Green's Literal 2005, the 2004 Jewish Complete Tanach, Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011, Jubilee Bible 2010 and the World English Bible 2012.
Other English Bibles that follow the Hebrew text and say that the wicked "WERE FORGOTTEN" are God's First Truth 1999, Complete Jewish Bible 1998, Bond Slave Version 2009, Context Group Version 2007, Ancient Roots Translinear Bible 2007, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - "AND THEY WERE FORGOTTEN", Conservative Bible 2011, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), Lexham English Bible 2012, The Voice 2012, and the International Standard Version 2014.
Among foreign language translations that follow the Masorretic text and read as does the King James Bible are the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1910, and French Ostervald 1996 -”et sont oubliés dans la ville.”, Luther’s German Bible 1545, Spanish Reina Valera, and Reina Valera Gómez 2004 - “y ser olvidados en la ciudad donde esto hicieron. Esto también es vanidad.”, the Italian Diodati 1649, New Diodati 1991, and the Portuguese de Almeida and Biblia Sagrada - “foram esquecidos na cidade.”
Though the NIV English versions says the wicked were PRAISED, yet the NIV Spanish Edition, La Nueva Versión International 1999, follows the Hebrew text and says - “a ellos se les echó al olvido en la ciudad” = “AND THEY WERE FORGOTTEN IN THE CITY”.
And the NIV Portuguese edition, Nova Versão Internacional 2000, also says “THEY WERE FORGOTTEN in the city”. - “o bem foram esquecidos na cidade”
The NASB - “So then, I have seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon FORGOTTEN in the city where they did thus. This too is futility.”
Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac - “And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the holy place, and they WERE FORGOTTEN in the city where they had done such evil things; this also is vanity.”
NIV - “Then too, I saw the wicked buried-those who used to come and go from the holy place and RECEIVE PRAISE in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.”
So how did the NIV and the other perverted versions listed below come up with “receive praise” insteat of “were forgotten”? Well, the NIVs own footnote tells us. The NIV footnote says the reading of “receive praise” comes from “Some Hebrew manuscripts and the Septuagint (Aquila), but most Hebrew manuscripts read ‘and are forgotten’.”
The ESV also perverts this verse and says: “WERE PRAISED in the city” and then footnotes: “Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint Vulgate read ‘praised’; Most Hebrew manuscripts read “forgotten”.
RSV, NRSV, ESV -” Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and WERE PRAISED in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.”
Dan Wallace's NET version
Dan Wallace’s goofy NET version 2006 is different from all of them. It actually says: “Not only that, but I have seen the wicked approaching and entering the temple, AND AS THEY LEFT THE HOLY TEMPLE THEY BOASTED IN THE CITY THAT THEY HAD DONE SO.”
Then he footnotes that the Hebrew Masoretic text reads “AND THEY WERE FORGOTTEN”, but he then tells us that “many medieval Hebrew mss. read “AND THEY BOASTED” and he even goes on to “correct” versions like the NIV, ESV saying: “The phrase is best rendered by ‘they boasted’ RATHER THAN ‘they were praised’.
Dan Wallace is so typical of the Every Man For Himself Bible Versionism mindset we see that is so common today.
The Catholic Connection
Douay-Rheims Roman Catholic, St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, Catholic Public Domain Version 2009 - “ I saw the wicked buried: who also when they were yet living were in the holy place, and WERE PRAISED in the city as men of just works: but this also is vanity.”
Catholic Jerusalem bible 1968 - “to honor them”
The Message 2002 tells us: “One time I saw wicked men given a solemn burial in holy ground. When the people returned to the city, THEY DELIVERED FLOWERY EULOGIES--and in the very place where wicked acts were done by those very men!”
Maybe James White will tell us that they are all “reliable and trustworthy” because each of them follows their own sources. Doesn’t matter what God Himself inspired in His inerrant words; just as long as they follow “their sources” (no matter how wrong or corrupt), James White and a multitude of other bible agnostics we run into every day on the internet think they are “reliable” and even will call them "inerrant".
Have these Bible critics lost their minds? (That’s a rhetorical question ;-)
Ecclesiastes 9:9 wife or the woman?
King James Bible - “Live joyfully with the WIFE whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.”
Bible translation that say WIFE are Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the KJB, RV, ASV, Darby, Youngs, Amplified, Green’s literal, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible, the JPS 1917, the Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Names Version, Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac, the NET version, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV and Holman Standard.
However the NASB tells us: NASB- “Enjoy life with the WOMAN whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”
Paraphrase: Enjoy life with the girl you are shacking up with, girlfriend, neighbor girl, etc. This nonsense never ends.
In 9:14 the NKJV makes an assault on the authority of the KJB by its misleading footnotes. "There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it and besieged it, and built great BULWARKS against it." Bulwarks is the reading of the Revised Version, the 1917, 1936 Jewish translations, Bishops' Bible, Hebrew Names Version, Amplified Bible, Darby and Youngs. The NIV and NASB have "seigeworks" which isn't even an English word, but it carries the same idea as the KJB. The NKJV, however, says "built great SNARES around it." Then in a footnote it says LXX, Syriac and Vulgate read "bulwarks". Do you see what they are suggesting? That the KJB followed these sources and not the Hebrew. Satan is a subtle snake, and he is at work in these modern day perversions to undermine the authority of God's pure, inspired words.
10:11 "Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; AND A BABBLER IS NO BETTER."
Here the NKJV is essentially the same as the KJB and the Geneva, 1936 Jewish translation, Webster's 1833 translation, the Third Millenium Bible, and the Spanish of 1909. However the NIV and NASB say: "If a snake bites before it is charmed, THERE IS NO PROFIT FOR THE CHARMER." Not quite the same meaning, is it?
10:20 "Curse not the king, no not in thy THOUGHT"
Bible translations like Wycliffe, Coverdale, Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NET, Holman, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac, the JPS 1917, Hebrew Names Bible, Darby, Complete Jewish Bible and the NIV agree with the KJB, but the NASB says: "in your BEDCHAMBER, do not curse a king." This noun comes from the verb to know or to think. The NASB has translated this noun as knowledge 5 times but only once as bedchamber. I think a lot of thoughts when I'm not in my bedchamber (by the way, isn't bedchamber an "archaic" word?); is it OK to curse the king when I'm outside my bedroom?
There a a lot of very different ways the Bible Babble Buffet versions have translated Ecclesistes 12:5
The KJB is pretty straight forward and easy to understand.
It refers to old age.
"Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, AND DESIRE SHALL FAIL: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:"
Agreeing with the sense of the KJB are the ASV 1901 - "and desire shall fail", ESV 2001-2016- "and desire fails", Lexham English bible 2012, World English Bible, Modern Literal Version, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, Bible in Basic English 1961, International Children's bible 2015 - "your desires will be gone", International Standard Version 2014 - "desire will cease", Modern English Version 2014 - "and desire fails", NIV 2011 - " and desire no longer is stirred.", NKJV 1982 - "and desire fails", New Life Version 2003 - "And desire will be at an end.", RSV 1946-1971, NRSV 1989 -"and desire fails", Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 - "and desire shall fail",
This online Hebrew Interlinear - "and desire shall fail"
Similar Versions -
Bishops' bible 1568 - "and when all lust shal passe"
Geneva Bible 1587 - "and concupiscence shall be driuen away"
Living Bible 1971 - "without sexual desire"
But some of the weird ones are these-
NASB 1995 - "and the caper berry has no effect"
Holman Standard 2009 - "and the caper berry has no effect"
Dan Wallace's NET version - "and the caper berry shrivels up"
Young's "literal" 1898 - "And want is increased" (say what?"
Catholic Douay-Rheims - " and the caper tree shall be destroyed"
So called Greek Septuagint - "and the caper shall be scattered"
God's Word Translation 1995 - "and the caper bush has no fruit"
Jubilee Bible 2010 - "appetite will fail"
One more in closing. Ecclesiastes 12:11 "The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the MASTERS OF ASSEMBLIES, which are given from one shepherd."
The one Shepherd would by God or Jesus Christ, our good shepherd, and He gives those who head up the assemblies of God's people, words of wisdom. The "masters of assemblies" is the reading of the Revised Version 1881, the1901 American Standard Version, the Geneva Bible, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, the Hebrew Names Version, and the Spanish Reina Valera "los maestros de las congregaciones". The Complete Jewish Bible says: "given by leaders of assemblies".
Even the NKJV admits in the footnote that this literally is "masters of assemblies". However the NKJV says "The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of SCHOLARS are like well driven nails..." Scholars! Boy, do they like to exalt the scholars. Do you need to be a scholar or a seminary trained professional Christian to be a Bible teacher? Jesus must have picked the wrong guys then when He, as the one shepherd, placed such untrained hicks as Peter, James, John and the others in charge of teaching His flock.
The NIV says: "THEIR COLLECTED SAYINGS like firmly embedded nails" instead of "masters of assemblies" and the NASB has "and masters of these collections are like well driven nails." The NASB teaches it is the masters who are like nails, rather than their words. This is the confusion being wrought by the Bible Babel going on today. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
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