Mt. Sion or Mt. Zion? Much ado about nothing.
There is one site that “THE T.R.” defenders have sent me several times now that has the usual laundry list of alleged “translational errors in the KJV”. The funny thing about these guys is that they say “the” Textus Receptus is their final authority, and to their credit, they do take a stand against the Westcott-Hort/UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican critical text versions.
But they also affirm that “ALL translations have some imperfections and blemishes” and that “it behooves us to know where those imperfections and blemishes are by comparing these translations with the Greek Text itself.”
As with our brethren who are “THE Textus Receptus” folks, they commit the usual errors in their thinking, and ultimately make themselves their own “final authority”.
First of all, there is no such thing as “the” Textus Receptus.
There are actually several varieties of what is referred to as "the" Textus Receptus
1st in 1516
2nd in 1519
3rd in 1522
4th in 1527
5th in 1535
1st in 1546
2nd in 1549
3rd in 1550
4th in 1551
1st in 1565
2nd in 1582
3rd in 1589
4th in 1598
Further editions of the Textus Receptus were done by Elzievers, 1st edition in 1624 and a 2nd edition in 1633 (the 1633 edition is the one that first received the name "Textus Receptus").
See my article - Tyndale, the Textus Receptus or the King James Bible?
Secondly, these “the” TR guys have put the cart in front of the horse. Most of them use and prefer “the” Textus Receptus put out by The Trinitarian Bible Society, which is the Greek text of F.H.A. Scrivener. This text was not compiled until 1894, almost 300 years after the King James Bible came out in 1611.
And what Scrivener did was to “back translate” from the King James Bible into the Greek texts that he thought they had used, whether that of Beza, Stephanus or Erasmus. So this is a case of it being the King James Bible that was here first and gave rise to what they consider to be “the” TR.
King James Bible believers like me logically and consistently conclude that if God had guided the King James Bible translators to the right texts, both in Hebrew and in Greek, then He also guided them as to the correct English translation of those same texts.
It is the English text of the King James Bible that gave rise to “the” TR most of these guys promote; not the other way around.
And thirdly, by their taking “the” TR position, what they end up doing is making themselves the final authority on HOW “the” TR should be translated. They get to decide for themselves, and of course, they all differ even among themselves on how to do this.
One of the alleged “errors” they think they have found has to do with the names of Mount Zion or Mount Sion, both of which are found in the King James Bible.
This is really much ado about nothing, since the words Sion and Zion are interchangeable and there is NO difference in meaning.
It is true, as they point out, that the original 1611 printing spelled Zion as Sion in the Old Testament. They did this in Psalm 2:6; 9:11,14; 20:2, 48:2, 11, and 12 and others.
At one point (1769) the King James Bible was "edited", not "revised". The underlying Hebrew and Greek texts were never changed. This is in sharp contrast to the modern versions like the NKJV, ESV, NIV, NASB. These versions are continually changing not only their English translations, but the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts as well.
For more information on this see my article - The Printing Errors Ploy
They updated a lot of the spelling in the King James Bible - things like sinne to sin, sonne to son, keepe to keep, yeare to year, aire to air, minde to mind. The one place where they left Sion spelled with an “S” in the Old Testament and not with a “Z” is in Psalm 65:1 where we read: “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in SION: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.”
The Hebrew word is transliterated as Tziyon or Tsiyon, and it comes across in English as either Sion or Zion. It means the same thing.
In fact, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 has “for Thee, O Elohim, in TZiyon” and The Scriptures 1998 (Chris Koster) read - “To You, stillness, praise, in TSiyon, O Elohim”. One has a “z’ and the other an ”s”, and they are both transliterations.
The King James Bibles printed today changed all but one verse in the Old Testament to now read “mount ZION” instead of “mount SION”, (as found in Psalm 65:1) but the names are interchangeable.
Also translating in the O.T. with an S - “mount SION” in places like Psalm 65:1 are Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, Thomson Translation 1808, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, The Word of Yah 1993, God’s First Truth 1999 - “You, O' God, are praised in Sion, and unto you is the vow performed.”, the Bond Slave Version 2009, The Jubilee Bible 2010, and the BRG Bible 2012.
The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - "Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in SION"
The Jewish Virtual Library Tanach 1994 - "Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in SION"
The Geneva Bible has “Zion” in the O.T. but “SION” in the New Testament.
There is another place where the Hebrew word Sion appears and that is in Deuteronomy 4:48. Here we read: “From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount SION, which is Hermon.”
This is the Hebrew word # 7865, which is Sion.
Most versions have the word Sion here (NKJV, NASB, Holman, ASV, RV, Darby, Youngs), but the ESV, NIV say “mount SIRION” and then footnote that this comes from the Syriac, but that the Hebrew reads SION.
This particular anti-KJB site makes a big deal about the letters Z and S, but they completely fail to be consistent because the Greek alphabet DOES have both the S (sigma) and the Z (zeta) in the N.T. The King James Bible spells Sion all 7 times it occurs with the letter S, and that is literally what it says.
The Greek alphabet has a distinct S and a Z. We see the S in such names as Simon, Stephen, Silvanus and Sodom, and the Z in such names as Zacharias, Zacchaeus, Zabulon and Zorobabel.
All the 7 instances in the N.T. are Sion, with an S. It is Not Zion with a Z as the NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV and Holman have it.
Now, I am not going to complain about this as an “error” in these modern versions. I wouldn’t even mention it, because I don’t think it is important enough or makes any real difference in meaning. But because this anti-KJB site made such a big stink about it, I do mention it in passing.
The People’s Dictionary of the Bible says: “ZION and SION, dry, sunny mount. This hill in Jerusalem is first mentioned as a stronghold of the Jebusites. Joshua 15:63. It remained in their possession until captured by David, who made it “the city of David”, the capital of his kingdom.”
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - "SION OR ZION, Mount, a mount or hill on the south of Old Jerusalem or Salem, and higher than that on which the ancient city stood.
Webster’s New World Dictionary
When we consult the English dictionary under the word Zion we see "Middle English Syon; Anglo-Saxon Sion, Latin Sion; Hebrew Tsiyon, a hill. 1. A hill in Jerusalem, site of the temple and of the royal palace of David and his successors. 2. The Jewish people. 3. heaven, the heavenly city.4. The theocracy of God. Also SION."
Technically speaking, it is the KJB that is more accurate in the New Testament with "mount SION" and not these others like the NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV and Holman which have "mount ZION."
The King James Bible has Sion, with an S in all 7 places it occurs - Matthew 21:5 “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee…”; John 12:15 “Fear not, daughter of Sion”; Romans 9:33 “I lay in Sion a stumblingstone”; Romans 11:26 “shall come out of Sion the Deliverer”; Hebrews 12:22 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem”; 1 Peter 2:6 "I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious", and Revelation 14:1 “lo, a Lamb stood on mount Sion”
Others that also have mount SION in the New Testament like the KJB (with an S) are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston's N.T. 1745, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Worsley N.T. 1770, Haweis N.T. 1795, Thomson Translation 1808, Alford Translation 1868, Young’s 1898, The Moffatt N.T. 1926, The Aramaic New Testament 1933, J.B. Phillips N.T. 1972, the Word of Yah 1993, God's First Truth 1999, the Tomson N.T. 2002, Bond Slave Version 2009, the Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), and the Jubilee Bible 2010.
The Tomson New Testament 2002 - "...and lo, a Lamb stood on mount SION"
The King James Bible is always right, and the bible agnostics just can’t stand it.
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