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  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
. . .  John 3:16  . . .

REVELATION  14:1

A  LAMB  OR  THE  LAMB?

By: H. D. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.

A Vice-President, Dean Burgon Society

Contributors: Pastor D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D.

President, Dean Burgon Society

Pastor José Pedro Almeida

Advisory Council, Dean Burgon Society 

 

INTRODUCTION 

The definite and indefinite article have always been a struggle for translators. There are precedents, however, that must be followed. If the receptor-language has definite and indefinite articles, then the presence of the definite article, “the,” in the Greek Received Text must usually be expressed IF IT DOES NT CAUSE THE TEXT TO BE INTERPRETED in the receptor-language (q.v., examples to follow). This is consistent with ‘Word-For-Word Translating of the Received Text, Verbal Plenary Translating,’ based upon “verbal plenary preservation,” “verbal plenary inspiration” and syntax (language rules). Furthermore, the indefinite article, “a,” may be expressed in English according to the syntax of the English language even if the indefinite article does not occur in Greek. Lastly, if the article is missing in the Textus Receptus (TR), the context determines whether the arthrous (definite) or anarthous (indefinite) article should be used (q.v.).

Recently, several ‘Bibles’ have come to the attention of the Dean Burgon Society that have violated the rules for word-for-word translating (verbal and formal equivalent translating) in a number of verses. One verse was chosen, Revelation 14:1, to examine more closely and to make recommendations that were received from multiple counselors that are nationals of various countries, fluent in English, common, and trade languages (the official language such as Latin as opposed to the common language of the people like Koiné Greek), linguistic experts in Hebrew and Greek, and teachers of languages and proper translation technique to missionaries.  

TRANSLATING,  CONTEXT,  SYNTAX,  SYNONYMS,  SEMANTICS,  POLYSEMY,  INTERPRETATION  AND  TRANSLATOR  ATTITUDE 

All measures need to be taken by translators of the original languages of the Bible to insure that EVERY Word of God is translated as accurately and faithfully as possible according to the context and syntax into the receptor-language. The concept of syntax is not to be taken as liberty to “interpret” the passage. Furthermore, when translating the “received” biblical texts, no additional words are to be added to the translation over and above the original language words unless it is required for clarity in the receptor-language and then it is absolutely necessary for the additions to be identified (i.e. italicize the word(s) added as the KJB does).

Consider that some receptor languages have no expression for the passive voice; therefore, the active voice must be used. This is a problem of syntax. For example: ‘The ball was hit by Mary’ is a passive construction versus ‘Mary hit the ball,’ which is an active expression. However, there is no interpretation of the passive voice in this example placed into the active voice. Interpretations would be comparable to the following: ‘Mary may have hit the ball’ or ‘Mary is hitting the ball’ or similar constructions.

One of the beauties of the King James Bible (KJB) is its accurate and faithful translation without resorting to interpretation. Therefore, the KJB translators’ standard of translation (accuracy), method of translation (word-for-word through formal and verbal equivalent translating), and art of translating (according to the syntax of the English language and the original Biblical languages and the technique [many counselors]) can be used as a guide (see Defending the King James Bible by Pastor D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D. and Word-For-Word Translating of the Received Text, Verbal Plenary Translating by H. D. Williams, M.D., Ph.D. et al.).

A translator should first translate into the receptor-language using the original language Words underlying the King James Bible, which are the Words of the Traditional Hebrew Masoretic Text by Abraham Jacob ben Chayyim, second edition, printed by Daniel Bomberg and the Traditional Greek Received Text underlying the King James Bible, which is printed by the Dean Burgon Society. The Masoretic Text and the Traditional Text are called the Received Texts in this work. Any hint that the Critical Text(s) or modern versions were used by translators as guides or as the original language texts will cause the translation to be categorically rejected immediately by the Dean Burgon Society. The translation into the receptor-language should be checked against the accurate and faithful KJB, even comparing the English words used to express the original languages, if possible (e.g. any of the Latin based languages such as French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, German, etc.).

In a conversation with Dr. Phil Stringer, Ph.D.,[1] he identified a very important aspect of translating that may have been overlooked by most translators. If at all possible, when there is a conflict between the Hebrew/Greek grammar and the receptor-language grammar, the principle to follow is to let the Hebrew/Greek grammar ‘rule.’ Furthermore, words in the Hebrew and Greek Received Texts that do not exist in a receptor-language may require a new word to be developed in that language. For example, the word “lamb” may not exist in a language; certainly a word such as a baby “seal” should not be substituted for “lamb” because of its importance in the Bible. Dynamic equivalent proponents of translating have recommended this ‘substitution’ in certain translations, which is against the principles of word-for-word translating.

Great care must be exercised by translators to be very aware of semantics,[i] synonyms,[ii] and polysemy (e.g. elohim, pascha).[iii] The genius of the KJB translators comes to light when these concepts are understood to lie behind their choice of words in various passages while also considering cantor, simplicity (readability, i.e. one or two word syllables), rhyme, echoing of sounds, and similar linguistic marvels. The KJB is a literary work of unparalleled equal in history. Pride should not keep any believer involved in translating anywhere in the world from consulting this marvelous, awe-inspiring work. Translating should be to the glory of God; it should not be for national pride, contrary to what Kurt and Barbara Aland have indicated.[iv] They said:

 

“Consequently in most languages at least revisions of Bible translations were (and are) long overdue, if only to satisfy a sense of pride in a text prepared by national Christian translators.”[v] (HDW, my emphasis). 

Any translator understands that errors will be made in a translation. We are all human. The measure of the man is his atttude toward others who point out errors or possible errors. Every effort should be made to PROMPTLY correct any possible mistake. Every consideration should be given to a critic of a translation with graciousness, love, and concern for the Truth. The topic of translating the Words of God is not related to personalities or persons. Rather, it is for accuracy and faithfulness to the original text. This paper should not be considered as an attack upon anyone. It should be understood to be a call for diligence in translating, calmness in attitude, and peace in practice.  

THE  DEFINITE  ARTICLE,

AMBIGUITY,  AND  SUCH 

Sometimes the definite article was translated in the KJB, or the appropriate “idiom” or expression was used if the English language did not warrant the definite article to be translated. For example: the translation of oJ qeoV" (ho theos) versus qeoV" (theos, without the definite article) may be determined by the context and translated with or without the definite article [Mk. 12:27, 2 Cor. 1:3 (see Granville Sharpe rules)]. But without the definite article it would be translated “a god” or “a God” or God (e.g. Lk. 20:38, Acts 12:22, John 1:1). However, the context dictates the final translation in English when the definite article is not present as seen in these examples. Ambiguity IN THE ORIGINAL TEXT is ALWAYS retained. “Theos” without the definite article may be translated “God,” big “G,” as in Luke 20:38 because of the context even though it does not have the definite article. 

“For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” Luke 20:38

In Rev. 7:14 the KJB translators did not translate the definite articles (e.g. the literal Greek has “the tribulation the great”). Tribulation is a translation of the Greek word, “thlipsis,” which could refer to ‘Daniel’s 70th week’[vi] or to “great trials.” In light of the ambiguity, the KJB translators accurately translated it with purposeful ambiguity, just as it is in the original text, in order to avoid an interpretation!! Furthermore, English syntax dictates that at least one of the articles should be dropped, just as the definite article preceding a proper noun in Portuguese is often dropped in English. Both articles were dropped in this passage in favor of word-for-word methodology.

Greek grammar is definite about the definite article; Greek has no indefinite article, “a.” Dana and Mantey said:  

“The Greek had no indefinite article (“a”) though tiV" (tis) and ei|" (eis) sometimes approximated this idiom (expression)”[vii] (HDW, my addition and emphasis).  

One must be very careful to translate the words present according to syntax, even the seemingly innocuous definite article. But if the arthrous article is not present, then it should not be placed into the text unless the context demands it. The following verse is presented as an example. In John 4:27, the article is missing in the Greek text before the word for woman. 

And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? John 4:27

The KJB translators placed “the” into the English text for several important reasons. (1) If they had placed “a” in the ENGLISH text, many individuals without a knowledge of the Scripture would twist the verse and establish a false doctrine that Jesus rarely spoke to “women” and considered them “inferior” much like the Muslims do. Of course, his disciples marveled that Jesus spoke to this particular Samaritan woman, alone, at a water well—thus the article “the” is appropriate. (2) The context of verse 27 refers to the woman in the passage at the well in the verses preceding John 4:27.[viii] (please see the endnote). (3) The Greek is translated properly and it is not an interpretation in terms of translation and in addition the hermeneutics will not allow it to be an interpretation, which it would be if “a” was used instead of “the.” It is a fact that Jesus was addressing “the woman.” (3) Syntactically (in English), the translators had a CHOICE of articles—“a” or “the,” because the underlying TR of the KJB; and to avoid a false understanding and translation in English the correct article is “the.” The Greek speaking people of Jesus’ age would have known and understood the language (Greek) the way the KJB translated the text. It is not an interpretation. Therefore, the article is NOT italicized. (4) Obviously, Jesus changed the world’s attitude toward women for the better. To have falsely placed an “a” at Jn. 4:27 by translation technique and method would have caused irreparable damage to the cause of women. For all of these reasons, John 4:27 is properly translated. Other verses were examined in the KJB where the definite article was placed when no article was present in the Greek text. Similar reasons can be offered for the reason the translators at times chose an article (such as ‘the article of reference’).

The proper translation of Revelation 14:1 is entirely different from John 4:27. Syntactically in English (and in many other languages) there was a CHOICE in this verse by translators concerning the article also. However, the right choice HERE, as opposed to John 4:27 is “a” because a lamb appears on the scene SUDDENLY and has not been a part of the passage or context. Typically, of course, the lamb is the Lord Jesus Christ by interpretation, by exegesis, by typology, and by later additional revelation in the passage, but not “the” Lamb by translation. The KJB translators capitalized “Lamb” in order to point the passage to Jesus as later revealed (e.g. Rev. 14:4, which has tw arniw). This is similar to Malachi 4:2 where “Sun” in capitalized starting with the 1611 edition of the KJB). It is thrilling and exciting to learn as one continues to read the passage in Revelation 14 that it is the Saviour; but in verse 14:1 it is “a” Lamb.

Many other comments could be made concerning the Greek article, such as the six Granville Sharpe rules, and comments by other grammarians such as Dr. Henry Thiessen. But the point to be made from almost all others who comment on these concepts is to be very careful that your translation is not “lying words” in the eyes of our Great God (Isa. 32:7, Jer. 7:8, 29:3).  

“Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.” (Jeremiah 7:8).

Translating is one of the most important, demanding, necessary, but daunting tasks in service to our Lord by His commandment (Isa. 28:11-12, Rom. 16:25-26, 1 Cor. 14:21, Mk. 13:10, Col. 1:5-6). The format (the method and the art) of translating is clearly given in the Scriptures by examining the word, “interpreted,” or its cognates, in the KJB (e.g. Mat. 1:23, Mk. 5:41, 15:34, Jn. 1:38, Acts 4:6). The method is “word-for-word” translating.

QUESTIONS  FOR  TRANSLATORS 

The following chart demonstrates how various versions have handled the absence of the Greek definite article in Rev. 14:1. Some translations have it right, but it is obvious that some have it wrong. The question for you as a translator of the Received Text into the receptor-language of your group-language (dialect) in your country according to the syntax of the language, is: “Did you get it right or have you interpreted the passage”? Are you using Dynamic Equivalent (paraphrasing or interpretive) translating? 

A  CHART  COMPARISON  OF  REVELATION  14:1  IN  VARIOUS  VERSIONS 

 

Rev. 14:1

 

 

 

 

 

(KJB 1769) And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.  (This verse hearken back to Revelation 5:6 “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it ha been slain, hvin seen orn and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”)

(TR)  kai eidon kai idou arnion esthkos epi to oro" siwn kai met autou ekaton tessarakonta tessares ciliade" ecousai to onoma tou patros autou gegrammenon epi twn metwpwn autwn

(KJB Strong’s Links) And και I looked ειδω, and και, lo ιδου, a Lamb αρνιον stood ιστημι on επι the mount ορος Sion σιον, and και with μετα him αυτος an hundred εκατον forty τεσσαρακοντα and four τεσσαρες thousand χιλιας, having εχω his αθτος Father's πατηρ name ονομα written γραφω in επι their αυτος foreheads μετωπον.

(KJB 1611) And I looked, and loe, a Lambe stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundreth fourty and foure thousand, hauing his Fathers Name written in their foreheads.

(Tyndale) And I loked and loo a lambe stode on the mount Syon and with him C. and xliiii. thousande havynge his fathers name written in their forhedes.

(Bishop) And I loked, and lo, a lambe stoode on the mount Sion, and with hym an hundreth fourtie and foure thousande, hauyng his fathers name written in their foreheades.

(Darby) And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing upon mount Zion, and with him a hundred [and] forty-four thousand, having his name and the name of his Father written upon their foreheads.

(Geneva) Then I looked, and lo, a Lambe stood on mount Sion, and with him an hundreth, fourtie and foure thousand, hauing his Fathers Name written in their foreheads.

(Luther) Und ich sah das Lamm stehen auf dem Berg Zion und mit ihm 144,000, die hatten seinen Namen und den Namen seines Vaters geschrieben an ihrer Stirn.

(French) Je regardai, et voici, l'agneau se tenait sur la montagne de Sion, et avec lui cent quarante-quatre mille personnes, qui avaient son nom et le nom de son Père écrits sur leurs fronts.I looked at, and here, the lamb was held on the mountain of Sion, and with him hundred forty-four thousand people, who had her name and the name of his/her Father written on their faces.

(Portuguese 2007 ACF) E OLHEI, e eis que estava o Cordeiro sobre o monte Sião, e com ele cento e quarenta e quatro mil, que em suas testas tinham escrito o nome de seu Pai.

(RVG) Y miré, y he aquí el Cordero estaba en pie sobre el monte de Sión, y con Él ciento cuarenta y cuatro mil, que tenían el nombre de su Padre escrito en sus frentes. (see Rev. 5:6, 13:11, etc.)[2] (see the footnote below)

(SRV) RÉ, y he aquí, el Cordero estaba sobre el monte de Sión, y con él ciento cuarenta y cuatro mil, que tenían el nombre de su Padre escrito en sus frentes.

 

A  GOOD  RESPONSE 

The translators of the Reina Valera Gomez have notified the Dean Burgon Society that they understand the error in Revelation 14:1 (q.v.) and that it will be changed in the next edition. They did not bow to pressure from any group, person, or society, but they understood the importance of being true to the underlying text, to the incomparable KJB, and to their heart. They understood the call by linguists who love the Lord and His Preserved Words in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek to change the passage to “a” at 14:1. It is the Dean Burgon Society’s prayer that others would be willing to correct obvious errors in translations with humbleness, thanksgiving, and honor to the Preserved[ix] Words of our God who promised to “keep” (Greek, threw tAreo) them (Jn. 14:14, 23, etc). Many men have given their lives through the centuries so that we might have copies (apographs) of the original Words in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek (autographs). Let those who love the Words He promised to Preserve and who are translators purpose to be diligent in every way; and with love and with all their heart, mind and soul be intent on producing an excellent translation.  

THE  DEFINITE  AND  INDEFINITE  ARTICLE 

IN  PORTUGUESE 

Previous discussions about the Portuguese Bible over the last few months have centered upon one particular verse of simple construction, Revelation 14:1, and the importance of a seemingly innocuous indefinite article. It concerns the best translation of this verse to avoid interpretive translating. In the Greek Received Text there is no article that precedes the noun, “lamb” (Greek, arnion, arnion). This construction also occurs in several other verses in the book of Revelation where the TBS Portuguese version translates the following verses correctly as “a Lamb” using the indefinite article, particularly Revelation 5:6, which is an important exegetical verse for Revelation 14:1. Also, Revelation 13:11 is an important and similar verse to Revelation 14:1 because there is no article present in the Greek text. The same is true in 1 Peter 1:19 where there is no Greek article. It is recognized that the Portuguese language often, but not always, places a definite article before proper nouns.

In the Portuguese language it is clear that the absence of a noun following the indefinite (anarthrous) article is translated as “one” or means one. In Revelation 14:1, the word following “a” in the KJB (lamb) and in the Portuguese Bible the word cordeiro (meaning lamb) is a common noun.[x] If a capitalized noun is considered a proper noun, then the definite article may or may not appear before a proper noun in the Portuguese language (see the quote and attachment below). Since there is a CHOICE to place an indefinite or definite article, the translation favoring the Received Greek Text as opposed to the Critical Text should be followed. Westcott and Hort inserted the Greek definite article, ττtov (to = the), into their Critical Text, which has been followed by the United Bible Society and Nestle/Aland texts . The Greek RT could be interpreted as ‘one’ lamb or ‘one of many lambs’, but here at Revelation 14:1 the meaning is a lamb who arrives on the scene and is the Lord Jesus Christ according to typology followed in the Bible. Therefore, the KJB has “lamb” capitalized, which makes it a proper noun. However, the accurate and faithful translation of the Greek TR is “a Lamb” by word-for-word translating (formal and verbal equivalence) and since the Portuguese language has an indefinite article it should be reflected in the translation. This is a simple construction that is easily determined. Those responsible for translating in Portuguese should be able to properly discern this simple linguistic construction. Please see the chart below under attachments.

In addition, the following information affirms that there is a choice by translators to use or not use the definite article at Revelation 14:1: 

Some people have their last name as "Cordeiro" as well, so it is a proper noun with a capital letter naming a person. There is a city in Rio de Janeiro state called "Cordeiro" so it is a proper noun with a capital letter naming a city. People say about the city: "Eu moro em Cordeiro" (English: "I live in Cordeiro") There are some cities we use an article preceding it and others we don't.

There is a neighborhood in Recife, state of Pernambuco called "Cordeiro" so it is a proper name with a capital letter naming a neighborhood. People say about the neighborhood: "Eu moro no Cordeiro" ("I live in the Cordeiro"). The word "no" is a contraction of a preposition "em" (English "in") and the article "o" (English "the"). So: "em" + "o" = "no". 

THE  PORTUGUESE  BIBLE 

The Portuguese Bible has been brought to the attention of the Dean Burgon Society several times over the last five years because of a public struggle to bring a translation produced by the Brazilian Trinitarian Bible Society in line with the Received Text(s) that lie behind the King James Bible and verbal and formal equivalence translation technique. The Portuguese Bible that is supported by the Trinitarian Bible Society is the best translation in that language.

However, as previously stated, any translation will have errors of printing and possible errors of translation in the text or technique. Emotions run high when dealing with these issues. As brothers and sisters in Christ, it behooves us to listen to critics who have questions about a translation. The emotion of anger has no place in dealing with these issues. Longsuffering and patience is required. Graciousness and thankfulness should be expressed to anyone who would take the time to be concerned enough to study the issues and question the correct expressions. Any possible error should be examined with the utmost love (for Truth), concern, and care in order to be certain that the translation is not “lying words;” that is, the translation is not an interpretation or dynamic or functional equivalent translation.

This caution and concern cannot be expressed enough times because of the pervasive influence of Eugene Nida on translation theory, translators, and translations around the world, which has invaded the thinking of so many believers who are actively engaged in translating. Although many have proclaimed a message contrary to Nida’s recommendations, the practical outcome of alleged accurate and faithful translating of the Preserved Traditional Text behind the KJB into many languages is woefully inadequate.[xi] The verbal declarations do not seem to have been carried over into the actual translating process. God’s commandments and examples for translating must be followed; not man’s methods.

A national Brazilian, who (1) is a member of the Advisory Council of the Dean Burgon Society (DBS), (2) is a seminary graduate trained in the United States, (3) has been a Christian for 28 years, (4) is fluent in English, (5) has passed a difficult English exam, (6) has passed difficult exams in Portuguese as a Colonel and pilot in the Brazilian air force, (7) is a missionary and church planter in his own country, and (8) is a loving husband, has brought to the DBS a list of many errors in the Portuguese Bible. Some of the errors are very obvious even to a person who is not a national or fluent in Portuguese. Pastor Pedro Almeida reports 500 errors in the 2002 version of the ACF (João Ferreira Annes de Almeida Corrected and Faithful) Portuguese Bible and a quick review of the errors in the 2007 ACF in Matthew and Revelation reveal that only approximately 10% have been corrected. Here are several (out of many) obvious errors in the 2002 ACF version. Some verses were corrected in the 2007 ACF version, but it appears there is still much work to be done (q.v.). NIV in the chart stands for the New International Version in English which is a dynamic equivalent work based upon the Critical Text. 

CHART OF A FEW TRANSLATION AND CRITICAL TEXT ERRORS IN THE 2002 PORTUGUESE BIBLE

 

VERSE

Error in Portuguese

ACF Bible

TR

Right Portuguese (based upon TR, and compared with the KJB)

Right English

Critical Text Reading

NIV

1. Mat. 9:1

cidade

idian polin

própria cidade

own city

idian polin

 

own town

2. Mat. 5:32

prostituição

porneia"

fornicação

 

fornication

porneia"

marital unfaithfulness

3. Mat. 11:24

de Sooma

gh sodomwn

da terra de Sodoma

land of Sodom

gh  Sodomwn

for Sodom

4. Mat. 12:15

Jesus

de ihsou"

mas, Jesus

but Jesus

de Ihsou"

Aware of this, Jesus

5. Mat 18:26

generoso

makroqumhson

longânimo

patience

Makroqumhson

patienc

6. Mat. 17:20

pouca fé

apistian 

incredulidade

unbelief

olgopistian

little faith

7. Mat. 19:27

tomando

(taking)

apokrinoma

respondendo

answered

apokriqei"

answered

8. Mat. 20:26

Não será

 

ouc outwn de estai

mas não será

But it will not be

ouc outwn estai

not so with you

9. Mat. 26:22

cada um a

autw ekasto" autwn    

cada um deles

every one of them

auton is missing

one after another

10. 2 Pe. 1:21

falaram inspirados

qeromenoi

movidos

moved

qeromenoi

carried along

11. Jude 1:5

como a quem

eidota" uma" apax touto

como vós

ye once knew

eidota" panta oti

you already know all this

12. Jude 1:1

causam 

divisões

apodiorizonte" eautou"

 

separam a si mesmos

themselves

eautou" (is missing)

these are men who divide you (omits themselves)

13. Rev. 2:20

tenho

ecw kata sou oliga

tenho poucas coisas

few

oliga is missing

I have this against [few (oliga) is missing]

14. Rev. 5:10

os fizeste

kai epoihsa" hma"

nos fizeste

made us

hma" is missing

made them

15. Rev. 5:10

eles reinarão

kai basileusomen epi gh

nós reinaremos

we shall reign

(changed we shall to thy shall reign) basileuousin

they will reign

16. Rev. 11:8

seu Senhor

hmwn kurio"

nosso Senhor

our Lord

 autwn (changed to of them = their)

their Lord

17. Rev. 14:1

o Cordeiro

kai idou arnion

(no definite article is present)

um Cordeiro

and lo a Lamb

tov (the) added by Westcott and Hort

the Lamb

18. Rev. 17:8

virá

kai perestin

ainda é

and yet is

kai parestai

and yet will come

 

Please note the verses that are very obvious and serious Critical Text errors. Also, number two in the chart is a common error among many modern versions. There is a world of difference between “fornication” and “prostitution” or similar expressions (see the Mat. 5:32 in the NIV). This verse demonstrates the improper use of synonyms when translating. Number one in the chart is an obvious error in that polin (polin) is invariably translated “city” in the KJB. The word translated “town” is kwmh (kOma). There is a world-wide understanding that a town is smaller and different from a city, which is larger and is governed by rules that are poles apart from the way a town is managed.

In the 2007 ACF Portuguese Bible the following verses from the chart above have been corrected: Matthew 5:32, 17:20, Jude 1:19, Revelation 2:20, 5:10, 11:8, and 17:8; that is, five of the critical text errors have not been changed. The approximately 100 to 500 other errors of dynamic equivalency non verbal and non formal translation need to be corrected and the Portuguese phrasing continues to need work in the 2007 version. A Brazilian national made these comments: 

(Jude 1:19) a si mesmo se separam means literally "to own self themselves separate [bad translation in my view...I didn't agree with the grammar but at least they got rid of the Critical Text]

 

(Rev. 2:20) algumas poucas coisas means literally "some few things". I understand that "algumas" ("some") is not in the text but could be attached (in italics would be better) to poucas" ("few") 

An excellent book for translators to rapidly identify changes in the Received New Testament Greek Text that date back to Westcott and Hort’s ‘new’ Greek New Testament (a Critical Text) is The Doctored New Testament by D. A. Waite, Jr. available from Bible For Today. No translator should be without this book in addition to Dr. Jack Moorman’s 8,000 Differences Between the N.T. Greek Words of the King James Bible and the Modern Versions, which is published by the Dean Burgon Society and Bible For Today. Both of these books can also be purchased at Amazon.com. 

A  SAD  COMMENTARY 

A personal email to this author by a pastor in Brazil about Psalm 12:6-7 demonstrates the difficulty with the present TBS version that conscientious pastors are having who understand the issues raised in this paper. He said concerning the latest TBS Portuguese 2007 ACF translation: 

"I am SICK and TIRED of correcting errors to my kids at our congregation all the time. They cannot memorize Psalm 12:7 because it is wrong in our Portuguese Bible! When it says: "Thou shalt keep them. O LORD, thou shalt preserve them..." (KJB) in our Portuguese translation it says: "Tu os guardarás, SENHOR, desta geração os livrarás..." (ACF). I said: “The right is "Tu as guardarás SENHOR, Tu as preservarás..."

“The difference is that "os guardarás" (equivalent to "keep them" in English) in the ACF Portuguese Bible edition 1994 and 2007, is a pronoun 3rd person, plural, masculine, and does not agree with the gender of "palavras" (words) in verse 6 which is feminine in Portuguese, thus destroying the teaching of Bible preservation. The correct is "as" (also equivalent to "them" in English) which is a pronoun 3rd person plural feminine and does agree with the gender of "palavras" (words) in verse 6 which is feminine in Portuguese, thus confirming the teaching of Bible preservation. The Portuguese verb "preservarás" which has the exact same meaning as "shall preserve" could and should be used, however inexplicably it was not.... Is it just to be different from the King James Bible?"  

This is a sad commentary and reflects the kind of problems good shepherds of God’s people are having around the world with many translations that are not verbal and formal equivalent translations of the Traditional Text that lies behind the King James Bible. Individuals memorizing dynamic or functional equivalent translations are learning men’s words or interpretations. They are not the Words of life, which were given once (Jude 1:3), Preserved, and translated word-for-word. The KJB is an excellent example of God’s Words preserved in English through proper translation of the inspired Words of God that were Preserved in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

It has been observed by several leaders of the Dean Burgon Society that the persons responsible for the translation of the Portuguese Bible have not received the obvious errors with graciousness and thankfulness. There is no need for ANGER or consternation when well-qualified men try to help. In addition, there is no need to hurl accusations against those who suggest translation alternatives or identify errors by attacking their credibility, training, and experience. Simply receive the information and agree to be diligent to make the translation of the preserved Words of God in the receptor-language as accurate and faithful as humanly possible! The maturity of the individuals involved, no matter their age, will be judged by their reactions. To dismiss any suggestion of a possible error in translation and not to seek multiple opinions from many experts is uncalled for by any translation team. Furthermore, the reason for a particular word or expression in any translation should be carefully and clearly explained by the translating team when a word or phrase is questioned by a credible person and not simply dismissed.

We must be jealous for the “received” Words of God and their proper translation. It is our prayer that the Brazilian translation team will take the necessary time to go through their Bible and identify any place that does not conform to proper translation method, technique, and art of translating. After this is done, the result should be submitted to a multitude of those whose mother tongue is Portuguese whether common people or scholars requesting their input into this project. There is no place for dynamic equivalent (or functional equivalent) translating of the preserved, pure, inerrant, infallible, inspired, Words of God, if the book is going to be called a Bible. 

A  PLEA  FOR  DILIGENT  TRANSLATING   

Dr. D. A. Waite, President of the DBS, said: 

“Both the DEAN BURGON SOCIETY and the TRINITARIAN BIBLE SOCIETY of both London and Brazil seem to share the same announced and proclaimed TEXTS to be used in Bible Translation. However, as evidenced repeatedly by TBS London and by TBS Brazil, I believe our DBS must take clear, definite, decisive, strong, objective, open, and public (though not bitter, mean, or caustic) OPPOSITION to their FAULTY VERBAL AND FORMAL TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES in the TRANSLATION of those TEXTS which have been, are being, and it is assumed will be in the future PRACTICED AND EVIDENCED by many of the Bibles produced by the TRINITARIAN BIBLE SOCIETY of England and the one Bible in Brazil.

“It is hoped that TBS might immediately change their methods so as to avoid the many errors as a result of not following the Masoretic Hebrew and Textus Receptus Greek texts and verbal and formal equivalent translation techniques. These errors are to be found in many of the foreign language translations which they have published through the years.” 

May the Trinitarian Bible Society hear these words from the “watchman” of our age, the honorable, respected, and well qualified Pastor D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D. (Eze. 33:1-33).  

It is our prayer that these comments will be received as constructive criticism. We love our brothers and sisters in Christ and our aim is to facilitate, not hurt. Our mission as representatives of the Dean Burgon Society is to help and encourage translators to be certain that the Words of God given to the people in the nations of the world in their language are “preserved” words (Psa. 11:3). This objective must come before friendship, affiliation, feelings, financial incentive, or any other problem that would stand in the way of word-for-word translating. We must all understand and keep the following verses near and dear to our hearts: 

“That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (Proverbs 22:21)
 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)  

ATTACHMENTS 

“Portuguese has a definite article and an indefinite one, with different forms according to the gender and number of the noun to which they refer: 

 

singular

plural

meaning

masculine

feminine

masculine

feminine

definite article

o

a

os

as

the

indefinite article

um

uma

uns

umas

a, an; some

 

Unlike some other Romance languages or English, the written form of the Portuguese articles is the same, independently of the next word. The noun after the indefinite article may be elided, in which case the article is equivalent to English "one" (if singular) or "a few ones" (if plural): quero um também ("I want one too"), quero ns maduros ("I want a few ripe ones").

The definite article may appear before a noun in certain contexts where it is not used in English, for example before certain proper nouns, such as country, and organization names:

Ele visitou o Brasil, a China e a Itália, "He visited Brazil, China, and Italy"

Ele visitou o Rio, "He visited Rio de Janeiro".

A IBM patrocinou o MoMA, "IBM sponsored MoMA"

Ele foi para o São Paulo, "He went to the São Paulo (soccer team)."[xii]   

ENDNOTES

[1] Dr. Stringer is the Pastor of Ravenswood Baptist Church, Chicago, IL and former President of Landmark Baptist College. Dr. Stringer is responsible for organizing the William Carey Bible Society (WCBS) for the purpose of recommending and defending proper translations of the Received Texts in the languages of the world, providing speakers, and publishing articles about the topic(s).

[2] The RVG editor recognizes this as an oversight and when faced with it, graciously, quickly, and willingly accepted this error and has promised to correct it in the next printed edition. Our wish, when faced with clear evidence, is that every translator in all languages of the world would be as willing as Dr. Gomez to change errors of improper text or translation technique in future printings.


[i] In translating, semantics is the use of logic to express a meaning, concept, message, etc. in ways that are different from the original expression but having a similar meaning; sometimes semantics is “tricky.” When translating the Words of God, semantics is not allowed. When preaching, proclaiming, or publishing, semantics may be appropriately used, if it is done in a good way. For example, the proper exegesis of a Bible passage that has been properly translated may include several different interpretations by the pastor, teacher, missionary, or evangelist. However, most biblical passages have only one proper interpretation.

[ii] The use of a synonym in translating can cause irreparable harm. For example, the substitution of “precipitation” for “rain,” which is a synonym. Synonyms are frequently inappropriately used by translators to arrive at the number of changes of words in a book in order to legally call it a new ‘version.’ See pages 99-100, 111-114 in Word-For-Word Translating. Also, Dr. Phil Stringer, Ph.D., reports that 60,000 words must be changed in order for a copyright to be obtained (Dr. Phil Stringer, Ready Answers, A Response to the Evangelical and Fundamentalist Critics of the King James Bible, p.14). Sadly, changes in the Bible for a copyright is one of the major reasons for inappropriate translating.

[iii] The Greek word pascha is appropriately translated “passover” or “Easter” depending on the context. Elohim is properly translated God, gods, mighty, great, angels, etc. See Dr. Phil Stringer’s excellent article, “Bible Translation and the Principle of Polysemy” published in Chapter 7 of Word-For-Word Translating of the Received Text (available from Bible For Today or from Amazon).

[iv] Kurt and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament (William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, paperback edition, 1995) p. 31.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Most theologians call the second half or the second 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week “The Great Tribulation.”

[vii] Dana Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (MacMillan Co., New York, 1927, 24th printing 1959) p. 136.

[viii] This grammatical situation is called “the article of reference” according to Dr. D. A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D. and is proper translating.

[ix] Dr. D. A. Waite’s use of “Preserved” (with a capital) and “preserved” (not capitalized) has been adopted by many of us to designate the original Words with a capital and properly translated Words into a receptor language by a small “p.” Therefore, we say: “The KJB is the Words of God preserved in English.”

[x] Portuguese Dictionary, Aurélio, which is a common dictionary used all over Brazil says Cordeiro (lamb): "Lat. vulg.": Latin Vulgar (common), "s.m.": substantive masculine, "Zool.": Zoology "Fig." Figurative.”

[xi] The Dean Burgon Society has been notified with examples by translators in many nations concerning the inadequate translations in countries such as Korea, China, Romania, France, etc.

[xii] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_grammar#Articles.

 

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