An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Translation Woes

(Proverbs 18:24 KJV)  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

There are times when I wonder what Bible translators had for lunch.  This verse is a good example.  Compare it to the NASB:
(Proverbs 18:24 NAS77)  A man of many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Notice that one has “friendly” (7489) and the other has “ruin” (7489b).  For the life of me I can’t put those too together without a lot of gymnastics.  A simple word study using Strong’s numbering system shows that this is the only place that the KJV translates this Hebrew word in a positive way.  The most common translation is “evil.”

A second difference is not so obvious.  Notice the second use of the concept of “friend” (157).  This is the common Hebrew word meaning “love.”  That is the most frequent translation.  It is much more than a friend.  So let me offer the Pumice Pathetic Paraphrase of this verse:
“Seeking too many friends can make life worse but relationships based on genuine love are stronger than family ties.”  (PPP)
So?  Understand the difference between being friendly and loving.  Everyone deserves the first but the second is where we should really build our lives.


Gorges Smythe said...

Strange, but if you take the KJ translation by itself, it still makes for good advice, even if in a totally different way!

Pumice said...

I think one of the evidences of the inspiration of scripture is that you sometimes have two translations that both have truth. I have no trouble with that because when it happens they seem to compliment, not contradict.

Grace and peace.