Subscribe in a reader or enter your address to get posts via email: 
Like this blog on Facebook!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Another sermon point that turns on translation

Last night a special speaker was at my church, and one of his (admittedly relatively minor) message points hinged on Jeremiah 17:6:
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. (KJV)
"The person who is trusting in himself and not the Lord's strength," he told us, "won't even see the good things that come by." Only problem with that was that my ESV says:
He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. (ESV)
By that reading, the good may not ever come at all! (Although if it does, by chance, he will not see it.) Apparently the ESV is in the minority when leaving out the "when," although it reads that way in the Amplified version as well (the only other version I consulted that kept the phrase but left out the "when"). The ESV has built a reputation for being very accurate, but it's hard to believe that the ESV folks got this one right and everyone else got it wrong!

Although this is a minor difference in syntax, it goes to illustrate how we should be careful about reading too much into a text without consulting a few different opinions of how the text could best be rendered.

No comments: