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Charity (Was: Erasmus)

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  • Robert B. Waltz
    Some things I can let pass. When Helge Evensen makes false and self-contradictory statements about the Textus Receptus, I can ignore it. When he makes
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 2, 1997
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      Some things I can let pass. When Helge Evensen makes false and
      self-contradictory statements about the Textus Receptus, I can
      ignore it. When he makes ridiculous statements about the textual
      theories of Erasmus, I can stand aside. But when he insults that
      once-noble monument which is the English Language, I cannot leave
      the matter alone.

      [ ... ]

      >Please understand that I am not arguing just to be disagreeable. But the
      >above statement is simply not true. The word "charity" certainly has the
      >meaning "love" today.

      True in theory. False in practice. I challenge you to find *any* native
      speaker of English (at least in America) to whom the primary meaning
      of charity is affection rather than almsgiving.

      >I do not have to go further than the standard modern Dictionaries to find
      >that out. For example, the Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary

      *This* is a standard English dictionary? Not where I live....

      >(1987) has this definition of the word "charity":
      >"1 Charity is 1.1 a kind and sympathetic attitude which you show towards
      >other people by being tolerant, helpful, or generous to them. EG _She
      >found the charity in her heart to forgive them for this wrong_.
      >1.2 money or gifts which are given to people because they are poor. EG
      >_He is far too proud to accept charity_".

      The American Heritage Dictionary (which *is* a standard dictionary) offers
      this as its first definition:

      1. The provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.

      The meaning "love" is the *second* subentity under the *sixth* definition,
      and is marked *specific to theology.* In other words, "love" and "charity"
      cannot be equated in ordinary conversation.

      And remember, the NT is written in colloquial Greek. It should be
      translated into colloquial English, not theological English!

      [ ... ]

      >To say that a Greek word must always be rendered into one English
      >word in all instances is clearly a fallacy.

      This is true. But it is not the point. The complex of words AGAP-
      are so important in the New Testament that they *must* be rendered
      consistently. To argue otherwise is equivalent to saying that we
      can indiscriminately call Jesus "Jesus" or "Joshua." Either name
      may be correct -- but they cannot be used at random.

      >The KJV translators had great
      >sensitivity when it came to choosing English equivalents that would suit
      >the particular context.

      This is true -- for 1611. It is simply *not true* for 1997.

      The KJV is the greatest translation ever made. It is one of the
      greatest ever works of English literature.

      It's also obsolete. Even if one ignores its defective text, even
      if one ignores all the things the translators did not know, it
      is *not in the language modern people speak.*

      Rant-and-rave mode off.

      Bob Waltz
      waltzmn@...
    • Jim West
      ... Right after the New Revised English Bible. ... It is absolutely obsolete. ... based on second rate, inferior and much tampered with texts. ... and they did
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 2, 1997
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        At 01:58 PM 7/2/97 -0500, you wrote:

        >The KJV is the greatest translation ever made. It is one of the
        >greatest ever works of English literature.

        Right after the New Revised English Bible.

        >
        >It's also obsolete.

        It is absolutely obsolete.

        > Even if one ignores its defective text,

        based on second rate, inferior and much tampered with texts.

        > even
        >if one ignores all the things the translators did not know,

        and they did not know a lot- because they depended more heavily on the work
        of their predecessors than they did on original translations of their own.

        > it
        >is *not in the language modern people speak.*
        >

        nor even close. The reason folk are attached to the KJV is because they
        DONT want to know what the Bible says- so they read an outmoded translation
        simply to feel good about themselves without any regard for the meaning of
        the text.

        >Rant-and-rave mode off.
        >

        Why?

        >Bob Waltz
        >waltzmn@...


        JIm

        +++++++++++++++++++++++
        Jim West, ThD
        Adjunct Professor of Bible, Quartz Hill School of Theology
        Managing Editor, "The Journal of Biblical Studies" at
        http://web.infoave.net/~jwest/index.htm

        jwest@...
      • Mr. Helge Evensen
        ... Please understand that I am not arguing just to be disagreeable. But the above statement is simply not true. The word charity certainly has the meaning
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 2, 1997
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          Mike and Jeanne Arcieri wrote:

          > 'Charity' may have meant 'love' in 1611, but we are not in 1611 today,
          > and TODAY it means almsgiving NOT love.
          > So WHY introduce this problem in todays versions??

          Please understand that I am not arguing just to be disagreeable. But the
          above statement is simply not true. The word "charity" certainly has the
          meaning "love" today.

          I do not have to go further than the standard modern Dictionaries to find
          that out. For example, the Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary
          (1987) has this definition of the word "charity":
          "1 Charity is 1.1 a kind and sympathetic attitude which you show towards
          other people by being tolerant, helpful, or generous to them. EG _She
          found the charity in her heart to forgive them for this wrong_.
          1.2 money or gifts which are given to people because they are poor. EG
          _He is far too proud to accept charity_".

          Here we clearly see that the meaning "almsgiving" (money or gifts) is the
          *secondary* meaning of the word, *not* the primary. Charity is an *act*
          (or at least shows itself through acts/works). In reality, I do not think
          it is always possible to separate between charity as almsgiving and
          charity as "love". It rather seems that it has to do with two (or more)
          ways of expressing the same thing.

          What is "love" anyway? Is it not demonstrated by actions? And if we
          consider the context of 1. Cor.13, we can clearly see that the KJV
          translators had good reasons for render it "charity" instead of "love".
          The former is broader in meaning and contains the sense of love _in
          action_. And that seems to be the primary meaning in 1 Cor.13. That is
          what the whole chapter is about. In fact, the chapter is in itself a
          *definition* of what "love" is, especially vv. 4-8. In total, "charity"
          occurs 28 times in the KJV.

          The interesting part is that the KJV translators chose this word in
          this context. They apparently saw the need of emphasizing more clearly
          the meaning of the Greek word "agape". "Agape" is a Biblical and
          ecclesiastical word, meaning (in its verb expression) to wish the best of
          others, to give without limit, show unselfish commitment, etc. I think
          that the word "agape" (or "agapao") is in its strongest expression in
          John 3:16: "For so God "loved" the world, that he *gave*....."

          The Webster Dictionary has another order in the definition of "charity".
          It says: "1. charitable actions, as almsgiving or performing other
          benevolent actions of any sort for the needy with no expectation of
          material reward: _to devote one`s life to charity_.
          2. something given to a person or persons in need; alms: _She asked for
          work, not charity_. 3. a charitable act of work., etc."

          Whether we accept the Collins or the Webster definitions, it is grossly
          inaccurate to say that charity does not mean love today! Charity meant
          "love" in 1611, and it means "love" today. To accept the word charity
          is therefore not to "introduce" a "problem in today`s versions", but
          rather to appreciate a word that is broader and deeper than "love".

          To say that a Greek word must always be rendered into one English
          word in all instances is clearly a fallacy. The KJV translators had great
          sensitivity when it came to choosing English equivalents that would suit
          the particular context.

          Another thing to consider here is that the word "love" in modern "street"
          language is encumbered with many wrong ideas, which is certainly not
          Biblical.

          I apologize for having gone into these details on a non-tc issue.


          --
          - Mr. Helge Evensen
        • Robert B. Waltz
          On Fri, 04 Jul 1997, Mr. Helge Evensen wrote: [ BTW -- I think we can keep the tone a little calmer this time. ] ... [ ... ] ... The
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 3, 1997
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            On Fri, 04 Jul 1997, "Mr. Helge Evensen" <helevens@...> wrote:

            [ BTW -- I think we can keep the tone a little calmer this time. ]

            >Robert B. Waltz wrote:

            [ ... ]

            >> 'Charity' may have meant 'love' in 1611, but we are not in 1611 today,
            >> and TODAY it means almsgiving NOT love.
            >> So WHY introduce this problem in todays versions??
            >
            >This is what I responded to, not something else. I was speaking of the
            >fact that the meaning of charity is still "love" today. And the *context*
            >of the discussion was the occurences of this word in the KJV, which is
            >a version of the *Bible*, not whether or not native speakers of English
            >use this word in the meaning "love" in everyday language.
            >My point was that the meaning is still intact today. I responded to the
            >blatant assertion that this meaning is *not* present in the word today.
            >It would have been better to say that "love" is not the *primary* meaning
            >of the word today (even though this would have been an overstatement).

            The primary meaning is surely what people understand it to mean. And they
            understand it to mean "charity."

            I do not argue that this is "good" -- in fact, I object to the way
            certain people use certain words. Very obvious example: "Gay."
            In my vocabulary, "gay" is a word meaning "chearful," and is applied
            primarily to ladies -- at least in traditional music. But it has
            now been -- er -- perverted to mean "homosexual." And for all that
            I wish it otherwise, when I hear the word "gay," I must usually
            interpret it as meaning "homosexual," not "cheerful."

            >I even used one of the standard Dictionaries to prove my point.
            >I doubt that the Birmingham University (on whose International Language
            >Database the Collins Dictionary is based) did not get this right.

            But if two dictionaries disagree, should we not investigate further?
            And we are finding that the English speakers on the list understand
            the word as "almsgiving."

            >(Or maybe they are trying to "deceive" students concerning the meaning of
            >this word?)
            >
            >In order for charity to have the meaning of "love" today, it does not
            >necessarily mean that it is to be spoken in everyday language. There are
            >*other uses* of words than just everyday language. This should be plain
            >enough.

            Not really. My interpretation of the above statement is that we are to
            speak some sort of code because that's what your dictionary says.

            [... ]
            >
            >Another thing to consider is that as long as this word occurs in a very
            >influential Bible translation, it *is* a currently used word in modern
            >English. Christians are using it in connection with teaching, witnessing,
            >counseling, etc. Is this not part of modern English?

            Really? Anybody want to tell me what a "blain" is (Ex. 9:9)? :-)

            >To state otherwise is to say that "theological language" is *not* part
            >of modern English. It *is* a known word today. It may not be used in the
            >meaning "love" on "the street", but does that mean that this use is not
            >part of modern English??

            In my experience, it is not. And my English (unlike my Greek) is
            quite good.

            [ ... ]

            >> The meaning "love" is the *second* subentity under the *sixth* definition,
            >> and is marked *specific to theology.* In other words, "love" and "charity"
            >> cannot be equated in ordinary conversation.
            >
            >(What is "ordinary conversation"? Is it "non-religious" conversation?)

            "Ordinary conversation" is anything people say without trying to sound
            affected.

            [ ... ]

            >That is all this dictionary has to say about this word.
            >Note that while it indicates that the word is "Biblical", it does not
            >separate between that and the modern usage, but rather lumps it all
            >together.

            But -- trust me -- most people *don't* speak "Biblical English" in
            ordinary life, and can't be expected to understand it. Certainly they
            aren't taught it. In fact, any attempt to teach it in American
            public schools would be unconstitutional.

            >But since you referred to a "standard" dictionary, let me refer to
            >another one which is *certainly* a standard: The Oxford Advanced
            >Learner`s Dictionary, New Edition (fourth edition), Oxford 1989.
            >On the title page it is called a dictionary "of *Current* English"
            >(emphasis added).
            >This one better be right, for it is responsible for thousands of
            >students` understanding of English language and usage all over the world.

            The ultimate authority, perhaps, is the Oxford English Dictionary.
            Anybody out there have an OED to check?

            >When I open this dictionary I expect to find definitions according to
            >*current* English. And what do I find when I open it at the word
            >charity? Yes, you guessed it again, here it is:
            >"_n_ 1 [U] loving kindness towards others. 2 [U] tolerance in judging
            >others; kindness; leniency: _judge people with charity_. 3 [U] (a)
            >(generosity in) giving money, food, help, etc to the needy......etc."
            >
            >It cannot be rightly held as a fact that "love" is not one of the
            >meanings of charity. Whether you choose a dictionary which lists this
            >meaning first or one that lists it last. The meaning is *there*.
            >
            >> And remember, the NT is written in colloquial Greek. It should be
            >> translated into colloquial English, not theological English!
            >
            >It does not automatically follow that, just because the NT was written
            >in colloquial Greek, a translation must be in colloquial in the receptor
            >language. That must depend on the ability of that particular language
            >to contain the meanings of the words of the Bible.

            Modern English is fully as capable of translating Greek as the language
            of the KJV -- which happens to be early Modern English. It merely
            translates it differently.

            [ ... ]

            >> >To say that a Greek word must always be rendered into one English
            >> >word in all instances is clearly a fallacy.
            >>
            >> This is true. But it is not the point. The complex of words AGAP-
            >> are so important in the New Testament that they *must* be rendered
            >> consistently.
            >
            >Many would disagree with you on that point. Personally, I would prefer
            >to render it consistently. But that is not the only valid view in
            >existense.

            But you are arguing for rendering it inconsistently, because the
            KJV rendders it inconsistently. Please, either be consistent or
            tell us that you don't care about logic. :-)

            >> To argue otherwise is equivalent to saying that we
            >> can indiscriminately call Jesus "Jesus" or "Joshua." Either name
            >> may be correct -- but they cannot be used at random.
            >
            >There is a clear difference between the use of a proper name and the use
            >of a group of ordinary words.

            I see none.

            It should not be necessary for me to
            >comment further on that. (It seems that the word "equivalent" here is a
            >little too strong.....)
            >
            >> >The KJV translators had great
            >> >sensitivity when it came to choosing English equivalents that would suit
            >> >the particular context.
            >>
            >> This is true -- for 1611. It is simply *not true* for 1997.
            >
            >Yeah, it is still *true* today, but the language has changed.

            That's *my* point.

            [ ... ]

            >> It's also obsolete. Even if one ignores its defective text, even
            >> if one ignores all the things the translators did not know, it
            >> is *not in the language modern people speak.*
            >
            >I answer this with two questions:*Should* a Bible translation necessarily
            >be in the language modern people *speak*? Is not the Bible a Holy book
            >which is different from a newspaper?

            Are you Protestant? I assume so. I imagine you are Lutheran. Is not
            the Priesthood of All Believers an important component of Lutheranism?
            Surely this means people must be able to understand their Bible.
            But people *do not* understand the KJV.

            I agree that is regretable; I wish more people could understand
            Chaucer and Shakespeare as well as the KJV. But it is true. We
            cannot hold back time. We can only bring our translations up to date.

            -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

            Robert B. Waltz
            waltzmn@...

            Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
            Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
            (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
          • Mr. Helge Evensen
            ... Finally, I have crossed the line and have become guilty of committing sacrilege against the Holy English Language! ... I guess I could have found more than
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 4, 1997
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              Robert B. Waltz wrote:
              >
              > Some things I can let pass. When Helge Evensen makes false and
              > self-contradictory statements about the Textus Receptus, I can
              > ignore it. When he makes ridiculous statements about the textual
              > theories of Erasmus, I can stand aside. But when he insults that
              > once-noble monument which is the English Language, I cannot leave
              > the matter alone.

              Finally, I have crossed the line and have become guilty of committing
              sacrilege against the Holy English Language!

              >
              > >Please understand that I am not arguing just to be disagreeable. But the
              > >above statement is simply not true. The word "charity" certainly has the
              > >meaning "love" today.
              >
              > True in theory. False in practice. I challenge you to find *any* native
              > speaker of English (at least in America) to whom the primary meaning
              > of charity is affection rather than almsgiving.

              I guess I could have found more than one if I just sought hard enough
              for it. However, I am not willing to use the time it would take. I am at
              a great disadvantage at this point, since I am not a native speaker of
              English. But your statement above is, in fact, missing the point.
              Please consider again the statement of Mike to which I responded:

              > 'Charity' may have meant 'love' in 1611, but we are not in 1611 today,
              > and TODAY it means almsgiving NOT love.
              > So WHY introduce this problem in todays versions??

              This is what I responded to, not something else. I was speaking of the
              fact that the meaning of charity is still "love" today. And the *context*
              of the discussion was the occurences of this word in the KJV, which is
              a version of the *Bible*, not whether or not native speakers of English
              use this word in the meaning "love" in everyday language.
              My point was that the meaning is still intact today. I responded to the
              blatant assertion that this meaning is *not* present in the word today.
              It would have been better to say that "love" is not the *primary* meaning
              of the word today (even though this would have been an overstatement).
              I even used one of the standard Dictionaries to prove my point.
              I doubt that the Birmingham University (on whose International Language
              Database the Collins Dictionary is based) did not get this right.
              (Or maybe they are trying to "deceive" students concerning the meaning of
              this word?)

              In order for charity to have the meaning of "love" today, it does not
              necessarily mean that it is to be spoken in everyday language. There are
              *other uses* of words than just everyday language. This should be plain
              enough.

              On the title page of the Collins Dictionary, we read: "HELPING LEARNERS
              WITH _REAL_ ENGLISH". So the meaning of charity which I referred to is
              actually REAL ENGLISH. There is more. In the Introduction, we read: "This
              dictionary is for people who want to *use* modern English. It offers
              *accurate* and detailed information on the way *modern* English is *used*
              in *all kinds* of communication. It is a useful guide to *writing* and
              **speaking** English as well as an aid to reading and *understanding*".
              "For the first time, a dictionary has been compiled by the *thorough*
              examination of a *representative* group of English texts, *spoken* and
              *written*, running to many millions of words. This means that in addition
              to all the tools of the conventional dictionary makers - wide reading and
              *experience* of English, other dictionaries and of course eyes and ears -
              this dictionary is based on *hard*, measurable *evidence*. No major uses
              are missed, and the number of times a use occurs has a *strong* influence
              on the *way* the *entries* are *organized*".
              "The dictionary team has had daily access to about 20 million words,....
              The words came from books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, leaflets,
              conversations, radio and television broadcasts.....
              The aim was to provide a *fair representation* of *contemporary*
              English" (Introduction, p. xv, emphasis added).

              Well, if words mean anything, and if the Birmingham University does not
              lie, I have good reason for trusting the definitions in this dictionary.
              At least, I think it is fair to conclude that if they list "love" as the
              *primary* meaning of charity, this meaning can be regarded as one of the
              *valid* meanings of charity in modern English. If not, Birmingham must
              have really missed it here and probably in numerous other places.
              According to the quoted words, this must be a pretty good dictionary. At
              least, I am not competent to try to correct it.

              On the front flap, it reads: "An editorial team has worked for seven
              years using extensive computer facilities to study and analyse the
              patterns of use in millions of words of text".
              On the back cover, we find: "It is based on a detailed analysis of how
              *today`s* English is really *used*" and "90,000 examples taken from the
              COBUILD database show just how words and phrases are *really* used".
              (Emphasis added).

              The thing that called forth my response to Mike was not that he
              asserted that "love" is not the *primary* meaning of charity, but that
              it did not have that meaning *at all* today!
              Note also that I did not say that charity *primarily* means "love" in all
              situations at all times. I was depending on the order of the listing of
              the Dictionary.

              Since you yourself referred to a dictionary in your post, it seems that
              you think that a dictionary definition carries at least *some* weight.
              My dictionary disagrees with yours, so what? That fact alone should be
              enough to admit that "love" *is* a valid meaning of the word charity. It
              certainly is wrong to conclude blatant that it does not at all have that
              meaning in modern language. If that was the case, I doubt that any
              dictionary at all would have given it this definition.

              Another thing to consider is that as long as this word occurs in a very
              influential Bible translation, it *is* a currently used word in modern
              English. Christians are using it in connection with teaching, witnessing,
              counseling, etc. Is this not part of modern English?
              To state otherwise is to say that "theological language" is *not* part
              of modern English. It *is* a known word today. It may not be used in the
              meaning "love" on "the street", but does that mean that this use is not
              part of modern English??
              Is not christians who use this word today among native English speakers?

              > >I do not have to go further than the standard modern Dictionaries to find
              > >that out. For example, the Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary
              >
              > *This* is a standard English dictionary? Not where I live....

              That does not make it a non-standard.
              But it certainly is a standard dictionary at numerous schools and
              colleges. And since it is based on extensive research and hard evidence,
              there is no reason to doubt its reliability. Students are using it, and
              are being formed by it, linguistically.

              > >(1987) has this definition of the word "charity":
              > >"1 Charity is 1.1 a kind and sympathetic attitude which you show towards
              > >other people by being tolerant, helpful, or generous to them. EG _She
              > >found the charity in her heart to forgive them for this wrong_.
              > >1.2 money or gifts which are given to people because they are poor. EG
              > >_He is far too proud to accept charity_".
              >
              > The American Heritage Dictionary (which *is* a standard dictionary) offers
              > this as its first definition:
              >
              > 1. The provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.
              >
              > The meaning "love" is the *second* subentity under the *sixth* definition,
              > and is marked *specific to theology.* In other words, "love" and "charity"
              > cannot be equated in ordinary conversation.

              (What is "ordinary conversation"? Is it "non-religious" conversation?)

              As I said earlier, "good godly men differ". And dictionaries differ.
              We should not forget that there may be a difference between English
              and American English, and that the KJV is written in *English*. Thus, we
              may discover that there are slight differences in the definitions
              between dictionaries intended for use in America and those intended for
              use in England. But even though your American dictionary did not list
              "love" as a primary meaning of charity, I have one that does. I am
              talking about the Webster`s Dictionary of the American Language. That
              one may be regarded as a standard dictionary, I suppose. (Maybe not by
              all).
              On the front cover we find the following announcement:
              over 50,000 entries
              derivations
              **modern definitions**
              parts of speech
              syllabized
              clear type
              indexed

              (emphasis added)

              One of the things I expect to find when I open this dictionary, is
              *modern definitions* of the English words. I now open it to the word
              charity; and guess what I find? Yes, you guessed it, here it is:
              "n. (Bib.) love and goodwill to men; liberality to the poor; leniency
              in judging others; any act of kindness; alms; a charitable cause or
              institution".

              That is all this dictionary has to say about this word.
              Note that while it indicates that the word is "Biblical", it does not
              separate between that and the modern usage, but rather lumps it all
              together.

              But since you referred to a "standard" dictionary, let me refer to
              another one which is *certainly* a standard: The Oxford Advanced
              Learner`s Dictionary, New Edition (fourth edition), Oxford 1989.
              On the title page it is called a dictionary "of *Current* English"
              (emphasis added).
              This one better be right, for it is responsible for thousands of
              students` understanding of English language and usage all over the world.

              When I open this dictionary I expect to find definitions according to
              *current* English. And what do I find when I open it at the word
              charity? Yes, you guessed it again, here it is:
              "_n_ 1 [U] loving kindness towards others. 2 [U] tolerance in judging
              others; kindness; leniency: _judge people with charity_. 3 [U] (a)
              (generosity in) giving money, food, help, etc to the needy......etc."

              It cannot be rightly held as a fact that "love" is not one of the
              meanings of charity. Whether you choose a dictionary which lists this
              meaning first or one that lists it last. The meaning is *there*.

              > And remember, the NT is written in colloquial Greek. It should be
              > translated into colloquial English, not theological English!

              It does not automatically follow that, just because the NT was written
              in colloquial Greek, a translation must be in colloquial in the receptor
              language. That must depend on the ability of that particular language
              to contain the meanings of the words of the Bible. And what *is*
              "theological English", by the way? 100 years from now, the words of
              colloquial English may be regarded as "theological language". The best
              words to use in a translation are those which best transfer to the
              reader the meaning and riches of the original language words.
              And English readers may be greatly rewarded by consulting the English
              dictionaries, and gain an understanding of the *real* meaning of words!

              It is wonderful that we have dictionaries to help us if we do not have
              an understanding of the real meanings of the words we are faced with.

              >
              > >To say that a Greek word must always be rendered into one English
              > >word in all instances is clearly a fallacy.
              >
              > This is true. But it is not the point. The complex of words AGAP-
              > are so important in the New Testament that they *must* be rendered
              > consistently.

              Many would disagree with you on that point. Personally, I would prefer
              to render it consistently. But that is not the only valid view in
              existense.

              > To argue otherwise is equivalent to saying that we
              > can indiscriminately call Jesus "Jesus" or "Joshua." Either name
              > may be correct -- but they cannot be used at random.

              There is a clear difference between the use of a proper name and the use
              of a group of ordinary words. It should not be necessary for me to
              comment further on that. (It seems that the word "equivalent" here is a
              little too strong.....)

              > >The KJV translators had great
              > >sensitivity when it came to choosing English equivalents that would suit
              > >the particular context.
              >
              > This is true -- for 1611. It is simply *not true* for 1997.

              Yeah, it is still *true* today, but the language has changed.
              One of the reasons that the word charity is still in use today and still
              contains the meaning it had in 1611, is precisely the circumstance that
              the 1611 version has had greater influence on the English language than
              any other book.

              > The KJV is the greatest translation ever made. It is one of the
              > greatest ever works of English literature.

              Amen and Amen!!!!

              >
              > It's also obsolete. Even if one ignores its defective text, even
              > if one ignores all the things the translators did not know, it
              > is *not in the language modern people speak.*

              I answer this with two questions:*Should* a Bible translation necessarily
              be in the language modern people *speak*? Is not the Bible a Holy book
              which is different from a newspaper?

              >
              > Rant-and-rave mode off.

              I doubt that, after this post....; you may feel free to turn it *on*
              again now....


              --
              - Mr. Helge Evensen
            • Mr. Helge Evensen
              Mr. Waltz, Thanks for your response. It is obvious that my former message did not help you understand what I am talking about, so I will just briefly end my
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 4, 1997
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                Mr. Waltz,

                Thanks for your response.

                It is obvious that my former message did not help you understand what I
                am talking about, so I will just briefly end my contribution to this
                debate with the present post. And, admittedly, my limited experience
                as to the practical use of the English language, naturally hinders me
                from going further with this.


                Robert B. Waltz wrote:
                >
                > On Fri, 04 Jul 1997, "Mr. Helge Evensen" <helevens@...> wrote:
                >
                > [ BTW -- I think we can keep the tone a little calmer this time. ]

                Fine with me.

                > >Robert B. Waltz wrote:
                >
                > [ ... ]
                >
                > >> 'Charity' may have meant 'love' in 1611, but we are not in 1611 today,
                > >> and TODAY it means almsgiving NOT love.
                > >> So WHY introduce this problem in todays versions??
                > >
                > >This is what I responded to, not something else. I was speaking of the
                > >fact that the meaning of charity is still "love" today. And the *context*
                > >of the discussion was the occurences of this word in the KJV, which is
                > >a version of the *Bible*, not whether or not native speakers of English
                > >use this word in the meaning "love" in everyday language.
                > >My point was that the meaning is still intact today. I responded to the
                > >blatant assertion that this meaning is *not* present in the word today.
                > >It would have been better to say that "love" is not the *primary* meaning
                > >of the word today (even though this would have been an overstatement).
                >
                > The primary meaning is surely what people understand it to mean. And they
                > understand it to mean "charity."

                What does, for instance, the word "grace" mean in contemporary English
                language outside "religious talk"? And the word "holy"?
                If they are not used in the Biblical meaning, is that a reason for
                avoiding the use of them in modern English translations? If so, not many
                translators have thought it necessary, for very few translations
                substitute these words.

                [.....]

                > >> >To say that a Greek word must always be rendered into one English
                > >> >word in all instances is clearly a fallacy.
                > >>
                > >> This is true. But it is not the point. The complex of words AGAP-
                > >> are so important in the New Testament that they *must* be rendered
                > >> consistently.
                > >
                > >Many would disagree with you on that point. Personally, I would prefer
                > >to render it consistently. But that is not the only valid view in
                > >existense.
                >
                > But you are arguing for rendering it inconsistently, because the
                > KJV rendders it inconsistently. Please, either be consistent or
                > tell us that you don't care about logic. :-)

                This is a misunderstanding. I did not *argue* for rendering it
                inconsistently. I stated what was my *personal* preference
                with regard to the rendering of AGAPE, and that this view is
                not the only *valid* one. That is, *other* choices may be *valid*.
                But despite my own view, it is a fact that one Greek word does not always
                have to be rendered by the same English word. And that *may* be the case
                with the word AGAPE. I did *not* state anything conclusive, or that
                AGAPE *must necessarily* be rendered consistently.
                Actually, I have not stated that the KJV *always* has the word AGAPE
                rendered correctly.

                My argument is that it is wrong to say that the word "charity" does *not
                at all* have the meaning "love" today. That was my concern in my response
                to Mike. My personal preference may be the one or the other, but evidence
                is evidence, and that is what I have presented with regard to the word
                "charity". And I have not depended on my own opinions, I have cited
                evidence. If I had *not* found evidence for my statements regarding the
                word "charity", I would not have bothered this list with my opinions.
                Because of my limited experience with regard to the English language, it
                would be impossible for me to argue at all about the uses of that
                language in everyday talk, if I had not found evidence in dictionaries.
                If these dictionaries are not representative of the current use of
                English, that is really not my responsibility. Besides, I never did say
                that "charity" was used by all in the meaning "love". My only contention
                is that "charity" still contains the meaning "love", as it is found in
                the dictionaries which I have consulted.

                > >> To argue otherwise is equivalent to saying that we
                > >> can indiscriminately call Jesus "Jesus" or "Joshua." Either name
                > >> may be correct -- but they cannot be used at random.
                > >
                > >There is a clear difference between the use of a proper name and the use
                > >of a group of ordinary words.
                >
                > I see none.

                I may add that I have not argued that one is to use the words "love" and
                "charity" *at random*. The rendering of words must be done carefully,
                not "at random" (unless you used the expression in the sense of
                "irregular").

                > >> It's also obsolete. Even if one ignores its defective text, even
                > >> if one ignores all the things the translators did not know, it
                > >> is *not in the language modern people speak.*
                > >
                > >I answer this with two questions:*Should* a Bible translation necessarily
                > >be in the language modern people *speak*? Is not the Bible a Holy book
                > >which is different from a newspaper?
                >
                > Are you Protestant? I assume so. I imagine you are Lutheran. Is not
                > the Priesthood of All Believers an important component of Lutheranism?
                > Surely this means people must be able to understand their Bible.
                > But people *do not* understand the KJV.

                Yes, I am Protestant. However, I am also "Charis(auto)matic" (that is,
                one who believes in the "auotomatic" giving of "Grace" to *anyone* who
                accepts Jesus Christ as his/her Saviour and believes His Holy Word!)


                [...]
                >
                > I wish more people could understand
                > Chaucer and Shakespeare as well as the KJV.

                I agree.

                [...]

                > We can only bring our translations up to date.

                I clearly disagree with you there, but we cannot continue this debate
                forever, so enough for now.

                Thanks so far. God bless.


                --
                - Mr. Helge Evensen
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