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Problematic phrases in the King James New Testament and translators orthodoxy


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#1 Father Philosoph Uhlman

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:11 AM

Somehow I have stumbled into a polemic discussion with someone who has come to hold the position that it is unfitting for Orthodox people to read any translations of the scripture that was not translated by the Non-orthodox/Heterodox. And that any translation KJV or otherwise ought to be dispensed with as it is necessarily harmful.
Although I know that this argument is going nowhere...
I am trying to locate a list of the phrases in the King James Version of the New Testament that might be considered problematic from an Orthodox perspective, with the idea of showing that it is really not so bad. I am imagine this must exist, but my googling keeps landing me in protestant critiques of the KJV.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

#2 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:53 AM

This person sounds like they have been listening too much to certain Protestants who set so much store by have the "right" translation in English because that is all they have to go by. Since they have thrown out the historical wisdom of the Church, if they don't have the "right" translation, boy are they in for problems.

The Orthodox understanding of Holy Scripture is explained and expounded upon in our icons and our worship. If an Orthodox Christian attends a regular cycle of Orthodox services and understands what is going on, I don't think there is any problem with whatever translation of the Bible he or she happens to read. As long as that person does not take any translation and choose their own interpretation of any particular Scripture (many passages of which can be hard to understand in ANY language) over the time-tested understanding of the Church, proclaimed by the Apostles, explained by the Fathers, preserved by the bishops, and Amened by the people. What is the problem if there are differences in translation, as long as the correct meaning and understanding is preserved?

This individual is a prime example of why we have bishops. Regardless of what this one person thinks, what does the Bishop teach? What does the Synod of Bishops say on the subject? Do they agree with this person? This is also an example why a correct understanding of Orthodoxy goes well beyond what Bible you read. I try to read several different versions for more difficult passages and compare that to what we pray and what the Fathers have written. I don't see it as a real problem, but that might just be me.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.
Herman the Revised Standard Version Pooh with a certain affinity for the NKJV

#3 Father Philosoph Uhlman

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:43 AM

Thank you for your reply Herman. A lot of your comments were on the mark regarding the flavour of this conversation - but actually this conversation is with a cradle Orthodox from the Old World. Having thought a little more about what the conversation is about - I think that at its essence it might be closer to a purity and infection narrative at its core. And my purpose in continuing to engage this conversation is not to prove the individual wrong, because I don't know whether that is possible when engaging with rigid narrative of correctness and purity. So I had been curious about looking at the problematic phrases as a means of engaging alternate possibilities of reflecting on this topic, an attempt to diminish the imagined intensity of these errors. There is something which doesn't feel right about what is being said about orthodoxy by this individual in this issue. And my concern is not so much with this issue as such, as with the attitude or worldview which is framing it and shaping this individuals experience of the church and capacity for sanctification.

#4 Mark Harris

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:01 PM

I rely on my Orthodox Study Bible and its many footnotes.

#5 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:10 PM

There are several "Old World" Orthodox who look for any excuse not to translate the Scriptures and the services for any reason. It is the same issue that Sts. Cyril and Methodios had to deal with when they dared to create a Slavic translation.

#6 Antonios

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:06 AM

It is better to read any version than not read any version.

#7 Kosta

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:17 AM

I remember speaking to a greek immigrant from the old country who stopped attending church in america because english was used. He said that prayers arent effective in english.

#8 Xeni S. K.

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:15 AM

I rely on my Orthodox Study Bible too. Its notes are very helpful.

#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:34 PM

I remember speaking to a greek immigrant from the old country who stopped attending church in america because english was used. He said that prayers arent effective in english.


This reminds me of a Cypriot in the queue to take a blessing from Bishop Kallistos (as he then was) and muttering, 'what kind of blessing can it be? He's English!'

#10 Xenia Moos

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:04 PM

I have heard that the word for "tradition" is mistranslated in the King James Bible. Maybe that could be a line of inquiry.

#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:39 PM

In the NT, the Greek word 'paradosis' seems properly translated as 'tradition' but I'm open to correction from those more knowledgeable.

#12 Xenia Moos

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:47 PM

I am probably wrong.




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