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Monday, 29 May 2006

"Themselves" in the KJV and TNIV

Counter TNIV, Numbers 6
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the LORD as a Nazirite, 3 they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. . .'"

Oh boy, here we go again. Gender-specific language has been replaced with gender-neutral language, right?


The KJV pre-empted by nearly four centuries the TNIV's use of 'themselves' as a generic singular (italics in the original):

"When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: Hee shall separate himselfe from wine, and strong drinke, and shal drinke no vinenger of wine, or vineger of strong drinke . . ."

The TNIV is a bit more blatant than the KJV, and even more so than the Hebrew, but clearly the use of some sort of generic 'themselves' goes back a long way.

But the TNIV is woefully behind the times in another point of translation. It's been clear for some time now that the other beverage in question here is much more specific than 'other fermented drink'. It's beer.

Now that's something that today's generation should be able to relate to.

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