Friday, October 13, 2023

Jots & Tittles 23: An Error in Psalm 10:13 (MEV)



1 comment:

Andrew said...

A couple of quick notes on this translation that might be worth looking into:

"God" is omitted in Matthew 19:17 of the MEV. — This seems to be due to CT influence rather than a translational choice, as MEV follows CT in the parallel passages in Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19. In the digital version of the MEV that I accessed, there was no footnote signifying this omission of the name "God" in Matthew 19:17. This instance is also doubly unusual because the MEV does not follow suit with the CT removal of "good" from Matthew 19:16. If the omission of the word "God" in Matthew 19:17 (and not in Mark or Luke) was an unintentional omission, the CT similarity may help explain this. I am not aware of a TR or a Byzantine Majority text that omits this word.

Another reading in the MEV that appears to follow the CT is the twofold change in 1 Corinthians 9:21. Here, the MEV has from "law to God" and "law to Christ" to the phrase "law of God" (or God's law) and "law of Christ" (or Christ's law). — This reflects a reading of the CT as the Dative case is changed to the Genitive case for both words (God and Christ) in the CT. Again, this doesn't occur to my knowledge in the TR or in an MT. It seems to come from the Critical Text, which is a reconstruction of the Alexandrian text. However, the CT readings in 1 Corinthians 9:20 or 22 do not seem to appear in the MEV, only that from verse 21.

As Jeff pointed out in his earlier review, John 1:18 in the MEV did not contain the word "begotten," which is a major difference. This decision is further unusual, since John 3:16,18, and Hebrews 11:17 and 1 John 4:9 still have been translated as "only begotten" in the MEV. As only the instances in John chapter 1 seem to be changed, this might represent a more recent stratum in the MEV translation process. That is, for unknown reasons an editor went back in and specifically changed John chapter 1, but did not change the other instances.

In the Old Testament the MEV also seems to contain a similar reading as the NKJV in Genesis 22:17, where the singular "seed" and "his enemies" is changed to plural "descendants" and "their enemies." This is translated as plural in the MEV as well as the NKJV, despite the fact that in Galatians 3:16, the Paul has built a doctrine specifically on the point that the Hebrew Bible here refers to a "seed" (meaning Christ) and not to "seeds" (plural). The Hebrew text itself is also singular in Genesis 22:17, similar to the way Genesis 3:15 is written. That means this is purely a translational change to Genesis 22:17 in the MEV (and NKJV).

As for other translational differences, two prominent examples are Philippians 2:6 ... and Micah 5:2, where the term "everlasting" (as in the KJV) is downgraded to the phrase "from ancient days" in the MEV. Interestingly, MEV only contains this reading in Micah 5:2, but not in the passage of Isaiah 63:16, where it still says "everlasting." Most modern versions also change Isaiah 63:16 in a similar way. I am not sure what to make of this, either.

Based on my investigation, the translation methodology of the MEV has other interesting features. In addition to some of the earlier examples, another difference is where the MEV translated Psalm 27:14 as the active voice "be strong" instead of the passive voice "he shall strengthen." However, the MEV editors elected not to make a similar change to the translation of the same verb in Psalm 31:24, which the MEV kept as passive (so matching the KJV).

The MEV also reflects some textual differences in the Old Testament as well, such as in Micah 7:19 ("all our sins" instead of "all their sins" – reflecting the LXX) and Malachi 1:12 (MEV has the word for "Adonai" in this verse instead of the Tetragrammaton – reflects 20th century Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia against the Tanakh of Daniel Bomberg).