Lamentations 3:22 and the modern versions

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Lamentations 3:22 and the modern versions

Postby brandplucked » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:30 pm

Lamentations 3:22 -Many modern versions reject the Hebrew "that we are not consumed"
Lamentations 3:22 KJB - “It is of the LORD'S mercies THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, because his compassions fail not.”

ESV 2001 (printed edition hard copy ) - “The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER CEASES;  [2] his mercies never come to an end.”  Footnote: “Syriac, Targum; Hebrew - Because of the steadfast love of the LORD, we are not cut off.”

The ESV 2001 printed hard copy edition OMITS the Hebrew words “THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED” and adds “NEVER CEASES” from the Syriac.  Two previous versions that did the same thing are the RSV 1952 and the NRSV 1989.

The NRSV reads: “The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER CEASES,[2] his mercies never come to an end”. Footnote: “Syriac, Targum; Hebrew - LORD, we are not cut off.”

Besides admitting that the ESV has rejected the Hebrew reading “that we are not consumed” and adding “never ceases” from the Syriac, the footnote is not true. The Hebrew word most definitely can mean “consumed” and not “we are not cut off” and is so translated many times, even in many modern versions. In fact, I compared dozens of English and foreign language translations and did not see one of them that translated this as "we are not CUT OFF." A lot of these modern perversions not only reject the Hebrew reading and replace it with something else, but they also lie to you in their footnotes about what the Hebrew text really means.  And they like to call this Witches' Brew the "science" of Textual Criticism.  I'm sure God will reward them for their labors in a coming day.

Surprisingly, another modern version that rejects the Hebrew and replaces it with the Syriac reading is the NASB 1977, 1995 though they don’t tell you this in any footnote.  The NASBs read: “The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed NEVER CEASE, For His compassions never fail.”

And NOT surprisingly, another one is Dan Wallace and company’s NET version which reads: “The Lord’s loyal kindness NEVER CEASES; (Footnote) his compassions never end.”  He then footnotes that he has followed the LXX (not true) and the Syriac, but that the Hebrew Masoretic text reads like the King James Bible.

I have a copy of Brenton’s Greek LXX and it does NOT read the way Dan Wallace tells us. The so called LXX actually says: “It is the mercies of the Lord THAT HE HAS NOT FAILED ME, because his compassions are not exhausted.”

Another modern version coming down the pike that rejects the Hebrew is the Common English bible of 2011. It’s another critical text version and it says: “Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended;[a] certainly God’s compassion isn’t through!
Footnotes:    Lamentations 3:22 Tg, Syr, and other ancient sources; MT we aren’t finished.

Agreeing with the King James Bible and the Hebrew text , either in the exact wording or its equivalent, are: Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “It is the Lordes mercies that wee are not consumed, because his compassions faile not.”, the Douay-Rheims 1610 - “The mercies of the Lord that we are not consumed”, the Revised Version 1881 - “It is of the LORDS mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”, the ASV 1901 (the predecessor of the NASB) - “mercies that we are not consumed”, Darby, Young’s -”we are not consumed”, Hebrew Names Version, Bible in Basic English 1961, New Berkeley Version in Modern Speech 1969 “that we are not consumed”, Amplified bible 1987 - “It is because of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed”, God's Word 1995, World English Bible, Green’s literal  2000 - “that we are not consumed”, Holman Standard 2003 - “Because of the Lord’s faithful love, WE DO NOT PERISH, for His mercies never end.”, the NKJV 1982 - “Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.”, the Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 “we are not consumed” and the NIV 1984 and 2011 - “Because of the Lord’s great love WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, for his compassions never fail.” and the International Standard Version of 2012 - "Because of the LORD's gracious love we are not consumed, since his compassions never end."  

Among the Catholic versions we see the usual pattern of confusion. The earlier Douay-Rheims of 1610 and the Douay of 1950 followed the Hebrew text and read just like the King James Bible - “It is of the Lord’s mercies THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED”. But then the Jerusalem bible 1969, the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 rejected the Hebrew and now read like many of these modern versions (ESV, NASB, NET, RSV) with: “Surely Yahweh’s mercies ARE NOT OVER.” New Jerusalem bible 1985.  

Oh, but wait a minute. Just to keep you on your toes, the latest 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has now gone back to the Hebrew reading and says: “By the mercies of the Lord, WE ARE NOT CONSUMED. For his compassion has not passed away.”

To name but a few of the numerous foreign language Bible versions that continue to follow the Hebrew text and read like the KJB are the Spanish Reina Valera 1995 and RV Gómez 2010 and Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569  - “Es por las misericordias del SEÑOR que no somos consumidos, porque nunca decayeron sus misericordias.”, the Italian Diodati 1991 and the Italian Riveduta 1994 and 2006 - “è una grazia del Signore che non siamo stati completamente distrutti” = It is of the Lord’s grace that we are not completely destroyed.”, the Portuguese A Bibla Sagrada and  the Portuguese NIV 1999 - “Graças ao grande amor do Senhor é que não somos consumidos” = “that we are not consumed.”, Luther’s German bible 1545 and the 2000 German Schlachter Bible, the French Martin Bible 1744 and French Ostervald of 1996 - “Ce sont les bontés de l'Éternel, que nous n'ayons pas été consumés; ses compassions n'ont point défailli.” and the Modern Greek Bible -"Ελεος του Κυριου ειναι, οτι δεν συνετελεσθημεν, επειδη δεν εξελιπον οι οικτιρμοι αυτου." = "It is the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed".

The King James Bible is ALWAYS right. Accept no substitutes.

Will Kinney

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