James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

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James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

Postby brandplucked » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:26 pm

The Turtle Observed Pineth Away - James White follies

= turtledove

James White, in his book the King James Only Controversy, pokes fun at the King James Bible's use of the word "turtle" when referring to the turtledove. Mr. White says on page 235 in the section titled Problems in the KJV: "This is almost as humorous as Song of Songs 2:12, "The flowers appear on the earth: the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." Then Mr. White comments: "Turtles are not known for their voices, and how these would be connected with flowers and the singing of birds is unknown. Of course, the passage is not referring to turtles at all, but to the turtledove, as the modern translations recognize."

Mr. White himself does not believe any Bible in any language or any text, be it Hebrew or Greek, is the preserved, inspired words of God. Mr. White also used to work for the NASB committee and apparently doesn't mind representing a version like the NASB that says God can be deceived in Psalms 78:36, or that God doesn't take away life in 2 Samuel 14:14; or that there are two Gods, one not seen and one begotten in John 1:18; or that Jonah was not swallowed by a whale but by a "sea monster" in Matthew 12:40. Likewise, the NASB departs from the Hebrew texts scores of times and is continually changing its underlying Greek texts from one edition to the next; but he does have a bee in his bonnet with the KJB's use of the word "turtle" instead of turtledove.
Such are the ways of those who attack God's pure words as found in the King James Holy Bible.

Here are a few facts James may not be aware of. The Hebrew word is translated both as turtle and turtledove in the King James Bible and several others too. One of the meanings of the word turtle is a turtledove, and the context always indicates that we are speaking about a bird and not the shelled reptile.

Here is another example of context clearly showing the Bible is speaking of a bird when it uses the word turtle. In Jeremiah 8:7 we read: "Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the TURTLE and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD."

It may surprise Mr. White, but not only does the King James Bible say "turtle" in the Song of Solomon 2:12 and in Jeremiah 8:7 but so also do Wycliffe 1395, the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster's 1833 translation, the Calvin Bible 1855,  the Revised Version 1885, the Lesser Bible 1853, Noyes Translation 1869, the Lesser Bible - "and the TURTLE, and the swallow" (Jer.8:7) J.B. Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, The Jewish Publication Society's 1917 translation - "the voice of the TURTLE is heard in our land", the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company's "The Holy Scriptures", Young's literal translation 1898, the Douay-Rheims1610, the 1950 Douay version, the 1994 KJV 21st Century version, the 1998 Third Millenium Bible, the Holy Scriptures Jubilee Bible of 2000,  the 2001 Urim-Thummin Version, The Holy Scriptures Jewish Publication Society 1997, the Revised Geneva Bible 2009, and the Torah Transliteration Scripture of 2008.

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Turtle, turtledove Turtur auritus (Heb. tor ). The name is phonetic, evidently derived from the plaintive cooing of the bird.
Some dictionaries do not even list "turtle", meaning the turtledove, as archaic.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary Tur"tle noun. Anglo Saxon. turtle, L. turtur; probably of imitative origin. (Zoöl.) The turtledove.

Definitions from The Online Plain Text English Dictionary: Turtle * (n.) Any one of the numerous species of Testudinata, especially a sea turtle, or chelonian. * (n.) The curved plate in which the form is held in a type-revolving cylinder press. *(n.) The turtledove
A similar word in English that can have several meanings is the simple word cow. When we say cow, are we referring to the bovine creature that gives milk, or to a whale, a seal or an elephant? The context will usually tell us which one is meant. In every case where the word "turtle" is used in the King James Bible and all the others listed that have come both before and after the King James Bible, it is clear that the bird also known as the turtle dove is intended. Mr. White is again straining at gnats and mocking the time tested word of God as found in the King James Bible.

Here is the link to a short article by another King James Bible believer about the "turtle" being another word for the turtledove and how the English word itself is an onomatopoetic sound of the bird's call.

http://www.kjvtoday.com/home/translatio ... -212-et-al

And here is another article about "turtles" and James White's silliness by John Hinton. He has some very good literary references to "turtles" listed in his article.  You can see it here -

http://www.kjv-asia.com/authorized_vers ... holars.htm

More about the winged turtle from the internet.  

Another Bible believer posted this article at one of the Bible clubs.

Turtles were mentioned several times in the works of Shakespeare.
Paulina in Winter's Tale refers to herself as a turtle:

"There's time enough for that;
Lest they desire upon this push to trouble
Your joys with like relation. Go together,
You precious winners all; your exultation
Partake to every one. I, an old turtle,
Will wing me to some wither'd bough and there
My mate, that's never to be found again,
Lament till I am lost."

Perhaps if White professed to be a scholar of the English language, instead of a professed biblical scholar, he would ridicule Shakespeare for writing about flying turtles.

He might also have been inclined to ridicule Shakespeare for the words of Troilus who in Troilus and Cressida uses the metaphor of flight in reference to turtles:

"Troilus "O virtuous fight,
When right with right wars who shall be most right!
True swains in love shall in the world to come
Approve their truths by Troilus: when their rhymes,
Full of protest, of oath and big compare,
Want similes, truth tired with iteration,
As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
As sun to day, as TURTLE to her mate..."

Similarly he might declare Shakespeare to be stupid for the words of Petruccio and Katherine in Taming of the Shrew:

"Petruccio: O slow-winged TURTLE! shall a buzzard take thee?
Katherine: Ay, for a TURTLE, as he takes a buzzard."

Mr. James White might well ask with an upraised nose and a snort - "Whoever heard of a winged turtle?" . He might then take all of these passages and translate them into a modern dumbed-down English that he and his followers might be able to understand without having to rely on the use of too many brain cells.

Among the poems of Shakespeare that are separate from the 37 plays more or less attributed to him (38 for those who want to count The Two Noble Kinsmen) is The Phoenix and the TURTLE. This poem was inspired by a much earlier poem of Chaucer's known as the Parliament of Fowls (Parlement of Foules). The whole poem is quite clearly about birds. Both die in the poem and the final verses are: "To this urn let those repair That are either true or fair; For those dead birds, sigh a prayer." I wonder if White would be able to figure out that turtle refers to a bird here. It seems obvious enough -- about as hard to miss as an ostrich in a chicken house -- but it is just as obvious in the Bible when examined in context. Seeing that White is unable to handle the KJV with its vocabulary of around 6,000 words, we can hardly expect him to be able to grasp the earlier English of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter verse, complicated prose sentences, and more than 20,000 words. We can, however, expect this so-called scholar to be able to use a dictionary in his own language.

The very first definition in the Oxford Dictionary of "Turtle" is that of a turtle-dove. The reptile meaning is the second definition.

More to come #2. Observed
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Re: James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

Postby brandplucked » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:29 pm


Mark 6:20 King James Bible - "For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and a holy, and OBSERVED HIM; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly."

James White criticizes the rendering of this verse in the KJB in his book The King James Only Controversy. In chapter 9 titled Problems in the KJV on page 224 Mr. White begins a whole series of objections to various King James readings.
He starts off by saying: "Well Nobody is Perfect. The men who worked on the translation of the AV nearly four hundred years ago were great scholars. No one can possibly dispute that fact."

Well, James, if this is so, then why do you spend 19 pages in this chapter trying to show how they completely dropped the ball and committed many unpardonable errors in their translation? And if they were "great scholars" as you say, and you place yourself in an assumed position to correct their many errors, then what does that make You? The Greatest scholar?

James continues: "BUT all great scholars know their limitations. They recognize their fallibility. And I really doubt they would take the slightest offense to a reasoned critique of their work. The first problem we will examine is to be found in Mark's gospel, chapter 6, verse 20:

KJV "For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and OBSERVED him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly."

NASB (NKJV, NIV, ESV) "for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and KEPT HIM SAFE. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him."

Mr. White continues: "Did Herod "observe" John, as the KJV says, or "keep him safe," as the NASB says? The Greek term simply does not mean "observe" but instead means "to protect." One might possibly suggest that "observe" once meant "to protect", but such seems a long stretch, especially since the KJV renders the same word "preserve" at Matthew 9:17 and Luke 5:38."

Now, to address Mr. White's scholarly criticism.

The verb used here is sunteereo and is found only four times in the New Testament. Twice it is used in the sense of "putting new wine into new bottles and both are PRESERVED." Once it is used in Luke 2:19 where we are told: "But Mary KEPT all these things, and pondered them in her heart." The fourth instance is here in Mark where the KJB says Herod OBSERVED him.

Even the NASB give three different renderings to this single verb - "kept safe", "preserved" and "treasured".

All words in both Hebrew and Greek often have multiple meanings depending on the context in which they are used. According to various lexicons and other translations, the KJB reading of "observed him" is totally accurate.

Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, the seventeenth edition 1887 on page 680 lists the verb sunteereo and gives the following meanings. Number one on their list is "to watch closely"; then they list "to preserve, keep safe; and "to keep in mind". It also can mean "to watch one's opportunity".

Likewise A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, by William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, on page 800 lists among the various meanings of this verb: "to keep in mind, to be concerned about", and "to hold or treasure up in one's memory".

Joseph Henry Thayer's Lexicon the 19th printing 1978 also lists on page 606 one of the meanings of this verb as: "to keep a thing in mind (lest it be forgotten)".

Kittle's massive work, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volume VIII page 143 also describes the verb teereo and its cognates as having the meaning of "to take note of", and "to observe".

Moulton, The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised, 1978,. page 392, has "to observe strictly" as a translation.

The verb sunteereo can have the meaning of to keep something together in the mind, and thus mean "to observe" something or someone. There are many similar verbs found in the New Testament that all versions translate with the idea of holding something in the mind.

See for example Luke 14:1 "they watched him" (parateereo); 1 Corinthians 15:2 "if ye keep in memory" (kateko), and John 1:5, and Ephesians 3:18 "to comprehend" (katalambano).

Not only does the King James Bible say that Herod OBSERVED HIM, but so also do the Primitive New Testament 1745, Webster's 1833 translation and the 1865 American Bible Union N.T. of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Julia Smith Translation of 1876 says: "and he observed him".  Many others give a similar meaning.  Tyndale, Bishops' Bible, the Great Bible and the Geneva Bible say: "Herod gave him reverence". Thomas Howels 1795 A Translation from the Original Greek says: "paid great attention to him", Noyes Translation 1869 says "was regardful of him".  Darby gives the marginal reading of "observed him".  The English Jubilee Bible of 2000 says "he respected him."

Among foreign language Bibles The Italian Diodati 1649 version says Herod " E L' OSSERVAVA" = "and he observed him. "Likewise the Italian Bible called Conferenza Episcopale says: "perché Erode temeva Giovanni, sapendolo giusto e santo, e vigilava su di lui". = But Herod feared John, knowing he was just and holy and he observed (or watched) him. The French Ostervald 1996 equals the sense found in the KJB saying:  “un homme juste et saint; il le considérait” - he was a just man and holy and he considered him”, French Martin 1744 - “et il avait du respect pour lui” and he had respect for him”; and the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, the Reina Valera 1858 and 1909  also say "le tenía respeto"= " he had respect unto him."

James Murdock's 1858 translation of the Syriac Peshitta reads: "For Herod was afraid of John, because he knew him to be a just and holy man: and HE OBSERVED HIM, and gave ear to him in many things and did the things, and he heard him with satisfaction.

Matthew Henry comments on this passage: "He observed him; he sheltered him from the malice of his enemies (so some understand it); or, rather, he had a regard to his exemplary conversation, and took notice of that in him that was praiseworthy, and commended it in the hearing of those about him; he made it appear that he observed what John said and did."
Here Matthew Henry recognizes the alternative understanding of the passage, but he favors the rendering as found in the King James Bible.

Likewise John Gill is aware of both meanings of this Greek verb and comments: "and observed him: or "kept him" in custody, in prison, as the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic render it; and did not put him to death, but preserved him from the designs of Herodias against him. Or he observed and took notice of what he had heard him say in his ministry; he laid it up, and kept it in his mind, and memory; the remembrance of which kept him in awe, and he durst not, and could not for the present, give heed to the solicitations of Herodias, or suffer her to take away his life: and he also observed his exemplary life and conversation, which was so just and upright, that his conscience would not admit him to give him up to her will and pleasure."

So we can see from this little study that when James White says emphatically, "The Greek term simply does not mean "observe" but instead means "to protect", he is merely giving us his own personal opinion, not hard facts. Others of equal or superior learning disagree with Mr. White's conclusions.

(More to come -#3.  pineth away)
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Re: James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

Postby brandplucked » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:32 pm


Let's now look at the second objection James White brings up in his chapter called Problems in the KJV.

On page 225 James continues after his complaint about "observed him" versus "Kept him safe" in this manner: "A similar less-than-perfect translation is found at Mark 9:18.

KJV "And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, AND PINETH AWAY: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not."

NASB "and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth, and STIFFENS OUT."

(Here the NKJV, NIV, NET, Holman, RSV, ESV and the modern Catholic versions like the St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible all read "becomes rigid".)

Mr. White continues: "It is difficult to get "stiffens out" or "becomes rigid" (NIV) from "pineth away". The KJV rendering is obviously less than adequate in comparison with the modern translations."

Now, to address this criticism.

First of all, the word used here is xeeraino (ξηραινεται) and has several meanings including "to wither away, to dry up, to be ripe, and to pine away". To pine away simply means to fail gradually in health or vitality or to waste away through grief, pain, hunger, etc. The word is frequently translated in all versions as "to wither", as in the fig tree or other plant withers. If a plant withers, it gradually looses its strength and vitality and shrinks in size. It first becomes limp, and only after it is dead does it become dry and rigid. The little boy in this case was not dead, but had for many years been afflicted by the unclean spirit and his strength was pining away, as the KJB correctly has it. As a matter of fact, I have two earlier copies of the NASB right here in my study, and the 1963 and 1973 editions of the NASB translate this phrase as "and stiffens out" but then in a marginal note both add "Or, whithers away".

Secondly, other scholars disagree with Mr. White as to the possible meanings of this word.

In Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, 19th printing 1978 on page 432 Mr. Thayer says of the word xeepaino that "of members of the body, to waste away, to PINE AWAY" and then he lists Mark 9:18.

Moulton, The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised, 1978, page 281, has "to pine".

Vine, The Expanded Vines, 1984, page 1236 has "pine away".

Thirdly, not only does the King James Bible say that the boy who had the dumb spirit "pineth away", but so also do Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540 - "and gnassheth with hys teth, and pineth awaye." the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, John Wesley's 1755 translation, Worsley Version 1770, N.T. by Thomas Howels 1795, Webster's 1833 translation, the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version 1901 - "AND PINETH AWAY", Young's literal translation, Weymouth's translation 1912- "HE IS PINING AWAY", the Douay-Rheims bible 1582- "and gnasheth with the teeth, and pineth away", Noyes Translation 1869 - "gnasheth his teeth; and he pineth away.", Henry Alford's N.T. for English Readers 1868, William Godbey's Translation of the N.T. 1902 "pineth away", The Twentiieth Century N.T. 1904 "is pining away", The N.T. Translation from the Sinaitic Manuscript by Henry Anderson 1918 - "AND PINES AWAY", American Bible Union New Testament  and Worrell N.T. - "and pines away",  the Douay version 1950, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, English Jubilee Version 2000 - "and pines away"

Again, notice the pattern found in the Catholic versions. Both the 1582 Douay-Rheims and the 1950 Douay read "PINETH AWAY", but now the more modern Catholic versions like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the 1985 New Jerusalem read like the NKJV, RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman's "BECOMES RIGID". The latest Catholic version of 2009 (Catholic Public Domain Version) has an unusual way of translating this word. It now says "he becomes unconscious".

There are two fairly well known translations of the Syriac, one done by Murdock and the other done by Etheridge and both have translated their text as "pineth away".

Other versions that read in a similar way to the King James Bibles "pineth away"  are Daniel Mace N.T. 1729 - "and grows meager.", The Living Oracles 1835 - "his strength is exhausted", Sawyer's N.T. 1858 "becomes emaciated", Edgar Goodspeed 1923 - "he is wasting away", World English Bible - "AND WASTETH AWAY", Montgomery N.T., New Heart English Bible, Riverside N. T., Williams N.T., Hebrew Names Version, and Green's interlinear with "wastes away", Darby's Transation and the Amplified Bible 1987 "is withering away", the Rheims bible of 1582 said "he withereth", Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902 "weareth himself out", James Moffatt N.T. -"He is wasting away with it.",  J.B. Phillips Translation 1962 - "IT'S SIMPLY WEARING HIM OUT.", New Life Version 1969 "he is getting weaker", the Bible in Basic English 1970 "his strength goes from him.", the Worldwide English N.T. 1998 says: "HE IS GETTING WEAK AND THIN.", Apostolic Bible Polyglot English - "he withers", Jonathan Mitchell N.T. "he progressively withers", A Conservative Version Interlinear - "HE BECOMES LIMP", God's Word Translation 1995 and The Names of God Bible 2011 - "he becomes exhausted.", J.P. Green's literal and the Aramaic Bible in Plain English 2010 - "and he wastes away", Knox Bible 2012 - "HIS STRENGTH IS DRAINED FROM HIM."

Among foreign language bibles there are several that agree with the sense found in the King James Bible.  Both the Spanish Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana of 2005  and the 1997 La Biblia de las Américas, both put out by the Lockman Foundation, which brings us the NASB, say: "cruje los dientes y se va consumiendo" = "he gnashes his teeth and is consumed (or pines away)",  the Portuguese de Almeida of 1681 has: "e range os dentes, e vai definhando" = "he gnashes his teeth and is becoming weak" and the Spanish Reina Valera Bibles 1909, 1960, 1995 say "y cruje los dientes, y se va secando" = "he gnashes his teeth and is withering away (or drying up)". The Spanish  La Biblia de las Américas 1997 says: "cruje los dientes y se va consumiendo."= "he gnashes his teeth AND IS CONSUMING AWAY."

John Gill comments: "and pineth away; his flesh is withered, dried up, and consumed away."

Matthew Henry also says: "and though the fits go off presently, yet they leave him so weak, that he pines away, is worn to a skeleton; his flesh is dried away."

John Calvin translated the passage as: "And wheresoever it seizeth him, it teareth him, and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, AND LANGUISHED: and I spoke to thy disciples to cast him out, and they could not. " Then he comments: "The consequence was, that he was exposed to danger on every hand, and was thrown into violent convulsions, which left him lying on the ground, IN A FAINTING STATE, and like a dead man."

Actually the first major English translation to translate this word as "becomes rigid" was the liberal RSV, and since then the NRSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman, NET and NKJV have followed this meaning. Again, Mr. White is dogmatically expressing his own opinion as to the correct meaning of the word used in Mark 9:18, but many others throughout history and to this day disagree with his conclusions.

James White and men like him have NO infallible Bible in ANY language to believe in themselves nor to recommend to anyone else either.  He has become his own authority as he selects the particular texts, readings  and meanings he personally would like to put into his own bible version if he were to write one.  I think both he and a whole lot of  other people as well would be much the better off if he were to take a very looooong Sabbatical, go off into the woods all by himself and finally write his own bible version.  That is the only way he will be happy.  Take all the time you want, James. We Bible believers are in no hurry to hear back from you any time soon.

Will Kinney

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Re: James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

Postby Chette » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:26 pm

Well what could we expect.  A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.  and this is where Mr White has placed himself in a group that falls for anything that comes along.

The KJV is correct and all the James Whites in this world are wrong.

Good work
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Re: James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

Postby brandplucked » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:59 pm

Amen! Thanks again, brother. It is sooooo refreshing to run into other Bible believers.  You would not believe the insanity that is running rampant out there on the internet and all the flak we get for telling people there really IS a complete and 100% true Bible and can tell others where they can get it for themselves. Or, maybe you would believe it;-)  God bless.
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Re: James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

Postby Chette » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:11 am

The other side is there are plenty of KJV believers who don't like to use the KJV terminology and words, who effectively end up supporting the "Greek to change the English" movement of all other English versions.

I recently responded to such about the word apostasy and how it is not even found in the KJV English Bible. It seems going to the greek to get a non KJV word and then compound a meaning not even in the context of where that Greek word is found in order to support some doctrine that is not even true to the text.

This is truly All part of the"Falling Away" that proceeds the revelation of the Antichrist.

Mr White is a leader in this falling away but many who claim the KJV are right there in his camp.

keep up the hard work for the defense of the only complete, whole, inerrant, inspired and preserved Bible with all the words of God.
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Re: James White Follies - the turtle observed pineth away

Postby brandplucked » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:07 am

Good point.  Thanks.

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved."  Eph. 1:6

God bless,
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