Announcement

Collapse

Message to all users:

https://carm.org/forum-rules

Super Member Subscription
https://carm.org/carm-super-members-banner-ad-signup

As most of you are aware, we had a crash to forums and were down for over two days a while back. We did have to do an upgrade to the vbulletin software to fix the forums and that has created changes, VB no longer provide the hybrid or threaded forums. There are some issues/changes to the forums we are not able to fix or change. Also note the link address change, please let friends and posters know of the changed link to the forums. For now this is the only link available, https://forums.carm.org/vb5/ but if clicking on forum on carm.org homepage it will now send you to this link. (edited to add https: now working.

Again, we are working through some of the posting and viewing issues to learn how to post with the changes, you will have to check and test the different features, icons that have changed. You may also want to go to profile settings,since many of the notifications, information in profile, also to update/edit your avatar by clicking on avatar space, pull down arrow next to login for user settings.

Edit to add "How to read forums, to make it easier."
Pull down arrow next to login name upper right select profile, or user settings when page opens to profile,select link in tab that says Account. Then select/choose options, go down to Conversation Detail Options, Select Display mode Posts, NOT Activity, that selection of Posts will make the pages of discussions go to last post on last page rather than out of order that happens if you choose activity threads. Then be sure to go to bottom and select SAVE Changes in your profile options. You can then follow discussions by going through the pages, to the last page having latest responses. Then click on the other links Privacy, Notifications, to select viewing options,the forums get easier if you open all the tabs or links in your profile, user settings and select options. To join Super Member, pull down arrow next to login name, select User Settings and then click on tab/link at top that says Subscriptions.

Thank you for your patience and God Bless.

Diane S
https://carm.org/forum-rules
See more
See less

Why is Jeremiah 8:8 so hard to translate?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Why is Jeremiah 8:8 so hard to translate?

    Jeremiah 8:8:

    8 How do ye say: 'We are wise, and the Law of the LORD is with us'? Lo, certainly in vain hath wrought the vain pen of the scribes.

    8 How do you say, "We are wise, and the Law of the Lord is with us"? Verily, behold it is in vain, he made a false scribes' pen.

    What is Jeremiah 8:8 saying? Have the scribes corrupted the Law so the Jews no longer have the law?

    What does the Hebrew suggest?

    Thanks.
    They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. John 16:2

  • #2
    Originally posted by George View Post
    Jeremiah 8:8:

    8 How do ye say: 'We are wise, and the Law of the LORD is with us'? Lo, certainly in vain hath wrought the vain pen of the scribes.

    8 How do you say, "We are wise, and the Law of the Lord is with us"? Verily, behold it is in vain, he made a false scribes' pen.

    What is Jeremiah 8:8 saying? Have the scribes corrupted the Law so the Jews no longer have the law?

    What does the Hebrew suggest?

    Thanks.
    For Hebrew questions for a quick overview I'd say look at NET notes and then K&D commentary both free online.

    NET NOTES
    8:8 tn Heb "The lying pen of the scribes have made [it] into a lie." The translation is an attempt to make the most common interpretation of this passage understandable for the average reader. This is, however, a difficult passage whose interpretation is greatly debated and whose syntax is capable of other interpretations. The interpretation of the NJPS, "Assuredly, for naught has the pen labored, for naught the scribes," surely deserves consideration within the context; i. e. it hasn't done any good for the scribes to produce a reliable copy of the law, which the people have refused to follow. That interpretation has the advantage of explaining the absence of an object for the verb "make" or "labored" but creates a very unbalanced poetic couplet.

    KEIL & DELITZSCH COMMENTARY
    As against all this, Jeremiah declares: Assuredly the lying pen (style) of the scribes hath made it a lie. Ew., Hitz., Graf, translate ספרים, authors, writers; and the two latter of them take עשׂה = labour: "for a lie (or for deception) hath the lying style (pen) of the writers laboured." This transl. is feasible; but it seems simpler to supply 'תּורת יי: hath made it (the law); and there is no good reason for confining סופר to the original composers of works. The words are not to be limited in their reference to the efforts of the false prophets, who spread their delusive prophecies by means of writings: they refer equally to the work of the priests, whose duty it was to train the people in the law, and who, by false teaching as to its demands, led the people astray, seduced them from the way of truth, and deceived them as to the future. The labours both of the false prophets and of the wicked priests consisted not merely in authorship, in composing and circulating writings, but to a very great extent in the oral teaching of the people, partly by prophetic announcements, partly by instruction in the law; only in so far as it was necessary was it their duty to set down in writing and circulate their prophecies and interpretations of the law. But this work by word and writing was founded on the existing written law, the Torah of Moses; just as the true prophets sought to influence the people chiefly by preaching the law to them, by examining their deeds and habits by the rule of the divine will as revealed in the Torah, and by applying to their times the law's promises and threatenings. For this work with the law, and application of it to life, Jer. uses the expression "style of the Shoferim," because the interpretation of the law, if it was to have valid authority as the rule of life, must be fixed by writing. Yet he did not in this speak only of authors, composers, but meant such as busied themselves about the book of the law, made it the object of their study. But inasmuch as such persons, by false interpretation and application, perverted the truth of the law into a lie, he calls their work the work of the lying style (pen).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by George View Post
      Jeremiah 8:8:

      8 How do ye say: 'We are wise, and the Law of the LORD is with us'? Lo, certainly in vain hath wrought the vain pen of the scribes.

      8 How do you say, "We are wise, and the Law of the Lord is with us"? Verily, behold it is in vain, he made a false scribes' pen.

      What is Jeremiah 8:8 saying? Have the scribes corrupted the Law so the Jews no longer have the law?

      What does the Hebrew suggest?

      Thanks.
      Oh, my opinion of the sense if you're interested would be something like the NJPS, maybe:

      "In vain writes the pen of the vain scribes."
      Last edited by dizerner; 05-25-16, 08:12 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dizerner View Post
        For Hebrew questions for a quick overview I'd say look at NET notes and then K&D commentary both free online.

        NET NOTES
        8:8 tn Heb "The lying pen of the scribes have made [it] into a lie." The translation is an attempt to make the most common interpretation of this passage understandable for the average reader. This is, however, a difficult passage whose interpretation is greatly debated and whose syntax is capable of other interpretations. The interpretation of the NJPS, "Assuredly, for naught has the pen labored, for naught the scribes," surely deserves consideration within the context; i. e. it hasn't done any good for the scribes to produce a reliable copy of the law, which the people have refused to follow. That interpretation has the advantage of explaining the absence of an object for the verb "make" or "labored" but creates a very unbalanced poetic couplet.

        KEIL & DELITZSCH COMMENTARY
        As against all this, Jeremiah declares: Assuredly the lying pen (style) of the scribes hath made it a lie. Ew., Hitz., Graf, translate ספרים, authors, writers; and the two latter of them take עשׂה = labour: "for a lie (or for deception) hath the lying style (pen) of the writers laboured." This transl. is feasible; but it seems simpler to supply 'תּורת יי: hath made it (the law); and there is no good reason for confining סופר to the original composers of works. The words are not to be limited in their reference to the efforts of the false prophets, who spread their delusive prophecies by means of writings: they refer equally to the work of the priests, whose duty it was to train the people in the law, and who, by false teaching as to its demands, led the people astray, seduced them from the way of truth, and deceived them as to the future. The labours both of the false prophets and of the wicked priests consisted not merely in authorship, in composing and circulating writings, but to a very great extent in the oral teaching of the people, partly by prophetic announcements, partly by instruction in the law; only in so far as it was necessary was it their duty to set down in writing and circulate their prophecies and interpretations of the law. But this work by word and writing was founded on the existing written law, the Torah of Moses; just as the true prophets sought to influence the people chiefly by preaching the law to them, by examining their deeds and habits by the rule of the divine will as revealed in the Torah, and by applying to their times the law's promises and threatenings. For this work with the law, and application of it to life, Jer. uses the expression "style of the Shoferim," because the interpretation of the law, if it was to have valid authority as the rule of life, must be fixed by writing. Yet he did not in this speak only of authors, composers, but meant such as busied themselves about the book of the law, made it the object of their study. But inasmuch as such persons, by false interpretation and application, perverted the truth of the law into a lie, he calls their work the work of the lying style (pen).
        Thanks. Muslims use this verse to say the Law has been corrupted by the scribes.

        From a Muslim site:

        If we read the Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 8, Verse 8 it says this

        8 " 'How can you say, "We are wise,
        for we have the law of the LORD,"
        when actually the lying pen of the scribes
        has handled it falsely?



        It is very clear from the text that the scribes have corrupted the Law (first 5 books of the Old Testament). How did they corrupt it? With their mouths by giving false interpretations? No! They did so with their "pens". Meaning they altered the text of the Law. How else could a pen corrupt something?
        Last edited by George; 05-25-16, 01:20 PM.
        They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. John 16:2

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dizerner View Post
          Oh, my opinion of the sense if you're interested would be something like the NJPS, maybe:
          "In vain writes the pen of the vain scribes."
          Generally the Jewish Bibles, like the Reformation Bible editions such as the Geneva and AV, understood the "in vain" idiom here.

          In the 1800s the weaker German scholarship changed it to a lie, and that is in most of the "Christian" modern versions.

          The islamists are not the only ones to take advantage of the poor translation, skeptics and mormons and others do this as well.

          Steven Avery
          Last edited by Steven Avery; 05-25-16, 04:47 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Steven Avery View Post
            Generally the Jewish Bibles, like the Reformation Bible editions such as the Geneva and AV, understood the "in vain" idiom here.

            In the 1800s the weaker German scholarship changed it to a lie, and that is in most of the "Christian" modern versions.

            The islamists are not the only ones to take advantage of the poor translation, skeptics and mormons and others do this as well.

            Steven Avery
            Isn't this the best translation?

            . Koren translation:
            Quote: Quote:How can you say,
            We are wise, and the Torah of the L-RD is with us?
            Surely, the pen wrought in vain, in vain the scribes.
            The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken:
            lo, they have rejected the word of the L-RD;
            and what wisdom is in them?
            They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. John 16:2

            Comment


            • #7
              George, I'm sure that you and I have discussed this verse before on other forums. I don't know why you keep letting the Muslims, who have the biggest "lying pen" or any group with religious scribes, set the terms for your discussions. You constantly feel the need to defend the Bible from Muslim claims, but we don't need to defend ourselves. The Qur'an may make all kinds of claims, but I don't think I need to argue that its claims are false. Just like I don't need to argue that Mein Kampf has false arguments. I just don't need to do that with my time. That book is garbage, and I don't care what Nazis say. Similarly, I don't care what anti-Semites among the Muslims might want to claim about Jewish scribes. Their claim is baseless. The Bible certainly does not claim that the Bible is false. That's absurd!
              I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jameson View Post
                George, I'm sure that you and I have discussed this verse before on other forums. I don't know why you keep letting the Muslims, who have the biggest "lying pen" or any group with religious scribes, set the terms for your discussions. You constantly feel the need to defend the Bible from Muslim claims, but we don't need to defend ourselves. The Qur'an may make all kinds of claims, but I don't think I need to argue that its claims are false. Just like I don't need to argue that Mein Kampf has false arguments. I just don't need to do that with my time. That book is garbage, and I don't care what Nazis say. Similarly, I don't care what anti-Semites among the Muslims might want to claim about Jewish scribes. Their claim is baseless. The Bible certainly does not claim that the Bible is false. That's absurd!
                Yes, we have discussed this verse. I didn't post this for me. I understand it. I posted it for a certain Muslim on board and for Christians who have problems understand Jeremiah 8:8, because some of them get it wrong.
                They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. John 16:2

                Comment


                • #9
                  AV and Koren very similar

                  Originally posted by George View Post
                  Isn't this the best translation?

                  . Koren translation:
                  Quote: Quote:How can you say,
                  We are wise, and the Torah of the L-RD is with us?
                  Surely, the pen wrought in vain, in vain the scribes.
                  The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken:
                  lo, they have rejected the word of the L-RD;
                  and what wisdom is in them?
                  This is essentially identical to the AV on the point at issue, the idiom for "in vain". You are right to include verse nine, since it affirms the idea that the problem was the rejection of the word, that, for those men, it had been written in vain.

                  Jeremiah 8:8 (AV)
                  How do ye say,
                  We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us?
                  Lo, certainly in vain made he it;
                  the pen of the scribes is in vain.

                  The wise men are ashamed,
                  they are dismayed and taken: lo,
                  they have rejected the word of the LORD;
                  and what wisdom is in them?

                  The AV is generally based on the same solid Hebraics as the better Jewish translations. (It is true that some Jewish translations used the AV as part of their translation base as well.)

                  Steven Avery

                  Last edited by Steven Avery; 05-28-16, 07:58 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How many copies of the Torah would be available at the time Jeremiah was written?

                    Thanks.

                    They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. John 16:2

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by George View Post
                      How many copies of the Torah would be available at the time Jeremiah was written?

                      Thanks.
                      There's no way to know this. There's no real way to know what "Torah" meant to Jeremiah even. I mean, we can assume that the Torah was completed well before the Babylonian exile, but we don't have a way to prove that. It could be that the "Torah" was simply the Deuteronomic recap of the law, leaving the full composition of the Torah until the return from Babylon under the pen of Ezra. There's no way to know what was incorporated and what wasn't at that point, and even less evidence of how many copies of it may have existed at the time.
                      I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                        There's no way to know this. There's no real way to know what "Torah" meant to Jeremiah even. I mean, we can assume that the Torah was completed well before the Babylonian exile, but we don't have a way to prove that. It could be that the "Torah" was simply the Deuteronomic recap of the law, leaving the full composition of the Torah until the return from Babylon under the pen of Ezra. There's no way to know what was incorporated and what wasn't at that point, and even less evidence of how many copies of it may have existed at the time.
                        I'm dealing with another Muslim about the Jews corrupting the law -- Jeremiah 8:8 -- and I listened to a video where a Rabbi said there were many copies of the law made before Jeremiah.

                        Perhaps I should have asked how many copies of the law and not the Torah were in existence before Jeremiah was written??

                        They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. John 16:2

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by George View Post

                          I'm dealing with another Muslim about the Jews corrupting the law -- Jeremiah 8:8 -- and I listened to a video where a Rabbi said there were many copies of the law made before Jeremiah.

                          Perhaps I should have asked how many copies of the law and not the Torah were in existence before Jeremiah was written??
                          There's no way to know.
                          I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jameson View Post

                            There's no way to know.
                            OK, do you think there were some copies? Wouldn't there have to be? How else would the people know what the law said, if they didn't have some copies to look over?

                            And the law came before Jeremiah was written.

                            Also, are there any other verses in all of the Hebrew Scriptures that you are aware of that suggest or indicate that some scribes altered the TEXT of the Law? I don't know of any. My point would be IF a scribe altered the Law in Jeremiah 8:8 then we would see some signs of it in other verses in the Hebrew Scriptures.

                            Thanks for your patience.

                            Last edited by George; 02-12-19, 11:27 AM.
                            They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. John 16:2

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by George View Post

                              OK, do you think there were some copies? Wouldn't there have to be? How else would the people know what the law said, if they didn't have some copies to look over?

                              And the law came before Jeremiah was written.

                              Also, are there any other verses in all of the Hebrew Scriptures that you are aware of that suggest or indicate that some scribes altered the TEXT of the Law? I don't know of any. My point would be IF a scribe altered the Law in Jeremiah 8:8 then we would see some signs of it in other verses in the Hebrew Scriptures.

                              Thanks for your patience.
                              I don't think people did generally know what the Torah said. Look at Josiah's reign, where a book of Torah was discovered in the ruins of the neglected Temple of Solomon. They were shocked to see what it had to say. They didn't know it it at all! Even the high priest who was working in the Temple didn't know the text! They discovered the book and were entirely flipped out at its contents. So, no, I don't think that the common man knew the Torah at all.

                              Whereas there were some texts that were incorporated into the text of the Torah that were extant during the time of the first Temple (and poems by David, for example), the majority of the text of the Bible was edited and redacted during the time of Josiah and even later (at least until the time of Ezra). I am not sure that there was a "Torah" that the people generally believed in before that time. Even the authority of the high priest would have been basically ignored in the earlier generations of Israel.
                              I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X