Feb 25, 2006

The Missing Word

I don't have anything against the King James version; it is a fine version of the Bible, and very lyrical if read properly; however, there are a few mistakes here and there and here is one: In 1 Peter 3:3, it is missing just one little word - "merely." Here is the King James version:

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;"

Notice the difference in the (appropriate) New King James version:

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—"

So, ladies, God is concerned with our outward appearance (more on this later!), but He is much more concerned with our inner adornments (more later).

Dress for the Lord!


Jennifer Worch said...

Actually, I believe it is incorrect to say that the Scripture is "missing" a word. (God's Word is perfect and accurate and lacks nothing.) The word-for-word Greek translation is "Of whom let it be not the outward of plaiting of hairs and of putting of gold or of clothing of adorning..." There is no "merely" there. However, it is not implied that the things listed here are wrong. Indeed, quite the contrary is indicated. Notice that it says "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of...putting on of apparel..." If we were to take that to mean that we were not to do these things, we'd all go around dressed like Eve in the garden. :-) So, with the point that we should be concerned about looking pretty for our husbands, in a way that is pleasing to our husbands, I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, consider also the passage from Titus 2:9-10, which speaks of the same thing: "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." Again God makes it plain through His Word how we women are to conduct ourselves in dress--to be modest, not flaunting, not wasting money on expensive clothing, etc., but instead to concentrate on our actions, making them godly. As for "the missing word", you can see from the Greek literal translation that there is no word missing. God has seen fit to preserve his whole Word in its entirety--no mistakes.

Jen said...

Good point, Jennifer, about God's Word being perfect. I agree that it absolutely is - if you can understand the context of the original language. Translating into English, no matter which version, although some are much better than others, will always produce some difficulty - and this is one of those instances. "Merely" is an implied word used in some versions such as the New King James Version to make sense of this passage. Reading directly from the King James Version, many people have taken this passage to mean that godly women cannot braid their hair or wear gold, at the very least. I am trying to point out that this passage actually encourages fixing our hair nice and wearing modest jewelry and clothing. By using the implied word "merely," we can more easily understand the proper context of this passage, which is often misunderstood. I will take those other passages, plus many others, at another time and more fully develop our outward and inward appearances, of which you possess both in a very godly manner! Thanks, friend!

Mark Epstein said...

I must agree with Jennifer W. on one point -- God's Word is infallible. However, it is only infallible in its ORIGINAL languages (Hebrew and Greek). There are many words, idioms, and grammatical constructs that prove difficult in translating from the original languages and, therefore, there can be errors in meaning within other languages -- including English, a Germanic language. Furthermore, we cannot discount anti-Semitism in many translations. For example, in
Acts 12:4 the word for Passover is translated "Easter." Nonsense! This Greek word is translated "Passover" in all other passages in the NT. No Jew would write the word "Easter" in either Greek or Hebrew for it was a purely pagan holiday known to the Jews and, yes, the authors of the NT were Jews writing in Greek (except for one author).

Jen said...

Yes, I agree that God's original Word in the original languages is infallible. I was studying I Timothy 3 today, regarding the qualifications for bishops and deacons. The english is translated as being "the husband of one wife," which leaves open many different interpretations, but the original Greek literally says "a one-woman man." Very interesting!